Maritime Security

A VLCC tanker owned by a Saudi Arabian shipping group was attacked on the 3rd April, south west of the port of Hodeidah in Yemen, in international waters.

French Navy frigate FS Provence intercepted the unregistered boat in the north area of the Indian Ocean, which was bound for Somalia.

Yesterday it was reported that the Royal Australian Navy’s HMAS Darwin discovered a significant store of heavy weaponry on board a fishing vessel.

The annual report released today by the leading global source of critical information and insight, IHS, has identified Somalia as one of the top ten risk hot spots in the Middle East for 2016.

Illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing being carried out by foreign fishing trawlers in the waters off Somalia will ultimately force local fishing communities into maritime crime.

International naval efforts and maritime security teams on board commercial vessels are currently the only deterrents to the pirates who remain dormant in Somalia.

A recent visit to the town of Eyl in northern Somalia, by Andrew Harding, Africa correspondent for the BBC, suggests pirate bosses are lying in wait for the opportunity to resume full piracy operations.

In under three weeks, two commercial vessels have been fired upon by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in the Persian Gulf.

On Thursday 14 May, a Singapore flagged tanker was sailing 15 nautical miles from the Iranian coast-line on her way to Fujairah Port, when five Iranian patrol boats were reported to have fired shots across the bow of the vessel.

Militants opposing both the Houthi rebels in Yemen and Yemeni President, Mansour Abdrabbuh Hadi have seized the main airport and port in southern city Mukalla

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian peninsula (AQAP) have reportedly driven out troops who were guarding the major port city of Mukalla, Hadramawt province, seizing Riyan airport, the city’s main seaport and oil terminal.

It has been reported that Houthi rebels have placed missiles, cannons and other heavy weaponry on two islands int he Red Sea, including Perim, the island that divides the Bab El-Mandeb Strait into two channels between Djibouti and Yemen.

Security in the Gulf of Aden severely compromised as Houthi rebels advance south, driving out Yemeni president

Yemeni president Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi was driven out of Yemen by Houthi rebels who have a $100,000 bounty on his head.

Latest reports following the president's departure state that the fall of Aden is imminent, as the rebels continue to advance south after having seized the capital Sanaa in September.