AL-MUKALLA: The Yemeni Army battling the Houthis across the country has demanded that the UN Security Council and the UN special envoy to Yemen name and shame the Iranian regime for continuing to send military supplies to the Houthis, responsible for killing thousands of Yemenis and undermining peace and stability.
Abdu Abdullah Majili, a Yemeni army spokesperson, told Arab News on Wednesday that the Houthis are using advanced weapons from Iran to kill Yemenis and attack targets in neighboring Saudi Arabia and renewed the call to impose sanctions on Iran for fueling violence in Yemen.
“Yemen is in need of humanitarian assistance, not weapons,” Majili said, commenting on the latest and largest-ever seizure of Iranian weapons bound for the Houthis in Yemen.
On Tuesday, the US Justice Department announced intercepting two large caches of Iranian weapons, including 171 surface-to-air missiles and eight anti-tank missiles, heading to the Houthis in Yemen on two vessels in the Arabian Sea.
The Arab coalition and the Yemeni government have long accused Iran of sending military and financial assistance to the Houthis, fueling their deadly military operations in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, the US pledged support to the Yemeni government and the new administration of the Aden-based Central Bank of Yemen in delivering economic policies to rescue the devaluating rial and address aggravating economic problems.
During a meeting with the new governor of the central bank Ahmed bin Ahmed Ghaleb on Wednesday, Cathy Westley, chargé d’affaires at the US Embassy in Yemen, said Washington would help him and his economic team to put into place vital reforms to rescue the economy.
“CDA Westley pledged US support for comprehensive economic reforms to benefit the Yemeni people in her meeting with CBY Gov. Ahmed Ghaleb. They also discussed the need for continued strong international cooperation and financial assistance to help shore up Yemen’s economy,” the US Embassy in Yemen said in a brief statement.
US Special Envoy for Yemen Tim Lenderking repeated the same pledges of support to the Yemeni government during a virtual meeting with Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed on Tuesday.
“The US strongly supports the prime minister office’s efforts to reform the Yemeni economy,” Lenderking’s office said.
Similarly, the EU welcomed the restructuring of the central bank board and demanded the new leaders work on fixing the severe economic meltdown in the country and fighting corruption.
“The EU welcomes the appointment of a new governor, deputy governor and the board of the central bank of Yemen, as part of urgently needed economic and monetary reforms. It is essential to stabilize the currency, establish and implement a budget and fight corruption throughout #Yemen,” the EU Mission in Yemen said on Twitter.
The international support to the Yemeni government comes as the Yemeni rial on Wednesday stabilized at 1255 against the dollar for the first time in two weeks, recovering from a historic record of 1700 against the dollar.
On the ground, dozens of Houthis were killed in fierce fighting on Tuesday and Wednesday morning in contested areas south of Marib, a local military official told Arab News.
Waves of Houthi fighters attacked government troops on Tuesday night in the Juba district in a desperate attempt to break through defenses and seize control of new areas that would put them closer to the city of Marib.
The consecutive attacks triggered heavy fighting with government troops who managed to push back the Houthis after killing dozens, and the fighting subsided early on Wednesday.
“The Houthis have carried out human wave attacks in a bid to make a breakthrough. They suffered heavy losses. The attacks sparked intense airstrikes from Arab coalition warplanes,” the official said.
On Tuesday, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg expressed alarm over the escalating military operations across Yemen and called upon warring factions in the country to end hostilities and comply with UN efforts to reach a peace agreement.
“Military options won’t result in sustainable solutions. The parties have a responsibility to prioritize the needs of civilians & cooperate with #UN efforts to revive a political process aimed at reaching a just, negotiated settlement to comprehensively end the conflict in #Yemen,” Grundberg said in a statement on Twitter.