Category Archives: Yemen

#Yemen: Iran Backed Houthi launch ballistic missile at Mecca

Yemen’s Houthi militia launched a ballistic missile toward Mecca on Thursday, the Saudi-led coalition intervening in Yemen’s civil war on behalf of the government said in a statement.

Coalition forces destroyed the missile 65 km (40 miles) from the holy city before it could do any damage, and retaliated against the launch site inside Yemen, said the statement, carried on the state news agency SPA. Mecca is home to the most sacred sites in Islam, including the Grand Mosque.

The Shi’ite Muslim Houthis confirmed the launch of a Burkan-1 ballistic missile into Saudi Arabia in a statement on their official news agency, but said it had been aimed at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, the kingdom’s busiest airport.

The six-member Gulf Cooperation Council denounced the missile attack.

Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed of the United Arab Emirates, a member of the coalition and the GCC, pointed the finger at Iran, which backs the Houthis.

“The Iranian regime is supporting a terrorist group that fires its rockets on Mecca, is this an Islamic regime as it claims?” he tweeted.

The coalition has been fighting Houthi rebels and forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, who control much of the north of Yemen including the capital Sanaa, since March 2015 to try to restore the internationally recognized president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi, now in exile.

(Reporting by Omar Fahmy and Ahmed Tolba in Cairo; Writing by Katie Paul and Rania El Gamal; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

ISIS ‘crucified Indian Catholic priest on Good Friday’ after capture in Yemen .@realdonaldtrump

An Indian Catholic priest was crucified by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) on Good Friday in Yemen, it has been claimed.

A Dubai-based prayer group with close ties to the missionary home in Aden where Father Tom Uzhunnallil was abducted earlier this month reported the priest’s death on its Arabic website.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna, referred to the claims in his Easter Sunday homily.

Asked about the reports on Austrian television news later on Sunday evening, the archbishop replied: “We hope that it’s not so, but we have to fear that it’s true”.

The Corpus Christi Dubai report appears to lend weight to earlier warnings that Isil were planning to crucify Father Uzhunnallil on Good Friday, in a grotesque imitation of the fate Christians believe Jesus Christ befell on the same day.

Fr Uzhunnallil, 56, was kidnapped on March 4 by gunmen from Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, the Aden missionary home where he had been working as a chaplain.

Sixteen people were killed in the raid.

Sister Sally, the order’s mother superior who survived the attack, claimed the gunmen were from Isil, and a neighbour reportedly witnessed militants driving away with Fr Uzhunnallil in a car.

Days later, the South Africa-based Franciscan Sisters of Siessen said on its Facebook page that it had been warned the priest could be crucified.

“Was informed that the Salesian priest, Father Tom who was kidnapped from the Missionaries of Charity Home in Yemen is being tortured and is going to be crucified on Good Friday. This calls for serious concerted prayers from all of us,” it read. The post was later deleted.

The latest reports come just days after Sushma Swaraj, India’s foreign minister, said the country was working to secure his release.

“Fr Tom Uzhunnallil – an Indian national from Kerala was abducted by a terror group in Yemen. We are making all efforts to secure his release,” she wrote on Twitter on Saturday.

She had earlier written: “Yemen is a conflict zone. We do not have embassy there. But we will spare no efforts to rescue Father Tom Uzhunnallil.”

The Indian government had received no further information on Monday evening. The Bangalore branch of the Salesian church, where Fr Uzhunnallil lived before travelling to Yemen, and the Indian chapter of the Missionaries of Charity had also not received any word on the priest’s fate.

8yo Yemen child dies at hands of 40-year-old husband on wedding night


An eight year-old child bride died in Yemen on her wedding night after suffering internal injuries due to sexual trauma. Human rights organizations are calling for the arrest of her husband, who was five times her age.

Al Nahar, Lebanon, reported that the death occurred in the tribal area of Hardh in northwestern Yemen, which borders Saudi Arabia. This brings even more attention to the already existing issue of forced child marriages in the Middle East.

“According to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), between 2011 and 2020, more than 140 million girls will become child brides. Furthermore, of the 140 million girls who will marry before the age of 18, 50 million will be under the age of 15.”

It is reported that over a quarter of Yemen’s young girls are married before the age of 15. Not only do they lose access to health and education, these child brides are commonly subjected to physical, emotional and sexual violence in their forced marriages.

One of the main issues is that there is currently no consistent established definition of a “child” that has been agreed upon worldwide.  This leaves various interpretations within countries and little protection for those who are affected.

Establishing this age limit is among the top priorities of groups like HRC which was responsible for publishing the 54-page report “How Come You Allow Little Girls to Get Married?”, documenting the lifelong damage to girls who are forced to marry at young ages.  Most pro age-limit organizations agree that 18 should be the legal age for marriage.

In February 2009, a law was created in Yemen that set the minimum age for marriage at 17. Unfortunately, it was repealed after more conservative lawmakers called it un-Islamic.