Houthis rule out role in alleged attack on oil tanker in Bab el-Mandeb
Yemen’s Houthis have dismissed any role in an alleged recent attack on an oil tanker off Yemen’s coast, describing the incident as a US plot to make the region insecure.
Saudi Arabia which is waging a deadly war on Yemen said on Thursday that a boat had fired three rocket-propelled grenades at the Marshall Islands-flagged tanker while the vessel was passing through the Bab el-Mandeb into the Red Sea on Wednesday.
In a statement carried by the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) on Thursday, the kingdom said none of the crew was hurt in the attack and the tanker managed to sail on into the Red Sea.
Riyadh was investigating the attack, the statement read, as it accused Yemen’s Houthi fighters of threatening maritime security.
The incident took place near Perim also called Mayyun, a volcanic island in the Bab el-Mandeb that has been controlled by Saudi forces since 2015.
Ansarullah spokesman Muhammad Ali al-Houthi said the Yemeni army and allied Houthi fighters had no role in Wednesday’s alleged attack.
It is an attempt in line with US conspiracies to make Mandeb Strait insecure, he said, adding the waters are under the control of Saudi-US forces and they are responsible for any incident there.
“The US and its allies are seeking to create incidents that could be used as an excuse for their actions in Yemen, but such attempts are useless,” he added.
Saudi Arabia has been leading a brutal military campaign against Yemen for more than two years to eliminate the Houthi movement and reinstall Riyadh-friendly former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. The Saudi military campaign, however, has failed to achieve its goals.
The protracted war has already killed over 12,000 Yemenis, with the US and the UK providing the bulk of weapons used by Saudi forces and giving coordinates for airstrikes which have killed many civilians.