Yemen army advances east of Sanaa while dozens of Houthis are killed in Taiz

Yemen’s Arab Coalition-backed army has advanced into the governorate of Nham east of Sanaa. (Photo courtesy: Al-Ekhbariya)
Updated 27 February 2018

Yemen army advances east of Sanaa while dozens of Houthis are killed in Taiz

DUBAI: Yemen’s Arab Coalition-backed army has advanced into the governorate of Nham east of Sanaa, liberating several Houthi-held sites, the Saudi-state news channel reported on Monday.
Yemeni sources said the army liberated the strategic mountains of Nakhsh after heavy fighting that killed at least 25 Houthi gunmen.
This latest news comes at a time when the army targeted various locations of the militia in several areas of the same region which saw the destruction of various pieces of Houthi military equipment.
Meanwhile in Taiz, 40 Houthi militia were killed in fighting with the Yemeni army. According to Yemeni sources, the army shelled military positions and reinforcements on the line between Naquil Al-Salu and Dimna Khadeer in Taiz, while destroying military vehicles and equipment belonging to the Houthi militia in Khadair district.
Separately, medical sources said Sunday a mother and three of her children were killed in a double suicide bombing in Aden, raising the death toll to 12.
The family was among seven people who succumbed to wounds sustained in Saturday's attack, which was claimed by Daesh.
Five other people, including security officers and a child, were killed on the spot when two suicide car bombings hit the headquarters of an anti-terror unit on a beach near the Tawahi district of Aden.
Daesh claimed the attack through its propaganda arm Amaq. Daesh has repeatedly attacked Aden, where the government is based, claiming hundreds of victims and mainly targeting government forces.

Will European arms ban impact Turkey’s Syria operation?

Updated 21 min 42 sec ago

Will European arms ban impact Turkey’s Syria operation?

  • Several European countries imposing weapons embargoes on Turkey

ANKARA: With an increasing number of European countries imposing weapons embargoes on Turkey over its ongoing operation in northeastern Syria, Ankara’s existing inventory of weapons and military capabilities are under the spotlight.

More punitive measures on a wider scale are expected during a summit of EU leaders in Brussels on Oct. 17.

It could further strain already deteriorating relations between Ankara and the bloc.

However, a EU-wide arms embargo would require an unanimous decision by all the leaders.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan warned last week of a possible refugee flow if Turkey “opened the doors” for 3.6 million Syrian refugees to go to Europe — putting into question the clauses of the 2016 migration deal between Ankara and Brussels.

“The impact of EU member states’ arms sanctions on Turkey depends on the level of Turkey’s stockpiles,” Caglar Kurc, a researcher on defense and armed forces, told Arab News.

Kurc thinks Turkey has foreseen the possible arms sanctions and stockpiled enough spare parts to maintain the military during the operation.

“As long as Turkey can maintain its military, sanctions would not have any effect on the operation. Therefore, Turkey will not change its decisions,” he said.

So far, Germany, France, Finland, the Netherlands and Norway have announced they have stopped weapons shipments to fellow NATO member Turkey, condemning the offensive.

“Against the backdrop of the Turkish military offensive in northeastern Syria, the federal government will not issue new permits for all armaments that could be used by Turkey in Syria,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas told German newspaper Bild am Sonntag.

Following Germany’s move, the French government announced: “France has decided to suspend all export projects of armaments to Turkey that could be deployed as part of the offensive in Syria. This decision takes effect immediately.”

While not referring to any arms embargo, the UK urged Turkey to end the operation and enter into dialogue.

Turkey received one-third of Germany’s arms exports of €771 million ($850.8 million) in 2018. 

According to Kurc, if sanctions extend beyond weapons that could be used in Syria, there could be a negative impact on the overall defense industry.

“However, in such a case, Turkey would shift to alternative suppliers: Russia and China would be more likely candidates,” he said.

According to Sinan Ulgen, the chairman of the Istanbul-based EDAM think tank and a visiting scholar at Carnegie Europe, the arms embargo would not have a long-term impact essentially because most of the sanctions are caveated and limited to materials that can be used by Turkey in its cross-border operation.

“So the arms embargo does not cover all aspects of the arms trade between Turkey and the EU. These measures look essentially like they are intended to demonstrate to their own critical publics that their governments are doing something about what they see as a negative aspect of Turkey’s behavior,” he told Arab News.

Turkey, however, insists that the Syria operation, dubbed “Operation Peace Spring,” is undeterred by any bans or embargoes.

“No matter what anyone does, no matter if it’s an arms embargo or anything else, it just strengthens us,” Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told German radio station Deutsche Welle.