Operations Limited at Yemeni Ports

Port of Aden

Published Oct 8, 2015 12:39 PM by The Maritime Executive

Control of Yemen’s ports has been a primary point of conflict between Houthi rebels and Saudi coalition-led forces. And while fighting has continued, the city’s port operations have continued despite infrastructure difficulties due to bomb damage and neglect.  

According to the Maritime Asset Security and Training (MAST), a leading maritime security company, the Port of Aden is in the best condition. Aden’s refinery has reopened and the container terminal is operational but subject to delays.

But the Port of Hodeidah, Yemen’s largest military port, is reportedly in poor conditions. Due to blockade orders, fuel and containers are not allowed to be discharged. The port is also dealing with blackouts and only one crane is operational.

Earlier today, at least 50 people were injured in a missile strike against Yemen. 

In May, Arab warplanes and ships bombed Hodeidah. The city is aligned with the Iran-allied Houthi militia.

Civil war broke out in Yemen earlier this year as two factions have claimed sovereignty. The Saudi coalition began its air strikes against the Houthis and their allies, forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, in late March after a push from their northern stronghold towards the southern port of Aden.

The coalition, which says the Houthis are stooges of Iran, stepped up air strikes on Yemen's capital Sanaa and other Houthi-held areas after a Houthi missile killed more than 60 Gulf Arab troops stationed in Marib province on September 4.

As conflict in the region escalates, claiming the ports city has been a goal for each faction. Coalition forces have taken the most southwest tip of Yemen in the Bab El Mandeb Strait. Passing vessels have been reporting artillery fire recently, which includes gunfire from warships in the area.

Last week, militants attacked guards at a gate near Es Sider port, a key oil port which is under control of forces allied with the recognized government. The terminal has been closed since last December because of regional conflict and supply issues at oil fields.