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

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.


Iran says it is preparing for satellite launch

Updated 54 min 24 sec ago

Iran says it is preparing for satellite launch

  • Iran tried and failed to launch two satellites into orbit in January and February last year
  • Iran has sent several satellites into orbit over the past decade

TEHRAN: Iran said Sunday that two newly constructed satellites have passed pre-launch tests and will be transported to the nation's space center for eventual launch, without elaborating.
Telecommunications Minister Mohammad Javad Azari Jahromi tweeted about the development, calling it an “important research step.”
Iran has not said when it will launch the satellites, but often coordinates its launches with national holidays. It will celebrate the 41st anniversary of the Islamic Revolution next month.
Iran's largely state-run media say the 90-kilogram (200-pound) Zafar satellites each have four high-resolution color cameras and will monitor and transmit data on natural resources as well as agricultural and environmental developments.
Iran says its satellite program, like its nuclear activities, is aimed at scientific research and other civilian applications. The US and other Western countries have long been suspicious of the program because the same technology can be used to develop long-range missiles.
Iran tried and failed to launch two satellites into orbit in January and February last year.
A rocket exploded inside the Imam Khomeini Space Center in August during what officials later said was a test-launch. Iranian officials did not acknowledge the mishap until satellite imagery showed the explosion. Officials blamed a technical malfunction.
In a separate incident, a fire killed three researchers at the space center, which is some 240 kilometers (150 miles) southeast of the capital, Tehran.
Iran has sent several satellites into orbit over the past decade, and in 2013 it launched a monkey into space.