Arab coalition hits ‘legitimate military targets’ in Hodeidah

Arab coalition hits ‘legitimate military targets’ in Hodeidah
Arab coalition announced the launched a military operation in Hodeidah on Friday. (AFP)
Updated 20 September 2019

Arab coalition hits ‘legitimate military targets’ in Hodeidah

Arab coalition hits ‘legitimate military targets’ in Hodeidah
  • The sites were used to gather and booby-trap remote boats and maritime mines
  • The coalition intercepted and destroyed a unmanned boat rigged with explosives in the Red Sea

RIYADH: The Arab coalition fighting the Houthi militias in Yemen announced on Friday that it had launched a military operation in the north of Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah against “legitimate military targets.” The coalition said it had destroyed four sites used to assemble remote-controlled boats and sea mines.
“These sites are used to carry out attacks and terrorist operations that threaten shipping lines and international trade in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait and the southern Red Sea,” coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said in a statement.
The destruction of hostile sites helps protect the freedom of maritime navigation, Al-Maliki said, adding that the operation abides by international law.
“The Houthi terrorist militia is using the governorate of Hodeidah as a base from which to launch ballistic missiles, drones, and booby-trapped remote-controlled boats, as well as indiscriminately deploying naval mines, in a clear violation of international humanitarian law and in violation of the provisions of Stockholm Agreement and the cease-fire agreement in Hodeidah,” he said.
The coalition warned civilians to stay away from the targeted locations for their own safety. On Thursday, the coalition intercepted and destroyed a Houthi boat laden with explosives in the Red Sea. “The coalition’s naval forces detected an attempt by the Iran-backed terrorist Houthi militia to carry out an act of aggression and terrorism in the southern Red Sea using an unmanned, rigged boat ... launched from Hodeidah governorate,” Al-Maliki said.
He added that the foiled attack represented a threat to regional and international security and the safety of maritime routes and international trade.
The Houthis have carried out scores of attacks against Saudi Arabia using drones and ballistic missiles.
Recently, leaders from around the Arab world condemned last Saturday’s drone attacks on Saudi Arabia’s Aramco refineries in the Eastern Province.
Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet strongly condemned the attacks on two Saudi Aramco facilities in Abqaiq and Khurais and reaffirmed the Kingdom’s ability to effectively deal with such attacks and their impact.
The coalition said that it was likely Iran provided the weapons used to strike the Saudi Aramco facilities. “The investigation is continuing and all indications are that weapons used in both attacks came from Iran,” Al-Maliki said, adding they were now investigating “from where they were fired.”
In a series of recent tweets, Saudi Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said: “The attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais with Iranian weapons were not only an assault on the Kingdom, but an attempt to target the world economy and energy supplies to international markets.”
He said that this “cowardly act of aggression” is an extension of the Iranian regime’s hostile and illegal behavior. “The international community must shoulder its responsibilities and take a firm stance toward Iran’s criminal behavior,” he wrote.
“Complacency (toward) the Iranian regime will only encourage it to commit more acts of terrorism and sabotage in our region and around the world,” Al-Jubeir tweeted.