Yemen army removes 300,000 Houthi landmines in liberated areas

A Yemeni government soldier stands on a truck transporting land mines left by the Houthi rebels in al-Jadaan area, in the country's central province of Marib, December 21, 2015.(Reuters)
Updated 24 April 2018

Yemen army removes 300,000 Houthi landmines in liberated areas

  • According to army officials in Yemen, the country has been subjected to the “largest mine-laying operation since the end of the Second World War”
  • International human rights groups have previously condemned Iran-backed Houthi militias for their use of the banned antipersonnel landmines in Yemen that have caused numerous civilian casualties

Yemen’s national army has seized 300,000 mines planted by Houthi militia in liberated areas, it was announced on Monday.

“In the past two years, the National Army has managed to extract 300,000 mines planted by the Houthi militia in liberated areas, including 40,000 mines on the outskirts of Marib province,” a statement on the army’s website read.

According to army officials in Yemen, the country has been subjected to the “largest mine-laying operation since the end of the Second World War.”

That statement added that the total number of mines laid by the militia exceeds half a million mines, and that this “huge amount continues to pose a sustainable threat to the lives of civilians.”

International human rights groups have previously condemned Iran-backed Houthi militias for their use of the banned antipersonnel landmines in Yemen that have caused numerous civilian casualties and hindered the safe return of people to displaced by fighting.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) called on Houthis last year to “immediately cease using these weapons and observe the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which Yemen ratified in 1998.”

According to the group, landmines have been used in at least six governorates since the Saudi-led Arab coalition began military operations in support of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi in March 2015.

HRW said Mines have killed and maimed hundreds of civilians and disrupted civilian life in affected areas.


Turkey may suspend ties with UAE over Israel deal, Erdogan says

Updated 9 min 52 sec ago

Turkey may suspend ties with UAE over Israel deal, Erdogan says

  • Turkey has diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, but relations have been strained for years

ISTANBUL: Turkey is considering suspending diplomatic ties with the UAE and withdrawing its ambassador over the Gulf state’s accord to normalize ties with Israel, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Friday.
The Turkish foreign ministry said history would never forgive the UAE’s “hypocritical behavior” in agreeing such a deal, which recasts the order of Middle East politics.
Under the US-brokered deal, the first between Israel and a Gulf Arab country, the Jewish state agreed to suspend its planned annexation of areas of the occupied West Bank. Palestinian leaders have denounced it as a “stab in the back” to their cause.

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READ MORE: UAE, Israel reach ‘historic deal’ to normalize relations

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“The move against Palestine is not a step that can be stomached. Now, Palestine is either closing or withdrawing its embassy. The same thing is valid for us now,” Erdogan said, adding he gave orders to his foreign minister.
“I told him we may also take a step in the direction of suspending diplomatic ties with the Abu Dhabi leadership or pulling back our ambassador,” he told reporters after Friday prayers.
The Foreign Ministry had earlier said Palestinians were right to reject the deal in which the UAE betrayed their cause.
“History and the conscience of the region’s peoples will not forget and never forgive this hypocritical behavior,” it said. “It is extremely worrying that the UAE should, with a unilateral action, try and do away with the (2002) Arab Peace Plan developed by the Arab League.”
Turkey has diplomatic and trade ties with Israel, but relations have been strained for years. In 2010 Israeli commandos killed 10 Turkish activists trying to breach a blockade on the Gaza Strip, which is ruled by the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas.
The deal makes UAE the third Arab country to establish full relations with Israel, after Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994.