Middle East news

Houthis threaten to block international navigation in Red Sea

CAIRO – 11 January 2018: Head of the Houthi-led Supreme Political Council Saleh al-Sammad threatened to cut international navigation route through the Red Sea if the Arab-coalition forces do not stop attacking Al-Hudaydah, Yemen.
Sammad said in a meeting with the Deputy Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Yemen, Moin Shreim, on Monday that strategic options will be considered if progress continues towards Al-Hudaydah, pro-Houthi Al-Masira reported.
“If they want to negotiate, we will be prepared and ready to compromise,” Sammad stated.
Turki al-Maliki, the coalition spokesman, said at a press conference on Wednesday that the Houthis were using radars to monitor the coalition ships, stressing that they found considerable evidence of foreign backing for the Houthi militias.
United Arab Emirates Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash described Sammad’s statement on his Twitter account as another proof of “the terrorist nature of the Houthi militias.”
On September 14, Yemen's Houthi leader Abdel-Malek al-Houthi said his group could target Saudi oil tankers.
Houthi also said in a televised speech that his group's ballistic missiles were capable of reaching the United Arab Emirates' capital of Abu Dhabi and anywhere inside Saudi Arabia.
Oxfam confederation reported earlier in January that 1,600 schools had become out of service because of the war in Yemen; consequently, more than two million Yemeni children cannot receive education anymore.
More than 8,750 people have been killed in the conflict since the coalition's intervention in Yemen, and more than 2,000 people have died of cholera in 2017, AFP reported.
A Saudi-led coalition has been waging an air campaign against Yemen's Houthi rebels since March 2015, in an attempt to shore up the internationally recognized government of President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.