Saudi-led coalition investigating Sanaa strike allegations

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, spokesman for the Arab coalition.
Updated 17 February 2017
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Saudi-led coalition investigating Sanaa strike allegations

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition supporting the legitimate Yemeni government said Thursday that it is looking into claims alleging that a gathering of civilians was targeted near Sanaa on Wednesday night.
Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman for the coalition, told Arab News that a statement has been issued by the coalition announcing the launch of an investigation into the incident.
“We are aware of news reports by several media outlets quoting Houthi militia that Yemeni civilians were killed in a coalition airstrike that hit a residential unit near the Yemeni capital,” said a coalition statement on Thursday. It added: “We would like to point out that a military operation is undergoing between the Yemeni Army and the Houthi militias in that area for several days. The coalition will investigate the allegations and will provide the media with updates.”
The airstrike hit the house of a local tribal leader in the Arhab district north of Sanaa, a resident told Reuters.
Meanwhile, top diplomats from the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE as well as a UN special envoy met on Thursday to discuss the crisis in Yemen, the US State Department said in a statement, according to Reuters.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, at the meeting, said Washington continued to support the UN-led process “and noted the urgent need for the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout Yemen.”


Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

Pro-government forces stand in the destroyed Thalateen Street in the Yarmuk Palestinian refugee camp on the southern outskirts of the capital Damascus on May 24, 2018, as civilians return to see their homes after the regime seized the camp and adjacent neighborhoods of Tadamun and Hajar al-Aswad earlier in the week from the Daesh group. (AFP / LOUAI BESHARA)
Updated 14 min 25 sec ago
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Assad accused of ‘using urban development law to carry out ethnic cleansing’

  • he so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property in which to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.
  • Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or may not learn of the legal requirements in time.

JEDDAH: The Assad regime in Syria was accused on Saturday of using a new law on urban development to rid the country of all political opposition.

The so-called “Law 10” allows the regime to acquire previously private property to create zoned developments, and to compensate the owners with shares in the new projects.

However property rights are in a state of confusion after a seven-year war that has created more than 5 million refugees and 6 million internally displaced people. Many of the displaced have lost the necessary paperwork, are struggling financially or not aware of the legal requirements in time.

The Assad regime is using the confusion to create a suitable environment for demographic change, Syrian opposition spokesman Yahya Al-Aridi told Arab News. 

“The regime has a two-fold goal,” he said. “First, terrorize the opposition and supporters of the Syrian revolution so that they lose the right to their properties.

“Second, there is talk of reconstruction in Syria now. This law sends out a message to investors that their interests lie with the regime. It is an attempt to tempt companies and business people to support the regime, because the regime is the only party that approves bids and gives grants and contracts. All this merely adds to the Syrians’ plight and misery.”

Al-Aridi said the attempted land grab was being resisted by European countries, especially France and Germany. “The Syrian Negotiating Committee is also exerting a very important effort so that such an evil act will not happen,” he said. 

Also on Saturday, the US warned Damascus it would take “firm action” if the regime violates a cease-fire deal, after Syrian aircraft dropped leaflets on a southern province in advance of an expected offensive.

Al-Aridi said any such offensive would be a breach of agreements between Russia and the US on de-escalation zones, and he warned the regime and Iran against “playing games” with the US. “Such threats are part of a response to the two unanswered Israeli attacks on Iran’s military positions in Syria,” he said.

“They area also meant to divert attention from the American-Israeli intent to kick Iranian militias and forces out of Syria.”

He said the regime and Iran could do nothing without Russian support. “We don’t think the Russians are willing to provide such support, or to mess with the US or Israel. Parallel to such threats, Assad is trying to make certain reconciliation agreements with what they call ‘Syrians in liberated areas.’ We believe that they cannot do anything of the sort.”