Strike on aid vessel
Arab coalition condemns attack on UAE ship
The Arab coalition has condemned an attack on an Emirati ship that was said to have been carrying aid and civilians to and from the Yemeni port of Aden.
The catamaran-style vessel, named Swift, was targeted by Houthi militia as it sailed in the Bab Al Mandab Strait in the early hours of Saturday morning, a report by UAE national news agency WAM stated.
The Command of Coalition Forces said the strike was a “dangerous indication” of “terrorist operations” in the area, WAM reported.
It did not state what was fired, or how badly the Swift was damaged, but said “Coalition air and naval forces started chasing and targeting boats which carried out the attack”.
The command said it launched an operation at 12.30am on Saturday to rescue civilian passengers. It added that the vessel was owned by the UAE’s National Marine Dredging Company.
WAM quoted the coalition command as saying the ship was on a routine trip to and from Aden to deliver relief aid and evacuate wounded civilians.
Yesterday, the Yemen government said in a statement that “this is a terrorist attack that violates international laws”.
It added: “It is also a clear violation of humanity and a flagrant aggression against life.”
Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Qatar, which is part of the coalition, tweeted: “We strongly condemn the attack on #UAE’s civil ship carrying humanitarian aid to #Yemen.
“This crime should not pass without accountability.”
Dr Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, retweeted the comments.
Speaking about the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, he said “the idea a minority of people can control a country using force is not acceptable and won’t continue”.
HIT: The Arab coalition said it rescued civilian passengers from the Swift after the attack