Sun Jul 30, 2017 05:09PM
This picture, provided by the Joint Operations Command of Yemen, shows fire raging from Saudi al-Madinah warship following a guided missile attack in waters near the western Yemeni city of Hudaydah on January 30, 2017.
This picture, provided by the Joint Operations Command of Yemen, shows fire raging from Saudi al-Madinah warship following a guided missile attack in waters near the western Yemeni city of Hudaydah on January 30, 2017.

A Yemeni military source says at least a dozen soldiers have been killed and nearly two dozen others injured when Yemeni naval soldiers, backed by allied fighters from Popular Committees, targeted an Emirati military vessel in a missile attack off the coast of the country’s southwestern province of Ta'izz.

The unnamed source told Yemen’s official SABA news agency on Sunday that 12 Emirati troopers lost their lives and another 23 sustained injuries when the frigate was targeted with a guided missile in waters near the port city of Mukha, situated 346 kilometers south of the capital Sana'a, the previous day.

The source added that the vessel was heavily loaded with various munitions, and the missile attack sent it into a series of explosions that lasted until 8:30 p.m. local time (1730 GMT), before water-dropping planes could extinguish the flames at last.

He went on to say that the wounded Emirati soldiers have been transported to the Eritrean port city of Assab to receive treatment.

Meanwhile, the Yemeni navy has warned the Saudi-led military coalition against adventurism in the Red Sea, stopping humanitarian convoys from reaching the strategic port city of Hudaydah and attacks on Yemeni fishermen.

The naval force, in a statement released on Sunday, said the escalation of confrontations in the Red Sea does not serve the interests of any side, emphasizing that Yemeni fighters would not hesitate to give a befitting response to any act of aggression against their country.

On July 24, Yemeni forces and their allies destroyed a gunboat of the Saudi-led coalition off the coast of Yemen’s western province of Hudaydah.

An unnamed military source asserted that the Saudi vessel was carrying out radar jamming and deception against the Yemeni army when it was targeted with a missile.

Yemeni army forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, fired a guided missile at al-Madinah warship in waters near the city of Hudaydah on January 30.

The Saudi-led coalition, which is assisting Riyadh in its war on Yemen, later confirmed the incident but claimed only five people had lost lives in the attack.

Yet, footage of the raid, provided by Yemeni forces, showed the enormity of the explosion and subsequent fire on the deck of the Saudi vessel.

On January 21, the Yemeni Coast Guard warned enemies’ battleships against using the strategic Bab el-Mandeb Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, to bomb civilian targets, emphasizing that such a practice poses grave threats to international maritime navigation in the area.

In October 2016, Yemeni forces and fighters from the Popular Committees destroyed an Emirati HSV-2 Swift hybrid catamaran off the shores of Mukha.

Yemeni army forces had destroyed a Saudi warship in a missile attack in the southwestern coast of Yemen, in the Bab el-Mandeb, on October 10, 2015.