Saudi, Yemeni special forces capture leader of Daesh in Yemen

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The leader, Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, as well as other members of the organization including its chief financial officer, were captured on June 3 in a raid on a house carried out by Saudi and Yemeni forces. (SPA)
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The leader, Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, as well as other members of the organization including its chief financial officer, were captured on June 3 in a raid on a house carried out by Saudi and Yemeni forces. (SPA)
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The leader, Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, as well as other members of the organization including its chief financial officer, were captured on June 3 in a raid on a house carried out by Saudi and Yemeni forces. (SPA)
Updated 26 June 2019

Saudi, Yemeni special forces capture leader of Daesh in Yemen

  • Weapons, ammunition and telecommunication devices were also seized during the 10-minute operation
  • There were no injuries to civilians, including 3 women and 3 children who were inside the house

RIYADH: Saudi and Yemeni special forces captured the leader of Daesh in Yemen, the Arab coalition said Tuesday.
Abu Osama Al-Muhajir was seized during an operation on June 3 along with a Daesh financial officer and a number of other members of the organization, the Saudi Press Agency reported.
The arrests were made at a house that had been under surveillance, coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said. Three women and three children were in the house at the time.
The operation took 10 minutes and the women and children were unharmed.

The statement did not specify where in Yemen the raid took place.
“The operation was successful in capturing the terrorists and ensuring the safety of the women and children inside the house,” Col. Al Malki said.
The forces recovered a number of weapons, ammunition, laptops and computers, money in different currencies, and communications equipment.

Extremist groups like Al-Qaeda and Daesh have attempted to take advantage of the conflict in Yemen and assert their authority in some areas of the country — particularly in the south.
The Arab coalition, which includes Saudi Arabia and the UAE, is fighting in support of the official government against the Iran-backed Houthi militia that seized the capital Sanaa in 2014. But the coalition has also been working with Yemeni forces to combat extremist groups in the south.
“This operation is an extension of the close cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government to combat terrorism and dismantle the terrorist organizations,” Al-Maliki said. “It is also a painful blow to the terrorist Daesh organization, especially in Yemen, and it follows the Kingdom’s efforts to combat terrorism in all its forms.”

SaudiArabia's Deputy Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman said the Kingdom's military operations in Yemen are aimed at preventing terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda, Daesh and the Houthis from using the country to destabilize the region.

"The capture of ISIS's leader in Yemen is just the latest example of our commitment to eradicating the scourge of terrorism," Prince Khalid said on Twitter. "Saudi Arabia continues to play a leading role in the international community’s effort to combat terrorism and counter extremism."

Saudi Arabia's Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir said the operation was "another testament of the Kingdom’s unwavering commitment to confront all forces of terrorism and extremism."

 

 

 


Eritrean navy urged to free dozens of Yemeni fishermen from custody

Fishermen work on their boats in the southern city of Aden, Yemen, in this file photo taken on March 18, 2015. (AP)
Updated 07 June 2020

Eritrean navy urged to free dozens of Yemeni fishermen from custody

  • Naval attacks getting more brazen, say Yemenis

AL-MUKALLA: There have been calls for Eritrea to release dozens of Yemeni fishermen who were caught last week after sailing into a maritime flashpoint.

On Wednesday 15 armed boats from Eritrea’s navy seized 120 Yemeni fishermen from the Red Sea between Hanish Islands and the coast of Khokha.

Eritrea briefly occupied the Hanish Islands in 1995 before retreating after the international arbitration court granted Yemen sovereignty over them. But Yemeni authorities complain that the Eritreans have attacked and seized hundreds of Yemeni fishermen over the last couple of years.

The most recent incursion triggered a brief clash with the Yemeni coastguards that ended with the capture of seven Eritreans, local security officials said. On Thursday the Eritreans released 62 Yemeni fishermen after confiscating their boats.

“We demand all concerned authorities to work on releasing our colleagues and their boats that are in Eritrea’s custody,” Khaled Al-Zarnouqi, the head of Yemen’s Shabab Al- Khokha fishery association, told Arab News on Saturday. “We demand the international community, the (Saudi-led) coalition and the (Yemeni) government to protect us from the repeated attacks by Eritrea’s navy that violates Yemeni sovereignty, attacks Yemeni fishermen and seizes boats.”

Hashem, one of the fishermen who was released on Thursday, said that armed Eritrean vessels approached their boats on Tuesday and asked them to sail to Eritrea’s Ras Tarma.

“They were tough,” Hashem told Arab News, preferring to be identified by his first name. “Before releasing us, they gave us little fuel and rickety boats and asked us to sail back home.”

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120 Yemeni fishermen were captured by Eritrea’s navy on Wednesday from the Red Sea between Hanish Islands and the coast of Khokha.

The Eritreans refused to release their boats. “Each boat costs YER2.5 million ($9,987). They seized the finest and most expensive boats and allowed us to sail back with the worst ones.”

Local security officials and fishermen say that Eritrea’s naval attacks have become more brazen and are getting closer to the Yemeni coastline.

“They have attacked Yemeni fishermen less than 17 miles from the Yemeni coastline,” a local security official who documents Eritrea’s navy attacks on Yemeni fishermen told Arab News. “The Eritreans are also still holding 24 fishermen who were detained in the Red Sea on Dec. 1, 2019 and refuse to release them,” he said, adding that many fishermen were thinking of taking up arms to protect themselves.

Yemen’s coast guard authority crumbled in early 2015 when the Iran-backed Houthis expanded across Yemen after taking over Sanaa, triggering heavy clashes with their opponents.

Since the beginning of its military operations in Yemen in support of the internationally- recognized government, the Saudi-led coalition has trained and armed hundreds of coast guard troops and deployed them along the country’s coastline.

Yemeni officials say they are battling Eritrea’s navy attacks, Houthi arms' smugglers and drug gangs.