The Saudi-led Arab military Coalition to support of "legitimacy" in Yemen accused the Houthis group of threatening the presence of Saudi Arabia and the countries of the region and its economies after the group intensified its targeting of the Kingdom with ballistic missiles and drones.
The spokesman of the coalition forces, Col. Turki al-Maliki in his press conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Friday evening the Houthi steps in threatening the kingdom with the military parade it set up in front of its borders before what he called the "coup" of the group to power in Yemen in late September 2014 ..Pointing to the role of Iran in supporting the Houthis in order to harm the interests and economies of the region, he said.
Coalition spokesman considered the current war in Yemen for the fifth year in a row "a war imposed on the Gulf States was not an option, noting that "Saudi Arabia called in 2014 all the Yemeni parties to dialogue."
He said:"Since the coup, the Houthi militias have been a threat to Yemen, neighboring countries and the military operations have been launched not to destroy the military capability of the Houthis but to restore legitimacy in Yemen, stressing that "providing Iran Houthi with missiles and money prolongs military operations."
"He added: "the military effort aims to stop the Iranian threats to our societies, where Iran seeks through its arms in Yemen to find a foothold in the Straits of Bab al-Mandab."
Yemen has been battered by a five-year armed conflict between the internationally recognised government backed by the Saudi-led coalition and the Iran-backed Houthis. The Houthis have been controlling the capital Sanaa and large parts of most densely populated northern, middle and western regions since they ousted the government in late 2014.
In the last weeks, Houthis have intensified drone attacks on Saudi targets, including two on oil pumping stations near Riyadh, with the rebels saying they are in retaliation to coalition strikes on its forces and civilian targets in Yemen.
The coalition's response came in the form of airstrikes on Houthi military sites in Sana'a, but some hit residential buildings leaving scores of civilians killed or injured. The spokesman said that Iran is interfering in Yemen in the form of supplying missiles, drones and explosive-laden boats.
The Colonel said some of the Houthi weapons carry the picture of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and that these weapons are being smuggled from Beirut’s southern suburb, which is a stronghold of the Lebanese Hezbollah.
In the press conference Colonel al-Maliki displayed a map showing the ballistic missile field launched by the Houthis toward Saudi Arabia.
He said: "The Iranian ship Safiz, which has been anchored for months in the Red Sea near Yemeni territorial waters, is supplying Houthis with naval mines." He accused the Iranian vessel of playing "the role of the operations room to threaten navigation at Bab al-Mandab and provide the Houthis with information on all ships and the transfer of Iranian experts.
A spokesman for the Arab Coalition claimed that the coalition forces foiled more than 35 terrorist operations in the Straits of Bab al-Mandab on the Red Sea, reiterating that "the Houthis threaten the freedom of navigation and roads in the Red Sea."