Rocket sirens in Golan Heights was a ‘false alarm’: Israeli military

Rocket warning sirens went off on Thursday on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but the Israeli military quickly said it was a false alarm. (AFP)
Updated 18 May 2018
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Rocket sirens in Golan Heights was a ‘false alarm’: Israeli military

  • Local residents said they heard a blast at the time of the sirens
  • On May 10, Israel said Iranian forces in Syria fired rockets at it, but they were intercepted by its Iron Dome defence system

JERUSALEM: Rocket warning sirens went off on Thursday on the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, but the Israeli military quickly said it was a false alarm.
"It appears to have been a false alarm. The IDF's (Israel Defence Forces) Iron Dome aerial defence system was activated. The circumstances are being looked into," the military said in a statement.
Local residents said they heard a blast at the time of the sirens, but they were not sure what had caused it.
Tensions are high along the frontier. On May 10, Israel said Iranian forces in Syria fired rockets at it, but they were intercepted by its Iron Dome defence system.
Israel then launched its most intensive air strikes into Syria since the start of the Syrian civil war. It said it targeted Iran's military infrastructure in Syria.


Calm in Hodeidah as observers move in to monitor cease-fire

Sporadic clashes continued until about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, but residents said there was calm after that. (AFP)
Updated 19 December 2018
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Calm in Hodeidah as observers move in to monitor cease-fire

  • “Both parties said publicly they are abiding by the cease-fire,” a UN official said
  • The truce in Hodeidah officially began at midnight on Monday

JEDDAH: Truce monitoring observers will be deployed in the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah on Wednesday as the first 24 hours of a UN-brokered cease-fire passed without incident.

The Redeployment Coordination Committee comprises members of the Yemeni government supported by the Saudi-led coalition, and Houthi militias backed by Iran, and is overseen by the UN. 

The head of the committee will report to the UN Security Council every week.

Deployment of the observers is the latest stage in a peace deal reached after talks last week in Sweden. Both sides in the conflict agreed to a cease-fire in Hodeidah and the withdrawal of their forces within 21 days.

“Both parties said publicly they are abiding by the cease-fire,” a UN official said on Tuesday.

Local authorities and police will run the city and its three port facilities under UN supervision, and the two sides are barred from bringing in reinforcements.

UN envoy Martin Griffith said the committee was expected to start its work swiftly “to translate the momentum built up in Sweden into achievements on the ground.”

The truce in Hodeidah officially began at midnight on Monday. Sporadic clashes continued until about 3 a.m. on Tuesday, but residents said there was calm after that. 

“We are hopeful that things will go back to the way they were and that there will be no aggression, no airstrikes and lasting security,” said one, Amani Mohammed.

Another resident, Mohammed Al-Saikel, said he was optimistic the cease-fire would pave the way for a broader truce. “We are hopeful about this cease-fire in Hodeidah and one for Yemen in general,” he said. “We will reach out in peace to whoever does the same.”

The UN Security Council is considering a draft resolution that asks Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to submit proposals by the end of the month on how to monitor the cease-fire.

The resolution, submitted by the UK, “calls on all parties to the conflict to take further steps to facilitate the unhindered flow of commercial and humanitarian supplies including food, fuel, medicine and other essential imports and humanitarian personnel into and across the country.”