Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 288 - Yemen War Mosaic 288

Yemen Press Reader 288: Jemen und Iran–Hungersnot–USA, Saudi-Arabien und Jemenkrieg-Iona Craig über US-Angriff auf Yakla–Angst vor Drohnen-Al Kaida in Taiz–Sowjet. Raketen-Saudis und Atomwaffen

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Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Yemen and Iran – Famine – US, Saudi Arabia and Yemen war – Iona Craig on US raid at Yakla – Fear of drones – Al Qaeda at Taiz – Houthis use Soviet missiles – Nasser Arrabyee interview – Saudi Arabia and nuclear weapons – Warnings of attacking Hodeidah port – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

cp6 Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi-government

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche/ UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Mercenaries / Söldner

cp13c Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

PH = Pro-Houthi

PS = Pro-Saudi

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

31.3.2017 – Lobelog (** B P)

Does the Road to Tehran really lie through Sana‘a?

In terms of regional politics, Yemen is unimportant to the Iranians, except to goad and divert Sa‘udi attention from Syria and Iraq – which are Iran’s Vital Ground. The Shi‘a in Yemen are Zaydis, very different from Iranian Shi’a, and have their own, independent agenda. Similarly, the Kingdom of Sa‘udi Arabia is actually concerned with the potential of a genuine democracy in its backyard, not Iranian expansion.

Geo-politically, Yemen is of little and declining importance. More widely, while the Sa‘udis may have “felt neglected by the previous administration”. In fact, what Obama was trying to do was balance the Shi‘ism-exporting Iran with the Wahhabism-exporting Sa‘udi Arabia, and thus reduce the cost in blood and treasure to the U.S. tax-payer; surprisingly thrifty for a law professor. Geo-strategically, backing the Sa‘udi side in this struggle renders the U.S. vulnerable to the potential shock of a Sa‘udi revolution as happened when the Iranian Empire fell in 1979.

The problem with the U.S. “pushing back against Iran’s influence in Yemen” is that Iran’s influence in Yemen is minor, and so intangible that the U.S. and the Sa’udi-led Coalition have struggled to produce (publishable) evidence of it. Most of the weaponry used by the Huthis and Salihis has come from domestic (many U.S.-supplied) sources, as does the financing. The UAVs and anti-tank guided missiles possibly sent from Iran are not game-changing in either quantity or quality, so cutting off that supply will have limited impact on the battle for Yemen. The Coalition already has a tight blockade against Yemen, and CTF-150 has been in place countering terrorist weapons moves for 15 years.

It is difficult to see how “Pressing ahead with stalled arms shipments to the Saudi government; using drones to help gather intelligence for strikes on Houthi targets; and assistance in planning the recapture of the critical Red Sea port city Hodeidah from Houthi forces” would tip the balance much in the Coalition’s favour: the U.S. has already provided advanced military equipment, and supplied extensive intelligence. So far, with that U.S. assistance, the Coalition have captured most of the level terrain close to the coast / Sa’udi border. Such further U.S. assistance to consolidate the Coalition’s conquest will have no impact on the really hard fighting – the battle to break into the mountains and seize Sana’a.

One humanitarian reason suggested for U.S. military assistance is that “the recapture of the critical Red Sea port city Hodeidah from Houthi forces … would allow humanitarian supplies to flow into the famine-wracked country.” Yet while there are Huthi / Salihi obstacles in Hodeidah, the main limitations on getting “humanitarian supplies to flow into the famine-wracked country” are the Coalition blockade and the lack of bulk-handling equipment, since the Sa’udis refused to let the UN land replacement cranes. Inland, there are also major problems distributing the aid, some of which are Huthi / Salihi checkpoints / shakedowns, but many are due to damage to infrastructure by Sa’udi airstrikes, the limited quantities of fuel available for trucks to distribute the aid – and indeed, the fighting itself – by James Spencer

30.3.2017 – The Economist (** B H K P)

Famine menaces 20m people in Africa and Yemen

War, not drought, is the reason people are starving

According to the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS Net), run by the American government, 70m people around the world will need food assistance this year, a level it says is “unprecedented in recent decades”.

South Sudan is not unusual in having a man-made famine. In Yemen the political dynamics are different but the result is the same.

Nine-tenths of Yemen’s food is imported, but Hodeida, the largest port, has been bombed out. At a warehouse in Humanitarian City, a storage centre used by aid agencies in Dubai, four new mobile cranes are waiting to help Hodeida unload ships. When the UN tried to install them in January, the coalition denied them permission to enter Yemeni waters. They might be used for offloading weapons, an official explained, or to earn port fees for the rebels. That is despite the fact that ships docking at Hodeida are inspected by the UN, and arms anyway enter elsewhere, on small boats or overland.

South Sudan’s and Yemen’s are the most clearly avoidable famines. But Nigeria’s comes close.

Only in Somalia, which in 2011 was the last country to suffer an officially declared famine, does the risk of starvation derive in large part from weather.

What does the return of famine mean for international organisations such as the UN and for Western countries, which provide most of the finance for emergency aid?

The situation in Yemen is more squalid. There, the weapons used to bomb Houthi rebels are mostly supplied by Britain and America; America has given logistics and intelligence support to Saudi Arabia’s war effort for two years. Yet diplomats tiptoe round criticism of the Saudi-led coalition. They insist that they are pushing for more aid to be allowed in, but shy away from sanctions that might force leaders to comply. One UN official describes a “conspiracy of silence” about Yemen.

According to Alex de Waal of Tufts University, formally declaring a famine is a “political act” that is intended to produce action. “This will be a test case for whether it works,” he writes. In 2011, when Somalia was last hit by drought, the declaration of famine forced America to change the rules that were stopping aid agencies from supplying food to territory held by al-Shabab.

Britain and America show no sign of wanting to force Saudi Arabia or its allies to curtail their war in Yemen. But there is no alternative plan, either. And so famine, which should have been abolished throughout the world by now, is coming back – by PANYIJIAR AND MAIDUGURI

30.3.2017 – Christian Science Monitor (** B K P)

Fighting famine in Yemen vs. aid for Saudis. Does the US have to choose?

Amid calls for immediate US famine relief, or a cessation of US assistance to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, other experts say the military aid could be used as leverage to press for a political solution and more secure food delivery.

The situation underscores the dilemmas the US faces in the two-year-old civil war, which has opened the door to increased Al Qaeda and Iranian influence in the region and – along with conflicts in Africa – brought the specter of famine into the 21st century.

Some senators are demanding that the US assert its moral force and insist that food assistance reach the starving now, while critics of US military support for the Saudi-led coalition say the US should simply pull the plug on military assistance they contend is keeping the conflict going.

Yet other regional experts say the US can and should do, or threaten to do, both – essentially using military support in the conflict as leverage to push for a political solution and thereby opening the door to sustained food aid delivery.

“Unfortunately I don’t see any good short-term solutions in Yemen, but the two [military support and humanitarian assistance] are not mutually exclusive,” says Katherine Zimmerman, an expert in Al Qaeda and radical threats at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) in Washington. “I’m hoping the US pursues a strategy that allows us to broker a solution that doesn’t alienate the population … and that facilitates food aid getting to people where they are.”

Most of the food aid the millions of hungry Yemenis depend on must pass through Hodeida, but Saudi Arabia has blockaded the port in an effort to keep out Iranian arms shipments. A United Arab Emirates plan to forcefully wrest the port from Houthi control with stepped-up US assistance is among the strategy shifts the Trump White House is considering.

The Obama administration nixed the same plan last year after concluding there were no guarantees of success for a plan that would exacerbate dire humanitarian conditions.

In the meantime, various officials and humanitarian activists are pressing the US to focus more on addressing Yemen’s food crisis.

Others say the US should pressure Saudi Arabia to end the Hodeida blockade.

Robert Naiman, policy director of the group Just Foreign Policy, says Congress should use its leverage to signal it would hold up any new arms sales to Saudi Arabia if the Saudis do not lift their US-backed blockade of Hodeida.

Still others caution that simply opening Hodeida – or even less, aiding a battle that did deliver the port to the Emiratis – would not solve Yemen’s food-aid delivery crisis.

“The Saudi-led coalition claims it will be able to deliver aid much better if it takes the port,” says Zimmerman. “That might be true, but my concern is that all you would do is push the fighting farther out to the secondary roads leading out of the port,” she says. “But those roads are crucial to reaching a population that … for the most part is spread out across the central highlands.”

Zimmerman says what’s really needed is a humanitarian cease-fire, including a halt to devastating Saudi airstrikes. That may not be in the cards short-term, she acknowledges, but says any real solution will require deeper US involvement. In her view, the US should set an independent course untethered to the Saudi-led coalition, allowing the US to better engage with all the parties to the conflict.

“The Houthis are seen to be a monolithic proxy of Iran, but that’s not true,” she says. The US should work with the Houthi factions not beholden to Iran, and press for a cease-fire to get food shipments moving again.

But ultimately it will only be a political solution, with Houthi participation in the government, she says, that is going to really open the door to cutting Yemen’s famine short and resolving its chronic food insecurity – by Howard LaFranchi

30.3.2017 – Consortium News (** B K P)

Aiding Saudi Arabia’s Slaughter in Yemen

President Trump is following the same path as his predecessor, bowing to the Saudi royal family and helping in their brutal war against Yemen

Saudi Arabia continues to escalate its war against Yemen, relying on the strong support of the U.S. government even as the poverty-stricken Yemenis are pushed toward starvation, according to investigative reporter/historian Gareth Porter.

Porter says the U.S. corporate press has failed to report the Saudi slaughter in a way in which it could be fully understood.

Dennis Bernstein: Is Saudi Arabia using starvation as a weapon of war against Yemen where there is mass hunger bordering on a famine?

Gareth Porter: Sure. Well, unfortunately the way this war in Yemen has been covered, thus far, with a few exceptions, of course, the public does have the impression that this is a war in which a few thousand Yemenis have been killed, and therefore, it’s kind of second to third tier, in terms of wars in the Middle East. Because people are aware that Syria is one in which hundreds of thousands of people have died. So, and I think that’s the frame that most people have on the conflict in Yemen.

And that’s very unfortunate, because maybe it’s true that it’s only been several thousands, or let’s say ten thousand plus people, who have been killed by the bombs, directly. But what’s really been happening for well over a year, I think it’s fair to say a year to a year and a half, is that more people are dying of starvation-related or malnutrition-related diseases and starvation, than from the bombs themselves. And this is a fact which I’m sorry to say simply has not gotten into the press coverage of the war, thus far.

And, of course, the Saudis launched the war in late March, 2015 with the full support of the Obama administration. They had that agreement ahead of time, before they started, that the United States would provide the logistical support, the bombs, help in targeting, not explicitly targeting but sort of technical assistance in making decisions about how to approach the war.

And, more important than any of those things, in some ways, was the assurance the United States government would provide the political/diplomatic cover, for this war. And I think that’s really the crucial problem here. That the Saudis have felt that they could get away with not just continuing to bomb civilian targets, and infrastructure targets, and, essentially establishing a thorough going blockade, economic blockade of the country, preventing the fuel, the food, and the medicine from coming into the country that this poor… really the poorest nation in the Middle East have to have in order to survive. But now, as you suggested in your intro, is actually trying to impose, to use starvation as a weapon.

DB: And, just to be clear, how bad is the situation on the ground? How many people are at risk? Who’s at risk? What do we know about that, before we get into this other stuff?

GP: Well, I’ve been trying to get through to somebody in the United Nations, specialized agencies, or volunteer agencies who could speak more precisely to that than has been the case up till now, publicly. And so far, at least, I have not succeeded in getting anyone to say…to go beyond the formal position of the U.N. system

DB: I want you to talk about, it’s rather troubling to see this, and entertain this notion of using food and starvation as a weapon of war. But now we see a troubling collaboration in which the Saudis are trying to break the Yemen Central Bank which is sort of standing between this, where they are now, and absolute famine. You want to talk about that policy? I know the U.S. is deeply engaged.

GP: Sure. Absolutely. I mean the point here is that, as you say, the Central Bank of Yemen was, last year, the last refuge, if you will, the last thing standing between many hundreds of thousands of people and potential famine, because it was providing what little liquidity was available in that country, for the purchase of food stuffs. Very, very few food stuffs still getting into the country. But what there was, you had to have money in order to purchase it. And liquidity was very, very scarce. So the Central Bank was the only thing that was guaranteeing a minimum of liquidity in the Yemeni economy.

And I’m sorry to say that now it’s too late. The Yemeni government, really the Saudis behind them, of course, manipulating the Yemeni government, decided, in their wisdom, that they were going to break the Central Bank. They were going to eliminate it as a factor, in order to basically cause the population of Yemen such suffering, such starvation, that they would, somehow, turn against the government, the authorities, the Houthis and Masala forces, who have now formed their own government in Sana’a. So that was the strategy.

And they did, in fact, eliminate the Central Bank of Yemen by fiat. They supposedly, they moved it to Aden, which is controlled by the Saudis, and their puppet government, the Hadi government. But it doesn’t function, it’s simply a non-functioning Central Bank. And it promised to actually provide the pay for millions, not millions, but 1.2 million civil servants on the payroll, but who are not being paid. Who have not been paid for many months now. But it hasn’t done it.

And as a result of that, of course, you then had that many more people, as of last September, which is when all this happened, it was August and September [2016] when it happened. None of those 1.2 million people now have any source of income. And so that is clearly adding to the distress, to the hunger, and the potential starvation in Yemen.

DB: And, say a little bit more about the U.S. role, and why is the United States so deeply engaged in what really could turn out to be a troubling war crime in Yemen.

GP: You are asking precisely the right question, Dennis. And that is a question that I have been trying my best to penetrate. Of course, you’re not going to get anyone in the U.S. government, whether it was the Obama administration, or now the Trump administration, to ever say anything that will reveal the truth about this.

And the Trump administration, let’s face it, has no interest whatsoever in doing anything to help the people of Yemen. All they care about is to support the Saudis because the Saudis are anti-Iranian. But that was really the M.O. of the Obama administration as well.

And so, if you really are going to answer that question based on the available evidence, you have to say that the reason that the United States has allowed the Saudis to essentially establish, or to impose a regime of starvation on the people of Yemen, is because of the U.S. de facto alliance, the political and military relationships, between the United States and Saudi Arabia. And then, if you go to the next obvious question: well why is it that we have to do that, or that we should do that?

You basically have to admit that it is a matter of the military bases, and military relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia, and close ally, Qatar, who control two of the major military bases of the United States, the base in Bahrain.

And, of course, the Saudis have allowed the United States, with the NSA and the CIA, to have a very lucrative set of deals over arm sales, which have reached as much as $200 billion over – if you add in all the possible additional fees that can be charged on these deals – more than $200 billion over two decades. That is real money for those in the Pentagon. And the NSA and the CIA have their own sweetheart deals with the Saudis to provide various intelligence services.

This, I’m quite sure, based on my own research, is the real reason why the United States is so wedded to Saudi interests here. Because there is no other reason, it has nothing to do with oil. That may have been the case in 1945, when the U.S. first established its political relationship with the Saudi government, but it hasn’t been the case for many years now, that we have such interest in oil that it would mandate anything like this kind of policy – by Dennis J Bernstein (interviewer)

My comment: Very interesting, quite long, continue at the original site.

30.3.2017 – Democracy Now (** A K P T)

Iona Craig on What Really Happened When U.S. Navy SEALs Stormed a Yemeni Village, Killing Dozens

Independent journalist Iona Craig recently traveled to the Yemeni village where the U.S. Navy SEALs conducted a raid in January that left 25 civilians and one Navy SEAL dead. White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer described the raid as "absolutely a success," but Yemeni villagers who spoke to Craig painted a very different picture.

Well, really, the civilians that I spoke to when I went to the village had exactly that same question: Why? Why did the Trump administration choose to carry out this raid? For what reasons? And what are they going to do about it now? Because not only did they put the lives of Navy SEALs at a huge amount of risk, which was highly predictable if you had even a vague understanding of the local politics in that particular area of Yemen at the time, but obviously caused mass civilian casualties. There were 26 people in that village who were killed. As you’ve already mentioned, many of those were women and children. That village has essentially been abandoned now, because not only—after that raid happened, not only was the entire village strafed and more than 120 livestock were killed, but the U.S. went back a month later, at the beginning of March, and bombed it for four consecutive nights, both with drone strikes and helicopter gunfire, and killed two more children and several more adults. So the last person that I spoke to who was living there, Sheikh Aziz al Ameri, he then left the village and is now living under trees several miles away.

So, the impact on the local population, who were essentially on the same side as U.S. in the civil war in Yemen at the moment—they were fighting against the Houthis, which is exactly what the U.S. has been doing over the last two years—they’ve not only alienated the entire local population around there, but caused to huge amount of anti-American sentiment. And now tribesmen, who were not al-Qaeda, who are not even al-Qaeda now, but were not before, but are now quite willing and wanting to fight the Americans as a result of this and a result of them killing their children and their wives.

So, I think that what was quite clear before they even went in there was that, and what actually happened was the fact that, all of the local tribesmen in that area came to defend the village when the U.S. Navy SEALs went in there. And that was because they thought the village was being raided by the people they’d been fighting for the last two-and-a-half years, which is the Houthis. They had no notion that it was Americans that were coming in to attack the village when it happened. And that was quite clearly a huge risk when the Americans went in there to carry out this raid, that that would indeed happen. It’s the middle of a civil war. That village is right behind the front lines. They had been receiving rocket fire and mortar fire from their opponents in the civil war in the days and weeks before the raid. So, of course it was their assumption that their village was being stormed by the Houthi rebels, whom they’ve been fighting for so long. So, every man within hearing distance of gunfire came running. I spoke to a man who drove 45 minutes from his neighboring village when he got the call to come and help defend his neighbors’ area. And so, I think the risk to the Navy SEALs was massive before they even went in there. It appears that there had been at least some knowledge within the village that they were in fact coming, as well. And so, for all those reasons, the Navy SEALs were being put under a huge amount of risk, and it was highly likely that somebody was going to—one of their team was going to get killed, not to mention then the fact that they inevitably got pinned down by fire, then had to call in air support and basically decimate the entire village in order to be able to extract themselves safely from that situation. And from what I saw, and talking to people, most of that was predictable before they even went in there (with interview in film and audio) and film also here: and Craig’s report:

30.3.2017 – The Guardian (** A K)

'They're going to kill me next': Yemen family fears drone strikes under Trump

Before Trump took office, the US drones that killed several members of the Tuaiman family used to come about once a week. Now they come every day

Every day, as they hear the whine of the drones overhead, the Tuaiman family waits for Donald Trump to finish killing them.

The drones used to hover about once a week over al-Rawdah, the Yemeni village where the family lives, sending children running for cover.

Now, according to Meqdad Tuaiman, the drones come every day – sometimes three or four times. Usually they arrive in the afternoon. Other times they come after sundown and linger until sunrise.

The drones have not fired their weapons in four months, but their patrols have intensified since late January, when Trump took office. Meqdad, a 24-year-old used-car salesman and occasional pipeline guard, considers it no coincidence.

In October 2011, Meqdad’s father, Saleh, and his 17-year-old brother Jalal were killed in a drone strike after they drove into the desert to find some missing camels. Another brother who was with them – Ezzaldeen, 14 – escaped the blast and hid until morning, when he found the two shattered bodies.

In 2014, the Guardian gave Meqdad’s 13-year-old brother a camera to record his daily life. In January 2015, he too was killed in a drone strike.

According to Meqdad, his brother Ezzaldeen has started to say: “They’re going to kill me next.”

Under the Trump administration, airstrikes have escalated dramatically in Iraq and Syria, sending claims of civilian casualties skyrocketing. Airstrikes have also increased in Yemen

The Tuaiman family feels pinioned between the two campaigns: its support for Hadi aligns them with the US – even as they fear being marked for death by US drone strikes.

The UK-based monitor group Airwars has said claims of civilian casualties caused by the US and its allies have risen so sharply that it lacks the resources to continue monitoring those alleged to have been caused by Russia, which the US had once criticized for indiscriminate bombing.

In March 2017 alone, Airwars has tracked allegations of nearly 1,000 civilians killed in Iraq and Syria attributed to the US-led coalition.

A similar trend is at work in Yemen.

Kate Higham, who runs Reprieve’s assassinations project, said it was a “grave injustice” for Yemeni civilians like the Tuaimans to live in fear of drone strikes.

