Yemeni leader urges military action to stop Houthis’ Red Sea attacks

Rashad Al-Alimi, chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, receives the US Ambassador to Yemen Steven Fagin on Saturday. (SABA)
Rashad Al-Alimi, chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, receives the US Ambassador to Yemen Steven Fagin on Saturday. (SABA)
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Updated 28 January 2024
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Yemeni leader urges military action to stop Houthis’ Red Sea attacks

Rashad Al-Alimi, chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, receives the US Ambassador to Yemen Steven Fagin Saturday.
  • Dozens of Yemeni activists, attorneys, and journalists appealed to Houthis to save well-known judge who is facing death due to “appalling circumstances” in prison

AL-MUKALLA: Rashad Al-Alimi, chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, has urged the international community to provide military assistance to his government in order to free the country’s Red Sea coast from the Houthis, warning that US and UK “defensive” strikes will not end threats to the international shipping lane.

“Defensive operations are not the solution. The solution is to eliminate the Houthi military capabilities and also partner with the legitimate government to control these areas,” Al-Alimi said during a press conference in Riyadh on Saturday.

Al-Alimi added that his government’s military actions would weaken the Houthis and force them to embrace peace attempts to end the conflict.

He said that the Houthis reject UN-brokered peace proposals and have targeted ships in the Red Sea because they feel they are powerful.

“We seek support for the legitimate government, not for conflict, and we do not call for war, but rather to push the Houthis to enter discussions,” Al-Alimi said.

The Houthis have conducted dozens of drone and missile attacks on commercial and military vessels in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab, and the Gulf of Aden as part of their ban on all ships going toward Israel.

The Houthis claim that their acts are in solidarity with the Palestinian people and to press Israel to end its campaign in Gaza.

Separately, dozens of Yemeni human rights activists, attorneys, and journalists appealed to the Iran-backed Houthis, as well as local and international rights organizations, on Sunday to save a well-known judge who is facing death due to “appalling circumstances” in a notorious Houthi prison facility in Sanaa.

In a joint online petition, more than 50 Yemenis, including famous activists, said that Judge Abdul Wahab Qatran informed his family in a short call with his son that he was “dead” and that the Houthis held him in solitary confinement.

“This is an appeal to all forces of conscience and humanity inside and outside Yemen for serious and influential solidarity with Judge Abdul Wahab Qatran, who says, ‘I am dead,’ from his solitary cell in the Political Security Prison in Sana’a, according to a 20-second phone call with his son,” the activists said in their appeal.

Earlier this month, armed Houthis raided Qatran’s home in Sanaa, momentarily detaining and abusing his family before kidnapping him, hours after he condemned the Houthis for assaulting a local journalist who sought his salary and the reopening of his closed radio station.

Qatran has long been renowned for fiercely criticizing the Houthis for neglecting to pay thousands of public workers and for failing to restore basic facilities in regions under their control.

In Sanaa, hundreds of Hada tribesmen from the province of Dhamar staged a rare demonstration on Saturday, demanding that the Houthis release the leader of the Teachers Club Union, Abu Zaid Al-Kumaim.

The tribesmen gathered in Sanaa’s Al-Sabeen to persuade the Houthis to free Al-Kumaim, a member of their tribe.

Mohammed Al-Kumaim, a Yemeni military expert and a member of the tribe, told Arab News that his tribe gathered in Sanaa after the Houthis broke a promise to free Abu Zaid Al-Kumaim months ago, and that the Houthis agreed to release him again on Saturday.

In October, the Houthis kidnapped the Union leader in Sanaa after urging hundreds of teachers to go on strike to urge the Houthis to pay their wages.

In contrast to their violent repression of peaceful rallies by ordinary Yemenis, the Houthis seldom crush protests by strong tribesmen to prevent revolt, experts say.


