Archive for May 8th, 2016

Jordanians to replace UAE forces in war on Yemen: Report

Thu Apr 14, 2016

Jordanian military forces and advisers will be replacing UAE troops fighting in the Saudi war on Yemen, following reports of serious disputes among the few “coalition” members, a report says.

Yemen’s Khabar news agency, citing informed sources, reported on Thursday that the decision had been made following a recent visit by Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud to Jordan.

Prince Mohammad, who is the Saudi defense minister, met King Abdullah in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba and signed a package of agreements, including on development of military cooperation.

The report said the deployment of Jordanian forces will now be coming after the United Arab Emirates withdrew the bulk of its military force from Yemen’s Ma’rib following a series of military setbacks.

The Saudi crown prince also traveled to the UAE in an effort to mend fences after reports of significant frictions between the two allies over the war on Yemen.

Emirati authorities are reportedly angry with a Saudi decision to dismiss a former general with close ties to the UAE.

In February, the Saudi kingdom sacked Khaled Bahah and appointed Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar to lead the fight against Yemen’s Houthis.

Ahmar has been based in Saudi Arabia since the Houthis took over Sana’a in 2014.

Jordanian military forces reportedly took part in the Saudi operation in Aden last July following the flight of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Early on Thursday, Saudi military aircraft carried out a fresh round of aerial assaults against the Nihm district of Sana’a Province, though there were no immediate reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage caused.

The development came only hours after Saudi-backed militiamen fired a barrage of artillery rounds at Dhubab, Harir and al-Jumhuri districts in Yemen’s southwestern province of Ta’izz and Ghorab and al-Madaniyah neighborhoods in the provincial capital city of Ta’izz.

Saudi Arabia launched its military aggression against Yemen on March 26, 2015, in a bid to bring Hadi — who is a staunch ally of Riyadh — back to power and undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement.

More than 9,400 people have been killed and at least 16,000 others injured since the onset of the aggression.

The Saudi strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

Source: PressTV.

Link: http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/04/14/460698/Yemen-Jordan-UAE-forces/.

Advertisements

Lebanese hope for change in first vote after trash crisis

May 07, 2016

BEIRUT (AP) — Lebanon’s capital on Sunday will hold its first elections since a months-long trash crisis left mountains of garbage festering in the streets, with an outsider group of candidates challenging a political establishment widely seen as corrupt and incompetent.

Beirut Madinati, Arabic for “Beirut, My City,” has vowed to clean up the city’s streets — and its politics. “We will go to the polls and throw out the corrupt politicians,” declared list leader Ibrahim Mneihmneh, a 40-year-old architect, at a recent rally attended by hundreds of people. “We will no longer whine about the trash, traffic, or corruption.”

Polling stations for the municipal election will be open on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. (0400 GMT to 1600 GMT). Results are expected as early as Monday. Madinati hopes to channel the energy of the “You Stink” protest movement, which emerged in response to the trash crisis and went on to challenge the political class that has governed Lebanon since the end of its 1975-1990 civil war.

The leaders behind the “You Stink” movement, which brought thousands of protesters into the streets at the height of the trash crisis, have not formally endorsed Madinati but have attended its rallies.

Since the end of the war, Lebanon has been governed by a power-sharing arrangement among political blocs — many led by former warlords — that represent its various religious sects. That has led to widespread patronage and corruption, and more recently to the breakdown of public services.

The trash crisis began last summer when the government closed the city’s main landfill without agreeing on a replacement. For eight months trash piled up across the city. An agreement was reached in March to open a new disposal facility, but critics cast it as simply another backroom deal that failed to address the root of the problem.

And the stench grew even worse in April, as excavators dismantled the piles of garbage to carry it out of the city. “When you talk about Beirut, you say she’s a beautiful woman,” said the well-known Lebanese director Nadine Labaki, who is a candidate on the Madinati list. “Unfortunately, this is not what I’m seeing now.”

The Madinati list is made up of independent technocrats who have reached out to voters through town hall-style meetings, rallies and fundraisers. But many wonder if they can succeed in a system dominated by lifelong politicians.

“It’s like in the village,” said Mohammad Hamza, a Beirut barber. “The outsiders win the elections, and for the next six years nothing gets done, because the political bosses block everything.”

Advertisements