15 dead in fighting near Yemen Red Sea port

A Yemeni soldier mans a machine gun mounted on a military truck near the Red Sea coast city of al-Mokha, Yemen, in this January 23, 2017 photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 March 2017

15 dead in fighting near Yemen Red Sea port

ADEN: Seven Yemeni soldiers and eight rebels were killed in heavy fighting over the past 24 hours near the Red Sea coastal town of Al-Mokha, medical and security sources said Saturday.
The historic port was captured by government forces on Feb. 10 as part of a major offensive launched in January to try to recapture Yemen’s 450 km Red Sea coastline, which had previously been almost entirely in rebel hands.
But there have been repeated clashes over the past month both inland and north of the town as the rebels seek to take it back.
The latest fighting focused on the village of Yakhtul, 14 km north of Al-Mokha, which is currently in government hands.
It came as an airstrike on a rebel-held port further north killed 20 civilians and six rebels.
SABA reported Saturday that eight people were also wounded Friday in the bombing of Khokha market in the western province of Al-Hodeida. It added that jets continued to fly overhead, spreading fear among first responders and preventing them from rushing to rescue survivors.


Australia joins US-led mission to protect Hormuz shipping

Updated 44 min 58 sec ago

Australia joins US-led mission to protect Hormuz shipping

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday that Australia will contribute troops
  • An Australian warship will be redirected from an anti-piracy operation in the Middle East

CANBERRA, Australia: Australia has joined Britain and Bahrain in signing onto a US-led maritime security mission to protect international shipping in the Strait of Hormuz.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Wednesday that Australia will contribute troops, a surveillance plane and a Navy frigate to protect shipping lanes off the coast of Iran.
He says it’s a “modest, meaningful and time-limited” contribution in Australia’s national and economic interests.
At least 15 percent of crude oil and up to 30 percent of refined oil destined for Australia transits through the Arabian Gulf.
The warship will be redirected from an anti-piracy operation in the Middle East, while the Australian troops will be based in the headquarters that are coordinating the US-led maritime security mission.
Initially, Australia will be involved for at least six months.