Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Bahram Qassemi, has strongly criticized the Saudi Arabia’s recent air raids on residential areas in the Yemeni city of Hajjah. Reports suggest that at least 16 airstrikes targeted the village of Hiran in Hajjah on Tuesday night, killing at least 30 people, including women and children and 10 paramedics, leaving dozens of people wounded. He noted that the surge in Saudi airstrikes on residential areas against Yemenis and the continuation of its blockade of the Arab country indicate the “Saudi Arabia’s frustration and failure to achieve its purposes in invading Yemen”, as he said. Qassemi also slammed the international community’s silence over the crimes and disasters caused by nonstop Saudi air attacks on Yemen and the block of humanitarian aids to the war-hit country, denouncing it as a “clear violation of human rights”. He urged the United Nations and the other countries involved in the Yemen crisis to step up their efforts to immediately stop the military attacks and take effective measures to protect civilians, particularly women and children. Since March 2015 more than 10,000 people have been killed, million forced to leave their homes, and the country faced severe famine and a cholera outbreak. Since then, Saudi Arabia and some of its Arab allies have been launching airstrikes against the Houthi Ansarullah movement to restore the fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi’s power.
Saudi Arabia has barred Yemen’s president, along with his sons, ministers and military officials, from returning home for months. The officials said the ban was prompted by enmity between President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and the United Arab Emirates, which is part of the Saudi-led coalition against Houthi rebels and has come to dominate southern Yemen, the portion of the country not under rebel control. Hadi and much of his government have been in the Saudi capital Riyadh for most of the war. Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the two main pillars of the coalition, which is ostensibly defending Hadi’s government and is battling the Shia rebels, known as Houthis. The coalition has waged an air campaign against the rebels since 2015, and the UAE has a strong military presence in southern Yemen – but the Houthis still control the north. Yemenis denounce Saudi siege as ‘collective punishment’ Saudi Arabia intensified its blockade on Yemen on Sunday, closing land crossings and all traffic to Yemen’s air and sea ports. A UN agency warned ships to depart Houthi-controlled ports, and flights to the only functioning airports in southern Yemen were cancelled. As night fell, prices of fuel hiked in Sanaa, with some petrol stations closed, and drivers queued to fill their tanks, fearing worsening fuel shortage. The coalition move came after the Houthis fired a missile towards Riyadh, their deepest strike into the Kingdom. Hadi’s inability to get back to southern Yemen underscores the president’s loss of authority – even in the south that is nominally under his administration. Two other Yemeni officials confirmed that Hadi, his sons and several ministers with him in Riyadh have been prevented from going to Yemen. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to discuss the situation. Coalition Spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malaki referred any questions related to Hadi to his own office and government. Attempts to reach Yemen’s foreign minister and government spokesman were unsuccessful.
At least 15 people have been killed in Yemen’s coastal city of Aden, a local resident said, in an attack claimed by the local affiliate of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group. The resident, who wished to remain anonymous, told Al Jazeera that several people died in the city’s Khormaksar district on Sunday after an explosives-rigged car blew up outside the criminal investigation department (CID) building. Armed men, some of whom were wearing military fatigues, then proceeded to storm the facility where clashes were “still ongoing,” the source said. Also in Aden on Sunday, a car bomb targeted the Dar Saad-based office of Yemen’s Islah (Congregation for Reform) party, the country’s largest opposition group, the source said. The building was abandoned and there were no reports casualties, the source said. ISIL took responsibility for the attack on the CID building, according to its Amaq,website, claiming the armed group killed around 50 officers. Earlier on Sunday, images posted on social media showed a pitched street battle between security personnel and unknown fighters near the CID building.
The Arab coalition closed off the land, sea and air ports in Yemen early Monday after a missile targeted Riyadh, hours after an ISIS-claimed militant attack in Aden killed at least 17 people. In a statement, the coalition accused Iran of supplying Houthi militias and their allies with the missile launched on Saturday toward the Saudi capital’s international airport. The coalition’s statement said the closures would be temporary and “take into account” the work of humanitarian and aid organizations. Meanwhile in Aden, masked militants claimed by an ISIS affiliate set off a large car bomb outside a security headquarters in Yemen’s southern port city early Sunday, killing at least 17 people before storming the compound, officials said. Fighting continued well into the night. Speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters, the security officials said the militants placed snipers on the roof and gunned down most of the security forces inside. The officials gave conflicting accounts of what happened next inside the building. They initially said that the militants had taken an unknown number of people hostage. Later they said that they opened cell gates and released prisoners. Security forces backed by an Apache helicopter continued to fight for control of the installation after nightfall, chasing down militants in the surrounding structures and neighborhood. Some hostages were killed, they added, without providing specific figures. They said at least five soldiers were among the dead.
