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More than 20 Houthi fighters surrendered to Yemeni troops on Saturday in the Bayhan district of Shabwa province in eastern Sanaa

The Yemeni army said that it had reclaimed "strategic areas" in eastern Sanaa from the Iran-backed Houthi rebels.

The forces — which are supported by a Saudi-led coalition — fighting in favour of the internationally-recognised government of Yemen's president Abdrabu Mansur Hadi liberated the mountains of Dahshush, Jabal Al Tafaha, Tabat Al Qanaseen and Jabal Al Mashna, said a statement by an army spokesman carried by UAE’s state news agency Wam on Saturday.

The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, has been fighting the Houthi militias in Yemen's more than two-year-old civil war, in which more than 10,000 people have been killed, to restore the legitimate government of Mr Hadi.

The statement added that the Yemeni forces killed 28 Houthi rebels and wounded dozens others.

Dozens of Houthi rebels were killed by snipers in the past two weeks, a security source told The National on Sunday.

“Two Houthis were shot and killed by a sniper with suppressors yesterday [on Saturday] in the Shoub area in Sanaa,” he said, adding that it instilled fear in the group "that didn't know where the shots were coming from".


Meanwhile, more than 20 Houthi fighters surrendered to Yemeni troops on Saturday in the Bayhan district of Shabwa province in eastern Sanaa, Yemen’s capital that is controlled by the Houthis.

Dozens of militia fighters have surrendered in the past two weeks in the eastern battlefront in the Bayhan and Usailan districts in Shabwa, reported the Yemeni defence ministry’s 26 September news website.

Maj Gen Abdo Majali, spokesman for the Yemeni army, said that the Houthi rebels are “suffering major losses” on all fronts in the western coast of Hodeidah and Taiz as well as in the northern provinces of Al Jawf and Saada — a stronghold of the Iran-backed rebel group.

“They are suffering major losses day after day as our military forces tighten their grip over the lands, which they control,” Gen Majali told The National on Sunday.

“They were wiped out from Shabwa, and the last posts in Al Safara and Haid bin Akeel were liberated, along with the road that links Shabwa, Maareb and Al Bayda provinces. Al Bayda province will also soon be liberated as the main road is clear now.”

Gen Mejali also said that the Yemeni authorities arrested a number of high-ranking Houthi officials along with loyalists, who are “engineers and responsible for the thousands of landmines planted in various sites they controlled”.

Maps detailing landmine positions were found and designed in Tehran, where most of the engineers were trained, he added.

Fierce clashes between the Yemeni forces and Houthi rebels also broke out in Taiz and Hodeidah to the north of the city of Aden.

A military source told The National that the two sides battled in Al Hamily and Al Nujaiba in the Taiz province as well as Hodeidah.

At least 20 Houthis were killed and 16 were injured, while three troops of the government forces were killed, said the source.

WASHINGTON: The top US general in Afghanistan said on Tuesday that he had not seen a change in Pakistan’s support for militants so far, despite President Donald Trump taking a tougher line against Islamabad.

US officials have long been frustrated by what they see as Pakistan’s reluctance to act against groups such as the Afghan Taliban and the Haqqani network that they believe exploit safe haven on Pakistani soil to launch attacks on neighbouring Afghanistan.

In August, Trump outli­ned a new strategy for the war in Afghanistan, chastising Pakistan over its alleged support for Afghan militants.

US official expressed hope that relations between the two countries could improve after a kidnapped US-Cana­dian couple and their three children were freed in Pakistan in October, after the couple was abducted in neighbouring Afghanistan.


“We have been very direct and very clear with the Pakistanis... we have not seen those changes implemented yet,” Gen John Nicholson told reporters.

“We are hoping to see those changes, we are hoping to work together with the Pakistanis going forward to eliminate terrorists who are crossing” the border, Nicholson said.

He added that he believed that senior Taliban leaders were based in Pakistan, while the lower level leadership was in Afghanistan. Pakistan says it has done a great deal to help the US in tracking down terrorists.

