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News, April 2015
Saudi Air Strikes Continue on Houthis in Yemen, President Hadi Appoints a Deputy
April 13, 2015
10 Yemeni Civilians Killed, 10 Injured in a Saudi Air Strikes on Ta'iz
استشهاد وجرح 20 شخصا في غارة سعودية على تجمع سكني بتعز
الثورة نت../ 2015-04-12 | منذ 14 ساعة
استشهد 10 أشخاص وجرح 10 آخرين معظمهم من الأطفال والنساء من فئة المهمشين بمنطقة الظهيرة بمديرية ماوية محافظة تعز، مساء أمس، إثر غارة جوية نفذتها طائرات العدوان السعودي. وقال مدير عام مديرية ماوية عبد الحميد شمسان :"إن الغارة المشؤومة أدت إلى استشهاد 10 أشخاص منهم سبعة أطفال وامرأتين، وجرح 10 آخرين وتهديم ستة بيوت شعبية". ودعا شمسان المنظمات الدولية إلى تحمل مسؤوليتها والتحقيق في الجريمة وإحالة المتسببين بها إلى المحاكمة. وعبر المواطنون عن استهجانهم في استهداف منازل المواطنين الآمنين جراء هذا العدوان البربري الغاشم. سبأ
Civilians killed by a coalition strike on a Republican Guards Brigade in Taiz
Yemen Times, 12 April 2015
Sana'a, Sunday April 12—
An air strike launched today morning by the Saudi-led coalition has hit Al-Dhahirah village in the Mawia district of Taiz, causing the death of at least eight civilians and the injuryof more than ten.
All casualties belonged to the Akhdam minority group, which is a marginalized community of African decent living in poor conditions in different parts of Yemen. The village is located precariously close to the 22nd Republican Guards Brigade, which was hit directly by another air strike by the coalition.
According to eye witnesses, coalition forces launched two strikes that seemed to target the brigade. While one of the strikes hit the brigade directly the other strike hit the village.
Assistant Security Manager of Taiz governorate EdiAl-Yousfi said he thinks that the coalition strike did not intend to attack the village deliberately but may have missed its target by error.
HamzaMosed, a citizen from Mawia district told the Yemen Times that Al-Dhahirah is a small village where the marginalized Akhdampeople have been'livingfor ages'. He confirmed that one of the two strikeshittheir villageand burnt some of their houses down.
Taiz isone of the governorates that have witnessed almost daily Saudi-led coalition strikes since the aerial bombardmentstarted on March 26.
In relevant news, yesterday evening witnessed dozens of soldiers of the 35thArmored Brigade leaving their camp, which is located to the west of the city and were seen being deployed in different streets of Taiz city, according to local resident Rafat Abdu. He added that anti-Houthis armed men were also seen to the north of the city in anticipation of Houthis' advancement.
He noted that the soldiers in armored vehicles and tanks entered the small neighborhoods of the western area of Taiz causing residents ofTaiz city to fear the potential outbreak of clashes between Houthi forces on the one hand and forces loyal to President Hadion the other.
It is worth noting that Taiz is one of the few governorates that did not fall completed to Houthi control. Both Houthi and anti-Houthi forces have a foothold in the city. While the Republican Guard and other units allied with Houthis are in control of the military camps, forces allied with Hadior the governor of Taizarepresent in other parts of the city.
A soldier of the 35th Armored Brigade, who spoke to Yemen Times on condition of anonymity, saidthe brigade soldiers left the camp in order to avoid being hit by the Saudi-led coalition strikes and have no plans to clashwith any other force in the city.
According to Rafat Abdu, apart from the risk of being caught in the crossfire between the Houthi and anti-Houthi forces, residents of Taiz are now also fearful of aerial coalition bombardments that have started targeting installations close to residential areas.
Tribal groups ‘aiding anti-Houthi operation’
Arab News, Monday 13 April 2015
This was announced on Sunday by Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, a consultant at the office of the defense minister. “Fuel stores have been targeted so they will not be able to make use of these supplies,” he said.
About the tribal groups, the spokesman for the coalition said they
announced their loyalty to the legitimate government and their resolve
to defend it.
He said the coalition forces have implemented a nautical blockade at the request of the Yemeni government, giving the alliance the right to inspect ships going to and coming from Yemeni ports, stressing that the coalition would not allow anyone to provide any kind of supplies to the rebels.
In a significant development, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi appointed his former prime minister as vice president on Sunday. “The president issued an order today appointing Khaled Bahah as his deputy,” a presidential adviser told Reuters.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, pleaded for the resumption of peace talks and called for an end to all military action. Ban, speaking in Doha on the sidelines of a UN crime conference, said the fighting in Yemen should not be allowed to grow into a protracted regional conflict.
