Houthis claim attack on US Navy ship in Gulf of Aden

Special Houthis claim attack on US Navy ship in Gulf of Aden
Houthi fighters on the back of a pick-up truck during a parade in support of strikes on ships in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, Sanaa, Yemen, Jan. 29, 2024. (Reuters)
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Updated 29 January 2024
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Houthis claim attack on US Navy ship in Gulf of Aden

Houthis claim attack on US Navy ship in Gulf of Aden
  • Houthi naval troops fired an anti-ship missile at the USS Lewis B. Puller as it traveled in the Gulf of Aden
  • Yemeni leader Rashad Al-Alimi urges EU to declare Houthis as terrorists during talks with envoy

AL-MUKALLA: Yemen’s Houthi militia on Monday said they fired a missile at a US Navy ship in the Gulf of Aden, vowing to continue their attacks on ships in the Red Sea, Bab Al-Mandab, and the Gulf.

Houthi military spokesperson Yahiya Sarae said that Houthi naval troops fired an anti-ship missile at the USS Lewis B. Puller as it traveled in the Gulf of Aden. Sarae said the attack was retribution for US and UK bombings in Yemen and in solidarity with the “oppressed” Palestinians.

“The targeting procedure is part of the Yemeni armed forces’ military actions in defense of Yemen and evidence of their determination to help the oppressed Palestinian people,” Sarae said.

Despite the Houthi’s claims, neither the US Central Command nor the UK’s Maritime Trade Operations agency, which monitors Houthi assaults on ships, reported any fresh strikes in the waters off Yemen over the past 24 hours.

Since November, the Houthis have seized a commercial ship known as Galaxy Leader and fired dozens of drones and missiles against commercial ships in the region, which they say is to push Israel to cease operations in Gaza.

The attacks have pushed the US to lead a coalition to protect international trade lines off Yemen, carrying out dozens of attacks on Houthi-controlled regions and reclassifying the group as terrorists.

The Houthis have said that neither the coalition attacks nor the new designation will stop them from preventing all Israel-bound ships passing through the Red Sea.

“Neither America nor anybody else will be able to prevent Yemen from meeting its humanitarian and moral obligations towards the tortured people of Gaza,” chief Houthi negotiator Mohammed Abdulsalam said on social media platform X on Sunday.

Experts believe the Houthis continue to attack ships to remain in the spotlight and keep the US involved in the region, as they are aware that the administration of President Joe Biden will not deploy troops to Yemen during an election year.

Elisabeth Kendall, a Middle East expert and head of Girton College at the University of Cambridge, told Arab News that the current exchange of strikes between the Houthis and the US may escalate into an aggressive US bombardment of Yemen and may also see the Houthis intensify their own attacks.

“As long as there is no ceasefire in Gaza, the Houthis can position themselves as having rightson their side,” she said.

“The more the US bombs them, the more they can justify their own expansion of operations — as long as they still retain capability, which looks to be the case. We may already be in a spiral.”

Meanwhile, the chairman of Yemen’s Presidential Leadership Council, Rashad Al-Alimi, urged the EU on Monday to declare the Houthis terrorists.

The official news agency SABA reported that Al-Alimi discussed the UN-brokered peace efforts with the EU Ambassador to Yemen Gabriel Munuera Vinals in Riyadh, as well as the impact of the Houthi attacks on Yemen’s oil terminals and the EU’s economic support for the Yemeni government.


Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 37,372

Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 37,372
Updated 3 sec ago
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Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 37,372

Health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza says war death toll at 37,372
  • The toll includes at least 25 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said
GAZA STRIP, Palestinian Territories: The health ministry in Hamas-run Gaza said Tuesday that at least 37,372 people have been killed in the territory during more than eight months of war between Israel and Palestinian militants.
The toll includes at least 25 deaths in the past 24 hours, a ministry statement said, adding that a total of 85,452 people had been wounded in the Gaza Strip since the war began when Hamas militants attacked Israel on October 7.

US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes

US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes
Updated 39 min 1 sec ago
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US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes

US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes
  • US envoy Amos Hochstein: ‘The conflict... between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough’

BEIRUT: US envoy Amos Hochstein Tuesday called for the “urgent” de-escalation of cross-border exchanges of fire between Lebanon’s Hezbollah and Israeli forces raging since the start of the Gaza war.

“The conflict... between Israel and Hezbollah has gone on for long enough,” the presidential envoy said on a visit to Beirut.

“It’s in everyone’s interest to resolve it quickly and diplomatically — that is both achievable and it is urgent.”

