Yemen govt. spokesman denies severing of ties with Iran

“Despite our commitment during the last period to spare the Bab al-Mandab any military conflict because of fears of its repercussions on Yemen, the region and the world… attacking the army’s sites which mainly protect and surveil the area is a mere escalation which is not justified”, Abdel Salam said on his Facebook page.

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Residents on the Yemeni side of Bab al-Mandab reported air strikes and shelling by warships in support of a ground thrust, but could not immediately confirm that the Iranian-allied Houthis had lost the eastern shore of the strait.

Yemen’s branch of Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) on Thursday claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing at a mosque in the Yemeni capital Sanaa that killed at least 25 people, according to a statement posted on social media.

Bahrain, a member of the coalition, recalled its ambassador from Iran on Thursday, a day after it said its security forces discovered a large bomb-making factory and arrested a number of suspects linked to Iran’s Revolutionary Guards.

Yemen’s internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi cut diplomatic ties with Iran, which it says arms and trains the country’s Shiite rebels, a senior Foreign Ministry official said Friday. “I don’t think we have much doubt that this incident took place and it is a grave incident”, Colville told a news conference.

The seizure of the Marib dam by militiamen fighting alongside Gulf troops is their biggest success in several weeks of an armed push toward the Houthi-controlled capital Sanaa 110 km (70 miles) West that was slowed by landmines and stiff resistance from Houthi forces ensconced in rugged mountains. The United Nations has placed Yemen as one of its highest humanitarian crises with around 80% of its population in need of help. Another 1.4 million people have meanwhile been forced to flee their homes.

Yemen has been the target of Saudi military strikes since March 26. The Dutch-drafted United Nations rights council proposal had called for a full inquiry into violations in Yemen since September a year ago.

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After securing the support of the USA and Britain, the Saudi resolution was adopted by the UN’s top rights body yesterday by consensus.

Yemen map