Saudi Arabia says it foiled new Houthi strike, as US set to lift ‘terror’ tag

Officials say drone rigged with explosives was launched against airport near border

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia said Saturday it foiled a Houthi drone attack on a southern airport just days before the new US administration is to stop designating the Yemeni rebels as a “terror” group.

Saudi air defenses “intercepted and destroyed a drone rigged with explosives which had been launched by the Houthis against Abha airport,” the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels said in a statement quoted by state television.

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Yemenis Seek Justice for ‘Unlawful’ US Drone Strike Killings

 A Yemeni boy walks past a mural depicting a US drone and reading “Why did you kill my family” on December 13, 2013 in the capital Sanaa. Photo: Mphammed Huwais/AFP

Two Yemeni families have filed a petition this week against the US government over the “unlawful” killing of 34 relatives, including nine children, in counter-terrorism operations, said human rights group Reprieve.

The families suffered enormous loss of life and property between 2013 and 2018 in six drone strikes and a special operations raid, said Reprieve, which submitted the petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights on behalf of the families on Tuesday.

“It is averred that the seven attacks at issue have resulted in the unlawful killing of at least 48 people, including 17 children, and in the serious injury of at least seven others, as well as the destruction of their personal property and livelihoods,” said the petition seen by AFP.

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Yemen PM: Airport attack by Iran-backed rebels meant to ‘eliminate’ government

Missile attack in Aden killed 25 people, targeted prime minister’s plane as it landed, the arrival hall and the VIP lounge

Fighters with the Saudi-backed coalition assess the damage inside the airport of Yemen’s southern city of Aden on December 31, 2020, a day after explosions rocked the building, killing or injuring dozens of people. (Saleh Al-OBEIDI / AFP)

CAIRO (AP) — Yemen’s prime minister on Saturday said that a missile attack on the airport in Aden was meant “to eliminate” the country’s new government as it arrived in the key southern city — a daring assault which he blamed on Iran-backed rebels.

Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed spoke to The Associated Press in an interview conducted at his office in the Mashiq Palace in Aden. It was the leader’s first interview with international media after he survived Wednesday’s attack that killed at least 25 people and wounded 110 others.

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When Israel and Arab nations unite, world should take note, says UN ambassador

 Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nations Gilad Erdan reflected on 2020 and how “Israel’s future looks brighter than ever” in his address on Sunday night at the Zionist Organization of America’s Virtual Superstar Gala.

Erdan, also Israel’s incoming ambassador to the United States, received the ZOA’s Woo KaiSheng Lifetime Achievement Award for Outstanding Diplomacy. In his acceptance speech, he said that while this past year “supplied a fair amount of hate, it also delivered a fair amount of peace.”

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Second explosion heard near presidential palace in Yemen’s Aden after deadly blast at airport where unity govt arrived – reports

A security personnel and people react during an attack on Aden airport moments after a plane landed carrying a newly formed cabinet for government-held parts of Yemen, in Aden, Yemen December 30, 2020. ©  REUTERS / Fawaz Salman
Local news have reported yet another explosion in Yemen, this time near the presidential palace, to which the new cabinet fled following the blast at Aden airport.

Yemen’s new government was transferred to the palace right after an explosion disrupted their arrival to Aden airport earlier today. It occurred as the officials were arriving to Aden from Riyadh, where cabinet members had a swearing-in ceremony that followed prolonged coalition talks brokered by the Saudis.

The destructive explosion at the airport resulted in more than 20 people being killed, and at least 60 injured, according to Salem Al-Shabhi, a senior health official who spoke to the Independent.

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