Eye on Extremism, December 7, 2016

Counter Extremism Project

NPR: Tech Companies Announce Plan To Identify Extremist Content Online

“Four major tech companies – Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and YouTube – say they’re going to work together to identify extremist content. It’s a concrete though limited move to get terrorist propaganda off the world’s leading Internet platforms. Hany Farid helped to build that technology. He’s a computer scientist at Dartmouth and an advisor to the Counter Extremism Project. The nonprofit’s been trying to get the internet companies to take action. And now, finally, Farid notes, they are changing their tune.”

Gov Info Security: US Tech Firms Promise Terror Content Crackdown

“Numerous technology firms, including social networks and cloud providers, as well as governments and law enforcement agencies use the free service to help automatically track and remove such content, wherever it gets posted. The service is reportedly also effective at matching images even when they have been manipulated or cropped. Responding to the new announcement from Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter, Farid tells the Guardian that he and the Counter Extremism Project, a not-for-profit organization, have been in discussions with Facebook and Microsoft since January to adapt PhotoDNA to battle extremist content.”

HITC Tech: Facebook, Twitter, Google And Microsoft Team Up To Tackle Extremist Content

“Earlier this year Hany Farid, the computer scientist who helped develop PhotoDNA, proposed a sister program for extremist content. He teamed up with the Counter Extremism Project to develop a system that could proactively flag extremist photos, videos and audio clips as they are posted online. ‘We are happy to see this development. It’s long overdue,’ he told the Guardian, explaining that he has been in conversations with Facebook and Microsoft since January. Despite welcoming the announcement he remained cautious, particularly because of the lack of an impartial body to monitor the database.”

Pure Content: Tech Giants Share Info To Remove Extremist Content

“Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter are going to work together to identify and tackle any extremist content that is posted on their platforms. The tech giants revealed in a statement that there is no place for videos and images that promote terrorism online and vowed to build a shared database to support their efforts. The new information-sharing initiative will use unique digital fingerprints called ‘hashes’ for extremist content, which will enable each of the companies involved to identify and remove identical clips, photos and posts from its own network. They said that the collaboration would play a key role in curbing the urgent global issue of terrorism-related content on the web.”

Washington Post: How Trump Should Renegotiate The Iran Deal

“Like President-elect Donald Trump, we vigorously opposed the Iran nuclear agreement, so we sympathize with his promise to “dismantle” it. But we hope that he and his administration will first try to aggressively enforce and then renegotiate the deal beyond the confines of the nuclear issue to make it better for us and the world. Before such renegotiations begin, the Trump administration could strengthen its hand by closely consulting with our allies in Iran’s neighborhood — Israel and the Arab states. They were missing from the group that developed and consented to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), as the agreement is formally known. That was wrong, for two main reasons: because the Arab states and Israel are our allies and the Iranians are not, and because the countries in the region have the greatest equities at stake and should have a significant voice in the outcome.”

Reuters: Syrian Troops Enter Aleppo’s Old City, Poised For War’s Biggest Victory

“Syria’s army and allies pushed into rebel-held parts of Aleppo’s Old City on Tuesday, a monitoring group said, looking closer than ever to achieving their most important victory of the five-year-old civil war by driving rebels out of their last urban stronghold. A rebel official said they would never abandon Aleppo, after reports that U.S. and Russian diplomats were preparing to discuss the surrender and evacuation of insurgents from territory they have held for years. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said talks with the United States on a rebel withdrawal would begin in Geneva as soon as Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning. But sources familiar with the plans later told Reuters no talks would take place this week in the Swiss city.”

NBC News: ISIS Bombs, Mines Pose ‘Unprecedented’ Threat In Liberated Areas Near Mosul

“Hamid Merza Zorab throws his hands up in desperation as he surveys the ruins of his home, occupied by ISIS for more than two years and destroyed in the battle against the militants. A crater in the ground is all that remains of the living room where the family once hosted neighbors and relatives for tea. Nearby, a crumbling stairway rises from the rubble, leading to nowhere. Darkening storm clouds gather above where the bedroom should have been. ‘It belonged to my son,’ says the 73-year-old, before suddenly turning away from the reporter to suppress a sob. ‘Day and night I remember him.’”

