Dozens killed in Houthi attack on camp in Yemen’s Marib

Iranian-backed Houthi militia attacked a military training camp in the Yemeni city of Marib. (AFP/File Photo)
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Updated 19 January 2020

Dozens killed in Houthi attack on camp in Yemen’s Marib

  • The attack was carried out with ballistic missiles and drones
  • The strike follows a similar attack in November last year

MARIB, Yemen: Iranian-backed Houthi militia attacked a military training camp in the Yemeni city of Marib on Saturday, killing at least 60 people, according to reports.

Al-Ekhbariya quoted sources as saying the attack was carried out with ballistic missiles and drones.

Earlier on Saturday, medical sources in Yemen confirmed to Reuters nearly 30 military personnel had been killed.

The strike follows a similar attack in November last year, when Houthi militants fired a missile at the headquarters of the Arab coalition fighting to support the internationally-recognized government of Yemen, which killed seven Yemeni soldiers and injured at least 12.

Also on Saturday, Houthi militia and government forces traded heavy volleys of artillery fire just south of the Hodeidah port, killing at least seven people, including two civilians, according to Wadah Dobish, a spokesman for government forces on Yemen's western coast.

The statement said residential areas were caught in the crosshairs due to indiscriminate mortar fire.

The fighting breaches a UN-brokered cease-fire in the strategic port city of Hodeidah, which is the main entry point for humanitarian aid and food into Yemen.

An Arab coalition has been figting the Houthi militia since 2015, backing forces of the internationally-recognized government.

The Houthis have been subject to a separate arms embargo since 2015, while Iran has repeatedly denied supplying weapons to the Houthis.

 

 


Turbulent times in parliament: A new normal for Turkish politics?

Updated 7 min 59 sec ago

Turbulent times in parliament: A new normal for Turkish politics?

  • Two deputies from the HDP and one deputy from the main opposition CHP lost their positions on Thursday
  • Insights from Ankara suggest two more parliamentarians from the HDP may be stripped of their seats soon

ISTANBUL: After three opposition politicians were stripped of their status as members of parliament in Turkey on Thursday, June 4, the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) made it clear that a new period had begun in Turkish politics, given the country’s preoccupation with economic deterioration and rising unemployment that has already rendered many voters disenchanted. 
Two deputies from the pro-Kurdish Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) and one deputy from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) lost their positions, and were arrested in an overnight operation on terror charges.
The Kurdish politicians, Leyla Guven and Musa Farisogullari, were detained, while the CHP deputy, Kadri Enis Berberoglu, was released from police custody after less than 24 hours as part of anti-coronavirus measures in Turkish prisons. Several HDP deputies were later beaten by police during a protest in Ankara over the imprisonment of their colleagues.
Insights from Ankara suggest two more parliamentarians from the HDP may be stripped of their seats soon as their files are being reviewed by the Turkish Court of Cassation. 
The crackdown on opposition figures does not end with politicians. The government is also working on a legislative change to the way bar associations elect their board members. Fifty bar associations recently released a joint statement against any move to limit their power and to increase pressure on the country’s already weakened judiciary.
The AKP and its coalition partner, the Nationalist Movement Party, are also working on another legislative amendment to ban the transfer of parliamentary deputies to other parties over fears that newly founded opposition parties could be strengthened with the transfer of deputies from the CHP to take part of upcoming elections.
Ten new political parties were established in Turkey over the past five months, bringing the total number to 91 — two of them, the Democracy and Progress Party, and the Future Party, to target disillusioned AKP voters and liberal segments of society.
“Turkey has been a consolidated authoritarian state for some time and attacks on the HDP are certainly not new,” said Paul T. Levin, director of the Stockholm University Institute for Turkish Studies.
“Going after the CHP would be a dramatic escalation, but they have been focused on Berberoglu for some time due to his involvement in the arms truck scandal,” he told Arab News.
Berberoglu, a former journalist, was arrested for providing dissident daily newspaper Cumhuriyet with confidential footage of Turkish National Intelligence Organization trucks allegedly carrying weapons to Syria.
According to Levin, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be trying to weaken the opposition in advance of a snap election, that is widely expected to be held next year.  
“As for the bar associations, they have long been an important source of opposition to attempts to undermine the rule of law. It would really be a terrible blow to what remains of judicial independence if they were neutered,” he said.
There are still dozens of Kurdish politicians behind bars in Turkey, including parliamentarians, mayors and the party’s former co-chairs. The HDP released a statement following the arrests of Guven and Farisogullari, and said: “Turkey now witnesses yet another coup — this pro-coup mindset has been prevailing in parliament for 26 years.”