AL-MUKALLA: The Arab coalition on Saturday said it had destroyed four explosive-laden Houthi boats in Yemen’s western province of Hodeidah.
A coalition statement said warplanes targeted Al-Jabanah coastal base, east of Hodeidah city, where the vessels had been prepared to attack international ships sailing through the Red Sea.
“The coalition efforts have contributed to protecting shipping lanes and international trade in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait and south of (the) Red Sea,” it said.
The coalition’s air raids on Houthi targets in Hodeidah came days after it destroyed similar locations in Sanaa, where explosive-laden drones and ballistic missiles had been prepared to attack locations in Saudi Arabia and Yemen.
The coalition recently vowed to launch heavier aerial bombardments in Yemen if the Houthis did not stop attacking civilians inside and outside Yemen.
A pro-government officer from Hodeidah said on Saturday that Al-Jabanah had three military sites and was known to Yemeni military officials as a place for making explosive-laden boats and drones.
“The Houthis usually target international ships in the Red Sea from Al-Jabanah since it is the closest area in Hodeidah to international waters,” the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief reporters, told Arab News.
Yemen’s internationally recognized government has accused the Houthis of breaching the Stockholm Agreement by turning coastal areas in Hodeidah under their control into bases for launching attacks against the administration, the coalition, and international maritime navigation in the Red Sea.
The airstrikes in Hodeidah are the first to have taken place in the last few months as most of the coalition’s efforts are focused on supporting government troops battling the militia in the central province of Marib.
Dozens of Houthi fighters and government troops were killed in fighting outside Marib city as the militia pressed ahead with its offensive to capture it along with its gas and oil fields.
Residents and local officials said on Saturday that fierce clashes had erupted in Jabal Murad after hundreds of Houthis attacked troops and allied tribesmen in a bid to make fresh territorial gains that would put them closer to their target.