Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 303 - Yemen War Mosaic 303

Yemen Press Reader 303: Jemen: Saudis im Morast – Kinder und Krieg – Cholera nimmt zu – Rolle Irans - „Unsere Feinde wollen uns aushungern“ – Trumps Besuch bei den Saudis, seine „Islam“-Rede
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Yemen: Quagmire for Saudis – Children in war – Cholera is spreading – Iran's role - „Our enemies want to starve us“ – Trump's Saudi visit and „Islam“ speech – 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

cp7a Saudi-Arabien und Iran / Saudi Arabia and Iran

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Söldner / Mercenaries

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

19.5.2017 - Terrorism Monitor (** B K P)

The Battle for Yemen: A Quagmire for Saudi Arabia and the UAE

The war, which began on March 26, 2015 and was ambitiously named “Operation Decisive Storm,” has achieved none of its stated intentions (al-Arabiya, March 26, 2015).

Rather than the short decisive intervention envisioned by Saudi Arabia’s princes and generals, the war is a quagmire with no military solution. Yemen’s physical and political terrains are unkind to outsiders. Even a cursory reading of Yemen’s history shows that both have proven fatal for invaders. Yet rather than reevaluating their intervention in this complex civil war, both Saudi Arabia and the Emirates seem poised not only to continue but also to enhance their involvement with further weapons shipments to dubious forces. It also seems likely that they will launch a possible offensive on the port of Hodeidah, at present controlled by both Houthi forces and their allies.

Neither of these tactics is likely to succeed in defeating the Houthis. Instead, both the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia risk being drawn ever deeper into a war they cannot win. What is certain is that their ongoing involvement in Yemen’s civil war will prolong the conflict and drain their treasuries of billions more dollars. Ultimately the two countries’ deepening involvement in Yemen’s civil war may pose more of threat to their own governments and ties within the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) than to the Houthis. There are already signs that the Emirates and Saudi Arabia are at loggerheads over how to proceed with the war and over which areas of Yemen the two countries plan to control.

Despite two years of failure that have wrecked Yemen, cost thousands of civilian lives and empowered al-Qaeda’s most formidable franchise, Saudi Arabia shows no signs of rethinking its adventurism. In fact, the House of Saud, at the behest of Deputy Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, is requesting additional assistance from the United States for its long-planned invasion of Houthi controlled Hodeidah

While there is little doubt that thousands more Yemeni civilians will face starvation, the invasion of Hodeidah will not end the war — far from it.

Both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are stuck in a political and tactical quagmire. The conflict has exacerbated the divisions in Yemen’s north and south and has unleashed AQAP and a host of smaller militant Salafist organizations. Tactically there are no good military options for bringing about a conclusion to the war, and political options that existed before the start of the intervention are no longer available.

The Houthis and their allies are formidable and determined.

The only way to end the war in Yemen and to begin stabilizing and rebuilding the country is through some kind of negotiated settlement. North Yemen’s civil war ended only once all outside participants in the conflict had withdrawn. Then a negotiated settlement was agreed to by the warring parties. A similar process will likely prove the only way forward in the current conflict.

Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia’s leadership seems intent on continuing its intervention despite the lack of progress and the extraordinary suffering and damage caused by the war. In addition to continuing to pursue a failed strategy in Yemen, Saudi Arabia seems intent on battling its key partner in Yemen — the UAE. The fact that relations between the UAE and Saudi Arabia (at least in terms of Yemen) are deteriorating does not bode well for efforts to stabilize the country.

If Saudi Arabia and the UAE choose to fight one another via proxies, as has already happened in Aden, Yemen’s civil war will take on another layer of deadly complexity. Neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE — and certainly not Yemen — will benefit from such a fight. Instead, AQAP and other militant Salafist organizations will profit even more than they already have.

Given the failed strategies employed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE in Yemen, it is all but certain that the war in Yemen will continue for months if not years. The conflict has already devastated Yemen. However, the longer it continues, the more danger it poses not only to twenty-seven million Yemenis but also to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Even if the war were to stop today, the consequences of having devastated an entire country’s infrastructure, further impoverished millions and of having dumped tens of millions of dollars of weapons into an already well-armed country will reverberate throughout the region for years to come - byMichael Horton

Comment by Haykal Bafana: Ignore everyone else : Read Michael Horton's sensible words.

19.5.2017 - The Observers France 24 (** B H K)

How do you explain bombs and cholera to kids? You lie

How do you raise a family in a war zone? Our Observer Hisham al-Omeisy lives in Yemen’s capital Sana’a with his wife and two boys aged seven and 11. He tells us what it is like living in a country crippled by famine, disease, and a civil war, which has been ongoing for two years and has left millions of people in need of humanitarian assistance.

From gifs, cat memes, and dark humoured jokes (“Yemen is now a vegetarian’s nightmare”, he tweeted on
May 17, because of a recent ban on fresh produce) to sharp comments on political corruption, Al-Omeisy’s Twitter feed is a candid insight into life in the war-torn country, which is now in the grip of another severe outbreak of cholera.

"Yes, it does feel like living in ground zero of a conflict zone. I often take photos and shoot videos from home of bombs dropping and explosions nearby. There haven’t been many bombs recently. There are periods if lull, followed by intense bombing, and so on for the past two years and more. You walk around Sana'a and it’s clear that the city is devastated – although not only by the bombing. Generally life has slowed down and livelihoods have been destroyed. Many businesses have shut down. People are struggling to feed themselves. The streets crowded by beggars, and the prices skyrocketing is not helping when people are unemployed and broke. Added to this, there are severe shortages of basic services and commodities, and a new health crisis with the cholera outbreak. It's quickly becoming akin to a horrific scene from a horror movie."

Al-Omeisy admits that he is in a fortunate position as one of the few people still with an income and so is able to afford the price hikes in the country. He says that he tries not to talk about the war with his children – but obviously they can’t help but be aware of what is happening around them.

"They've been traumatised enough going through this war, there’s no need to further elaborate and expose them to ugly realities.

They're not blind though, they know bombs are falling, people are suffering, but I try to shield them by distracting them, lessening the brunt of facts, and at times, outright lying to them. This one time my son asked me about airstrikes and bombs hitting and killing children, and I had to tell him they didn't so he wouldn't be anxious."
"What I saw on a recent visit to a children’s hospital in Sana’a was shocking. We entered the ward and I could barely walk through the numbers of patients lying on the floor of the ward because the beds were all occupied. There were mostly children. People were lying on beds without mattresses, in any place that they could find, with their IV units hanging on the walls next to them. The sad part is when I went and spoke to quite a few families. I spoke to one 39-year-old woman who was there with four children, all infected with cholera. She had nine children in total. They were living near a contaminated water source." - by Hisham-Al Omeisy (with photos, tweets)

21.5. WHO (** A H)

#Cholera continues to spread in #Yemen. Over 29,300 suspected cholera cases and 315 associated deaths have been reported in 19 governorates.

21.5.2017 – UPI (** A H)

Cholera outbreak spreading at 'unprecedented' speed kills 315 in Yemen

A cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen has killed 315 people since April 27 and is spreading with "unprecedented" speed, the United Nations' World Health Organization said Sunday.

More tha29,300 suspected cases have been reported in 19 of the country's 22 provinces, the agency posted on Twitter. The highest number of likely cases -- more than 6,000 -- are in the capital city, Sana'a, where the Houthi government declared a state of emergency one week ago.

On Friday, the WHO warned that Yemen could have as many as 300,000 cases of cholera within six months and an "extremely high" number of deaths.

"I have to admit that when I see the data that I saw this morning, not officially released; are really taking us by surprise. The speed of the resurgence of the cholera epidemic is unprecedented," Zagaria said.

Doctors Without Borders, the international medical humanitarian organization, warns that the outbreak is threatening to spiral out of control. and by Aljazeera:

21.5.2017 – Save the Children (** A H)

Thousands of children in Yemen stricken with deadly disease

Save the Children staff in Yemen are warning that a deadly cholera outbreak could become a full blown-epidemic, with more than 65,000 cases expected by the end of June at current rates. Yemen is seeing an average of more than 1,000 suspected cases of cholera a day, with nearly two out of three suspected of being children under 15 years.

At least 242 people have already died from the spread of cholera and acute watery diarrhea (AWD) in the first three weeks of this outbreak. That’s 20 times more than the same period during the first wave in October 2016. The global humanitarian organization is warning the illness is spreading too fast to be brought under control without adequate resources.

The upsurge comes as the health system, sanitation facilities and civil infrastructure have reached breaking point because of the ongoing war.

Doctor Zaid at a hospital in Sanaa told Save the Children: "Last week, we received 2-3 suspected cases per minute. I personally received 180 cases in one day last month. The number of patients in need is shocking. People lay in the corridors, and in some cases we have had to put six children on one bed as there are not enough to go around. We ask the international organizations to scale up their response. We face many challenges in this hospital. We lack medicines and medical supplies. We do not have enough doctors and nurses. We don’t even have a hand-washing station."

This cholera outbreak is spreading faster than the last one in Yemen six months ago

Muhsin Siddiquey, Yemen Acting Country Director, Save the Children, says: "Children are dying from an entirely preventable disease right in front of our eyes.

Save the Children is calling for urgent financial support to procure the medicines, staff and hygiene promotion needed to bring this outbreak under control. and statement by Doctors Without Borders: and this is a WHO statement, otdated figures as well:

My comment: The figures are outdated day by day.

21.5.2017 – Middle East Eye (** A H)

Parents watch children take their last breaths, as cholera explodes in Yemen

With 20 cholera deaths and 3,460 suspected cases reported in a single day, a state-of-emergency has been declared in the war-torn country

Hundreds of people have taken over the corridors and lobby of state-run Al-Sabeen hospital in the heart of the Yemeni capital. Their eyes are dry, and they cannot hold back the vomit, as they desperately seek treatment for the cholera epidemic that has rapidly spread throughout the capital.

Some patients, including several children, have stopped breathing. Within a few minutes, doctors announce their deaths as grieving parents watch on.

Doctor Nabil al-Najar, deputy head of Al-Sabeen hospital, goes around checking on patients. He said that hospitals, already worn down by two years of war, were being overwhelmed by the large number of people coming in for care. They receive at least 200 new cases every day in addition to patients who have been injured in air strikes.

"Here we put three children in one bed, and there we put a husband, his wife and their child in one bed; the hospital has no more beds," Najar said.

“We also have a shortage of medicine, and we cannot cope with the increasing number of patients."

My elder son Taha, 13, was first infected, and then he transmitted the disease to his brothers and sister," Abdullah said. "Doctors told me there were no more beds available for my children and put the children on a blanket on the ground in the corridor to receive treatment."

Abdallah is terrified of losing her children because of the lack of medication. Even if they get better, she worries they will be infected again due to how widely the disease has spread.

Latifa Ahmed says that her 20-year-old daughter Zikriya went into a coma after suffering from severe diarrhoea and vomiting for one day. She is now undergoing treatment in the hospital.

"There is not enough medicine, beds, doctors. At night I can’t find doctors to check on my daughter," Ahmed said.

According to AFP, WHO acting representative in Yemen, Nevio Zagaria, said during a conference that "the speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented".

Zagaria said that, in the past day alone, 20 cholera deaths and 3,460 suspected cases had been registered in the country, where two-thirds of the population are on the brink of famine. Many other cases and deaths are likely going unreported.

Zagaria said many of the remaining health workers in the country had not been paid for seven months, adding that the number of suspected cholera cases could be much higher than those registered - by Mohammed Hamoud (with photos) and similar adopted:

19.5.2017 - UN News Service (** A H)

Cholera outbreak in war-torn Yemen spreading at ‘unprecedented’ speed, UN warns

As war-torn Yemen grapples with heavy rains, a collapsed healthcare system and crippled economy, a resurgent cholera outbreak has spread with “unprecedented” speed and taken medical professionals by surprise, the World Health Organization warned today.

According to WHO, more than 240 people have died from cholera in just the last three weeks, out of a total of 23,400 infections. The agency estimates that 7.6 million people live in areas at high risk of cholera transmission.

“I have to admit that when I see the data that I saw this morning, not officially released; are really taking us by surprise. The speed of the resurgence of the cholera epidemic is unprecedented” said Dr. Nevio Zagaria, the WHO representative in Yemen speaking to UN News in Geneva.

In some places the fatality rate is as high as four to five per cent, and WHO is extremely concerned that the disease is being passed from one person to another.

“But if the transmission goes on at this speed, we need to revise the figure and we need to expect something that can go up over 200, 250,000 cases over the next six months, in addition to the 50,000 cases that already occur […] so you can understand by yourself with this number the price we pay in terms of life is extremely high,” explained Dr. Zagaria, adding: “We have to do more.”

In response to the crisis, WHO has begun the task of setting up 350 cholera treatment centres and 2,000 oral rehydration points. It is also focusing on tracing infection hotspots, to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

19.5.2017 - AFP (** A H)

Nearly 23,500 cholera cases, 242 deaths in Yemen in three weeks : WHO

A cholera outbreak in war-ravaged Yemen has killed 242 people, and left nearly 23,500 others sick in the past three weeks alone, the World Health Organization said Friday.

The UN health agency said that in the past day alone, 20 cholera deaths and 3,460 suspected cases had been registered in the country, where two-thirds of the population are on the brink of famine.

"The speed of the resurgence of this cholera epidemic is unprecedented," WHO country representative for Yemen Nevio Zagaria told reporters in Geneva by phone from Yemen, warning that a quarter of a million people could become sick by the end of the year.

Zagaria pointed out that humanitarian workers cannot access some parts of the country, and that the number of suspected cholera cases could be far higher than those registered.

19.5.2017 - Reuters (** A H)

Yemen cholera cases could hit 300,000 within six months: WHO

Yemen could have as many as 300,000 cases of cholera within six months and an "extremely high" number of deaths, the World Health Organization said on Friday.

"We need to expect something that could go up to 200,000-250,000 cases over the next six months, in addition to the 50,000 cases that have already occurred," Nevio Zagaria. WHO Yemen representative, told reporters in Geneva by phone.

The cost in lives from this will be will be "extremely, extremely high", he said.

The outbreak has caused 23,425 cases in 18 of Yemen's 23 governorates since April 27, and 242 people have died, he said.

That misleadingly suggested a case fatality rate of about 1 percent, with the true rate more likely 4-5 percent, he said, adding that the latest data had taken health experts by surprise.

"The speed of the resurgence of the cholera epidemic is unprecedented (for Yemen)." - by Tom Miles

19.5.2017 - Aljazeera (** A H)

WHO: Speed of Yemen cholera outbreak 'unprecedented'

Yemen could have 300,000 cholera cases within six months, as death toll rises to 242, World Health Organization says.

Zagaria warned that there could be as many as 300,000 cases in the country within six months.

"We need to expect something that could go up to 200,000-250,000 cases over the next six months, in addition to the 50,000 cases that have already occurred," he said.

"You can understand that with this number the price that we will pay in terms of lives will be extremely, extremely high." Zagaria added.

and also by Voice of America:

19.5.2017 - Prensa Latina (** A H)

WHO Raises Death Toll in Cholera Outbreak in Yemen to 222

The World Health Organization (WHO) today raised the death toll from the cholera outbreak in Yemen to 222.

WHO pointed out that about 20,000 suspected cases of cholera have been reported in 17 governorates.
The number of registered cases is multiplying every day.

18.5.2017 - Fatik Al-Rodaini (* A H)

17219 suspected cholera cases regesterd accross#Yemen, inc 257 confirmed along with 206 cholera-associated death,Health Ministry says today

18.5.2017 - Relief (** A H)

Map: Cholera distribution by district

18.5.2017 – International Committee of the Red Cross (** A H)

Yemen: Cholera outbreak affects thousands

Now a cholera outbreak has become the latest, deadly threat. In the last few weeks, the illness has claimed over 220 lives (source Yemen Health Ministry), and thousands more are ill.

Two year old Ragdad Sorari has been brought to Sabeen Hospital in Sana’a. For children of her age, cholera is especially dangerous, and it can kill within hours if untreated. Naturally, Ragdad’s father, Ahmad, is worried.

“She is unable to eat,” he says. “She vomits everything and diarrhea is constant.”

It rained on us here outside yesterday night and it was very cold at night.”

In countries free from conflict, where the health service functions, cholera would be easily and quickly treated. But in Yemen less than half of all health facilities are still working, and Sabeen hospital is now overflowing with patients. Some, like 14 year old Abdullah Mohammad, are especially vulnerable. He suffers from a congenital brain disease which means he cannot talk or move. Now he has contracted cholera, and his mother Um Abdullah is becoming desperate.

“When he first got sick, he had diarrhea and vomiting” she explains. “We took him to a clinic, but they referred us here to the Sabeen Hospital for cholera cases. We came here yesterday and they gave him rehydration salts, but he isn’t getting any better.”

The International Committee of the Red Cross is supporting Sabeen hospital and others across Yemen with medical supplies. But the conflict can mean big delays before vital medicines can be delivered, and meanwhile more and more people are in need. There are so many patients at Sabeen hospital now, that some are forced to wait for treatment outside in the open air. At night, as Ragdad’s father pointed out, it gets very cold.

Across Sana’a at Al Jumhouri hospital, the story is the same: wards are overflowing, and every bed is full, some patients are even forced to share, or to lie on the floor. When the ICRC’s director of operations Dominik Stillhart visited, he found dedicated medical staff working round the clock, but struggling to cope.

“I could see myself, how difficult the situation has become to provide services in a country that is suffering from conflict and lack of income,” said Mr Stillhart. “There is an increasing number of patients, including many cholera patients that we have seen in the ward, it is completely full.”

“The team here under the leadership of Dr Nasser is doing a fantastic job, in a very difficult situation.”

And still the patients keep arriving =

18.5.2017 - Assessment Capacities Project (** A H)

ACAPS Briefing Note – Yemen: Cholera Outbreak, 18 May 2017

A cholera outbreak was reported in Yemen on 27 April. Since then, the number of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD) or suspected cholera cases has increased to reach over 17,200, including 209 deaths, and the infection rate is rising quickly. The outbreak has affected 18 districts: Sana’a City (Amanat al Asemah) is the most heavily affected area, with over 4,000 suspected cases. A state of emergency has been declared in the governorate.

Anticipated scope and scale

The number of cases is expected to continue rising, due to the poor state of the healthcare system and lack of access to safe clean water sources for much of the population. The case fatality rate is 1.2%, and approximately 3,000 new cases are being reported each day. Without urgent action, the situation is likely to worsen considerably: 7.6 million people live in areas at high risk of transmission.

Humanitarian constraints

A de facto blockade on all imports, including humanitarian aid, is causing significant difficulties in importing adequate medical supplies, food and fuel to meet the country’s needs.

31% of Yemen’s 333 districts face moderate to severe access constraints, making it very difficult for humanitarian agencies to reach people in these areas with assistance.

Active conflict is ongoing in several areas of the country; particularly Taiz and al Hudaydah. Both governorates have declared cholera cases. in full:

17.5.2017 - IRIN (** B H)

A country 'on its knees': Cholera takes hold in war-weary Yemen

Al-Asaadi told IRIN that local sanitation systems are “struggling to operate and maintain liquid waste treatment and safe disposal systems”. And “in rural areas, open defecation is still the norm.”

It’s a terrible combination: “multifactorial”, as MSF’s Murata put it. Social networks have effectively collapsed.

Dominik Stillhart, director of operations for the International Committee of the Red Cross, told IRIN he had seen hospitals overflowing with potential patients, some facilities so overworked that patients were sitting with IV drips in courtyards, one man even taking his fluids in a car.

The cholera outbreak in Sana’a, and elsewhere is,” Stillhart said, “very clearly a sign of how the conflict has brought the country to its knees.”

“In a protracted conflict you have direct impact,” he said, referring to violent deaths and injuries: “these are the visible things that everybody focuses on.”

“But what we see less is the fact that because of the economic downturn, lack of credit line for traders, absence of payment for government workers… all of this is taking a very heavy toll. Every single Yemeni family is now affected by the conflict, and the [collapse] of the health system really epitomises this.”

For a country alreadyfighting off famine, uncontrolled cholera could be the last straw.

“There is a big gap in the resources needed to respond to the crisis,” said UNICEF’s al-Asaadi, explaining that aid agencies are having to fill all the gaps as the Ministry of Health is virtually broke. UNICEF has helped al-Sabeen Hospital, for example, move patients out of hallways and into temporary wards.

He, and other humanitarians, cited “big delays in bringing in supplies to Yemen… caused by the long clearance process on all sorts of imported medical supplies.” The protracted process involves clearance from both the UN and, depending on the point of entry, the Saudi-led coalition. This can take several weeks, if not months.

Ali Haidar, an assistant doctor in the cholera ward where al-Asri's family is being cared for, told IRIN the hospital was overstretched even before the outbreak and was now having to turn away patients who had developed kidney failure from severe untreated cholera. “Medical solutions [for IV etc.] are barely available,” he said. “And if we have them today, there won’t be any tomorrow.”

“Without a rapid, coordinated, and decentralised response across the country, there is a risk of further spread, especially with ongoing heavy rains,” said MSF’s Murata.

But it’s not just the rain that threatens to get in the way of efforts to contain the cholera outbreak.Aid agencies have been warningfor weeks that a predicted battle in the port city of Hodeida could be disastrous. Although many medications come through on UN flights, the vast majority of Yemen’s food and other supplies come in through Hodeida, where they already battle serious delays due to diminished capacity and sluggish screening.

“Fighting in Hodeida may seriously compromise the ability of humanitarian actors to bring in critical lifesaving supplies, including medical supplies used for fighting cholera,” said UNICEF’s al-Asaadi - by Shuaib Almosawa and Annie Slemrod

17.5.2017 - AFP (** A H)

Yemen cholera death toll mounts to 209: UNICEF

A cholera outbreak in Yemen has killed 209 people in recent weeks with 17,200 suspected cases across the war-torn country, the United Nations children's agency said Wednesday.

UNICEF's Yemen mission said that there had been an "alarming increase" in cholera-related deaths.

The agency's Yemen spokesman Mohammed Al-Asaadi told AFP that 3,000 new suspected cholera cases a day were being reported.

15.5.2017 - PRI (** A H)

Thousands in Yemen get sick in an entirely preventable cholera outbreak

Cholera is spreading rapidly across Yemen just ahead of President Donald Trump's trip to its northern neighbor, Saudi Arabia. Aid groups say Yemen's medical system, ruined by the war, needs a break from the fighting that Saudi Arabia — and the United States — have enabled.

According to Marie-Claire Feghali of theInternational Committee for the Red Cross (ICRC), the crisis looks worst in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, where hospitals are unable to keep pace with new patients.

"Up to four people share one hospital bedbecause there [is] no place to accommodate them," she says.

Feghali reports that this week, some patients, unable to receive treatment even in packed hospital corridors, had to be treated outside. Somepatients were put on IV dripswhile seated in parked cars. “This is how bad the situation is now," she says.

Meanwhile, residents of Yemen's capital city are frightened.

"The whole situation with the conflict is entirely manmade," says Marie-Claire Feghali of the ICRC. "This means that the solution is also entirely manmade."

Since March 2015, when Saudi Arabia backed one side of Yemen's civil war,half of the nation's hospitalshave been either destroyed by Saudi airstrikes, occupied by rebel forces, or shut down because there are no medical personnel to staff them.

A naval blockade— enforced by the Saudis with US help — slows the delivery of aid shipments to Yemeni ports - by Stephen Snyder

14.5.2017 - World Health Organization, UN Children's Fund, WASH Cluster, Health Cluster (** A H)

Yemen: Acute Watery Diarrhea / Cholera Outbreak - Situation Report #2 (9 - 14 May 2017)

Situation Overview

• The number of acute watery diarrhoea (AWD)/ suspected cholera cases has increased dramatically and the outbreak expanded to 18 out of 22 governorates.

• Sana’a City is the most affected area, with more than 4000 suspected cholera cases. Cases have been reported across all districts and neighborhoods.

• From 27 April to 14 May 2017, a total of 11,046 suspected cholera/AWD cases were reported from 18 governorates, including Sana’a (13%), Amanat Al-Asimah (38%), Amran (9%), Dhamar (4%),
Al-Mahweet (5%), Ibb (6%), Al-Dhale’a (3%), Hajjah (9%), Al-Hudaydah (1%), Taiz (3%), Abyan (2%),
Raymah (1%), Aden (1%) Sa’adah (1%) and Al-Bayda (4%) governorates.

• Out of the total reported cases, 124 deaths were reported.

• A total of 208 cholera cases have been confirmed by laboratory testing. in full:

My comment: Figures are already outdated.

19.5.2017 - The Century Foundation (** B K P)

Iran’s Role in Yemen Exaggerated, but Destructive

One of the main U.S. justifications for arming and supporting the Saudi war in Yemen is the claim that the Houthis—a Yemeni Zaydi Shia-led rebel group—are Iranian proxies, seeking to overthrow the government of Yemen and bring it under Iranian influence. The Houthis and Iran, on the other hand, deny a close relationship and downplay the levels of support the rebels receive from Tehran.

As a matter of fact, however, both sides are incorrect—and the truth is somewhere in the middle. The Houthis didn’t emerge due to Iranian support, even if they got it later on their rise to power. Rather, they originated as a theological movement in the early 1990s.

And while there is no doubt that the Houthis are the biggest threat to the idea of the republic in Yemen, that is not due to Iran’s role. Iran’s support to the Houthis in Yemen is very small compared to that of Iraq, Syria, or Lebanon. It’s not that Iran’s support isn’t a destructive force—it is—but it is not the main or only one. The weapons and business Houthis get via the black market from the Yemeni government, for example, are worth more than the funding they get from Iran. Even countries like Oman and Russia currently have more direct leverage over the Houthis than Iran does.

But it’s important to note that the Saudi war didn’t make the relationship between the Houthis and Iran weaker. Rather, the war made the relationship more essential.

Hadisaidthat he shall not allow Iran to establish a “Persian” state in Yemen.1He also reiterated his promise to raise the flag of the Republic of Yemen in Maran, the Houthi leader’s stronghold in Saada governorate. This implied a direct suggestion that Saada had fallen out of the authority of the Republic of Yemen, or that it has a leaning that is not republican—which echoes another charge that Ansar Allah (or the Houthis) are but an extension of the former Yemeni monarchy, or in other words, that the group is ideologically linked to Iran. Before and after this, President Hadi and almost all his officials, in addition to many Gulf officials, have repeatedly stated that the war in Yemen is effectively a war against Iran.

