FILE - Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, Colonel Turki bin Saleh Al-Malki
CAIRO - 10 August 2018: Spokesman of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen, Colonel Turki bin Saleh al-Malki, affirmed that targeting Saada Governorate, on Thursday, was completely legitimate and in conformity with International Humanitarian Law.
He explained that this military action came as a response to the Houthi missile that targeted Jazan city in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. Malki affirmed in statements to media outlets that the coalition’s actions in Saada Governorate, in Yemen was against militants who have killed thousands of civilians.
“The coalition will take all necessary measures against the terrorist, criminal acts of the terrorist Iranian-Houthi militia, such as recruiting child soldiers, throwing them in battlefields and using them as tools and covers to their terrorist acts,” Malki stated.
Malki assured that Houthi militants responsible for launching ballistic missiles and killing civilians will be punished for their actions by the coalition. He said that they are responsible of preventing terrorist elements from compromising regional and international security.
On Aug. 5, Saudi Arabia announced the dismantling of 919 mines in Yemen in two weeks, revealing that Houthis had planted one million mines over the past three years.
The gulf country launched in June the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance (MASAM) to remove mines in Yemen, protect civilians and ensure the safe delivery of humanitarian supply. The mines disposed of so far were located in Taiz, Red Sea Coast, Beihan, Osailan, Saada, Shabwa and Marib. The explosive charges have killed 1,000 civilians until now, MASAM Director-General Osama al-Qasibi said.
Egypt is one of the Arab countries that participated in the military intervention in Yemen in 2015 to back legitimacy inside the country. The struggle, however, has been escalating with the existence of several armed factions inside the state, which is trying to find stability through political solutions.
On April 18, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that reaching a political solution in Yemen is up to only the Houthi militia, not to Saudi Arabia or any other international organization or country.
He affirmed during a joint press conference with United Nations Secretary General António Guterres that the Houthis, who illegally took over Yemen, are the party standing in the way of reaching a political and final solution.
“They took over the country, transformed it into military barracks, used children in the war, planted mines, blocked villages and caused famine,” Jubeir stated, adding that all of their actions are completely unacceptable.
The Saudi minister said that after the assassination of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh last December, Houthis have become isolated. “The public opinion turned against them and the political parties avoided cooperating with them,” he stated, adding, “they violate international laws constantly.”
Jubeir assured that the only accepted political solution to end the Yemeni war should come from Arab initiatives.
Former President Saleh was assassinated in a shooting on Dec. 4, 2017 by the Houthi militia while he was heading to his home in Sanhan, Sana’a. Photos and videos of the brutal assassination went viral on social media, shortly after announcing his death by the rebel militia.
In a televised speech following the assassination, Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi called on Yemenis to rise up against the Iran-aligned Houthis. He also called for a new approach in the battle against the rebel militia, who had been allied with Saleh before he turned against them by backing the Saudi-led coalition.