Yemeni Army makes gains in Jouf, Al-Bayda provinces

Local military commanders say their next goal is consolidating their positions around the military base before launching another offensive on Jouf’s capital Hazem, which fell to the Houthis last month. (File/AFP)
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Updated 08 April 2020

Yemeni Army makes gains in Jouf, Al-Bayda provinces

  • Government troops recaptured Labenat military base in Jouf

AL-MUKALLA, Yemen: The Yemeni Army and allied tribesmen seized a military base in the northern province of Jouf, and a large swathe of land in the central province of Al-Bayda, following intense battles with Iran-backed Houthis, army commanders and government officials said on Wednesday.

Yemeni Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani said government troops recaptured Labenat military base in Jouf and surrounding areas from the Houthis.

He added that Arab coalition warplanes and their military experts on the ground have played a key role in helping government troops take the upper hand on the battlefield.

Local military commanders say their next goal is consolidating their positions around the military base before launching another offensive on Jouf’s capital Hazem, which fell to the Houthis last month.

Col. Rabia Al-Qurashi, the army’s spokesman in Jouf, told Arab News on Wednesday that troops were stationed almost 10 km from Hazem as the Arab coalition targeted Houthi gatherings in the city to pave the way for the troops to storm it.

Al-Qurashi thanked the Arab coalition for its continued support, and said the Houthis suffered heavy blows in Jouf after failing to convince army officers and tribal leaders to switch sides.

In Al-Bayda, government forces seized a sprawling chain of mountains in Malajem and Natea after killing dozens of Houthi fighters on Tuesday.

State TV quoted Maj. Gen. Moufreh Al-Bouheh as saying government forces liberated Al-Ghader, Waled and Qaida mountains after a swift assault against the Houthis, at least 40 of whom were killed in the fighting.

The Arab coalition carried at least five air sorties, targeting Houthi military gatherings and reinforcements.

Backed by air support and military logistics from the coalition, Yemeni Army troops and allied tribesmen last week seized most of Helan, a chain of mountains from where the Houthis would shell residential areas in the densely populated city of Marib.
 


Kuwait vows to cut migrant population to 30%

Updated 57 min 25 sec ago

Kuwait vows to cut migrant population to 30%

DUBAI: The Kuwaiti government said it wants to cut the migrant proportion of its population from 70 to 30 percent to address what it called a population discrepancy. 
State media quoted the country’s prime minister saying that the state of Kuwait was facing a “big challenge” in its population structure and that it shall start relying on its citizens to replace foreign workers. 
Out of 4.8 million inhabitants, some 3.3 million are foreign nationals and 1.45 million are Kuwaitis, said Prime Minister Sabah Al-Khaled al-Hamad al-Sabah.
"The ideal demographic situation would be that Kuwaitis make up 70 percent of the population and non-Kuwaitis 30 percent," he said.
"So we face a big challenge in the future which is to address the discrepancy in population."
He said there were 75,000 foreign domestic helpers in the country, which equal half the population of Kuwaiti nationals. 
“We rely on our sons and daughters to work in all professions,” Al-Sabah added.

Kuwait has a large foreign population mostly made up of Middle Eastern and Asian workers.

Kuwait Airways said last week it would lay off 1,500 expatriate employees due to "significant difficulties" caused by the pandemic.