Houthi leader says their missiles reach Saudi, Emirati strategic targets

Sana'a (Debriefer)
2019-04-23 | Since 4 Month

Abdul Malik al-Houthi

اضغط هنا لقراءة الخبر بالعربية

The rebel Leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi has threatened of hitting vital sites in Riyadh and Dubai, if violence escalates in the Red Sea port city of Hodeida, claiming that the UAE faces economic risks and Saudi army has collapsed at southern borders with Yemen.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a military coalition in Yemen since 26 March 2015, in support of forces loyal to President Hadi to retake areas controlled by Houthi (Ansarullah) group seen as proxy for Iran in the Arab Peninsula country.

At interview with the Houthi-run TV al-Masyrah, Mr. Houthi said their missiles can reach Riyadh, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

"We have strategic, vital targets that could be targeted in case of Hodeida sees any escalation," he added.

The Houthis say they fire ballistic missiles at Saudi and UAE economic and military targets "in retaliation to coalition strikes on its forces and civilian targets in Yemen". The Saudis, however, say all Houthi missiles have been intercepted, while Emiratis deny any of such attacks.

Last September, the rebels threatened to strike the ports of Jabal Ali in Dubai and Jidda, if the Hodeida is attacked by the Saudi-led coalition.

One year ago, the Wall Street Journal said the Houthi escalated targeting of Saudi oil facilities threatened the Kingdom's economic dynamics and increased the geopolitical tension that has helped maximize oil prices since 2014.

The Houthi leader labeled the UAE role in Yemen as "interfering in the problem", and this puts the Emirati economy in jeopardy. "If aggression continues, the Emirati investments will face real risks."

He said Saudi Arabia should quit illegitimate ambitions in controlling and confiscating Yemeni people freedom and stop aggression if it wants to be peaceful.

"We had always offered relations with Saudis on good-neighbor basis," but "they want to have superiority relations with Yemen .. They need serious will to alter their viewpoint about the form of relation with us."

He said their participation in talks was to "refute the enemy's allegations that we don't want solution and peace .. Coalition warms to send mercenaries and traitors to attend talks and introduce the aggression on Yemen as internal problem between Yemenis."

Houthi negotiators have presented clear vision based on partnership, the rebel leader claimed, accusing other party of obduracy and coalition of attempts to renege Hodeida pact.

"There is now a chance to implement the Sweden deal's first step and reach understandings on port-associated operations dependent on initial withdrawal of Emiratis and traitors from some areas," he added.

Parties to the 4-year war in Yemen, after 8-day peace talks in Sweden, reached on the 13th of last December an agreement providing for ceasefire in Hodeida and redeployment of both sides' forces, exchanging prisoners and alleviating blockade imposed by Houthis on Taiz.

But none of this has taken place so far, with both sides trading blames for trying to thwart the deal.

The Red Sea city of Hodeida and its ports have been under Houthi control since late 2014, while Yemeni joint forces loyal to legitimate government and Arab coalition have massed at the city's fringes since last November seeking to retake the strategic port.

The conflict has left tens of thousands killed, hundreds of thousands injured, and 3 million displaced, triggering what the UN calls the world's worst humanitarian crisis, with most of the population in need for a type of humanitarian aid and immediate protection, including 14 million people risking famine and some 1.8 million children suffering malnutrition.

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