Saudi-led coalition to reopen Hodeidah port, Sanaa airport for aid

File: A cargo ship moored at Yemen's rebel-held Red Sea port of Hodeida. (AFP)
Updated 22 November 2017
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Saudi-led coalition to reopen Hodeidah port, Sanaa airport for aid

DUBAI: The Saudi-led military coalition fighting against the Houthi movement in Yemen said on Wednesday it would allow aid access through the port of Hodeidah and UN flights to Sanaa airport.
The coalition closed all air, land and sea access to Yemen earlier this month following the interception of a missile fired toward the Saudi capital.
It said it had to stem the flow of arms to the Houthis from Iran, seen by Riyadh as the movement’s main backers.
“The port of Hodeidah will be reopened to receive food aid and humanitarian relief, and Sanaa airport will be open for UN flights with humanitarian relief,” a statement from carried by the Saudi state news agency SPA said.
It added the decision would take effect from Nov. 23.
The coalition allowed the resumption of international commercial flights and opened Aden port last week, but it said the main aid route into the country (Hodeidah) would stay closed until it was satisfied its Houthi opponents could not use it to bring in weapons.
The Houthis, drawn mainly from Yemen’s Zaidi minority and allied to long-serving former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, control much of the country including the capital Sanaa.
Saudi Arabia and its allies have been waging war against them on behalf of the government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, based in Aden.


Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

A Turkish soldier is seen in an armoured personnel carrier at a check point near the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis province, Turkey. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

  • Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia
  • Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained

SYDNEY: A Turkish court rejected an Australian request to extradite a citizen it believes is a top recruiter for the Daesh group, Australia’s foreign minister said on Friday, in a setback for Canberra’s efforts to prosecute him at home.
Melbourne-born Neil Prakash has been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and has appeared in Daesh videos and magazines. Australia has alleged that he actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of militancy.
“We are disappointed that the Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey has rejected the request to extradite Neil Prakash to Australia,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
“We will continue to engage with Turkish authorities as they consider whether to appeal the extradition decision,” she said.
Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained there nearly two years ago.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported from Kilis that Prakash was initially ordered to be freed but was later charged under Turkish law with being a Daesh member.
A spokesman at Turkey’s foreign ministry in Istanbul had no immediate comment and the Turkish embassy in Australia did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a militant group.
Canberra announced financial sanctions against Prakash in 2015, including anyone giving him financial assistance, with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
The Australian government wrongly reported in 2016, based on US intelligence, that Prakash had been killed in an air strike in Mosul, Iraq. It later confirmed that Prakash was detained in Turkey.
Australia raised its national terror threat level to “high” for the first time in 2015, citing the likelihood of attacks by Australians radicalized in Iraq or Syria.
A staunch ally of the United States and its actions against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Australia believes more than 100 of its citizens were fighting in the region.