SAWT BEIRUT INTERNATIONAL

| 26 September 2021, Sunday |

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

Houthi armed group must show willingness to engage in a political process to achieve peace in Yemen, after weeks of renewed missile and drone attacks carried out by the Iran-aligned rebels on Saudi Arabia, and its leaders  need to quite simply stop attacking and start 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 recognized   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 end the war that has ravaged the most impoverished country in the Middle East.

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

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

The Saudi-led coalition said most of the drones and missiles were intercepted en route to their targets and there were 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 security and stability of the global energy supply.

The state department said the US believed the latest attacks were by Houthis and that they were “unacceptable and dangerous” and put civilians at risk, 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 in the Red Sea.

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

The ministry called “for an immediate cessation of these attacks.”