MWL rejects UN report on children in conflict

Updated 08 October 2017
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MWL rejects UN report on children in conflict

JEDDAH: The Muslim World League (MWL) on Saturday criticized the methodology and findings of a UN report on children in armed conflict.
The report commended the Saudi-led coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen for its actions to improve child protection, and for its cooperation with the UN.
However, the report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which was submitted to the Security Council last week, also blamed the coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels for causing the deaths of children in the conflict in Yemen.
The MWL said that, on behalf of the Muslim world and the many organizations, Islamic and non-Islamic, with which it was affiliated, it rejected the findings of the report.
It pointed out that in August, the UN itself had applauded the work undertaken by the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) and the center for the rehabilitation of Yemeni children.
The MWL said the documentation in the UN report failed to reach international standards, and the report had failed to determine liability with a proper investigation.
“The Houthi militias have thwarted relief efforts between 2015 and 2017 — 65 aid ships, 124 relief convoys, 628 trucks, 5,500 food baskets and 6,000 bags of flour were looted by the militias during this period,” the MWL said.
“Furthermore, between 2015 and 2017, Houthi militias have carried out numerous attacks against many UN and other relief organizations and aid workers in Sanaa, Taiz, Hajjah, Al-Hudeidah, Ibb and Aden. They have committed acts of murder and kidnapping and blocked entry to, looted and forcibly closed aid offices. This has been part of the Iran-backed Houthis’ crimes against the Yemeni people since they hijacked legitimacy in the country.
“The UN secretary-general’s report should have drawn on the apparent physical evidence of all the tragedies and challenges, and the UN must reveal the truth about those who committed those crimes and support the coalition in overcoming the challenges.”
The MWL said the coalition was “more than glad to restore happiness and stability in Yemen and ensure its children’s safety and prosperous future. The coalition has taken upon itself to unite Yemen under one legitimate government. It sees the beauty of the country’s diversity and believes it is the source of its wealth, prosperity and development, and aims to renew its political, intellectual and social unity under an independent, civilized government that enjoys sovereignty.”


Netanyahu: Israel will continue operations in Syria against Iran

Updated 25 September 2018
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Netanyahu: Israel will continue operations in Syria against Iran

  • Russia said on Monday it would supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks despite strong Israeli objections
  • Israel has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 to Syria

JERUSALEM: Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said on Tuesday Israel would continue its military operations in Syria, after Russia announced it would supply an advanced anti-aircraft system to its Syrian ally.
“We will continue to act to prevent Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and we will continue the military coordination between the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) and the Russian army,” Netanyahu told reporters before boarding a flight to New York, where he will address the UN General Assembly.
Russia said on Monday it would supply an S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Syria in two weeks despite strong Israeli objections, a week after Moscow accused Israel of indirectly causing the downing of a Russian military jet in Syria.
Russia, which fights in Syria to support the government against rebels and militants, has said Syrian anti-aircraft batteries shot its IL-20 surveillance plane down by mistake shortly after Israeli jets hit a nearby target.
Moscow accused Israel of creating dangerous conditions that caused the incident.
Israel, which has carried out air strikes in Syria many times during the civil war, said after the incident it would work to improve “deconfliction” of its missions with Russian forces, but would not halt them.
Netanyahu spoke by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday. In his remarks on Tuesday, Netanyahu said he had agreed with Putin “that the working teams from the IDF and the Russian army will meet soon.”
The Israeli leader made the remarks after convening his security cabinet to discuss the tensions with Moscow.
“Over the past three years, Israel has been highly successful in preventing the Iranian military entrenchment in Syria and Iranian attempts to transfer lethal weaponry to Hezbollah in Lebanon,” Netanyahu said.
But he said there had been occasions when things had not gone smoothly, calling Syria’s downing of the Russian plane “tragic.”
Israel has long lobbied Moscow not to provide the S-300 to Syria, fearing this would hinder its aerial capability to strike the forces of Iran and its Hezbollah allies in Syria.