Houthi rebels are controlling a ‘floating bomb’ oil tanker hostage off Yemen’s coast

oil tankers

Houthi rebels are obstructing UN use of an unmaintained oil tanker identified as a “floating bomb” off of Yemen’s Red Sea coast, which authorities state is an environmental disaster waiting to occur.

The chief of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels is challenging a discuss of the income from the transaction of regarding one million barrels of oil aboard the FSO Safer.

The UN cautioned virtually a month ago that the boat was susceptible to exploding, probably leading to a devastating oil spill in one of the world’s most active shipping lanes.

It is a risky bargaining chip worth tens of millions of dollars.

The Less hazardous, when Yemen’s primary oil export service, is a floating storage and offloading vessel moored about 50 kilometers north-west of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, the buying point for many of the war-racked country’s humanitarian aid and imports.

The Safer possesses needed no maintenance since it tumbled under Houthi manage in 2015, enabling explosive gases to develop in its storage tanks.

Experts and Yemeni ministers were warning for over a year that the vessel requires important maintenance, with a report by the US believe tank the Atlantic Council contacting it a floating bomb.

A rupture can unleash a catastrophe four occasions bigger than the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil pour that poured 260,000 barrels of the offensive into Prince William Sound Alaska.

“Without maintenance, we fear that it will rupture or even explode, unleashing an environmental disaster,” the UN’s humanitarian chief Mark Lowcock informed the Security Council on April 15.

Mr. Lowcock declared that Houthi authorization to perform an evaluation of the vessel were pending given that last September.

In 1988, Yemen’s national Safer Exploration and Production Operations Company (Sepoc) moored a former Japanese oil tanker 9km off the coast at Ras Isa, a Red Sea port, linking it by pipeline to the Marib oil field in central Yemen. Described by the company that installed it as the largest FSO system in the world, the Safer has a capacity of three million barrels of oil and until 2015 served as Yemen’s main export route for light crude.

The aging vessel is susceptible to corrosion and needs about $10 million (Dh3.6m) in annual maintenance.

Inert gas must be regularly injected into the storage tanks to prevent the accumulation of explosive gases. Without fuel to run its generators, this has not happened in years.

A stray spark, collision or sabotage attack could cause the vessel to explode.

In March last year, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al Mekhlafi wrote to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, warning that the Safer was in a “bad and deteriorating situation” that threatened an “imminent environmental and humanitarian catastrophe”.

On April 29, Col Truki Al Malki, spokesman for the Arab Coalition against the Houthis, warned that the Safer posed a serious risk of the oil spill to the Red Sea.

The Houthis agree the vessel poses a threat but they have asked the UN to arrange the sale of oil so they can use the revenues to pay for fuel imports and public salaries.

The head of the Houthis’ Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Mohammed Al Houthi, warned on Twitter on April 22 of the risk to the environment and marine transport posed by the Safer.

On April 30, he wrote: “We call on the UN and the Security Council to put in place a mechanism to sell Yemeni crude oil, including the oil in the Safer.

But a Yemeni oil expert told The National that the condition of the vessel meant it was now unlikely that it could safely offload the oil from where it is moored.

“The solution is to tow the Safer to Bahrain” where the vessel can be safely repaired, Yemeni economist Abdulwahed Al Obaly said.

Both Houthi and government areas of Yemen are suffering from a lack of fuel and cash, with 2.4 million.

The fuel aboard could be worth $80m at current prices.

“Fuel shortages in Yemen continue to add to the appalling humanitarian cost of the conflict,” said Doug Weir, a director at the Conflict and Environment Observatory, which wrote a  report into the environmental risks of the safer.

“However, the use of the FSO Safer as a bargaining chip carries with it a serious risk of miscalculation.

“All of the indications suggest that it poses a grave and imminent threat to the marine environment, and it is critical for parties to the conflict to reach agreement on an independent UN-led assessment as a first step in mitigating the risks that it poses.

The UN contracted a company to carry out an initial technical assessment of the vessel last August, but this work is yet to be done. The UN did not respond to repeated requests for comment.

But the company contracted to carry out the assessment, Asia Offshore Solutions, said it hoped to begin work shortly.

The delays preventing the UN from accessing the ship also threaten to undermine the Hodeidah agreement, reached in Stockholm in December between the Yemeni government and the Houthis.

The two agreed to “a strengthened UN presence in the city of Hodeidah and Ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa” and “committed to facilitate and support the work of the UN”.

The oil aboard belongs to Yemen’s Ministry of Oil. Even after an assessment is carried out, all parties would need to agree to a salvage operation.

“There are legal, technical, and business obstacles,” Mr. Al Obaly said. “They all need to agree on managing the insurance, what to do with the vessel and the oil, and they need to pay the company that would carry it out.”

But a spill would cause untold environmental damage and the need for a clean-up that could cost $1 billion.

“We must empty the vessel as soon as possible,” Mr. Al Obaly said. “It could explode any time just because of the weather and the circumstances.

“It would be a marine catastrophe. The crude would reach the other coast of [Eritrea]. We’ve seen many cases like this, We don’t need to do the same in the Red Sea.”

