The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces says the country’s army troops and fighters from allied Popular Committees have managed to stop a foreign oil tanker in the waters of the energy-rich southern Shabwah province, as it was trying to smuggle hundreds of thousands of fuel out of the impoverished Arab nation.
Brigadier General Yahya Saree said in a statement on Thursday that the forces sent out several warning messages to the tanker ship, which had anchored in the port of Qena located in the Rudum district of the province, and did not allow the vessel to loot the Yemeni nation’s natural resources.
Saree went on to stress that the Yemeni Armed Forces stand committed to protecting the natural wealth of their oppressed nation.
The remarks come a day after fighters from the popular Ansarullah resistance movement attempted to target the port of Qena by means of an unmanned aerial vehicle.
The drone purportedly sought to hit an oil tanker while unloading its cargo at the port, according to local media.
The tanker was reportedly carrying thousands of tons of diesel, and successfully unloaded them after the aircraft was downed.
Late last month, Yemeni Armed Forces carried out a warning strike against a Saudi oil tanker that attempted to steal direly-needed crude supplies from an oil terminal lying in the country's eastern Hadhramaut province.
Saree reported the strike on October 21 after the Saudi ship tried to loot oil through the Dabba port, Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network reported.
The "basic warning strike" was carried out in efforts to prevent the continuation of looting Yemen's oil wealth, which must rather be used towards paying Yemeni people's salaries, the official added.
“The Armed Forces will not hesitate to prevent any ship from trying to plunder the wealth of the Yemeni people,” Saree emphasized.
“We are able to launch more warning operations to defend Yemeni people,” he noted, adding, “We renew [our] warning to all companies to fully comply with the decisions of the authorities in [the Yemeni capital] Sana’a” and avoid contributing to the oil theft.
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 Hadi regime 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.