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Yemen Houthi rebels launch 'revenge attack' on Saudi oil tanker

Hodiedah has been a key delivery point for aid [AFP]

Date of publication: 4 April, 2018

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Yemen's Houthi rebels have said they launched an attack on a Saudi oil tanker, close to the besieged port of Hodeidah, in response to Monday's deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike.

Yemen's rebels launched an attack on a Saudi oil tanker off the country's coast Tuesday, with Riyadh saying anti-Houthi coalition forces repelled the fighters.

The tanker was hit in the attack before "swift intervention" was launched by a nearby coalition naval vessel, Riyadh media have said.

The Saudi-led coalition did not mention the type of weapon used but did say the tanker suffered "minor damage".

"A Saudi oil tanker was subjected to an Iranian Houthi attack off Hodeidah port," the Saudi Press Agency reported the coalition spokesperson saying.

The attack took place close to the besieged Houthi-controlled port of Hodeidah, which has been a key delivery point for periodic aid deliveries.

On Monday, 16 people were killed including around seven children following an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition in the area.

The Houthis said that the attack hit a Yemeni refugee camp.

The UN has described it as "one of the deadliest attacks" on minors in the country for years.

Houthi-run Yemeni military forces said Tuesday that the attack on the oil tanker was in response to these killings.

"[We] targeted a battleship belonging to the coalition in response to the bombardment of displaced people in Hodeidah," a statement read.

Yemen has suffered around 10,000 deaths, mostly civilian, since Saudi-led coalition forces launched air strikes on Houthi-led forces in March 2015.

Yemen's internationally-recognised government fled Sanaa in 2014, following a Houthi-led takeover of the capital.

Agencies contributed to this story. 

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