Differences, tensions run high with rebels in Sanaa

In this April 16, 2015 file photo, The shadow of Shiite rebels, known as Houthis, are cast on a large representation of the Yemeni flag as they attend a demonstration against an arms embargo imposed by the U.N. Security Council on Houthi leaders, in Sanaa, Yemen. (AP)
Updated 06 April 2017

Differences, tensions run high with rebels in Sanaa

HAIL: Adel Al-Shujaa, senior member of General People’s Congress (GPC) party in Yemen filed a case against Abdulmalik Al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi militias following a speech Al-Houthi gave last week.
Al-Shujaa deemed the speech an act of racism, hatred and sectarianism, adding that it was a blatant violation of the rights of the Yemeni people. He said the speech contained direct instructions to practice violence against those who do not abide by the Houthi ways, and clearly called for eliminating those who stand in opposition.
“Ignoring or turning a blind eye to this speech will lead to bloodshed of groups who are incited against them, and will lead to more massacres than those of the Nazis,” he added.
“This speech cheapens and devalues the blood of all Yemenis and calls for continual war without any regard for people’s lives and futures.”
Sources have reported that the ongoing conflict between ousted-president Ali Abdullah Saleh and leaders of the Houthi group in Sana’a have intensified, as Saleh ordered the detention of the brother of Houthi leader Abdulkhaliq Al-Houthi in a cell inside the Saleh reserve forces camp in Sawad Haziz south of Sana’a, along with a number of companions.
They were imprisoned for hours before they were released due to the intervention of both groups’ leaders. Houthis continue to target media outlets and journalists loyal to Saleh, cracking down on them and preventing them from reporting information freely.
Head of Al-Thawra Press Foundation, under directives from Houthi leadership, suspended 16 employees from their work and transferred them over to prosecutors on charges of destabilizing peace and making death threats against the head of the foundation.
According to sources in Sana’a, Houthis have been pressuring GPC’s media officials, using various means to force them to abandon certain demands related to media outlets.
The sources pointed to continual Houthi pressures of this nature on other congress members, given the GPC’s inability to confront them.


Grace 1 tanker raises Iranian flag, changes name to ‘Adrian Darya-1’

Updated 20 min 52 sec ago

Grace 1 tanker raises Iranian flag, changes name to ‘Adrian Darya-1’

  • British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria
  • Gibraltar lifted a detention order on the vessel on Thursday but its fate was further complicated by the US

GIBRALTAR: An Iranian tanker caught in a stand-off between Tehran and the West has raised an Iranian flag and has had a new name painted on its side, Reuters images of the stationary vessel filmed off Gibraltar showed on Sunday.
British Royal Marines seized the vessel in Gibraltar in July on suspicion that it was carrying oil to Syria, a close ally of Iran, in violation of European Union sanctions.
Video footage and photographs showed the tanker flying the red, green and white flag of Iran and bearing the new name of ‘Adrian Darya-1’ painted in white on its hull. Its previous name, ‘Grace 1’, had been painted over. The vessel’s anchor was still down.
The Grace 1 had originally flown the Panamian flag but Panama’s Maritime Authority said in July that the vessel had been de-listed after an alert that indicated the ship had participated in or was linked to terrorism financing.
Gibraltar lifted a detention order on the vessel on Thursday but its fate was further complicated by the United States, which made a last-ditch legal appeal to hold it.
The initial impounding of the Grace 1 kicked off a sequence of events that saw Tehran seize a British-flagged oil tanker in the Gulf two weeks later, heightening tension on a vital international oil shipping route.
That tanker, the Stena Impero, is still detained.
The two vessels have since become pawns in a bigger game, feeding into wider hostilities since the United States last year pulled out of an international agreement to curb Iran’s nuclear program, and reimposed economic sanctions.