Yemen government forces retake Aden and presidential palace from separatists

Pro-government soldiers patrol an area taken by government forces during recent clashes with southern separatists in Shabwa province. On Wednesday, government forces declared it had retaken Aden. (AFP)
Updated 28 August 2019

Yemen government forces retake Aden and presidential palace from separatists

  • Government forces have recaptured most of the neighbouring towns they had previously lost to the separatists
  • The information minister said that government forces had taken Aden's airport

ADEN: Yemen government forces reclaimed control of Aden Wednesday, including the presidential palace, after the city was seized by separatists earlier this month.

Forces loyal to the internationally recognised government of Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi were able “to secure the presidential palace in Aden and the surrounding areas,” Information Minister Moammer Al-Eryani tweeted.

“The national army and security services have full control over the province's districts.”

Clashes shook Aden, Yemen’s interim capital, on Wednesday when government forces attacked the Yemeni city’s eastern suburbs and fought artillery duels with southern separatists, residents said.

Government forces earlier recaptured most of the neighbouring towns they had previously lost to the separatists before moving towards the port city of Aden, they said.

Al-Iryani said government forces had taken Aden’s airport from the separatists.

Witnesses said clashes could be heard in Aden's Al-Arech and Khor Maksar districts, as well as around Aden's airport.

Government forces took control of Zinjibar, the capital of the neighbouring Abyan, earlier on Monday, after securing most of the oil-producing province of Shabwa and its liquefied natural gas terminal in Balfaf.


Lebanese celebrities join Beirut protests as anger rises over tax reforms

Updated 1 min 45 sec ago

Lebanese celebrities join Beirut protests as anger rises over tax reforms

  • A video emerged on social media showing actress Nadine Al-Rassi preparing to set fire to a car tire in downtown Beirut and crying inconsolably about her financial state
  • In a series of tweets, Lebanese recording artist Elissa, who is abroad, supported the protesters’ demands

BEIRUT: Lebanese celebrities joined thousands of protesters on the streets of Beirut on Saturday to voice their anger at the country’s ruling elite.
Singers, actors and playwrights were among a host of high-profile artists who backed demands for action over government corruption and to counter Lebanon’s spiralling economic crisis.
Beirut has been shrouded in smoke for three days following widespread protests and rioting over government tax plans.
A video emerged on social media showing actress Nadine Al-Rassi preparing to set fire to a car tire in downtown Beirut and crying inconsolably about her financial state.
The actress, wearing jeans and her face blackened, told protesters: “I am Nadine Al-Rassi. I was hungry for seven days. I have debts. Banque du Liban (Lebanon’s central bank) seized my house and I am unable to rent a home. Corrupt people should be held responsible.”


In a series of tweets, Lebanese recording artist Elissa, who is abroad, supported the protesters’ demands, saying: “This is the first time I wish I were in Lebanon. My heart is with you.”
In another tweet, the high-profile singer, one of the Middle East’s best-selling performers, said: “I proudly follow the news of Beirut and its citizens ... who are demanding a decent life. It is time for people to get back their dignity.”
Meanwhile, singer and composer Ragheb Alama expressed his dismay at a Council of Ministers plan to impose a daily fee on WhatsApp calls.
“The people’s misfortunes are not funny. Why don’t you tax the polluted air people breathe? It is a great idea that brings money to your fathers’ treasury, too,” he wrote.
Alama accused the Parliament of responsibility for the country’s dire economy: “Why do deputies receive money, privileges and overheads, and what have they done? They covered up for looting and stealing for decades. They are responsible for destroying the economy and the country.”
Nancy Ajram, one of the Arab world’s most popular singers, wrote on Twitter: “My heart goes out to my country every moment and with every heartbeat. We are a people who deserves to live and it is our right to live with dignity. May God protect Lebanon.”
Singer and actress Haifa Wehbe tweeted: “There is nothing better than the Lebanese people when they stand in unity and under one slogan, without any political affiliation. We are all for our country.”
Comedian and prime-time TV host Hisham Haddad was among celebrities who joined protesters at Riad El-Solh Square, near the Prime Minister’s office, site of the biggest centralized demonstrations.
Actress Maguy Bou Ghosn, singer Moeen Shreif, actors Abdo Chahine, Badih Abou Chakra and Junaid Zeineldine, playwright Ziad Itani and musician Ziyad Sahhab also joined the protests.
Actor Wissam Hanna called on Twitter for protesters to close the Beirut Airport road to stop corrupt officials fleeing the country.
“I am all for closing down the airport road to stop thieves from fleeing. I am all for recovering stolen funds. Lebanon rises, revolts and it is time to hold them accountable,” he wrote.
Actress Gretta Aoun said: “We have to take to the streets. They must know the extent of our pain.”