UN to vote Monday on resolution that would condemn Iran

A missile that the US Department of Defense says is a "Qiam" ballistic missile manufactured in Iran but that the Pentagon says was fired by Houthi rebels from Yemen into Saudi Arabia on July 22, 2017 is seen on display at a military base in Washington, U.S., in this December 13, 2017 file photo. (REUTERS)
Updated 25 February 2018
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UN to vote Monday on resolution that would condemn Iran

UNITED NATIONS: The Security Council is expected to vote Monday on a British-drafted UN resolution that would condemn Iran for violating a UN arms embargo by providing missiles and drones to rebels in Yemen — and commit to future action against Tehran.
Kuwait’s UN Ambassador Mansour Al-Otaiba is the current council president. He told reporters Saturday, “We are still working on the text, but the intention is to adopt it Monday morning.”
Russia’s UN Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said this week he opposed the draft, saying it should be about renewing the work of experts monitoring sanctions against Yemen, not condemning Iran.
The experts said in a January report that they’d identified Iranian missile remnants and other equipment introduced into Yemen after the 2015 arms embargo that were fired into Saudi Arabia.


Pro-Turkey Syria rebels accept Idlib deal, albeit cautiously

Updated 47 sec ago
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Pro-Turkey Syria rebels accept Idlib deal, albeit cautiously

  • The National Liberation Front rebel alliance accepts deal reached or Idlib, but says they remain on their guard
  • Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since erupting in 2011
BEIRUT: Pro-Turkey rebels have cautiously accepted a Moscow-Ankara deal to prevent a Russia-backed regime attack on Syria’s last major opposition bastion of Idlib, while a small militant group has rejected it.
The dominant force in the northwestern region bordering Turkey, the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham (HTS) alliance led by militants of Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate, had on Sunday however still not responded.
Late Saturday, the National Liberation Front (NLF) rebel alliance in a statement accepted the deal reached on Monday for Idlib, but said they remained on their guard.
They announced “our full cooperation with our Turkish ally in helping to make a success their efforts to spare civilians from the afflictions of war.”
“But we will stay alert to any betrayal by the Russians, the regime or the Iranians,” the NLF warned, fearing the agreement to be “temporary.”
“We will not abandon our weapons, our land or our revolution” against the Russia- and Iran-backed forces of President Bashar Assad, the rebels said.
Also on Saturday, in a statement circulated on social media, the Al-Qaeda-linked Hurras Al-Deen rejected the agreement reached in the Russian resort of Sochi.
“We at the Hurras Al-Deen organization again announce our rejection of these conspiracies,” it said.
Monday’s agreement provides for a U-shaped buffer zone 15 to 20 kilometers (9 to 12 miles) wide to be set up around Idlib.
Under the deal, all factions in the planned demilitarized zone must hand over their heavy weapons by October 10, and radical groups must withdraw by October 15.
Both the extremist Hurras Al-Deen and NLF rebels are present inside this planned buffer area, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says.
But the dominant HTS alliance is also widely present, according to the Britain-based monitor.
The militant-led group — which controls more than half of the Idlib region — has not officially responded to the agreement.
But its propaganda agency Ebaa has cast doubt on Turkey’s motivations.
In August, HTS leader Abu Mohamed Al-Jolani warned opposition factions in Idlib against handing over their weapons.
Syria’s war has killed more than 360,000 people and displaced millions from their homes since erupting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-Assad protests.