Yemen shelling kills Saudi soldier on border

In this April 21, 2015 file photo, Saudi soldiers stand on top of armor vehicles, on the border with Yemen at a military point in Najran, Saudi Arabia. (AP)
Updated 15 January 2017
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Yemen shelling kills Saudi soldier on border

RIYADH: Shelling from Yemen has killed a Saudi soldier on the Kingdom’s southern border, the Interior Ministry said early Sunday. The Interior Ministry announced early Sunday the soldier's death in the kingdom's Najran region as a result of shelling and intensive fire Saturday afternoon.
A Border Guards post in Najran region came under attack as a result of shelling and intensive fire at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, killing a corporal, the ministry said.
Army troops intervened to support the Border Guards.
The corporal is the latest of more than 110 soldiers and civilians killed in southern Saudi Arabia by rocket strikes or skirmishes since a Saudi-led coalition began operations in Yemen almost two years ago.
In support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi’s government, a Saudi-led coalition of Arab countries began a military campaign in March 2015 against the Houthi forces. It said its mission served in part as a counterbalance to Iran's influence following its nuclear deal with world powers.the alliance started air strikes after Houthi rebels and their allies overran the capital Sanaa and moved on to other parts of Yemen.
Since then, more than 7,400 people have been killed in Yemen.


Syrian fighters to support anti-Kurdish forces in northeast

A military vehicle is transported as part of a convoy on the outskirts of the city of Kilis, southeastern Turkey, close to the border with Syria, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. (AP)
Updated 5 min 14 sec ago
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Syrian fighters to support anti-Kurdish forces in northeast

  • Turkey has already swept YPG fighters from Afrin and other areas west of the Euphrates in military campaigns over the past two years

ISTANBUL: Up to 15,000 Syrian fighters are ready to join a Turkish military offensive against US-backed Kurdish forces in northeast Syria, but no date has been set for the operation, a spokesman for the main Turkish-backed Syrian opposition group said on Thursday.
President Tayyip Erdogan said on Wednesday that Turkey would launch the offensive in a few days, targeting a border region east of the Euphrates River which is held by the YPG Kurdish militia.
The announcement prompted a sharp rebuke from the Pentagon, which said any unilateral military action into northeast Syria would be unacceptable.
The US has been supporting the YPG in the fight against Daesh insurgents since 2015. Following cross-border shelling from Turkey into Kurdish-controlled territory two months ago, US forces have set up three military observation posts near the border.
Turkey says the YPG is a terrorist organization and an extension of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), which has waged an insurgency against the state in southeastern Turkey for more than three decades.
On Thursday the Turkish military said one of its soldiers stationed in Syria’s Afrin region was killed by fire from YPG fighters, who were in the Tel Rifaat area. Both areas are west of the Euphrates in northern Syria.
Turkish forces returned fire, the military said. Turkey has already swept YPG fighters from Afrin and other areas west of the Euphrates in military campaigns over the past two years, but has not gone east of the river — partly to avoid direct confrontation with US forces.
But Erdogan’s patience with Washington over Syria — specifically a deal to clear the YPG from the town of Manbij, just west of the Euphrates — seems to have worn thin.
The spokesman for the National Army, a Turkish-backed opposition force aimed at unifying disparate factions in northwest Syria, said on Thursday that there was no set date for the operation, which would start from both Syrian and Turkish territory.
“The battle will be launched simultaneously from several fronts,” Maj. Youssef Hamoud told Reuters.
“It will be in Manbij and Tel Abyad and Ras Al-Ayn,” he said, referring to towns about 200 km apart near Syria’s northern border.
Hamoud said the operation from Turkey might begin a few days before the move from within Syria.
In a speech on Wednesday, Erdogan said that Turkey’s target “is never US soldiers.”
Commander Sean Robertson, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement that unilateral military action into northeast Syria by any party would be of grave concern, “particularly as US personnel may be present or in the vicinity.”
Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph Dunford spoke with the chief of Turkish General Staff Gen. Yasar Guler on Thursday.
“Dunford emphasized that the observation posts will continue to focus on and deter threats from Syria toward the Turkish southern border,” a US military statement said.
“In addition, he reiterated that the US remains committed to coordinating efforts with Turkey to bring stability to northeastern Syria,” it added.