Yemen PM seeks reconciliation after deadly Aden clashes

A young Yemeni boy living in a camp for people displaced by his country’s war holds a box of aid from Saudi Arabia in Marib, Yemen. (AP)
Updated 07 February 2018
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Yemen PM seeks reconciliation after deadly Aden clashes

ADEN: Yemen’s prime minister appealed on Wednesday for reconciliation with southern separatists after deadly clashes last month in which they seized almost all of Aden where his government has its base.
Security sources told AFP that separatists have lifted their siege of the presidential palace and handed back three military camps to government troops. But they remain in control of the rest of Yemen’s second city as well as swathes of neighboring provinces.
Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher called for an end to the infighting between the rival sides, which had previously fought together against Iran-backed Houthi militias who control the capital Sanaa and much of the north.
“The mission today is to bridge the gap, heal the wounds and abandon political escalation,” Dagher told the first Cabinet meeting since the fighting.
“Based on directives from the president, we will work for social reconciliation in Aden and neighboring provinces to pave the way for comprehensive national reconciliation,” government-run media quoted him as saying.
President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, who is based in Saudi Arabia, has struggled to keep together a disparate loyalist alliance, which has relied heavily on southern separatist forces.
South Yemen was an independent country until its unification with the north in 1990.
On Tuesday, forces loyal to the country’s internationally recognized government recaptured a key crossroads town in the southwestern province of Hodeidah in an effort to cut off supply lines to the Houthi militias.
The officials said on Tuesday that forces backed by airstrikes from the Saudi coalition have taken control of the town of Hays after two weeks of fierce fighting against the militias.


Israeli minister boasts his country has been ‘killing Iranians’

Updated 4 min 39 sec ago
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Israeli minister boasts his country has been ‘killing Iranians’

  • Hanegbi accused Iran, Israel’s main enemy, of seeking to create “chaos” and “harm freedom of navigation”

JERUSALEM: An Israeli minister boasted Sunday that his country was the only one that “has been killing Iranians,” after tensions between Britain and Iran rose in the Gulf.
Regional Cooperation Minister Tzachi Hanegbi’s comments to public radio were a reference to Israeli strikes in neighboring Syria against Iranian and Hezbollah military targets.
But they came after Iran seized a British-flagged tanker on Friday, adding to tensions between Washington and Tehran linked to a 2015 nuclear deal.
Hanegbi accused Iran, Israel’s main enemy, of seeking to create “chaos” and “harm freedom of navigation.”
Asked if he feared that Israel would not receive the backing of the United States in the case of a conflict with Iran, Hanegbi suggested that Tehran would avoid such a scenario.
“Israel is the only country in the world that has been killing Iranians for two years,” he said.
“We strike the Iranians hundreds of times in Syria. Sometimes we acknowledge it and sometimes foreign reports reveal it.”
He added that the Iranians “understand that Israel means business.”
Israel has carried out hundreds of strikes in Syria against what it says are Iranian and Hezbollah military targets.
It has vowed to keep Iran from entrenching itself militarily there.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke in a similar vein last week with cadets at the national security college.
“At the moment, the only army in the world to fight Iran is the Israeli army,” he said.
Earlier this month, Netanyahu warned that Israeli fighter jets “can reach anywhere in the Middle East, including Iran.”
Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz for breaking “international maritime rules” came some two weeks after Britain seized an Iranian tanker at the mouth of the Mediterranean on allegations of breaching UN sanctions against Syria.