On several other occasions, President Hadi repeatedly expressed his concern of Iranian expansionism in Yemen to his visiting delegations, especially those from the Gulf and the West

Many analyses have been written andofficial statements madeconcerning Iran’s ambitions in Yemen, which it especially pursued through its relationship with its now-vigorous ally, the Houthis (Ansar Allah).3Following theircoup d’etat and takeover of power in Sanaa in January 2015, as well as their activation of a revolutionary committee in its wake, a surprising deal was struck between the group and Iran which further perpetuated these assumptions.4The deal initiated nearly fourteenweekly airline flightsbetween Sanaa and Tehran.5

There is indeed a direct relationship between the Houthis and Tehran: financial, media, and political support for the Houthis from Tehran. To a certain point, Tehran provides the Houthis with military training support, as well. This assistance has been facilitated by advisors of the first degree, close the Houthi leader, Abdulmalik al-Houthi, who has coordinated support, training and funding between the two sides. However, the factors which have led to the emergence and perseverance of the Houthis are local rather than external, in the sense that the vitality of maintaining this rapport with Iran is not as fateful as President Hadi’s relationship with Riyadh, for instance.

The limitations of any Iranian military support can also be attributed to the simpler fact that Yemen, which is saturated with arms and fighters (in addition to Saleh’s army and weapons arsenal, which has recently openly aligned itself with the Houthis), undermines the urgency for more foreign weapons or fighters.

More importantly, and despite theWhite House statement18earlier this year that Houthis are Iran’s hands, it is important to realize that Iran’s role in Yemen is basically destructive, as everywhere in the region. However, the Houthis are also a destructive group, with and without Iran by Farea Al-Muslimi

My comment: There are many interesting ideas in this report, but an anti-Iranian and anti-Houthi bias is evident. Well, why it should be the Houthis' special sign to be a "destructive group"? There are no other than "destructive groups" in Yemen, the Hadi government included. And Iran hardly is interfering so much in Yemen that it could play a "basically destructive" role there. What the saudis actually do - almost day by day.

Comment by Judith Brown: And now a comment by the excellent Yemeni commentator Farea Muslimi on the Houthi-Iran connections. As he points out - the war nor Houthi uprising were caused by Iran, the assistance is limited, but the war itself actually strengthens any ties.

19.5.2017 - Der Spiegel (** A K P)

Our Enemies Want to Starve Us'

The ongoing civil war in Yemen has already cost 10,000 lives and there are no indications that peace will take hold any time soon. SPIEGEL spoke with the foreign minister of the self-proclaimed Houthi government about why the violence continues unabated.

Sharaf: Our enemies want to starve us. They are trying to force us by bombs and economic isolation to the negotiating table. But they are only dreaming.

The Saudi-Arab-led coalition, which supports the president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who is not accepted by us, has threatened to shoot down any transport aircraft trying to land in Sanaa. After bombing our air defense systems, they imposed a no-fly zone in our skies. They are blockading the main port, Hudaida, through which 80 per cent of aid supplies arrive, along with most of our imports. Between 70 and 80 percent of government revenues go to Aden, while we are cut off from all cash flows. For the last eight months, not a single civil servant has received their salary. But we can still hold out for a long time, if necessary. The Saudis, though, don't have that much time.

The Saudis can bomb us from the air, but victory will be decided on the ground. I don't believe there is a military solution for the crisis in Yemen. The only way is to sit around a negotiating table and look for a peaceful settlement.

The fraternity with Iran, which is promoted by the media, is a product of Saudi Arabian propaganda. It does not exist. We owe nothing to the Iranians. If this conflict were really about Iran, then they should impose sanctions on Iran. Why do they besiege us for two years instead of stopping the flow of money and arms?

This UN resolution [2216]was adopted in April 2015, when the situation was completely different. Now, we are exposed to unjustified Saudi aggression and a massive economic war. It would have been possible to assemble and discuss our differences in the early stages. But now, Hadi is only acting as an emissary of the Saudi regime, implementing their agenda and sacrificing his people. It is not that we are refusing to negotiate, but we insist on the presence of the main aggressor in such a political process. No peace can be sustainable without the Saudis because they are financing the war and will continue to do so if they are not stopped by the superpowers from interfering in our affairs.

We can have a peace deal if there are positive signals from the aggressor. The Saudis should stop the bombings and open the Sanaa as a sign of their good intentions. Then we would stop all military action against the Saudis and their allies. Negotiations could start immediately if the Saudis were on board. The Europeans could play a positive role as peace-brokers.- Interview Conducted by Susanne Koelbl

17.5.2017 – Yemen Polling (** B H K P)


The Yemen Polling Center (YPC) has just released the major findings of the largest nation-wide survey on living conditions and security-related issues ever implemented in Yemen. The survey, which was conducted in February and March of this year, targeted 4,000 respondents (50% women) in all governorates of Yemen except Sa’da and Socotra and can thus be considered representative. It is part of a wider YPC project that aims to contribute to ‘Re-building Peace and Security in Yemen’, which is funded by the European Union through its Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace (IcSP).
The objectives of this survey were to understand the impact of the war on the living conditions of Yemenis; the nature of (in)security on the local level; the nature of security provision on the local level; the necessities and opportunities for peace-making and stabilization on the local level; the role of „the“ security sector on the local level; and the attitudes of the public towards gender-related security issues. The #YemenBarometer, of which this survey can be considered the starting point, will assess conditions and perceptions in Yemen relevant to policy-making on a regular basis.
Hafez Albukari, President of YPC, emphasized that the most important lesson to take away from the survey findings was the diversity of the results when broken down to the governorate level: “It is important to recognize the multiplicity of the current living conditions and of security-related issues in Yemen. Any development-related intervention in Yemen must take the variety of problems, actors and opportunities on the local level into account.” Albukari was also quick to emphasize, however, that there was one condition that united all Yemenis after more than two years of war in the country: “The results clearly show that the living conditions of Yemenis in all governorates have been significantly affected by the events of the last years. Any party that aims to gain the trust of the Yemeni population needs to address this issue.” and download of full report:

21.5.2017 – Al Monitor (** A P)

Saudis trumpet Trump

Saudi Arabia gives US President Donald Trump the fully rolled out red carpet treatment in hopes of getting heightened US action against Iran.

The royals know that flattery will bring rewards, especially when the target is desperately seeking to be seen as competent. They expect a more aggressive approach to combating their archenemy Iran, which has outmaneuvered from them from Beirut to Basra for years.

The presidential visit also gave King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud the opportunity to demonstrate the enormous convening power of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques in the Sunni Muslim world. With control of access to Mecca and Medina for pilgrims, the king literally controls access to a holy obligation of every Muslim.

he Saudis could invite their fellow monarchs from the Gulf Cooperation Council for a summit with the president and dozens of other Muslim leaders for another summit, confident that most would come when called.

Salman demonstrated he is still very much in charge. His speech to the Muslim summit was an aggressive call to confront Iran and blamed Iran for decades of terrorism and subversion. Of course the Saudi leadership is not interested in fighting Iran with Saudi troops. That is the Americans' job.

The red carpet treatment for Trump, however, was often more show than new substance. The billions in arms deals and other economic agreements signed were almost entirely letters of intent, not final contracts, and most had been in the works for some time. Given the price of oil, it remains unclear how the Saudis can afford them.

The Saudis were willing to risk some embarrassment to curry their guests' favor by letting him address the Muslim world on Islam from the summit. In the end, the president delivered a carefully worded message that was long on rhetoric and short on specifics.
Now there are growing signs of a split emerging in the coalition the Saudis created to fight the war.

The Saudi plan to win in Yemen hinges on their proxies' taking Hodeidah, the major port in the north. The goal would be to tighten up the blockade of the country that is producing mass famine and outbreaks of disease. The UAE is reportedly unexcited by the operation.

The Trump administration is ultimately going to determine whether the Hodeidah battle is fought. The president's speech barely mentioned Yemen and never dealt with the humanitarian carnage there. Unlike Salman, Trump did not highlight the Iranian role in Yemen.

The Saudi war effort is dependent upon US support.

The long-term danger for the Saudis is that they are now tied to the fate of a mercurial and unpredictable US president. They hope that he will fight Iran on their behalf. So far they have rhetoric. - by Bruce Riedel

21.5.2017 – The American Conservative (** A P)

Trump’s ‘Principled Realism’ Is Neither Principled Nor Realist

Trump’s Riyadh speechwas as shamelessly pro-Saudi as could be. He began by praising King Salman and the “magnificent” Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and followed it with a speech that could very easily have been written by their own propaganda office. He boasted about the massive $110 billion arms deal that he and Salman signed.

The frequent and sometimes forced religious rhetoric that Trump employed in the speech may have been intended to impress his audience, but at best it probably came across as nothing more than lip service. These parts of the speech seemed phony, and the words rang false when Trump said them. While he invoked divine judgment as a punishment for those that failed to confront terrorism, he had nothing at all to say about the violence used by the Saudis and others against other countries and their own people.

At one point, Trump referred to the region’s “humanitarian and security disaster,” but he wasn’t talking about the nightmare being created by his hosts in neighboring Yemen. On the contrary, he saluted the Saudis and their coalition for their “strong action” in Yemen and had nothing to say about the famine and outbreaks of disease that their intervention has done so much to cause.

The speech hypocritically combined stern moralistic language with complete indifference to the evils being perpetrated by our regional clients with our help. Trump dubbed his approach “principled realism,” but one looks in vain for any consistent principle here other than “our despotic clients are always right.” That isn’t realism as I understand it, and it requires the routine violation of many other principles at the expense of U.S. interests.

Trump spent much of his time denouncing terrorism and its destructive effects, which was fine as far as it went, but it was difficult to take seriously his rhetoric about “no tolerance” for terrorism when he is going out of his way to celebrate a government that has promoted fanaticism.

The final part of the speech consisted of Trump’s expression of his well-known hostility towards Iran. Since Iran’s voters had just delivered a sharp rebuke to their own hard-liners, it was especially unfortunate that Trump insisted on casting Iran as the main villain in the region while letting our despotic clients off the hook entirely.

Near the end of the speech, Trump asked rhetorically, “Will we be indifferent in the presence of evil?” Judging from his total silence on the evil being done to the people of Yemen by his Saudi hosts with our government’s help, Trump has answered his own question with a resounding yes. - by Daniel Larison and Trump's speech in full here (film): and full transcript: and full film Trump at the Arab Islamic American Summit(2:15 h):

Comment by Haykal Bafana: #SaudiArabia's school textbooks teach that we Muslims should not read what kuffar infidels like you say or write.

21.5.2017 – The National Interest (** A P)

Trump's Riyadh Speech: Bowing to the Saudi Regime

Trump’s speech evidently was crafted to appeal to a very narrow audience: the Saudi regime, along with some similar ruling brethren in places such as the United Arab Emirates, while coloring the appeal with some distinctively Trumpian touches. The kind of compliments that had pride of place in the speech—up near the front, along with Trump’s usual and inevitable assertions about how back home he had “created almost a million new jobs” and “lifted the burdens on American industry”—focused on glitz: the “grandeur” of the conference hall, the Saudis’ “soaring achievements in architecture,” and the UAE’s having reached “incredible heights with glass and steel”. These are not the sorts of observations likely to have much resonance with the man in the street in Riyadh, let alone the streets of countless other majority Muslim cities. The narrowness of the appeal in the speech exacerbated the narrowness in the selection of Saudi Arabia as the place for a first presidential visit that was supposedly representative of an entire religion. Certainly there will be little positive resonance among the whole Shia branch of Islam.

After talking about violent extremism that is mostly the extremist Sunni variety spearheaded by ISIS, the anti-Iran passage asserts that Iran is “the government” that gives “terrorists” everything they need to do their evil deeds, assertions oblivious to how Iran is on the opposite side from ISIS and al-Qaeda throughout the region, including Iraq, Syria, and Yemen.

All this, especially the anti-Iran part, was music to the ears of the Saudi rulers. But besides acting like a guest who is pleasing to the hosts, what else did this speech accomplish? What else, that is, besides avoiding any new Trumpian disasters? A major speech by a U.S. president to foreign audiences should do more than suck up to the rulers of whatever is the speech’s venue.

The speech conveyed a very crude and simplistic explanation of terrorism and political violence in the Middle East. As Trump describes it, terrorism is all just a matter of good versus evil – by Paul R. Pillar

21.5.2017 – New York Times (** A P)

Trump Softens Tone on Islam but Calls for Purge of ‘Foot Soldiers of Evil’

President Trump on Sunday pivoted away from his strident assessment of Islam as a religion of hatred as he sought to redefine American leadership in the Middle East and rally the Muslim world to join him in a renewed campaign against extremism.

Addressing dozens of leaders from across the Muslim world who had gathered in Saudi Arabia, Mr. Trump rejected the idea that the fight against terrorism was a struggle between religions, and he promised not to scold them about human rights in their countries. But he challenged Muslim leaders to step up their efforts to counter a “wicked ideology” and purge the “foot soldiers of evil” from their societies.

“This is not a battle between different faiths, different sects or different civilizations,” Mr. Trump said in a cavernous hall filled with heads of state eager to find favor with the new president. “This is a battle between barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life and decent people, all in the name of religion, people that want to protect life and want to protect their religion. This is a battle between good and evil.”

When that moment in the speech came, however, Mr. Trump went off script and used both words, Islamic and Islamist. “That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds,” he said. An aide said afterward that the president was “just an exhausted guy” and had tripped over the term, rather than rejected the language suggested by his aides.

But if the speech during the second day of a nine-day overseas trip was intended as a sort of reset from his campaign and early presidency, it was also meant to turn away from Mr. Obama’s approach. Rather than preach about human rights or democracy, Mr. Trump said he wanted “partners, not perfection.” And he said it was up to Muslim leaders to expunge extremists from their midst.

Throughout his visit, a less volatile president emerged, disciplined and relentlessly on message in a way he is often not at home. - By PETER BAKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR

My comment: LOL. “But he challenged Muslim leaders to step up their efforts to counter a “wicked ideology” “: This “wicked ideology” is Saudi Wahabism, stay honest. - “barbaric criminals who seek to obliterate human life “: a perfect description of US army and foreign politics since decades, and as well of Saudi ideology which fueled terrorists worldwide

Commnt by Abed A.Ayoub: Every single act of terror Donald Trump mentioned in his speech is a result of Saudi funding influence and funding.

21.5.2017 – The Independent (** A P)

Donald Trump puts US on Sunni Muslim side of bitter sectarian war with Shias

US President's speech gives a green-light to authoritarian regimes in the Middle East to carry on torturing and oppressing minorities

It was crude stuff. President Trump called on 55 Muslim leaders assembled in Riyadh to drive out terrorism from their countries. He identified Iran as a despotic state and came near to calling for regime change, though Iran held a presidential election generally regarded as fair only two days previously.

He denounced Hezbollah and lined up the US squarely on the side of the Sunni against the Shia in the sectarian proxy war that is tearing apart the Middle East.

Almost all of the 55 Muslim rulers and leaders in the vast hall in Riyadh will have breathed a little easier on hearing Mr Trump’s repeated call “to drive out terrorism”, since they have always described anybody who opposes their authority as “terrorists”.

This will be a green-light to people like Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi to go on imprisoning and torturing Muslim Brotherhood members. American pressure on the ruling Sunni minority in Bahrain to stop persecuting the Shia majority was always tame, but Mr Trump’s praise for the island’s rulers may make the situation even worse.

Saudi leaders will be pleased by Mr Trump’s condemnation of Iran as the fountainhead of terrorism. This was the most substantive part of speech and is the one most likely to increase conflict.

The Saudis will see it as a licence to increase their support for proxy wars being waged against Shia movements and communities in Iraq, Syria, Yemen and beyond.

Mr Trump is plugging the US into the ferocious sectarian conflict between Sunni and Shia.

This is not a war that is going to be won by either side, but the stance of the Trump administration will help ensure that it goes on being fought. Ever since Mr Trump was elected, Iraqi leaders in Baghdad have been concerned that a deeper confrontation between the US and Iran will further destabilise Iraq

As for driving out “terrorism” from Muslim societies for which Mr Trump called, one important aspect of the growth of al-Qaeda type movements has been the way in which Saudi Arabia has used its oil wealth for half a century to spread Wahhabism, its puritanical and fanatical variant of Islam. This has become an increasingly predominant influence over mainstream Sunni Islam, increasing its sectarianism – by Patrick Cockburn and Trump slamming Iran for Syria:

20.5.2017 – Sputnik News (** A P)

Abu Trump al-Amriki

Embattled at home in a do-or-die war (or "witch hunt") against powerful factions of the deep state, President Trump, in the first stop of his first foreign trip, lands with pomp and circumstance in the ultimate totalitarian theocracy.

Trump will be lavishly entertained by a parasite monarchy that for decades exports the ideological matrix of all forms of Salafi-jihadi terrorism; a regime that denies the rights of its own population and teaches them to hate foreigners, non-Muslims, women, art and a culture-heavy past (as in bombing priceless historical sites in Yemen).

The same regime still denies, as a state, any implication in financing the most extreme terror outfits – without, for that matter, preventing influent pious nationals of doing so on an individual basis; interferes in the religious culture of Sunni Muslim nations all over the world and sterilizes any possible debate about Islam; foments an ethnic-confessional war between Sunnis and Shi'ites that envelops the whole Middle East in fire and blood with the only objective of enfeebling geopolitical rival Iran, all the while meekly invoking American protection.

Trump's lavish Riyadh get-together is being billed as part of his drive to support the renaissance of US manufacturing. That translates in fact as yet another bonanza for the industrial-military-security-surveillance complex, in the form of a series of mega-deals that include the totalitarian theocracy buying over $100 billion – and possibly more than $300 billion — in US weaponry.

On the side, Trump will propose his Arab NATO scheme – which is essentially the formalization of an already existing NATO-GCC symbiosis. This Arab NATO will – in theory — fight some strands of Islamic fundamentalism (Daesh, but not, for instance, Jabhat al-Nusra), but most of all what the GCC bills as the "existential threat" of Iran as well as, subtext applies, Shi'ism.

So there could not be a more graphic illustration of how the battle lines are now drawn; on one side we have Washington, the House of Saud, GCC and Israel (the GCC is dying to strike a dealwith Tel Aviv, selling the Palestinians down the drain for good); on the other side we have Iran, Syria – and Russia.

Don't expect Trump advisers to clue him in. Whatever it's called, Salafism or Wahhabism, the official doctrine remains an ultra-puritan Islamism calling for an expansionist jihad. The House of Saud and a jihadi Caliphate are both sides of the same totalitarian theocracy coin. Trump welcomed by the House of Saud to fight Daesh qualifies as the ultimate Monty Python sketch.

Still, the House of Saud may always count on gullible/greedy Westerners – the same ol' Roosevelt/King Saud effect. All it needs is a diversionist tactic.

So, for the moment, why not bask in the glow of Saudi adulation? It's raining cash for weapons, and no one better than Abu Trump al-Amriki knows there's no business like (proxy) war business – by Pepe Escobar – Washington Post (** A P)

Trump signs ‘tremendous’ deals with Saudi Arabia on his first day overseas

President Trump made a splashy debut on the world stage here Saturday, ushering in a new era in U.S.-Saudi Arabian relations by signing a joint “strategic vision” that includes $110 billion in American arms sales and other new investments that the administration said would bring hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“It was a great day,” Trump said. He cited “tremendous investments in the United States ... and jobs, jobs, jobs.”

While initial details were scant, the agreements signed included a U.S. letter of intent to “support Saudi Arabia’s defense needs” with sales of a number of items — naval ships, tanks and other vehicles — that were the subject of agreements under earlier administrations, as well as some new items that had never passed the discussion stage, such as sophisticated THAAD missile defense systems.

Other items are intended to modernize Saudi Arabia’s cyberdefense and airborne intelligence-gathering, and secure its borders.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in a news conference with his Saudi counterpart, described common views on counterterrorism, the threat from Iran and regional security. He outlined “like-minded” goals in the security and economic spheres and said, “We’re very proud of this relationship that we are embarking on with the kingdom.”

What emerged as a veritable love fest between the two governments was a marked contrast to years of growing estrangement under President Barack Obama.

“This is the beginning of a turning point in the relationship between the United States and the Arab and Islamic world,” Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir proclaimed alongside Tillerson.

Trump’s visit, he said, “begins to change the conversation” with the Islamic world “from one of enmity to one of partnership.”

In addition to the security agreements, Jubeir said, U.S. business leaders here at an economic forum designed to coincide with Trump’s visit signed deals potentially worth more than $200 billion over the next 10 years.

Executives from a number of major U.S. companies unveiled investment partnerships with the Saudis, including Blackstone, a private-equity giant that announced a $40 billion infrastructure fund. Stephen A. Schwarzman, Blackstone’s chairman and chief executive, is close to Trump and leads the White House’s economic advisory council of CEOs.

Trump was received like visiting royalty.

In their private talks, Trump and Salman discussed their shared view of the threat from Iran.

However, there was public silence from the U.S. delegation on the issue of human rights in Saudi Arabia - ByPhilip Rucker andKaren DeYoung

Remark: Much more articles on the Trump visit at cp9

19.5.2017 – The Intercept (** B P)


AN EXAMINATION BYThe Intercept of lobbyist disclosures filed with the Department of Justice under the Foreign Agents Registration Act shows that Saudi Arabia has greatly expanded its spending on influence peddling during the past two years. Since 2015 the kingdom has expanded the number of foreign agents on retainer to 145 individuals, up from 25 registered agents during the previous two-year period.

Perhaps not coincidentally, President Trump, who less than a year ago vilified Saudi Arabia’s influence over the American political establishment, is now marching to the Saudi lobbyists’ tune.

The Saudi lobbying expenditures, totaling over $18 million, eclipse other established interest groups in Washington. For perspective, lobbying heavyweight Google employs 74 registered lobbyists and spent $7 million over the same two-year period on federal influence.

Like others seeking to influence the U.S. government, Saudi Arabia invests in lobbyists with close connections to both major political parties. They include awide arrayof former Democratic and Republican elected officials, retired government officials, and even former journalists.

Republicans lobbying for the Saudis include former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and former former Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman. Lott wasdeeply involvedin the White House hiring process, according to reports, and now three former Lott staff members work for Trump. Coleman chairs the Republican dark money outfit American Action Network, which has helped flood theairwaveswith campaign commercials help vulnerable House GOP incumbents.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia also paid large fees to the Podesta Group and the Glover Park Group. The Podesta Group is run by Tony Podesta, the brother of Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign chairman John Podesta. The Glover Park Group was founded by alumni from President Bill Clinton’s administration.

The expansive Saudi lobbying team has attempted to shape the debate on issues as varied as whether the victims of the September 11 attack may file a lawsuit against Saudi Arabia, arms deals used for the ongoing Saudi-led war in Yemen, and Trump’s upcoming trip to Riyadh this weekend.

Ed Rogers, the chairman of the BGR Group, a lobbying firm on a$500,000annual retainer from the Saudi government, hailed the trip in acolumnfor the Washington Post on Tuesday, calling the chosen destinations for Trump’s travel “opportune settings for this administration to make a bold statement to the world that the United States is stronger and more committed than ever to leading.”

Arabia Now, a website andsocial medianetwork operated in part by a Republican digital media firm retained by the Saudi Embassy, began quickly producing content to promote the trip almost as soon as it became public.

Fahad Nazer, a registered Saudi lobbyist, used his Twitter feed tohelp unveila newwebsite, hashtag, and logo to promote Trump state visit.

And of course influencing the general public isn’t the only goal of Saudi lobbyists. FARA filings show they also inundate members of Congress and federal officials with meetings, dinners, and emails.

The Glover Park Group and several lobbyists from Brownstein Hyatt Farben Schreck, including a former top aide to former Speaker John Boehner, made 350 contacts over a short period of several weeks with Congress over the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act

For the upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia, Saudi lobbying priorities may veer towards securing an increased military partnership with the Trump administration, particularly regarding the Saudi war against Yemen.

Moreover, the disclosed records are only the tip of the iceberg of Saudi Arabia’s campaign to influence U.S. politics. Saudi donations to think tanks, universities, andpolitical foundationsare not covered by the FARA law. And Trump’s sprawling business empire and network of associates provides other opportunities for establishing relationships – by Lee Fang

cp2 Allgemein / General

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

19.5.2017 - Living in Yemen on the edge (A)

Yemenia, national carrier, optimistic about the reopening of #Sanaa international airport next week

19.5.2017 - Middle East Eye (* A P)

The Saudis and Emiratis are on a Yemeni collision course

If southern Yemenis aligned with the UAE continue to challenge their president's authority, the Saudi-Emirati alliance will be the first casualty

It also made it clear that the Saudis lack a game plan to end their campaign - and more importantly, are on a collision course with the UAE.

Zubaidi's announcement about the formation of the Southern Transitional Council was immediately rejected by the Gulf Cooperation Council and Hadi. But what has not yet come out publicly is the deepening Saudi-Emirati rift in Yemen - but also on multiple regional issues in which both of the countries still claim publicly to have a shared vision.

The Southern Transitional Council is believed to be controlled by a group of Yemeni politicians who have had long-term relationships with the United Arab Emirates and also by UAE-supported volunteers who are fighting for the Saudi-led military coalition.

While Saudi Arabia has downplayed the UAE’s role in Yemen and the Emirati media has explained that the country's leadership is in favour of a united sovereign Yemen, it seems that, with the declaration of the southern council, the allies are approaching a collision course in Yemen that has wider ramifications for several regional issues.

The UAE’s rivalry with Saudi Arabia is not a secret, nor is it a recent development. With its growing military and financial clout in the region, the UAE aspires to have its own standing in the region by establishing bilateral arrangements with more countries.

The real tension between the UAE and Saudi is over the future of the GCC's security arrangements. The Yemen operation was a clear signal from the Saudis that, despite their military strength, the kingdom prefers a loose, regional and multi-lateral mechanism for regional security with the containment of Iran as its most important objective.

But the UAE is perhaps not too happy about Saudi involving so many Arab and Islamic countries in Gulf security, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and Bangladesh, all of whom have confirmed their attendance at King Salman's Arab-Islamic-US summit.

Hadi'sscathing attackson the UAE for meddling in Yemen’s sovereign affairs has exposed the limitations of Saudi-led military operations in Yemen. The sooner Hadi reaches a political settlement with the Houthis, the better the prospects to avoid another Libya in Saudi Arabia's backyard - by Omair Anas

18.5.2017 - Masa Press (* A H P)

Press sources confirmed that the pressure exercised by the European Union on coalition countries to re-open the Sanaa airport, has been successful and that this pressure came after the outbreak of the cholera epidemic and the deterioration of the humanitarian situation due to the war and siege.