New York Times: Jubilant Libyan Militias Declare Victory Over ISIS In Surt

“Libyan fighters declared victory over the Islamic State at its coastal stronghold of Surt on Tuesday, ending the extremist group’s ambitions for a caliphate on the southern shores of the Mediterranean. “The battle is finally over,” said Reda Eissa, a spokesman for the coalition of militias from nearby Misurata that led the assault. “Our fighters are ecstatic. We still have to comb through the city and make sure we got them all, but we are so, so happy.” The Libyan fighters’ apparent success was another defeat for the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as its plans for a militant empire buckle on multiple fronts across the Middle East. In Surt, the Misuratan militias finally ousted the remaining Islamic State fighters from a cluster of houses after a grueling six-month assault that pitted suicide bombers and snipers against Libyan forces backed by American warplanes.”

Voice Of America: Israel Casts Wary Eye On IS Threat On Syrian Border

“As civil war grinds on in Syria, neighboring Israel has been largely uninvolved – even as the Islamic State (IS) said it considers Israel a prime target. But a recent attack launched into northern Israel from Syria by militants affiliated with IS have heightened fears in Israel and stirred concerns that IS may try to lure Israel into the broader Middle East conflict, analysts say. Khalid Ibn al-Walid Army – an Islamist group in southern Syria that pledged allegiance to IS this year – opened machine gun and mortar fire last week on an Israeli military patrol. The Israeli military responded with an airstrike that killed four Islamist fighters.”

Fox News: House Report: US Facing Biggest Islamic Terror Threat Since 9/11

“The United States faces its highest threat from Islamist terrorists since 9/11 and much of that stems from those radicalized at home, according to the House Homeland Security Committee’s December Terror Threat Snapshot released Tuesday. What’s more, the report said, the threat to the United States and Europe will persist in 2017. Throughout 2016, ISIS conducted 62 attacks worldwide, injuring 732 people and killing 215 in several countries, including the United States, France, and Belgium. According to the report, ISIS’ shift in messaging from joining the jihad in Syria and Iraq to carrying out attacks in fighters’ home countries is likely to accelerate the trend of at-home radicalization. At the same time, terrorists are also relying on refugee programs, porous borders, and well-known migration routes to gain access to various countries throughout the West.”

NBC News: Inside The Secret Rescue Of Yazidi Sex Slaves From ISIS Captors

“It was dark as the car sped along a small road on the outskirts of the embattled Iraqi city of Mosul. The car was driving fast, but not so fast as to draw attention. That was essential. The lives of the two men in the front seat depended on their ability to keep a low profile and pass through undetected. In the passenger seat, Khaleel Al-Dhaki was focused on the secret mission he was leading to rescue a Yazidi woman and her child, both of whom were taken by ISIS and dragged into Mosul. “This kind of operation can’t be done during daytime,” he later told NBC News. “We are basically going in there to kidnap them back from ISIS.”

United States

Associated Press: The Latest: Kerry Hopes To Revive Syria Talks

“U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he hopes to convince Syria’s warring factions and their backers to return to the negotiating table before the besieged city of Aleppo is destroyed. Kerry said Tuesday that he is due to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Hamburg, Germany on Thursday and would try to find a way forward. He said he hopes Russia will ‘understand the imperative of getting to that table, having the negotiation and of not inflaming passions more with the total destruction of Aleppo.’ Earlier Tuesday, Lavrov said talks with Washington are not working and alleged that the United States wants a pause in the fighting so rebels can re-arm.”

NBC News: Man Arrested Near Rockefeller Plaza With Gas Can, Matches

“A man carrying a gasoline can, matches and a book called ‘Son of Hamas’ has been charged with making a terroristic threat after he was arrested near the famed Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, authorities told NBC News on Tuesday. The man was arrested Monday after officers followed him to an intersection near Rockefeller Plaza, a police official said. Officers were alerted to him by a Fox News employee who reported that a man, later identified as Yuriy Alterman, 38, of the Bronx, was yelling anti-police slurs and throwing a bottle, police said.”