Yemen’s universities become tombs for dead bodies of Houthi

Counting the number of dead bodies in war is a sordid business
Houthi militias turned part of the campus of the University of Dhamar into a new cemetery to bury its dead in battles with government forces.
Local Yemeni sources said that the governor of Dhamar appointed by the Houthis directed the Office of Endowments in the province for getting the new cemetery ready.
Houthi militias began to fence the graveyard on campus to receive Huthis killed during battles and kept by dozens in the morgue of Dhamar General Hospital.
Since the outbreak of war in Yemen more than four years ago, the Houthis have created dozens of cemeteries in a number of provinces under their control.

The UAE begins a campaign to distribute ” fasting” meals in the liberated governorates

Emirates Red Crescent distributes humanitarian aids to people of Shanwa, Yemen
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) has launched a “fasting meals” campaign to distribute ready- in all liberated governorates of Yemen.
The campaign was organized in the governorates of Aden, Lahj, Abyan, Dali, Taiz, Hadramout, Shabwa and the West Coast. The official inauguration ceremony was held in Rabat camp in Aden, in the presence of thousands of people who left their towns.
The Director of the Center for Humanitarian Operations of the UAE in Yemen said that the campaign began on the first day of the month of Ramadan in all Yemeni provinces liberated, the average of meals served is 8000daily during the holy month of Ramadan and will benefit more than 240.000 thousand fasting persons.
He added that the campaign mainly targets camps for deported people to alleviate their suffering due to the high cost of living. The beneficiaries of the campaign thanked the United Arab Emirates for this generous humanitarian gesture during the holy month of Ramadan.

“Mubasher Qatar” reveals the support of the Qatari regime for terrorist organizations in Yemen

Surprise attack in eastern Yemen claims the lives of four soldiers
It is a clash between construction and sabotage, between reconstruction and corruption. This paradox is clearly visible in Yemen, where the Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia works to support the legitimate government.
The Hamdeen regime, led by Tamim bin Hamad, support the militias of terror and vandalism, in all possible ways especially the Houthis, in order to continue fighting and destroying what remains of Yemen.
The support of the Qatar regime for sabotage groups in Yemen, both financially and logistically, gives these militias greater capabilities to continue fighting against the forces of the national army, as well as the depletion of Yemen’s good fortune, what used to be happy Yemen has become sad since these terrorist groups seized control of some of the country’s cities.
The Hamdeen organization supports the subversive militias in Yemen, which target civilians and destroy infrastructure in the country, while the Arab coalition is working to rescue Yemen, once called “Happy Yemen”, from the scourge of war and destruction.

UAE red crescent Inaugurates the distribution of humanitarian relief and relief assistance to the people of mandar

Emirates Red Crescent distributes food aids to Shabwa, Yemen
The UAE Red Crescent, in coordination with the local authority in the governorate, has launched the distribution of humanitarian and relief assistance to the people of the area of “Al-Hawk” in the province of Hodeidah in western Yemen.
The director of the Hawk Directorate, Mr. Ayman Sulaiman Jarmesh, said in a statement according to “Echo Sahel” that the UAE Red Crescent Authority, in coordination with the local authority in the province represented by Dr. Hassan Taher, inaugurated on Monday the distribution of 250 food baskets to
the people in the Directorate.
He praised the role of the UAE in this regard and the importance it attaches to the humanitarian and relief aspects of the people of the Noor region. This generous gesture comes as part of the continuous humanitarian and development projects offered by the UAE in the West Coast since the defeat of the Huthi militias.
Jaramsh pointed out that the people of the area of view in the Directorate of the attention and humanitarian assistance and service at all levels by the Emirates Crescent Authority comes as part of the UAE’s continuous support to help their brothers in Yemen to improve their living conditions and enhance their capabilities to cope with the difficult humanitarian situation. The war imposed by the militias Houthi, backed by Iran in Yemen.
Director Ayman Jaramsh expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation to the UAE government and people for their honorable stand with their brothers in Yemen, stressing that the Yemenis will never forget these positions from their brothers in the Emirates.
It is worth mentioning that the Emirates Red Crescent Authority ended a few days before the rehabilitation and renovation of the health center building in the area of Mandar.

Houthi leaders conduct dangerous experiments in the port of Hodeidah

Two Yemeni Fishermen Killed In Hodeidah from the Sea Mine Explosion by Houthi

The leaders of the Huthi militia carried out live tests of dangerous marine mines Tuesday in the ports of the province of Hodeidah in western Yemen.

 

The leaders of the Houthi militia, backed by Iran’s Mohammad Ali al-Houthi and Abu Ali al-Hakim, faced last April experts from the so-called Lebanese Hezbollah by blowing up 3 naval mines at the Ras Issa oil port north of the province.

 

The militia conducted a similar experiment in the region of Arj.

 

The Al-Houthi militia continues to cultivate and plunder the lands that are densely populated  with civilians in different parts of the country, causing the deaths of hundreds of unarmed civilians

 

Sea mines planted by the Houthi militia have killed dozens of fishermen in the West Coast, the worst damage caused by these mines is the cessation of fishing in many areas, starving thousands of families who depend on fishing to death.

