The full, peaceful and unconditional withdrawal of the Houthi militia from the city and port of Hodeidah is the only route to avert worsening the situation in and around the city, Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs has said.
In a statement, Gargash reaffirmed that the Arab Coalition is prepared to increase pressure on the Houthis to achieve this goal.
"With the Hodeida airport now securely in the hands of the Yemeni Government, the Coalition is ready to begin the next phase of its military and humanitarian operations to liberate Hodeida and to protect the already fragile civilian population and the overall humanitarian situation," he added.
Dr. Gargash went on to say that there is now an "increased urgency" to removing the Houthis from Hodeidah city and port. "According to the UN, international aid groups, the media, civilian reports from the city and our own information, the Houthis are purposefully and deliberately seeking to create a humanitarian crisis and to exacerbate the overall conflict," he continued.
These actions include blocking the unloading of humanitarian aid from ships at Hodeida port; removing surveillance cameras in warehouses that have prevented Houthi theft and diversion of food supplies; destroying the water and sewage systems by deep digging to build berms for tanks and artillery; indiscriminately placing landmines and IEDs along roads and in civilian neighbourhoods; pre-positioning sea mines and explosive devices around the port to destroy infrastructure; and placing snipers and heavy weaponry in residential neighbourhoods, the UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs explained.
"The Arab Coalition will not -- and the International community should not -- allow the Houthis to hide behind, mistreat and manipulate the civilian population. We cannot allow the Houthis to divert us from the strategic goals of the operation and our collective efforts to accelerate a peaceful settlement for Yemen and all of the Yemeni people," Dr. Gargash concluded.
Source: UAE Ministry of Foreign Affairs