US says unlikely Turkey used chemical weapons

Turkish artillery fires toward Syrian Kurdish positions in Afrin area, Syria, from Turkish side of the border in Hatay, Turkey, on Friday. (AP)
Updated 18 February 2018
0

US says unlikely Turkey used chemical weapons

BEIRUT: A White House official says the United States thinks it is “extremely unlikely” Turkey used chemical weapons against the Kurds.
The official says that they are aware of the reports, but cannot confirm them and called for the protection of civilians.
Local doctors and Syria’s state-run news agency reported Saturday that six civilians suffered breathing difficulties and other symptoms indicative of poison gas inhalation after an attack launched by Turkey on the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin.
State-run news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group also quoted local doctors in their reports.
The claims could not be independently verified, and videos released from the hospital showed people being fitted with oxygen masks who did not otherwise show symptoms of poison gas inhalation.

Local doctors and Syria’s state-run news agency say six civilians suffered breathing difficulties and other symptoms indicative of poison gas inhalation after an attack launched by Turkey on the Kurdish-controlled enclave of Afrin.
The Turkish military repeated in a weekly statement published Saturday that it does not use internationally “banned ammunition” in its Afrin operation.
A doctor at Afrin’s main hospital tells The Associated Press that the facility was treating six people who had been poisoned who arrived Friday night from the village of Arandi after it was attacked by Turkish troops. Another doctor says the victims suffered shortness of breath, vomiting and skin rashes.
The claims could not be independently verified, and videos released from the hospital showed people being fitted with oxygen masks who did not otherwise show symptoms of poison gas inhalation such as twitching, foaming at the mouth or vomiting.


With Hodeidah airport liberated, Saudi Arabia-led coalition accuses Houthis of targeting civilians

Updated 20 June 2018
0

With Hodeidah airport liberated, Saudi Arabia-led coalition accuses Houthis of targeting civilians

  • UAE commander confirms Hodeidah airport in Yemen is liberated
  • Houthis have been accused of breaking international law by targeting civilians

DUBAI: A Saudi-led Arab Coalition commander has confirmed the liberation of Yemen’s Hodeida airport in a video posted by UAE state news agency WAM.

“The airport was completely cleared, Thank God, and is under control,” the coalition commander for the Red Sea coast, Abdul Salaam Al-Shehi said speaking in Arabic in the video posted on Twitter.

 

 

Government forces broke through the airport perimeter fence on Tuesday sparking heavy fighting in which at least 33 militia and 19 soldiers were killed – according to AFP.

The offensive was launched last Wednesday to clear Hodeida of Houthi fighters who have held it since 2014, raising UN concerns for vital aid shipments and food imports through the city’s docks.

The airport is disused but housed a major militia base just inland from the coast road into the city from the south.

It lies eight kilometers from the city’s port, through which three-quarters of Yemen’s imports pass, providing a lifeline for some 22 million people dependent on aid.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths held four days of talks in the rebel-held capital Sanaa in a bid to avert an all-out battle for the city but flew out on Tuesday without announcing any breakthrough.

Meanwhile Coalition forces have accused the Iran-back Houthis of directly targeting civilians in the Tehama region, north-west of Hodeidah, in direct violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention, WAM reported.

Now the Coalition has called on the international community to put pressure on the Houthis to stop their violent and illegal acts against the Yemeni people.

These latest reports came as further evidence was presented by both the UAE and Saudi Arabia, that Iran is supplying the Houthi militia in Yemen with various forms of artillery, including drones, rockets, small arms and ammunition.

(With AFP)