Mast: Ports in Yemen Open, but Operation Difficult

Aden Container Terminal

Ports in Yemen remain open despite continuation of fighting between Houthi rebels and Saudi-led Coalition forces, but port operations are experiencing difficulties due to the poor infrastructure after bomb damage and neglect, according to the latest update from global maritime security company Mast.  

“Aden is in the best condition. The refinery has reopened and cargo operations have been conducted. The container terminal is also operating but subject to delays,” says Ben Stewart, General Manager at Mast Singapore.

Stewart added that the port of Hodeidah is in poor condition, as fuel and containers are not allowed to be discharged due to the blockade orders. As informed, only one crane is working and the port is suffering from repeated electricity cuts and low fuel levels, therefore there is a good chance it would close again.

“Salif is open for bulk cargos of wheat. Mukulla and Mocha are being used as the smuggling hubs for refugees, and likely contraband as well. Mukulla is open for commercial work with limited functionality,” he continued.

Based on the update, the Coalition has taken the most southwest tip of Yemen in the Bab El Mandeb Strait and passing vessels have been reporting artillery fire over the weekend, including naval gunfire support from warships in the area.

“Tactically it is not a particularly significant area of ground.  The Port of Mocha, slightly further north, would be significantly more important as this is the closest port to Somalia and likely to be the best smuggling route to bring supplies into the blockaded Northern Yemen.”

“In terms of the move for Sana’a, the Pro-Government Forces have efforts ongoing in Marib in the east and Tiaz in the south. Marib seems to be have been secured, whilst fighting for Tiaz continues. The population in the north are running very short supplies,” Stewart added.

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