Yemen's Houthi forces have missiles that could be fired at Riyadh, Dubai and Abu
Dhabi should violence escalate in the main Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, where a
fragile ceasefire is now in place, the leader of the Houthi movement said on Monday.
Yemen's four-year war pits the rebel group against the internationally recognised
government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, which is backed by a Saudi-led coalition
of Yemeni and Arab forces, including the United Arab Emirates.
Hodeidah port is the entry point for most of Yemen's humanitarian aid and commercial
imports and is the current focal point of United Nations efforts to implement a December
deal between the warring parties.
"Our missiles are capable of reaching Riyadh and beyond Riyadh, to Dubai and Abu
Dhabi," Abdul Malik al-Houthi told Houthi-run Masirah TV.
"It is possible to target strategic, vital, sensitive and influential targets in
the event of any escalation in Hodeidah," he said. "We are able to strongly shake
the Emirati economy."
Houthi forces regularly fire missiles into southern Saudi Arabia and occasionally
aim for targets such as the capital Riyadh or facilities of state oil company Saudi
Most missiles have been intercepted by the Saudi military.
The UN is trying to get both sides to pull troops out of Hodeidah but the process
has stalled. Both sides blame the other for lack of progress.
Although a ceasefire largely holds in Hodeidah, violence continues elsewhere and
has escalated in recent weeks.
Plagued by decades of instability, Yemen's latest conflict began in late 2014 when
Houthi forces drove Hadi's government out of the capital Sanaa.
The Saudi-backed alliance intervened in March 2015 to restore Hadi's government.
The Houthis, who say their revolution is against corruption, control the capital
Sanaa and most population centres.