Yemen FM calls on international community to condemn Houthis for violating humanitarian law

Houthi militias have caused humanitarian disasters in various regions of Yemen, says Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani. File/Getty Images
Updated 26 June 2018
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Yemen FM calls on international community to condemn Houthis for violating humanitarian law

  • Houthis have caused humanitarian disasters in various regions of Yemen in order to harm the Yemeni people
  • Houthis planted about 1 million land mines in various parts of the war-torn country

RIYADH: Yemen’s Vice President Lt. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar said the capital Sanaa will be “cleansed of the Houthi militias,” Saudi state TV Al-Ekhbariya reported on Monday.

The vice president’s statement came during a meeting with senior Yemeni army officials in Marib that was attended by the commander of the Saudi-led Arab coalition forces.
During the meeting, Al-Ahmar claimed that “victory was just around the corner” and that Sanaa would return to its Yemeni identity, stressing the need to “redouble efforts,” “intensify training and rehabilitation” and “complete military tasks and plans.”
Al-Ahmar reiterated that the Yemeni government, led by Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, and the Arab coalition were determined to restore the legitimate government and establish lasting peace.
The vice president’s remarks came as Foreign Minister Khalid Al-Yamani called on the international community to condemn the Houthi militias for violating international humanitarian law.
Al-Yamani said Houthis have caused humanitarian disasters in various regions of Yemen in order to harm the Yemeni people.
The militias prevent citizens from leaving for liberated areas and use them as human shields, he added.
The foreign minister also said that preliminary statistics indicated that the Houthis planted about 1 million land mines in various parts of the war-torn country.
Landmines placed by Houthi militias cause many civilian casualties on a daily basis in area across Yemen where the Iranian-backed militants have been defeated, according to a report from Saudi Press Agency.
Reports say that Yemen became has one of the largest land mine battlefields in the world since the Second World War, with more than half-a-million mines laid by the Houthis across several Yemeni cities.
On Sunday, President Hadi had a meeting with senior officials and security leaders in Hodeidah to discuss the situation there.
The president discussed plans to arrange for humanitarian and relief aid to be delivered, along with preparations for a decisive solution in the battle to liberate the port city.
Hadi said the liberation of Hodeidah was imminent and that the Iran-backed Houthi militia would soon be defeated.
He also stressed the importance of increased efforts by the leadership of the province and managers of basic services for the people.
He called on ministers to provide the necessary support for the people of the province in terms of logistics, relief, health and other fields.
Efforts are being made to provide relief and shelter for all areas of the west coast with the support of the KSRelief, the UAE and international organizations. Two planes loaded with relief supplies from KSRelief are expected to arrive with supplies soon.
Health Minister Nasser Baoum said that 50 hospital beds were transferred to a field hospital in the west coast and a number of ambulances with their crews, in addition to medical supplies provided by China and India.
The minister of water and the minister of social affairs and Labor discussed a number of measures to ensure the continuity and provision of basic water and tents services.


Rouhani warns Trump of ‘mother of all wars’ as US launches campaign to erode support for Iran’s regime

Updated 25 min 3 sec ago
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Rouhani warns Trump of ‘mother of all wars’ as US launches campaign to erode support for Iran’s regime

  • Rouhani warned Trump on Sunday: “Do not play with the lion’s tail or else you will regret it”
  • Trump suggested Iranian leaders are “going to call me and say ‘let’s make a deal’” but Iran rejected talks

DUBAI: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday cautioned US President Donald Trump about pursuing hostile policies against Tehran, saying “America should know ... war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” but he did not rule out peace between the two countries, either.
Iran faces increased US pressure and looming sanctions after Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from a 2015 international deal over Iran’s nuclear program.
Addressing a gathering of Iranian diplomats, Rouhani said: “Mr Trump, don’t play with the lion’s tail, this would only lead to regret,” the state-news agency IRNA reported.
“America should know that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace, and war with Iran is the mother of all wars,” Rouhani said, leaving open the possibility of peace between the two countries which have been at odds since the 1979 Islamic Revolution.
“You are not in a position to incite the Iranian nation against Iran’s security and interests,” Rouhani said, in an apparent reference to reported efforts by Washington to destabilize Iran’s Islamic government.
In Washington, US officials familiar with the matter told Reuters that the Trump administration has launched an offensive of speeches and online communications meant to foment unrest and help pressure Iran to end its nuclear program and its support of militant groups.

More than half a dozen current and former officials said the campaign, supported by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, is meant to work in concert with US President Donald Trump’s push to economically throttle Iran by re-imposing tough sanctions.

The drive has intensified since Trump withdrew on May 8 from a 2015 seven-nation deal to stop Iran from developing nuclear weapons.

The White House declined comment on the campaign. The State Department also declined to comment on the campaign specifically, including on Pompeo’s role.

A review of the State Department’s Farsi-language Twitter account and its ShareAmerica website — which describes itself as a platform to spark debate on democracy and other issues — shows a number of posts critical of Tehran over the last month.

Iran is the subject of four of the top five items on the website’s “Countering Violent Extremism” section. They include headlines such as “This Iranian airline helps spread violence and terror.”

In social media posts and speeches, Pompeo himself also appeals directly to Iranians, the Iranian diaspora and a global audience.

On June 21, Pompeo tweeted out graphics headlined: “Protests in Iran are growing,” “Iranian people deserve respect for their human rights,” and “Iran’s revolutionary guard gets rich while Iranian families struggle.” The tweets were translated into Farsi and posted on the ShareAmerica website.

Rouhani scoffed at Trump’s threat to halt Iranian oil exports and said Iran has a dominant position in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, a major oil shipping waterway.
“Anyone who understands the rudiments of politics doesn’t say ‘we will stop Iran’s oil exports’...we have been the guarantor of the regional waterway’s security throughout history,” Rouhani said, cited by the semi-official ISNA news agency.
Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Saturday backed Rouhani’s suggestion that Iran may block Gulf oil exports if its own exports are halted.
Rouhani’s apparent threat earlier this month to disrupt oil shipments from neighboring countries came in reaction to efforts by Washington to force all countries to stop buying Iranian oil.
Iranian officials have in the past threatened to block the Strait of Hormuz in retaliation for any hostile US action. Separately, a top Iranian military commander warned that the Trump government might be preparing to invade Iran.
“The enemy’s behavior is unpredictable,” military chief of staff General Mohammad Baqeri said, the semi-official Tasnim news agency reported.
“Although the current American government does not seem to speak of a military threat, according to precise information it has been trying to persuade the US military to launch a military invasion (of Iran),” Baqeri said.
Iran’s oil exports could fall by as much as two-thirds by the end of the year because of new US sanctions, putting oil markets under huge strain amid supply outages elsewhere.
Washington initially planned to totally shut Iran out of global oil markets after Trump abandoned the deal that limited Iran’s nuclear ambitions, demanding all other countries to stop buying its crude by November.
But it has somewhat eased its stance since, saying that it may grant sanction waivers to some allies that are particularly reliant on Iranian supplies.