Saudi-led coalition calls Yemeni ports ‘legitimate targets’ for attack
The threat comes on the heels of the coalition's seizure of at least six ships carrying vital supplies for Yemen
By News Desk - January 08 2022

FILE PHOTO. A ship docked in the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen. 1 February, 2017. (Photo credit: REUTERS/Abduljabbar Zeyad)

On 8 January the Saudi-led coalition revealed its intentions to launch airstrikes on the Yemeni ports of Hodeidah and Salif, with officials calling the vital facilities “legitimate targets” for attack.

The warning came during a news conference by coalition spokesperson Brigadier General Turki al-Malki, who also claims that the ports are being used as military bases by the Ansarallah resistance movement. He added that Riyadh has ”evidence’ of hundreds of attacks” allegedly launched from the port of Hodeidah against ships in the Red Sea.

The Saudi-led coalition has in the past made similar allegations accusing the Yemeni Armed Forces of storing weapons in civilian areas. It has, however, failed to provide any evidence to support the allegations.

In December 2021, the coalition threatened to bomb the Sanaa Sport Complex over claims that it was being used a weapons storage facility. In response to the accusations, the Ansarallah movement said it was ready to allow the UN to inspect the facility in order to disprove the kingdom’s claims.

Yemen’s leaders also say these accusations by the coalition are an attempt to justify ongoing airstrikes on civilian areas. Coalition warplanes have carried out hundreds of airstrikes on Yemeni cities and villages since 2015.

Riyadh’s forces have also attacked facilities used to transport and distribute much needed humanitarian aid. An airstrike on Sanaa international airport on 21 December  forced the UN to suspend the delivery of humanitarian aid to the country, pushing millions ot the brink of famine.

The Saudi-led coalition has also imposed a strict blockade on Yemen impeding the delivery of essential goods such as fuel and medicine. In recent weeks, the coalition has also seized five ships that were delivering fuel and domestic gas to Yemen. This was done despite the vessels having been cleared by the UN.

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