Hezbollah, Hamas say launched rocket salvos at north Israel

Smoke rises from a fire after Hezbollah fired a barrage of projectiles towards Israel from Lebanon.
Smoke rises from a fire after Hezbollah fired a barrage of projectiles towards Israel from Lebanon.
Updated 7 sec ago
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Hezbollah, Hamas say launched rocket salvos at north Israel

Smoke rises from a fire after Hezbollah fired a barrage of projectiles towards Israel from Lebanon.
  • Hezbollah said it launched “dozens of Katyusha rockets” on Dafna, an area in Israel’s north, “in response to the attack on civilians”

BEIRUT: Hezbollah and its Palestinian ally Hamas said they launched rocket barrages at Israeli positions Saturday to avenge a strike that injured civilians in south Lebanon and the Gaza war toll.
Hezbollah has traded near-daily fire with Israeli forces in support of Hamas since the Palestinian militant group’s October 7 attack on southern Israel triggered war in the Gaza Strip.
Earlier Saturday, Lebanon’s state-run National News Agency said Syrian nationals, including children, had been injured after an “enemy drone targeted an empty four-wheel drive” near their tent, less than four kilometers from the border.
Doctor Mouenes Kalakesh who heads the Marjayoun government hospital said a woman and her three children, two of them minors, had been admitted for shrapnel injuries after the strike outside Burj Al-Muluk.
Among them was an 11-year-old boy in critical condition after he sustained shrapnel injuries and a head wound, Kalakesh told AFP.
Hezbollah said it launched “dozens of Katyusha rockets” on Dafna, an area in Israel’s north that the group said it was targeting for the first time, “in response to the attack on civilians.”
On Wednesday, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah had warned his Iran-backed group would hit new targets in Israel if more civilians were killed in Israeli strikes.
Later Saturday, Hamas’s armed wing, the Ezzedine Al-Qassam Brigades, said they fired a rocket salvo from south Lebanon toward an Israeli military position in the Upper Galilee “in response to the Zionist massacres against civilians in the Gaza Strip.”
The Israeli army said a total of 45 “projectiles” had been fired from Lebanon Saturday afternoon, toward the occupied Golan Heights and the Galilee, reporting no casualties.
The army said it struck “the launcher... in southern Lebanon from which the projectiles were launched toward the Golan Heights,” also targeting “an additional Hezbollah launcher.”
On Thursday, Israeli strikes killed at least five people, including the commander of a Hamas-allied group in Lebanon, militant groups and a security source said.
On Tuesday, Lebanese official media said separate Israeli strikes in south Lebanon killed five Syrians, three of them children, with Hezbollah announcing rocket fire at Israel in retaliation.
The violence since October has killed at least 515 people in Lebanon, according to an AFP tally.
Most of the dead have been fighters, but they have included at least 104 civilians.
On the Israeli side, 18 soldiers and 13 civilians have been killed, according to Israeli authorities.


Israeli jets strike Houthi targets in Yemen in response to attacks, military says

Israeli jets strike Houthi targets in Yemen in response to attacks, military says
Updated 18 min 9 sec ago
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Israeli jets strike Houthi targets in Yemen in response to attacks, military says

Israeli jets strike Houthi targets in Yemen in response to attacks, military says
  • Al-Masirah TV, main television news outlet run by Houthis, reported that the strikes were directed against oil facilities in the port and caused fatalities

CAIRO: The Israeli military said on Saturday that its fighter jets struck Houthi military targets in the area of Hodeidah port in Yemen in response to hundreds of attacks carried out against Israel in recent months.
Al-Masirah TV, the main television news outlet run by Yemen’s Houthi militia, reported that the strikes were directed against oil facilities in the port and caused fatalities.
Hodeidah residents told Reuters by phone that explosions were heard throughout the city during an intensive bombardment.
On Friday, a long-range Iranian-made drone hit the center of Tel Aviv in an attack claimed by the Houthi militia and which killed one man and wounded four others, the Israeli military and emergency services said.
“IDF fighter jets struck military targets of the Houthi terrorist regime in the area of the (Hodeidah) port in Yemen in response to the hundreds of attacks carried out against the state of Israel in recent months,” Israel’s military said.
The Iranian-backed Houthis have stepped up attacks against Israel and Western targets, saying they are acting in solidarity with the Palestinians.
They began attacking Western ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden after Israel invaded the Gaza Strip following last year’s attack by Hamas on southern Israel.
“A brutal Israeli aggression targeted civilian buildings, oil facilities and power station in Hodeidah aiming at pressuring Yemen to stop supporting Gaza... but the attack will only increase our determination, steadfastness, continuity,” Mohammed Abdulsalam, the chief negotiator for the Houthis, said in a statement on X.
Hamas stormed Israeli towns on Oct. 7, killing around 1,200 people and taking more than 250 hostages back to Gaza, according to Israeli tallies. Since then, nearly 39,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, according to health authorities in the enclave.


