Houthis threatened to hit Saudi warships and oil tankers on Sunday
Succumbing to global pressure on its inhuman siege against war torn Yemen, Saudi Arabia has on Monday said that the Arab coalition fighting against Houthis will begin reopening airports and seaports after temporarily closing them in the wake of recent ballistic missile attack on Riyadh airport.
According to Al Arabia, the official media website, the Saudi mission at UN said, “The first step in this process will be taken within 24 hours and involves reopening all the ports in areas controlled by” Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
Saudi Arabia supports Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi’s government which is now based in exile at Riyadh. However some of its forces control certain areas in southern part of the country including Aden. The announcement of reopening ports within the areas under internationally recognised government means that inhabitants of major parts of the country including capital San’a and several other provinces under Houthi control will not receive any relaxation.
Al-Arabia further said that the ports which are going to re-open will include ports in Aden, Mokha and Mukalla. For ports in Houthi held or “disputed territories”, like Hodeida, the mission said it had asked the UN to send a team of experts to ensure weapons can’t be smuggled in the territory.
The Saudi announcement came after UN and over 20 human right groups strongly denounced the blockade, warning it could cause millions of people closer to “starvation and death.”
The statement issued by the Saudi Arabia’s mission at UN said that Saudi-led coalition hopes that will prevent “the smuggling of weapons, ammunitions, missile parts and cash that are regularly being supplied by Iran and Iranian accomplices to the Houthi rebels.”
Saudi Arabia has alleged that the missile used by Houthis against Saudi Arabia was smuggled in parts from Iran and was assembled in Yemen. However, Houthis exhibited several versions of indigenously made missiles in San’a.
Earlier, on Sunday, the Yemen’s Houthis had threatened to strike warships and oil tankers of Saudi Arabia and its allies in retaliation of the blockade imposed on the Yemeni ports, particularly Hodeida port.
Saudi Arabia had shut down all Yemeni ports after November 4 ballistic missile attack on Riyadh near its international airport.