Houthis Open to Negotiations
A senior Houthi official said they are open to the idea of negotiations if the Saudi-led coalition halts its bombing campaign. “We have no conditions except a halt to the aggression and sitting on the dialogue table within a specific time period … and any international or regional parties that have no aggressive positions towards ...
A senior Houthi official said they are open to the idea of negotiations if the Saudi-led coalition halts its bombing campaign. “We have no conditions except a halt to the aggression and sitting on the dialogue table within a specific time period … and any international or regional parties that have no aggressive positions towards the Yemeni people can oversee the dialogue,” Saleh al-Sammad told Reuters. Separately, Russia introduced a proposal at the U.N. Security Council calling for “regular and obligatory humanitarian pauses” of airstrikes to allow the evacuation of foreign citizens. The International Committee of the Red Cross is trying to bring in humanitarian supplies to Sanaa, but their efforts have been delayed.
Fierce fighting continued over the weekend near Aden. Though Houthi forces took much of the city last week, they withdrew somewhat when Saudi planes airdropped weapons and other supplies to pro-Hadi forces. Clashes near the port are now occurring on a block-by-block basis. At least 53 people, including 17 civilians, have been killed in the last day of fighting. The United States announced last week that it would escalate its role to include assisting in aerial refueling of Saudi coalition planes, and Saudi Arabia is reportedly pressuring Pakistan to contribute planes, ships, and ground troops.
Libyan Government Seeks New Oil Arrangement amid Attacks
As tensions continue between Libya’s Tobruk-based government and the rival Libya Dawn government in Tripoli, Tobruk-based Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani said his government would move away from handling its oil business through the Libyan central bank and National Oil Corporation and would instead use an Emirati bank. Over the weekend, the Islamic State attacked a Libya Dawn checkpoint near Misrata.
- Reactions to the proposed framework for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program continued over the weekend: Some Iranian hardliners chafed at the terms, but the deal was endorsed by a top Iranian general close to Ayatollah Khamenei; President Obama defended the deal in an interview with Thomas Friedman; and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated his concern the deal would give Iran “a free path to the bomb.”
- Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the release of tax funds to the Palestinian Authority by Israel because Israeli authorities had deducted utilities fees from the sum.
- U.S. and Iraqi officials are divided on how the campaign against the Islamic State should proceed after capturing Tikrit and its surrounding province.
- French officials said this morning that they had freed a Dutch hostage held by Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb.
- More than 1,500 migrants attempting to reach Europe by boat from the North African coast were rescued at sea this weekend by Italian and Icelandic ships.
-J. Dana Stuster
MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images