Colonel Turki al-Malki, the spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, displays wreckage from Iranian-Houthi suicide drones in Khobar city, last April. (AP)

February 17, 2021

Saudi-led Arab coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said the Houthi militias in Yemen do not have the power to make independent decisions as they are being controlled by Iran.

In remarks to Al Arabiya, he said the Houthis are part of Iran’s political games and their actions demonstrate that they are waging its proxy war.

He added that the Houthis’ claiming of the February 10 attack against Saudi Arabia’s Abha international airport proves their “lack of political or legal understanding” of the consequences of their actions.

“We do not retaliate by attacking civilians because of our legal and moral commitments,” he stressed. He added that the response to the attacks will take place on the battlefield.

On Houthi pledges that they will continue their attacks, Malki said their leaders are being manipulated by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards.

Should the attacks persist, then the retaliation will be on the ground, he vowed, revealing that 700 Houthis have been killed in four days of fighting.

Malki stressed that civilians and civilian locations were a red line, hailing Saudi defenses and forces for averting attacks against them.

“The militias are fully aware that we will retaliate with an iron fist should civilian casualties be reported,” he warned, adding that the response will be in line with international humanitarian law.

The spokesman said that the coalition is in agreement with international partners, including the United States, United Nations envoy and European Union, that the political solution is the best way to resolve the crisis in Yemen.

Military operations are part of efforts to reach that comprehensive solution, he stated.

Malki said that the coalition has thwarted over 345 Houthi ballistic missile and 515 drone attacks and destroyed 62 booby-trapped vessels and 204 naval mines.

Asharq Al-Awsat

About Track Persia

Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.