Feb 26, 2024 09:23 UTC
  • Era of US, allies' control of international waters 'over': Yemeni defense minister

Yemen’s defense minister has hailed the ongoing naval operations by the country’s military against Israeli-linked ships in the Red Sea in protest against the war on Gaza, stressing that the era of “hegemonic influence” of the United States and its allies on international waters is over.

“The United States, Britain and Israel must realize that the policies of demarcation and assertion of hegemonic influence on international waters are obsolete and no more favorable,” Major General Mohammed al-Atifi stated at a graduation ceremony of Yemeni cadets in the country’s western coastal city of Hudaydah on Sunday.

He underscored that the Yemeni Armed Forces could properly redefine maritime security in the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea following their decision to block the passage of ships of any nationality heading towards ports in the 1948 Israeli-Occupied Territories.

Atifi further noted that Yemeni naval units could also restore the identity of the two seas, which had been hijacked by the occupying Tel Aviv regime.

“We reaffirm that the Yemeni Armed Forces won’t target any ships, which are neither affiliated to the Zionist enemy nor serving its interests. Marine navigation for vessels through the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea is safe,” the Yemeni defense chief said.

Atifi emphasized that the Sana’a-based National Salvation Government stands fully committed to all international treaties and conventions, as well as pacts that neither undermine Yemen’s dignity and national sovereignty nor impose particular wills.

“As long as the Zionists’ atrocities continue in Gaza, we will continue our operations against the usurping entity. Washington has aided and abetted the Zionist entity to forge ahead with its genocidal war on our Palestinian brethren and sisters,” he said.

Yemenis have declared their open support for Palestine’s struggle against the Israeli occupation since the regime launched a devastating war on Gaza on October 7 after the territory’s Palestinian resistance movements carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm.

The Yemeni Armed Forces have said they won’t stop retaliatory strikes.

The maritime attacks have forced some of the world’s biggest shipping and oil companies to suspend transit through one of the world’s most important maritime trade routes.

Tankers are instead adding thousands of miles to international shipping routes by sailing around the continent of Africa rather than going through the Suez Canal.