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.



Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
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Iraq Says No Green Light to Turkish Operations in Kurdistan

Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)
Smoke billows from a Turkish strike on Iraq's Duhok. (Kurdish media)

Iraqi Foreign Minister Fuad Hussein said on Friday his country hasn’t given Türkiye the green light to carry out operations in the Iraqi Kurdistan Region.

In televised remarks, he said the Baghdad government needs to hold more “security discussions with Turkish officials, even though it recognizes that the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) is also an Iraqi problem.”

He added that the Turkish army has been deployed in some Iraqi territories since 1991.

The deployment will be discussed during meetings with Turkish officials that will be held soon, he revealed.

Previous discussions with Türkiye did not yield an agreement over the security file, continued the FM. Türkiye is tying its deployment to the presence of the PKK.

Given that the group is present in Iraq, then it must also be dealt with in an “Iraqi way,” he went on to say.

The Turkish military’s incursion of 40 kms inside Iraqi territory had sparked widespread political and popular uproar.

Iraq’s national security council convened to address the issue.

Spokesman of the armed forces Yahya Rasool said the council tackled the Turkish violations and interference in the joint Iraqi-Turkish border regions.

He stressed Baghdad’s rejection of the incursion and undermining of Iraq’s territorial integrity.

Türkiye must respect the principles of good neighborliness and work diplomatically with the Iraqi government and coordinate with it over any security issue, he added.

Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani had dispatched a delegation led by the national security council head to Kurdistan to discuss general affairs and come up with a unified position over Iraq’s sovereignty.