Yemeni troops capture militant-held positions on outskirts of Jaar city

Updated 30 May 2012
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Yemeni troops capture militant-held positions on outskirts of Jaar city

ADEN: Yemeni troops have captured rebel-held positions on the outskirts of the southern city of Jaar, a military official said yesterday, pushing ahead with a US-backed offensive to uproot militants from the country.
He said at least 10 militants have been killed in the fighting since Monday night and that the Yemeni army was within 2-3 km from Jaar.
“Seizing this area will help us gain control of Jaar city,” he told Reuters. “Our goal is to advance into the city.”
Al-Qaeda-linked militants seized large swaths of territory in southern Yemen last year as former President Ali Abdullah Saleh grappled with protests seeking his overthrow. Saleh quit in favor of his deputy, Abd-Rabbu Hadi Mansour last November.
The United States and its Gulf Arab allies have watched with mounting alarm as security deteriorates in Yemen, home to Al-Qaeda’s Arabian Peninsula wing (AQAP), which is viewed by Washington as a serious threat.
The United States has stepped up air strikes using drones against targets in Yemen it says may be plotting attacks against it. It has also renewed military training to help Yemeni security forces grow strong enough to reassert control over the country.
The military official said troops advanced by at least one km in Jaar’s direction in the past 24 hours. “The troops are continuing to shell the northern and central parts of the city.”
Jaar residents said that food supplies were running short and many were unable to flee the city due to heavy shelling.
“The house next to ours was destroyed by shells and we’re worried the same will happen to us,” a Jaar resident said, without giving his name.
The governor of Abyan Jamal Al-Aqel said that the military has asserted control on several southern towns that militants tried to control in the past, including Lawdar and Mudiyah, adding that heavy fighting inside Zinjibar was continuing.
A military official said four soldiers were wounded yesterday when militants ambushed government troops outside the city.
Months of fighting and shelling in and around Zinjibar have turned the strategically important city into ghost town, residents said.
“Most of the city is empty, the buildings are destroyed and most of the basic services like electricity are cut off,” one resident told Reuters.
Saudi Arabia has advised its citizens to stay away from Yemen, the official SPA news agency said yesterday.
Last month, the deputy consul at the Saudi consulate in the southern port city of Aden who was kidnapped by Al-Qaeda militants, apparently to exchange him for women prisoners and a ransom.
FROM: REUTERS


Iran warns Trump to remain in the nuclear deal or ‘face severe consequences’

Updated 6 min ago
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Iran warns Trump to remain in the nuclear deal or ‘face severe consequences’

  • Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned US President Donald Trump to stay in the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers in 2015
  • Trump has said that unless European allies fix what he has called “terrible flaws” in the deal by May 12, he will restore US economic sanctions on Iran, which would be a severe blow to the pact

LONDON: Iranian President Hassan Rouhani warned US President Donald Trump on Tuesday to stay in the nuclear deal Tehran signed with world powers in 2015, or face “severe consequences”, as other signatories stepped up efforts to save the agreement.
Trump has said that unless European allies fix what he has called “terrible flaws” in the deal by May 12, he will restore US economic sanctions on Iran, which would be a severe blow to the pact.
The other powers that signed the deal - Russia, China, Germany, Britain and France - have all said they want to preserve the agreement that curbed Iran’s nuclear programme in return for lifting most sanctions.
“I am telling those in the White House that if they do not live up to their commitments, the Iranian government will firmly react,” Rouhani said in a speech broadcast live on state television.
“If anyone betrays the deal, they should know that they would face severe consequences,” he told a cheering crowd of thousands gathered in the city of Tabriz. “Iran is prepared for all possible situations,” he added.
French President Emmanuel Macron is in Washington, trying to convince Trump not to tear up the accord.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday he had agreed with his Chinese counterpart that Moscow and Beijing would try to block any US attempt to sabotage the nuclear deal.
Iran has warned that it will ramp up its nuclear programme if the deal collapses.