Published in Dawn, November 29th, 2017

ریاض (اے پی پی) سعودی عرب کی سماجی تنظیم ’’خیرات‘‘ کی چیئرپرسن نورہ العجمی نے کہا ہے کہ ملک میں روزانہ 70 ملین ریال کی خوراک ضائع کی جا رہی ہے اور کھانا ضائع کرنے والے ممالک میں سعودی عرب پہلے نمبر پر ہے۔ العریبیہ نیوز کے مطابق سعودی عرب کی سماجی تنظیم ’’خیرات‘‘ کی چیئرپرسن نے ریاض میں صحافیوں سے گفتگو کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ سعودی عرب میں روزانہ 70 ملین ریال کی خوراک ضائع کی جا رہی ہے جن میں سب سے زیادہ بوفے والے کھانا شامل ہے۔ انھوں نے کہا کہ تقریبات میں ذبح کئے جانے والے جانور پھینک دیے جاتے ہیں اور ضائع شدہ خوراک اتنی ہوتی ہے کہ ریاض کے پورے باشندے سیر ہوکر کھا سکتے ہیں۔ 

DUBAI: Saudi Arabia aims to start issuing tourist visas to foreigners next year, a senior Saudi official told CNN, as the government seeks to open up the conservative kingdom and find new sources of revenue to diversify its economy. At present, foreigners travelling to Saudi Arabia are largely restricted to resident workers and their dependents, business travellers, and Muslim pilgrims who are given special visas to travel to holy sites. (RTRS)

RIYADH, Nov 21, (AFP): Saudi authorities said Monday they had detected an “advanced” cyber attack targeting the kingdom, in a fresh attempt by hackers to disrupt government computers. The government’s National Cyber Security Centre said the attack involved the use of “Powershell” malware, but it did not comment on the source of the attack or which government bodies were targeted. “The NCSC has detected a new Advanced Persistent Threat (APT) that is targeting Saudi Arabia,” the agency said in a statement, adding the attack sought to infiltrate computers using email phishing techniques. Saudi Arabia has come under frequent cyber attacks, including “Shamoon”, the aggressive disc-wiping malware employed in attacks against the Saudi energy sector in 2012.

Saudi Aramco, the world’s biggest oil company, was among the firms hit by Shamoon, in what is believed to be the country’s worst cyber attack yet. US intelligence officials at the time said they suspected a link to the kingdom’s regional rival Iran.

سعودی عرب کے فرماں روا شاہ سلمان نے ممکنہ طور پر آئندہ ہفتے اپنے 32 سالہ بیٹے محمد بن سلمان کو بادشاہت سونپنے کا فیصلہ کرلیا۔

برطانوی خبر رساں ادارے نے دعویٰ کیا ہے کہ شاہ سلمان نے یہ فیصلہ محمد بن سلمان کے 40 شہزادوں اور سرکاری حکام کی گرفتاری کے احکامات کے پیش نظر کیا۔

ڈیلی میل کی رپورٹ میں بتایا گیا کہ محمد بن سلمان تاج سنبھالنے کے بعد اپنی ساری توجہ اپنے مبینہ حریف ملک ایران کی طرف مبذول کرلیں گے۔

رپورٹ میں کہا گیا کہ اگر کسی قسم کی غیر متوقع صورت حال پیش نہیں آتی، تو سعودی عرب کے فرماں روا شاہ سلمان اگلے ہفتے تک محمد بن سلمان کو سعودی عرب کا اگلا فرماں روا بنانے کا اعلان کردیں گے۔

رپورٹ میں مزید دعویٰ کیا گیا کہ محمد بن سلمان اسرائیلی فوج کی سے لبنانی مسلح تنظیم حزب اللہ کے خلاف کارروائی کریں گے، جسے ایران کی حمایت حاصل ہے۔

رپورٹ میں مزید بتایا گیا کہ محمد بن سلمان شاہی خاندان کے بیشتر افراد کے موقف کے خلاف ایران اور حزب اللہ کو اپنا پہلا حدف بنانا چاہتے ہیں اور اس کام کے لیے انہوں نے لبنان میں جنگ کی شروعات کا منصوبہ تیار کر رکھا ہے جبکہ انہوں نے اسرائیل کی حمایت کرنے پر اسے اربوں ڈالر امداد دینے کا پہلے ہی اعلان کر رکھا ہے۔

رپورٹ کے مطابق شاہ سلمان اپنا عہدہ چھوڑنے کے بعد صرف مقدس مقامات کی حفاظت پر مامور رہیں گے۔

قبل ازیں برطانوی خبر رساں ادارے رائٹرز کی رپورٹ میں بتایا گیا تھا کہ سعودی عرب کے شاہی فرمان کے مطابق سعودیہ کے فرماں روا شاہ سلمان نے 31 سالہ بیٹے کو ترقی دے کر ملک کا ممکنہ اگلا فرماں روا نامزد کردیا تھا۔

خیال رہے کہ سعودی ولی عہد شہزادہ محمد بن سلمان بہت تیزی سے سعودی عرب اور دنیا کے چند طاقتور ترین افراد کی صورت میں ابھر کر سامنے آئے ہیں۔