Al-Assiri said three aircraft belonging to the Red Cross arrived in Sanaa with humanitarian aid. “Proper coordination is in place facilitating the distribution of aid to the intended civic communities.”
He revealed that the Houthis are banning Yemeni citizens from using fuel and have confiscated such supplies for their military operations.
Coalition forces targeted Houthi positions in Sanaa, Taiz and camps in the Razih area, in addition to a large number of caves in which the Houthis stockpiled military materials.
In addition, coalition forces have targeted military sites in the south of Hodeidah, and targets within the Saada airport. Work is under way to target stores and military camps in the vicinity of Aden, he explained.
Al-Assiri did not rule out the possibility the Houthis might be in possession of chemical weapons. So far, there is no indication of such weapons, but those who have hijacked a country could resort to using them.
“We will deal with them accordingly if when something happens,” Al-Assiri said.
On the port of Aden, he said, all steps have been taken to prevent
supplies from reaching the city. “This aims to drain the Houhi capacity
and their ability to move.”
Yemen's exiled president appoints conciliatory figure as deputy
Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:04pm EDT
ADEN/RIYADH | By Mohammed Mukhashaf and Angus McDowall
ADEN/RIYADH (Reuters) -
Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi appointed his former prime minister as vice president on Sunday, a move apparently aimed at improving the chances of a peaceful settlement to the civil war that forced Hadi to flee to Saudi Arabia.
"The president issued an order today appointing Khaled Bahah as his deputy," a presidential advisor told Reuters.
Bahah is popular across Yemen's spectrum of feuding parties and may be seen as a figure who could calm tensions and bring warring parties to the negotiating table.
"The appointment of Bahah may help in finding a political solution as part of efforts to revive the dialogue process sponsored by the United Nations," the Hadi aide told Reuters.
There are no signs that the war will let up anytime soon.
Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies have been bombing Yemen for over two weeks, hoping to slow the advance of Iranian-allied Houthi militias toward the southern port city of Aden.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said on Sunday said he was concerned by the fighting and urged peace talks.
"In Yemen, I have strongly objected to the Houthis attempting to control the country by force. This is unacceptable. But I am also deeply concerned about the military escalation," Ban told reporters in the Qatari capital Doha.
"The internal crisis in Yemen should not be allowed to grow into a protracted regional conflict. We urgently need a de-escalation and a return to peaceful negotiations," he added.
Saudi Arabia dismissed Iranian calls to end air strikes and hit a military camp in Taiz on Sunday, killing eight civilians, according to a medical source.
The air raids on the central Yemeni city targeted a site held by soldiers loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh who have joined up with Houthi fighters against local militias in the south, the source said.
Saleh was forced to give up power in 2012 after mass protests against his rule, but his loyalists in the military remained in place and now fight alongside the Houthis.
The conflict has raised fears that a sectarian proxy war between rivals Riyadh and Tehran will further destabilize the Middle East and potentially destroy the Yemeni state.
"How can Iran call for us to stop the fighting in Yemen?" Saudi Foreign Minister Saud al-Faisal said at a news conference in Riyadh with his French counterpart Laurent Fabius.
"We came to Yemen to help the legitimate authority, and Iran is not in charge of Yemen."
Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Thursday that the air strikes were a "crime and genocide" and President Hassan Rouhani called for a ceasefire and dialogue among Yemen's factions.
Saudi Arabia and its Sunni Arab allies fear that Shi'ite Iran seeks greater regional influence by backing armed Shi'ite groups in the region, a charge the Islamic Republic denies.
Tehran says it has given no military support to the Houthis and on Sunday denied a claim by militiamen in Aden that they had captured two Iranian military officers advising the rebels.
"Iran has no kind of military force in Yemen," state news agency IRNA quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian as saying.
Suspected militants from al Qaeda, the Sunni militant group that has used the chaos to press its own advantage, killed an army colonel in the central Shabwa province on Sunday, a local official said.
Separately, an al Qaeda leader was killed in an apparent U.S. drone strike on a group of militants west of the port city of Mukalla on the Arabian Sea, residents told Reuters.
It was the first reported drone strike against the powerful Yemeni branch of the global militant group since the United States evacuated about 100 special forces troops advising Yemeni forces last month.
According to the United Nations, the conflict has killed 600 people, wounded 2,200 and displaced 100,000 others since the Houthis seized the capital Sanaa in September.
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