Houthi attacks draw new coalition strikes

Updated 26 April 2015
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Houthi attacks draw new coalition strikes

Saudi-led coalition warplanes launched new strikes on Houthi positions in south Yemen on Thursday in response to an attack carried out by the militia and its allies, raising concerns about peace prospects and driving up oil prices.
Informed sources in Dhalie said the Houthi forces had obliterated the house of Col. Mosleh Al-Oudi, a pro-government military officer. “Houthi tanks were firing haphazardly in Jalilah region, causing serious injuries to two citizens,” one source said.
Yemeni political analyst Mohammed Jumaih said he expected the Houthis to accept the UN resolution 2216 without any further pressure. “It’s an opportunity for them and the ball is in their court,” he said.
Former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh left Yemen early Wednesday and an official announcement over the deposed leader’s departure from the country is expected shortly, the local Yemen 24 website cited high-level sources in Riyadh as saying.
The sources added that it was agreed for Saleh and his family to leave Yemen but the destination is still unknown.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon meanwhile informed the Security Council that he plans to appoint Mauritanian diplomat Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed as his new envoy to Yemen, replacing Morocco’s Jamal Benomar.
Saudi Ambassador to the US Adel Al-Jubeir told reporters in Washington: “The Kingdom will do anything necessary to protect the people of Yemen and the legitimate government of Yemen. Having Yemen fail cannot be an option for us or our coalition partners.” Meanwhile, at least 23 Yemeni rebels were killed in fresh coalition airstrikes Thursday in the southern town of Daleh, a Yemeni official said.
In Taez, meanwhile, a Red Cross official said his team retrieved the bodies of 10 pro-government soldiers thought to have died when rebels overran a loyalist base there.
Speaking to AFP, the official said there were more bodies but that the Red Cross team was being denied access to the site by the Houthi rebels in the area.
Several rebel positions in schools and public buildings were “razed” by airstrikes in Daleh as well as in the nearby province of Lahj, said Nasser Al-Shuaibi, a leader of armed groups loyal to President Abed Rubbo Mansour Hadi.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Riad Yassine said there was no communication between the government and the Houthis. “There can be no communication until they put their weapons aside,” he told reporters during a visit to Bahrain, adding talks could start only when the Houthis withdrew from all cities and the situation stabilized.


Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

Updated 11 September 2018
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Cirque du Soleil heads to Saudi in special one-off show

  • More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show
  • About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions

MONTREAL: Cirque du Soleil will stage a show in Saudi Arabia for the first time later this month, the high-flying acrobatic troupe announced Monday.
The show will take place in the Saudi capital on Sept. 23 to coincide with the country's national day, public relations director Marie-Helene Lagace told AFP.
More than 80 artists will take the stage at the King Fahd International Stadium for the show, which will also be shown on Saudi state television. Cirque says it will be one of its biggest one-off productions ever.
About 250 costumes have been specially made to respect local traditions and conform to "the artistic standards for which we are known," Lagace said.
The announcement of Cirque du Soleil's appearance in Saudi Arabia was first made in Los Angeles in April, Lagace noted. But it was unclear whether the show would go on given the diplomatic tensions.
At the behest of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia has reopened movie theaters and allowed women and men to attend some concerts together.