Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 423 - Yemen War Mosaic 423

Yemen Press Reader 423: 15.6.2018: Kampf um Hodeidah: Schwere Kämpfe, Luftangriffe, Bevölkerung in Gefahr, drohende humanitäre Katastrophe – Hodeidah, Jemen und USA ...
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... US-Medien und Politik zum Jemen – Die USA im Jemenkrieg – Flüchtlinge im Kriegsgebiet – Saudische Propagandalüge über Luftangriff auf MSF-Einrichtung – und mehr

June 15, 2018: Hodeidah battle: Heavy fighting, air raids, civilians endangered, looming humanitarian catastrophe – Hodeidah, Yemen and US – US media and politics on Yemen – The US in the Yemen war – Refugees in the war zone – Saudi propaganda lie on air raid at MSF facility – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

Für wen das Thema ganz neu ist / Who is new to the subject

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp1a Am wichtigsten: Seuchen / Most important: Epidemics

cp1b1 Kampf um Hodeidah: Deutsch / Most important: Hodeidah battle: German

cp1b2 Kampf um Hodeidah: Englisch / Most important: Hodeidah battle: English

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp13 Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

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

Für wen das Thema ganz neu ist / Who is new to the subject

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Einführende Artikel u. Überblicke für alle, die mit den Ereignissen im Jemen noch nicht vertraut sind, hier:

Yemen War: Introductory articles, overviews, for those who are still unfamiliar with the Yemen war here:

Neue Artikel / New articles

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AP News Guide: What to know about Yemen's yearslong war

Yemen's yearslong war between Shiite rebels and a Saudi-led coalition backing its exiled government has escalated with an assault on the insurgent-held port city of Hodeida.

Here's a look at Yemen, its tangled history and the combatants involved in a war that's sparked what is now the world's worst humanitarian crisis. =

My comment: Overview and Introduction, better than the two below:

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Yemen conflict explained in 400 words

For a little more than three years, Yemen has been locked in a seemingly intractable civil war that has killed nearly 10,000 people and pushed millions to the brink of starvation.

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How Yemen Became a Humanitarian Nightmare: Untangling a Complex War

Saudi Arabia and its neighbor and close ally, the United Arab Emirates, intervened in 2015 because of perceived Iranian support for the rebels. The Sunni Muslim monarchy of Saudi Arabia and Shiite Iran are rivals for power and influence across the Middle East, and Yemen has become a battlefield for one of the proxy wars between them.

Iran has denied supporting the Houthis, but Iranian-made missile have been used by the group during the war.

Still, Yemen’s war stems more from a dispute about national political influence than sectarian conflict, analysts say.

Saudi Arabia and several allied Arab states including the United Arab Emirates, intervened in 2015. Backed by the United States and Western allies, they lau

My comment: Overview. The single mention of the US is quoted above. This simply is neglecting and whitewashing US intervention and responsibility.

Comment: Only once are we mentioned (11th paragraph): "Saudi Arabia ... intervened in 2015. Backed by the United States..." Past tense.

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

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"No Escape": Don't Expect A Yemeni Version Of The White Helmets

Have you noticed the almost complete lack of video footage showing the ongoing Arab and US coalition aerial bombardment of Yemen's key port city of Al Hudaydah?

Reuters reports the following: “People are scared. The warships are terrifying and warplanes are flying overhead all the time,” university student Amina, 22, who lives near the port, told Reuters by telephone.

“People are fleeing the city to the countryside, but for those with no relatives there or money, there is no escape.”

Don't expect a Yemeni version of the "White Helmets" to emerge with high-tech cameras, slick new gear, and professional uniforms capturing Yemen's starvation and slow death under US, Saudi, and UAE warplanes.

Don't expect prime time news broadcasts to feature images of emaciated Yemeni babies easily located on social media channels in the thousands.

No, there won't be rebel leaders in Yemen beamed into CNN studios via Skype to detail the suffering of civilians under the brutal siege, because this isn't Syria... it's Yemen, where the US and its allies have not only imposed a full military blockade of land, air, and sea on an urban population of half a million people, but have also ensured a complete media blackout of on the ground footage and reporting.

As we noted in our initial coverage the complete media and humanitarian blockade on the contested port city of Al Hudaydah means confirmation of the rapidly unfolding events have been hard to come by, though we featured what's purported to be some of the earliest social media footage of the assault, now in its second day.

A new Reuters report estimates that "8.4 million people are on the verge of starvation, potentially the world’s worst famine for generations."

And yet on Thursday the US State Department announced it would resume funding for the controversial Syrian NGO state-funded group, the White Helmets, to the tune of $6.6, with presumably more American taxpayer funds to come. The group has long been exposed as essentially playing rescue squad for al-Qaeda and is a creation of international PR firms pushing for regime change in Syria.

But again, might Yemen get its own US-funded version of the White Helmets to rescue civilians?

Why is there no video or photographic media coverage of US, Saudi, and UAE bombs raining down on masses of civilians in Al Hudaydah? Of course, the answer is obvious.

Early in the Yemeni war the prestigious Columbia Journalism Review produced a short study which attempted to explain, according to its title, Why almost no one’s covering the war in Yemen (in short genocide is OK when US allies do it, according to the actions and words of Western political leaders).

Other analysts have since criticized the media and political establishment's tendency to exaggerate Iran’s presence in Yemen and further willingness to ignore or downplay the clear war crimes of US client regimes in the gulf (the US-Saudi coalition claims it must liberate Al Hudayda to cut off Iranian weapons flowing to Houthi rebels). While Iran-aligned states and militias are framed as the region’s terrorizers, the Saudi-aligned coalition’s motives are constantly cast as praise-worthy and noble.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon has long reiterated its official (Orwellian) line that the US military's deep level of assistance to the Saudi bombing campaign is actually geared toward reducing civilian harm

One glaring example is contained in an Al-Monitor report from earlier this year: "Speaking to reporters at the Defense Department on the heels of a meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman last week, Mattis said a contingent of US advisers deployed to help with intelligence sharing are engaged in a 'dynamic' role to help ensure a reduction in civilian harm."

But Al Monitor also noted that civilian deaths had continued unabated, while further quoting Mattis as saying, "This is the trigonometry level of warfare."

So the official Pentagon line on Yemen seems to be (confirmed repeatedly this week) that as it directly assists the Saudis in dropping bombs on civilians, it is actually "helping" those very civilians – by Tyler Durden

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Die Belagerung von Hodeidah: Washingtons Kriegsverbrechen im Jemen

Dieser totale Krieg gegen eine ganze Bevölkerung, der an die Kriege erinnert, die Hitlers Drittes Reich vor 75 Jahren führte, wäre gar nicht möglich ohne die andauernde Unterstützung des US-Imperialismus. Er hat diesen Krieg tatsächlich von Anfang an sowohl militärisch als auch politisch unterstützt.

Zusammen mit ihren wichtigsten NATO-Verbündeten Großbritannien und Frankreich liefern die USA die Flugzeuge, Kriegsschiffe, Bomben, Raketen und Granaten, die zur Verwüstung des Jemen dienen und seine Bevölkerung töten. In seiner achtjährigen Amtszeit leitete Präsident Barack Obama rund 115 Milliarden Dollar an Waffenverkäufen an die monarchische Diktatur in Riad. Die Trump-Administration versucht, mit Saudi-Arabien, den anderen reaktionären Ölscheichtümern am Golf und Israel eine Anti-Iran-Achse zu schmieden. Sie hat Waffengeschäfte mit Riad angekündigt, die sich auf 110 Milliarden Dollar belaufen könnten.

Das Pentagon leistet dem Angriff unter saudischer Führung direkte und unverzichtbare Hilfe. Zum Beispiel fliegen US-Geheimdienst- und Logistik-Offiziere in den Flugzeugen mit, die jemenitische Zivilisten bombardieren. Auch verstärken amerikanische Kriegsschiffe die saudisch-amerikanische Blockade des Jemen. Kürzlich wurden US-Green Berets eingesetzt, um die saudischen Bodentruppen bei ihren Anti-Jemen-Operationen zu unterstützen. Unter dem Vorwand des „Kriegs gegen den Terror“ führt das Pentagon seinen eigenen Luftkrieg im Jemen, der im Laufe des vergangenen Jahres mindestens 130 Luft- und Drohnenangriffe auslöste, ein Vielfaches der Zahl von 2016.

Die Trump-Administration hat der aktuellen Belagerung von Hodeidah grünes Licht in Form einer Erklärung von US-Außenminister Mike Pompeo gegeben. Darin gab Pompeo bekannt, er habe mit den Herrschern der VAE gesprochen und „unseren Wunsch deutlich gemacht, dass wir auf ihre Sicherheitsbedenken eingehen“. Aus dem Pentagon wurde bekannt, dass US-Beamte bei der Auswahl von Zielen in der Hafenstadt mithelfen.

Angesichts der Katastrophe, die sich gerade im Jemen ausbreitet, und der kriminellen Rolle, welche die US-Regierung dabei spielt, ist das Schweigen der bürgerlichen Presse besonders bemerkenswert. Die Medien ignorieren weitgehend die Belagerung von Hodeidah, ebenso wie zuvor die US-Belagerungen, welche die Städte Mosul im Irak und Rakka in Syrien in Schutt und Asche bombten und Zehntausende von Menschen töteten. Sie verschwiegen sogar die Zahlen, als bekannt wurde, dass im US-Krieg zum Sturz Saddam Husseins im Irak zwischen 500.000 und einer Million Zivilisten getötet worden waren.

Die Lage im Jemen steht symbolisch für die ganze Weltsituation. Dreißig Jahre nach der Auflösung der Sowjetunion ist eine Periode des andauernden Krieges und der ungezügelten imperialistischen Gewalt ausgebrochen

Kriegsverbrechen in der Größenordnung derer, die in den 1930er und 1940er Jahren begangen wurden, sind praktisch an der Tagesordnung. Die Zivilbevölkerung wird massakriert, von der Südgrenze der USA bis zum Mittelmeer werden Flüchtlinge mit Gestapo-Methoden behandelt, und das israelische Militär schießt ungestraft auf unbewaffnete palästinensische Demonstranten – und die offizielle Presse reagiert kaum mit einem Schulterzucken.

Am Donnerstag durchbrach nur je ein verschämter Artikel in der New York Times und in der Washington Post das Schweigen der Medien. Beide Artikel riechen nach Heuchelei. Sie sind Ausdruck eines gewissen Unbehagens innerhalb des herrschenden Establishments der USA darüber, was gerade im Jemen passiert.

Die Redaktion der Times stellt fest, dass der Krieg zu „unzähligen zivilen Todesfällen geführt hat, von denen viele auf wahllose Bombenangriffe der Koalition zurückzuführen sind“. Sie fügt hinzu: „Nach internationalem Recht können diese Angriffe als Kriegsverbrechen gelten, an denen die Vereinigten Staaten und Großbritannien, ein weiterer Waffenlieferant, beteiligt sind.“

Die Washington Post warnt: „Die Vereinigten Staaten, die ihre beiden Verbündeten bereits mit Informationen, Treibstoff und Munition versorgt haben, werden mitschuldig sein, wenn das Ergebnis das ist, was die Entwicklungshelfer sagen: Hunger, Epidemien und andere menschliche Leiden, die alles übertreffen, was die Welt seit Jahrzehnten gesehen hat.“

Dass diese beiden etablierten Zeitungen das Wort „complicit“ [mitschuldig] verwenden, um Washingtons Rolle im Jemen zu beschreiben, ist zweifellos von großer Bedeutung. Rechtlich gesehen bedeutet Mittäterschaft, dass auch derjenige, der eine Straftat unterstützt und begünstigt, strafrechtlich zur Verantwortung gezogen wird.

Im Falle Jemens geht es um Kriegsverbrechen von weltgeschichtlichem Ausmaß, die ohne die Unterstützung des US-Imperialismus niemals begangen worden wären.

Ausgehend von den Rechtsgrundsätzen und Kriterien der Nürnberger Prozesse, welche die überlebenden Führer des Dritten Reichs an den Galgen oder ins Gefängnis brachten, muss man heute sagen, dass viele Personen in Washington wegen der im Jemen begangenen Verbrechen hinter Gittern gehören oder noch schlimmer bestraft werden müssten.

Das betrifft nicht nur Trump und diejenigen in seiner Regierung, die direkt an den Gräueltaten im Jemen beteiligt sind (wie zum Beispiel Außenminister Pompeo, Verteidigungsminister James „Mad Dog“ Mattis, Nikki Haley und andere Spitzenbeamte des Militärs und des Geheimdienstes). Es betrifft auch ihre Vorgänger Barack Obama, John Kerry, Ashton Carter, Susan Rice und andere. Sie sind dafür verantwortlich, dass die USA den von Saudi-Arabien geführten Krieg von Anfang an unterstützten.

Nach dem Nürnberger Präzedenzfall müssten auch die CEOs von Unternehmen wie Lockheed Martin, Boeing und Raytheon vor Gericht gestellt werden, weil sie Milliardengewinne aus der Lieferung von Waffen für den Mord an jemenitischen Männern, Frauen und Kindern erzielt haben. Ebenso die führenden Politiker beider großen Parteien, die die US-Politik unterstützen, und die Vertreter der Massenmedien, die schamlos Kriegspropaganda betreiben.

Die Anklagebank würde ganz schön voll werden, denn neben ihnen müssten auch ihre britischen Amtskollegen sitzen, darunter die Regierungen von Premierministerin Theresa May und David Cameron, zusammen mit ihren jeweiligen Außenpolitikern, Militär- und Geheimdienstmitarbeitern, sowie britische Waffenhändler, die massive Gewinne aus dem Blutbad im Jemen gezogen haben.

In Wirklichkeit wird aber keiner der Kriegsverbrecher in Washington und London für seine Taten im Jemen zur Rechenschaft gezogen, auch nicht für die früheren Verbrechen im Irak, in Afghanistan, Libyen und Syrien – von Bill van Auken

and English version:

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The siege of Hodeidah, Washington’s war crime in Yemen

This total war against an entire population, of the likes carried out by Hitler’s Third Reich three-quarters of a century ago, would be impossible without the uninterrupted support—military and political—of US imperialism since its outset.

The US, together with its main NATO allies the UK and France, has supplied the planes, warships, bombs, missiles and shells used to devastate Yemen and slaughter its people. In his eight years in office, President Barack Obama presided over some $115 billion in arms sales to the monarchical dictatorship in Riyadh. The Trump administration, which has sought to forge an anti-Iran axis with Saudi Arabia, the other reactionary Gulf oil sheikhdoms and Israel, has touted arms deals with Riyadh that potentially would amount to $1 billion.

The Pentagon has given direct and indispensable aid to the Saudi-led onslaught, providing midair refueling for the planes that bomb Yemeni civilians, staffing a joint command center in Riyadh with US intelligence and logistics officers and reinforcing the Saudi-UAE blockade of the country with American warships. Recently, US Green Berets have been deployed with Saudi ground forces to assist in their anti-Yemen operations. Under the banner of the “war on terror”, the Pentagon is waging its own air war in Yemen, conducting at least 130 air and drone strikes over the course of last year, quadruple the number in 2016.

The Trump administration gave the go-ahead for the current siege of Hodeidah in the form of a statement from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announcing that he had spoken with the rulers of the UAE and “made clear our desire to address their security concerns.” Pentagon officials have reported that US officers are helping to select targets in the port city.

Given the scale of the unfolding catastrophe in Yemen and the criminal role played by the US government, it is noteworthy that the American corporate media has largely ignored the siege of Hodeidah, much as it did with the US sieges that reduced the cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria to rubble, killing tens of thousands, or, for that matter, the estimates of the number of civilians killed in the US war to topple Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, which ranged between 500,000 and a million.

Yemen is emblematic of the world situation 30 years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union unleashed a period of continuous war and unrestrained imperialist violence.

War crimes on the scale of those committed in the 1930s and 1940s have become almost commonplace. Civilian populations can be massacred; refugees from the US southern border to the Mediterranean can be treated with the methods of the Gestapo; while the Israeli military can gun down unarmed Palestinian demonstrators with impunity, defended by Washington; all barely raising an eyebrow in the corporate press.

An exception to the media silence was a pair of shamefaced editorials that appeared Thursday in the New York Times and the Washington Post. Reeking of hypocrisy, both of them expressed a certain amount of unease within the US ruling establishment over the events in Yemen.

The Times editorial notes that the war has resulted in “countless civilian deaths, many attributed to indiscriminate coalition bombing attacks.” It adds, “Under international law, these attacks may qualify as war crimes in which the United States and Britain, another arms supplier, are complicit.”

The Washington Post warns: “…the United States, which already has been supplying its two allies with intelligence, refueling and munitions, will be complicit if the result is what aid officials say it could be: starvation, epidemics and other human suffering surpassing anything the world has seen in decades.”

That both newspapers of record of the US ruling establishment use the word “complicit” in describing Washington’s role in Yemen has an undeniable significance. In legal terms, complicity is something for which someone is held criminally accountable for aiding and abetting the commission of a crime.

In the case of Yemen, the complicity is with war crimes of a world historic scale that could never have been committed without the aiding and abetting of US imperialism.

Based on the legal principles and criteria employed in the Nuremberg trials that sent the surviving leaders of Hitler’s Third Reich to the gallows or prison, there are many in Washington who should today be facing prosecution and the fate of life in prison or worse for the crimes committed in Yemen.

This includes not just Trump and those in his administration directly involved in the Yemen atrocities—Pompeo, Defense Secretary James “Mad Dog” Mattis, Nikki Haley and other top officials in the military and intelligence apparatus—but also their predecessors, Barack Obama, John Kerry, Ashton Carter, Susan Rice and others responsible for initiating the US support for the Saudi-led war.

Alongside them in this crowded defendants’ dock room would have to be made for their British counterparts from the governments of Prime Minister Theresa May and David Cameron along with their respective foreign policy, military and intelligence officials, as well as British arms dealers who have reaped massive profits off of the bloodbath in Yemen.

