UN envoy: International community committed to peace in Yemen

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. (AP file photo)
Updated 03 December 2016
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UN envoy: International community committed to peace in Yemen

ADEN: The UN special envoy to Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on Friday confirmed the international community’s commitment and responsibility to achieving peace in Yemen based on the agreed-upon terms of reference of the Gulf initiative, the National Dialogue and UN Security Council resolutions.
Following his meeting with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi on Friday in Aden, Ahmed said the international community, the UN Security Council and 18 countries sponsoring peace efforts reconfirmed the legitimacy of Hadi and the government of Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid bin Dagher.
The envoy said the meeting was “positive,” and included discussion of peace efforts and opportunities in Yemen.
Hadi said rebels were continuing their hostilities, and were not serious about achieving peace.
He presided over an extraordinary meeting of the government in Aden on Friday, attended by bin Dagher.
During the meeting, Hadi stressed the importance of merging efforts to defeat the rebels in all areas of Yemen, especially in Taiz.
“Battles of honor and perseverance continue in the face of invaders seeking to destroy the city and kill and displace the population,” said the president.
The official Yemeni News Agency reported that the meeting included discussion on issues related to the status of services, development and field work in Yemen in the face of the coup and Houthi militias.
Hadi touched on the government’s peace efforts as per the agreed-upon references of the Gulf initiative, the National Dialogue, and UN Security Council resolutions such as 2216.
He referred to “important” steps taken, namely that “the state has agreed to issue salaries of state employees in the civil and military sectors in the coming days.”
Mohammed Mousa Al-Ameri, advisor to the president, said the government was determined to proceed with military operations against the rebels, especially after they had rejected peace initiatives and recently formed their own government.
“There is no choice before Yemenis but to build a federal state and continue in the regional project that will allow all Yemenis to achieve and live in justice, quality, and resolution of their issues,” Ameri said during a meeting on Friday in Al-Baidaa province with leaders of the popular resistance.
Those leaders praised the role of the Arab coalition in standing by the legitimate government in order to restore the state and its institutions, and assisting the popular resistance in Al-Baidaa against the Houthi rebels.
Meanwhile, the coalition said 172 civilians were killed and several hundred injured, including women and children, in November by “indiscriminate and heavy shelling” by rebels targeting residential neighborhoods in Taiz.
The coalition added that dozens of homes, commercial and civilian establishments were partially or totally destroyed by rebel shelling.
It said schools, mosques, government buildings and health facilities were bombed, while 36 schools in Al-Salu in Taiz were shut down due to weeks of shelling and targeted attacks.
Water and electricity are still cut off in Taiz, and most health and medical facilities have been destroyed.
Aid organizations have still not reached Taiz since the partial lifting of the siege on the city from its western port in mid-August.
The coalition said 752 families had been forcefully displaced from their homes due to armed combat and indiscriminate shelling in the Taiz countryside.


Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

Updated 19 July 2019
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Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

  • Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil
  • Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is suspected to be involved in the killing

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday launched an air attack on Iraqi Kurdistan in response to the killing of a Turkish diplomat in the region, the country’s defense minister said.
The Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil. Police sources said two other people were also killed.
There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting, but many Iraqi experts have pointed to the probability that the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, was behind the attack.
“Following the evil attack in Irbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terror organization,” defense minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Targets such as “armaments positions, lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists” were destroyed.
“Our fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last terrorist is neutralized and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged,” he added.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which now leads the regional government, enjoys good political and trade relations with Turkey.
But Turkey has been conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign since May in the mountainous northern region to root out the PKK which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
Earlier this month, the PKK announced that one of those raids killed senior PKK leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed along with two other fighters.
A spokesman for the PKK’s armed branch denied the group was involved in Wednesday’s shooting.