UN Security Council to discuss Syria on Monday

Syrian government forces gather at the Abu Duhur military airport area in Idlib province, on January 21, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 22 January 2018

UN Security Council to discuss Syria on Monday

PARIS: The UN Security Council will hold talks about the situation in Syria on Monday, French Foreign minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on his Twitter feed on Sunday.
He added that France would press for humanitarian access.
Le Drian said earlier on Sunday that France had called for an emergency meeting of the Security Council over Syria following a Turkish incursion into northern Syria’s Afrin province.
He also condemned indiscriminate bombing by the Syrian regime in Idlib province and asked for immediate access for humanitarian aid to eastern Ghouta, where 400,000 citizens face a critical situation.
However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has criticized France over its decision.
Cavusoglu told reporters in Baghdad on Sunday that Turkey expected France to stand by an ally country and not with a "terror organization."
Cavusoglu said if France does "not act like ally... then it would be treated as a country that sides with terrorists." Turkey considers Syrian Kurdish militia group that controls the enclave of Afrin to be terrorists because of their affiliation with Kurdish rebels fighting inside Turkey.
The minister's comments were televised live on Turkish television.
Earlier, France in a statement urged Turkish authorities "to act with restraint in a context where the humanitarian situation is deteriorating in several regions of Syria."

Houthi militia in Yemen 'storm' World Food Program warehouse

Updated 1 min 36 sec ago

Houthi militia in Yemen 'storm' World Food Program warehouse

  • WFP warehouse in Hodeidah turned into a "military barracks"
  • Minister says thousands of families caught in crossfire

CAIRO: A Yemeni minister has accused Houthi militants of storming a warehouse used by the World Food Program to store humanitarian aid in Hodeidah.

Abdel-Raqeeb Fateh, the minister of local administration, said on Friday that the Houthis have turned the WFP warehouse in Al-Durayhimi district into a military barracks, AP reported.

Hodeida, Yemen’s largest port, has become the center of the fighting between pro-government forces and the Iran-backed Houthis, who seized the capital Sanaa in 2014.

Fateh added that thousands of families were caught in the district's crossfire between the Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition forces fighting them.

Fateh said the Houthis are intimidating humanitarian workers and called for a condemnation from the UN.

The Arab coalition led by Saudi Arabia, is supporting the government troops in the battle to recapture Hodeidah and restore the government.

The Saudi-led coalition accused the Houthis of carrying out a mortar attack on a hospital and fish market in Yemen earlier this month that killed at least 55 people. 

The UN on Friday said it had invited the Yemeni government and the Houthis to peace talks in Geneva on September 6.

UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths said earlier this month he would convene the talks to try and bring an end to the three-year conflict has killed more than 10,000 people.