Saudi-led coalition continues efforts to contact political, social and tribal components in Yemen — Al-Maliki

Saudi-led Coalition Spokesperson, Col. Turki Al-Maliki at a press conference at the Armed Forces Club in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (Screengrab)
Updated 24 July 2018
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Saudi-led coalition continues efforts to contact political, social and tribal components in Yemen — Al-Maliki

  • Humanitarian operations are still operating at full capacity in Yemen
  • KSRelief to provide tables and chairs for Yemeni schools

RIYADH: Saudi-led Coalition Spokesperson, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said on Monday that coalition forces have been making concerted efforts to contact political, social and tribal components in Yemen.
Speaking at the Armed Forces Club in Riyadh, Al-Maliki said that the Yemeni people reject the actions of the Iranian-backed Houthi militia, highlighting the statement of the Yemeni Religious Scholars’ Association, which condemned the Houthis for looting humanitarian aid and called on the international community and organizations to work to prevent these acts.
Al-Maliki also said that an educational campaign had been launched by the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) to provide 5,000 chairs and 5,000 tables for Yemeni schools.
He confirmed that humanitarian operations are still operating at full capacity, adding that the total permits issued by the coalition forces has reached 27,937 since the beginning of the military operations.
He also said that Hodeidah Port represents the financial artery of the Houthi militia, who loot the humanitarian aid and sell it on the black market.
Col. Al-Maliki praised the Comprehensive Humanitarian Operations Plan in Yemen implemented by the KSRelief Center, noting that as many as 5,168,509 people had benefited from the humanitarian operations over the last 181 days.
Meanwhile, he said that the Saada and Omran governorates are still serving as ballistic missile launch platforms toward Saudi Arabia, citing that two missiles were launched between Jul. 16-23 from Saada toward Jazan and Najran.
On the ground, the Yemeni national army, supported by the Saudi-led coalition, has taken back control of a number of directorates affiliated to Saada province, including sites of militarily strategic important for an advancing army.
“The Coalition has targeted a building used by the Houthi militia as a point to assemble their fighters, a number of military communication stations, a supply truck in Midi, a check point, a weapons supply depot, and a military truck used to transport weapons to the terrorist militia.
He said as many as 163 ballistic missiles and 66,362 projectiles have been launched so far, with losses of the Iran-backed Houthi militias reaching 272 sites, weapons and equipment, in addition to 681 Houthi terrorists killed in action.


Nearly 1,000 Central American migrants in new caravans enter Mexico

Updated 1 min 53 sec ago
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Nearly 1,000 Central American migrants in new caravans enter Mexico

TECUN UMAN, Guatemala: Almost 1,000 Central American migrants entered southern Mexico on Thursday in a test of the new government’s pledge to manage an ongoing exodus fueled by violence and poverty that has strained relations with the Trump administration.
Mexico’s National Migration Institute said 969 migrants from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua crossed into Ciudad Hidalgo just days after new US-bound caravans of people set off from Central America.
Caravans from Central America have inflamed the debate over US immigration policy, with US President Donald Trump using the migrants to try to secure backing for his plan to build a border wall on the frontier with Mexico.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is pursuing a “humanitarian” approach to the problem, vowing to stem the flow of people by finding jobs for the migrants. In exchange, he wants Trump to help spur economic development in the region.
The US government has been partially shut down for more than three weeks as Democrats resist Trump’s demand that Congress provide $5.7 billion to fund his planned wall.
Mexican officials put wrist bands on the migrants as they entered the country to monitor the flow of people. The bands must be kept until the migrants register with authorities.
Once registered, migrants who met the requirements to stay would be issued humanitarian visas, allowing them to work in Mexico or continue to the US border, said Ana Laura Martinez de Lara, director general of migratory control and verification.
Those who entered Mexico at the official border crossing had done so in a “very orderly” and respectful manner, in contrast to clashes that took place at the frontier in October when a larger caravan began crossing from Guatemala, she said.
Some of the migrants expected to stay in Mexico to find work but it was too early to say how many, she said.
Martinez de Lara said approximately 700 people were still waiting to cross into Mexico from Tecun Uman on the Guatemalan side of the border. She could not say if any people had tried to cross into Mexico illegally.
Mexico’s government said Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard planned to meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo soon for talks on their efforts to address the migration challenge. No date was yet set for the talks, a ministry spokeswoman said.