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Yemen siege must be removed without preconditions in order for peace to prevail: Houthi

In this file picture, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, chairman of Yemen's Supreme Political Council, delivers a speech during a protest in Sana’a, Yemen. (Photo by AFP)

A high-ranking Yemeni official has denounced Saudi Arabia and its regional allies over their blackmail-style tactics against his country, stressing the need for unconditional removal of the tight sea, land and air blockade on Yemen as the prerequisite for peace to prosper in the crisis-stricken country.

“The United States and its allies, who have besieged Yemeni people, have no right to accuse those opposing the occupation of Yemen of inflicting suffering upon the nation,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, Chairman of Yemen's Supreme Political Council, wrote in a series of posts published on his Twitter page on Thursday.

“It would not be a sensible thing to besiege oneself, and unreasonably oppose the entry of basic commodities while no viable alternative is at hand. Yemen has been depending 99% on [commercial food] imports since the 1970s, causing its own suffering.”

Houthi highlighted that the key to lasting peace in Yemen lies in the removal of the brutal siege against Yemen which will subsequently end the suffering of ordinary people.

“Hunger and suffering should not be used as a weapon against the [Yemeni] nation in order to stop the Saudi-led coalition’s aggression,” Houthi said.

Last month, the defense minister of Yemen’s National Salvation Government said Saudi Arabia and its allies can no longer determine the course of action since it is now the Yemeni army troops and fighters from allied Popular Committees that have the upper hand and are in a dominant position.

“Yemeni Armed Forces have a new military strategy, including readiness to defend national sovereignty and safeguard the nation’s fundamental issues in order to keep pace with national developments,” Yemen’s official Saba news agency quoted Major General Mohammad Nasser al-Atifi as saying on July 13.

“Yemeni forces have developed defensive and offensive capabilities at various tactical, training and armament levels. Such capabilities have enabled Yemenis to formulate effective policies and make sovereign decisions away from dependence and external tutelage. Sovereignty and pride are the fruit of patience, wisdom, sacrifice and national steadfastness.”

Saudi Arabia, backed by the US and regional allies, launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the popular Ansarullah resistance movement.

Yemeni armed forces and allied Popular Committees have, however, gone from strength to strength against the Saudi-led invaders, and left Riyadh and its allies bogged down in the country.

The war has left hundreds of thousands of Yemenis dead, and displaced millions more. It has also destroyed Yemen's infrastructure and spread famine and infectious diseases.

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