SANAA: Yemen’s Houthi militia warned on Saturday they could launch attacks against the capitals of Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
The threat came as the United Nations was trying to salvage a truce deal in Yemen, seen as crucial to diplomatic efforts to end the country’s four-year war.
The Iran-backed Houthis have targeted Saudi border towns and Riyadh with ballistic missiles.
“We have aerial photographs and coordinates of dozens of headquarters, facilities and military bases of the enemy,” militant military spokesman Yahya Saree said in comments carried by the group’s Al-Masirah channel.
“The legitimate targets of our forces extend to the capital of Saudi Arabia and to the emirate of Abu Dhabi,” he said.
“We have manufactured advanced generations of attack aircraft, and new systems will soon be functional.”
The militants triggered the conflict when they seized the capital Sanaa in 2014 and attempted to occupy large parts of the country. An Arab Coalition intervened in support of the internationally recognized government in March 2015.
On Wednesday the UN Security Council met to discuss the stalled truce deal that had been agreed in Sweden in December between the Yemeni government and the Houthis.
The deal – which called for a cease-fire, rebel pullback and mutual redeployment from Hodeidah, Yemen’s main Red Sea port controlled by the militants — offered the best hope in years of moving toward an end to the conflict.
While the fighting in Hodeida has eased, redeployment efforts have stalled in recent weeks.
UN envoy Martin Griffiths told the Security Council on Wednesday he was still working to make the redeployment a “reality.”
The World Health Organization estimates nearly 10,000 people have been killed in Yemen since 2015.
The latest warning “shows the extent of the Houthi threat,” the Saudi political analyst Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.
“The longer the international community does not take any action against the Houthis, the more difficult it will be to achieve stability and security.
“Sadly, the Stockholm agreement was just ink on paper that the Houthis did not abide by. Houthis kill civilians in Yemen every day and breach agreements.
“In fact, if they are not stopped, the Yemeni conflict will take even longer and may never reach a solution.
“Saudi Arabia and the UAE have supported Yemen for decades. The Houthis are terrorist militias and we are countries that respect international law. This is the difference between us and them.”
• With AFP