UN silence on Houthi aid truck attacks in Yemen ‘unacceptable’

The army launched artillery raids targeting Houthi reinforcements sent to Sufyan directorate in an effort to retake strategic sites it had lost. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 September 2018
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UN silence on Houthi aid truck attacks in Yemen ‘unacceptable’

  • A Yemeni military source said the army continued its advance toward Hajjah province, where it liberated several villages and other strategic locations
  • Yemen’s army killed more than 140 Houthi militants during clashes in the northwestern province of Saada

JEDDAH: Yemen’s High Relief Committee (HRC) has condemned an attack by the Houthi militia, which targeted a truck carrying relief supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Hodeidah.
The committee said in a press statement that the Iranian-backed militia had bombed a truck carrying relief and humanitarian aid for the residents of the Al-Tahita directorate, killing the driver.
The statement added that the committee has previously alerted to such actions by the Houthis, which are aimed at obstructing the safe access of relief materials to the directorates of Al-Tahita and Al-Drehami, in particular, and other directorates in Hodeidah province, in general, and have a direct impact on the humanitarian situation in the area.
Yemeni Minister of Local Administration and HRC Chairman, Abdul Raqeeb Fateh, blamed the Houthi militia for impeding rapid humanitarian access to those in need, the bombing of trucks and relief vessels in Hodeidah port, and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the province.
He said in a statement to the official Yemeni news agency that the “continuous and guaranteed targeting of relief trucks and field personnel, especially from UN organizations, by the Houthi militants places the United Nations and other organizations in a position of humanitarian and moral responsibility to defend its staff working in the humanitarian field in Yemen.”
Fatah called on Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lisa Grande, to condemn the “criminal act, which contravenes all international and humanitarian laws,” and to notify the UN, including the Security Council, of all violations committed by the Houthi militias against relief work and to make the necessary and significant solutions to stop these acts and violations.
The minister denounced the continued silence of the humanitarian affairs coordinator and international organizations on these incidents as unacceptable, calling on the international community to take full responsibility for the suffering of the people in Hodeidah and to take the necessary measures to immediately halt all violations by militias against relief efforts, especially since the terrorist group has committed many violations that have paralyzed the work of relief organizations and kidnapped many relief and humanitarian workers in the province.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s army, backed by the Arab Coalition, killed more than 140 Houthi militants during clashes in the northwestern province of Saada, according to Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya.
A Yemeni military source said the army continued its advance toward Hajjah province, where it liberated several villages and other strategic locations.
Elsewhere, the army launched artillery raids targeting Houthi reinforcements sent to Sufyan directorate in an effort to retake strategic sites it had lost.


US bolsters Middle East force with 1,500 troops as Pentagon blames Iran for tanker attacks

Updated 24 May 2019
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US bolsters Middle East force with 1,500 troops as Pentagon blames Iran for tanker attacks

  • Donald Trump says the additional troops would serve a 'mostly protective' role
  • The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region earlier this month

WASHINGTON: The US will strengthen its force in the Middle East with 1,500 extra troops, Donald Trump said Friday as the Pentagon blamed Iran for an attack on oil tankers off the coast of the UAE.

"We want to have protection in the Middle East," Trump said as he left the White House for a trip to Japan. "We're going to be sending a relatively small number of troops, mostly protective.
"Some very talented people are going to the Middle East right now. And we'll see what happens."

Shortly after his comments, the Pentagon accused Iran's Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) of being directly responsible for attacks on tankers off the UAE earlier this month, describing it as part of a "campaign" by Tehran driving new US deployments.
"The attack against the shipping in Fujairah we attribute it to the IRGC," said Rear Admiral Michael Gilday, the director of the Joint Staff, adding the Pentagon attributed limpet mines used in the attack to the IRGC. He declined to describe "the means of delivery" of the mines.

The 1,500 extra troops will be made up of a deployment of 900 more forces, including engineers, and the extension of a tour by some 600 personnel manning Patriot missiles.

Officials said earlier that members of Congress were notified following a White House meeting Thursday to discuss Pentagon proposals to bolster the force in the region.
Earlier this week, officials said that Pentagon planners had outlined plans that could have sent up to 10,000 military reinforcements to the region. Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan later said planners had not settled on a figure.
The US began reinforcing its presence in the Arabian Gulf region this month in response to what it said was a threat from Iran.

*With AP and Reuters