Yemen army tightens noose on Houthi militia in Saada

A Yemeni fighter loyal to the Saudi-backed Yemeni president. (AFP)
Updated 21 June 2018
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Yemen army tightens noose on Houthi militia in Saada

  • The Houthi militia suffered heavy losses in their ranks
  • Military forces were also advancing towards Houthi positions on the Maran mountains

DUBAI: The Yemeni army, with the backing of the Saudi-led Arab coalition, gained control on Wednesday new positions in the front of Al-Zaher, south of the Houthi-stronghold of Saada.

The commander of the special forces brigade, Brigadier General Adel bin Ali Al-Musabi, said that the army forces were engaged in fierce battles with the Houthi militia for three days, Saudi state channel El-Akhbariya reported. 

The Houthi militia suffered heavy losses in their ranks, he added.

According to the information center of the armed forces, the army was able to liberate the mountains of Al-Kharashi and Al-Ruqi, while continuing to move towards the liberation of Jabal Al-Jarza.

Military forces were also advancing towards Houthi positions on the Maran mountains.


Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

Updated 15 November 2018
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Lebanon bank deposits up 4% on year

BEIRUT: Bank deposits in Lebanon have risen by 4 percent on the year, Central Bank Governor Riad Salameh said on Thursday, and he maintained his economic growth outlook for 2018 at 2 percent.

In July Salameh had said he expected bank deposits to grow by more than 5 percent in 2018.

In October the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) halved their growth outlook to one percent for Lebanon, where public debt is about 150 percent of gross domestic product.

“Lebanese banks have succeeded in maintaining foreign exchange inflows into their sector supported by (the central bank),” Salmeh said in a televised speech at a Beirut economic conference.

With growth low and traditional sources of foreign exchange — tourism, real estate and foreign investment — undermined by years of regional tension, Lebanon increasingly relies on dollars expatriate Lebanese deposit in local banks.

The banks buy government debt, which finances the country’s eye-watering public debt and twin deficits.

The central bank also brings in dollars through complex financial operations with local banks to boost foreign currency reserves needed to defend the Lebanese pound’s peg to the dollar.

However, deposits have been growing at a slower rate since war broke out in neighboring Syria in 2011, and deposit growth rates are closely watched.