“The Saudi-led coalition’s war has entered its 5th year,” said the Yemeni minister in an interview with FNA on Tuesday, adding, “The war is still going on with massacre of the innocent, civilians, children and women in Yemen, and it is growing bigger, and the aggressors have laid an all-out blockade on the people of Yemen.”
“The operations of the Yemeni Army are in the framework of the natural right of self-defense against these aggressions to pose pressure on the invading states to stop strikes against civilians and remove the blockade. These operations will go on to materialize these objectives [of us], and surely these goals will soon be met,” he highlighted.
Asked about the next step of the Yemeni Army against the assailants, Amer said, “Undoubtedly, air strikes by drone and missile units of the Yemeni Amy will increase. Also on the battlefield, the Army has been conducting operations and unique attacks were staged along borders. Inside, also we are completely countering the mercenaries and armed people affiliated to the Saudi-led coalition.”
“All options are on the table in fighting against the invading states, as so far the Yemeni Army and popular forces have disrupted all calculations and equations of the aggressors,” he highlighted.
“All airports of the aggressing states of Saudi Arabia and the UAE can be stricken by drone and missile units of the Yemeni Army. These airports had already been hit. Striking vital targets, like ports and airports, in the invader states is among the options of the Yemeni Army,” he underscored.
“The UAE is playing an active role in the aggression against Yemen, and it is now occupying a number of Yemeni islands and ports, and is currently stoking further clashes inside the country with supporting terrorist groups in Yemen. Hence, the UAE will not remain safe, escaping from the Yemeni Army’s reaction, and if it does stop its aggressions, they will sooner or later witness our reaction,” he underlined.
On Monday, UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs Mark Lowcock painted a horrifying picture of the war in Yemen, saying about half a million people will die by 2022 if the war continues.
If fighting lasts until 2022, close to half a million people will lose their lives, including more than 300,000 who will die from hunger, lack of health care and related causes, Lowcock cited a University of Denver study commissioned by the UN Development Program as saying.
“That is twice as many people dying as the model predicts if the war were to stop this year,” he told the Security Council.
Apart from the heavy toll, there would also be a profound decline in the status of survivors throughout the country, he warned. A quarter of children would be malnourished, and nearly 40 percent of children would be out of school.
“You can imagine better than me what the implications of this might be for security and stability in the wider region,” said Lowcock, who is also the UN emergency relief coordinator.
If the war continues, the world will need an even larger and an even more expensive relief operation, he said.
At 4.2 billion U.S. dollars, this year’s Yemen response plan is already the world’s biggest. “If the fighting doesn’t stop, today’s requirements will be a fraction of what we’ll need to keep people alive a few years from now,” he said.
Lowcock observed that the Yemeni conflict is trapped in a loop of time. “Yemen is getting more violent, not less. The conflict is getting worse, not better.”
“So the war is not only brutal, it is unwinnable. Everyone agrees on this last point, at least in their public statements. And yet the war continues,” he added.
Also on Monday, Spokesman of the Yemeni Armed Forces Brigadier General Yahya Saree warned that the country’s attacks on the three airports of Abha, Jazzan and Najran will continue, vowing that they would remain insecure.
“Abha, Jazzan and Najran airports have turned into insecure airports and they will be targeted on a regular basis because these airports are used for military attacks, including continued attacks and cruel siege on the Yemeni nation,” Saree was quoted by the Arabic-language al-Masirah news website as saying.
He called on the Saudi civilians to stay a long distance away from these airports.
Saree also warned that Yemen’s response to the Saudi-led coalition attacks will not be confined to these airports and will include other sensitive sites in an unpredictable fashion of targeting for the Saudis.
In relevant remarks on Sunday, a senior member of Yemen’s Ansarallah movement’s political office said the clock was ticking for war on Saudi soil.
Mohammad Nasser al-Bakhiti wrote on his twitter page that time was arriving for a “major battle” between Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
“It is the right of the Yemeni people to attack the enemy on its land and reciprocate the financial damage” inflicted by the Saudi-led coalition,” he added.
Al-Bakhiti called on the Yemeni tribes to differentiate between state and private-owned assets and properties if the attacks start, noting that the tribal forces will surely coordinate their moves with freedom-seekers in Saudi Arabia.
“We are liberation forces, and not occupiers,” he said.
Also, on Saturday, Yemeni Air Force Spokesman Brigadier General Abdullah Al-Jefri underlined that the equations of war had changed by his country’s missiles and drones, adding that the Saudi-UAE coalition would be forced to stop the war soon.
General Jefri told the Arabic-language Mer’at al-Jazeera news website that after the recent attacks against Najran, Jizzan and Abha, Yemen will launch offensives against the airbases, specially Khamis Mashit region in Assir which is considered as one of the most important Saudi military bases which hosts Israeli military experts too.
“The Yemeni missiles and planes will reach Riyadh and regions farther than Riyadh as long as the coalition countries continue siege and aggression against Yemen,” he added.
General Jefri said that Yemen also is in possession of new advanced missiles and drones which can reach Bab al-Mandab and the Suez canal, adding that the Saudi-UAE coalition will be forced to end the war in the near future.
He warned that his nation’s expanded missile and drone power would change political, military and economic equations in the battleground, saying that the 300 marked targets that include energy pipelines and exports would bring the Saudi-led coalition to its knees.
Yemen’s armed forces on Friday carried out retaliatory drone attacks on an airport in Southwestern Saudi Arabia for the second time in a week.
Yemeni Qasif-2K drones targeted the airport in the Saudi province of Asir in the early hours of Friday morning, two days after a cruise missile attack by army troopers and allied fighters from Popular Committees at the strategic Saudi facility, al-Masirah television network reported.
There have been no immediate reports of possible casualties or the extent of damage caused as a result of the attack.
On Wednesday, General Saree stated that US-built surface-to-air missile systems stationed at Abha airport could not intercept the cruise missile, which he said had hit the designated target with great precision.
He noted that the missile hit the observation tower in the airport, which is about 200 kilometers North of the border with Yemen and serves domestic and regional routes, causing significant disruption to air travel.
Saree pointed out that the missile attack on Abha airport was part of retaliatory measures by Yemeni soldiers and their allies in the face of the Saudi-led coalition’s crimes against Yemeni people.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen since March 2015 to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed more than 20,000 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children. Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi bombers are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
Yemen is the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with more than 22 million people in need and is seeing a spike in needs, fueled by ongoing conflict, a collapsing economy and diminished social services and livelihoods. The blockade on Yemen has smothered humanitarian deliveries of food and medicine to the import-dependent state.
The UN has repeatedly criticized the Saudi-UAE-led military coalition’s bombing campaign and placed it on a blacklist of child rights violators last year.
A UN panel has also compiled a detailed report of civilian casualties caused by the Saudi military and its allies during their war against Yemen, saying the Riyadh-led coalition has used precision-guided munitions in its raids on civilian targets.