Saudi Arabia helps free French hostage from Houthis in Yemen

The Frenchman Alain Goma, retained in Yemen, was released according to the Elysee. (Twitter)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia helps free French hostage from Houthis in Yemen

  • France’s president has announced the release of the French citizen held in hostage in Yemen for more than 4 months
  • French media reported Goma was on a sailing trip when damage on the ship forced him to dock in a Yemeni port

PARIS: A Frenchman held captive in war-torn Yemen for over four months after his boat ran into trouble near the port of Hodeidah has been released with the help of Saudi Arabia, the French presidency announced Tuesday.
Alain Goma dropped anchor in Hodeidah on June 3 after running out of water while sailing to India.
Hodeidah is under the control of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels, who took him prisoner.
It is not clear whether they made any demands of France in return for the release of Goma, who is in his fifties.
In a statement President Emmanuel Macron has congratulated all those who contributed to Alain Goma’s release. Goma will be back in France soon.
Macron said Tuesday that he’s grateful to Oman’s sultan and authorities for their “decisive” role and Saudi authorities for their help.
Yemeni security officials said the Houthis released Goma from a prison in the capital, Sanaa, which is also under rebel control.
They said the release came after “intensive” talks between France’s envoy to Yemen and Houthi leaders in Sanaa. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to brief reporters.
Goma’s family members had last month made the situation of Goma public in French media so that he wouldn’t become a “forgotten hostage.”


Egypt, 5 Arab nations in live ammunition military drills

Updated 20 min 24 sec ago
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Egypt, 5 Arab nations in live ammunition military drills

  • Thursday’s drills were held in the western desert around the “Mohammed Naguib” military base
  • They are scheduled to end Friday

MARSA MATROUH, EGYPT: Military units from Egypt and five other Arab nations have conducted war drills with live ammunition in the Egyptian desert west of Cairo.
Thursday’s drills were held in the western desert around the “Mohammed Naguib” military base near the coastal Mediterranean city of Marsa Matrouh.
The drills, codenamed “Arab Shield,” bring together ground, naval and air units from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan and Kuwait. They are scheduled to end Friday.
Thursday’s drills involved target practice by rocket launchers, tanks and fighter-jets.
Egypt has been holding separate drills with each of these five Arab nations in recent years, but Arab Shield marked the first time that all six allies simultaneously participated in war games.