Yemeni Army Spokesman: Houthi Underwater Mines Threaten Incoming Aid Vessels

A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
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Yemeni Army Spokesman: Houthi Underwater Mines Threaten Incoming Aid Vessels

A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad
A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, March 23, 2017. REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad

Yemen’s national army warned on Wednesday against sporadic naval mines planted across the Red Sea coast. Coup militias had resorted to sea mines in order to compromise maritime security of government-controlled ports.

The army had sounded the alarm in a move to warn international vessels delivering aid to the war-torn country and advise caution against the chances of the floating mines being carried into deep waters by sea currents.

“Houthi militias have been planting mines, blowing up the coastal locations across the strategic port of Hodeidah and carrying out terrorist attacks on international shipping vessels,” Yemeni army spokesman Brigadier Abdo Majali told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Saudi-led Arab Coalition leadership announced in May the Saudi Royal Navy successfully locating a number of marine mines in the Yemeni coast near the port of Midi, on the Red Sea and near Saudi waters.

Port Midi is established as vital port, as well as one of the most important arms smuggling outlets for Iran-backed Houthi militias.

The Coalition leadership then revealed that specialized teams have surveyed the naval mines. It appeared that the mines were designed with rudimentary methods.

Brig. Majali pointed out that danger lies in the fact that floating mines planted by Houthi militias may drift towards international shipping lines in the Red Sea, presenting a grave threat.

In case of detonation, consequences will have a disastrous magnitude for commercial ships and humanitarian aid vessels being sent to help the Yemeni people.

“Taking up terror operations, Coup militias over the past few days planted mines that hold great potential of being carried by the water current into international waters--which is a serious risk to the security and safety of navigation,” said Brig. Majali.

On that note, the Yemeni army spokesman also briefed on the qualitative progress achieved by pro-legitimacy forces in Nihm district, adjacent to the coup’s de facto capital Sana’a.

Brig.Majali pointed out that pro-government forces control about 85 percent of Nihm territory, and that the operations are advancing under plans set by the General Staff in coordination with the forces of the Arab Coalition.



UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
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UN Human Rights Chief: Unconscionable Death and Suffering Happening in Gaza

A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)
A child looks on as Palestinians search for missing people under the rubble of a destroyed house following an Israeli air strike, at al-Nuseirat refugee camp, southern Gaza Strip, 18 June 2024. (EPA)

Palestinians in the Israeli occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem are suffering a drastically worsening human rights environment, alongside "unconscionable death and suffering" in the Gaza Strip, the UN human rights chief said on Tuesday.

"The situation in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, is dramatically deteriorating," Volker Turk, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, told the opening session of the UN Human Rights Council.

The West Bank, where the internationally recognized Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule under Israeli occupation, has seen the worst unrest for decades, in parallel with the war in the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas.

Turk said that from the start of the Gaza war in October through mid-June, 528 Palestinians, 133 of them children, had been killed by Israeli security forces or settlers in the West Bank, in some cases raising "serious concerns of unlawful killings".

Twenty-three Israelis have been killed in the West Bank and Israel in clashes with or attacks by Palestinians, he said.

In Gaza, Turk said he was "appalled by the disregard for international human rights and humanitarian law" by parties to the war.

"Israel's relentless strikes in Gaza are causing immense suffering and widespread destruction, and the arbitrary denial and obstruction of humanitarian aid have continued," Turk said.

"Israel continues to detain arbitrarily thousands of Palestinians. This must not continue."

He added that Palestinian armed groups were continuing to hold hostages, including in populated areas, which put both the hostages and civilians at risk.

Israel's permanent mission to the UN in Geneva accused Turk of "completely omitting the cruelty and barbarity of terrorism" in his address to the UN Human Rights Council.

"Hostilities in Gaza are the direct result of Hamas terrorism, decades of rocket-fire and incitement against the Jewish people and the State of Israel, culminating in its brutal attacks against Israel on October 7," the diplomatic mission said in a statement.

Israel's ground and air campaign was triggered when Hamas-led fighters stormed into southern Israel on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and seizing more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Israel's offensive has killed more than 37,400 people in Gaza, according to its health authorities, and left much of the enclave's population homeless.