Houthis accused of violating cease-fire

Updated 12 April 2016

Houthis accused of violating cease-fire

RIYADH: The Houthi rebels in Yemen broke the UN-brokered cease-fire hours after it began on Sunday midnight by firing a missile into the Al-Jouf area and launching attacks in parts of Yemen, local media reported quoting sources on Monday.

The missile, which was fired from Arhab in Yemen on Monday morning, was intercepted midair by the coalition forces, military sources were quoted as saying.
Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdulmalek Al-Mukhlafi told an online publication that it appeared the fighting was a deliberate attempt to scupper any deal to find peace in the country.
He said the Yemeni government would exercise restraint but would act against those seeking to create further conflict.
The UN-sponsored peace talks are set to begin on April 18 in Kuwait, bringing together the Houthi rebels and Yemen’s legitimate government.
In Taiz, military sources and eyewitnesses said that there was shelling on the eastern neighborhoods of Taiz and some villages of Saber Mount overlooking the city from the south, while clashes continued on the western front and in Al-Daba.
Sources said the militias shelled the Brigade 35 camp of the Yemeni army west of Taiz and shelled the neighborhoods of Al-Deem, Thubaat and Al-Zahra, east of the city.
Military sources said militias were continuing to shell camps of the resistance and army in Bier Al-Hieb, Bier Al-Waheer in Al-Ghiel city and Al-Masloub, close to the Aqaba region.
Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Asiri, spokesman of the coalition forces, said the leadership of the Saudi-led alliance has received a request by President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to go along with the truce to create a good atmosphere for the upcoming Kuwait meeting.
During a call with Al-Arabiya TV channel, Al-Asiri said that the Houthis and those fighting with them would abide by the truce. The coalition maintains its right to respond to any breaches to the truce, he added.
He said that there has been an agreement to allow the entry of humanitarian assistance to six Yemeni cities during the truce. “The Yemeni government has decided to proceed with the Kuwait talks, despite the circumstances. The legitimate government is abiding the by the UN resolutions with regard to the truce.”
In a statement, the coalition forces said it they will respect the cease-fire, but reserve the right to respond to any rebel attacks.


US State Department calls Saudi Arabia ‘important strategic partner’

Updated 25 February 2020

US State Department calls Saudi Arabia ‘important strategic partner’

  • The comments come following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the Kingdom
  • Pompeo discussed regional issues with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Monday said Saudi Arabia was an "important strategic partner" and paid tribute to the "historical relations" between the two countries.

The comments come following US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to the Kingdom during a tour of Middle East and African countries last week.

The State Department added that Pompeo discussed regional issues with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and said the US-Saudi Arabia relationship was a "distinct" one that went beyond confronting Iran.

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It also said that the situation in Syria was "catastrophic," while calling on Russia and Iran to do more to protect civilians and saying there was no military solution to the conflict in the country.

The department also spoke about the situation in Iraq, saying the Iraqi Prime Minister-designate, Mohammed Tawfiq Allawi, must include the Kurds and Sunnis in the formation of a government.

The US said that Iran was responsible for aggression against its interests in Iraq and said it would prevent Iraqi militias from attacking the Green Zone.