US condemns Houthi drone attack in Lahj

Fire engulfs an oil storage tank at the Aden oil refinery following an explosion in Aden, Yemen on Friday. — Reuters

WASHINGTON/ADEN — The US strongly condemned on Friday the terrorist attack by Iran-backed Houthi militias on a military parade in Al-Anad Airbase in Lahj, Yemen, SPA said.

In a statement the US State Department said the attack that took place on Thursday contradicts the spirit of the truce agreement in Hodeida.

The US State Department called for restraint from all sides. "This attack contravenes the spirit of the (Hodeida) ceasefire and the progress made last month at the UN-led talks in Sweden," deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement.

A day earlier the Houthis launched a drone attack on a military parade in Lahaj, a province next to Aden, killing several people. Aden is under the control of an internationally recognized government backed by a Saudi-led and US-backed coalition.

The Houthis said in November they were halting drone and missile attacks on Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and their Yemeni allies, but tensions have risen recently over how to implement a United Nations-sponsored deal in Hodeida.

Implementation of the deal, the first breakthrough in peace efforts in five years, has stalled as the sides disagree on who will control Hodeida after the withdrawal.

Civil Defense forces in Yemen's port city of Aden fought to extinguish a fire at an oil refinery on Friday, sparked hours earlier by an explosion, the cause of which was still unknown, the refinery company said. There were no reports of casualties.

Separately, Saudi state television reported that the Saudi-led military coalition fighting the Iran-allied Houthi group had destroyed a communication and control center the Houthis used to direct their unmanned aircraft. It did not give further details.

Meanwhile, a senior Yemeni army commander vowed to wipe out the Houthi militias, as they have targeted a military parade by a drone, on Thursday, during the launch of the training year, at the military base of Al-Anad.

The spokesman of the Yemeni armed forces Brig. Gen. Abdu Abdullah Majali said that the continuous aggression of the Houthi militias would not last and the Yemeni people, armed and security forces would only increase their determination to eradicate the Houthi terrorist militias, because they have proven beyond reason, that they do not believe in peace or international humanitarian law and pose a threat to the security of Yemen, the region and the world, as well. — SPA/Agencies