Military sources confirm: Houthis detains Saudi oil ship and Korean ships off Kamaran Island
Saudi and Korean ships detained near Hodeidah by Houthis
The Houthis have detained three large ships in the red-sea near Hodeida, in the waters of Kamaran Island, which is currently under Houthi control. The Houthis have justified the capture of these ships claiming they violated Yemeni territorial waters, lacking the necessary permissions. Among the detained ships are a Saudi oil tanker, a South Korean cargo ship carrying drilling equipment and two other Korean tug-boats. The Houthis announced on Sunday evening that they had captured the ships, among which is the Saudi tanker “Rabigh 3,” seen in the picture above. This news was later corroborated by the Saudi-led coalition spokesman Wadhah Al-Dubaish.
Al-Dubaishs comments also confirmed that the Houthis have detained a Korean ship carrying drilling equipment, along with 28 crew members, most of whom are Korean nationals.
In an audio recording distributed to the media, among which is Almasdar Online, Al-Dabaish said the “Rabigh 3” was carrying some 500,000 barrels of petroleum derivatives in addition to a multinational crew.
Al-Dabaish did not specify the destination of the Saudi and Korean ships, but did add that the Houthis have begun unloading their cargo at the port of Salif, the inland port nearest to Kamaran island, roughly 80km north of Hodeidah.
Al-Dabaish described the Houthis actions as "a blatant encroachment and a threat to international shipping lines," adding that the United Nations has been informed but as of yet has not released a response.
Earlier in the day, Yemeni Foreign Minister Mohammed al-Hadhrami condemned the Houthi militia's detention of a Korean ship and two boats accompanying it.
The Houthis did not give any details on the incident although today, Houthi military leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi tweeted, "Thank you to the navy and coast guard for their successive achievements, Yemeni waters are protected by these people.”
Korean anti-piracy special forces have reportedly been dispatched to the area, with the Korean government reportedly seeking international assistance in their attempt to rescue both personnel and cargo. The Houthis have however announced that the release of the Korean vessels is contingent on clear indications that the ship is not part of the Saudi-led coalition forces’ fleet.