مزید پڑھیں: سعودی فرماں روا نے اپنے بیٹے کو ولی عہد نامزد کردیا

32 سالہ شہزادے کو سعودی عرب کی فوج، خارجہ پالیسی، معیشت اور روزمرہ کی مذہبی اور ثقافتی زندگی پر اثررسوخ حاصل ہوچکا ہے۔

سعودی ولی عہد کو ہی اس وقت اسلامی مملکت میں جاری کرپشن کے خلاف مہم کا روح رواں سمجھا جارہا ہے اور ان کی ذات میں طاقت کا ایسا اجماع ہوچکا ہے جو اس سے قبل سعودی عرب کی تاریخ میں کبھی دیکھنے میں نہیں آیا۔

خیال یہ کیا جارہا ہے کہ طاقتور ترین سعودی شہزادے محمد بن سلمان مشرق وسطیٰ کی تاریخ بدلنے جارہے ہیں۔

ABU DHABI/DUBAI, Nov 9, (RTRS): Saudi authorities have questioned 208 people in an anti- corruption investigation and estimate at least $100 billion has been stolen through graft, a top official said on Thursday as the inquiry expanded beyond the kingdom’s borders. “Based on our investigations over the past three years, we estimate that at least $100 billion has been misused through systematic corruption and embezzlement over several decades,” Attorney-General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said in a statement. Of the 208 people called in for questioning so far, seven have been released without charge, Sheikh Saud said, without naming them.

Dozens of princes, senior officials and prominent businessmen, including cabinet ministers and billionaires, have been detained in the inquiry, which was announced last weekend and appears at least partly aimed at strengthening the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The investigation has spread to the neighbouring United Arab Emirates, as the UAE central bank has asked commercial banks and finance companies there to provide details of the accounts of 19 Saudis commercial bankers told Reuters on Thursday.

Almost all of the 19, including billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and former National Guard chief Prince Miteb bin Abdullah, are known to have been detained. The commercial bankers said UAE authorities had not explained why they wanted the information, but the bankers believe the authorities were acting at the behest of the Saudi government, which has said it aims to recover illicit funds.

UAE central bank officials were not available to comment, while Saudi officials, who have frozen over 1,700 domestic bank accounts as part of the crackdown, did not respond to requests for comment. The UAE, particularly Dubai, is one of the main places where wealthy Saudis park their money abroad. In addition to bank accounts, they buy luxury apartments and villas in Dubai and invest in the emirate’s volatile stock market. Some wealthy Saudi individuals have been liquidating assets within Saudi Arabia, the UAE and other Gulf countries this week, apparently in an effort to move money out of the region and escape the crackdown, private bankers and fund managers said.

In Riyadh, rich individual investors have been selling equities heavily, although buying by state-linked funds has helped to support the market. In Dubai, shares in real estate developers have sunk as investors worry about the impact on the property market of a pull-out by Saudis.

The UAE commercial bankers said they had not been asked to freeze the Saudi accounts at their institutions, but they believed the central bank’s request for information might be a prelude to such action.

The risk of the accounts being frozen “jeopardises Dubai’s pitch as a private banking centre”, said a Gulfbased banker, adding: “Banks in the UAE are full of Saudi money.” One senior banker at an international bank with business in Saudi Arabia said his institution had already frozen some accounts, both inside the kingdom and outside it, in response to Saudi government requests.

The bank is conducting its own investigations into accounts linked to people who have been detained, the banker said without elaborating. Another banker in the region said his institution was receiving more enquiries from Saudi clients about crossborder financial transactions, but it was handling the enquiries with extreme caution as there could be further action by regulators. Saudi and foreign businessmen worry that the crackdown could hurt the economy if the freezing of bank accounts delays payments and companies become more cautious about investing.

On Thursday, Mojeb repeated statements by other top officials that normal commercial activity had not been affected and that only personal bank accounts had been frozen, not corporate accounts. “Companies and banks are free to continue with transactions as usual.” The risk of fund outflows from the region has helped to push the currencies of Gulf Arab countries down slightly against the US dollar in the forward market this week.

The Saudi riyal dropped in the one year forward market on Thursday to imply riyal depreciation of 0.8 percent against the dollar in the next 12 months, compared to 0.3 percent before the crackdown. However, it remains much stronger than it was last year, when the forward market implied depreciation of about 2.7 percent because of worries about Saudi Arabia’s ability to cope with an era of low oil prices.

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