Yemen government takes control of city after separatist clashes

Yemen government takes control of city after separatist clashes
Yemeni fighters loyal to the government backed by the Arab coalition fighting in the country ride in the back of a pickup truck with mounted heavy machine gun. (AFP)
Updated 24 August 2019

Yemen government takes control of city after separatist clashes

Yemen government takes control of city after separatist clashes
  • Fighting between the troops and forces linked to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) broke out in Shabwa on Thursday night
  • At least 11 people have been killed

SANAA: Yemeni government troops took control Saturday of the city of Ataq, two days after deadly clashes between loyalists and southern separatists in the capital of Shabwa province, a pro-government source said.
Fighting between the troops and forces linked to the Southern Transitional Council (STC) broke out in Shabwa on Thursday night, in the latest such confrontation.
At least 11 people have been killed, medical sources told AFP.
Fighters from the Elite Forces, established in 2016 and striving for the independence of southern Yemen, "were forced to retreat after entering a number of government buildings" in Ataq, the source told AFP.
The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, also said the government troops took control of one of the Elite Forces' military camps.
"Fighting between the two sides has moved to the outskirts of the city," added the source.
The two have sent reinforcements to the area, the rival sides said on Saturday.
The flare-up in Shabwa comes after deadly clashes earlier this month between the government and troops from the so-called Security Belt, who are dominated by separatists seeking an independent south, erupted in Yemen's de-facto capital Aden.
The STC partially withdrew last week from key sites it occupied in Aden under pressure from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, but it retains control of key military sites.
The STC has since driven government troops out of two military camps in Abyan province.
While the separatists have fought against the Houthis, STC forces want to see South Yemen regain the independence it gave up with unification in 1990.


Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference

Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference
Updated 47 min 56 sec ago

Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference

Egypt: Iranian nuclear issue should be linked to its regional interference
  • Cairo’s ambassador to the US calls for cooperation with the new administration on range of issues
  • Zahran: Many opportunities for cooperation between Egypt and the US in various fields under new administration

CAIRO: Egypt believes that the Iranian nuclear issue is not the only problem with regard to Iran and its position in the region, according to Motaz Zahran, Cairo’s ambassador in Washington. Tehran’s interference and its efforts to destroy the assets of Arab countries throughout the region is another issue that must be confronted, he said.
Zahran said in a virtual interview with the National Council for US-Arab Relations that there is an opportunity for cooperation with the new US administration in light of the Iranian interference in various conflicts in the region, whether in Lebanon, Syria, Iraq or Yemen, which led to the deepening of their problems.
“The Iranian nuclear issue should not be dealt with separately from Iranian interference in all regional conflicts, and there are discussions between Egypt and the US regarding Iran, with the Republicans and the Democrats,” he added.
The ambassador said Egypt believes that there should not be any unilateral move on the issue of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. He saw a need for the new US administration to play a constructive role in resolving the dam dispute.
There are, he said, many opportunities for cooperation between Egypt and the US in various fields under the new administration of President-elect Joe Biden.
The meeting was moderated by Ed Royce, former US representative, who chaired the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.
Answering a question on the storming of the Capitol building on Jan. 6, Zahran said it was sad and shocking for Egypt and the whole world, and he linked what happened in America to what Egypt witnessed when some extremist groups — mainly the Muslim Brotherhood — took advantage of large-scale demonstrations and turned them into violent protests.
He pointed out that in both nations there was a widespread national desire for unity among the people which followed the state of chaos. There are some lessons to be learned, the most important of which is that rights and freedoms, in general, are not absolute, but are linked to guaranteeing others’ rights, as well as achieving order, security and public peace.