UN silence on Houthi aid truck attacks in Yemen ‘unacceptable’

The army launched artillery raids targeting Houthi reinforcements sent to Sufyan directorate in an effort to retake strategic sites it had lost. (File/AFP)
Updated 02 September 2018

UN silence on Houthi aid truck attacks in Yemen ‘unacceptable’

  • A Yemeni military source said the army continued its advance toward Hajjah province, where it liberated several villages and other strategic locations
  • Yemen’s army killed more than 140 Houthi militants during clashes in the northwestern province of Saada

JEDDAH: Yemen’s High Relief Committee (HRC) has condemned an attack by the Houthi militia, which targeted a truck carrying relief supplies from the World Food Programme (WFP) in Hodeidah.
The committee said in a press statement that the Iranian-backed militia had bombed a truck carrying relief and humanitarian aid for the residents of the Al-Tahita directorate, killing the driver.
The statement added that the committee has previously alerted to such actions by the Houthis, which are aimed at obstructing the safe access of relief materials to the directorates of Al-Tahita and Al-Drehami, in particular, and other directorates in Hodeidah province, in general, and have a direct impact on the humanitarian situation in the area.
Yemeni Minister of Local Administration and HRC Chairman, Abdul Raqeeb Fateh, blamed the Houthi militia for impeding rapid humanitarian access to those in need, the bombing of trucks and relief vessels in Hodeidah port, and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation in the province.
He said in a statement to the official Yemeni news agency that the “continuous and guaranteed targeting of relief trucks and field personnel, especially from UN organizations, by the Houthi militants places the United Nations and other organizations in a position of humanitarian and moral responsibility to defend its staff working in the humanitarian field in Yemen.”
Fatah called on Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Lisa Grande, to condemn the “criminal act, which contravenes all international and humanitarian laws,” and to notify the UN, including the Security Council, of all violations committed by the Houthi militias against relief work and to make the necessary and significant solutions to stop these acts and violations.
The minister denounced the continued silence of the humanitarian affairs coordinator and international organizations on these incidents as unacceptable, calling on the international community to take full responsibility for the suffering of the people in Hodeidah and to take the necessary measures to immediately halt all violations by militias against relief efforts, especially since the terrorist group has committed many violations that have paralyzed the work of relief organizations and kidnapped many relief and humanitarian workers in the province.

Meanwhile, Yemen’s army, backed by the Arab Coalition, killed more than 140 Houthi militants during clashes in the northwestern province of Saada, according to Saudi state-news channel Al-Ekhbariya.
A Yemeni military source said the army continued its advance toward Hajjah province, where it liberated several villages and other strategic locations.
Elsewhere, the army launched artillery raids targeting Houthi reinforcements sent to Sufyan directorate in an effort to retake strategic sites it had lost.


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.