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. 


Former top general Benny Gantz gets a shot at forming Israeli government

Updated 47 min 1 sec ago

Former top general Benny Gantz gets a shot at forming Israeli government

  • President Reuven Rivlin is to formally grant the mandate later Wednesday to Gantz, who will have 28 days to form a coalition
  • It will mark the first time in over a decade that anyone besides Netanyahu has been given the task

JERUSALEM: Israel’s former military chief Benny Gantz is set to receive an official mandate to form the country’s next government but has few options after last month’s elections left him in a near tie with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Netanyahu was given the first opportunity to form a government after assembling a large right-wing bloc but announced this week that he failed to build a 61-seat majority. Gantz faces similarly steep odds, raising the possibility that Israel will hold a third election in less than a year.
President Reuven Rivlin is to formally grant the mandate later Wednesday to Gantz, who will have 28 days to form a coalition. It will mark the first time in over a decade that anyone besides Netanyahu has been given the task.
Still, Gantz faces steep odds in every possible path to forming a government. He has been endorsed by just 54 lawmakers representing an array of parties that are unlikely to sit together in a coalition.
Both Gantz and Netanyahu say they favor a national unity government. Together, Netanyahu’s Likud and Gantz’s Blue and White control a solid 65-seat majority. But the two men are divided over who should lead any new government.
Netanyahu has insisted he head the government, at least for the first two years, and that it include his right-wing allies, conditions that Gantz has repeatedly rejected.
Netanyahu is likely to be indicted on corruption charges in the coming weeks, and Gantz has said Netanyahu should resolve his legal troubles before returning to the top post.
Gantz could potentially break up the right-wing alliance and recruit some of the smaller parties to his coalition. But that might be seen as a major betrayal by those parties’ voters.
Another option would be to form a minority government with Avigdor Lieberman, who emerged as kingmaker after his party won eight seats and has refused to endorse either Gantz or Netanyahu. Gantz might be able to convince the Arab Joint List, which won 13 seats, to support the coalition from the outside.
That would bring down Netanyahu but result in a highly unstable government. It’s also far from clear that Lieberman, a nationalist with a history of harsh rhetoric toward the Arab minority, would support such a scheme. No Arab party has ever sat in an Israeli government.
The political deadlock dates back to April, when Lieberman refused to join a right-wing coalition under Netanyahu. In response, parliament voted to dissolve itself, leading to an unprecedented repeated election in September. A similar scenario could play out again.
The political deadlock has delayed the Trump administration’s release of its long-awaited peace plan. The Palestinians have already rejected the plan, accusing the administration of extreme and unfair bias toward Israel.