Suspected US airstrike kills 2 Yemen children

A US Navy handout photo released on April 21, 2015 shows an F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the Thunderbolts of Marine Strike Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 251 launching from the flight deck of the US aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt in the Arabian Sea. (AFP)
Updated 08 March 2017
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Suspected US airstrike kills 2 Yemen children

ADEN/WASHINGTON: Two children, aged 10 and 12, were killed in a suspected US airstrike targeting Al-Qaeda in central Yemen, a provincial official said on Tuesday.
The children had been tending a herd of goats on a mountain outside the village of Yakla, in Baida province, when the strike hit on Sunday, the official said.
There was no immediate comment from the Pentagon.
Meanwhile, US airstrikes against an Al-Qaeda-linked militant group in Yemen killed a former Guantanamo Bay detainee who was released in 2009 despite earlier recommendations that he remain in custody because he was considered a high threat to America and its allies.
The Pentagon said Mohammed Tahar, a Yemeni, was killed. Tahar was held in Guantanamo for seven years.
A March 2008 memo from the detention center commander warned that Tahar would engage in extremist activities if he was released.
Also killed was Usayd Al-Adani, an explosives expert and district leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said the latest strikes in Yemen’s Abyan region bring the total number of attacks to more than 40 over the past five days.


Libyan commander marching on capital dismisses negotiations

Updated 20 June 2019
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Libyan commander marching on capital dismisses negotiations

  • Khalifa Haftar vows that his fighters will get rid of ‘terrorist militias’

CAIRO: A Libyan commander, whose forces are fighting to take the country’s capital of Tripoli from militias allied with a UN-backed government based there, has dismissed an initiative by its prime minister for negotiations to end the crisis.

Instead, Khalifa Haftar vowed in comments to a news website on Wednesday that his fighters would press on with the weeks-long offensive until Tripoli is rid of what he described as “terrorist militias.”

“Our military operations will not stop” until Tripoli is taken, Haftar told almarsad.co.

“The situation is excellent and I call on the Libyans to ignore rumors about our withdrawal,” Haftar said in interviews with Libyan news websites The Address and The Observer published overnight Wednesday to Thursday.

The offensive to seize the capital “will not stop before all its objectives are reached,” he said.

The campaign by Haftar’s Liberation National Army has raised fears of another bout of violence after the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed longtime ruler Muammar Qaddafi. Since then, the country has sunk into chaos, with rival administrations in the east and the west, and an array of forces and militias allied with either side.

On Monday, the World Health Organization reported the latest casualty tolls for the fighting in and around Tripoli, saying 691 people have been killed so far, including 41 civilians, and 4,012 wounded, 135 of them civilians.

The head of the Tripoli-based government, Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, told a news conference on Sunday he is proposing a “Libyan forum,” aimed at finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.

The talks would draw up a roadmap for parliamentary and presidential elections to be held before the end of 2019, Al-Sarraj said. 

In his remarks to the news website, Haftar dismissed Al-Sarraj’s initiative and criticized him as an ineffective leader.

“Initiatives have no meaning unless they are brave and carry clear clauses that address the causes of the crisis and its very roots,” Haftar said.

Haftar has presented himself as someone able to restore stability. In recent years, his campaign against militants across Libya won him growing international support from world leaders who say they are concerned the North African country has turned into a haven for armed groups, and a major conduit for migrants bound for Europe.