DAMASCUS, SYRIA (10:35 AM) – Yemen will not hesitate to cut off the international shipping route in the Red Sea if the Saudi-led coalition will not cease with its attack against major port city Al-Hudaydah. This was said by Yemeni president Saleh Ali al-Sammad on Monday.
Saleh Ali al-Sammad, who is the chairman of the Supreme Council of Yemen (the revolutionary government composed of supporters of Ansarullah, also known as the Houthi movement), said this in a conversation with UN representative for Yemen, Maeen Sharim. The position of Supreme Council chairman is similar to that of president of the country.
“Once military operations of aggressors to Yemen’s largest city Al Hudaydah are continued, we will cut off the international shipping route in the Red Sea,” president al-Sammad said, adding that Yemen is fed up with the fact that “While Yemeni people die from hunger, they (the Saudis and their allies) cross our waters with their vessels freely.”
The cutting off of Red Sea shipping is a deterrent measure that could have international economic consequences, and is not to be taken lightly. For Yemen, it could be a last lifeline to force the international community to listen to its calls. In the past, similar threats of Red Sea blockading were made by Egypt under president Gamal Abdel Nasser.
However, Saleh Ali al-Sammad continued by stating that Sana’a is more than willing to reach a negotiated end to the hostilities with the Saudi invasion forces, provided that the Saudi bombings cease.
“Yemen is ready for bilateral talks in order to end bloodshed and establish stability and security in the region,” the president said.
Al-Sammad denied claims by Saudi Arabia that they have ended the blockade of the Ansarullah-controlled port city of al-Hudaydah in order to let humanitarian aid in, stating “They claimed to have reopened the port while nothing special has been done up to the present time. They even removed the ships from the harbor.”
Regarding last month’s conflict between Ansarullah loyalists and troops led by former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who defected to the Saudi side after having sided with the revolutionary government since 2014, al-Sammad stated that “many of those who were arrested in Sana’a events and failed coup d’etat of Ali Abdullah Saleh were released.”
Saleh Ali al-Sammad concluded by criticising the United Nations for its lack of effort to stop the war in Yemen, stating the “UN has a very sensitive role in this regard but it is a matter of regret to say that we have perceived the lackluster and weak performance of this monitoring body.”