The Iran-backed Houthi terrorist group formally known as Ansar Allah attempted to attack the al-Dhabba oil terminal on the southern coast of Yemen. The Yemen government claims to have blocked drones from striking the oil terminal. The attempted strike was timed for the contemporaneous arrival of an oil tanker.
According to a statement issued by the Yemeni government, “The Houthis are clearly insistent on targeting civilian and trade installations in violation of international law.” The statement went on to accuse the Houthis of, “blatant threats to regional and international energy supplies.”
The Yemen government also did not hold back in how it intends to deal with future threats or attacks from the Houthis saying, “All options are open in dealing with this Houthi terrorist attack and military escalation.”
Several countries in the region that support Yemen’s government also issued statements about the Houthi attack. The Saudi Foreign affairs ministry issued a statement saying, “The attack is a flagrant violation of UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and of international laws and norms.”
The United Arab Emirates issued a statement from its Foreign Affairs Ministry that read, “The UAE stressed [sic] that this attack is a dangerous escalation and blatant defiance to the international community, and efforts made to end the Yemeni crisis.”
A spokesman, Mohammed al-Burkhaiti, for Ansar Allah posted statements to Twitter Saturday that indicate that the original target was not actually the oil terminal, but the tanker that was arriving at the terminal. The tweets read, “This attack was a warning to the oil tanker commissioned to steal Yemen’s oil. The attack was not aimed at targeting the terminal.” The statements continued saying, “Next time, the oil tankers will be targeted unless the aggressive countries stop stealing our wealth and direct the revenues to paying salaries.” Bukhaiti finished his post with a warning that the Houthis will not tolerate oil continuing to be “stolen” from Yemen saying, “If international law allows the aggressive countries to kill Yemenis, besieging them and looting their wealth, we will bury it like what we have done with the U.N. Security Council resolutions and international community condemnations.”
Yemen has had an ongoing civil war since 2015 between its official government and the Houthis who overthrew then-President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who fled to Saudi Arabia and has since stepped down as president.
While the Houthi is a known jihadist terrorist organization whose official slogan is “Allahu akbar, death to the United States, death to Israel, curse the Jews, victory for Islam” and that has now overthrown a country’s government, President Joe Biden removed the organization’s designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization in the U.S. during his first month in office.
Despite the recent events, and the ongoing terrorist acts that Ansar Allah has carried out since its removal from the Foreign Terrorist Organization list, Biden refuses to reinstate the designation.