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Iranian Military Ship Operates Under Commercial Cover off Hodeidah

Iranian Military Ship Operates Under Commercial Cover off Hodeidah

Tuesday, 25 September, 2018 - 08:15
Armored vehicles belonging to the Amalqa ("Giants") Brigades, loyal to the Saudi-backed government, during the offensive to retake Hodeidah from Iran-backed Houthi rebels. AFP
Riyadh- Abdel Hadi Habtoor

The Arab coalition fighting in support of the legitimate Yemeni government said on Monday it has spotted Iranian military using spying devices to monitor ships crossing the Strait of Bab el-Mandeb.

Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said the Coalition discovered that an Iranian-registered commercial ship was actually a military one named Safiz, monitoring ships passing through the Strait of Bab Al-Mandeb by using listening devices and sending military experts to Yemen.

"Our operations continue against suspicious ships that are threatening international shipping in the Red Sea," Maliki said.

Hodeidah port is a vital lifeline for aid shipments to Yemen.

Maliki accused the Iranian regime of continuing to violate international law and destabilize the security of the region and the world.

The ship is assisting Houthi militias in threatening the international navigation, he added.

The spokesperson said the Arab Coalition has established three safe corridors for civilians to travel between the cities of Sanaa and Hodeidah, in cooperation with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

“The coalition is working with OCHA in Yemen to establish safe humanitarian corridors to help in the delivery of aid... between Hodeidah and Sanaa,” Maliki told a press conference in Riyadh.

Yemen's civil war, which began when the Iran-backed rebels seized Sanaa in September 2014, has left 22 million people in need of assistance, according to the UN.

The spokesperson explained that progress in Hodeidah has been slow because the Coalition wants to avoid harming civilians there, especially that Houthis continue to use civilians as human shields in the city of Hodeidah.

Maliki concluded that the Arab Coalition has many pieces of evidence, that would be uncovered later, documenting Iran’s violation of the international law.

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