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US to Yemen’s Houthis: Stop attacking, start negotiating

Yemen’s Houthi movement and Saudi Arabia have been engaged in tit-for-tat attacks for years, with the Iran-aligned rebels intensifying missile and drone attacks in the past several weeks [File: Hani Mohammed/AP]

US to Yemen’s Houthis: Stop attacking, start negotiating.

The us says the Houthi armed group must show willingness to interact during a political process to realize peace in Yemen, after weeks of renewed missile and drone attacks administered by the Iran-aligned rebels on Saudi Arabia .

The leaders of the Houthi movement “need to quite simply stop attacking and begin negotiating”, Department of State spokesman Ned Price said on Monday.

Saudi Arabia intervened militarily in 2015 months after the Houthi rebels overthrew Yemen’s internationally recognised government and subsequently captured vast swaths of the country’s territory, including the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis have stepped up attacks on Saudi territory in recent weeks amid fresh diplomatic efforts by the Biden administration to finish the war that has ravaged the foremost impoverished country within the Middle East .

The Yemeni group has defended the cross-border attacks, saying they’re in response to deadly Saudi air raids within the country. On Sunday, the group launched a drone and missile attack at a Saudi oil facility within the Eastern Province, pushing global oil prices to the very best level in two years.

The Houthis said they also attacked military targets within the Saudi cities of Dammam, Asir and Jazan.

The Saudi-led coalition said most of the drones and missiles were intercepted on the way to their targets and there have been no casualties or property losses from the attacks on Sunday.

The kingdom said the Houthi attack on the Saudi Aramco facility at Ras Tanura on Sunday took aim at the safety and stability of the worldwide energy supply.

The state department said the US believed the newest attacks were by Houthis which they were “unacceptable and dangerous” and put civilians in danger , including Americans.

The state department comments came hours before the Saudi-led coalition intercepted an armed drone launched by the Iran-aligned movement towards Khamis Mushait in southern Saudi Arabia , Saudi state media reported on Tuesday.

Last month, the US slapped sanctions on two Houthi leaders, citing their alleged roles in cross-border attacks on Saudi Arabia and shipping vessels within the Red Sea .

Meanwhile, Turkey’s foreign ministry said that Ankara was “concerned over the recent attacks targeting Saudi territories.”

The ministry called “for an instantaneous cessation of those attacks.”

Tit-for-tat attacks
The Houthi movement and Saudi Arabia are engaged in tit-for-tat attacks for years, with the Iran-aligned rebels intensifying attacks within the past several weeks.

The renewed attacks on Saudi targets comes after US President Joe Biden halted support to Saudi offensive operations in Yemen’s war. Washington said, however, that it might still help Riyadh defend itself from regional threats.

Washington also reversed a choice by former US President Donald Trump to place Houthis on a “terror list”.

The latest escalation comes amid renewed diplomatic efforts by the US and therefore the United Nations to succeed in a ceasefire that might pave the way for a resumption of UN-sponsored political talks to finish the conflict.

Rights groups and international observers have criticised the Saudi-led war that has killed tens of thousands of individuals , displaced millions and pushed the center East’s poorest nation towards an unprecedented humanitarian crisis.

 

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