Yemen vice president: Houthi attack on Saudi oil tanker obstructs peace process

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Houthis dressed in army fatigues march in a parade during a gathering in the capital Sanaa on January 1, 2017. (File photo: AFP)
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Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar listens to a question during an interview with AFP in Sanaa on February 18, 2012. (File photo: AFP)
Updated 27 July 2018

Yemen vice president: Houthi attack on Saudi oil tanker obstructs peace process

  • Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar said repeated targeting of shipping lines in international waters by the Houthis continues to obstruct the peace process
  • Leaders from the Arab world also condemned the attack, highlighting the urgency to liberate Hodeidah from the Houthis

Yemeni Vice President Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar said on Wednesday that the targeting of the Saudi oil tanker in international waters west of the port of Hodeidah is a deliberate terror attack by the Houthis to disrupt maritime traffic that hinders peace efforts.

According to the official Yemeni news agency, the vice president said that the repeated targeting of shipping lines in international waters by the Houthis continues to obstruct the peace process led by United Nations' special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths. Al-Ahmar added that the militia continued to use the port of Hodeidah to launch terror attacks.  

The vice president reiterated the keenness of the Yemeni government, supported by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, to liberate Hodeidah and put a stop to the dangers of the Iran-backed Houthis who pose a threat to regional and international security and the movement of navigation and international trade.

Meanwhile, Kuwait announced that it is also considering halting all oil shipments through Bab al-Mandeb Strait.

Regional outcry 

The attack was met by a regional outcry. The Arab Parliament condemned the targeting of the oil tanker in the Red Sea, calling it “a serious threat to international peace and security.”

The head of the Arab Parliament, Meshal Al-Sulami, said “the targeting of oil tankers by the Iranian Houthi militia in the Red Sea is a terrorist act.”

He called on the international community to take immediate decisive action to secure the oil pipelines to the world and hold the Houthis militia and groups who support them accountable.

Al-Sulami recently called on the United Nations to take urgent and firm measures against the Houthis for recruiting child soldiers and putting them in battlefields.

The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Bahrain and the UAE also condemned the attack. The UAE’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Anwar Gargash, said the incident highlights the urgent need to liberate Hodeidah from the Houthis.

“The cowardly attack constitutes a flagrant violation of all international laws and norms and poses a serious threat to the freedom of international trade and maritime navigation in Bab Al-Mandab Strait and the Red Sea,” Bahrain's Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. 

“Whilst reiterating its full solidarity with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and supporting the measures it takes to preserve its resources and deter attempts to harm its security, Bahrain emphasizes the need for immediate global action to put an end to such dangerous acts,” the ministry stressed in a statement issued on Thursday.

The ministry called upon the international community to confront the terror acts of the Houthi coup militias in Yemen and to stand up to all those who support them and provide them with funds in order to protect international navigation in Bab Al-Mandab Strait.

The Secretary-General of the OIC, Dr. Yousef  Al-Othaimeen said, “The repeated attacks by Houthi militias on vessels passing through this strategic corridor negatively affect the security of the important waterways of trade and the global economy, exacerbate the instability in this region of the world and affirm the aggressive policy of these militias aiming to threaten the security of navigation in the Red Sea and destabilize the countries bordering it. ”

Al-Othaimeen added, “The targeting of giant oil tankers passing through Bab Al-Mandab does not only jeopardize the global economy, but also jeopardizes the safety of crews and seriously damages the marine environment as such aggression could cause large quantities of oil leaking which threatens maritime environment with pollution.”

Hezbollah says 2 Israeli drones downed in south Beirut

Updated 25 August 2019

Hezbollah says 2 Israeli drones downed in south Beirut

  • Israelii jets earlier attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus to pre-empt an alleged Iranian drone attack plot

BEIRUT: A Hezbollah official said Sunday that an Israeli drone went down over the Lebanese capital of Beirut and another exploded in the air, amid regional tensions between Israel and Iran.
Residents of the Iranian-backed group’s stronghold in southern Beirut reported one large explosion that shook the area early Sunday, triggering a fire. They said the nature of the blast in the Moawwad neighborhood was not immediately clear, but said it might have been caused by an Israeli drone that went down in the area amid Israeli air activity in neighboring Syria.
They said they heard an aircraft flying just before the blast and reported later that the Iranian-backed Hezbollah group sealed off the area. The blast occurred near the militant group’s media office in the Moawwad district.
The Hezbollah official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity as the person was not authorized to speak on the record to journalists. No details were immediately available.
Israeli warplanes fly over Lebanon regularly and have struck inside neighboring Syria from Lebanese airspace on numerous occasions.
A few hours earlier, late Saturday, the Israeli military attacked targets near Syria’s capital of Damascus in what it said was a successful effort to thwart an imminent Iranian drone strike on Israel, stepping up an already heightened campaign against Iranian military activity in the region.
The late-night airstrike, which triggered Syrian anti-aircraft fire, appeared to be one of the most intense attacks by Israeli forces in several years of hits on Iranian targets in Syria.
Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus, a military spokesman, said Iran’s Revolutionary Guards’ Al Quds force, working with allied Shiite militias, had been planning to send a number of explosives-laden attack drones into Israel.
On Twitter, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the attack by Israeli warplanes a “major operational effort.”
Syrian state TV said the country’s air defenses had responded to “hostile” targets over Damascus and shot down incoming missiles before they reached their targets.
In recent days, US officials have said that Israeli strikes have also hit Iranian targets in Iraq.