UAE reopens Damascus embassy after seven years

The United Arab Emirates reopens its embassy in Damascus, the latest sign of efforts to bring the Syrian regime back into the Arab fold.

UAE reopens its embassy in Damascus

The United Arab Emirates reopens its embassy in Damascus, the latest sign of efforts to bring the Syrian regime back into the Arab fold. 1ST IMAGES

UAE pardons Briton sentenced to life for spying

The United Arab Emirates pardons a British researcher who was sentenced last week to life in prison for spying in a case that shocked Britain.

Wife of Briton jailed by UAE hopes for clemency release

The wife of a British researcher sentenced to life in prison in the United Arab Emirates on espionage charges tells AFP she is cautiously optimistic he could be freed.

Wife of UK student jailed in UAE received ‘assurances’ from Hunt

The wife of a British scholar who was sentenced to life for spying in the United Arab Emirates says Britain’s Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has assured her he is “doing everything in his power” to secure Matthew Hedges’ release. SOUNDBITE

Hodeida Battle risks tipping Yemen into famine

(4 Oct 2018) With American backing, the United Arab Emirates has resumed an all-out offensive aimed at capturing Yemen’s most vital port, Hodeida. Thousands of civilians are caught in the fighting and at risk of famine. (Oct. 4)

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Yemen’s Bloody War Could Get A Lot Worse (HBO)

At least 450 Yemenis have been killed in the first nine days of August, making it one of the bloodiest periods since the war broke out three and a half years ago. And it could get a lot worse.

An international coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, and backed by the United States, is preparing to retake the strategic port city of Hodeidah. The operation could prove disastrous for Yemen’s most vulnerable: Seventy percent of all of Yemen’s goods enter into the country through Hodeidah, so a protracted battle could quickly turn into a humanitarian disaster, which prevents millions of people from receiving food and aid.

The UN is desperately trying to stop this attack and restart failed peace talks in the process. Its Special Envoy, Martin Griffiths, is hoping to bring all sides together in Geneva on September 6.

Yet, government troops continue to advance towards the city.

“It’s going to be a fierce battle,” 23 year-old fighter Saeed, told VICE News. “The Houthis have big military capabilities — but we are advancing towards Hodeidah.”

VICE News embedded with Yemeni troops as they prepared to retake a crucial Houthi supply route, just 90 minutes from the city. But even a seemingly straightforward operation like this one descended into chaos. It wasn’t long into the advance that Saeed and several men found themselves cut off from their convoy, trapped by Houthi sniper fire. They were forced to run for cover before eventually making their escape.

“They must’ve known about our attack,” he says, as mortar fire rages around us.

A battle in Hodeidah city itself would be one of the deadliest in a war that has already claimed more than ten thousand lives and thrust 23 million more into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis . More than 120,000 civilians have fled the city in anticipation. It’s easy to see why. Not long after government forces started their push, ambulances began rolling up outside the one semi-functioning hospital in the area.

Ten-year-old Mohammed becomes the first civilian to be caught up in the crossfire. Ali Jalmoud says his son was playing in their house with a Houthi mortar hit. Dr. Mahdi Ba-Kather is the one remaining doctor in a local hospital and he’s struggling to cope with the influx of casualties. Mohammed has several shrapnel wounds — one’s hit an artery and staff are trying desperately to control the bleeding.

“We’re tying it tight to stop it” Dr. Ba-Kather explained to Mohammed as he uses gauze as a makeshift tourniquet. Lacking basic supplies or a qualified surgeon, all he can do is triage Mohammed and send him to another hospital three hours away in the hopes he survives the journey.

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Qatar takes standoff with UAE to UN’s top court

Qatar Wednesday launches an urgent case before the UN’s highest court against United Arab Emirates, accusing it of human rights violations after its Gulf neighbours cut all ties with Doha last year. During a three-day hearing at the International Court of Justice, judges will hears arguments by Doha’s lawyers, with the UAE to respond on Thursday. Both will talk on Friday. 1ST IMAGES

The battle for Hodeida

Videographic locating the port of Hodeida in Yemen. Pro-government Yemen military forces supported by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates entered Hodeida airport Tuesday. VIDEOGRAPHICS