Saudi Forces Thwart Bomb Boat Attack at Port of Yanbu

Yanbu (file picture courtesy Saudi Ports Authority)

On Tuesday, Saudi forces reported {that a} bomb boat had been intercepted and destroyed close to the port of Yanbu. 

Brig. Gen. Turki Al-Maliki, the spokesman for the Saudi Ministry of Defense, advised The Gate that Saudi marine items had destroyed a “remotely piloted and booby-trapped boat” within the Red Sea close to Yanbu. 

Initial studies from maritime safety consultancy Neptune P2P Group indicated that black smoke was seen close to the south entrance to the port. Dryad Global, a safety agency primarily based within the UK, recommended that the Saudi-owned tanker NCC Dammam could have been affected; nevertheless, the studies couldn’t be independently confirmed. As of Tuesday night, the Dammam’s AIS sign confirmed her moored alongside in the port’s internal harbor.

United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) stated in a short assertion that it was conscious of studies of an incident about two nautical miles off Yanbu and was investigating, however didn’t present additional particulars. 

Houthi insurgent forces primarily based in Yemen have performed a number of bomb-boat and mine assaults on Saudi transport over the course of the long-running Yemeni civil conflict. Saudi forces often report intercepting Houthi drone boats within the Red Sea, significantly close to the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb, however not often as far north as Yanbu. The port is the Saudi kingdom’s fundamental Red Sea oil export hub, and it lies greater than 500 nm north of the Yemeni border – past the traditional working vary of Houthi forces. The northernmost safety incident on the Red Sea shoreline within the final a number of years was a suspected mine assault on a product tanker at Jeddah in December 2020.