The spokesman for Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement has lambasted the Saudi-led military coalition for having used footage from a documentary on the 2003 US invasion of Iraq to accuse Yemeni armed forces of stockpiling ballistic missiles in the besieged Red Sea port city of Hudaydah as utterly “ridiculous and pathetic.”
“The fact that Spokesman of the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen Colonel Turki al-Maliki has admitted to his great scandal about the footage, and said such missile sites do not exist other than in films is ridiculous and pathetic,” Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a post published on his Twitter page.
He added, “What is called the margin of error is the gravest sin that aggressors have repeatedly committed against Yemeni people with the support of the United States.”
Maliki, who traveled to Yemen’s southern Shabwah Province on Tuesday, has officially acknowledged that the coalition’s recent footage about the Yemeni army’s missile depot in Hudaydah was fake.
Earlier, he had claimed to have incriminating evidence of weapons development in Hudaydah. The remarks were broadcast on the Saudi state-run al-Saudiya channel, and shared to its YouTube channel.
“Hudaydah port is the primary port for receiving Iranian ballistic missiles. The missiles are put together and assembled in [the port] under the supervision of Iranian security officials,” he claimed, while displaying purported satellite images of the coastal area.
“I will show you a video which shows the ballistic missiles in Hudaydah,” Maliki continued. At this moment, a two-second clip of two large warheads is shown on screen.
The clip was taken from the 2009 documentary “Severe Clear,” featuring videos taken by US Marine Mike Scotti at the beginning of Iraq’s invasion by Western forces.
The original footage, shot in Baghdad around April 2003, shows two large missiles, with an American voice saying, “So much for him [presumably Saddam Hussein] not having weapons.” It then sweeps to the other side of the room to show US soldiers.
It is believed that the Saudi coalition used the footage to justify the bombing of a port in Hudaydah – a strategically important maritime city that has been the site of intense fighting between Saudi-led coalition forces and Yemeni army troops.
Saudi warplanes launch fresh airstrikes across Yemen
Meanwhile, Saudi military aircraft have carried out a fresh round of airstrikes on Yemen’s oil-producing Shabwah Province, the central provinces of Ma’rib and al-Bayda, as well as the northern province of al-Jawf.
Yemen’s al-Masirah television network, citing local sources, reported that Saudi warplanes launched 37 air raids on Bayhan, Ain, and Harib districts of Shabwah on Tuesday evening.
No reports about possible casualties and the extent of damage caused were immediately available.
Saudi warplanes also struck al-Balaq area in the Wadi Ubaidah district of Ma’rib Province, located some 175 kilometers (109 miles) east of the capital, Sana’a, on eight occasions.
Six other aerial assaults targeted al-Jubah district in the same Yemeni province.
Saudi warplanes also launched six airstrikes against the As Sawadiyah district in Bayda Province.
Elsewhere, in the al-Yatma area of the Khabb wa ash Sha'af district in al-Jawf Province, Saudi fighter jets carried out three airstrikes.
Leading a military coalition consisting of its regional allies and backed by Western powers, Saudi Arabia launched the war on Yemen in March 2015, seeking primarily to dismantle the popular Ansarullah resistance movement and reinstall a former regime.
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 there.
The Ansarullah movement has vowed to defeat the Saudi-led coalition and liberate Yemen in its entirety.