Saudi-led coalition threatens to use ‘force’ in Yemen to drive Houthis out of Hudaydah

The Saudi-led coalition waging war on Yemen has threatened to use “force” to push the country’s Houthi Ansarullah movement to withdraw from the Yemeni Red Sea port city of Hudaydah under a UN-brokered ceasefire in the flashpoint area.

The United Arab Emirates’ Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash, whose country is Saudi Arabia’s main ally in the war, tweeted on Wednesday that the coalition had targeted 10 Houthi training camps outside Hudaydah Province on Wednesday.

He said the coalition was “prepared to use more calibrated force” against Houthis to make them abide by a UN-sponsored peace agreement in Sweden last month.

Representatives from the Houthi Ansarullah movement and the Riyadh-sponsored government of ex-president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, reached the truce deal during UN-mediated peace talks in Sweden in December 2018.

Under the deal, they agreed to the withdrawal of their troops and the deployment of UN monitors to the port city, which serves as a critical entry point for food and humanitarian aid.

However, the Houthis – who control Hudaydah -- have repeatedly complained that the Saudi-led coalition has been violating the ceasefire.

Gargash’s aggressive remarks run contrary to those by the UN’s special envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths on the delay in the withdrawal of the parties from Hudaydah under the terms of the Sweden deal.

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