The reality, however, is that none of the war criminals in Washington and London will be called to account for their crimes in Yemen—or for that matter those in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and beyond – by Bill Van Auken

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The Saudi-UAE Alliance is the Most Dangerous Force in the Middle East Today

The latest: they are bombing a port that accounts for 80 percent of the food and aid trickling into starving Yemen.

For three years, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have conducted a murderous campaign to reinstall a pliable regime in the desperately poor country of Yemen. This campaign is based on a lie intended to gain American support: that the two authoritarian monarchies are responding to Iranian aggression. Now the UAE is preparing a military offensive that could split Yemen apart and create mass starvation.

The Saudi-Emirati alliance is the most dangerous force in the Middle East today. Sometimes acting alone, but usually in tandem, the two dictatorships have promoted intolerant Wahhabism around the world, backed brutal tyranny in Egypt and Bahrain, supported radical jihadists while helping tear apart Libya and Syria, threatened to attack Qatar while attempting to turn it into a puppet state, and kidnapped the Lebanese premier in an effort to unsettle that nation’s fragile political equilibrium. Worst of all, however, is their ongoing invasion of Yemen.

To demonstrate support for its royal allies, America joined their war on the Yemeni people, acting as chief armorer for both authoritarian monarchies and enriching U.S. arms makers in the process. America’s military has also provided the belligerents with targeting assistance and refueling services. And our Special Forces are on the ground assisting the Saudis.

The result has been both a security and humanitarian crisis.

The Yemeni people have done nothing to harm the United States. So why is Washington treating them as the enemy?

Today the Yemeni nation and state no longer exist. The UN has termed the conflict “the largest humanitarian crisis in the world” where “Yemenis are facing multiple crises, including armed conflict, displacement, risk of famine and the outbreaks of diseases, including cholera.”

Washington’s complicity in Yemen’s destruction hasn’t promoted regional stability. Over the last two decades, misbegotten American intervention has spread conflict, loosed Islamist furies, imperiled religious minorities, and expanded Iran’s influence throughout the Mideast and beyond. Inflaming the Yemeni war has proved similarly destructive.

Hadi may be Yemen’s “legitimate” ruler, but he sacrificed what little popular support he had when he called in airstrikes on his own people. Nor is he a friend of America: journalist Laura Kasinof observed that Hadi had “cozied up to the Islamists” before his ouster, even sometimes cooperating with AQAP. Saudi Arabia and the UAE also have armed radical forces. AQAP may be the greatest inadvertent beneficiary of the overall conflict.

U.S. officials sound like Saudi propagandists when they falsely claim that the Houthis are Iranian proxies. Gabriele vom Bruck at London’s School of Oriental and African Studies explains: “The Houthis want Yemen to be independent, that’s the key idea, they don’t want to be controlled by Saudi or the Americans, and they certainly don’t want to replace the Saudis with the Iranians.”

As noted earlier, Yemen has rarely not been at war. According to Thomas Juneau of the University of Ottawa, the present fight “is at its root a civil war, driven by local competition for power, and not a regional, sectarian or proxy war.” The Houthis turned to Tehran out of necessity, after being attacked by their wealthy neighbors backed by America.

Yemen continues a tragic pattern in American policy. Washington has intervened promiscuously throughout the Mideast, fomenting radicalism, creating chaos, promoting aggression, and subsidizing tyranny. The humanitarian costs of the Yemen war continue to climb. It’s time for the Trump administration to stop supporting tyrannical regimes like the Saudis and Emiratis as they assault both our interests and our values – by Doug Bandow =

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Expanded War, Hunger, Disease, Death in Yemen No Big Deal to US

With the antiseptic, opaque prose of diplomatic hypocrisy, the US secretary of state officially turned a blind eye to the pending carnage its ally the UAE (United Arab Emirates) is preparing to unleash on Yemen, already the world's most serious humanitarian crisis. According to the UAE website, the UAE in Yemen is: "Facilitating a peaceful transition in Yemen and preventing extremist control." Translated, that means the UAE has intervened in the Yemeni civil war on the side of the deposed puppet government allied with Saudi Arabia.

For its part, the US has participated in Saudi Arabia's genocidal air war on Yemen since 2015 and now offers no objection to a UAE-led military offensiveto raise the death toll in ground combat. Unacceptable as international criminality has been in Yemen, it could be worse, since the US recently suggested adding more American forces on the ground to support the UAE current attack plans (US forces already fight in Saudi Arabia along the border and occasional combat missions elsewhere).

Reporting is sketchy and unreliable at best, but the Saudi coalition has been touting an attack on Hudaydah since mid-May. The UAE-led forces, numbering in the thousands perhaps, were then some 50 to 100 miles south of Hudaydah. Besides UAE troops, the force includes Yemeni government, tribal, and Sudanese units. They have reportedly made unspecified gains in recent weeks, and they have met resistance from Houthi forces, who control the territory between the ill-defined front and Hudaydah. That territory is densely populated with Houthi supporters, and any major offensive would likely kill many civilians (more than a million people live in the region). On June 10, the same news service (Reuters) reported Yemeni forces in places only six and 18 miles from Hudaydah, "local military sources said."

Pro-Saudi coalition reporting is equally sketchy and unreliable, featuring gains by coalition forces west of Taiz, which is 154 miles south of Hudaydah. This report also claimed that a Houthi-launched missile was destroyed by the Saudi Royal Air Defense Forces, with no casualties resulting. The report went on to observe, without apparent irony, that: "Launching ballistic missiles towards densely populated cities and villages is in violation of international humanitarian law." Quite true, like the Saudi bombing of civilians almost daily since 2015.

the US continues to make Saudi Arabia's war of aggression possible, and the secretary of state has already articulated the official expectations of the US government in all its mendacity:

"We expect all parties to honor their commitments to work with the UN Office of the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen on this issue, support a political process to resolve this conflict, ensure humanitarian access to the Yemeni people, and map a stable political future for Yemen."

This is exactly what the US has refused to do for years. The US under President Obama took part in a political process that imposed a Yemeni government in the country that was unacceptable to the Houthis and the Yemeni majority, leading to a coup. This annoyed the US, since it disrupted the US use of Yemen as pretty much of a free fire zone for drone strikes. So the US green-lighted the illegal Saudi war on Yemen and made it possible with military support, including target choice, mid-air refueling, and a naval blockade.

The US has consistently undermined any political peace process. The US has participated in bombing humanitarian access to the Yemeni people. Now, under Trump, people are calling for the US to head off yet another potential atrocity of mass death at the hands of war criminals. Yes, it's the right thing to do, but it was the right thing to do in 2015 and then it would have been a much better thing and, possibly, even an effective thing – by William Boardman

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Saudi-led attack on rebel-held city in Yemen could worsen human exodus, famine

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been scrambling from their villages as fighting closes in on a strategic city on the Red Sea, inflaming a humanitarian crisis already considered the most severe in the world.

What began as a trickle fleeing Yemen's civil war in December has grown to more than 140,000, with hundreds more abandoning their homes each day. Refugee settlements have sprung up across southern Yemen, multiplying the pressure on Western aid agencies and hospitals struggling to cope with injuries, disease and hunger.

The United Nations estimated the offensive could drive 200,000 more people from their homes, on top of those who have already fled armed clashes in recent months near the besieged city.

For uprooted villagers, reaching safety has meant crossing front lines, dodging airstrikes and mortar rounds, and traversing roads and fields seeded with land mines. Villagers have often slipped out of their homes under the cover of darkness to avoid rebels who have been preventing people from fleeing and pressing children to take up arms, recently displaced Yemenis said in interviews.

"All we brought were some blankets and the clothes on our back," said Jabra Sayed, a mother of four, in an interview last month after arriving at the front-line area of Al Hayma along with 70 other families.

As she spoke, coalition-backed Yemeni fighters in sarongs and sandals fired off rockets and mortar shells every few minutes. Pickup trucks mounted with heavy machine guns rumbled past the ragged tents of the displaced bound for the front.

Many refugees are streaming into the main southern city of Aden and other towns, crowding into ill-equipped hospitals and clinics with diseases, malnourished babies, and injuries from land mines and unexploded munitions.

"We don't have enough resources," said Muhsin Mushid, the administrator of Ibn Khaldoun Hospital, one of the largest public medical centers in the south. "The more areas that are liberated, the more displaced will come here. This will place an even greater burden on us."

Hassan Eissa and his family arrived last month in the town of Al Khokha in a military truck, which had rescued them. His pregnant sister-in-law was clutching her rounded belly in pain, her leg broken. His teenage daughter was crying, her left arm shattered and tied with a tourniquet to stop the bleeding. Also aboard was the corpse of his mother-in-law.

Half an hour earlier, he said, their car had struck a land mine.

"The clashes had started up, and so we were escaping our village," recalled Eissa in an interview shortly after the incident. "As we reached the main road, a big explosion threw us all in the air." – By SUDARSAN RAGHAVAN

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Saudi Arabia Tried to Blame Doctors Without Borders for Bombing Yemen Cholera Treatment Center

The Saudi embassy in the United States pointed the finger at Doctors Without Borders after the US-backed Saudi coalition bombed the medical humanitarian group’s newly constructed cholera treatment center in Yemen.

The Saudi government circulated a misleading fax from a Doctors Without Borders (MSF) employee, to try to absolve itself of responsibility for the airstrike. I contacted MSF for clarification, and the organization said the fax is being misrepresented, and strongly condemned the “unacceptable attack on a medical facility.”

On June 11, the US-backed Saudi coalition waging war on Yemen bombed a cholera treatment center in the northwestern town of Abs. This medical facility, which had just been built, was operated by MSF, and was clearly marked on the roof with the logos of MSF and the Red Crescent.

Early on June 13, the embassy of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in Washington, DC tweeted a photo of a fax from MSF’s administrator of communication and liaison in Djibouti. This document is dated June 11, and the Saudi embassy claimed it showed MSF “clearly admit that the unfortunate facility incident was due to their failure to update their coordinates per standard procedures.”

MSF told me this claim is false. The organization clarified that it gave the Saudi coalition the GPS coordinates for its cholera treatment center at least 12 times in writing, and the coalition “acknowledged receipt of these coordinates in writing at least nine times.”

“A letter circulating on social media is not fake, but it was based on premature and incomplete information and does not represent MSF’s official response to the bombing of its cholera treatment center in Abs, Yemen, on June 11,” MSF senior press officer Tim Shenk wrote to me in an email.

“MSF records clearly demonstrate that the GPS coordinates for the center were shared at least 12 times in writing with the Saudi and Emirati-led Coalition’s (SELC) Evacuation and Humanitarian Operation Cell (EHOC),” he said. “The coordinates were shared on a weekly basis, over a period of more than two months prior to the bombing. EHOC acknowledged receipt of these coordinates in writing at least nine times. The SELC was therefore aware of the coordinates.”

“MSF maintains that the bombing is an unacceptable attack on a medical facility. It destroyed a patient ward and damaged an adjacent triage and observation ward,” he wrote. “MSF strongly condemns this attack, which is part of a worrying pattern of strikes on essential medical services that leave an already very fragile population with even less access to essential, lifesaving medical care and services.” – by Ben Norton

referring to

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Saudi Embassy USA: Sen.@ChrisMurphyCT attached a copy and an unofficial translation of a facsimile from MSF in which they clearly admit that the unfortunate facility incident was due to their failure to update their coordinates per standard procedures. Fortunately no lives were lost in this error (photo)

As clarified in our previous tweet; this unfortunate incident was due to an error in which Doctors Without Borders failed to provide their new coordinates to the Coalition as per standard procedures. We are grateful no lives were lost.

MSF: coordinates of @MSF #Cholera Treatment Center compound were shared twelve times with #KSA Evacuation and Humanitarian Operation Cell (EHOC).

MSF CTC is located in a compound exclusively used by @MSF and clearly identified as a #medical_facility. There are three logos displayed on the roofs, including one @MSF logo and two Red Crescent (photos)

cp1a Am wichtigsten: Seuchen / Most important: Epidemics

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World Health Organization: Containing disease outbreaks in Yemen

In the midst of war and faced with a collapsing health system, WHO, national health authorities, and local and international partners, have scaled-up their operations in Yemen through the establishment of rapid response teams (RRTs) to fight against disease outbreaks. These teams are critical; investigating outbreaks and ensuring that prevention and control measures are rapidly executed to contain any infectious disease threat.

As Yemen faces what is now known as the world’s largest cholera outbreak, these dedicated RRTs ensure that laser-focus on early detection, or the early identification of suspected cholera cases, and the investigation of the source are top priorities.

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WHO: Cholera ‘continues to threaten millions’ in Yemen

The fight against cholera in Yemen is “far from over”, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said yesterday, and that the epidemic “continues to threaten million..”

“The rainy season runs from mid-April to the end of August, which will further increase the risk of transmission,” the UN agency said in a statement on its official website.

Cholera continues to be a threat for “millions” in the war-torn country, especially women, children and the elderly, according to WHO’s statement.

The UN agency’s representative in Yemen, Nevio Zagaria, said that a third wave of the epidemic is expected, which necessitates the adoption of public health methods against it.

cp1b1 Kampf um Hodeidah: Deutsch / Most important: Hodeidah battle: German

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LIVE-TICKER: Die Schlacht um Hodeida

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Film: Jemen beginnt Rückeroberung von Hafenstadt Hodeida

Film: Jemen: Warnung vor Folgen der Hodeida-Offensive

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Zivilisten fliehen vor Bombardements arabischer Staaten im Jemen

Zivilisten versuchten verzweifelt, sich vor Dauer-Beschuss durch Kampfflugzeuge und Kriegsschiffe am Donnerstag in Sicherheit zu bringen. "Die Menschen haben Angst", sagte die Studentin Amina, die in der Nähe des umkämpften Hafens am Roten Meer wohnt, in einem Telefonat mit der Nachrichtenagentur Reuters. "Die Leute flüchten von der Stadt aufs Land. Aber für die, die dort keine Verwandten oder Geld haben, gibt es kein Entkommen." Nach Angaben von Bewohnern bombardierte die Allianz auch die wichtigste Verbindungsstraße zur Hauptstadt Sanaa, um zu verhindern, dass die Rebellen in Hudeida Verstärkung bekommen. =

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Sturm auf Hudaida fordert viele Opfer

Jemenitische Regierungstruppen stoßen am zweiten Tag ihrer Offensive auf Hudaida auf schweren Widerstand: Kampflos wollen die Huthi-Rebellen die strategisch wichtige Hafenstadt nicht aufgeben. Darunter leidet vor allem die Zivilbevölkerung.

Am zweiten Tag ihrer Offensive auf die strategisch wichtige Hafenstadt Hudaida im Jemen sind Regierungstruppen und deren Verbündete erneut auf zähe Gegenwehr der Rebellen getroffen. Nach Angaben von Ärzten wurden mindestens 30 Huthi-Rebellen und neun regierungstreue Kämpfer getötet. Die von Saudi-Arabien geführte Koalition attackierte Rebellenstellungen aus der Luft. Der UN-Sicherheitsrat forderte die Konfliktparteien auf, den für den Jemen wichtigen Hafen Hudaida offen zu halten.

Es habe am Donnerstag zwei "feindliche Luftangriffe" auf Gebiete nahe der Stadt gegeben, erklärten die Huthi-Rebellen über ihren Fernsehsender Al-Masirah. Militärangaben zufolge setzte die Koalition auch drei Kampfhubschrauber vom Typ Apache ein.

Der Hafen von Hudaida war weiterhin geöffnet, wie die Hafendirektion mitteilte. Es lägen weiter mehrere Schiffe im Hafen und weitere warteten auf Einfahrt, sagte Hafenchef Dawud Fadel. Über den Hafen wird ein Großteil der humanitären Hilfe für das Not leidende Land angeliefert.

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Dutzende Tote bei Kämpfen um Hafenstadt Hudeida

Jemens Regierung begründete die Offensive damit, dass Verhandlungen mit den Huthi-Rebellen zum Abzug aus Hodeida gescheitert seien. "Alle politischen und friedlichen Mittel sind erschöpft", erklärte die Regierung.

Mit Unterstützung Saudi-Arabiens und der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE) rücken Soldaten seit Mittwoch auf den Flughafen von Hudeida vor. Dabei wurden nach Militärangaben am Mittwoch vier Soldaten der Emirate getötet.

Humanitäre Hilfe über Hafen angeliefert

Am Donnerstag berichtete die amtliche Presseagentur Saudi-Arabiens von der Eroberung "neuer strategischer Bereiche". Die Kämpfe wurden vor allem in der Nähe des Flughafens ausgefochten.

Der Hafen von Hudeida war weiterhin geöffnet, wie die Hafendirektion mitteilte. Es lägen weiter mehrere Schiffe im Hafen und weitere warteten auf Einfahrt, sagte Hafenchef Dawud Fadel.

Über den Hafen wird ein Großteil der humanitären Hilfe für das notleidende Land angeliefert. Die Huthi-Rebellen hatten am Mittwoch erklärt, zwei Schiffe der Allianz an der Küste von Hudeida beschossen und eines davon getroffen zu haben.

Der Uno-Sicherheitsrat beriet am Donnerstag auf Antrag Großbritanniens über die Offensive im Jemen. Anschließend forderte der Rat, dass der Hafen, über den rund 70 Prozent der Einfuhren in den Jemen abgewickelt werden offen bleiben müsse.

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„Humanitäre Katastrophe“: Moskau äußert sich zu Schlacht um Jemens wichtigen Hafen

Das Erstürmen der jemenitischen Hafenstadt Al-Hudaida durch die dem Präsidenten Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi treuen bewaffneten Gruppen stellt eine Katastrophe für den ganzen Staat dar und wirkt sich negativ auf die Regelung der Situation im Land aus. Das geht aus einer Mitteilung des russischen Außenministeriums hervor.

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Jemen: Der Angriff auf die Hafenstadt al-Hudeida hat begonnen

Operation "Goldener Sieg": Saudi-Arabien verspricht, dass die Stadt danach "größer" sein wird und "besser". Befürchtet wird eine Katastrophe

Gestern wurde im Jemen aber auch die Operation "Golden Victory" gestartet: der Angriff jemenitischer Verbände unterstützt durch die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE) und die saudi-arabische Koalition auf die Hafenstadt Hudaida (auch al-Hudaida oder Hodeida, Hudaydah).

