Senior Yemeni officials and military commanders of the Houthi Ansarullah movement have inspected domestically-manufactured naval missiles showcased by Yemen’s armed forces at an exhibition in the western port city of Hudaydah.
Saleh al-Sammad, the president of Yemen’s Supreme Political Council, was among the officials visiting the exhibit, during which the missiles belonging to the country’s Navy and Coastguard were put on display, the official news agency Saba’ Net reported on Monday.
Speaking during the event, a senior Yemeni navy commander said the “high-precision” missiles, dubbed Mandab 1, were manufactured domestically.
Ansarullah, the national army and popular groups have joined forces to defend the country against an ongoing brutal military campaign launched in 2015 by the Saudi kingdom and a coalition of its allies with the aim of reinstalling the former Riyadh-backed government in Yemen.
Yemen’s stiff resistance has prevented Saudi Arabia from achieving the goals of war, despite spending billions of dollars and enlisting the cooperation of Western countries, particularly the US and the UK.
The exhibition was held a day after the Yemeni army said that it had targeted Saudi Arabia’s King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh with a long-distance Borkan H2 ballistic missile in retaliation for the Riydah regime’s bloody attacks.
The Saudi-led coalition, in a Sunday statement, put the blame for the missile strike on Iran, and unleashed threats against the Islamic Republic. The Riyadh regime has long accused the Houthis of receiving financial and arms support from Tehran.
Tehran has all along dismissed the accusations as baseless. The Foreign Ministry rejected the Sunday statement as “destructive, irresponsible, provocative,” stressing that Yemenis had showed an “independent” reaction to the Saudi-led acts of aggression.
The latest developments come amid a rise in Saudi-led strikes, targeting civilian facilities across Yemen, including residential buildings and farms.
Yemen’s al-Masirah television network reported on Tuesday that Saudi warplane targeted a vehicle in the district of Baqem in the northern province of Sa’ada, killing one civilian and injuring three others.
On Sunday, the kingdom announced that it was shutting down all Yemen’s air, sea, and land borders, after Yemen targeted the international airport near Riyadh.
UN bodies line up to blast Saudi blockade
On Tuesday, the United Nations humanitarian office called on the Riyadh-led alliance to remove the blockade, which hampered the flow of relief supplies into the famine-hit country.
“If these channels, these lifelines, are not kept open it is catastrophic for people who are already in what we have already called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” Jens Laerke, a spokesman for the office, told reporters in Geneva.
He added, “The situation is catastrophic in Yemen, it is the worst food crisis we are looking at today, 7 million people are on the brink of famine, millions of people being kept alive by our humanitarian operations.”
Also reacting to the blockade was the World Health Organization, which said Tuesday that the Saudi siege will stymie its efforts to fight the cholera outbreak, which has killed 2,194 people.
The head of the UN World Food Program (WFP) also responded to the blockade, warning that hundreds of thousands of children in Yemen would be “on the brink of starvation” if the siege lasts for even two weeks.
David Beasley said that about 70 percent of Yemen’s 28 million population “do not know where they’re going to get their next meal.”
Beasley said the UN agency is reaching only 7 million Yemenis, “partly because of lack of funds and partly because of lack of access.”
“I can’t imagine this will not be one of the most devastating humanitarian catastrophes we’ve seen in decades” if access remains shut down, he said.
Meanwhile, Ansarullah spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam has warned that any measure to hinder the movement of Yemeni ships or to close the country’s ports could entail grave consequences, which could also negatively impact international shipping in the Red Sea.
More than 12,000 people have been killed since the onset of the campaign more than two and a half years ago. Much of the Arabian Peninsula country’s infrastructure, including hospitals, schools and factories, has been reduced to rubble.
– Press TV
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