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Yemen Petroleum Company accuses US of causing more deaths by holding oil ships in act of piracy

THE YEMEN PETROLEUM COMPANY (YPC) has accused what it termed “the Saudi-United States coalition” of causing more deaths in the country by seizing control of ships carrying oil into the strategic port of Hudaydah.

In today’s statement the company accused the coalition of piracy by continuing to hold four oil vessels, including gas tankers.

“We call for an end to the piracy and arbitrary conduct of the US-led war-coalition countries in their continuous seizure of ships carrying petroleum products and preventing them from entering the port of Hudaydah,” it said.

Two ships containing 60,000 litres of oil and diesel have been held by the coalition for more than eight months.

“The continuation of seizing ships carrying oil derivatives by the war coalition is a blatant violation of international norms and treaties that criminalise damage to the needs of civilians and we condemn the dubious international silence on the continuation of this crime,” the statement said. The YPC blames the United Nations for failing to act.

The Saudi-led war on Yemen began in 2015, aiming to reinstall the government of former military man Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who was deposed as president by the mainly Shi’ite Houthi movement. Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed as the country has been bombed to the brink of what the United Nations has described as the world’s worst famine in more than a century.

Saudi Arabia has been supported by Britain, France and the US in its deadly six-year bombing campaign. War crimes such as the killing of schoolchildren have been dismissed by the reactionary Arab Gulf kingdom as “collateral damage.”

The port of Hudaydah is a lifeline for millions of Yemenis; as much as 80 per cent of the country’s humanitarian aid is delivered from there. The blockade by the coalition is deemed responsible for deepening the crisis and has been widely condemned by humanitarian organisations.

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