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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - LONDON: France has strongly condemned recent attempted air strikes by Yemen’s Houthi militia against Saudi Arabia.
The Iran-backed Houthis launched a series of armed drones toward the Kingdom’s southern region on Sunday and Monday with eight intercepted and destroyed by the Arab coalition.
“The proliferation and use of drones undermines the stability of the region,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement, while reaffirming its “firm commitment to the security of Saudi territory.”
France also said it was “very concerned” about the militia group’s ongoing offensive in Yemen’s Marib governorate.
On Monday, the Houthis launched a three-pronged offensive on the oil-rich, government-controlled province, triggering clashes with army troops and allied tribesmen backed by air cover from Arab coalition warplanes, Yemeni government officials said.
Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said the Houthis were targeting residential neighborhoods in Marib and Jouf with ballistic missiles and drones, despite international calls and efforts to reach a political solution. Several civilians have been killed in the offensive.
“The ongoing escalation, both in Yemen and against Saudi Arabia, must end immediately,” the French foreign ministry added.
Paris called on the Houthi militia to end their offensive in Yemen, as well as their destabilizing regional actions, and to engage constructively in a political process to end the crisis in the war-torn country.
France also said it was “in favor of a cessation of hostilities in Yemen and a relaunch of discussions with a view to a comprehensive political agreement involving all components of the country, under the aegis of the UN.”
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