First Published: 2018-01-11

Saudi-led coalition says Huthis pose threat to Red Sea ships
Shiite Huthi rebels control main port of Hodeida, among a string of Red Sea ports on Yemen's western coast that are key entry points for food imports, aid.
Middle East Online

Saudi-led blockade has massively reduced amount of food and relief reaching Yemen.

RIYADH - A Saudi-led coalition has warned Yemen's rebels threaten ships in the Red Sea through their control of a key port, days after rebel warnings over a coalition blockade.

"The port of Hodeida is a launching pad for terrorist operations threatening navigation in the Red Sea and the Bab al-Mandab Strait," coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said late Wednesday.

The Red Sea is a key shipping route for world trade that connects the Middle East to Europe via the Suez Canal. The Bab al-Mandab Strait is the southern entrance to the Red Sea.

The Shiite Huthi rebels control the main port of Hodeida among a string of Red Sea ports on Yemen's western coast that are vital entry points for food imports and aid.

Maliki spoke after the rebels on Monday threatened to cut off Red Sea traffic unless Saudi Arabia and its allies lifted a blockade on Yemen's ports and main international airport.

In November, the coalition tightened the blockade after the Huthis fired a missile into Saudi Arabia that was intercepted near Riyadh's international airport.

The blockade has massively reduced the amount of food and relief reaching the country, international aid groups say, even though the coalition has since allowed certain aid deliveries in.

More than 9,000 people have been killed since the Saudi-led coalition joined the Yemeni government in its fight against the Huthis in March 2015.

The coalition, which has warships positioned in the Red Sea, accuses Iran of backing the Huthis.

Yemen was highly dependent on food imports even before 2015, and the United Nations has warned the country now stands on the brink of famine.

 

Turkey says not reassured by US comments on border force

Trump dashes Netanyahu’s hope to move US embassy to Jerusalem

IS poses threat to Iraq one month after 'liberation'

Britain to put women at heart of peace work in Iraq, Nigeria, South Sudan

Bitcoin appeal beats ban and warnings in Jordan

UN chief wants to revive Syria gas attack probe

US has no intention to build border force in Syria

Lebanese intelligence service may be spying using smartphones worldwide

Egypt's Sisi sacks intelligence chief

Cyprus denies bail for Israeli organ trafficker

Rising Yemen currency sparks hopes of relief

Turkish ministries to investigate underage pregnancy cover-up

Iraq PM launches online appeal for election allies

Iran central bank sees claim for billions from German stock market blocked

Iraq signs deal with BP to develop Kirkuk oil fields

Israeli occupation forces raid Jenin, kill Palestinian

HRW chief says 'Nobody should be forcibly returned to Libya'

Seven years since ousting dictator, Tunisians still protest

Iran says Trump jeopardising Airbus deals

China says Iranian oil tanker wreck located

Sudan arrests communist leader after protests

Syrian opposition joins condemnation of US 'border force'

Israeli judge detains teen until trial for viral ‘slap video’

Arab league slams US freeze of Palestinian funding

Dubai billionaire to sell 15 percent Damac stake

Saudi to give Yemen government $2bn bailout

US withholds $65 million from UN agency for Palestinians

Saudi Arabia intercepts new Yemen rebel missile attack

Syria Kurds vow to cleanse enclave from Turkish 'scourges'

Israeli police find missing Briton’s belongings in desert

Algeria gas plant workers mark five years since jihadist siege

UN says over 5000 children killed or injured in Yemen war

European leaders’ response to Iran protests raises questions

Erdogan to visit Pope Francis next month

Iran slams US-backed 'border security force' in Syria

Palestinian suspension of Israel recognition unlikely for now

Jordan to hike fuel, bread prices

Yemen rebels free journalist detained since August

Palestinian reconciliation brings no change for Gazans

Sudan police use force, tear gas against protesters

Both hardliners and moderates have failed Iranians

Erdogan says Turkish military op in Syria's Afrin to be supported by rebels

UAE to lodge complaint over Qatar flight 'interception'

UN says 22 million Yemenis in need of aid

Minorities in north Iraq look to post-jihadist future