“This family, and many more across the Middle East, are terrified by President Trump’s mounting civilian casualties and worry that they will be next in line for assassination. President Trump must urgently review the entire targeting program and investigate the huge numbers of civilian deaths caused so far,” Higham said.

Meqdad fears neither al-Qaida nor the US is done with his family. With three dead blood relatives, has no answers, only questions and foreboding.

“When Mohammed was killed in 2015, the whole family realized it’s not a random incident – the whole family might be targeted,” he said.

“We might be accused of something that no one officially charged us with. Right now, I’m asking everyone in America: give us the reason for killing our family.” – by Spencer Ackerman

29.3.2017 – Middle East Eye (** B K P T)

'We have to obey them': Al-Qaeda increases its power in Yemen's Taiz city

A journalist has been detained by al-Qaeda for more than 30 hours suggesting its growing influence in Yemen’s cultural capital

The presence of al-Qaeda fighters in Taiz is not new. For months now they have fought, shoulder to shoulder, with pro-government forces against the Houthi rebels.

Residents are accustomed to seeing their men move around the streets in their own military vehicles, or their slogans on walls in the Old City, al-Jahmalia and other eastern neighbourhoods under al-Qaeda control.

The group is known for its ruthlessness - but in general it has let local journalists in Yemen work unhindered.

But that changed one Saturday in March, when Jameel al-Samet was arraigned, receiving documentation which demanded that he report to the al-Qaeda office. The group wanted to investigate his report into alleged corruption at the Republican Hospital, which it controls.

It was an order Al-Samet could not refuse.

"I spent 30 hours in a prison run by Ansar al-Sharia [part of al-Qaeda in Yemen] as a guest," Samet told Middle East Eye. "They detained me in one of their prisons in Taiz on Sunday morning and released me on Monday afternoon."

Samet did not explain why he was detained: he doesn’t want it to happen again. But many believe it is a growing sign that al-Qaeda has begun to act like a government in Taiz.

Aside from the hospital, the group also runs public institutions, such as police stations. It even has its own offices where it deals with complaints from residents (although many locals decide not to report them).

"Al-Qaeda works secretly everywhere in the country,” a journalist in Taiz city told Middle East Eye on condition of anonymity. “But in Taiz, al-Qaeda members consider themselves to be the main rulers of the city and we have to obey them.”

Many journalists in Taiz now do not include their bylines on stories which are critical of al-Qaeda or the institutions under its control. They fear punishment without trial.

“No one can go against al-Qaeda,” said the journalist. “I am sure that journalists will flee Taiz, just as they previously fled Sanaa in 2015."

The power politics in Taiz, the cultural capital of Yemen are complex.

There are 10 groups fighting under the banner of the Popular Resistance, including the Salafis, Muhamashin and al-Qaeda. They have their disputes over politics and religion – for example fighters in the Sa'aleek Brigade do not pray the five times every day - but all are united against the Houthis.

A leader of the pro-government resistance in Taiz city told MEE on condition of anonymity that they are aware of the dangers of al-Qaeda in Taiz city. However, they have resisted conflict as they do not want to open up a second front when fighting the Houthis is their priority.

He said that those fighters had been key in the fight against the Houthi rebels and would return to the provinces – by verbal agreement - after the war

The source stressed: “If they do not leave the city then we will fight them and will force them to leave. This is what happened in Aden and some other southern provinces."

He said al-Qaeda had not bothered residents of Taiz city and that there had not been any complaints against them. He said they arraigned Samet to investigate him as they are responsible for guarding the hospital and did not punish him.

Absence of government

But Fadhl al-Rabie, political analyst and the head of Aden-based Madar Strategic Studies Centre, told MEE: "The absence of the government gives the opportunity for the terrorist groups to replace it and this is the situation in Taiz province.

"The arraignment of Samet is a clear indication that al-Qaeda has become the ruler of some parts of the city,” he said. “Steps must be taken against them since they have weapons and they can take over Taiz.”

30.3.2017 – Sputnik News (** A K)

Huthi verbessern Sowjet-Raketen – Saudische Hauptstadt jetzt in Reichweite

Die Huthi-Rebellen im Jemen haben nach eigenen Angaben alte sowjetische Raketen so umgebaut, dass sie jetzt bis nach Riad, der Hauptstadt Saudi-Arabiens, reichen. Eine von den Saudis angeführte Militärkoalition fliegt seit September 2015 Angriffe auf die Huthis im Jemen.

In Waffenlagern in Jemen gebe es jede Menge von Raketen aus sowjetischer Produktion, teilte Sharaf Lakman, Sprecher der militärischen Huthi-Bewegung Ansar Allah, im Sputnik-Gespräch mit. Viele der Bestände seien jedoch durch Angriffe der saudischen Koalition außer Gefecht gesetzt worden. Doch den jemenitischen Spezialisten sei es gelungen, die Raketen wieder instand zu setzen

Mehr noch: Die Huthi hätten einige Raketen „modernisiert“. So seien die sowjetischen Flugabwehrraketen vom Typ S-75 Dwina (Nato-Code: SA-2 Guideline) zu Boden-Boden-Raketen mit einer Reichweite von 350 km umgebaut worden, um Ziele in Saudi-Arabien treffen zu können.

Darüber hinaus verfügen die Huthi nun über Scud-Raketen mit einer Reichweite von bis zu 1000 Kilometern, die Angriffe auf die saudische Hauptstadt Riad möglich machen sollen. „Die Jemeniten müssen erfinderisch sein“, so der General. Wegen der Blockade könne man keine neuen Waffen kaufen. Die Jemeniten seien gezwungen, erfinderisch zu sein, um die Angriffe doch abwehren zu können.

and English version:

30.3.2017 – Sputnik News (** A K)

Yemenis Repair Soviet Missiles to Counter Saudi Coalition Attacks

A military spokesman for the Yemeni Ansar Allah movement, Major-General Sharaf Lakman, told Sputnik Arabic that Yemeni specialists are upgrading Soviet missiles and modernizing whatever is available in the warehouses.

“The specialists were able to repair missile control radio systems that were damaged during the coalition airstrikes,” Lakman said.

Moreover, they managed to carry out some modernization of the missiles in order to better meet the set military objectives.

Lakman mentioned a Soviet surface-to-air missile, which was converted into a surface-to-surface missile with a range of 350 kilometers.

Now the Yemenis can hit targets in Saudi Arabia using the upgraded missiles. According to the spokesman there is a large stockpile of these missiles stored in warehouses.

According to Lakman, the available missiles have different ranges. Their Scud missiles have a range of 1,000 km. The range of the other missiles is about 800 km.

Due to the blockade, Yemenis have to use their creative skills in order to convert whatever is available in the old warehouses and make it work.

“The situation is such that there is no opportunity to buy new weapons as attacks by the hostile forces are occurring on all three fronts: sky, land and sea. Yemenis can only resist the attacks using the ground forces,” Lakman said.

My comment: Interesting; Saudis claim these arms would have been imported by Iran; the Yemenis had claimed they themselves had newly constructed these weapons. This story here sounds somewhat more realistic.

Comments by Haykal Bafana: Let's consider this Sputnik piece as the semi-official Moscow-style Russian confession on Yemen's burgeoning ballistic missile industry.

Not Iran. (and read also Bayfanas interesting discussion with Ari there)

31.3.2017 – TV 2000 IT (** B H K)

Film: Today - Yemen, guerra nel silenzio - puntata 30 marzo 2017

[For our Italian speaking friends, here is an important work on the war on #Yemen with a documentary of Laura Silvia Battaglia]

Quella che due anni fa in Yemen sembrava una guerra civile si è trasformata oggi in un conflitto internazionale: l’ennesimo capitolo della lotta fra sunniti e sciiti nel Golfo Persico, in cui i ribelli appoggiati dall’Iran si trovano a combattere una coalizione di 9 Paesi guidata dall’Arabia Saudita e sostenuta militarmente anche da americani e britannici. Le bombe – tra cui quelle prodotte in Italia e vendute ai sauditi – non risparmiano scuole e ospedali, con un impatto devastante sulla popolazione civile già duramente provata dal conflitto: la crisi alimentare e l’emergenza sanitaria hanno ormai messo in ginocchio una Nazione dimenticata da tutti. Il reportage dal campo di Laura Silvia Battaglia racconta la situazione drammatica nelle strade e negli ospedali, dalla capitale Sanaa alla cittadina costiera di Hodeida; in studio, Andrea Sarubbi analizza i problemi aperti nel Paese con la dottoressa Elda Baggio, volontaria di Medici Senza Frontiere, appena rientrata dall’ospedale di Aden.

27.3.2017 – Libertarian Institute (** A K P)

The Scott Horton Show: Nasser Arrabyee on the mass protests in Yemen as the US-backed Saudi war hits the two year mark

Nasser Arrabyee, a Yemeni journalist based in Sanaa, discusses the large Yemeni protests against the Saudi economic blockade and military aggression; and how President Trump is arming the Saudis far more than Obama was willing to, and enabling them to do whatever they please (Audio)

31.3.2017 – Free Beacon (** B K P)

Report: Saudi Arabia Still Seeking Nuclear Weapons Capability

Saudi Arabia is still believed to be seeking nuclear weapons technology in a bid to counter the threat posed by Iran's nuclear program, which continues to operate in an advanced manner despite the landmark nuclear agreement, according to a new report by a proliferation monitoring organization that labeled the Kingdom a nuclear "newcomer."

Tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia have only increased since the nuclear deal was signed, leading the Saudis to pursue nuclear capabilities, according to the Institute for Science and International Security, a Washington D.C.-based organization that monitors global proliferation issues.

"Saudi Arabia is in the early stages of nuclear development" and is expected to "more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities" in order to counter the ongoing threat posed by Iran, according to the report.

While the Obama administration claimed the nuclear deal would ease regional tensions, there is little evidence at this point to confirm that claim. Iran has more aggressively backed terrorist organizations since the deal and continues to harass U.S. military assets and allies in the region.

The nuclear deal "has also not eliminated the Kingdom's desire for nuclear weapons capabilities and even nuclear weapons, but rather reduced the pressure on Saudi Arabia to match Iran's nuclear weapons capabilities in the short term," according to the institute's report.

Saudi efforts to pursue nuclear weapons technology is likely to increase in the coming years as the nuclear deal approaches its sunset, according to the report. The country has already stated its intention to build at least 16 nuclear reactors in the coming years.

"There is little reason to doubt that Saudi Arabia will more actively seek nuclear weapons capabilities, motivated by its concerns about the ending of the [nuclear deal's] major nuclear limitations starting after year 10 of the deal or sooner if the deal fails," the report notes. "If Iran expands its enrichment capabilities, as it states it will do, Tehran will reduce nuclear breakout times, or the time needed to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon, to weeks and then days."

"With these concerns, the Kingdom is likely to seek nuclear weapons capabilities as a hedge," the report states.

A European government official confirmed to the institute's experts as early as 2014 that Saudi Arabia is pursuing the "scientific and engineering expertise necessary to take command of all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle."

This type of research has taken place under the guise of a civilian nuclear program, according to the report, which did not find any evidence that Saudi Arabia has begun a clandestine weapons program.

"At this point in time and at its current pace of nuclear development, Saudi Arabia would require years to create the nuclear infrastructure needed to launch a nuclear weapons effort," the report states, adding that the intention to achieve such a capability seems clear.

Right now, according to open source materials studied by ISIS, "Saudi Arabia is concentrating on building up its civilian nuclear infrastructure." – by Adam Kredo and the complete report:

cp2 Allgemein / General

31.3.2017 – Chatham House (* B K P)

Film: Who are the Houthi rebels? @MENAPPete explains the movement in Yemen

1.4.2017 – Arab News (B K)

Saudi marine security units boast highly trained frogmen

Recent military developments have highlighted missions carried out by the Saudi Royal Navy in the sea off Yemen, particularly the operation carried out last week in which naval mines were identified and deactivated.
Retired Marine Rear Adm. Dr. Shami Mohammed Al-Dhahri, commander of the College of Command and Staff at the Saudi Armed Forces, told Arab News that the Saudi Royal Navy special units have been paying close attention to the quality of their training in various climates, both in mountainous terrain and deep in the valleys.

He said members of special navy security units have spent extensive hours of training in areas like mountain warfare skills, tactical exercises, shooting, and “frogmen” combat diving. This equips them with extensive skills to carry out their military tasks with high precision.

Special navy security units are believed to have advanced boats and special equipment, from binoculars to snipers, in addition to unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other equipment required to carry out missions day and night with great efficiency – by MOHAMMED AL-SULAMI

My comment: They prepare the attack at Hodeidah port, which would deepen the humanitarian disaster:

31.3.2017 – Int. Red Cross (* A H K)

Bombing port in Yemen would further humanitarian catastrophe

IRC Yemen Country Director, Mohamed El Montassir Hussein, said:

"The IRC is deeply concerned by reports that the U.S. is considering increasing military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen. We are particularly alarmed by emerging information that this attack could target Yemen’s western port city of Hodeidah, where 80% of all imports enter Yemen.

Any disruption of these port facilities would have a catastrophic impact on the people of Yemen – denying food and medicine to civilians already suffering immeasurably after two years of war.

The IRC and other humanitarian actors already face major operational obstacles created by the ongoing conflict. Sea and air blockades that are already in place mean essential humanitarian supplies in Yemen are scarce, and will become even scarcer if these attacks go ahead. An attack will also lead to all shipping vessels being be diverted, overwhelming the capacity of other ports in Aden and Mokala.

Currently it can take up to 6 months for the IRC to get life-saving medical supplies from outside the country into health facilities. At a point when time is of the essence to save lives these attacks would delay humanitarian assistance and further risk lives of Yemini civilians. Once the IRC and other actors do get supplies into the country, limitations on transport infrastructure and rampant insecurity along inland roads makes movement between north and south Yemen extremely difficult. This situation means we are unable to make timely deployments of supplies or personnel necessary for an effective humanitarian response.

The solution to the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is not more conflict; parties need to get back to the peace process.

31.3.2017 – Oxfam (* A H K)

Oxfam warns possible attack on Yemen's Hodeidah port will push country into near certain famine

Reacting to concern that Hodeidah port in Yemen is about to be attacked by the Saudi-led coalition, international aid agency Oxfam warns that this is likely to be the final straw that pushes the country into near certain famine. Yemen is dependent on imports for almost all of its food, fuel and medical supplies. Aid agencies rely almost entirely on Hodeidah to get humanitarian aid in to the country and even a temporary closure would be catastrophic for a population already brought to the brink of starvation by the ongoing conflict and de-facto blockade.

Mark Goldring, Oxfam GB Chief Executive said:

"If this attack goes ahead, a country that is already on the brink of famine will be starved further as yet another food route is destroyed. The entire population of Yemen is suffering, with seven million people already facing famine.

"An estimated 70 percent of Yemen's food comes into Hodeidah port. If it is attacked, this will be a deliberate act that will disrupt vital supplies - the Saudi-led coalition will not only breach International Humanitarian Law, they will be complicit in near certain famine. Yemen's main food importers have told us they don't know how they would deliver food if Yemen's Red Sea ports are lost.

"People are being starved to death. The international community has to urgently act to prevent this attack. We urge the Foreign Secretary to pressure all parties to the conflict to resume peace talks, to reach a negotiated peace agreement and improve the economic situation in the country." – by Lisa Rutherford UK Regional Media Manager

31.3.2017 – Geopolitics made Super (* A K)

Saudi Arabia Plans To Starve Yemen’s Houthis Into Submission

From Reuters:

As reported by Al-Monitor, the Saudi-led coalition hopes to conquer the Red Sea port of Hodeidah.

In other words, Saudi Arabia and the UAE hope to use food as a weapon to crack the enemy that has thus far resisted their invasion.

When we look at the crowd-sourced wikimedia map of Yemen below, we see a desperate stalemate

This is partially because Yemen’s wild interior keeps flaring up with al-Qaeda; it’s also because GCC troops have never fought a long war before, and are struggling to manage advances on their own.

The Houthis have also become an increasingly capable military

Now Saudi Arabia is gambling that a joint assault on the last major Yemeni port in Houthis hands will force them to the bargaining table. Unable to crack Ma’rib, they will instead starve Houthi Yemen. It’s not like Saudi Arabia is particularly bothered by human rights violations.

Will the Americans let them get away with it? Quite possibly; Americans are fast giving up on the notion that they should be the world’s morality police. Yemen could be a disturbing preview of what the post-human rights world will look like – by Ryan Bohl

31.3.2017 – Arab Gulf States Institute (* A K)

The Prize Deferred: Stumbling toward Hodeidah

The campaign along the Red Sea coast of Yemen is a miniature version of the problems facing the Saudi-led coalition seeking to reinstate the legitimate president of Yemen to power. The expected battle to wrest Hodeidah, Yemen’s largest Red Sea port, from control of the insurgent Houthis, brings these problems into sharp focus.

The Saudis and Emiratis enjoy an overwhelming preponderance of power at sea. The Emiratis have used this power to conduct two opposed amphibious landings, one in Aden and one in Mukalla. Both landings are unprecedented events for an Arab state. In the Red Sea, coalition forces’ naval vessels rely on freedom of maneuver, and look to dominant naval powers such as the United States and France to maintain this freedom of navigation, which is essential for their counterinsurgency strategy as well as for commercial shipping transiting that waterway. As is the case elsewhere in the Yemen war, however, operational success has not translated into strategic victory. At sea as on land, the Saudi-led coalition appears to be no closer to achieving its goals than it was at the beginning of the war.

Stalemate Inland, Opportunity along the Coast

With a stalemate setting in on the ground, and harassed by missiles fired by the Houthis well into the interior of Saudi Arabia, the coalition turned its attention early in 2017 to the areas along the Red Sea coast still held by the Houthis. Beyond the small ports of Mokha and Dhubab lies the prize: the major cargo port of Hodeidah, the only modern container port held by the Houthis and a probable shipment point for Iranian weapons.

Operation Golden Spear, launched on January 6 by the coalition, sought to seize Taiz and the Red Sea coastline south of Hodeidah. The offensive became bogged down in Taiz, but managed to seize Mokha and Dhubab. The coalition was set to move up the coast to Hodeidah as soon as it could consolidate its gains.

At the start of March, the assault on Hodeidah appeared imminent. Tactically, Hodeidah makes an attractive target for an amphibious landing. Unlike the eastern port of Mukalla, the working area of the port is located some distance away from the inhabited areas of the city. The city itself is surrounded by desert: The port could be seized and controlled without messy and difficult urban fighting. Saudi naval bases in Jizan and Emirati bases in Eritrea and Somalia would be able to stage and support land forces advancing up the coast from Mokha in the south. The fall of Hodeidah seemed to be a matter of when, not if.

The Prize Recedes

In the past two weeks, two major factors have changed this calculation.

In the meantime, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the coalition may seek to step up naval blockades, preventing cargo from entering the port. Once the coalition feels it has a strong enough position along the coast south of Hodeidah, it will be driven by strategic logic to move against the last Houthi-controlled sea port.

Obstacles impeding the execution of its plan to take Hodeidah have, however, highlighted the limitations of tactical success in an uncertain strategic environment. The coalition cannot afford to leave Hodeidah unconquered; it just can’t afford the risk of undertaking its assault on the port city right now. – by DB Des Roches

Comment: This is an important read on the taking of #Hodeidah.
Just one reminder: there is no such thing as 'Coalition Intelligence and Expertise'. It is all US-UK provided.

My comment: „The coalition cannot afford to leave Hodeidah unconquered”: ????

31.3.2017 – Sputnik News (* B K P)

Increased US Military Support to Saudis Would Boost 'War of Genocide' in Yemen

Any increase in US military support for the Saudi-led coalition conducting air strikes against Houthi rebels in Yemeni would aid a military campaign amounting to genocide against the ‎Houthis and their Zaidi allies in Yemen, analysts told Sputnik.

“In a nutshell the Saudis, Emiratis and the USA are inflicting a war of genocide against the Houthis,” University of Illinois Professor of International Law Francis Boyle said on Thursday.

Boyle explained that the Saudis and their allies in the Gulf Arab Emirates wanted to establish full control over the entire Arabian peninsula and also of the choke point region at the head of the Persian, or Arabian Gulf through which all oil exports, including those of Iran and Iraq were shipped by sea.

“They want to control the entire Saudi Peninsula, all its resources, and the Bab Al-Mandeb Strait through which all the oil and gas to Europe must pass,” he said.

