ADEN- On Wednesday, June 13, 2018- A Saudi-led alliance of Arab states introduced the largest assault of Yemen’s war with attacking the country’s main port, aims for bringing the ruling Houthi movement to its knees, at the risk of worsening the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.
The assault marks for the first time, the Arab states have tried to have such a heavily-defended major city since after joining the war three years ago.
The United Nations have a fear that the assault could drastically worsen, already desperate conditions in the region’s poorest country. The city and surrounding area are homelands for 600,000 people, and the port is also the main route for food and aid to reach most Yemenis.
The Arab states are hoping for a swift victory that would force also the Iran-aligned Houthis to negotiate with it. They concluded that they will try to keep the port running pace and can execute the crisis by lifting import restrictions if they try to seize it up.
The Arab-backed government, in a statement, said, “The liberation of the port is the start of the fall of the Houthi militia and will secure marine shipping in the Bab al-Mandab strait and cut off the hands of Iran, which has long drowned Yemen in weapons that shed precious Yemeni blood”.
Houthi leader, Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, who once has threatened attacks on oil tankers along with the strategic Red Sea shipping lane, warned all the alliance not to attack on the port and tweeted on Social media that his forces had targeted a ‘coalition barge’. Houthi-run Al Masirah TV also said, “two missiles struck the barge. There was no immediate confirmation from the coalition”.
Red Cross spokeswoman, Marie-Claire Feghali said, “The United Nations had been trying to add the parties to reach a deal to avert an attack. An assault was “likely to exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation”.