Yemeni Army Says 25 Iranian Experts Flee Hodeidah for Sanaa

Yemeni Army Says 25 Iranian Experts Flee Hodeidah for Sanaa

Tuesday, 17 July, 2018 - 11:00
Pro-government forces in Yemen. (Reuters)
Jeddah - Saeed al-Abyadh
The Yemeni army hinted it may carry out an air and sea landing to liberate the strategic port city of Hodeidah from Houthi militias.

The Iran-backed militants have refused to hand over the port to a neutral party, rejecting all international efforts demanding their withdrawal without a military confrontation.

International efforts have been pressing for a peaceful transition of control over the Red Sea port city in the hopes of ensuring civilian safety.

Yemeni army spokesman Brigadier General Abdo Abdullah Majali told Asharq al-Awsat that there are signs that the militias do not want a peaceful handover of the city because they have dug several “trenches” in the city and deployed snipers to target civilians.

Majali stated that several Iranian and Lebanese “Hezbollah” experts were fleeing Hodeidah to Sanaa.

He explained that the army documented the escape of some 25 out of 50 experts who were present in the city and were conducting training and planting mines along the West coast.

The army will not leave Houthi actions unpunished, because it has a duty to protect Yemenis, Majali vowed.

The army is considering several options, he added, given the Houthis’ noncompliance with international demands and ongoing violation of humanitarian law against defenseless civilians

Both aerial and naval deployments are viable options to counter the militias in Hodeidah, he revealed.

He stressed that army forces are deployed 10 kilometers away from the city’s gates, however, it is keen not to enter it directly because such a move may jeopardize civilian lives.

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