Arab coalition jets target Houthi drone sites in Yemen’s capital

The operation seeks to reduce Houthi drone capabilities. (SPA)
Updated 20 April 2019
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Arab coalition jets target Houthi drone sites in Yemen’s capital

  • The attacks are a continuation of previous strikes aimed at reducing Houthi capabilities

Saudi-led Arab coalition jets targeted Houthi drone sites in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, on Saturday morning, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

Coalition spokesperson, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said that at 12:40 a.m. (GMT) the Arab coalition carried out the military operation to destroy Houthi drone stores.

The targeted area was in a former Republican Guard camp in the vicinity of the presidential palace that was seized by the Houthi militia in 2014.

Al-Maliki confirmed that the operation was consistent with international humanitarian law. He stated that the leadership of the joint forces of the coalition have taken measures to protect civilians and spare them from collateral damage outside the perimeter of the camp.

The Houthi militia uses military camps near residential neighborhoods and civilian facilities as military zones for manufacturing workshops, which include installation of ballistic missiles and drone workshops.

This strategy is an attempt at using civilians as human shields, which is a clear and explicit violation of international humanitarian law, the coalition spokesperson said.

Al-Maliki said that the operation was an extension of the previous military operations that were carried out on Jan. 19, Jan. 31, Feb. 9, March 23 and April 10, to destroy the Iran-backed Houthi militia’s military capabilities.

Earlier this month, five people were injured, including a woman and a child, when two Houthi drones targeting civilian areas in Saudi Arabia were intercepted and destroyed.

While in early March, Saudi Arabia’s Royal Air Defense Force again shot down a Houthi drone that was flying toward the Kingdom.


Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

Turkish-backed Syrian opposition fighters get a major boost as Ankara backs them with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them hold their ground. (Reuters)
Updated 55 min 44 sec ago
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Turkey sends weapons to opposition fighters in Syria

  • Ankara signals readiness to preserve its influence in Syria’s Idlib province in northwestern region

AMMAN: Turkey has equipped an array of mainstream Syrian opposition fighters it backs with fresh supplies of weaponry to help them try to repel a major Russian-backed assault, senior opposition officials and opposition sources said on Saturday.
Russia is backing the Syrian army’s large aerial and ground assault as it seeks to gain control of the last big stretch of opposition-held territory in the northwest of the country.
Syria’s Bashar Assad launched the assault last month, saying fighters had breached an existing cease-fire, triggering a civilian exodus by bombarding Idlib and adjacent areas. It has been the biggest escalation since last summer between Assad and the opposition fighters in Idlib province and a belt of territory around it.
Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey, two senior opposition figures said.

FASTFACT

Ankara stepped up supplies in recent days after failing to persuade Russia in recent meetings of a joint working group that it should end its escalation to avert a major influx of refugees pouring into Turkey.

In doing so Turkey signaled its readiness to preserve its influence in northwestern Syria, where it has beefed up its troop presence in a dozen military bases that were set up under a de-escalation deal with Russia, a senior opposition commander said. Turkish officials were not immediately available for comment.
Overnight, a Turkish military convoy arrived in a base in northern Hama near opposition-held Jabal Al-Zawiya, where Russian and Syrian jets have been pounding for weeks, a fighter and a witness said.
The delivery of dozens of armored vehicles, Grad rocket launchers, anti-tank guided missiles helped roll back some army gains and retake the strategically located town of Kfar Nabouda.