U.A.E. Says Yemen Port Offensive Opens Way for Political Process

15 June, 2018, 14:19 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • Battle for Yemen's biggest port under way

The denials come as the Senate nears a floor vote this week that could complicate USA military support for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as they fight alongside forces loyal to Yemen's central government against the Iran-backed Houthis. At least 39 combatants have been killed so far.

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to U.N. agencies in Geneva maintained the Saudi-Emirati coalition had no choice but to act.

The conflict pits the USA -supported coalition and the internationally recognized government against Shiite rebels known as Houthis, who are allied with Iran.

Some 2,000 troops who crossed the Red Sea from an Emirati naval base in the African nation of Eritrea were awaiting orders to move in from the west after Yemeni government forces seize Hodeida's port, Yemeni security officials said.

The Houthi official responsible for foreign affairs, Hisham Sharaf, said the advance was a military escalation aimed at hampering United Nations efforts, Houthi-run media said.

The coalition accuses the Houthi rebels of using the port to secure Iranian arms, notably the ballistic missiles the militants have increasingly fired into Saudi territory.

By Wednesday night, the offensive remained on the outskirts of the rebel-held airport.

The coalition warship was trying to land military equipment and troops on the port city when it was hit, Jane's 360 reported.

"The fighting is getting close to the al-Manzar area near the airport and people are fleeing in fear", said Mohammed Abdullah, an employee of the Houthi administration in the city.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV quoted witnesses describing "concentrated and intense" bombing near the port itself. The port is some 150 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Sanaa, Yemen's capital, which has been in Houthi hands since September 2014.

"The current & illegal Houthi occupation of Hodeida is prolonging the Yemeni war". "Most of these people can't leave". "The atmosphere is one of terror".

The Red Sea port serves as the entry point for 70 percent of the impoverished country's imports as it teeters on the brink of starvation.

The Arab states say they must recapture Hodeidah to deprive the Houthis of their main source of income and prevent them from bringing in missiles. Those contacted by AFP said Houthi fighters had fanned out across the city.


The UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) has raised alarm over the plight of Hodeida's 300,000 children and the risk that drinking water supplies will be disrupted.

That kicked off an intense air campaign that the United Nations says is responsible for the majority of the estimated 6,439 civilians killed and the more than 10,000 wounded and that it unleashed a cholera epidemic that has hit an estimated 1 million people.

The UN says some 600,000 people live in and around Hodeida, and "as many as 250,000 people may lose everything - even their lives" in the assault.

The UAE's Gargash said plans were in place to keep the port operational and urged the global community to pressure the Houthis to evacuate and leave the port intact, without planting mines. The Saudi-led coalition entered the war in March 2015.

The UN Security Council is due to meet behind closed doors on Thursday - at the request of Britain - over the attack, diplomats said.

The Houthi leadership on Tuesday called on the global community to "pressure a halt to the escalation", warning an assault on Hodeida would put Red Sea navigation at risk.

Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson said on Wednesday the British government was in contact with the alliance about ensuring its operations comply with global law on protecting civilians.

June 13, 2018: The coalition launches an offensive on the port city of Hodeida.

"A military attack or siege on Hodeidah will impact hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians", Lisa Grande, the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen, warned in a statement before the offensive began.

Moscow added that the assault would deal a major blow to the "prospects of a political settlement".

"Whatever the Senate is doing, it's not stopping the assault on Hodeidah, which was supposedly a red line", Robert Naiman, the policy director for the activist group Just Foreign Policy, told Al-Monitor.

The conflict has left almost 10,000 people dead and tens of thousands wounded in what was already the Arab world's poorest country.

Recommended:



Popular

Liverpool Schedule 2018-19: Premier League Fixtures Released
The league resumes on 15 September, before the Champions League group stage begins on September 18. We'll face familiar foes as the three promoted sides make their return to Premier League action.

China, US trade barbs on trade, territorial claim
The move sparked a debate on whether the US President was out of line with his gesture. But it's unusual for presidents to salute foreign military members, NBC News notes .

Merkel calls US retraction of support 'sobering and somewhat depressing'
Merkel also commented on the statement of the US President, informs Bloomberg. May thanked Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau for organizing the summit.

Trump Seeks To Punish Canada Until He Gets What He Wants
He reacted to Trudeau's remarks by withdrawing the USA from a G7 communique and criticising the prime minister fiercely by tweet. But today he apologized for using language that counteracted his goal of sending a signal of strength.

Sony's E3 Showcase Was Disjointed, But Was It What Gamers Wanted?
This one will definitely get ever hack-and-slash fan hyped, because we are finally going to get an open-world samurai game. Calling a first-party PlayStation game gorgeous is pretty much redundant at this point, but Spider-Man really is a looker.

Kindergarten Class' Lockdown Nursery Rhyme Sparks Outrage on Twitter
Superintendent Mary Skipper said that this is, unfortunately, "the world we live in" and regrets the "loss of innocence". Officials went on to say that lockdowns are jarring and students know how unnatural the experience is, the Post said.

First Man trailer: Ryan Gosling la la lands on the moon
So far, the Best Picture race appears to be MAJOR SLIM PICKENS so First Man will be like that first hunk of meat thrown to starving lions.

Kanye West And Kid Cudi Release New Album ‘Kids See Ghosts’
Kid Cudi returned the favor and appeared on West's album 808's & Heartbreak as well as his recent track " Ghost Town" from ye. The app had technical glitches last night, and the listening party didn't even start until close to 2AM eastern.

Russia's Putin would be ready to host G7 in Moscow
Chinese President Xi Jinping , speaking after Rouhani, expressed "regret" that Washington had withdrawn from the nuclear deal. Lavrov said Russian Federation is "working fine in other formats" such as the Group of 20, TASS state news agency reported.

Which Team Fits LeBron Best for Next Season?
The summer of 2016 was unforgettable, with a downtown parade that James has said overwhelmed him with emotion. None of the eight teams that were swept before this Cavaliers team returned to win the title a year later.