Iran- backed Houthi rebels in Yemen were foiled in an attack in international waters on a Saudi oil tanker, the Saudi Gazette and major news services report.
As a result of the “immediate intervention of the [Saudi-backed] Coalition’s fleet” the oil tanker only “sustained minimal damages” in the waters off of port city Hodeidah, the Saudi Press Agency reports, but in the meantime the Kingdom is temporarily halting all oil shipments going through the important Bab el-Mandeb strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.
The Iran-backed Houthis remain in control of Hodeidah.
“This terrorist attack is a dangerous threat to the freedom of navigation and international trade in the Red Sea and via the Straits of Bab-El-Mandeb, which might result in environmental and economic losses,” Col. Turki Al-Malki, official spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, said.
“The continuation of such attempts proves the real threat of these militias and those supporting it to regional and international security. The Port of Hodeidah is still the launching pad for terrorist attacks.”
Oil prices reacted to the incident, rising in London today, Bloomberg reports.
On Tuesday, Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman blasted Iranian expansionism an op-ed for Arab News, calling it’s actions “a pernicious threat to stability in the region” which “fuels and foments most of the Middle East’s crises — the sectarian strife that pits neighbor against neighbor, the militant movements that shatter legitimate state institutions, and the terrorist forces that kill innocent men, women and children.”