Political commentator John Walsh told Sputnik the United States supported the Saudis and the current Yemeni government against the Houthi rebels, but it ignored the fact that the Saudis and their Gulf allies also backed Islamist extremists whom Washington also fights.

“There are two battles going on in Yemen… the fight against Al Qaeda [and its allies] by the US and the fight against the Houthis by the Saudis,” he pointed out.

US policymakers were fooling themselves if they thought Riyadh was serious about opposing al-Qaeda and similar groups rather than encouraging them, Walsh maintained.

They [the Saudis] are fighting the Houthis on the excuse that they are ‘agents of Iran’, part of the fairy tale narrative fed us,” he said.

“The United States is the last great Western Empire desperate to maintain its dominant position and striking out in every direction to do so. Its every warlike move is to be resisted. Time to end this madness before the neo-liberal-con imperialists blow us all up,” he warned.

Claims that the Houthis are “agents of Iran’ are a “fairy tale myth” are propagated by the Washington political establishment, Walsh said.

31.3.2017 – Die Zeit (* B H K P)

"Das Leid der Jemeniten kümmert keine Seite"

Seit zwei Jahren herrscht im Jemen ein Krieg, für den sich die Welt kaum interessiert. Der Hunger sei das Schlimmste, sagt der Politikanalyst Mahmoud Qaiyah.

Es ist sehr dramatisch. Es fehlt an allem, an Lebensmitteln, Wasser, Medikamenten. Die Menschen bekommen seit Monaten kein Gehalt mehr, deshalb gibt es jeden Tag Streiks. Selbst an den wenigen Schulen, die noch arbeiten, wird gestreikt. Viele Krankenhäuser sind zerstört oder geschlossen. Das Schlimmste ist der Hunger. Millionen Jemeniten im Land hungern, auch in Sanaa betteln viele Menschen auf der Straße um Essen. Wenn nicht bald etwas passiert, wird es eine Katastrophe geben.

Es herrscht Chaos im Jemen, die staatlichen Strukturen haben sich weitgehend aufgelöst. In Sanaa sieht man überall Checkpoints, Soldaten und Milizen der Huthis, die auf allen Ebenen ihre Macht durchsetzen wollen. Wir können nicht mehr frei arbeiten. Alle Seminare, Workshops, Trainings müssen von den Rebellen genehmigt werden. Manchmal werden Seminare kurzfristig abgesagt, weil die Inhalte zu kritisch sind. Alle Medienhäuser wurden geschlossen, oppositionelle Seiten und Blogs gesperrt. Niemand kann mehr frei seine Meinung äußern.

Niemand hatte damit gerechnet, dass der Krieg so lange dauern würde. Nach 90.000 Luftschlägen auf den Jemen muss man sagen, dass das Land zwar zerstört ist, dabei aber keinerlei Fortschritt auf irgendeiner Seite gemacht wird. Es ist ja längst ein Stellvertreterkrieg: die Huthis als schiitisch geprägte und vom Iran unterstützte Miliz hat ihren Ursprung im Bürgerkrieg der neunziger Jahre. Sie fühlen sich schon lange von der sunnitischen Zentralregierung zurückgesetzt. Die sunnitischen Saudis wiederum führen Luftschläge gegen die Huthis und somit gegen den Iran. Die Jemeniten haben in diesem Krieg also gar nichts zu sagen. Klar ist: Die Saudis werden so lange gegen die Huthis kämpfen, bis sie gewonnen haben. Und die Huthis haben noch genug Waffen, Geld und Kämpfer, um weiterzumachen. Zudem gibt es genügend Warlords, die Interesse an dem Krieg haben. Das Leid der 25 Millionen Jemeniten kümmert keine Seite.

Die religiösen Unterschiede spielen in diesem Krieg bisher kaum eine Rolle. Hier beten Sunniten und Schiiten noch immer nebeneinander in denselben Moscheen. Es geht vor allem um Macht. Die Zivilisten sind zum bloßen Spielball unterschiedlicher Interessen geworden.

Der Jemen-Krieg hat keinerlei Folgen für den Westen. Und die Weltgemeinschaft interessiert sich vor allem dann für Konflikte, wenn dadurch eigene Interessen berührt werden.

Das ist gefährlich: Wenn sich die USA noch stärker im Jemen-Krieg engagieren, wird das die Lage noch zusätzlich komplizieren. Für uns Jemeniten ist das alles wie ein schlechter Witz: Dieselben Regierungen, die Waffen an Kriegsparteien wie Saudi-Arabien verkaufen, die diese dann für ihre zerstörerischen Handlungen nutzen, überweisen Geld an Hilfsorganisationen, die den Kriegsopfern helfen sollen. Das ist doch absurd – Interview: Andrea Backhaus

31.3.2017 – RANTT (* B K P)

The Ultimate Cheat Sheet To The Forgotten Yemen Crisis

How a 2011 Arab Spring protest thrusted a fledgling nation into an externally-financed civil war

War crimes have been committed by every actor in this conflict.The Saudi-coalition has used illegal cluster bombs and dropped bombs on civilian homes schools, hospitals, factories, and bottling plants. Although the coalition insists that these attacks are on military targets only, there have been many countless Yemeni accounts saying that residential areas far from Houthi positions have been attacked.

The U.S., in particular, has caught flak for its indiscriminate violence, as evidenced by the bombing of a wedding party which killed 140 civilians. The Houthis have indiscriminately shelled residential areas, laid unmarked mines, and imprisoned members of the population without charge. They have also partially blockaded the ports,which has hampered food distribution. Aid agencies warn that as a result, the risk of malnutrition and disease continues to worsen.

My comment: An overview article, presenting the main actors, but omitting the Hadi government, the UK. The description of the Houthis is junk. Better listen to:

30.3.2017 – SP International (B K P)
Karabulut: End the hunger in Yemen, end support to Saudi Arabia

Remark: Overview article.

30.3.2017 – RT (* A P)

Krieg im Jemen: EU meidet klare Worte zur Rolle Saudi-Arabiens

Die EU-Staaten werden einen Waffenstillstand im Jemen fordern. Dies hat Reuters unter Berufung auf einen Erklärungsentwurf berichtet. Jedoch wird die EU offenbar über mutmaßliche Kriegsverbrechen unter der Verantwortung Saudi-Arabiens im Nachbarland schweigen.

Die EU-Staaten fordern ein Ende der Gewalt im Jemen, halten sich aber mit Kritik am Kriegsteilnehmer Saudi-Arabien zurück. "Die EU ruft alle Parteien dazu auf, sich unter Überwachung der UN umgehend auf ein Ende der Kampfhandlungen zu einigen", heißt es in einem der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters vorliegenden Entwurf für die Schlussfolgerungen des EU-Außenministerrates am kommenden Montag in Luxemburg. Dies sei ein erster Schritt zur Wiederaufnahme von Friedensgesprächen unter dem Dach der Vereinten Nationen (UN).

"Es kann keine militärische Lösung des Konflikts im Jemen geben", heißt es in dem Entwurf weiter. Die EU sei "sehr besorgt" wegen des Einsatzes von Streubomben und Anti-Personen-Minen sowie der wahllosen Zielauswahl von Schulen, medizinischen Einrichtungen, Wohngebieten und Märkten. Eindeutige Aussagen darüber, wer für diese verantwortlich sei, vermeidet die EU im Entwurf jedoch.

Aus der EU lieferte kein anderes Land so viele Rüstungsgüter in die Golfmonarchie wie Großbritannien. Mehr Material erhielt Saudi-Arabien nur aus den USA. Auch Spanien, Frankreich, Schweden oder Finnland gehören zu den Lieferanten aus der EU. Für Deutschland lag Saudi-Arabien im ersten Halbjahr 2016 nach Angaben der Bundesregierung mit einem Volumen von 484 Millionen Euro auf Platz drei der Bestimmungsländer für Rüstungsexporte. Kürzlich soll es laut Medienberichten eine Genehmigung für die Lieferung von zwei Patrouillenbooten gegeben haben, was die Bundesregierung bisher aber nicht offiziell bestätigt hat.

Mein Kommentar: der letzte Abschnitt erklärt zum Teil, warum. Wie die EU sich hier verhält, ist schlichtweg eine Schande.

30.3.2017 – Avaaz (* A K P)

Trudeau: Protect Yemen’s kids

Sign the petition

As Canadian citizens, we are outraged that millions of people in Yemen are facing starvation because of Saudi Arabia’s relentless campaign. As one of the biggest supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia, you have a duty to act and protect Yemen’s civilians. We call on you to suspend arms exports to Saudi Arabia immediately and use your influence to ensure Canada's Saudi allies allow unhindered access for humanitarian aid supplies.

30.3.2017 – Al Araby (* A P)

The Saudi-led coalition's strategy in Yemen is entirely counter-productive

People who were not previously allied with the Houthis are joining them in a knee-jerk response to the suffering caused by the Saudi-led coalition

The coalition's military operation was intended to "save the people of Yemen from a radical group (the Houthis) trying to take over the country," as expressed by Saudi Ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir in a news conference on the day the military operation began - 26 March, 2015.
So far, the coalition's military strategy has not reduced Houthi "radicalism", rather it has become completely counter-productive, and instead of weakening the Houthis, it is strengthening them.

Following the Houthis taking de-facto control of Sanaa, the general sentiment in Sanaa was one of a refusal of what the Houthis represented. One anti-Houthi protest after another crystallised into a peaceful anti-Houthi movement named "Refusal". The capital witnessed many anti-Houthi protests raising slogans, such as "no for coup" and "no to armed militias".

Yemenis' peaceful resistance was quickly interrupted by the Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, which not only ended their spirit for peaceful resistance to the Houthis, but also turned millions of Yemenis against the waning legitimacy of the government.

To continue the current military policy in Yemen, would be counter-productive, turning the Houthis - who Yemenis used to perceive as tyrants - into national heroes.

To continue the war and achieve nothing but further destruction, would shatter any trust the Yemenis might have had in President Hadi, turning the Yemenis against the Saudi-led coalition.

Had the situation in Yemen been dealt with more wisely, it might have been possible to avoid conflict with a militia group which has known nothing but fighting for years, and avoid getting into an unwinnable war.
One might have predicted that the war could only plunge Yemen into even greater instability, and destroy the legitimacy the Saudi-led coalition is working so hard to restore.

The coalition's strategies such as targeting civilian areas and infrastructure, and the air and naval blockade imposed on a large part of Yemen, have all sparked a blowback reaction.

Today, people who were not previously allied with the Houthis are actually joining them in a knee-jerk response that allows them to rise up against the suffering caused by the Saudi-led coalition.
With every household effected by the bombardment or the starvation tactic in the war, the Saudi-led coalition's war is actually making new enemies, and the "legitimacy" becomes less convincing by the day.

This is not to say that the coalition must abort the mission in Yemen immediately, but rather re-think its approach to the Houthi threat and find new ways eliminate its counter-productive strategy.
The coalition must work more closely with the resistance movement in Yemen who can effectively confront the Houthis before it's too late, and work more seriously at containing the humanitarian crisis.

My comment: The author is definitely anti-Houthi (neglecting the political background of this movement, treating it as if the Houthis just would be a militia). Many points of what he describes are true nevertheless. But what he describes as a zzz

Comment: Afrah Nasser, Yemeni blogger living in Sweden, at the end taking a stand pro-Saudi

30.3.2017 – France24 English (* B K)

Film: War in Yemen: Saada, a city in ruins

30.3.2017 – IRNA (* B K)

Yemen crisis escalated by Saudi Arabia: Indian scholar

A prominent Indian expert on international affairs on Thursday said that Yemen conflict was a domestic issue, but was escalated by Saudi Arabia, its allies and the US.

In an exclusive interview with IRNA, Prof. Bansidhar Pradhan, former Chairperson of Centre for West Asian Studies (CWAS) at School of International Studies (SIS) in Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi said, “Yemen, which is facing serious humanitarian crisis right now, at the first step requires a sustainable cease-fire and a cessation of air strikes which have caused damage to the infrastructure of the country and had also killed civilians.
After that point, the fate of the country should be left to people to decide for themselves about the type of government they required”.
Criticizing the intervention by the external forces, Pradhan was of the view that Saudi Arabia, which is a monarch country, was afraid of creating the democratic system in Yemen which could be a threat to the foundations to its monarchy, and that led to its intervention.
“Mindless airstrikes will never resolve the situation, and will only escalate further and engulf the whole area. Saudi government is not ready for a political solution. They want to finish Houthis and then want a political solution. I believe without the expulsion of the external powers, there cannot be some sort of political settlement to get out of this crisis. It should be resolved through political negotiations by the people of that country,” stressed the Indian expert. The Indian scholar, while slamming the international human rights watchdogs, said that it is very unfortunate that humanitarian crisis is continuing in Yemen without world attention. The UN and other major powers are not paying attention.

30.3.2017 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

‘Dead Sea Summit’ Rejects Foreign Interference, Adheres to Political Solutions

The 28th Arab summit meeting concluded on Wednesday at the Dead Sea with an overwhelming support for the Palestine cause and an agreement to adhere to political solutions to resolve crises hitting the Arab world, especially in Yemen, Syria and Libya.

Arab leaders also voiced their strong rejection to Iran’s interference in the region.

On Yemen, the Arab declaration backed the legitimate government, stressing that any solution to the crisis should be based on the Gulf Initiative, the outcome of the National Dialogue Conference and Security Council Resolution 2216.

The declaration rejected all forms of Iranian interference in Arab countries’ internal affairs.

It also condemned attempts to destabilize security and instigate sectarian violence, including practices that violate the principles of good neighborly relations, the rules of international relations, the principles of international law and the Charter of the United Nations.

The Summit declaration stressed the continued fight against terrorism and the elimination of its causes within a “comprehensive strategy”, which promotes the values of democracy and respect for human rights and seeks to eradicate ignorance and exclusion in frail environments in which terrorism thrives.

My comment: What a joke! For Yemen, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, Egypt, Sudan and cronies adopt a “comprehensive strategy”, which promotes the values of democracy and respect for human rights”!!

30.3.2017 – Saba Net (A K)

12 prisoners of army and popular forces released in prisoner exchange

The National Committee of Prisoners' Affairs announced Thursdays the release of 12 prisoners of the army and popular forces in an exchange of prisoners with some armed groups in Mareb and Taiz province.
The committee said in a statement to Saba that a local mediation succeeded in conducting the exchange of prisoners with the armed groups during which 12 prisoners of our national forces were released.

29.3.2017 – Shafaqna (* A K)

Selling Yemen down the river – Exclusive Report

As Yemen faces a state of famine, as millions upon millions are staring death in the face on the back of punishing UN-manned humanitarian blockade, Saudi Arabia Shafaqna has learnt stoop as low as offer money to informants to target specific segments of the population. Reliable sources in Yemen have confirmed that intelligence was sold by “humanitarians” on the ground to Saudi Arabia so that air strikes could be directed against civilian clusters with more accuracy. Such a despicable war of attrition aims to erode at Yemenis’ desire to resist Riyadh’s agenda and essentially withdraw support from the Resistance Movement.

Under cover of humanitarian work, certain individuals have gathered information and pretty much sold their people for a few silver coins. The seaport of Hodeidah, which area has suffered the brunt of Saudi Arabia air campaign of late, was identified as the main area of intelligence activities.

Only this March Riyadh lobbied the United Nations so that Hodeidah would be blockaded and its seaport destroyed.

Rather than distribute humanitarian aid, Saudi-paid agents have in fact earmarked communities for slaughter.

There are crimes one cannot brush under the rug!

A preliminary investigation found that airstrikes and the targeting of fishermen off the coast of Hodeidah were carried out upon the release of sensitive information by aid workers on Saudi Arabia’s payroll. Further sources have confirmed that Riyadh has asked its mercenaries to aggregate information on communities in northern Yemen to identify faiths, political affiliations and tribal loyalties.

The last time such an extensive list was drawn, Aden saw al-Qaeda death squads hunt religious minorities: Christians, Shia, and Sufis.

It is our collective inability to challenge Riyadh on its human rights violations across the board that has allowed for such a reality to be architected. How much can we ask of Yemen before we speak up.

Shafaqna has chosen at this stage not to release any names as we trust the Yemeni authorities will handle the situation accordingly and in keeping with the law.

That being said such crimes must be spoken out and denounced.

Selling humanity and innocence for a few dollars can never, and should never be rationalised. We ought to learn that life, every life – even that of our enemies, is not cheap – By Catherine Shakdam

My comment: This sounds odd and propaganda-like. Look at cp5, Houthis detaining relief staff at Ibb for “espionage”.

29.3.2017 – Washington Post (* B K P)

Why do countries relapse into war? Here are three good predictors.

As policymakers and stakeholders grapple with designing post-war strategies in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen, it is increasingly important to understand what works to prevent countries from relapsing into war.

Conflict-torn states have narrow windows of opportunity to prevent war relapse, and failure is common. About half of all post-war countries lapse back into civil conflict between the same belligerents in the first decade after the end of fighting.

In a recent paper for the United Nations in Beirut, I analyzed all 109 post-war episodes since 1970 to identify risk factors for war relapse. The paper drew on the large quantitative literature on civil war and post-war recovery, including work from the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, the Peace Research Institute Oslo, the Polity IV project and the World Bank.

Long-standing international conventional wisdom prioritizes economic reforms, transitional justice mechanisms or institutional continuity in post-war settings. However, my statistical analyses found that political institutions and military factors were actually the primary drivers of post-war risk. In particular, post-war states with more representative and competitive political systems as well as larger armed forces were better able to avoid war relapse.

These findings challenge a growing reluctance to consider early elections and political liberalization as critical steps for reestablishing authoritative, legitimate and sustainable political order after major armed conflict.

The non-results are perhaps as interesting as the results. With one exception discussed below, there is no evidence that the economic characteristics of post-war countries strongly influence the likelihood they will return to war. Income per capita, development assistance per capita, oil rents as a percent of GDP, overall unemployment rates and youth unemployment rates are not associated with civil war relapse.

Equally significant is there is no evidence that the culture, religion or geopolitics of the Middle East and North Africa will impede post-war recovery. What did matter, then? I found three primary sets of drivers of post-war relapse into conflict.

1. Political institutions of post-war countries

2. Military and security-related factors

3. Economic growth – by George Frederick Willcoxon, political scientist working at the United Nations

My comment: This sounds like a typical US interventionist’s view, suffering from a principal blackout: A main factor why countries just lap into war is foreign intervention of various forms. That exactly is the case for all those four countries mentioned in the first paragraph: Iraq, Libya, Syria and Yemen. And in all these countries, it’s the US and its NATO allies who are responsible. And their continuing interference hinders peace to come. At least, this is (partly, for the special case of “boots on the ground”) stated by the author: “However, the presence of non-U.N. foreign troops almost triples the risk of relapsing back into civil war.” A heavy welcome to more US troops in Syria, Iraq and Yemen. And greetings from Kabul, please.

29.3.2017 – Uncut News (A K)

Photos: Hier werden getötete Huthi-Rebellen im Jemen in Massengräbern geworfen

Hier werden getötete Huthi-Rebellen im Jemen in Massengräbern geworfen. Familien und Freunde wird keine Möglichkeit gegeben sich zu verabschieden. Inzwischen Bombardieren Saudi-Arabien mit der Unterstützung von USA/GB weiter den Jemen

? – Arte (* B P)

Film: Jemen Eine Republik der Stämme

29.3.2017 – Difesa Online (* B K)

Yemen: l’Arabia Saudita ad un Passo dalla Catastrofe Militare

Anche la totale superiorità aerea della coalizione a guida saudita non è riuscita finora a incidere in modo sensibile sugli esiti della guerra. I bombardamenti massicci e i continui raid effettuati con F-16 ed elicotteri Apache, continuano a colpire infrastrutture e obiettivi civili, ma non riescono a stanare i miliziani fedeli all’ex Presidente Saleh, particolarmente abili nelle aree montagnose comprese tra il Nordovest dello Yemen e l’Arabia meridionale.

L’attuale strategia di Riad prevede l’arruolamento di migliaia di giovanissimi provenienti dalla costa meridionale dello Yemen, nell’area controllata dai sunniti compresa fra Aden e Shuqrah, duramente colpita dalla catastrofe economica seguita alla guerra. La disperazione e l’indigenza favoriscono l’afflusso di nuove leve che entrano nell’Esercito Nazionale fedele al Presidente Hadi in cambio di cibo e sostentamento primario.

