SANAA, April 23 (NNN-Xinhua) — Yemen’s Houthi rebel chief on Monday threatened to launch missile attacks on Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai if the coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) assaulted the port city of Hodeidah.
“Riyadh, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are in our missile range in case of any military escalation on Hodeidah,” Abdulmalik al-Houthi told Houthi-run al-Masirah TV.
“Saudi and UAE military and economic vital targets are in reach of our missile capabilities,” he said.
It was not the first threat from the Iran-allied Yemeni rebel chief against Saudi Arabia and the UAE.
On March 25, Abdulmalik said his group’s attack would reach as far as the capital cities of Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the event of any military escalation in Hodeidah.
There were no comments yet from the coalition on the Houthi threat.
The Saudi-led military coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to support President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi after Houthi rebels forced him into exile and seized much of the country’s north, including the capital Sanaa.
Hodeidah, the main lifeline entry of the country’s most commercial imports and humanitarian aid, has become a focal point of the Yemen war since June 2018 when the coalition forces began assault to retake the port city.
The coalition-backed troops of the Yemeni exiled government have since advanced to the southern edges of Hodeidah after fierce battles against the rebels.
The coalition halted its assault on Hodeidah in late 2018 to pave the way for more peace efforts to end Yemen’s war.
Last December, a UN-brokered cease-fire deal was reached in Stockholm between the Yemeni rival parties to avert an all-out offensive on Hodeidah. The deal focused on Hodeidah as a first step toward a comprehensive political solution.
The truce was largely held but both warring forces have failed to withdraw from the port city despite the deal.