“In the interest of international peace and security and the preservation of the safety of navigation in the Red Sea, the American forces must move away from our territorial waters,” the deputy foreign minister in Yemen’s National Salvation Government, tweeted on Tuesday.
Because, Hussein al-Ezzi said, any approach may mean the beginning of the longest and costliest battle in human history.
The warning came hours after the US Fifth Fleet said in a statement that more than 3,000 US military personnel had arrived in the Red Sea on board two warships.
The statement from the Bahrain-based command added that they arrived on board the USS Bataan and USS Carter Hall warships after transiting through the Suez Canal in a preannounced deployment.
Yemeni Defense Minister Major General Muhammad Nasser al-Atifi also said last week that the illegal presence of invaders in Yemen’s territorial waters will cost them dearly.
“We are quite able to secure, protect and stabilize international shipping routes along all our territorial waters. The Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Bab el-Mandeb Strait are shipping lines that serve the world, and we are committed to ensuring its security.”
He dismissed allegations made by the Saudi-led coalition of aggression and the Israeli regime that the deployment of trans-regional forces in the above-mentioned regions will secure the waterways against acts of terrorism and piracy.
“What the enemy is doing in terms of occupying and exercising aggressive maritime control over Yemeni ports, islands, and territorial waters amounts to terrorism itself. Their behavior shows that the [Saudi-led] coalition of aggression generates and sponsors terrorist elements and pirates,” Atifi said.
“We will respond in kind to challenges, escalations of tensions, and shellings. We will withstand occupation through resistance and embrace peace,” he said.