Turkey condemns deadly Houthi attack in Yemen

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Turkey on Jan. 19 condemned the attack of Iranian-backed Houthi rebels that claimed 79 lives people in Marib, western Yemen.

“We condemn the attack mounted by Houthi groups on a government-held military camp in Yemen which caused the death of 70 people and injured a large number of people,” said the Turkish Foreign Ministry in a statement.

In the statement, the ministry called on all parties to focus on humanitarian needs and avoid conflicts that might raise tensions in Yemen.

The ministry also summoned all parties to support U.N.-led political efforts.

Meanwhile, the U.N. on Jan. 19 said that the attack could derail a fragile political process that aims to calm the almost five-year-old war.

The attack on Jan. 18 evening hit a mosque in the al-Estiqbal military training camp in Marib, a city held by the internationally-recognized government of President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi, as people gathered for prayer, Reuters reported on Jan. 19.

The blast was from a ballistic missile launched by Houthi fighters, the army said in a statement. It killed 79 people and wounded 81.

The state news agency, carrying a report on the foreign minister, said more than 100 had been killed. The Houthi movement has not claimed responsibility.

Yemen has been mired in almost five years of conflict since the Iran-aligned Houthi movement ousted Hadi’s government from power in the capital Sanaa in late 2014, prompting intervention in 2015 by a Saudi-led military coalition in a bid to restore his government.

The United Nations has been trying to re-launch political negotiations to end the war and, separately, Riyadh has been holding informal talks with the Houthis since late September about de-escalation. This has seen violence decrease on a number of fronts in recent months.

On Jan. 19 a delegation of European Union ambassadors to Yemen was in Sanaa to call for better humanitarian access and an immediate end to the conflict.

Hadi, who resides in Saudi Arabia, said the military should be on high alert after the assault.

The Yemen war has killed more than 100,000 people and pushed millions to the brink of famine.

Hurriyet Daily News

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