Yemen’s rebels criticize new, US-led task force in Red Sea

Yemens Houthis have criticized a brand-new U.S.-led task force that will patrol the Red Sea following a series of attacks by the Iran-backed rebels in a waterway thats vital to global tradeBy SAMY MAGDY Associated PressApril 16, 2022, 12:56 PM – 3 minutes readShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail this articleCAIRO– Yemens Houthis slammed a brand-new U.S.-led job force that will patrol the Red Sea following a series of attacks by the Iran-backed rebels in a waterway thats essential to international trade.Mohammed Abdul-Salam, the Houthis chief mediator and spokesman, said late Friday that the U.S. move in the Red Sea, which comes in the middle of a cease-fire in the countrys civil war, contradicts Washingtons claim of supporting the U.N.-brokered truce.The task force “enshrines the hostility and blockade on Yemen,” he claimed on his Telegram social media account.Abdul-Salam apparently referred to a Saudi-led coalition the rebels have actually been battling for years. He likewise did not elaborate.The new task force of two to eight ships patrolling at a time will be commissioned Sunday and aims to target those smuggling coal, drugs, weapons and individuals in the Red Sea, according to Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, who supervises the U.S. Navys Mideast-based 5th Fleet.The USS Mount Whitney, a Blue Ridge class amphibious command ship previously part of the Navys European and african 6th Fleet, will join the job force, Cooper said.While Cooper did not call the Houthis when he announced the job force Wednesday, the rebels have actually introduced explosives-laden drone boats and mines into the waters of the Red Sea.The Red Sea runs from Egypts Suez Canal in the north down through the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the south that separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.Coal smuggling through the Red Sea has been used by Somalias al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militant group to fund attacks. The rebels likewise fired rockets in the Red Sea that have actually come near an American warship in the past.A 60-day cease-fire around the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan appears for now to be holding despite duplicated offenses that both parties blamed each other for.The U.N.-brokered cease-fire, that began on April 2, is the very first nationwide one in 6 years.

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