Houthi militia violates UN-brokered ceasefire in Hodeidah 29 times in last 24 hours

The Houthi militia have violated the UN-brokered ceasefire in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah 29 times in the last 24 hours. (Reuters/File)
Updated 27 December 2018
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Houthi militia violates UN-brokered ceasefire in Hodeidah 29 times in last 24 hours

JEDDAH: The Houthi militia have violated the UN-brokered ceasefire in the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah 29 times in the last 24 hours, the Arab coalition said.

The coalition also said that the Iranian-backed Houthis continue to violate the truce in Hodeidah, and that they have been bombing areas populated by civilians resulting in injuries. 

The warring parties in Yemen’s nearly four-year war reached a ceasefire deal at UN-sponsored peace talks in Sweden earlier this month. The truce began last week Tuesday but the Houthis continue to violate it. 

The UN Security Council last week unanimously approved the deployment — for an initial 30 days — of an advance monitoring team led by retired Dutch General Patrick Cammaert. He is chair of a Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) that includes representatives from both sides of the conflict.
Cammaert’s team, which the United Nations has said will not be uniformed or armed, will oversee the truce and troop withdrawal from Hodeidah city and three ports.
The United Nations will also provide support for the management of and inspections at the ports of Hodeidah, Salif and Ras Issa; and strengthen its presence in the region.
Hodeidah, the main port used to feed Yemen’s 30 million people, has been the focus of fighting this year, raising fears abroad that a full-scale assault could cut off supplies to nearly 16 million people suffering from severe hunger.
The deal reached in Sweden is meant to pave the way for a wider ceasefire in the impoverished country and a second round of talks in January on a framework for political negotiations.


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.