EU lawmakers urge US to respect Palestinian funding pledge

Palestinians take part in a protest against aid cuts, outside the United Nations’ offices in Khan Yunis in the southern Gaza Strip on January 28, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 08 February 2018
0

EU lawmakers urge US to respect Palestinian funding pledge

BRUSSELS: European Union lawmakers are urging the US to honor its financial pledge to the UN refugee agency working with the Palestinians as the agency faces a funding crisis that could affect millions.
In a resolution Thursday, the European Parliament “urges the United States to reconsider its decision and to honor the payment of its entire scheduled contribution to the agency.”
The US has been UNRWA’s largest donor, contributing one-third of the agency’s total budget. But Washington withheld half of the first installment of payments this year, demanding reforms in return for future aid.
The lawmakers welcomed a commitment from Arab League countries to contribute, but called on them to boost their contributions.
UNRWA is seeking $800 million for its emergency operations this year.


Daesh claims Syria attack that killed 14, including 2 US soldiers

Updated 57 min 35 sec ago
0

Daesh claims Syria attack that killed 14, including 2 US soldiers

  • Seven civilians died in the attack, while 10 others were wounded
  • A member of the US-led military was killed, and another was severely injured

BEIRUT: A blast struck near a US-led coalition patrol in Syria’s northern city of Manbij on Wednesday, and a war monitor said 14 people were killed including two Americans.
An Daesh-affiliated web site, Amaq, said an attacker with an explosive vest had struck a foreign military patrol in a suicide attack.
Reuters could not independently verify a report by the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that 14 people had been killed in the attack including two US soldiers. The coalition could not be immediately reached for comment.
Last month, US President Donald Trump made a surprise announcement that he would withdraw all 2,000 US troops from Syria after concluding Daesh had been defeated there. The announcement rattled allies in the region and top US officials, including Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis who quit.
Two witnesses described Wednesday’s blast to Reuters. The US-backed, Kurdish-led Manbij Military Council militia that controls the town said there was preliminary information that people had been injured in Wednesday’s attack.
Manbij has been held by US-backed fighters allied to the Kurdish YPG militia since they took it from Daesh in 2016. It is located near areas held by Russian-backed Syrian government forces and by anti-Assad fighters backed by Turkey.
One of the witnesses said there was a “heavy” presence of military aircraft over Manbij following the blast, which took place near a vegetable market.