RIYADH: Houthi militias are a constant threat to the Yemeni people, and “have been in contact with the Iranian regime since 1994,” Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, said Wednesday.
At a press conference in Riyadh, he showed through videos that the coalition continues to accurately target the Houthis and their arsenal of weapons, and avoid civilians.
The Houthis are hiding ballistic missiles in deep caves in the Sanaa mountain of Nahdain, and coalition forces are monitoring the area round-the-clock, he added.
The Houthis have fired 86 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia, and the latest attempt was thwarted, Al-Maliki said.
He described as incorrect a statement by the UN humanitarian coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick, that the coalition campaign has been a “failure.”
All of Shabwa province is now liberated, and the coalition is fighting to oust the Houthis from the remaining 20 percent of Al-Jouf, Al-Maliki said.
While the Houthis are recruiting child soldiers, the coalition has launched a unit to help these children recuperate and reintegrate into civilian life, he added.
Saudi Arabia has provided the Yemeni people with aid by air, land and sea, and all ports are open and receiving humanitarian aid, he said.
Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh lost his life protesting the Houthi presence, Al-Maliki added.
The coalition is communicating with many officials in Yemen who have expressed their willingness to desert the Houthis and join the legitimate government, he said.