Houthi threat to cut off Red Sea shipping ‘flagrant’ challenge to law

A ship is docked at the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen on March 23, 2017. (Reuters)
Updated 09 January 2018
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Houthi threat to cut off Red Sea shipping ‘flagrant’ challenge to law

SANAA: A threat by Houthi militias to cut off vital Red Sea shipping routes is a “flagrant” challenge to international law, according to a Yemeni minister.
Abdul-Raqib Fat’h, a minister and chairman of the Yemeni Higher Relief Committee, said in a statement to a Yemeni news agency, and quoted by SPA, that the threat to cut off international navigation in the Red Sea is an “open and flagrant challenge to international and humanitarian laws and the United Nations.”
Saleh Al-Samad, head of the unrecognized coup council in Sana’a, earlier warned that — should a political solution to the conflict in Yemen reach a dead end — they will consider “strategic options” including “cutting off the Red Sea and international navigation,” according to local media reports.
The threat was reportedly made during a meeting with the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Ma’ain Shuraim, and follows hefty losses suffered by Houthi militias on more than one front in Yemen.
Al-Samad also attacked UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, criticizing the role of the UN, which he described as “disappointing,” questioning its credibility in the treatment of the Yemeni crisis.
Several countries have already identified the Houthi threat to navigation in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, and where the Iranian-backed militias have targeted ships and boats on several occasions.
Saudi-led coalition forces and their Yemeni allies last year regained control of several strategic ports, waging an assault against the Houthis. The Saudi Navy has also engaged in numerous mine-sweeping missions on Yemeni shores, amid warnings over explosives planted by the militias.


Man detained in Lebanon on suspicion of entering from Israel

Updated 17 January 2019
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Man detained in Lebanon on suspicion of entering from Israel

  • State-run National News Agency said the man who was detained is a US citizen adding that he was detained in the southern port-city of Tyre
  • Suspicion about someone crossing the tightly guarded border known as the Blue Line began to surface on Tuesday

BEIRUT: Lebanon’s army intelligence have detained a man on suspicion that he crossed into Lebanon from Israel, a military official said Thursday. The country’s state news agency said the detainee is a US citizen.
Lebanon and Israel are in a state of war and each bans its citizens from visiting the other country. There are no border crossings at the tightly-controlled frontier.
The official, who spoke Thursday on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, gave no further details saying the man is being questioned and once they have information the army will release a statement.
State-run National News Agency said the man who was detained is a US citizen adding that he was detained in the southern port-city of Tyre where he had been staying since Tuesday. It added that the man is being questioned under the supervision of judicial authorities.
There was no immediate comment from the US embassy in Lebanon.
Suspicion about someone crossing the tightly guarded border known as the Blue Line began to surface on Tuesday.
The Israeli military said: “Israeli army troops identified a break in the fence and signs that point to the suspicion of a person crossing the border from Israel into Lebanon. The incident is under investigation.”