Daesh kills 3 Iraq village chiefs in a week

The latest victim, on Friday night, was mukhtar of the village of Mahmudiya near the town of Hawija. (File/AFP)
Updated 03 November 2018
0

Daesh kills 3 Iraq village chiefs in a week

  • Daesh has attacked state infrastructure and government officials, especially targeting local administrative heads known as “mukhtars”
  • The latest victim, on Friday night, was mukhtar of the village of Mahmudiya near the town of Hawija

KIRKUK: Extremists have killed three village chiefs in less than a week in Iraq’s restive north, local officials said Saturday, as the targeting of state representatives escalates.
Iraq declared victory against the Daesh group last year, but small extremist cells still wage attacks, especially in mountainous areas like the northern province of Kirkuk.
There, Daesh has attacked state infrastructure and government officials, especially targeting local administrative heads known as “mukhtars.”
The latest victim, on Friday night, was mukhtar of the village of Mahmudiya near the town of Hawija.
The town has long been a bastion of radical Muslim groups and was one of the last Daesh holdouts retaken by government troops last year.
Mahmudiya mukhtar “Abdallah Al-Wasmi was executed by Daesh members who attacked his home,” a local security official told AFP.
His death followed the similar killing of the mukhtar of a nearby village, Hanutiya, late Wednesday.
And on Monday, a provincial official told AFP that “Daesh fighters attacked the home of Mohammad Jumaa, the mukhtar of the village of Jassemiya,” also near Hawija.
“They took him out of his house and executed him in front of it before fleeing,” the official said.
The recent killings bring to nine the number of village chieftains executed by Daesh in the past seven months in Kirkuk province.


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
0

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.”