Saudi and Emarti Tankers have regularly come under attack in the Red Sea. C-802 anti ship missiles fired from Yemen’s coastline as well as fast attack speed boats belonging to Yemen’s Houthi Rebel’s have been used in the attacks. Yemen’s Houthis have emulated tactics employed by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corp Navy that operates in the Persian Gulf.
The attacks come as fighting in Yemen between the Houthis and Saudi led coalition enter its third year. The Houthis have modeled their military after the IRGC and have combined conventional and unconventional tactics. The group in the past has attacked Saudi warships including a 2017 boat bomb attack, a year before Houthi missiles attacked US Warships, all were intercepted.
The Red Sea remains an important supply rout for the worlds energy and continued attacks could have the potential to effect the energy industry’s. As of August 2018 no mines have been used in the Red Sea.
AFRICOM and CENTCOM have the ability to respond to any escalation in the Red Sea. MH-60S and MH-60R helicopters can employ mini guns and AGM-114 Hellfire’s against speedboats while F-15E and F/A-18/F aircraft can be employed against missile sites.