Saudi oil tanker hit in Houthi attack off Yemen
April 03 2018 06:40 PM
port Hodeidah fire
Thick smoke and fire emanate after port Hodeidah was hit last Friday.

Reuters/Dubai

Yemen's Houthis hit a Saudi oil tanker in the Red Sea off the main port city of Hodeidah, the Saudi-led coalition that is fighting the Iran-aligned group in Yemen said on Tuesday.

The Houthis said they had been targeting a battleship of the coalition in response to an air strike in Yemen's Hodeidah province on Monday. The group, which controls most of northern Yemen, has launched a series of missile strikes on Saudi Arabia, including the capital Riyadh, in recent days.
In a statement carried by Saudi media, the coalition said the oil tanker was in international waters when it came under "Houthi-Iranian attack" at around 13:30 local time (1030 GMT).
A coalition warship conducted a "swift intervention" foiling the attack, it said, without identifying the type of weapon used in the assault.
"As a result of that attack, the tanker was subjected to a slight but ineffective hit and it resumed its naval course northwards, escorted by a coalition warship," the statement said.
A text message from the media department of the Houthi-run Yemeni military said naval forces had "targeted a battleship belonging to the coalition in response to the bombardment of displaced people in Hodeidah". It gave no further details.
The message referred to an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition on Monday in Hodeidah that destroyed a house and killed 12 civilians from the same family, including seven children.
Earlier on Tuesday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged the warring sides in Yemen to reach a political settlement to end a conflict now in its fourth year that has left 22 million people in urgent need of aid.
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 Saudi-backed government was working to open blockaded ports and airports to aid.



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