UN report finds Iran in violation of Yemen arms embargo

Iran has violated a UN arms embargo by failing to block supplies to Yemen's Houthi rebels, according to a UN expert's report. (Lockheed Martin)
Updated 12 January 2018
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UN report finds Iran in violation of Yemen arms embargo

UNITED NATIONS: Iran has violated a UN arms embargo by failing to block supplies to Yemen's Houthi rebels of ballistic missiles that were fired at Saudi Arabia, according to a UN experts' report seen by AFP on Friday.
The finding is expected to bolster accusations from the US and Saudi Arabia that Iran has supplied weaponry to the Houthis in their war against the Saudi-led coalition.
"The panel has identified missile remnants, related military equipment and military unmanned aerial vehicles that are of Iranian origin and were introduced into Yemen after the imposition of the targeted arms embargo," said the report presented to the Security Council.
"As a result, the panel finds that the Islamic Republic of Iran is in non-compliance with paragraph 14 of resolution 2216" that imposed the ban on arms sales to Yemen in 2015, said the 79-page report presented on Tuesday.
Iran has strongly denied arming the Houthis and last month accused US Ambassador Nikki Haley of presenting "fabricated" evidence that a November 4 missile fired at Riyadh airport was Iranian-made.
Haley told the Security Council last month that the United States will push for action against Iran for providing missiles that have been fired at its ally, but Russia quickly signalled that it would not endorse such plans.
While the experts pointed to the Iranian origin of the missiles, they were unable to identify the supplier and stressed that Iran had failed to provide information to the panel.
Iran "failed to take the necessary measures to prevent the direct or indirect supply, sale or transfer of Borkan-2H short-range ballistic missiles, field storage tanks for liquid bio-propellant oxidizer for missiles and Ababil-T (Qasef-1) unmanned aerial vehicles to the then Houthi-Saleh alliance," said the report.
The UN experts traveled to Saudi Arabia in November and again last month to inspect the remnants of missiles fired by the Houthis in May, July, November and December. The Saudi-led coalition intervened in March 2015.
More than 8,750 people have died in the war and the country is facing what the United Nations has described as the world's worst humanitarian crisis.
 


Four years of coalition strikes on Syria kill 3,300 civilians: monitor

Updated 1 min 56 sec ago
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Four years of coalition strikes on Syria kill 3,300 civilians: monitor

  • The Washington-led alliance puts the toll at just over 1,000 civilians in both Syria and neighboring Iraq
  • “Among those killed are 826 children and 615 women,” said the Observatory

BEIRUT: More than 3,000 civilians have been killed in US-led coalition air strikes against the Daesh group in Syria since they began four years ago, a monitor said on Sunday.
The Washington-led alliance puts the toll at just over 1,000 civilians in both Syria and neighboring Iraq, and says it does all it can to prevent civilian deaths.
The coalition began bombing Daesh targets in Iraq in August 2014 after the jihadist group seized swathes of territory straddling the two countries, proclaiming an Islamic “caliphate.”
The coalition extended its strikes to Syria on September 23, 2014.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said on Sunday those Syria strikes had since killed 3,331 civilians.
The monitor relies on a network of sources inside Syria and tracks flight patterns, aircraft involved and ammunition used to determine who carries out raids.
“Among those killed are 826 children and 615 women,” said Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman.
The coalition says it takes every possible precaution to prevent civilian deaths.
In its latest civilian casualty report published last month, the coalition said its strikes had unintentionally killed 1,061 civilians in both Iraq and Syria up until July 30, 2018.
It is still assessing a further 216 reports of civilian casualties, some of them in strikes dating back to 2014.
Asked if the coalition could specify how many of the confirmed casualties were in Syria, spokesman Sean Ryan said it “does not breakdown strikes by type, platform, munition, region or nation.”
“As far any discrepancy in numbers, the coalition is basing the findings on facts and evidence. We are not claiming to provide exact numbers, but saying it is based on the best available evidence,” he told AFP.
Ryan said the coalition remained willing to work with anyone to investigate allegations and asked other monitors to share what metrics they were using to determine casualties.
Rights groups have criticized the coalition for not pursuing investigations of civilian casualties rigorously enough.
In June, Amnesty International said the coalition’s bombing raids of Daesh’s de facto Syrian capital Raqqa last year may amount to “potential war crimes.”
“The artificially low number of civilian casualties the coalition acknowledges stems in part from poor investigation procedures that fail even to involve on-the-ground research,” it said at the time.
The coalition’s operations have largely wound down, with the jihadists ousted from all but tiny bits of territory in Syria.
More than 360,000 people have been killed across Syria since the conflict broke out in 2011, nearly a third of them civilians, according to the Observatory.