Monday, January 30, 2017

VIDEO: Saudi warship damaged in suicide boat attack. Two sailors dead.

RT screengrab of the moment of impact. 

Houthi rebels have damaged a Saudi Arabian warship during a routine patrol. RT. The Houthis claim that the ship was hit and destroyed by an anti-ship missile. However, the Saudi's claim that they were attacked by a fleet of three boats, two of which they destroyed. The third was a suicide attacker and blew itself up, killing two sailors and wounding three. The frigate was set on fire but resumed patrol duty after extinguishing the fire. 

My Comment:
Just a few quick notes on this story. 

1. The attack on a Saudi frigate is getting almost no coverage in the western news media. I usually don't use RT as a source, since they are obviously biased, but they were about the only media outlet that was covering it. The only other ones I could find were Fox News and the Wall Street Journal and the WSJ article was behind a paywall. Some of this is due to other news stories, such as the Trump immigration orders or the attack in Canada, but still, you would think an attack like this with video of the incident would get more coverage. 

2. I don't know why the Houthi rebels are lying about this attack. I saw no missile on the video so I think the Saudi's account of what happened is a lot more credible. My only guess is that they want the world to think that they have more anti-ship missiles then they have. Or, possibly, they want to downplay their ability to launch suicide attacks against ships. 

3. I am surprised that the Houthis are using suicide tactics. They are Shia Muslims and suicide attacks are more of a Sunni things. It's not unprecedented but still rather rare. 

4. The relative success of this attack makes me wonder how vulnerable our own ships are. Back in 2000, the USS Cole was hit by a similar attack that killed 17 sailors and wounded 39 more. The threat was real so the navy developed the Littoral Combat Ships to counter it. Unfortunately the LCS program has been a giant boondoggle and the ships are under-powered, under-armed and prone to breakdowns. 

5. Yemen continues to be a mess and one of the most under reported wars happening right now. 

6. I hope the video for this attack stays up. The Youtube channel seems to be from the Houthi's themselves and there is a good chance that they will be banned at some point... 

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