A United Nations mission said, in a statement, published on its Twitter account, on Wednesday, that a team of it visited the Yemeni port of Saleef, and spoke with the crew of the Emirati ship Rawabi, which was seized by the Houthis, earlier this month.
The mission said: “As part of its routine weekly patrols, the United Nations Mission to Support the Hudaydah Agreement visited Salif port and adjacent areas this afternoon. The patrol team viewed the Rawabi from a distance and spoke to its crew members.”
The Houthi movement says the Emirati cargo ship they seized in the Red Sea was carrying military equipment, but the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-aligned movement in Yemen says it was carrying medical equipment.
The coalition had said that it had received a distress call from an oil tanker after it was subjected to “armed harassment” off the port of Hodeidah in Yemen.
And earlier this January, the British Maritime Trade Operations Authority, affiliated with the British Royal Navy, issued a statement saying that a ship reported that an unknown boat approached it in a suspicious manner near the Salif port, north of the port of Hodeidah.
The authority added that the ship and crew are safe, and that it continued sailing.
The port of Hodeidah and the port of Saleef are under the control of the Houthi movement.
On the other hand, the coalition controls the air and sea access routes to the Houthi-controlled areas.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in early 2015, after the movement expelled the internationally recognized government from the capital, Sanaa.