Houthi bid to target Yemen port threatens aid flow: Coalition

Houthi bid to target Yemen port threatens aid flow: Coalition
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Updated 29 July 2017

Houthi bid to target Yemen port threatens aid flow: Coalition

Houthi bid to target Yemen port threatens aid flow: Coalition

JEDDAH: Houthi militias used a remote-controlled boat packed with explosives to attack the port of Al-Mokha on Saturday, but there were no casualties, according to the Saudi-led coalition backing Yemen’s government.

Such practices disrupt the flow of relief and humanitarian aid to Yemen, in particular medicines used to fight cholera, said a statement from the coalition quoted by the Saudi Press Agency.

It said the militias targeted the port at dawn but the boat collided with a naval pier near a group of ships, causing an explosion.

“A careful follow-up of the incident and tracking of perpetrators is going on,” it added.

Houthi militias and supporters of Yemen's ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh continue to violate all international norms and resolutions by targeting the security of Yemeni ports, threatening international navigation and regional and global security, the coalition added.  

The statement called on the international community “to keep pressuring the Houthi militias and the forces loyal to Saleh to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2216, to prevent these criminal practices.”

Maritime experts have repeatedly warned of the threat posed to international shipping by the Houthis and Saleh loyalists.

Yemeni media sources reported recently that these militias had begun a new wave of mining in the areas around the port of Hodeidah, in an attempt to cause damage to vessels passing through the Bab Al-Mandab Strait.

Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, has warned of the threat to the international waterway posed by Houthi militias, given the support they receive from Iran. This was confirmed by the techniques used in previous attacks on vessels in Yemeni waters.

Also on Saturday, Yemeni officials said that forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi took full control of a key military base, known as Khalid bin Al-Walid, near Yemen’s west coast.

Clashes that raged over the base between forces loyal to Hadi and the Houthis, who controlled it for more than two years, have killed dozens on both sides, according to The Associated Press.