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Houthis and ally Saleh speak with Iran about possible battle

April 18, 2017 at 3:35 pm

The Foreign Minister of the Houthi government in Yemen has stressed that the group’s chief aim is a “just and honourable peace” for the country, has reported. Hisham Sharaf made his comments in a meeting with ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the acting Iranian ambassador in Sanaa, Mohamed Farahat, on Monday, at which a possible battle at Hodeidah was on the agenda.

The officials apparently discussed the military threats of the member states of the Arab coalition on the western coast of Yemen, including the announcement of Hodeidah as a closed military zone. They noted the repercussions of such a measure, pointing out that it worsens an already bad humanitarian situation due to the “aggression and continuous siege” by the Saudi-led coalition. A military escalation in the southern zone of the Red Sea and Bab Al-Mandeb Strait, they said, would threaten international security and safety, as well as international maritime traffic on the busy sea-lane from the Indian Ocean to the Suez Canal and the Mediterranean Sea.

Read: Battle rages for strategic port city between Yemen’s Houthis and Saudi-backed government

As Sharaf reiterated the position of the Supreme Political Council, which consists of Houthis and Saleh’s party, as well as the positon of their government, Ambassador Farahat insisted that Iran also supports a peaceful political solution for the Yemeni issue.

The Houthi official’s comments came after coalition forces liberated two ports from the Houthis; Hodeidah is now the last port controlled by the rebel group and it has been an objective of the coalition ever since an attack was launched from there against a Saudi frigate last December. They are concerned that the port through which they receive external support may be lost to them.

The Yemeni government-in-exile accuses Iran of supporting the Houthis with financial and logistic aid, as well as weapons and military experts.