Ohne Placet aus Washington wäre das nicht so ohne weiteres möglich. Die mit den USA verbündeten Golfstaaten hatten denn kürzlich auch erklärt, dass sie mit der Offensive auf Hudaida warten würden, bis die US-Regierung zustimme.

Grünes Licht der USA

Ein offizielles Statement von US-Außenminister Pompeo am Montag wurde wegen der Formulierung - "Ich machte den Ministern aus den Emiraten unseren Wunsch klar, dass ihre Sicherheitsinteressen berücksichtigt werden" (i.O. "our desire to address their security concerns") - offensichtlich nicht nur von Beobachtern als "grünes Licht" gewertet.

Geschickt eingefädelt

Die Sache war geschickt eingefädelt, da die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate, die in der Öffentlichkeit anscheinend nun mehr und mehr die Rolle als Sprachrohr für die "arabische Koalition" übernehmen, zuvor das Bild der Situation propagierten, wonach sie selbst zwar zurückhaltend und vorsichtig agieren würden, dass man aber befürchten müsse, dass die jemenitischen Einheiten angesichts der Aktivitäten der feindlichen Huthis auf Dauer nicht zu kontrollieren seien (siehe Al-Hudaida: Die "Dynamik" im Jemen ändern).

Die Offensive wurde offiziell dann auch von der jemenitischen Regierung gestartet, die ihrerseits erklärte, dass man alle friedlichen und politischen Mittel ausgeschöpft habe.

Imagepflege von Saudi-Arabien

Auch der saudi-arabische Botschafter in den USA, Khalid Bin Salman, legte sich mit seiner Öffentlichkeitsarbeit ins Zeug, um zu erklären, dass der Angriff sein musste - aufgrund der "fortgesetzten Obstruktion von Mediationsversuchen durch die Huthis" und der "von Iran unterstützten rücksichtslosen Aggression der Huthis" nicht nur gegen den Jemen, sondern auch gegen Saudi-Arabien.

Der große Rest der aufgeklärten Welt hat hier freilich einen etwas anderen Eindruck.

Warnungen vor einer Katastrophe

Notwendig ist der enorme rhetorische Aufwand - der noch einmal vom Hinweis begleitet wird, dass Saudi-Arabien 1,5 Milliarden Dollar für UN-Hilfen im Jemen bereitgestellt hat (und damit Schmerzensgeld für Folgen der eigenen Kriegsführung bezahlt) - durch die Warnungen in der weltweiten Öffentlichkeit vor einer Katastrophe durch den Angriff auf Hudaida. Auch in den USA sind diese Befürchtungen durchaus präsent, wie etwa ein Brief von demokratischen und republikanischen Ausschuss-Mitgliedern, der noch einmal vor der Offensive warnte, bezeugt – von Thomas Pany

Kommentar: Die Worte völkerrechtswidrig, Angriffskrieg, Kriegsverbrechen fehlen im Artikel

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Offensive gegen Hudeida

Saudi-Arabien will raschen Sieg im Jemen. Totales Versagen der UNO macht es möglich

Es ist eine bunt gemischte, alles andere als homogene Truppe, die jetzt zum Sturm auf die Hafenstadt Hudeida angetreten ist. Die zwar »international anerkannte«, aber im Lande fast bedeutungslose, im saudi-arabischen Exil residierende Regierung von Präsident Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi verfügt nur über wenige Soldaten. An der Offensive gegen Hudeida sind beteiligt 2.000 Soldaten der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate, Hunderte Söldner aus dem Sudan, die von den Emiraten bezahlt werden, Angehörige separatistischer Milizen aus dem Südjemen, die ebenfalls auf der Lohnliste der Emirate stehen, und Milizionäre aus der Gegend von Hudeida, für die vermutlich das Gleiche gilt.

Einen zentralen Teil der »saudisch geführten« Offensive gegen die Hafenstadt bilden, den Berichten zufolge, rund 2.000 Soldaten der Emirate, die bisher in einem eritreischen Stützpunkt, Assab, stationiert waren und jetzt in einem Landungsunternehmen über das Rote Meer transportiert wurden.

Saudi-Arabien und die Emirate teilen sich gegenwärtig ihre Einflussgebiete im Jemen auf. Die Ereignisse sind Folge des völligen Versagens der Vereinten Nationen und insbesondere des UN-Sicherheitsrats (UNSC), einschließlich Russlands und Chinas. Dass Saudi-Arabien und die Emirate dort seit März 2015 jenseits internationalen Rechts einen Aggressionskrieg führen, hauptsächlich durch Luftangriffe gegen die Zivilbevölkerung, war für den UNSC bislang kein Thema.

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Jemen: "Menschen können sich Versorgungsunterbrechung nicht leisten"

Die Regierungsoffensive in der Millionenregion Hudeida schreitet voran. Hilfsorganisationen fürchten um die Versorgung der Bevölkerung.

"Das jemenitische Volk kann sich keine weitere Unterbrechung der Versorgung mit Nahrung, Treibstoff und lebenswichtiger Medizin mehr leisten", sagt Christopher Mzembe. Der Landeschef der Norwegischen Flüchtlingshilfe (NRC) im Jemen reagiert damit auf eine von Saudi Arabien unterstützten Regierungsoffensive auf die Hafenstadt Hudeida, die in den vergangenen Tagen zunehmend fortschritt.

Es habe seit gestern schwere Luftschläge entlang der Straßen und Küste südlich von Hudeida gegeben, berichtete die Nichtregierungsorganisation ( NGO) am Donnerstag. Die Bombardments kämen der Stadt dabei immer näher. Die Menschen blieben in ihren Häusern und hätten Angst um ihre Sicherheit.

Das NRC habe angesichts der bedrohlichen Lage noch kein Hilfspersonal abgezogen, die Hilfe werde aber derzeit deutlich behindert.

Anders als diverse Medien berichtet hätten, sei der Hafen aber zumindest im Moment noch voll operationsfähig und in Betrieb. "Wir rufen alle Konfliktparteien dazu auf, dass das so bleibt", sagte Mzembe

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Offensive auf entscheidenden Hafen

Es könnte die Wende im Jemen bringen: Die saudisch geführte Militärkoalition hat ihre Offensive auf die Huthis im Hafen Hodeida begonnen. Hilfsorganisationen warnen vor einer Katastrophe.

Die Chancen der Militärkoalition stehen gut, über flaches Gelände und Sandwüste schnell auf Hodeida vorzurücken. Schätzungsweise 22.000 lokale Kämpfer stehen etwa 5000 Huthis gegenüber.

Politische Analysten wie Alexandre Mello von der Beratungsfirma Horizon gehen deshalb von einem schnellen Vorrücken der von der Militärkoalition unterstützten Einheiten aus, womöglich unterstützt von saudischen Kampfjets.

Die Hafenstadt selbst einzunehmen, könnte aber sehr viel mühsamer und verlustreich werden. Mello geht von etwa vier Wochen aus. Hodeida ist dicht besiedelt: 400.000 Einwohner sollen sich noch in der Stadt befinden, viele sind bereits geflohen. Es droht ein Häuserkampf. Das Risiko, dass bei den Kämpfen viele Zivilisten zu Tode kommen, ist erheblich. Auch deshalb warnen die UN eindringlich vor der Offensive.

Fällt ihr der Hafen zu, würden die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate und Saudi-Arabien auch wieder den strategisch enorm wichtigen Golf von Aden kontrollieren. Über ihn laufen europäische Schiffe die Häfen von Dubai und Abu Dhabi an. Analyst Mello glaubt, dass die Hafenanlagen schnell wieder in Betrieb gesetzt werden könnten. Dann läge die Versorgung der Bevölkerung in den Händen der Militärkoalition.

Mein Kommentar: Falsch: Die vorrückenden Kämpfer stamen nur zu einem kleineren Teil aus der Region. Ein Teil der Milizen stammt aus Südjemen, emiratische Truppen sowie Söldner aus dem Sudan sind auch mit von der Partie.

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Angriff auf zentralen Hafen im Jemen bedroht Hunderttausende

Eine neue Militäroffensive zielt auf die «Lebensader» des Landes.

Der lang erwartete Angriff auf die für die Versorgung des Jemens zentrale Hafenstadt Hudaida hat begonnen. Die Befreiung der Stadt sei ein Meilenstein im Kampf, den Jemen von den Huthi-Milizen zurückzuerobern, teilte die international anerkannte jemenitische Regierung am Mittwoch mit.

Zudem solle damit auch die Sicherheit in der Meerenge Bab al-Mandab wiederhergestellt werden. Die Wasserstraße zwischen der arabischen Halbinsel und dem Horn von Afrika zählt zu den wichtigsten Routen für Öltanker.

Die Vereinten Nationen hatten vor dem Angriff vor verheerenden Folgen für die Zivilbevölkerung gewarnt und ihre Präsenz in dem Bürgerkriegsland geändert. Rund 12 UN-Mitarbeiter hätten Hodeida verlassen, aber etwa 41 seien noch vor Ort

Die Offensive auf Hudaida habe mit Luftangriffen auf Ziele südlich der Stadt begonnen, hieß es aus jemenitischen Militärkreisen.

Berichte von vor Ort bestätigten die schlimmsten Befürchtungen, sagte der Generalsekretär der Hilfsorganisation Care Deutschland, Karl-Otto Zentel.

Anwohner berichteten der Deutschen Presse-Agentur von zahlreichen Kampfjets, die über die Stadt flögen. Es seien zahlreiche Explosionen von Luftangriffen und Bombardierungen durch Kriegsschiffe südlich der Stadt zu hören. Im Stadtzentrum selbst zögen sich Kämpfer der Huthis zusammen.

Der Botschafter der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate in Deutschland, Ali al-Ahmed, hält die Vermittlungsbemühungen des UN-Sondergesandten für gescheitert. Seit einem Jahr habe es keine Fortschritte gegeben, sagte er der Deutschen Presse-Agentur. «Eine militärische Lösung ist deutlich näher als eine politische Lösung.» =

und auch

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Angriff auf die Lebensader

Die Emirate hatten den Huthis eine Frist bis Mittwochmorgen gestellt, aus Hodeidah abzuziehen. Danach begannen sie, Dutzende Ziele in der Stadt aus der Luft zu bombardieren und von See und Land mit Artillerie zu beschießen.

Der Gouverneur [der Hadi-Rewgierung; Kl.] von Hodeidah Taher prophezeite, es werde in der Stadt zu einem Aufstand gegen die Huthis kommen, deren Stärke in der gesamten Provinz Hodeidah er auf 3000 bis 4000Mann schätzt. Seine Truppen, die aus drei rivalisierenden Milizen und sudanesischen Söldnern bestehen, verfügten über 10 000 bis 15 000 Mann an, dazu kommen emiratische Eliteeinheiten, Luftunterstützung und Kriegsschiffe der Koalition, die auch die Schifffahrtsrouten durch die Meerenge Bab al-Mandab sichern sollen.

Taher sagte, er rechne damit, spätestens in zehn Tagen die Kontrolle über Hodeidah zu erlangen. Hilfsorganisationen und die UN fürchten dagegen eine monatelange Belagerung - und dass die 400 000 bis 600 000 Zivilisten in der Stadt bei den Kämpfen zwischen die Fronten geraten – von Paul-Anton Krüger =

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Versorgung unter Beschuss

Die Nothilfe-Koordinatorin der UN für Jemen, Lise Grande, sagte der Süddeutschen Zeitung: "Jede Schließung des Hafens wird unmittelbare und katastrophale Folgen für das Leben der Menschen im Norden Jemens haben, deswegen muss der Hafen offen gehalten werden!"

Überdies sei die Versorgung mit Lebensmitteln gefährdet, auch wenn die UN in Hodeidah und anderen Landesteilen Vorräte vorhalten. "Wir ernähren derzeit sieben Millionen Menschen, die sonst verhungern würden", sagt Grande. Weitere 11,4 Millionen, von denen 1,4 Millionen akut eine Hungersnot droht, sind aber von den kommerziellen Importen abhängig, die größtenteils über Hodeidah ins Land kommen. "Wenn sie keine Lebensmittel mehr bekommen, werden sie an unsere Türen klopfen", warnt Grande. Abweisen werden die UN sie nicht können, aber dann sind die Vorräte, die für sieben Millionen reichen sollten, binnen Wochen aufgebraucht.

Die UN haben deswegen internationales Personal zurück nach Hodeidah geschickt. "Derzeit laden wir mit Granatfeuer und Luftangriffen in wenigen Kilometern Entfernung 18 000 Tonnen Lebensmittel ab", sagte Grande – von Paul-Anton Krüger

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Washington unterstützt tödliche Belagerung der Hafenstadt Hodeidah im Jemen

Weitaus mehr Gewicht als diese humanitären Warnungen hatte jedoch, dass Washington die Operation unterstützt. Im Laufe der letzten Woche wurde bekannt, dass die Trump-Regierung das Pentagon angewiesen hat, Pläne für eine direkte Teilnahme der USA an der Belagerung von Hodeidah auszuarbeiten. Darauf folgte letzte Woche die routinemäßige Stellungnahme eines anonymen Sprechers des Nationalen Sicherheitsrats des Weißen Hauses, die USA würden jede Militäraktion ablehnen, die „die ernste humanitäre Lage“ im Jemen verschlimmern könnte.

Am Montag gab US-Außenminister Mike Pompeo jedoch eine Erklärung heraus, die als „gelbes Blinklicht“ beschrieben wurde, d.h. als Mahnung zu vorsichtigem Vorgehen. Er deutete an, er verfolge die Lage in Hodeida „aufmerksam“, appellierte jedoch weder an Saudi-Arabien noch an die VAE, von einem Angriff auf die Stadt abzusehen. Stattdessen erklärte er: „Ich habe mit der Regierung der Emirate gesprochen und deutlich gemacht, dass wir auf ihre Sicherheitsbedenken eingehen und gleichzeitig den freien Zugang für humanitäre Hilfe und lebenswichtige kommerzielle Importe erhalten wollen.“

Am Mittwoch meldete das Wall Street Journal unter Berufung auf Quellen des Pentagon, das US-Militär helfe „seinen Verbündeten am Golf, eine Liste von Zielen auszuarbeiten“, angeblich um die „Zahl der zivilen Todesopfer zu minimieren.“

Ähnliche Behauptungen wurden auch im Zusammenhang mit der Auswahl von Zielen durch die USA im irakischen Mossul und im syrischen Rakka aufgestellt. Beide Städte wurden von amerikanischen Bomben und Raketen in Schutt und Asche gelegt, Zehntausende wurden getötet oder verwundet.

Die Belagerung von Hodeidah, einer Stadt mit 600.000 Einwohnern, könnte sogar diese US-Kriegsverbrechen noch in den Schatten stellen.

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Die von zahlreichen westlichen Staaten wie den USA und Britannien unterstützte saudisch-emiratische Kriegskoalition zur Eroberung des Jemen hat am heutigen Mittwoch zu Land, von See und aus der Luft einen Großangriff zur Eroberung der westjemenitsichen Hafenstadt Hodeida begonnen.

Von der See her versuchten die Emiratis mit mehreren Schiffen Besatzungstruppen bei Hodeida anzulanden, was die jemenitischen Streitkräfte jedoch unterbinden konnten, indem sie das erste der Landungsschiffe mit zwei Raketen in Brand schossen und zerstörten, woraufhin die anderen Schiffe abdrehten und einer Rettungsoperation für die Soldaten auf dem getroffenen Kriegsschiff Platz machten.

Den Bodentruppen der saudisch-emiratischen Koalition gelang es jedoch trotzdem, sich von Süden her bis auf etwa vier Kilometer an den Flughafen von Hodeida heranzukämpfen, wo die jemenitischen Streitkräfte ihre erste größere Linie zur Verteidigung von Hodeida aufgebaut haben dürften.

Die Regierung in Sanaa hat zwar angekündigt, Hodeida mit Zähnen und Klauen verteidigen zu wollen, und die Streitkräfte des Jemen einschließlich der Freiwilligenverbände von Ansarullah kämpfen wie die Löwen, doch angesichts der totalen Luftüberlegenheit der saudisch-emiratischen Koalition scheinen ihre Chancen trotzdem nicht sonderlich gut zu stehen, Hodeida dauerhaft gegen die Angriffe der Terrorkoalition verteidigen zu können.

Bemerkung: „Jemenitische Armee“ hier: Der mit den Huthis verbündete Teil der Armee, der der pro-Huthi-Regierung in Sanaa untersteht.

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Film: Jemen: Angriff auf Hudaida verschlimmert Lage für Zivilisten =ür-zivilisten/vp-AAyBTx0

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"Dem Jemen kann nur noch ein Wunder helfen"

Der Angriff auf Hodeida zeigt der jemenitischen Bloggerin Afrah Nasser: Die Saudisch-geführte Koalition sucht im Jemen die militärische Entscheidung. Sie befürchtet, dass eine blutige Schlacht um Sanaa folgt.

Afrah Nasser: Es ist eine traurige und besorgniserregende Entwicklung. Es zeigt die Verzweiflung von allen, die sich um ein Ende des Jemen-Krieges bemühen, dass sie jetzt die Saudisch-geführte Koalition anflehen, diese Stadt in Ruhe zu lassen und nicht die ohnehin schon verheerende humanitäre Katastrophe weiter zu verschlimmern. Der Hafen von Hodeida ist extrem wichtig. Nahrungsmittellieferungen, Hilfslieferungen, auch die Einreise von humanitären Helfern - all das läuft über den Hafen von Hodeida. Wird dieser Hafen zerstört, kommt die humanitäre Hilfe zum Erliegen.

Ohnehin hatten viele den Eindruck, dass für den Krieg im Jemen kein Ende in Sicht ist. Die Schlacht um Hodeida zeigt erneut, wie hoffnungslos die Lage ist. Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate wollen diesen Krieg militärisch gewinnen. Und die Menschen im Jemen bezahlen den Preis dafür.

