US Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to push for peace in Yemen after UN-brokered talks collapsed despite global concern over mounting civilian casualties. Kerry was to discuss a range of issues including Yemen Wednesday night with Saudi Arabia's powerful Deputy Crown Prince and Defence Minister Mohammed bin Salman, ahead of talks Thursday with King Salman.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will present proposals on ending Yemen's conflict and resuming peace talks in meetings with Saudi leaders over the next two days, a senior U.S. official said on Wednesday. As Kerry landed in Jeddah for the talks with Saudi leaders and other Gulf Arab states, the U.S. official said he would update them on U.S. meetings with Russia addressing military cooperation in Syria. Backing by the Saudis and other Gulf countries for the plan, which would see Washington share some intelligence with Moscow, is vital because of their support for opposition groups involved in Syria's civil war.
Turkish tanks and hundreds of opposition fighters thrust deep inside Syrian territory Wednesday in a lightning operation that within hours ousted Islamic State jihadists from a key Syrian border town. The air and ground offensive -- the most ambitious launched by Ankara in the Syria conflict -- made rapid progress towards Jarabulus with rebel fighters already proclaiming victory by the late afternoon just 14 hours after it started. "Jarabulus is completely liberated," Ahmad Othman, commander of the Sultan Mourad rebel group, told AFP from the scene, while another rebel spokesman said IS fighters had fled towards Al-Bab to the southwest.
Turkey launched its most ambitious operation of the Syrian conflict on Wednesday with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan saying it targeted the double threat from Islamic State extremists and Syrian Kurdish militias. Turkey says the air and ground operation dubbed "Euphrates Shield" will clear jihadists from the Syrian town of Jarabulus, which lies directly opposite the Turkish town of Karkamis. The operation was launched just days after Ankara appeared to soften its often-confrontational line on Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, whom Turkey wants to see removed.