A Saudi-led coalition has warned Yemen's rebels threaten ships in the Red Sea through their control of a key port, days after rebel warnings over a coalition blockade. "These (missile launch) are aimed at threatening the security of not only Saudi Arabia but also the region and the world as firing of ballistic missiles targeting densely populated cities and villages is contrary to global humanitarian law", he said in Riyadh. The coalition, which says it takes all precautions to minimize civilian casualties, could not be reached for comment.
Yemen lies on the southern mouth of the Red Sea, one of the world's most important trade routes for oil tankers, which pass its shores as they head from the Middle East through the Suez Canal to Europe.
On Wednesday, Houthi rebels threatened to cut off the Red Sea shipping line if the Saudi-led coalition forces keep advancing toward the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, according to Houthi-controlled Saba agency.
Al-Maliki continued to say the Houthis are using the port of Hudaydah as a means for "smuggling advanced weaponry, but also as a launch pad for attacks on worldwide ships". He pointed out that it is necessary and the United Nations must take the initiative to receive the port of Hodeidah from the Houthi armed group to help the Yemeni people and to maintain regional and global security and stability, pointing out that the port of Hodeidah has become the starting point for acts of terrorism that threaten the navigation movement.
Yemen, one of the Arab world's poorest countries, is embroiled in a proxy war between the Houthis, who are allied with Iran, and a US -backed military coalition headed by Saudi Arabia.
The war has killed more than 10,000 people and displaced more than 3 million.