Yemeni oil and gas infrastructure has been under constant attack and faced continuous sabotage all year. The Yemeni government has now decided that enough is enough and has launched a full military attack against the tribesman suspected of all the unrest.
In February of this year President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadj was elected to replace Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had had to step down after 33 years in charge, due to a series of protests against his rule. Hadj has been struggling to restore peace and normality, and attacks to the nation’s infrastructure are not helping.
It is said that the tribesmen from the Wadi Abaida area of the oil-producing province of Maarib are pressing the government to pay them hand-outs and release fellow tribesmen from prison.
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The ex-president Saleh used to pay protection money each month in order to avoid such attacks as are currently being experienced, however Hadj decided that he would not be played in such a way and has decided to stand up to the tribesmen.
The last attack occurred on Saturday, just half an hour after engineers had finished repairing one of several ruptures to the crude oil pipeline that runs from Maarib to the export terminal at Ras Isa on the Red Sea.
Officials announced that the government has finally had enough and sent around 30 tanks, and other armoured vehicles to attack the tribesmen on their home turf. “The army is shelling areas containing armed men who blew up the oil pipeline and power lines in Maarib,” one source stated.
The US and its allies are also interested in seeing peace brought to Yemen due to its important strategic position next to Saudi Arabia, and major shipping lanes.
By. James Burgess of Oilprice.com