Saudi-led forces begin Yemen assault

Lester Mason
Июня 13, 2018

The member countries of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition in Yemen are aiming to improve the humanitarian conditions across the areas to be liberated in Al Hodeidah city, to be on par with the other areas that have been liberated from the grip of the Houthis in Yemen's Red Sea Coast and to help the Yemeni people to overcome the dire conditions caused by the terrorist practices of the elements of the militias.

The United Nations and other aid groups already had pulled their global staff from Hodeidah before the rumoured assault. The aim is to box in the Houthis in Sanaa, cut their supply lines and force them to the negotiating table.

The Saudi-led coalition did not immediately acknowledge the incident.

Al Hodeidah, the second largest port in the country, is the main conduit for humanitarian supplies into a country teetering on the brink of starvation.

The renewed push on Hodeidah comes amid increased tensions between Saudi Arabia and arch-foe Iran after the United States withdrew last month from an worldwide nuclear agreement with Tehran, a move hailed by Riyadh and Abu Dhabi.

The stalemate has produced an unrelenting humanitarian crisis, with at least 8.4 million people at risk of starvation and 22.2 million people - 75% of the population - in need of humanitarian assistance, according to the UN.

The UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) called on Wednesday for all sides to protect civilians.

"Parties to the conflict must now prepare to bear responsibility for any violations of International Humanitarian Law, particularly the targeting of civilians and civilian infrastructures such as medical facilities, schools and the port facilities, for which the U.N. Security Council must ensure accountability".

Читайте также: Fred expected to complete Manchester United move in next seven days

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had said that U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths was in "intense negotiations" in an attempt to avoid a military confrontation. However, Griffiths' recent appointment as envoy and his push for new negotiations might have encouraged the Saudi-led coalition to strengthen its hand ahead of any peace talks. A statement from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Monday he spoke with Emirati officials and "made clear our desire to address their security concerns while preserving the free flow of humanitarian aid and life-saving commercial imports".

The US position on Hodeidah continues to shift wildly, however.

Coalition warplanes and warships were carrying out strikes on Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by Yemeni troops massed south of the Red Sea port, the internationally recognised Yemeni government in exile said in a statement issued by its media office.

The Houthis, drawn from a Shi'ite minority that ruled a thousand-year kingdom in Yemen until 1962, deny they are Iranian pawns.

The UAE's Gargash said plans were in place to keep the port operational and urged the worldwide community to pressure the Houthis to evacuate and leave the port intact, without planting mines.

But Riyadh and Abu Dhabi maintain that the port is being used to smuggle weapons.

Reem al-Hashimy, the UAE minister of state for worldwide cooperation, has said if the port is wrested from the Houthis, the coalition could ease controls, aimed at denying the group arms, and so improve the flow of goods and aid into Yemen.

At the same time, the Trump administration has been seeking ways to demonstrate a tough stance toward Tehran's support of armed groups across the Middle East. Yemen, where Iran has provided only limited support for the Houthi movement, is seen as an easier starting point for that campaign than countries where its proxy support is more established.

При любом использовании материалов сайта и дочерних проектов, гиперссылка на обязательна.
«» 2007 - 2018 Copyright.
Автоматизированное извлечение информации сайта запрещено.

Код для вставки в блог

Other reports by

Discuss This Article