Yemen’s former President killed after breaking away from the Houthi group

Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s death was confirmed on December 4, 2017, by both his own political party, the General People’s Congress (GPC) and by the Houthis.
It is suspected that he was killed by Houthi rebels near the capital city of Sanaa. Yasser al-Awadi, GPC’s assistant secretary general and Hussein al-Hamidi, Saleh’s security detail, also had to face the same fate as him.
Saleh’s death was first declared by the Houthi group controlled Sanaa based interior ministry on Monday, December 3, 2017.
As reported by Aljazeera, a statement read out on a Houthi television network told that “This (the killing) is after he (Saleh) and his men blockaded the roads and killed civilians in a clear collaboration with enemy countries.”
Saleh’s murder by the Houthi group was proved since he was killed two days after he publicly broke off ties with them. Former President’s murder is going to have a huge entailment in the ongoing Yemen war. Thus, amid an intense battle in Saudi Arabia’s poorest country, this loss is indeed a major setback.

Refugee ban granted by US Supreme Court

By the decision of lower court and the justice department, 24,000 additional refugees, who were granted an allowance to enter the US before October, were banned due to Supreme Court Justices grant on Tuesday, September 12, 2017. This was done on the basis of a request from the Trump administration block.

On March 6, 2017, US President Donald Trump had signed a revised order banning travelers and refugees from six Muslim majority countries, namely, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen, for 90 days and 120 days respectively. Trump claimed that the reason for this ban was to prevent terrorists. Though there had been no definite information regarding the permanence or the expansion of the limit of the ban.

As the Lower Courts argued that this ban goes against the constitution and feudal immigration law, the High Court agreed to look into the matter, but did not came up with anything constructive. After the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals, it has been decided that, people having authentic relationships with legal US residents or with entities in the US, will be exempted from the travel ban. But, nothing has been specified about the refugee allowance.

As reported by Reuters, senior director of campaigns, Naureen Shah of Amnesty International of USA said, “The Supreme Court today had dealt yet another devastating blow to vulnerable people who were on the cusp of obtaining safety for themselves and their families. They continue to be subjected to unimaginable violence and fear while their lives are in limbo.”

Sourced from Reuters and Al jazeera


US service member missing after Black Hawk crash

On Friday, August 25, a United States Black Hawk helicopter crashed off the coast of Yemen during a training mission. The US military has said that the search for one US service member is underway.

In a statement released by the US Central Command it was revealed that five other service members who were on the aircraft have been rescued after the crash that took place around 4 pm, reported NDTV.

Colonel John Thomas, CENTCOM spokesman said, “When the incident took place the helicopter was not very high above the water.”

Further, in an interview with Reuters, A US official said that the cause of the crash is under investigation. This is not the first incident; there have been a number of aviation mishaps involving US military aircraft in the past few months. A Black Hawk US Army helicopter crashed on a Maryland golf course in April and last month in July, a military transport plane crash killed 16 service members.

The US military has been carrying out precision air strikes against al Qaeda insurgents in Yemen, which is currently embroiled in a deadly civil war, launching at least 80 since the end of February.

Sources – Express (U.K), NDTV

Abducted Kerala priest will safely return, assures Sushma Swaraj

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday assured safe return of Kerala priest Tom Unzhunnalil to India. The Kerala-based Catholic priest who is fondly known as Father Tommy George was abducted by the Islamic State in Yemen earlier this year. She promised that the government will spare no action to release him from the clutches of the deadly terror group and bring him back safely.

A video surfaced on several social media platform on Monday that featured the abducted priest appealing to Pope Francis and Central Government to help him get free. He also alleged that he is bogged down by inactivity on government’s part. He also alleged that not much attention is being paid to his case because he is Indian and of less value than his European counterparts. However, the veracity of the video is not yet ascertained.

“I have seen the video from Father Tom. He is an Indian citizen and the life of every Indian is most precious for us,” Swaraj tweeted. “We got Father Alex Prem Kumar and Judith D’Souza released from Afghanistan. The government will spare no effort to ensure his safe return from the captivity”, she added.

The center, on the other hand, has informed that the government is putting in a lot of efforts. According to MEA spokesperson Vikas Swaroop, they are in constant touch with Yemeni local authorities. Also, the current disharmonious environment in Yemen is only making the matters worse.

Unzhunnalil was abducted on March 4 this year during a raid in a nursing home in Yemen. Around 16 people were killed in this incident.


SOURCE: Scroll.inIndian Express

IMAGE SOURCE: Screenshot from the video


10 killed as militants seize military base in Yemen

10 Yemeni soldiers have lost their lives, and several others have been injured in a double car bomb attack that took place at a military base in the port city of Aden, located in southern Yemen.
The attack was initiated by the detonation of a car bomb in the vicinity of an army base located in the Khormaksar district near Aden International Airport. The primary explosion enabled a second vehicle to enter the compound, and set off another explosion.
In the aftermath of the explosions, the military compound was besieged by militant forces dressed in military uniforms. The compound’s headquarters was swiftly surrounded by reinforcements, where they engaged in exchanges of fire with 15-20 militants. The troops were also fired upon by attackers located outside the perimeter of the base.
The Saudi-backed Yemeni government currently operates out of Aden, and it is facing significant resistance in its attempt to wrest control of the city from Houthi rebels. Aden was under the control of the Houthis for months before they were driven out by the Government in July 2015.
No terrorist or extremist group has taken responsibility for the attack yet. This incident is the latest in a string of terrorist attacks that Yemen has witnessed since the beginning of a civil war between Houthi rebels and the government which began in September 2014. The conflict in Yemen has caused the deaths of over 9000 individuals, and it has brought Yemen to the precipice of famine.

Arab Allied Forces Captured Yemeni Red sea-islands from Houthis, Saleh

The Yemen Flag

Image Source: Yemen Flag Facts


Saudi led allied forces have seized a Yemeni Red Sea archipelago controlled and used by Iran-allied forces. These islands were used to smuggle and store weapons into Yemen.

This coalition has been trying to capture this archipelago since September 2014. Houthis controls most of the former northern Yemen from Tiaz in the south to Saada in the north which gives then clear access to the coast. The main objective behind seizing these islands was to dislodge the Houthis and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. Another reason being, to restore Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi to power.

Fishermen informed Reuters by that the islands had been exposed to weeks of heavy bombing by Arab forces before being seized.

The archipelago was the subject of territorial dispute between Yemen and Eritrea, which captured the archipelago in the 1990s, until a London-based international arbitration court granted Yemen sovereignty in 1998.

Sources: Reuters