Key Houthi Official Threatens to Target Oil Sites, Tankers Near Yemen

Says ships would be 'legitimate targets' for ongoing war

In comments on Yemen’s al-Masirah TV, Mahdi al-Mashat, the President of the Houthis’ Supreme Political Council, declared the group’s intentions to target oil sites and oil tankers in both the Red Sea and Arabian Sea going forward.

Mashat declared any such sites and ships to be “legitimate targets for us to stop the aggression.” He added that the Houthis now have missiles capable of reaching any point in any of the Gulf states.

Mashat is considered a “hardliner” by Houthi standards, and has often advocated more aggressive military responses to the Saudi-led invasion. He is in a powerful position now, but it’s not clear he has control over whether such attacks would be launched.

The Houthis have already carried out drone strikes against Saudi oil infrastructure, however, and targeting any Suezmax tankers in the Red Sea would not be out of the question. It is, however, unlikely that Houthi retaliation would really ‘stop the aggression,” as years into the Saudi-led war, the Saudis seem as committed as ever to continuing it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of