Saudi-led forces, Israeli regime among those rapped by UN for killing children

TEHRAN, Jul. 27 (MNA) – A Saudi Arabia-led military coalition fighting in Yemen killed or injured 729 children during 2018, accounting for nearly half the total child casualties, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said in a report to the Security Council on Friday that blacklisted the coalition for the third year.

Guterres also reported that the highest number of Palestinian children had been killed or injured last year since 2014, mainly by Israeli forces, though no parties were blacklisted in the annex to the annual Children in Armed Conflict report, seen by Reuters.

The report, which does not subject those listed to action but rather shames parties to conflicts in the hope of pushing them to implement measures to protect children, has long been controversial with diplomats saying Saudi Arabia and Israel both exerted pressure in recent years in a bid to stay off the list.

The Israeli UN mission did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the latest report. 

Saudi UN Ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said the report acknowledges steps taken by the coalition to safeguard children, noting that “every child’s life is precious.” But he also questioned the sourcing and accuracy of the report, describing the numbers as “exaggerated.”

The coalition had been briefly added to the blacklist in 2016 and then removed by Ban pending review. At the time, Ban accused Saudi Arabia of exerting “unacceptable” undue pressure after sources told Reuters that Riyadh threatened to cut some UN funding. Saudi Arabia denied threatening Ban.

It has been four years since the Yemen war started, but the Saud Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and other invaders have not been able to succeed even in a small part of their plans in Yemen.

The bravery and resistance of Yemenis have now forced UAE to leave the battlefield, even though the country has been among the main invaders of Yemen for years.

UAE’s withdrawal from the Yemen war was the worst news ever to Saudi Arabia and now Riyadh can only await a bitter failure. Now, more than ever, Saudis are alone in Yemen. In this situation, Riyadh has no choice other than accepting the defeat.

According to a New York Times report, UAE has come to the conclusion that the Saudi-Emirati coalition has no chance of winning in Yemen, and has decided to leave the war-torn country, despite pressures from Saudi Arabia.

Over the last four years of war in Yemen, UAE has had a vital role and provided the lion share of financial and military support. Up to now, UAE has sent thousands of men to Yemen and has led many operations, but now the country has come to the conclusion that it is no longer able to stay in this war.

In recent weeks, Emiratis who once had more than five thousand forces in Yemen,  said they want to evacuate their forces gradually and the retreat will be a step-by-step process, but some western and Arab diplomats have informed the New York Times that UAE has expedited the process and has already removed a large part of its forces from Yemen.

MNA/PR

News Code 148107

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