Yemen strongly condemns Houthi attack near Makkah

Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi. (Reuters file photo)
Updated 30 October 2016
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Yemen strongly condemns Houthi attack near Makkah

JEDDAH: Yemeni government on Friday said Houthis failed attempt to attack Makkah undermines regional stability and proves they are a menace to world stability.
“We seek peace and they seek war; we look for the stability of Yemen and the region, and they look for destruction and sedition, and reaffirm they are a menace to the world peace,” Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdel-Malek Al-Mekhlafi said on Friday, adding that the deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Houthi militias are seeking a regional war to implement their plans offensive to Arabs and Muslims, and show that those "criminal gangs" have no respect for the sanctity of Islam.
"This criminal act is additional proof that the Houthis are the tool Iran is using to destroy Yemen and its neighboring countries," he said.
Seperately, the Yemeni government on Friday denounced and condemned in the strongest and harshest words the blatant ballistic missile attack on Makkah by Houthi and forces of ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh, describing the assault as a clear violation of all international norms and values, and human ethics and morals.
“This irresponsible act reveals the true face of the Houthis and proves their sectarian nature driven by Iran, through its puppets in the region, which has been campaigning for a sectarian incitement recently against Saudi Arabia,” a Yemeni government official said in a statement sent to Arab News yesterday, adding that the attack and the recklessness of Houthi militias and Saleh forces reflect their association with the destructive Persian scheme against Arabs and all Muslims as well as sacred Muslim shrines.
 He pointed out that the Yemeni people and government reject and condemn this flagrant and criminal assault by the Houthis against the feelings of millions of Muslims, adding that Yemen fully supports and stands in solidarity with Saudi Arabia and its wise leadership in confronting anyone trying to compromise its security and stability, or dare to target the religious shrines.
The official called on all Arab and Muslims states to support Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, the legitimate government that is being internationally recognized, and the Arab coalition in their efforts to restore the hijacked legitimacy from the putschists and those supporting them, in aborting their dangerous plans deemed destructive for the present and the future of the Arab and Islamic nation.
“We urge the UN, the Security Council and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation to immediately mobilize efforts and take strict measures to put an end to Iran’s blatant interventions through their tools to sabotage the region, and not just issue statements of condemnation or denunciation,” he said.
 The official pointed out that the Houthi militias confirm through this behavior, in addition to their previous attempts to target ships in the Strait of Bab Al-Mandeb undermining the freedom of international maritime movement, and their daily crimes against Yemenis, that it is still determined to proceed with its subversive and destructive disregard of all the international community’s binding decisions aimed at putting an end to the suffering of the Yemenis and ending the war sparked by the rebel group.
 He said the restoration of the legitimate state by ending the coup, and the application of the terms of reference agreed upon locally and internationally for a political solution, based on the GCC initiative and the outcomes of the National Dialogue and UNSC Resolution 2216, is the only way to address the perils of the Houthis at the local, regional and international levels.


Truckloads of civilians leave Daesh enclave in Syria

Updated 40 min 26 sec ago
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Truckloads of civilians leave Daesh enclave in Syria

  • The village is all that remains for Daesh in the Euphrates valley region that became its final populated stronghold in Iraq and Syria
  • The SDF has steadily driven the militants down the Euphrates after capturing their Syrian capital

NEAR BAGHOU: Trucks loaded with civilians left the last Daesh enclave in eastern Syria on Friday, as US-backed forces waited to inflict final defeat on the surrounded militants.
Reporters near the front line at Baghouz saw dozens of trucks driving out with civilians inside them, but it was not clear if more remained in the tiny pocket.
The village is all that remains for Daesh in the Euphrates valley region that became its final populated stronghold in Iraq and Syria after it lost the major cities of Mosul and Raqqa in 2017.
The SDF has steadily driven the militants down the Euphrates after capturing their Syrian capital, Raqqa, in 2017, but does not want to mount a final attack until all civilians are out.
The US-led coalition which supports the SDF has said Islamic State’s “most hardened fighters” remain holed up in Baghouz, close to the Iraqi frontier.
Mustafa Bali, head of the SDF’s media office, earlier told Reuters that more than 3,000 civilians were estimated to still be inside Baghouz and there would be an attempt to evacuate them on Friday.
“If we succeed in evacuating all the civilians, at any moment we will take the decision to storm Baghouz or force the terrorists to surrender,” he said.
Though the fall of Baghouz marks a milestone in the campaign against Islamic State and the wider conflict in Syria, the militant group is still seen as a major security threat.
It has steadily turned to guerrilla warfare and still holds territory in a remote, sparsely populated area west of the Euphrates River — a part of Syria otherwise controlled by the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies.
The United States will leave “a small peacekeeping group” of 200 American troops in Syria for a period of time after a US pullout, the White House said on Thursday, as President Donald Trump pulled back from a complete withdrawal.
Trump in December ordered a withdrawal of the 2,000 troops, saying they had defeated Daesh militants in Syria.

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