Yemen army stops Houthi advance towards south Hodeidah

Yemeni fighters from the Amalqa Brigades, loyal to the Saudi-backed government, ride in the back of a pickup truck carrying an anti-aircraft gun during the offensive to seize the Red Sea port city of Hodeida from Iran-backed Houthis, on its southern outskirts near the airport on June 21, 2018. (File/AFP)
Updated 26 November 2018

Yemen army stops Houthi advance towards south Hodeidah

DUBAI: Yemen’s national army, backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, foiled an attempt by Houthi militia to infiltrate areas in the Hays district in the southern countryside of Hodeidah province, Saudi Press Agency reported on Sunday.

“The Houthis tried to infiltrate through a valley in the outskirts of Hays, but our forces thwarted the attempt and inflicted heavy casualties on the militia and their equipment,” Yemen’s army media center said.

Meanwhile, SPA reported that the Houthis continued “criminal operations” and “violations against civilians in the province.”

The statement added that the Houthi militia had shelled several civilian houses with mortars, causing severe damage, displacing dozens of families.

Militant rocket fire kills 12 civilians in Syria: state media

Updated 29 min 28 sec ago

Militant rocket fire kills 12 civilians in Syria: state media

  • Former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham being blamed for the attack

DAMASCUS: Rocket fire has killed 12 civilians in a regime-held village in northwestern Syria, state news agency SANA has said blaming former Al-Qaeda affiliate Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham for the attack.

SANA said 15 people were also wounded late Sunday in the attack on Al-Wadihi village south of Aleppo city and said HTS, which controls parts of Aleppo’s countryside as well as most of neighboring Idlib, was responsible.

It published graphic pictures purporting to show some of the victims in a hospital in the aftermath of the attack, including of bandaged men and children lying on stretchers, thick blankets covering their bodies.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the same death toll — saying five children were among those killed — and also blamed militants based in rural Aleppo for the attack.

But the Britain-based monitor did not specify whether HTS or other allied militant groups were responsible.

The attack came as Syrian government forces have been locked in clashes with HTS fighters in nearby Hama province.

More than 35 combatants, mostly regime forces, were killed on Saturday in battles in Hama’s countryside, according to the Observatory.

Parts of Aleppo, Hama and Idlib are supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a buffer zone deal that Russia and Turkey signed in September.

But it was never fully implemented as militants refused to withdraw from a planned demilitarized zone.

In January, HTS extended its administrative control over the region, which includes most of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces.

The Syrian government and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing nearly 400 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-government protests.