UN aid official: Yemeni militia blocking food for thousands

Yemenis demonstrate during an earlier protest against the suspension of aid provided by the World Food Program in Sanaa on June 19, 2019. (AFP)
Updated 25 June 2019

UN aid official: Yemeni militia blocking food for thousands

  • Houthis blocked an aid shipment meant to feed some 100,000 families

CAIRO: A World Food Program spokesperson says Yemen’s militia have blocked a shipment meant to feed some 100,000 families in the war-torn nation that’s been pushed to the brink of starvation.
The official says the aid was blocked after the WFP partially suspended aid last week after accusing the Houthis of looting aid. The militia, who control northern Yemen, responded with a fierce media campaign against the WFP, accusing it of sending spoiled food.
The official says the Houthis ordered over 8,000 tons of flour sent by the WFP out of the Red Sea port of Hodeida, claiming it was contaminated with dead insects.
A subsequent check on the cargo, now docked in Oman, showed it was clean.
The official spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the incident.


Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

Updated 19 October 2019

Macron slams Turkey’s aggression in Syria as ‘madness’, bewails NATO inaction

  • EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities as demanded by the US is not a genuine cease-fire
  • He calls on Ankara to immediately stop military operations,

BRUSSELS/ANKARA: Macron critizes Turkey's aggression in Syria as "madness', bewails NATO inaction

France’s President Emmanuel Macron has bemoaned Turkey’s offensive into northern Syria as “madness” and decried NATO’s inability to react to the assault as a “serious mistake.”

“It weakens our credibility in finding partners on the ground who will be by our side and who think they will be protected in the long term. So that raises questions about how NATO functions.”

EU Council President Donald Tusk said the halt of Turkish hostilities is not a genuine cease-fire and called on Ankara to immediately stop military operations in Syria.

Dareen Khalifa, a senior Syria analyst at the International Crisis Group, said the cease-fire had unclear goals. 

There was no mention of the scope of the area that would be under Turkish control and, despite US Vice President Mike Pence referring to a 20-mile zone, the length of the zone remains ambiguous, she said.

Selim Sazak, a doctoral researcher at Brown University, believed the agreement would be implemented and the YPG would withdraw.

“The agency of the YPG is fairly limited. If the deal collapses because of the YPG, it’s actually all the better for Ankara,” he told Arab News. “What Ankara originally wanted was to take all of the belt into its control and eliminate as many of the YPG forces as possible. Instead, the YPG is withdrawing with a portion of its forces and its territory intact. Had the deal collapsed because of the YPG, Ankara would have reason to push forward, this time with much more legitimacy.”