Arab coalition destroys 2 bomb-rigged Houthi boats off Yemen’s Hodeidah port
The Arab coalition intercepted and destroyed two Houthi boats rigged with bombs off Yemen’s Hodeidah port as the militants were preparing for an operation, state TV AlEkhbariya reported on Saturday. The coalition said the Iranbacked militia continues to threaten maritime navigation and world trade in the southern Red Sea, in violation of the Stockholm Agreement due to its continued hostile operations against Hodeidah. Saudi air defenses earlier intercepted an armed drone launched by the Houthis from Yemen toward
southern Saudi city of Khamis Mushayt, the coalition said. Meanwhile, Yemenis have expressed hope for a deal to end the war, amid reports that UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres will name a new envoy to the country. Politicians, rights activists and experts want the new envoy, tipped to be EU Ambassador to Yemen Hans Grundberg, to apply an inclusive approach for mediation between the warring parties.
Abu Bakr Al-Qirbi, Yemen’s former foreign minister, hailed the Swedish national as an experienced envoy with knowledge about the complications of the crisis as he had been working as a diplomat in the country for years. Activists said the envoy should focus on ending Houthi rights abuses and secure the release of hundreds of war prisoners.
“We strongly demand he personally pay attention to the issue of abducted and detained women in Houthi prisons and to provide them with psychological and legal support,” Amat Al-Salam Al-Hajj, chair of the Mothers of Abductees Association, an umbrella organization for thousands of female relatives of war prisoners, told Arab News. Yassin Saeed Noaman, Yemen’s ambassador to the UK, said Grundthe berg would succeed in brokering a peace deal in Yemen if the EU used its relationship with Iran to pressure the Houthis to accept peace initiatives.