As the Saudi-Yemen war intensified following an attack by Houthi rebels on a Saudi Arabian warship, Riyadh has suspended all oil shipments through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. On Wednesday, Houthi Ansarullah Movement of Yemen launched a missile attack on a Saudi battleship near the western coast of Yemen. This missile attack was a part of the retaliatory attacks launched by the Houthi movement in response to Saudi’s offensive.
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As reported by the Iranian PressTV, retaliatory attacks were launched by Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah Movement on a Saudi warship and a vessel. Yemen’s SABA news later reported that the Houthis also claimed to have hit a coalition boat off the coast of el-Durayhmi in the southern port city of Hudaydah.
The Yemeni Navy stated that the coalition boat targetted by the Houthis was carrying weapons and ferrying Saudi-led forces to Hudaydah. This was a part of the plan to intensify the presence of Emirati forces and allied militants which have been covered by air raids conducted by Saudi Arabia. Yemen has been in a state of war since 2015 and Saudi Arabia has been leading the coalition against the present Yemeni government.
On Wednesday evening, the Energy Minister of Saudi Arabia stated that the Houthis attacked two large vessels carrying crude oil. He also stated that each of these two vessels was carrying 2 million barrels of oil in the Red Sea.
He further informed about Riyadh’s decision to halt all oil shipments through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait temporarily until the situation is clear and the maritime transit through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait is safe again. The oil shipments through the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait were halted with immediate effect.
Bab-el-Mandeb Strait is the southern entrance to the Red Sea and is one of the key shipping lanes of the world for crude oil. Crude exports into Europe are facilitated by the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait hence it is of such great strategic significance.