Saudis Force Yemen-Bound Fuel Ship to Saudi Port

Oil company says Saudis now holding five fuel ships

Tensions are further rising in the Red Sea as the fuel ship Splendour Sapphire, due to dock in Hodeidah, has been diverted by Saudi naval forces and compelled to dock in Jazan, Saudi Arabia.

Yemen Petroleum Company says this makes five fuel ships, all of which had UN clearances, which are now being held by the Saudi-led coalition. The Saudi naval blockade has them seizing or delaying most anything of value bound for Yemen.

This has left shortages not just in fuel, but food and medicine as well. Hodeidah remains the last port in Houthi-held northern Yemen, and effectively the only way to get goods in, with the Sanaa Airport badly damaged.

The State Department made no comment on the fuel ship, instead complaining about the Houthis capturing a ship full of weapons earlier in the week, demanding that the Houthis immediately release it.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of