A coalition led by the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen has stated that rebels subjugated to Iran have hijacked a ship south of the Red Sea.
Saudi Arabian State Agency in Saudi Arabia quoted coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki on Monday as saying that Hutis had caught the ship while towing a South Korean oil rig on Sunday.
Al-Malki said that the "attack" was threatening vital shipping routes in the Bab al-Mandeb Strait used to deliver oil from the Gulf to Europe as well as goods from Asia to Europe.
"On Sunday, during the voyage of the tow truck Rabig-3 in the southern Red Sea, he was abducted and armed with robbery of terrorist elements related to
. He did not tell which country the tractor belonged to and how much crew members were aboard the seized ship.
According to the Maritime Traffic Tracking website, the home port of Rabig-3 is in the western Saudi city of Jeddah and it is flying the flag of the kingdom.
"Countries of aggression"?
Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a senior rebel official, said: "The Yemeni coastal markets … are checking whether [the vessel] belongs to the aggression countries or to South Korea, in which case it will be released after the completion of legal procedures. Crews are handled well. We assure everyone not to worry about the crew. "
Mohammed al-Atab of al-Jazeera, quoted by the capital Sana'a, quoted a source from the Houthis as saying that South Korea had requested the release of the platform and the crew.
" The Houthis said they would release him after executing documents to confirm that this oil platform belongs to South Korea. The source told me that seizure is a common measure they do when they find a foreign ship in the regional waters of Yemen, "he said.
The Iranian-sponsored oil attacks: Saudi Arabia
targeted oil tankers and warships belonging to Saudi Arabia and its partners in the military coalition fighting in the 2015 war in Yemen.
"These provocative et legal action will adversely affect freedom of international shipping, "he says.
" A serious problem " Gary Northwood – of the international maritime security company MAST – said seizure of rebel ships demonstrates its power in" war rebellious type, "especially their ability to act in the domain."
"The Greyhounds have demonstrated over the last few years during the war that they have the ability to do things and get disturbed, whether rocket attacks, post Yane mines or in this case taking the ship.  "The fact that the Saudis cannot necessarily protect the vessels in the area is quite a serious problem for them," Northwood tells Al Jazeera.
An alliance led by Saudi Arabia intervened in Yemen in March 2015 against the Houthis after the group removed the internationally recognized government from power in Sana'a.
The Houthi forces were driven off most of the coast of Yemen during the conflict, but still hold Hodeidah, the country's largest Red Sea port and base of the group.
In the past, rebels were targeted. ships off Yemen, located on one side of the Bab al Mandeb Strait at the southern mouth of the Red Sea, one of the world's most circulated oil tanker routes.  Source:
Al Jazeera and news agencies
Al Jazeera and news agencies