Saudi ambassador to Yemen confirms Houthis detaining 19 oil vessels

Tugboats are seen near a ship in the Red Sea port of Hudaydah, Yemen.

:: Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Yemen Mohammed al-Jaber confirmed that Houthi militias were detaining 19 oil vessels and prevented them from entering Hodeidah port.

“The Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Support Center (YCHO) is deeply concerned that the Iranian-backed Houthi militias are holding more than 19 oil vessels in the militia-controlled area of al-Mustaqaf, preventing them from entering the port,” al-Jaber wrote in a tweet on Saturday.

The Saudi envoy said that the Houthis have been using the port of Hodeidah for years as a tool of war against the Yemeni people by starving it, in addition to using the port as a financial resource to prolong the war and smuggling Iranian weapons and missiles to Yemen to attack Saudi Arabia and the legitimate government and its forces on the ground.

Al-Jaber warned of the scenarios of the recruitment of Houthi militias for the seizure of ships. The first is that “royalties of up to $1 million may be imposed on each ship that allows it to dock in the port, thus prolonging the war and refueling the war effort. The second scenario is the continued starvation of the Yemeni people and the use of the situation. The third is “the most dangerous, that the Houthis are planning to target the 19 ships in one place to destroy them, which will trigger an environmental disaster in the Red Sea”.

On April 3, a Saudi oil tanker was attacked by Houthi militants in international waters west of Hodeidah port which is under the control of Iran’s armed militias.

The spokesman for the Coalition Forces Col. Turki al-Maliki said that the attempt to attack failed after the intervention of one of the naval ships of the alliance.

Hodeidah port in western Yemen is one of the most important ports to receive humanitarian relief and oil vessels.

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