Ai “teenager” della Coalizione araba si affiancano gruppi di miliziani jihadisti reclutati da Riad con il richiamo alla guerra contro il “pericolo sciita”. La paura di un aumento dell’influenza iraniana nella penisola arabica sembra l’unico collante ancora capace di tenere insieme un fronte sunnita sempre più demotivato – di Giampiero Venturi =

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

? – Pious Projects of America

Ramadan preparation to provide food baskets to the needy

100% of proceeds will go towards buying and distributing food baskets.

With your help and donations, we can provide food and supplies to Yemen. $122 can provide a food basket that will feed a family for Ramadan. Join us on our national campaign Hand in Hand for Yemen. We believe that everyone can work together to ensure no child dies of hunger. If your city is interested in joining this campaign you can partner with us by taking action in communities nationwide to meet the urgent critical needs of Yemen. Any cities that would like to participate in the national Hand in Hand for Yemen campaign please contact

Here’s how it will work:
1. Pious Projects collects the funds collected from the campaign.
2. Pious Projects then releases the funds to Pure Hands ( a nonprofit based in Texas that has agency on the grounds in Yemen.
3. Pure Hands will then send the money to their office in Yemen to purchase food basket items locally.
4. Food will either be distributed to homes or available through a food bank via Pure Hands.
5. Cities where food baskets will be sent: Lahij and Al Hudaydah.

Components of the Food Baskets:

31.3.2017 – US Agency for International Development (A H)

Map: Yemen ‑ Active USG Programs for Yemen Response (Last Updated 03/31/17) and in full:

31.3.2017 – US Agency for International Development (A H)

Yemen - Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #8, Fiscal Year (FY) 2017

The IPC Technical Working Group estimates that approximately 17 million people in Yemen will experience IPC 3—Crisis—or IPC 4—Emergency—levels of food insecurity between March and July 2017. Yemen’s acutely food-insecure population has increased by approximately 20 percent since June 2016.

[USAID work in Yemen] and in full:

31.3.2017 – Junge Welt (* B H)

Mehr Gewalt gegen Frauen im Jemen

Frauen und Mädchen im Jemen werden durch den gewaltsamen Konflikt in ihrem Land zunehmend Opfer von häuslicher Gewalt und sexuellen Übergriffen. 2016 seien mehr als 10.000 Attacken gemeldet worden, teilte der UN-Bevölkerungsfonds (UNFPA) am Montag mit. Dies entspreche einer Zunahme von 63 Prozent binnen zwei Jahren. Es gebe mehr Vergewaltigungen, Misshandlungen und Kinderehen als vor Beginn des Krieges.

31.3.2017 – Neues Deutschland (B H)

Bomben und Hunger in Jemen

Nahrung zuerst für Kämpfer, die Reste für die Bevölkerung / Allianz blockiert Hilfe

Denn vor allem in Nord-Jemen hat die Bevölkerung nach Angaben des Roten Halbmondes nahezu flächendeckend Zugang zu - theoretisch - drei Mahlzeiten in der Woche. In den anderen Landesteilen besteht - theoretischer - Zugang zu fünf bis sechs Mahlzeiten in der Woche. »Wir sagen hier ›theoretisch‹, weil verfügba… [nur für Abonnenten]

30.3.2017 – Shabia Mantoo, Spokesperson for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, in Yemen (* A H)

There is one person that sums up the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen for me and that is Shafool, pictured here.
During one of my interviews on the BBC they asked me to relay any stories in Yemen that illustrate the human impact of the crisis that I came across and which stood out and Shafool's story was the one which I couldn't get over.
I will never forget his story and his haunting face. His face I will remember for the rest of my life. One that expresses both innocence and disappointment. Innocence of a victim wronged by the world. And disappointment in humanity.
Shafool is only 14 years old. He was diagnosed with diabetes when he was living at home with his family in Haradh in a neighbouring governorate. He and his family were already impoverished but they managed to get by and had a shelter over their head.
But then the war came and the area in which they lived was among the most affected. Dodging bombs they escaped to nearby Hudaydah. They had nowhere to go so they had to live on the street.
Like most of Yemen's two million displaced people they are struggling to survive. There is no work so Shafool's father cannot provide for them. As a result they don't have food like 14 million others in Yemen and they go hungry.
As a consequence, Shafool like 3 million other Yemenis, is now also clinically malnourished.
His prognosis is not good. Because half of all of Yemen's hospitals and medical facilities are incapacitated by the war and there are no medical supplies and medicines, the nearby hospital cannot treat him and his diabetes is exacerbated by his hunger.
He waits all day on the street in agony and pain. Waiting for respite. Waiting for peace. But he is not waiting for humanity – by Shabia Mantoo (with photo)

30.3.2017 – IRIN (* B H)

We are not the world: Inside the “perfect storm” of famine

Like the four countries facing extreme hunger crises today, the famine that gripped Ethiopia from 1983 to 1985 struggled for attention until it was far too late.

Much has been learnt since 1984: the value of building resilience before crises arrive, the role climate change plays, the imperative of early conflict prevention, the importance of cash aid, the need to prioritise water as well as food. Nonetheless, the goal posts for those struggling to reach the world’s most vulnerable and provide them with life-saving assistance have shifted far downfield. Why?

The simple answer is conflict. It’s the one factor that afflicts all four famine-facing regions listed above. And that’s not to mention how the effects of war in places like Iraq and Syria, including the mass migration to Europe, have drained valuable humanitarian resources and donor dollars.

As Nancy Lindborg, president of the US Institute of Peace, pointed out in testimony last week before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “humanitarian assistance flows have shifted from 80 percent of global aid going to victims of natural disasters to now 80 percent going to assist victims of violent conflict.”

Unfortunately, Lindborg’s remarks may well have fallen on deaf ears: President Donald Trump’s administration is threatening draconian cuts to the State Department’s budget, affecting US funding for everything from UN peacekeeping to the United Nations Development Programme and UNICEF.

And garnering the attention required to generate the $4.4 billion the UN says is required by July to stave off a humanitarian “catastrophe” is only part of the battle. Devising the correct response strategy and securing the necessary access in complex and fragmented war zones is likely to be even harder.

These four famines or near-famines do have similarities, but they also have different origins, different trajectories, and therefore different needs. Local factors are at play, with each country prone to its own combination of flaring conflict, weak governance, poor infrastructure, and failing markets.


Famine hasn’t officially been declared (yet) in Yemen, but, with more hungry people than any of the other big three areas at risk, this feels rather like a technicality.

Right now, 17 million of Yemen’s overall population of 27.4 million are classified as food insecure and 3.3 million people, including 2.1 million children, have acute malnutrition. Some half a million children are even worse off – with severe acute malnutrition – UNICEF counts this as a 200 percent increase since 2014.

Yemen’s crisis is entirely man-made (UN relief chief Stephen O’Brien said as much inrecent comments). As such, to the few paying attention, it’s been like watching a car crash in slow motion.

The economy is now in complete freefall, with 80 percent of families in debt

Getting food into Yemen is harder than ever, and becoming pricier too

[Overview on the situation in Yemen] – by Jason Patinkin

29.3.2017 – Deutsche Welle (* A H)

Film: Yemen: Hunger used as a weapon?

The World Food Program warns that the governorates of Taiz and Hodeidah are on the brink of famine. Yet not enough ships bringing food supplies are able to reach Hodeidah's harbor, from where food is distributed around the country.

29.3.2017 – Forbes (* B H)

Yemen's War Leaves 10 Million Young Lives Falling Through The Cracks

This is life in the war zone that is Yemen, where fear and deprivation have become the new normal.

Two years have passed since conflict first erupted, displacing millions and sending the country into a spiral of despair — and conditions are only getting worse. Children continue to pay the heaviest price while families' coping mechanisms are stretched to their limit. Nearly 10 million children are in need of humanitarian assistance.

Remark: Overview with some photos, referring to the great UNICEF report.

27.3.2017 – UNICEF (* A H)

Unsung heroes: Vaccinators climb mountains to save children’s lives in Yemen

In the face of Yemen’s crumbling health system, mobile vaccination teams are reaching children who no longer have access to life-saving health services.

Vaccinating children against life-threatening diseases in the middle of an intense conflict can be a tough challenge. Over the past few weeks, polio vaccinators in Yemen have braved rough terrains and crossed hostile frontlines, criss-crossing valleys and mountains to reach children, some of whom have been displaced by the conflict. Their work has been challenged by insecurity, roadblocks, fuel shortages and power outages, among other obstacles.

In the first campaign of its kind this year, 40,000 vaccinators spread across the conflict-ridden nation to vaccinate 5 million under-five children in a door-to-door campaign against polio.

Ahmed Ahmed Abdullah is one of these vaccinators. Together with three other colleagues he sets off to vaccinate children in the village of Al’anaf, located about 70 kms north of the capital city, Sana’a. But getting to the remote village is no easy task.

Al’anaf is located behind a rugged mountain with no road or path leading to it. Ahmed and his colleagues have to climb the mountain before descending to the other side where the children and their families reside.

After loading all of the necessary items on the donkey’s back, Ahmed’s team sets off for the mountain top in sweltering heat. Half way through, their hearts are pounding from exhaustion and a rest is needed. Ahmed uses this break as an opportunity to remind his colleagues of the task ahead.

After a tortuous ascent and descent, Ahmed and his team are finally in Al’anaf. The children and their families have been waiting anxiously. They had been informed through radio announcements days ahead of the polio campaign that a team of vaccinators would be visiting their village soon.

Despite the fatigue, the team immediately starts to administer the polio vaccine. Each child under 5 gets two drops in the mouth. Children aged 6 to 11 months are also given Vitamin A supplements to help boost their immunity.

“This vaccine will protect your child from polio,” Ahmed tells the parents holding the vial in his hand. “If your child gets polio and becomes disabled, the whole family will suffer because you have to take care of the child and carry him everywhere, even to the toilet.”

According to Ahmed, his team covers around 20 to 30 households each day over the course of the three-day campaign. After a child is vaccinated, his or her index finger is marked, and the house is marked as well. This is to make sure that no child is missed. The house marking also helps the team to know where they ended the previous day, and where to begin from the following day.

“We need to vaccinate our children because they are a part of us,” Ahmed says, “We will not leave out even a single child.”
The campaign comes at a critical time when the population, particularly children, are extremely vulnerable. With children in Yemen living on the brink of famine and malnutrition widespread, children face an extremely high risk of disease. Moreover, over half of Yemen’s medical facilities in 16 priority governorates are closed or partially functioning, and the health system is on the verge of a collapse.

UNICEF, together with its partners and health authorities, has scaled up support for immunization by providing vaccines for children, as well as medicines for treating common childhood diseases such as diarrhoea and respiratory tract infections.
With the health system hanging in the balance, such campaigns are helpful but are not sustainable. These interventions alone cannot address the medical needs of the entire population. The health system urgently needs attention, and above all, the conflict must come to an end – By Bismarck Swangin and Moohialdin Fuad (with photos)

23.3.2017 – UN Children's Fund, Nutrition Cluster (A H)

Map: Yemen: Nutrition Cluster District Implementation of TSFPs , March 2017 and in full: =

21.3.2017 – International Medical Corps (* A H)


A humanitarian's blog

Editor’s note: In the month that marks the the second anniversary of Yemen’s seemingly directionless civil war, Yemen Country Director Giorgio Trombatore recently completed a roundtrip by road from International Medical Corps’ main office in the capital, Sana’a, across the front lines that separates the warring factions, to visit our office in the southern port city of Aden. Along the way, he chronicled the toll that prolonged armed conflict has exacted on a people whose country was already the Middle East’s poorest when the fighting began in March of 2015. Below is the account of his return journey from Aden to Sana’a.

It is 5 o’clock on a March morning.

My Team is gathered, preparing to leave Aden for Sana’a. It’s a distance of about 250 miles that takes us across the front lines of Yemen’s nearly two-year-old civil war and we intend to do the 13-hour journey in one shot with a few planned stops.

Two years of war has left this section of the main road largely unchanged. It is my sixth trip traveling between Yemen’s capital city, Sana’a, and the country’s main port of Aden and all the towns and villages along the way now seem familiar.

Just under half way to Sana’a we reach Ibb, one of the most peaceful and untouched towns of the entire country, where the situation is completely different.

The roads are as usual packed with noisy vehicles. People are everywhere on busy streets. Traffic jams are common. At International Medical Corps, we try to cope with the abnormal growth of displaced people, but those providing medical assistance and promoting water, sanitation and hygiene activities in the area say they have seen a deterioration of conditions. It is a population that is becoming poorer and increasingly dependent solely on the humanitarian assistance. We enter in a restaurant to have a quick meal and I notice that some adult men follow us in. They are well dressed but they are in search of food. They sit near us, they wait for us to finish and then ask us if they can clean our plates. This isn’t unusual. Restaurants often have people like this. They are not beggars, simply adult men in search of food. There is no shame in it. They sit quietly; they don’t bother us. Even the owners of the restaurant tolerate them as they wait for the leftover rascius—a white bread.

The news reports talk of a potential famine and pockets of malnutrition. Malnutrition is clearly getting worse. The governorate of Hodeida is one such area. And in the norther town of Sa’da, where I travelled last November, I went to a hospital where next to rooms filled with wounded young fighters was an entire department dedicated to treating malnourished young children. Many had travelled from the nearby border with Saudi Arabia, where some of the heaviest fighting has occurred. Accurate statistics are difficult to collect, but the U.N. believes at least 2,000 children have already perished from malnutrition while another 1.8 million children are classified as “at risk” of receiving inadequate nutrition.

The deaths of children are especially sad and usually occur in a hidden corner of a hospital or in some poor neighbourhoods.

Beyond such events, the deeper truth is that country seems to hover on the brink of collapse – by Giorgio Trombatore (and older articles there)

? – International Medical Corps (* B H)

Since civil war broke out in Yemen in 2015, ongoing violence there has led to a steady deterioration of humanitarian conditions in the country, and has sharply reduced the space within which humanitarian aid groups can conduct their work. International Medical Corps mobile medical teams are on the ground working to provide lifesaving medical treatment and nutrition services in some of the hardest-hit locations in Yemen during this current crisis.

International Medical Corps continues to reach areas of urgent need, providing assistance in Sana’a, Taizz, Ibb, Aden and Lahj governorates. Our humanitarian assistance programs currently include: rapid emergency response, health systems strengthening and service provision, maternal and child health, protection, community development and water, sanitation and hygiene, and food security and livelihood support. International Medical Corps has maintained a permanent presence in Yemen since 2012, with three offices and more than 150 local staff in the country.


Remark. On the detainment of International Medical Corps members at Ibb, look at cp5.

19. 3.2017 – UN Children's Fund, Nutrition Cluster (A H)

Map: Yemen: Nutrition Cluster District Implementation of OTPs , March 2017 and in full: =

13.3.2017 – UN Children's Fund, Nutrition Cluster (A H)

Map: Yemen 4ws Partners Coverage based on Food Security and Agriculture Cluster activities - February 2017 and in full: =

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

1.4.2017 – Al Arabiya (* A H P)

Yemen: Houthi militia holding dozens of trucks filled with food

Houthi militia and Saleh loyalists stopped and held on to trucks filled with food items in Dhamar, as well as goods coming in from Aden’s port, in order to impose customs fees on them.

Yemen’s news agency, Saba, reported from a local source saying, “dozens of trucks loaded with food and various goods are currently detained in the border of the province, in front of a government complex run under the militia.”

This comes days after the militia built new offices for customs clearance of goods and food products at the entrances of Dhamar governorate south of the capital Sanaa.

The Houthis seek to reap the largest possible amount of financial resources, after the legitimate government’s decision to transfer the Central Bank of Yemen to the temporary capital Aden in an effort to dry up the financial support for the militia.

My comment: The figure certainly is exaggerated, the fact as such is true and confirmed by other sources.

31.3.2017 – Press TV Iran (A P)

Saudi war seeks to install puppet regime in Yemen: Houthi

The leader of Yemen's Houthi Ansarullah movement says Saudi Arabia's military aggression against the impoverished country aims to install a puppet regime serving the kingdom’s interests.

Abdul Malik Badreddin al-Houthi said in a televised speech in Sana'a on Friday that the aggressors seek to install a weak and puppet regime in Yemen to protect the interests of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

He added that the United States and the Saudi and Emirati aggressors seek to dominate Yemen’s wealth and territory as well as Bab-al-Mandeb Strait.

Houthi also stated that the Saudi campaign aims to strip the Yemeni people of their identity.

Ansarullah’s leader further said Yemen’s people would continue their fight till they liberate all Yemeni areas. The people of Yemen will not give in to occupation, Houthi said.

He also dismissed as mere lies the claims that the Saudi war aims to counter Iran’s influence.

He underlined that this war was not against Iran but a war against the Yemeni nation. The Houthi leader praised Iran’s honorable stance towards the Yemeni people.

30.3.2017 – Nasser Arrabyee (A K P)

Yemen new trained fighters join battles against US-backed Saudi terrorist invaders. Village of Madvah, north Sanaa, 30.3.2017 (photos)

30.3.2017 – Saba Net (* A P)

Yemen expresses disappointment at Arab Summit outcomes

A Foreign Ministry official expressed disappointment at the outcomes of the Arab Summit held at the Dead Sea in Jordan, in a statement to Saba on Thursday.
The official said the outcomes of the final statement of the Arab Summit ignored the peace process in Yemen and the killing of Yemeni civilians on daily basis by the Saudi-led aggression coalition .
The Gulf initiative has become expired after the unjust aggression war on Yemen, the official said.
Also, the United Nations Security Council resolution 2216 legitimized the Saudi-led aggression coalition war and their anti-humanitarian crimes result in Yemen, said the official.
The official said the Arab League also has stood against the Yemeni people through supporting the Saudi aggression war and the Saudi-paid outgoing president.

30.3.2017 – Saba Net (A K P)

Dhamar tribes announces mobilization to fight Saudi aggression

The tribes in Dhamar province announced mobilization to send fighters to front lines to fight Saudi brutal aggression.
The announcement made on Wednesday, stating that the tribes will stand by the army and the popular committees in their fighting against the Saudi aggression and vowing to send more men to the front lines to back the national forces.

30.3.2017 – Saba Net (A K P)

PM says US–Saudi aggression coalition targeting water resources

Prime Minister Abdulaziz bin Habtoor said the US –Saudi aggression coalition have been targeting water resources in Yemen, which directly threatening millions of Yemenis' lives and their future.
Bin Habtor's remarks came during a celebration on the occasion of the Word Water Day organized by Ministry of Water and Environment in the capital Sana'a on Wednesday.

30.3.2017 – Saba Net (A T)

Security service dismantles explosive device in Taiz

30.3.2017 – Saba Net (A)

Police arrest accused promoting forging currency in Hodeidah

30.3.2017 – Almasdar Online (* A P)

Houthis abduct 9 of the International Medical Corps staff in Ibb

Local sources in Ibb province, central Yemen, said on Wednesday that militants of the Houthis group and Saleh forces have abducted nine of the International Medical Corpse staff working in the province.

The source told Almasdaronline that the militants have taken the staff to the CID prison, but no further details about reasons behind the abduction were mentioned.

The source added that the International Medical Corpse have threatened to stop its activities in case the abduction of its staff continues.

This incident came a few days after the suspension of the activities of the Doctors Without Borders organization in the province, following the intervention of the Houthi militants in its activities.

and (stating only 7 detained):

31.3.2017 – AP (* A P)


Yemeni rebels have detained seven local employees of a humanitarian aid group and accused them of spying for foreign intelligence, security officials said Friday.

The rebels, known as Houthis, raided a hotel the humanitarian group was using in Ibb province, taking the employees to a prison in the capital, Sanaa.

International Medical Corps said five staff members and two drivers had been detained, and that they were working to secure their release so they could continue to aid a population suffering from war.

My comment: That’s an odd allegation. Remember that Houthis at Ibb had pummeled Doctors Without Borders that much that they decided to stop their acticity there. In cp 3, I link to International Medical Corps websites. – – These odd accusations might-be could be combined with an article by Catherine Shakdam on similar accusations against relief staff mainly at Hodeidah, look at cp2. Shakdam accuses relief staff of spotting targets for Saudi air raids. – Keep in mind that Ibb had been not affected by Saudi air raids in the last time. How false these objections actually are you can see from the fact that “Legal Center” in its overviews of daily air raids does not state air raids at Ibb province in 2017. And as I remember also for the days which lack in the Legal Center records there were no other records of raids at Ibb. Thus, how this International Medical Corps staff at Ibb could have given sensitive information for Saudi air raids at Ibb, if there were no raids? Looking at “Doctors Without Borders” at Ibb, it seems whether local Houthis dislike international medics to help the local population. Better people should kick the bucket? That seems to be Ibb Houthi logic.

