Cairo: The Yemeni government has said it will seek a UN action against Iran-allied Al Houthis over their threats to international navigation in the Red Sea.
The move comes after Al Houthis this week attacked two Saudi oil tankers off Yemen’s western coast.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Khalid Al Yamani said that his country will move in coordination with Kuwait, a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, to file a complaint to the council about Al Houthis’ attacks on commercial vessels. “We will ask the council to move swiftly to stop these blatant violations against the international navigation law,” Al Yamani told pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al Awsat.
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has strongly denounced Wednesday’s attack on the Saudi tankers, calling it a “heinous” act. “The attack is an act of terrorism that has threatened the regional security and peace,” Abdul Latif Al Zayani, the GCC Secretary General, said in a statement. He called on the UN Security Council to practise its “legal and political responsibility” to stop Al Houthis’ flagrant violation of the international laws, jeopardising the freedom of navigation in Bab Al Mandeb and the Red Sea.
Saudi Arabia, which leads an Arab coalition fighting Al Houthis in Yemen, temporarily halted its oil shipments through the Bab Al Mandeb Strait, which links the Gulf of Aden to the Red Sea.
The attack coincided with a visit by UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to Al Houthi-occupied capital Sana’a as part of his efforts to revive peace talks between the country’s warring sides.
“There can be no talk about peace before the complete and unconditional exit of the coup plotters [Al Houthis] from the western coast,” Al Yamani said.
The coalition on Friday mounted a series of strikes against Al Houthis’ military facilities inside Hodeida, Sky News Arabia reported.
The bombing resulted in destruction of a military operations room that was housed in military police headquarters in Hodeida, it added, citing field sources. An unspecified number of Al Houthi militiamen were killed or injured.
Last month, the Arab coalition unleashed a massive offensive aimed at driving Al Houthis out of the Red Sea city of Hodeida. The campaign, the biggest in Yemen’s three-year-old war, has been suspended in support of UN efforts to avert an all-out battle in the city of around 600,000 people.
Hodeida is strategically important because its harbour is considered a lifeline for millions of Yemenis, as most of the commercial imports and relief supplies enter through it to the country.
The coalition accuses Al Houthis of taking advantage of their control of Hodeida and its port to obtain weapons from their Iranian patrons as well as confiscate aid intended for Yemenis in order to sustain their war efforts.