Riyadh (AFP) – Saudi Arabia on Wednesday shrugged off a Yemeni rebel missile attack on one of its oil tankers in the Red Sea saying it had zero impact on the kingdom’s crude exports.
The attack Tuesday was “nothing but a failed attempt to affect international maritime safety, an attempt which did not impact the economy or disrupt oil supplies”, Saudi Energy Minister Khaled al-Falih tweeted.
Saudi Arabia leads a regional military coalition allied with Yemen’s embattled government in a war against the Iran-backed Huthis, who have ramped up their attacks on the Gulf kingdom.
The latest attack caused “minor damage” to the tanker off the Yemeni port of Hodeida, according to the coalition. No casualties were reported.
Hodeida, Yemen’s main port, is controlled by the rebels and under blockade by the Saudi-led coalition.
Tuesday’s attack came a day after 16 Yemenis were killed in an air strike on Hodeida province. The Saudi-led coalition has said it was “investigating the report”.
Several children were among those killed, the United Nations said, calling it “one of the deadliest attacks” in years on minors in Yemen.
Nearly 10,000 people been killed since 2015, when the Saudi-led alliance joined the Yemen war. The country now stands on the brink of famine.