Posted on July 26, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie

Saudi Arabian oil company, Aramco, have stopped all oil shipments through the Bab El-Mandeb Strait after Houthis rebels attack more ships in their fleet.

On Wednesday 25th July, just 3 months after another attack on one of their vessels, 2 Bahri managed, Aramco owned VLCCs were attacked by Houthis fighters. 

Two VLCCs were targeted in the attack that took place yesterday as they were underway in the Red Sea. 

Both vessels were carrying crude oil when they came under attack. Initial reports indicate that at least one of the ships suffered damage.

Both ships are operated by the Saudi National Shipping Company, Bahri, which confirmed the incident as well.

No injuries or an oil spill have been reported, the country’s oil major said.

“In the interest of the safety of ships and their crews and to avoid the risk of oil spill, Saudi Aramco has temporarily halted all oil shipments through Bab El-Mandeb with immediate effect. The company is carefully assessing the situation and will take further action as prudence demands,” Saudi Aramco added.

The attack comes three months after Bahri’s tanker MT Abqaiq was shot by a missile while underway near the port of Al Hudaydah in Yemen on the 3rd April.

The vessel was travelling between 2 ports in Saudi Arabia, northbound in the South Red Sea next to the Hamish Islands when the impact was initially felt.

The Houthi movement are said to have claimed responsibility following the attack. Those on board the ship believe the voice recording is of one of the rebels.

The region has become progressively more hostile as tensions worsen between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition. The rebel movement has taken control of the Saada province and neighbouring areas, as well as the region’s key port city of Hodeidah.

The war has seen years of fighting and three failed UN-organised efforts to negotiate a peace deal. Since March 2015 more than 9,245 people have been killed and 52,800 have been injured. About 75% of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance, including 11.3million people who are in acute need of immediate assistance to survive.

Following the attack, the vessel made its way to Jizan Saudi Arabia where 5 members of the Saudi Navy embarked on the vessel. The arrived at 0600LT on the 4th April.

More details to follow on the attacks this week. 

Posted in news , piracy , attack , antipiracy

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