UN: Missiles fired at Saudi Arabia have ‘common origin’

Shi'ite Houthi rebel fighters ride a truck in Sanaa, in this file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 11 December 2017
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UN: Missiles fired at Saudi Arabia have ‘common origin’

NEW YORK: UN officials have found that missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi militias appear to have a “common origin,” but they are still investigating US and Saudi claims that Iran supplied them, according to a confidential report.
The officials traveled to Saudi Arabia to examine the debris of missiles fired on July 22 and Nov. 4, wrote UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in the fourth biannual report on the implementation of UN sanctions and restrictions on Iran.
They found “that the missiles had similar structural and manufacturing features which suggest a common origin,” said Guterres in the Friday report to the UN Security Council, seen by Reuters.
The report comes amid calls by the US for Iran to be held accountable for violating UN Security Council resolutions by supplying weapons to the Houthis.
The report said the UN officials saw three components, which Saudi authorities said came from the missile fired on Nov. 4. The components “bore the castings of a logo similar to that of the Shahid Bagheri Industrial Group” — a UN-blacklisted company.
However, the panel said it “as yet has no evidence as to the identity of the broker or supplier” of the missiles, which were likely shipped to the Houthis in violation of a targeted UN arms embargo imposed on Houthi leaders in April 2015.
Yemeni Deputy Premier and Foreign Minister Abdulmalik Al-Mikhlafi said “real opportunities for a peaceful solution” have decreased after the assassination of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
According to the Saudi Press Agency, he stressed that the current war had been imposed on the Yemeni people because of the Iran-backed Houthi coup.


Afghan attack won’t change Kandahar security situation — US Defense chief Mattis

Updated 19 October 2018
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Afghan attack won’t change Kandahar security situation — US Defense chief Mattis

  • The Taliban have claimed responsibility for Thursday’s shooting in Kandahar
  • The attack killed anti-Taliban strongman and police chief General Abdul Raziq

SINGAPORE: US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said Friday the killing of a top Afghan official would not fundamentally change the security situation in Kandahar province.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for Thursday’s shooting in the restive southern province that killed anti-Taliban strongman and police chief, General Abdul Raziq.
At least two other people died during the attack inside a fortified government compound in Kandahar city that targeted a high-level security meeting.
The top commander for US and NATO forces, General Scott Miller, was also present but escaped injury.
Mattis said he did not see Raziq’s death as changing things on the ground in Kandahar.
“I’ve seen the officers around him. I’ve seen the maturation of the Afghan security forces,” Mattis told reporters on the sidelines of a security summit in Singapore.
“It’s a tragic loss of a patriot for Afghanistan. But I don’t see it having a long-term effect on our area.”
The Pentagon chief said it was too early to know if the assault would hamper turnout for parliamentary elections set for October 20.