JEDDAH: The Arab coalition on Monday accused the Houthi militia of putting “pressures” on UN humanitarian organizations operating in Yemen. Spokesman Col Turki Al-Maliki called on them not to remain silent on abuses committed by the the Iran-backed militants. “We call on UN organizations in Yemen to be neutral and not tolerate violations,” he said, at e news conference in Riyadh. The coalition is fighting in support of forces loyal to the internationally recognized government against the Houthis, which seized the capital Sanaa in 2014. The UN, which has several of its aid agencies operating in the country, has called peace talks for next month. But Al-Maliki said the coalition was surprised by some of the statements made by UN officials, who he said have taken wrong stances based on “false allegations.” He referred to an attack on a fish market and hospital in Hodeidah earlier this month, which the coalition said was carried out by the Houthis. At least 55 civilians were killed and 170 injured. Al-Maliki also said the UN failed to respond to accusations that the Houthis had seized control of warehouses used by an international aid organization. He said Yemen’s humanitarian ports are operating at full capacity and that air, land and sea permits are granted continuously, especially to aid relief vessels. The Houthis have fired eight ballistic missiles toward Saudi Arabia in recent days, five of which were during the Hajj pilgrimage.
On Monday, another ballistic missile was launched by the Houthis from Saada province in Yemen toward Jazan, in Saudi Arabia. The Royal Saudi Air Defense managed to intercept the missile and no injuries were reported, Al Maliki said.
Al-Maliki said the Houthis are using prisons to train militants and schools and hospitals for military purposes. “We continue to neutralize ballistic missile launchpads belonging to the militias,” Al-Maliki said. Last week the coalition destroyed a SAM-6 air defense system operated by the Houthi militias in Sanaa. He also said the Yemeni national army has made a major advance in the province of Al-Bayda.