UAE launches investigation into Bangladeshi expats arrested for alleged riots

UAE launches investigation into Bangladeshi expats arrested for alleged riots
Updated 56 min 38 sec ago
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UAE launches investigation into Bangladeshi expats arrested for alleged riots

UAE launches investigation into Bangladeshi expats arrested for alleged riots

DUBAI: UAE Attorney-General Hamad Saif Al-Shamsi has ordered an investigation into the arrest of several Bangladeshi nationals who were apprehended for inciting riots across multiple streets in the UAE on Friday.

A dedicated team from the public prosecution has promptly begun investigating the arrested individuals, Emirates News Agency, WAM, reported on Saturday.

Preliminary findings suggest that the suspects engaged in criminal activities, including assembling in public spaces and protesting against their home government, WAM added.

These actions were allegedly intended to incite unrest, obstruct the enforcement of law, disrupt individual interests, endanger others and violate their rights, impede traffic, and cause damage to both public and private property.

It is alleged that the suspects deliberately disrupted transport networks, organized and promoted these demonstrations, and recorded and disseminated audiovisual footage of their actions online.

Such activities are considered offenses against state security and public order in the UAE.

The public prosecution has ordered the pre-trial detention of the suspects pending further investigations. Al-Shamsi has also directed that the suspects be referred to an expedited trial.

Massive protests have broken out in Bangladesh over student anger against quotas that set aside 30% of government jobs for the families of those who fought for independence from Pakistan.
Police have fired tear gas to scatter protesters in some areas while the government has banned public gatherings, imposed communications restrictions, deployed the army in some parts and imposed a curfew. Dozens have been killed in the past week.


Jordan sends 83 aid trucks to Gaza

Jordan sends 83 aid trucks to Gaza
Updated 20 July 2024
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Jordan sends 83 aid trucks to Gaza

Jordan sends 83 aid trucks to Gaza
  • Contents of the trucks include food parcels, blankets, clothes and health care supplies

AMMAN: Jordan announced that a convoy of 83 trucks containing humanitarian aid was headed to Gaza on Saturday, Jordan News Agency reported.

The contents of the trucks, including food parcels, blankets, clothes and health care supplies, will be distributed to Palestinian civilians via partner associations and organization in the Strip.

The convoy was sent by the Jordanian Armed Forces-Arab Army and the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organization. It was sent in collaboration with the World Food Programme and funded by the Helping Hand Society and Human Appeal.

JHCO Secretary-General Hussein Shibli highlighted the scale of Jordan’s aid initiative to Gaza, noting that the substantial donations from local, regional and international bodies underscored the trust Jordan commands globally and its capability to deliver aid effectively to the region.

Shibli said that to date, the number of trucks to have entered Gaza had reached 2,694, in addition to 53 planes via El-Arish in Egypt.
 


Emirati market opens in Qingdao to celebrate 40 years of UAE-China relations

Emirati market opens in Qingdao to celebrate 40 years of UAE-China relations
Updated 20 July 2024
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Emirati market opens in Qingdao to celebrate 40 years of UAE-China relations

Emirati market opens in Qingdao to celebrate 40 years of UAE-China relations
  • Market includes pavilions selling dates, traditional handicrafts, and popular Emirati cuisine

DUBAI: The UAE opened an Emirati market in Qingdao on Saturday as part of the UAE-China Friendship Festival, which ends Sunday.

The festival marks 40 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations, showcasing a diverse array of Emirati products and arts to the Chinese public, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.

The market includes pavilions selling dates, traditional handicrafts, and popular Emirati cuisine. There is also an exhibition chronicling the development of relations between the UAE and China.

The festival also features a “comprehensive cultural program” that includes performances of traditional arts “celebrating the UAE's national identity,” as well as workshops.

This event is part of a broader series of activities in both countries aimed at “enhancing mutual understanding and fostering new opportunities for cooperation across various sectors,” according to WAM.