Yemen’s Ansarullah Slams US Naval Patrol Plan in Red Sea

Yemen’s Ansarullah Slams US Naval Patrol Plan in Red Sea

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – The US seeks to prolong the state of brutal siege and aggression against Yemen with its plan to launch naval patrol in the Red Sea, a spokesman for Ansarullah movement said.

Mohammed Abdulsalam, who is also the resistance movement’s chief negotiator, made the remarks in an Arabic-language post on his Twitter handle late on Friday.

Earlier this week, the US Navy announced plans to establish a new "multinational task force" to patrol the Red Sea — a vital shipping lane for both cargo and the global energy supplies.

The strategic sea runs from Egypt's Suez Canal in the north, down through the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the south that separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.

The US-led Combined Maritime Forces (CMF) Task Force 153 will patrol the waterway between Egypt and Saudi Arabia, through the Bab al-Mandeb Strait to the waters off the Yemen-Oman border.

CMF, a 34-nation maritime partnership, already has three task forces operating in the area. The new force will be commissioned Sunday and will see the USS Mount Whitney, a Blue Ridge class amphibious command ship previously part of the Navy's African and European 6th Fleet, join it.

“The American move in the Red Sea in light of a humanitarian and military truce in Yemen contradicts Washington's claim that it supports the truce, rather it only seeks to perpetuate the state of aggression and siege on Yemen,” Abdulsalam tweeted.

The ceasefire agreement between the Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has been invading and occupying the war-ravaged country since 2015 and Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement was mediated by the United Nations on April 2.

Under the truce agreement, the Riyadh-led coalition agreed to end its attacks on Yemen with the goal of changing Yemen’s power structure in favor of the country’s former Saudi-allied officials.

The foreign aggressors also agreed to end the crippling humanitarian siege that it has been enforcing against the people of Yemen in the protracted 7-year war.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said the truce "must be a first step to ending Yemen’s devastating war," while urging the warring parties to build on the opportunity to "resume an inclusive and comprehensive Yemeni political process."

The deal stipulates halting offensive military operations, including cross-border attacks, and allowing fuel-laden ships to enter Yemen’s lifeline al-Hudaydah port and commercial flights in and out of the airport in the capital Sana’a "to predetermined destinations in the region."

Speaking on Friday, Hussein Al-Ezzi, deputy foreign minister in Yemen’s National Salvation Government, said the Saudi-led coalition “doesn't respect its obligations to the truce”.

He added that the coalition was “still obstructing” flights to the Sana'a International Airport in Yemen’s capital and “detaining fuel ships” that are headed to the impoverished country.

Al-Ezzi also censured the UN for failing to accurately document the coalition’s violations.

Speaking hours after the truce was announced by the UN special envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg, Yemen’s armed forces said they were committed to the truce as long as the other parties to the conflict respected it too.

The truce was announced after Yemen’s Supreme Political Council declared a voluntary and unilateral three-day pause in retaliatory strikes against targets in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war against Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of fugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

The coalition failed to meet its objectives, despite killing hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawning what the UN describes as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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