Flights will be operated between Sanaa and Cairo and Amman, Jordan, under the supervision of a team of the United Nations

And it pointed out the site, that the arrangements began to resume flights to and from Sanaa airport, starting next Wednesday May 24 / May this.

Furthermore, political sources said the site "Amanat" The Government informed the rescue by international parties to provide the necessary security protection to Sanaa International Airport in preparation for the resumption of civilian flights suspended since August last year.

The closure of the main airport in Yemen has led to the deterioration of the humanitarian situation as a result of the siege, and the difficulty of the arrival of relief aid needed for relief areas affected by the war in Yemen and the air raids of the Alliance. and original:

18.5.2017 - Reuters (* A P)

Yemen sets chaotic backdrop for Trump's Saudi visit

Washington is considering stepping up the non-lethal support, such as intelligence, it already offers the coalition in Yemen, U.S. officials have said - reversing a policy by predecessor Barack Obama who limited the U.S. role due to mounting civilian deaths.

But a U.S. raid on al Qaeda authorized by Trump in January which led to the death of a Navy SEAL and up to 12 civilians may have curbed his taste for further interventions, and Gulf Arab allies may for now be contented with the mere expression of continued U.S. approval of the war effort.

"At this point they may not be looking for any bigger U.S. military role... Just not complaining or pressuring them to wrap the war up would be the kind of thing Trump is likely to do and the Gulf states want," said Farea al-Muslimi, an analyst at the Sanaa Centre for Strategic Studies.

But time could be running out for the coalition to break the stalemate and advance on the Houthi-held capital Sanaa.

"We hope for a U.S. stance which gives political and military support to the southerner movement as it fights terrorism," Salmi told Reuters. "Ignoring or holding off on supporting the southern cause will only delay the war."- By Aziz El Yaakoubi and Noah Browning

18.5.2017 - Reuters (* A H K)

Attack on Yemen's port would push country nearer famine: U.N.

An attack on Yemen's Hodeidah port would push the country closer to famine as humanitarian agencies have no other way to deliver all the food and aid that is needed, a U.N. official said on Thursday.

A Saudi-led military coalition has been preparing an assault on the key Red Sea port, which is the point of entry for nearly 80 percent of Yemen's food imports.

Earlier this month, a coalition source said the alliance was preparing facilities in Aden and Mukalla in south Yemen as alternative entry routes for urgent aid in the event that Hodeidah port was affected by military operations.

But U.N. World Food Programme director of emergencies Denise Brown said the agency had found no alternative route to cover all the country's aid needs.

"Let me be clear, there is no viable option to the port of Hodeidah," she told a press conference in Rome, adding that 75 percent of WFP food assistance goes through the city - By Umberto Bacchi

17.5.2017 - Haykal Bafana (* A K MP)

CTG Global, #UAE firm owned by infamous ex-SAS #UK mercenary company Hart Group, recruiting port managers to run #Yemen's Hodeidah port.(image)

My comment: Another detail of the planned assault at Hodeida.

17.5.2017 - Asharq Al-Awsat (* A K)

Yemen’s Army Draws up New Plan to Free Hodeidah City

Iran-backed militias will soon be dislodged from their Red Sea coast bastion, the army spokesman said.

Speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat, Brigadier General Abdo Ali Mojlei said that national army troops are fully prepared and are waiting for instructions from government control.

At least 90 percent of local inhabitants are rushing to back pro-government forces, whether it be national army forces of Popular Resistance troops, Mojlei said.

Comment by Judith brown: Let's make it clear. No militia or army will free Hodeida. Not the Saudis, nor Hadi, nor Islah, nor UAE, nor Al Qaeda, nor Saleh, nor the Houthis. They just want to control it. That's why wars take place - not to give freedom but to take control.

15.5.2017 - Near Eastern Outlook (* B K P)

Saudi Arabia and the future of Yemen

In his speech, Ali Abdullah, Saleh made it clear that the alliance with the Houthis remains strong. He stated that he had rejected proposals to abandon the alliance with them for “hundreds of millions of dollars” and to enter into an alliance with “Muslim brothers” and A. Hadi. In this way he answered the rumors about the supposed weakening of relations with the Houthis with whom certain disagreements were noticed recently, as revealed through the resignation of Abdel-Aziz bin Habtour in April, only six months into his post of Houthi Prime Minister in Sana’a. Disclosing the secrets of Yemeni behind the curtain politics, the former President hinted fairly transparently to the worst enemies of the “Muslim Brothers” – the Emirates – that their partners (apparently referencing Riyadh) are elaborating very dark schemes behind their backs.

However, it seems that apart from an attempt to push the allies of the Anti-Houthi coalition, this strong rhetoric was just a ruse in order to give the Saudis a signal of readiness for peaceful negotiations.

Actually, it was such a turn of affairs that was expected by Moscow, but not by Riyadh as it seems, where the signal was chosen to be ignored, continuing to take stake in a military victory and regarding the extended hand of Ali Abdullah Saleh as a sign of weakness. They still seem to hope to split the alliance of Houthis and Saleh supporters. It would seem that the impetus from Moscow and A.A. Saleh for finding a political settlement began to fade. However, during the last week of April and the first week of May, changes in the Yemeni conflict began to occur that may call into question the military campaign of the coalition and in general its existence, as well as a movement back towards a political resolution.

Amongst these conditions, the resumption of peace efforts of the UN Secretary General Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is expected. Nonetheless, against the backdrop of complicated relations between Yemeni parties (Houthis and Saleh supporters, as well as among supporters of A. Hadi and South Yemeni separatists), it is only possible under condition of the full support for actions on the part of both of the direct participants in the conflict, including the SA coalition and the UAE, and the “five” of the UN Security Council.

Much depends on the new American President, D. Trump- byPogos Anastasov

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

22.5.2017 – The American Conservative (* A H)

Yemen’s Preventable Cholera Epidemic

It is important to emphasize that this epidemic would normally be preventable, but it is happening because the country’s health care system has been devastated by more than two years of the Saudi-led war, the country’s infrastructure has been so badly damaged by the conflict, and the country is being starved of basic necessities by the coalition blockade. The starvation of the country’s civilian population by the same blockade has also weakened their resistance to disease on account of widespread malnutrition and made it so that many more people will die from preventable disease. Under half of Yemen’s hospitals and clinicsare fully operational.

Starvation and the cholera epidemic in Yemen are both man-made disasters, and none of these things had to happen. The U.S.-backed coalition bears a large share of responsibility for creating the conditions that are threatening the lives of millions from starvation and disease. There is still time to change those conditions, but it would require a sudden, dramatic change in U.S. and coalition policies that is unfortunately not likely to happen – by Daniel Larison

17.5.–19.5.2017 – Yemen Today TV (* A H)

[Films on cholera in Yemen]

17.5.: Cholera kills children in Yemen

18.5.: Preventive measures in Saada to counter cholera

18.5.: The rise in cholera deaths in Mahweet to 26 cases and injuries to 1107 cases

18.5.: Al-Bayda's health is exacerbated by a cholera outbreak

19.5.: Cholera kills lives and health is unable to contain it

20.5.2017 – Ahmad Alghobary (A H)

This is Batol 1st photo before treatment,other after month of treatment n nutrition center n Saada #Yemen Saving her life is making me happy (photos)

20.5.2017 – World Bank (A H)

New World Bank Support to Address Food Insecurity in Yemen Aims to Reach 9 Million Yemenis

Ongoing emergency projects to be expanded with US$283 million in additional grants

Washington, May 19, 2017 - In response to rising food insecurity in Yemen, the World Bank will finance cash transfers to 1.5 million of the poorest households (or about 8 million people), to ensure they have the means to purchase food, and provide nutritious supplements to an additional one million of the most vulnerable and in need Yemenis. For this purpose, additional grants from theInternational Development Association(IDA) totaling US$283 million were announced today to finance the expansion of two emergency projects that are currently supporting vulnerable Yemenis in all of the country’s governorates.

This is an extremely important and urgent response by the World Bank to address the growing food insecurity in Yemen by providing income support as well as nutrition supplements to those Yemenis who cannot meet their basic food needs or are at high risk,”saidDr. Asad Alam, World Bank Group Country Director for Yemen, Egypt, and Djibouti."These new grants which will be implemented in partnership with Yemeni institutions and UNICEF, adds to our ongoing emergency programs to support basic income and health services to the most needy and vulnerable.”

The new grants will come from IDA, the World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries. A US$200 million grant, including US$125 million from theIDA Crisis Response Window, will finance the expansion of theYemen Emergency Crisis Response Project. The grant will fund cash transfers to the poorest households. The project will also reactivate Yemen’s safety net delivery system and its existing network for the distribution of the cash transfers.

19.5.2017 – Your Abilities (A H)

Film: Yemen children are stories of pain, malnutrition, cholera and chronic diseases. Together for coorperating in saving life.

19.5.2017 - World Food Programme (A H)

UNHRD Operations Update - Response to the Crisis in Yemen, as of 19 May 2016




PARTNERS SERVED 7 and in full:

19.5.2017 - World Food Programme, Logistics Cluster (A H)

Yemen: Lessons Learned Report, April 2017 (covering the period March 2015 to December 2016)

The Lessons Learned Exercise for the Logistics Cluster operation in Yemen was conducted at the beginning of 2017, covering the period March 2015 until December 2016. The main objectives of the exercise were to draw on the lessons learned and identify best practices for the Yemen operation as well as other Logistics Cluster operations.

The review period was selected to cover the time after the outbreak of the crisis in Yemen in March 2015, when the Logistics Cluster operation was significantly scaled up to respond to the increased logistics needs of the humanitarian community. As a result, a transit hub was set up in Djibouti for all relief cargo destined for Yemen, after commercial sea and air transport providers had suspended their services.

Overall, the Logistics Cluster in Yemen was considered highly relevant. In such a complex operating environment, it was deemed essential to rely on the Logistics Cluster for the coordination of the delivery of life-saving cargo into and across the country.

While the Logistics Cluster had difficulties in setting up the right services at the beginning of the crisis and to ensure effective implementation in a very challenging operating environment, humanitarian partners recognised that over time the cluster operation improved significantly and was considered satisfactory towards the end of 2016. Nevertheless, there were a number of lessons to be learned from the 22-months review period. in full:

18.5.2017 - MONA Relief (B H)

Film: Can anyone live on one meal a day? Absolutely, no one can. But in my country many people are living on one meal a day.

17.5.2017 – Almasdar Online (*A H)

Al-Bayda: 10 persons died, health authorities declare the province cholera-infected - sources

Health sources in al-Bayda province, central Yemen, said on Tuesday that 10 people had died and about 500 others were having acute diarrhea, after the outbreak of the cholera epidemic in the districts of the province.

The Health and Population Office in Rada city, north of al Bayda province, said the cholera has spread in the districts of Rada, Al-Sharia, Al-Bayda, Mukiras, Al-Suwaidiya and Al-Malajim, a health source told Almasdaronline.

The director general of the Health Office in a Bayda had declared that the province is infected with cholera.

17.5.2017 - Rajat Madhok (* A H)

Over 3500 water trucks chlorinated in 250 different locations in the last 2 weeks as suspected diahrrea cases soar to 17000 (photo)

17.5.2017 - Hisham Al-Omeisy (A H)

All fresh produce, vegetables, fruits, salad..banned bcz of Cholera. #Yemen, on top of earlier looming famine, now a Vegetarian's nightmare. v

17.5.2017 - Critical Threats (A H)

Gulf Security Review, May 17

The Egyptian and Jordanian governments agreed to participate in a program to open Sana’a International Airport for emergency humanitarian purposes on May 17. The proposed plan would lift the Saudi-led embargo on Sana’a airport to flights from Amman and Cairo. These flights would deliver medical supplies and evacuate cholera patients.

17.5.2017 - European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (A H)

Yemen - Recent Cholera Cases, Food Insecurity and Population Displacement - DG ECHO Daily Map | 17/05/2017

19.4.2017 -World Food Programme(A H)

Yemen: Emergency Dashboard, May 2017 in full:

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

22.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

YJS holds Houthis responsible for deterioration of journalists' health

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate received information that the health of the journalist Yahya Abdulraqeeb al-Jubaihi badly deteriorated after a court run by the Houthi-Saleh militias issued a death sentence against him.

According to YJS, al-Jubaihi is suffering from asthma and he was not allowed to visit the physicians to be treated and physicians were also prevented from visiting him to the prison.

21.5.2017 – Press TV Iran ( AP)
Thousands protests US participation in Saudi war against Yemen

Thousands of people have gathered on the streets of Sana'a to protest the US's participation in Saudi Arabia's relentless war against Yemen. During the protests, people could be seen holding banners which read. "USA thrives on stealing other nations, killing, crime, and causing destruction."

"We are here today to say no for American terrorism. No for American terrorism. No for American terrorism. And we would also say, to the people in Riyadh, what did [the] Saudis achieve in two years and a half? Nothing. They did not achieve anything. Just killing, destruction," said a protester. and by Yemen Press (with photos): and by Saba Net: and photos. and and and (billboard)

21.5.2017 – New News (AA P)

A Cow Participated at the Protest in Sana’a

The Organizing committee for the mass rally of popular event in Al-sabeen street bring a real dairy cow as simulation for Saudi regime that Symbolizes to colonization project that Saudi regime support it by oil and money against Arab and Muslims.

The dairy cow simulates Saudi regime which attended the rally to represent the Ugly image of Saudi regime which fund and support Terrorism by money and oil in Yemen ,Iraq and Libya (Photo)

19.5.2017 - Tasnim News (A P)

Yemenis to Stage Massive Anti-US Protest Saturday

The Yemeni people from all walks of life plan to participate in a demonstration in the capital, Sana'a, on Saturday to condemn Washington for its supports for the Saudi war and “the American terrorism” against the Arabian Peninsula country.

In a statement on Thursday, the Yemeni committee responsible for "organizing revolutionary events" called on all the people of the Arab country to take part in the rally dubbed “No to American Terrorism against Yemen” due to be held in Sana’a on Saturday afternoon local time.

and also look at this anti-Houthi rally, what did happen to that? There was just this great pro-Houthi rally:

18.5.2017 – Yemen Updates (A P)

Activists call for a massive demonstration on Saturday in Tahrir Square in #Sanaato demand salaries & the departure of #Houthis! (image)

18.5.2017 - Al Araby (* B P)

Abducted: 300 days in Houthi prison

Dr Abdulkader al-Guneid, the former mayor of Taiz, fell into activism during the Yemeni revolution, but his passion for human rights later landed him in a Houthi prison.

"They looted my house, terrified my wife, and took me away," he toldThe New Arab, nearly two years after the disturbing ordeal.

Six months later, Dr al-Guneid was still enduring the tough conditions in the rebel prison, when Saudi-led Arab coalition fighter jets flew above the city for the first time.

"Houthi jailers were hateful, rude and crude. They almost make it a personal animosity when you are against their ideas," said the doctor,

Four months after his release, the doctor - like many fleeing conflict in the region - became externally displaced and now lives with his daughter thousands of miles away in Canada

17.5.2017 - Critical Threats (A P)

Gulf Security Review, May 17

Tribesmen fromal Hudaydahandal Raymahgovernorates agreed on May 16 to supportORGANIZATIONal Houthi MovementThe al Houthis are the de facto ruling faction in Yemen’s ce... al Houthi-Salehforces in the fight against the Saudi-led coalition’s planned offensive on al Hudaydah port. The tribes agreed to provide additional money, fighters, and equipment. Raymah Governor Hassan Omari, who was appointed by the al Houthi-Saleh bloc, will coordinate this effort.[4]

17.5.2017 - Fars News (* A P)

Salvation Gov't PM Warns of Saudi, UAE Plots to Disintegrate Yemen

"The events in the Southern and Eastern provinces of Yemen are the result of Saudi Arabia and the UAE's occupation, specially as the two countries have an old plot to disintegrate Yemen again and turn them into regions under their control," Habtoor, the former governor of Aden, was quoted as saying by al-Mayadeen news channel on Wedneday.

He said that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are rivals in taking control over the Southern parts of Yemen.

17.5.2017 – Bahai.or (A P)

Tribal leaders stand in solidarity with Yemeni Baha'is

SANA'A, Yemen —Hundreds of Yemenis—led by tribal leaders and human rights activists—gathered on Monday morning, 15 May 2017, to denounce the recent call for the arrests of several Yemeni Baha'is and to demand their immediate release.

Currently, five Baha'is, including tribal leader Walid Ayyash, remain in prison or detention under the direction of authorities in Sana'a.

17.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Houthi militias occupy two houses of Deputy Minister of Information

My comment: Hadi gov. minister, by Islah Party media.

19.5.2017 – Nadwa Dawsari (B P)

We hear Houthis emerged n reaction to Salafi presence n Saada (half the story). But why did Salafi emerge there the 1st first place? (text in image)

My answer: Because the Saudis sponsored Salafi in Northern Yemen with billions.

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

22.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Islah party: US Treasury Department receives misleading information

The Islah party's branch in Marib governorate has strongly denounced the US Treasury Department's decision of imposing sanctions on Sheikh Khalid Ali Mabkhut al-Aradah, a member of the Islah party's shoura council.

In a statement, the Isalah party's branch in Marib affirmed that the US Administration receives misleading information from parties which seek to harm patriots and public figures who are well-known of their moderation.

My comment: This would not be the only connection between Hadi followers, Islah Party and Al Qaeda.

21.5.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Yemen: Thousands protest for southern secession

Thousands of Yemenis who back southern secession demonstrated in second city Aden on Sunday as a self-proclaimed autonomous body said it would press for the south's "liberation" from the north.

The protest was the second since 4 May when thousands of southerners marched in support of former Aden governor Aidarous al-Zoubeidi after he was sacked by President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

After being fired in April, Zoubeidi set up the South Transition Council, an autonomous body whose 26 members include the governors of five southern provinces and two government ministers.

Sunday's protesters, who flooded Aden from several southern provinces, defended Zoubeidi's council, chanting "Independence is our objective" as they marched.

The South Transition Council released a statement pledging to "pursue the mission of liberating" south Yemen, which was an independent state until 1990 when it was unified with North Yemen.

Hadi sacked Zoubeidi on 27 April along with cabinet minister Hani bin Breik, in a move widely seen as reflecting divisions among his supporters. and photo

20.5.2017 – Nadwa Dawsari (A P)

1000s Hirak supportrs camp n main square n Aden.Demo in support of Southern Political council tomorrow,1 day before 23rd Unity Anniversary (photo)

20.5.2017 – Middle East Monitor (* A P)

Saudi-UAE divided over southern Yemen

Theannouncementof the formation of the Southern Political Council (SPC) on 11 May led by the former Governor of Aden, Ali Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, caused tension between Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

Hadi’s sacking of Al-Zubaidi and Hani Ben Brik, two former ministers of Aden who have great affinity with the Emirates, caused tension with the UAE. Although Hadi welcomes UAE involvement in the war against the Houthis, it is becoming clear that the UAE has stark differences in its vision for the future of Yemen. The head of Dubai’s security criticised the Hadi government, claiming the first steps to end the Yemen conflict is to“end Hadi’s reign”.

Al-Zubaidi set off to Saudi Arabialast weekin a bid to form diplomatic talks with Saudi Arabia, but it was nothing short of a waste of a journey, as Saudi officials ignored his arrival. The diplomatic trip was a “trap” as Saudi Arabia constrained the new president’s activities at a time when southern Yemenis were seeking direction. Saudi media was reporting that the SPC announcement was a“coup”which placed Al-Zubaidi in a vulnerable positon. Officials in the kingdom rejected and ignored Al-Zubaidi, sending a chilling message that Riyadh will not recognise the legitimacy of his presidency.

As a result of Saudi Arabia’s treatment, reports have said that Al-Zubaidi would dissolve the SPC if Hadi reinstates him as governor of Aden or offers him an equivalent ministerial post.

With the UAE supporting the SPC, is this the beginning of the end for the Saudi-led coalition? – by Khalil Dewan

19.5.2017 – Almasdar Online (A P)

Ben Daghr says “Southern Transitional Council” declaration was a coup contained

The Yemeni Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr said Wednesday that the so-called “Southern Transitional Council” was a coup and had already been contained, and that the new governor of the southern Aden Abdul Aziz al-Muflahi would return to the city, the interim capital of Yemen.

Ben Dagher, who is visiting the German capital Berlin, said in a BBC news interview that the government will also return to Aden, and nothing prevents that.

While the city is witnessing a state of political polarization, Ben Dagher stressed that the security contradictions in Aden will be contained and adapted to serve the interests of the Yemeni state and people.

My comment: Of course, this is propaganda.

19.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Security source: al-Mutawkil is a mastermind of the Houthi coup

A security source in Marib governorate has denied reports about the release of the Hotuhi leader Mustafa al-Mutawkil, citing that he is one of the big masterminds who carried out the Hotuhi-Saleh coup against the Yemeni legitimacy.

The Yemeni News Agency (Saba) said that al-Mutawkil is investigated in Marib according to legal measures.

Forces of the National Army captured al-Mutawkil two weeks ago in Marib while he was returning to Yemen from Cairo.

It is worth reclaiming that Al-Mutawkil is one of the top Houthi leader and an advisor of the Iranian embassy in Sana'a. He was also appointed by the Houthis as chairman of the Public Authority for Investment.

19.5.2017 – Adengad (*A P)

The office of Major General al-Zubaidi says that he arrived in Aden and that he will manage (a future stage) and sources deny


19.5.2017 – Yemen Updates (A P)

Al-Zubaidi arrives Aden after a quick visit to UAE & KSA. Amid news about his planned efforts to continue heading the"Transitional Council"

18.5.2017 – Critical Threats (* A P T)

Yemen security brief

Hadramawt Governor Ahmed Bin Brik accused forces fighting for President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government of colluding with al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Bin Brik claimed that Emirati-backed Hadhrami Elite Forces found AQAP militants carrying Yemeni Army First Military Region identification cards. The First Military Region is responsible for military operations in northern Shabwah, Hadramawt, and Mahra governorates in eastern Yemen. Hadi government forces cooperate with AQAP fighters against al Houthi-Salehforces on several fronts, including al Bayda governorate and Taiz city.[1]

18.5.2017 – Critical Threats (* A P T)

Yemen security brief

Emirati-backed al Hizam forces are using repressive tactics against the population in southern Yemen. Al Hizam forces reportedly disrupted the funeral of Amjad Abdul Rahman Mohammed, a.Southern Movementactivist assassinated in Aden on May 15. Locals claimed that al Hizam troops accused Rahman Mohammed of apostasy and warned residents not to attend his funeral on May 18. Al Hizam troops from the same brigade also abducted and tortured three journalists on charges of apostasy on May 17. Hani Bin Brik, the vice president of the Transitional Political Council of the South, stated that media repression will not be tolerated on May 17. Protesters from Lahij governorate gathered inFreedom Squarein Aden city to demand the handover of an al Hizam commander reportedly responsible for killing one of their tribesmen. AQAP’s May 14 al Masra newspaper highlighted several reported al Hizam abuses and framed AQAP’s attacks on al Hizam targets as retribution.[3]

18.5.2017 – Midle East Monitor (*A P)

Saudi Arabia twice ‘trapped’ southern Yemen separatist leader

Ali Aidarous Al-Zubaidi, the self-proclaimed president of the new Southern Transitional Council in Yemen, a separatist group allegedly backed by a wealthy Arabian Gulf state, said he fell into a Saudi Arabian set “trap” twice, Egyptian news websiteMoheetreported.

Al-Zubaidi departed for Saudi Arabia last week for diplomatic meetings with Saudi officials. His secessionist movement is reportedly being backed by the United Arab Emirates.

Saudi Arabian officials have ignored Al-Zubaidi and his newly appointed Vice President Hani Ben Breik – who was sacked as a state minister by Yemen’s internationally recognised president – and have not met with Yemeni leaders either, according to local sources.

The announcement of the southern council looked like a “coup” in Yemen, according to Saudi state-run media.

Al-Zubaidi said the agreement to travel to Riyadh constrained political activities and the development of the newly formed council.

Meanwhile, sources reported that Al-Zubaidi wanted to enter into negotiations to return to his post of governor of Aden in return for dissolving his separatist movement, or appointing him to an equivalent ministerial post working under President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi.

This work byMiddle East Monitoris licensed under aCreative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

18.5.2017 – Middle East Monitor (* A P)

Saudi continues to refuse to meet UAE-backed Yemen ‘transitional council’

Saudi Arabia has refused to meet with the newly formed UAE-backed “Southern Transitional Council” headed by Ali Aidarous Al-Zubaidi for the fourth day running, according to a report byArabi21.

Saudi Arabia’s refusal to meet with the secessionists comes followingreportsthat Al-Zubaidi, a former governor in Aden fired by President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, travelled to Saudi Arabia alongside another sacked minister of state Hani bin Breik – who is currently under investigation – after announcing the formation of the new Southern Transitional Council for diplomatic talks with the Arab monarchy.

Saudi Arabia is ignoring the two political representatives of the Council, as it is opposed to its formation.

17.5.2017 - Al Ahram (* A P)

Southern Yemen faces uncertain future

Yemen’s southern leaders have announced a secession bid, bringing new uncertainty to a country still wracked by poverty, war and disease

The president’s decision to fire Al-Zubaidi stemmed from Hadi’s growing discomfort at what he perceives as the UAE’s outsized influence in the south. But by dismissing the governor of Aden, Hadi either miscalculated the strength of Riyadh’s support for his decisions, or underrated both the UAE’s influence in the south and decades old local grievances of southern Yemen, which now seeks to make its voice heard and to be included in future political solutions to the conflict.

The transitional council was rejected by Hadi, his rival Houthis, and the Gulf Cooperation Council, of which both Saudi Arabia and the UAE are members. But days after he declared the council, Al-Zubaidi flew to the Saudi capital Riyadh for undisclosed talks.

Observers say that while secession has historical roots, the recent conflict has served to exacerbate the south’s grievances. While the civil war is depicted as between two sides of the north’s ruling elite — the Shia-Houthi rebels believed to be backed by Iran and the Saudi-backed Hadi government — the more complex aspects to the conflict are often ignored.

