Yemen army makes strategic advances against Houthis

Tribal gunmen brandish their weapons during a gathering to show support to the the Shiite Houthi movement against Yemen in the northwestern city of Saada. (AFP/File)
Updated 17 January 2019
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Yemen army makes strategic advances against Houthis

  • The Yemeni army also clashed with Houthi militia in Taiz
  • Several Houthis were killed during the fighting

DUBAI: The Yemeni army has continued in its advances against the Houthis, liberating strategic areas in Saada that were strong-holds of the militia, the armed forces media center said Thursday.

Backed by the Saudi-led Arab coalition, the army advanced in the western part of Saada province, northwestern Yemen, making gains in Baqem district.

The forces also liberated Mount Al-Omani during the attack.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, the Yemeni army clashed with Houthi militia in Taiz, where dozens of Houthis died and several others were injured.

The Yemeni army also attacked Houthi posts in other areas in Taiz, killing 11 and wounding several others, Colonel Hamid Al-Khalidi told the Yemen News Agency.


Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

Updated 24 April 2019
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Kosovan women returned from Syria face house arrest

  • Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country
  • The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation

PRISTINA: Kosovo prosecutors have requested the house arrest of 16 women repatriated from Syria, saying they are suspected of joining or taking part as foreign fighters there.

The women appeared on Wednesday in court in Pristina, a day after 10 other women were put under house arrest. None have been charged with a crime.

Four alleged militants, all men, were arrested the moment they were brought to the country.

The women and children were sent to the Foreign Detention Centre in the outskirts of Pristina but were freed to go home after 72 hours.

Ten women were seen entering Pristina Basic Court in a police escort on Tuesday. The court said in a statement later that they had been placed under house arrest on charges of joining foreign armed groups and terrorist groups in Syria and Iraq from 2014 to 2019.

The state prosecution said all 32 repatriated women are under investigation and more of them are expected to appear in front of judges on Wednesday. The prosecution has yet to file charges.

After the collapse of Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate in Syria and Iraq, countries around the world are wrestling with how to handle militants and their families seeking to return to their home countries.

Kosovo's population is nominally 90 percent Muslim, but the country is largely secular in outlook. More than 300 of its citizens travelled to Syria since 2012 and 70 men who fought alongside militant groups were killed.

Police said 30 Kosovan fighters, 49 women and eight children remain in the conflict zones. The government said it plans to bring back those who are still there.

International and local security agencies have previously warned of the risk posed by returning fighters. In 2015, Kosovo adopted a law making fighting in foreign conflicts punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On Saturday, 110 Kosovar citizens — the four alleged foreign fighters, 32 women and 74 children — were returned to Kosovo with assistance from the United States, the first such move for a European country.

Authorities say there are still 87 Kosovar citizens in Syria.