US Sets Up New Naval Task Force near Yemen, Intensifying Saudi Blockade

US Sets Up New Naval Task Force near Yemen, Intensifying Saudi Blockade

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US Navy says it is setting up a new multinational task force to patrol the waters around Yemen amid a drastically fatal effect that a 2015-to-present Saudi-led blockade has on the country.

The US Navy announced on Wednesday that a new task force will patrol the waters of the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, connected by the narrow Bab al-Mandab strait. The force will target alleged shipments of weapons to Yemen's Ansarullah movement, who launch retaliatory drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia, backed by the United States and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of Yemen’s fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi back to power and crushing the Ansarullah movement.

The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen’s infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases there.

According to a UN-brokered truce, which came into effect this month, Saudi Arabia must follow fuel ships into the Red Sea port of Hodeida. Riyadh previously maintained a blockade of the port, which it said was necessary to prevent the alleged smuggling of weapons.

Meanwhile, the US, along with its allies including the UK and France, are supplying weapons and intelligence to Saudi Arabia.

Despite heavily-armed Saudi Arabia’s incessant bombardment of the impoverished country and a drastically fatal effect that the Saudi-led blockade is having on its people, Yemeni armed forces and the Popular Committees have grown steadily in strength against the Saudi-led invaders and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

According to a November UN report, the death toll from the war in Yemen was expected to reach 377,000 by the end of 2021. Nearly 60% of the deaths have been from hunger, the lack of safe water, and disease, the UN said.

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