According to Yemen expert Nadwa Al-Dawsari, they include the demands of a broad swath of “marginalised areas” outside of the north - by Amira Howeidy

19.5.2017 - Haykal Bafana (A P)

Un-F'in-Believable :#UAE-paid#Yemen"army" units launch raids on "magicians & sorcerers" in Hadhramaut's Wadi Duan. Confiscate Qurans. (photo)

The fact that attacking magicians happens to be EXACTLY what AQAP terrorists usually do in Yemen is setting off klaxons in my head.

Here's a#Yemenheads up from me : The Hadhramaut army set up by the#UAEto hunt Al Qaeda in Hadhramaut *IS* Al Qaeda itself.

19.5.2017 - demolinari (A)

Cameraman Ismail Salim for@shaqdafahTVabducted in Crater#Adenand beaten, threatened, burned w/ cigs, then released.#SouthYemen#Yemen(photo)

17.5.2017 - Nasser Arrabyee (A T)

Qaeda/ISIS banned funeral ceremony and burial, after they killed this man for allegedly being infidel. In Aden south Yemen. (photo, graphic)

2.-21.5.2017 – Haykal Bafana (A)

Film: Huge explosions in Aden city earlier tonight. @adenalghadreport says a missile hit an arms depot.

20.5.2017 – Iona Craig (B)

Whoever controls wadi Hadhramaut (not UAE forces at present) controls Sana'a main supply/smuggling route. Wadia KSA border crossing also key

I've seen with my own eyes the large bundles of cash being handed over at checkpoints by trucks on their way to Sana'a along this route.

18.5.2017 – Naji Alkaladi (AAA T)

Governor of #Hadramout: The terrorists we killed, in fact are soldiers belong to the #Yemen-i legitimacy(Vice President Ali Mohsen Alahmer) referring to

My comment: The governor is the vice-president of the Southern transitional council. There is no love to Hadi & cronies any more. This supposed connection to AQAP really can be true; this would not be the first and only one. - In 2010, WSJ reported on #Yemen's Gen Ali Muhsin Al Ahmar & his massive corruption in the oil sector:

18.5.2017 – Yemen Updates (A P)

Aden Security belt led by Bin Braik killed Amjad & prevents his family from burying him in city & warn of paying him final tributes & prayer (photo)

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

19.5.2017 – Yemen Updates (A K P)

Exchange of prisoners between #Houthis& #YemenArmed Forces in Nehm, #Sanaa! (photos)

cp7a Saudi-Arabien und Iran / Saudi Arabia and Iran

21.5.2017 – The Duran (* B P)

Here are 10 ways in which Iran is more democratic and modern than Saudi Arabia

Though both Iran and Saudi Arabia define themselves Islamic states, in almost every respect Iran is a far more modern and democratic country and society than Saudi Arabia is or can ever be.

One of the most depressing aspects of the US feud with Iran – of which Donald Trump’s speech in Saudi Arabia serves as merely one more example – is that by any objective measure Iran is a far more democratic and modern society, observing political and social norms far closer to those of the West, than Saudi Arabia is or can ever be.

Here are some of the differences between the two countries:

(1) Saudi Arabia is an autocratic monarchy; Iran is an Islamic Republic;

(2) Iran has contested elections – indeed it has just had one – whereas Saudi Arabia not only does not, but any political challenge to the ruling family is fiercely suppressed;

(3) Iran has a written constitution, an elected President, and a national parliament. Saudi Arabia has none of these things;

(4) Iran’s clerical institutions – the Supreme Leader, the Guardian Council and the Assembly of Experts – are subject to a limited though real measure of popular accountability.

5) The practice of religions other than Islam such as Christianity and Judaism is tolerated in Iran

(6) in Iran’s women’s access to education has steadily expanded, with women now forming the majority of the university student body. In Iran women can vote, work and even be elected to parliament, are allowed to drive cars, and can be out in public.

(9) Contrary to repeated claims, Iran does not export terrorism and is the implacable enemy of the two most dangerous Islamist terror groups: Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Saudi Arabia has at various times supported and bankrolled both of these groups – by Alexander Mercouris

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

Trump visit: cp1, cp9

5.2017 - Amnesty International (** B H P)

SAUDI ARABIA 2016/2017

The authorities severely curtailed the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, detaining and imprisoning critics, human rights defenders and minority rights activists on vaguely worded charges. Torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained common, particularly during interrogation, and courts continued to accept torture-tainted “confessions” to convict defendants in unfair trials. Women faced discrimination in both law and practice and were inadequately protected against sexual and other violence. The authorities continued to arrest, detain and deport irregular migrants. Courts imposed many death sentences, including for non-violent crimes and against juvenile offenders; scores of executions were carried out. Coalition forces led by Saudi Arabia committed serious violations of international law, including war crimes, in Yemen.

21.5.2017 – Ali AlAhmed (B P)

Zandani, listed by @USTreasuryas a global terrorist is 2 miles away from where @realDonaldTrumpis speaking. See him with Saudi grand Mufti (photo)

#Saudiminister of Islamic Affairs who sat between #JaredKushner& #Bannontook part in kidnaping Sultan Turkey in #Switzerland. I have docs (photo)

#Saudi minister in charge of extremist education chaperons @FLOTUS He also ran a magazine that published Zawahri's articles (photo)

20.5.2017 – Bahrainwatch (* A P)

Saudi Twitter Robots Welcome Trump

Trump's welcome to Saudi reaches 'Inauguration-level' on Twitter

After it was announced that Trump would be visiting Saudi, the Arabic hashtag “welcome Trump to the nation of toughness” started trending. A quick look on Twitter might suggest that thousands of Saudis were delighted at the prospect of Trump visiting the country, yet the reality was somewhat different.

While Trump has discounted criticism by claiming fake news, most of the fanfare on the hashtag was created by ‘fake’ accounts. Ok the accounts are real, but they’re probably not human, they’re robots.

How do we know? Well, if we we download a large sample of tweets from Twitter, we can see interesting patterns emerge. For the sample, I downloaded about 11,000 tweets from 17th May, from between 3pm and 8.30pm

So how do we know they are fake? Firstly, account creation:

20.5.2017 – War is boring (* B K P)

Saudi Arabia Can’t Win Its Own Battles

A good reason for the kingdom not to wage them

Saudi Arabia has relied heavily on air power since its campaign against the Houthis in Yemen began more than two years ago. The kingdom has also sought help from other countries for the ground war—because Saudi Arabia cannot win wars on its own.

Saudi Arabia sought to substitute its lack of a large standing army by calling on Pakistan to provide soldiers, ships and warplanes. Pakistan refused. Egypt did join the Saudi coalition in Yemen but did not provide ground troops to help Riyadh decisively take the fight to the Houthis.

The Saudis knew their own forces, while possessing advanced weaponry, could not hold back any Iraqi incursion for long. They estimated that the Iraqis had the capability to overrun the kingdom’s eastern province, its largest, in as little as six hours—had they attacked about a week after conquering Kuwait.

Today the Saudi army has an estimated 75,000 full-time personnel, a modest size for a country of around 31 million in one of the world’s most dangerous neighborhoods.

Recent talks between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan overthe deployment of a brigade of Pakistani soldiers to defend the Saudi-Yemeni border from Houthi attacks raises further questions about the ability of the Saudi army to effectively defend the kingdom’s borders.

This comes at a time when Saudi Arabia’s deputy crown prince and minister of defense, the 31-year-old Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud, the man credited with the kingdom’s more interventionist policies in recent years, upped the war of words with Iran.

“The question is whether a state like Saudi Arabia can assert military dominance on the regional scale based on imported arms, while its nemesis Iran has achieved remarkable self-sufficiency in armaments,” Mohammed NuruzzamanobservedinThe National Interest.

Protecting Saudi Arabia from outside foes is only half of the strategy. The other half is political, as Saudi elites want to ward off internal enemies, too. Riyadh was “more willing to build a small, competent air force—whose loyalty could more easily be assured—than a large ground force,” Pollack wrote.

In short, the kingdom cannot meaningfully sustain a bombing campaign over its impoverished southern neighbor without the logistical, and military support, of the United States. Which is one reason—of many—why it should opt not to do so. And if Saudi Arabia thinks it can wage an air war over Iran … forget about it – by Paul Iddon

19.5.2017 – Reuters (* B P)

As Trump visits, Gulf states seen quietly curbing opposition

The output of several columnists, economists and clerics in regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia and some of its smaller neighbors has either dried up or grown circumspect since the second half of 2016 in what critics see as an unacknowledged state drive to stifle public criticism, rights monitors say.

Among those who have fallen silent are critics, both liberal and conservative, of the kingdom's ambitious plan to diversify the economy and open up the country culturally under a plan known as Vision 2030.

Since the 2011 Arab Spring, Gulf states have stepped up efforts to curb dissent with tough new cyber crime laws, sentencing offenders to prison terms for Web posts deemed insulting to rulers or threatening to public order.

But in the past two years, unnerved by low oil prices and the slow progress of a war in Yemen targeting the influence of arch foe Iran, Gulf authorities became even less patient with dissenting voices in the media, analysts and rights groups say.

Madawi Al-Rasheed, visiting professor at the Middle East Centre, London School of Economics, said Riyadh was engaged in an effort to muzzle intellectuals with "dissenting voices".

Activists say muzzled writers include economists, academics, columnists and Muslim clerics. There are no precise figures on how many have been affected, but estimates by activists put the number at more than 20 from Saudi Arabia alone.

While some were merely advised not to air their views on social media, more vocal critics have found themselves behind bars, facing possible indictments on charges such as disobeying the ruler or incitement against the state, rights activists say.

Gulf states have increasingly chafed at what they see as a campaign of vilification by Western media and rights groups. They insist they respect rights which do not violate Islamic Sharia laws and their societies' conservative traditions - By Sami Aboudi

21.5.2017 – Los Angeles Times (A P)

To Saudis, President Trump has become 'Abu Ivanka'

The top trending Twitter hashtag in Saudi Arabia on Saturday wasn’t visiting President Trump or even First Lady Melania Trump. Instead, Saudis were abuzz about #binttrump — Arabic for “Trump’s daughter,” Ivanka.

Saudi Arabia’s fascination with Ivanka Trump highlights how far women have advanced in the kingdom, and how much further they have to go.

She is an Orthodox Jew, having converted when she married New York real estate developer and editor Jared Kushner, but that’s not a sticking point with Arab men and women in this Sunni Muslim country. They see the president’s eldest daughter, more than her siblings, as a reflection of and credit to her father.

Ivanka Trump is viewed as accomplished in so many ways, that “when you mention that in front of Saudi women, they get jealous,” Ibrahim said. “My wife sometimes, when I say Ivanka, she gives me this look.”

The first daughter’s long black, white and maroon dress got rave reviews online, especially among men.

Ivanka Trump is an aspirational icon for many Saudi women

Hoda Helassi, one of the first 30 women appointed to the 150-member consultative council to the monarchy four years ago, noted that unlike Ivanka Trump, Saudi women still face major obstacles, including being barred from driving, free travel and participation in the workplace. But they are making progress, she said – by Molly Hennessy-Fiske,amp.html

My comment: If she would be a Saudi woman, she would be 1) gang raped 2) arrested 3) flogged 4) jailed 5) flogged again. - Look at and

21.5.2017 – The National UAE (A P)

Melania and Ivanka hail progress by Saudi women

Donald Trump’s wife and daughter on Sunday praised Saudi Arabia’s progress in empowering women.

"Saudi Arabia’s progress, especially in recent years, is very encouraging," Mr Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, told a group of Saudi women in Riyadh, where the US president was making his first foreign visit since taking office in January.

"But there’s still a lot of work to be done and freedoms and opportunities to continue to fight for," she said at a roundtable led by Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy president of the Women’s Sports Authority.

"Around the world women continue to achieve unprecedented levels of rights and freedoms. Today you all stand on the front lines of the fight for gender equality," she said.

First lady Melania Trump also praised the advances being made by Saudi women during a visit to a General Electric all-female service centre in Riyadh.

My comment: LOL. Propaganda instead of reality. Look at Melanie Trump in the photo. As a Saudi woman, appearing like that she would be gang raped, arrested, flogged, jailed.

And also

21.5.2017 – AFP (A P)

Ivanka Trump says Saudi progress on women 'encouraging'

US President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka said Sunday that ultra-conservative Saudi Arabia has made "encouraging" progress in empowering women but more freedom is needed.

"Saudi Arabia's progress, especially in recent years, is very encouraging," Trump's eldest daughter told a group of Saudi women she met in Riyadh while accompanying her father on a visit to the Muslim kingdom.

"But there's still a lot of work to be done and freedoms and opportunities to continue to fight for," added Ivanka, who serves as an advisor to her father.

"Around the world women continue to achieve unprecedented levels of rights and freedoms. Today you all stand on the frontlines of the fight for gender equality," she told a roundtable of women led by Princess Reema bint Bandar, deputy president of the Women's Sports Authority.

19.5.2017 – A P (* B P)

Young or old, Saudi women live under male relatives’ control

First she’s in the hands of her father, then she moves to her husband. Often, she ends up under the power of her son.

From childhood through adulthood into old age, every Saudi woman passes from the control of one legal guardian to another, a male relative whose decisions or whims can determine the course of her life.

Under Saudi law, the guardian’s permission is required for a woman to get a passport, to travel abroad or to marry. It is also often demanded whenever a woman tries to do any number of things, including rent an apartment, buy a car, undergo a medical procedure or take a job. As a result, women are consigned to the legal status of minors.

Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving is what often grabs the most attention, but rights advocates say guardianship laws are the factor that most powerfully enshrines inequality for women. President Donald Trump heads to Saudi Arabia this weekend to cement ties with the deeply conservative kingdom.

Saudi law is based on one of the most conservative interpretations of Islamic Shariah, and no other Muslim countries enforce such strict guardianship measures. There have been some marginal improvements in women’s rights in the kingdom in recent years. In a rare step to partially rein in guardianship, King Salman last week ordered government agencies to stop demanding guardians’ permission beyond the areas where the law actually requires it.

Rights activists say the system should be ended completely.

The Associated Press spoke with three generations of women from a single family about its impact on their lives: - by Aya Batrawy and some older reports on women in Saudi Arabia: and

19.5.2017 - National Interest (* B K)

The 5 Deadliest Weapons That Saudi Arabia Has In Its Military

1. The F-15/F-15A/F-15SA:

The backbone of the Saudi air force is the F-15 fighter: a platform that the United States itself has used for generations and a plane that is capable of carrying out the kinds of short and long-distance air sorties that may be required for a mission to succeed. According to public sources, Saudi Arabia possesses about 238 F-15 fighter planes—including a 2010 U.S. sale to Riyadh consisting of 84 F-15SA’s, Boeing Corp’s newest F-15 variant. This particular model is especially helpful for the Saudis, who are now engaged in two conflicts simultaneously. The plane’s range of 2,400 miles is particularly impressive and allows the Kingdom’s aircrews to travel to and from northern Iraq and southern Yemen without having to rely upon mid-air refueling aircraft to arrive at a target. There is no question that Saudi pilots appreciate this type of capability as they search for Houthi targets in Yemen and ISIL targets in Syria.

(Note: This first appeared in 2015)

2. The Paveway IV:

This 500-pound, precision-guided munition is perhaps one of the most accurate and lethal bombs that the Saudis possess. Thanks in part to a defense relationship with the United Kingdom, the Saudi Royal Air Force has been able to acquire the Paveway IV and use it in active hostilities—particularly in Yemen, where the Saudis are at the forefront of an Arab coalition seeking to pound the Houthi movement into submission - byDaniel R. DePetris

My comment: The political statements included here show that this article is a pro-Saudi propaganda plot.

18.5.2017 - Al Araby (* A P)

Hajj ban for Yemenis with Houthi-issued passports

Yemen's internationally-recognised government warned that passports issued by Houthi rebels in control of the capital were not approved for the Hajj season this year, local media reported on Wednesday.

"Passports issued by the provinces that are under the control of the Houthi militia and [former President Ali Abdullah] Saleh from the start of 2016 to this date, have not been approved for the next pilgrimage season," according to the Minister of Awqaf and Guidance Dr. Ahmed Attia.

The minister said the absence of information in the database stored at the immigration and passports authority were the reason for the decision.

18.5.2017 - Huffington Post (* B P)

Saudi Arabia’s Ideology Of Exclusion And Genocide

In yet another grand display of religious repression against Saudi Arabia’s Shiite community, al-Saud monarchy ordered a brutal crackdown against the city of Awamiyah, in the eastern province of Qatif, so that it could play demographic remapping under the cover of real estate development.

As Riyadh security services opened fire on unarmed civilians to please their King’s, media argued necessity, defending their position under the premise Saudi Arabia’s Shiite population stands a threat to national security.

Testimonies from residents however told of a very different reality - one filled with senseless violence, sectarianism and a systematic desire to erase Shia Islam’s history, traditions and architectural footprint onto the region so that Wahhabism could proclaim itself absolute.

Where churches and temples once stood, shopping malls and residential complex have been erected. And while many have argued that progress demanded that History be sacrificed, one may argue that Riyadh’s systematic campaign against religious pluralism speaks too much of religious repression for anyone to care to look away.

In a land ruled by exclusionism and radicalism, Shia Muslims have been labelled enemies of the state and their life forfeited at their first breath … yet few nations have dared raised but an eyebrow before Riyadh’s bloody crusade.

But what is Awamiyah massacre but not the embodiment of terror. Worse still, is it not the face of Wahhabism that al-Saud unveiled when it called upon its security services to use its own citizens as target practice in the name of a warped sense of religious righteousness.

Awamiyah is of course no stranger to such violence.

Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who was executed by al-Saud regime in early 2016 hailed from that very city - and it is there in its streets and its mosques that he called for equal rights, religious freedom and equality before the law.

Awamiyah is sadly just one chapter of Saudi Arabia’s little book of horrors and repression - by Catherine Shakdam

18.5.2017 – Reuters (* A K P)

Saudi launches military industries company seeking to employ 40,000 by 2030

The company will work in repair and maintenance of planes as well as in the manufacture of unmanned aircraft

Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF) on Wednesday announced the launch of a state-owned military industrial company aimed at contributing more than SAR14bn ($3.7bn) to the kingdom’s gross domestic product by 2030.

The new Saudi Arabian Military Industries will seek to provide over 40,000 jobs by 2030, the PIF – the kingdom’s top sovereign wealth fund – said in a statement.

The move could alter decades of practice in which Saudi Arabia – one of the world’s largest buyers of foreign arms – and other Gulf Arab states recycled a major part of their oil wealth back into Western economies via arms purchases and investments.

Last year, the powerful deputy crown prince and defence minister, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, launched his Vision 2030 reform scheme to boost jobs and revenue to prepare for a future with lower oil income.

“The company will seek to be a key catalyst … to localise 50 per cent of total government military spending in the kingdom by the year 2030,” up from just 2 per cent now, bin Salman was quoted as saying by state news agency SPA.

“It will lead the military industries sector to increase local content, increase exports and bring foreign investment to the kingdom by entering into joint ventures with major international military industry companies,” he added.

The company will work in repair and maintenance of planes as well as in the manufacture of unmanned aircraft, according to the statement. and and by Al Arabiya:

17.5.2017 - Middle East Eye (* B P)

Why Saudi Arabia would rather pay a ransom to Trump than support its own people

If Saudi had backed elections after the Arab Spring instead of counter-revolutions, it would not be forced to pay Trump blood money now

The question being asked by Saudis who, unlike the 31-year-old prince, cannot afford to buy, on a whim, a Russian billionaire's yacht ora chain of islands in the Maldives, is this one: “How in God’s name can you shower so much money on the Americans when you are so reluctant to do so on your own people?”

There are two possible reasons why the kingdom is prepared to shower their richer American cousins with more riches.

Let us just play a mind game. Let us imagine that, instead of opposing the Arab Spring and the popular uprisings of 2011, Saudi Arabia decided to invest and develop the Arab world. Let us imagine that the House of Saud put $340bn into backing the results of free elections in Egypt, and Libya and Yemen, instead of backing military coups and counter-revolutions.

Where would the House of Saud and the Arab world be now? - by David Hearst

17.-18.5. Various (* A P)

More footage from the Awamiyah siege (look at YPR 302, cp1, cp8 fore more reporting)

17.5.2017 - David A. Weinberg (A P)

Abdulmajeed al-Zindani, a fmr Bin Laden spiritual mentor from Yemen under US & UN sanctions, incl. a travel ban, spotted in KSA again in Feb (photos) here's what the US said about Zindani when it sanctioned him in 2004:

18.5.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A E P)

Saudi sale of Aramco a major economic challenge

/autoren/dklose/jemenkrieg-mosaik-303-yemen-war-mosaic-303/From unstable oil markets to unexpected reshuffles of power, privatising state-owned oil company Aramco has several hurdles to overcome

Saudi Arabia’s first obstacle is to make Aramco’s public offering go well.

“The centrepiece of the economic reform is the sale of Aramco,” says David Roberts, professor of Middle East defence studies at King's College London. “They hope it will be so big and will make up for some of the drop in oil income. Equally important is how it looks.”

The problem surrounding how much money the Initial Public Offering (IPO) will gross is that it depends in large part on the health of the oil market. That’s a market that has been volatile for the past couple of years. For instance, in mid-2014, a barrel of crude oil sold for more than $100 a barrel, but then sank to $26 in February 2016. Recently the price climbed to around $55. Such gyrations have analysts concerned – by Simon Constable

21.5.2017 – Ali AlAhmed (* A P)

Saudi monarchy schooling teach millions to kill all Jews (images)

12.2014 – Institute for Gulf Affairs (** B P)

State of Deception: The Continuation of Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Hate

The Institute for Gulf Affairs has released a report comparing the current edition of Saudi textbooks to statements made by the regime, emphasizing the deception of Saudi officials and the failure of U.S. policy to adequately address this issue. The report, entitled “A State of Deception: The Continuation of Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Hate,” investigates the Saudi government’s refusal to alter its curriculum of intolerance and reform the hateful content of its textbooks.

Four years after a 2006 Saudi government agreement with the U.S. State Department to “remove all hateful and intolerant content” from the Saudi textbooks, a review conducted by IGA reveals that the current edition of Saudi textbooks remain rampant with the same hateful, intolerant, and extremist content as before. Saudi textbooks continue to convey virulent anti-Semitism, instill violent and hateful attitudes toward the other, and sanction the killing of “unbelievers.”

In March 2006, former Saudi Ambassador to Washington Turki al-Faisal stated, “Not only have we eliminated what might be perceived as intolerance from old text books that were in our system, these curricula also emphasize the teaching of true Islamic values.” However, our report demonstrates that this statement, and many more like it, are not only patently false, but are also deliberately deceitful and misleading.

Finally, the report traces a decade of ineffective and ambivalent U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia on the issue of curricula reform. The tried-and-failed approach of engagement without enforcement has succeeded in eliciting countless false and deflective Saudi official statements, but has notably failed to achieve any substantive change in the content of Saudi religious textbooks. This report argues that a new approach is urgently needed to address this lingering national security concern.

Engagement with Saudi officials must be supplemented by an array of tougher policy options, such as limited economic or diplomatic sanctions, which would hold Saudi officials accountable for their statements, enforce agreements, and ensure the completion of reforms – by Ali AlAhmed and in full:

cp9 USA

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

22.5.2017 – The American Conservative (* B P)

The War on Yemen and the Great Saudi ‘Modernizer’

Westerners frequently exaggerate the “modernizing” impulses of the next generation of leaders in a despotic government, and the individual leaders they celebrate almost always disappoint their enthusiasts. If the noxious relationship with the Saudis must continue, the U.S. would still be mistaken to link itself closely to the fortunes of Salman’s son.

The prince’s main accomplishment to date has been to help mire his country in an unwinnable war that is draining Saudi resources every month. The U.S. can’t help the coalition “prevail” in Yemen. It can only make itself more complicit in the unfolding catastrophe that the coalition has created with our government’s support.

The “serious modernizer” has succeeded only in reducing a poor neighbor to the brink of famine and has helped create the conditions for a growing cholera epidemic. As Saudi defense minister, he has already failed in the biggest undertaking of his brief career, and it would be strange to expect him to prove more competent in succeeding in any of his other projects. Expecting him to modernize Saudi Arabia requires ignoring the enormous costs of waging an unnecessary war and his incompetent management of the same – by Daniel Larison

22.5.2017 – Shahid Bolsen (* A P)


But, if we are honest, a good deal of what he said in Riyadh regarding the Middle East, extremism and terrorism, was quite accurate. The most obvious inaccuracies, which we have come to expect from any US president, were the glaring omission regarding American atrocities in the region, and the dubious designation of the US and its Arab allies as indisputable agents of all things good and humane. The role this type of narrative has on the spread of radicalization should be obvious.
The arms deal Trump announced between Saudi Arabia and the US translates for most of us as a promise of yet more savagery in Yemen, for example; not to greater regional security. Telling us that when the US and Saudi Arabia bomb children it is good, and when others do so it is bad, already puts you in a discussion bereft of reason, and radicalization is free to run amok.
Most of what he said about extremism was spot on, however. - by Shahid Bolsen

21.5.2017 – The Globe and Mail (* A P)

Trump and Saudi Arabia: Have we reached peak hypocrisy yet?

It’s incredible how much money talks.

Perspective is everything. You can just imagine how Yemenis – and Arabs by extension – at home and in the diaspora feel watching some of the richest countries in the world join forces to destroy one of the poorest.

When you consider decisions like the arms deal, it makes it a little easier to understand why America’s greatest foes – Iran and Syria backed by Russia – are relentless in their pushback, through their proxy support of Houthi Shias in Yemen and President Bashar al-Assad in Syria.

Their resistance doesn’t legitimize the political or humanitarian situation in Yemen, of course. But there is a staggering level of hypocrisy at play among the U.S. and its Gulf allies that is really in a class of its own.

For all the ignorance President Trump feigns around foreign affairs, he is undoubtedly up to speed on the Saudi terrorist connection and the irony of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Is anyone else seeing a pattern here? Massive arms sales to Saudi Arabia, whose security forces this month have been busy raiding a town in their restive Eastern province under claims it is pursuing “Shia terrorists” (including a two-year-old child killed in crossfire); an arms deal with Bahrain, which is currently embroiled in yet another crackdown on Shia dissidents – a community who have long been politically and economically excluded by the Sunni-led government.

And then there’s Shia-majority Iran, whose people voted overwhelmingly for a president determined to open up to the world in last Friday’s presidential election – but who Mr. Trump called out for isolating.

