Coalition troops stand at 10,000

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Updated 11 September 2015
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Coalition troops stand at 10,000

JEDDAH: Emirati and Bahraini soldiers who were “martyred” in Yemen will be treated as Saudis “materially and morally,” said Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, SPA reported on Tuesday.
He vowed that the blood of “our martyrs will not go in vain,” and added that “the (Saudi-led) coalition will continue its operations with determination to defeat the (Houthi) rebels and their supporters who tampered with the future of the brotherly people of Yemen and who tried to destabilize the region.”
The Iran-backed militia and their allies in the army fired a Soviet-era ballistic missile at an army base in the central province of Maarib on Friday, killing at least 60 Gulf Arab soldiers on Friday.
The alliance has deployed 10,000 troops to Yemen, Qatari news channel Al Jazeera said.
Yemen’s neighbors ramped up airstrikes on Sanaa on Tuesday and hope to launch a decisive assault soon on the city.
“The number of coalition soldiers who have already entered Yemen has risen to 10,000,” Al Jazeera reported.
“A second contingent of Qatari soldiers will arrive today at Yemen after entering Al-Wadee border crossing (with Saudi Arabia) ... as coalition forces have added to their military equipment with 30 Apache helicopters, armored vehicles and rocket launchers,” he added.
A source close to the Qatari military confirmed that Doha was sending “mechanized infantry and armored vehicles” and that Sudan had committed to send 6,000 troops.
“The operation in Sanaa ... will use extensive bombing, air power, to support the ground offensive,” the source added.

Strikes on fuel smugglers kill 20 Indians
Separately, coalition airstrikes on fuel smugglers killed at least 20 Indian nationals at a Yemeni port, fishermen said.
In western Yemen, local residents said planes struck two boats at Al-Khokha, a small port near Hodeidah used by Indians to smuggle fuel supplies into the country, killing 20 of them.
— with input from agencies


Saudi crown prince, Pompeo send a message to Iran: End hostility or pay the price

Updated 17 June 2019
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Saudi crown prince, Pompeo send a message to Iran: End hostility or pay the price

  • The US secretary of state said the US was discussing a possible international response
  • MBS hoped the Iranian regime “would opt to become a normal state and cease its hostile policy”

JEDDAH: The US will take all actions necessary — “diplomatic and otherwise” — to deter Iran from disrupting Gulf energy supplies, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned on Sunday.

Pompeo spoke hours after Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the Kingdom would “not hesitate in dealing with any threat against our people, sovereignty and vital interests.”

The twin warnings to the regime in Tehran followed last week’s attacks on two oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman, widely assumed to have been carried out by Iran.

“We don’t want war. We’ve done what we can to deter it,” Pompeo said in a TV interview. “But the Iranians should understand very clearly that we will continue to take actions that deter Iran from engaging in this kind of behavior.

“What you should assume is we are going to guarantee freedom of navigation throughout the Strait of Hormuz. This is an international challenge, important to the entire globe. The US is going to make sure that we take all the actions necessary, diplomatic and otherwise, that achieve that outcome.”

Pompeo said the US was discussing a possible international response, and he had made a number of calls to foreign officials about the tanker attacks.

He said China, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia relied heavily on freedom of navigation through the strait. “I’m confident that when they see the risk, the risk to their own economies and their own people, and outrageous behavior of Iran, they will join us in this.”

The Saudi crown prince, in an interview with the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat, said the Kingdom had “supported the re-imposition of US sanctions on Iran out of our belief that the international community needed to take a decisive stance against Iran.”

He hoped the Iranian regime “would opt to become a normal state and cease its hostile policy.”

Crown Prince Mohammed said the Kingdom’s hand was always extended for peace, but the Iranian regime had disrespected the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe during his visit to Tehran by attacking the two oil tankers in the Gulf, one of which was Japanese.

“It also employed its militias to carry out a shameful attack against Abha International Airport. This is clear evidence of the Iranian regime’s policy and intentions to target the security and stability of the region.”

The crown prince said the attacks “underscore the importance of our demand before the international community to take a decisive stance against an expansionist regime that has supported terrorism and spread death and destruction over the past decades, not only in the region, but the whole world.”

Prince Mohammed’s interview was “a message to Tehran, and beyond Tehran, to the international community,” the Saudi political analyst and international relations scholar Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri told Arab News.

“He sent out the message that we do not want a war in the region. He was offering peace, as is our nature, and that is what we are doing now. But if it is going to affect our vital interests, our vital resources and our people, we will defend ourselves and take action to handle any threat.  

“We are facing aggressive, barbaric and terrorist threats from Iran, and we must take rapid and decisive action against that. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is sending a message to the world that there must be a solution.”