Rein in Hezbollah, Yemen tells Lebanon

Updated 13 July 2018
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Rein in Hezbollah, Yemen tells Lebanon

BEIRUT: Yemen’s Foreign Minister has called on Lebanon’s caretaker government to “rein in” Hezbollah and its aggressive tactics in support of the rebel Houthi militia.
“The Republic of Yemen reserves the right to present the matter to the Arab League, the Organization of the Islamic Conference and the Security Council,” Khalid Hussein Al-Yamani said in a letter to the Lebanese Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil. The contents of the letter were aired by Sky News.
Al-Yamani said that Hezbollah’s support for the Houthis was evident in a recent televised address by its Secretary-General Hassan Nasrallah, who called on Houthis to fight Yemeni government forces, and expressed “his party’s ambition to fight in Yemen against the internationally recognized legitimate authority.”
The foreign minister described the address as “blatant interference in the internal affairs of my country, which would seriously damage Yemen’s national security and fuel the flames of war.”
“The Yemeni government condemns Hezbollah’s statements and practices, including participation in training, planning and incitement and supporting the coup movements,” he said.
The Arab Coalition, led by Saudi Arabia, said on Monday that it had evidence of Hezbollah’s involvement in training Houthi militias.
The Lebanese Foreign Ministry did not comment on the Yemeni demand.
However, Mustafa Alloush, of the Future Movement, told Arab News: “The meaning of this message is that Hezbollah’s damage to Lebanon continues.
“The Lebanese government will not respond to this message, not because it supports Hezbollah but because it is unable to restrain the party,” he said.
The situation in Yemen was the focus of a recent meeting between the United Arab Emirates Ambassador to Lebanon, Hamad Said Al-Shamsi, and the United Nations Coordinator in Lebanon, Bernell Dahler Cardel.
Al-Yamani said that talks focused on “the integrated humanitarian plan that is being implemented to ensure easy access and provision of aid, as well as the protection of unarmed civilians through close coordination between the legitimate forces and international humanitarian organizations.”
He highlighted support for the efforts of UN special envoy Martin Griffiths confirming that Houthi militias should withdraw from territories they occupied illegally as a prerequisite for accelerating peace negotiations.


Is a spate of terror incidents in Egypt a ‘last dance’ for militants or a failure in security operations

Updated 12 min 29 sec ago
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Is a spate of terror incidents in Egypt a ‘last dance’ for militants or a failure in security operations

  • Some have speculated that the sudden spate of incidents is the militants lashing out to spoil the image that Egypt is returning to stability

CAIRO: Three terrorist attacks in the space of as many days have raised questions over whether the Egyptian security forces have brought extremist militancy in the country under control.

The attacks between Friday and Monday came after a period of relative calm. The Egyptian military has been involved in an extensive operation against terrorist groups in their stronghold in the Sinai Peninsula for more than a year. Police forces have also been carrying out operations against cells in a large number of governorates.

The first of the three incidents was a failed attempt to plant a bomb near security forces in Cairo on Friday. On Saturday, however, a massive blast killed 14 members of the military on a security mission near El-Arish in Sinai.
The third bombing on Monday could have been just as deadly. A suicide bomber blew himself up after he was chased by police in the densely populated Al-Hussein district of Cairo near Al-Azhar Mosque. In the end three officers were killed.
The attacks came after months of relative calm in an insurgency that began after the Muslim Brotherhood president Muhammad Mursi was removed from power in 2012.
Since then, militants have targeted the Egyptian security forces, churches, coptic Christians, tourists and ordinary Egyptians, killing hundreds.
In November 2017, gunmen carried out the deadliest terror attack in Egyptian history — killing more than 300 people at a Sufi mosque in northern Sinai.

In response, the military launched a vast operation in February last year to “eliminate terrorism in Egypt.” The operation is ongoing.

Some have speculated that the sudden spate of incidents is the militants lashing out to spoil the image that Egypt is returning to stability.

“[Terrorists] want to give Egypt a bad image to foreigners living abroad, on order to make a point. They want to abort the democratic reform process that Egypt’s been implementing in the past period,” MP Mohamed Maher Hamed told Arab News.

Author and political analyst Walid Qutb said Egypt is keen to host more important regional and international events and forums, including the African Nations football tournament, and a drop in terror-related incidents is key to this.

He said the return of terrorist operations at this time is an attempt to send a clear message that Egypt is not a safe country. What the extremists have done recently is a final dance and lost, Qutb said.
But political analyst Nabil Omar told Arab News that the elimination of terrorism requires more than just maintaining security forces.
There needs to be improved education and the spreading of correct information to improve the mentality of Egyptians, he said.
“I don’t think that the return of terrorist operations happening currently is linked to changes in politics in Egypt,” Omar said. “It has nothing to do with how well security is either. “Terrorist attacks are happening because the terrorists in question have decided to do so.”
The recent incidents in Cairo are both strange, Omar said. They targeted police forces in locations packed with civilians.
This could mean that terrorists want their attacks to be even bigger and deadlier, even if that comes at the cost of the innocent or unarmed.
“The positive thing here is that these recent terrorist attacks came after a long period of silence. During that period of time, the Egyptian military had the upper hand in relation to the terrorists – who used to be more in control before,” Omar said.
The attacks came after Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi described to the Munich Security Summit this week the Egyptian experience in regards to terrorism.