SANAA, Yemen, Yemen's Houthi rebels, on Saturday, threatened to launch ballistic missile attacks on Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, if coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) attacked the Yemeni lifeline port city of Hodeidah.

Our forces stand ready to respond to any major attack on Hodeidah, the rebels' spokesman, Yahya Sariee, said.

Intelligence-gathering information confirms, the enemy is preparing for a military escalation in Hodeidah, Sariee said.

The legitimate targets of our forces extend to the capital cities of Saudi Arabia and the UAE, he said.

The Houthi rebels have launched dozens of missile attacks on Riyadh and drone strikes on Abu Dhabi, since 2017, to revenge air strikes.

However, most of the missiles were intercepted in the air by Saudi Arabia, while the UAE has denied any drone attacks on its ports.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are leading a military coalition that intervened in Yemen in March, 2015, to try to restore Yemeni President, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government, back to power after Houthi rebels forced him into exile and seized much of the country's north.

Rebel-held Hodeidah is the main gateway of Yemen's food imports and humanitarian aid.

The coalition-backed Yemeni government troops have been massing on the southern edges of the port city since July last Year, in preparation for launching a major assault to recapture the city.

The planned attack was halted under international pressures to pave the way for a peace deal brokered by the United Nations.

The cease-fire deal went into force on Dec 18, 2018, but withdrawal of rival forces has yet to be fulfilled as fighting on the ground intensified.

Last week, the UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, informed the Security Council that he is still working with the parties to make rival troops' withdrawal from Hodeidah a reality.

Source: NAM News Network

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