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Houthi Militants to Allow Safe Passage for Chinese and Russian Ships: Report

Yemeni Al-Joumhouriya TV
Yemeni Al-Joumhouriya TV

The Iran-backed Houthi militants have agreed to a safe-passage agreement with China and Russia, according to a Thursday report by Bloomberg.

The decision, reportedly made after trilateral discussions in Oman, formalizes a policy made by the Houthis in January to provide protection for the Islamist group’s two powerful allies.

There have been several incidents of Russian and Chinese vessels being targeted due to misidentification from fire control personnel.

Sources told the news agency that in exchange for the concession, Beijing and Moscow will provide political support for the sanctioned organization, including coverage resulting from their senior positions as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

The report lacked details regarding the specifics of the collaboration but suggested that it would probably lead to the use of committee vetoes against U.N. resolutions that target the Yemen-based rebels.

In January, a resolution condemning the group's actions was passed by the Security Council, with Chinese and Russian delegates choosing to abstain from the vote.

Since the start of the war in Gaza, the Houthis have been maintaining a terror campaign against commercial shipping in the Red Sea. Spokespersons for the group's leadership have stated that the purpose of the action is to show solidarity with Hamas terrorists in their fight against Israel.

The attacks have deteriorated the security situation for the region’s shipping industry and forced many transport companies to avoid the area by sending their cargo on a longer and more expensive route around Africa.

On Tuesday, Israeli defense officials confirmed that a Houthi cruise-missile successfully evaded local air defenses and struck near Eilat.

Related Story: Houthis Ballistic Missile Attack Kills Two in Gulf of Aden

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