Riyadh: The presence of the joint forces of the Arab coalition on Yemen’s Socotra island was in coordination with the legitimate Yemeni government, Arab coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al Maliki said here Monday. He also welcomed the statement issued by tribes and shaikhs in Saada governorate, rejecting the Iranian-backed Al Houthi coup.
Al Maliki said the coalition had started operating a humanitarian air bridge, with two monthly flights from Sana’a to Cairo. He praised efforts by the legitimate Yemeni government, the joint forces command and the World Health Organisation in Yemen, pointing out that patients or those in need of medical attention will be transported from Sana’a to Cairo aboard United Nations’ aircraft.
He stressed the political solution in Yemen must come through the three references: UN Resolution 2216; the Gulf initiative and its mechanism of implementation as well as the outcome of the Yemeni national dialogue.
The spokesman reminded Yemenis about wanted Al Houthi terrorists who threaten internal security in Yemen, and also that of the region and the world. He said the coalition welcomed all communications received in this regard and will treat them with strict confidentiality.
On the humanitarian side, Al Maliki said the air and sea relief outlets were operating at full capacity. He said Saudi Arabia had contributed $66.7 million (Dh244.9 million) to humanitarian work, including cholera control. Its total humanitarian contributions had exceeded $10 billion, and there were more than 22 million Yemeni beneficiaries. Al Maliki blamed Al Houthis for disrupting the start of the vaccination programme for cholera patients in the areas it controls, especially with the onset of the rainy season.
He spoke about the initiative launched by King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Centre in partnership with the Comprehensive Humanitarian Support Centre in Yemen, saying there were 45 medical cadres in specialities of the brain, nerves, bones, spine, jaw and face. They were transferred to Yemen in a humanitarian initiative to Marib Hospital and Cree hospitals.
He pointed out that the Relief Centre celebrated this week the rehabilitation of the third and fourth batch of child soldiers, who were deliberately recruited by Al Houthis to fight. He pointed out that the militia not only recruited the children but also sought to force Yemeni women into the battlefield.
Al Maliki said Al Houthis had launched 138 missiles and 66,302 other projectiles against the kingdom to date.
He said the militia fired six ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia during the past week, the latest of which was on Monday on Jizan city, deliberately violating international humanitarian law.
Speaking about the delay in taking control of the Hodeida port, Al Maliki said the decision was in the hands of the legitimate Yemeni government and the Yemeni National Army.