A official at Yemen’s Hudaydah port says Saudi authorities have impounded nearly two dozen ships carrying energy derivatives and food destined for the impoverished and war-ravaged Arab country.
A total of 22 ships are moored at the port city of Jizan in southwestern Saudi Arabia, the unnamed official told Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Sunday.
The official added that the vessels are loaded with more than half a million tons of oil derivatives, including gasoline and diesel fuel, more than eight thousand tons of gas, 10 thousand tons of flour and 9,000 tons of rice.
Later on Sunday, Reuters reported that a vessel was attacked in the Gulf of Aden and offshore of Yemen’s port city of Mukalla.
The United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations (UKMTO) said in notice on its website that the attack happened at 1230 GMT on Sunday, noting, “Vessels transiting the area are advised to exercise extreme caution.”
Maritime security firm Dryad Global said the incident was the ninth of its kind in the Gulf of Aden this year.
Also on Sunday, Yemeni army soldiers and fighters from Popular Committees thwarted two offensives mounted by Saudi-sponsored mercenaries fighting to reinstate exiled former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
A military source, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the militiamen attacked Dhubab and Pasha Bear districts in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.
Yemeni troops and their allies, however, managed to foil the attacks after hours of fierce gunfight, inflicting heavy blows to the Saudi-backed forces and forcing them to retreat.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in order to bring Hadi back to power and crush the popular Houthi Ansarullah movement.
Yemeni army soldiers and their allies retake control over several strategic areas in the country’s central province of al-Bayda from Saudi-backed and pro-Hadi militiamen.
The US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past five years.
More than half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinics have been destroyed or closed during the war by the Saudi-led coalition, which is supported militarily by the UK, US and other Western nations.
At least 80 percent of the 28 million-strong population is also reliant on aid to survive in what the United Nations has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.