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Coalition: Hodeidah Port Is a Threat to Int'l Navigation

Coalition: Hodeidah Port Is a Threat to Int'l Navigation

Thursday, 11 January, 2018 - 11:30
Spokesman of the Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen, Colonel Turki bin Saleh al-Maliki (SPA)

In a new development, Coalition for the Support of Legitimacy in Yemen announced on Wednesday that Hodeidah port is not only used for smuggling weapons now, but it has become a starting point to target navigation endangering security and regional and international peace.

Spokesman of the coalition, Colonel Turki bin Saleh al-Maliki said Iran-backed Houthi militias targeted a Saudi oil carrier while it crossed the Red Sea. However, the coalition’s navy intercepted the three boats’ mission and failed their attempt.

Speaking at his weekly press conference at King Salman Base in Riyadh, Maliki explained that the attack was executed by three boats which navigated towards the carrier with one remotely controlled, the other had a team and the third boat contained the bombs. He added that the coalition navy spotted the three crafts and intercepted the boat with the explosives and detonated it.

He stressed that the coalition has a responsibility to the international community to maintain security and stability in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait, indicating that the port has become a starting point for the terrorist group to threaten international and regional security.

“It is now necessary the United Nations takes the initiative to receive the port of Hodeidah from the Houthi armed group to help the Yemeni people and to maintain regional and international security and stability,” he added.

Colonel Maliki reviewed video segments showing Houthi militias training on how to target ships, vessels, carriers, and destroyers. He reiterated that these videos prove there are technical support and foreign experts in Yemen. It also debunks the requests to reopen Sanaa airport for navigation since, “no doubt there isn't any navigation safety in Sanaa airport.”

He pointed out that Houthis used radars to monitor the naval ships of the coalition, and commercial vessels crossing Bab al-Mandab, which is a “substantial evidence of the presence of foreign experts in Yemen to support the coupists”.

The Coalition welcomed the statement of UN’s Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator concerning the need to keep all ports open to both aid and commercial vessels so that life-saving assistance reaches those in desperate need in Yemen. The spokesman indicated that the important thing is to consider the reasons that led to such situation and not the results of it, adding that the situation inside Yemen worsened because insurgents “hijacked” the legitimacy and government.

Maliki announced that 14 permits were issued during the past week and 28 ships are still waiting for permission to enter. He highlighted efforts of the coalition forces in Yemen to restore security and stability in Yemeni governorates and military operations carried out by coalition forces against Houthi militias.

The spokesperson also presented the updated statistics, putting the number of ballistic missiles fired from within Yemeni territory towards Saudi Arabia at 87 ballistic missiles and 66,119 projectiles.

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