Robert Fisk, a British journalist who has reported from the Middle East for more than 30 years, argues that the real purpose of Mr. Trump’s trip is simple: “To prepare the Sunni Muslims of the Middle East for war against the Shia Muslims.” It doesn’t sound very far-fetched – as long as the Saudi petrodollars and personal business deals keep rolling in – by Shenaz Kermalli

21.5.2017 – CNN (* A P)

Film: @AliAlAhmed_enand @julianzelizeron @cnntodayw/ @AmaraCNNdiscussing #TrumpSpeech

21.5.2017 – The Atlantic (* A P)

The 'Muslim World' Does Not Exist

Presidential addresses like Trump's Riyadh speech rely on a faulty premise.

“I chose to make my first foreign visit a trip to the heart of the Muslim world,” President Trump said in Riyadh on Sunday, in a speech billed as a call to Muslims to promote a peaceful understanding of Islam and to unite against terrorists.

Riyadh is the capital of Saudi Arabia, but it is not the capital of the Muslim world. In fact, it’s worth remembering that “the Muslim world” is not actually a place. It’s a Western idea built on the faulty racial logic that Muslims live in a world of their own—that Islam is an eastern, foreign religion that properly belongs in a distant, faraway, dusty place.

The same should apply to the theocratic Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; the Kingdom does not and cannot speak for all Muslims around the world just because sites Muslims consider sacred are contained within its borders.

Muslims around the world are expressing a wide variety of reactions to Trump’s address, just as they expressed a wide variety of reactions to President Obama’s address in Cairo in 2009.

It was clear from his praise of autocratic Muslim leaders what the criteria are in Trump’s view to be a “decent” or “good” or “moderate” Muslim. The “moderate” Muslim is the Muslim who will endorse a version of his or her own religion that has already been endorsed by the U.S. government. The “moderate” Muslim is the Muslim who will uncritically toe the line when it comes to U.S. policy. The “moderate” Muslim is the Muslim who will suppress dissent; no protests of Trump’s visit were permitted in Saudi Arabia.

Trump’s dangerous fantasy world is one where violence flows out of America’s borders to a faraway “Muslim world” in the form of weapons sales and military operations, while jobs and dollars and oil flow back to the United States. Violence flowing toward America can be blocked at the borders simply by banning Muslim bodies. The Muslim world is tolerated, so long as it serves American interests from afar – by Zareena Grewal

21.5.2017 – AP (* A P)


"We are not here to lecture - we are not here to tell other people how to live, what to do, who to be, or how to worship," Trump said Sunday at a summit of heads of state from across the Muslim world gathered in Saudi Arabia.

He said his administration would instead be offering partnership based on shared interests and values.

Making no mention of human rights concerns, the Trump administration framed the massive military deal Saturday as an opportunity to create potentially tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S., adding that it would also reduce the burden on U.S. military forces by bolstering the kingdom's ability to provide for its own security.

The Trump administration's deal includes tanks, helicopters, combat ships, Patriot and THAAD missiles, radar and communications, and cybersecurity technology.

Trump on Sunday also touted Washington's "wonderful relationship" with Bahrain, which hosts the U.S Navy's 5th Fleet.

Human Rights Watch described the sale as rewarding "Saudi war crimes" with weapons.

"Not only is he (Trump) failing to acknowledge human rights, but he praised Saudi Arabia for its strong action in Yemen," said Kristine Beckerle, a Saudi Arabia researcher for Human Rights Watch.

Amnesty International said the "glaring absence of human rights from Trump's agenda" in talks with Gulf Arab rulers will only embolden further violations against critics, peaceful dissidents and human rights defenders. - by Aya Batrawy =

21.5.2017 – Vocativ (* K P)

To Yemenis, Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal Means More War

Trump signed a nearly $110 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia, after the country has been accused of committing multiple war crimes in Yemen

Remark: Similar to article above by AP.

21.5.2017 – ABC News (* A P)

Trump to take more measured tone on Islam in major speech today

President Trump today in what will be his first high-stakes speech abroad is expected to take a more measured tone on Islam than his harsh rhetoric during the campaign.

In a speech before a group of leaders of Middle Eastern countries in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, the president is expected to encourage them to join the U.S. in fighting against radical groups like ISIS.

Rather than painting Islam as an apparent enemy of the U.S., as Trump did during the presidential campaign, he will depict the Muslim world as an important partner.

“We’re going to have the president basically saying that this is not a war between the West and Islam," a senior administration official told ABC News. "This a war between good and evil, and we all have to come together to try to attack it."

In an early draft of the speech obtained by The Associated Press, Trump makes no references to "radical Islamicterrorism," a term that has been a hallmark of his rhetoric at domestic events. He does in the draft remarks urge Muslim leaders to "drive out the terrorists from your places of worship."

The president worked on the speech during the 12-hour flight on Air Force One from Washington, D.C., to Riyadh, and in his weekly address Saturday gave a sense of what he will say today: "Many of these leaders have expressed growing concern about terrorism, the spread of radicalization and Iran's role in funding both. Now it appears Muslim leaders are ready to take more responsibility and a much bigger role in fighting terrorism in their region – by Ryan Struyk

My comment: LOL.

21.5.2017 – MbKS15 (A P)

Film: VIDEO: @KingSalmanand @POTUSInauguration of the Global Center for Combatting Extremist Ideology in Riyadh and also

My comment: LOL.

21.5.2017 – AP (* A P)

Trump meeting with Arab leaders ahead of major speech

Trump's Sunday speech, the centerpiece of his two-day visit to Saudi Arabia, will address the leaders of 50 Muslim-majority countries to cast the challenge of extremism as a "battle between good and evil" and urge Arab leaders to "drive out the terrorists from your places of worship," according to a draft of the speech obtained by The Associated Press.

Trump, whose campaign was frequently punctuated by bouts of anti-Islamic rhetoric, is poised to soften some of his language about Islam. Though during the campaign he repeatedly stressed the need to say the words "radical Islamic terrorism" — and criticized his opponent, Hillary Clinton, for not doing so — that phrase is not included in the draft.

The speech comes amid a renewed courtship of the United States' Arab allies as Trump held individual meetings with leaders of several nations, including Egypt and Qatar, before participating in a roundtable with the Gulf Cooperation Council and joining Saudi King Salman in opening Riyadh's new anti-terrorism center.

A Sunday meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi

In a meeting with the king of Bahrain, King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa, Trump said the two countries "have a wonderful relationship" but "there has been a little strain" and vowed to improve things further.

Trump's prepared address also notably refrains from mentioning democracy and human rights — topics Arab leaders often view as U.S. moralizing — in favor of the more limited goals of peace and stability.

"We are not here to lecture — to tell other peoples how to live, what to do or who to be. We are here instead to offer partnership in building a better future for us all," according to the copy of his speech.

Two different sources provided the AP with copies of the draft of his remarks, billed as a marquee speech of the trip. The White House confirmed the draft was authentic, but cautioned the president had not yet signed off on the final product and that changes could be made.

Trump may seem an unlikely messenger to deliver an olive branch to the Muslim world - By JONATHAN LEMIRE AND JULIE PACE

21.5.2017 – Asharq Al-Awsat (* A P)

Tillerson Meets Jubeir: We Will Strengthen Efforts to Counter Iran in Yemen, Syria

Saudi Arabia and the United States announced on Saturday the opening of a new era in ties between them through Custodian of the Two Holy Mosque King Salman’s signing of a Joint Strategic Vision with US President Donald Trump in Riyadh.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir declared during a joint press conference with US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of Trump’s visit: “Today marks the beginning of a new phase in relations between the US and Saudi Arabia and the US and the Islamic world.”

Riyadh and Washington also agreed to take joint measures to deter Iran and ensure that its hostile policy in the region comes to an end. They stressed that it should commit to the nuclear deal signed with the 5+1 countries and stop supporting terrorism.

According to Jubeir, King Salman and Trump discussed how to tackle extremist terrorism, increase defense capabilities, work on a defense structure for the region, starting from Saudi Arabia, which will be later joined by other countries.

“The Joint Strategic Vision also encompasses trade, investment and education, and work in all fields in order to bolster our joint interests and confront the challenges facing our two countries,” revealed Jubeir.

“This is unprecedented. We have never signed such agreement between the leaders of two countries to bolster strategic partnership. We want to go ahead with this partnership,” he told reporters.

He emphasized that agreements worth more than $380 billion were signed and they will be implemented in the next ten years.

Tillerson said: “Today (Saturday) truly is a historic moment in US-Saudi relations. The US and Saudi Arabia are really dedicating ourselves to a new strategic partnership, new for the 21st century, and to charting a renewed path toward a peaceful Middle East where economic development, trade, diplomacy are hallmarks of the regional and global engagement. It’s something that we will be working closely together on.”

The Joint Strategic Vision is a very strong message to common enemies, he added.

“At the core of our expanding relationship really are our shared security interests. America’s security at home is strengthened when Saudi Arabia’s security is strong as well. And the US and Saudi Arabia are embarking on a number of new initiatives to counter violent extremist messaging,” he continued.

Tillerson added: “The intended sales of the defense packages in particular fall into five broad categories: border security and counterterrorism, maritime and coastal security, air force modernization, air and missile defense, cyber security and communications upgrades.”

“The package of defense equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the entire Gulf region, in particular in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian-related threats which exist on Saudi Arabia’s borders on all sides

On countering Iran’s meddling in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, he told reporters: “We are closely coordinating our efforts in terms of how to counter Iran’s extremism and its export of extremism, in particular its support for foreign fighters, its payment of foreign fighters, its support of militia that are operating not just in Yemen but in Iraq and in Syria.”

“The leadership really starts here in the Kingdom, with the strong leadership of His Royal Highness as well as the Crown Prince, the Deputy Crown Prince, and certainly the Foreign Minister. They have been wonderful and very strong conveners of others who are likeminded in terms of this fight against terrorism broadly, but specifically Iran’s role in supporting extremist organizations.” - by Abdul Hadi Habtoor

My comment: Through the Saudi lense, but this seems to be the reality. The US is dancing to the Saudi tune, that's it. Read what US secretary Tillerson tells here to fully appreciate this. It's simply grotesque. - “According to Jubeir, King Salman and Trump discussed how to tackle extremist terrorism” is a joke. Who really wants to “ tackle extremist terrorism”, must tackle Saudi Wahabism first. - Jubeir further on repeats Saudi standard propaganda.

Comment by Ali AlAhmed: #Tillersoncondemning #IranH rights on day of their presidential electns & from #Riyadhwhere a witch arrested days before was extra stupid

Criticizing #Iranor US human rights record is warranted but praising Saudi monarchy at the same time with it is nothing short of ignorance

Comment by Rep. Tulsi Gabbard: Trump Admin talks tough on ISIS & terrorism, while selling weapons to the greatest supporter of terror groups like al-Qaeda & ISIS

20.5.2017 – Washington Post (* A P T)

As Trump prepared for Riyadh visit, Saudis blocked U.S. on terrorist sanctions

Saudi Arabia, the oil-rich kingdom touted by President Trump as a key ally in the fight against the Islamic State, has helped block a Trump administration proposal to impose sanctions against a Saudi branch of the terrorist group, documents show.

The plan to add the Islamic State’s Saudi affiliate to a U.N. list of terrorist groups was quietly killed two weeks ago in a bureaucratic maneuver at the U.N. Security Council, records show. U.S. officials familiar with the move said the Saudis objected to the public acknowledgment of the existence of a separate Saudi offshoot of the terrorist group inside the kingdom.

“They don’t want to admit they have an issue in their back yard,” said a U.S official familiar with the events, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive diplomacy.

The news of the maneuver comes as Saudi Arabia hosts Trump in Riyadh

The Trump administration’s proposal to add the “Islamic State in Saudi Arabia” to a list of U.N.-sanctioned terrorist groups was formally blocked on May 5 by Senegal and Egypt, two members of the U.N. Security Council. Egyptian diplomats explained to their U.S. counterparts that they acted at the behest of Saudi Arabia, according to U.S. officials and internal emails describing the exchange. It was the second time in a year that Saudi officials intervened to prevent the local affiliate from being added to the U.N. terrorist list - By Joby Warrick

My comment: LOL, LOL, LOL.

Comment by Trita Parsi: Let's be honest: By striking a deal with & turning blind to Saudi terror support, Trump is ENABLING Saudi terrorism

20.5.2017 – AFP (* A P)

Trump Saudi visit forecast to burnish his image with Muslims

While in the kingdom, Trump is scheduled to give a speech on radical Islam and, in keeping with his own predilections, participate in a Twitter forum with young people.

Several of his hosts, the Saudis among them, are invested in making the trip a triumph. They see Trump as an ally because of his vociferous opposition to the Iranian government, which the Saudis see as a destabilising force in the region. Relations between the kingdom and the US had frayed toward the end of President Barack Obama’s tenure.

While President Obama had strayed from longstanding US alliances in the Middle East, Trump has “signaled a return to a traditional view, which is that there are good powers and bad powers in the region,” said Bernard Haykel, professor of Near Eastern Studies at Princeton University.

In that view, Saudi Arabia and Israel are in the good column. Iran is in the bad.

The President’s speech on radical Islam will coincide with the opening of a centre in Riyadh dedicated to promoting moderate Islam. The address will be “inspiring but direct” and will highlight the need to confront radical ideology, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said.

The trip has benefits for the Saudis as well. The weekend will include a Saudi-US CEO forum on Saturday, and several investment deals are expected to be inked as part of the Vision 2030 social and economic reform initiative the Kingdom unveiled last year. Saudi Arabia will also issue new licenses allowing US companies to operate there.

The trip won’t all be talk of business and terror. Over the weekend, American country singer Toby Keith will give a concert in Riyadh. The event is free—but open to men only.

But Trump dodged that bullet. On Friday his [Sudanese president al-Bashir] office announced that he would not attend the event. "President Omar al-Bashir has apologised to King Salman of Saudi Arabia for being unable to attend the Riyadh summit," a statement from his office carried by the official SUNA news agency said - by Monique EL-FAIZY

My comment: LOL, LOL, LOL: “ill coincide with the opening of a centre in Riyadh dedicated to promoting moderate Islam”: If that would be reality it would be anti-Wahabism, anti-Saudi and would be closed by the Saudi government within 5 minutes. - And more LOL: “American country singer Toby Keith will give a concert in Riyadh. The event is free—but open to men only.”

20.5.2017 – ABC News (* A P)

Trump signs $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia on 'a tremendous day'

President Trump signed a $110 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the initial day of his first foreign trip since taking office.

"That was a tremendous day. Tremendous investments in the United States," Trump said. "Hundreds of billions of dollars of investments into the United States and jobs, jobs, jobs," he said.

The agreement commits Saudi Arabia to buying military equipment from the U.S. and to hiring American companies to build such equipment in Saudi Arabia, according to Gary Cohn, the president's chief economic adviser. The deal includes tanks and helicopters for border security, ships for coastal security, intelligence-gathering aircraft, a missile-defense radar system and cybersecurity tools, according to the State Department.

In a joint press appearance on Saturday with the Saudi foreign minister, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised the pact as a "historic moment in U.S.-Saudi relations." He also expressed an openness to talks with Iran.

"This package of defense equipment and services supports the long-term security of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf region in the face of malign Iranian influence and Iranian related threats. Additionally, it bolsters the Kingdom's ability to provide for its own security and continue contributing to counterterrorism operations across the region, reducing the burden on U.S. military forces," the State Department said in a statement.

A White House official added that in addition to demonstrating the U.S. commitment to Saudi Arabia "and our Gulf partners," it also expands "opportunities for American companies in the region, and supporting tens of thousands of new jobs in the U.S. defense industrial base."

Lockheed Martin President Marillyn Hewson praised the deal as one that will bolster the relationship between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia and "strengthen the cause of peace in the region." - By Jordyn Phelps and Ryan Struyk

21.5.2017 – Arab News (* A E P)

Trump means business: $380bn deals signed in Riyadh

Saudi-US deals worth at least $380 billion were struck on Saturday during the historic visit to Riyadh by US President Donald Trump, officials said.

King Salman and Trump held high-level talks in the Saudi capital, where they co-signed the Saudi-US “Joint Strategic Vision Declaration,” as a series of defense, business and technology deals were agreed in the Saudi capital.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir said that Trump’s visit marks “the beginning of a turning point” in relations with the Arab world.

Tillerson said that over 20 licenses were issued to large US companies helping direct investment between the two countries, which will result in the creation of thousands of jobs for Americans, an increase the purchase of US goods, equipment and technologies, and also benefit Saudi Arabia.

Defense played a key element in the myriad deals announced in Riyadh on Saturday.

“At Lockheed Martin, we are proud to be part of this historic announcement that will strengthen the relationship between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Marillyn A. Hewson, chairman, president and CEO of Lockheed Martin Corporation.

“We are especially proud of how our broad portfolio of advanced global security products and technologies will enhance national security in Saudi Arabia, strengthen the cause of peace in the region, and provide the foundation for job creation and economic prosperity in the US and in the Kingdom. The agreements will directly contribute to His Majesty’s Vision 2030 by opening the door for thousands of highly skilled jobs in new economic sectors.”

Energy — one of Saudi Arabia’s strongest sectors — witnessed a number of announcements with a combined $22 billion worth of new deals signed during the forum by Saudi and American executives in the oil and gas industry. - By LULWA SHALHOUB & HANI HAZAIMEH

My comment: Saudi media, but a true report. And the headline hits the spot. - Grotesque: The Lockheed CEO statement. He simply is making money by selling the equipment for death and destruction – and what does he tell?

20.5.2017 – Antimedia (* A P)

Trump/Saudi Arabia 2020

Whether or not ongoing Russiagate conspiracy theorieshave any truth to them, the more pertinent reality is that Saudi Arabia vehementlysupportedHillary Clinton’s bid to become president of the United States in 2016, and that same country is now well on its way to supporting Donald Trump’s re-election bid for 2020.

Ahead of the White House meeting [earlier this March], the Saudis hireda D.C.-based consulting group, Booz Allen Hamilton, to compose a special presentation for the president. Prince Salman walked Trump through the Powerpoint slideshow the firm prepared, outlining a plan to invest at least $200 billion in American infrastructure and open up new business opportunities for U.S. companies inside the kingdom. In exchange, Trump was asked to ink the largest weapons deal in history, forking over the advanced missile defense systems and heavy weapons the Obama had administration had refused to sell. The weapons would then be used to pulverize Yemen.

Make no mistake, this overwhelming support for Saudi Arabia is just the beginning. According to the Washington Post:

Mr. Trump is expected to announce enhanced U.S. support for the kingdom and its Gulf allies, including help with the formation of a defense alliance that U.S. officials say could evolve into an ‘Arab NATO.’”

Yet the media deems all of this to be a non-issue and instead is madly obsessed with incessant claims of almost non-existent collusion with the Russian government – by by Darius Shahtahmasebi

20.5.2017 – RT (* A P)

‘Sucking up to Saudis is long US tradition, every president does it’

Blumenthal: “Prior to Donald Trump’s first foreign trip as president, RT spoke to author and investigative journalist Max Blumenthal and discussed Trump’s long-standing ties to Saudi Arabia, the implications of the unprecedented $100-billion arms deal, and the impact of this visit on US policy.

Trump, during the campaign, blamed Saudi Arabia – and, I would argue, somewhat correctly – for playing a role in the 9/11 attacks, the greatest terrorist attack on American soil. At the same time, he was inking – while on the campaign trail – he was inking deals with eight hotelinterests in Saudi Arabia to deepen his business ties. I mean hotels, casinos – a lot of it has to do with money laundering and Trump is really a master of that. The Gulf States have these great sovereign wealth funds, and Trump and Jared Kushner, his son-in-law, want to tap into those. So, the ties are deep between Trump and the Saudis, far deeper than other foreign countries which we hear a lot about.

Saudi Arabia has always been key to imperial interests in the Middle East going back to the high colonial days of the British Empire, and now the American Empire sees Saudi Arabia as its bulwark, supporting Israel’s advancing hostility to Iran and Yemen and abroad. And weapon sales are key to all of this.”

According to political cartoonist Ted Rall, Trump is not the first American president who “sucks up to the Saudis.”

Obviously, the relationship between Saudi Arabia and the US has always been centered around Saudi Arabia’s vast oil wealth of approximately 40 billion barrels of proven reserves. It is still the world’s largest oil producing country… It has to do with oil, it has to do with arms sales. And you have to wonder if there are personal business reasons for Trump to be doing business in Saudi Arabia: hotels and so on. It is all possible, money obviously ties into it,” he told RT.

However, he added, “it would be unfair not to point out that he is not the first American president to suck up to the Saudis.”

Every president does it: Democrat, Republican, Obama, George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, they all do it, they’ve done it since the 1950s. There is nothing new here. This is just the continuation of a relationship that is particularly sordid given the fact that the US is constantly lecturing other countries about human rights and Saudi Arabia is pretty much one of the worst countries on the planet when it comes to human rights,” Rall said.

20.5.2017 – The Guardian (* B P)

Ignore Donald Trump's words on his foreign tour. Pay attention to his actions

Whatever words he utters, Trump has already shown that he will only continue a status quo legacy of violent American intervention in the Middle East

While on this undrivable trip, Trump will also pursue the modest effort of uniting Islam, Judaism, and Christianity in the common cause of fighting “intolerance” and radical extremism, accordingto White House officials. What a good idea. And why did no one think of this before?

In the long run, I suspect that Trump’s address, which purportedly aims to mirror but outperform Barack Obama’s 2009 Cairo speech, will be full of both platitudinous and hectoring moments. Like Obama’s speech, its details I suspect will also be soon forgotten.

And the Trump administration’s bombing of a Syrian airstrip earlier this year has not altered the status quo in the Syrian conflict at all. Similarly, the Trump administration has also signaled that, despite braying campaign rhetoric to the contrary, the multilateral deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program will remain and not be challenged.

The point is that Trump may be about to visit Salman, the sitting Saudi king, but it’s Trump who is the drama queen. Donald Trump is adroit at using smoke and Twitter to divert us from his lack of accomplishments. But in reality, Trump is a remarkably unproductive president with a legislative deficit disorder.

Trump, the amateur politician, doesn’t seem to know how to make government produce anything, certainly not anything new or constructive on the foreign policy front. His way of diverting attention from his lack of political results seems to be to focus a new crisis surrounding himself, only to move on to another crisis when the previous one gets too big.

We need to stop being mesmerized by Trump’s infantile words and instead examine his administration’s actions more closely. The American status quo remains, and these continuities should trouble us as much as Trump’s idiotic divergences.

Whatever words he utters, Trump has already shown that he will only continue a status quo legacy of violent American intervention in the Middle East. Understanding this simple fact would be a great idea – by Moustafa Bayoumi

20.5.2017 – New York Times (* A P)

To Trump, Human Rights Concerns Are Often a Barrier to Trade

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson had some advice on Saturday for Iran’s newly re-elected president. The Trump administration, he said, hopes Tehran “restores the rights of Iranians to freedom of speech, to freedom of organization, so that Iranians can live the life that they deserve.”

As he said that at a news conference, Mr. Tillerson was standing next to the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, who represents a government that does not guarantee free speech or many other rights. When Mr. Tillerson turned to leave, a reporter asked if he had anything to say about human rights in Saudi Arabia. The secretary departed without answering.

Mr. Trump and his team made clear they were willing to publicly overlook repression in places like Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations whose leaders met here over the weekend — as long as they are allies in areas the president considers more important, namely security and economics.

To the president and his advisers, human rights concerns can be an impediment to the flow of commerce between countries and a barrier to beneficial partnerships for the United States. In their view, trade equals jobs and prosperity, and concern about human rights too often backfires, getting in the way of efforts by the United States government to increase all three.

“It doesn’t mean that we don’t advocate for and aspire to freedom, human dignity and the treatment of people the world over. We do,” he added. “But that doesn’t mean that’s the case in every situation.”

In Iran’s case, pushing on human rights is an easy decision, since the Trump administration sees little cost. Iran has emerged as one of the top two or three foreign adversaries of the new president, and he is not seeking economic or security ties with Tehran that could be jeopardized.

In Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, Mr. Trump sees an economic partner and the anchor of a Sunni Arab alliance to counter Iranian influence in the region.

Mr. Trump is hardly the first president to view human rights through a selective lens. - By PETER BAKER and MICHAEL D. SHEAR

20.5.2017 – Samantha Power (A P)

For a country whose attacks on civilians in Yemen -- and inability to learn from mistakes -- have been devastating to human life referring to

Comment by Sophie McNeill: Pretty hard to take @SamanthaJPowerseriously as she now takes the moral high ground on #YemenThis arms deal largely crafted under #Obama

My comment to comment: McNeill simply hits the spot – fully showing the 100 % hypocrisy of Democratic policy and personal. - And read this article from 2016:

20.5.2017 – Ali AlAhmed (A P)

KingAbdulaziz medal that was given to @realDonaldTrump by @KingSalman was also given to Assad & Saddam (photos)

20.5.2017 – MbKS15 (A P)

VIDEO: @SaudiHawks88display team welcomes the @POTUS

20.5.2017 – Hindustan Times (A P)

Dance diplomacy: In Saudi, Trump shakes a leg during traditional sword ceremony

The traditional men’s sword dance is known as the ardah, according to the Saudi Embassy in the United States


20.5.2017 – RT (A P)

Film: Saudi Night Fever: Trump steps out with traditional Arabian sword dance

20.5.2017 – Josephjo1221 (A P)

[a grotesque Trump visit photo: his daughter and his son-in-law] and also: and

20.5.2017 – Just Security (* A K P)

Jared Kushner, the Arms Deal, and Alleged Saudi War Crimes

Jared Kushner played aleading rolein orchestrating a $100 billion arms deal with the Saudi government, according to theNew York Times.

As uncomfortable as it is for me to write this, Kushner may be stepping directly into the zone where US officials can become liable for aiding and abetting Saudi war crimes. One question this raises is what mitigation measures, including assurances from the Saudis, might the Trump administration pursue to avoid such risks.

This would not be the first time for US officials to consider such questions, according to news reports.

The executive branch has surely built up knowledge of Saudi actions over time.

I am not alone in my legal assessment that US officials who play a leading role in providing support to the Saudi operations, especially through arms sales, can run into legal problems due to aiding and abetting liability.

