SANAA (Dispatches) -- The leader of Yemen’s Houthi movement on Saturday warned Saudi Arabia to end its military campaign against the impoverished country or face the grave consequences.
"I call on the Saudi regime to stop the aggression and siege, otherwise the risks of continuing the aggression are great and the results will be severe for them,” Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said in a speech broadcast live.
He said Yemeni forces will continue to develop their military hardware and launch much harsher retaliatory attacks in case the Saudi aggression continues.
"Those who are seeking war and blockade and hoping to bring us to our knees are doing a useless job, and nothing but damage and harm awaits them,” Houthi said.
"The aggressive Saudis must end blockade of Yemen. We understand the level of suffering that Yemeni people are enduring as a result of the blockade,” he said as he called on the Yemeni nation to stay resilient.
Houthi then pointed to the ongoing mass protest movements in Lebanon and Iraq, advising nations in the Middle East region to resolve their issues vigilantly.
He asked the nations to exercise vigilance in the face of enemy ploys to gain a political and cultural foothold in their respective countries.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Houthi stressed that the Yemeni people will not hesitate to deal a stinging blow to the occupying regime of Israel in case it commits the folly of attacking Yemen.
"Our people will not hesitate to declare jihad (holy war) against the Israeli enemy, and to launch the most severe strikes against sensitive targets in the occupied territories if the enemy engages in any folly against our people,” he said.
"We reaffirm our anti-Israel position and that the regime is an occupying one. This is a principled humanitarian, moral and religious commitment.”
Houthi finally pointed to the theft of Yemen’s national resources by the Saudi-led coalition, saying more than 120 million barrels of crude oil have been looted in southern Yemeni areas occupied by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Ansarullah.
The U.S.-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit conflict-research organization, estimates that the war has claimed more than 100,000 lives over the past four and a half years.
The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN says over 24 million Yemenis are in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.