A weapons store exploded, killing dozens of Houthis in Durhami in western Yemen

Dozens of Houthis were killed and wounded in the southern province of Hodeidah, west of Yemen. A spokesman for the West Coast Operations, Wadah al-Dabeesh, said in a press statement that Al-Ayn Al-Akhbar had received a report from the Joint Forces units stationed in Durhami about
violent and successive explosions that rocked a secret storage depot under the control of Al-Houthi militia.
According to the statement, there were many dead and wounded in the ranks of the Houthi. Al-Dhibish expressed his grave concern that dozens of families
were affected. The Houthis hindered their evacuation by the Arab Coalition and used them as human shields. He pointed out that the escalating flames spread in a number of houses adjacent to the explosion site.
He pointed out that the explosion hit a warehouse where the Houthis store the heads of missiles, weapons, and ammunition, they use to supply their fighters.
The Houthis made of the city of DURHAMI  their zone of manufacturing of mines and improvised explosive devices developed by Tehran system experts.
A few weeks ago, a similar explosion rocked the areas causing heavy material damage to the Houthis.
Al-Houthi militia also deprived al-Durhami of a relief convoy run by the UAE Red Crescent for the remaining civilians stranded in the area and threatened residents who would come out to receive aid.

UN envoy to Yemen arrives in Sanaa

UN Cements Peace Deal with Yemen creating breakthrough to avoid battles
The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffith, arrived Sunday in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, in a new attempt to push forward the implementation of the Stockholm agreement.
The UN envoy landed in Sana’a with an official delegation. Griffith will hold meetings with officials of the Houthi militia, to discuss the need to implement the Stockholm agreement as to the first step towards a political solution in Yemen.
The Yemeni government agreed on December 13 with the Houthis in the Swedish capital Stockholm to resolve the situation in Hodeidah province by withdrawing all parties from the city and its ports, in addition to agreeing to exchange about 16 thousand prisoners and detainees from both sides.
Although nearly five months after the UN-sponsored agreement was held, it is still not respected and applied.

UAE offers medicines and medical supplies to a hospital in Yemen

The ERC provides medical assistance to hospital in Hadramaut
The UAE Red Crescent announced the provision of medicines and medical supplies to a Yemeni hospital in the desert of Hadramout province.
The statement quoted Red Crescent representative in Hadramout Hamid al-Shamsi saying that the drugs provided to a hospital in Ramah district in the province “are part of efforts to ease the burden on Yemeni citizens and provide free medical needs.”
The UAE has been a key member of the Saudi-led military alliance in Yemen since March 2015 in support of government forces in the face of Iranian-backed Huthi rebels.

UN accesses key wheat silos in Yemen’s Hodeida

Yemen’s Army shoots down fourth Houthi drone in Nihm district

The United Nations regained access to donated grain stored in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah on Sunday and began the activity of salvaging food that may prevent hunger for numerous people before it rots.

Hodeidah, that has become the concentrate of a four-year conflict between Saudi-backed government causes along with the Iran-aligned Houthis, is the entry point for most of Yemen’s humanitarian aid and commercial imports.

However World Food Programme(WFP) grain stores there has been stopping for eight months, putting 51,000 tonnes of wheat at risk of rotting. The stores emerged under the control of government forces after fierce wars last year however a major frontline is just a few blocks away.

The conflict has killed tens of thousands and place Yemen on the brink of famine.

A WFP specialized crew arrived in the eastern outskirts of Hodeidah on Sunday to start clearing and servicing machine in preparation for milling grain.

Origins aware of the issue said the WFP-led crew traveled from the government-held southern port city of Aden along the western coast, staying away from Houthi-controlled areas after the cluster refused them gain access to from the north, which it controls.

The Houthis and the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi consented in December to a U.N.-sponsored truce and also troop withdrawal from Hodeidah. That arrangement has mainly organized yet violence has escalated in a few other areas of the nation.

WFP spokesman Herve Verhoosel said its priority was to begin cleaning and servicing milling machinery and fumigating the wheat.

The U.N. expects that process to take few weeks prior to starting to mill it into flour and also distributing it to the Yemeni communities nearly all in need.

An evaluation performed in February, while the U.N. was quickly permitted the use of the mills for the first time since September, concluded that around 70 percent of the wheat might be salvageable.

However the flour produce will be less than regular since weevil infestation possesses caused hollow grains, the U.N. said, based on that evaluation.

Discussions aimed toward protecting a mutual military abstaining from Hodeidah possess stalled in spite of U.N. efforts.

Yemeni government officials blame it on the Houthis of violating the peace contract when the Houthis state they need ensures the government will never benefit from it to redeploy its forces.

Under the offered abstaining, a government escape will release use of the Red Sea Mills and humanitarian corridors might additionally be reopened. The warring edges will still have to agree which road could be utilized to transport items from the site to recipients.

Saudi Arabia along with the United Arab Emirates are leading the military coalition support Hadi’s government.