Yemen army makes new gains in Shabwa province

The Arab coalition said it destroyed military vehicles belonging to the militia on several fronts in Shabwa over the past 24 hours. (Reuters/File Photo)
The Arab coalition said it destroyed military vehicles belonging to the militia on several fronts in Shabwa over the past 24 hours. (Reuters/File Photo)
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Updated 04 January 2022

Yemen army makes new gains in Shabwa province

The Arab coalition said it destroyed military vehicles belonging to the militia on several fronts in Shabwa over the past 24 hours. (Reuters/File Photo)
  • Local officials say that the military advances by the Yemeni military forces will pave the way for seizing back strategic cities and villages from the Houthis

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s army troops and the Giants Brigades on Tuesday seized control of new areas in the southern province of Shabwa after fierce fighting against the Houthis that left a loyalist military commander dead.

The Giants Brigades’ official media said that their forces, backed by air cover from the Arab coalition warplanes, stormed Al-Noqub town and surrounding areas west of Shabwa, including a mountain and a village, as they pushed to expel the Houthis from other districts in the province.

The latest military gains come as the Giants Brigades on Tuesday mourned Col. Sameh Jaradh Al-Subaihi, chief of staff of the group’s 2nd brigade, who was killed in fighting with the Houthis in Shabwa province.

A video posted on social media showed dozens of soldiers storming the outskirts of Al-Noqub town before advancing further in.

Local officials say that the military advances by the Yemeni military forces will pave the way for seizing back strategic cities and villages from the Houthis, further isolating the militia in areas south of Marib and subsequently liberating Marib city.

“The liberation of Al-Noqub will open doors for seizing control of large amounts of land in Bayhan,” a local government official told Arab News on Tuesday.

At the weekend, hundreds of Giants Brigades forces launched an offensive to seize back Ouselan, Al-Ain and Bayhan districts in the oil-rich province of Shabwa..

The fighters first attacked Ouselan from the government-controlled Markha district and managed to seize control of the district’s center after heavy fighting with the Houthis, who fled to their positions in the other two districts.

If government forces succeed in seizing control of the remaining areas in Shabwa, they would effectively cut important supply routes to the Houthis, who are attacking Marib from the south.

The Arab coalition said on Tuesday that its warplanes carried out 36 air raids in support of government troops on the ground, killing more than 182 Houthis and destroying 23 vehicles.

In neighboring Marib province, where government forces have battled aggressive Houthi assaults since early last year, local military officials told Arab News that attacks on the city were weaker this week after the rebel group moved some of its forces to reinforce Shabwa.

Rashad Al-Mekhlafi, a military official in the Yemen Armed Forces Guidance Department, said that army troops and allied tribal fighters seized control of several locations in Al-Balaq Al-Sharqi mountain range, south of Marib, and are now pushing the Houthis from areas in Juba district.

“The national army has taken the offensive on the battlefield, shifting from attrition tactics and defense to offense,” Al-Mekhlafi said, stressing that the coalition warplanes struck Houthi military vehicles and gatherings in Marib province, paving the way for loyalists to strike back at the militia.

“Houthi firepower and manpower have been visibly weakened. They have lost more than 85 percent of their fighters and equipment since last year,” the Yemeni official said.

The Arab coalition also announced on Tuesday the killing of 55 Houthis and the destruction of seven military vehicles in nine air raids in the province of Marib.

The escalation in fighting came as Yemeni Prime Minister Maeen Abdul Malik Saeed said this week that his government was “forced intousing the military option” after exhausting diplomatic methods to convince the Houthis to comply with peace efforts.

“It is a crucial moment for all Yemenis, because it is difficult for them to continue in long wars with no horizon. All other options for peace have been exhausted,” the prime minister told Sky News Arabia on Sunday.


Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece tugged to Piraeus port

Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece tugged to Piraeus port
Updated 8 sec ago

Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece tugged to Piraeus port

Iranian-flagged tanker in Greece tugged to Piraeus port
  • For over two months Iranian-flagged Lana has been anchored off the Greek island of Evia

ATHENS: An Iranian-flagged tanker seized by Greece in April, part of whose cargo was confiscated by the United States, was being towed to the port of Piraeus on Saturday, Greek coast guard officials said, after Greek authorities approved its release.
For over two months the Iranian-flagged Lana, formerly Pegas, has been anchored off the Greek island of Evia in a diplomatic impasse which has strained Athens’ relations with Tehran amid growing tensions between Iran and the United States.
“It left Karystos at 0630 am (0330 GMT) and is expected to reach Piraeus around 1000 pm,” one official said.
Greek authorities in April impounded Lana and its oil cargo with 19 Russian crew members on board near the coast of Evia, due to sanctions following a legal action by the United States.
The ship was later released due to complications regarding its ownership, but part of the Iranian oil cargo had already been transferred to another ship, Ice Energy, which was hired by the United States and is moored off Piraeus port.
The removal of oil from the Lana prompted Iranian forces last month to seize two Greek tankers in the Arabian Gulf and sail them back to Iran after Tehran warned it would take “punitive action” against Athens.
Following an appeal by an Iranian company on June 7, a Greek judicial panel overturned the initial court order that allowed the confiscation of the cargo on behalf of the United States.
That decision has cleared the way for Lana to retrieve the cargo that was transferred to Ice Energy.
Until last week however Lana, which still has engine problems, was being detained by another company due to debts owed for towing services. It was officially released after the amount owed was paid off, legal sources told Reuters.


Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry

Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry
Updated 02 July 2022

Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry

Israeli strike on Syria wounds two civilians: ministry
  • Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes in Syria since the 2011 civil war
  • Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks

An Israeli strike on Syria’s western coast wounded two civilians on Saturday, the Syrian defense ministry said.
“The Israeli enemy carried out an air strike” at about 6:30 am near the town of Al-Hamidiyah, the ministry said in a statement, identifying the locations hit as poultry farms, without elaborating.
The strike was conducted from the Mediterranean Sea, west of Lebanon’s northern city of Tripoli, and “led to the injury of two civilians, including a woman,” the statement said.
Since the civil war broke out in Syria in 2011, Israel has carried out hundreds of air strikes against its northern neighbor.
The raids have targeted Syrian government troops as well as allied Iran-backed forces and fighters from the Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.
Last month Israeli strikes on Damascus International Airport rendered its runways unusable for weeks.
Besides the extensive damage caused to civilian and military runways, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights war monitor said the strikes had targeted nearby warehouses used as weapons depots by Iran and Hezbollah.
The Syrian war has claimed the lives of nearly half a million people and forced around half of the country’s pre-war population from their homes.


UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran

UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran
Updated 02 July 2022

UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran

UAE residents feel tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake in Iran
  • Iran suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years as major geological fault lines crisscross the country

DUBAI: UAE residents reported feeling tremors caused by 6.3 magnitude earthquake that jolted South Iran on Saturday at 3:24 am, according to the National Centre of Meteorology (NCM) on Saturday.

NCM added that the quake, which claimed the lives of five people in Iran, did not have any impact on the UAE.

State news agency IRNA said a magnitude 6.3 and 6.1 earthquakes followed the 6.1 quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast, with more than a dozen aftershocks reported.

Iran has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years as major geological fault lines crisscross the country.


Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz

Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz
Updated 02 July 2022

Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz

Houthi militia targets army positions in Taiz
  • The militia is also accused of targeting the army’s sites and residential neighborhoods using snipers

DUBAI: The Houthi militia has bombed army bases in Al-Dhabab area, west of Taiz, according to reports by state news agency Saba on Friday.

This comes as part of the militia’s daily violations of the UN truce, wrote Saba.

Yemen’s army has recorded a total of 2,778 violations by the Houthis since the beginning of the truce until Thursday.

The Taiz Military Axis said the violations ranged from artillery shelling, establishing fortifications and new sites, bringing in reinforcements, building roads, laying mines, conducting reconnaissance, and using drones.

The militia is also accused of targeting the army’s sites and residential neighborhoods using snipers.


At least five killed in magnitude 6.1 quake on Iran Gulf coast

Iranians gather outside their buildings after an earthquake was felt in the capital Tehran on May 7, 2020. (AFP)
Iranians gather outside their buildings after an earthquake was felt in the capital Tehran on May 7, 2020. (AFP)
Updated 02 July 2022

At least five killed in magnitude 6.1 quake on Iran Gulf coast

Iranians gather outside their buildings after an earthquake was felt in the capital Tehran on May 7, 2020. (AFP)
  • The quake struck just a minute after a 5.7 tremor

TEHRAN: At least five people were killed by a magnitude 6.1 earthquake in southern Iran early on Saturday, state media reported, with the area also hit by two later strong quakes of up to 6.3 magnitude.
“Five people have died in the earthquake ... and so far 12 are hospitalized,” Mehrdad Hassanzadeh, head of emergency management in Hormozgan Province on Iran’s Gulf coast, told state TV. “Rescue work has been carried out and we are now providing tents as emergency housing.”

A handout shakemap made available by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) shows the location of a 6.1-magnitude earthquake hitting around 54km north east of Bandar-e Lengeh, Iran, 02 July 2022. (EPA)

The state news agency IRNA said a magnitude 6.3 earthquake and a magnitude 6.1 quake followed the 6.1 quake that flattened the village of Sayeh Khosh near Iran’s Gulf coast. There were more than a dozen aftershocks.
“All of the victims died in the first earthquake and no-one was harmed in the next two severe quakes as people were already outside their homes,” said Foad Moradzadeh, governor of Bandar Lengeh country, quoted by the state news agency IRNA.
Major geological fault lines crisscross Iran, which has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years. In 2003, a magnitude 6.6 quake in Kerman province killed 31,000 people and flattened the ancient city of Bam.