30.3.2017 – Almasdar Online (* A P)

18 casualties in clashes between Houthis and gunmen in Ibb – local sources

Three militants of the Houthi-Saleh forces were killed and nine others wounded on Tuesday in clashes with gunmen from al Dukhlah village in Kitab area of Yarim district northern Ibb province, central Yemen.

Local sources told Almasdaronline that six of the gunmen were wounded, three of them seriously injured, and were taken to a hospital in Yarim city, but the Houthis abducted them.

“The confrontations broke out after the villagers stood against Houthi militants who attempted to abduct a number of young men from the village, and the dispute escalated into armed clashes lasted for about two hours”. According to the sources.

cp6 Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi-government

31.3.2017 – Yemen Updates (A T)

State of emergency has been declared in the city of Mukalla after a report of possibility of a terrorist attack!

30.3.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Hadi returns to Riyadh after participation in Arab Summit

My comment: Not to Aden; most of the time he is at Riyadh.

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

31.3.2017 – Reuters (* A K P)

U.N. special envoy warns against military operation on Yemen port

The United Nations does not advocate a military operation in and around Yemen's Hodeidah port where more than 70 percent of Yemen's food imports and humanitarian aid is delivered, the U.N. special envoy to Yemen said on Friday.

The Red Sea port near the Bab al-Mandab strait is under the control of Yemen's armed Houthi movement. The Bab al-Mandab is a waterway through which nearly 4 million barrels of oil are shipped daily.

The United States is considering deepening its role in Yemen's conflict by more directly aiding the Saudi-led coalition and the proposed support could allow America to assist an eventual push on Hodeidah.

The envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, told a panel of the Middle East Institute in Washington that he was "extremely concerned" about the possibility of military action at Hodeidah soon.

"We as the United Nations are advocating that no military operations should be undertaken in Hodeidah," he said.

The previous U.S. administration of Barack Obama was wary of operations involving the port and last year rejected a proposal to assist its Gulf allies in a push to take control of it.

Ahmed said that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, the principal fighting forces in the coalition, have valid concerns about "the continued import of arms flowing through Hodeidah and illegal taxation of commercial imports by the Houthis." He warned that any military action in the area would "need to take into account the need to avoid any further deterioration in the humanitarian situation."

30.3.2017 – NTV (A P)

Nur eine friedliche Lösung könne noch größeres Leid für die Bevölkerung in dem Bürgerkriegsland verhindern, sagte der UN-Sondergesandte Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in einer Sitzung des Sicherheitsrats am Mittwoch. "Es ist meine feste Überzeugung, dass eine weitere militärische Eskalation und humanitäres Elend die Parteien nicht näher zusammenbringen wird."

31.3.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

If Yemen's UN envoy wants peace, he should speak to more Yemenis

The UN envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, has just concluded a European tour, apparently meeting senior officials in London, Paris and Berlin before flying to Abu Dhabi to meet the Emirati foreign minister.

Like many Yemenis who are trying to find a glimpse of hope in the middle of a bloody conflict that keeps claiming more civilian lives, I follow these tours closely through Twitter. Of course, these days, I have to log out of my personal account because he blocked me last January when other Yemeni activists and writers and I asked him to visit Taiz.

But when you do look at his Twitter account, you'll see that he has been negotiating the peace in Yemen with the UK, Germany, France, Saudi, Emirates, Oman, Qatar and even Iran - everyone but local actors on the ground and inside Yemen.

The envoy's movements reflect how the international community perceives the conflict in Yemen - as a proxy war between regional players who choose Yemen as a battlefield. The Saudi-led intervention, which began two years ago this week, gave the conflict a regional angle but this is not the reality on the ground. The conflict started - and still is between - local Yemeni powers.

The UN envoy's recent plan, introduce last November and backed by former US Secretary of State John Kerry, entailed forming a unity government and appointing a new vice president to be handed power by Hadi. The plan was quickly rejected by the Yemeni government, which may have surprised outsiders but not many Yemenis.

The missing piece in the peace puzzle are the three main points covered in the constitution: the role of the former president, transitional justice and the federal system. But federalism and transitional justice are topics you will only hear if you visit Yemenis inside Yemen. This is a discussion the UN envoy could have if he travelled to Taiz, Aden, Mareb and Hadhramout.

The former UN envoy in all briefings to the UN Security Council emphasised that Saleh should have no role in the future and warned about the role he’s playing to spoil the process. In all discussions around Yemen either politically or in the media Saleh is rarely mentioned – by Baraa Shiban

31.3.2017 – C_Span (A P)

Film: Yemen Conflict

Ismail Ould Chaikh Ahmed delivered keynote remarks at a Middle East Institute conference on the impact the conflict in Yemen was having on the region and how peace efforts were faring (47 min.)

30.3.2017 – Fuady Net (B P)

#UN #UNSC resolution 2216 legitimized the Saudi-led aggression war and their anti-humanitarian crimes result in #Yemen (photo)

My comment: That simply is true.

30.3.2017 – UN News Sevice (A P)

Yemen: UN envoy urges Security Council to put pressure on warring parties to discuss his proposal

The United Nations envoy for Yemen has urged the members of the Security Council to put pressure on the warring parties in that country to engage constructively in discussing the peace process framework he had presented.

“The Government of Yemen should agree to engage in talks based on the framework, and Ansar Allah and the General People's Congress must end their long-standing refusal to undertake serious discussions on security arrangements,” Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen, told the Council during a closed-door meeting, according to a note issued overnight by the office of spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General.

The Special Envoy had presented to the parties a framework that included a set of sequenced political and security measures which were designed to ensure a rapid end to the war, withdrawals of military formations and disarmament in key areas, and the creation of an inclusive transitional government. =

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

Siehe / Look at cp1

31.3.2017 – MbKS15 (A P)

The Vice-Chairman of Central Military Commission of #China meets King Salman & the DCP today in #Riyadh (photo)

31.3.2017 – Ali AlAhmed (A P)

#Saudi Monarchy police detains female college student for walking home (photo) referring to

This fits well to:

29.3.2017 – Moudhi (A P)

A high school guard in KSA only duty is to make sure women are caged until their guardians or drivers come

cp9 USA

Siehe / Look at cp1

31.3.2017 – Telepolis (* B P)

USA: Schmusekurs mit Saudi-Arabien und Golfstaaten

Washinton engagiert sich im Jemen-Krieg und liefert wieder schwere Waffen an Bahrain, China baut Stützpunkt in Dschibuti und liefert Kampfdrohnen an Saudi-Arabien.

In Washington will man die Bindungen an die Golfstaaten wieder festigen.

Schon schnell nach seinem Amtsantritt hatte Trump Ende Januar mit dem saudischen König Salman telefoniert und offiziell festgestellt, dass die Meinung beider über die tiefen strategischen Beziehungen "identisch" gewesen sei.

Es ging auch um die "Stabilität" der Region und die Bekämpfung von Gegner, die sich in die inneren Angelegenheiten anderer Staaten einmischen. Damit war nicht Saudi-Arabien gemeint, das in Jemen Krieg führt und in Syrien islamistische Gruppen unterstützt, sondern der Iran. Der gilt Trump, der auch hinter Israels Regierungspolitik gestellt hatte, als gefährlicher Gegner, er hatte im Wahlkampf angekündigt, das Atomabkommen beenden oder verändern zu wollen.

Auffällig war, dass die Trump-Regierung nun ankündigte, sich stärker an der saudischen Koalition zu beteiligen

Jetzt hat Washington beschlossen, die saudische Offensive logistisch stärker zu unterstützen und erwägt auch eine aktive Teilnahme an Operationen wie dem von den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten schon lange geplanten Angriff auf eine Hafenstadt.

US-Außenminister Tillerson kam auch Bahrain entgegen und hob das Verbot auf, dem Königreich, in dem die Herrscher sunnitisch sind, während der Großteil der Bürger schiitisch ist, schwere Waffen zu liefern

Allein der Verkauf von 19 F-16-Kampfflugzeugen, die dann gegen den Jemen mit den amerikanischen Präzisionsraketen eingesetzt werden können, bringt 2,8 Milliarden US-Dollar an Rückfluss. Das macht Amerika wieder groß.

Groß macht Amerika oder Trump auch, dass nun offensichtlich versucht wird, im Nahen Osten Erfolge zu zelebrieren, indem die militärischen Interventionen verstärkt werden.

Obgleich die Golfstaaten zusammen mit der Türkei in Syrien islamistische Gruppen unterstütze, die nicht nur gegen Assad, sondern auch gegen die syrischen Kurden kämpfen, scheint der neuen US-Regierung der Iran der größte Feind in der Region zu sein.

China zeigte sich da offener und hat offenbar Kampfdrohnen des Typs Wing-Loong II in den letzten Monaten an Saudi-Arabien verkauft, was etwas gewunden chinesische Medien berichten. Die der amerikanischen Kampfdrohne MQ-9 Reaper vergleichbare Drohne ist zudem erheblich billiger – von Florian Rötzer

31.3.2017 – Al Monitor (* A P)

Congress raises alarm over US confrontation with Yemen's Houthis

A bipartisan group of US lawmakers is demanding that President Donald Trump seek the approval of Congress before escalating US involvement in Yemen's civil war.

Four House members are collecting signatures on a letter to the president amid growing signs that the White House and the Pentagon want to more directly take on the Iran-backed Houthi rebels. The United States has been selling bombs and weapons to the Saudi-led coalition since its March 2015 intervention, but the Trump administration is reportedly considering helping Saudi and Emirati forces capture the Red Sea port of Hodeida.

"Engaging our military against Yemen’s Houthis when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers clearly delineated in the constitution," reads a draft letter to Trump obtained by Al-Monitor. "For this reason, we write to request that the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) provide, without delay, any legal justification that it would cite if the administration intends to engage in direct hostilities against Yemen’s Houthis without seeking congressional authorization."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is copied on the letter.

The letter is being circulated by Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wis.; Justin Amash, R-Mich.; Ted Lieu, D-Calif.; and Walter Jones, R-N.C. Peace groups including the Friends Committee on National Legislation are lobbying for it.

The effort comes as the Trump administration has increasingly framed the Houthis as a threat to US interests.

Even lawmakers who support the Gulf coalition are wary of unchecked US escalation.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., made it clear he doesn't believe the Authorization for the Use of Military Force that Congress passed in 2001 to counter al-Qaeda would apply to the Houthis.

"Certainly engaging in a war against a group outside of ISIS [the Islamic State] is a step beyond the current authorization," Corker told Al-Monitor.

Other powerful actors, however, argue that Trump has all the authorization he needs to take on the Houthis, either under the 2001 authorization or under his constitutional powers as commander in chief – by Julian Pecquet

31.3.2017 – Sputnik News (* A K P)

US Now Reduced to Passively Backing Failing Saudi Strategy in Yemen - Ex-Envoy

The United States is passively following Saudi Arabia’s lead in boosting military assistance to the Riyadh-led collation seeking to suppress rebel forces in Yemen, ex-US Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs Chas Freeman told Sputnik.

Freeman, who also served as US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, said, "Riyadh, not Washington, now leads."

The US government no longer broadly engaged Saudi Arabia on a wide range of political, economic and cultural issues, but instead the relationship had degenerated into passive support for increasingly aggressive Riyadh policies, Freeman maintained.

"The US-Saudi relationship, which used to embrace a rich menu of political, economic, cultural, and military programs of cooperation, is basically down to intelligence and military support for independent Saudi foreign policies," he said.

President Donald Trump repeatedly criticized the alleged failure of his predecessor President Barack Obama to confront terrorism and Islamist extremists sufficiently energetically across the Middle East, but in Yemen Trump was continuing the same kinds of policies, Freeman said.

"As for the significance of stepping up support for the Saudi and Emirati-led bombing campaigns in Yemen, these are simply a continuation of previous counter-terrorism strategy," he said.

Trump, like Obama before him, failed to realize that increasing the scale of massive air strikes that disrupted and destroyed civil societies across wide ranges of the Middle East radicalized local populations and destroyed their cohesion, Freeman explained.

This made it far easier for extremist forces to grow rapidly and take control, he pointed out.

US counter-terrorism strategy therefore "resembles a plan to reduce hornet stings by poking at hornets' nests," Freeman explained.

Chas Freeman is a lifetime director of the Atlantic Council and served as US Deputy Chief of Mission and Chargé d’affaires at the US embassies in Beijing and Bangkok. Freeman also held several senior level positions at the Defense Department.

31.3.2017 – Sputnik News (* A K P)

Boosting Aid to Riyadh, US May Be Drawn Into War in Which It Has No Interest

Increased US military aid or tactical air support for the Saudi-led coalition involved in Yemen’s civil war can only drain American strength in a remote conflict where it has no real interests, former CIA analyst and whistleblower John Kiriakou told Sputnik.

“Any increase in support for the Saudis, whether in weapons sales, hardware, air support, or anything else, will draw the US into a conflict in which it has no interest,” Kiriakou, who served in the Middle East as a CIA officer said on Thursday. However, just stepped up military aid could not bring any rapid end to the conflict that has already cost many thousands of lives, Kiriakou cautioned.

Instead, it would only enable the Saudi-led coalition to conflict ever larger numbers of casualties, increasing hatred of the Sanaa government and thereby prolonging the conflict, he observed.

“It can only lead to more destruction in an already almost destroyed country,” he said,

Far from ending or alleviating the sufferings of the Yemeni people in the conflict, increased US aid and support to the Saudi-led coalition would only make that suffering worse while also further draining US financial resources, Kiriakou added.

“It will add to human misery among Yemenis, and it will cost the American taxpayer untold millions of dollars,” he stated.

Kiriakou gained international recognition as the only person the US government sent to prison for exposing the George W. Bush administration's torture program.

31.3.2017 – Sputnik News (* A P)

Is Trump Planning a Major US Escalation in Yemen?

US Defense Secretary James Mattis has asked the White House to lift Obama-era restrictions on its involvement in the war in Yemen, which the US is already indirectly fighting by supporting the Saudi-led coalition. Could this mean a new level of involvement for the US in yet another Middle East disaster?

The details of Mattis' request remain obscure. According to a report by the Washington Post, Mattis, in a memo sent earlier this month to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, said that "limited support" for Yemen operations being conducted by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates would help combat a "common threat."

Host of Sputnik's Loud and Clear Brian Becker invited Medea Benjamin — author, anti-war activist and co-founder of the CODEPINK movement — to discuss whether Mattis' request might mean a new war with US boots on the ground in the Middle East.

Despite popular misconceptions, "the US does not spend money on the Yemeni war — it is selling weapons, so one of the reasons [the US supports the war] is because the US weapons contractors are making a hell of a lot of money," Benjamin told Becker.

"The other reason is about a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, with the US taking the side of Saudi Arabia against Iran; the Saudis are stepping up their campaign against Iran and Donald Trump is going along with it."

30.3.2017 – The National Interest (* A K P)

Is the Trump Administration Sinking into a Yemen Quagmire?

Trump officials are debating whether or not to increase U.S. military assistance to the Saudi-led coalition fighting the Houthi rebellion in Yemen.

Per the Washington Post, Secretary Mattis sent a memo to National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster making the case for additional U.S. intelligence support for a UAE-backed operation to reclaim the Yemeni port of Hodeida.

The principals—and ultimately the president—should put the memo in the shredder.

Yemen Is Already a Humanitarian Catastrophe

More Military Aid Is Directly Contrary to U.S. Policy

The civil war in Yemen isn’t a top-tier priority for policymakers in Washington, but when it is discussed in the public domain, U.S. officials often repeat the mantra that there is no military solution to the conflict. The State Department talking points are repetitive, but ultimately correct: only a Yemeni-led peace process among all of the country’s belligerents and stakeholders will end the conflict and allow Yemenis and the international community to begin the expensive process of rebuilding the country’s infrastructure.

If the U.S. does indeed decide to plunge further into the conflict and assist the Saudis and Emiratis in their campaign, Washington is effectively deepening its role as a belligerent to the advantage of one side in an internal conflict. In other words, at the same time that the United States would be trying to work with the UN to resurrect a dormant Yemeni peace process that is hanging on by a thread, Washington would be sending thousands of smart bombs to Riyadh and improving the intelligence picture for Saudi and Emirati aircraft searching for Houthi targets. The two are completely contradictory; the United States would be dousing a burning house with water on one day, only to light a match the next.

The Trump administration’s rationale for getting itself deeper into the Yemen quagmire appears to be more about Iran rather than anything having to do with Yemen. That’s not a good enough justification for ordering the U.S. military to effectively participate in a war that hasn’t been fully debated—let alone authorized—by Congress – by Daniel DePetris, fellow at Defense Priorities.

30.3.2017 – Al Monitor (* A H P)

Critics say operation to take port could spell more catastrophe for Yemen

Some UN and US humanitarian officials have expressed alarm as the Trump administration considers whether to provide increased US logistical and intelligence support for an Emirati/Saudi coalition military operation to take the Red Sea port of Hodeidah from Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Proponents of the operation, including officials in the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia as well as some in the State Department and Pentagon, say it could pressure the Houthis into agreeing to return to the negotiating table, and bolster relations between Washington and Gulf allies. Critics of the proposal, including former USAID and Obama National Security Council (NSC) officials and experts at the United Nations, say that if the operation to take the port from the Houthis is successful, it would create a new front line through which it would not be possible to bring food at the needed scale into Sanaa, the capital of 2 million people, and could tip large swaths of the country into famine.

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, strongly warned against escalating the military conflict.

“The warring parties are waiting for the math to change based on military moves,” Eric Pelofsky, former special assistant to the president and former NSC senior director for North Africa and Yemen, told Al-Monitor.

“From the negotiations, you can see why the coalition is convinced that there is a need for military pressure on the Houthis.”

“But I think moving against Hodeidah port could lead to terrible humanitarian consequences,” Pelofsky, now with the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said. “The risk of humanitarian harm is so great.

“If you ask humanitarian workers about the feasibility of getting humanitarian aid through battle lines at scale to feed a capital of 2 million people, they will say no — you can’t get that volume through,” Pelofsky said.

“From USAID’s perspective, we thought the US should strongly oppose this,” Konyndyk, the former director of USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance, told Al-Monitor. “That is where the administration ultimately came out. Some at [the] State [Department], DoD [Department of Defense] felt differently.”

He said, “From our point of view, it would be disastrous in terms of humanitarian impact if the coalition were to disrupt the aid pipeline and commercial pipeline that moves through that port.”

He said, “The concern is [after they would take the port], they would push inland a certain distance, and you would have a front line stand in the way of the vast bulk of commercial food imports and aid flows. This is a country that depends on food imports for 90% of its staple foods. … You [could] end up with a situation where most of the population is on the wrong side of the front line from the two ports that have greatest capacity to import food. Even with Hodeidah functioning and accessible to UN aid operators, it has been a struggle to keep the country from crossing into famine.”

“The view that we had at [US]AID — among [US]AID leadership — was that if that port were to be lost, it would likely be enough to tip the country into famine,” Konyndyk warned.

“It appears that the new US administration feels like Yemen is the safest space to push back on Iran with the least spillover/consequence/escalation risk,” a former senior US official who worked in the Middle East, speaking not for attribution, told Al-Monitor. “That is a risky conclusion, especially if it is wrong – by Laura Rozen

30.3.2017 – Esquire (A P)

President Trump's Middle East Policy Consists of Bombing People

This is immoral. This is inhumane. Moreover, it is deeply, profoundly, almost unthinkably stupid.

Opening free-fire zones in an area of the world in which we already have built up substantial reservoirs of hate and distrust isn't like throwing gasoline on a fire. It's like throwing the fire into a powder magazine. If there is a policy here beyond Blowing Shit Up and Killing Those People and America, Fck Yeah!, I'm unable to see it. We are creating refugees, and terrorists, and corpses by the carload, for no more reason than we can. Of all the things to which we have had to grow accustomed since last November, this is clearly the most insane [several longer citations] – BY CHARLES P. PIERCE

30.3.2017 – Foreign Policy (* A P)

Yemen Lashes Out At D.C. Briefing By Human Rights Activists

The Yemeni embassy seeks to discredit civil society advocates holding an event on Capitol Hill. What are they afraid of?

