The Iranian-backed Houthi militia on Sunday kidnapped 18 fishermen in the city of Hodeidah on the west coast of Yemen after they refused to allow militia members to use their boats to launch attacks on naval forces of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition for Legitimacy.
According to the local press, the Houthi gunmen took the fishermen to a detention camp in Hodeidah on charges of collaborating with what they called “aggression” – a description that the terrorist militia give to the Arab Coalition and the Yemeni National Army.
Al-Houthi militants used a number of fishing boats owned by local citizens in subversive activities, such as laying mines on the western coasts, threatening navigation in the strategic area near the Bab al-Mandab strait.
The minister of fisheries in the Yemeni government, Fahd Kafain, last weekend accused the Iranian ships in Yemen’s territorial waters of the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea of threatening Yemeni fishermen in their livelihoods.
Kafain also accused the Houthi militia arbitrarily of targeting Yemeni fishermen, kidnapping them forcibly in their prisons and preventing them from practicing fishing.
The Arab Coalition for Legitimacy, led by Saudi Arabia, suspended its military operations in the strategic port city of Hodeidah to open up humanitarian relief efforts in western Yemen. Those efforts were hit by the fighting, especially after atrocities by Iranian-backed Houthi militias against civilians.
For his part, the researcher specializing in Shiite movements, Mohammad Abbadi, accused the Houthi militias backed by Iran, of practicing bullying against the civilians of Hodeidah after they had vowed to end their control of the city, last week. After losing to many sites within the city, which host their last strongholds on the west coast, they have nothing left to lose, making them commit any crime possible to improve their deteriorating field situation in Hodeidah.
Abbadi said in a statement to the Reference that the militias rely on the laying of Iranian mines in the waters of the Red Sea to prevent the naval attack of the National Army and the Arab Coalition, to free the port of Hodeidah from the control of the militias.