Deshalb mache ich mir große Sorgen darüber, was auf die Schlacht von Hodeida folgt. Natürlich schreiben alle Medien zu Recht über die drohende humanitäre Katastrophe, über die Opfer unter der Zivilbevölkerung. Aber wenn sich die saudische Koalition dann tatsächlich nach Sanaa wendet, wird es ein furchtbares Blutbad geben. Dann werden wir eine Schlacht sehen, ebenso furchtbar wie die um Aleppo in Syrien oder um Mossul im Nordirak.

Könnte die Saudisch-geführte Koalition die Offensive auf Hodeida ohne Rückendeckung aus Washington begonnen haben?

Auf keinen Fall! Die Saudis haben zwar Geld, aber keine militärische Erfahrung. Deshalb sind sie auf die militärische und logistische Unterstützung der USA angewiesen. Und auf deren diplomatische Unterstützung, besonders in den Vereinten Nationen und im Weltsicherheitsrat.

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UN-Sondergesandter: Militärische Eskalation im Jemen wird "ernsthafte Konsequenzen" für Zivilisten haben

Dies werde für Millionen von Zivilisten „ernsthafte Konsequenzen" in einer bereits „schlimmen" Situation haben, sagte der UN-Sondergesandte für Jemen Martin Griffiths am Mittwoch.

Nach Berichten über einen schweren Luft- und Bodenangriff gegen die strategisch wichtige Stadt Hodeidah am Roten Meer warnte der UN-Sondergesandte Martin Griffiths in einer Erklärung, dass es „Auswirkungen auf seine Bemühungen haben werde, die Konfliktparteien an den Verhandlungstisch zu bringen".

Griffiths bekräftigte das „starke Engagement" der Vereinten Nationen für eine politische Lösung des Konflikts und sagte, dass „jede Gelegenheit" genutzt werde, um eine militärische Konfrontation zu vermeiden.

(A H K)


„Wir sind sehr besorgt, dass Teile der Bevölkerung im Land nun eine Hungersnot erleben könnten“, so Zentel.

„Der Angriff auf die Hafenstadt Hodeida, das wichtigste Zentrum für Importe, ist eine Schreckensnachricht, die jetzt alle aufrütteln muss, die Einfluss auf die Kriegsparteien nehmen können“, sagt Zentel. „Wir fordern alle Parteien auf, Kampfhandlungen in und um Hodeida einzustellen. Die Menschen sind bereits jetzt am Ende ihrer Kräfte. Sie drohen zu verhungern und können die anhaltende Gewalt kaum noch überleben.” und auch

(A K P)

Auswärtiges Amt besorgt über Situation im Jemen

Das Auswärtige Amt hat sich besorgt über aktuelle Entwicklungen in der jemenitischen Hafenstadt Hodeidah geäußert.

„Wir appellieren an alle Konfliktparteien, den Schutz der Zivilbevölkerung zu gewährleisten, und fordern im Interesse der Not leidenden Menschen im Jemen von allen Parteien die strikte Einhaltung des humanitären Völkerrechts und die Achtung der humanitären Prinzipien.“

Mein Kommentar: Auch aus Deutschland nur das übliche „Wir sind besorgt“ und das übliche „Wir appellieren an alle Konfliktparteien“ – Bla, bla, mit Copy and Paste on einer halben Minute zu erzeugen, die anderen EU-Länder sind auch nicht besser. Nur nichts konkret gegen die „Proxies“ der Amerikaner in diesem Krieg sagen (und vor allem unternehmen).

cp1b2 Kampf um Hodeidah: Englisch / Most important: Hodeidah battle: English

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Kenneth Roth, HRW: Beware Saudi and Emirati promises of a quick, painless military victory to take the port of Hodeida. Such divorced-from-reality predictions in the past have given us indiscriminate bombardment and left eight million Yemeni civilians facing famine.

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Our people in #Hodeidah will die very slowly due to the battle there. People there are very poor, they have no money to buy food for two days and most of them cant flee to safe areas.

Most people in #Hodeidah living on one meal daily, children are hungry. Diseases are spreading everywhere. if the battle continued for just two weeks the result of that will be huge among civilians and innocents

I'm originally from #Hodeidah , I have received several messages during the last week from my friends there telling me that they cannot bear the circumstances of the battle in and around the province. They need people everywhere to speak up about them.

In case the battle in #Hodeidah started. I'm expecting 500k people who would lose their own houses, and several others will lose their children because they can't offer them their daily food. Please stop the war on #Hodeidah

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Yemen latest: offensive for the liberation of Hodeidah enters second day - live updates

Remark: By Emirati news agency, also the day before:

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Yemen latest: Coalition forces launch Hodeidah operation — live updates

(* A K)

Coalition and government forces are battling Houthi militants around Hodeidah air port. Almost there.

Residents in #Hodeida have just told me fighting is in Khamseen street 3km from the city’s airport and 14 km from downtown. Coalition’s fighter jets make heavy buzz on skies.

Family in Hudaydah are telling me that Saudi/UAE forces have entered the southern part of the city. Some are now trying to leave to Sana'a, despite the fact that the Coalition bombed the main road to Sana'a earlier.

(A H K)

Yemen | Hodeida – Critical lifeline for humanitarian aid – Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) – DG ECHO Daily Map | 14/06/2018

(A K)

Yemen rebel leader defiant as dozens die in battle for key port

Rebel leader Abdel Malek Al-Houthi urged troops to "confront the forces of tyranny", warning they would recapture areas taken by pro-government forces by "bringing huge numbers (of fighters) to the battle", according to the rebels' Al-Masirah TV.

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Human Rights Watch. Yemen: Key Concerns for Hodeida Battle

All parties to the conflict in Yemen should minimize civilian harm during military operations against the western port city of Hodeida, Human Rights Watch said today. The Saudi-led coalition, backed by the United States, and Yemeni government-aligned forces, backed by the United Arab Emirates, stepped up attacks on Houthi forces controlling the port in June 2018.

About 70 percent of Yemen’s aid and commercial imports enter through Hodeida and the nearby Saleef port, providing food, fuel, and medicine that the population needs for survival. To comply with international humanitarian law, or the laws of war, warring parties should take immediate steps to provide safe passage and adequate support to civilians fleeing fighting and facilitate the flow of aid and commercial supplies to the broader population and access by humanitarian agencies.

“The coalition and Houthi forces now fighting for Hodeida have atrocious records abiding by the laws of war,” said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “The UN Security Council should urgently warn senior officials on both sides to provide civilians access to desperately needed aid.”

My comment: What a poor statement!! HRW does not ask the assault and the fighting to stop, but just “All parties to the conflict in Yemen should minimize civilian harm during military operations against the western port city of Hodeida”. That’s US, EU government style, while letting happen the disaster. A fail of HRW.

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The U.S. Is Enabling a Catastrophe in Yemen

This interview with Nadine Drummond from Save the Children is essential reading for understanding the humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the effect that the assault on Hodeidah will have on the civilian population.

The only way to alleviate Yemen’s humanitarian crisis is to halt the fighting and lift the coalition blockade. The assault on Hodeidah makes the first practically impossible by killing off any chance for negotiations for the foreseeable future, and it ensures that the effects of the blockade will be made even worse for millions and millions of innocent Yemenis. The coalition governments are pressing ahead with this attack knowing full well the effect it will have on the civilian population. As usual, coalition governments are showing flagrant disregard for the lives of civilians, and they keep getting away with this because the U.S. and other Western governments support their war and shield them from international scrutiny and censure. Attacking Hodeidah will make an already cruel and atrocious war that much worse, and it is happening with the Trump administration’s acceptance and assistance.

The Saudi coalition has consistently been impeding the delivery of goods and aid into Yemen, destroying critical infrastructure, and endangering the lives of civilians – by Daniel Larison

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Yemen - The Starvation Siege Has Begun

The port is now classified as a zone of active military conflict. Prolonged fighting may well destroy the port infrastructurer. Even if the Saudi coalition forces take and reopen it they will continue to block food supplies for the central highlands of Yemen. They want to starve the Houthis into submission.

The New York Times editors do not want to understand the real problem with this attack:

A coalition led by the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia is poised to attack the Red Sea port of Al Hudaydah, the home to 600,000 Yemenis and the lifeline for humanitarian aid that sustains most of the country’s people. […] Experts have predicted that 250,000 people could be killed or displaced in the offensive.

The NYT is in principle supporting the Saudi attack. It wants the Houthis removed. It follows the line of the Zionist lobby:

However, inaction at Hodeida carries steep costs.[...] If liberated, the port's capacity could quickly be expanded, especially if the liberation is achieved quickly and carefully. People in government-controlled areas are better off than people in Houthi-controlled areas precisely because they are reconnected to functioning ports and, partially, to the government payroll system. Thus, the people in Hodeida would benefit from being liberated.

The problem is not that 250,000 people could be displaced or even killed due to the fighting. The problem is not that the people of Hodeidah lacked food. Until today they received it through the harbor.

The problem is that the Saudis plan a starvation siege on all territory held by the Houthis and their aligned forces.

There are some eighteen million people living in those territories. Eight million of them are already on the border of starvation. The Saudis want to take Hodeidah to block food access for the people in Sanaa. If they succeed, or if the harbor infrastructure gets damaged by fighting, the eight million will probably die and another ten million will also be in imminent danger.

The Saudi media are not even shy about the intent. Liberating Hodeidah is a must for cutting the Houthi lifeline headlined the Arab News.

The Yemeni lawyer Haykal Bafana points out that the Saudis used the same strategy in 1934 during a border conflict with the Imamate of Yemen. Back then the Saudis occupied Hodeidah and starved the population of Sanaa, the seat of the Imamate, until Yemen gave up. This is what they want to repeat: =

(* A H K)

Yemen War Moves to Hodeida

A Saudi Arabia and UAE-led group of fighters has launched a two-pronged attack against the crucial port city of Hodeida in Yemen.• The port is the main gateway for desperately needed food supplies.• The U.N. has repeatedly warned that an attack on the port city could lead to a worsening of the already dire circumstances in Yemen.• The U.S. is providing targeting support for the Hodeida offensive, as it has throughout the catastrophic Yemen war.

Remark: Overview.

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Civilians flee bombardment as Arab states pound Yemen port

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi positions in Yemen’s Hodeidah on Thursday as a Saudi-led alliance tried to seize the main port in the largest battle of a war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Apache attack helicopters bombed a strip of coastal territory near the city’s airport, two residents told Reuters on the second day of the battle.

“The fighting is getting close to the al-Manzar area near the airport and people are fleeing in fear,” said Mohammed Abdullah, an employee of the Houthi administration in the city.

“My family left for Sanaa yesterday but I stayed behind alone to protect our home from looters,” he said.

Coalition forces were just 2 km from the airport, the Emirati ambassador to the United Nations, Obeid Salem Al Zaabi, told reporters in Geneva.

[and overview on events of the day]

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Film: #Hodeidah, another chapter of aggression where #Yemen-i resistance meets #US backed #UAE-#KSA terrorism

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen: Humanitarian Partners are Delivering Life-Saving Assistance to Thousands of Families in Hodeidah

Humanitarian partners are rushing to provide life-saving assistance to thousands of vulnerable families in the port city of Hodeidah, where fighting has escalated.

“Dozens of UN staff are in the city helping to deliver food, water and health services,” said Lise Grande, UN Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “We estimate that 600,000 civilians are in the city—many of whom are dependent on assistance to survive.”

“Humanitarian partners have been preparing for a possible assault for weeks. Agencies have prepositioned 63,000 metric tonnes of food, tens of thousands of emergency kits, nutrition supplies, water and fuel. Medical teams have been dispatched and humanitarian service points established.”

“The UN and humanitarian partners are on the ground in Hodeidah,” said Ms. Grande. “Yesterday, even as the city was being shelled and bombarded, an UN-contracted vessel, which is docked at Hodeidah port, off-loaded thousands of metric tonnes of food. Two more vessels are making preparations to do the same. Today, partners are distributing emergency boxes with food and hygiene supplies to people which have been displaced by the fighting south of the city.”

“Humanitarian agencies and front-line partners already have massive programmes in the city. Every day 50,000 litres of safe drinking water are being distributed and health teams have been helping to halt the spread of cholera and other life-threatening diseases.” =

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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

The United Nations and its humanitarian partners are present in Hodeidah and we continue to work to deliver the most critical programmes in partnership with local organizations. Humanitarian partners are positioning 70,000 rapid response kits at humanitarian service points across the governorate, including in Hodeidah City. Rapid response kits include food rations for a family for two weeks, as well as hygiene items and other essential goods. They are intended to cover people’s most immediate needs in line with planning projections. Partners will provide rapid response kits to the newly displaced families. In addition, vulnerable families are receiving monthly food rations, hygiene kits, non-food‑item kits, emergency shelter kits and protection services. Partners are also providing fuel for water pumps and emergency rooms, as well as sewage pumps and support for health‑care services.

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International Organization for Migration: IOM Urges Restraint, Calls for Protection of Migrants in Hodeidah Operation

The military offensive on Yemen’s busy port city of Hodeidah, which began yesterday (13/08), is putting the lives of 600,000 people at risk. IOM, the UN Migration Agency, warns of the drastic impacts that the military operation is having on migrants and humanitarian access to all affected communities. With its UN and other partners, IOM urges restraint and calls for respect of International Humanitarian Law, especially the protection of civilians, including migrants.

Despite the fighting, IOM provides health care personnel to health care facilities in Hodeidah: a physician, two nurses and a midwife, as well as medical supplies and ambulances. The team rotates between three different facilities.

and WFP:

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UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: Yemen: Al Hudaydah Update Situation Report No. 1, 14 June 2018

As heavy fighting continued along the western coast of Yemen, including heavy shelling from air, sea and land, the humanitarian community has been vocal in calling on all parties to the conflict respect International Humanitarian Law; ensure the protection of civilians and their access to the assistance they need to survive. The humanitarian implications of an attack on Al Hudaydah City, inhabited by an estimated 600,000 people, would be enormous.

As fighting continues, the port of Al Hudaydah remains open, with one humanitarian vessels in the process of off- loading food, and two others making preparations to enter the port. Humanitarian partners are concerned that the conflict could impact operations at Hudaydah and Saleef ports, through which about 70 per cent of Yemen’s imports, including commercial and humanitarian goods, enter the country.

Humanitarian partners are pre-positioning supplies in nine Humanitarian Service Points (HSP) which have been set up across Al Hudaydah Governorate and City.

(** A H K)

Hodeidah: What the assault means for Yemen’s civilians and the aid effort

No one can be sure how the battle will play out, but everyone agrees that in a country that has been on the brink of famine for years, the offensive will make life for 27 million Yemenis even worse. However, this sort of statement (found in just about every aid agency press release and headline) doesn’t mean much to those on the ground or give a picture of what’s really at stake.

Aid workers report that many civilians have also taken flight inside Hodeidah province, fleeing north towards the city and exhausting their resources along the way just to get there.

Isma’eel al-Sharabi, director of the Hodeidah-based Ash'ari Association for Social Charity, told IRIN that large numbers of people had fled into the city, despite the imminent assault. Many are staying with relatives, while others have taken shelter in schools and other public buildings.

Mohamed Abdi, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, says people fleeing will need shelter, clean water, and other supplies, placing deeper strains on already stretched host communities.

Displacement is hardly the only concern for those in the region, however. Houthi forces have reportedly left minesin southern parts of the province, and, according to several aid workers, coalition airstrikes have destroyed some of the roads that humanitarians use to access communities in need.

As fighting intensifies on the outskirts of Hodeidah, some civilians are reportedly already attempting to flee. But not everyone will be able to get out of harm’s way.

“In these instances, the people who remain behind are the elderly, children, and disabled people,” said the NRC’s Abdi. “It is harder for them to move, especially if they don’t have means or the money to enable them to move from one area or another. There is a danger that some people might not want to move, and they could be trapped in the line of fire.”

“I’ve been here in Hodeidah for one year now, and I’ve seen so many heartbreaking scenes,” al-Maswari said. “Families can barely feed their older children, and sometimes they go without food for days.”

But it isn’t just food that civilians need; aid agencies say water shortages are also a major concern.

Most of the people in Hodeidah city already rely on aid agencies to bring them safe water by truck

“During clashes, the public water corporation operators will not be able to report to their stations and operate the system,” Swangin told IRIN. “It will be impossible for water trucks to move around within the city.” This “increases the risks of people having no access to water and sanitation services, which will cause health and environmental risks.”

While civilians in Hodeidah city and province are in clear danger, the port is also a key concern. In a country like Yemen that imports almost all its food and most of its fuel, seaports are key to civilian survival.

The NRC’s Abdi said “the whole of northern Yemen will feel the pinch if the port is closed or disrupted”, but pointed out that people across the country who’ve exhausted their resources will also suffer. Scott Paul, head of humanitarian advocacy at UK-based charity Oxfam, says those most impacted will be, to put it bluntly, “everybody that is already poor”. In Yemen, that’s millions of people – by Annie Slemrod

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Norwegian Refugee Council: Update on the situation in Hodeida, Yemen, 14 June 2018

Since the Saudi-led Coalition offensive on Hodeidah started yesterday, people in the governorate have reported heavy airstrikes along coastal areas and roads in districts south of Hodeidah city.

No direct attacks have been reported within Hodeidah city itself, despite the overhead presence of fighter jets since yesterday morning.

NRC programs in Hodeidah and Hajjah are severely disrupted by fighting of the kind we are seeing now, but NRC has not evacuated any staff from Hodeidah or elsewhere in the country. Our teams remain on standby to move to people in need with food, clean water and support with shelter as soon as the situation allows them to do so safely.

NRC staff in Hodeida report that the sound of shelling is getting closer.
People are staying inside their homes and reporting increasing anxiety about their safety as fighting gets nearer.

Humanitarian partners have prepositioned hygiene, health and shelter supplies to respond to emergency needs for up to 75,000 households across Hodeidah if access is made possible.

Nearly 15 per cent of all suspected cholera cases since the initial outbreak in April 2017, have occurred in Hodeidah governorate, foretelling very high risk of a second outbreak if water supplies are disrupted or cut off completely.

