The Yemeni Foreign Ministry affiliated with the Houthi Ansarullah movement said in a statement on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia was "desperately attempting" to take advantage of the "ongoing state of insecurity by plundering oil resources and pursing its illegitimate interests across the region."
The statement further explained that Saudi Arabia was committing a blatant violation of international law by transporting Yemeni oil to the Arabian Sea through a pipeline which extends from the Rub' al-Khali desert to Hadhramaut and Mahrah in the south of the country. It also called on the United Nations and other international organizations to counter through legal mechanisms the Saudi aggression, occupation and looting of Yemeni resources, Presstv Reported.
Elsewhere in the statement, the ministry demanded that the international community increase pressure on Riyadh and Abu Dhabi authorities to “respect and preserve territorial integrity and sovereignty of the Yemeni nation.”
A series of documents obtained by some media outlets in August last year pointed to Saudi Arabia's intention to develop the port, which would extract and export petroleum. In a letter addressed to the kingdom's ambassador to Yemen, a Saudi-based marine construction company, Huta Marine, thanked the official for trusting the company's capabilities by asking it to present a technical and financial proposal for the port's design.
Yemen’s southern areas are controlled by Saudi-backed officials of the former Yemeni government. Saudi Arabia has taken control over the provinces' seaports and airports, using them to deploy hundreds of troops in the region.
Experts say the pipeline would allow the kingdom not to be constrained to the Strait of Hormuz or the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, both strategic choke points that affect its current oil shipping routes.
Since the onset of the Saudi war on Yemen in 2015, the Houthis, who run state affairs in Sana’a in the absence of an effective government, have been defending the nation against the aggressors.
According to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of about 56,000 Yemenis.