Yemeni chief of staff says army has received international offers of logistical support

Countries in the European Union, Eastern Europe and South-East Asia have “expressed a wish to provide logistical support to Yemen's army." (Reuters)
Updated 29 December 2017
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Yemeni chief of staff says army has received international offers of logistical support

Yemen’s chief of staff, Major General Taher Al-Aqeeli, revealed that the Yemeni army has received European and Asian offers of logistical support, noting that new agreements would be signed at a later stage in the interest of the army.
In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat, Al-Aqeeli said that countries in the European Union, Eastern Europe and South-East Asia have “expressed a wish to provide logistical support to the army, and that there is cooperation with Australia on the maritime side.”
“All the efforts and actions that are currently being implemented are moving toward strengthening of the army to enable it to defend the country, in line with a clear and comprehensive vision … to become a shield for the homeland and the Arab and Islamic nation,” the Yemeni military official said.
“We will work hard to dissolve the tribal authority over the army through the proper establishment of the military institution,” he added.
Al-Aqeeli underlined the role assumed by the Arab coalition in restructuring Yemen’s military institution.
“The Arab coalition forces play an important and pivotal role in all directions, whether with regards to material assistance or advice provided by the coalition leaders to the Yemeni army. We must realize that our brothers in Saudi Arabia and the UAE have not only provided such assistance, but also stood with Yemen to defend the rights of the Yemeni people,” he stated.
Al-Aqeeli went on to say that the Saudi-led coalition has provided “all possible resources, and harnessed all the tools to serve and develop the army, and the results of this support can be seen on the ground.”
On the liberation of the remaining Yemeni territories, the chief of staff noted that the army was moving with accuracy “to reduce the war bill and to save civilian lives on all fronts.”
“Everyone must know that it is difficult to reveal everything, and the army depends on what it does, not what it says … the army will open new fronts, using conventional and traditional tactics in such confrontations, and carry out direct offensive actions,” he said.
Asked about the mechanism to liberate Al-Hodeida port, Al-Aqeeli stressed that plans to regain control over the area were linked to internal and international decisions.
“There will be a joint local, regional and international decision on Hodeida. There will be a move toward the city in time to create a balance on the importance of moving toward Sanaa or Hodeida,” he explained.
Commenting on calls by international organizations to return to dialogue in the wake of the Army’s advancement on the ground, Al-Aqeeli said: “The Iranian project dominates a number of Arab countries … they have exploited the sincerity of international organizations and influenced the public opinion by using these organizations to change the course of events.”
“But international organizations have uncovered the Iranian lies,” he added.
On the recent developments following the assassination of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Yemeni chief of staff stressed that the army would carry major operations in coordination with the Arab coalition forces.
“There will be military surprises that will not be disclosed now,” he said. “The army will certainly work in coordination with the Arab coalition forces to take advantage of all the events taking place on the ground in Sanaa.”
He noted that the Yemeni Army has succeeded in attracting leaders and sheikhs from Sanaa to its ranks.
“The army embraces all the Yemeni people from all factions, including scholars, tribes, officials, and therefore it was natural for them to join the army to liberate the remaining cities. We count on them to achieve outstanding results,” he said.


Four Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with PKK, says ministry

Military vehicles pass as Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) and Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) fighters man a checkpoint on a highway connecting the Iraqi-Syrian border town of Rabia and the town of Snuny north of Mount Sinjar December 20, 2014. (REUTERS)
Updated 8 min 4 sec ago
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Four Turkish soldiers killed in clashes with PKK, says ministry

  • Macron on Friday made clear of the importance to Paris of “the security of Turkey and a de-escalation along the Syrian-Turkish border,” the French presidency said

ISTANBUL, PARIS: Four Turkish soldiers were killed on Friday in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) near the border with Iraq, Turkey’s Defense Ministry said on Saturday.
Demiroren News Agency said a military base had been attacked in the mountainous Cukurca district of Turkey’s southeastern province of Hakkari, prompting the Turkish military to respond with a “large-scale” military operation.
“As part of ongoing operations on the Turkey-Iraq border, two soldiers were killed in clashes with terrorists despite all efforts to save them,” the ministry said, adding a total of four soldiers were killed and six wounded.
“Terrorists are under intense fire with the air operation and fire support vehicles in the region,” it said.
The PKK, which has waged an insurgency for autonomy in Turkey’s largely Kurdish southeast since 1984, is deemed a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and the EU.
A day earlier, French President Emmanuel Macron hosted representatives of the Kurdish-led force that defeated Daesh extremists in Syria, drawing a sharp rebuke from Turkey’s Foreign Ministry.
Macron assured the Kurdish envoys of French support in their fight against the remaining militants, but Ankara accused the French leader of “seeking to confer artificial legitimacy on a faction of terrorist groups.”
“We condemn the reception by French President Emmanuel Macron of a delegation of so-called ‘Syrian Democratic Forces’ (SDF),” Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in the statement.
In late March the US-backed SDF flushed out Daesh militants from their last bastion in Syria but the Kurdish-led force still warns that the militants remain a threat in places.
The SDF is an umbrella Kurdish-Arab force dominated by Kurds from the People’s Protection Units (YPG). It is regarded with huge distrust by neighboring Turkey which sees the YPG as a terror group.
Macron assured the visiting SDF representatives, who were not named, of the “active support of France in the fight against Daesh which continues to be a menace for collective security,” the presidency said in a statement.
Particularly important is the support in the “handling of terrorist fighters held as prisoners along with their families.”
European capitals are keeping a careful eye on the Daesh prisoners held by the SDF after the defeat of the militants, given many are dual nationals.
Macron also vowed that financial support would be allocated to “respond to the humanitarian needs and the socio-economic stabilization of civilian populations in Syria.”
The SDF were the West’s key ally in defeating Daesh and waged the bulk of the fighting on the ground.
But they fear being abandoned by their patrons now Daesh has been beaten, after US President Donald Trump announced the withdrawal of American forces from Syria.
France’s past contacts with the SDF’s Syrian Kurds had already angered Turkey which regards the YPG as the Syrian branch of the PKK, which has waged a 35-year insurrection against the Turkish state.
Macron on Friday made clear of the importance to Paris of “the security of Turkey and a de-escalation along the Syrian-Turkish border,” the French presidency said.
But Aksoy said Macron’s move did not sit well with the French-Turkish alliance, and warned that “Turkey will not hesitate to take measures deemed necessary to protect its national security.”