The Houthis (Ansar Allah) have released footage of a UAE-flagged vessel that was seized by their fighters in the Red Sea off the coast of the Yemeni coastal city of al-Hudaydah late on January 2.
The Saudi-led coalition claimed that the cargo vessel, named “Rwabee,” was moving medical and health equipment from a dismantled Saudi field hospital in the Yemeni island of Socotra to the Saudi port of Jizan.
However, Brig. Gen. Yahya Sari, a spokesman for the Houthis, denied the coalition’s claims. At a press briefing, the spokesman said that the vessel took part in “hostile acts” and “moved arms” in Yemen’s waters for weeks before being seized.
The footage released by the Houthis confirmed that Rwabee was carrying a number of military vehicles of the Saudi military, including one equipped with what appears to be a SATCOM [satellite communication] system.
The vessel was also carrying at least two fully-equipped fast assault boats of the Saudi General Directorate of Border Guard.
Light weapons, including dozens of assault rifles, and military equipment, such as body armors and helmets, were also found aboard Rwabee.
After seizing Rwabee, the Houthis warned the Saudi-led coalition against attacking it. Brig. Gen. Sari said on Twitter that any attack on the vessel will threaten the lives of its multinational crew.
The arms and equipment found on Rwabee are not of high-value. Still, the seizure of the vessel was a major blow to the Saudi-led coalition who does not apparently have full control over Yemen’s waters. The Houthis may attempt to seize other vessels in the near future.