20 December 2017: The Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, represented by the Spokesperson, Col. Turki Al Maliki, along with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to Yemen, Ambassador Mohammed Al Jaber, spoke at a joint press conference in Riyadh to discuss details around a more comprehensive approach to relieve the suffering of the Yemeni people and address the humanitarian situation there with a long-term view. The full humanitarian response plan will be announced soon.
Humanitarian Plan Overview by the Kingdom’s Ambassador to Yemen, Ambassador Mohammed Al Jaber
- The comprehensive humanitarian efforts aim to remedy the human condition in Yemen, through providing humanitarian aid and commercial shipments of foodstuffs, petroleum products, and other commercial goods delivered to the Yemeni people in all regions of Yemen. It aims at doing so in a way that addresses the needs of Yemen, providing a means for a dignified life for the Yemeni people, at a level much higher than it was at during 2017. The goal of the humanitarian operations is not to provide a temporary solution but to address and repair the humanitarian conditions in Yemen in a comprehensive and lasting manner.
- The Coalition today has declared that it will continue to keep Hodeidah Port open for humanitarian and aid provisions, allowing entry for commercial shipments, including petroleum by-products, foodstuff, and other products, for 30 days, as a measure to support the effort of the UN envoy Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh and his recommendations regarding Hodeidah Port.
- The Coalition will permit the entry of the UN’s four cranes to Hodeidah Port.
- The humanitarian operations include increasing the capacity of the Yemeni ports, using the various land passes from the Kingdom, and using the Port of Jizan, if the need arises, to ensure that humanitarian aid and commercial shipments are delivered to all the regions in Yemen.
- The Coalition will provide safe passage corridors for the humanitarian aid and commercial shipments to reach their destinations in all the regions of Yemen. This step aims to ensure that the humanitarian aid operations are flexible. The goal of delivering comprehensive humanitarian aid and commercial shipments remains, despite the Iranian-backed Houthi militias continued impedance and rejection of all the global efforts and suggestions in this regard.
- We will coordinate with the legitimate government of Yemen, through convening urgently in the coming days with the UN and other humanitarian organizations, to discuss the various details of the humanitarian operations, and the means and mechanisms of implementation, as well as, the role of the UN and humanitarian aid agencies play, to complete the organizational discussion and begin implementation as soon as possible. We will also discuss with the UN the humanitarian contributions needed to ease the suffering of our neighbours in Yemen.
- We continue to work on implementing these steps at a time when our cities and our citizens face a continued assault by ballistic missiles at the hands of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia. In this comprehensive humanitarian operation, we seek to lift the injustice and oppression that these Iranian-supported militias are placing on the people of Yemen. We will not allow the Iranian-backed Houthi militia to continue to dominate and loot the humanitarian aid and commercial shipments and use them in their assault on the people of Yemen.
Operational Statement by the Spokesperson for the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, Colonel Turki Al Maliki
The Threat of Ballistic Missiles:
- Al Maliki highlighted that Iranian-backed Houthi rebels pose a direct threat to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and to shipping lanes in the Red Sea. The Iranian-backed Houthi militia threaten the Kingdom’s territory both through missile launches and through attempts by militants to penetrate the border on foot in mountainous areas.
- He confirmed that the missiles fired at Riyadh were produced in Iran. These missiles were not previously present in Yemen.
- He confirmed that at least ballistic 83 missiles have been fired into the Kingdom’s territory.
- He reiterated that Iranian-supplied missiles are a security threat for the region, as well as, a growing number of countries, such as Lebanon and Europe.
Humanitarian Aid Access:
- Al Maliki reiterated that goods are continuing to enter Yemen even after the first missile launch into Riyadh:
- AIR ENTRY: 13 Nov-20 Dec – 340 permits for aid delivery at 5 airports. 196 tons of cargo.
- SEA ENTRY: 13 Nov-20 Dec – 259 permits issued. 435,051 tons of food and 296 tons of medical; including fuel supplies.
- He confirmed that the Coalition intends to keep Hodeidah Port open for 30 days as stated today. In addition to the previous aid, commercial food and fuel aid are also permitted to enter.
- As iterated by Ambassador Al Jaber, 4 cranes funded by USAID will be allowed into Hodeidah Port soon.
- Al Maliki highlighted that the Iranian-backed Houthi leadership continuously refuses to accept proposals from the UN Special Envoy for inspection protocols or independent administration of the Port of Hodeidah.
Targeting Procedures and Military Operations:
- Al Maliki also mentioned that Coalition airstrikes are based on intelligence and extensive monitoring and surveillance, to ensure all targets are military installations and to avoid civilian casualties.
- He reiterated that targeting is specific, clear and legal.
- Extensive precautions are taken to avoid civilian areas, especially where women and children are present.
- Al Maliki highlighted that some strikes are made at the request of the Yemeni Armed Forces.
- Examples of facilities targeted include weapons factories, storage facilities, training camps, air defence assets and coastal radar threatening Red Sea ships.
- Forces of Yemen’s legitimate authorities control 85% of the territory.
- More than 11,000 Houthi fighters have been killed since the operation began.