Syria

Reuters: Kremlin Upbraids West For ‘Modest’ Response To Syria Hospital Strike

“The Kremlin regrets that the United States and other countries have reacted in a low key way to the shelling of a Russian military field hospital in Aleppo, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Tuesday. ‘We regret that the world community, including our partners in the United States, are reacting very modestly to the tragedy that unfolded with the attack on the field hospital,’ Peskov told a conference call with reporters.”

Iraq

Reuters: Iraqi Army Launches Fresh Assault Toward Mosul Center

“Iraqi army units surged toward the center of Mosul on Tuesday in an attack from the city’s southeastern edges that could give fresh impetus to the seven-week-old battle for Islamic State’s Iraqi stronghold. Campaign commander Lieutenant General Abdul Ameer Rasheed Yarallah was quoted by Iraqi television as saying troops had entered Salam Hospital, less than a mile (1.5 km) from the Tigris river running through the city center. If confirmed, that would mark a significant advance by the Ninth Armoured Division, which had been tied up for more than a month in close-quarter combat with Islamic State on the southeastern fringes of the city.”

The Wall Street Journal: Iraq’s Christians Turn To Militia For Protection

“Two years ago, Mubarak Tuwaya fled when Islamic State militants made a triumphant charge through northern Iraq. Now he is back in his hometown, wearing the uniform of an Iraqi militia that is helping drive out the extremists—and aiming to secure a place for Christians and other local minorities in Iraq’s future. Capt. Tuwaya’s U.S.-trained force is made up of about 500 troops and 300 unpaid volunteers, most of them Assyrian Christians from Hamdaniya, a district east of Mosul that is home to Qaraqosh, Iraq’s largest Christian town. The Iraqi army’s 9th Division captured the district with the militia’s support in late October, in the early days of the current U.S-backed campaign to retake Mosul, the Sunni extremist group’s last major stronghold in the country.”

CBS News: What Led To The Freeing Of 226 Christians From ISIS

“The millions in ransom money came in dollar by dollar, euro by euro from around the world. The donations, raised from church offerings, a Christmas concert, and the diaspora of Assyrian Christians on Facebook, landed in a bank account in Iraq. Its ultimate destination: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). Deep inside Syria, a bishop worked around the blurred edges of international law to save the lives of more than 200 people — one of the largest groups of hostages yet documented in ISIS’ war in Syria and Iraq. It took more than a year, and videotaped killings of three captives, before all the rest were freed.”

Turkey

Reuters: Turkey Detains Adviser To Main Opposition Party Chairman In Post-Coup Probe: Hurriyet

“Turkish authorities on Tuesday detained an adviser to the head of the main opposition party over suspected links to the July coup, the Hurriyet newspaper said, the first time someone close to the senior ranks of the secular opposition has been targeted. Fatih Gursul was detained on suspicion of having used the ByLock smartphone messaging app, Hurriyet said. The government says ByLock was used as a communication tool by supporters of the Muslim cleric whom it blames for the failed putsch. At a news conference in the parliament building, the opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) Deputy Chairman Ozgur Ozel said that Gursul was an unpaid senior adviser to the head of the party, Kemal Kilicdaroglu.”

The Guardian: Turkey Alleges US Charter Schools Are A Front For Man Accused In Failed Coup

“With brightly coloured halls and gadget-filled classrooms where students work on science projects from sound waves to hovercrafts, the Harmony Science Academy in Houston is like any other science and technology-focused high school in the US. But Harmony’s flagship campus in Houston has become an improbable battleground in a spat between Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and a dissident Turkish cleric. The Turkish government has hired an international law firm to investigate a large chain of charter schools in Texas and across the country, which it alleges is connected to a dissident Turkish cleric – and one-time political ally of Erdoğan – Fethullah Gülen.”

Reuters: Thousands Of People Still Displaced By Violence In SE Turkey: Amnesty

“Thousands of people are still unable to return to their homes in a district of mainly Kurdish southeast Turkey one year after authorities imposed a round-the-clock curfew in an attempt to crush Kurdish militants, Amnesty International said on Tuesday. Of an estimated 500,000 people driven from their homes by Turkish security operations over the past year, the residents of Sur, a UNESCO world heritage site in the city of Diyarbakir, have been particularly hard hit, Amnesty said in a report. ‘A year after a round-the-clock curfew was imposed in Sur, thousands of people remain displaced from their homes, struggling to make ends meet and facing an uncertain future in an increasingly repressive atmosphere,’ said John Dalhuisen, Amnesty’s Europe Director.”

