Yemen Watch - News, Updates & Discussions. - Page 2

Yemen Watch - News, Updates & Discussions.
March 26th, 2015  
Yemen Watch - News, Updates & Discussions.
4 Mig-29s shot down by the RSAF according to Al-Hadath on TV.
March 26th, 2015  
4 Mig-29s shot down by the RSAF according to Al-Hadath on TV.
March 26th, 2015  
In coordination with armed forces loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Houthi militants took control of Lahj governorate and captured a number of key opponents on Wednesday morning.

The group captured Brigadier Mahmoud Al-Subaihi, the former minister of defense who was leading troops loyal to Hadi in the south, and Faisal Rajab, commander of the pro-Hadi 119th Armored Brigade in Lahj’s capital Al-Hawta.

The captures happened at 11 a.m. as the Houthis and their allies were combing Al-Hawta city, which they took control of shortly after the fall of Al-Anad Airbase that morning, said Naji Al-Arashi, chief-of-staff of the 201st Armored Brigade stationed in Al-Anad.

“By cooperating with the Houthis we have taken control over Al-Hawta city, Al-Anad base, and remaining districts in the governorate,” he said, adding that the Houthis, aided by the army, intend to take over the remaining southern governorates as well.

Al-Subaihi was leading the counter-offensive against the Houthis in Lahj governorate. Following the Cabinet’s resignation on Jan. 22, the Houthis appointed Al-Subaihi as acting minister of defense on Feb. 6. However, he fled Sana’a for Lahj on March 8, and headed towards Aden where he became President Hadi’s de facto minister of defense.

A senior source within the brigade, speaking to the Yemen Times on condition of anonymity, said Special Security Forces (SSF) and other units arrived on the outskirts of Al-Anad base in the middle of the night before advancing without resistance later in the morning.

According to Colonel Ali Qasim Muthana, deputy commander of Al-Anad airbase, “We contacted air force leadership in Sana’a and there was mediation between us and the Houthis, we agreed to hand over the entire base on condition that no one gets harmed.”

“I allowed them to enter and deploy their men, and indeed that happened without any confrontation. If we had resisted, our soldiers and citizens would have been the victims,” he said.

Forces from the 33rd Armored Brigade took control of the cities of Al-Habilain and Al-Malah and were joined by reinforcements, according to a source from the Operations Department for the two cities, which border Al-Dhale governorate to the north. According to Houthi Political Office member Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti, all of Lahj governorate is under the Houthis’ control. He confirmed that Al-Subaihi and Rajab are in Houthi custody.

The Houthis announced a YR20 million ($93,000) award for the capture of Hadi on the official state TV channel Al-Yemen, whose whereabouts remain unknown as of Wednesday evening.

Responding to claims that Hadi had fled the country, the head of national security, Major-General Ali Al-Ahmadi, claimed to Reuters Wednesday afternoon that he was with Hadi in the Presidential Palace. The Yemen Times was unable to verify the authenticity of this claim.
Yemen Watch - News, Updates & Discussions.
March 26th, 2015  
China says deeply concerned about Yemen situation

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's foreign ministry said on Thursday it was deeply concerned about the worsening situation in Yemen, after Saudi Arabia announced it had launched military operations in that country with Gulf region allies.

Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said that China urges all parties to act in accordance with United Nations Security Council resolutions on Yemen, and to resolve the dispute through dialogue.

Hua told a news conference that China hopes all parties involved will "quickly resolve the dispute through political dialogue, solve the current crisis and restore domestic stability and normality to Yemen at an early date."

She said that all Chinese people and institutions in Yemen were safe, adding that the foreign ministry and the Chinese embassy in Yemen had warned its citizens not to visit Yemen.

Yemen exports about 1.4-1.5 million barrels of Masila crude each month, mainly to China, but a Chinese trade source said that volume was relatively small and could easily be replaced with West African crude.

China's crude imports from Yemen in the first two months this year were 4.5 mln bbls, up 315 percent from the same period a year ago.

