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Saudi Frigate Attacked by Houthis Returns to Base

Sputnik News

00:00 09.02.2017(updated 00:06 09.02.2017)

A Royal Saudi warship struck by Houthi bombers safely returned to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, a coastal city approximately 40 miles west of Mecca, Saudi Arabia.

The attack, according to Riyadh, will not diminish the kingdom's resolve to protect the key Bab al-Mandab Strait, Saudi Gen. al-Bunyan told SPA, the government's press agency. The Bab al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, is one of the world's "most active shipping lanes," according to the CIA World Factbook.

The commander stated that he was proud of Saudi efforts in operations "within the alliance to support legitimacy in Yemen," including the "frigate which was targeted by the Houthi terrorist attack" during a patrol of the "brotherly" Yemen coast, the news service wrote.

The Saudi-led coalition against the Houthi political opposition faction will not be deterred, according to SPA, from its "key objectives" to "restore the legitimate state authority of Yemen" and protect the country's "resources and capabilities from Houthi coup militias."

The Houthi suicide mission killed three Saudi crew members. In a video said to be filmed by the aggressors, a voice can be heard yelling, "Allahu Akbar! (God is great) Death to America, death to Israel, a curse on the Jews and victory for Islam."

The violence in Yemen has decimated the country's financial infrastructure. Before the war, the Yemeni Central Bank held some $5.2 billion in reserves, according to the CIA. As of January 12, that bank's foreign currency assets had reportedly dwindled to approximately $1.2 billion, the intelligence service noted. Further, Houthis are said to be "withdrawing $116 million on a monthly basis," while the rate of inflation was estimated to have increased 28 percent in 2015 before spiraling up another 31 percent in 2016. The country "will require significant international assistance" if and when the conflict is resolved, the CIA World Factbook asserts.

Gen. Al-Bunyan used the news conference to highlight that Houthis retain control over the Hodeida seaport in Yemen. The Houthi post, he stated, is a "clear threat to the safety of international navigation lines." In October 2016 Houthis attempted missile attacks against the US Navy at least twice in one week, using Silkworm cruise missiles, "weapons Iranians are known to use," the Observer reported. The missiles were eliminated by US Navy anti-missile defenses.


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