No letup in Houthi attacks: Al-Assiri

Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri. (SPA)
Updated 17 September 2016

No letup in Houthi attacks: Al-Assiri

JEDDAH: Saudi forces have prevented attacks on Jabal Dukhan in Jazan region by terrorists from Houthi-occupied Yemeni territory. Twenty-four attackers were killed and 30 others injured in the attacks.
Most of the attackers were Republican Guard personnel loyal to deposed President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The Saudi-led coalition spokesman, Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, confirmed on Friday that each day Saudi soldiers kill Houthis and Saleh’s followers in battles along the borders.
“The attempts of Houthis to infiltrate Saudi border regions haven’t stopped,” said Al-Assiri. He said the Houthis had lost many of their leaders in these incursions.
Al-Assiri’s comments come after footage and images of a parade held by women loyal to the Houthi movement circulated on social media. The footage showed children and women carrying rifles and heavy artillery as they paraded in trucks, declaring support for the terrorists.
In a related development, a senior US diplomat has presented a proposal for a comprehensive cease-fire in Yemen. The proposal was submitted to Houthi representatives at a meeting in Oman, a source close to the Houthis told Reuters on Thursday.
Negotiators will return to Houthi-occupied Sanaa on Friday carrying the plan offered by US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon in talks in Muscat, the source said. Shannon met with the Houthi representatives, officials of the allied General People’s Congress party and an Omani mediator in Muscat on Sept. 8-9.
In Washington, US officials said the plan was an “extension of the efforts Secretary (of State John) Kerry initiated in Jeddah.”
The source did not disclose any details of the proposal. Kerry said in Saudi Arabia on Aug. 25 that he had agreed in talks with Gulf Arab states and the UN on a plan to restart peace talks on Yemen with the aim of forming a unity government.

Lebanon president to chair crisis talks over weekend violence

Updated 6 min 48 sec ago

Lebanon president to chair crisis talks over weekend violence

  • The meeting will touch on “security developments” in the country
  • Lebanon has been without a government since outgoing prime minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29
BEIRUT: Lebanon’s under-fire president is set to meet Monday with top security officials to discuss rare violence over the weekend that left hundreds wounded in the protest-hit country.

Michel Aoun will be joined by the care-taker ministers of the interior and defense as well as the chiefs of the military and security agencies in the early afternoon, his office said in a statement.

The meeting will touch on “security developments” in a country rocked since October 17 by unprecedented protests against a political class deemed incompetent, corrupt and responsible for an ever-deepening economic crisis.

It will also address “measures that need to be taken to preserve peace and stability,” the state-run National News agency (NNA) reported.

Demonstrators at the weekend lobbed stones, firecrackers and street signs at riot police, who fired tear gas and rubber bullets to clear a flashpoint road near parliament.

Over the most violent weekend in three months of street protests, some 530 were wounded on both sides, according to a toll compiled by AFP from figures provided by the Red Cross and Civil Defense.

Lawyers and rights groups have condemned the “excessive” and “brutal” use of force by security forces.

Human Rights Watch accused riot police of “launching tear gas canisters at protesters’ heads, firing rubber bullets in their eyes and attacking people at hospitals and a mosque.”

Internal Security Forces, for their part, have urged demonstrators to abstain from assaulting riot police and damaging public or private property.
Protesters had called for a week of “anger” over the political leadership’s failure to form a new government even as the debt-ridden country sinks deeper into a financial crisis.

Lebanon has been without a government since outgoing prime minister Saad Hariri resigned on October 29 in the face of popular pressure.

Political factions agreed on December 19 to appoint former education minister Hassan Diab as the new premier but have since squabbled over ministerial posts and portfolios.

Protesters have demanded a new government be comprised solely of independent experts, and exclude all established political parties.

The United Nations’ envoy to Lebanon pinned the blame for the violence on politicians.

“Anger of the people is understandable, but it is different from vandalism of political manipulators, that must be stopped,” Jan Kubis wrote on Twitter on Saturday.