Jan 19, 2020

Houthi attack on mosque in Yemeni training camp kills at least 79 troops

A Houthi supporter waves the Yemeni flag during an anti government protest in Sanaa. Photo: Mohammed Hamoud/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

A ballistic missile attack believed to have been carried out by Houthi rebels killed at least 79 troops and wounded 81 others at a mosque in a Yemeni training camp late Saturday, the AP reports.

The big picture: The training camp is located in the central province of Marib — an oil-rich area approximately 70 miles east of Sanaa, the Houthi-controlled capital. Marib is under the jurisdiction of the Saudi-led coalition, which is supported by the U.S.

Why it matters: The attacks marks a military escalation that followed a rare period of stability in Yemen's long-running civil war, which has caused one of the worst humanitarian crises on the planet.

  • Yemen's internationally-recognized president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Had, condemned the attack as an act of "blatant aggression" that showcases the Houthis' "unwillingness" to find peace.
  • A spokesperson for the Yemeni Armed Forces said the attack would "answered harshly," with coalition forces reporting Sunday that they launched "massive assaults" on Houthi targets northeast of the capital.

Go deeper: Iran's proxies in the Middle East

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Iraq base hosting U.S. military in Baghdad hit by "small rockets"

Protesters try to set fire to the outside fence of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, Dec. 31. Photo: Khalil Dawood/Xinhua/Bai Ping via Getty Images

"Small rockets" hit the Iraqi base hosting American and other troops in Baghdad's Green Zone early Sunday, a U.S. military spokesperson confirmed in a statement.

Details: The attack at the base hosting International Coalition for Operation Inherent Resolve troops occurred just before 3:30 a.m., said Col. Myles B. Caggins III. There were no casualties and an investigation has been opened into the incident, he added.

Go deeperArrowFeb 16, 2020 - World

No "imminent" threat cited in White House letter on killing Qasem Soleimani

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announces new sanctions on Iran on Jan. 10. Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump authorized killing top Iranian general Qasem Solemani in response to "an escalating series" of Iran-backed attacks on U.S. forces in the Middle East in previous months and to deter future Iranian attacks, the White House asserted to Congress on Friday.

Why it matters: The official reason for killing Soleimani contradicts the administration's original claim that Trump authorized the strike to disrupt an "imminent" attack against Americans in the Middle East.

Pentagon identifies 2 U.S. service members killed in Afghanistan shootout

A U.S. flag at a base in Afghanistan in November 2014. Photo: Wakil Koshar/AFP via Getty Images

Two American service members were killed and six others wounded in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday in a firefight, the U.S. military said in a statement to news outlets including Axios.

The latest: The two soldiers killed were named by the Defense Department Sunday as Sgt. Javier Jaguar Gutierrez, 28, and Sgt. Antonio Rey Rodriguez, 28. They were both posthumously promoted.

Go deeperArrowUpdated Feb 9, 2020 - World