Middle East Update: Syria, Yemen, Iraq.

By  |  0 Comments

Mocking ISIS: ‘Freedom is greatest weapon against terrorism’

On to Syria – where ISIS fondness towards social media has cost a military compound, where US-led coalition jets were able to pinpoint the facility after gathering intel from a fighter’s selfie nearby. While airstrikes do little to stop the advance of Islamic State, some take to the internet to mock the terror organization.


A terrorist car bomb blast rocked Syria’s western city of Homs

The bomb went off near a school in the Wadi al-Dhahab area. A UK-based opposition group says at least twenty seven people have been injured in the attack which happened as students were leaving the school. Homs is located 160 kilometers north of Damascus and is controlled by the government.


Exclusive: Syrian army attacks continue in the south

The Syrian army continues to repel militants attacking al-Thaaleh airport near al-Sweida city in southern Syria. Press TV’s team takes you to the center of the resilient airport.




UN chief Ban Ki-moon calls for humanitarian pause in Yemen conflict

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called for a two-week ceasefire in Yemen fighting, in the holy month of Ramadan.

Ban said 80 percent of Yemen’s population is in dire need of humanitarian assistance. He warned that the fighting is giving new strength to some of the world’s most ruthless terrorist groups. The UN chief added that Yemen’s future hangs in the balance and hoped that this week, will mark the beginning of the end of fighting. Ban made the remarks after a meeting with a delegation of fugitive former president Abderabbo Mansour Hadi. The UN-brokered peace talks on Yemen are underway in the Swiss city of Geneva. The Yemeni TV says negotiators from Ansarullah movement and their allies haven’t yet arrived in Geneva because Egypt has banned their plane from flying in its airspace under pressure from Saudi Arabia.


“Yemeni groups including Ansarullah to attend Geneva talks”

Reports from Yemen say Ansarullah movement has sent a delegation to the UN-backed peace talks in Geneva.
Ansarullah has confirmed that it will attend the Geneva talks. Earlier, UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said Yemeni factions will participate at the meetings in Swiss city. U-N chief Ban Ki-moon has arrived in Geneva and held a meeting with the GCC delegates. The group of 18 countries participating in the Geneva talks have met with the UN Special envoy to Yemen.



Death toll in Yemen’s Jawf, Ta’izz strikes rises to 35

The death toll from the latest Saudi airstrikes on Yemen’s provinces of al-Jawf and Ta’izz has risen to 35.

According to official figures, Sunday’s attacks killed 18 people and wounded dozens more in al-Hazm, the capital of the northern province of al-Jawf.

Saudi warplanes also targeted residential areas south of the Yemeni southwestern province of Ta’izz, killing 17 people, including five women.

The deadly attacks were carried out after Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters, backed by allied armed forces, managed to cleanse al-Hazm city of al-Qaeda militants.

Reports say Yemeni forces have regained control of all military bases and governmental offices in al-Hazm.

Saudi fighter jets also bombarded the mountainous Faj Attan region in the capital, Sana’a, as well as the customs office of Harad city in the northwestern province of Hajjah.

Saudi Arabia started its military campaign against its impoverished neighbor on March 26 – without a UN mandate- in an attempt to undermine the Houthi revolutionaries and bring Riyadh’s staunch ally, fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, back to power.

According to Yemeni sources, the Saudi military aggression has so far left nearly 4,300 people dead. However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) says nearly 2,600 people have been killed and thousands more injured due to the conflict in Yemen since March 19.

Riyadh says its airstrikes targets the positions of Houthi Ansarullah movement while civilians make up most of the casualties.


RAW: Yemen’s capital Sanaa in ruins as Saudi-led airstrikes continue

The capital of Yemen, Sanaa, which is included on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list, has been ravaged by Saudi-led airstrikes. Meanwhile, the death toll from the attacks keeps on rising, according to local media reports.


Yemeni delegation set to depart Djibouti for Geneva after forced stop

A plane carrying the representatives of Yemen’s political factions to attend the UN-brokered talks in Geneva is set to take off for the Swiss city after a forced stop in Djibouti.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV said on Monday that delegates, including representatives of the ruling Houthi Ansarullah movement, are due to resume their trip to attend the high-profile talks in the Swiss city.

A source affiliated to Ansarullah told Press TV that the plane will fly to Geneva through Kenya and will arrive in Geneva later in the evening or overnight.

Earlier in the day, the plane was reportedly forced to land in Djibouti, after Egypt denied it an entry to its airspace.

Sources close to Ansarullah delegation currently in Djibuti said that Saudi Arabia seeks to manipulate the talks in Geneva as Riyadh creates obstacles to the presence of Yemeni negotiators in the meeting.

The delegation left the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, on Sunday afternoon, but was forced to have a long stop in Djibouti.

Egyptian authorities have reportedly not allowed the plane to cross the country’s airspace due to the Saudi pressure.

According to reports, two other Houthi representatives were also expected to arrive in Geneva from Oman.

The negotiations aimed at ending the deadly conflict in the Arab country were supposed to start in Geneva early on Monday with Yemeni political factions and former regime officials in attendance.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who will also be present in the talks, is expected to meet with representatives of Yemen’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi prior to holding talks with the Ansarullah delegation.

UN spokesman Ahmad Fawzi on Sunday called on all parties involved in Yemen’s conflict to observe a renewed “humanitarian pause” due to Saudi Arabia’s incessant airstrikes on the impoverished country.

Sources have confirmed Hadi will attend the meeting.

The picture dated June 12, 2015 shows Yemenis clearing the rubble of houses in a UNESCO-listed heritage site in the old city of the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, following an overnight Saudi airstrike. (© AFP)

The talks brokered by UN special envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed aim to secure a ceasefire, and accelerate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the war-racked Yemeni people.

The UN envoy said that the talks will be the beginning of “preliminary inclusive consultations” to find a solution to the conflict that has claimed more than 2,500 lives and triggered a “catastrophic” humanitarian crisis.

In a statement issued early July, the UN urged all Yemeni parties “to engage in these consultations in good faith and without preconditions in the interest of all Yemeni people.”

However, the meeting, which was initially scheduled for May 28, was delayed after Hadi refused to attend the negotiations.

The Un-brokered peace talks come as Saudi Arabia continues its military aggression against the Yemeni people.

Riyadh launched a military campaign against its impoverished neighbor on March 26 – without a UN mandate- in an attempt to undermine the Houthi revolutionaries and restore power to Hadi, who is a staunch ally of Saudi Arabia.

Press TV correspondent reports from liberated town of Farhateya in Iraq

In recent days, the Iraqi armed forces have liberated a number of towns and villages along the border between Salahuddin and Anbar provinces. Press TV’s Altaf Ahmad has visited Farhateya, a town which was home to ISIL’s headquarters until recently.