Houthis suffer heavy casualties in Yemen’s Al-Bayda as coalition forces seize key supply routes

The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward. (File/AFP)
Updated 12 September 2018

Houthis suffer heavy casualties in Yemen’s Al-Bayda as coalition forces seize key supply routes

  • A field sourced confirmed clashes with the militia broke out as the army entered the land mine-filled province
  • The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward

DUBAI: Yemeni forces, backed by the Arab coalition, seized a key road used by the Houthi militia as a supply route into Hodeidah on Wednesday.

Abdulrahman Saleh Abou Zarah, head of the brigade fighting in the region, told AFP reporters that his forces had taken the main supply route, known as Kilo 16, which links the port city with Sanaa.

Saudi-backed forces also re-took another supply route known as Kilo 10.

The roads are vital for the transport of aid between the port in Hodeidah and the capital Sanaa. But the Arab coalition has accused the Houthi rebels of smuggling arms from Iran through the port and has imposed a partial blockade on the port, which the Houthis seized in 2014.

The news came as it was revealed that Houthi militants suffered heavy casualties in ongoing battles against the Yemeni army on Wednesday after clashes in the central province of Al-Bayda.

In a statement issued to the Yemeni Ministry of Defense’s official website, September Net, a field sourced confirmed clashes with the militia broke out as the army entered the land mine-filled province.

The source added that the army foiled several Houthi attempts to move forward.


Palestinian politicians voice dismay over ‘historic agreement’

Updated 15 min 9 sec ago

Palestinian politicians voice dismay over ‘historic agreement’

  • This agreement is a betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause, complains Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas
  • A widespread Palestinian fear is that the UAE-Israel agreement could weaken the Arab Peace Initiative

AMMAN: Palestinian politicians have reacted with dismay to the US-brokered agreement that will postpone the annexation of the West Bank while the UAE and Israel establish full diplomatic relations.

The deal was reached after talks between US President Donald Trump, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas called for an urgent meeting of the Arab League after Thursday’s joint announcement by the UAE, Israel and the US.

“The Palestinian leadership rejects and denounces the surprising UAE-Israeli-US trilateral announcement,” said Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a senior adviser to Abbas, reading from a statement outside the president’s headquarters in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank.

Abu Rudeineh described the agreement as a “betrayal of Jerusalem, Al-Aqsa and the Palestinian cause.”

Tel Aviv City Hall is lit up with the flags of the UAE and Israel as the countries announced they would be establishing full diplomatic ties on Thursday. (AP)

If implemented formally, the deal will pave the way for the UAE to become the third Arab country to have official relations with Israel. The Palestine Liberation Organization and Israel signed the Oslo accords in 1993 and 1995. Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994, while Egypt and Israel signed the Camp David Accords in 1978.

A widespread Palestinian fear is that the UAE-Israel agreement could weaken the Arab Peace Initiative, brokered by then Crown Prince (later King) Abdullah in 2002, which called for full Israeli withdrawal from occupied Arab land in return for full normalization with Israel.

Jamal Dajani, a former spokesman for the Palestinian prime minister, said Palestinians feel betrayed by the UAE, whose move at this critical time undermines their struggle for independence.

“Israel’s so-called plan of annexation is illegal and a non-starter. Netanyahu knew this, so did Trump,” Dajani told Arab News.

“President Trump said that the ‘ice has been broken,’ but in fact trust has been lost.”

Opinion

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Mustafa Barghouti, head of Al-Mubadara (the Initiative), an independent Palestinian political party, issued a statement calling the UAE action a “stab in the back of Palestinians.”

He said the deal endorses Israel’s decision to suspend rather than cancel the planned annexation of large parts of the West Bank.

Hamadeh Faraneh, an Amman-based member of Palestine National Council, said the decision is neither historic nor surprising because it has been known for some time that Israel and the UAE have been in regular contact.


ALSO READ: Full text of joint statement on UAE and Israel normalizing ties


He said the decision is at odds with the Arab Peace Initiative and “amounts to a reversal of the order of things.”

“Instead of the end of occupation preceding normalization, we have now normalization without any idea if there will be an end to the occupation,” he told Arab News.

The joint statement by the UAE, Israel and the US said: “Opening direct ties between two of the Middle East’s most dynamic societies and advanced economies will transform the region by spurring economic growth, enhancing technological innovation and forging closer people-to-people relations.”

However, Aaron David Miller, a former US peace envoy to the Middle East and a senior fellow at Carnegie Endowment for International Peace think tank, described the agreement as a “historic decision” that represents three wins and one loss.”

According to Miller, it is a win for the leaders of Israel, the UAE and the US, but a loss for Palestinians.

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Twitter: @daoudkuttab

 

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