Saudi coalition forces have been on guard in the port of Mokha after a recent series of attacks by remote-controlled, bomb-laden boats operated by Houthi rebels. The Houthi forces have had success with this tactic before: in January, they damaged the Saudi frigate Al-Madinah with a remote-controlled boat, and they nearly struck a petroleum product terminal at Jazan, Saudi Arabia in April.
On July 29, the rebels allegedly drove another remote-controlled boat into a pier at Mokha, Yemen, according to a statement from the coalition. It detonated near berthed vessels, but did not cause any significant damage. The Saudi military claimed that the Houthi rebels had attacked the port, thereby "disrupting the flow of humanitarian aid to Yemen, in particular medicines used to fight the rampant cholera epidemic." (The United Nations asserts that an ongoing Saudi blockade of Yemeni ports is contributing to widespread famine and disease.)
The Houthi forces claimed responsibility for an attack on the same date, but gave a different account. Official Houthi outlet Saba said that a bomb boat struck a UAE naval vessel at a position off the coast of Mokha, killing 12 and wounding 23 more. According to this account, the UAE warship was disabled by the blast and by a series of secondary explosions, and will require repair before it returns to service. Saba also claimed that a UAE minesweeper was damaged in the attack.
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