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Yemen authorises Arab naval blockade Open in fullscreen

Wajdi al-Salmi

Yemen authorises Arab naval blockade

Yemen in ruins [Getty]

Date of publication: 12 April, 2015

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Yemen's Foreign Minister declares a naval blockade of his country's ports

Yemen's Foreign Minister, Riyad Yasin, has authorised the Saudi-led Arab forces carrying out Operation Decisive Storm to declare a naval blockade on all Yemeni regional waters.

The Foreign Minister issued a statement on 11 April from his current residence in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in which he said only the passage of ships carrying assistance for civilians, the Yemeni resistance and popular committees would be permitted.

His statement also called on all vessels – whether commercial carriers, warships, any kind of boat or aircraft, not to enter the areas under blockade “without prior authorisation from the legitimate government”.

At a press conference on the same day, Saudi Brigadier General Ahmad Assiri, spokesman for the Saudi-led forces, said all ships assigned to implement the naval blockade on Yemeni ports and monitor the smuggling of weapons were in position in Yemeni waters. He also confirmed that the naval blockade had come into force.

Assiri also talked about the air strikes carried out against targets in Yemen. Since the beginning of Decisive Storm on 26 March, he told journalists, coalition forces had carried out 1,200 air strikes, with a maximum of 120 in one day. And he warned that these raids were escalating and precisely targeting ground forces, which have become easier to hit since they have been forced off the main roads.

In the past 24 hours, the general added, three army brigades had been attacked, as well as airbases and targets at Sana'a International Airport. In addition, further targets had been hit in the provinces of Sana'a, Sa'ada, Amran, al-Dali', al-Bayda and Shabwa.

Rich v poor. Saudi Arabia versus Yemen [grpahics: Claudia Mateus]

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