Yemen

Associated Press: 60 Feared Drowned In Yemen After Boat Disappears

“The Yemeni government says 60 nationals are feared drowned in the Arabian Sea, after their vessel went missing for days. In a statement, the internationally recognized government said Tuesday the vessel disappeared some 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the remote Socotra island five days ago. It was heading from the southern province of Hadramawt, carrying women and children among others. Another statement by the governor of Hadramawt Ahmed ben-Break said that two were rescued and that the search is still ongoing. The government has urged the Saudi-led coalition — which is backing the government in its fight against the Houthi rebels — for help. Flights between Yemeni cities and the island were suspended since March 2015 when the Saudi-led coalition began its campaign, by closing the air space of Yemen.”

Reuters: Yemen Says U.N. Roadmap To End Conflict Sets ‘Dangerous Precedent’

“Yemen on Tuesday appeared to reject a U.N. plan to end its civil war, saying the roadmap would create a ‘dangerous international precedent’ by legitimizing the rebellion against the country’s internationally recognized government. Yemen’s position deals a major setback to international efforts to end the 20-month conflict, which has unleashed a humanitarian disaster and killed more than 10,000 people. A Dec. 6 letter to the Security Council from Yemen’s U.N. mission, seen by Reuters, called U.N. envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh’s plan a ‘free incentive to the Houthi-Saleh rebels, legitimizing their rebellion, their agenda.’”

Saudi Arabia

Newsweek: Saudi Court Sentences 15 To Death For Involvement In Iran Spy Cell

“A Saudi court sentenced 15 people to death on Tuesday for their alleged involvement in a spy cell working for the Gulf Kingdom’s Shia rival Iran, according to state media. The court in Riyadh also handed down jail sentences between six months and 25 years for 15 others, Saudi newspaper Alriyadh newspaper reported on its website, according to AFP news agency. Of the 32 suspects, the court only acquitted two. They were all Saudi nationals, apart from one Iranian and one Afghan. None of the suspects were identified, and Iranian authorities have yet to comment on the case. All of the defendants bar one were arrested in 2013.”

Egypt

Reuters: Egypt Security Forces Kill Three Gunmen In Raid On Armed Group

“Egyptian security forces killed three gunmen on Tuesday, the interior ministry said, in a raid on a hideout used by what it described as an armed wing of the Muslim Brotherhood. It said in a statement on Facebook that automatic weapons were found in the house in the southern province of Assiut, which was used by a recently emerged armed group called Hasm. Hasm claimed responsibility in September for an assassination attempt on a senior prosecutor, saying it was in revenge for mass death sentences against political prisoners. Egyptian judges have issued death sentences against hundreds of Muslim Brotherhood supporters since mid-2013, when President Mohamed Mursi, a member of the group, was overthrown by the army and immediately arrested.”

BBC: Migrant Crisis: Europol To Investigate Egypt Mass Drowning

“The European policing agency Europol is planning to investigate what is believed to be the biggest loss of a migrant boat in 2016, following a Reuters-BBC Newsnight investigation. More than 500 people are thought to have died in the sinking on 9 April, but there has been no official inquiry. Newsnight has established that the boat set sail from Egypt – not Libya, as the UNHCR stated at the time. The head of Europol, Rob Wainwright, said the case was ‘uncomfortable’. He welcomed the Reuters-BBC Newsnight investigation and promised ‘to look at it again’ given ‘the absence of any clear answers’.”

Middle East

The Times Of Israel: In Gaza, 2 Wounded As Hamas Clashes With Hardliners

“A police officer and a youth were hospitalized on Tuesday after Hamas forces clashed with hard-line Islamists in the Gaza Strip, a medical source and witnesses said. Both men suffered bullet wounds during an attempt by Gaza security forces to arrest two men from a Salafist group, followers of an ultra-conservative form of Islam, a witness said. The young man, believed to be a Salafist, was in serious condition, while the policeman’s condition was not life-threatening, the medical source said. The witness said a grenade was thrown at security forces raiding a house in Al-Fukhari in the southern Gaza Strip, sparking clashes.”

