These ships were intended for exporting Yemeni gas abroad.and the group threatens to target them. The Houthis intensify their movements .and violations in Yemen by obstructing the export of gas .and oil coinciding with escalated military. operations in several southern provinces. especially Abyan, Taiz, Al-Bayda. and Lahij. These actions undermine regional .and international efforts to advance peace initiatives.
An important announcement that highlights many reasons
The Iran-aligned group announced on Wednesday that. it prevented two ships from reaching the port of Aden in southern Yemen. These ships were meant for “exporting Yemeni gas abroad.” This statement was made by .the head of the Supreme Political Council of the group. Mahdi Al-Mashat. and was reported by the Houthi-affiliated Al-Masirah TV channel.
Al-Mashat stated.”During the past week. we were in intense. conflict with two ships. that were coming to the port of Aden to plunder Yemeni gas (for export). and they retreated four times.the latest of which was yesterday.”
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The Houthis seek to financially pressure. the internationally recognized Yemeni government amid an. unprecedented economic crisis in the areas under their control. The Houthi official added. “We informed the owning companies of the ships. ‘Sinar Jin’ .and ‘Bolivar’ (their nationality was not specified). that we will strike them if they enter Aden’s port to loot gas. and we are ready to do so.”
He escalated further. “We will not tolerate. and we are prepared to engage. in military escalation to provide salaries for Yemeni citizens.”
The Yemeni rebels. since their control over several coastal provinces like Hodeidah. have threatened maritime navigation in the Red Sea. They have launched maritime attacks using explosive-laden boats against Saudi Arabia. though most of these attempts failed to reach their targets.
Furthermore. they threatened to target the U.S. Navy in the Red Sea if. it approached Yemen’s coast. This came after Washington’s decision to send reinforcements to the Fifth Fleet .in Bahrain to counter Iran’s threats .to maritime navigation .in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz.
These Houthi threats come at a time when. the Yemeni economy is grappling with severe repercussions resulting .from the ongoing suspension of oil .and gas exports from ports controlled by the government. Since the Houthis attacked these ports in October. last year, demanding. the payment of employees’ salaries from oil .and gas revenues.
Recently. an Omani delegation visited Sanaa. to explore ways to revive the stalled peace process. parallel to efforts by Riyadh. and the United Nations to push .the warring parties to negotiate. and find a political solution to the ongoing crisis. However. the Omani delegation returned to Muscat without significant results. as the Houthis remain steadfast in rejecting peace initiatives. and insisting on the military escalation.
For months now. Yemen has experienced a partial ceasefire in a war .that began nearly 9 years ago between the forces loyal .to the internationally recognized government. supported by a Saudi-led Arab coalition. and the Houthi forces. backed by Iran. who have controlled provinces and cities. including the capital Sanaa (north). since September 21, 2014.