The Coalition operation to liberate Hodeida was critical in the light of the growing threat to maritime security in the Red Sea from Iranian backed Houthi militia. The liberation was part of the Coalition’s unwavering commitment to support the people of Yemen against the tyranny imposed by Iranian-backed militias that are spreading chaos and destruction in Yemen and which overthrew the legitimate Yemeni government. Once the port is liberated from the Houthis the coalition, through the UAE and the Saudi Ports’ Authorities, and in coordination with the Yemeni Ministry of Transportation will immediately expedite the flow of humanitarian aid and fuel into Yemen.
Hodeida has been used by the Houthis to raise revenues through looting, extortion and illegal taxation on commercial ships – some of which were carrying vital humanitarian aid. They have used this port to smuggle Iranian supplied weapons including advanced ballistic missiles. So far the Houthis have launched 150 ballistic missiles targeting civilian areas in the Kingdom.
A mediation plan proposed by the Coalition which called for the port to come under international supervision under the auspices of the UN was supported by the Yemeni government but rejected by the Houthis. The rapid deterioration in the humanitarian situation in Yemen caused by the Houthis continued obstruction of aid created the conditions that led to the military intervention to liberate the port of Hodeida.
“Our aim is and has always been to create a stable and secure Yemen and to protect the Kingdom’s borders. We will continue to work with our partners, including the US, the UK, and France to resolve this conflict and address the humanitarian needs of innocent Yemeni civilians, and to do this the Houthis must adhere to UNSC resolution 2216.” said the Ambassador to the UK, HRH Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud.
“The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is of huge concern to us. The Kingdom is the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to Yemen with over 13bn USD and we are working with NGOs to ensure vital aid reaches those who need it.”
The Red Sea is a critical waterway through which about 15% of international commerce passes.