Aden- The United Arab Emirates expressed great condemnation and concern over repeated assaults by the Houthis against ships located in international waters.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation warned that these serious developments threaten international navigation by targeting vessels crossing the Strait of Bab al-Mandeb. The Gulf country further stressed the obligation towards taking all necessary measures for securing international waters connecting humanity.
The ministry, in its statement, labeled the U.S. Navy’s targeting of Houthi radar sites as a legitimate response to repetitive and wanton attacks staged by coup militants in Yemen.
The U.S. military had launched cruise missiles on Thursday against three coastal radar sites in areas of Yemen controlled by Iran-backed Houthi forces, after failed missile attacks this week on a U.S. Navy destroyer, U.S. officials said.
In its statement, the ministry said: “Targeting of the U.S. Navy destroyer U.S.S. Mason is a recurring escalation which began with the attack on the UAE civilian ship, ‘Swift’.”
Swift, a high-speed catamaran, carrying aid, wounded Yemenis and passengers, was passing through the Bab al-Mandab strait when it came under fire.
The UAE foreign ministry had identified the ship attacked early on Saturday as an Australian-built HSV-2 Swift logistics catamaran, which it said was leased from the Abu Dhabi-based National Marine Dredging Company and “did not have any military capacity.”
The attack staged by Iran-aligned Houthis is an apparent attempt to compromise the freedom of navigation and to fuel regional tension, particularly in Yemen.
The statement stressed that this escalation by the insurgents and followers of ousted President Saleh reveals their intentions to escape from commitment to the political process towards ending the Yemeni crisis.
This escalation confirms the Houthis’ determination on the use of violence and causing the continued suffering of the people of Yemen, hence, it represents an escalation driven by regional powers that do not want to achieve the region’s security and stability.
The ministry ended the statement by reiterating the urgent need to push for a political solution backed by the United Nations, which, in turn, will restore Yemen’s security and stability.