What could the Trump administration do to avoid these legal risks? First, it might matter about the weapons systems. These assessments of legal exposure may not apply to the sale of defensive weapons and radar systems which are reportedly part of Kushner’s negotiated package. Second, perhaps in recognition of the legal risks involved, the Trump administration hasreportedlysought new assurances from the Saudis to minimize civilian casualties. That is, in principle, the right approach—if pursue in a genuine and effective fashion. As I initiallywroteback in September, the Office of Legal Counsel opinion describes mitigation measures that US officials might include to assure that US support will not contribute to international law violations. However, as I alsowrotelast month, Exum’s descriptions of flaws in the Saudi military systems may suggest they are not capable of reforming their practices anytime soon. Finally, the sameNew York Timesstory that described Kushner’s role and “personal touch” in the arms deal, also said that President Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia will studiously avoid discussion of human rights concerns:

It would be good to know how the president’s aides could explain then how he does expect to get results – ByRyan Goodman

20.5.2017 – RT (A P)

Trump visits Saudi Arabia in first official foreign trip amid Yemen & human rights controversies

In the first hours of his trip, the president struck a package of arms deals with Saudi Arabia, with nearly $110 billion to take effect immediately. “This package demonstrates, in the clearest terms possible, the United States’ commitment to our partnership with Saudi Arabia and our Gulf partners,” the White House said in a statement on Saturday, as quoted by Reuters.

President Trump and the Saudi king are participating

My comment: Overview; little critics for Trump by Russian RT.

20.5.2017 – Human Rights Watch (* A P)

Trump to Reward Saudi War Crimes with Weapons

Trump should be urging the Saudis to shift course by abiding by the laws of war and holding those responsible for past abuses to account. Instead he will effectively be telling them to continue as before and not to worry – the flow of US weapons will not stop.

Trump will also be putting Americans at risk. Continued US arms sales to a country that has repeatedly violated the laws of war exposes US officials to legal liability for aiding and abetting coalition war crimes – by Kristine Beckerle

19.5.2017 – BBC (* A P)

Trump Saudi visit aims to build new relationship

US President Donald Trump is embarking on his first overseas trip since taking office, visiting Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican - the homes of Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

As president, Mr Trump has decided that one way of distancing himself from the foreign policies of his predecessor Barack Obama is to vilify Iran and cosy up to the Saudis.

For the Saudis, Iran's Sunni regional rivals, this was music to their ears. They lost confidence in Mr Obama, some years ago, suspecting him of "going soft" on Iran in the rush to secure a nuclear deal before the end of his presidency.

In practical terms, the joint US-Saudi position on Iran is likely to translate into increased sales of sophisticated US weaponry; a near absence of criticism of Saudi Arabia's human rights record; and a reversal of Mr Obama's suspension of a contract to supply Riyadh with precision-guided munitions for air strikes that was halted last year because of mounting civilian casualties in Yemen.

When President Trump's plane lifts off from Riyadh at the end of the Saudi leg of this trip, he will be hoping to have in his pocket some promises of major Saudi investment in the US - up to $40bn (£31bn), according to some reports – By Frank Gardner

Remark: Overview on US-Saudi relations, nearly bare of any critical viewpoint.

20.5.2017 – Foreign Policy (* A P)

If Trump Doubles Down on the Saudi War in Yemen, Millions Could Starve

Countless Yemeni lives hang in the balance as President Donald Trump gears up to greatlydeepenU.S. security cooperation with Saudi Arabia. On his visit to the kingdom on Saturday, the first stop on his first international trip, he will no doubt hear a lot from his Gulf counterparts about the Yemen conflict, and the threats posed by Iranian and al Qaeda influence there. But he is likely to hear far less about a different but equally serious threat to the country: famine. Reckless Saudi military policy has pushed Yemen to the brink of humanitarian collapse, and the kingdom is asking for more U.S. military support. If the U.S. doubles down on the Saudi approach, it will likely consign several million people to starvation.

The kindling for a major famine in Yemen is squarely in place, awaiting only a spark.

Trump’s visit to Riyadh may provide the spark. With the conflict at a stalemate and neither side in a mood to bargain, the Saudi coalition is seeking a wildcard to change the military equation. It wants to retake the Houthi-held port city of Hudaydah, and it want U.S. support.

The president and his team should not take the bait. Further military and economic pressure would be unlikely to alter the basic political equation for the Houthis, even if the United States were to substantially ramp up military support. But it would inevitably extract a brutal toll on the civilian population.

This conflict will be resolved not on the battlefield but at the negotiating table — and U.S. policy should aim to amplify pressure on the parties to cut a deal (rather than makinghuge weapons salesto one side) – BY JEREMY KONYNDYK

19.5.2017 – Newsweek (* A P)


Trump is also due to hold key meetings with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and other members of the Gulf Cooperation Council to bolster security and economic ties. Counterterrorism and national security will be high on the agenda, and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has described the meeting as an opportunity to forge “a new partnership in the war on extremism.”

This in itself should ring alarm bells. The summit’s main host country, Saudi Arabia, and many of the other Gulf states have an appalling track record when it comes to trampling over people’s rights in the name of security.

Counterterrorism has repeatedly been used as a justification for curtailing freedom of expression and cracking down on human rights activists, peaceful political dissidents and government critics. Many have suffered harassment, faced travel bans and arbitrary arrest or been stripped of their nationality — all under the guise of protecting national security.

The potential for Trump to build toxic alliances with leaders who share his disdain for human rights during his first foray into foreign diplomacy is deeply worrying.

Trump was even set to cross paths with Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, until he dropped out of the Riyadh summit – by Philipp Luther and two more shorter articles: and and

19.5.2017 – Foreign Policy (*A P)

Trump Comes To Riyadh Bearing Gifts – Weapons Approved By Obama

Saudi Arabia rolls out the red carpet for President Donald Trump this weekend, his administration will arrive bearing the same gifts as every visiting president before him: billions in high-tech American weaponry and military support, and pledges for more.

The Kingdom’s relationship with the new administration in Washington appears poised to enter a new phase, with the Saudis taking the lead in the fight to contain Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, spearheading a region-side counterterrorism effort, and appearing eager to build a deeper defense partnership with Washington that could be good for business for both countries.

There are are also more personal matters. Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner has reportedly formed a close relationship with 31 year-old Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Two Capitol Hill staffers tellFPthat no new deals have been sent to the oversight committees for approval, indicating that while the package will be billed as a brand-new initiative, most of the agreements were in fact first reached under the Obama administration, or are far too early in the process to be anywhere near the finish line.

The Trump administration has openly said that those kinds of humanitarian concerns will be less important going forward, and there is little indication the president will touch on human rights during his highly anticipated speech about counterterrorism in Riyadh over the weekend.

Few analysts expect the relationship to change dramatically however. The most reliable equipment still comes from American factories, and “the Saudis recognize one way to keep the U.S. involved in the region is to buy military equipment,” said Dov Zakheim, former under secretary of defense in the George W. Bush administration – BYPAUL MCLEARY

19.5.2017 – Alternet (*A P)

Trump's Saudi Trip Should Not Be to Clinch Arms Deal but to End Yemen War

War-torn Yemen needs a peacemaker; unfortunately, they're getting Trump.

President Trump’s trip to Saudi Arabia is designed to highlight his “art of deal” by clinching a massive $100 billion arms deal. But instead of using his presidency to be a salesman for the arms industry, Trump should be a statesmen for the suffering Yemenis. He should use his visit to press for a ceasefire and negotiations to end the conflict in Yemen.

Trump should not use this trip to support Saudi Arabia’s aggressive agenda, aggravate Sunni-Shia tensions, and further enrich U.S. weapons makers. Instead, he should put a halt to weapons sales and press the Saudis to sit down with Iran and other regional players to find a political solution to the devastating regional conflicts, starting with Yemen – By Medea Benjamin

My comment: he should not – but he will, because he does not care at all.

20.5.2017 – The Hill (A P)

Dem senator: Trump's arms deal with Saudis a 'terrible idea'

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) on Saturday slammed the $110 billion defense deal President Trump signed with Saudi Arabia, saying the U.S. is relying on a country with "the worst human rights record in the region" to bring peace and security to the Middle East.

It appears the Trump administration is counting on the country with the worst human rights record in the region to enforce peace and security in the Middle East," Murphy wrote in a Huffington Post op-ed criticizing the deal. "The arms sale is a terrible idea."

Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the Kingdom has repeatedly used U.S.-provided weapons against civilians in the region, citing attacks on Yemen during its civil war. - BY OLIVIA BEAVERS

My comment: Murphy should not try to whitewash Obama for blaming trump. This deal was put into the pipeline in Obama's term already.

And here the article by Murphy:

19.5.2017 – Huffington Post (* A P)

Just What The Middle East Needs — $110 Billion More In Weapons

President Trump’s arms sale to Saudi Arabia risks exacerbating tensions in a deeply strained region.

The arms sale is a terrible idea, and I want you to know why.

First, let’s look at what’s going to happen with these weapons. Piled on top of this enormous arms lot are precision-guided munitions that President Obama would not sell the Saudis. That’s not because the Obama folks didn’t like selling weapons to the Saudis

Second, the weapons we sell are likely going to have little effect on combatting our primary adversaries in the Middle East: ISIS and al Qaeda.

Third, we have to ask whether continuing to fuel the growing proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran is the right way to bring peace to the Middle East – by Senator Chris Murphy

19.5.2017 – Big League Politics (A P)

EXCLUSIVE: Rand Paul Will Attempt to Block Trump’s Saudi Arms Deal

Senator Rand Paul is promising to file a resolution of disapproval to block an arms deal with Saudi Arabia as soon as the administration formally notifies congress, Senate sources tell Big League Politics.

The action by the Kentucky senator will force a congressional vote on the executive action. He will reportedly be citing the war in Yemen, terror funding, and the nation’s human rights abuses among the reasons to block this deal – by Cassandra Fairbanks

19.5.2017 – MotherJones (* A P)

The (Possibly Illegal) Art of a $100 Billion Saudi Arms Deal

Trump desperately wants a win in Riyadh, but Washington could make that impossible.

As Donald Trump heads to Riyadh today on his first international trip as president, he brings with him a gift: a massivearms deal reportedly worthmore than $100 billion for Saudi Arabia. According toReuters, the deal is specifically being developed to coincide with the visit, where he will meet with Saudi leaders and discuss the war in Yemen. And its success seems to be crucial to the president, whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has personally intervened in the deal's development.

Following that logic, this arms package might just exemplify the elusive "America First" doctrine. "It's good for the American economy," a White House official told Reuters of the deal, suggesting that it would result in jobs in the defense sector. According toanalysis by Abramson, Trump's first 100 days in office resulted in $6 billion worth of notified arms sales—eight times that of Obama's, whose first 100 days totaled $713 million.

But Trump may come against more opposition to the deal than he anticipates.

Of course, what Trump often fails to realize is that optics go both ways. In addition to what human rights groups have called indiscriminate bombing of civilian targets, on multiple occasions, the Saudi coalition hasblocked humanitarian aidfrom entering Yemen, contributing to the growing catastrophe that's leftmillions on the brinkof starvation and millions more who have beenforced to fleetheir homes – by BRYAN SCHATZ

19.5.2017 - Critical Threats (* A P)

Yemen Security Brief

U.S. President Donald Trump will begin his trip to the Middle East in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on May 20. In addition to meetings with Saudi officials, he will attend a meeting with internationally recognized Yemeni President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi to discuss U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition. Yemeni officials will present Trump administration officials with evidence of Iranian assistance to the al Houthis al Houthi-Saleh bloc U.S. weapons sales to Saudi Arabia surround the Riyadh trip. Saudi Arabia signed a $6 billion littoral ship sale with American manufacturer Lockheed Martin Corporation on May 18 and Lockheed is expected to sell additional Patriot air defense systems to Saudi Arabia. American General Dynamics Corp. is also planning to finalize a deal with Saudi Arabia for 115 M1A2 tanks during President Trump’s visit.[1]

19.5.2017 - The Cipher Brief (* A P)

Yemen Quagmire Casts a Shadow Over Trump Trip to Saudi Arabia

Trump’s visit to the Kingdom – the twelfth trip by a U.S. president since World War II – will likely be marked by a massive arms deal, a pledge to invest billions of Saudi money in the United States, renewed outside-in efforts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and paeans to parallel coalitions fighting terrorists. The visit will also highlight Saudi Arabia’s conflict with Iran, the transformational Vision 2030, U.S.-Saudi energy deals, and defense modernization.

This agenda is the handiwork, in part, of Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and White House senior advisor (and Trump’s son-in-law) Jared Kushner. As one former White House aide recently observed, the U.S.-Saudi relationship is being guided by two crown princes – one Saudi and one American.

To that end, Trump’s trip will likely be a boon to Prince Salman over the older, more seasoned heir apparent, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef.

Yet, the largely stalemated war in Yemen can threaten much of what Saudi Arabia wants to accomplish internationally and economically. And, the war’s trajectory may influence the competition to succeed King Salman.

President Trump could use his historic first visit to persuade Saudi leaders that the Yemen conflict threatens their agenda even more than their southern border. In that vein, Trump could urge Saudi leaders to adopt a more business-like approach to the war. One bold step would be to call off any operation against Hudaydah port and focus the Coalition’s energies on military offensives, where the pressure is predominately military and there are far fewer humanitarian consequences. In furtherance of this strategy, the Saudis could enlist Coalition partners to help where their skills are strongest - by Eric Pelofsky

My comment: Any other offensive in Yemen would be no good option for US politics.

19.5.2017 - Amnesty International (* A P)

Saudi Arabia: Trump visit risks giving green light to violations of human rights

As US President Donald Trump embarks on his first foreign visit to attend the Riyadh summit in Saudi Arabia, counter terrorism and security will dominate his discussions with Gulf and Arab state leaders. The President is also expected to unveil a multi-billion dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia. The glaring absence of human rights from Trump’s agenda will only embolden further violations in a region where governments flout the rights of their own people in the name of the fight against terror, and violate international humanitarian law in conflicts fueled on large part by US arms transfers, said Amnesty International.

19.5.2017 - Washington Post (* A P)

Trump may be helping to create a famine in Yemen. Congress could stop him.

The Saudis’ seemingly deliberatebombingofroads, bridges, portsandcranescontributes to the death of a Yemeni childevery 10 minutes, every day, according to the U.N.

If our dealmaker in chief ever had leverage in a negotiation, it would be this one. With ahundred billion dollars’ worth of U.S. planes, ships and precision-guided munitions on the line, Trump could simply demand that the Saudis end the blockade, refrain from bombing Yemen’s major port and enter into a U.N.-brokered political settlement in exchange for the U.S.-made weapons.

Trump has an opportunity to save millions of innocent lives — this may be the most consequential deal he has ever negotiated — and there’s every reason to worry that he’llbotchit by handing away billions of dollars in arms without extracting any concessions from the Saudis - by Marc Pocan, Democrate

19.5.2017 - Middle East Monitor (A P)

Yemen War: US-Saudi battlefield alliance quandary

on the grounded there are nine battlefronts: (1) Hadi vs Saleh (2) Saudi-coalition vs Saleh-Iran-Houthis (3) AQAP vs Saleh (4) AQAP vs UAE-backed forces (5) AQAP vs Daesh in Yemen (6) UAE vs Daesh in Yemen (7) US vs Houthis (8) US vs AQAP (9) US vs Daesh in Yemen. A tenth front may be being added with the Saudi-coalition fighting an Iranian military presence on the ground, making the conflict impossible to rescind.

US President Donald Trump’s support for the Saudi led-coalition is more than just fighting terrorism in Yemen; making it a possible proxy war with Iran over the nuclear deal. Supporting the coalition is an indirect way to show strength in the context of the nuclear negotiations with Iran.

The Trump administration is found in a quandary as it decides whether to support Yemen with deeper military involvement.

As the Trump administration seeks a deeper weight in the civil war, fractures are emerging in battlefield alliances and political goals – in turn, the US must realise the implications of its unions.

My comment: If the US is warmongering against Iran, Yemen anyway is the wrong pace for any anti-Iranian war.

18.5.2017 – Human Rights Watch (* A K P)

US: Trump should end Saudi arms sales

18.5.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Saudi bashing ends as Trump visit signals growing ties with Gulf

Trump's destination choice for his first foreign visit is a clear sign that he wants to reset relations with Gulf states, analysts say

Trump's mixed messages to the Arab countries during his election campaign - and before - appear to have been supplanted by the president's stronger stance on Iran and Syria

“The US president's trip to Saudi Arabia is a strong signal to traditional allies that the US is 'back'," said Mansour al-Marzoqi, a Saudi politics academic, affiliated with Sciences Po Lyon.

"Also, it is a signal that the posture of the Trump administration of 'America first' can be coupled with a posture of pro-activity in the international arena.

"Moreover, it is a signal to Muslim and Arab countries that the Trump administration is not against them."

Among reasons conducive to a Saudi-US rapprochement is the enmity of Washington and Riyadh toward Tehran. The Trump administration has, in a few short months, repeatedly shown it is more amenable to Saudi interests than the administration of Barack Obama, who pursued a nuclear deal that ended most sanctions against Iran.

Gulf countries are thus hoping for US support in rolling back Iranian influence in the Middle East. Experts in both Washington and Gulf countries perceive Trump as more willing to tread a path closely aligned with Saudi Arabia and its interests across the region – by Mona Alami

18.5.2017 – AP (* A P)

Saudi Arabia working to dazzle Trump in busy overseas visit

Saudi Arabia is making every effort to dazzle and impress President Donald Trump on his first overseas trip, seizing on the visit to cement itself as a major player on the world stage and shove aside rival Iran.

The kingdom has arranged a dizzying schedule of events for the two days Trump will be in town — inviting figures as varied as Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, who has been indicted for war crimes by the International Criminal Court, Bret Baier, a host on the Fox News Channel that is popular with Trump and his supporters, and American country singer Toby Keith, who is to perform for a male-only crowd in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The kingdom wants Trump to align U.S. interests with Saudi Arabia’s — and is literally counting down the seconds until Trump starts his meetings Saturday. A website for the visit was launched in English, Arabic and French, featuring a countdown clock under the banner: “Together We Prevail.” - By Aya Batrawy

18.5.2017 – Bloomberg (* A P)

Saudis Have a Red Carpet Ready for Trump, and a Steep Wish-List

Kingdom’s leaders have hailed new era after frost with Obama

But from Syria to Yemen, U.S. policy may not meet Saudi hopes

Saudi Arabia is putting on a show for Donald Trump on his first overseas trip as U.S. president. Muslim leaders will assemble in Riyadh, and there’ll be an exhibition of classic American cars as well as sports matches and concerts. An online clock counts down the seconds until the big day.

Behind the pageantry are high expectations that won’t be easy to meet.

Among Gulf leaders, enthusiasm for Trump -- who looks increasingly embattled at home -- is driven by the desire for a like-minded partner in the oil-rich kingdom’s struggle against Iran, its main Middle Eastern rival. That, to Saudi eyes, overrides his record of anti-Islamic rhetoric on the campaign trail, and his attempt to bar some Muslims from entering the U.S. once he took office.

“The amped-up anti-Iran rhetoric from the Trump administration pleases Saudi leaders, who compare it favorably with the Obama administration’s willingness to do business with Iran,” said Paul Pillar, a professor at Georgetown University in Washington and former CIA officer – by Glen Carey

19.5.2017 - The Atlantic (* A P)

Trump's Islam Speech and the Blessings of Low Expectations

It’s difficult to give remarks about an entire religion. And the messenger will complicate things further.

In an unexpected development, President Donald Trump is slated to give a speech on “Islam” in Saudi Arabia, as part of his first presidential trip abroad. In a May 16 briefing, National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster explained that the address would focus on “the need to confront radical ideology” and “the president’s hopes for a peaceful vision of Islam to dominate across the world.”

As both an American Muslim and as someone who studies Islam’s role in politics, I’ve increasingly come to appreciate just how complicated a religion Islam is, especially if you’re coming at it with Christianity asthe main point of comparison. It worries me, then, that someone as deeply irreligious as Trump, who has apparently thought so little about what religions are, and what they mean, will give a speech about an entire religion (can you imagine Trump giving a speech “on Christianity”?).

Even the most well-intentioned presidents have struggled to find the right way to talk about Islam.

Trump, though, comes into the speech with much lower expectations, considering that Trump is America’s first openly Islamophobic president in at least a century. It is difficult to remember it now, but Trump did in factsay“I think Islam hates us.”

The cognitive dissonance goes well beyond Trump’s own views and extends to his awkward hosts. Saudi Arabia, as the custodian of the two holy mosques, makes some sense as the site for a speech on Islam. Yet, as one of the world’s only theocracies, Saudi Arabia is a somewhat odd choice for a speech intended to promote tolerance and “moderation.” The kingdom, however, is often grouped by U.S. policymakers in the “moderate” camp, simply because it is an ally and supports American national security interests. The goal, then, is not tolerance, as much as it is finding ways to use and instrumentalize Islam and Muslims to fight terrorism.

But perhaps the most glaring problem is the very premise of the speech—the assumption that theology holds the key to combating extremism - by Shadi Hamid

Comment: Whatever he says, Saudi Arabia is so far from Islam it may not even realise any wrong saying

17.5.2017 - New York (* A P)

Stephen Miller Is Writing the Big Speech on Islam That Trump Is Delivering in Saudi Arabia

Yes, that’s right: The president, a man who has espoused openly Islamophobic views and is known for his less-than-subtle thinking and speaking, will go to the birthplace of the religion, as a guest of a regime whose entire legitimacy derives from its role as the guardian of Islam’s Holy Places, and presume to lecture Muslims on their obligation to fight “radical Islam.”

What could possibly go wrong?

Before answering, one should be aware of another fact about this speech: It is reportedlybeing writtenby Senior Policy Adviser Stephen Miller, who has arecord of Muslim-baitingas long as your arm. He is the close White House ally of former Breitbart executive Stephen Bannon and former Breitbart writer Julia Hahn, two people who appear to believeMuslim refugees are an existential threat to America.

Perhaps there are wiser advisers looking over Miller’s shoulder and keeping him constantly aware of the extreme sensitivity of Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi Muslims toward pronouncements on Islam by infidels, even the most well-intentioned, and tutoring him on the intricacies of intra-Muslim affairs, and the constant risk of blundering into deadly insults that would take decades to eras - By Ed Kilgore and also here:

My comment: Oh my goodness.

17.5.2017 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Trump to give inspiring speech on Islam in Saudi Arabia. Twitter can't help but laugh

National security advisor HR McMaster said in a press briefing that Trump “will deliver an inspiring yet direct speech on the need to confront radical ideology” and that he would share his hopes for a “peaceful vision of Islam”. He also presented a detailed itinerary of the "historic" trip.

“The speech is intended to unite the broader Muslim world against common enemies of all civilization and to demonstrate America’s commitment to our Muslim partners,” McMaster added.

But the news that Trump planned to give a speech on Islam, while visiting Saudi Arabia, was met with disbelief and heavy sarcasm on social media.

People were quick to remember comments Trump had made in the past

17.5.2017 - Politico (* A P)

Trump drawn into Saudi Game of Thrones

Ahead of presidential visit, Saudi prince’s ministry shells out $5.4 million to Washington lobbyist.

President Donald Trump is boning up on policy and protocol ahead of an international trip that begins Friday in Saudi Arabia, but he’s already emerged as a peripheral and perhaps unwitting player in a power struggle between two Saudi princes seeking to succeed the aging King Salman.

This month, in his own move to position himself with Trump’s administration, the ministry run by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Nayef quietly signed a $5.4 million one-year contract with SPG, a boutique Washington lobbying firm with ties to Trump’s team.

The hefty contract, filed with the Department of Justice and reviewed by POLITICO, calls for SPG to provide “public relations and media engagement as well as public affairs counsel” to the Saudi Ministry of the Interior.

The two princes, known as MBS and MBN, respectively, have been quietly jockeying for position to succeed the 81-year-old king, who is widely believed to be in declining health.

Experts say that Trump — who is coming off a string of embarrassing diplomatic and intelligence faux pas, including last week’sdisclosure of classified informationto Russian officials — should be careful to heed diplomatic protocol in Riyadh to avoid being seen as expressing a preference between the two princes.

“Any perceived efforts to play favorites will rebound to our detriment, because the Saudis as a whole — even the ones who like us — will say, ‘What the hell are you doing meddling in our process, about which you know nothing?’” said Simon Henderson, a Saudi Arabia expert at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy - ByKenneth P. VogelandTheodoric Meyer

17.5.2017 - Washington Post (* A P)

Trump to unveil plans for an ‘Arab NATO’ in Saudi Arabia

When President Trump arrives in Riyadh this week, he will lay out his vision for a new regional security architecture White House officials call an “Arab NATO,” to guide the fight against terrorism and push back against Iran. As a cornerstone of the plan, Trump will also announce one of the largest arms-sales deals in history.

Behind the scenes, the Trump administration and Saudi Arabia have been conducting extensive negotiations, led by White House senior adviser Jared Kushner and Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The discussions began shortly after the presidential election, when Mohammed, known in Washington as “MBS,” sent a delegation to meet with Kushner and other Trump officials at Trump Tower.

The idea of an “Arab NATO” has been bandied aboutfor years — and has always had strong Saudi support — but until now was never openly endorsed by the U.S. government. Officials said the concept fits three major tenets of Trump’s “America First” foreign-policy frame: asserting more American leadership in the region, shifting the financial burden of security to allies and providing for U.S. jobs at home (through the massive arms sales).

The White House admits that many of the details of how the new alliance will operate remain to be worked out. The countries of the region harbor deep historical grievances and don’t agree on key issues, including the way forward in Syria.

The pending announcements of the new security framework and the huge arms deal are evidence that the Saudi courtship of the Trump White House has been successful beyond expectations. Whether that results in real stability in the region, real progress against terrorism or real deterrence against Iran depends on what happens after Trump’s overseas trip is over - By Josh Rogin

19.5.2017 - Huffington Post (* A K P)

Trump’s $110 Billion Arms Deal With Saudi Arabia May Be Illegal

A legal analysis prompted by congressional inquiries warns against the sale.

The human rights arm of the American Bar Association has sent the Senate a legal analysis saying that/"}}" data-beacon-parsed="true">President Donald Trump’s plan for an arms deal with Saudi Arabia worth more than $100 billion would be illegal because of the Saudis’ role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen.

Citing “multiple credible reports of recurring and highly questionable [air]strikes’’ by the Saudi military that have killed civilians, the U.S. “cannot continue to rely on Saudi assurances that it will comply with international law and agreements concerning the use of U.S.-origin equipment,” Michael Newton, a prominent Vanderbilt University law professor and former military judge advocate general, said.

