One dead as storm slams Oman and Yemen

One dead as storm slams Oman and Yemen
At least one person was killed when tropical storm Luban slammed into the southern coasts of Oman and neighboring Yemen, Omani civil defense said Monday. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018

One dead as storm slams Oman and Yemen

One dead as storm slams Oman and Yemen
  • Schools in southern Oman were closed last week as the storm gathered strength in the Arabian Sea
  • The man was found dead late Sunday in a valley in the province of Dhofar

ADEN: At least one person was killed when tropical storm Luban slammed into the southern coasts of Oman and neighboring Yemen, Omani civil defense said Monday.
The man was found dead late Sunday in a valley in the province of Dhofar, which borders eastern Yemen, the sultanate’s civil defense said.
News of the death came as a Yemeni official warned the storm had left the country’s eastern province of Mahra in “disaster.”
The area was a “disaster because of the torrential rains that hit the province and caused great losses to public and private property,” said Mahra governor Rajeh Bakrit, quoted by the official Saba news agency.
“The situation is catastrophic in the province and beyond the capabilities of the local authorities,” Bakrit said, calling on a Saudi-led coalition backing the internationally recognized government in Yemen’s war to step in and provide support.
For his part, Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher called on international relief organizations to assist the eastern province.
Schools in southern Oman were closed last week as the storm gathered strength in the Arabian Sea.
But Oman’s Public Authority for Civil Aviation downgraded Luban from cyclone to tropical storm as it drew nearer to the coast.
In May, Cyclone Mekunu smashed into the Yemeni island of Socotra and southern Oman, killing at least 11 people.
The cyclone had isolated parts of Socotra island — part of a UNESCO-protected archipelago for its rich biodiversity — with the government also declaring it a “disaster” zone.


Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area

Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area
Updated 45 min 38 sec ago

Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area

Pentagon includes Israel in Middle East command area
  • Moving Israel under the Central Command potentially makes security cooperation with the US on regional matters easier
  • The move could bring Israeli military officials in closer proximity to those of Gulf neighbors

WASHINGTON: The US Defense Department announced Friday that it would include close ally Israel in the area covered by its Middle East-focused Central Command.
In another sign of the rapprochement brokered by President Donald Trump between Israel and Arab countries, the Pentagon said US military dealings with Israel would no longer be handled by its European Command.
“We structure boundaries to best mitigate risk and protect US interests and partners,” the Pentagon said in a statement.
“The easing of tensions between Israel and its Arab neighbors subsequent to the Abraham Accords has provided a strategic opportunity for the United States to align key partners against shared threats in the Middle East.”
That was mainly a reference to Iran, which the United States, Israel and Arab countries view as the leading security threat to the region.
For decades at odds with its Arab neighbors over its treatment of Palestinians, Israel has over the past year broken barriers on open cooperation and communications with Gulf countries under the Trump-fostered Abraham Accords.
Moving it under the Central Command potentially makes security cooperation with the United States on regional matters easier, and could bring Israeli military officials in closer proximity to those of Gulf neighbors.
But it could also complicate CentCom cooperation with Iran allies like Iraq, where the US retains 2,500 troops.
“Israel is a leading strategic partner for the United States, and this will open up additional opportunities for cooperation with our US Central Command partners, while maintaining strong cooperation between Israel and our European allies,” the Pentagon said.