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Joint INGO Statement in the Event of an Escalation on Hodeidah

June 14, 2018 - International aid groups working in Yemen today expressed outrage at the loss of human life that has resulted from a military assault on Hodeidah city and its port and accused the attackers of a total disregard for human suffering. The consequences of this attack will be nothing but catastrophic for the people of Hodeidah, as well as for the rest of the population across the country who rely on Hodeidah’s port for food, fuel and commercial goods, including life-saving supplies of medicines. Two-thirds of Yemen’s population are directly served by the port.

The current military intervention in Hodeidah is leaving hundreds of thousands of women, men and children stranded without any support or access to humanitarian aid. We are extremely worried about not being able to reach people in need as the warring parties advance, leaving civilians caught in the middle. We reiterate in the strongest possible terms that there is no military solution to this conflict. The only solution is to return to a viable peace process.

We also call on the international community to exert pressure on the warring parties to immediately halt the violence and return to meaningful dialogue. =

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The Disaster Awaiting Yemen After Al Hudaydah Falls

If the offensive goes according to the Saudis’ and Emiratis’ plan, promptly after that, the Houthis, who also control the capital Sana, will sue for peace. The maritime blockade in place since 2015 could then be lifted. After that, a vast humanitarian operation could unfold, saving Yemen from a devastating famine.

But nothing in this war has gone according plan so far, and the risks of mass starvation are greater than ever, even if Al Hudaydah falls fast.

And yet the United Nations Security Council has not seized on the emergency, and in my conversations with diplomats in New York on Wednesday, that passivity was laced with cynicism: If the Yemenis could survive the hardships of the past few years of war, some were saying, they would be fine for a bit longer.

What will happen to all of them if Al Hudaydah falls?

Why assume that the Houthis, even after losing this strategic post, would surrender or seek some settlement? In fact, some Yemenis have drawn comparisons to Syria to predict that Al Hudaydah will become “Yemen’s Aleppo”: the site of protracted street-to-street fighting under a siege.

If the coalition captures the city, it could indeed reopen the port for humanitarian and commercial shipments. But to reach the great majority of starving Yemenis, food would still have to cross the front line. And that’s to say nothing of the lasting impediments caused by the extensive damage to civilian infrastructure: At least one-third of the coalition’s air attacks have struck roads, bridges, irrigation dams, hospitals and clinics, markets and fishing boats.

Saudi and Emirati strategists may not be intending to starve the Yemeni people into submission. But in practice, if not motive, hunger has become a weapon in this war. On May 24, the United Nations Security Council passed Resolution 2417, condemning starvation of civilians as a method of warfare. The resolution didn’t name names, but its first test is Yemen.

And Yemen is America’s war, too.

But once again, the United States — as well as other Western countries — faces a choice between being complicit in an unfolding calamity or stepping in to try to stop it – by Alex De Waal

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The Assault on Hodeidah Will Cause Mass Starvation in Yemen

If the coalition manages to take Hodeidah at great cost to the local civilian population, that is unlikely to end the war or alleviate the country’s humanitarian crisis. As de Waal notes, commercial goods and aid still need to reach the people served by the port, and if Hodeidah falls those people will be cut off. By attacking the port and cutting off the vast majority of the population from their main source of food, fuel, and medicine, the coalition is all but announcing that it intends to starve the population and continue the war until the other side capitulates. That doesn’t make the Houthis more likely to talk, and it gives them more incentive to resist as long as possible. An assault on the port doesn’t bring peace closer. On the contrary, it makes a negotiated resolution to the conflict less likely than ever. A prolonged fight over the port, or an intense fight that damages the port’s infrastructure further, will disrupt the already woefully inadequate supplies of commercial goods and aid that are coming in now. Yemen’s population cannot afford even a brief disruption, and it is much more likely that it will last for weeks or months.

Millions of Yemeni civilians’ lives hang in the balance, and a great many of those lives will be needlessly taken if the assault continues. This disaster is preventable and could still be prevented if the U.S. reined in its clients and warned them off from this attack, but there is no sign that the Trump administration is willing to do that. The U.S. is helping the coalition to commit one of the biggest international crimes in decades, and our government could stop it from happening if our leaders were willing to risk angering a gang of despots – by Daniel Larison

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Assault on Yemen's Hodeida will bring 'famine' and 'devastation'

Children will be among the most hard-hit by the Saudi-led assault on Hodeida, says Nadine Drummond, spokesperson for Save the Children in Yemen. She spoke to DW about the dire humanitarian conditions in the country.

So in your view, governments and observers tend to view the war in Yemen as if it were a chess game. But for you, the conflict takes a more personal focus. Could you share some of the profound experiences you have had with working with people who persevere in spite of war?

Hundreds and thousands will suffer from famine. The closure of the port of Hodeida or any delay of imports of food or medicine into the country will absolutely devastate the children of Hodeida. Last year, 50,000 children died of preventable diseases such as cholera or measles and that was even before the escalation on Hodeida. There is little hope for the children in Yemen unless there is an end to the conflict.

It also takes the peace process off the table. The UN envoy, Martin Griffiths, was supposed to present a security framework earlier this month, but I don’t see that happening now.

I think when the media cover these stories, they tend to portray the Yemenis as helpless and somehow less than human. And I think that Yemenis are definitely a resilient people. I think the way in which mothers deal with the deaths of their children was a watershed moment for me. Families in Yemen tend to be quite large — there tends to be five to six children per family. When you are out in the field and giving treatment to mothers with malnourished babies; you find out that many of these mothers have already lost at least one child. These mothers don't have the capacity to mourn the deaths of their children in the same way that my mother would mourn my death.

What will the battle in Hodeida do to civilians?

Hundreds and thousands will suffer from famine. The closure of the port of Hodeida or any delay of imports of food or medicine into the country will absolutely devastate the children of Hodeida. Last year, 50,000 children died of preventable diseases such as cholera or measles and that was even before the escalation on Hodeida. There is little hope for the children in Yemen unless there is an end to the conflict. =

(** A H K)

Yemen port city gripped by panic and fear as Saudi-led forces close in

Battle for rebel-held Hodeidah could cut aid lifeline for hundreds of thousands of people trapped in dire conditions, say agencies

Families in Hodeidah, Yemen, were trapped inside their homes “waiting for their destiny”, as Saudi-backed forces began closing in on the city.

From his house in the centre of Hodeidah, Salem Jaffer Baobaid, Islamic Relief’s deputy country director in Yemen, told the Guardian he could hear an “extraordinary” number of jets overhead, but was unable to estimate how close the fighting was. People want to leave the city, but can’t, he said.

“The conflict has affected the whole country and people will not move around,” said Baobaid. “They are poor people, who don’t have houses elsewhere. They are vulnerable. They are inside their houses, waiting for their destiny.”

A Care International worker said they had heard 30 airstrikes in 30 minutes around the city, amid reports of fighting in the southern part of Hodeidah governorate.

Baobaid said people were terrified that the fighting would reach the city. “It is highly populated, with houses very close to each other. If the fighting enters the city it will be catastrophic. You cannot imagine how bad it will be.”

Opening his window, Baobaid said he could hear what sounded like gunfire, to the south of the city, but he could not be certain how close it was. Reports estimate the fighting is 6km (3.7 miles) to 8km away from the centre.

Abdi Mohamud, Mercy Corps’ country director in Yemen, said in a tweet: “Today, people in #Hodeidah have woken up in a war zone. Whatever the gains that might be won, these will be eclipsed by the suffering, misery and needless loss of life that will be paid by the Yemeni people.”

Mohamud, who is in Sana’a, said he had heard from staff in Hodeidah that people were in a “panic situation”. “The port is closed. The situation is fluid. People are waiting inside to measure what is happening and what they will do.”

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Washington Post, Editorial Board: 8 million teeter on the brink of famine. America is complicit.

Though Yemen has always been a poor country, this crisis is man-made. It was triggered by the intervention of the Saudis and Emiratis in Yemen’s war three years ago. Promising quick action to drive the Houthis out of the capital, Sanaa, and other cities they had captured, the two countries carried out bombing campaigns that killed thousands of civilians but failed to recapture much of the country.

The Saudis claim the intervention was necessary to counter Iranian sponsorship of the Houthis, who have been firing missiles into Saudi Arabia. But the Houthis are a homegrown force, and many experts believe they were driven into Iran’s arms by the intervention. The UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs says the Houthis are not willing to negotiate and that the seizure of Hodeida is necessary to bring them to the table. But that claim is contradicted by the U.N. envoy seeking to broker peace talks, who tried to stop the attack. A better explanation is that of David Miliband, the former British foreign secretary who now heads the International Rescue Committee: The “attack on the port,” he says, is “an assault on the chances of a political settlement in addition to a danger to civilian life.”

The Trump administration could have prevented the assault on Hodeida; instead, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo equivocated, thereby allowing it to go forward. Congress, which has long been uneasy with U.S. support for the Yemen war, must now act.

and an article on the US, summing up, but nothing new:

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What would deeper involvement in Yemen mean for US troops?

However, amid the ongoing civil war — involving Houthi rebels, the Saudi/United Arab Emirates-led coalition, al-Qaida, ISIS and others in Yemen — reports have emerged that President Donald Trump’s administration is considering lending direct military support to the coalition in taking the key city.

That would be a sharp departure from U.S. involvement in the conflict, which has until now remained focused on counterterrorism operations and limited moves to arms, logistics and intel support.

Maher Farrukh, an analyst with the American Enterprise Institute who studies al-Qaida, said the request by the coalition is not new, but the timing coincides with their operational push to take the city before any official negotiations begin.

That direct support to take the city from the Houthis is being considered is a sign that the administration is telling Iran that it will get involved, if necessary, one expert said.

“It’s a signal to the Iranians,” said Phillip Smyth with the Washington Institute. “It’s not a signal to al-Qaida.”

But taking the city hasn’t been met with a lot of past international support, Farrukh said, for several reasons.

“I do know there’s a lot of concern on the U.S. and international side of the consequences of this on the humanitarian side of the operation,” Farrukh said.

There have been scant details indicating what, if any, U.S. direct military involvement would look like in an operation to take the Hodeida.

The U.S. military has supported the Saudi coalition through arms sales, intelligence sharing and logistics. It has focused separately on counterterrorism operations in areas of the nation that hold Al-Qaida and ISIS elements.

James Phillips, a senior research fellow for Middle Eastern Affairs with the Heritage Foundation, said that’s where the U.S. focus should remain.

Phillips and Farrukh noted that fighting to take the port could damage or destroy it, exacerbating the already dreadful humanitarian crisis.

And taking any city, with recent examples of retaking Mosul in Iraq and Marawi in the Philippines, can be more complicated that planners might envision.

“Yemen is a difficult place to fight, and these things always take longer than the plans suggest,” Phillips said – by Todd South

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U.S. rejected UAE request for intelligence support for Yemen operation: UAE official

The United States rejected a UAE request for intelligence, minesweeping and airborne intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance assets for the military operation in Yemen’s Hodeidah, a UAE official said on Thursday.

The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said, however, that France had agreed to provide minesweeping support for the operation. The official said UAE intelligence indicated that Houthis had mined the port.

My comment: Listening to the speaker of the Pentagon (following report), this reads quite different.

(A K P)

U.S. distances itself from escalating offensive in Yemen

"The United States does not command, accompany, or participate in counter-Houthi operations or any hostilities other than those authorized against AQAP (al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula) and ISIS," Pentagon spokesman Maj. Adrian Rankine-Galloway told CBS News in a written statement sent Wednesday evening.

"U.S. military support to our partners is always geared towards mitigating noncombatant casualties," he said. "Our support to the (Saudi) Coalition consists of aerial refueling to Coalition aircraft and intelligence support to assist our partners in securing their borders from cross-border attacks from the Houthis." and also

My comment: “Wash me but don’t get me wet”: This does not work. The US is badly involved.

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In Yemen, a sanctuary for journalists on the way to Hodeidah's frontline

The Al Amalikah brigades media centre is a critical link between pro-government forces fighting for Hodeidah and the outside world

For the few journalists who have gained access and are intrepid enough to report on the operation to liberate Hodeidah, Yemen's largest port city, the Al Amalikah brigades media centre is a vital hub.

At the moment though, the risks of reporting on the conflict are overshadowed by the difficulty of connecting with their editors. "I am really frustrated," sighs Radfan Al Dubais of Al Arabiya television. "I feel that everything is lost because we gambled yesterday when we went deep with the advancing forces amid fierce clashes and at the end we found ourselves helpless because we couldn't upload any video footage of what he had seen."

Inside the media centre, everyone expects a fierce battle as coalition-backed troops push towards Houthi rebel-held Hodeidah.

My comment: Embedded journalism.

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Clashes kill 39 combatants outside Yemen's Hodeida: medics

Heavy clashes killed 39 combatants outside Yemen's rebel-held port city of Hodeida on Thursday, as a Saudi and UAE-backed offensive to retake the key aid hub entered its second day.

Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels suffered 30 fatalities in the fighting, which took place two kilometres (1.2 miles) from Hodeida airport, south of the city, medical sources told AFP.

Nine pro-government troops were killed in the same area, the medics said. Military sources said the deaths were caused by mines and snipers.

An AFP correspondent behind the government lines in Al Duraihimi witnessed ambulances arriving from the front loaded with dead and wounded.

Saudi-led coalition warplanes and Apache helicopters provided "continuous" air support to pro-government forces, striking Huthi positions, military sources said.

The Huthis have put up a fierce resistance, however, using snipers to slow the assault, the sources added.

The coalition-backed troops have also been slowed by the need for de-mining operations to advance.

The government side sent significant reinforcements to the front on Thursday, according to military sources and the AFP correspondent.

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Yemen: Coalition attacks Houthi positions in Hodeidah

On second day of assault, alliance moves to within two kilometres of airport

Coalition aircraft and ships pounded Houthi positions in the Yemeni city of Hodeidah for a second day on Thursday, as troops moved closer to capturing the airport.

The Arab-backed offensive included the use of Apache attack helicopters to hit a strip of coastal territory controlled by the Iran-backed rebels.

The coalition also struck the main road linking Hodeidah to the rebel-held capital Sanaa, which lies north-east, to block reinforcements, residents and Yemeni military officials said.

By Thursday evening, UAE and Saudi forces were two kilometres south of the city's airport, according to government officials, representing an advance of three kilometres from 24 hours earlier. The centre of the city of 600,000 people lies 4km further north, and the seaport several kilometres beyond that.

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Dozens dead as Hodeidah offensive enters its second day

Key Yemeni port city under continuous bombardment as ground forces near southern airport

Air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition targeted areas around Yemen's rebel-held port of Hodeidah on Thursday, the rebels said, as an offensive to take the vital aid gateway entered its second day.

Saudi-led coalition warplanes and Apache helicopters provided "continuous" air support to ground forces, striking Houthi positions, military sources said on Thursday.

The Houthis have put up a fierce resistance, however, using snipers to slow the assault, the sources added.

On shore, the offensive has reached the outskirts of Hodeidah airport.

Coalition spokesman Turki al-Malki has said operation "Golden Victory" aimed to wrest control of the port and airport, but that troops would avoid entering the city.

Two residents contacted by Reuters said Apache attack helicopters were conducting intensive strikes on a strip of coastal territory near the airport.

[and more overview information]

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Battle for key Yemen port leaves dozens dead

My comment: Broad overview.

Another overview:

Short overview:

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Film: Backed by the Arab #Coalition forces, the Joint Forces are combing the positions and farms, where #Houthi militia fighters were located south of #Hodeidah, as they continue to advance towards the city's Airport.

Film: Battalions from the Tahami Resistance are participating in the battles on the suburbs of #Hodeidah port city, to liberate it from the grip of the #Houthi militia.

Photos: The Joint Forces have controlled al-Dawar area, which is the first area of #Hodeidah city, as Commander of the al-Amaleqeh Brigades (Abu Zarea'a al-Mahrami) confirms that his forces are dozens of meters away fro the city's #Airport .

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Film: Elisabeth Kendall: How might we look at the current offensive by coalition forces in #Hudaydah port in #Yemen? Here's a 1 minute clip of my take for BBC2 News today.

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Civilians flee bombardment as Arab states pound Yemen port

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi positions in Yemen’s Hodeidah for a second day on Thursday, as a Saudi-led alliance tried to seize the main port in the largest battle of a war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The United Nations is struggling to avert disruption to the port, the main lifeline for food aid to a country where 8.4 million people are on the verge of starvation in what potentially would be the world’s worst famine for generations.

The Arab coalition also struck the main road linking Hodeidah to the capital Sanaa to block reinforcements, residents and anti-Houthi Yemeni military officials said.

“People are scared. The warships are terrifying and warplanes are flying overhead all the time,” university student Amina, 22, who lives near the port, told Reuters by telephone.

“People are fleeing the city to the countryside, but for those with no relatives there or money, there is no escape.”

The United Nations said it was still be bringing aid: “We are there and delivering, we are not leaving Hodeidah,” U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen Lise Grande said.

Ali al-Ahmed, the Emirati Ambassador to Germany, told Reuters there were 60,000 tonnes of humanitarian aid ready on ships and trucks to move into the region once the fighting died down. He said it would take Arab forces about 72 hours to clear mines from Hodeidah’s port or airport once it captures them. and also

My comment: Claiming to keep the harbor working while bombing it? This will not work. – And, claiming that humanitarian relief is to “to move into the region“ accurately avoids to tell anything about the supply to the hinterland, where the majority of Yemenis live; the supply tot hem will be blocked by the assault and fighting fort he harbour.

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Houthis withdraw from the coastal road to Aldrehmi center - South Hodeida

Military sources said that Houthis militia have withdrawn from”Nakhilah” to the center of Aldrehmi directorate south Hodeida due to the violent attack by the government forces and Arabic coalition led by Saudi Arabia.
The reporter of Almasdaronline said, “Houthis withdraws from the coastal road battles at “Nukhailah” toward (Aldrihmi) which still under their control.
He added the militia hiding inside civilians houses and stores at the center of the city escaping from Coalition air strikes.
He indicated that the government forces (giants and Tuhami resistance ) advanced toward Hodeida airport, Qadhba and Manthar is separating them from reaching the airport he said.

