Saudi Arabia Mulls Ceasefire as Airstrikes Continue
The latest series of Saudi airstrikes in Yemen have pummeled Saada province, a Houthi stronghold. The strikes destroyed multiple command buildings and reportedly damaged the tomb of Hussein al-Houthi, the founder of the Houthi movement. Border clashes with Saudi Arabia prompted further airstrikes, killing 13 civilians. More than 1,400 people have been killed in fighting ...
The latest series of Saudi airstrikes in Yemen have pummeled Saada province, a Houthi stronghold. The strikes destroyed multiple command buildings and reportedly damaged the tomb of Hussein al-Houthi, the founder of the Houthi movement. Border clashes with Saudi Arabia prompted further airstrikes, killing 13 civilians. More than 1,400 people have been killed in fighting in Yemen since the end of March. Despite the strikes, progress seems to have been made towards a temporary ceasefire after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Saudi and Yemeni officials yesterday in Riyadh. Saudi officials said that they would halt their airstrikes and allow humanitarian aid to enter the country if the Houthis agree to also halt their operations. Kerry said coordinating with the Houthis and initiating the ceasefire could take several days.
Yemen will be a topic of discussion at the Gulf summit hosted by President Obama at Camp David next week, but it is unclear who will be in attendance or what effect it will have. With days to go before the meeting, Saudi Arabia has not confirmed who will participate in its delegation, and heads of state from Oman and the United Arab Emirates will send diplomats rather than attend due to health reasons. Gulf officials are expected to press the United States for a defense pact to defend against potential Iranian attack, while Washington has put forward a plan for a coordinated Gulf defense system based on U.S.-supplied weapons.
Senate Passes Bill to Review Iran Deal
The U.S. Senate passed a bill yesterday that would allow Congress to vote its approval or disapproval of any nuclear agreement the P5+1 reaches with Iran. The bill passed with overwhelming support but not before a contentious debate over potential amendments that would have imposed new requirements on an agreement. The debate over those amendments is expected to continue when the bill is considered in the House of Representatives.
- The Islamic State has begun a new assault on an airfield in Deir al-Zor, one of the last regime targets in the area, that has resulted in the deaths of 34 Islamic State and regime fighters.
- Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula confirmed that senior official Nasser bin Ali al-Ansi was killed in a U.S. airstrike.
- The U.S. mission to train and assist moderate Syrian rebels has begun in Jordan with an initial class of 400 fighters, according the Department of Defense.
- Human Rights Watch raised concerns about Palestinian security forces questioning and arresting students for their political beliefs after a student council vote at Birzeit University ruled in favor of Hamas.
- According to a new book about French President Francois Hollande, France began clandestinely arming the Syrian opposition in 2012 despite a European Union arms embargo.
-J. Dana Stuster
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