The Jerusalem Post: IDF Prepares For Terrorists On Motorcycles During Military Exercise

“A week after Hamas held a large-scale exercise in the Gaza Strip, hundreds of IDF soldiers participated in a drill along the Gaza border on Monday night. The 11-hour exercise, which began at 2:00 AM under the command of Brig.-Gen. Yehuda Fuchs of the Gaza Division, saw Southern Command forces train in border communities as well as in large southern cities such as Ashkelon, Netivot and Ofakim in preparation for another possible war with Hamas and terrorist attacks emanating from the coastal enclave. According to the IDF, the exercise was meant to test forces’ preparedness in regards to sudden, surprising terrorist infiltrations through terrorist tunnels into populated Israeli territory in the South of the country.”

The Jerusalem Post: Were The Israeli Fires Arson Terror Claims Premature And Exaggerated?

“As wildfires threatened Israel last week, rhetoric linking arson to terrorism heated up. For about a week, fires across the country burned huge swaths of land, destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses, and forced tens of thousands of people to flee. Dozens were injured, though few seriously. As the blazes raged, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said several times that they were set by arsonists and amounted to acts of terrorism. He and other ministers in his government pledged to work to revoke the residency of those found guilty — a threat typically reserved for Arab Israelis.”

Libya

Deutsche Welle: Russia Seeks To Influence In Libya

“Hifter visited Moscow to meet with Russian Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov, seeking a potential arms deal. In return, rumor has it that Moscow would receive permission to build a military base in Libya, granting it greater leverage to exert political influence on the country. A deal would also likely be a game changer for Hifter, who seeks to take back the country from Islamist militants. Moscow thus far has denied allegations of going forward with any deal. Libya has been split into two rival governments: one based in Tripoli and the other based in the eastern city of Tobruk. The government in Tripoli is backed by the United Nations, while the government in Tobruk supports Hifter. In December 2015, a unity government, called the Government of National Accord (GNA) was founded. The GNA is the latest political solution promoted by the UN to end the civil war which began in 2014.”

BBC: Libya Conflict: IS ‘Ejected’ From Stronghold Of Sirte

“Libyan forces are hunting down the last Islamic State (IS) jihadists in the city of Sirte, after ousting them from their former bastion. The fighters are said to be ‘hiding in fewer than 10 houses’ in the seafront district of Al-Giza al-Bahriya. The pro-unity government force announced its full control of Sirte on Monday, after the last IS-controlled area fell to the UN-backed fighters. However, a spokesman has told the BBC they are not declaring victory yet. The operation’s Ahmed Hadia told the BBC: ‘They’ve now taken control of the last area, but that does not mean military operations have ended.’”

Nigeria

Voice Of America: Protection Crisis In NE Nigeria Turning Into Humanitarian Crisis

“Nigerian and U.N. officials say they can prevent the humanitarian crisis gripping northeast Nigeria from spinning out of control if the international community responds quickly to their plea for support. As part of its multi-billion dollar humanitarian appeal for 2017, the United Nations is asking for more than $1 billion to meet the needs of nearly seven million victims of the Boko Haram insurgency in northeast Nigeria. This is more than double the 2016 appeal. Nigerian National Planning and Budget Minister of State Zainab Ahmed says the request for more money is due to the military’s success in recovering communities that had been held by the militants.”

United Kingdom

Associated Press: UK Man Found Guilty In Case Linked To Brussels Bomb Suspect

“A British man was found guilty Tuesday of providing cash to a key suspect in the deadly Brussels and Paris bombings in a case that linked England to the Islamic State group attacks in Europe. Zakaria Boufassil was convicted of ‘engaging in conduct in preparation of acts of terrorism’ by providing 3,000 pounds ($3,700) to bombing suspect Mohamed Abrini at a secret meeting in Birmingham, England. Abrini is the ‘man in the hat’ seen on video footage moments before the March 22 bombings at the Brussels airport that killed 16 people. He also is wanted in the multiple attacks in Paris on Nov. 13, 2015 that claimed 130 victims.”

