Saudi soldier killed fighting Houthis near Yemen border

RIYADH (AA) – A Saudi soldier was killed in clashes with Shia Houthi rebels near the Yemeni border, the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported Thursday.

According to the news agency, Prince Khalid bin Abdul Aziz bin Ayyaf, minister of the Saudi National Guard, has conveyed King Salman’s condolences to the slain soldier’s family in a Thursday phone call.

Saudi Arabia is the leader of a military coalition drawn up to fight the Houthi rebel group, which overran much of Yemen — including capital Sanaa — in 2014.

Riyadh accuses the rebel group of acting as a proxy force for Shia Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-foe in the region.

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Saudi Arabia intercepts Houthi missile from Yemen

By Hussein Mahmoud Ragab Elkabany and Zeynep Hilal Karyagdi

RIYADH (AA) – Saudi air defenses on Thursday intercepted a missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebel group into the kingdomn, according to a Saudi media reports.

The missile was fired toward Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Jizan province, the Saudi television news channel Al-Ekhbariya reported.

The broadcaster did not provide further details.

It was the second Houthi missile to be intercepted over the last week.

Yemen has been wracked by conflict since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country.

The conflict escalated one year later when Saudi Arabia and its allies launched a wide-ranging military campaign aimed at rolling back Houthi gains in Yemen.

Riyadh accuses the rebel group of serving as a proxy force for Shia Iran, Saudi Arabia’s arch-foe in the region.

UN invites Yemeni gov’t, Houthis to peace talks

By Bayram Altug

GENEVA (AA) – The United Nations invited Yemen’s warring parties to Geneva for peace talks on Sept. 6, a UN spokeswoman confirmed on Friday.

“I can confirm that the office of UN special envoy to Yemen [Martin Griffiths] sent an invitation to the Yemeni government and Ansarullah [Houthi movement],” UN spokeswoman Alessandra Vellucci told a Geneva news briefing.

Asked about any invitations for the Saudi-led coalition and Iran, parties of the civil war in Yemen, Vellucci said invitations were sent only to the government and the Houthis for now.

On Aug. 2, Griffiths had said he planned to invite Yemen’s warring parties to Geneva for peace talks on Sept. 6.

According to John Ging, director of the Operational Division at the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 75 percent of Yemen’s population, or roughly 22 million people, are in need of humanitarian assistance and protection.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including the capital, Sanaa, and Al Hudaydah.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including its health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Yemen army establishes foothold in Houthi stronghold

By Shukri Hussein

ADEN, Yemen (AA) – The Yemeni army has captured the Baqem Directorate in the northwestern Saada province from Houthi rebels, a military source said Thursday.

If confirmed, Baqem would be the first directorate of Saada — a traditional Houthi stronghold — to fall to the army.

Brigadier-General Yasser al-Harthi, commander of the army’s 102nd Brigade, said that “dozens” of Houthi fighters had been killed or captured in the fighting.

Anadolu Agency, however, has yet to independently verify al-Harthi’s assertions.

Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated the following year when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

23 Houthi rebels killed in Yemen

By Said Ibicioglu

SANAA (AA) – Yemeni army on Friday announced that 23 Houthi rebels were killed during the military operations in the country.

Col. Abdallah al-Ashraf, the spokesman of Yemen’s 6th military legion, told Anadolu Agency that the rebels were killed in al-Maslub district of Yemen’s al-Jawf governorate.

According to the officials, more than 80 percent of the al-Jawf governorate has been under control of the regime forces.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Houthi shelling hits Saudi Arabia, no casualties

RIYADH (AA) – Houthi rebels on Tuesday shelled the southern Saudi port city of Jazan in attacks launched from Yemen, Saudi officials said.

Lt. Col. Yahya Abdulla Al-Qahtani, spokesman of the Jazan Civil Defense, said several projectiles were fired by Houthi militants, the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

The shelling hit the village of Al-Mahanish damaging a house, he added.

