Saudi-led Coalition: Air Strikes Keep Port Open
More than 10,000 people killed in Yemeni conflict. The Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen said on Wednesday it would keep Yemen's Houthi-controlled Hodeidah port open for a month, despite a fresh missile attack at Riyadh, but it kept up air strikes that killed at least nine people. The Western-backed coalition, which controls Yemen's airspace and port access, said last month it would allow humanitarian aid through Hodeidah following a nearly three-week blockade imposed because of a missile attack towards the Saudi capital's international airport. The Saudis say the Red Sea port, which is Yemen's main entry point for food and humanitarian supplies, is also a hub used by the Iran-allied Houthi rebels to bring in weapons.
Saudi-led Coalition to Reopen Hodeidah Port
The Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen said on Wednesday it would allow aid access through the port of Hodeidah and United Nations flights to Sanaa airport. The coalition closed all air, land and sea access to Yemen earlier this month following the interception of a missile fired towards the Saudi capital. It said it had to stem the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran, seen by Riyadh as the movement's main backers. Aid agencies warned the move would worsen the humanitarian crisis in Yemen where the war has left an estimated seven million people facing famine. "The port of Hodeidah will be reopened to receive food aid and humanitarian relief…
Boat that Attacked Tanker off Yemen Carried Explosives
Unknown assailants who opened fire on a gas tanker last week off the coast of Yemen were also carrying a "substantial amount of explosives", the vessel's owner said on Thursday, and a maritime source said it may have been an attempted suicide attack. Security experts said the new details of the Oct. 25 incident would heighten concerns for shipping in the narrow Bab al-Mandab waterway at the entrance to the Red Sea, a major choke point in the world oil trade. In an initial statement last week, shipping group Teekay said its LNG (liquefied natural gas) tanker Galicia Spirit had "experienced a suspected piracy attack" but no one had managed to board it. In an update on Thursday, Teekay said it had now conducted an investigation with security experts.
Gas Tanker Attacked Near Key Shipping Lane Off Yemen
Unknown assailants attacked a gas tanker off the coast of Yemen close to the Bab al-Mandab waterway in the latest flare up in an area through which much of the world's oil passes, shipping and security officials said on Wednesday. The incident, the first attack on a commercial ship since July, followed missile attacks in recent weeks on military craft, including U.S. navy vessels, which were launched from Yemen that had already raised risks for merchant shipping. Shipping group Teekay said its LNG (liquefied natural gas) tanker Galicia Spirit "experienced a suspected piracy attack whilst off the coast of Yemen" on Oct. 25. "No third parties managed to board the vessel during the incident and all crew members are safe and have been accounted for," Teekay said in a statement.
Houthis Say Ready to Help Investigate Attacks on Shipping
Yemen's dominant Houthi group denied any role in missile strikes on U.S. warships in the Bab al-Mandab Strait, and offered to help investigate attacks on international shipping in the area, the news agency controlled by the group reported on Thursday. The U.S. military on Thursday launched cruise missiles on three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthis, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said. U.S. officials have told Reuters there were growing indications that Houthi fighters, or forces aligned with them, were responsible for Sunday's attempted strikes, in which two coastal cruise missiles designed to target ships failed to reach the destroyer.
U.S. strikes Yemen after Missile Attacks on U.S. Navy Ship
U.S. strikes target three coastal radar sites; Radar enabled launch of missiles against U.S. destroyer. The U.S. military launched cruise missile strikes on Thursday to knock out three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi forces, retaliating after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said. The strikes, authorized by President Barack Obama, represent Washington's first direct military action against suspected Houthi-controlled targets in Yemen's conflict. Still, the Pentagon appeared to stress the limited nature of the strikes, aimed at radar that enabled the launch of at least three missiles against the U.S. Navy ship USS Mason on Sunday and Wednesday.
US Navy Ship Again Targeted by Missiles from Yemen
A U.S. Navy destroyer was targeted on Wednesday in a failed missile attack from territory in Yemen controlled by Iran-aligned Houthi rebels, the second such incident in the past four days, U.S. officials told Reuters. The USS Mason, which was accompanied by the USS Ponce - an amphibious transport dock - fired defensive salvos in response to the missiles, neither of which hit the ship or caused any damage as it operated north of the Bab al-Mandab Strait, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. The renewed attempt to target the U.S. Navy destroyer will add pressure on the U.S.
Evidence Suggests Houthi Role in Strike on US Warship
The United States is seeing growing indications that Iran-allied Houthi rebels, despite denials, were responsible for Sunday's attack on a Navy destroyer off the Yemen coast, U.S. officials told Reuters. The rebels appeared to use small skiffs as spotters to help direct a missile attack on the warship, said U.S. officials, who are not authorized to speak publicly because the investigation is ongoing. The United States is also investigating the possibility that a radar station under Houthi control in Yemen might have also "painted" the USS Mason…
UN to Start Inspecting Commercial Shipments to Yemen
The United Nations will start inspecting shipments to rebel-held ports in Yemen in a bid to boost commercial imports and enforce an arms embargo, the world body said on Tuesday, some eight months after announcing it would establish such a procedure. Yemen relies almost solely on imports, but a 14-month long conflict between Houthi rebels and a Saudi Arabian-led coalition has slowed to a trickle commercial shipments to the impoverished country where 80 percent of people need humanitarian aid. The United Nations announced in September it would set up a verification and inspection mechanism. Then in October U.N. aid chief Stephen O'Brien said the United Nations was still trying to raise some $8 million to fund the Djibouti-based operation. It began operations on Monday, U.N.
