Coalition troops stand at 10,000

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Updated 11 September 2015

Coalition troops stand at 10,000

JEDDAH: Emirati and Bahraini soldiers who were “martyred” in Yemen will be treated as Saudis “materially and morally,” said Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, SPA reported on Tuesday.
He vowed that the blood of “our martyrs will not go in vain,” and added that “the (Saudi-led) coalition will continue its operations with determination to defeat the (Houthi) rebels and their supporters who tampered with the future of the brotherly people of Yemen and who tried to destabilize the region.”
The Iran-backed militia and their allies in the army fired a Soviet-era ballistic missile at an army base in the central province of Maarib on Friday, killing at least 60 Gulf Arab soldiers on Friday.
The alliance has deployed 10,000 troops to Yemen, Qatari news channel Al Jazeera said.
Yemen’s neighbors ramped up airstrikes on Sanaa on Tuesday and hope to launch a decisive assault soon on the city.
“The number of coalition soldiers who have already entered Yemen has risen to 10,000,” Al Jazeera reported.
“A second contingent of Qatari soldiers will arrive today at Yemen after entering Al-Wadee border crossing (with Saudi Arabia) ... as coalition forces have added to their military equipment with 30 Apache helicopters, armored vehicles and rocket launchers,” he added.
A source close to the Qatari military confirmed that Doha was sending “mechanized infantry and armored vehicles” and that Sudan had committed to send 6,000 troops.
“The operation in Sanaa ... will use extensive bombing, air power, to support the ground offensive,” the source added.

Strikes on fuel smugglers kill 20 Indians
Separately, coalition airstrikes on fuel smugglers killed at least 20 Indian nationals at a Yemeni port, fishermen said.
In western Yemen, local residents said planes struck two boats at Al-Khokha, a small port near Hodeidah used by Indians to smuggle fuel supplies into the country, killing 20 of them.
— with input from agencies


Egypt army drill ‘sends a message to Erdogan’

Updated 49 min 4 sec ago

Egypt army drill ‘sends a message to Erdogan’

  • Military exercise near Libyan border a ‘warning shot,’ experts say

CAIRO: A major Egyptian army exercise near the border with Libya is being viewed by military and strategic experts as a message of deterrence to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan over his backing for the Government of National Accord led by Prime Minister Fayez Al-Sarraj and supported by militia groups.

The combat exercise, codenamed “Hasm 2020” (Firmness 2020), was carried out by Egypt’s Western Region units together with armed forces formations and special troops, including paratroops and SEAL teams.

The drills included strategic incursions by land forces and land-sea operations by troops in coastal areas of the Western Region near the border with Libya. Other exercises focused on the threat from mercenary or terror groups.

Air defense and artillery maneuvers were also carried out during the exercises, which lasted several days. 

African affairs and national security expert Gen. Mohammed Abdel-Wahed said the Hasm 2020 exercise “carries many internal and external messages of assurance to our brothers in Libya and deterrence to some regional parties.”

The drill “was a message of deterrence to anyone who thinks he can threaten Egyptian national security” and “a simulation of war,” he added.

According to an army statement, the drill’s main phase was attended by Egyptian Minister of Defense Mohamed Zaki, and included live artillery and weapons fire.

Strategic expert Gen. Samir Farag said: “What happened was not an ordinary drill because the forces attacked mercenaries. Our army always fights a regular army. What is different about this drill is training to combat mercenaries. One of the training tasks is to carry out attacks to eliminate mercenaries in cooperation with the air force.”

Farag said the drill “is a message that we will operate on the coasts if they are under threat.”

He said the Egyptian air force succeeded in providing air supplies, “meaning that we have forces capable of going anywhere.”

Farag said that the Western Region had been carefully selected as a location for the exercises.

“We closely monitor any drill carried out by any of our enemies,” he said, adding that Hasm 2020 had been studied and followed up by some countries in the region. 

Egyptian MP and journalist Mustafa Bakry said that “every Egyptian should be proud of their armed forces and their extensive preparation to counter any attack on Egypt or threaten its national security.”

Bakry said that Hasm 2020 sent “a clear message to anyone who attempts to threaten Egypt or its people.”

The Libyan cities of Sirte and Al-Jufra are a red line, he said, adding that “Egypt will never leave Libya and its brotherly people as an easy prey to the Turkish invader.”