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Yemen’s siege: Saudi-led coalition seizes another ship day after extension of UN-brokered truce

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
This file picture shows a cargo ship and oil tanker ships sitting idle while docked at the port of Hudaydah, Yemen. (By Reuters)

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been waging a devastating war on Yemen since 2015, has impounded yet another oil tanker carrying thousands of tons of fuel for the war-torn country in violation of a UN-brokered truce, a day after it was extended.

The Yemen Petroleum Company (YPC) said in a statement that the coalition did not allow Sea Heart tanker, which was carrying tens of thousands of tons of petrol, to dock at Yemen’s strategic western port of Hudaydah and offload its cargo.

The company added that the ship was impounded despite being inspected and cleared for port call by the United Nations and that the incident takes to two the number of Yemen-bound ships carrying petrol that are currently seized by the Riyadh-led military alliance.

Additionally, a Yemeni military official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Saudi-led coalition refuses to fully commit to the terms of a truce brokered by the United Nations.

The official said the Saudi-led coalition forces and their allied militants have violated the UN-brokered ceasefire at least 179 times during the past 24 hours.

He said the violations included 30 flights of armed Saudi-led reconnaissance aircraft in the skies of the provinces of Ma’rib, Ta’izz, Hajjah, al-Jawf, Sa’ada, Hudaydah, and al-Bayda as well as border areas.

Civilians injured in Saudi strike in Yemen’s Sa’ada

The Saudi army also conducted an artillery attack on a residential area in Yemen’s northwestern Sa’ada province, seriously injuring several civilians.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV channel reported that the shelling targeted the al-Dhaher and Shada’a districts on Thursday.

The latest Saudi-led acts of aggression come while the warring sides agreed on Tuesday to renew the two-month truce.

“This truce extension includes a commitment from the parties to intensify negotiations to reach an expanded truce agreement as soon as possible,” United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said in a statement.

Grundberg had been pushing for a six-month truce with additional measures, according to the Reuters news agency, but both Yemen’s ousted Saudi-backed regime, based in Aden and led by the Presidential Council, and the popular Ansarullah resistance movement have had grievances about the implementation of the existing truce deal, as mistrust runs deep.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.


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