Saudi Arabia Says It Foiled Attack on Ship in the Red Sea; Houthis Deny

A tweet by Saudi state television quoting Colonel Turki al-Malki did not name the ship or provide other details about the incident

Col. Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Huthi forces, listens during a press conference in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Friday, May 31, 2019.
Amr Nabil,AP

Naval forces from the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen foiled an attempted attack on a commercial ship in the Red Sea by the Iran-aligned Houthi group, a military spokesman said on Monday.

A tweet by Saudi state television quoting Colonel Turki al-Malki did not name the ship or provide other details about the incident.

However a Houthi military spokesman denied the group had targeted commercial ships in the Red Sea, the group's Al Masirah TV reported.

"It is pure slander and completely baseless," the Houthi spokesman was quoted as saying.

Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran have been locked in a four-year-old proxy war in Yemen, which lies on one side of the Bab al-Mandeb strait at the southern mouth of the sea, one of the most important trade routes for oil tankers heading from the Middle East to Europe.

Last year, Saudi Arabia suspended oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb strait for more than a week after the Houthis attacked two ships in the waterway.