A Saudi warship targeted by Yemeni rebel “suicide” boats returned to its home port in Jeddah today, Saudi Arabia’s national news agency said. “The frigate, which was attacked by the Huthi militia while on patrol in the Red Sea, has returned to Jeddah as planned,” the Saudi Press Agency reported. Saudi Arabia said last week that two sailors were killed and three wounded when battleship Al-Madinah was hit by a Yemeni rebel “suicide” boat strike off the Red Sea port of Hodeida.
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The Huthi rebels said they hit the ship with a guided missile.
The United States has since deployed the USS Cole to the Bab Al-Mandab strait connecting the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean, according to a US defence official. Seventeen US military personnel were killed aboard the USS Cole in an attack in the Yemeni port city of Aden in October 2000 claimed by Al-Qaeda.
A Saudi-led Arab coalition launched a military campaign against the Huthi rebels in March 2015 as the insurgents closed in on President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi in Aden, forcing him into exile. More than 7,400 Yemenis have since been killed, most of them civilians, according to the World Health Organization.
At least 113 Saudis have been killed in skirmishes or rocket strikes along the border with Yemen since the coalition campaign began.