Ancient human remains dating 3,000 years discovered in Yemen

Jeck Deocampo   •   August 30, 2019   •   1687

Ancient human remains were found in caves on the outskirts of the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, but the scattered bones which date back more than 3,000 years, are said to have been damaged by looters looking for treasures.

Inside the mountain ranges of Shamlan, archaeologists say that the jaw bones, thigh bones and other remains that were found belong to two bodies that were most likely mummified.

The bones were found in a hole dug in a cave in the mountain range. According to the Houthi-aligned Minister of Culture Abdullah Al Kibsi, the remains belong to settlers who resided in the area at the end of the Stone Age.

The mummies were extracted by looters looking for gold, he added.

The remains are believed to be the first of other potential discoveries in the area.

Sanaa is said to have been founded two and half millennia ago and its old heart once bustled with traders and drew tourists in calmer times.

Sheba and other Yemeni kingdoms once provided the frankincense and myrrh hauled by desert caravans to perfume the temples of the Holy Land and ancient Rome.

Modern combat, however, is disfiguring important cultural treasures. Air strikes have levelled medieval mudbrick towers in Sanaa’s old quarter, a medieval mosque and an Ottoman fort.

Al Qaeda militants have dynamited Sufi shrines and armed attacks in Houthi-held lands have sent packing many members of a Yemeni Jewish community dating from the time of King Solomon around 1,000 B.C.

Folklore calls Yemen the cradle of the Arabs but its ancient heritage has been threatened by years of war.

A Saudi-led military coalition has carried out thousands of air strikes in a bid to dislodge Yemen’s armed Houthi movement from the capital. The conflict has killed at least 10,000 people and unleashed a humanitarian crisis. (REUTERS)

(Production: Adel Khedr, Abudlrahman al-Ansi, Mostafa Salem)

Yemen’s Houthis to release 350 prisoners, including three Saudis

Robie de Guzman   •   October 1, 2019

An image grab from a handout video made available by the Houthi Military Media allegedly shows a Saudi trooper wearing a ‘Saudi National Guard’ patch, detained by the Houthis in an August offensive near the southern Saudi region of Najran, Issued 29 September 2019. EPA-EFE/HOUTHI MILITARY MEDIA HANDOUT

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group said they will on Monday (September 30) release 350 prisoners, including three Saudi Arabians, under the supervision of the United Nations as part of a peace initiative.

Yemen’s Iran-aligned Houthi group said they will on Monday (September 30) release 350 prisoners, including three Saudi Arabians, under the supervision of the United Nations as part of a peace initiative.

A prisoner swap between the Houthis and the internationally recognised, Saudi-backed government of Yemen was one of three pillars of a breakthrough deal reached in December in Sweden.

The U.N.-brokered prisoner swap deal involving some 7,000 detainees on each side stalled as the two sides struggled to agree at talks on its implementation.

A Saudi-led Sunni Muslim coalition, which receives arms and intelligence from Western countries, intervened in Yemen in March 2015 after the Houthis ousted the Yemeni government from power in the capital Sanaa in 2014.

The Houthis, who control most major urban areas, said on Sept. 20 they would halt missile and drone attacks on Saudi Arabia if the alliance stopped its operations.

The coalition has not yet responded to the proposal. (Reuters)

(Production: Dina Selim)

Yemen’s Houthis threaten to attack United Arab Emirates targets

Robie de Guzman   •   September 19, 2019

Yemen’s Houthi group said on Wednesday (September 18) it had identified dozens of sites in the United Arab Emirates as possible targets, in an attempt to underscore its military clout following a weekend attack it claims to have carried out on Saudi oil facilities.

Speaking in a televised speech, Yahya Saria, the military spokesman for the Iran-aligned movement, said that even one drone operation would cost the Emirati regime dearly.

He said the Houthis have new drones that can reach targets deep into Saudi Arabia.

“Our forces have reached a very high level of competence and ability on every front. Today, our forces can manufacture and produce several drones in record timing. The armed forces have assured its capability to produce one or more drones per day,” Saria said.

“Today, there are global stances that deserve recognition, the stances that support Yemen’s right to reply to the Saudi-Emirati aggression against our country. And we must specifically name Iran and Turkey, and the other stances who consider the humanitarian situation in Yemen, and I’m sure you’ve all seen these stances,” he added.

In Riyadh, Saudi Defence Ministry spokesman Colonel Turki al-Malki said the attack could not have come from Yemen, adding the Houthi movement was “covering up” for Iran.

The UAE is a leading partner in a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in March 2015 to restore Hadi’s government after it was toppled by the Houthis in late 2014. (Reuters)

(Production: Tarek M Fahmy, Soraya Ali)

Saudi-led airstrike on Yemeni prison kills at least 100

Robie de Guzman   •   September 2, 2019

At least 100 prisoners of war were killed and about 50 others were injured when a Saudi-led coalition launched an airstrike overnight on a prison in Yemen’s central province of Dhamar, the Houthi-controlled health ministry said in a statement early Sunday morning.

According to the Houthis, the targeted prison housed about 170 people who had been captured while fighting alongside government forces. The prisoners were about to be released in a few days in a prisoner swap.

Rescue teams are still searching for possible survivors.

“At midnight, the roaring coalition warplanes awoke the residents in Dhamar. The warplanes flew past and dropped bombs directly at the college building, where 170 prisoners were in custody,” said Abbas Al-Amadi, undersecretary of Dhamar.

The college building was transformed into a prison by the Houthis after it was attacked by coalition airstrikes about half a year ago. The college was then transferred to the safety area.

Local authorities and the International Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC) are attending to the scene.

“The rescue work is still ongoing. What you are seeing now is the real disaster scene. It is a crime against humanity and this was just a shameless act,” added Al-Amadi.

Saudi Arabia has been leading an Arab military coalition against Iran-allied Houthis in Yemen for more than four years, in support of the internationally-recognized government of Hadi.

In Stockholm last December, Yemeni rival parties agreed to a United Nations (UN)-brokered deal of major prisoner swap and mutual troops withdrawal from the key lifeline Red Sea port city of Hodeidah, just days after the government forces advanced into the southern outskirts of the rebel-held port city. However, both sides have failed to implement the deal.

“The ICRC knows this place. They know that it is where the prisoners were held. People who carried out the airstrikes surely knew the situation here,” said Ahmed Abu Hamra, a member of the National Committee for Prisoners Affairs.

The Houthi-run al-Masirah television reported on its website that the targeted prison is located inside a complex of the Community College in the center of Dhamar and that the ICRC has visited it several times.

However, the Saudi-led coalition said its airstrikes overnight on Dhamar targeted a Houthi location for hostile air defense missiles and drone storages, Saudi-owned AL Arabiya television reported on Twitter.

Dhamar is about 100 kilometers south of the capital Sanaa. Both Dhamar and Sanaa, as well as several other northern provinces have been under Houthi’s control since late 2014 after they forced Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and his government into exile. (Reuters)


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