Arab League secretary general accused Iran of reckless policies in Yemen

Ahmed Abu al-Gheit also expressed full solidarity with the Saudi kingdom in the measures taken to protect the territory and security of the residents

Iran, by supporting the Husis (supporters of Yemen’s Ansar Allah rebel movement), is pursuing a reckless policy in Yemen and using the situation as a bargaining chip for political bargaining. This view was expressed by League of Arab States (LAS) Secretary General Ahmed Abu al-Gheit on Monday, his statement posted on the regional community’s Facebook page.

“We condemn in the strongest possible terms the escalation by the Husis, including the attacks on the Saudi capital Riyadh last Saturday with a ballistic missile that was intercepted and destroyed by the kingdom’s air defence forces,” the communiqué read. – Their escalation of combat operations and attacks on the [Yemeni province of] Marib since early last month is clearly part of a reckless Iranian agenda that uses Yemen as a bargaining chip in political bargaining without regard to the dangerous consequences to civilian lives. This group bears full responsibility for the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen to the point where the population is on the brink of starvation.”

The secretary-general also expressed “full solidarity” with the Saudi kingdom “in any measures taken to protect its territory and the safety of its inhabitants”.

In Yemen, the stand-off between government forces and the Houthis has been ongoing since August 2014. It reached its most active phase with the invasion of the country in March 2015 by the Saudi-led coalition. The conflict has created the largest humanitarian crisis in the world. According to the UN, more than 24 million Yemenis – about 80 per cent of the country’s population – are in need of humanitarian aid and the number of internal refugees exceeds 3 million.

Saudi air defence calculations intercepted six drones and one ballistic missile launched by Ansar Allah (Houthis) supporters within hours on Saturday night. Al-Arabiya TV reported that the target of the missile strike was the kingdom’s capital, while the drones were aimed at “civilian targets” in Jizan and the Hamis Mushait locality on the border with Yemen (Asir province).

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