A royal Saudi navy frigate foiled a pirate attack on a Turkish cargo ship near the Gulf of Aden, the first announced operation by the Saudi navy.
‘The Al-Riyadh responded to a distress call from the Yasa Seyhan after the ship was attacked by three small boats in international waters near the Gulf of Aden. “The warship Al-Riyadh, which is in the Gulf of Aden and is part of a multinational force to fight off piracy, provided protection to the Turkish merchant ship Yasa Seyhan.” The pirates fled after the arrival of the frigate. More than 150 suspected pirates were arrested by naval patrols in the Gulf in 2008. This year, Danish, Russian and US warships have also detained suspects. Heavily armed pirates operate high-powered speedboats and sometimes hold ships for weeks before releasing them for large ransoms paid by governments or ship owners. They have been undeterred by the presence of foreign navies patrolling one of the world’s busiest shipping routes and more than 100 attacks occurred last year alone.