19 Oil Tankers Held Hostage Off Yemeni Coast

The Yemeni Houthis have captured 19 oil tankers and are keeping them from entering the Hodeidah port - Kingdom’s ambassador.

The ambassador suggested three possible reasons for the detention, including an attempt to extract money from the owners of the vessels, “the continued starvation of the Yemeni people”, and a plan to destroy the tankers, causing major environmental damage to the Red Sea.

However, the only media sources reporting the tanker seizure are Saudi sources and there has been no confirmation from an external source that the Houthis have indeed seized any tankers yet. No details have been disclosed as to the origin of the vessels, either.

Fun Fact: Yemen lies along one of the main global oil chokepoints in the Red Sea. Millions of barrels of crude oil pass Yemeni shores from the Suez Canal en route to Europe every day. At the end of last year, the Houthis threatened that they would start attacking oil tankers and warships sailing under enemy flags if the Gulf coalition fighting it in the country does not reopen its ports.

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