Yemen govt forces battle Houthis on two fronts

A Yemeni fighter loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi stands guard next to a pick up truck near Kahbub, on a mountainous area overlooking the strategic Bab al-Mandab Strait at the entrance to the Red Sea, on Sept. 15, 2016. Yemeni pro-government forces battled Shiite Houthi rebels on two fronts Saturday, including east of Taiz where they are struggling to break a siege of the southwestern city. (AFP / NABIL HASSAN)
Updated 17 September 2016

Yemen govt forces battle Houthis on two fronts

ADEN, Yemen: Yemeni pro-government forces battled Shiite Houthi rebels on two fronts Saturday, including east of Taiz where they are struggling to break a siege of the southwestern city, military sources said.
“Five rebels and one of our soldiers were killed in the fighting” near Taiz, a local pro-government commander, Fadl Hassan, told AFP.
He said loyalist forces drove rebels and their allies from five hills in the Sharija region on the borders of Taiz and Lahj provinces.
“We are trying to break the siege (imposed by rebels) of Taiz,” Hassan said, adding that pro-government forces launched the operation from the eastern side of the city.
Forces loyal to the embattled government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi have struggled since the end of August to break the siege of Taiz which the rebels have surrounded for more than a year.
Pro-government forces also clashed with rebels east of the Yemeni capital, with fighting concentrated in the strategic Sarwah region leading to Sanaa, military sources said.
The Houthis, who seized Sanaa two years ago, were putting up fierce resistance despite also coming under attack from Saudi-led coalition air strikes, the sources added.
Witnesses also reported air strikes targeting rebel positions in Nahm northeast of Sanaa, and in the coastal city of Hodeida to the west.
The coalition intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to help shore up Hadi’s government.
The conflict has since killed more than 6,600 people, most of them civilians, and displaced at least three million, the United Nations says.
Fighting intensified after the collapse in early August of UN-mediated peace talks held in Kuwait.


COVID-19 infection rates among UAE citizens increased by 30%

Updated 5 min 56 sec ago

COVID-19 infection rates among UAE citizens increased by 30%

  • The total number of recorded cases in the UAE is 61,845 and 354 deaths
  • Meanwhile, the UAE celebrated reaching 5000 vaccinated volunteers in its phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine

DUBAI: The UAE’s Minister of Health and Prevention announced a 30 percent rise in new COVID-19 cases among citizens on Thursday and warned of the dangers of gatherings that do not follow measures.

The minister called for those in the UAE to exercise caution and care in order to curb the spread of the deadly virus.

The official spokesman for the UAE Government, Omar Al-Hammadi, said that the total number of recorded cases in the UAE is 61,845 and 354 deaths, while the current number of patients receiving treatment has reached 5,752.

Meanwhile, the UAE celebrated reaching 5000 vaccinated volunteers in its phase III trials of an inactivated vaccine for COVID-19, state news agency WAM reported.

The trials began in Abu Dhabi last month after China’s Sinopharm CNBG, the world’s sixth-largest vaccine manufacturer, developed an inactivated vaccine that successfully completed phase I and II of testing.

Phase I and Phase II trials, which were conducted in China, resulted in 100 percent of the volunteers generating antibodies to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, after two doses in 28 days.

Over 80 nationalities in the UAE have volunteered to participate in the trails, according to WAM.

“This milestone marks a significant achievement for the ongoing clinical trials and is testament to the global commitment to humanity of everyone who calls the UAE home,” Chairperson of the National COVID-19 Clinical Management Committee, Nawal Ahmed Alkaabi, said.

"We reached the 5000 vaccinations faster than anticipated and believe that our trials of the inactivated vaccine are moving faster than comparable trials processes anywhere in the world,” he added.

Alkaabi said that the UAE aims to vaccinate 15,000 volunteers.

The thousands of volunteers who have been vaccinated come from a diverse background and are of all ages between 18 and 60.