Securing ships off the coast of Yemen and Iran with Saudi participation. "Ben Turki" confirms thwarting attacks of the Houthis

Securing ships off the coast of Yemen and Iran with Saudi participation. "Ben Turki" confirms thwarting attacks of the Houthis

The commander of the joint forces of the Arab Coalition, Prince Fahd bin Turki, said Thursday that coalition forces accompany ships and secure their passage in the Red Sea.

Asked by Reuters whether Saudi Arabia would play a role in an international maritime security alliance proposed by the United States, Prince Turki said the alliance secures transit trade shipments in the Red Sea, and has succeeded in this task in recent years.

"We have been doing this for the past few years and we have achieved great success despite some damage to civilian shipping, such as Saudi and Turkish ships?

"We are active in this area, we practice it in the Red Sea in the Bab al-Mandab Strait," the commander of the coalition's joint forces said.

Prince Turki was speaking to reporters in Riyadh at a joint press conference with US Central Command Commander General Kenneth McKenzie, who visited Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

U.S. Efforts for Navigation Safety

Gen. Kenneth McKenzie said U.S. command is talking to other countries about freedom of navigation in the Gulf and will work "diligently" to find a solution that allows free passage in the Gulf.

The United States has recently stepped up its military presence in the Middle East because of what it sees as an Iranian threat, and Washington is asking its allies to help protect strategic waters off the coasts of Iran and Yemen after attacks on oil tankers in gulf waters in recent months.

"We are currently talking to the international community about the right to freedom of navigation in the Middle East, which will include passage to the Strait of Hormuz and passage to the Bab al-Mandab Strait," McKenzie said.

Washington and Riyadh have publicly blamed Iran and its proxies for recent attacks on Tankers, an accusation Tehran denies.

"I don't think a war with Iran is inevitable and we're not seeking a war with Iran, what we're trying to do is prevent it from destabilizing and harmful activities across the region," McKenzie said.

Houthis Escalation

The Houthis have intensified rocket and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, recently targeting oil installations and airports near the border with Yemen, raising tensions.

U.S. Central Command Commander Lt. Gen. Kenneth McKenzie visited the Saudi air base in Al-Kharj region to review some remnants of Iranian-made missiles used by Houthi militias to bomb Saudi territory.

The commander of the joint forces of the Alliance for The Support of Legitimacy in Yemen, Lt. Gen. Fahad bin Turki bin Abdulaziz, accompanied Lt. Gen. the U.S. general, on a tour of a missile exhibition and marching aircraft that Riyadh says Iran manufactured and used in Houthi attacks. Tehran denies supplying the group with weapons and the Houthis say they are manufacturing their weapons in Yemen.

The United States and Saudi Arabia are concerned about the Houthis' growing missile capabilities, and marching aircraft have been able to reach and attack Saudi oil targets that were pumping oil into oil tankers in mid-May.

Maritime Alliance

McKenzie met with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdelaziz in Riyadh as part of a tour of the region.

The meeting comes nearly a week after Saudi Arabia announced it hosted a meeting that included the United States, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar and Jordan in preparation for the launch of the "Strategic Middle East Alliance" called for by Washington.

Securing the Bab Al-Mandab and the Red Sea

Washington is seeking to form a military alliance within two weeks to protect strategic waters off Iran and Yemen, where Washington and its allies blame Tehran and its proxies in Yemen for recent attacks in the Oman Sea and Saudi oil installations.

The U.S. proposal to form an international alliance to protect navigation in the Strait of Hormuz has gained momentum since attacks in May, and June on oil tankers in gulf waters. Iran last month shot down a U.S. drone near the Strait, prompting Trump to order retaliatory air strikes before retreating at the last minute.

Although U.S. officials have publicly discussed plans to protect the Strait of Hormuz, the July 10 revelation of the coalition's disclosure that the coalition will also seek to enhance security in the Bab al-Mandab Strait off Yemen appears to be a new element.

The United States and Saudi Arabia have long been concerned that Iranian-allied Houthi militias will launch attacks in Bab al-Mandab.

About four million barrels of oil per day pass through Bab al-Mandab to Europe, the United States and Asia as well as commercial commodities.

The Saudi-led coalition announced the success of its naval forces, and yesterday, on the 9th of this month, in foiling an attempt by the Houthis, targeting a commercial ship in the Red Sea, with a booby-trapped boat, and the group denied this through Al-Masirah channel, but the coalition pledged to reveal the compelling evidence about the circumstances of the attempt Houthi.

The Houthis have previously threatened to target oil tankers and commercial vessels in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait on more than one occasion, and have launched attacks targeting Turkish, American and Emirati ships at sea, one of which caused Washington's response to bomb radars on Yemen's west coast two years ago.

A U.S. journalist spoke weeks ago about intelligence, confirming the possibility of the Houthis attacking U.S. interests in the Red Sea and the Gulf, at the behest of Iran, which avoids direct war with the United States, and directs its agents in Yemen to escalate their attacks on Saudi Arabia.

On Tuesday, Us President Donald Trump called on Iran to leave Yemen, referring to its support and arming of Houthi militias that have turned over the legitimate government and seized large parts of the country since 2014.


Print Send