Tag: Houthis

Houthis take over Yemeni capital Sanaa

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

Al-Qaeda members escape in Yemen prison break

More than 1,200 Yemeni prisoners including suspected al-Qaeda members escaped during a breakout Tuesday, Reuters reported.

The escape from the facility in Taiz, Yemen, came as Shiite Houthi fighters were advancing on the city. According to reports, sympathizers of al-Qaeda, comprising Sunni fighters, attacked the jail and freed the prisoners before the Houthis could arrive.

The violence and lack of stability in Yemen led to the U.S. suspending Guantanamo Bay prisoner transfers there even though the bulk of the remaining detainees are Yemeni.

For several months, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab nations has conducted regular airstrikes on Yemen to push back the Houthi rebels. Most of the country, however, remains under Houthi control and has suffered an escalating humanitarian crisis. washingtonexaminer.com

Yemeni army, popular forces marching on al-Qaeda positions

Informed sources in the Northern governorate of Al Jawf announced on Wednesday that the Yemeni Army alongside the popular forces pushed back the al-Qaeda terrorists and took control over vast parts of the governorate.

The sources told the FNA that the Yemeni army and the country’s popular forces stormed strongholds of the Saudi-backed al-Qaeda terrorists and forced them to retreat form al-Yatma district.

There have not been official records on the death toll and casualties of either side.

A report said on Tuesday that the Saudi monarchy is smuggling large consignments of weapons and munitions into Yemen in a bid to aid the al-Qaeda terrorists in the Arab country.

Yemeni media outlets released a report, saying that Riyadh is sending large quantities of arms and ammunition to al-Qaeda terrorists operating in Yemen to undermine the Ansarullah popular fighters.

The report added that so far 36 trucks, 16 of them loaded with arms and munitions, have been smuggled into Yemen through Wadia border crossing in the Eastern Yemeni province of Hadhramaut.

The terrorists were also provided with medicine and funds, the report added.

Back in April, an informed Yemeni source said that the Saudi regime has sharply increased the flow of weapons to the al-Qaeda terrorists and the loyalists to Yemen’s fugitive President Mansour Hadi in the city of Ta’izz. farsnews.com

Saudi backed al-Qaeda seek moderate image in Yemen

When al-Qaida overran the Yemeni port city of Mukalla last month, the group’s commanders immediately struck a deal to share power with the area’s tribesmen. No jihadi banners were raised. Al-Qaida even issued a statement denying rumors that it had banned music at parties or men wearing shorts.

A local tribal council now administers the city.

The approach was a stark contrast to al-Qaida’s rival, the Islamic State group, notorious for its savagery. And that was precisely the point.

In a competition with the Islamic State group for recruits and prestige across the Middle East, al-Qaida has sought to distinguish itself from its rival’s bloodthirstiness, taking an approach that in jihadi circles would be considered pragmatic. It is building alliances with local players, even old enemies, to seize new territory. Its leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, has told his followers to avoid IS-style brutalities against civilians in order to build support among local populations.

The strategy has paid off, winning new gains for al-Qaida. In Yemen, it even stands to emerge as the real winner as Saudi Arabia leads an Arab air campaign targeting the terror network’s rival, the Iranian-backed Shiite rebels known as Houthis who have taken over much of the country.

Al-Qaida “is the future Trojan horse,” warned a senior Yemeni military intelligence officer, Ali Sharif. When the war is over and leaves a security vacuum, he said, “the role of al-Qaida will come. … They will fill it and take control.”

While the United States and the West might hope that the competition between al-Qaida and the Islamic State group would weaken two major militant threats, each is instead maneuvering to benefit from the region’s turmoil. timesleader.com

Jabhat al-Nusra Soldiers Photographed Frolicking In Syria Snow

Report: Saudi Arabia used U.S.-supplied cluster bombs in Yemen – CNN

Saudi Arabia to deploy ground troops in Yemen

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman Abdulaziz on Tuesday ordered the deployment of an elite ground unit in the country’s ongoing campaign against Yemen’s Shia Houthi militant group, Saudi’s official news agency has reported.

King Salman has issued a royal decree to deploy National Guard Forces in its ongoing military operation against Yemen’s Houthis – a campaign which, until Tuesday’s announcement, had been reportedly confined to air and naval bombardments.

Riyadh refrained, however, from providing additional details on the planned deployment.

Since March 25, Houthi positions across Yemen have been the target of frequent attacks by warplanes from Saudi Arabia and its Gulf-Arab allies.

Fractious Yemen has remained in turmoil since last September, when the Houthis overran capital Sanaa, from which they have sought to extend their influence to other parts of the country. middleeastmonitor.com

Egyptian court weighs labeling Hamas terror organization

An Egyptian court is weighing whether to ban and list the military wing of Hamas, the Izzadin Kassam Brigades, as a terrorist group. The Cairo court is set to rule on January 17, according to a report on the Aswat Masriya website on Monday. Egyptian authorities accuse Hamas of participating in the Islamist insurgency, which includes attacks against its security forces. Egyptian courts already banned the Muslim Brotherhood affiliated Hamas organization in March. Last year, a court outlawed the Egyptian Brotherhood movement, affiliated with ousted president Mohamed Morsi.

Meanwhile, a group of Islamist scholars criticized Egypt on Monday for seeking an Interpol arrest warrant for their leader, a Qatar-based cleric whose outspoken support for the Muslim Brotherhood contributed to a diplomatic rift between Gulf Arab states. jpost.com

Houthi expansion threatens Yemen’s strategic Bab al-Mandab strait

Iranian support seen crucial for Yemen’s Houthis

U.N. Sahel envoy says Libya turmoil could destabilise neighbours

2 Egyptians killed, 4 injured amid heavy fighting in Libya

Yemeni Houthis advance into al-Qaeda stronghold

They said the Yemeni army pounded local tribes and fighters of al Qaeda’s local wing, Ansar al-Sharia, with air strikes, artillery and Katuysha rockets in al-Baydah province, about 160 km (100 miles) southeast of the capital Sanaa.

“Around 10 civilians were killed and a number were injured, including women and children,” one tribal source said. “But because it is dark and due to the continuing clashes, we were unable to retrieve all the victims,” he told Reuters, adding that dozens of families had fled the fighting.

Ansar al-Sharia said its fighters and those of allied tribesmen, along with civilians, had evacuated the al-Manasseh area, one of its main southern strongholds, under pressure from army strikes without suffering any casualties. It said in a statement that U.S. drones had participated in the attacks.

The northern-based Houthis established themselves as power brokers in Yemen last month by capturing Sanaa against scant resistance from the administration of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, angering al Qaeda and Sunni Muslim tribal allies.

Another tribal source said heavy fighting was underway in the Khobza area, another stronghold held by Ansar al-Sharia and its allies, in al-Baydah. reuters.com

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