Trump seeks to revive 'Arab NATO' to confront Iran

Saudis halt oil shipments through waterway after Yemen rebel attack

Bahri VLCC damaged in Red Sea attack by Houthi rebels

Earlier this week, Saudi Arabia halted crude oil and oil product shipments via the Bab el Mandeb chokepoint in the Red Sea after an attack by the Iran-aligned Houthis on two Saudi tankers near the port of Hodeidah. "One of the VLCCs sustained minimal damage", Falih said. "No injuries nor oil spill have been reported", Aramco said.

Pro-government forces backed up by a coalition led by Saudi Arabia have paused their offensive on Hodeida port in a bid to give UN-led peace efforts a chance. "The Company is carefully assessing the situation and will take further action as prudence demands", Saudi Aramco said in a statement Wednesday.

USA energy companies added three oil rigs in the week to July 27, the first time in the past three weeks that drillers have added rigs, General Electric Co's Baker Hughes energy services firm said on Friday.

The pause in shipments will last until the safety of shipments through the strait, which connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, is ensured, Khalid Al-Falih said in a statement.

It considered one of the world's most strategic waterways and is heavily patrolled by United Nations naval forces.

"The targeted attack on the Saudi oil tankers in the Red Sea confirms the necessity to liberate Hodeida from Houthi militias", said Gargash, whose country is part of the Saudi-led coalition. It's not yet known if they will extend that to the rest of the Red Sea. "If there is a major disruption European powers, Egypt and the United States would all have reason to intervene", she wrote.

Saudi Arabia accuses Iran of supplying missiles and arms to the Houthis, which both Tehran and the Houthis deny.

The coalition has carried out a campaign of thousands of air strikes and restricted imports into Yemen, worsening what the United Nations says is potentially the world's worst humanitarian crisis.

The alliance has called a halt to the offensive to give U.N. efforts a chance to reach a political solution that would avert an assault on the port, a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, which the United Nations fears risks triggering a starvation in the impoverished country.

Residents said coalition warplanes had begun their bombardment after midnight, attacking a Houthi military police camp in the city center, a plastics factory north of the city, and the districts of Zubaid and al-Tahita to the south. Arabs allege that opposition Shia groups in Bahrain and Houthis in Yemen were supported by Tehran.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates backed Trump's decision to quit a nuclear deal with Iran.

"When a country threatens Iran and raises this issue that it can block Iran's oil exports if it wants to, Iran's reciprocal threat would be a credible threat", the IRGC commander pointed out.

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