Coalition launches rescue mission after floods kill 2 in southern Yemen

Yemeni men ride through a flooded street following heavy rainfall in the Yemeni capital Sanaa on May 26, 2019. (File/AFP)
Updated 10 June 2019

Coalition launches rescue mission after floods kill 2 in southern Yemen

  • Torrential rains, lightning and high winds have caused roadblocks in Aden
  • President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has called on his government to implement an emergency budget to deal with the floods

DUBAI: At least two people died in Yemen after heavy rains and floods struck several parts of the country’s southern and eastern provinces on Sunday.

A person died of a tree falling on him, and another of the electric shock, local media reported.

Torrential rains, lightning and high winds have caused roadblocks in Aden and other neighboring provinces.

Yemen’s National Meteorological Center warned of “continuing turbulent weather,” stating that heavy rains with high winds might continue to hit the southern coast and the adjacent areas.

The center also warned residents “to take the necessary precautions from the flow of floods, low visibility and sea waves disturbance.”

Meanwhile, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, spokesperson for the Arab coalition fighting to support the legitimate government in Yemen, said the coalition has launched emergency relief operations for flood victims in Yemen.
An air bridge has been built to aid Yemenis affected by torrents and floods and a relief aircraft was sent from Riyadh to assist those affected.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has called on his government to implement an emergency budget to deal with the floods while Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed inspected the damage caused by heavy rains in Aden.

The prime minister stressed the importance of all government agencies represented to redouble efforts and work as an integrated cell in the face of disaster and alleviate the suffering of citizens affected by the storm.


Will European arms ban impact Turkey’s Syria operation?

Updated 7 min 23 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.