MWL rejects UN report on children in conflict

Updated 08 October 2017

MWL rejects UN report on children in conflict

JEDDAH: The Muslim World League (MWL) on Saturday criticized the methodology and findings of a UN report on children in armed conflict.
The report commended the Saudi-led coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen for its actions to improve child protection, and for its cooperation with the UN.
However, the report by Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, which was submitted to the Security Council last week, also blamed the coalition and Iran-backed Houthi rebels for causing the deaths of children in the conflict in Yemen.
The MWL said that, on behalf of the Muslim world and the many organizations, Islamic and non-Islamic, with which it was affiliated, it rejected the findings of the report.
It pointed out that in August, the UN itself had applauded the work undertaken by the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) and the center for the rehabilitation of Yemeni children.
The MWL said the documentation in the UN report failed to reach international standards, and the report had failed to determine liability with a proper investigation.
“The Houthi militias have thwarted relief efforts between 2015 and 2017 — 65 aid ships, 124 relief convoys, 628 trucks, 5,500 food baskets and 6,000 bags of flour were looted by the militias during this period,” the MWL said.
“Furthermore, between 2015 and 2017, Houthi militias have carried out numerous attacks against many UN and other relief organizations and aid workers in Sanaa, Taiz, Hajjah, Al-Hudeidah, Ibb and Aden. They have committed acts of murder and kidnapping and blocked entry to, looted and forcibly closed aid offices. This has been part of the Iran-backed Houthis’ crimes against the Yemeni people since they hijacked legitimacy in the country.
“The UN secretary-general’s report should have drawn on the apparent physical evidence of all the tragedies and challenges, and the UN must reveal the truth about those who committed those crimes and support the coalition in overcoming the challenges.”
The MWL said the coalition was “more than glad to restore happiness and stability in Yemen and ensure its children’s safety and prosperous future. The coalition has taken upon itself to unite Yemen under one legitimate government. It sees the beauty of the country’s diversity and believes it is the source of its wealth, prosperity and development, and aims to renew its political, intellectual and social unity under an independent, civilized government that enjoys sovereignty.”


Turkish shelling kills 9 regime personnel in NW Syria: monitor

Updated 25 February 2020

Turkish shelling kills 9 regime personnel in NW Syria: monitor

  • UN says it was trying to double aid deliveries across a border crossing from Turkey from 50 to 100 trucks a day.
  • Idlib has seen hundreds of thousands of people flee the violence

BEIRUT: Turkish shelling Monday killed nine regime fighters in northwest Syria, where Ankara-backed rebels are fighting off advancing regime forces, a monitor said.
Syrian regime forces have since December clawed back parts of the last major opposition bastion of Idlib in violence that has displaced almost a million people.
Fighting raged on Monday, killing almost 100 fighters on both sides around the jihadist-dominated bastion, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitor said.
Those included 41 pro-regime fighters, as well as 53 jihadists and allied rebels.
Overall on Monday, the regime advanced rapidly in the south of the bastion, but lost the town of Nayrab along the M4 highway to Turkish-backed rebels in the southeast.
Turkish shelling in that area killed four regime fighters near Nayrab and another five near the town of Saraqeb to its east, the Britain-based Observatory said.
Opposition fighters had already broken back into Nayrab last week after the regime seized it at the start of the month, but then lost it again several hours later.
Saraqeb, which lies at the intersection of the M4 and another important highway the M5, has been under regime control since February 8.
Earlier Monday, Russian air strikes killed five civilians in the Jabal Al-Zawiya area in the south of the bastion, the Observatory said.
In fighting on the ground, regime forces seized 10 towns and villages south of the M4, which links the coastal regime stronghold of Latakia to government-held second city Aleppo, it said.
State news agency SANA, for its part, said “units of the Syrian army continued to progress in the south of Idlib” province.
Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman said the regime’s aim was to wrest back control of stretches of the M4 still under the control of jihadists and allied rebels.
That would require operations against the towns of Ariha and Jisr Al-Shughur, both along the M4.
Analysts expect a tough battle for Jisr Al-Shughur, held by the jihadist Turkistan Islamic Party whose fighters mainly hail from China’s Uighur Muslim minority.
They are allied to Hayat Tahrir Al-Sham, a group led by Syria’s former Al-Qaeda affiliate which dominates the Idlib region.
Loyalist forces have already taken back control of the M5, which connects the capital with Aleppo.
They have also secured the region around the northern city, a major pre-war industrial hub.
Fighting in northwest Syria since December has forced some 900,000 people to flee their homes and shelters amid bitter cold.
The United Nations said Monday that the latest fighting was coming “dangerously close” to encampments of the displaced, risking an imminent “bloodbath.”
Mark Cutts, a UN humanitarian coordinator, also told reporters in Geneva that the world body was trying to double aid deliveries across a border crossing with Turkey from 50 to 100 trucks a day.
Syria’s war has killed more than 380,000 people and displaced millions since starting in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-government protests.