The Saudi-led coalition set a three-hour deadline for the Iran-backed Houthis to withdraw weapons from the airport of Sanaa and two ports on the Red Sea.
Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya TV reported on Saturday that retaining weapons in the Yemeni capital's airport and the ports of Hodeidah and Saleef would "end their status" as safe regions not to be targeted by coalition air strikes. The coalition’s statement also called on Houthis to “remove weapons from protected sites” but did not say exactly at what time the deadline would expire.
According to the official Saudi Press Agency on Saturday, the coalition has destroyed four explosive-laden boats in Hodeidah and Saleef ports in a targeted strike. The weaponized boats were still being built by the Houthis and their destruction thwarted “imminent attack on oil tankers”.
On Friday, the Arab Coalition announced the start of a new round of airstrikes on Houthi positions in retaliation for their attacks on oil facilities in Saudi Arabia, which drew widespread condemnations, including from Washington that blamed Iran for supplying weapons to the Houthis.
Republican Senator James Risch twitted on Friday that “As the Biden Admin telegraphs removing the IRGC terrorist designation, Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen attack our Gulf partners with impunity. The administration is dangerously naïve to continue pursuing a bad deal with Iran”.