ICRC plane ‘jeopardizes air space and passengers’ in Yemen airspace

Saudi-led Coalition spokesperson, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said an International Committee Red Cross (ICRC) plane changed course after taking off from Sanaa airport on its way to Djibouti. (File photo / SPA)
Updated 25 July 2018

ICRC plane ‘jeopardizes air space and passengers’ in Yemen airspace

RIYADH: Saudi-led Coalition spokesperson, Col. Turki Al-Maliki, said that at 1pm local time on Tuesday, an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) plane changed course after taking off from Sanaa airport on its way to Djibouti.
Al-Maliki said the air crew responsible for the aircraft changed its course and were forced to deviate from its original route, adding the plane’s course was changed in order to avoid flying over conflict areas.
Al-Maliki said Coalition forces contacted the aircraft through the global emergency frequency. However, the plane’s crew did not respond to the calls, and instructions were given to redirect the aircraft from the operations zone without hesitation.
“They were forced to land at King Abdullah Regional Airport in Jazan at 2:16 p.m. local time,” he added.
Al-Maliki stressed the keenness of the Saudi-led Coalition, which supports the legitimate Yemeni government, in implementing safety measures and said the actions of the aircraft’s crew was a direct contravention to aviation regulations.
“The safety of the air space was jeopardized as well as the safety of the passengers on the flight, of which there were four in total,” he noted.
Al-Maliki also confirmed the Coalition’s concern over the violation of aviation regulations and said the actions were being taken to ensure the “safety of the air space, as well as the crew and humanitarian workers on board the flight.”


Anti-Assad fighters withdraw from key area of northwest Syria

Updated 20 August 2019

Anti-Assad fighters withdraw from key area of northwest Syria

  • The withdrawal means an important Turkish observation point in the nearby town of Morek is effectively surrounded by government forces
  • After eight years of civil war, the Idlib region on the border with Turkey is the last major stronghold of opposition to President Bashar

BEIRUT: Jihadists and allied rebels withdrew from a key area of northwestern Syria Tuesday as President Bashar Assad’s forces pressed an offensive against the jihadist-run Idlib region, a war monitor said.
The fighters pulled back from the town of Khan Sheikun and the countryside to its south overnight and in the early hours of Tuesday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
The withdrawal means an important Turkish observation point in the nearby town of Morek is effectively surrounded by government forces, Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP.
On Monday, a Turkish military convoy crossed the border into the Idlib region, sparking condemnation from Damascus as Ankara alleged air strikes had targeted its troops.
The convoy halted just north of Khan Sheikhun on Monday afternoon and remained there on Tuesday, after government forces took control of a section of the highway into the town.
Pro-government newspaper Al-Watan said Monday morning’s strike targeted a rebel vehicle scouting the road in front of the Turkish convoy.
“The Syrian army in its own way sent a clear message to the Turkish regime by forcing convoys sent by Ankara to help the terrorists in Khan Sheikhun to come to a halt,” it said.
It was a “clear warning against any Turkish attempt to resuscitate the terrorists,” the paper said, adding that the strike had “Russian support.”
After eight years of civil war, the Idlib region on the border with Turkey is the last major stronghold of opposition to President Bashar Assad’s regime.
Since January, it has been administered by the Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham alliance, which is led by jihadists from Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate.
The region of some three million people was supposed to be protected by a Turkish-Russian buffer zone deal signed last year.
But government and Russian forces have subjected it to heavy bombardment since late April, killing more than 860 civilians, according to an Observatory toll.
The United Nations says the shelling and air strikes have also hit dozens of health facilities and caused more than 400,000 people to flee their homes.
The war in Syria has killed more than 370,000 people since the rebels first took arms following the brutal repression of anti-government protests in 2011.
Rival interventions by outside powers have turned it into a complex conflict with multiple battle fronts that has driven millions of civilians from their homes.