Saudi-led Coalition forces raid two caves used by Houthis to hide drones in Yemen

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malki. (SPA)
Updated 24 March 2019
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Saudi-led Coalition forces raid two caves used by Houthis to hide drones in Yemen

  • The caves were located in Sanaa, capital of Yemen, says Coalition spokesman
  • Houthis had been launching rockets and drones toward Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Saudi-led Coalition forces have raided two caves being used by the Houthi militia in Yemen’s capital Sanaa to hide drones, the  military alliance's spokesman said on Sunday.

“The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition has conducted a military operation tonight to destroy two legitimate military targets; consisting of two caves used by the Houthi militia to store UAVs, and use them in terrorist operations,” Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki Al-Malki said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA).

He said the raid was an extension of previous military operations in January and February that targeted the Iran-backed militia's drone network and capabilities and locations of foreign fighters helping the Houthis.

Al-Malki said the military operation was "in accordance with the customary international humanitarian law" and that "all precautionary measures and necessary action" were taken to spare civilians and avoid collateral damage.

The statement did not specify if the attacks were air strikes or by ground forces.

Earlier, Al-Arabiya TV reported raids on Houthi camps in Sanaa, including the Al-Dailami air base.

There were no immediate reports of casualties.

The Coalition-backed Yemeni government and the Houthis reached a cease-fire and troop pullout deal for Hodeidah, the main entry point for most of Yemen’s imports and aid, at talks in Sweden in December. The pact was the first big breakthrough in efforts to end Yemen’s four-year war.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the conflict, which pits the Houthis against other Yemeni factions backed by the Saudi-led coalition and loyal to the government of Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi. The Houthis ousted Hadi’s government from power in Sanaa in late 2014.
 

(With Reuters)


US voices concern for Baha’i facing death from Houthis

Updated 5 min 32 sec ago
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US voices concern for Baha’i facing death from Houthis

  • A Houthi court sentenced Hamed bin Haydara to death on “absurd” allegations
  • The United States urged Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia to end the mistreatment of members of the Baha’i faith

WASHINGTON: The United States urged Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia to end the mistreatment of members of the Baha’i faith, as Houthi court sentenced believer to death on “absurd” allegations.
The Baha’i community said that Hamed bin Haydara, who has been detained since 2013, will face an appeal hearing on Tuesday in the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa.
The US State Department said it was “deeply concerned” that the Houthis have targeted dozens of Baha’is and voiced alarm over accounts that Haydara has endured “physical and psychological torture.”
“This persistent pattern of vilification, oppression and mistreatment by the Houthis of Baha’is in Yemen must end,” State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

READ: Abdul-Malik Al-Houthi: A wolf in sheep’s clothes

The Baha’i community on Thursday released what it said was the response to Haydara’s appeal, with the prosecutor accusing the faith of being founded on “satanic thought.”
It said that Haydara has also been accused of seeking to create a separate Baha’i homeland on the Yemeni island of Socotra.
“The prosecutor’s arguments do not address the merits of Mr. Haydara’s appeal and instead make absurd, wide-ranging accusations that are not based in law or in fact,” said Bani Dugal, the principal representative of the Baha’i International Community to the United Nations.
He charged that the prosecutor was following the tactics of Iran’s clerical regime, which allows freedom of religion to several minorities but targets the Bahai’s, whose founder the Baha’u’llah was Iranian born in 1817.
The Baha’i faith calls for unity among religions and equality between men and women.
Baha’is consider the Baha’u’llah to be a prophet.