Saudi-led coalition investigating Sanaa strike allegations

Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, spokesman for the Arab coalition.
Updated 17 February 2017

Saudi-led coalition investigating Sanaa strike allegations

JEDDAH: The Arab coalition supporting the legitimate Yemeni government said Thursday that it is looking into claims alleging that a gathering of civilians was targeted near Sanaa on Wednesday night.
Maj. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman for the coalition, told Arab News that a statement has been issued by the coalition announcing the launch of an investigation into the incident.
“We are aware of news reports by several media outlets quoting Houthi militia that Yemeni civilians were killed in a coalition airstrike that hit a residential unit near the Yemeni capital,” said a coalition statement on Thursday. It added: “We would like to point out that a military operation is undergoing between the Yemeni Army and the Houthi militias in that area for several days. The coalition will investigate the allegations and will provide the media with updates.”
The airstrike hit the house of a local tribal leader in the Arhab district north of Sanaa, a resident told Reuters.
Meanwhile, top diplomats from the US, Britain, Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE as well as a UN special envoy met on Thursday to discuss the crisis in Yemen, the US State Department said in a statement, according to Reuters.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, at the meeting, said Washington continued to support the UN-led process “and noted the urgent need for the unfettered delivery of humanitarian assistance throughout Yemen.”


US sanctions Iran minister over Internet censorship

Updated 22 November 2019

US sanctions Iran minister over Internet censorship

  • Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin: We are sanctioning Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology for restricting Internet access
  • Mnuchin: Iran’s leaders know that a free and open Internet exposes their illegitimacy, so they seek to censor Internet access to quell anti-regime protests

WASHINGTON: The US Treasury slapped punitive sanctions on Iran’s communications minister, Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi, Friday after the Tehran regime blocked Internet communications amid violent protests triggered by a petrol price hike.
“We are sanctioning Iran’s Minister of Information and Communications Technology for restricting Internet access, including to popular messaging applications that help tens of millions of Iranians stay connected to each other and the outside world,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement.
“Iran’s leaders know that a free and open Internet exposes their illegitimacy, so they seek to censor Internet access to quell anti-regime protests,” Mnuchin said.
The protests erupted across the country on November 15, after the price of petrol was raised by as much as 200 percent.
Officials have confirmed five deaths, while Amnesty International said that more than 100 demonstrators were believed to have been killed after authorities reportedly used live ammunition to quell the protests, which brought attacks on police stations and petrol stations and some looting of shops.
The Treasury said Azari Jahomi is a former official of the Ministry of Intelligence who has advanced Internet censorship since becoming minister two years ago.
He has “also been involved in surveillance against opposition activists,” the Treasury said.
Internet service remained mostly blocked on Friday for a sixth day, with officials and news agencies saying the blackout was gradually being rolled back.
The sanctions would freeze financial assets and property Azari Jahomi has in US jurisdictions and forbid Americans or US businesses, especially banks, from dealing with him.
On Thursday, President Donald Trump accused Iran of blocking the Internet to cover up “death and tragedy” resulting from the protests.
“Iran has become so unstable that the regime has shut down their entire Internet System so that the Great Iranian people cannot talk about the tremendous violence taking place within the country,” Trump tweeted.
“They want ZERO transparency, thinking the world will not find out the death and tragedy that the Iranian Regime is causing!” he wrote.