Yemen — US Seizes Ship, Arab League Targets Boat

  • "The Security Council must extend the arms embargo on Iran to prevent further conflict in the region," Pompeo told a State Department news conference.
  • However, Russia and China, which have veto powers on the Security Council, opposed the request.
  • The Arab League announced today that it has targeted and destroyed two remote booby-trapped boats.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that US and allied forces seized a ship carrying Iranian weapons for Houthi rebels in Yemen on June 28. The names of all the passengers are not mentioned. Pompeo also renewed his call for the U.N. Security Council to extend its arms embargo on Iran.

The Houthi movement (called Ansar Allah “Supporters of God”), is an Islamic religious-political-armed movement that emerged from Sa’dah in northern Yemen in the 1990s. They are of the Zaidi sect, though the movement reportedly also includes Sunnis.

According to him, the weapons included 200 RPGs, more than 1,700 Kalashnikovs, 21 surface-to-air missiles, several anti-tank missiles, and other military equipment and advanced missiles.

“The Security Council must extend the arms embargo on Iran to prevent further conflict in the region,” Pompeo told a State Department news conference. “No serious person can possibly believe Iran will use any weapon it receives for peaceful ends.” Sanctions are set to end in mid-October.

The United States, which withdrew from the nuclear deal with Iran in 2018, has submitted a draft resolution to the Security Council.  Pompeo last week called on 15 members of the Security Council to extend sanctions on Iran.

However, Russia and China, which have veto powers on the Security Council, opposed the request. Houthi insurgents, backed by Iran, have been fighting the Yemeni government since 2015. The government is backed by a Saudi-led military coalition.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, confirmed last week that the weapons seized by US forces in November 2019 and February 2020 were “of Iranian origin,” Pompeo said. The United States has said the weapons belonged to Iran, and were to be handed over to Yemen’s Houthis.

The Islamic Republic’s representative criticized Guttierez’s report as “containing serious flaws, inaccuracies, and inconsistencies.” Pompeo also referred to the assassination of Hisham al-Hashimi, a prominent Iraqi journalist and critic of Iran’s role and involvement in Iraq, saying he was repeatedly threatened by Iranian-backed armed groups in the days leading up to his death.

Hisham al-Hashimi was assassinated by motorcyclists on Monday evening while leaving his home in Baghdad.  Also known internationally, he has published numerous reports on extremist groups and Iran’s role in Iraq, and has been investigating the activities of extremist groups in Iraq.

Arab League Targeted and Destroyed two Houthi Booby-Trapped Boats

The Yemeni Civil War is an ongoing conflict that began in 2015 between two factions: the Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi-led Yemeni government and the Houthi armed movement, along with their supporters and allies. Both claim to constitute the official government of Yemen.

The Arab League announced today that it has targeted and destroyed two remote booby-trapped boats, which were posing an imminent threat to international navigation. Boats were affiliated with the Iranian-backed Houthi terrorist militia.

The spokesman for the coalition forces, Colonel Turki al-Maliki, said that the joint coalition forces command carried out, at 03:20 AM, a qualitative operation to target and destroy two legitimate military targets belonging to the Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia at a distance of 6 km south of the port of Salif Hodeidah Governorate.

Al-Maliki added that the two boats posed an imminent threat to the shipping lines and world trade, and a threat to regional and international security. Al-Maliki explained that the two destructive targets consist of two booby-trapped boats remotely at a distance of six kilometers south of the port, Al-Salif, and at a distance of 215 meters from the coast.

Al-Maliki indicated that the targeting process is consistent with international humanitarian law and its customary rules, and preventive measures have been taken to protect civilians in the operation.

He added that the terrorist Houthi militia takes from Hodeidah Governorate a place to launch ballistic missiles, drones, booby-trapped boats, and remote-controlled boats, as well as random sea deployments in flagrant violation of international humanitarian law, and in violation of the provisions of the Stockholm Agreement.

He emphasized the continued leadership of the coalition’s joint forces by applying the necessary measures to deal with such legitimate military objectives that pose an imminent threat and in accordance with international humanitarian law and its customary rules.

The coalition spokesman noted the continued support of the efforts of the Special Envoy of the United Nations Secretary-General to implement the Stockholm Agreement, end the coup, and reach a comprehensive and sustainable political solution to the Yemeni crisis.

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Doris Mkwaya

I am a journalist, with more than 12 years of experience as a reporter, author, editor, and journalism lecturer." I've worked as a reporter, editor and journalism lecturer, and am very enthusiastic about bringing what I've learned to this site.  

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