Yemen Houthi rebels launch 'revenge attack' on Saudi oil tanker

Air Strike Near Yemeni Port Monday Kills 16 People

The tanker was apparently hit by the missile, though the official statement said it was a "slight but ineffective hit", and did not impact the ship's voyage.

Yemen's Houthi rebels have said they launched an attack on a Saudi oil tanker, close to the besieged port of Hodeidah, in response to Monday's deadly Saudi-led coalition airstrike.

The tanker, whose owner Saudi shipping group Bahri did not immediately respond to a request for comment, was in worldwide waters when it came under attack at around 1330 local time (1030 GMT), the coalition has said.

Saudi Arabia is leading a mostly Arab military coalition to fight Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen since March 2015.

Col al-Malki described it as a "terrorist attack" that threatens ships entering the vital Bab al-Mandeb strait, used for oil shipments from the Gulf to Europe. "We call on the Houthis to cease further escalation and demonstrate their commitment to a peace process by engaging in constructive dialogue". Deputy Health Minister Walid al-Emmad said at least eight women and five girls were among those killed.

"An appeal that raised some $2 billion to help millions of people in Yemen was a "remarkable success of global solidarity" for the country's war-weary people, but aid alone will not provide a solution to the conflict, United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said on Tuesday..."

The Houthis said the missile was retaliation for the bombing.

"But that shouldn't absolve or change the subject from the Saudi-led coalition's primary responsibility for Yemen's humanitarian crisis due to its blockade and repeated bombing of Yemeni civilians and critical Yemeni infrastructure", Roth wrote in an email.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supplying missiles to the Houthis, who have taken over the capital Sanaa and other parts of Yemen.

Meanwhile in Geneva, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the Tuesday conference had collected pledges of more than $2 billion for humanitarian assistance for Yemen.

The UN has labelled Yemen "the world's worst humanitarian crisis" and said that three-quarters of its population - around 22 million people - need some form of aid.

He announced that more than $2 billion has been pledged towards a United Nations humanitarian appeal of $3 billion for Yemen this year.

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