Yemen’s Houthis ‘greatest threat on planet now,’ says UK arms sales board chief

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The chairman of a committee scrutinizing British arms sales has pointed the finger at the Iranian-backed Houthi militia for the humanitarian crisis in Yemen.

In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today program, Labour’s Graham Jones said that aside from environmental issues, the well-armed Houthi group “represent the greatest threat on the planet now.”

Jones, who chairs the Commons Committees on Arms Exports Controls, likened Houthi missile attacks on Saudi targets to Nazi attacks on Britain during WWII.

In remarks cited by the Independent, Jones said: “You talk about the humanitarian disaster of course. This is caused by Ansar Allah,” he said, using another name for the Houthi militia.

He added: “If you read the ambassadors at the UN and the unanimous decision to back the [Yemeni President Abdrabbo Mansour] Hadi government, it’s not hard to come to the conclusion that the way we find peace and security is to stop the Ansar Allah advance into other tribal areas and the oppression that goes with it.”

He said the Saudis were themselves under attack by rebels with “hi-tech missiles.”

“The Iran-backed rebels, with hi-tech missiles. Ansar Allah, in my view, represent the greatest threat on the planet now in the way that they are trying to take over the Yemeni government … apart from environmental issues.

“We had, what, 1,300 V2 rockets fired into the UK during World War Two? The Saudis have now faced over 200 long-range ballistic missiles, Iranian-made missiles. That is a very serious issue.”

He added: “It just happens to be that every other nation has decided not to send a military element to Yemen and the Arab coalition have.

“It doesn’t mean we support the Arab coalition but what we do support though is international law and that was a unanimous decision at the UN and that’s the position that we hold.”

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