Egypt extends participation in Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen
by Compiled from Wire Services
ISTANBULJan 24, 2017 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Compiled from Wire Services
Jan 24, 2017 12:00 am
Egypt's National Defense Council on Sunday extended the military's participation in a Saudi-led operation in Yemen, the presidency said in a statement. It did not specify how long the extension would be for. In March 2015, a Saudi-led military coalition launched an extensive air campaign aimed at restoring Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's government.
"The National Defense Council agreed during the meeting to extend the participation of the required elements from the Egyptian armed forces in a combat operation outside the nation's border to defend Egyptian and Arab national security in the Gulf, Red Sea, and Bab al-Mandab areas," the statement said.
Iran-backed Houthi rebels seized the Yemeni capital Sanaa in September 2014, forcing the internationally recognized government to flee the country. Houthis have also been accused of preventing humanitarian aid. Ships carrying humanitarian aid to people in dire need of help have been seized over the last seven months by Iran-backed Houthis rebels, spokesperson for the Arab coalition Ahmed Asseri said to agencies in November 2016.
Saudi Arabia leads a coalition of Muslim countries, backed by the U.S., U.K. and France, in the war in neighboring Yemen. The campaign to restore the government ousted by the Iran-allied militia is part of a larger assertive effort to prevent weapons from reaching Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies, who have overrun much of Yemen.
Meanwhile, suspected U.S. drone strikes have killed three alleged al-Qaida operatives in Yemen's southwestern Bayda province, security and tribal officials said, the first such killings reported in the country since Donald Trump assumed the U.S. presidency Friday.
Since 2012, the U.S. has launched counterterror airstrikes and operations against radical militants as part of the U.S. national security policy. The U.S.'s "targeted-killing policy" and other practices by the Obama administration have raised serious concerns regarding the rule of law, war crimes and the human cost of the U.S. security policy in Yemen. The use of unmanned aircraft as well as air strikes in the Arab world's poorest country rose dramatically under President Barack Obama, with data from the Britain-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism showing spikes in attacks, especially in 2012 and 2016.
Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, long seen by Washington as among the most dangerous branches of the global terror network, exploited the chaos, seizing territory in the country's south and east, and the Daesh terrorist group has also claimed attacks.
On Thursday, U.S. intelligence officials said as many as 117 civilians had been killed in drone and other counterterror attacks in Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere during Obama's presidency. It was the second public assessment issued in response to mounting pressure for more information about lethal U.S. operations overseas.