Germany

The New York Times: Angela Merkel Calls For Ban On Full-Face Veils In Germany

“To loud applause, Chancellor Angela Merkel told her party members on Tuesday that Germany should ban full-face veils ‘wherever legally possible’ and that it would not tolerate any application of Shariah law over German justice. Accepting her party’s nomination as its candidate for another four-year term, the chancellor used the moment to broaden her stance on banning the veil, trying to deflect challenges from far-right forces that have made some of their deepest gains since World War II. In welcoming nearly one million asylum seekers to Germany a year ago, Ms. Merkel emerged as a powerful voice for tolerance across a Europe gripped by anxiety over waves of arriving migrants and fears of terrorism.”

ISIS

New Arab: Oil Deal Between Assad Regime And ISIS

“Informed sources revealed that a few days ago, the regime of Bashar Assad finalized an agreement to buy petroleum from regions controlled by the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). The petroleum is transported across areas dominated by ISIS in exchange for an estimated commission of 2% of the crude-oil price. The fees are estimated at up to $60 per ton. A source familiar with the details of the deal was quoted as saying: “Assad and the Democratic Union have agreed, under the auspices of the Russian regime, initially to transfer 100,000 tons of crude oil. They will subsequently agree on additional quantities {of petroleum} in the future. The transportation of crude oil actually began with a first shipment on Monday to the regime-affiliated Homs refinery.”

Muslim Brotherhood

Elbalad: Egypt: Recommendation To Invalidate Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee Decisions

“{Egypt’s} Supreme Constitutional Court, headed by Judge Abdel Wahab Abdel Razek, decided to hear the case filed by the Governor of the Central Bank to determine which judicial body is competent to oversee decisions made by the Muslim Brotherhood Asset Freeze Committee. The Court also aims to resolve the contradiction between the rulings issued by the Administrative Justice Court and the Court for Urgent Matters concerning the Committee’s decisions. The hearing has been set for January 14th, 2017. For its part, the Supreme Administrative Court’s State Commissioners Authority recommended implementing rulings issued by the Administrative Court to revoke the Brotherhood Asset Committee’s decisions, and not to respect the rulings issued by the Urgent Matters Court in support of the Committee’s decisions.”

The Seventh Day: Egypt Releases Suspects In The “Hassan Malek’s Dollars” Case In Connection With The Leading Brotherhood Businessman

“North Cairo Criminal Court, presided over by Judge Shaaban al-Shami, accepted appeals by defendants in Case No. 721 of 2015 publicly known as Muslim Brotherhood businessman “Hassan Malek’s dollars.” The defendants were released pending further investigations by the state security prosecutor. Judicial sources confirmed that the Supreme State Security Prosecution appealed the Court’s decision and a hearing date will be set shortly. The Prosecution accused the defendants in this case, topped by Muslim Brotherhood leader Hassan Malek, of harming the country’s national economy by collecting foreign currency and smuggling it abroad. According to the Prosecution, it seems that the Brotherhood approached businessmen who were not previously known to be affiliated with the group, to exploit their activity in the market and complete what Malek started by wreaking havoc on the national economy.”

Al-Qaeda

Elnass Welshorta: Al Qaeda Sabotages A Pipeline For Gas Exports In Yemen

“Local officials disclosed that today Al-Qaeda militants blew up Yemen’s only pipeline for exporting gas. This is yet another blow to the decrepit but vital infrastructure of this war-torn country which has been contending with 20 months of fighting. The officials added that the explosion occurred in a remote desert area at al-Oqlah in the Shabwa province, located in Yemen’s south. The explosion cuts off delivery between Marib province, the center of gas production, and Balhaf gas export terminal on the Arabian Sea.”

Houthi

Gulfeyes: Houthis Introduce Program To Solve Economic Crisis

“The so-called Government of National Salvation, composed of Houthi members and leaders loyal to the Yemen’s ousted president Ali Saleh, introduced its program to the Parliament in Sanaa on Tuesday. The session was attended by the majority of government ministers and by Speaker Yahia el Raei, a loyalist of the ousted president, who noted that he would stand up to the government should it mishandle the current situation. The Houthi government’s 16-page program is aimed at strengthening Yemeni military capabilities and addressing the harm caused by what it called “the aggression.” Other items {in the program} deal with the economic situation, the liquidity crisis and political issues, declared the Houthis’ self-appointed prime minister, Abdul Aziz Bin Habtoor.”

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