DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Saudi Arabia's special forces captured the leader of the Islamic State's branch in Yemen during a raid on a house that was under surveillance, a Saudi military statement said Tuesday, dealing a blow to the extremist group, which has taken advantage of the country's turmoil to launch devastating attacks. The IS group, like al-Qaida, expanded and recruited amid Yemen's civil war to further its reach in the southern tip of the Arabian Peninsula. A spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition at war in Yemen, Col. Turki al-Maliki, said the June 3 operation that led to the arrest of Yemen's IS leader, known by his moniker as Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, lasted just 10 minutes. Also captured in the raid was the group's chief financial operator in Yemen and other suspects who were not named, the statement said. The statement did not say where the men are now being held or where in Yemen the raid occurred.
Health workers conducted a house-to-house vaccination campaign in Sanaa, Yemen, on Feb. 20. Health workers recently fanned across Yemen to vaccinate millions of children against polio, one of the disease risks in a country immersed in conflict. In Yemen, forces loyal to the internationally backed Yemeni government are battling Houthi rebels and their supporters. The conflict is making the already poor country even more vulnerable to infectious diseases with overcrowding in areas and breakdowns in the health system. "In the last two years, more children have died from preventable diseases than those killed in the violence," said UNICEF Representative in Yemen Meritxell Relano.
Yemeni officials claim that the Jewish artifacts belong in Yemen. A century ago, Yemen boasted one of the largest Jewish populations in the world. But wars, terrorism, and violence targeting this minority forced most of them to flee for their lives, with many settling in the United States or Israel. When Jews fled Yemen, they took along their highly-valued religious items and artifacts. One such item is a Torah Scroll, believed to be hundreds of years old, that was smuggled out of Yemen to Israel by the family of Manny Dahari.
For the first time in the country's history, Yemen has entered a film into the Academy Awards competition in the category of best foreign language film. It was announced last week that the dramatic feature film, I Am Nojoom: Age 10 And Divorced, would be among 85 entries vying for the Oscar. "I was happy to hear the news, even though I have no expectations whatsoever," director Khadija al-Salami told Al Jazeera over the phone from Canada, where she was promoting the film. "It is a tough competition, but let's hope this news at least gives war-torn Yemen some positivity and encourages young Yemeni filmmakers to dream big." Shot in 2013, prior to the ongoing war in Yemen, and released in 2014, I Am Nojoom is Salami's debut drama feature film.
This is a translation of an analysis on Yemen published in cooperation with the Al Jazeera Studies Center. Yemen's southern governorates are currently witnessing political and security unrest after Aden's sacked governor, Aidarous al-Zubaidi, announced the formation of a transitional council for that region. This development was viewed by many analysts as a new step towards the process of separating south Yemen from its north. Such a move is not new in southern Yemen. The Southern Movement, also known as al-Hirak al-Janoubi, calls for the separation of southern Yemen.