The capital of Yemen, Sanaa is now reportedly under control of Houthi fighters, according to media citing the Interior Ministry. The Iran-backed group has allegedly retaken the city amid reports of the death of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Saleh, who formally renounced his alliance with the Houthis on Sunday, was killed while trying to flee the capital, according to the Houthi-controlled ministry. It said their former ally “was creating chaos by working with militias of aggression” in the country, and “helping extremist militants.”
Having accused the former leader of betrayal and inciting even more violence in Yemen, the ministry said the Houthi forces have “ended the crisis” and now control “all positions” of opposing militias. There have been reports that the eldest son of the ex-president Ahmad Saleh, regarded as his likely successor, has been arrested.
Heavy fighting has been ongoing in Sanaa in recent days, with the Saudi-led coalition launching strikes on Houthi positions and having bombed Sanaa’s airport. The strikes come amid reports of extreme bloodshed in Yemen’s capital after ex-president Saleh pulled out of an alliance with the Houthi rebels.
Rubble and debris can be seen in a Ruptly video documenting the aftermath of the Saudi-led coalition’s attack on Sanaa International Airport on Sunday evening. The footage shows pulverized concrete, burnt-out cars and the airport’s abandoned VIP lounge. rt.com
David Cameron said the UK shouldn’t subcontract security. I say we should not make ourselves hostage to the actions of others, says Peter Ford, former UK ambassador to Syria.
RT: Will the UK Prime Minister David Cameron manage to convince Parliament that Britain should join the aerial campaign against Islamic State forces in Syria?
Peter Ford: His case was very unconvincing. He put forward, I would call, a deceitful sort of strategy – a strategy trompe l’oeil – designed to deceive the eye. This is what that strategy is. For example, he claimed that the Syrian opposition forces could put 70,000 men in the field against IS and he gave the impression the most of these were under the command of the so-called Free Syrian Army. This is straight-forward deceit. I choose my words carefully – the FSA is a laughable front organization for jihadists. It can only itself put about 5,000 men in the field. The idea that this would be the cornerstone of a ‘boots on the ground’ force to drive out IS and accompanying airstrikes is laughable. rt.com
Tuesday 7 April 2015
Former ambassador attacks Cameron’s ‘arrogant’ Syria policy theguardian.com
Actors, academics and writers sign letter urging UK not to bomb Syria theguardian.com
Egypt’s ousted President Mohamed Mursi has been told he faces execution, along with more than 100 supporters of his now banned Muslim Brotherhood, over a mass jailbreak during the Arab Spring uprising in 2011 that toppled longtime leader Hosni Mubarak. Mursi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, is already serving 20 years for ordering the arrest and torture of protesters during his own time in power.
Israel’s former prime minister Ehud Olmert was sentenced to six years in jail today for taking bribes in a real estate deal, a crime the judge said was akin to treason.
The first criminal conviction of a former Israeli head of government all but ended speculation that Mr Olmert – a centrist credited internationally with working towards a peace settlement with the Palestinians – might return to political life.
He had denied any wrongdoing in the property deal, approved when he served as Jerusalem’s mayor, that led to the construction of the hilltop Holyland apartment towers, a hulking stone complex widely seen as one of the city’s worst eyesores.
“A public servant who takes bribes is akin to a traitor,” said Judge David Rozen in the Tel Aviv District Court, as he handed down a six-year prison term sought by prosecutors and fined Mr Olmert 1 million shekels ($289,500).
Mr Rozen found Olmert guilty on March 31st of two bribery charges, saying the former prime minister had accepted 500,000 shekels from developers of the Holyland project and 60,000 shekels in a separate real estate deal. irishtimes.com