Ceasefire in Yemen Set to Begin Tonight
Fighting continues in Yemen today with just hours to go before the implementation of a five-day ceasefire between Saudi and Houthi forces. The ceasefire is set to begin at 11 PM local time and will allow the delivery of critical humanitarian aid. “It is unclear how much longer Yemen’s remaining hospitals have before the lights ...
Fighting continues in Yemen today with just hours to go before the implementation of a five-day ceasefire between Saudi and Houthi forces. The ceasefire is set to begin at 11 PM local time and will allow the delivery of critical humanitarian aid. “It is unclear how much longer Yemen’s remaining hospitals have before the lights go out,” Human Rights Watch’s deputy Middle East director told the Washington Post, stressing the need for fuel for generators and water supply pumps. Yesterday, Saudi Arabia struck a large munitions stockpile near Sanaa, setting off a chain of secondary explosions. Today more strikes have targeted Houthi positions in Sanaa and Aden, and Saudi Arabia has massed ground forces along Yemen’s northern border. A U.S. airstrike, believed to have been launched by a drone, hit the presidential residence in al-Mukalla, which was seized by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula last month.
President Obama is expected to discuss the situation in Yemen with Gulf diplomats later this week at a summit at Camp David. Human Rights Watch has called on President Obama to press Gulf nations to implement reforms to allow more political dissent. Obama said in an interview last month that “the biggest threats that they face may not be coming from Iran invading. It’s going to be from dissatisfaction inside their own countries.” Those comments reportedly offended Gulf leaders and may have contributed to King Salman’s decision not to attend the summit in person.
European Union Presents Plan for Migrants to United Nations
The European Union’s top diplomat, Federica Mogherini, presented a plan to stem the tide of migrants fleeing to Europe from Libya at the U.N. Security Council yesterday. Mogherini clarified potential actions to dismantle smuggling operations, saying “No one is thinking of bombing. I’m talking about a naval operation.” EU nations on the U.N. Security Council are drafting a resolution to authorize the use of force. “The crucial thing for the European Union is destroying the business model of the trafficking and smuggling organizations, making sure that vessels cannot be used again,” she said. “They sell hope, but instead of hope they deliver death.”
- The Iraqi government has begun training and arming an initial class of more than 1,000 Sunni forces in Anbar province to combat the Islamic State.
- Egyptian Justice Minister Mahfouz Saber has resigned after making controversial comments to a television station that the children of sanitation workers cannot become judges.
- Mohamed Fahmy, whose trial by the Egyptian government for conspiring with the Muslim Brotherhood while working as a journalist drew international condemnation, will sue Al Jazeera for damages.
- A Swedish ship participating in an effort to break the Israeli naval blockade of Gaza has begun its voyage toward the Mediterranean carrying solar panels, medical equipment, and 13 people.
- A prominent Kurdish general in the fight against the Islamic State was assassinated in a bomb attack on his motorcade near Kirkuk, Iraq.
-J. Dana Stuster
MOHAMMED HUWAIS/AFP/Getty Images