Merchant ship damaged by missile off Yemen: marine monitors

Update Merchant ship damaged by missile off Yemen: marine monitors
The longer the war in Gaza goes on and Yemen's Houthis keep attacking ships in the Red Sea the greater the risk that Yemen could be propelled back into war, UN special envoy for the poorest Arab nation warned. (File/AFP)
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Updated 15 March 2024
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Merchant ship damaged by missile off Yemen: marine monitors

Merchant ship damaged by missile off Yemen: marine monitors
  • The crew was not injured and the vessel was able to continue its journey

Dubai: A missile strike damaged a merchant ship in the Red Sea off Yemen, marine security monitors said Friday, as the country’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels threatened to expand their months-long harassment campaign which has disrupted global trade.
The crew was not injured and the vessel continued its journey, said the British navy’s United Kingdom Marine Trade Operations, and security firm Ambrey, after the incident west of the rebel-held port of Hodeida in the early hours of Friday.
“A merchant vessel has reported that they have been struck by a missile and the vessel has sustained some damage,” said UKMTO.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility from the Houthis, who have launched dozens of missile and drone strikes on shipping in the commercially vital seaway over the past four months.
The rebels say they are targeting Israel-linked shipping as part of an “axis of resistance” of Iran allies and proxies, in protest at Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The Houthi attacks, including a deadly assault on a bulk carrier last week and the sinking of a ship carrying thousands of tons of fertilizer, have triggered reprisal strikes by US and British forces.
On Thursday, the US military said it had destroyed nine anti-ship ballistic missiles and two drones after the Houthis fired on ships in the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden.
Such exchanges have become a frequent occurrence in the area, sending shipping insurance costs soaring and prompting many firms to detour around the southern tip of Africa.
Late on Thursday, rebel leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi said the Houthis would expand their attacks to ships taking the longer route around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.
“We are moving, with the grace and help of God Almighty, to prevent them from crossing even through the Indian Ocean and from South Africa,” he said in a speech broadcast by the rebels’ Al-Masirah TV channel.
“We have begun implementing our related operations,” he added.
Twelve “targeting operations” using 58 missiles were carried out against commercial and military ships this week in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea, the Houthi leader said.


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

US envoy says diplomacy ‘urgent’ to stop Israel-Lebanon border clashes
Updated 17 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 in cross-border exchanges of fire between Lebanon’s Iran-backed 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.”

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan

UAE allocates $70 million in humanitarian aid for Sudan
Updated 28 min 59 sec ago
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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 53 min 22 sec ago
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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.


Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials

Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials
Updated 18 June 2024
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Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials

Yemeni minister condemns Houthi attack on Taiz officials
  • The minister called on the international community, the UN, and its special envoy to Yemen to condemn this attack.

DUBAI: Yemeni Minister of Information, Culture, and Tourism Muammar Al-Eryani strongly condemned the Houthi militia on Monday for targeting government officials in Taiz, state news agency SABA reported. 

The attack targeted Maj. Gen. Abdul Karim Al-Sabri, undersecretary of Taiz Governorate for defense and security affairs; Maj. Gen. Abdul Aziz Al-Majidi, acting commander of the Taiz Axis; Brig. Gen. Mohammed Al-Mahfadi, commander of Brigade 22 Mika; Samir Yahya Abdul-Ilah, director-general of the Cairo Directorate; and several other civilian, security, and military leaders. They were on a visit to National Army officers stationed at the old airport camp northwest of Taiz.

Al-Eryani said that the attack occurred less than 500 meters from the recently reopened Al-Kamp-Republican Palace road, after a decade-long siege imposed by the Houthi militia on the governorate.

The attack highlights the Houthi militia’s lack of commitment to peace and their intent to undermine any efforts to alleviate the suffering of citizens, the minister said. 

Al-Eryani called on the international community, the UN, and its special envoy to Yemen to condemn this attack. He urged for the militia to be classified as a terrorist organization, for its financial, political, and media resources to be cut off, and for measures to be taken to support the government in establishing control and achieving security throughout Yemeni territory.