Tag Archives: rebels

Yemen rebels threaten new attacks on Saudi oil sites

Yemen rebels threaten new attacks on Saudi oil sitesYemen’s Iran-backed Huthi rebels, who claimed responsibility for devastating weekend attacks on Saudi oil facilities, threatened Monday to carry out more strikes and urged foreigners to stay away. “We assure the Saudi regime that our long hand can reach any place we want at any time we choose,” Huthi military spokesman Brigadier Yahya Saree said in a statement. Strikes on two Saudi facilities Saturday halted half the kingdom’s oil production and sent shock waves through energy markets.



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Assad troops force Syrian rebels to retreat from key town

Assad troops force Syrian rebels to retreat from key townBashar al-Assad has vowed to recapture all of Syria as his forces made significant battlefield gains and drove rebel fighters out of a strategic town he once attacked with chemical weapons. Syrian regime troops pushed rebel forces from Khan Sheikhoun, a town where Assad’s jets once dropped chemical weapons and killed nearly 100 people, prompting Donald Trump to launch retaliatory airstrikes in 2017.  The town has been under rebel control since 2014 and its fall marks a victory for Assad as his troops attempt to conquer Idlib, the last opposition-held province in the northwest of Syria.     Rebel forces led by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a jihadist group linked to al-Qaeda, said they were retreating to an area south of the town but would continue fighting against the regime’s advancing troops. Regime troops advanced into the outskirts of Khan Sheikhoun but had yet to fully occupy it. Speaking at a meeting with MPs from Vladimir Putin’s United Russia party, Assad hailed his forces’ progress. “The victories that were achieved prove the determination of the people and the army to defeat terrorists until the liberation of the last inch of Syrian territory,” he said.   He also accused Turkey and Western states of supporting jihadist groups in Syria. Tensions between Turkey and the Syrian regime have been rising sharply as Assad’s forces drive into Idlib, where the Turkish military has 12 military outposts. Regime jets bombed near a Turkish military convoy on Monday, killing three civilians, according to Turkey’s defence ministry. After eight years of civil war, the Idlib region on the border with Turkey is the last major stronghold of opposition  Credit: AFP The fall of Khan Sheikhoun means that one of the Turkish military outposts is now effectively surrounded by regime forces. Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey’s foreign minister, said that his country would not withdraw from the outpost at Morek and warned the Syrian regime not to interfere with it.  “We don’t have an intention such as moving this elsewhere,” Mr Cavusoglu said. “We will do whatever is necessary for the security of our own soldiers and observation posts.” Turkey says it established the outposts to counter jihadist groups and help enforce a ceasefire it brokered alongside Russia. The Syrian regime says the outposts are a violation of Syrian sovereignty but has so far refrained from directly attacking them.  However, as the regime advances further into Idlib the chances of a direct confrontation with Turkish forces seem to be rising.  Assad’s forces launched their offensive against Idlib in April but made relatively little progress until the last few weeks, when they have advanced rapidly with the support of withering airstrikes by Russian warplanes.   Around 500 civilians have been killed since the offensive began, including more than 100 children, according to aid groups. A young girl named Jana was killed by Russian bombing on Tuesday, opposition activists said.   The fighting has displaced over 500,000 people in southern Idlib and the northern of the neighbouring province of Hama. Khain Sheikhoun was seen as important symbol of opposition to Assad by rebel supporters “One of the revolution’s castles is occupied by its destroyers,” said one Syrian man in Idlib.  Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said the Islamic State (Isil) remains a threat in Syria and Iraq but has lost much of its ability to carry out centrally-planned attacks on the West.  "There are places where ISIS is more powerful today than they were three or four years ago," Mr Pompeo told CBS. "But the caliphate is gone in their capacity to conduct external attacks, it's been made much more difficult," he said. The jihadist group was driven from its last territorial stronghold this year but continues to mount insurgency attacks in both Iraq and Syria.



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The Latest: Yemen rebels claim to have collaborators in Aden

The Latest: Yemen rebels claim to have collaborators in AdenYemen’s rebels claim they had intelligence and collaboration from inside the southern port city of Aden that enabled them to attack a military parade there the previous day. The Houthi rebels, who control northern Yemen, had said they fired a medium-range ballistic missile, killing at least 40 militiamen trained by the United Arab Emirates in Aden.



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US-made missiles found at base used by Libyan rebels to attack Tripoli are ours, France admits