Newton, in his 23-page opinion, said the strikes have continued “even after Saudi units received training and equipment to reduce civilian casualties.”

“Continued sale of arms to Saudi Arabia ― and specifically of arms used in airstrikes ― should not be presumed to be permissible” under the two statutes covering most sales of military equipment by the U.S government to foreign nations, he said - byAkbar Shahid Ahmed

18.5.2017 - New York Times (* A K P)

$110 Billion Weapons Sale to Saudis Has Jared Kushner’s Personal Touch

Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, picked up the phone during a meeting with Saudi officials and called the chief executive of Lockheed Martin

On the afternoon of May 1, President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, welcomed a high-level delegation of Saudis to a gilded reception room next door to the White House and delivered a brisk pep talk: “Let’s get this done today.”

Mr. Kushner was referring to a $100 billion-plus arms deal that the administration hoped to seal withSaudi Arabiain time to announce it duringMr. Trump’s visit to the kingdomthis weekend.

Sensing that the cost might be a problem, several administration officials said, Mr. Kushner picked up the phone and called Marillyn A. Hewson — the chief executive of Lockheed Martin, which makes the radar system — and asked her whether she could cut the price. As his guests watched slack-jawed, Ms. Hewson told him she would look into it, officials said.

Mr. Kushner’s personal intervention in the arms sale is further evidence of the Trump White House’s readiness to dispense with custom in favor of informal, hands-on deal making. It also offers a window into how the administration hopes to change America’s position in the Middle East, emphasizing hard power and haggling over traditional diplomacy.

The Trump administration is expected to frame the deal, worth about $110 billion over 10 years, as a symbol of America’s renewed commitment to security in the Persian Gulf - By MARK LANDLER, ERIC SCHMITT and MATT APUZZO

17.5.2017 - Axios (* A K P)

Trump's coming arms deal with the Saudis

A big ticket itemof President Trump's Middle East trip this week is expected to be the announcement of arms sales and financial investments worth hundreds of billions of dollars with Saudi Arabia. The Wall Street Journalpopped an insightful pieceon the negotiations yesterday.

Behind-the-scenes: I can share some more detail on the deal's contents, based on my conversations with U.S. officials who have been briefed on the closed-door negotiations.

Keep reading 332 words

Jared Kushner has been dealing directly with Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Their conversations have then been kicked to the interagency process, with NSC, Defense, State, and Treasury all involved, according to a White House official. As of late last week all of this was still being negotiated.

Trump winning the election generated momentum to seal this package.

Expect Trump's Saudi arms deal to contain: - by Jonathan Swan

16.5.2017 - New York Times (* A P)

Sudan President, Charged With Genocide, Is Invited to Saudi Summit with Trump

Sudan’s president, indicted by theInternational Criminal Courtfor crimes including genocide, has been invited toa summit in Saudi Arabiaalongside President Trump, a Sudanese government spokesman said Tuesday.

If PresidentOmar Hassan al-BashirofSudanattends the meeting this weekend with Mr. Trump, human rights advocates said, it would be a destructive breach of longstanding American policy.

The United States is not a member of the International Criminal Court but has long sought to ostracize defendants who defy the court’s arrest warrants, including Mr. Bashir, who has led Sudan for nearly three decades.

He was indicted in 2009 and 2010 on charges of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sudan’s Darfur region. In refusing to honor the indictments, he has come to symbolize impunity toward the Hague-based court.

The Associated Press quoted unidentified Sudanese sources as saying earlier on Tuesday that Mr. Bashir had been invited to the Saudi summit. His invitation was first reported last week in the Sudanese news media. - By SOMINI SENGUPTA and RICK GLADSTONE
3.5.2017 – Arms Control (* A K P)

Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia and Bahrain Should be Rejected

The new Saudi arms deal has not yet been formally notified, but it has been sent to the chairs and ranking members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and House Foreign Affairs Committee for review. A multi-billion dollar sale of 19 F-16 fighter jets to Bahrain is in a similar pre-notification status and does not include human rights preconditions that the President Barack Obama administration had mandated. Reports suggest an even larger Saudi arms deal, ranging in value from $100-300 billion, may be in the works and discussed while Trump is in the region.

The Trump administration initiative ignores Saudi Arabia’s repeated failure to avoid civilian targets and would compound the growing humanitarian crisis in Yemen that is largely the consequence of the devastating conflict there.

Unfortunately, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson devalued promotion of human rights in an address to his State Department staff on May 3

In addition, there are strong national security and legal reasons why these proposed sales are unwise.

A Deteriorating Disaster in Yemen

The flow of new weapons to states involved in the conflict will only worsen the humanitarian situation. Ignoring UN findings that a military solution is not possibleand pleas to unblock accessto ports to help addressthe “largest humanitarian crisis in the world,” the port city of Hodeida is identified as a next target for the Saudi-led coalition.

The Trump administration has not yet issued a new arms transfer policy or made a compelling case for abandoning the humanitarian principles of U.S. law and policy.

It would be counterproductive, in fact, to abandon these humanitarian concerns because doing so would only encourage other states to supply arms to groups and countries that support abuse and actions counter to U.S. goals. U.S. actions themselves, even if indirectly through the support of others, help to radicalize individuals against Washington when they are seen as targeting civilians.

Garnering less attention in Congress thus far has been the pending notification to sell F-16s to Bahrain, a Saudi-coalition partner. In considering such a sale in 2016, the Obama administration attached an undisclosed set of preconditionsto encourage the Bahraini government to improve its human rights record.

While there are certainly many challenges in the Middle East, agreeing to arms deals with regimes in Riyadh and Manama that have a record of impunity when conducting airstrikes or suppressing their citizenry runs counter to long-standing U.S. principles and goals – by Jeff Abramson
19.5.2017 - The Intercept (* A T)

U.S. Drone Strike in Yemen Killed Men Who Had Nothing to Do With Al Qaeda, According to Relatives

On the afternoonof April 23, an American drone flying over the remote Al Said area of Yemen’s Shabwah province observed a group of men gathering to eat lunch at a security checkpoint.

Mansoor Allahwal Baras, a former Yemeni Army lieutenant in his late thirties, was chief of the checkpoint, and his younger cousin Nasir, 23, was also stationed there. Khalid, another cousin Nasir’s age, was home on vacation from Malaysia, where he was studying English and aiming for his bachelor’s degree. A car full of five others joined them — local militants, but familiar to the Baras men — and they sent someone else to fetch lunch.

As the drone hovered over them, the men did not panic or flee. For many in the region, the buzzing sound of American drones in the sky has become part of the rhythm of daily life.

But then the drone unleashed its payload of missiles, and in an instant, the impromptu gathering was transformed into a nightmare of heat, smoke, and shrapnel. All eight men were killed.

The day after the strike, a Pentagon spokespersonsaidthat the U.S. had killed “eight Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula terrorists.” Pentagon officials lateraddedthat a key AQAP leader, Abu Ahmed Al Awlaqi, had been among those hit.

Alawlaqi, a 27-year-old grocer whose aunt was married to Mansoor, gave his own account of what transpired that day, saying that neither his uncle nor the two young men with him were connected to any militant group. What’s more, Alawlaqi says that the five others killed were not current members of AQAP - by Shuaib Almosawa and Murtaza Hussain

27.3.2014 – Politico (* B P)

Stop Bowing to Riyadh

American presidents still think they need to cozy up to Saudi Arabia. Here are five reasons they’re wrong.

Pundits like to declare Saudi Arabian oil, military might and supposedly cooperative foreign policy essential to a strong U.S. presence in the region. And they justify maintaining close Washington-Riyadh ties by claiming that the Saudi king is a reform-minded ally in the Middle East. But as Obama visits Saudi Arabia for a second time, it’s time to set the record straight. After all, America’s growing distance from the Saudi monarchy might not be such a bad thing. - by Ali AlAhmed

My comment: 3 years od, written looking at Obama's visit to Saudi Arabia – and still 100 % true at Trump's visit now.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

21.5.2017 – Press TV Iran (A P)

Top Tory ministers got luxury food hampers from Saudi govt

Senior Tory ministers have accepted luxury food hampers as gifts from Saudi Arabia in spite of criticism of the kingdom for its human rights’ record and causing a famine by bombing civilians in neighboring Yemen.

The Saudi government has given Conservative ministers 20 luxury food hampers at a cost of about £200 each since the party came to power in 2010, according to official government records analyzed by The Independent.

Campaigners said the hampers were a “garish sign of friendship” between the autocracy and Whitehall.

19.5.2017 - Middle East Eye (* A P)

Corbyn's election manifesto for the Middle East is radical and morally courageous

Labour leader deserves praise for confronting UK government over its callous support for Saudi bombing in Yemen

This cross-party consensus has been smashed, thanks to Jeremy Corbyn, the current Labour leader. Whatever one thinks of Corbyn’s political views (and I disagree with many of them) British democracy owes him a colossal debt of gratitude for restoring genuine political debate to Britain.

And of course his extremely brave and radical decision to break with the foreign policy analysis of Blair and his successors explains why he is viewed with such hatred and contempt across so much of the media and within the Westminster political establishment.

Let’s now look at Corbyn’s foreign policy in light of the publication this week of the parties' manifestos ahead of the country's 8 June general election - by Peter Oborne

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

21.5.2017 – Al Araby (* A P)

Qatar says it's the victim of 'terror smear campaign'

Qatar says it's the subject of an 'orchestrated campaign' to tarnish the image of the emirate, following a series of negative articles in the lead-up to Trump's Saudi Arabia visit.

In a strongly worded statement from Doha's government communications office, Qatar said it had been deliberately targeted ahead of US President Donald Trump's visit to the region, which began on Saturday.

"In the run-up to Donald Trump's trip to the Middle East, an orchestrated barrage of opinion pieces by anti-Qatar organisations in a variety of mainstream and online publications has alleged that Qatar is sympathetic to, or turns a blind eye toward the actions of terrorist groups in the Middle East," read the statement. "This is absolutely and unequivocally false."

The statement added that any "allegation that Qatar supports terrorism is a lie".

Doha has long faced accusations that it is a state sponsor of terror.

It has faced criticism in some quarters for its support of rebel groups fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and Qatari individuals have also been sanctioned by the US Treasury for terror-funding activities.

In recent weeks, Qatar has been accused outright of terror funding in articles which have appeared in the American media.

My comment: Simply denying the facts.

21.5.2017 – Reuters (A P)

Trump says ties with Bahrain won't be strained anymore

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Sunday Washington's relations with Bahrain were set to improve, after meeting with the king of the Gulf Arab state during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

"Our countries have a wonderful relationship together, but there has been a little strain, but there won't be strain with this administration," Trump said during a photo session with Sheikh Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa in Riyadh.

"We're going to have a very, very long-term relationship. I look forward to it very much - many of the same things in common."

My comment: Human rights violations shall not have any importance anymore.

17.5.2017 - New York Times (* B P)

Don’t Profit From Abuses by Bahrain

President Trump is planning to make Saudi Arabia the destination of his first state visit this week. Meanwhile, his administration already decided to lift all human rights restrictions on arms sales to my country, Bahrain, which is a partner in the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen. This reckless pursuit of profit without any strings attached — including a lucrative deal for 19 F-16 fighter jets worth $2.8 billion — will aid and abet the destruction of Yemen, intensifying the country’s humanitarian disaster.

And while the Saudi-led coalition continues its air assault on Yemen, Bahrain is also trying to crush civil society back home. This other, domestic campaign is aimed at people who, like me, cannot abide injustice and are willing to speak out - by Nabeel Rajab, the president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights

10.5.2017 - Intelligence Online (A P)

Pakistani commandos for Yemen (payment only),108232965-BRE

Comment by Judith Brown: I don't know if you can access this article, but it records that Pakistan has finally caved in to Saudi Arabia and has agreed to join the Yemen war, at the moment being stationed along the border with Yemen. I guess it was inevitable. Apparently the carrot was to allow a Pakistani officer to be second in command of the ground campaign. I wonder if the Saudis still insist on only Sunni troops to be used - that was one of the initial stumbling blocks.

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

US, Saudi arms deals: cp1, cp9

21.5.2017 – Reuters (* A E K P)

Boeing signs defense, commercial deals with Saudi Arabia

Boeing Co has signed several defense and commercial deals with Saudi Arabia including for the sale of military and passenger aircraft, the company said on Sunday during a visit by U.S. President Donald Trump to the kingdom.

Boeing said Saudi Arabia agreed to buy Chinook helicopters, associated support services and guided weapons systems, and intends to purchase P-8 surveillance aircraft.

The U.S State Department in December announced plans to sell Saudi Arabia CH-47F Chinook cargo helicopters and related equipment, training and support worth $3.51 billion. Congress was informed last year that a sale to Saudi Arabia would involve 48 of the helicopters.

Boeing also will establish a joint venture with Saudi Arabia to provide "sustainment services for a wide range of military platforms," the statement said, including non-Boeing supplied equipment. A separate joint venture would "provide support for both military and commercial helicopters." - By Alexander Cornwell

20.5.2017 – PR News (* A K P)

Raytheon and Saudi Arabia Military Industries announce strategic partnership

New Raytheon Arabia business unit to be established

In a ceremony witnessed by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and U.S. President Donald J. Trump, Raytheon Company RTN 1.51% and the Saudi Arabia Military Industries Company today signed a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on defense-related projects and technology development.

The agreement will enable continued global growth for Raytheon in key market areas such as Air Defense Systems, Smart Munitions, C4I Systems and Cyber Security of Defense Systems and Platforms. This partnership will also contribute directly to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's localized defense ecosystem with regional expert capabilities, and will provide a long-term foundation for Saudi Arabia's economic development.

"This strategic partnership is the next step in our over 50-year relationship in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a strong indicator of our continued global growth," said Thomas A. Kennedy, Raytheon Chairman and CEO. "By working together, we can help build world-class defense and cyber capabilities in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."

As part of this new agreement, Raytheon today announced plans to establish Raytheon Arabia, a Saudi legal entity wholly-owned by Raytheon that will focus on implementing programs to create indigenous defense, aerospace and security capabilities in the Kingdom. The new company will be based in Riyadh and is expected to include in-country program management, supply and sourcing capabilities, improved customer access and centralized accountability. These programs will positively impact Saudi and U.S. economies including job creation.

My comment: BYB: Bomb Yemen Better. Raytheon had produced the cluster bombs the Saudis had dropped at Yemen, and there was international critics. Better to produce directly at Riyadh instead if Rhode Island!!

19.5.2017 - MbKS15 (A K)

Thanks @ja_almarza for sharing! Pics of @AirbusDefence C295W Persuader destined to the #Saudi GSAC, seen yesterday at Seville. (photos)

My comment: Spanish-Saudi complicity in photos.

17.5.2017 - Press TV Iran (unrated B K P)

Film: US, UK make money from Saudi war on Yemen: Analyst

Chris McGrane, an activist and political commentator, says the United States and Britain are "very adamant to carry on this massive sale of arms to Saudi Arabia because the more bombs Saudi Arabia drops and those weapons need to replace in, [the] more money for Western imperialism.”

cp13b Mercenaries / Söldner

19.5.2017 - Critical Threats (* A K)

Twelve hundred Sudanese troops deployed to al Mukalla, Hadramawt governorate, on May 19. These troops will participate in counterterrorism operations in Hadramawt and Shabwah governorates, according to local news sources. An additional 3,800 Sudanese troops are expected to deploy to Hadramawt. Sudanese troops recently participated in offensives against al Houthi-Saleh forces in Taiz and Hajjah governorates in central and northwestern Yemen. [3]


20.5.2017 – Iona Craig (A K P)

UAE bringing new Sudanese troops into Hadhramaut and coastal Shabwah at LNG port. A move likely to create more friction with Hadi/Ali Mohsen

20.5.2017 – Haykal Bafana (A K P)

As southern Yemenis gather in Aden for 21 May demo, Gen Ali Muhsin Al Ahmar sends Sudan military to Shabwah to "protect oil & facilities".

Remark: Ali Muhsin Al Ahmar is Hadi's vice-president:, a fully corrupt, AQAP-linked figure of the further Saleh regime.

And that is how propaganda tells the story:

21.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A K P)

Sudanese forces to protect Yemen's oil facilities

Sudanese forces on Friday arrived in the district of Radoum, east of Shabwah governorate.

Local sources told Alsahwa Net that Sudanese forces and local forced affiliated to what is called the Security Belt arrived in on Friday al-Mukala port and then went to the area of Radoum, Shabwah to protect the oil facility of Belhaf.

My comment: Security Belt: Connected to Brik, governor of Hadramaut, i.e. to UAE crony. Who actually brought the Sudanese soldiers there?

cp13c Flüchtlinge / Refugees

21.5.2017 – Fatik Al-Rodaini (A H)

Here is the situation of alomst 3 million of IDPs in #Yementhrough the eyes of @monareliefye (photos)

19.5.2017 - European Commission's Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations

Map: Horn of Africa Displacement - DG ECHO Daily Map | 19/05/2017 and in full:

19.5.2017 - UN High Commissioner for Refugees(* A H)

As Yemen conditions deteriorate, Somali refugees look to return home

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Babar Baloch – to whom quoted text may be attributed – at today’s press briefing at the Palais des Nations in Geneva

As the bitter conflict in Yemen grinds on and the humanitarian situation there continues to deteriorate, conditions facing the almost 280,000 refugees in-country are worsening and their needs and vulnerabilities are growing by the day.

Yemen has remained both a destination and a transit hub for refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa and beyond, the overwhelming majority of refugees in Yemen, 91 per cent or some 255,000, are Somali refugees who have been coming to the country since the early nineties.

With conflict in Yemen affecting civilians and resulting in deaths and casualties, some 30,600 Somalis have reportedly already returned to Somalia from Yemen since the beginning of the current war. An increasing number are now approaching UNHCR for assistance to support their return, citing safety and security concerns and limited access to services in Yemen.

UNHCR is now providing some support to those choosing to return on their own.

16.5.2017 - UN High Commissioner for Refugees (A H)

Yemen Situation - 2017 Funding Update as of 16 May

79.8 M required for 2017

19.1 M contributions received, representing 24% of requirements

60.7 M funding gap for the Yemen Situation

All figures are shown in USD

10.5.2017Danish Refugee Council (* A H)

Regional Mixed Migration in the Horn of Africa and Yemen in 2017: 1st Quarter trend summary and analysis

Mixed migration flows within, from and to the East Africa and Yemen region continued to be affected by a number of complex dynamics, including conflict, drought and economic reasons among others.

Eastward (towards Yemen)

As witnessed in the final quarter of 2016, arrivals of migrants and asylum seekers from the Horn Africa to Yemen continued to decline this quarter. At least 15,948 persons (78 percent Ethiopian and 22 percent Somali) departed from Obock, Djibouti and coastal areas near Bossaso, Puntland towards Yemen in this period. Arrivals dropped by 17 percent when compared to the final quarter of 2016, and a more significant 44 percent when compared to the first quarter of 2016. Reports surrounding the deportation of those arriving in Yemen, which first surfaced in September 2016, continued during this quarter and seem to indicate that fewer migrants and asylum seekers are choosing to travel to Yemen in the current context. and in full: =

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

18.5.2017 - Critical Threats (A E P)

Yemen security brief, May 18

Chinese oil conglomerate Sinopec signed a memorandum of understanding with Hadi government Oil Minister Saif al Sharif to modernize and develop the oil refinery in Aden on May 18. Sinopec seeks to export oil and natural gas from Yemen

17.5.2017 - Critical Threats (* A P)

Gulf Security Review, May 17

The staff of the Yemeni Central Bank in Aden began a strike in response to unpaid salaries on May 16. The staff also called for the removal of the bank’s acting governor, citing mismanagement. The protesters temporarily halted all bank transfers. President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi officially relocated the Central Bank from Sana’a, which is controlled by the al Houthi-Saleh faction, to Aden on September 18. The Hadi government has struggled to build new banking infrastructure since the relocation.[5]


19.5.2017 - Hussam Al-Sanabani (A P)

Film: Aden, Central Bank of #Yemen employees expelled the acting governor of the bank.

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

19.5.2017 - CNN (A T)

Treasury targets leaders of al Qaeda group

The Treasury Department imposed sanctions Friday on two Yemen-based tribal leaders who it says "facilitated the transfer of weapons and money and the movement of individuals" in support of of the terrorist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

"As a result of today's action, all property and interests in property of these persons subject to US jurisdiction are blocked, and US persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them," the department said in a press release.

The tribal leaders, Hashim Muhsin Aydarus al-Hamid and Khalid Ali Mabkhut al-Aradah, were named as the sanctions' targets.

17.5.2017 - Critical Threats (* A T)

Gulf Security Review, May 17

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) militants attacked al Houthi-Saleh forces in central Yemen on May 17. AQAP militants detonated an improvised explosive device (IED) targeting an al Houthi-Saleh vehicle in Dhi Na’im, central al Bayda governorate. AQAP is conducting a simultaneous propaganda campaign to frame its operations in al Bayda as a defense of Sunni Yemenis.[3]

cp15 Propaganda

22.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Hadi: We will not let Yemen divide into mini-states

President Abdo Rabbu Mansour Hadi has said that Yemen will not be divided into mini-states, affirming that the Yemeni people made great sacrifices to keep Yemen united.

In an address on the 27th anniversary of Yemen's unification, May 22, Hadi mentioned that some Yemeni individuals and groups work to realize aspirations of foreign states, referring to Iran.

He highly appreciated efforts made by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, reiterating that the coalition managed to thwart aspirations of Iran in Yemen.

My comment: Iran, Iran, Iran... while the South of Yemen falls apart.

22.5.2017 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

Emir of Kuwait Stresses Protection of Saudi Border from Houthi Attacks

Speaking before the Gulf-US summit held in Riyadh, the Emir said that developments in Yemen pose a threat to security and stability in the region, especially Saudi Arabia.

“We do not deny here the urgent need for help from our allies topped by the United States of America, as the conflict is not only with Yemen, but there is an outside party that provides them with weapons and money to kill the people of Yemen and neighboring countries”.

“We believe that the relations between states of the region must be based on the basic rules of international law, foremost of which is respect for the sovereignty and systems of states and non-interference in their internal affairs under any pretext and the deepening of good-neighborliness,” he said.

My comment: The Emir playing the role of a Saudi mouthpiece. He should not put upside down; the Houthi attacks at Saudi territory began 10 weeks AFTER the Saudis had started their aerial war. - The last papargraph quoted here is a joke: it perfectly describes – and rejects – all actions of the “Saudi coalition” - Kuwait included – in Yemen.

21.5.2017 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

“Iranians claim that they want to establish better ties with us, but then they went on to attack our embassy, assassinate our diplomats and arm militias, such as ‘Hezbollah’, Houthis and others in Syria, that are destabilizing the security of nations,” said Jubeir.

“They are interfering in the internal affairs of some Arab countries, such as Syria, Yemen and Lebanon. They support terrorism and have established the largest terrorist organization in the world, ‘Hezbollah’, and they are supporting al-Qaeda leaders. Many of those leaders used to live in Iran, which has ties with the Taliban that is destabilizing Afghanistan. These are not the actions of a good neighbor or those of a country that wants our respect,” he emphasized.

On Yemen, he remarked that there are no more than 50,000 Houthis in a country of more than 28 million, adding: “It is unacceptable to allow them to come to power. They have fired over 40 ballistic missiles against our cities and violated seven truces and 70 agreements.”

He stated that the US support will pressure the Houthis and Saleh and make them head to the negotiations table, according to the Gulf initiative, outcomes of the national dialogue and UN Security Council resolution – by Abdul Hadi Habtoor

My comment: That is always the same propaganda. With US support as shown by president Trump, the Saudis are encouraged to further fuel the conflict and for not compromising at all.

19.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Houthi-Saleh militias commit 111 violations

The Houthi-Saleh militias committed 111 violations in Ibb governorate last April during April 2017, a report has recently uncovered.

According to the report issued by the monitoring unit of Ibb's Resistance Center, the Houthi-Saleh militias committed crimes including 35 cases of murder and attempted murder as well as 26 abductions.

My comment: That's quite sure that the Houthis have committed violations of Human Rights. Anyway, I quite doubt at these pseudo-exact figures which are spread for propaganda purpose. - For this purpose, again and again new obscure “organisations” are invented, as this “Ibb's Resistance Center“, which (at least in English) just shows up in this report.

21.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Houthis commit 250 violations in Juban during 24 days

The Houthi-Saleh militias committed about 250 violations against civilians in Juban district of al-Dhala governorate in the period from April 22 to May 2017, Chairman of the Awareness Center for Media and Human Rights Ahmed al-Dahyani revealed.

My comment: Exactly the same as before. - At least, the „ Awareness Center for Media and Human Rights“ totally collects 10 matches at Google.

20.5.2017 – Arab News (A P)

Yemen Daesh missile shot down near Saudi capital

Saudi Arabia said it shot down a ballistic missile, fired by Yemeni rebels, southwest of the capital Riyadh late Friday, ahead of US President Donald Trump’s arrival in the Sunni-led kingdom.
Air defense units “intercepted a ballistic missile that was launched by Houthi militias,” and it fell over an unpopulated area 180 kilometers from Riyadh, the Saudi-led coalition said in a statement.

My comment: Stated to be a AFP report. The headline is by Arab News, compare to - Labeling the Houthi missile as “Daesh missile” is propaganda – and simply idiotic.

Comment by Sidney: Remarkably shoddy "journalism", even for Arab News.

20.5.2017 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

Riyadh-Based ‘AGFUND’ Supports Efforts to Fight Cholera in Yemen

Saudi President of Arab Gulf Development Program (AGFUND) Prince Talal Bin Abdulaziz has directed the executive board of the group to allocate $50,000 to relief works and health facilities established for curbing the spread of cholera in Yemen, Saudi Press Agency reported on Saturday.

In an effort to reign in the epidemic which is beyond catastrophic for the war-torn country, AGFUND’s donation will be transferred through the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

19.5.2017 - New News (A P)

Yemen, Cholera, Israel and WMDs

Use of WMDs, bioweapons, cluster bombs, sarin gas would be impossible without network of CIA stooge governments, cardboard lothario dictators and narco-republics that provide basis for worldwide criminal empire.

My comment: odd conspiration theory.

19.5.2017 – Al-Sahwa (A P)

National Army accuses Iran of standing behind Yemen's destruction

The spokesperson of the National Army Abdu Mujali has disclosed that Iran is standing behind Yemen's destructions, and crimes committed against the Yemeni people.