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Saudi-led coalition keeps up Hodeidah assault before U.N. meeting

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi positions in Yemen’s Hodeidah for a second day on Thursday, as a Saudi-led alliance tried to seize the country’s main port in the largest battle of a war that has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The coalition also struck the main road linking Hodeidah to the northern capital, Sanaa, to block any reinforcements of the Iran-aligned Houthis, who hold both cities, residents and anti-Houthi Yemeni military officials said.

“People are scared. The warships are terrifying and warplanes are flying overhead all the time,” university student Amina, 22, who lives near the port, told Reuters by telephone.

“People are fleeing the city to the countryside, but for those with no relatives there or money, there is no escape.”

Capturing Hodeidah, the Houthis’ only port, would give the coalition the upper hand in the three-year war. But it also would risk choking a lifeline for Yemenis, most of whom live in Houthi territory.

Despite the fighting, the United Nations is still supplying aid. “We are there and delivering, we are not leaving Hodeidah,” said Lise Grande, U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

The U.N. Security Council is due to meet behind closed doors on Thursday, at the request of Britain, over the offensive. The U.N. special envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, has said the world body is talking to both sides to de-escalate.

A military official said the 21,000-strong coalition ground force — which includes Emiratis, Sudanese and Yemenis drawn from different factions — was de-mining the coastal strip south of Hodeidah and combing the rural area for Houthis fighters.

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Yemeni FM to Asharq Al-Awsat: Time for Diplomacy is over

Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani declared that the operation to liberate the port city of Hodeidah “will not stop until all Yemeni territory” is liberated from the clutches of the Iran-backed Houthi militias.
He told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The door for diplomacy has been completely shut.”

Yamani accused international powers of seeking to prolong his country’s war to give the Houthis more time to exploit and kill the Yemeni people.
The minister recalled the build up of the Hodeidah operation, revealing: “We had cooperated with all international powers, our friends, the United Nations and its Security Council.”

My comment: This really is strong stuff. The international world – for a great part all are even backing the Hadi government and the Saudi war – even is mobbed just for all diplomatic efforts because these would “give the Houthis more time to exploit and kill the Yemeni people“.(Just remember that the greatest part of killings is due to Saudi coalition air raids). – And: “The door for diplomacy has been completely shut.”: Keep in mind that actually this had been the case from the very beginning: The Hadi government never was willing to admit a serious peaceful solution, as insisting in it’s biased preconsitions it blocked all efforts to achieve anything.

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Film: Footage of the military vehicles and troops of al-Amaleqah forces, the National Resistance Forces and the Tahami Resistance Forces (the Joint Forces) marching on from al-Taif area of al-Duraihemi district towards #Hodeidah.

similar film also here:

Photos: The Joint Forces continue to advance towards al-Nukhailah junction of al-Duraihmi district, south of #Hodeidah, as they have become within 7 kilometers from the #Airport. Witnesses cofirme the escape of the #Houthis.

Photos: Colonel Sadiq Dwaid:"The Joint Forces have advanced over 8 Kilometers towards #Hodeidah Airport, as they have managed to control al-Nukhailah and al-Taif areas, south of the port city, amid heavy causalities and large collapses at the ranks of the #Houthis."

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Government of Saudi Arabia: Saudi Arabia and UAE launch comprehensive five-point relief plan to ensure safety of Yemeni civilians

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have announced on Wednesday a comprehensive, multi-faceted plan for the protection of civilians in Hodeidah and surrounding areas. The five-point plan, which aims to safeguard and intensify the flow of humanitarian aid into the port of Hodeidah, will be underpinned by the continued support in Yemen of the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) and the UAE Red Crescent.

The joint plan sets out the following guarantees for the protection of civilians in the province:

Establishment of a continuous shipping lane from Jazan (Saudi Arabia) and Abu Dhabi (UAE) to Hodeidah, allowing for the preservation of shipping deliveries of food, medical and oil supplies.

Distribution of urgently-needed food supplies by teams on the ground.

Additional provisions for hospitals through the allocation of medical supplies, equipment and experienced staff.

Sustained operation of electrical stations to ensure unbroken supply needed for citizens, hospitals and the port.

Ongoing economic support to preserve trade and business in Hodeidah.

Commenting on the launch of the plan, Dr Abdullah Al-Rabeeah, Supervisor General of KSRelief, said: “We are committed to doing everything possible to preserve the safety of those in and around the port of Hodeidah. KSRelief is working around the clock, coordinating with partner agencies on the ground in the province to ensure that aid continues to flow freely and efficiently. We are taking all measures possible to intensify the supply of humanitarian provisions to the people of Yemen and will continue to do all we can to make sure help reaches those who need it.” and repoted by Reuters

My comment: I am in doubt, this sounds to be propaganda in the first place. The harbour will be affected by fighting, and the routes to the hinterland will be blocked, for a time to long not to have severe effects. – All this seems to have been invented to distract from the sevre warnings of the UN and all other relief organizations.

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The U.S. Must Leverage Influence to Halt Assault In Yemen

If food and humanitarian supplies are interrupted, Yemen–a country already on the verge of starvation and total drought due to a lack of food and fresh water–will collapse. Hundreds and potentially thousands will die from starvation, thirst, and disease.

It’s ironic that Saudi Arabia, which presents itself as the guardian of Islam’s two holiest mosques, launches such an attack during Ramadan, a Muslim holy month during which the faithful are enjoined from engaging in war. Unless, of course, the Saudis do not consider the Houthis as true Muslims because of their Shia faith.

If the Trump administration wants to maintain any credibility in the region, it should work diligently to stop the attack. It is foolish to believe that the attack on the port city will lead to the collapse of the Houthi regime in Sana’a or to bringing the Houthis and Iran to the negotiating table. The U.S. should not be consciously standing on the sidelines of the Saudi-Emirati barbarism in Yemen, especially when its own regional and national interests are not being threatened – by Emile Nakhleh, a retired CIA Senior Intelligence Service Officer and founding director of the CIA’s Political Islam Strategic Analysis Program Office.

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Battle for Hodeidah: Why is the Yemeni city so important and what will the fighting mean for civilians?

Two-thirds of Yemen’s population relies on Hodeidah for food and aid. If the vital port is damaged, the country could tip over the edge into full-scale famine

“Yemen is on the precipice of a full scale famine. A major attack on Hodeidah could act as the catalyst for that,” Save the Children’s executive director, Kevin Watkins, told The Independent.

“We and other agencies are doing what we can but the scale of need in Yemen is already beyond our capabilities.”

Hodeidah will be the biggest battle in Yemen’s three-year-old war to date, and the first that could involve sustained urban warfare – which inflicts heavy casualties on both fighting forces and civilians.

Remark: Introductory report.

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The Next Disaster in Yemen

Despite calls to stop the assault on Hodeidah, both the Emiratis and the Houthi rebels are digging in.

The fight for Hodeidah highlights not only intra-Yemen rivalries, but the thorny regional dynamics involving the Saudis and Emiratis on one side and Iran on the other. It also showcases the tension between the U.S. desire to minimize civilian casualties and its goal of limiting what it views as Iran’s malign regional influence.

The U.S. position on the actions of the Saudi-led coalition has evolved. Just last week, it appeared as if the U.S. was warning the UAE not to attack the city.

“The U.S. has not given a green light for this, but a flashing yellow light,” Joost Hiltermann, the program director for Middle East and North Africa at the International Crisis Group, told me. The U.S. is saying, “‘You’re on your own. We understand you considerations. We thinks militarily this is very difficult to pull off. We continue to support you in the way we’ve been with intelligence sharing and inflight refueling. But that’s it. Just make sure you take care of the humanitarian fallout—and go back to the political negotiations.’”

Feierstein told me that the U.S. policy fundamentally hasn’t changed since March of 2015. “Our position is that the issues in Yemen need to be resolved through political negotiation. There needs to be an agreement.”

No matter what happens in Hodeidah, there are larger questions about whether a political settlement can be reached with the Houthis across Yemen, and later with the now emboldened secessionist groups in southern Yemen. Johnsen said he was pessimistic about Yemen’s future even if the current impasse were to resolve diplomatically. “

My comment: Overview, mostly repeating what already had been reported. Sounds a lot like US mainstream.

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Congress seeks to hamstring US support for assault on Yemen port

The Donald Trump administration today denied providing support for the Saudi-led Arab coalition’s assault on the key Yemeni port of Hodeidah amid questioning from skeptical US lawmakers.

The denials come as the Senate nears a floor vote this week that could complicate US military support for the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia

But pressed by Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., during testimony before the House Middle East panel today, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs David Satterfield denied that the United States is assisting the Hodeidah offensive.

Satterfield declined to comment after the hearing when Al-Monitor asked him if the United States is still providing refueling support for Saudi and Emirati planes operating in Hodeidah. The Wall Street Journal, however, reported Tuesday that the Defense Department has provided its Gulf allies with a list of targets to avoid striking during the assault.

Critics of the offensive say there’s no doubt the United States is playing a role.

“As with all other coalition offensives in the civil war, the coalition would not be able to mount the Hodeidah offensive without US refueling and intelligence support,” Kate Kizer, the policy director for Win Without War, a coalition of anti-war activist groups, told Al-Monitor. “That support remains essential, and for this specific offensive the coalition needs even more support, which is why the operation was contingent upon the US giving a green-light.”

While Satterfield reiterated that “there should be no interruption of access to and through Hodeidah” or damage of critical infrastructure, he did not equivocally call for the US-backed parties to halt their offensive.

My comment: The US actively taking part in the Hodeidah offensive.

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Saudis strike Hodeida: 'Very sad and alarming development'

A coalition of mostly Gulf countries led by Saudi Arabia has launched an attack to recapture a Yemeni port city from Houthi rebels, who receive backing from Iran. The journalist and activist Afrah Nasser fears the worst.

Afrah Nasser: It's a very sad and alarming development in the course of the war in Yemen. For me, I think it shows the despair of anyone trying to advocate for an end to Yemen's war: Now we're trying to negotiate or beg the Saudi-led coalition to leave this city alone and not to cause another layer of the humanitarian crisis that is already there, any damage or the devastation of the port. And Hodeida is a key port, receiving shipments and humanitarian aid — and, for relief or humanitarian workers to access the country, it is usually through Hodeida port. So, causing devastation or destruction to this port will absolutely hinder all of this humanitarian and relief work. It reflects the despair that we are witnessing in the course of the war.

For me the main concern is what is going to happen next. What is after the destruction of Hodeida? If the Saudi-led coalition is going to go to Sanaa, it's going to be a bloodbath. I could foresee that we will witness another battle similar to the battle for Aleppo or the battle for Mosul.

The Saudis don't have military experience. They have the money. They don't have a long list of conflicts that they participated in. They don't have the skills or experience. They have to take all the logistic assistance from the Americans since they have a huge experience in wars, in waging wars. So, they use their money to get the weapons, the logistic assistance.

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Today’s Attack on Yemen Port Shows U.S.-Backed Coalition Willing To Use Starvation as a Weapon

By attacking Hudaydah, the Saudi-led coalition is cutting off another vital lifeline.

The city of 600,000 people on Yemen’s west coast is one of two points of entry for commercial shipping (now blocked by the Saudi-led coalition) and humanitarian aid. Unlike the port of Aden, which has been under Saudi and UAE control since 2015, Houthi-controlled Hudaydah supplies over 70 percent of food and aid entering the country, and is therefore accurately described as Yemen’s lifeline.

The deadline having expired, U.S.-supported Saudi and UAE forces—comprised of Yemeni, Sudanese, American, Latin American, Blackwater and other mercenaries—began their offensive to capture Hudadyah. In other words, the Coalition is deliberately using starvation as a weapon, a war crime under international humanitarian law. The United States, in turn, has responded by providing airstrike targets to Saudi and UAE forces, further implicating itself in apparent war crimes perpetuated against war-torn Yemen.

In These Times spoke to several Hudaydah residents about daily life in their city, as well as what they expect to take place in the coming days and weeks.

Duaa, who works in data entry, says she is “afraid all the time.” She fears the constant sound of airplanes that signal incoming bombardments, as well as the latest news reports of the looming battle for her city. Life in Hudaydah’s notoriously hot, desert climate is difficult without electricity and easy access to water. Duaa doesn’t know what to expect in the coming days but worries about the safety of all residents.

These responses indicate a mixture of fear that the worst will transpire, and faith that things will work out – by Shireen Al-Adeimi

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Good news, sort of. Earlier threat to shut down all Red Sea shipping was always a clearly illegal idea. #Yemen Defence Ministry, Sanaa: Commercial shipping not at risk from our attacks, as long as routes are at least 20 nautical miles (37 kilometers) away from the Yemeni coast. and also

Remark: Houthi-affiliated navy forces, as here:

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Yemen Navy confirms readiness to defend country

The command of the Yemeni navy forces on Thursday confirmed its high readiness to strike painful and devastating blows to any ship threatening the Yemeni coast.
In a statement obtained by Saba News Agency, the navy command stressed that the Saudi-led aggression coalition forces, which attacking Hodeidah, raised up the level of danger in the Red Sea and must bear the consequences of it.


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Yemen’s Navy says fully ready to destroy Saudi-led warships attacking Hudaydah

Yemen’s Navy and Coast Defense Command says it is "fully prepared" to destroy any invading warships belonging to the Saudi-led coalition with missiles, a day after the invading military force launched an offensive against the flashpoint Red Sea port city of Hudaydah.

In a statement carried by Yemen's Arabic-language al-Masirah television network on Thursday, the command further said that the country’s forces, including those of the Navy, would fulfill their national and religious duty to defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Yemen against the enemy.

My comment: “Religious duty”???

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Army repels aggression forces' attacks in western coast

The army and popular committees on Wednesday repulsed large offensives of Saudi-led aggression coalition forces backed by warplanes in the western coast front, an official at Defense Ministry told Saba.
"All the offensive operations planned by the US-backed Saudi-led aggression coalition to control parts of the western coast and carry out a military landing have failed," the official said.
The army and popular committees' fighters inflicted heavy losses in lives and military equipment on the coalition's forces and its local and foreign mercenaries, he added.

My comment: Does not sound very realistic.

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Houthis say they block sea landing by coalition forces near Yemeni port

Yemen’s Houthis blocked a sea landing by Saudi and Emirati forces near Hodeidah port on Wednesday, holding off a Saudi-led coalition attack on the country’s main port city, a Houthi official told Lebanon’s al-Mayadeen TV.

“The Saudi coalition has not advanced at all in Hodeidah,” Dayfallah al-Shami, a member of the movement’s political bureau, told the pro-Iranian al-Mayadeen. “We foiled a sea landing of Saudi and Emirati forces near the port of Hodeidah.”

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With support of UAE Armed Forces, Yemeni Resistance Forces liberate large areas near Al Duraihimi and Hodeidah airport

With land, sea and air support by the UAE Armed Forces, the Arab Coalition and the Joint Yemeni Resistance forces began today a decisive military operation to liberate Hodeidah city and its strategic port from the grip of the Iranian-backed Houthi militias, who rejected peaceful solutions.

The forces managed to liberate new strategic areas in Al Duraihimi district and areas adjacent to Hodeidah airport after penetrating the Houthi militias frontlines. Following the collapse of their defences, the Houthi fighters abandoned their positions, while their commanders fled the areas after the defeat.

In a statement made to Emirates News Agency (WAM), Colonel Sadiq Al Duwaid, Spokesman of the Yemeni National Resistance, said the joint resistance forces made a huge advance towards the city of Al Hodeidah, closing in 8 kilometers within the city’s airport and controlling the districts of Al Nekhailah and Al Taif, south of Hodeidah, amid major collapse in the Houthi militias ranks. The Arab Coalition’s fighter jets pounded the Houthis reinforcements, while the resistance forces killed and captured dozens of Houthi fighters. =

Remark: By Emirati news agency.

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Film: Sky News Arabia footage from inside Hodeidah

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Film: Directed by the UAE armed forces Joint forces approaching the airport Hodeidah

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Film: brigades # guards of the Republic waiting for zero hour to carry out the major operation to liberate the city of Hodeidah

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Four UAE soldiers killed in assault on Yemen's Hudaida

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"Civilians Trapped": Major Assault On Yemen Port Begins; Saudi Ship Attacked

Reuters reports the following breaking updates:

"concentrated and intense" bombing near the port itself.

30 air strikes hit the city within half an hour.

Houthis say they hit a coalition barge

Port is main route to feed 8.4 million on verge of famine

"Some civilians are entrapped, others forced from their homes."

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by foreign and Yemeni troops massed south of the port of Hodeidah in operation "Golden Victory".

Ground battles raged near Hodeidah airport and al-Durayhmi, a rural area 10 km (6 miles) south of the city

Though Saudi and coalition authorities have long imposed a media blackout on Yemen which has resulted in little on the ground footage of the war, some early footage of the ground assault has emerged on pro-Saudi social media:

Early footage of Saudi-UAE coalition troops mustering outside of the contested port city:

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EXCLUSIVE: UAE forced Hadi to support Hodeidah assault against his will

Yemeni president effectively relinquishes future control of key port city to the Emiratis, source tells MEE

The UAE forced Yemen’s President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi to announce his support for an Emirati-backed assault on the key port city of Hodeida against his will, a source told MEE, effectively sidelining the Yemeni leader.

Now, the well-informed Yemeni source said, Yemen’s Hodeidah runs the risk of becoming a city totally controlled by the UAE rather than the Yemeni state.

According to the source, the president met with UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed on Monday in Saudi Arabia, at Riyadh’s request, in an attempt to secure Hadi’s support for the operation.

On Tuesday, Hadi flew to Abu Dhabi to meet UAE Prime Minister Mohammed bin Zayed (MbZ), where the Yemeni president acquiesced to the Emirati demands.

The assault on Hodeidah began the next day.

“The UAE was trying initially to liberate Hodeidah without the support of Hadi and get the credit for it,” the source told Middle East Eye.

The source said control of Hodeidah’s port would be a great victory for the UAE, which has designs on controlling ports all along Yemen’s coast.

In recent years, the UAE has established a presence in several ports on the shores of the Horn of Africa, across the Bab al-Mandeb straight from Yemen, with a view of controlling the strategic waterways that lead up to the Suez Canal.

