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
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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.”


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

Updated 16 June 2019
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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.