China has traditionally kept a low profile in Middle East diplomacy despite its reliance on oil imports from the region, although it is keen to demonstrate its role as a force in international politics.
March 26th, 2015  
Iran, Russia diplomats hold talks on situation in Yemen

A high-ranking diplomat of Iran’s Foreign Ministry has held talks with authorities in Moscow over the situation in Yemen.

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian met with his Russian counterpart, Mikhail Bogdanov, in the country’s capital on Wednesday.

"During the discussion of the situation in the Republic of Yemen the common opinion was expressed about the need to settle the acute domestic crisis in that country on the basis of a broad national dialogue involving all influential political forces in Yemen," the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a report.

"Such a dialogue is meant to stabilize the situation in the country, preserve its territorial integrity and unity, find solutions of political and economic problems facing the Yemeni society acceptable for all sides, and prevent the transformation of the country into a new seat of international terrorism. Support was confirmed for corresponding efforts made by special adviser of the UN Secretary General for Yemen Jamal Benomar," it added.
The meeting was held as reports said Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi escaped the country on a boat from the southern port city of Aden where he was staying.
March 26th, 2015  
Russia's President Vladimir Putin called for an "immediate
ceasefire" in Yemen in phone conversations with Iran's President Hassan Rouhani,
March 26th, 2015  
Civilians killed in Arab airstrikes on Yemen

At least six children under the age of 10 were among a reported 25 people killed in Saudi Arabian-led airstrikes in the Yemeni capital Sana’a early this morning, Amnesty International confirmed after speaking to hospital officials and eyewitnesses.

The organization spoke to medical personnel at four different hospitals where the dead were taken after being pulled from the rubble of 14 houses that were hit in a residential neighbourhood near the city’s international airport. The rest of those killed were men, mostly in their 30s and 40s. It is believed that more people may still be buried beneath the rubble, and at least 20, including four women, were admitted to hospital with mainly shrapnel injures.

This high toll of civilian deaths and injuries in these attacks raises concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law. Saudi Arabian and any other armed forces carrying out airstrikes in Yemen are required to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians.​

“This high toll of civilian deaths and injuries in these attacks raises concerns about compliance with the rules of international humanitarian law. Saudi Arabian and any other armed forces carrying out airstrikes in Yemen are required to take all feasible precautions to spare civilians,” said Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme.

“This includes verifying that targets are in fact military objectives and giving civilians effective advance warnings unless circumstances do not permit.

“The Huthi armed groups and the Yemeni armed forces also have obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians under their control from the effects of attacks, including by avoiding, to the extent feasible, locating their fighters and weaponry within residential neighbourhoods.”

Given the civilian deaths and injuries, Saudi Arabia and other states involved in these airstrikes must investigate whether violations of international humanitarian law were committed. And if there is evidence that war crimes were committed they must prosecute the suspects in fair trials.

Yemen’s Ministry of Health today said the airstrikes killed 25 people and injured some 40 – it is not yet known if there were any fighters among the casualties.

According to a paramedic who witnessed the aftermath, the airstrike near the airport occurred shortly before 3AM local time, in a residential area called Beni Hawat. Huthi armed groups had allegedly been operating a checkpoint around 100m away, as well as al-Dailami base around 500m away.

Saudi Arabian officials today stated they had destroyed “all Huthi air defences" at al-Dailami base next to Sana’a International Airport.

Beni Hawat was among a number of sites around the city hit by airstrikes overnight as Saudi Arabia announced it was launching a military intervention by a coalition of 10 countries, including five Gulf Cooperation Council states, against the Huthi armed groups. The US government today stated it had “authorized the provision of logistical and intelligence support” to this military intervention, and other governments, including the UK and Turkey, endorsed the move.
March 26th, 2015  
Iran, Russia demand immediate halt to Saudi-led intervention in Yemen

Iran and Russia have called on Saudi Arabia to halt airstrikes on Yemen as supporters of Yemen’s ruling Houthi militants stage demonstrations throughout the country, protesting against the Saudi-led military intervention.

