Yemen Adversaries Blame Each Other for Pipeline Attack
Yemen’s government in semi-exile has blamed an attack against an oil-pumping station on Iran-backed Houthi rebels, who in turn have blamed it on the Saudi-led coalition supporting the government in a five-year civil war. The Saudi state news agency SPA carried a statement issued on Sunday by Yemen’s Oil Ministry, saying the attack took place in the central Marib Province at the Kofel pumping station, but without noting when. The pipeline is said to have gone unused since the civil war began in late 2014, when the Houthis dislodged Yemen’s government from the capital Sanaa, sending its members to other domestic locales, including the southern port city of Aden, or into self-exile in Saudi Arabia. Fighting between the Houthis and pro-government forces has surged in Marib Province in recent weeks despite relative quiet in the western part of the country, including its seaports – although Houthi missile attacks against Saudi Arabia last weekend brought retaliatory airstrikes by the coalition against targets in Sanaa and elsewhere. UN Secretary-General António Guterres and Pope Francis have both called for cease-fires in Yemen and other hotspots during the coronavirus pandemic.