Yemen coalition strikes caves used by Houthis to store missiles and drones

The coalition warned people in Sanaa to stay away from military targets. (AFP/File photo)
Updated 26 August 2019

Yemen coalition strikes caves used by Houthis to store missiles and drones

  • Coalition advised civilians to stay away from military sites
  • Strikes follow a Houthi drone attack on a Saudi Aramco gas plant on Saturday

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition in Yemen launched an attack Monday on Houthi military targets in Sanaa.

The coalition advised civilians to stay away from the targeted areas, Saudi Arabia’s Al Ekhbariya TV channel said.

A report by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Col. Turki Al-Maliki, coalition spokesman, as saying the Joint Forces Command carried out at past 10 p.m. a specific military operation "to destroy a number of caves used by the Houthi terrorist militia to store ballistic missiles, drones as well as weapons."

The caves are located in Faj Atan and Al-A'amd camp in the capital Sana'a, he said.

Al-Maliki stressed that the targeting process "is in accordance with international humanitarian law and customary rules, and that the command of the joint forces of the coalition took all preventive measures and measures to protect civilians from any collateral damage."

The strikes happened hours after the coalition accused the Houthis of endangering global energy security when they attacked a Saudi Aramco plant on Saturday.

Houthi militants claimed they used a number of drones to hit the Shaybah gas facility, but Saudi Arabia said operations were unaffected and no one was injured. 

The attack by the Iran-backed Houthis was the latest using drones laden with explosives to target the Kingdom’s infrastructure.

The militants, who sparked the Yemen conflict in 2014 by seizing Sanaa from the internationally-recognized government, have targeted oil pipeline infrastructure and Abha airport in the south. 


France to press to drop Sudan from US terror blacklist

Updated 16 September 2019

France to press to drop Sudan from US terror blacklist

  • Jean-Yves Le Drian is the second top western diplomat to visit Sudan this month
  • SUNA says Le Drian will meet with Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, the head of the newly appointed Sovereign Council

KHARTOUM: French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said Monday that France will press to drop Sudan from the US blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism and to support efforts to reintegrate the country into the international community.
Le Drian was in Khartoum for a one-day visit, the first such trip to Sudan by France's top diplomat in more than a decade.
His visit comes as the northeast African country transitions to civilian rule after decades of authoritarianism.
"We will use our influence to ensure that Sudan is removed from this list," Le Drian said at a joint press conference with his Sudanese counterpart Asma Mohamed Abdalla after the two held talks.
"It is the way to ensure that we can consider a new relationship (for Sudan) with financial institutions, everything is obviously linked," he said, asked by AFP if France would back efforts to remove Sudan from Washington's blacklist.
Decades of US blacklisting along with a trade embargo imposed on Sudan in 1997 has kept overseas investors away from the country, in turn isolating it from the global economy.
Sudan's worsening economic situation was the key trigger for nationwide protests that finally led to the ouster of longtime ruler Omar al-Bashir in April.
Washington lifted the sanctions in October 2017, but kept Sudan in the terrorism list along with North Korea, Iran and Syria.
Washington's measures were imposed for Khartoum's alleged support for Islamist militant groups.
Al-Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden resided in Sudan between 1992 and 1996.
Le Drian said the pivotal role played by Sudan's army in the uprising against Bashir would help in removing Sudan from the US blacklist.
"The way the army perceived its role during this period, (that) goes in the direction of removing Sudan from this list," he said.
The army overthrew Bashir in a palace coup on April 11 on the back of months of nationwide protests.
But a military council seized power after ousting him and for months resisted calls from protesters to transfer it to a civilian administration.
Only last month after sustained agitation, a joint civilian-military sovereign council was sworn in to oversee Sudan's transition to civilian rule, the key demand of protesters.
On September 8, Sudan's first cabinet led by Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was sworn in to run the daily affairs of the country.
During his short visit to Khartoum, Le Drian also met Hamdok and General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, head of the civilian-military ruling council.
Le Drian also reiterated French support for Sudan's priorities such as rebuilding the economy and striking peace agreements with rebel groups in conflict zones of Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile states.