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Battle for Ma'rib
The Yemeni army and its allied Ansarullah fighters have reportedly inflicted heavy casualties on Saudi-backed militias while they were attempting to re-capture the strategic region of Naja. According to local media, the army forced the militias to retreat from Naja which is located south of Ma’rib province. The region was liberated by the army and allied units on Friday after fierce clashes with Saudi-backed forces. Reports say at least 25 militants were killed and dozens of others injured as they tried to renew assault under the cover of Saudi airstrikes. Yemen has been devastated since Saudi Arabia and some of its regional allies launched a war on the country with aim of reinstating a friendly regime. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and millions have been displaced since then.

Israel crackdown condemned
Israel’s designation of six Palestinian civil society and human rights groups as terrorist organizations has sparked outrage inside and outside the occupied territories. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh strongly condemned the move. He said the Palestinian organizations worked with international institutions and thus their blacklisting is a serious violation of international law. Shtayyeh called on world bodies to denounce the designations and prevent their implementation. The spokesman for the Hamas resistance movement also blasted the Israeli move as terrorist behavior. Hazem Qassem said the move disregards international law and wages a war on Palestinians’ existence. The United Nations Human Rights Office in the Palestinian territories also expressed alarm.

North Korea-US tensions
North Korea has accused the United States of raising military tensions with China through its support for Taipei. Vice-Foreign Minister Pak Myong says such "reckless" backing plus the growing US military presence in the region pose a potential threat to North Korea. Pak believes the US is meddling in China’s internal affairs with its policy on Chinese Taipei. He has also slammed Washington for providing Taipei with upgraded weapons systems and military training. China considers the self-ruled island as parts of its territory and has vowed to bring it under control by force if necessary. In fresh inflammatory comments, US President Joe Biden has said that Washington is committed to defend Taipei if it comes under attack from China.

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