US Does Not Want to See Military Operations in Northwest Syria 

A Türkiye-backed Syrian fighter sits at a position on the outskirts of the town of Marea, in the northern Aleppo countryside, along the frontline with areas held by the SDF, on December 6, 2022. (AFP)
A Türkiye-backed Syrian fighter sits at a position on the outskirts of the town of Marea, in the northern Aleppo countryside, along the frontline with areas held by the SDF, on December 6, 2022. (AFP)
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US Does Not Want to See Military Operations in Northwest Syria 

A Türkiye-backed Syrian fighter sits at a position on the outskirts of the town of Marea, in the northern Aleppo countryside, along the frontline with areas held by the SDF, on December 6, 2022. (AFP)
A Türkiye-backed Syrian fighter sits at a position on the outskirts of the town of Marea, in the northern Aleppo countryside, along the frontline with areas held by the SDF, on December 6, 2022. (AFP)

The United States does not want Türkiye to pursue military attacks in northwest Syria, even if it recognizes Türkiye’s right to defend itself, White House national security spokesman John Kirby said on Wednesday. 

Türkiye has ramped up its shelling and air strikes on northern Syria in recent weeks and has said it is preparing for a possible ground invasion against Syrian Kurdish fighters that it dubs terrorists but who make up the bulk of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF). 

"We don't want to see military operations conducted in northwest Syria that are going to put civilians at greater risk than they already are, put in peril our troops and our personnel in Syria, or our counter ISIS mission," Kirby told reporters. 

The SDF, which helped defeat ISIS in Syria, said on Friday it had stopped all joint counterterrorism operations with the United States and other allies as a result of Turkish bombardment on its area of control. 

The US military has confirmed the pause in operations. 

The SDF has long warned that fighting off a new Turkish incursion would divert resources from protecting a prison holding ISIS fighters or fighting ISIS sleeper cells still waging hit-and-run attacks in Syria. 

The Turkish bombardment, using both long-range weapons and air strikes, has frustrated its NATO ally Washington. 

The United States recognizes that Türkiye has a right to defend itself, especially against terrorism, Kirby said. 

"We recognize the threat that the Turkish people are under, but we don't believe that ... this idea of military operations in northwest Syria is the best way to get at that threat," he said. 



Yemen’s Central Bank Tightens Grip on Foreign Transfers

Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
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Yemen’s Central Bank Tightens Grip on Foreign Transfers

Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)
Yemen’s Central Bank. (Government media)

Yemen’s Central Bank, based in Aden, the interim capital, has tightened its grip on foreign money transfers, requiring all transactions to go through approved banks and exchange companies.

Banks and exchange companies must operate mainly from Aden and grant local entities permission to handle transactions. Moreover, they must deliver remittances in the received currency without converting unless the client requests otherwise.

This step aims to better regulate financial flows amidst Yemen’s challenging economic situation.

The decision strengthens the Central Bank’s control in Aden by requiring all banks and exchange companies in Houthi-held areas to get approval before conducting transactions.

It also ensures that transfers are made in the original currency, unlike what the Houthis are doing now, withholding transfers in US dollars. This comes just two days before the deadline for banks to move their main offices from Houthi-controlled Sanaa to the interim capital.

According to Yemeni financial expert Wahid Al-Fudai, the Central Bank’s decision aims to regulate international money transfers through remittance companies and tighten control over them.

Al-Fudai sees this decision as part of the bank’s efforts to regulate banks and exchange companies according to local laws, serving the public interest, and keeping up with global trends.

He explained to Asharq Al-Awsat that the Central Bank had previously issued instructions regarding financial networks, emphasizing the need for its oversight over external transfers.

He stressed that only qualified and licensed institutions are allowed to conduct these transfers, meeting all requirements for compliance with international standards, especially in combating money laundering and terrorism financing.

Al-Fudai highlighted the importance of this step, especially with the Iran-backed Houthi militias now labeled as a terrorist organization by the United States and Australia, which could lead to further complications requiring the Central Bank’s attention.