UN casts doubt on Houthi claims of Hodeidah withdrawal

The government accused the Houthis of backtracking on the UN agreement, claiming that the militias were misleading officials about their withdrawal. (File/AFP)
Updated 30 December 2018
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UN casts doubt on Houthi claims of Hodeidah withdrawal

  • The United Nations casted doubt on the claims by the Houthis to have withdrawn from the port of Hodeidah
  • A spokesman said the Houthis failed to honor an agreement to open a “humanitarian” corridor between Hodeidah and Sanaa

SANAA: The United Nations has cast doubt on the claims by the Houthis to have withdrawn from the port of Hodeidah, saying such steps can only be credible if all other parties can verify them.

A spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Sunday that the Houthis failed to honor an agreement to open a “humanitarian” corridor between Hodeidah and the capital, Sanaa, to deliver humanitarian assistance.

The Houthis said Saturday they handed over control of the port to the coast guard as part of confidence-building measures agreed this month in peace talks in Sweden.

A UN official, who requested anonymity, also said that the Houthis began to pull back from the Red Sea port at midnight (2100 GMT Friday). However, the government denied this, saying it was a ploy by the Iran-aligned militia to maintain control of the port.

The government accused the Houthis of backtracking on the UN agreement, claiming that the militias were misleading officials about their withdrawal by pulling out their forces and handing it over to their affiliates.

A member of the Yemeni government delegation to the Sweden UN-brokered peace talks Askar Zayel, told Yemen’s state news agency the Houthis actions have a negative impact on the peace deal regarding the port.

“This manoeuvre reduces the chances for peace and reveals the intentions of the militia and their tireless efforts in thwarting the UN-sponsored agreement sponsored,” Askar Zayel, told Saba Net.

“The government will inform the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the five permanent members that this action is unacceptable and inadmissible, for it violates the Sweden agreement,” Zayel said.

He pointed out that the agreement stated the port must be handed over “to local units of Yemen’s coast guards who were in charge of protecting the ports before the conflict, as stated by Yemeni law.” 

(With AP)


Turkey, Iran carried out joint operation against Kurdish militants

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, above, said the operations will be on the eastern Turkish border. (AFP/File)
Updated 18 March 2019
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Turkey, Iran carried out joint operation against Kurdish militants

  • Turkish Interior Minister said they will reveal the results of the operation
  • Turkish military carried out a number of arrests of alleged PKK members in Turkey

ANKARA: Turkey and Iran carried out a joint operation against militants from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) on Monday, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu said according to state-owned media.
“We started carrying out an operation with Iran against the PKK on our eastern border this morning (and) will announce the result,” news agency Anadolu quoted Solyu as saying. State broadcaster TRT Haber also cited him commenting on the operation.
Turkey’s military regularly carries out air strikes against PKK militants in northern Iraq and has carried out operations to arrest alleged members of the group in Turkey. The PKK is deemed a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States and European Union.