“They tried to get [the Yemeni island of] Socotra. Hodeidah would have been another port they could have controlled,” the source said.

“As international support diminished, suddenly the Saudis intervened and managed to arrange a meeting between UAE Foreign Minister Abdullah bin Zayed and Hadi,” the source said.

“The UAE found they need the card of Hadi’s legitimacy. Hadi had no choice but to accept. His hands were forced.”

By giving the Emirati-backed assault on Hodeidah legitimacy, the source said, Hadi effectively handed the UAE future control of the city.

“What will happen next? Will Hodeida meet the same fate as Aden?” the source asked.

The source said it could spell the end of Hadi’s role as Yemeni leader, with the president relinquishing his position as Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s point man in the country to Tareq Saleh.

Saleh is leader of the ground forces attacking Hodeidah and is the nephew of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

and offivial versions are like this

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Yemeni President calls for military action to liberate Hodeida

Yemeni President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi has called on the Arab Coalition to intervene militarily to liberate the port city of Hodeidah, following the deterioration of the humanitarian situation due to Houthi actions and their intransigence in reaching a political solution to end the crisis in Yemen.

He added that the intransigence of the Houthi militias in reaching a political solution is no longer tolerable.

In an official statement to the Yemeni news agency, President Hadi said, "We have been striving for a peaceful solution based on the three basic principles of the Gulf Initiative, its executive mechanisms, the outcomes of the Comprehensive National Dialogue Conference and UN Security Council Resolutions 2216, and we made many concessions to avoid a military solution. However, we cannot allow the suffering of our people, and prolong this war sparked by the coup militia." and also

Remark: The full statement oft he Hadi government in YPR 422.

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A sustained battle for the port will likely shut off trade and humanitarian aid access for a sustained period. Fighting could continue along the main city of Hodeida.

This would impede traffic from the port unless an agreement on access is brokered. Officials estimate that fighting for the city alone could displace hundreds of thousands of people and warn of a “catastrophic humanitarian impact”.

The battle for Hodeida is likely to be prolonged and leave millions of Yemenis without food, fuel and other vital supplies. The fighting will discourage rather than enable a return to the negotiating table. Yemen will fall even deeper into what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

When the coalition prevented ships from entering Hodeida port humanitarian organisations reported the prices for food and price increases of up to 100 per cent for fuel.

In the past, the coalition has regularly predicted that it would win its battles quickly and cleanly before adjusting its estimates when reality sank in. At the start of the war in March 2015, for example, Saudi officials forecast that the war would last only a few weeks.

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Yemeni Army Warns of ‘Terrifying Capabilities’ in Confronting Saudi-Emirati Aggression

My comment: This looks like far from reality.

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Aggressors’ Adventurism in Yemen’s Hudaydah to Face Defeat: Houthi Leader

The chairman of Yemen’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee condemned recent attacks launched by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen’s western port of Hudaydah and said the aggressors’ adventurism in the region will definitely end in defeat.

My comment: This is far from reality.

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Statement by the Special Envoy on the situation in Hudaydah

I am extremely concerned about the military developments in Hudaydah. Further military escalation will have serious consequences on the dire humanitarian situation in the country and will have an impact on my efforts to resume political negotiations to reach an inclusive political settlement to the conflict in Yemen. I cannot overemphasize that there is no military solution to the conflict.

We continue to use every opportunity to avoid military confrontation in Hudaydah. We are in constant contact with all the parties involved to negotiate arrangements for Hudaydah that would address political, humanitarian, security concerns of all concerned parties.

I call on the parties to engage constructively with our efforts to spare Hudaydah any military confrontation. I also call on the parties to exercise restraint and to give peace a chance.

The United Nations is determined to move ahead with the political process despite the recent developments. I reiterate the strong commitment of the United Nations to reaching a political solution to end the conflict in Yemen.

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Military escalation will have ‘serious consequences’ for Yemeni civilians, warns UN Special Envoy

Speaking in Geneva in response to reports that fighting had intensified around Hodeidah, UN Refugee Agency chief Filippo Grandi said that it would make aid access “more difficult”.

“It’s not just the humanitarian access which has been on and off, but is also more important, access of goods through trade. Fuel, food, medicines, at least these three big areas. And I think that fighting will make it more difficult for that access to happen.”

My comment: They are helpless. Keep in mind that in this situation the UN had fucked itself – honorable brokers like Griffith had been left out in the cold by the dominant Western powers of the Security Council.

(A K P)

UN still in talks on Yemen port, envoy urges restraint

The UN envoy for Yemen said Wednesday he is continuing to hold negotiations on keeping a key port in Yemen open to aid deliveries after government forces launched an offensive on Hodeida.

"We are in constant contact with all the parties involved to negotiate arrangements for Hodeida that would address political, humanitarian, security concerns of all concerned parties," said Martin Griffiths in a statement.

"We continue to use every opportunity to avoid military confrontation in Hodeida," said Griffiths.

He called on all sides to "exercise restraint and to give peace a chance."

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UN battles to keep Yemen's aid lifeline open as Saudi coalition starts attack

The UN is urging to keep Yemen's Hodeida port open to aid deliveries after Saudi-backed government forces launched an assault on the rebel-held city.

"We are in constant contact with all the parties involved to negotiate arrangements for Hodeida that would address political, humanitarian, security concerns of all concerned parties," said Martin Griffiths in a statement.

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Iran condemns UAE-led assault against key Yemeni port city

Iran has sharply condemned an Emirati-led military assault against the Yemeni port city of Hudaydah, the main conduit for relief aid delivery to the war-ravaged country, ruling out any military solution to the crisis there.

On Thursday, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman warned that the offensive could worsen the already-dire humanitarian situation in the Red Sea port city.

The Iranian official further said, “The crisis in Yemen has no military solution and resorting to force would lead nowhere,” calling for an end to the invasion of the impoverished Arabian Peninsula state.

“Such crimes would kill the faint gleam of hope for the ongoing political efforts [to bear fruit], and would merely complicate the conditions,” added Qassemi.

(A K P)

Moscow: Offensive on Yemen's Hodeidah by Pro-Hadi Forces to Be Catastrophic

An offensive on Yemen's Al Hodeidah governorate and port city by armed groups loyal to President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi will be a disaster for the whole of Yemen and will hamper the political settlement in the country, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.

According to the ministry, the clashes in the area will cut off supply channels for medicines and other essentials, which will endanger the lives of civilians.

"All this confirms our initial misgivings that the offensive on Al Hodeidah threatens to result in catastrophic consequences for the whole of Yemen. We deeply regret that UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths was not provided with the additional time he was requesting to prevent the implementation of such a scenario," the statement read.

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Statement by Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management Christos Stylianides and High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini on the latest developments around Hodeidah, Yemen

The European Union urges all parties to the conflict to respect international humanitarian law and prioritise the protection of civilians. This includes ensuring that the port of Hodeida remains operational as a lifeline for humanitarian support and commercial access point for essential supplies.

The latest developments will only lead to further escalation and instability in Yemen, thus undermining the ongoing efforts of the UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths to resume a political track. The European Union reiterates its call on all parties to engage with the UN Special Envoy to resume talks towards a negotiated and inclusive political solution to the conflict and remains ready to provide its full support to these UN-led efforts.

Comment: The #EU cannot give a reason to its mission: it simply recycles press releases expressing 'concern' and 'urge to abide by humanitarian law'. Useless.

My comment to comment: Yes, obviously true.


(A K P)

Yemen - Q&A - Excerpts from the daily press briefing (13.06.18)

President Macron spoke yesterday with Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi. He brought up the political and military situation in Yemen and notably in Hodeidah, and called on stakeholders to exercise restraint and to protect civilian populations.

France reaffirms that only a negotiated political solution, including in Hodeidah, will make it possible to sustainably end the war in Yemen and bring a halt to the deterioration in the country’s humanitarian and security situation.

My comment: The usual Copy and Paste statements, by one of Europe’s greatest arms sellers.

Und Deutschland ist nicht besser:
(* A K pH)

Military Source: Confirming the involvement of US forces while the forces of aggression are trying to move towards #Hodeidah

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Yemen war: Fighting rages over vital port of Hudaydah

Fierce fighting has been reported after pro-government forces in Yemen, backed by a Saudi-led coalition, launched an offensive on the rebel-held city of Hudaydah, a key port for aid supplies.

Remark: Overview.

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Army destroys coalition warship in Yemen’s western coast

Rocketry force of the Yemen army and popular committees on Wednesday destroyed a Saudi-led coalition warship in western coast of Hodeidah province, Defense ministry said in a statement obtained by Saba News Agency.
The statement confirmed that army targeted the battleship with two missiles after participating in the coalition war on Hodeidah.
The coalition warship was burned and other battleships were retreated after seeing the fire.
The targeted battleship was carrying troops prepared for landing on Hodeidah coast.
The warships tried to withdraw the dead and wounded from the targeted battleship, and Apache helicopters also tried rescuing who was still on board.

and (photo; from an earlier attack at a vessel?)

photo: (as claimed)



(A K)

Yemeni rebels claim to have hit naval vessel

Neither Saudi Arabia nor the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the main coalition partners, had commented on the claim at the time of writing, but Jane’s has previously revealed that they have not reported earlier Yemeni rebel attacks on their naval vessels in the Red Sea.

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Saudi-led coalition strikes targets near Hodeidah port: Arabiya TV

A Saudi-led military coalition conducted “intense” strikes near Yemen’s main port of Hodeidah after the Arab alliance launched an attack on the western city on Wednesday, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television quoted witnesses as saying.

It reported “intense and concentrated” coalition strikes near the Houthi-held port, the country’s largest and which handles the bulk of imports into the war-torn Yemen.

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Yemen forces launch assault on Hodeida port city: field commanders

Field commanders told AFP that troops pushed towards Hodeida airport after Yemeni pro-government forces received a "green light" from the coalition.

Coalition sources said the alliance carried out 18 air strikes on Huthi positions on the outskirts of Hodeida on Wednesday.

According to medical sources in the province, 22 Huthi fighters were killed by coalition raids, while three pro-government fighters were killed in a rebel ambush south of Hodeida.

Yemeni forces massing around Hodeida are a mix of local fighters, those loyal to President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, and supporters of the ex-head of state, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

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Houthi Leader's Brother May Be Dead in Offensive on Yemen's Hodeidah – Media

Houthi leader Abdul Malik al-Houthi’s brother and 16 more senior members of the rebel movement may have been killed when the Saudi-led coalition struck their meeting ground in the militia-controlled port of Hodeidah in western Yemen, the Saudi Khabar Ajil media outlet reported on Wednesday.

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Saudi-led coalition reaches outskirts of Yemen’s Hodeidah airport

Troops backed by the Saudi-led coalition reached the outskirts of Yemen’s main port city of Hodeidah’s airport on Wednesday.

The coalition launched an assault on Hodeidah earlier, in the biggest battle of the three-year war between the alliance of Arab states and the Iran-aligned Houthis.
Coalition warplanes and warships were carrying out strikes on Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by Yemeni troops massed south of the Red Sea port, the internationally recognized Yemeni government in exile said in a statement.

Houthi leader Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, who has threatened attacks on oil tankers along the strategic Red Sea shipping lane, warned the Western-backed alliance not to attack the port and said on Twitter his forces had targeted a coalition barge.
Houthi-run Al Masirah TV said two missiles struck the barge, but there was no immediate confirmation from the coalition.

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Saudi-led alliance launches the biggest assault of Yemen's war: Arab fighter jets and warships pound the country's main port city in operation 'Golden Victory'

Coalition warplanes flew overhead, striking a coastal strip to the south as some of the city's 600,000 residents fled north and west.

CARE International, one of the few aid organisations still operating in Hodeidah, said 30 air strikes hit the city within half an hour on Wednesday morning.

'Some civilians are entrapped, others forced from their homes. We thought it could not get any worse, but unfortunately we were wrong,' said CARE acting country director, Jolien Veldwijk.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV quoted witnesses describing 'concentrated and intense' bombing near the port itself.

Port workers told Reuters five ships were docked at Hodeidah port unloading goods, but no new entry permits would be issued on Wednesday due to the fighting.

The Arab states say they will try to keep the port running and can ease the crisis once they seize it by lifting import restrictions they have imposed.

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Hodeidah offensive could 'tip the balance' in stalemated Yemen conflict

But warnings from humanitarians are stark, the city's port is a lifeline for millions

The offensive on Al Hodeidah, the Red Sea port that serves as the main gateway to Yemen’s northern heartland, that began early hours of Wednesday morning marks the start of a pivotal turning point in the three-year conflict.

For the moment, the Saudi-UAE led coalition’s hope of drawing the raging civil war closer to an end rests on securing Al Hodeidah’s port. Prior to the conflict it was the entry point for more than two thirds of fuel and food imported into the country.

They insist the longer Al Hodeidah stays in Houthi hands, the longer the war will persist. The port that has played a critical role in financing the group’s insurgency across Yemen and activities that go beyond the embattled country’s borders, such as the firing of missiles into neighbouring Saudi Arabia.

“Hodeidah is considered the main source of income for the Houthis,” Faizah Al Sulimani, a Yemeni entrepreneur and activist explained to The National.

One of the first priorities for coalition forces at the start of the offensive is to secure the docks to prevent them being damaged. Reports from the ground indicate that government and international forces were moving in from early in the day Wednesday in a bid to do that.

Michael Knights, a fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, suggests that predictions of a drawn-out, protracted battle for the city both underestimate the coalition’s capabilities and overestimate Houthi strength in the area.

“They [the coalition] would look at the Hodeida area, and unlike humanitarians, they would separate it into areas that must be quickly secured, and areas that can be secured over a slower, longer-term basis. They aren’t able to do everything in one-fell-swoop, even though the Houthi defences could collapse everywhere,” he told The National.

“It is a city of 500,000 with 22,000 troops coming in from outside, and there’s likely around 800 Houthis within the city, that would indicate there is a big possibility that Houthi control will crumble, just because they don’t have the numbers to hold back the population itself anymore”, he said.

Mr Knights suggests the assault on the port doesn’t mean an inevitable cutting of the humanitarian supply line. “In terms of quickly securing the key facilities, the coalition has the capabilities to do that.” – by Gareth Browne

My comment: By Emirati media, repeating many UAE propaganda claims. All claims the assault will not heavily affect the supply through the harbour will be void.

(** A K)

Arab states launch biggest assault of Yemen war with attack on main port

A Saudi-led alliance of Arab states launched the largest assault of Yemen’s war on Wednesday with an attack on the main port city, aiming to drive the ruling Houthi movement to its knees at the risk of worsening the world’s biggest humanitarian crisis.

Arab warplanes and warships pounded Houthi fortifications to support ground operations by foreign and Yemeni troops massed south of the port of Hodeidah in operation “Golden Victory”.

The assault marks the first time the Arab states have tried to capture such a heavily-defended major city since they joined the war three years ago against the Iran-aligned Houthis, who control the capital Sanaa and most of the populated areas.

The Houthis had deployed military vehicles and troops in the city center and near the port, as coalition warplanes flew overhead striking a coastal strip to the south, one resident, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Reuters. People were fleeing by routes out to the north and west.

CARE International, one of the few aid organizations still operating in Hodeidah, said 30 air strikes had hit the city within half an hour on Wednesday morning.

“Some civilians are entrapped, others forced from their homes. We thought it could not get any worse, but unfortunately we were wrong,” said CARE acting country director, Jolien Veldwijk.

Saudi-owned Al Arabiya TV quoted witnesses describing “concentrated and intense” bombing near the port itself.

A Yemeni anti-Houthi military official said the alliance had brought to bear a 21,000-strong force. It includes Emirati and Sudanese troops as well as Yemenis, drawn from southern separatists, local Red Sea coast fighters and a battalion led by a nephew of late ex-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. and film

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Who are the Yemeni ground forces fighting in Hodeidah?

More than 20,000 Yemeni fighters are massing on Houthi-held Hodeidah, but who are they?

The assault on Yemen's Houthi-held port city of Hodeidah, observers believe, could tip the balance in a conflict which has largely been at a stalemate for the past three years. The Arab Coalition's offensive has about 25,000 Yemeni fighters advancing on the city, backed by thousands of its own troops, including about 1,500 from the UAE. They face as few as 1,000 Houthi fighters, but who exactly are the Arab coalition’s partners on the ground?

The Yemeni force has three components - one, a group of local tribal fighters, and the other two made up of largely of remnants of Yemen's armed forces

The Tihama Resistance take their name from the Red Sea coastal area in which Hodeidah lies. Many of the Tihama fighters have familial ties to Hodeidah itself, and several thousand are leading the advance on the city.

Analysts suggest the Tihama’s local knowledge of the terrain in and around Hodeidah could be decisive. Their personal connections to the population will gives them another advantage over the Houthis, who hail from Yemen’s heartlands. Battle hardened, the Tihama Resistance have led much of the frontline fighting in Yemen’s south in recent months.

The Guardians of the Republic are what remain of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh’s Republican Guard and are led by his nephew, Tariq Saleh.

Mr Saleh and his men have become the public face of much of the Arab Coalition’s efforts in Yemen. They are are fiercely loyal to the former president, who was murdered by the Houthis in December. However, Mr Saleh has not explicitly pledged allegiance to Yemen’s exiled President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi.

Remark: By Emirati news site.

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Yemen: Saudi-led coalition launches attack to recapture Hodeidah port city

The exiled Yemeni government said the attack will "cut off the hands of Iran, which has long drowned Yemen in weapons that shed precious Yemeni blood." But a regional expert told DW the humanitarian crisis could worsen.

The Houthis would suffer a heavy defeat if they lose Hodeida, Jens Heibach, a research fellow and analyst at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies, told DW.

"It would be very hard or rather impossible for the Houthis to make up for all the supplies hitherto received via Hodeida," Heibach said, adding: "plus the Houthis would lose an important geostrategic port which they could use to, for instance, target coalition vessels."

