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Houthi threat to cut off Red Sea shipping ‘flagrant’ challenge to law

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SANAA: A threat by Houthi militias to cut off vital Red Sea shipping routes is a “flagrant” challenge to international law, according to a Yemeni minister.
Abdul-Raqib Fat’h, a minister and chairman of the Yemeni Higher Relief Committee, said in a statement to a Yemeni news agency, and quoted by SPA, that the threat to cut off international navigation in the Red Sea is an “open and flagrant challenge to international and humanitarian laws and the United Nations.”
Saleh Al-Samad, head of the unrecognized coup council in Sana’a, earlier warned that — should a political solution to the conflict in Yemen reach a dead end — they will consider “strategic options” including “cutting off the Red Sea and international navigation,” according to local media reports.
The threat was reportedly made during a meeting with the UN’s special envoy for Yemen, Ma’ain Shuraim, and follows hefty losses suffered by Houthi militias on more than one front in Yemen.
Al-Samad also attacked UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, criticizing the role of the UN, which he described as “disappointing,” questioning its credibility in the treatment of the Yemeni crisis.
Several countries have already identified the Houthi threat to navigation in the Bab Al-Mandab Strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden, and where the Iranian-backed militias have targeted ships and boats on several occasions.
Saudi-led coalition forces and their Yemeni allies last year regained control of several strategic ports, waging an assault against the Houthis. The Saudi Navy has also engaged in numerous mine-sweeping missions on Yemeni shores, amid warnings over explosives planted by the militias.Original Article

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