Iran big winner from region’s turmoil: Arab League head

A still image taken from a video posted on a social media website and said to be shot on April 30, 2017, shows smoke rising after what purported to be barrel bombs were dropped on an area said to be Latamneh, in Hama province, Syria. Arab League Secretary-General Ahmed Abul Gheit on Monday said that Iran and Israel were the main beneficiaries of turmoil across the Arab world, which he described as the worst he has ever seen. (Social Media Website via Reuters)
Updated 02 May 2017
0

Iran big winner from region’s turmoil: Arab League head

DUBAI: Arab League chief Ahmed Abul Gheit warned Monday that Iran and Israel were the main beneficiaries of turmoil across the Arab world, which he described as the worst he has ever seen.
“I have never seen anything worse than what we are now seeing,” Abul Gheit said at the Arab Media Forum in Dubai.
“Iran is enjoying what the Arab world is going through. There are those in Iran who are watching and waiting for us to destroy ourselves.”
Ties between Iran and Arab states have grown increasingly tense in recent years, with Tehran backing Syrian President Bashar Assad, Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels and armed Shiite groups in Iraq.
Arab governments largely back Syrian opposition groups.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have for the past two years battled the Houthis, who control the capital and strategic ports along the Red Sea coastline.
Israel also stood to benefit from conflicts across the region, Abul Gheit said.
“Israel was under enormous pressure to find a solution with the Palestinians,” he said.
“If I were the prime minister ... I would have thought these were the happiest days for Israel.”
Long-stalled peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians have been overshadowed by global concerns over the Syrian war and Daesh group jihadists.


Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

Pro-government drive in an industrial district in the eastern outskirts of the port city Hodeidah. (AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018
0

Houthis mobilize to fight ahead of UN envoy’s visit

  • Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday
  • UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week

SANAA: Iran-backed Houthi militias have said they are ready to mobilize more fighters to the frontline despite a lull in battleground Hodeidah, as the UN envoy prepares to visit the country to boost peace efforts.

Dozens of Houthis put on a show of strength on the outskirts of Sanaa on Saturday, apparently getting ready to head toward Hodeidah, a Red Sea city home to a vital port.

Men, some of whom looked very young, were lining up with bandoliers around their shoulders and rifles in their hands, chanting Houthi slogans.

Residents said on Sunday that relative calm had held in Hodeidah city since pro-government forces announced a pause in their offensive last week amid international calls for a cease-fire and UN-led peace efforts.  They added, however, that they remain on edge.

Meanwhile, coalition fighter jets on Sunday carried out a series of strikes targeting Houthi positions west of Marib. The strikes, which were accompanied by shelling, came after the Iranian-supported militia launched ballistic missiles toward the city of Marib. Coalition forces successfully intercepted the missiles, Yemeni army media said.

UN special envoy Martin Griffiths said on Friday that he plans to travel to Sanaa in the coming week to finalize arrangements for peace talks to take place in Sweden soon.

Hameed Assem, a member of the militia delegation expected to take part in the negotiations, said that Houthis will continue to mobilize if UN efforts for peace fail to materialize.

Pro-government forces on Wednesday suspended their 12-day offensive in Hodeidah.

Griffiths said on Friday that both the government and the Houthis have shown a “renewed commitment” to work on a political solution and have given “firm assurances” that they will attend the talks. No date has yet been set.

(AFP)