On Monday evening, the United States called on the Houthi group in Yemen to stop its threats to international maritime trade and return to the negotiating table to end the war.
This came in a statement issued by the US ambassador to Yemen, Stephen Fagin, in parallel with the group’s announcement that it had forced an oil ship to move away from the port of Al-Dhaba in Hadhramaut Governorate (east), while the government accused it of launching an attack with an explosive drone.
Fagin announced, in his statement, that he had concluded a (day-long) visit to the interim capital, Aden (south), during which he met with the head of the legitimate government, Maeen Abdul Malik, and other government officials.
He expressed “concern about the possibility of renewed escalation that undermines relief and support efforts in Yemen, and stressed that the Yemeni people deserve better.”
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“Houthi attacks on ports will only harm Yemenis by exacerbating fuel shortages,” he stressed.
Fagin called on the Houthis to “stop their threats to international maritime trade,” and urged them to “return to the negotiating table, end the devastating war, and play a constructive role to achieve a comprehensive political settlement negotiated by the Yemenis.”
Earlier on Monday, the Yemeni government announced, in a statement, that the Houthi group had attacked, with an explosive-laden drone, the port of Al-Dhaba, in the second attack of its kind within a month.
While the military spokesman for the Houthis, Yahya Saree, said in a statement that his group’s forces dealt with an oil ship and forced it to move away from the port of Al-Dhaba after it tried to transport crude oil.
A local official in Hadramout told Anadolu Agency that the Houthi attack on the port halted the export of about two million barrels of crude oil.
The attack came at a time when the United Nations is making efforts to extend a truce that ended on October 2, and the government and the Houthis are exchanging accusations about responsibility for the failure to extend it.
Yemen has been witnessing a war for 8 years between the forces loyal to the legitimate government, supported by an Arab military coalition led by neighboring Saudi Arabia, and the Iranian-backed Houthis, who have controlled governorates, including Sana’a (north), since September 2014.
As of the end of 2021, the war has left 377,000 dead, and Yemen’s economy has lost $126 billion in one of the worst humanitarian and economic crises in the world, according to the United Nations.