Saudi ambassador to Yemen Mohammed Al Jaber said on Saturday that Houthi militias have hijacked 19 oil tankers in the Red Sea.
Jaber, who is also the executive director of the Comprehensive Humanitarian Support Center in Yemen, raised the alarm on Houthi militias possibly taking the decision to blow up the oil vessels.
“The Yemen Comprehensive Humanitarian Support Center (YCHO) is deeply concerned that the Iranian-backed Houthi militias are holding more than 19 oil vessels in the militia-controlled area of Al-Mustaqaf, preventing them from entering the port,” Jaber wrote in a tweet on Saturday.
Carrying 200,000 tons of oil, Iran-backed Houthis prevented the 19 oil tankers from entering the Hodeidah port which remains under militia control.
Jaber condemned Houthi militiamen imposing “royalties up to $1 million for each ship allowed docking in the port.”
He said that Houthi belligerence inevitably prolongs and refuels the war, pointing out that militias continue to starve the Yemeni people.
Houthi armed coupists have not been shy about exploiting the dire humanitarian situation for their war agenda, added Jaber.
The Iran-backed militia is known to recruit tribesmen drenched in difficult humanitarian conditions, using them as cannon fodder on battlefronts.
“Houthis apprehending the 19 oil tankers is a condemnable act, and they bear full responsibility for their actions and consequential disaster,” spokesman for the Yemeni internationally-recognized government Rajih Baddi told Asharq Al-Awsat.
Baddi pointed out to barbarism employed by Houthis and the extent of their criminality.
He reaffirmed the need to push against Iran-allied Houthis that are a terrorist group not only threatening Yemen, but also the whole world.
“Coupist militias took control of the port of Hodeidah to detain vessels loaded with relief and humanitarian aid sent to those in need,” said Yemen's Minister of Local Administration and Higher Relief Committee chairman Abdul Raqeeb Fatah.
“Militias have detained over 65 relief vessels, and militarized the Hodeidah port—use it to seize relief and commercial vessels, and threaten international navigation in the Red Sea,” Fatah added in a statement published by Yemen’s Saba news agency.
Fatah reiterated the government's call for the international community to shoulder its legal responsibilities in pressuring the militias to hand over ports to the legitimate Aden-based government.