Houthis on back foot as Yemeni army advances

Photo showing Saudi-led Arab coalition Spokesperson Colonel Turki Al-Maliki addressing a press conference in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, June 18, 2018. (AN, Basheer Saleh)
Updated 19 June 2018
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Houthis on back foot as Yemeni army advances

RIYADH: Iran-backed Houthi militants have been outmaneuvered as the military operations by the Yemeni army and the resistance forces supported by the Arab coalition continue to achieve success, said coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

The Yemeni army has taken control of Hodeidah airport as the Arab coalition entered the main compound of the airport on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference here on Monday night, Al-Maliki said: “As the Yemeni army carried out a military offensive on the Houthi areas, the militias received heavy blows in Hodeidah and Saada.”

The national army carried out military operations in several areas and continued their progress in Hodeidah, Saada, Medi, Hajjah and Nahm, he said. This gave the national army control on these fronts, putting the militants on the defensive and leading to the breaking up of their ranks.

Al-Maliki said that the Houthi militias deliberately lied to hide their defeats. Yemenis should be alerted to the lies propagated by this Iran-backed sectarian militia and its claim that it controls the military position, with the aim of intimidating them and misleading them to enroll them in their ranks.

He said that the port was a strategic military target through which terrorist militias received weapons from Iran to provoke chaos and corruption in Yemen, and continue tampering through acts of terrorism and threatening maritime navigation in the Straits of Bab Al-Mandab.

“Houthi militia defeats, losses in Hodeidah will cut them from Iranian logistic access,” he said.

“The liberation of the city of Hodeidah and its harbor is an inherent right of the Yemeni government based on international laws and in accordance with Resolution 2216,” he said, adding “the liberation of Hodeidah will lead to the cutting off of Iranian hands, which will stop the smuggling of Iranian weapons to the Houthis.”

Al-Maliki said that humanitarian aid continued to enter Hodeidah and all areas despite hostilities from the Iran-backed militia.

The coalition continued to give maritime, land and air permits for aid to enter Yemen, he said.

Al-Maliki reviewed the efforts of the Joint Forces Command in securing international humanitarian organizations in Yemen, protecting roads for humanitarian operations and granting permits for campaigns and cargo loaded with relief and humanitarian aid through land, air and sea crossings, which according to him last week included 65 flights, carrying more than 4,000 passengers, 41 permits for ships anchored in all Yemeni ports, and one for the shipment of aid arriving by road.

He said that assistance coming to Yemen included oil derivatives and therapeutic, food and shelter services.

Al-Maliki referred to the process and political efforts in Yemen, the most recent of which was the visit of UN Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith in early June, during which he met with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and representatives of the countries of the region, before moving to Sanaa. 

He said his efforts and initiatives within the general framework for finding an amicable political solution in Yemen were rejected by the Houthi militias, as were the efforts by former UN Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, who was unable to find a solution to the Yemeni crisis because of the rejection of solutions by the Houthi militias and their lack of interest in finding solutions.

Al-Maliki said this information was included in the recent briefing to the Security Council by the former UN envoy, in which he stated the rejection of the Houthi militias of all political efforts and their deliberately obstructing the political solution.

He made a visual presentation giving a description of military targeting by coalition forces of the Iranian-backed militia’s vehicles used for war supplies to various sites.

Al-Maliki said the coalition forces would continue to support the legitimacy in Yemen to ensure the success of international organizations working to improve the infrastructure in Yemen and to work to restore security and stability in line with international and humanitarian laws.


Crown Prince: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big

Updated 4 min 30 sec ago
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Crown Prince: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big

  • Saudi Arabia and China signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum
  • The crown prince presided at a China-Saudi cooperation forum that concluded with 12 agreements on cooperation

RIYADH: Future opportunities between Saudi Arabia and China are very big, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Friday during his visit to China.

Citing a 33 percent increase in bilateral trade last year, the crown prince added that high-level contacts were paying off in areas from commerce to security and defense.
"Saudi Arabia's relations with China can be traced back a very long time in the past," Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told President Xi Jinping at their meeting in the Great Hall of the People in the heart of the Chinese capital.

Meanwhile, the Chinese president stressed his country's keenness on joint efforts with Saudi Arabia to support strategic relations between the two countries. He added that there has been coordination with Saudi Arabia on international and regional issues in recent years. 

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The crown prince earlier Friday presided at a China-Saudi cooperation forum that concluded with 12 agreements on cooperation in fields ranging from petroleum and the chemical industry to investment, renewable energy and counter-terrorism. Saudi Arabia is one of China's top crude oil suppliers and an important market for its exports.

Saudi Arabia and China also signed economic cooperation agreements worth a total of $28 billion at a joint investment forum. 35 agreements had been signed at the forum, held by Saudi Arabia’s investment agency SAGIA. Four licenses for Chinese companies were awarded at the forum.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman also pledged Saudi Arabia's backing for China's gargantuan "belt and road" infrastructure project, saying he was willing to link it with the kingdom's Vision 2030 plans— a blueprint put forth by the crown prince to wean the kingdom off its reliance on oil, particularly as sustainable sources of energy become cheaper and more popular.
The Crown Prince's visit follows trips to India and Pakistan, which send millions of laborers to Saudi Arabia and are seeking closer economic ties.