Houthi militias threaten international navigation in Red Sea
Mandeb Strait. (File photo: Supplied)
Staff writer, Al Arabiya English
Tuesday, 9 January 2018
In spite of the losses suffered by the Houthi militias on more than one front in Yemen, Houthi leader Saleh al-Samad, threatened, on Monday, to "cut international navigation route through the Red Sea" as a "strategic option" to consider if progress continues towards the west of Yemen, and if "a political solution reaches a dead end," as he put it.
During his meeting with the Deputy Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Yemen Moin Shreim, he said that the ships will not be allowed to pass, referring to the intentions of the militia to strike international shipping in the Red Sea and Mandeb Strait.
He also attacked the role of UN envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh saying it is "disappointing" and questioned its credibility in handling and reaching a resolution for the Yemeni crisis.
"We have reached a point where we are no longer counting on the United Nations to find a political solution in Yemen," he said.
The Deputy UN envoy said that the main reference will always be the "United Nations’ resolutions" and pointed out that his intention is to "act” in the event of receiving a political statement by Sanaa regarding the negotiations," according to the Houthi news agency.
Al- Samad expressed the willingness of his group to enter into any negotiations in the event that they "sense” that the United Nations is serious about reaching a resolution, as he put it.
This threat comes amid the progress of the Yemeni army on more than one front, as it has announced Monday, the restoration of a mountain range in the Directorate of Kataf and some areas in the province of Saada north of the country, near the border with Saudi Arabia.
Several countries have already identified Houthi militias as a threat to navigation in Bab al-Mandeb, after the targeting of many ships.
The United States and the Arab Coalition forces have repeatedly warned against the threat of Iranian-backed militias to international navigation.
Last Update: Tuesday, 9 January 2018 KSA 02:33 - GMT 23:33