Yemeni government condemns Houthi sea lane violations

Ships are seen at Saleef port in the western Red Sea Hodeida province, on May 13, 2019. (File/AFP)
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Updated 10 July 2020

Yemeni government condemns Houthi sea lane violations

  • The Yemeni government called the Houthis’ endangerment of international sea lanes in the Red Sea is a terroristic act
  • The Saudi-led Arab coalition destroyed two explosive-laden Houthi boats near a Hodeidah port this week

DUBAI: The Houthi militia’s endangerment of international sea lanes in the Red Sea is a terroristic act, a Yemeni minister said.
This cowardly act shows the militia’s literal application of Iran’s orders to close off the Red Sea and Bab Al-Mandeb Strait to ships, Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said in a report from Saba New.
The Red Sea is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, and is connected to the Gulf of Aden and Arabian Sea through the Bab El-Mandeb Strait, a chokepoint between the Horn of Africa and the Middle East being only 18 miles wide at its narrowest point.
The Saudi-led Arab coalition destroyed two explosive-laden Houthi boats near a Hodeidah port on Wednesday, highlighting the Houthis increasing threat to global shipping in the Red Sea.
Al-Iryani urged the international community to condemn the Iran-led militia’s terroristic activities and to take a hard stance against Iran for its actions which threaten regional and international stability.
Meanwhile, a Houthi ballistic missile fired on civilian areas in Marib city on Wednesday injured three children and a woman.
“Firing ballistic missiles on civilians and into populated areas is a grave escalation and violation of the international resolutions and norms… it amounts to a war crime,” Yemen’s Ministry of Human Rights was quoted by Saba New in a report.


UNESCO to protect Lebanon as 60 historic buildings ‘risk collapse’

Updated 13 August 2020

UNESCO to protect Lebanon as 60 historic buildings ‘risk collapse’

  • Even before the explosion, there had been growing concern in Lebanon about the condition of heritage in Beirut due to rampant construction
  • Some of the worst damage was in the Gemmayzeh and Mar-Mikhael neighborhoods a short distance from Beirut port

PARIS: The UN’s cultural agency UNESCO vowed Thursday to lead efforts to protect vulnerable heritage in Lebanon after last week’s gigantic Beirut port blast, warning that 60 historic buildings were at risk of collapse.
The effects of the blast were felt all over the Lebanese capital but some of the worst damage was in the Gemmayzeh and Mar-Mikhael neighborhoods a short distance from the port. Both are home to a large concentration of historic buildings.
“The international community has sent a strong signal of support to Lebanon following this tragedy,” said Ernesto Ottone, assistant UNESCO Director-General for Culture.
“UNESCO is committed to leading the response in the field of culture, which must form a key part of wider reconstruction and recovery efforts.”
Sarkis Khoury, head of antiquities at the ministry of culture in Lebanon, reported at an online meeting this week to coordinate the response that at least 8,000 buildings were affected, said the Paris-based organization.
“Among them are some 640 historic buildings, approximately 60 of which are at risk of collapse,” UNESCO said in a statement.
“He (Khoury) also spoke of the impact of the explosion on major museums, such as the National Museum of Beirut, the Sursock Museum and the Archaeological Museum of the American University of Beirut, as well as cultural spaces, galleries and religious sites.”
Even before the explosion, there had been growing concern in Lebanon about the condition of heritage in Beirut due to rampant construction and a lack of preservation for historic buildings in the densely-packed city.
UNESCO said Khoury “stressed the need for urgent structural consolidation and waterproofing interventions to prevent further damage from approaching autumn rains.”
The explosion on August 4, which left 171 people dead, has been blamed on a vast stock of ammonium nitrate left in a warehouse at the port for years despite repeated warnings.
Lebanon’s government under Prime Minister Hassan Diab resigned this week following days of demonstrations demanding accountability for the disaster.