Syria says Idlib situation untenable if militants won’t comply with deal

Syrian FM Walid Al-Moualem said it was up to Russia now to judge whether the deal to prevent a Syrian government offensive on Syria’s rebel-held Idlib had been fulfilled. (AFP)
Updated 15 October 2018
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Syria says Idlib situation untenable if militants won’t comply with deal

  • The deal sets up a demilitarized zone that must be evacuated of all heavy weapons and all militant groups
  • The Syrian government’s next target is the area east of the Euphrates

BEIRUT: Syria’s foreign minister said on Monday the situation in Idlib was untenable if militants do not comply with a Russian-Turkish agreement for the area, on the day of a critical deal deadline.
Foreign Minister Walid Al-Moualem said it was up to Russia now to judge whether the deal to prevent a Syrian government offensive on Syria’s rebel-held Idlib had been fulfilled.
“We cannot keep quiet about the continuation of the current situation in Idlib if the Nusra Front refuses to comply with this agreement,” Al-Moualem said at a press conference with his Iraqi counterpart Ibrahim Al-Jaafari in Damascus.
The deal sets up a demilitarized zone running 15-20 km (9-13 miles) deep into rebel territory that must be evacuated of all heavy weapons and all militant groups by Monday.
“Now we must give the time to our friends the Russians to judge whether the agreement was fulfilled or not,” he said, adding that Turkey has the means to ensure the deal is complied with.
“For us we said always Idlib, as any other province, has to return back to Syrian sovereignty. We prefer to have it through peaceful means, through reconciliation, but if not there (are) other options,” Moualem said.

Moualem also said that after recovering Idlib, the government’s next target is the area east of the Euphrates.


Human rights violations by Iran regime condemned by UN committee

Vahid Mazloumin appears in court for the first time on charges of manipulating the currency market. (Tasnim News Agency/Reuters)
Updated 17 November 2018
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Human rights violations by Iran regime condemned by UN committee

  • The resolution “strongly urges” Iran to eliminate discrimination against women
  • It singles out violations including harassment, intimidation and persecution against religious minorities including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith

NEW YORK: A UN committee on human rights has approved a resolution urging Iran to stop its widespread use of arbitrary detention and expressing serious concern at its “alarmingly high” use of the death penalty.

The General Assembly’s Human Rights Committee adopted the resolution by a vote of 85-30, with 68 abstentions. It is virtually certain to be approved by the 193-member world body next month.

The resolution “strongly urges” Iran to eliminate discrimination against women in law and practice and expresses “serious concern about ongoing severe limitations and restrictions on the right to freedom of thought, conscience, religion or belief.”

It singles out violations including harassment, intimidation and persecution against religious minorities including Christians, Gonabadi Dervishes, Jews, Sufi Muslims, Sunni Muslims, Yarsanis, Zoroastrians and members of the Baha’i faith — and urges the release of religious practitioners including Baha’i leaders.

Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi of Saudi Arabia said: “The Iranian people continue to suffer under a regime that does not respect human rights, that denies freedoms, that persecutes religious and racial minorities.” He called on Iran not “give shelter to terrorists.”

The resolution, sponsored by Canada, also calls on Iran to end “widespread and serious restrictions” including on freedom of assembly of political opponents, human rights defenders, labor leaders, environmentalists, academics, filmmakers, journalists, bloggers, social media users and others.