A military coalition led by Saudi Arabia and backed by the United States has cut secret deals with al-Qaida fighters, paying some to leave key cities and towns the militants had seized across Yemen and letting others retreat with weapons, equipment and wads of looted cash, an investigation by The Associated Press has found. Hundreds more were recruited to join the coalition itself.
Iran-backed militant control over key areas of Yemen, despite a blistering assault by U.S.-backed Saudi and Emirati military forces, has sent a difficult message to Washington: Arab powers armed with American weaponry and targeting intelligence isn’t going to be enough to crush Tehran’s armed proxies around the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia said on Sunday it had intercepted two missiles launched by Yemen’s Houthi militia over the capital Riyadh, as a Saudi-led coalition moved to wrest control of Yemen’s main port city from the Iran-aligned group.
The Saudi-led coalition battling Iranian-backed Houthi separatists in Yemen launched a long-awaited, high-risk campaign to break the back of the insurgency, with American military assistance, in a mass offensive against a key rebel stronghold in the country.
A Saudi-led coalition launched an assault on Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday in the biggest battle of a three-year war between an alliance of Arab states and the Iran-aligned Houthis.
Cyclone Mekunu is intensifying to hurricane-level strength in the Arabian Sea and is expected to hit Oman and Yemen later this week, forecasters said Wednesday.
Saying the 2015 Iran nuclear deal negotiated by the Obama administration had 'fatal flaws,' Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday announced that the Trump administration was preparing 'the strongest sanctions in history' if Tehran does not change its destabilizing ways and forever abandon its drive for nuclear weapons.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court will take up the travel ban again.
Saudi Arabia said it intercepted ballistic missiles and shot down drones sent from Yemen, in the latest attack by pro-Iranian rebels that showed improved military capabilities more than three years into the conflict.