The powerful Iran-backed armed group, an ally of the Palestinian militant movement Hamas, stepped up attacks on northern Israel last week after an Israeli strike killed one of its senior commanders.

But since Saturday afternoon, Hezbollah has not claimed any attacks against Israel, despite Israeli strikes on the border area in Lebanon’s south including one on Monday that killed a fighter.

Hochstein met with Lebanese parliament speaker Nabih Berri, a day after holding talks in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Speaker Berri and I had a very a good discussion,” Hochstein said.

“We discussed the current security and political situation in Lebanon as well as the deal on the table right now with respect to Gaza, which also presents an opportunity to end the conflict across the Blue Line,” the demarcation line between Israel and Lebanon.

US President Joe Biden last month outlined a truce proposal which Hochstein said would “ultimately the end of the conflict in Gaza.”

“A ceasefire in Gaza and, or, an alternative diplomatic solution could also bring the conflict across the Blue Line to an end” and allow the return of displaced civilians to southern Lebanon and northern Israel, the envoy added.

Hezbollah last week said it has carried out more than 2,100 military operations against Israel since October 8, the day after Hamas’s attack that sparked the ongoing war in the Gaza Strip.

The Israel-Lebanon border violence has killed at least 473 people on the Lebanese side, most of them fighters but also including 92 civilians, according to an AFP tally.

Israeli authorities say at least 15 soldiers and 11 civilians have been killed in the country’s north.


UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan
Updated 18 June 2024
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UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan
  • Since the onset of the crisis, the UAE has launched an air bridge with Sudan and Chad

DUBAI: The UAE has said 70 percent of the $100 million pledge it announced for UN agencies last April will go towards supporting humanitarian aid efforts in Sudan, Emirates News Agency (WAM) reported.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the funds would be directed to key UN partners, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the World Food Programme, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the World Health Organization. The money will provide food and health support, protect women and children, and offer livelihoods and shelter in emergencies.
Minister of State for International Cooperation Reem bint Ibrahim Al-Hashemi emphasized the UAE’s commitment to humanitarian support for the Sudanese people. She highlighted ongoing efforts to provide aid in cooperation with the WFP, including operations in El-Fasher and other areas in Sudan.
Since the onset of the crisis, the UAE has launched an air bridge with Sudan and Chad, delivering 9,500 tons of food and medical supplies through 148 relief flights and a ship carrying some 1,000 tons of urgent supplies. Additionally, the UAE has supported Sudanese refugee camps in Chad and South Sudan by providing food.


Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan

Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan
Updated 18 June 2024
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Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan

Civil Defense extinguishes major fire in northern Jordan
  • The fire affected over 320,000 square meters of trees and dry grass

DUBAI:  Civil Defense teams on Monday extinguished a fire that spread from the Zamal area in the Koura District to the Anaba area in the Northern Mazar District.

Koura District Superintendent Bassem Al-Khalayleh informed the Jordan News Agency that the fire affected over 320 dunams (320,000 square meters) of trees and dry grass. He praised the quick response of the Civil Defense, which contained and extinguished the fire, preventing it from spreading to neighboring areas.

Al-Khalayleh urged citizens to clean the areas surrounding their homes, remove waste and dead vegetation that pose safety risks, ensure the presence and readiness of fire extinguishers, and educate individuals about fire hazards. He emphasized the dangers of throwing cigarette butts in forests, leaving flammable waste unattended, lighting fires in grassy areas, and using fireworks near forests or residential areas.

Jordan is currently experiencing a severe heatwave, with temperatures soaring to record highs of 45 degrees Celsius in several regions.

The Jordan Meteorological Department reported that the heatwave is expected to persist over the coming days, particularly impacting the desert areas, Jordan Valley, Dead Sea, and Aqaba. Residents are advised to stay indoors during peak sunlight hours, stay hydrated, and avoid strenuous outdoor activities.


Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants

Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants
Updated 18 June 2024
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Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants

Tunisian security units foil 59 sea border crossing attempts, rescue 1,806 migrants
  • At least 18 Tunisians were rescued on June 15 and 16 with the remainder being from sub-Saharan countries

DUBAI: Security units in Tunisia thwarted 59 attempts to illegally cross its sea borders and rescued 1,806 individuals, state news agency Tunis Afrique Press reported on Monday.

At least 18 Tunisians were rescued on June 15 and 16 with the remainder being from sub-Saharan countries, the Directorate General of the National Guard announced in a statement.

Two bodies were also recovered, and 24 wanted individuals, including smugglers and middlemen, were detained. In addition, the authorities seized boats and outboard motors used in illegal migration operations.