The tanker-cum-storage facility in the Red Sea off Yemen’s Hodeida port. (Courtesy)

Report: Iranian Yemeni Proxy Houthis to Allow Rotting Tanker to Be Removed

Iran’s Yemeni proxy, the Houthis, which has overthrown the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and controls large portions of the nation, has apparently allowed an imminent environmental crisis to be averted, if not solved. At issue is an oil tanker that has been stranded near the Red Sea port of Ras Issa for the past five years. As the ship rots, fear grows that its cargo of more than a million barrels of crude oil will end up in the waterway triggering another man-made disaster. The Reuters news agency is reporting that the Houthis have signaled permission for a United Nations technical team to enter the sea and secure the ship’s cargo. Not surprisingly, though, is the next step necessary to resolve the issue: deciding how the crude is to be sold and whether the Hadi government and the Houthis can make a revenue-sharing agreement. Without such a plan, it’s likely that the ship’s cargo will continue to threaten the environment. The civil war began in 2015 when the Houthis swept into the capital Sana’a, driving the Hadi government into exile. Although fighting drew to a standoff after Saudi Arabia created a coalition of air support for the Yemeni forces, more than 100,000 people have died and many consider the ensuing humanitarian crisis that the war has caused to be the world’s worst.

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