UK Warship with Key Intervention in the Gulf; Rise of Houthi Attacks on Saudi Arabia

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on July 11 in last twelve hours from

Iranian boats ‘harass’ British tanker in the Gulf – U.S. officials

Five boats believed to belong to Iranian Revolutionary Guards approached a British oil tanker in the Gulf on Wednesday and asked it to stop in Iranian waters close by, but withdrew after a British warship warned them, Reuters reported.

Britain’s Ministry of Defence had no immediate comment.

The incident occurred almost a week after British Royal Marines boarded an Iranian tanker, Grace 1, off Gibraltar and seized it on suspicion that it was breaking sanctions by taking oil to Syria.

Earlier on Wednesday, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said Britain would face “consequences” over the seizure of the Iranian tanker.

Tensions between Iran and the United States and its allies have risen sharply since Washington stepped up economic sanctions against Iran and moved to bring the country’s oil exports to zero as part of a “maximum pressure” policy to make Iran halt actions that it said undermined regional security.

US troubled by rise in Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia

The US voiced concern Wednesday to the UN’s Yemen envoy over a recent uptick in Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia, MEMO reported.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Martin Griffiths for his efforts to end the Yemen conflict but “expressed concern over the recent increase in Iranian-supported Houthi attacks into Saudi territory that exacerbate the conflict and deepen mistrust,” the State Department said.

“The Secretary and the Special Envoy agreed that parties must continue working toward a political settlement and an end to the conflict in Yemen,” spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels used a drone to strike Abha International Airport in southern Saudi Arabia, the group’s Al-Masirah TV said Monday.

The Houthis have increasingly used drones to target southern Saudi Arabia, including Abha. Two drones previously hit the city’s airport, killing at least one person and wounding more than 30.

Yemen has been beset by violence and chaos since 2014, when Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa.

The crisis escalated in 2015 when a Saudi-led military coalition launched a devastating air campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi territorial gains.

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Source: Reuters, MEMO