Saudi-led coalition rejects UN report on Yemen

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The Saudi-led coalition again rejected a UN report, claiming it included false data and information about children who lost their lives in the Yemen conflict. (SPA)
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The Saudi-led coalition again rejected a UN report, claiming it included false data and information about children who lost their lives in the Yemen conflict. (SPA)
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The Saudi-led coalition again rejected a UN report, claiming it included false data and information about children who lost their lives in the Yemen conflict. (SPA)
Updated 03 July 2018
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Saudi-led coalition rejects UN report on Yemen

JEDDAH: The Saudi-led coalition again rejected a report by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, claiming it included false data and information about children who lost their lives in the Yemen conflict.
Col. Turki Al-Maliki, the coalition’s spokesman, said the annual report on Children and Armed Conflict mentioned several figures and associated them to the coalition, without any basis or documentation.
Through local organizations supported by the Yemeni president, Al-Maliki said he provided UN officials with the correct data.
Speaking at the Armed Forces Officers Club in Riyadh, Col. Al-Maliki said, Yemen’s national commission of inquiry has reported human rights violations in its latest reports.
These included more than 100 cases of children losing their lives on the battlefield and then being transferred to the capital Sanaa by Houthi militias, “who issue them death certificates.”
The UN report said the Houthis there have been some cases of child recruits from the age of 12. But Al-Maliki said the coalition has evidence that children have been recruited from as early as eight years-old.


Syria flare-up kills 35 fighters, including 26 pro-regime forces

Updated 27 min 28 sec ago
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Syria flare-up kills 35 fighters, including 26 pro-regime forces

  • Russian-backed regime forces try to retake villages seized by opposition forces and allied fighters
  • The clashes also left 26 pro-regime forces dead in the north of Hama province

 

BEIRUT: At least 10 civilians and 35 combatants, mostly pro-regime forces, were killed on Saturday in clashes and airstrikes that erupted at dawn in northwestern Syria, a war monitor said.

The flare-up came as Russian-backed regime forces tried to retake two villages seized by opposition forces and allied fighters earlier this month, the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

“Since this morning, the Syrian regime and allied fighters have launched five failed attempts to regain control of Jibine and Tal Maleh in northwestern Hama province,” said Observatory head Rami Abdel Rahman.

Syrian regime airstrikes killed nine opposition fighters, the war monitor said.

Ensuing clashes in the north of Hama province left 26 pro-regime forces dead, including eight who were killed in a mine explosion, the Observatory said.

In neighboring Idlib, regime airstrikes killed 10 civilians, including three children, the Observatory said.

The strikes hit the towns of Maaret Al-Numan and Al-Bara as well as the village of Al-Ftira, according to the war monitor.

The Idlib region of some 3 million people is supposed to be protected from a massive regime offensive by a buffer zone deal that Russia and Turkey signed in September.

But it was never fully implemented, as opposition refused to withdraw from a planned demilitarized zone.

In January, the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham alliance led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate extended its administrative control over the region, which includes most of Idlib province as well as adjacent slivers of Latakia, Hama and Aleppo provinces.

The Syrian regime and Russia have upped their bombardment of the region since late April, killing nearly 400 civilians, according to the Observatory.

Turkey said on Friday that it did not accept Russia’s “excuse” that it had no ability to stop the Syrian regime’s continued bombardments in the last opposition bastion of Idlib.

“In Syria, who are the regime’s guarantors? Russia and Iran,” Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state news agency Anadolu in a televised interview.

“Thus we do not accept the excuse that ‘We cannot make the regime listen to us’,” he said.

His comments came as Turkey disagreed with Russia earlier this week after Moscow claimed a new cease-fire had been secured in the province following weeks of regime bombardments — a claim that was denied by Ankara.

Syria’s war has killed more than 370,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with the repression of anti-regime protests.

Russia launched a military intervention in support of the regime in 2015, helping its forces reclaim large parts of the country from opposition fighters and militants.