The attack, which did not cause casualties, came shortly after local authorities were preparing to officially announce resuming operations at the port after repairing parts of its infrastructure destroyed during the war.
Workers at the port said that the Houthi attack has brought operations to a cessation. “We stopped working as we are afraid of drones,” a worker told Al-Ghad Al-Mushreq TV.
The Houthi attack has sparked anger and condemnation from inside and outside the country as it came a day after the new UN Yemen envoy Hans Grundberg delivered his first briefing to the UN Security Council.
Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed said on Sunday that the “terrorist” Houthi attacks on Mocha were meant to deepen the humanitarian crisis in Yemen by targeting the country’s economic infrastructure and burning the port’s warehouses housing humanitarian aid and goods for local merchants.
During a meeting with Peter-Derrek Hof, the ambassador of the Netherlands to Yemen, in Riyadh, the Yemeni prime minister called for greater pressure on the Houthis to accept peace, and to stop their military operations across the country and attacks on civilian targets in Saudi Arabia, the official news agency said.
SABA quoted the Dutch ambassador as saying that Houthi military operations in Marib and the targeting of the Mocha port were “worrying signs that do not serve the peace process” in Yemen.
Governor of Taiz Nabil Shamsan also condemned the Houthi strikes on Mocha, saying that the Houthis sought to disrupt the government’s efforts to revive economic activities in Taiz and tighten their siege of Taiz.
Meanwhile, in the neighboring Hodeidah province, sporadic heavy fighting has broken out between government troops and the Houthis in the past 48 hours in Hodeidah city and Hays district.
The Joint Forces, an umbrella term for three major military units on the country’s western coast, said on Sunday night that they pushed back a brief Houthi blitz on their locations in Kilo 16 area, east of Hodeidah, and the Houthis were forced into retreat after suffering casualties.
Several Houthis were killed or wounded during heavy fighting with the Joint Forces west of Hays district in the province.
Hundreds of civilians have been killed by Houthi artillery shelling or land mines since late 2018 when the Yemeni government and the Houthis signed the Stockholm Agreement, which was meant to end hostilities in Hodeidah province.