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所属教程:In the News 更新:03-28
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From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.

Yemen Foreign Minister Riyadh Yasin said the Houthirebels should weaken after two days of airstrikes from a coalition of Arab countries, led by Saudi Arabia.

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The coalition of 10 countries, including five Gulf kingdoms, is trying to bringYemen’s internationally recognized government back to power. Militaryofficials said the coalition airstrikes targeted the northern province of Saada,home of the Houthi rebels. Other targets included military bases in and aroundthe Yemen capital of Sana’a held by rebel forces.

Saudi officials agreed that the first phase of the bombing campaign wassuccessful. However, a Saudi defense ministry adviser, Ahmad Bin HassanAsiri, said a ground offensive might also be necessary.

Yemen has increasingly sunk into violence anddisorder since a popular uprising removed President AliAbdullah Saleh from power in 2012. The Houthis arenow allied with Mr. Saleh and have advancedthroughout the country.

Last September, the Houthi rebels had agreed to sharepower with President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi afterthey seized the capital, Sana’a. The latest round offighting started when the Houthis chased after Hadi who had fled to thesouthern city of Adan.

The United States, Britain, France and Japan closed their embassies inYemen last month because of security concerns. A statement by the U.S.State Department released last week said the U.S. government is temporarilymoving its workers from Yemen in coordination with the government there.

The Houthis are Shi’ite Muslims and are supported by Iran. A majority ofYemenis, however, are Sunni Muslims. The situation has become anotherpoint of sectarian conflict between Shi’ite and Sunni Muslims who haveopposed each other in several Mideast countries including Iraq.

Iran denies its role in supporting the Houthis. It also denounced the Saudi-ledoffensive in Yemen. Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said onFriday the airstrikes should stop. He said the actions would only cost lives.Mr. Zarif called for dialogue and national reconciliation in Yemen. Theconflict in Yemen happens as Iran is negotiating with the U.S. on its nuclearprogram.

Rebel leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi also criticized Saudi Arabia and the UnitedStates. He accused the U.S. of providing intelligence support for theoffensive.

Meanwhile, Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has fled the city ofAdan and is now in the Saudi capital Riyadh. Mr. Hadi is expected to attend ameeting of Arab leaders in the Egyptian town of Sharm el-Sheikh during theweekend.

And that is In the News from VOA Learning English.

I’m Bob Doughty.

This story is based on reports from Mike Richman in Washington and EdYeranian in Cairo. Mario Ritter wrote it for VOA Learning English. Hai Do was the editor.

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Words in the News

phase - n. a part or step in a process : one part in a series of related eventsor actions

sectarian - adj. relating to religious or political sects and the differencesbetween them

reconciliation - n. the act of causing two people or groups to become friendlyagain after an argument or disagreement

dialogue - n. a discussion or series of discussions that two groups orcountries have in order to end a disagreement

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