Lebanon says 9 Daesh-linked suspects killed in hunt for ‘terrorists’

A Lebanese soldier, wearing a protective mask and gloves, stands guard at the Beirut international airport on April 5, 2020. (File/AFP)
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Updated 27 September 2020

Lebanon says 9 Daesh-linked suspects killed in hunt for ‘terrorists’

  • Saturday’s operation came more than a month after the army and security forces launched a manhunt for suspects in the August 21
  • Police intelligence units raided a house in the northern region of Wadi Khaled

BEIRUT: Lebanese police have killed nine suspected members of the Daesh group in the hunt for “terrorists” linked to several deadly attacks, including on soldiers, a security source said Sunday.
Saturday’s operation came more than a month after the army and security forces launched a manhunt for suspects in the August 21 killing of two municipal policemen and the son of the mayor of the northern village of Kaftoun.
Police intelligence units raided a house in the northern region of Wadi Khaled where “suspects linked to the Daesh” had been holed up, “killing all the terrorists inside,” the Internal Security Forces (ISF) said in a statement.
A security source said “at least nine members of the group were killed.”
But the source said the death toll could rise as more bodies could be buried under the rubble of the house, part of which was blown up during the police operation.
The ISF statement said the “terrorist cell” was made up of more than 15 suspects. It added that three had been arrested in previous raids.
Following the August murders in Kaftoun, the army and police launched operations to track down the assailants.
On September 14, the army said four soldiers were killed while attempting to arrest suspected “terrorist” Khaled Al-Tallawi at his north Lebanon home, though he was eventually shot dead.
Meanwhile, two Lebanese soldiers were killed overnight in an attack on an army post in the locality of Arman-Minyeh, also in the north of the country, the army said Sunday.
“Two soldiers were killed, in addition to one terrorist,” it said in a statement.
An attacker “riding a motorbike tried to enter the army post, and army members confronted him, killing him instantly,” it added.
They found grenades and an explosives belt on him, the last of which it said “he had intended to detonate inside the post.”
Wadi Khaled and the Arman-Miniyeh region are near second city Tripoli, which has been rocked by violence involving Islamists over the years, including as part of the fallout from the conflict in Syria.


Arab coalition commander renews support to Yemen

Updated 29 October 2020

Arab coalition commander renews support to Yemen

  • Assurance comes as the governor of Aden thanked it for helping local security authorities intercept a major cargo of drugs at Aden seaport
  • Yemen’s defense minister said on Wednesday that at least 800 Houthi fighters, including senior field commanders, had been killed since the beginning of this month

AL-MUKALLA: The coalition will continue backing Yemeni military forces fighting the Houthis until the country returns to normal, the commander of Arab coalition forces in the southern city of Aden has said.

During a meeting with Aden’s new governor, Ahmed Lamlis, Brig. Gen. Nayef Al-Otaibi said that the coalition would continue its support till Yemen recovered from the war and its state bodies functioned normally, Yemeni state media said on Wednesday.

The coalition’s assurance comes as the governor of Aden thanked it for helping local security authorities intercept a major cargo of drugs at Aden seaport. The governor told the Arab coalition commander that local authorities in Aden were looking forward to receiving more support from the coalition, enabling them to bring back peace and stability to Aden and fix vital services there.

The Arab coalition and local security authorities at Aden seaport recently announced a 500kg cocaine and heroin bust worth millions of dollars. The drugs were hidden inside sugar bags in a large sugar shipment originating from Brazil. There was no information about arrests in connection with the drugs bust but local security officials said that investigations were underway.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s defense minister said on Wednesday that at least 800 Houthi fighters, including senior field commanders, had been killed since the beginning of this month in fighting with government troops or in Arab coalition airstrikes.

Based on Houthi burial statements carried on their media, the rebels have buried more than 600 fighters, including 154 field leaders, since Oct. 1, in different provinces under their control. In the capital, Sanaa, the rebels have arranged funeral processions for 178 dead fighters, including 67 field commanders with different military rankings, the ministry said in a statement on its news site.

Most of the Houthi deaths occurred in the provinces of Marib and Jouf, where rebel forces are engaging in heavy fighting with government forces and allied tribesmen, backed by Arab coalition warplanes.

State media also quoted the governor of Jouf, Ameen Al-Oukaimi, as saying that government forces had inflicted a huge defeat on the Houthis during the latest intense fighting in the province. Yemeni Army commanders said that they foiled Houthis attempts to recapture the liberated Al-Khanjer military base and surrounding areas in Jouf.

In the western province of Hodeidah, the Joint Forces, an umbrella term for three major military units in the country’s western coast, said that a Houthi field military leader, Mohammed Yahya Al-Hameli, was killed during a foiled rebel assault in the province on Wednesday.

Fighting has continued across Yemen despite repeated calls by the UN and western diplomats for Yemeni factions to halt hostilities and focus on approving the UN-brokered peace initiative known as the Joint Declaration. On Thursday, British Ambassador to Yemen Michael Aron called on the internationally recognized President of Yemen Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi and the Houthis to engage in serious talks to end the war.

“President Hadi and the Houthi leadership must work seriously and urgently with the UN Yemen envoy to end the war in Yemen by concluding the Joint Declaration in order to avert a humanitarian catastrophe,” the ambassador said on Twitter.

The declaration proposes a nationwide truce ahead of the implementation of economic and humanitarian measures. When the fighting stops, the Yemeni parties will be asked to engage in direct talks to discuss postwar political arrangements.