AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s internationally recognized government has criticized the Houthis’ threats to attack oil tankers and called for international action to prevent the group from damaging civilian infrastructure and energy sources.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak called the threats “criminal and terrorist activities”, adding that the Iran-backed Houthis had no respect for international agreements banning attacks on civilian facilities .
“Such a threat is irrefutable proof of the terrorist nature of these groups, which is not new to Yemenis. It is crucial that the world understands how this terrorist organization operates and how it does not respect fundamental international laws and conventions,” he told Arab News on Tuesday.
The minister’s comments came as the Aden-based transport ministry urged foreign shipping companies to continue operations despite Houthi demands to halt oil movements from the country.
In a letter sent Monday to agents of shipping companies operating in Yemen, the ministry’s Maritime Affairs Authority said they should continue to export the country’s oil, gas and minerals from government-controlled ports and not not comply with the demands or threats of the Houthis.
“Memoranda or circulars will not be considered unless issued by the Aden Presidency of the General Authority for Maritime Affairs,” the government’s maritime body said in the letter seen by Arab News. .
The Yemeni government’s request came a day after the Houthis officially ordered ship operators to stop transporting oil and minerals from government-controlled areas, threatening to target their ships if the request was ignored.
On Sunday, hours before a UN-brokered truce expired, Houthi Transport Minister Abdul-Wahab Yahya Al-Durra sent a letter asking companies to stop shipping oil and other natural resources of the country before 6 p.m., accusing them of plundering the resources of Yemen. .
“Any browsing activity that violates standard procedures will be treated as an illegal act that jeopardizes national interests, and we hold you fully responsible for this violation,” the Houthi minister said in his letter, also seen by Arab News.
The Yemeni militia refused to renew the UN truce and resumed aggressive military operations in Marib, Taiz and Dhale.
The Houthis have threatened to target oil vessels moored in government-controlled areas in a bid to deprive the government of financial resources unless it pays all public employees in areas under the group’s control, reopens the Sanaa airport and lifting alleged restrictions on the movement of oil tankers through Hodeidah Port.
The Houthis’ refusal to open roads to Taiz has also hampered efforts to keep the truce in place.
The Yemeni government has said the Houthis should pay public employees in their areas with the millions of dollars earned from oil ships passing through the port of Hodeidah during the truce.
Yemeni Oil Minister Saeed Al-Shumasi recently told Al-Ghad Mushreq TV that the country exports 2 million barrels of oil every two months from oilfields in the southeastern province of Hadramout, more 600,000 barrels from the southern province of Shabwa.
Dhaba Oil Terminal in Hadramaut Province handles most of the country’s oil exports to international markets.