Saudi-led coalition ‘will not allow Houthi militia to become another Hezbollah’

Major General Ahmed Al Asiri, spokesman for the Arab Coalition attends a press briefing at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia in London, Britain, in this November 3, 2016 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 15 April 2017
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Saudi-led coalition ‘will not allow Houthi militia to become another Hezbollah’

PARIS: The Arab coalition will not allow Houthi militias in Yemen to become like Hezbollah in Lebanon, its spokesman said.
Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri said the coalition would not accept any notion that the militants become part of a solution in Yemen.
Speaking at a forum in Paris, Al-Assiri said military operations in Yemen are being performed with caution in order to protect civilians, adding that Houthi militias are trying to hide their command and control centers among civilians.
“We seek to deliver humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people,” he said. “The Arab coalition was created to preserve the Yemeni state, and the coalition’s main goal is to preserve its legitimacy and people’s rights, and to alleviate the suffering of civilians subjected to Houthis’ injustice.”
He noted that legitimate forces have achieved progress in Yemen and the political leadership has returned to Aden.
Al-Assiri said Yemen’s suffering started the day the Houthis turned against the legitimate government, with militias using civilians as human shields and disguising their military command among them.
He advised against “hasty” executions of military plans in Yemen, which “may lead to losses. The policy of blockading the militias leads to effective results.”
The coalition cooperated with Yemeni forces to defeat Al-Qaeda in Yemen, he said, stressing that it is seeking “a comprehensive political solution that satisfies everyone.”
A solution for Yemen has to entail the implementation of international resolutions and to be consistent with the will of the Yemeni people, with no gray areas that might consider the militants as part of the solution, Al-Assiri said.
He added that the legitimate government in Yemen is training young people on security and combating terrorism, while the coalition avoids using indiscriminate bombing that would endanger civilians.
Al-Assiri said the coalition’s sea blockade is not a siege, it is only a means of controlling the parties that use the waters, and as such, claims that the blockade has led to famine are false.


Israeli police arrest 19 Palestinians at Jerusalem holy site

Updated 20 February 2019
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Israeli police arrest 19 Palestinians at Jerusalem holy site

JERUSALEM: Israeli police say they have arrested 19 Palestinians as clashes broke out at a contested Jerusalem holy site.
Police say dozens of Palestinians participated in a prayer protest Tuesday, attempting to breach a section of the compound that has been closed by Israeli court order for years.
Palestinian medics reported that several protesters were injured in the standoff.
The incident follows a similar scuffle on Monday in which Palestinians tried to break the gate that Israel placed on the closed area last week.
The compound, revered by Jews as the Temple Mount and by Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, is considered the holiest place in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam.
Any trace of Israeli security interference in the shrine, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, can ignite violence.