A soldier walks at Red Sea port of Hodeidah, Yemen, May 10, 2017. (Reuters)

January 8, 2022

The Iranian-backed Houthi militia in Yemen continue to violate international navigation in the Red Sea through acts of piracy, which have been supported by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the Arab coalition said during a press conference on Saturday.

Coalition spokesman Brigadier General Turki Al-Maliki said the Houthis’ use of civilian sites as fortresses would turn Hodeidah and Salif ports in Yemen into legitimate military targets, adding that the Houthis have launched 432 ballistic missiles as well as 100 booby-trapped boats from Hodeidah to target commerical shipping in the Red Sea.

The coalition has recorded 13 violations on commercial ships by Houthi boats launched from Hodeidah, and highlighted the destruction of dozens of mines planted by the militia in the Red Sea.

The Houthis also deliberately targeted the civilian communications infrastructure in southern Saudi Arabia on Friday evening, Al-Maliki added.

The Houthis’ attempts coincided with coalition strikes that inflicted heavy losses among the militia in Marib and in Shabwa over the past few days.

The coalition said its strikes destroyed six storage and launch sites for drones in Hajja at dawn on Saturday in response to the Houthis’ attacks.

Rwabee ship

The coalition reported that the Houthis planned to attack and hijack the UAE flagged ship “Rwabee” in international waters.

Al-Maliki said that the ship was carrying aid for those affected by the cyclones on the island of Socotra.

He also indicated in a video presentation that the militias targeted the Saudi oil tanker ABQAIQ in the Red Sea. Al-Maliki explained that these violations represent Iranian threats to international navigation.

Iranian cargo vessel 

The coalition said that the Iran used its ship “Savez” disguised as a cargo vessel to smuggle weapons to Hodeidah. It was noted that the Iranians provided the Houthis with weapons and missiles through the port of Hodeidah.

Ballistic missiles

The coalition said that Hodeidah port was the main port for receiving Iranian ballistic missiles. It also claimed that Iranian missiles were assembled at the port before being transferred to other sites. The coalition showed the locations of Houthi warehouses for Iran’s ballistic missiles near Hodeidah, pointing out that the Houthis store Iranian missiles in tunnels near Hodeidah before transferring them to Sanaa.

Military workshops in Salif port

The coalition showed a military test area for the Houthi militia near the Salif port, pointing out that they are testing booby-trapped boats near the port.

Al-Maliki said that the militias are taking advantage of the Salif port militarily, as well as using civilians as human shields there.

He stressed that the United Nations was unable to implement the Stockholm Agreement due to the intransigence of the Houthi militia, noting that the Saudi initiative to solve the Yemeni crisis is still an option.

Arab News

About Track Persia

Track 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.