Lebanon should rein in Hezbollah in Yemen—Gargash

Yemeni government complains to UN over Al Houthi abuses against civilians in Hodeida

Anwar Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, during the press conference on Hodeida briefing update on Yemen and Coalition operations at Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dubai. 18th June 2018. Reporter: Ali Al Shouk/ Gulf News Photo: Ahmed Ramzan/ Gulf News Archive

Cairo: Lebanon’s self-styled policy of dissociation from regional conflict is being wrecked in Yemen, an Emirati official said on Friday, in reference to the Iran-allied Lebanese Hezbollah group’s support for Yemeni Al Houthis.

“The policy of disengagement, to which we hope brotherly Lebanon will commit itself, is being undermined,” UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, said in a tweet.

He urged Lebanon’s state authorities and its “rational voices” there to take action.

Last month, Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah declared in a televised address his support for Iran-backed Al Houthis, who staged a coup against the internationally-recognised government in Yemen in 2014.

The Yemeni government condemned Hezbollah support, calling it a “blatant interference” in the country’s internal affairs.

The UAE is a main partner to a Saudi-led military alliance which entered the conflict in 2015 to help restore the government.

Last month, the Arab Coalition unleashed a major offensive to expel Al Houthis from Yemen’s western city of Hodeida and its vital Red Sea port.

Having suffered military setbacks, Al Houthis have since beefed up their presence there ahead of a looming battle by pro-government forces.

The government accuses the militants of exploiting a pause in the offensive by the coalition in order to give chance to peace negotiations by UN envoy Martin Griffiths in order to send reinforcements to the city.

It also accuses Al Houthis of widespread abuses against civilians in Hodeida.

In a letter to the UN Security Council, Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid Al Yamani cited violations including planting mines inside the city, using civilians as human shields, subverting the water supply network and looting humanitarian aid.

“As the liberation of Hodeida and its harbour nears Al Houthi militias continue their violations against residents,” Al Yamani said, according to Dubai-based television Al Arabiya.

The Hodeida battle, the largest in Yemen’s three-year war, is expected to resume soon.

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