Aid Ship Docks in Yemen after Diversion to Saudi Arabia
A World Food Programme (WFP) ship carrying humanitarian aid offloaded its cargo in Yemen on Wednesday, the United Nations said, after it was diverted to Saudi Arabia last month because it was carrying communications equipment. Saudi Arabia is leading an Arab military coalition in a war against Iran-allied Houthi rebels and army forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh in an effort to restore President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power. The Mainport Cedar, which the United Nations said was carrying a cargo of humanitarian relief supplies bound for the Houthi-controlled port of Hodeida…
Iran to Send Cargo Ship to Yemen as Truce Takes Effect
An Iranian cargo ship will set sail for the rebel-held Yemeni port of Hodeida on Sunday evening, Iran's Tasnim news agency said, in a move likely to fan further tensions with Saudi-led forces blockading the country. Yemen's Iran-allied Houthi militia earlier on Sunday accepted a five-day ceasefire proposed by Saudi Arabia after more than a month of bombing that has caused severe shortages of food, medicine and fuel. Tasnim reported that the cargo ship would carry 2,500 tonnes of humanitarian aid including food staples and medicine.
Cargo Ships Stuck off Yemen as Fighting Worsens Food Security
At least five merchant vessels carrying food are stuck off Yemen as warships from a Saudi-led coalition search them for weapons bound for Iran-allied Houthi rebel forces, with delays adding to a humanitarian crisis. Yemen imports more than 90 percent of its food, including most of its wheat and all its rice, to feed a population of 25 million. Much of its needs had been serviced by foreign ships, although shipping lines have now reduced or stopped port calls. Ship tracking data showed at least five cargo ships were anchored off Yemen unable to enter Yemeni waters. "Disruption of navigation in Yemen's territorial waters will adversely affect food security," U.N. humanitarian agency OCHA said.
Yemen to Establish Coast Guard with U.S. Assistance
Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh met on Thursday with Chief of the U.S. Army's Central Command Gen. Tommy Franks. During the meeting, attended by Vice President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, they discussed the bilateral relations between the two countries, mainly in the military affairs and counter terrorism, in addition to the latest local and international developments of common concern. President Saleh stressed Yemen's keenness on developing and enhancing relations with US in different fields. On his part, the US General expressed appreciation for the Yemeni anti-terror efforts. Earlier on the day, Franks confirmed his country's willingness to assist Yemen set up a coast guards forces to prevent the infiltration of terrorists.
Four Dead After U.S. Navy Ship Hit With Explosives
An explosives-laden rubber raft rammed a U.S. guided missile destroyer and exploded in the Yemeni port of Aden on Thursday, killing four U.S. sailors and injuring 36, five seriously, Reuters reported. The White House said President Bill Clinton was horrified by what appeared to be a "terrorist" attack on the destroyer USS Cole. One sailor was still missing some five hours after the explosion caused a big hole on the left side of the listing vessel, the officials said. Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh offered condolences to Clinton and the "friendly American people" and flew to Aden to visit some of the injured, who also included two Yemeni port workers, the official Saba news agency reported. Lieutenant-Commander Daren Pelkie, spokesman for the Bahrain-based U.S.
Warships Shell Houthis Outside Yemeni City of Aden
Warships shelled a column of Houthi fighters and troops loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh as they tried to advance on the southern port city of Aden on Monday, residents said, the first known report of naval forces taking part in the conflict. They said the vessels were believed to be Egyptian warships that sailed last week through the Suez Canal toward the Gulf of Aden. Egypt is a member of the Saudi-led coalition that has been targeting Houthi positions to stem their advance on Aden, a last foothold of fighters loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. No comment was immediately available from Egyptian officials. Reporting by Mohammed Mukhashaf
Wheat Ship Barred from Entering Yemen Port
Warships from the Saudi-led coalition have blocked a vessel carrying more than 47,000 tonnes of wheat from entering a Yemeni port, demanding United Nations guarantees that the cargo would not go to military personnel, shipping sources said on Thursday. Ocean Marine Services, which acts as the Yemen-based agent for the ship, said in a letter to the director of the Yemeni Red Sea Ports Authority, that the Lycavitos, carrying 47,250 tonnes of wheat, had been stopped from entering al-Saleef port, north of Hodeidah on Wednesday night, on the grounds that all Yemeni ports were off limits to shipping. "As official bodies, we appeal to you to communicate with whoever may be in charge to find a quick solution to the problem…