Houthis ‘still break international law’ despite confidence-building measures: Arab Coalition

Human rights groups have condemned Houthis for recruiting child soldiers. (AFP/file photo)
Updated 04 December 2018
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Houthis ‘still break international law’ despite confidence-building measures: Arab Coalition

  • Arab coalition spokesman says wounded militiamen flown to Oman as part of peace effort
  • The coalition has so far rescued and rehabilitated 102 children turned into armed fighters by Houthi militias

RIYADH: The Arab Coalition supporting Yemen’s internationally recognized government condemned the Houthi militia on Monday for violating international law.

The Houthis continue to plant improvised explosive devices in schools, including Al-Sharaf School in Hodeidah, said coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki.

The coalition is continuing its efforts to rescue and rehabilitate children recruited as fighters by the Houthis, in cooperation with Yemen’s legitimate government, the Red Cross, the Red Crescent and human rights groups, he added.

The coalition has so far rescued and rehabilitated 102 such children, he said, adding that the rehabilitation period takes at least three months.

Rehabilitation includes disarming the children, providing them with medical and psychological treatment, and returning  them to their families under the government’s supervision. 

Meanwhile, the Houthis have been denying ships access to Hodeidah port for the past three days, said Al-Maliki. 

The coalition supports efforts by UN special envoy Martin Griffiths to reach a political solution to the Yemen crisis, the spokesman added.

The coalition agreed to the evacuation of wounded Houthi fighters to Oman for medical treatment out of “humanitarian considerations and as part of confidence-building measures” ahead of UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden, Al-Maliki said.

Griffiths arrived in Sanaa on Monday to escort the Houthi delegation to the talks, which might start on Wednesday, said two sources familiar with the matter.

A UN-chartered flight took off at 6 p.m. carrying the wounded Houthis, their escorts and a team of doctors to Oman, a security source at Sanaa International Airport told AFP. The Houthis had asked to travel on a plane not inspected by the Arab Coalition.

The Houthis launched 208 ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia between March 26, 2015, and Dec. 3, 2018, Al-Maliki said. 

The Yemeni National Army has made great progress against the Houthis in various parts of the country, he added. Between Nov. 26 and Dec. 3, 648 Houthi terrorists were killed, he said.


Iran can expand range of ballistic missiles: Guards commander

Updated 10 December 2018
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Iran can expand range of ballistic missiles: Guards commander

  • The Iranian government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities
  • Last month, Hajjizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles

GENEVA: Iran has the ability to build ballistic missiles with a broader range, a senior commander of the elite Revolutionary Guards said on Monday, according to the semi-official Fars News agency.
Iran’s missiles currently cover a range of 2000 kilometers (1,240 miles) and many “enemy bases” are within 800 kilometers of the Islamic Republic, Amirali Hajjizadeh, head of the Revolutionary Guards’ airspace division, was cited as saying.
US President Donald Trump pulled out of an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear program in May and reimposed sanctions on Tehran. He said the deal was flawed because it did not include curbs on Iran’s development of ballistic missiles or its support for proxies in Syria, Yemen, Lebanon and Iraq.
“We have the ability to build missiles with a broader range,” Hajjizadeh said, according to Fars News. He added, “We don’t have limitations from a technical perspective or by conventions with regard to missile range.”
The Iranian government has ruled out negotiations with Washington over its military capabilities, particularly its missile program run by the Guards.
Last month, Hajjizadeh said that US bases in Afghanistan, the UAE and Qatar, and US aircraft carriers in the Gulf were within range of Iranian missiles.
In October, the Revolutionary Guards fired missiles at Daesh militants in Syria after the extremist group took responsibility for an attack at a military parade in Iran that killed 25 people, nearly half of them members of the Guards.