Houthis suffer heavy casualties in Yemen’s Al-Bayda as coalition forces seize key supply routes

The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018
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Houthis suffer heavy casualties in Yemen’s Al-Bayda as coalition forces seize key supply routes

  • A field sourced confirmed clashes with the militia broke out as the army entered the land mine-filled province
  • The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward

DUBAI: Yemeni forces, backed by the Arab coalition, seized a key road used by the Houthi militia as a supply route into Hodeidah on Wednesday.

Abdulrahman Saleh Abou Zarah, head of the brigade fighting in the region, told AFP reporters that his forces had taken the main supply route, known as Kilo 16, which links the port city with Sanaa.

Saudi-backed forces also re-took another supply route known as Kilo 10.

The roads are vital for the transport of aid between the port in Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa. But the Arab coalition has accused the Houthi rebels of smuggling arms from Iran through the port and has imposed a partial blockade on the port, which the Houthis seized in 2014.

The news came as it was revealed that Houthi militants suffered heavy casualties in ongoing battles against the Yemeni army on Wednesday after clashes in the central province of Al-Bayda.

In a statement issued to the Yemeni Ministry of Defense’s official website, September Net, a field sourced confirmed clashes with the militia broke out as the army entered the land mine-filled province.

The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward.


Another Turkish journalist jailed over Gulen links

Ali Unal was chief writer at the now-defunct Zaman newspaper. (Supplied)
Updated 15 November 2018
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Another Turkish journalist jailed over Gulen links

  • About 250 people were killed in the coup attempt and in the subsequent crackdown, Turkey jailed 77,000 people pending trial

ISTANBUL: A court sentenced Turkish journalist Ali Unal to 19 years in jail on Wednesday on a charge of being a leader in the network accused of carrying out a failed coup in July 2016, the state-owned Anadolu news agency reported.
The ruling followed a sustained crackdown in the wake of the coup attempt, but also came amid steps by the government that appear aimed at improving ties with the US and Europe, strained by the sweeping campaign of arrests.
Unal was chief writer at the now-defunct Zaman newspaper, widely seen as the flagship media outlet for the network of US-based cleric Fethullah Gulen, whom Ankara says orchestrated the attempted putsch. Gulen denies any involvement.
Speaking by video link from jail to the court in the western province of Usak, Unal denied being a founder or leader of the network and denied involvement in the putsch, Anadolu said.
“I have no link with any terrorist organization,” he said, adding that he had spoken five or six times to Gulen and that he was being tried over his writing.
He was sentenced to 19 years and six months for “leading an armed terrorist group.” Six other Zaman journalists were convicted on similar charges in July.
About 250 people were killed in the coup attempt and in the subsequent crackdown, Turkey jailed 77,000 people pending trial. Authorities also sacked or suspended 150,000 civil servants and military personnel and shut down dozens of media outlets.Illustrating the scale of its actions, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday his ministry had dismissed 23 percent of its career personnel over links to Gulen.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said some journalists helped nurture terrorists with their writing, and that the crackdown is needed to ensure stability in a NATO member bordering Syria, Iraq and Iran. Critics say Erdogan has used the crackdown to muzzle dissent and increase his own power. The European Union, which Turkey aspires to join, has also criticized the crackdown. The verdict came a day after another court threw out the conviction of former Wall Street Journal reporter Ayla Albayrak, annulling a verdict sentencing her to two years in prison in absentia on charges of carrying out propaganda for Kurdish militants.