Houthis bombing mosques, schools and a future

Houthi militia ride on the back of a truck. (Reuters)
Updated 28 January 2017
0

Houthis bombing mosques, schools and a future

ADEN: Houthi militias and troops loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been bombing mosques and schools in the Yemeni provinces since their coup against the legitimate government.
Houthis, accused of taking the country decades back to an era of ignorance, are denying the Yemenis a peaceful life and access to education.
Official statistics show that after their emergence as a militant group reportedly backed by Iran, Houthis have bombed a staggering number of mosques and schools in some provinces. They are turning some structures into barracks or weapons stores.
In a recent meeting with Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz Al-Asheikh in Riyadh, Dr. Ahmed Attia, Yemeni minister of Endowments and Guidance, said that “Houthi militias and Saleh loyalists bombed more than 299 mosques, and 24 others were severely damaged, besides turning at least 146 mosques into military barracks and storage of weapons.”
Official Yemeni sources said Houthis and Saleh’s loyalists destroyed 1,700 schools since they started insurgency in several provinces in March 2015.
Yemeni Minister of Education Abdullah Meles said recently that about 2,000 schools built under Basic Education Development Program and funded by the US, the EU and other countries, were destroyed in less than two years.
In the capital Sanaa, the media center of the Yemeni revolution, a non-governmental civil media center issued a report that stated that Shiite militias committed 279 violations against the educational process in the capital during the year 2016 only.
The report said that the “violations included five key areas: Students, teachers, schools, educational institutions and curricula.”
“The pace of violations increased during the last three months of 2016, to coincide with protests by the staff of educational institutions against delays in receiving salaries,” the report said.
It also stated that students and teachers were forced to pay money, starting this month, to support the war effort and of the Central Bank, after it was transferred to Aden.
Students’ parents expressed surprise at the request for money from the management of schools their children are attending.
Eyewitnesses said Houthi gunmen visit schools to urge students to donate to the Central Bank and the “war effort.”


Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

Updated 19 July 2019
0

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.