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US general: Washington cooperating with Riyadh to secure Bab el-Mandeb navigation


English News
English News

Al Arabiya, 28 February 2018 - The US is worried about Yemen’s Houthi militia threatening international navigation in Bab el-Mandeb, Joseph Votel, the commander of the United States Central Command, said speaking to a House of Representatives Armed Services Committee hearing.

The US general said that Washington is cooperating with Riyadh in order to secure navigation in the area, adding that sly Iranian activity poses a real threat on its long term stability.

Votel also clarified that the US’s intervention in Syria is solely to fight ISIS after the Syrian regime showed a lack of seriousness in fighting the extremist organization.

He accused Russia of playing a destabilizing role in Syria as “both arsonist and firefighter”, saying Moscow had failed to rein in its Syrian ally.

“Diplomatically and militarily, Moscow plays both arsonist and firefighter, fueling tensions among all parties in Syria... then serving as an arbitrator, to resolve disputes, attempting to undermine and weaken each party's bargaining positions,” Votel said.

"I think either Russia has to admit that it is not capable, or it doesn't want to play a role in ending the Syrian conflict. I think their role is incredibly destabilizing at this point," he added.