Yemeni army advances in Sanaa province

The clashes between Yemeni army and Houthis in east of Sanaa still continue. (AFP/File)
Updated 07 April 2019

Yemeni army advances in Sanaa province

  • Arab Coalition jets targeted Houthi troops
  • Houthis are stalling the redeployment in Hodeidah

DUBAI: The Yemeni army took control of Jabal Al-Ghunaimi east of Sanaa province in an operation on Saturday, Saudi state-agency SPA reported.

Saudi-led Arab coalition jets targeted Houthi troops in the area, a military source said.

Clashes continued between the Yemeni army and the militia, with the army making advances, the source added.

Fighting between the warring sides picked up this month after the Houthi militia were accused of refusing to implement a UN-led peace deal in Hodeidah.

The US ambassador to Yemen said last month the Houthis were obstructing the deal, which would allow aid workers access to the area to distribute humanitarian relief to the 24 million in need. 

The cease-fire agreement between the two parties – which was reached in Stockholm - was signed in December last year, but troops have not started the planned redeployment of Hodeidah. 

Iraq lifts nearly 30 km of blast walls from Baghdad: official

Updated 17 June 2019

Iraq lifts nearly 30 km of blast walls from Baghdad: official

BAGHDAD: Iraqi authorities have removed nearly 30 kilometers of concrete blast walls across Baghdad in the last six months, mostly around the capital’s high-security Green Zone, a senior official told AFP.
Since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, T-walls — thick barriers about six meters tall and one meter wide — have surrounded potential targets of car bombs or other attacks.
When premier Adel Abdel Mahdi came to power last year, he promised to remove barriers, checkpoints and other security measures to make Baghdad easier to navigate.
“Over the last six months, we removed 18,000 T-walls in Baghdad, including 14,000 in the Green Zone alone,” said Staff Lt. Gen. Mohammed Al-Bayati, the PM’s top military adviser.
Hundreds of the security checkpoints that contributed to Baghdad’s notorious traffic jams have also been removed.
And according to the Baghdad municipality, 600 streets that had been closed off to public access have been opened in the last six months.
Among them are key routes crossing through Baghdad’s Green Zone, the enclave where government buildings, UN agencies and embassies including the US and UK missions are based.
It was long inaccessible to most Iraqis until an order from Abdel Mahdi last year, and families can now be seen picking their way across its manicured parks for sunset pictures.
Iraq is living a rare period of calm after consecutive decades of violence, which for Baghdad peaked during the sectarian battles from 2006 to 2008.
It was followed, in 2014, by Daesh’s sweep across a third of the country and a three-year battle to oust the militants from their urban strongholds.
The group still wages hit-and-run attacks against Iraqi security forces and government targets, and Baghdad’s authorities are on high alert.
Thousands of the removed T-walls have been placed on Baghdad’s outskirts to prevent infiltration by Daesh sleeper cells, according to Bayati.