Yemen's Houthis target Saudi fuel tanker: Coalition

Glen Norman
April 4, 2018

Turki Al-Malki, spokesman of the coalition, said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency that the tanker came under attack at around 1.30 p.m. on the global waters, west of the port of Hodeidah, which is under the control of armed Houthi militias.

Tensions have been rising in recent days after the Houthis, who control most of northern Yemen, launched a series of missile strikes on Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, in recent days. He added that "humanitarian resources are very important, but they are not enough".

The attack is further evidence of Iran's backing of the Houthis, said Colonel Turki Al Malki, spokesman for the Coalition Forces. Tehran and the Houthis deny the charge.

The United States pledged on Tuesday an additional $87 million in humanitarian aid toward Yemen, which is facing the world's worst cholera outbreak and largest food-security emergency amid a three-year war, according to the United States Agency for International Development.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres joined top officials from dozens of countries including Sweden and Switzerland at the pledging conference aimed to raise funds toward a 2.96 billion dollars.

"Funding won't help if the assistance doesn't reach the people in need, and lack of humanitarian access remains a key obstacle to organizations working in Yemen", said Isabella Lövin, Deputy Prime Minister of Sweden and Minister for International Development Cooperation and Climate.

"This is a clear and blatant violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions 2216 and 2231", Maliki stressed.

The target for the 2018 Yemen humanitarian appeal was set at $2.96 billion (2.4 billion euros).

The UAE is a key player in the Saudi-led coalition now waging war on rebels in Yemen but Abu Dhabi has been at odds with Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi for months, with both sides maintaining separate security forces based in the southern city of Aden.

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek al-Mekhlafi called for a return to the negotiating table to end the war in the Arabian peninsula's poorest country and said his government was working to open blockaded ports and airports to aid.

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