He told the Saudi-based Okaz newspaper that Iranian experts are existed in Saadah, Sana'a and Hodeidah, pointing out that they train the Houthi-Saleh militias to plant mines and blow up houses.

The spokesman stressed that Iran aims at targeting ships in the regional and international water through using booby-trapped boats and rockets which are fired from Hodeidah Port and coasts, indicating that Iran wants to transfer its terrorism to seas.

He asserted that Iranians support the Houthi-Saleh militias with all kinds of weapons, particularly rockets, explosive devices.

My comment: Typical propaganda of the Hadi government. The most stupid is this: „The spokesman stressed that Iran aims at targeting ships in the regional and international water through using booby-trapped boats and rockets which are fired from Hodeidah Port and coasts“. Do you think tankers transporting oil from Iran would not passs through Yemeni Bab al-Mandab? Might be he thinks they will fly over the Middle East and the Mediterranean?

19.5.2017 - Gulf News ( A P)

People of Yemen need medical aid urgently

The real solution is for the warring parties to come to an agreement on how to build a peaceful and inclusive new Yemen and the particular responsibility for that lies with the leadership of Al Houthi rebels who have obdurately refused to accept terms of peace and have continued the fighting.

A quicker solution is for all parties, including Al Houthis, to recognise the importance of containing this epidemic and to allow convoys of medical and food supplies to pass freely - by Editorial Board

My comment: Misusing the humanitarian situation for anti-Houthi propaganda, while the Saudi coalition blocks access to Houthi-held northern Yemen. "Al Houthi rebels who have obdurately refused to accept terms of peace and have continued the fighting" is odd propaganda, as often told, as these "terms of peace" simply mean capitulation. And the Hadi governments blocks any new approach for a peaceful solution.

19.5.2017 - Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

Yemeni Foreign Minister: We Have Documents on Iran’s Crimes

Yemen is in possession of documents that reveal the crimes committed by Iran, Yemeni Foreign Minister Abdul Malik al-Mekhlafi has said.

The minister pointed out that the Yemeni government intends to arrange a meeting with US officials in Riyadh, on the sidelines of the Arab-Islamic-US Summit to discuss the Yemeni file.

Mekhlafi ensured, during a phone call with Asharq Al-Awsat, that Yemen will be a focal point in the summit through the participation of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi in the meeting with US President Donald Trump, based on the invitation of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz.

The Yemeni minister considered this summit a significant opportunity for Yemen to tackle Arab topics, adding that the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia and supporting legitimacy, has a message to deliver regarding the Iranian intervention in Yemen.

My comment: "Iranian crimes"? - There were hardly any opportunities for Iran to commit crmes in Yemen. In any case, there are lots and bulkd and lots of best-documentend Saudi crimes in Yemen.

19.5.2017 - Kuwait News Agency (A H P)

Saudi King orders responding to cholera outbreak in Yemen

Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Thursday ordered the competent bodies in the Kingdom to respond urgently to the cholera outbreak in Yemen.

Acting on these royal instructions, King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSCRHA) set up a taskforce on emergency medical intervention to contain the deadly disease, KSCRHA general supervisor Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabi'a said.

"The KSCRHA is working with the ministries of health of Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen to arrange the treatment and prevention efforts," Dr. Rabi'a, also advisor to the Royal Court, said in a statement carried by SPA.

Contacts are underway to implement the emergency response plan between the GCC aid coordination center, on one hand, and the concerned bodies of the GCC member states, the members of the Saudi-led coalition, the World Health Organization (WHO), the International Medical Corps (IMC) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF), he added.


My comment: Labeled as propaganda here; saudi Arabis is one of the most responsible for this disaster.

And more:

18.5.2017 – Saudi Press Agency (A H P)

Al-Rabiah thanks King Salman for His Directives to Eliminate Cholera Epidemic in Yemen

Advisor at the Royal Court, General Supervisor of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for his directives to eliminate Cholera epidemic in Yemen.

18.5.2017 - Aljazeera (B K P)

Who benefits from a weak and divided Yemen?

A united Yemen is crucial to deter armed groups and organisations in the country

The southern Yemeni separatist council has triggered debate among Yemeni and Arabian Gulf circles. It has neither been supported locally nor by theGCC states

The separation of southern Yemen would weaken the authority of the legitimate government in Yemen. It would also lead to the failure of the Saudi-led Arab coalition's operations and ultimately, the victory of Iran's allies, represented by the Houthis and forces loyal to Saleh.

It is crucial for the Saudi-led Arab coalition to continue with accomplishing its goals of liberating the Yemeni state from rebels, waging "war on terror" and securing Saudi Arabia's borders, especially as the Saudi army is engaged in a brutal war against the Houthi-Saleh forces near the country's southern border.

Since the US expressed interest in partnering with Saudi Arabia in its war on terror, and as the upcoming summit, to be attended by US PresidentDonald Trumpand Arab and Islamic leaders, calls for a "new partnership to face extremism and terrorism", it has become even more crucial to maintain the stability of Yemen.

It also important to encourage the Yemeni government to impose its sovereignty and build military and security bodies in order to deter the armed groups' spread across southeast Yemen

Observers believe that the weakness of Hadi's government and its failure to control southern Yemen will pave way for the emergence of armed groups in these regions, provide the foundation for the growth of AQAP and ISIL and will open the door for armed groups to spread disorder in the region.

It will also lead to negative consequences in the security of the GCC region and the security of the entire world as these groups seek to take advantage of weak state and exploit them as launch pads from which they can carry out "terrorist operations" in these countries and especially in Europe and the US.

My comment: This article by Aljazeera proofs to be simply pro-Saudi propaganda.

Comment by Judith Brown: Well there is a fair bit of propaganda here. Saudi Arabia has been fighting alongside Al Qaeda and Islah militias in Yemen, and there is evidence that there has been cooperation between Saudi and extremist Sunni militias both in Yemen and the Levant. So to say Saudi has been fighting 'terrorism' is rather duplicitous. What is seems to be attacking most of all are any groups with Shia background and then by definition calling them 'terrorists' whether there is evidence or not. And the links with Iran and the Houthis is not a strong one. Iran supports the Houthis with rhetoric but little else, it seems to me that Iran is mostly interested in Iran's position and it has used Yemen as a bargaining chip rather than being serious about helping any group in Yemen. Thankfully - as Yemen is awash with weapons and Saudi is employing mercenaries from all over the globe and Yemen doesn't need any more foreign interference.

18.5.2017 - Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

Yemen: Houthis Deploy Forces to Saada As Local Residents Gear Up to Dislodge Militias

Yemen’s Houthi coup militias have relocated a large number of their armed insurgents to Saada governorate, pumping medium range arms at an unprecedented rate to the area, said Yemen army forces.

Shoring up their posts in the northwestern governorate is the main objective of the militiamen moving.

The transfer included militias based in the Tihama province and the coup’s de facto capital Sanaa.

Considered a disturbing threat, pro-government forces see that Houthi militias inching in renegades previous promises made the coup’s willingness to withdraw from the strategic port city, Hodeidah, without any military confrontation.

Building up their military posts, Houthi militias hope to tether their remaining military power, although drained, towards sustaining control over Saada, the hometown of insurgency leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi.

“Pro-government Popular Resistance forces, in coordination with army troops, have been able to set a close evaluation of military capability possessed by the militias in Saada’s vicinity, which rose significantly after many putschists pouring into the area,” Saada governor Hadi Tarshan told Asharq Al-Awsat.

My comment: Propaganda which should show how strong the anti-Houthi forces are, and how the Houthis themselves think the situation to be dangerous. The Saada “governor” quoted here is “president” Hadi's Saada governor of the “lackland” type.

18.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P)

Yemeni official: The Houthis agreed to surrender Hudeidah to the government

A Yemeni official has revealed that the Houthis told international mediators that the Houthi-Saleh militias agreed to surrender Hodeidah and its port to the government on condition of terminating military offensives of the National Army backed by the Arab Coalition.

Alsharq Alawsat newspaper quoted Deputy Governor of Hajjah Nasser Daqaleen as saying that the Houthi-Saleh militias agreed to surrender Hodeidah, stressing the necessary of providing pledges to the mediating countries and setting a timeline to their withdrawal from the city.

My comment: I think this is propaganda. 17.5.2017 – Al Sahwa (A P) PM: Yemen will be secure if Iran's interventions are ended

Alsaahwa Net- Prime Minister Ahmed Obaid Bin Daghar on Wednesday said that Yemen will be secure and safe if Iranian interventions in Yemen's affairs are ended.

He affirmed that the manifestations of famine and cholera spread only in the areas which are controlled by the Houthi-Saleh militias, indicating that famine and cholera broke out in Aden, Taiz and southern governorates when they were run by the Houthi Saleh militias two years ago.

My comment: Stupid propaganda. “Iran's intervention” compared to Saudi intervention is as Neckar river compared to Amazonas. - And cholera broke out in Hadi controlled parts of Yemen as well.

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

21.5.2017 - Legal Center (* A K PH)

The Violations and Crimes that are committed by#Saudi_Arabiaand its alliance in#Yemen 20 May 2017

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

20.5.2017 - Legal Center (* A K PH)

The Violations and Crimes that are committed by#Saudi_Arabiaand its alliance in#Yemen 19 May 2017

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

18.5.2017 - Legal Center (* A K PH)

The Violations and Crimes that are committed by#Saudi_Arabiaand its alliance in#Yemen 18 May 2017

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

17.5.2017 - Legal Center (* A K PH)

The Violations and Crimes that are committed by #Saudi_Arabia and its alliance in #Yemen 17 May 2017

22.5.2017 – Saba Net (* A K PH)

Four citizens killed in Saudi airstrikes on Sanaa

Four citizens were killed and others wounded in two Saudi airstrikes on Bani Hushish district of Sanaa province, a military official told Saba on Monday.
The strikes hit Rajam valley area, killing the four citizens and wounding the others

21.-22.5.2017 – Sanaa at night (A K)

#Saudijets flying repeatedly over #Yemencapital Sanaa now. I guess they don't have Twitter.

21.5.2017 – Saudi War Crimes (A K PH)

Sana'a Governorate: 3 raids of the Saudi Aggression on the Beni Rajam area in the Directorate of Bani Hashish. 21-5-2017

21.5.2017 – Yemen Updates (A K)

Coalition's air force raided severely on several military sites of the militias from Hared till Midi district.

21.5.2017 – Saba Net (A K PH)

US-Saudi warplanes drops cluster bombs on Saada

The US-backed Saudi fighter jets on Sunday dropped six cluster bombs on Saada city and separate areas of Saada province, a security official told Saba.
The bombs dropped three bombs on Al Atfain and Taibah areas of Kutaf district and other three on Saada city and its suburbs, causing heavy damage to citizens' properties.
Moreover, the Saudi air forces waged a series of strikes on Majz and Kutaf districts, killing a citizen and burning two cars.
Earlier, the aggression warplanes launched a strike on a tent of citizen in Majz district, killing a woman, the official added.


21.5.2017 – Al Masirah TV (A K PH)

Film: Alliance of aggression targets the city of Saada and its surroundings with cluster bombs

The US air strike on Saturday targeted a number of populated areas in Saada city with internationally banned cluster bombs.
A security source in the province that the air aggression targeted cluster bombs internationally banned a number of residential neighborhoods in the city of Saada and adjacent areas, causing significant damage to homes and property.
The source added that the team of demining and the remnants of aggression had started to collect bombs in more than one area of ​​the city. =

21.5.2017 – Saudi war crimes (A K PH)

Wife Killed and Husband Injured by Saudi Coalition Air Raids in Saada (PHOTOS)

A women was killed and her husband injured on Saturday after a Saudi-American coalition air raid on a Bedouin camp in the Majiz region of Saada province.

The correspondent of al-Masirah Net confirmed that the Saudi-American air raids were launched on a Bedouin tent which led to the death of women and injured her husband in Majiz region.

The pictures show that the women was severely wounded in the head by the raid while being in her home and the head of family, her husband, was injured.


21.5.2017 – Al Masirah TV (A K PH)

Film: A heinous crime committed by the coalition of aggression against a nomad in the district of Saada province

A woman was killed and another person was injured on Saturday after a Saudi-American air raid on a Bedouin camp in the district of Saada province.
The correspondent of "Al-Masriya Net" that the air aggression launched an air strike targeted a tent for the Bedouin, which led to the death of a woman and injuring her husband in the district of Mzaz.
The pictures show that the woman was severely wounded in the head by the raid in their home and that the head of the family was slightly injured.

21.5.2017 – Saudi War Crimes (A K PH)

Saada Governorate Saudi Air Force strikes three cluster rockets at Al Atifain and Taybeh areas in the Kattaf Directorate. 21-5-2017

and photos:

21.5.2017 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Air aggression launches 3 raids on Marib

21.5.2017 – Yamanyoon (A K PH)

Alliance Targeting Citizen’ car in Taiz The fighters jets of the US_Saudi alliance waged two raids in Taiz province and targeted the citizens, a local source told Yemenyoon. The source said, the raids targeted citizen’ car on Yktil area of Mockah district in Taiz, the raids cause martyrs .

21.5.2017 – Saba Net (* A K PH)

Ten citizens killed in Saudi airstrikes on Hajja

Seven children of one family, as well as three citizens, were killed in two Saudi airstrikes on Hajja province, an official told Saba on Sunday.
The strike hit a farm of citizen, killing the seven children, and the other hit Bani Hassan area of Absa district, killing the three citizens, the official added. and also

20.-21.5.2017 – Sanaa at night (A K)

#Saudijets (and drones) flying incessantly over #Yemencapital Sanaa for 3 hours. I guess Saudis don't trust their Patriot radars no more.

20.5.2017 – Al Masirah TV (* A K PH)

Film: 8 martyrs and 3 injured the proceeds of the crimes of aggression against innocent people in the Directorate of Absa Hajjah

Ten citizens were killed and others were wounded by two rockets launched by the Saudi-American airliner on the district of Abes in Hajjah province.
A local source told Saba that the air force launched a raid on a farm citizen in the area of ​​the military, which led to the death of seven children from one family.
The source pointed out that three citizens were killed in another raid launched by the air force on the Bani Hassan Abas Directorate.
The source condemned the continuation of aggression in targeting citizens and their property and destroying the infrastructure of the Yemeni people in light of international silence. =

20.5.2017 – Press TV Iran (* A K PH)

Fresh Saudi air raids against Yemen claim 6 civilian lives

At least six civilians have been killed when Saudi military aircraft carried out two separate airstrikes on Yemen's western-central province of Sana'a and the southwestern province of Ta'izz.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said two people lost their lives and four others sustained injuries on Saturday when Saudi fighter jets bombarded a residential neighborhood in the village of Bayt Baws, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported.

Later in the day, a Saudi combat drone fired missiles into al-Barh market in the Maqbanah district of Ta’izz Province, situated 260 kilometers south of the capital, Sana’a, leaving four civilians dead and two others injured.

A child was reportedly among those killed in the aerial assault. =


20.5.2017 – Al Masirah TV (* A K PH)

Film: 4 martyrs and a number of wounded in a heinous crime committed by the coalition of aggression against civilians in the market of Barah Taiz

Death of 4 citizens, including a child and a number of wounded in two raids of an unmanned aircraft of the Saudi-American aggression targeted the market of Al-Barh Directorate Mukabna west of Taiz.


20.5.2017 – Saudi war crimes (A K PH)

Two killed and four wounded in a raid by Saudi Air Force A house under construction was bombed in Beit Buss south of the capital, Sanaa (photos)

20.5.2017 – Yamanyoon (* A K PH)

Alliance Warplanes Targeting Citizens

In Saada province, the fighters jets of the alliance waged more than 6 raids in the districts of the province, the raids targeted the citizens and killed woman.

In Sana’a capital, the brutal warplanes waged raids at citizen’ home in Bit bos area , and killed two citizens and injured others.

In Taiz, the warplanes commit many crimes against the citizens in the province , where the alliance warplanes killed at least 17 people in different areas.

In Marib province the fighters jets launched dozens of airstrikes on the areas of the province most of them were at Serwah district.

20.5.2017 – Yemen Today TV (A K PH)

Film: The martyrdom and wounding of 6, including a child, the bombing of the air force aggression in the vicinity of the Ta'bda

20.5.2017 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Six Saudi airstrikes hit Saada and also, mentioning cluster bombs: and others and

19.5.2017 - Sanaa in the evening (A K PH)

War planes hovering over #Sanaa

We are receiving confirmation war jets are over north of #Sanaa

Attan mountain targeted in #Sanaa

Time now is 11pm in Sanaa & huge explosions by Saudi-led coalition Still flying & so loud

4th airstrike on #Sanaa

Massive explosion from airstrike a second ago in south part of Sana'a almost gave me a heart attack. Fighter jets circling in sky now #Yemen

Sound of jets is very high and scary , just heard huge explosion #Sanaa. I think in Attan mountain

A second bigger blast now. Airstrikes targeting Faj Attan in south part of Sana'a.

Massive explosion from airstrike a second ago in south part of Sana'a almost gave me a heart attack. Fighter jets circling in sky now

A huge explosion shock our house a moment ago. My little Yousef was trying to sleep, but now he is fully awake and terrified.

Creepy and scary as hell. Clearly heard missile whooshing above, sky lit bright for a second, then BoOM, massive explosion now. Sanaa

Alright then. They shifted to bigger bombs. Explosion from airstrike just now knocked my home's windows open, my eardrums too. Sana'a

Huddled up with family in basement. Trying to distract kids with jokes, nervous laughs interrupted by jets screaming by & explosions.

18.-19.5.2017 - Sanaa at night (A K)

#Saudi jets are over the capital Sanaa now #Yemen It sounds will scare children .

18.5.2017 - Press TV Iran (* A K PH)

Film: Saudis target gatherings of Yemeni civilians

Air raids by Saudi fighter jets have killed dozens of civilians in Yemen’s southwestern province of Tai’zz. Analysts say the massacre comes in revenge for the losses Yemeni fighters have inflicted on the loyalists of the country’s Saudi-backed former regime.


18.5.2017 – Al Masirah TV (* A K PH)

Film: The crimes of the Saudi American aggression against the citizens of Taiz

Saudi Arabian Airlines continued to commit crimes against citizens in the province of Taiz, targeting the building of the Court of First Instance in four raids that killed 20 citizens between a martyr and a wounded.
The correspondent confirmed the fall of 11 martyrs of civilians and wounded others in four raids by the Aggression targeted the building of a court Mukabneh primary in the Directorate of Mukabneh west of Taiz province.
He added that the death toll is not final because of the presence of serious injuries.
According to the reporter, the Air Adnan has become targeted at almost everything moving on the road between Taiz and the brain.
The crime came hours after a crime similar to the aggression that killed a citizen and wounded five others after the aggression launched a raid aimed at changing the oils of cars in the area of ​​Al-Barh with the same Directorate. and photos from film:

18.5.2017 - Fatik Al-Rodaini (* A K)

At least 11 people have been killed today in an attack by Saudi jets on the headquarters of Maqbana court in Taiz governorate.

18.5.2017 - Fatik Al-Rodaini (A K)

In another attack also today, Saudi regime kills a person and injures 6 others in Maqbana area of al-Barh district. #Taiz

17.5.2017 - AFP (** A K)

Suspected Saudi-led raid kills 23 Yemen civilians: rebels

A suspected raid by the Saudi-led coalition intervening in Yemen killed 23 civilians on Wednesday, including women and children, near the southwestern city of Taez, Shiite Huthi rebels said.

A military source with loyalist forces confirmed the raid, saying 20 civilians had died, and said it appeared to have been the result of a "mistake".

Saba news agency, which is controlled by the Iran-backed rebels, said a vehicle carrying civilians in the town of Mawzaa, southwest of Taez, was hit in the raid.

Six children were killed, said the agency, adding that six other people also died in the attack but their bodies were burned beyond recognition.

The military source said the air strike targeted an area held by the Huthi rebels, and also confirmed that a vehicle had been struck.

The passengers were heading back to Mawzaa after a shopping trip to the nearby town of Barah, the military source said, adding several bodies had been torn to pieces. =

and by Saba Net:

and photos: and also at

My comment: The "suspected" in the headline is void. The "loyalist forces" labeling the air strike as a mistake: LOL.

and also (with photos):

19.5.2017 – New News (* A K PH)

Saudi-led Coalition Warplanes Killed , Injured Yemeni Civilians in Taiz Province

US-KSA aggression’s warplanes launched series of air strikes on Maqbnah district of Taiz province . The air raids targeted a civilian car workshop at Albrah city .

As local source stated , a civilian is killed and injured three others as well heavy losses at the civilians’ properties .

As well as ,the aggression’s jets waged three air strikes on The Initial court of Maqbanh district, killing a person and injured five others of the jail guarding and the court. (photos)

and as reported by the other side. The second reports admits that civilians were hit, the first was claiming “Houthis”:

19.5.2017 – Almasdar Online (* A K PS)

Intensive raids to houthis sites ,21 killed and 19 others injured western Taiz

The Saudi-led Arab coalition aircrafts launched on Thursday several air raids on the Houthis–Saleh militant's sites in Maqbana and Mawza districts western Taiz ,southwestern result the death of twenty one and nineteen others wounded.

A military source told Almasdaronline that the aircrafts launched three air raids to site behind Maqbana first court in Alqamb area , killed 9 and 4 others wounded including a leaders ,most highlights leader Shehab Mohammed Al ashmali

The raids targets Houthis reinforcement in AlBarh western Maqbana which result in the death of seven and five injury as well as a destruction of two vehicles

Also the aircrafts launched two raids in Hawas village in Maqbana district ,which result in the death of eight and three injury and destruction of two military vehicles.

The source said that others raids target Khalid camp ,two raids east Mawza ,which result in the death of six and others eleven injury as well as destruction of military , tank and launch pad katyusha rockets .

19.5.2017 – Almasdar Online (* A K PS)

16civilians killed by Coalition airstrike west of Taiz

Sixteen civilians were killed “by mistake” by an airstrike launched by an aircraft of the Saudi-led Arab Coalition west of Taiz city in southwestern Yemen, a government source said Wednesday.

The source told Almasdaronline that the airstrike targeted civilians while they were on a pickup vehicle in the Shabou area of Mozza district, which is under the control of the Houthis-Saleh militants.

The source said the civilians were returning from the market in the area, before being targeted by mistake by the airstrike, and that all those who were on the vehicle were killed, including two women and three children.

My comment: When propaganda fails...

17.5.2017 - Press TV Iran (A K PH)

A cameraman for al-Masirah television network sustained injuries when a Saudi unmanned aerial vehicle carried out an attack against the channel's staff in the Harad district of the northwestern province of Hajjah, located approximately 130 kilometers (80 miles) northwest of the capital Sana’a.

Al-Masirah correspondent Walid al-Muthar said the Saudi drone targeted the crew as they were moving to cover relief activities in Harad.

17.5.2017 - Saba Net (A K PH)

Saudi warplanes wage four strikes on Marib

17.5.2017 - Youtube (A K PH)

Video :#Yemen-controlled Al-Hutheirah city in#Saudi's Jizan province - Destroyed by#KSAairstrikes.

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

21.5.2017 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Mercenaries' shelling kills child in Marib and

20.5.2017 – Fars News (* A K PH)

F-15 of US-Saudi Aggression Shot Down in Najran by Yemeni Joint Forces

A military source confirmed to YemenPress that the air defense units belonging to Yemeni army and popular committees shot down F-15 aircraft of the aggression coalition in the north of Saadah province with appropriate weapon and then the F-15 crashed in Najran. and by Yamanyoon: and photos:

20.5.2017 – Hussam Al-Sanabani (A K P)

Al-Arabiya:The coalition had destroyed the missile launcher in Sana'a. Then after 6:13 hrs, they destroyed the same launcher in Sadah #Yemen (images)

Comment by Sidney: They're in utter disarray. But what do you expect when their princelings are still insisting that the war can be won in a week?

20.5.2017 – AFP (* A K)

Yemen rebel missile shot down near Saudi capital: coalition

Saudi Arabia said it shot down a ballistic missile, fired by Yemeni rebels, southwest of the capital Riyadh late Friday ahead of US President Donald Trump's arrival.

Air defence units "intercepted a ballistic missile that was launched by Huthi militias over an unpopulated area", 180 kilometres from Riyadh, the Saudi-led coalition said in a statement.

The strike would be the longest attempted by the Huthi rebels and their allies, former members of Yemen's security forces allied with ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh, since they began retaliatory attacks against the kingdom two years ago.

Huthi-run Al-Masirah television said on its Twitter account that rebel "rocket forces launched a Volcano-2 ballistic missile on the capital of Saudi Arabia".

and this would contradict:

22.5.2017 – Fars News (A K PH)

Social Media Users in Saudi Arabia Admit Yemen’s Missile Strike on Riyadh

audi activists on social media reported hearing sounds of explosions in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, not so long after Sana’a government forces launched “Burkan-2” ballistic missile towards Riyadh.

Local Yemeni news outlets cited a number of Saudi Twitter activists tweeting in Arabic language, with some of them saying that the attack shook Riyadh, Al Masdar reported.

19.5.2017 - Reuters (* A K)

Yemen's Houthis say fire ballistic missile toward Saudi capital

Yemen's Houthi movement said on Friday it had fired a ballistic missile toward the Saudi capital Riyadh and the Arab coalition waging war in Yemen said it had intercepted and destroyed a projectile around 200 km (120 miles) west of the city.

The Iran-allied Houthis launched a Burkan-1 missile toward Riyadh, a statement by their official news agency said. It Riyadh but gave no further detail.

The Saudi-led coalition said later it had downed a Houthi missile in the southern Saudi province of Ar Rayn well to the west of Riyadh. The area is open desert and there were no casualties, the official Saudi news agency SPA said. and by Aljazeera: and by Saba Net: and film by Yemeni missiles unit:

19.5.2017 - Anadolu (A K)

Houthis, army clash in Yemen’s southern Dhale province

Remark: relying on Hadi army sources.

17.5.2017 - Nasser Arrabyee (A K PH)

This is HOW Yemeni brave fighters seize&destroy US-made Saudi-UAE weapons in the western coasts. Yemen is graveyard of invaders(May17,2017) (photos)

pro-Houthi / Pro-saleh reports:

Pro-Saudi / Pro-Hadi reports:

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

3.4.2017 - National Geographic

This Ancient Mud Skyscraper City is the 'Manhattan of the Desert'

Yemen’s Old Walled City of Shibam is the oldest metropolis in the world to use vertical construction (with photos)

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-302 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-302: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

17:29 22.05.2017
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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Dietrich Klose