Navigation in Yemen's territorial waters banned

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Sana’a, Sunday April 12— Navigation in all of Yemen's territorial waters has been banned and vessels were not allowed into Yemen unless inspected and approval by the Saudi-led coalition forces. The ban started yesterday after the Yemen's Ministry of Foreign Affairs delegated the coalition forces to implement it.

In a statement, signed by the Foreign Minister Riyadh Yassin, issued on Saturday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Yemen has banned entry into the territorial waters and has authorized coalition countries to implement the decision, adding that the ban has been imposed on the country’s maritime zones.

"All commercial and military vessels cannot enter the designated zones without getting permission from the legitimate Yemeni government. The permitted ships would still be subject to inspection prior to heading to Yemeni ports," added the statement.

The Acting Foreign Affairs' Minister Riyadh Yassin told the Saudi-owned Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath on Saturday that the decision came after several attempts by a certain country [Referring to Iran] to smuggle military assistance to the Houthis.

"The Houthis are receiving military assistance through the maritime zones," Yassin told the channel.

President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi appointed Yassin as the acting minister of foreign affairs after the Yemeni government, headed by Khalid Bahah, resigned on Jan. 21.

Yahia Abas, deputy head of the Board of Directors of Yemen Red Sea Ports Corporation, told several local media outlets on Saturday that the battleships of Saudi-led coalition prevented six ships carrying wheat, rice, other consumables as well as diesel, from entering the Hodeida port.

However, Yassin stressed that ships carrying relief aid, food or medicine will be allowed to enter the territorial waters after passing inspection.

The Yemen Times tried to contact Mohammed Al-Bukhaiti and Ali Al-Qahoom, members of the Houthi Political Office, to get a comment on the military assistance they get from Iran but got no response.

The Saudi-led Operation Decisive Storm began in Yemen on March 26 based on a request from Hadi to resist what he called "Houthi expansion towards the south.