No casualties have been reported so far.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Yemeni army reportedly gains ground east of Sanaa

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – Yemeni government forces reportedly made new military gains east of the capital Sanaa on Tuesday after deadly clashes with Houthi rebels, according to a military spokesman.

Military forces captured Al-Bayadh mountainous area in Nahm district, east of Sanaa, after driving Houthi rebels out of the area, Lieutenant Colonel Saleh al-Qutaibi told Anadolu Agency.

According to the spokesman, 17 rebels were killed and three military vehicles damaged during the violence.

No information was available about casualties among government forces.

There was no comment from the Shia Houthi group on the claim.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Yemen’s Houthis propose ceasefire initiative

By Mohamed al-Samei

SANAA (AA) – A leader of Yemen’s Houthi rebel group on Tuesday unveiled an initiative aimed at halting all military activity in the war-weary country.

In a Tuesday tweet, Mohamed Ali al-Houthi, head of the group’s so-called Supreme Revolutionary Commission, reiterated calls for a “political solution” to the almost four-year-old conflict.

“Our initiative would include instructions from Yemeni official parties [in reference to Houthi institutions] to halt all military and naval operations for a specified, renewable period,” he said.

Al-Houthi voiced hope that a Saudi-led military coalition — cobbled together in 2015 to fight the rebel group — would reciprocate, “if they really want peace for the Yemeni people”.

The Yemeni government, which is currently headquartered in the coastal city of Aden and which is closely supported by the Saudi-led coalition, has yet to issue a formal response to the proposal.

The government, however, has previously said it would not negotiate with the rebel group until the latter surrendered the strategic Red Sea port of Al-Hudaydah.

While the Houthis have rejected the notion of a unilateral withdrawal from Al-Hudaydah, they have nevertheless voiced their readiness to accept a supervisory role by the UN over the seaport.

Earlier this month, UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths proposed a plan by which the Houthis would pull out of Al-Hudaydah after which Yemeni police and UN observers would fill the vacuum.

In June, Yemeni government forces — backed by the Saudi-led coalition — launched a wide-ranging operation aimed at retaking Al-Hudaydah and its strategic seaport from the rebels.

But the United Arab Emirates, a leading member of the coalition, later announced a pause in the operation in hopes of persuading the Houthis to voluntarily leave the coastal province.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when the Shia Houthis overran much of the country, including Sanaa, forcing the country’s pro-Saudi government to take up residence in Aden.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

The violence has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including health and sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe the situation as “one of the worst humanitarian disasters of modern times”.

Top security official shot dead in Yemen’s Shabwah

By Mubarak Mohamed

SANAA (AA) – A senior security official was gunned down by suspected Houthi gunmen in southeastern Yemen on Saturday, according to a local security source.

The gunmen opened fire on security operations chief Ali Naji al-Sharif in Usaylan district in Shabwah province and fled the scene unscathed, the source said on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to media.

No group has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, but the security source suggested that the gunmen belonged to a Houthi-run cell, without giving further details.

Impoverished Yemen has remained wracked by violence since 2014, when Shia Houthi rebels overran much of the country, including capital Sanaa.

The conflict escalated in 2015 when Saudi Arabia and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains.

UPDATE – Yemen’s Houthis claim to attack UAE airport with drone

*UPDATES WITH AIRPORT STATEMENT

By Murad Erifi

SANAA (AA) – Yemen’s Houthi rebel group on Thursday claimed to have targeted Abu Dhabi’s international airport with an unmanned aerial drone.

According to the Houthi-run Al-Masirah television channel, the drone fired a number of projectiles at the airport.

Shortly afterward, Abu Dhabi’s airport authority tweeted that “there has been an incident [at the airport] involving a supply vehicle”.

The “incident” — details of which were not provided — has not affected airport operations or flights, the authority said.

“Abu Dhabi Airports will continue to monitor the situation with the concerned authorities and further updates will be made available in due course,” it added.

The suspected drone attack comes one day after Saudi Arabia suspended oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandab Strait in response to an alleged Houthi attack on two oil tankers off Yemen’s western coast.