Arab Coalition seizes 2 Iranian weapon shipments heading to Houthis in Yemen

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Iranian weapons heading to the Houthis inYemen were seized in two operations. (Arab coalition)
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The vessel raided during the April 17 operation off Yemen's eastern coast. (Arab coalition)
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Iranian weapons heading to the Houthis inYemen were seized in two operations. (Arab coalition)
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Iranian weapons heading to the Houthis inYemen were seized in two operations. (Arab coalition)
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Iranian weapons heading to the Houthis inYemen were seized in two operations. (Arab coalition)
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Updated 01 July 2020

Arab Coalition seizes 2 Iranian weapon shipments heading to Houthis in Yemen

JEDDAH: The Arab Coalition has released details of two seizures of Iranian weapons heading to Houthi militants in Yemen. 
It shared pictures on Tuesday of the operations that were carried on April 17 and June 24.
The operation on April 17 foiled an attempt to smuggle Iranian weapons off the coast of Al-Mahra Governorate in eastern Yemen.
The second operation foiled another weapon smuggling attempt to Houthis on June 24.

The photos showed large quantities of weapons, such as night and day binoculars, drone-guiding systems, remote detonation electrical parts and dozens of sniper rifles.

Iran’s continued smuggling of weapons to the Houthi militants in Yemen is an aggression against Yemenis and a violation of international law, Information Minister Muammar Al-Iryani commented on the incident.
The international community should take action against such violations, Yemen’s state news agency Saba New quoted the minister.

 


Iraqi expert on armed groups shot dead in Baghdad

Updated 39 min 32 sec ago

Iraqi expert on armed groups shot dead in Baghdad

  • Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Hisham Al-Hashimi outside his home in the Zeyouneh area of Baghdad
  • Al-Hashimi was a well-connected security analyst

BAGHDAD: An Iraqi analyst who was a leading expert on the Islamic State and other armed groups was shot dead in Baghdad on Monday after receiving threats from Iran-backed militias.
Gunmen on a motorcycle opened fire on Hisham Al-Hashimi, 47, outside his home in the Zeyouneh area of Baghdad, a family member said, speaking on condition of anonymity for security reasons. The family member heard five shots fired.
Security officials, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said he was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
Al-Hashimi was a well-connected security analyst who appeared regularly on Iraqi television and whose expertise was sought out by government officials, journalists and researchers.
Weeks before his death, Al-Hashimi had told confidantes he feared Iran-backed militias were out to get him. Friends had advised him to flee to the northern city of Irbil, in the semi-autonomous Kurdish region.
He rose to prominence as an expert on the inner workings of IS and even advised the US-led coalition during its yearslong battle with the extremists.
After Iraq declared victory over IS in December 2017, he increasingly turned his attention to the Iran-backed militias that helped to defeat IS and now wield considerable power in the country. He was an outspoken critics of some of these groups, which have thousands of heavily armed fighters.
News of his killing spread quickly, with fellow researchers, journalists and others taking to social media to express their condolences.
The head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, Jeanine Hennis-Plasschaert, expressed shocked at the assassination and said the UN strongly denounces the “cowardly act.” In a tweet, she called on the Iraqi government to quickly find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.
British Ambassador to Iraq, Stephen Hickey, said he was “devastated and deeply saddened” by the news of Al-Hashimi’s death. “Iraq has lost one of its very best — a thoughtful and brave man,” he tweeted.
Iraqi researcher Fanar Haddad said Al-Hashimi was a “strikingly bright mind and a true gentleman,” calling his death a “major loss and an unforgivable crime.”
Asked what Al-Hashimi’s death might signify to critical analysts, he said, “Critical voices are liable to be silenced if and when deemed necessary.”
Political analyst Ihsan Al-Shammari, a colleague of Al-Hashimi, said those who killed him wanted to “silence the voices that disagree with their opinion” and blamed the shooting on the proliferation of armed groups in the country.
Many saw his death as a worrying sign as the government struggles to rein in the militias.
The Iran-backed groups have been blamed for a spate of recent rocket attacks targeting US interests. Authorities launched a raid last week in which they detained 14 members of the powerful Kataib Hezbollah group in Baghdad, but all but one were released just days later, in what was widely seen as a capitulation by the government.
In a statement, Al-Kadhimi said Iraqi security forces would “spare no effort” in pursuing his killers.
“We will work with all our efforts to confine arms to the state, so that no force will rise above the rule of law,” the statement said.
In some of his final tweets before he was killed, Al-Hashimi lamented the country’s bitter divisions and the corruption plaguing its political system.
“The rights, blood and dignity of Iraqis have been lost, and their money gone into the pockets of corrupt politicians,” he tweeted Sunday.