Intense Yemen bombing, Qaeda attack after UN peace call

Intense Yemen bombing, Qaeda attack after UN peace call

Renegade troops loyal to Saleh are allied with the Huthi rebels, whose sweeping advance forced President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee last month.



By (AFP)

Published: Sat 18 Apr 2015, 11:00 AM

Last updated: Thu 25 Jun 2015, 9:53 PM

Army artillery fire shells towards Houthi movement positions in Yemen.- Reuters

Army artillery fire shells towards Houthi movement positions in Yemen.- Reuters

Sanaa: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for international action to end the air campaign on Huthi rebels as intense bombing hit Yemen again on Friday and Al Qaeda seized more ground in the chaos.

Columns of smoke rose over an arms depot targeted by warplanes east of the capital Sanaa, witnesses said.

The facility belonged to the elite Republican Guard, which remains loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Renegade troops loyal to Saleh are allied with the Huthi rebels, whose sweeping advance forced President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi to flee last month.

Following heavy overnight air strikes in the north, coalition aircraft also hit the presidential palace in the southern city of Taez, the witnesses said.

Coalition spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Al Assiri said that “from this afternoon we have started operations in Taez”.

He added that there had been 100 sorties in Yemen on Thursday, indicating there is no end in sight to the operation.

“This works needs patience, persistence and precision. We are not in a hurry... We have the time and we have the capabilities.”

Air strikes on the southern port city of Aden killed a rebel, while at least 76 other people died in bombing and fighting around Aden and Taez, officials said.

The United Nations says hundreds of people have died and thousands of families fled their homes in the war.

Ban called for an immediate ceasefire, saying the country was “in flames” and all sides must return to political negotiations.

His remarks followed the resignation of envoy Jamal Benomar, saying he wanted to move on to a new assignment.

The plan calls for a ceasefire and immediate end to all foreign military attacks, the urgent delivery of humanitarian and medical aid, a resumption of political talks and the formation of a national unity government.

“It is imperative for the international community to get more effectively involved in ending the senseless aerial attacks and establishing a ceasefire,” Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif wrote.

The foreign minister added that “the only way to restore peace and stability is to allow all Yemeni parties to establish, without any foreign interference, their own inclusive national unity government.”

On Friday, Al Qaeda overran a key army camp in the Hadramawt provincial capital Mukalla, seizing heavy weapons and consolidating its grip on the city, an official said.

.The World Health Organization, in a new toll, says 767 people have died in Yemen’s war since March 19 and more than 2,900 were wounded. The majority have been civilians.

The United Nations launched an urgent appeal for $274 million (253 million euros) to provide emergency aid for what was already the region’s poorest country.

“Ordinary families are struggling to access health care, water, food and fuel — basic requirements for their survival,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van Der Klaauw said.

 


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