Yemen Fishing Boat Attacked by Frigate Off Coast, 18 Fishermen Killed

Saudis say reports of attack 'baseless'

A fishing boat off the Red Sea port of al-Khoukha, Yemen, was attacked on Tuesday, causing catastrophic damage and killing nearly the entire crew. Only one person survived, with 18 others reported killed.

Relatives of the crew say that the boat was attacked by a naval frigate, believed to belong to Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia is leading a large naval blockade of Yemen, and has been for years, stopping ships and preventing deliveries to ports.

Saudi officials, however, claimed the reports were “baseless,” and that none of their frigates had attacked the boat. They also claimed the Houthis did it, though the Houthis have no frigates with which to carry out such an attack.

The report of al-Khoukha is on the coast of the Red Sea. The port is under the control of the UAE military, which makes it curious that any of the ships in the Saudi-led coalition would be targeting fishing boats out of the area.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of