The Yemeni embassy in Washington has written to Senate staffers blasting a planned event on Capitol Hill featuring two Yemeni civil society activists, an unusual step betraying Sanaa’s acute sensitivity to criticism as it seeks more U.S. assistance for the Saudi-led military campaign in the country.

The extraordinary email to lawmakers’ offices, obtained by Foreign Policy, appeared aimed at discouraging congressional aides from attending the briefing at the Dirksen Senate office building on Thursday afternoon with two established local advocates. The note warned Senate aides that participants in the event had a political “agenda” tied to Iran-backed Houthi rebels battling the government of President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The Yemen Peace Project, a small non-profit group that helped organize the event, categorically rejected the allegations, saying the participants had no ties to the Houthi rebels or former president Saleh, and that the organization has documented rights abuses carried out by both sides in the conflict.

The event features Radhya Almutawakel, who leads a human rights organization focused on Yemen and who regularly reports to United Nations organizations on human rights in Yemen, and Samaa al-Hamdani, an analyst writing about Yemeni politics and women’s issues who has been published in Al Monitor and other websites.

Congressional staffers said it was unusual for an embassy to go to such lengths to undercut a public event

But the letter from the Yemeni embassy could well backfire, as senators and their aides tend to resent attempts to stifle open debate and discussion on foreign policy – by Dan De Luce

30.3.2017 – Amnesty International (* A K P)

USA's sale of F-16s to Bahrain 'sends dangerous signal' on human rights

After reports that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to lift human rights conditions on the multi-billion-dollar sale of F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain despite Bahrain’s record of oppression against dissidents and participation in a Saudi Arabia-led coalition that has killed and injured thousands of civilians in Yemen, Sunjeev Bery, an Advocacy Director at Amnesty International USA, said:

“While getting weapons from the USA, Bahrain’s government is silencing critics at home and participating in a military coalition that is bombing civilians in Yemen.

“This deal sends a dangerous signal to Bahrain and all other countries that engage in serious human rights violations.

“It is particularly galling to arm these governments while simultaneously barring those fleeing violence entrance to the USA.

“These deals place the USA at risk of being complicit in war crimes, and discourage other countries, like Saudi Arabia, from addressing their own human rights records.”

29.3.2017 – New York Times (* A K P)

U.S. War Footprint Grows in Middle East, With No Endgame in Sight

Two months after the inauguration of President Trump, indications are mounting that the United States military is deepening its involvement in a string of complex wars in the Middle East that lack clear endgames.

Rather than representing any formal new Trump doctrine on military action, however, American officials say that what is happening is a shift in military decision-making that began under President Barack Obama. On display are some of the first indications of how complicated military operations are continuing under a president who has vowed to make the military “fight to win.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the commander of United States Central Command, said the new procedures made it easier for commanders in the field to call in airstrikes without waiting for permission from more senior officers.

“We recognized the nature of the fight was going to change and that we had to ensure that authorities were down to the right level and that we empowered the on-scene commander,” General Votel said. He was speaking specifically about discussions that he said began in November about how the fights in Syria and Iraq against the Islamic State were reaching critical phases in Mosul and Raqqa.

Concerns about the recent accusations of civilian casualties are bringing some of these details to light. But some of the shifts have also involved small increases in the deployment and use of American forces or, in Yemen, resuming aid to allies that had previously been suspended.

And they coincide with the settling in of a president who has vowed to intensify the fight against extremists abroad, and whose budgetary and rhetorical priorities have indicated a military-first approach even as he has proposed cuts in diplomatic spending.

To some critics, that suggests that much more change is to come, in difficult situations in a roiled Middle East that have never had clear solutions.

The lack of diplomacy and planning for the future in places like Yemen and Syria could render victories there by the United States and its allies unsustainable.

“From harsh experience, we know that either U.S. forces will have to be involved for the long term or victory will dissipate soon after they leave,” he said.

Others fear that greater military involvement could drag the United States into murky wars and that increased civilian deaths could feed anti-Americanism and jihadist propaganda.

Some insist that this has already happened.

Mr. Trump’s tough statements before coming into office, and the rise in civilian deaths in recent American strikes, have raised questions about whether the new president has removed constraints from the Pentagon on how it wages war.

The complexity of these wars and the American role in them is clear in Yemen, where the United States has two distinct roles, both of which have increased under Mr. Trump.

But since Mr. Trump took office, his administration has advanced some arms deals for coalition countries, while approving the resumption of sales of precision-guided munitions to Saudi Arabia, according to an American official familiar with Yemen policy.

Mr. Trump’s more muscular approach has been hailed by Gulf leaders, who felt betrayed by Mr. Obama’s outreach to Iran and who hope that they now have an ally in the White House to help them push back against their regional foe.

“It understands that it is uniquely positioned to play a unique role in bringing some stability to the region, and I think there is a meeting of the minds between the Saudi leadership and the Trump administration,” said Fahad Nazer, a political consultant to the Saudi Embassy in Washington who said he was speaking on his own behalf.

Some analysts note that this military surge has not brought with it a clear strategy to end Yemen’s war or uproot Al Qaeda.

“As the military line has surged, there has not been a surge in diplomacy,” said Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute – By BEN HUBBARD and MICHAEL R. GORDON

29.3.2017 – Living in Yemen on the edge (* A K P)


Media sources confirmed a major military operation of the Arab-led coalition countries led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE with the participation of the US to liberate the port of Hodeidah from the control of Houthi group and Saleh
According to US media, President Trump is seriously considering to enhance the involvemet with the Arab coalition countries in a major military operation to liberate the port of Hodeidah to ''prevent Iranian arms smuggling and stop the threat that affects international navigation.''

My comment: This is in short the reporting of media, look at YPR 287, cp1, cp9.

31.3.2017 – RT (* A P)

‘If US is world’s conscience, why doesn’t it see what’s happening in Yemen?’ – Moscow

The US cannot be the world’s “moral conscience” by any stretch of the imagination, as both its actions and inaction in Yemen, Iraq and Syria show a lack of basic compassion, according to Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova.

American envoy to the UN Nikki Haley said on Wednesday that the US is the “moral conscience” of the world, and that it would not give up this role, at the same time calling the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) “corrupt” – without providing any evidence for her accusations.

American actions worldwide, however, mainly constitute a significant lack of conscience, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zakharova said at a press briefing on Thursday.

“[Haley] said that the US is ‘the world’s conscience.’ If you’re the world’s conscience, why don’t you see what’s happening to the people of Yemen? Or is it some sort of new, hybrid conscience which doesn’t send signals to brain or to other global organs. It’s impossible to not see it,” Zakharova said.

She added that American media, however, focus on Russia instead of reporting on the humanitarian situation in Yemen, Syria, or the Iraqi city of Mosul.

“Conscience cannot be that blind. It cannot atrophy to that point, most likely there wasn’t any [conscience] at all,” the spokeswoman said.

Zakharova stressed that it’s impossible to solve the Yemeni conflict through military means and called for reconciliation through UN-supervised talks.

My comment: Zakharova is obviously right. The US certainly is not world’s conscience.

30.3.2017 – Global Research (* A P)

Yemen Genocide: Which was Propaganda, Which was News-Reporting?

Russian TV covered 1,000,000 Yemenese protesting U.S.-Saudi’s Bombs. (at 11:11-13:11)

U.S. TV covered 8,000 Russians protesting Vladimir Putin’s government.

If they’re both propaganda, then which was more honest, more news that was really worth covering? Both were about foreign affairs, but which was more important, more worthy of being included in an evening’s news-cast?

An anonymous blogger noted the contrasting coverage:

“Neither the New York Times nor the Washington Post reported the million strong rally. Both though reported widely an 8,000 strong demonstration in Moscow led by the ultra-nationalist anti-semitic racist Alexey Navalny (vid). Navalny, who polls less than 1% in Russia, is their great and groundless hope to replace the Russian President Putin.”

So, maybe there was a U.S.-government propaganda-reason for making the Navalny molehill seem like a major political event, but was there also a U.S.-government propaganda-reason for the American press’s non-coverage of the million people in Yemen which urged the U.S. and Saudi governments, “Please stop bombing and starving us!” and for those million people being hidden from (not heard and seen by) the American public? – by Eric Zuesse

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

31.3.2017 – BBC (A P)

House of Commons

Recorded coverage of the debate in the House of Commons on the conflict in Yemen, from Tuesday 28 March.

31.3.2017 – Portsmoth (A P)

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond calls on ministers to deliver further aid to war-torn Yemen

Flick Drummond, Portsmouth South MP, who was born there, said the conflict in the country remains ‘ignored and forgotten’. Speaking during a parliamentary debate this week, Mrs Drummond called on ministers to work with the UN to encourage the Saudi-led and US-backed coalition forces in the country to allow aid into port.

30.3.2017 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

British Diplomat: London Concerned about Flow of Iranian Arms into Yemen

British Ambassador to Yemen Simon Shercliff stressed his country’s support to Saudi Arabia’s right to defend its land and people from regional threats.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Shercliff raised concerns over reports on Iranian arms smuggling operations across the Yemeni borders located along the Red Sea.

While the ambassador said that Saudi Arabia had the full right to defend its people and territories from any lurking threats, he expressed serious worries over the continuous flow of Iranian arms into Yemen, in a blatant violation to UN Security Council Resolution 2216.

“The future of Yemen depends on a sustainable political solution, and we ask Iran to support such solution,” he said.

My comment: “that Saudi Arabia had the full right to defend its people and territories from any lurking threats”: That’s partisan bulklshit as the Yemeni attacks on Saudi territory began just 10 weeks AFTER the Saudis started bombing Yemen. Thus, the Saudi war on Yemen cannot labeled as “defense”. – “The future of Yemen depends on a sustainable political solution”: Keep in mind that Britain is warring party in the Yemen war, it is part of the problem and hardly part of the solution.

31.3.2017 – RT (A P)

Film: London: Saudischer Militärsprecher zeigt nach Eierwurf und versuchter Festnahme seinen Stinkefinger

General Ahmed al-Asiri, Sprecher der Saudi-geführten Koalition im Jemen, wurde gestern in London von Protestlern mit dem Vorwurf konfrontiert, für Kriegsverbrechen im Jemen verantwortlich zu sein. Einer von ihnen bewarf den saudischen Militär-Sprecher mit einem Ei und traf ihn. Ein anderer versuchte, ihn festzunehmen. "Ich nehme ihn fest, weil er ein Kriegsverbrecher ist", so der Aktivist. Al-Asiri reagierte wenig galant und zeigte den Protestlern seinen erhobenen Stinkefinger.

and reports / films in English:

30.3.2017 – S. Alwadaei / CAAT (A P)

Film: British activist @SamWalton tried to conduct a citizen arrest to Major Ahmed AlAsiri for committing war crimes in #Yemen

Film: .@SamWalton statement on his attempt to arrest the war criminal Major Ahmed alAsiri in #London for committing war crimes in

Saudi Major General Ahmed Asiri giving protesters the finger. He is responsible for war crimes

#Saudi war criminal & cheof apologist for #Yemen Maj. Gen. Ahmed Asiri meeting at @ecfr London. Here's the guest list (photo)

Film: .@SamWalton explains to police why he placed Saudi General Al-Asserie under citizens arrest for war crimes.

What is Citizens’ Arrest? A speciality of British law:

and also

30.3.2017 – Campaign Against Arms Trade(A P)

An Activist Attempts to put Saudi General Al-Asserie under Citizens Arrest Ahead of Speech at London Think Tank

Quaker activist Sam Walton has attempted to put Saudi General Al-Asserie under citizens arrest for war crimes in Yemen. Asserie was on his way to speak to the European Council on Foreign Relations, where he was met with protests. Sam was forced away by Asserie’s bodyguards. On Tuesday, Asserie met with MPs to brief them ahead of a debate on the humanitarian situation in Yemen. Sam Walton, who attempted the arrest, said:

“Asserie represents a regime that has killed thousands in Yemen and shown a total contempt for international law. I tried to arrest him because of the war crimes he has overseen and propagated for, but he was surrounded by bodyguards who roughly forced me away. Asserie shouldn’t be welcomed and treated like a dignitary, he should be arrested and investigated for war crimes.”

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, Director of Advocacy, Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy, was at the protest. He said:

“The Saudi regime has an appalling human rights record domestically and internationally. It tortures Saudi people and has supported crackdowns all over the Middle East, including Bahrain where Saudi forces have helped to suppress the peaceful pro-democracy movement. Asserie has been central to the regime and to whitewashing its terrible crimes.” = and by RT: and The Independent: and Middle East Eye: and by Arab News (Saudi):

and film:

Comment by Hisham Al-Omeisy: Saudi calling egg-thrower a terrorist! What's an egg versus 90,000 airstrikes on #Yemen's civilians. Give @SamWalton a medal

Comment by Shireen Al-Adeimi: Assiri was probably confused by concept of citizen's arrest but "criminal, child murderer, coward" should be clear. Bravo, activists!


31.3.2017 – International Business Times (* A P)

Why I tried to make a citizen's arrest on General Al-Asiri of Saudi Arabia

It shows how broken politics is when an adviser to one of the most brutal world regimes is invited to meet MPs.

I'd never attempted to carry out an arrest before, but that changed yesterday (30 March) when I confronted Saudi General Ahmad Al-Asiri. "I'm placing you under citizen's arrest for war crimes in Yemen." Those were exact my words before a burly security guard pushed me out of the way and others held me back.

The general didn't take it very well. While firmly protected by a gaggle of bodyguards he turned round, looked me in the eye and stuck his middle finger up; a gesture that in the last 24 hours has become a meme shared by pro-Saudi trolls all over social media.

Since then I've had people commend me for my actions, but others have asked why I did it. After all, they say, he was here in a private capacity to address the European Council on Foreign Relations, a respected think-tank. What's so wrong about that?

Al-Asiri the war criminal

He is not just a representative of the regime, he is also the frontman for the Saudi military and their terrible bombardment of Yemen. The bombing has lasted for over two years now, destroying vital infrastructure and killing thousands of civilians.

The evidence that Saudi Arabian forces have flouted international humanitarian law (IHL) in Yemen is overwhelming.

UK complicity in Saudi crimes

The UK's complicity in the destruction has been so absolute that it only made me more determined to stop the general. How could I ignore him when the government of the country I live in has offered political and military support for the appalling war that he and his colleagues have waged?

In fact, it's not just been supportive – it's played an utterly central role.

We can't stay silent

I wasn't alone when I stopped Al-Asiri, I was joined by other peace campaigners

It's a sign of how broken our political system is when a man like Al-Asiri, a senior adviser to one of the most brutal and oppressive regimes in the world, can be welcomed into Whitehall and invited to meet with MPs and whitewash his crimes to leading think-tanks. If real justice is to be done, then governments like the UK's need to finally stop putting arms sales ahead of human rights while people like Al-Asiri are arrested and investigated for war crimes – by Sam Walton

and that is by

31.3.2017 – Saudi Embassy to UK (A P)

The Saudi Embassy to the United Kingdom stressed a safety of Major General Ahmed Asiri, Adviser to the Minister of Defense and Spokesman of the Coalition Forces to Support Legitimacy in Yemen, after he was exposed to an attempt of assault by a group of protesters.
According to the Saudi Embassy's twitter account, the embassy stressed that Major General was exposed to an attempt of assault by a group of protesters who were trying to disrupt his participation in the European Council Seminar on Foreign Relations to discuss the situation in Yemen. The embassy would like to thank the British police for its cooperation in protecting the place and ensuring the safe exit for the Saudi ambassador and the Major General from the building."
The Saudi embassy stressed that Asiri continued his communication program in Britain without any change in spite of the desperate attempts to disrupt him by forces pursuing violence as a principle.

29.3.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A E P)

UK triggers Brexit, starts eyeing up Middle East

Britain moves to secure deals with Middle East governments, procuring lucrative defence contracts despite human rights concerns

As the UK triggered its divorce from the European Union on Wednesday, Prime Minister Theresa May’s government is already working to secure new trade partnerships and deals in the Middle East.

International trade minister Liam Fox has said that the UK is already in informal talks with 12 countries around the world, many of which are in the Middle East. Free trade agreements, lucrative arms deals, human rights concerns: let’s look at what the government has done so far in the region post-Brexit vote.

Gulf Cooperation Council

Qatar, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and Oman could be among the first countries to sign a free trade agreement with post-Brexit UK.

Acting under the Gulf Cooperation Council’s banner, the six states are working on a “signature-ready” deal that could be signed immediately after Brexit, according to an unnamed Qatari official interviewed by Reuters. In exchange, the GCC countries are asking for fewer restrictions on travel visas to the UK.

Trade between Britain and the GCC amounts to $37.22bn annually, while Qatar pledged an investment of $6.23bn over three to five years the day before Brexit was triggered. Qatar is also the largest landowner in London and it holds a property portfolio that is three times the size of that of the Queen, data from research firm Datscha seen by Property Week shows.

Liberal Democrats leader Tim Farron has criticised the Conservative government, saying it is desperate to secure deals and so is engaging countries with questionable human rights records.

Johnson urged Fox in November to keep shipping weapons to the Saudis even after the bombing of a funeral in Yemen that killed more than 140 people last October. Under UK export rules, licences should not be approved if there is a clear risk the weapons could be used for serious violations of international humanitarian law.

Correspondence obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade showed that Fox put the export of weapons on hold following the incident, but was persuaded to resume the sale after Johnson’s letter.

Saudi Arabia is Britain’s biggest arms buyer.

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

31.12.2017 – Andreas Kindl, German Ambassador to Yemen (A K P)

To argue that PGMs bring sides to negotiations is intellectually thin. #FuneralHall bomb was laser-guided GBU-12 #NoMilitarySolution #Yemen

Remark: PGM = Precision Guided Munition

Comment: all #Yemen-i people appreciate your efforts and understanding

30.12.2017 – Andreas Kindl, German Ambassador to Yemen (A E P)

Just spent three most useful informative worrisome yet hopeful days with #Yemen-i bankers, traders and economists at #Berghof track 2 event. (photos)

Comment by Hisham Al-Omeisy: Feedback from bankers, now back in Sana'a, extremely positive; critical issues & counter measures openly discussed. Tks to @AmbSanaa #Yemen

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

31.3.2017 – Al Araby (A P)

Danger zone: UAE and Israel in joint air-force drills

The United States and Italy are also taking part in the joint aviation exercises currently being hosted by Greece at the Andravida airbase in the Peloponnese peninsulaThe United Arab Emirates is currently taking part in an air force training programme organised by Greece alongside Israel.

The Iniohos 2017 Air Force Exercise began on Monday 27March and is set to last until April 6, based at the Andravida airbase in the northwest of the Peloponnese peninsula.

According to an official press release about the event put out by the Greek air force, the UAE is participating alongside the air forces of Israel, the United States and Italy -- in addition to Greece.

A patch produced to commemorate the event includes all four states' flags, in addition to that of Greece, along with the slogan "Act With Awareness".

A statement from the US military said that twelve US F-16C Fighting Falcons were taking part in the event.

It added that the exercises, in which units of the Greek army and navy are also taking part, were aimed at "enhancing the interoperability capabilities and skills amongst allied air forces in the accomplishment of joint operations and air defences" and ensuring "joint readiness and reassure our regional allies".

Israeli daily Haaretz reported the presence of F-16 aircraft from the UAE at the Andravida airbase.
The UAE's air force uses "Desert Falcon" F-16s specifically developed for conditions in the Arabian Gulf and manufactured by Texas-based US military hardware manufacturer Lockheed Martin.
The participation of the UAE was confirmed by Alexandros Chalkopoulos, a spokesman for the Greek Air Force, in comment to The New Arab.

30.3.2017 – Ali AlAhmed (A H)

Disgusting: #Kuwaiti woman film house maid hanging for life instead of helping her referring to film:

30.3.2017 – Al Araby (A P)

UAE jails prominent academic for 10 years over tweets

A prominent academic was sentenced by a UAE court to 10 years in prison over a series of tweets idely critical of governments across the Arab worldA United Arab Emirates court sentenced on Wednesday a prominent academic to 10 years in prison over a series of tweets criticising authorities, Amnesty International said.

