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Yemen retaliation

The Yemeni Army has released the details of its latest military operation against Saudi Arabia, coming in response to the kingdom’s escalating attacks and continued siege of the Arab country. The Yemeni army spokesman said a large number of drones and ballistic missiles were launched at military sites and other key locations in the Saudi cities of Abha, Jizan, Asir and capital Riyadh. Yahya Saree said the army also targeted the Aramco oil facilities in Jeddah. He called military sites the legitimate targets of the Yemeni army, and urged Saudi residents living near those areas to evacuate. Saree stressed that the Yemeni army would respond to aggression with escalation. On Monday, Saudi Arabia bombed Sana’a, the latest in over a hundred raids against Yemen in recent days.

US-Russia standoff

Tensions have ratcheted up between the US and Russia hours ahead of a virtual meeting between their leaders. Washington says Moscow will have to prepare for a stronger US military presence in Eastern Europe, should it move to attack Ukraine. A senior White House official has said Washington would give a positive response to Eastern European allies requesting additional US troops and military hardware, to counter any threat from Russia. He said Russia will face severe economic consequences in case of Ukraine's invasion. The Kremlin says it is not expecting any significant breakthrough in the upcoming talks between President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart, Joe Biden. The two leaders are set to hold a video call in the coming hours for a conversation that will include several issues. The White House says it is concerned over the Russian military buildup near Ukraine, warning that massive sanctions are on the way. 

US Olympics boycott

The US diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing is drawing an angry response from China, with its foreign ministry warning that Washington will pay a price for its miscalculations. The ministry says Washington’s plot to disrupt the international event will fail, and that Beijing is prepared to launch countermeasures. It warns that the decision would lead to a loss of US moral authority and credibility. The State Department has said that the US government officials will not be attending the Games, because of alleged human rights violations in China. The decision, though, will not affect American athletes, who will still compete in the Games. The standoff over the Olympics is adding to a long list of disputes between China and the US, including trade, Taiwan, the South China Sea, and the COVID-19 origins.

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