France slams Houthis for using child soldiers

Houthi Shiite Yemenis guard a street near the presidential palace during clashes in Sanaa, Yemen, in this Jan. 19, 2015 file photo. (AP)
Updated 02 March 2017
0

France slams Houthis for using child soldiers

PARIS: France on Wednesday condemned the recruitment of child soldiers by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.
“France calls on all parties to the Yemen conflict to abide by international law, which prohibits the use of children in armed conflicts,” said a statement by the French Foreign Ministry.
As part of the 10th anniversary of the Paris Principles and Commitments, on Feb. 21 we joined the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in hosting the international conference on the fate of children in armed conflicts, the statement said.
It added: “France emphasizes the urgent need to find a political solution that alone can prevent further deterioration in Yemen’s security and humanitarian situation and combat terrorism. We reiterate our full support to the efforts of Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, UN special envoy.”
The French condemnation followed Tuesday’s Amnesty International report which accused Houthis of recruiting fighters as young as 15 and using religious schools to lure teenagers into their ranks without their parents’ knowledge.


Field fires in Syria's Hasakeh kill 10: monitor

Updated 16 June 2019
0

Field fires in Syria's Hasakeh kill 10: monitor

  • Civilians and SDF forces are among the dead
  • Some people are claiming the fires were set on purpose

]QAMISHLI: Fires engulfing vital wheat fields across Syria’s northeast have killed at least 10 people, a war monitor said Sunday, as Kurdish authorities claim the blazes were set deliberately.
Kurdish authorities and the Damascus regime are competing to buy up this year’s harvest as fires — some claimed by the Daesh group — continue to scorch crops in the country’s breadbasket.
The victims included civilians and members of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces who died while trying to extinguish the blazes since Saturday, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The fires in the Kurdish-majority province of Hasakah also wounded another five people, according to a spokesman for the Kurdish Red Crescent.
“The victims were trying to douse the blaze but they were trapped by the fire,” Kamal Derbas said.
Kurdish officials have called on the US-led coalition to help extinguish blazes in the cereal and oil-rich region under their control.
“The largest fires have ravaged up to 350,000 hectares of land,” head of the Kurdish agriculture authority Salman Baroudo told AFP.
He claimed the fires were “deliberate,” saying they serve to “stir up strife between area residents and undermine the Kurdish administration” in the country’s northeast.
He did not specify who he believed was behind the blazes.
The official state news agency SANA on Saturday blamed the field fires in Hasakah on Kurdish-led forces.
It said they deliberately sparked a blaze to prevent local farmers from selling their crops to the government.
Analysts say wheat will be key to ensuring affordable bread prices and keeping the peace in various parts of the country in the coming period.
Farmers have separately blamed the fires on revenge attacks, sparks from low-quality fuel, and even carelessness.
SANA said Saturday that other field fires in the northwestern countryside of Hama province were sparked by jihadist artillery attacks.
Clashes in the area on Saturday between government forces and militants left dozens of combatants dead, including 26 pro-regime fighters, the Observatory said.
More than 370,000 people have been killed in Syria’s war since it erupted in 2011 with a violent crackdown on anti-government protests.