Saudi Arabia has lashed out at Iran over the firing of a ballistic missile towards Riyadh by Houthi rebels in Yemen, citing evidence that Tehran was behind the attack and labelling it a potential “act of war”. A statement issued on Monday via the state news agency SPA denounced the “flagrant military aggression by the Iranian-controlled Houthi militias” and said that an examination of the debris “confirmed the role of Iran’s regime in manufacturing [this and a previous missile] and smuggling them to the Houthi militias in Yemen for the purpose of attacking the Kingdom, its people, and vital interests”. The statement accused Iran of violating the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2216, which prohibits states from supplying weapons to Yemeni armed groups. The statement also noted that Saudi Arabia would temporarily close all Yemeni ground, air and sea ports while investigating how the missiles were smuggled in. Yemen’s national airline, Yemenia, subsequently cancelled all flights to the country. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards and political leaders have rejected allegations of the country’s involvement in the strike.
Saudi Arabia expressed its deep condemnation of the report by a UN committee stating that the United Nations has provided $14 million to the Yemeni Ministry of Education run by the Houthi militia in Yemen; as the militias are planting thousands of mines inside Yemen and on the Saudi border. Saudi Arabia asked the committee to reconsider the submitted report, and reflect facts that has been ignored asking for the commitment of all involved United Nations organizations, regarding resolution 2216, stressing that United Nations support for the Houthi militias was unjustifiable and unacceptable. Saudi Arabia confirmed that the Houthi and Saleh’s militias has planted and deployed at least 50,000 mines on the Saudi-Yemeni border, engrained tens of thousands of mines in populated Yemeni cities and villages, and laid mines in the Red Sea near the Saudi border. This came in a speech delivered by the Saudi delegation to the United Nations on Wednesday to the Special Political and Decolonization Committee (Fourth Committee) on Mine Action section number 50. In addition, the delegation of Saudi Arabia expressed its appreciation for the efforts of the United Nations in the area of mine clearance, and the efforts to achieve the United Nations’ Mine Action Strategy for the period 2013-2018. This is to ensure the safety of people from mines and explosives, and in line with the achievement of the goals of the United Nations’ Plan for Sustainable Development 2030.
Abdul Salam al-Madani and Zine El Abidine Ali al-Jali were killed in a coalition airstrike at town of Medi in the Hajjah province Northwest of Yemen. Sources said a coalition raid targeted Houthi militia forces stationed in Midi at dawn on Thursday at dawn, resulting in the death of al-Madani , Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in the Houthi coup government and tribal leader al-Jali. The sources confirmed to Al Arabiya that the two leaders were killed alongside dozens of their accomplices in Medi. Houthi militia leaders acknowledged the death of the al-Jali but have not reported anything on al-Madani. Furthermore a third Houthi leader was also killed in Hajjah province on Thursday. Ali Omri, was killed by a coalition airstrike targeting a vehicle he was driving in the Haradh Front, along with three of his escorts: Amin Dahman, Khalil Azmam and Mohammad Jogfi. According to local sources, Omri was involved in recruiting
Saudi Arabia’s UN envoy, Abdullah al-Maalami, said that the Arab coalition forces had taken specific measures to avoid injuring civilians in Yemen. He added that the UN report proved that the Houthi militias along with the fighters of the ousted Ali Saleh have been recruiting children and using them as shields. He explained that Saudi Arabia has worked to rehabilitate the children who have been recruited by the militias of Yemen. In addition, al-Maalami said that the Yemeni militias fired about 30 ballistic missiles towards the Saudi borders. He confirmed that the coalition investigated 37 cases after allegations of targeting civilians in Yemen, noting that he seriously inspected all allegations of injuries among civilians. Al-Maalami said that the coalition works on the presumption that all areas of Yemen are civilian occupied until “the contrary is proven.” In another context, Al-Maalami said that the Kingdom condemns the violations of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians.
As part of the efforts targeting terrorism, Saudi State Security has listed two entities and 11 names of leaders, financiers and supporters of Al Qaeda and ISIS organization. The Saudi State Security listing targeted financiers and facilitators for the terrorist organizations and al-Qaeda group in Yemen. The establishment of the center was an expression of the strong will and determination of the member states to cooperate constructively in the fight against terrorism and it’s financing. The measures reaffirm the keenness of Saudi Arabia and the member States to deepen the partnership with the United States to stop financing of terrorist groups that pose a threat to the security, such as al-Qaeda and ISIS organizations in Yemen. Based on Saudi laws against terrorist crimes and its financing and in accordance with Security Council Resolution 1373 (2001), sanctions will be imposed on those names, including the freezing of any of their assets within the Kingdom. This is done by expanding and strengthening cooperation to combat the financing of terrorism, facilitating coordination and information sharing, and building the capacity of member states to target terrorist financing networks and activities, which pose a threat to the national security of the States of the Presidency and the member States of the Center. Citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia are prohibited from engaging in any transactions with those names and designated entities.
The Yemeni government announced that it had seized an Iranian ship carrying 19 sailors off the coast of the Socotra archipelago, east of the country. He explained that “the ship was caught by fishermen on the island of Abdul Kuri, one of the islands of Socotra archipelago”. According to Saba News Agency, Yemen’s Council of Ministers held a meeting chaired by bin Daghr in the city of Aden where the seizure of the ship and the investigation into its cargo and source of supply were discussed. The news coincided with renewed accusations against Iran of transferring weapons to its Houthi militia allies across the Yemeni coasts, and the announcement by the US administration of the government’s support to meet these challenges. There was no immediate comment from the Iranian authorities on the seizure of the ship on Saturday.