A United Nations mission said that its team visited the Yemeni port of Saleef and spoke with the crew of the Emirati ship “Rawabi”, which was seized by the Houthis earlier this January.
The United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement said – in a statement on its Twitter account – yesterday, Wednesday, that it “visited the Salif port and the surrounding areas yesterday afternoon, as part of its routine weekly patrols, and the patrol team viewed the Rawabi ship from a distance and spoke to its crew members.”
While the Houthis say that the Emirati cargo ship they seized in the Red Sea was carrying military equipment, the Saudi-led military coalition says it was carrying medical equipment.
On Tuesday, the coalition announced that the process of detaining the Emirati ship “Rawabi” had started from the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah, threatening to target the ports of launch and harbor what it described as piracy operations if the group refused to release the detained ship.
The spokesman for the coalition forces, Turki Al-Maliki, said that “Rawabi” is a commercial ship that was carrying field equipment and equipment for operating the Saudi field hospital on Socotra Island after the end of its humanitarian mission.
The spokesman called on the Houthis to release the detained ship with its full cargo, warning that in the event of non-compliance, what he described as the launching and harboring ports of piracy, kidnapping and armed robbery will make them legitimate military targets.
And last Sunday, the Houthi group said that it had seized an Emirati-flagged ship loaded with weapons and military equipment. At that time, the Houthi military spokesman, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said that the ship “Rawabi” had entered Yemeni waters without permission off Hodeidah.
The military spokesman for the Houthis showed scenes of his forces’ control of the cargo ship carrying an Emirati flag, and said that it was loaded with weapons and was sailing in Yemeni territorial waters.