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.


Powerful Algerian party abandons beleaguered Bouteflika

Updated 27 min 55 sec ago
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Powerful Algerian party abandons beleaguered Bouteflika

  • The National Rally for Democracy has joined ruling party officials, unions and business tycoons who have abandoned Abdelaziz Bouteflika
  • ‘The candidacy of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a new term was a big mistake’

ALGIERS: An influential Algerian party that was a long-time supporter of Abdelaziz Bouteflika has criticized the ailing president for seeking to stay in power, another setback for the ruling elite in the face of mass demonstrations.
The National Rally for Democracy (RND), a member of the ruling coalition, has joined ruling party officials, unions and business tycoons who have abandoned Bouteflika in recent days, after nearly a month of street demonstrations protests.
“The candidacy of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika for a new term was a big mistake,” RND spokesman Seddik Chihab told El Bilad TV.
“Extra constitutional forces have seized power in the past few years and ruled state affairs outside a legal framework.”
Bouteflika, who has ruled for 20 years, bowed to the protesters last week by reversing plans to stand for a fifth term. But he stopped short of stepping down and said he would stay in office until a new constitution is adopted, effectively extending his present term.
His moves have done nothing to halt demonstrations, which peaked on Friday with hundreds of thousands of protesters on the streets of Algiers and have continued into this week.
RND leader Ahmed Ouyahia, a former prime minister who had close ties to intelligence agencies, has also switched sides. “The people’s demands should be met as soon as possible,” he told followers in a letter on Sunday.
Leaders have emerged from the protest movement, offering an alternative to Bouteflika’s political roadmap to what he says will be a new Algeria. But they have not built up enough momentum to force the president to quit or make more concessions.
The military, which wields enormous power from behind the scenes, has remained on the sidelines.
Another powerful figure, Bouteflika’s younger brother Said, has kept a low profile. The president has rarely been seen in public since suffering a stroke five years ago, and the protesters say a shadowy circle of aides, including Said, have been ruling the country in his name.
The protests continued on Tuesday, with students, university professors and health workers rallying in Algiers calling for Bouteflika to quit.
A new group headed by activists and opposition figures told the army not to interfere.
In the first direct public message to the generals from leaders emerging from the protests, the National Coordination for Change said the military should “play its constitutional role without interfering in the people’s choice.”