US-made missiles found at base used by Libyan rebels to attack Tripoli are ours, France admitsFrance on Wednesday admitted that it is the owner of American-made anti-tank missiles found at a rebel military base in Libya, raising awkward questions about European involvement in the civil war. France's Army Ministry said the four Javelin missiles discovered at a base used by General Khalifa Haftar's Libyan National Army were intended for "self-protection of a French military unit deployed to carry out intelligence and counter-terrorism operations." "Damaged and unusable, the armaments were being temporarily stocked at a depot ahead of their destruction," it said in a statement on Wednesday.  It said the weapons, found in the mountains south of Tripoli by forces loyal to the UN-backed government, were never intended for sale or transfer to any party to Libya's conflict. The missiles were discovered on a rebel base in Gharyan when UN-recognised government forces recaptured the city Credit: Anadolu Agency  The statement did not explain how many French soldiers are in the country or why they were operating in close proximity to Gheryan, the LNA's main headquarters for its controversial assault on Tripoli. The discovery of javelin missiles at Gheryan was first reported by the New York Times. Chinese-made shells with United Arab Emirates markings were also discovered.  At least 1,000 people have been killed and tens of thousands displaced since Gen Haftar launched his assault on Tripoli in a bid to overthrow the UN-backed government of national accord in April.  France, like all permanent members of the UN Security Council, officially recognises the UN-backed Government of National Accord (GNA).  But Fayez Al-Sarraj, the prime minister of the GNA, has publicly protested French support for Gen Haftar since the battle began.  Some observers have also accused Paris of providing the general with diplomatic cover by watering down European Union statements about his attack on Tripoli.  Jalel Harouchi, a Libya analyst at the Clingedael Institute, said the discovery made it "impossible for Paris to credibly deny its deep preference" for Gen Haftar's faction in the civil war.  "For several years now, it has sought to prop up Marshal Haftar, help him defeat his opponents and take power in Libya," he said. "In any event, other foreign states, such as the UAE, violate the Libya arms embargo much more egregiously than France does." Gen Haftar, who heads a rival administration in the east of the country, has sought to portray himself as a potential secular strongman able to deal robustly with the threat of Islamist extremism in Libya. He is believed to enjoy backing from Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, and has also visited both Paris and Moscow to seek support.  He has courted the United States, which provided him with asylum after he fell out with Muammar Gadaffi in the 1980s.  Last week the United States blocked a British-drafted United Nations Security Council resolution that would have condemned an LNA airstrike on a migrant holding centre that killed at least 40 people.  The FGM 148 Javelin is a US-manufactured shoulder-launched missile designed to destroy modern tanks by striking them from above, where their armour is thinnest. They cost about £135,000 a piece.



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Yemeni conjoined twins die in blockaded Sanaa: rebels

Yemeni conjoined twins die in blockaded Sanaa: rebelsNewborn Yemeni conjoined twins whose plight sparked a plea for urgent medical treatment overseas died in Sanaa Saturday, rebels in the blockaded capital said. Abdelkhaleq and Abdelrahim were born outside Sanaa around two weeks ago and shared a kidney and a pair of legs but had separate hearts and lungs. The head of paediatrics at Sanaa’s Al-Thawra hospital, Dr Faisal al-Babili, said his department lacked the facilities to treat or separate the newborn boys and appealed on Wednesday for help from abroad.



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Pompeo says Yemen rebels not complying with truce deal

Pompeo says Yemen rebels not complying with truce dealUS Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday accused Yemen’s rebels of failing to comply with a ceasefire agreement for the flashpoint city of Hodeida reached at UN-sponsored talks in Sweden. “The work that was done in Sweden on Yemen was good, but both sides (need) to honour those commitments,” Pompeo said in Riyadh following talks with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.



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Syrian jihadists cement grip, forcing deal on Idlib rebels

Syrian jihadists cement grip, forcing deal on Idlib rebelsThe northwest of Syria near the Turkish border is the last part of the country still in the hands of fighters seeking to topple President Bashar al-Assad, but control has been divided between jihadist factions and other rebels backed by Turkey. On Thursday Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS), a jihadist group listed as terrorists by the United States, Turkey and others, forced factions from the Turkey-backed Free Syrian Army (FSA) to accept a peace deal recognizing civilian control by an HTS-backed administration. The success of the jihadists in recent days raises doubt over the future of a deal agreed in September between Turkey and the Assad government’s main ally Russia to avert an army assault.



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Pro-Turkish rebels reinforce near city in northern Syria

Pro-Turkish rebels reinforce near city in northern SyriaPro-Turkish armed groups have reinforced their presence on the outskirts of the city of Manbij in northern Syria as Ankara threatens a new offensive against Kurdish forces, sources said Wednesday. Turkey announced in mid-December that it would launch a fresh military campaign against the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, a militia in Syria that Ankara considers a terrorist group. The United States has backed Kurdish fighters in northern Syria as part of an international coalition against the Islamic State jihadist group.



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Syrian rebels say U.S. troops remain in key garrison near Iraq

Syrian rebels say U.S. troops remain in key garrison near Iraq“American troops plan to withdraw completely form Syria but I don’t have details and things are as they are up until this moment,” Talaa told Reuters from the base. The garrison is located in a strategic area near Syria’s Tanf border crossing with Iraq at the crossroad of a main Baghdad-Damascus highway, Tehran’s main arms supply route by land to Syria and Lebanon’s powerful Hezbollah militia. The garrison was first set up when Islamic State fighters controlled eastern Syria bordering Iraq but since the militants were driven out, Tanf has assumed a role as part of a U.S. strategy to contain Iran’s military buildup in eastern Syria.



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UK PM wins confidence vote but rebels lay down marker

UK PM wins confidence vote but rebels lay down markerPrime Minister Theresa May survived a vote of confidence in her leadership on Wednesday but more than a third of lawmakers voted against her, underscoring the challenge she faces in getting her Brexit divorce deal through parliament. Here is some reaction to her survival: Pro-Brexit Conservative lawmaker Jacob Rees-Mogg: “It is a terrible result for the prime minister. “The prime minister must realize that under all constitutional norms she ought to go and see the Queen urgently and resign.



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