The Saudis tried to intervene on behalf of business tycoon Ahmed Al-Essi, whose tanker has been blocked from offloading oil by the gunmen
UAE-backed STC gunmen block Saudis from entering Aden oil port
Gunmen loyal to the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) prevented the entry of Saudi forces into the Al-Zeit oil port of Yemen’s interim capital Aden on Monday, a government military official told Al-Masdar Online.
The gunmen, led by Abdul Nasser Al-Yafei, aka Abu Hammam, stormed the port on Sunday and stopped oil pumping from a ship belonging to business tycoon Ahmed Al-Essi, according to a port official, who said proper permits had been obtained to import and sell the oil. Al-Essi's close relationship with President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has allowed him to consolidate power over oil flows in southern Yemen during the war.
In response, high-ranking Saudi officers travelling in a convoy of armored vehicles and personnel carriers went to Al-Zeit port to persuade the gunmen to resume pumping, the military official said. The gunmen closed the gate to the port when the Saudis arrived, leading to a scuffle between the two groups.
The Saudis eventually departed without accomplishing their task. The incident is a reflection of the broader challenges the Saudis face in implementing Riyadh agreement, which seeks to reshape the balance of power in Aden by incorporating the STC and its forces into the internationally recognized government.