Saudi-Trained Forces Enter Fight in Yemen
A group of Yemeni fighters trained by Saudi Arabia has reportedly arrived in Aden to break the stalemated battle between Houthi fighters and local militias. The Saudi-trained forces appear to have been drawn from Yemen’s south and may include military officers who fled the country after its 1994 civil war. The introduction of foreign-trained ground ...
A group of Yemeni fighters trained by Saudi Arabia has reportedly arrived in Aden to break the stalemated battle between Houthi fighters and local militias. The Saudi-trained forces appear to have been drawn from Yemen’s south and may include military officers who fled the country after its 1994 civil war. The introduction of foreign-trained ground forces comes as Egypt authorized extending its political mandate to deploy military forces by an additional three months, allowing it to continue its participation in the Saudi intervention, and as tensions increased further with Iran. Iran’s deputy foreign minister said that regional powers “will not be allowed to put our shared security at risk with military adventures” in Yemen. A classified U.N. report concluded that Iran has been arming the Houthis on a limited basis since 2009.
Human Rights Watch reports that they have found evidence the Saudi campaign in Yemen has included the use of cluster munitions sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates by the United States. Cluster bombs have been banned by most militaries — though not by the United States — because their imprecision has incurred high civilian casualties, a recurring complaint from international officials about the Saudi campaign.
U.S. Reconsidering Arms Proposal for Iraq
While visiting Iraq, U.S. Representative Michael McCaul said Congress is reconsidering a provision in the National Defense Authorization Act that would allow the United States to supply arms directly to Kurdish and Sunni militia forces, bypassing Baghdad. Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has objected to the measure, stating that it would undermine the unity of the country, and cleric Muqtada al-Sadr said he would authorize his Mahdi Army militia to attack U.S. troops if it passes.
- Shipping company Maersk met with the Port and Maritime Organization in Iran to discuss the release of the Tigris, the cargo ship seized by Iran last week, but said it has not received any legal documents on the matter.
- At least 46 people were injured — half of them police — as protests continued in Tel Aviv against police brutality targeting Israel’s Ethiopian Jewish community.
- Another 5,800 migrants trying to reach Europe from North Africa were rescued at sea this weekend; at least 10 deaths have also been reported.
- Qatar signed a $7 billion dollar arms deal with France to receive missiles and 24 Rafale fighter jets.
- The United States and Egyptian intelligence chief Omar Suleiman believed they had convinced President Hosni Mubarak to resign in a Feb 1, 2011 speech, according to a new book by former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morrell, but that Mubarak changed his mind.
-J. Dana Stuster
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