Nasser Bin Ghaith was convicted of promoting "false information in order to harm the reputation and stature of the state and one of its institutions" over a series of tweets in which he said he had been denied a fair trial in a previous case, the Beirut regional office of the rights group said.

Bin Ghaith was arrested and forcibly disappeared in August 2015 over what Amnesty said was a series of tweets in which he said he was not given the right to a fair trial after his 2011 arrest.

His last tweets, dated August 2015, are widely critical of governments across the Arab world.

Amnesty International's Lynn Maalouf, Deputy Director for Research at the organisation's Beirut office, condemned Bin Ghaith's prison sentence.

"Today's sentencing of prominent economist, academic and human rights defender Dr Nasser bin Ghaith to 10 years in prison is yet another devastating blow for freedom of expression in the United Arab Emirates," she said on Wednesday.

"By imposing this ludicrous sentence in response to his peaceful tweets, the authorities have left no room for doubt: those who dare to speak their minds freely in the UAE today risk grave punishment."

28.3.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Omani dissent at Arab League summit offers silver lining to Iran

Saudi Arabia faces resistance to its plan to use the summit platform as an opportunity to attack and isolate Iran

Despite the Arab League’s singular solidarity on Iran-related issues, this year there are signs of emerging dissent, notably Oman’s reported caution to the Jordanian hosts to tone down the anti-Iran rhetoric.

If true, this is an important development as it would reflect Oman’s tentative dissent from its longstanding position of neutrality in respect of Iranian-Saudi rivalry. More broadly, while the proceedings of the Arab League are not a huge concern to Iran, the Omani attitude is significant in relation to another Arab organisation, namely the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

By splitting the GCC through active and skilful diplomacy, the Islamic Republic can go a long way in undermining Saudi Arabia’s wide-ranging efforts to isolate Iran regionally and internationally.

Oman is exceptional in the Gulf region in view of its warm relations with Iran stretching back decades. The former Shah of Iran’s decisive intervention in 1973-1974 in the Dhofar rebellion, which prevented the fragmentation of the Omani state, set the foundation for an enduring relationship.

Until now, Oman has managed to sustain warm relations with Iran without upsetting its powerful neighbour to the west, namely Saudi Arabia. However, the war in Yemen has tested this fine balancing act, in view of Oman’s proximity to the conflict and attendant intense Saudi and UAE lobbying aimed at sabotaging Omani neutrality.

These efforts may have backfired though, with reports suggesting that Oman may be turning a blind eye to weapons smuggling to Houthi rebels in Yemen and even facilitating communications between Iran and the Houthis.

These allegations may be unproven, but nevertheless their significance lies in the fact that they speak to deep anxiety in Riyadh about Oman’s pivot towards Iran. Saudi Arabia can live with a neutral Oman, but it cannot abide a pro-Iranian stance by Muscat. Omani alignment with Iran not only undermines the solidarity of the GCC, but also directly challenges Saudi Arabia’s campaign to isolate Iran at the regional level.

At a minimum, Oman’s independent regional policy complicates Saudi-led efforts to stabilise Yemen on Riyadh’s terms and conditions. There is deep anxiety in Riyadh about the extent to which Oman can facilitate long-term Iranian influence building in Yemen. This is compounded by the increasing understanding in Riyadh and other regional capitals of the enduring qualities of the Houthi movement in Yemen, a reality that threatens indefinite instability along Saudi Arabia’s southern border.

Saudi Arabia’s immediate priority is to use the GCC as a multinational counter to Iran. While the GCC cannot be easily mobilised militarily, at a minimum, Riyadh wants to use joint political and economic capital to isolate Iran with a view to altering the Islamic Republic’s strategic calculus – by Mahan Abedin

My comment: If Oman asks to “to tone down the anti-Iran rhetoric,” why should this be “tentative dissent from its longstanding position of neutrality”? It’s assign of neutrality. – This article clearly shows how Saudi Arabia shows off as the leader of the Arab world and wants to impose its own agenda to all other states, and to dominate its smaller neighbours: “Saudi Arabia’s immediate priority is to use the GCC as a multinational counter to Iran” and “Saudi Arabia can live with a neutral Oman, but it cannot abide a pro-Iranian stance by Muscat.” That’s it.

11.3.2017 – New York Times (* A P)

Gates Visits Bahrain Amid Huge Protests

As security forces and pro-government vigilantes beat back protesters here, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates arrived Friday on an unannounced visit to offer American support to the royal family and prod the king and the crown prince toward talks with protesters demanding more democracy.

His visit took place against a backdrop of large and continuing protests across numerous Arab capitals on Friday, with neither repression nor government concessions stemming the tide of anger and demands for change.

The region’s protests were for the most part peaceful, although there were scattered reports of injuries.

Here in this tiny Persian Gulf kingdom, security forces firing what protesters said were rubber bullets and pro-government Sunni vigilantes wielding sticks and swords beat back a rump group of several hundred protesters who were among the tens of thousands of Shiite demonstrators who were planning to march toward a particularly sensitive area: the Royal Court in Riffa, the preferred residential neighborhood for the ruling family and the Sunni Muslim elite. Its manicured lawns and wide streets contrast sharply with the narrow alleyways and raw cinder-block houses where many of the majority Shiite Muslims live.

The Interior Ministry issued a statement before the march warning that security forces would deploy in force to prevent it, given the “level of sectarian tension that threatens Bahrain’s social fabric.” Afterward, it issued another statement saying it had fired just eight tear gas canisters to repulse a rump force of marchers.

The protesters told a different story, saying they had been met with stones and clouds of tear gas – By ELISABETH BUMILLER and NEIL MacFARQUHAR

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

31.3.2017 – Nachdenkseiten (* B E K P)

Ein „Teufelskreis von Aufrüstung, Militarisierung und Repression“

Gibt es Profiteure des Krieges? Natürlich gibt es sie. Und sie verdienen gigantische Summen. Der Journalist Markus Bickel, der gerade ein Buch mit dem Titel „Die Profiteure des Terrors – Wie Deutschland an Kriegen verdient und arabische Diktaturen stärkt“ veröffentlicht hat, zeigt im Interview mit Marcus Klöckner für die NachDenkSeiten auf, welche Dimensionen die weltweite Rüstungsindustrie mittlerweile angenommen hat. Alleine für 2016 betrugen die globalen Militärausgaben 1,5 Billionen US-Dollar bzw. 1.500 Milliarden US.-Dollar – Tendenz steigend. Bickel, der in den letzten zwei Jahrzehnten als Redakteur und Reporter für zahlreiche Medien unter anderem aus Sarajevo, Beirut, Bagdad und Damaskus berichtet hat, erkannte im Laufe der Jahre, dass ein regelrechter „Teufelskreis von Aufrüstung, Militarisierung und Repression“ existiert. Im Interview sagt er: „Nur ein breites Bündnis aus friedensorientierten Politikern, kritischen Aktionären und Akteuren aus der Zivilgesellschaft kann so viel Druck aufbauen, dass das Geschäft mit dem Tod weitere gesellschaftliche Ächtung erfährt.”

Unter den Top Ten der größten Rüstungskonzerne der Welt befinden sich ausschließlich Unternehmen aus Westeuropa und den USA. Und auch unter den größten hundert Unternehmen erwirtschafteten Betriebe in Großbritannien, Frankreich, Deutschland, Belgien, Italien und den Vereinigten Staaten 2015 mehr als achtzig Prozent der Umsätze. Direkt dahinter folgen Firmen aus Russland, Südkorea, Israel und Indien.

2015 beliefen sie sich laut dem Stockholmer Friedensinstitut SIPRI auf weltweit rund 370 Milliarden US-Dollar – davon erwirtschafteten amerikanische Firmen gut 200 Milliarden, das sind mehr als fünfzig Prozent. Was die Profite anbelangt, stehen Lockheed Martin, Boeing, Raytheon, Northrop Grumman und General Dynamics ganz oben: Die globalen Top Five erwirtschafteten 2015 fast 16 Milliarden US-Dollar Gewinn.

30–31.3.2017 – MbKS15 (A K P)

Flight # Saudi Arabia - # Ukranian An-132D Flying tomorrow for the first time (photo)

Film: #Saudi-Ukrainian jointly developed An-132D performs several runs by the runway prior to its maiden flight on March 31st

Film: #Saudi-#Ukrainian An-132D transport aircraft has successfully conducted its maiden flight today (03.31.17)

29.3.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A K P)

China's Saudi drone factory compensates for US ban

Long-time US ally looks east to develop drone arsenal as part of $60bn package also including agreement to co-operate on moon mission.

China has struck a surprise deal to manufacture military drones at a factory in Saudi Arabia.

It forms part of a suite of agreements totalling $60bn agreed during King Salman's visit to the country last month that will also see the two countries develop oil refineries and co-operate on China’s Chang E-4 moon mission.

The deal comes as Saudi Arabia and its Gulf neighbours continue an unprecedented rush for arms to cope with what they see as a number of counter-terrorism threats across the region.

Meanwhile, long-standing ally, the United States shows no sign of granting those countries access to its own military drone technology.

"For a long time, China and Islamic countries have respected each other and had win-win cooperation, and have created a model of the peaceful coexistence of different cultures," Xi said, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

The factory, China’s first in the Middle East, will produce state-owned China Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation's (CASC) CH-4 Caihong, or "Rainbow" drone as well as associated equipment, which would improve after-sales services for clients in the Middle East.

Saudi has since turned to China, which unlike the US, is not signatory to the international Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and so has fewer restrictions on the sale of drone technology.

Chinese drones are cheaper too.

The CH-4 costs $4m while a low-end Chinese drone can cost about $1m. On the other hand, American Reaper drones can cost in excess of $17m. Added to this a slump in world oil prices and it's easier to see why the CH-4 has become the killer drone of choice for countries across the Middle East.

“The CH-4 has recorded outstanding performance in anti-terrorist attacks in Iraq, Yemen, as well as in Africa’s Sudan, Ethiopia and China’s neighbouring Pakistan,” Zhou Chenming, who previously worked for CASC’s drone-development subsidiary, told the South China Post newspaper.

“That’s why our Saudi friends are so interested in the drone cooperation project,” he added.

It is believed that Saudi Arabia and UAE have used it for airstrikes in Yemen.

cp13b Mercenaries / Söldner

The Sudanese army can be classified as Saudi mercenaries; Saudi Arabia pays billions to the Sudanese government, and they receive Sudanese soldiers to fight for them in the Yemen war. And it seems they should be qualified also for "higher" tasks as taking part in the bombing war.

30.3.2017 – Press TV Iran (* A K P)

Saudi Arabia, Sudan hold joint aerial drills amid war on Yemen

The Saudi and Sudanese air forces have staged joint wargames in Sudan to boost their military capabilities amid their ongoing war against Yemen.

The two-week drills, dubbed “Blue Shield 1,” started on March 29 in Meroe, north of Khartoum, and will last until April 12.

The exercises involve some 250 Saudi air force members and over 450 Sudanese troops.

Saudi Arabia will deploy its F-15 and Eurofighter Typhoon jets, while Sudan will participate with over two dozen combat aircraft, including MiG-29s and the Sukhois.

According to deputy commander of Sudan’s Air Force Salah al-Din Abdel Khaliq, the idea of drills was proposed by Saudi Arabia and the two countries have been planning the exercises over the past year.

The Sudanese commander said the maneuvers were aimed at boosting the capabilities of the two countries’ air forces during the Saudi-led war against Yemen.

Saudi Arabia boosted its ties with Sudan after the African country announced its decision in 2015 to join the Saudi war against the impoverished Yemeni nations.

In 2016, Saudi Arabia reportedly provided five billion dollars in military assistance to Sudan.



cp13c Flüchtlinge / Refugees

31.3.2017 – The Borgen Project (* B H)

Nine Facts to Know About Yemen Refugees

About two million people have been displaced because of the war in Yemen.

Civilians and many family members are still in danger in Yemen.

Many have been fleeing to the Horn of Africa despite the war going on there.

About 3,000 Yemen refugees have been fleeing to the Horn of Africa, a place where war and crisis are also prominent. The countries in the Horn include Somalia, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti and Sudan, all of which have suffered from many political issues. Everything from famine to bombings has disrupted the region, but still, many Yemen refugees migrate across the Gulf of Aden to escape the danger in their home countries.

Refugees are without food, water and other basic needs.
With many citizens being displaced across the country and region, some of the biggest needs include food, water and shelter, according to Ayman Gharaibeh, the country representative for Yemen for UNHCR. “More than half the population is without adequate food and health care and this will only worsen,” said Gharaibeh in an interview with UNHCR.
Many refugees are living in poor conditions, which just increases the spreading of diseases among them. The conditions that many of the refugees live in is below standards for many countries.

Yemen was one of the seven countries banned from the United States by President Trump.

Many are forced to live in refugee camps.

Different humanitarian groups and organizations are bringing aid to Yemen.

Many of the victims are children.

There are a lot of ways to help the refugees of Yemen.

15.3.2017 – UN High Commissioner for Refugees (* A H)

Yemen: UNHCR Operational Update, 1 - 15 March 2017


18.8 million people in need

1,991,340 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP)

84 Percentage of IDPs displaced for more than a year

1,048,896 IDP returnees

786,452 recipients of NFIs since March 2015

279,480 registered refugees and asylum seekers

9,969 new arrivals to Yemeni coast since 1 January 2017


USD 99.6 million requested for the IDP and refugee operation in 2017


UNHCR shocked and dismayed at loss of civilian lives at a market in Khawkhah town, in Hudaydah Governorate. UNHCR urges all parties to the conflict to ensure the utmost respect and adherence to the protection of civilians in Yemen, as up to 22 people lost their lives in an incident on 11 March.

UNHCR and humanitarian actors join in warning of looming famine compounded by access constraints to most vulnerable families. A united call to donors has been put forward, appealing for immediate funds to alleviate hunger, disease and provide urgent assistance to displaced families.

UNHCR-IOM led Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM) release the 13th TFPM report, with 1,991,340 IDPs and 1,048,896 IDP returnees identified in Yemen as of 1 February, 2017. This report does not reflect recent displacement in Taizz and Hudaydah, which will be reflected in the next TFPM report. Food assistance was once again reported as the top priority need among 75% of identified IDP locations and 51% of returnee locations.


Operational Context

As the battle for control of the Red Sea port of Mokha on Yemen’s west coast rages on, renewed fighting across western and central Yemen has displaced more than 62,000 people in recent weeks, with many facing malnutrition, disease and inadequate shelter. Of those forced from their homes, 48,400 are from the west coast governorate of Taizz, where Mokha is located. UNHCR teams have observed that the majority of displaced families are in dire need of assistance and are sheltering in crowded public spaces, including schools and clinics. Other families lack shelter completely, instead currently living in the open or in unfinished buildings which are open to the elements. UNHCR is hugely concerned for the well-being of the displaced, with increasing reports of unhygienic and unsanitary conditions, contributing to an unsafe living environment, especially for children. and in full:

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

31.3.2017 – Reuters (* A E H)

Guards' pay dispute with Total, G4S evokes Yemen's economic misery

A dispute over unpaid wages in Yemen involving two global corporations has illustrated the disarray wrought by the near total pullout of foreign firms from the war-shattered country.

A Yemeni labor court has ordered France's Total and Britain's G4S to pay millions of riyals ($1=330 riyal) in back pay and compensation to security guards who accused the two firms of abandoning them after the war sucked a Saudi-led Arab alliance into battle against Iran-aligned Houthi militia.

Both Total and G4S, the French oil giant's security service provider, deny ditching the guards, saying they had made sure they were properly compensated when official termination notices were issued before they left Yemen.

The guards say the two firms' exit left their families without food and resulted in a complicated standoff in which at least three guards were killed in unclear circumstances while securing a Total Yemen compound where valuable generators and vehicles were kept.

The plaintiffs in the case have received international solidarity including from the Total labor union in France.

Their case highlights one of the indirect consequences of the war for thousands of Yemenis who had earned a living working for foreign investors in one of the poorest Middle East states.

The ruling is subject to appeal by both sides but with the country torn by war and lawlessness, some of the guards were skeptical they would be able to cash in on the decision.

Former Yemeni of other foreign firms that have left the country said they had also struggled to make ends meet as funds received in compensation begin to run out while few other jobs are available.

The Yemeni Labour Arbitration Commission ruled that Total's Yemen branch, Total EP Yemen, and G4S were responsible for back pay for more than 100 guards for a period starting in February 2016, according to a copy of the court ruling seen by Reuters.

In its Jan. 31 ruling, the court also ordered both companies to pay end-of service compensation and other benefits, including a month's pay for working during the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Total and G4S have disputed the guards' claim to back salaries but confirmed their right to compensation. – By Sami Aboudi

31.12.2016 – International Organization for Migration, UN High Commissioner for Refugees (A H)

Infographic: Yemen Situation: Regional Refugee and Migrant Response: Arrivals from Yemen into the Horn of Africa - as of 31 December 2016

Since conflict erupted in Yemen in March 2015, Yemenis, Somalis, national returnees and people of other nationalities have fled Yemen into the Horn of Africa, namely Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia and Sudan. and in full:

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

Siehe / Look at cp1

1.4.2017 – AFP (* A T)

Qaeda claims suicide bombing in south Yemen

Al-Qaeda on Friday claimed responsibility for a recent deadly attack on a government building in southern Yemen, which involved a suicide bombing.

Al-Qaeda's Ansar al-Shariah arm in a statement identified the suicide bomber as Abu Amer al-Hadrami, saying he had rammed his explosives-laden car into the gate of the local government building in the provincial capital of Lahj on Monday.

Officials said at the time that six soldiers and four civilians were killed in the bombing and an ensuing gun attack by jihadists.

Security forces killed the assailants, including three who were wearing explosive belts.

The online Al Qaeda statement acknowledged the death of three militants "who controlled the building for three hours" before being killed, in addition to Hadrami.

The statement said the attack was carried out "to avenge martyrs" killed in raids by security forces, and those "tortured to death in prisons." and the photos of the attackers:

31.3.2017 – Terror Monitor (* A T)

The organization of the Islamic State published pictures of the organization's members during the training at Camp Abu Muhammad al-Furqan in al-Bayda.

and (look at text in image)


31.3.2017 – La Stampa (* A T)

L’Isis si espande nello Yemen, le immagini dei campi di addestramento

L’Isis sta segretamente costruendo una forza armata significativa nello Yemen. Opera già nelle province di Aden e di Bayda, dove in una zona montagnosa ha costruito un campo di addestramento in una zona impervia. L’agenzia Aamaq ha diffuso immagini di propaganda, per attirare nuove reclute.

Mostrano uomini ben armati ed equipaggiati, nello stile dei campi di addestramento in Siria e Iraq. Lo Yemen è visto dall’Isis come una potenziale preda, dopo le sconfitte in Mesopotamia, cuore del Califfato: un territorio dove costruire nuove basi per poi tornare a espandersi – di GIORDANO STABILE (photos)

31.3.2017 – Al Araby (* A T)

Trump extends 'aggressive airstrikes' policy to Yemen

US drone strikes and naval bombardments reportedly killed a number of suspected al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) members in the southern Yemeni province, Abyan, on Thursday.

An undisclosed number of people were killed in at least three airstrikes in the village al-Suda, according to local sources who spoke with The New Arab.

The US missiles reportedly targeted the leaders as they drove in their vehicles, with one additional airstrike on the home of one other leader.

There have been dozens of airstrikes against alleged al-Qaeda targets in Yemen in recent weeks, focused on the provinces of Abyan, Shabwa and al-Bayda – by Robert Cusack

31.3.2017 – Reuters (A T)

Three suspected al Qaeda members killed in Yemen drone strike

Three suspected al Qaeda members were killed overnight in what local officials believed was a U.S. drone strike in southern Yemen.

Residents and local officials said on Friday the attack took place in Mozno in al-Wadie district of Abyan province. The three killed included the local leader of the militant group, Waddah Muhammed Amsouda, who was meeting the others in a house in the area, they said.

Residents also reported a separate attack on a suspected al Qaeda vehicle, in the same province, but said the number of casualties was unknown.

Abyan is one of several provinces in central and southern Yemen where Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its local affiliate Ansar al-Sharia operate.

31.3.2017 – Geopolitics Alert (B T)

US Imperialism Is To Blame For Al-Qaeda In Yemen– Not The Houthi Uprising

Yemen is a country that’s typically ignored by the mainstream media. Especially the hows and whys of al-Qaeda in Yemen and what the war in Yemen means for US imperialism.

