UN envoy to Yemen arrives in Sanaa

UN special envoy on Yemen Martin Griffiths (R) walks with a member of his delegation on his way to a meeting with Yemen's foreign minister at a hotel on September 7, 2018 in Geneva. (File/ AFP)
Updated 21 November 2018
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UN envoy to Yemen arrives in Sanaa

  • UN envoy Martin Griffiths flew to Sanaa for talks with Houthi leaders
  • The international community is demanding that the Houthis halt all offensive operations

The UN Yemen envoy arrived in Sanaa on Wednesday as he aims to make the biggest peace push in two years.

UN envoy Martin Griffiths flew to Sanaa for talks with Houthi leaders as he attempts to revive a peace process that collapsed in acrimony in Switzerland in September when the Houthis failed to show up.
The international community is demanding that the Houthis halt all offensive operations, particularly missile attacks on neighbouring Saudi Arabia, and commit to joining talks on handing over of the port of Hodeida to UN control.
Both sides have in the past week expressed support for the envoy and his mission to convene new peace talks in Sweden.
 


US weighing options on American Daesh sympathizer in Syria

Updated 4 min 2 sec ago
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US weighing options on American Daesh sympathizer in Syria

  • Neither option would likely pass muster in the cases of US citizens, who enjoy strong legal protections under the Constitution
WASHINGTON: The United States said Tuesday it wanted to ensure foreign terrorists remain off the battlefield as it weighed options on an American detained in Syria who says she wants to return home.
The United States has urged European powers to take back hundreds of their citizens who fought with the Daesh group in Syria, but acknowledged the situation was complex in the rare case of an American terrorist.
Hoda Muthana, a 24-year-old from Alabama who became a prominent online agitator for the extremists, said in an interview published Sunday with The Guardian that she had been brainwashed online and “deeply regrets” joining the movement.
While declining to discuss Muthana’s case specifically, State Department deputy spokesman Robert Palladino said that the status of US citizens detained in Syria “is by definition extremely complicated.”
“We’re looking into these cases to better understand the details,” he told reporters.
Palladino said that the United States generally did not see a different solution between what to do with US fighters and with foreigners, saying the fighters pose “a global threat.”
“Repatriating these foreign terrorist fighters to their countries of origin, ensuring that they are prosecuted and detained — that’s the best solution, preventing them from returning to the battlefield,” he said.
The situation of foreign terrorists detained by US-allied Kurdish forces has taken a new urgency as President Donald Trump plans to withdraw US troops from Syria.
The Syrian Democratic Forces say they may have to refocus on fighting Turkey, which has vowed to crush Kurdish fighters it links to separatists at home.
Trump has contemplated reopening the US military base at Guantanamo Bay to take in new foreign inmates, while Britain on Tuesday revoked the citizenship of a female terrorsist who wanted to return home with her newborn baby.
Neither option would likely pass muster in the cases of US citizens, who enjoy strong legal protections under the Constitution.
Muthana, who was married three times to terrorists and has a son with one of her husbands, fled her family in 2014 to join the Daesh group in Syria, where she took to Twitter to urge attacks on fellow Americans.
In the interview with The Guardian, Muthana said that she was “really young and ignorant” when she joined Daesh and has since renounced radicalism.
“I believe that America gives second chances. I want to return and I’ll never come back to the Middle East,” she told the newspaper.
Hassan Shilby, a lawyer for Muthana, told ABC television’s “Good Morning America” that the young woman had been “brainwashed and manipulated” and is “absolutely disgusted” by the person she became.