Arab coalition targets Yemen’s Houthi drone capabilities in Sanaa

The Arab coalition fighting to support the legitimate government in Yemen said it has targeted Houthi drone capabilities in a military operation in Sanaa and called on civilians not to approach the targeted sites. (File photo/SPA)
Updated 20 January 2019

Arab coalition targets Yemen’s Houthi drone capabilities in Sanaa

  • The coalition said it has taken the necessary measures to protect civilians
  • It assured that the military operation is consistent with international humanitarian law

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition fighting to support the legitimate government in Yemen said it has targeted Houthi drone capabilities in a military operation in Sanaa and called on civilians not to approach the targeted sites.
The coalition said it has taken the necessary measures to protect civilians during the military operation in the Houthi-held Yemeni capital.
It assured that the military operation is consistent with international humanitarian law.

The operation, which took place late on Saturday, targeted several Houthi-held camps, including one which was formally called the First Armored Division camp when it was held by the Yemeni army before the Houthi militia took over.
The coalition also targeted the Al-Dailami air base, Al-Siyana military compound, and the Al-Nahdain mountain
A coalition aircraft also launched two rockets toward the Al-Hasba area north of the Yemeni capital.

Spokesperson of the coalition, Col. Turki Al-Maliki said that the targeting operation came after the intelligence was collected on Houthi activity and surveying their movement. The intelligence gathered helped to identify the network of the Houthis and their operational infrastructure, Al-Maliki explained.

The intelligence gathered helped destroy manufacturing workshops and spare parts, installation workshops and booby-traps, inspection facilities and the preparation of launchers platforms as well as training facilities for terrorist operations.


US considering troop boost to counter Iran

Updated 13 min 10 sec ago

US considering troop boost to counter Iran

  • A source has said Defense Secretary Mark Esper was considering plans to move between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East
  • Tensions have risen sharply with Iran since Trump last year pulled out of a denuclearization pact and imposed sweeping sanctions

WASHINGTON: The United States said Thursday it was considering deploying fresh forces to counter Iran, with an official saying some 5,000 to 7,000 troops could head to the region.
Testifying before Congress, John Rood, the under secretary of defense for policy, said the United States was “observing Iran’s behavior with concern.”
“We’re continuing to look at that threat picture and have the ability to dynamically adjust our force posture,” Rood told the Senate Armed Services Committee.
A US official told AFP on condition of anonymity that Defense Secretary Mark Esper was considering plans to move between 5,000 and 7,000 troops to the Middle East.
The official did not confirm where the troops would be sent, or in what timeframe, but said that the deployment would be due to frustrations with Iranian-linked groups’ attacks on US assets.
Rood, under questioning, denied a report by The Wall Street Journal the United States was considering sending 14,000 more troops — equivalent to the number sent over the past six months.
Esper also denied the 14,000 figure in a phone call with Senator Jim Inhofe, the chairman of the committee, Pentagon spokeswoman Alyssa Farah said.
US President Donald Trump later tweeted that: “The story today that we are sending 12,000 troops to Saudi Arabia is false or, to put it more accurately, Fake News!“
It was not immediately clear which report the president was referring to.
Tensions have risen sharply with Iran since Trump last year pulled out of a denuclearization pact and imposed sweeping sanctions, including trying to block all its oil exports.
In September, the United States said Iran was responsible for attacks on the major Abqaiq oil processing center in Saudi Arabia, a close US ally and Iran’s regional rival.
Riyadh then asked Washington for reinforcements, receiving two fighter squadrons, additional missile defense batteries, and bringing the number of US troops stationed in the Kingdom to about 3,000.
The United States has also been alarmed by an uptick in attacks on bases in Iraq, where major demonstrations triggered by economic discontent have also targeted Iran’s clerical regime and its overwhelming influence in its Shiite-majority neighbor.
“We’re lucky no one has been killed. There is a spike in rocket attacks,” another US official said.
“It’s clearly not Daesh. Everything is going in the right direction and it’s the right range,” the official said, contrasting Iranian capabilities with those of the extremist Daesh group.
Among the incidents, five rockets hit the Al-Asad Air Base on Tuesday, just four days after US Vice President Mike Pence visited US troops there.
Iran denied involvement in the September attack in Saudi Arabia, which was claimed by Tehran-backed Houthi militia.
The tensions come as Iran itself has faced major protests set off by a sharp hike in gas prices.