الأربعاء , يونيو 17 2020

Yemen battle prompts Chinese rescue

Chinese navy receives evacuees from Aden, 2 Apr 15

China says it sent a frigate expressly to evacuate foreigners from Aden

The Chinese navy has evacuated 225 foreign nationals and almost 600 Chinese citizens from war-torn Yemen’s southern port of Aden.

The evacuees were transported by naval frigates across the Red Sea to Djibouti, to take flights home.

China says it is the first time its military has gone to rescue foreign nationals from a danger zone.

Houthi rebels left the presidential palace in Aden, following further Saudi-led air strikes against them.

Saudi-backed fighters loyal to the ousted Yemeni President, Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, say they have received an airdrop of arms supplies from coalition planes.

Dozens of people are reported to have been killed in the past few days of fighting in Aden.

Meanwhile, a Turkish naval frigate has evacuated 55 Turks from Aden, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu says.

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Chinese rescue

The Saudi government says the aim of its operation in Yemen is to protect President Hadi’s “legitimate government”. It says it has no plans to deploy ground forces for now.

Aden was President Hadi’s last seat of power before he fled to Saudi Arabia last week, as the Shia Houthi rebels advanced on the city.

Chinese naval frigates were carrying out anti-piracy patrols off the coast of Somalia, but were diverted to Yemen to evacuate people trapped by the fighting.

The non-Chinese evacuees included 176 people from Pakistan, said Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying. There were smaller numbers from other countries, including Ethiopia, Singapore, the UK, Italy and Germany.

Chinese medical check aboard evacuation ship, 2 Apr 15

China says it is the first time its navy has evacuated foreigners from a war zone

Ms Hua said China had acted at the request of “relevant countries”. “It is also the first time the Chinese government has taken special action to help with the evacuation of foreign citizens in dangerous areas,” AFP news agency quoted her as saying.

The BBC’s Martin Patience in Beijing says it is only the second time that China has used warships to evacuate its own citizens from a conflict zone. In a much larger operation, it rescued more than 30,000 Chinese citizens from Libya in 2011.

Beijing says it is not abandoning Yemen and that its embassy in the capital Sanaa will remain open.

This week the rebels pushed through to the heart of the port city using tanks and armoured vehicles, despite Saudi-led air strikes.

Shiite Houthi fighters set up a checkpoint in the Khor Maksar neighbourhood of Yemen's southern coastal city of Aden on 2 April, 2015.

Houthi fighters have set up checkpoints in Aden as they battle for control

A Yemeni man receives treatment at a hospital in the southern city of Aden on April 2, 2015

Heavy fighting in Aden has caused dozens of casualties

The Houthis have said their aim is to replace President Hadi’s government, which they accuse of being corrupt. They captured the president’s palace in Sanaa in January and established a transitional presidential council.

Gulf Arab states have accused Iran of backing the Houthis financially and militarily, though Iran has denied this.

Fighting in Yemen over the past two weeks has left more than 500 people have dead and some 1,700 wounded, UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos said.

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Yemen – who is fighting whom?

The Houthis: Zaidi Shia-led rebels from the north, who seized control of Sanaa last year and have since been expanding their control

President Hadi: Fled to Saudi Arabia after rebel forces advanced on his stronghold in the southern city of Aden

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula: Seen by the US as the most dangerous offshoot of al-Qaeda, AQAP opposes both the Houthis and President Hadi.

Islamic State: A Yemeni affiliate of IS has recently emerged, which seeks to eclipse AQAP

Failure ‘not an option for Saudis’

Yemen crisis: An Iranian-Saudi battleground?

Meeting the Houthis – and their enemies

The rise of Yemen’s Houthi rebels

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