US takes aim at Yemeni Daesh for first time

(Reuters)
Updated 17 October 2017

US takes aim at Yemeni Daesh for first time

DUBAI: The United States said it launched its first attack on Daesh’s deadly Yemen branch on Monday with a series of nighttime airstrikes that residents said targeted two villages and killed several people.
Unmanned US drones launched around 12 missiles at militant positions in Yakla and Al-Abl in southern Al-Bayda province, according to local people living nearby, who declined to be named due to safety concerns.
They said the number of casualties caused by the attack was not immediately clear because locals were too afraid to approach the site as US aircraft hovered over the area for hours.
The Pentagon said in a statement that US forces had killed dozens of Daesh members in a strike on two camps where fighters trained in using machine guns and grenade launchers.
Residents disputed that account, saying the fighters targeted actually hailed from a powerful Al-Qaeda affiliate who deployed in the area to fight Iran-aligned Houthi militiamen as part of Yemen’s civil war, which began in 2015.
The complex conflict pits a kaleidoscope of tribes, military units and political factions against each other in chaotic rivalries that have allowed hard-line Sunni Muslim militant groups like Al-Qaeda and Islamic State to thrive.
The United States provides arms and logistical support to a Saudi-led military coalition that has launched almost daily air strikes against the Houthis to try to restore Yemen’s internationally recognized government.
Al Qaeda in Yemen, one of the fiercest branches of the global network, has plotted to down US airliners and claimed responsibility for the 2015 attacks on the office of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris.
It has been targeted by US air strikes for a decade.
Daesh, which only launched its first bombing in Yemen as it careered toward civil war in March 2015, has claimed responsibility for a series of spectacular attacks on military and civilian targets which have killed hundreds of people. (http://reut.rs/2ghdNRx)
Yakla, one of the sites targeted in the strike, was the site of a US raid in January targeting suspected Al-Qaeda militants which local medics said killed 30 people including 10 women and children, and also left a Navy SEAL dead.


Trump calls for World Bank to stop lending to China

Updated 7 min 22 sec ago

Trump calls for World Bank to stop lending to China

WASHINGTON: US President Donald Trump on Friday called for the World Bank to stop giving loans to China, one day after the institution adopted a lending plan to Beijing over Washington’s objections.
The World Bank on Thursday adopted a plan to aid China with $1 billion to $1.5 billion in low-interest loans annually through June 2025. The plan calls for lending to “gradually decline” from the previous five-year average of $1.8 billion.
“Why is the World Bank loaning money to China? Can this be possible? China has plenty of money, and if they don’t, they create it. STOP!” Trump wrote in a post on Twitter.
Spokespeople for the White House and the World Bank did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The World Bank loaned China $1.3 billion in the fiscal 2019 year, which ended on June 30, a decrease from around $2.4 billion in fiscal 2017.
But the fall in the World Bank’s loans to China is not swift enough for the Trump administration, which has argued that Beijing is too wealthy for international aid.