Speaking to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Russia’s Vladimir Putin called for an "immediate cessation of military activities" in Yemen and for the boosting of efforts to find a peaceful solution to the crisis, the Kremlin said in a statement on Thursday.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that military operations against Yemen will only lead to further destabilization of the region, which has fallen under Houthi control after an onslaught of increased violence in recent months.

READ MORE: Oil surges 6% after Saudi launches military airstrikes in Yemen

“We demand an immediate stop to the Saudi military operations in Yemen,” he said in an interview with Iran's Arabic-language al-Alam news network on Thursday. “We will spare no effort to contain the crisis in Yemen.”

Iran is suspected of providing supplies and training to the Houthi rebels, but Tehran has publicly denied these claims.

A United Arab Emirates official, however, expressed concerns about Iran's influence in Yemen.

"The strategic change in the region benefits Iran and we cannot be silent about the fact that the Houthis carry their banner," UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Mohammed Gargash tweeted on Thursday.

In addition, Lebanon’s Hezbollah has decried the move as “unjust aggression.” The Shiite group urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to cease the strikes immediately.

Followers of the Houthi movement demonstrate to show support to the movement in Yemen's northwestern city of Saada March 26, 2015. (Reuters / Naiyf Rahma)Followers of the Houthi movement demonstrate to show support to the movement in Yemen's northwestern city of Saada March 26, 2015. (Reuters / Naiyf Rahma)

"This adventure, [which] lacks wisdom and legal and legitimate justification and which is led by Saudi Arabia, is taking the region towards increased tension and dangers for the future and the present of the region," the group said in a statement on Thursday.

Saudi-led strikes, launched early Thursday morning, targeted the country’s capital Sanaa as well as a southern base. Following the strikes, a Houthi revolutionary committee called for mass rallies to stir up public support for a military response to the Saudi intervention.

“We will react against Saudi oppression in all ways we are capable...Yemeni blood is not cheap. Saudi has announced war in Yemen,” said Ali Al Kohom, a member of the Houthi Political Council.

Houthi leadership has also maintained that the country is ready to ward of Saudi aggression without help from Tehran.

“Yemeni people are prepared to face this aggression without any foreign interference," Houthi politburo official Mohammed al-Bukhaiti told Reuters.

Meanwhile, EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini has said that a military response will not solve the crisis in Yemen, and urged all parties to act “responsibly.”

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“I’m convinced that military action is not a solution,” she said. “At this critical juncture, all regional actors should act responsibly and constructively to create as a matter of urgency the conditions for a return to negotiations.”

Though Washington is not involved directly in the operation, the White House has authorized “logistical and intelligence support.”

Yemen’s ousted President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi left the country's southern city of Aden on Thursday, where he had been holing up since fleeing Houthi custody in February. Saudi state TV said he has arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh and will later head to Egypt under Saudi protection, where he is expected to attend an Arab summit on Saturday.

An escalating conflict in Yemen could bode badly for global oil supplies, as oil prices spiked more than four percent on Thursday.
March 26th, 2015  
According to senior Houthi official Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, Houthis were going to fight back against Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf Arab allies with all possible means.

SANAA (Sputnik) – Houthi rebels who have become the target of an international military operation launched by Saudi Arabia against the militants in Yemen are determined to strike back with all means available, Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a member of the Houthi governance board, has told Sputnik.

"This is a declaration of war against the Yemeni people, we will fight those who fight against us."

The official added that Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf Arab allies will regret having launched a military operation against the Houthis.

"They attacked, they started this, so they will answer to Allah and the people for the consequences. This attack is a surprise to us and we will respond to it with all means that are available to us."

Earlier, al-Bukhaiti reportedly warned of a "wide war" that could start in Yemen following Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf Arab allies' "aggression."

Read more:
March 26th, 2015  
Houthis forces have entered presidental compound in Aden.

All government institutions are also seized.

Defense minister, Mahmoud al-Subaihi was arrested also here is the picture.

All credits goes to IMF

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