Yemen rebels criticise Red Sea task force

Yemen’s Houthis have criticised a brand new US-led job pressure that can patrol the Pink Sea following a collection of assaults by the Iran-backed rebels in a waterway that is important to world commerce.

Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the Houthis’ chief negotiator and spokesman, mentioned late on Friday the US transfer within the Pink Sea, which comes amid a ceasefire within the nation’s civil struggle, contradicts Washington’s declare of supporting the UN-brokered truce.

The duty pressure “enshrines the aggression and blockade on Yemen”, he claimed on his Telegram social media account.

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Abdul-Salam apparently referred to a Saudi-led coalition the rebels have been combating for years. The coalition, which till just lately was backed by the US, imposes an air and sea blockade on Houthi-held areas.

Iran is the principle supporter of the Houthis who seized Yemen’s capital Sanaa in September 2014. The Saudi-led coalition entered the struggle on the facet of Yemen’s exiled authorities in March 2015.

Years of inconclusive combating has pushed the Arab world’s poorest nation to the brink of famine.

One other Houthi chief, Daifallah al-Shami, additionally criticised the US-led job pressure, saying it sends detrimental alerts and “offers a darker studying to the truce”, based on the rebels’ media workplace. He additionally didn’t elaborate.

The brand new job pressure of two to eight ships patrolling at a time shall be commissioned on Sunday and goals to focus on these smuggling coal, medication, weapons and folks within the Pink Sea, based on Vice Admiral Brad Cooper, who oversees the US Navy’s Mideast-based fifth Fleet.

The USS Mount Whitney, a Blue Ridge class amphibious command ship beforehand a part of the Navy’s African and European sixth Fleet, will be a part of the duty pressure, Cooper mentioned.

Whereas Cooper didn’t title the Houthis when he introduced the duty pressure on Wednesday, the rebels have launched explosives-laden drone boats and mines into the waters of the Pink Sea.

The Pink Sea runs from Egypt’s Suez Canal within the north down by way of the slender Bab el-Mandeb Strait within the south that separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.

Coal smuggling by way of the Pink Sea has been utilized by Somalia’s al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabab militant group to fund assaults.

Weapons linked by the US Navy and analysts to Iran have been intercepted within the area as nicely, possible on their solution to the Houthis. The rebels additionally fired missiles within the Pink Sea which have come close to an American warship prior to now.

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