Here is a round-up of global news developments:
- Saudi airstrikes on two districts in Yemen’s Hajjah province have killed at least 107 civilians. Reports say medics aren’t able to identify the victims due to severity of the raids. Most of the casualties took place when Saudi warplanes targeted a crowded market in the district of Mustaba.
- Amnesty International says Saudi Arabia is committing gross and systematic human rights violations, calling on the UN Human Rights Council to hold the kingdom accountable for the crimes. The group says Riyadh has breached international humanitarian laws on numerous occasions, namely in its war on Yemen and January mass execution.
- The United Nations special envoy for Syria says overall principles of a political transition in the war-hit country topped the agenda of Geneva talks with the Saudi-backed opposition group. Staffan De Mistura added that Syria’s warring sides submitted documents regarding a political deal during the talks.
- Iran, the United Nations, and France have hailed Russia’s decision to partially withdraw its forces from Syria. Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the move is a positive sign. According to the Russian Defense Ministry, first group of warplanes have returned home under President Putin’s order.
- UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi says he will ask the international community to receive 400-thousand Syrian asylum seekers at a meeting in Geneva on March 30. Earlier on Tuesday, EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avra-mopoulos called for the immediate relocation of thousands of refugees among member states.
- The UN secretary-general has called on Israel to halt its latest act of land grab in the occupied West Bank. Ban Ki moon added that such actions show Israelis are trying to tighten their grip on the entire West bank. Ban’s remarks come after Tel Aviv announced the seizure of hundreds of hectares of land.
- The Belgian premier says a counter-terrorism operation by Belgian and French police in Brussels is still ongoing. Charles Michel said the operation is linked to last year’s Paris terror attacks. At least one suspect has been killed and four police officers have been injured in the operation.
- An Ecuadorian plane carrying army personnel has crashed in the Amazon rain forest in the country’s Pastaza province. The army says 22 people were on board the training flight at the time of the crash. Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa said in a tweet that all the passengers were killed.