Monday, 5 October 2009

Weapons cargo to Al Houthi rebels foiled

By Nasser Arrabyee/05/10/2009

The Yemeni government said Monday it had foiled an attempt import weapons from China for Al Houthi rebels. The cargo of weapons was with forged official documents.

A black list of the weapon traders, most of them from Sa'ada, was published Monday, including Fares Mana'a, brother of Sa'ada province and the chairman of the Presidential Committee in charge of negotiation with the rebels.

The government warned the weapon traders from importing any more weapons and asked the Chinese companies of weapons to deal only with the Ministry of Defense.

For developments in the ground, at least five Al Houthi rebels were killed and several others injured in clashes with the security forces in the old city of Sa'ada where hidden rebels are using their houses for attacking troops, local and military sources said Monday.

About 170 rebels were arrested in the old the city of Sa'ada from the beginning of the war in August 10th.

The aircrafts continued bombing the strongholds of the rebels in Bani Moath as artillery shelled some positions and movements in the other two main frontlines of Harf Sufyan and Al Malahaid, military sources said.

Meanwhile, the Secretary General of the Arab League, Amr Moussa is scheduled to arrive in the Yemeni capital Sana'a today Tuesday for talks about the volatile situation in the country, official sources said Monday.

Moussa will discuss with the Yemeni officials at the top of whom the President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the latest developments especially the war against the armed rebellion in Sa'ada north of the country, the sources added.

Sana'a has been witnessing remarkable political and diplomatic activities, as the government mobilizes regional and international support to crush the Iranian-backed Al Houthi armed rebellion.

Yesterday Sunday, the Egyptian foreign minister Ahmed Abu Al Ghait, and the head of intelligence Omar Sulaiman handed over a letter to President Saleh from his counterpart Husni Mubarak who confirmed his country's full support for the unity, security and stability.

Egypt, supported by many other Arab countries, is trying to contain the crisis of the war between the Al Houthi rebels and the government troops on one hand, and the secession calls in the south on the other.

Observers say that the visit of the two Egyptian officials was a turning point and an indication that the regional concern about what is happening Yemen is not only expressed through media now but also through diplomacy and intelligence.

The political analyst, Mohammed Al Sabri, said Yemen needs an external help but not interference for expanding influence.

"Yes, Yemen needs help from all, but they should not race for influence," said Al Sabri.

The Vice Admiral William McRaven commander of the Joint Special Operations Command met the President Ali Abdullah Saleh also on Sunday and discussed with the cooperation aspects between the two governments to fight Al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula.

"These discussions support the US government's ongoing efforts to assist Yemen in eliminating the threat Al Qaeda poses to its security and stability," said a statement issued by the US embassy in Sana'a.

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