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Yemenis condemn Houthis' threats on Saudi oil

By Nabil Abdullah al-Tamimi in Aden

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Arab coalition spokesman Col. Turki al-Maliki shows US Assistant Secretary of Near Eastern Affairs David Schenker reportedly Iranian weapons seized by Saudi forces from the Iran-backed Houthis during a September 5th visit to Al-Kharj military base in central Saudi Arabia. [Fayez Nureldine/AFP]

A threat issued Monday (September 16th) by the Iran-backed Houthis (Ansarallah), in which they said they would target the same Saudi oil facilities targeted in the weekend attacks, has met with strong condemnation in Yemen.

The Houthis claimed responsibility for Saturday attacks on the Abqaiq and Khurais facilities that halted half the kingdom's oil production and sent shock waves through energy markets.

But the US blamed Iran for the attacks, saying there was no evidence they were launched from Yemen.

Yemeni lawmakers denounced the Houthis' threat in strong terms.

Prime Minister Moeen Abdul Malik described the targeting of the two Aramco facilities as an act of terrorism that is "an escalation of the policies of Iran and its arms to destabilise the region and threaten the global economy".

Deputy Minister of Human Rights Nabil Abdul Hafeez told Al-Mashareq that the Houthis’ new threat to target these facilities and their warning to companies operating there makes it clear that they are just proxies for the Iranian regime.

"Despite the signs that were circulated today and yesterday about the origin of rockets that hit Abqaiq, the Houthis rushed to claim responsibility in order to alleviate potential international moves against Iran," Abdul Hafeez said.

"If we believed the Houthis’ version, the weapons, rockets and drones are undoubtedly Iranian, and Saudi Arabia has already proved that in previous occasions about the type and origin of weapons," he said.

As for the Houthis’ new threats, he added, "everybody knows about the sanctions against Iran, and that is why Iran wants to show, through the Houthis, that it is capable of causing global concerns about oil and the world’s oil needs".

"In this way, it wants to prove that it is capable of creating a global crisis one way or another, whether by hitting oil facilities in the region, or preventing global trade by blocking the passage of oil tankers," he said.

"This message is Iran’s and not the Houthis’, and these statements are an express Iranian threat to the world," he added.

Preventing 'economic terrorism'

Abdul Hafeez urged UN Security Council member states to pass legislation to protect the region's oil facilities and international shipping lanes "so Iran may not succeed in its goal of preventing the region’s oil exports".

This would help deter "economic terrorism" and prevent new attacks, he said.

The Houthis claim that they targeted the Abqaiq and Khurais facilities, and the scale of the economic consequences shows the war in Yemen is entering a new phase, said Studies and Economic Media Centre director Mustafa Nasr.

"The Houthis’ threats must be dealt with seriously after these attacks, as it is clear that they are working, with Iran’s assistance, on developing their capabilities of targeting Saudi Arabia’s economic facilities," he told Al-Mashareq.

"This means the conflict in Yemen has become a regional conflict," he said.

With its attacks on Abqaiq and Khurais, Iran is acting on its threat of either being allowed to export its oil or stopping exports altogether for the entire region, political analyst and journalist Rashad al-Sharaabi told Al-Mashareq.

"The Houthis are just tools for realizing Iran's agendas, whether it was they who carried out the terrorist attack on oil facilities or they just claimed responsibility to cover others," he said.

"With this, the Houthis are compounding the Yemeni people's suffering because of their escalating aggressions on [Yemen's] neighbours and economic facilities that affect the entire world's needs," he added.

"The Houthis are determined to proceed with this battle which is hugely detrimental," he said, both to the Yemeni people and to other nations.

"This confirms that Iran and its military arms in Iraq and Lebanon use them for issues that have nothing to do with Yemen," he said, noting that Iran has been using the Houthis to help it force an end to economic sanctions placed on it.

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The planes which attacked the Saudi oil facilities are undoubtedly made by Yemen. As to those who claim that the strikes were launched by Iran, which have nothing to do with them, we say to them that these are Yemeni strikes, and that the planes came from Yemen, not Iran. They didn’t come to realize any of Iran’s goals, but came in response to your crimes, siege and war. If you stop your aggression, the Yemeni people will stop their strikes. If you continue with your aggression, the Yemeni people will proceed with their painful strikes that only hit deep inside your country.

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God damn you dogs who have sold off the Arab land! You’re lackeys of America and Israel. You’re not Arabs. You’ve sold Palestine, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Lebanon. You’re dirty, but God Almighty has sent to you a great mujahid for the sake of God, al-Sayyid Abdul Malak Houthi, who is a courageous hero. His weapon is the Holy Quran, and his strength is from the strength of God and the Yemeni people. He’s steadfast, and you, dogs, you can die out of your hatred!

They will be there in the morning. Isn’t the morning approaching?! You and what America has given you, together with your coalition, haven’t, and won’t, shake our belief in Arabism and our Islamic religion. We’re steadfast in the Yemen of faith, and we won’t kneel before anyone but God. God is with us, and you’re deceiving the world and making it believe you’re right. However, you’re with falsehood, and falsehood is under the dust. The unjust won’t succeed. You criticize oil ports and companies and forget your acts against the people of Yemen. The Yemeni people have dignity and freedom. The Yemeni people will always have their heads held high. Haven’t you known how many schools you have destroyed, how many children you have made fatherless? Don’t you know how many families you have killed? Don’t you know how many meals you have eaten at the expense of Yemen’s blood? You’ll never succeed. God Almighty has promised victory to those who are patient. You’re the filth of land; you aren’t Arabs. You have killed, destroyed, burnt and drowned so many Arab peoples, including Yemen, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Burma, etc. You’re using modern planes to attack people at their homes and destroy roofs on children while they are asleep. They’re supposed to be enjoying God’s peace, but you’re depriving the innocent children’s hearts of that. You’ve forgotten how many wedding halls you have destroyed on the heads of people, and how many schools on children’s heads. Have your forgotten how many buildings, universities and faculties you have destroyed? Have you forgotten the projects you have destroyed? Have you forgotten that you’ve destroyed a whole country? You haven’t thought even once about meeting God. You haven’t thought about the innocent blood you’ve spilled; they have nothing to do with politics. God suffices me and He is the best disposer of affairs! Your end will be soon, God willing. This is the promise of God. Your end is approaching at the hands of …

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