Let’s start with al-Qaeda in Yemen. Many western outlets like to credit the rise of al-Qaeda in Yemen to conflict caused by Houthi rebels in 2011. They explain it as if the jihadis used the chaos from the uprising to gain footing in the country’s tribal areas. This description is not only shortsighted but also factually inaccurate.

Osama bin Laden called Yemen the last refuge for jihadis. The hills of Yemen have long been a place of recruitment and planning for al-Qaeda long before officially announcing their branch in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) in 2006.

In the 80’s the United States was busy arming the Taliban in Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union and collapse the communist government in Kabul. Many mujahideen fighters traveled from all around the middle east for the jihad in Afghanistan. Rural tribal areas in Yemen were ideal for recruiting fighters to take-on what locals saw as Soviet invaders. Many of these fighters came from parts of Africa and of course, Saudi Arabia. Yemen simply became the jihadi thoroughfare.

But US imperialism is also directly responsible for the devastating situation in Yemen we see today.

the new administration actually increased US military presence and air strikes in Yemen. The first action authorized by Trump shortly after taking office included a raid so horrendous that the mainstream media not only covered but also condemned it.

A bigger concern for the United States is propping up a Saudi-friendly and anti-Iranian government in Yemen – by Randi Nord

cp15 Propaganda

31.3.2017 – Saudi Press Agency (A P)

Yemeni Prime Minister Lauds Arab Solidarity and Stances with Legitimacy in Yemen

Yemeni Prime Minister Dr. Ahmad Obaid Bin Dagher has lauded the Arab unified solidarity and stance supporting legitimacy in Yemen.
In a statement issued by the Yemeni official news agency, the Yemeni prime minister stressed that the statements and stances of the Arab leaders during the Arab Summit held recently in Amman reflect the real desire to end the coup and restore the control over all Yemeni territories, pointing out that the Arab stances refuse foreign interference in the Arab region by Iran which seeks to ignite sedition and wars in a number of the countries, including Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Libya in order to destabilize the Arab region.

My comment: LOL.

30.3.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Think-tank center warns against emergence of new armed organization backed by Iran

A Yemeni think-tank center, Abaad Studies and Research Center, known as (Abaad) has revealed that Iran tries to train a new military organization which carries the name of " the Peace Trend" which will exploit the economic and humanitarian situation in Yemeni and take over those areas which are currently run by the legitimate government. A report issued by Abaad cited there are four possible stereotypes which may end up the Yemeni quagmire. The fourth one is the most dangerous one, according to Abaad.

According to Abaad, the fourth stereotype is that super powers will intervene to shuffle the cards, support armed organizations in the liberated areas and target the temporary capital of Aden and Taiz.

The second stereotype, according to Abaad, may be a combined solution which includes the achievement of a military advance by the National army together with a political solution.

While third scenario indicates that only force will end up Yemen's crisis, the fourth stereotype is to reach a reconciliation on the basis of sharing power between conflicting parties and not surrendering weapons by the Houthi-Saleh Alliance. According to Abaad, this solution is wanted by Iran.

My comment: I completely label this as propaganda, which is playing the anti-Iranian card again. How could Iran build up and train such a new militia, and what should be its purpose? Have they not always been blamed to support the Houthis; what for a new militia? – Of the four scenarios, it is unmasking that the last is claimed to be the worst. For Houthi followers, a peaceful solution with real power sharing is the worst scenario – and not the third one, which is further endless fighting.

31.3.2017 – The Guardian (A P)

Ahmed al-Asiri tells London seminar that human rights groups are being duped by Houthi rebels

Speaking at a seminar organised by the European Council on Foreign Relations, Maj Gen Ahmed al-Asiri accused Saudi Arabia’s critics of making allegations without any independent evidence and of being duped by Houthi extremists.

Asiri said Saudi helicopters did not hold the ammunition found at the site and told campaigners from Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch: “Stop communicating what the Houthi people put in the social media. To be constructive, give us evidence and we will engage with you.”

He said campaign groups were being bluffed by people on the ground and relaying Houthi social media propaganda.

Asiri said some humanitarian NGOs were “spreading false information and deceiving people” but doing nothing to help people on the ground. He told the seminar he was delayed by “people who cannot understand the difference between protesting and attacking”.

Asiri accused the Conservative MP Andrew Mitchell of relying on one-sided Houthi propaganda to inform his views on the bombing campaign in Yemen and the causes of the country’s humanitarian crisis.

Mitchell, a former cabinet minister and an expert on Yemen, this week urged the UK government to tweak its policy by no longer siding with the Saudis but instead becoming neutral between the warring parties.

Asiri laid the blame for Yemen’s humanitarian crisis on the Houthis, accusing them of siphoning off food aid from Hudaydah or selling the food on the black market.

Asiri said: “We keep hearing about starvation and the western part of Yemen has difficulties. Humanitarian food will not reach Hudaydah without any observers on the ground.”

He said the Houthis used the food at the port to “sustain their fight in the ground [and] they generate money by selling the food at 10 times the market rate and then they use it for political leverage”.

The general did not comment on rumours of a possible attack on the port but called for UN observers to be placed there to monitor the Houthis.

He denied the Saudis had played any role in blocking aid to the port, but called for a review of how UN’s $1.7bn (£1,3bn) humanitarian aid had been spent.

The Saudi government has said its motives have been misunderstood in the west, especially in Britain, where it claims the conflict has been portrayed as an assault by the wealthy Saudi Arabia on the poverty stricken Houthis rather than an intervention to prevent a minority community, backed by Iran, to destabilise a legitimate government – by Patrick Wintour

My comment: The old fairy tales by Asiri. When he opens his mouth, he either eats, drinks, yawns or lies.

30.3.2017 – Middle East Eye (A P)

Yemen war: Saudi general hit by egg, arrest attempt in London

The Saudi major general arrived at what was billed as a private roundtable with egg stains on his suit. He told the seminar he was delayed by “people who did not differentiate between protesting and attacking”.

The spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen acknowledged that only a political solution would solve the brutal two-year war, but insisted that what he called a “ temporary” solution would not be enough.

“We can’t accept Yemen divided into two parts under the militias and under the government. We need a unified Yemen until the umbrella of the Yemeni government, under the umbrella of the United Nations, respecting the international law, acting with the countries as a state, not as militias,” Asiri said.

He claimed the Houthis had fired over 40 Scud missiles at Saudi cities and that the kingdom had the right to protect its borders.

He said that Saudi Arabia has learned the lessons of Western intervention in Libya, when the NATO-led force dismantled the structure of the state and left a vacuum to be filled by militias. Riyadh would not let this happen in Yemen, he said.

He accused the Houthis of commandeering international aid and reselling it on the black market, and denied there were serious problems of food and water scarcity in areas controlled by the rump government of President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, which is now installed in the southern city of Aden.

He also denied claims by Human Rights Watch that a boat carrying 145 Somali immigrants had been attacked by a coalition helicopter off the coast of Hodeida, killing at least 32 abroad last week.

My comment: LOL.

30.3.2017 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

When will the War in Yemen End?

Two years after the “Decisive Storm” in Yemen began due to the coup of the coalition of Houthis militias and Ali Abdullah Saleh groups, the question remains: When will the war be over in Yemen?

It is a legitimate, natural, and expected question. No one really wants war, let alone an on-going one. But, can we answer that question without a follow up about the possibility of ending the war without eliminating its causes?

Surely, it is impossible for the war to be suddenly over and while the reasons that caused it are still present. All things indicate that Houthi-Saleh militias are still a knot in Yemen’s attempt to achieve peace and get rid of this war.

With a militia which violated 150 ceasefire in Yemen and 30 over the Yemeni-Saudi border and which refuses any initiative since Kuwait talks, there is no solution than the continuation of the coalition operations until they accept a political solution.

It is clear that Houthi-Saleh militias only understand the logic of power even with all the negotiations, initiatives and treaties signed. Based on this, the political and military tracks are parallel. Any political operation needs both parties, something which is not available in the Yemeni crises.

There is one party that represents the legitimate Yemeni government which accepts initiatives and sits alone at the negotiation’s table. The legitimacy can’t find another party to negotiate with and in this case there is no other way than continuing with the military action until militias accept to find a political solution.

So, what is delaying a military resolution?

Houthis deploy their military posts and civil bases in populated areas in Sanaa and other major cities under their control, so it is only natural that military resolution is not achieved as quickly as expected. This exposes the difference between how states and militias deal with the issue.

Military operations conducted by the coalition are done according to strict rules to preserve the lives of civilians as much as possible. Surely, there are some mistakes which no one desires. Yet, and in rare cases, the coalition mistakenly struck civilians while targeting military locations, contrary to the militias that target Saudi border randomly, aiming to target civilians.

During the two years, militias randomly launched over forty thousand missiles, mortars, and other bombs on Saudi cities killing 375 civilians, shutting over 500 schools, and displacing over 17 thousand citizens from 24 villages.

Surely, some might refer to the incident at the Sanaa funeral house in October, which was done based on wrong information. Arab coalition issued a statement back then saying that it had sadly occurred and that a party wrongly passed information – by Salman Aldosary, former editor-in-chief of Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper.

My comment: LOL.

29.3.2017 – Arab News (A P)

Restoring hope and legitimacy in Yemen

March 26 marked two years since Operation Decisive Storm was launched to restore legitimacy in Yemen. The country’s legitimacy had been hijacked by a minority militia that is an Iranian arm in the region.

Iranian meddling has increased daily for decades, with the aim of controlling the whole region. Tehran has used militias to interfere in the affairs of such Arab countries as Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. Sectarianism and weapons-smuggling have been used to empower militias in order to overthrow governments and organize coups.

Where are the Arabs? Are they so weak as to be overthrown so easily in four countries?

Saudi Arabia realized the danger that would take Yemen away with no hope of return, and that would then happen to other Arab countries. The Kingdom thus formed the Arab Coalition to stop the loss of its fellow Arab countries. The Saudi-led campaign opposing Iranian expansion is called Operation Restore Hope, since it represents the restoration of Arab hope and Arab countries. Again, Saudi Arabia is offering to cooperate with the international community in order to bring peace and security to the region. That will require cooperation from all sides, which will put an end to Iranian intervention in the region.

Saudi Arabia, unlike Iran, has no ambition to control the world or the region, nor to export a revolution using sectarian methods. Only looking to stabilize the region and working together against terrorism, the Kingdom stands solidly against breeding grounds for Iranian mischief that undermines leaders and produces conflicts within countries – by Dr. Hamdan Al-Shehri

My comment: LOL. “Restoring hope” by bombing a country into ruins. – “Saudi Arabia, unlike Iran, has no ambition to control the world or the region” , what a joke, Saudi Arabia does exactly that in Syria, in Yemen, in Libya, in Bahrain, in Afghanistan… “nor to export a revolution using sectarian methods”, what a joke, since decades Saudi Arabia exports and propagantes its sectarian Wahabism ideology worldwide.

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

30.3.2017 – Legal Center (* A K PH)

The Violations and Crimes that are committed by #Saudi_Arabia and its alliance in #Yemen 29/3/2017 (full list):

31.3.2017 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Saudi aggression coalition targets a school, oil station in Sana'a

The US-Saudi aggression warplanes targeted on Thursday a school and an oil station in Bilad al-Ros district of Sana'a province .
A local official told Saba that the enemy aircraft launched two air raids on the school and oil station in Sabra district, caused completely and
partially destruction.

31.3.2017 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Nine Yemeni Civilians Killed in Separate Saudi Airstrikes

Nine Yemeni civilians have been killed during Saudi airstrikes on residential areas in the provinces of Sa’ada and Sana’a as the civilian casualties of Riyadh’s military campaign keep growing.

According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television, a Saudi airstrike on a market in Sa’ada Province left four people dead and two others wounded on Thursday.

In another such attack on the Bani Hareth district of Sana’a Province, a woman lost her life and a child was injured. Saudi warplanes also pounded Yemeni homes in the Nihm district of Sana’a Province, killing three people and wounding two others.

Meanwhile, another woman was also killed in artillery attacks by pro-Saudi militias in Ta’izz Province. =

31.3.2017 – Yemen Today / Al Masirah (A K PH)

Films: A woman was killed and five children were wounded in a raid on their house in Bani al-Harith district, north of Sanaa, Sanaa province


31.3.2017 – Hisham Al-Omeisy (A K)

Saudi bombed poultry farm north of Sana'a today.

30.–31.3.2017 – Sanaa at night (A K)

Dreadful fighter jets movement in #Sanaa sky right now!

30.3.2017 – Yemen Today TV (A K PH)

Film: Watch how Air Force destroyed the mosque of the presidential palace

30.3.2017 – Ahmad Alghobary (A K)

3 men & women from #Africa were killed today by #Saudi air strike on a small market in Monabeh area #Saada #Yemen 4 ppl from Saada injured.


30.3.2017 – Nasser Arrabyee (A K PH)

4 Yemenis killed 2day by US-backed Saudi terrorists in village market of Rakw Munbah Saada north where 14 from1family killed yesterday

30.3.2017 – Almasdar Online (A K PS)

Arab coalition airstrikes target Houthis-Saleh forces’ sites western Taiz - military source

The fighter jets of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition launched on Wednesday several airstrikes on the sites of the militants of the Houthi group and the forces loyal to former president Saleh in Mozza district western Taiz province, southwestern Yemen.

A military source told Almasdaronline that six airstrikes have targeted gatherings for the Houthi militants in the areas between Dhubab and Mozza, and destroyed a katyusha rocket launcher and a military vehicle.

"Three militants were killed and five others injured in the aerial bombardment".

The coalition aircrafts also launched other airstrikes on two vehicles in al Mocha and Khaled camp, killing four militants and injuring six others. Added the source.

30.3.2017 – Yamanyoon (A K PH)

US-Saudi Aggression Warplanes Targeting Citizens Farms

The US-Saudi launched three raids on the farms of citizens in Wadi al-Khader, district of Mutamah in Taiz province , resulted in big damage to the farms and their homes.

In Niham , aggression warplanes killed three citizens and injured others in Bani Zair .

In Hajjah , the warplanes of the Saudi aggression waged at least 7 raids in the areas of the province , and in Taiz , the aggression waged more than 10 raids . The raids led to killed two citizens and injured others .

30.3.2017 – Reuters (* A K)

Somalis fleeing Yemen war caught in nighttime sea attack

Eyewitnesses say the assault came from a warship and a helicopter and implicates the coalition, which is the only party to the conflict operating helicopters.

Reuters was unable to independently confirm these accounts.

"We heard the sound of the Apache (helicopter) coming toward us. It was maybe 40 or 50 meters above us," said 20-year-old survivor Ibrahim Hussein. "The gunfire did not come from one direction. It fanned back and forth. Each time, it hit many people...People were shot in their abdomen, head, feet."

The United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Human Rights Watch have collected similar testimonies.

"According to survivors' accounts, the vessel carrying the refugees across the Red Sea was hit by shelling from a coalition warship, without any warning, followed by shooting from an Apache helicopter overhead," U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al-Hussein said last week.

In interviews last week, survivors in Houthi-controlled Hodeidah said a helicopter had circled above the boat in daytime before the attack.

Around nine o'clock at night, rockets fired from another vessel missed the migrants' boat before heavy machinegun fire erupted.

The shots sent some overboard while others fell inside the boat, where remaining passengers took cover under their mutilated bodies, according to survivors.

Asma Birei, 22, said by telephone from a U.N. facility in Hodeidah that she had seen four women whose heads were blown off and another whose fetus was torn from her womb by the shooting.

Two other survivors interviewed at a prison where the Houthis are holding them for security checks said the helicopter had made multiple loops, opening fire repeatedly despite the migrants' attempts to identify themselves by shouting and waving flashlights.

Birei and another woman, partly shielded on the boat's lower deck, saw the helicopter in the afternoon but could not confirm the source of gunfire at night.

One boy jumped overboard to escape the bullets but was shot dead in the water, she said. After that, the other passengers remained motionless for two hours until the captain guided the boat to Hodeidah, the nearest port.

Survivors said the migrant group had been heading to Sudan for transit through Egypt or Libya en route to Europe – By Abduljabbar Zeyad

30.3.2017 – The American Conservative (* A K)

The Saudi-Led Coalition’s Slaughter of Somali Refugees

The survivors’ accounts confirm that the Saudi-led coalition was responsible for the attack, but then there was no one else that could have carried out the attack. Only one side of the war controls the skies in and around Yemen, and that is the coalition. The Somali government has publicly accused coalition forces of carrying out the attack, and since Somalia is a member of the coalition they are in a better position than most to have reason to believe this.

The coalition’s denials might count for something if they hadn’t repeatedly issued similar denials about numerous previous incidents in which their forces attacked civilian targets. After two years of many strikes on civilian targets, the coalition’s blatant disregard for the lives of noncombatants is obvious and undeniable. The gruesome attack on a ship of refugees was an especially appalling and ugly example of a pattern of outrageous and illegal behavior that goes back to the start of the coalition’s campaign in Yemen. This is the shameful and atrocious war that our government wholeheartedly supports, and this is the campaign that the Trump administration wants to provide with more weapons and assistance – by Daniel Larison

29.3.2017 – TRT (* A K)

Film: Somali refugee survivors recount attack off Yemen coast

Somali refugees have given a harrowing account of how their boat came under fire by an Apache helicopter off the coast of Yemen on March 17.

More than 40 refugees were killed when their boat travelling to Sudan through the Red Sea was attacked off the coast of Yemen on March 17. Natalie Poyhonen reports.

and film by Now This:

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

31.3.2017 – Al Masirah TV (A K PH)

Film: An elderly woman was injured by a Saudi rocket attack on Al-Jaradi area in Haidan Saada

0.3.2017 – Al Sahwa (A K PS)
Houthi-Saleh Militias kill three children in Taiz

March 29, 2017- Houthi-Saleh Militias on Wednesday killed three children and wounded four others as they indiscriminately bombed a populated neighborhoods close to the Military Hospital in the city of Taiz.

Houthi-Saleh Militias have been bombing the city of Taiz, leaving thousands of civilains killed and wounded.

30.3.2017 – Almasdar Online (A K PS)

Government forces repel Houthis attack northern al Mocha, coalition aircrafts’ bombing ongoing – military source

A military source said that the fighting expanded on Tuesday between the pro-government and the Houthis-Saleh forces in al Mocha, Mawza and Maqbanah districts in western Taiz province, southwest of Yemen.

The source told Almasdaronline that the pro-government forces repelled an attack launched by the Houthis and allied forces in Mawza, and resulted in the death of four Houthis militants and injury of six others, in addition to the destruction of two military vehicles.

The source added that the artillery of the pro-government forces also shelled the Houthis’ sites between al Mocha and al Khocha districts, and their sites in aAl-Hajjar area in Maqbanah district.

On the other side, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition fighter jets had launched several airstrikes on Houthis’ sites southwestern Mawza, and destroyed 3 vehicles, killed 6 Houthi militants and wounded 9 others.

Houthi / Saleh reports:

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

31.3.2017 – Premier (B)

Christianity 'on the rise' in Yemen

Christianity in Yemen appears to be growing despite the immense dangers Christians face there.

According to Open Doors, many foreign Christians have left the country and local Christians are facing increasing persecution.

On top of that the country has been dealing with civil war and famine.

Despite these factors, there have been reports of Christianity growing.

One Muslim convert, Jamil, who is now a pastor, told Open Doors that after foreign Christians were forced to leave at the start of the civil war, the local Christians were unsure how the church would survive.

He said:

30.3.2017 – Living in Yemen on the edge (A)

Coffee Corner in #Sanaa is currently hosting an exhibition of Yemeni artists.
The Corner has also launched a workshop for children today and tomorrow, around 3 pm, there will be another drawing-together session.
It is the last day and the premises can hold roughly 30 children.
If you want to join, the workshop is open to all, just make sure to be there on time and grab your place.
Happy drawing. (photos) and also

30.3.2017 – Lucy Wilson (A)

Yemeni artists take to the walls to protest war: “This event gives us a breather and hope for a return to a normal life.” (photos)

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-287 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-287: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

(18 +, Nichts für Sensible!) / (18 +; Graphic!) und / and

Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

Vielfältig interessiert am aktuellen Geschehen, zur Zeit besonders: Ukraine, Russland, Jemen, Rolle der USA, Neoliberalismus, Ausbeutung der 3. Welt
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