Military exercise called off; Hamas leader in Moscow; Yemen Houthis seize a city

PANAGYURISHTE, (BM) – Your briefly report on March 3 in last twelve hours from

Joint US-Israeli military exercise mothballed due to coronavirus

The United States military and Israel Defense Forces called off a joint exercise that was due to be held in Israel over concerns stemming from the new coronavirus, according to officials from both countries.

The “Eagle Genesis” exercise between the IDF’s Ground Forces and US European Command (EUCOM) was set to include American paratroopers from the 173rd Airborne Brigade stationed in Italy, where there has been a significant outbreak of the virus among the general public. As of Monday, 52 people have died in Italy, where there was also a sharp jump in diagnosed cases over the weekend.

As a result of the viral outbreak, the Israeli Health Ministry blocked visitors from Italy — along with a number of other countries — and ordered Israelis returning from there to self-quarantine for 14 days.

“In light of instructions from the Health Ministry and the inclusion of Italy in the list of countries from which people arriving [in Israel] must be quarantined, it was decided to postpone the joint exercise between EUCOM and the Ground Forces,” the IDF said in a statement Monday.

A US military official also confirmed the cancellation to CNN.

Russian foreign minister meets Hamas leader in Moscow

Russia’s foreign minister discussed on Monday issues of mutual interest with Hamas political chief, Anadolu Agency reports.

The meeting between Sergey Lavrov and Ismail Haniyeh, which was held in Moscow, deliberated on the situation in Gaza Strip and inter-Palestinian reconciliation, the Russian Foreign Ministry said.

“Ways to restore Palestinian national unity on the political platform of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) were discussed in detail,” said a statement posted on the ministry’s website.

“Various aspects of the current situation around the Gaza Strip were also considered, including in the context of efforts to achieve a lasting and comprehensive Middle East settlement on an internationally recognized legal basis,” it added.

Last week Lavrov met Hussein al-Sheikh, a member of the Palestinian Fatah movement’s central committee, in the Russian capital.

Yemen Houthis seize strategic city bordering Saudi Arabia

Yemen’s Houthis have taken control of the city of Al-Hazm, the capital of Al-Jawf governorate, bordering Saudi Arabia, Anadolu reported military sources as saying yesterday.

The sources explained that the Houthis stormed the city and seized it after battles with government forces backed by Saudi Arabia.

According to the sources, the fighting resulted in deaths and injuries on both sides.

Houthi channels have reported that the entire Al-Jawf region is now in the group’s control.

The Yemeni ambassador to UNESCO, Muhammad Jumeh, blamed the city’s fall on “military and political leaders staying outside of Yemen and being engaged with side battles instead of defeating the coup”.

Maged al-Madhaji, executive director of the Sana’a Centre, a Yemeni think-tank, told AFP that the Houthis’ capture of Al-Hazm could be a game-changer.”Control of the capital of Al-Jawf could totally change the course of the war. Houthis have made an exceptional advance and are changing the balance” in their favour, he noted.


Read more: North Korea launched two missiles; Shells fired from Gaza; Haftar’s delegation in Syria

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Source: TTI, MEMO