In a separate diplomatic meeting, Yemen FM Mohammed Al-Hadhrami told Swedish ambassador Houthis Stockholm agreement
Hadi blames Iran for Marib attacks in meeting with U.S. military chief
Yemen President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi blamed Iran on Tuesday for Houthi military escalations east of the capital Sana’a, claiming that the rebels are operating under Iranian directives in response to the U.S. killing of the Qods Force commander Qassem Soleimani.
At a meeting with U.S. Central Command chief, Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, Hadi said that Iran was “seeking to control maritime navigation through the Straits of Hormuz and Bab Al-Mandab" on Yemen’s southwestern coast.
Violent clashes erupted last week between the Houthis and the Yemeni army after the rebels struck a mosque at the Reception military camp in Marib governorate with a ballistic missile, killing more than 110 army soldiers. Since then, the Houthis have made significant gains northeast of Sana’a, seizing strategic Al-Manara mountain in Nihm district, taking control of positions in Marib’s Majzar district and forcing the government forces to retreat to the Al-Jafra area in the same district.
Meanwhile, Yemen’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Al-Hadhrami, in a meeting with Swedish Envoy to Yemen Peter Semneby, said on Tuesday that the Houthi military escalations were taking advantage of the UN-sponsored Stockholm agreement, which prevented further military escalation around the port city of Hodeidah in late 2018, by redirecting military efforts elsewhere including in Marib.
Al-Hadhrami said that, after talks with the Saudi-led coalition leadership, the Yemeni government is now considering its options in light of the Houthi exploitation of the deal.
Al-Hadhrami blamed the rebels for the collapse of the peace process, and accused the Houthis of seizing 127 metric tons of food aid from a warehouse of the World Food Program in Hajjah governorate on Sunday, though an investigation into the incident is ongoing. He expressed shock at the silence of the international community on the Houthi violations.