RIYADH: The Iranian-backed Houthi militia has committed more than 138 violations since a cease-fire agreement, said Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki. Addressing a weekly press conference in Riyadh on Monday, he said the Houthis are blocking entry of aid ships to Yemen’s Saleef port near Hodeidah.
A cease-fire between Yemen’s warring parties went into effect on Dec. 13 in the strategic port city of Hodeidah.
The cease-fire was reached in Stockholm after a round of UN-sponsored talks — the first direct talks in more than two years between representatives of Yemen’s internationally recognized government and the Houthis.
The besieged rebel-held port city is an entry point for 70 percent of foreign humanitarian aid into the country, according to the UN, which has described Hodeidah as a “lifeline” for Yemen’s war-ravaged population.
Al-Maliki said the Arab coalition welcomes the recent Security Council resolution on Yemen, which supports the outcome of the Yemeni peace negotiations between the legitimate government and the Iranian-backed militia.
He also pointed out that the Security Council urged both parties to implement the Stockholm agreement in accordance with the time limit and insisted on the commitment of all parties to fully respect the Hodeidah cease-fire.
The Security Council also requested the UN secretary-general to report the progress made on the implementation of the resolution on a weekly basis, including any violation made by both parties, the spokesman added.
Al-Maliki said that the Houthi militia is still violating international humanitarian law by using a variety of weapons. The areas of Saada and Amran have been used as platforms to launch rockets. He said the Houthi militants are using Sanaa airport as military barracks. Houthis have launched 208 ballistic missiles toward the Kingdom between March 26, 2015, and Dec. 24, 2018.
Al-Maliki said the Yemeni National Army has made great progress in various areas.
Several Yemeni ports are open for humanitarian operation and the total number of maritime permits issued by the Joint Forces Command from March 26, 2015, to Dec. 24, 2018, was 4,973. As many as 12,824 air and 1,198 land permits were issued to passengers during the same period.
The Arab coalition also ensures the issuance of permits and orders to secure movements of relief organizations inside Yemen. A total of 362 such permits were issued between Dec. 17 and 24.
Al-Maliki also said the projects of the Saudi Program for the Development and Reconstruction of Yemen are still continuing. Under the program, 192,000 textbooks have been distributed among 26,000 students and around 150 schools of different levels have benefited from the program.
The coalition destroyed 203 Houthi militia sites and weapons depot during Dec. 17 and 24. The Houthi militia death toll in security operations has reached 537.