Heibach said the Houthis could pose a difficulty for the coalition if they decide to withdraw to the highlands in surrounding Hodeida. "As far I know it is utterly hard to lead a military campaign in mountainous terrain as it is more complicated to use heavy weapons," he said. "It would probably end up in guerrilla warfare which is almost impossible to win and which the Houthis are quite experienced in."

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have said recapturing the port would allow the coalition to bring in supplies to relieve millions of people throughout Yemen who are facing starvation and disease.

But Adam Baron, a visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations, told DW the assault risks doing the exact opposite.

"If this ends up being a quick battle with the port being restored quickly, that's one thing," he said. "If it ends up being an extended battle where the port is destroyed in the process, that's quite another."

"The liberation of Hodeida port is a turning point in our struggle to recapture Yemen from the militias that hijacked it to serve foreign agendas," Yemen's exiled government said.

"The liberation of the port," it said, "is the start of the fall of the Houthi militia and will secure marine shipping in Bab al-Mandab strait and cut off the hands of Iran, which has long drowned Yemen in weapons that shed precious Yemeni blood."

video 1: Jan Egeland, director of the Norwegian Refugee Council, on the humanitarian situation in Yemen

video 2: Anas Shahari, aid worker in Yemen, on the latest Saudi-led attacks on Hodeidah Port.

My comment: The Hadi government’s statement is odd. They permanently claim Iranian interference where there is none. Might be the most ridiculous thing: Iran should have „long drowned Yemen in weapons that shed precious Yemeni blood“.

Comment: Disaster. The news in U.K. says that the coalition negotiated with the Houthi rebels who would not hand over the port. But the Houthi perspective is that foreign invaders who want to control Yemen wanted them to concede. Neither side really care about the people of Hodeida. It is a terrible situation and to protect Yemenis it seems they have to be killed and their homes destroyed.

Comment: The language is bizarre. The people of Hodeida have been surviving given that life is difficult as the port has been destroyed by the coalition in 2015 with a huge loss of jobs, and the fishing industry has been destroyed by the Saudi led coalition. But it was peaceful, and under the control of the Houthi administration which is far from perfect but Hadi's government until 2015 was described as the most corrupt and inefficient in the history of Yemen, and Hadi's rule of Aden has been a disaster - leading to local support for the Southern Transitional Council - a secessionist parliament. So what is this liberation all about??????

(* A K)

Saudi-led forces begin attack on crucial Yemen port city of Hodeidah

The battle for Hodeidah, if the Houthis do not withdraw, may also mark the first major street-to-street urban fighting for the Saudi-led coalition, presenting a major threat to civilians.

Before dawn on Wednesday, convoys of vehicles appeared to be heading toward the rebel-held city, according to videos posted on social media. The sound of heavy, sustained gunfire clearly could be heard in the background.

The initial battle plan appeared to involve a pincer movement. Some 2,000 troops who crossed the Red Sea from an Emirati naval base in the African nation of Eritrea landed west of the city with plans to seize Hodeidah’s port, Yemeni security officials said.

Emirati forces with Yemeni troops moved in from the south near Hodeidah’s airport, while others sought to cut off Houthi supply lines to the east, the officials said.

The Houthi-run Al Masirah satellite news channel later acknowledged the offensive, claiming rebel forces hit a Saudi coalition ship near Hodeidah with two missiles. Houthi forces have fired missiles at ships previously.

“The targeted ship was carrying troops prepared for a landing on the coast of Hodeidah,” the channel said. =

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Yemen: will the battle for Hodeidah bring a solution or disaster?

The intention behind the attack is to break the current military and political deadlock in the three-year war and shift the balance decisively in favour of the ousted government backed by the Saudi-led coalition.

Hodeidah port is seen as the Houthis' economic lifeline, not only for essential supplies but also as a major source of revenue, since they tax goods entering their territory.

One uncertainty at the moment is how strongly the Houthis will resist the attack and how much support they will have from the local population. The Houthis are basically mountain fighters and the flat Tihama plain around Hodeidah is not their favoured territory, so they might pull back fairly quickly to positions they feel they can more easily defend, leaving the city relatively unscathed.

On the other hand, they may be calculating that a street-by-street battle or a prolonged siege (with the accompnaying humanitarian crisis) would serve them politically by generating international calls for the anti-Houthi forces to halt their advance.

Assuming the Houthis do eventually lose Hodeidah, it's debatable whether that in itself will bring them to their knees.

There would be little effect on their supplies of weaponry since the port has long been blockaded by coalition forces and shipments are checked under UN auspices.

The effect of lost revenues from the port is also questionable because they Houthis could still levy taxes on goods entering the territory they control – in other words, the collection points might simply shift further inland.

Finally, it's not certain that after losing Hodeidah the Houthis would be more amenable to a political settlement. Some say there are indications that they would, but they are fighters rather than politicians.

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Yemen war: Why the battle for Hudaydah matters

Aid agencies have said the battle may exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation in a country devastated by three years of civil war.

Hudaydah's port is the principal lifeline for just under two-thirds of Yemen's population, which is almost totally reliant on imports of food, fuel and medicine.

The UN has warned that in a worst-case scenario, the battle could cost up to 250,000 lives, as well as cut off aid supplies to millions of people.

Hudaydah's location also gave it great strategic importance.

To the west of the city is the Red Sea and major international shipping lanes that are used to move goods between Europe, Asia and Africa via the Suez Canal.

To the east is the fertile Tihama plain, Yemen's most important agricultural area.

And just to the north is the Ras Isa oil terminal - which served the Marib oilfields and was the country's main export terminal - and the nearby port of Saleef.

Hudaydah is a lifeline for people living in rebel-held areas, serving as the most important point of entry for the basic supplies needed to prevent famine and a recurrence of a cholera epidemic that affected a million people last year.

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Battle for Hodeidah: Biggest assault of Yemen’s three-year-war begins, putting millions at risk

Remark: Overview, some background, and also:

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Responding to the news that Yemeni forces backed by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition have launched an offensive on the Yemeni port city of Hodeidah, Amnesty International’s Middle East Research Director Lynn Malouf said:

“The assault on Hodeidah could have a devastating impact for hundreds of thousands of civilians – not just in the city but throughout Yemen.

“With an estimated 600,000 people living in and around Hodeidah, all sides to the conflict must take all feasible precautions to ensure that the civilian population is protected.

“Equally vital is that the Saudi Arabia-led coalition and Huthi forces ensure the flow of aid and essential goods isn’t impeded in any way, as millions of people remain at risk of famine across the country.

“Hodeidah’s port is crucial to a country that is 80% dependent on imports to meet basic necessities. Cutting off this crucial supply line would further exacerbate what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

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Islamic Relief: Attacks on Hodeida will cut off lifeline for millions of Yemenis

Head of the Middle East Region for Islamic Relief, Dr Ahmed Nasr said, “This is an attack that has been launched during the last ten days of Ramadan which are amongst the holiest days of the year for Muslims around the world. Thousands of people in Hodeida and millions around Yemen will be celebrating Eid with the reality of that there is no end in sight for this conflict. Hostilities on all sides must stop. The international community needs to put pressure in the strongest of terms to deescalate the conflict, ensure no further loss of life and avoid worsening an already catastrophic situation.”

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CAFOD: Yemen crisis explained - your questions on the Yemen Crisis answered

We express our grave concern over the Saudi-coalition offensive against Hodeidah port. Yemen is dependent on imports for almost all of its food, fuel and medical supplies, through this port. Aid agencies rely almost entirely on Hodeidah to get humanitarian aid to where it is needed most, inside the country.

Giovanna Reda, CAFOD’s Head of Humanitarian Programmes for the Middle East, said:

“The launch of an assault on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah, by a Saudi-led coalition, will have a catastrophic impact on the ability of aid agencies to get food, medicine and other humanitarian aid to families in urgent need of assistance.

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Urgent humanitarian appeal: The five-point Initiative to protect civilians in Hodeida
The Women's Solidarity Network have been following the military advancement towards Hodaida with great concern of the catastrophic consequences and loss of life as a result of the conflict. We hope that the international community will be able to exercise pressure on the conflict parties to exhaust all peaceful means that will lead into a peaceful withdrawal of armed groups and will save Yemeni lives. However, if the military advancement continues we urgently call on the conflict parties to respect this five-point initiative that sets out the minimum standards to protect civilians:

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CAAT responds to the bombing of Hodeidah

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade said: "There is no doubt that UK arms will play a central role in the bombardment. This terrible war could not have been fought without the complicity of politicians like Theresa May and her colleagues, who have armed and supported the Saudi-led coalition every step of the way."

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Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect: Atrocity Alert No. 109, 13 June 2018: Yemen, Libya, Syria

Yemen is currently the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with 10.4 million people at risk of famine. Hodeidah is the entry point for 70 percent of the aid upon which over 22 million Yemenis depend. The attack on Hodeidah places millions more people at risk of starvation and could violate UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolutions 2140 and 2216, regarding obstruction of the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

The UNSC should immediately condemn the attack on Hodeidah, demand all parties uphold their obligations under International Humanitarian Law, and immediately impose sanctions on those responsible for any obstruction of vital humanitarian aid.

Governments with strong military and economic ties to parties to the conflict should immediately end all support – including the sale and transfer of weapons – to those involved in violating UNSC resolutions and international law

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CARE: Attack on Hodeidah multiplies horror and death in Yemen

As the offensive on the key Yemeni port of Hodeidah has begun, CARE International in Yemen warns that this will have a catastrophic impact on the civilian population. “We have had more than 30 airstrikes within 30 minutes this morning around the city. Some civilians are entrapped, others forced from their homes. We thought it could not get any worse, but unfortunately we were wrong,” says Jolien Veldwijk, CARE’s acting Country Director in Yemen. “This attack risks more people dying, but it also risks cutting the lifeline of millions of Yemenis. Food imports already reached the lowest levels since the conflict started and the price of basic commodities has risen by a third. We are gravely concerned that parts of the population could experience famine,” says Veldwijk.

“The attack on Hodeidah as the main point of entry for aid in Yemen will multiply horror and death in Yemen,” says Veldwijk. “We urge all parties to refrain from any further military activities in and around Hodeidah city and the port. People are already exhausted, starving, and have no means to cope with any further escalation of war.” =

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International Committee of the Red Cross: Statement on Yemen: Push for Hodeida will exacerbate catastrophic humanitarian situation

A statement from Robert Mardini, the regional director for the Near and Middle East for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), on the situation in Hodeida, Yemen.

The most recent push for Hodeida is likely to exacerbate an already catastrophic humanitarian situation in Yemen. The population has already been weakened to extreme levels.

Lifelines to the outside world must be maintained, including the Hodeida port and the Sana'a airport. Real people, real families, will suffer if no food is getting in, and we are concerned that ongoing military operations continue to hamper the arrival of essential goods. =

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Save the Children: Hodeidah Port Attack in Yemen

Tamer Kirolos, Yemen Country Director, Save the Children, says:

An estimated 300,000 children stuck in Hodeidah city are risk of being killed or maimed by the fighting. Families and children could be caught in the crossfire, unable to leave but in grave danger from bombs and bullets if they stay, trapped beyond the reach of humanitarian aid or medical care.

Save the Children is now extremely concerned that the port in Hodeidah will be closed and despite repeated warnings of the devastating impact this will have, a famine is becoming a real possibility, with hundreds of thousands of lives at risk.

The battle for Hodeidah will almost certainly result in a huge loss of civilian life and damage to vital infrastructure. Save the Children has consistently called for a diplomatic rather than military solution to this brutal conflict, now in its fourth year, and we feel despair for the children of Hodeidah who didn’t ask for this war. Time and again, the world has failed the children of Yemen, despite international efforts discouraging the warring parties from escalating a military confrontation.

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Hundreds of children at risk in Yemen battle: French charity

"What happens today could really increase the mortality rate, increase the number of children dying, increase issues around water supply, water access and food supply," Jon Cunliffe, Middle East operations director for the Action Contre La Faim (ACF), told AFP in an interview in Paris.

The charity combatting hunger is currently helping feed 760 acutely malnourished children in Hodeida governorate.

"They're going to die unless they get that food," Cunliffe stressed.

Hodeida is one of the regions worst affected by the war between Iran-backed insurgents and a coalition of Sunni Arab states led by Riyadh.

ACF, helping to supply food to nearly 4,000 malnourished children in the region and also providing medical care to thousands, said the offensive launched Wednesday risked further driving up food prices, which had soared in the past week.

"The fear is that if Hodeida is completely taken or cut off from the rest of the country... there will be a run on supplies," Cunliffe said.

ACF, which withdrew its international staff from the city on Monday, was "very concerned" for the welfare of 150 remaining local staff, he added.

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David Miliband statement on Hodeidah, Yemen

All member states, led by the US, must demand that vital humanitarian and commercial imports through Hodeidah are maintained. An attack would pose a mortal threat to the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of civilians living in Hodeidah and the millions of civilians throughout Yemen who depend on this port to access food and fuel for their survival,” said David Miliband, President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee.

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UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Protection Cluster: Civilian Impact Monitoring Special Report, June 12 - Protection Forecast Al-Hudaydah

As airstrikes in urban areas generate significantly higher civilian casualties on average than airstrikes in rural areas,heavyairstrikes on Al-Hudaydah city would likely see significant civilian casualties.

Clashes and heavy airstrikes are anticipated to take place on the main road running through Hays,Al-Garrahi and Zabid, as well as roads to the east of Al-Hudaydah city. These are areas with a high population concentration,and therefore the civilian impact is expected to increase.

Attempts at cutting off main routes to Al-Huydaydah city would also generate significant civilian impact by restricting civilians from fleeing violence and by hindering vital supplies from reaching the city.

Vessels would likely be deterred from entering the port during an assault, both related to risks associated with any fighting in the cityand to off loaded goods not being able to leave the city.

Should the offensive reach Al-Hudaydah city, the impact on the population from urban warfare would be severe and civilians in impacted areas would likely be trapped inside their homes, with limited options of fleeing violence or relocating to safer areas.

Coastal and southern areas are heavily mined, and further planting of landmines around Al-Hudaydah city and along the main road in southern districts would generate a long-term civilian impact.

(* A H K P)

US stands by as Saudi coalition begins assault on Yemeni port city

Last week, The World spoke with people in Hodeidah who were preparing for a potential attack. One Hodeidah resident, Hanadi, said this morning that she has not heard anything yet.

Hanadi, a humanitarian aid worker who asked that we use only her first name, lives in the city near the main road to the Hodeidah airport, several miles from the port. Earlier this week, after the UAE tipped off international NGOs that the assault was imminent, Hanadi emailed her staff to prepare: Either leave the city or lay in supplies, she told them.

“Dear employees,” she wrote in Arabic on Monday. “Provide your home for extra food: biscuits wheat, water, canned food and lights — minimum for two weeks. And it's better to let your families travel to the safe places such as villages, away from the risk areas. This is the priority to facilitate movement if the situation gets worse.” She ended her memo ominously: “God save our country and its innocent people.”

Arabic twitter tagged with the word Hodeidah is full of images of the Saudi king, the crown prince, war planes and coalition soldiers – by Stephen Snyder

Remark: This report is still from pre-assault times.

Comment: Intelligence, refuelling, target choice and guidance, arms sales, enforcement of the blockade: take the #US out of the equation and you know the #UAE and #KSA would be solely relying on clueless mercenaries

My comment to comment: It’s evident: The US does not “stand by”, but since the beginning of the war the US is warring party, deeply involved in the Yemen war.

(A B K P)

‘Catastrophic is becoming an understatement,’ aid groups lament as new Yemen battle begins

Aid groups sounded alarms over the new escalation in the bloody proxy war, already the world's largest humanitarian crisis. Jeffrey Brown learns more from Gregory D. Johnsen of the Arabia Foundation. (with interview in film) and film also here:

My comment: This report really is worth nothing. For a great part, it’s repeating propaganda. Keep in mind what this “Arabia Foundation” really is: =

cp2 Allgemein / General

(* B K P)

The Saudi War on the People of Yemen

Sheila Carapico refutes the common assertion that the Saudi-led war on Yemen is a “proxy war” with Iran.

The Yemenis that are suffering the most from this conflict are innocent and poor people whose lives have been made immeasurably more difficult by political forces they don’t support and can’t control. Except perhaps for aid agencies and human rights groups, there is practically no one that speaks for these Yemenis. Their country’s supposedly “legitimate” government is in league with the invading forces that are destroying their home. They are made to endure indiscriminate bombing, displacement, epidemics, and starvation because of the paranoia and ambitions of despotic Gulf rulers. I have called it the war on Yemen for the last three years because that seems to best describe the conflict. More precisely, it is a war on the people of Yemen.

Framing the conflict as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran creates the impression that Iran’s involvement is in some way comparable to that of the Saudis and their allies, but as Carapico explains very well this is simply not true. Iran’s involvement in the conflict has been and remains negligible and insignificant, especially when compared with the major direct intervention by the Saudis, Emiratis, and other members of the coalition. Buying into this framing has meant that the U.S. indulges the coalition in its crimes and atrocities out of a misguided belief that it is somehow harming Iran in the process, but innocent Yemenis are the ones suffering. They are the victims of a war waged upon them by all of the governments and political leaders involved – by Daniel Larison

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While all eyes were on Brexit, Jeremy Corbyn spoke out about another unfolding disaster

While Britain focused on Brexit this week, Jeremy Corbyn spoke out about another unfolding disaster – a new Saudi-led assault on Yemen threatening to kill up to 250,000 people.

Unsurprisingly, the UK government’s response was not to halt its support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. Instead, foreign secretary Boris Johnson focused his words on “all parties in Yemen”, rather than the foreign forces doing the bombing:

Who will speak out about Yemen? Not our government, that’s for sure.

As the Guardian‘s Andrew Mitchell wrote on 13 June, Boris Johnson and co are on the wrong side of this conflict:

Saudi Arabia says…

Saudi ambassador to the US Khalid bin Salman said the offensive was to “support the people of Yemen”:

He also insisted his country was “at the forefront of humanitarian efforts”:

He must have a different definition of ‘humanitarian’, though. Because Saudi Arabia recently murdered at least 45 civilians in Yemen in less than a week. And since 2015, Al-Jazeera says, its war has killed “at least 10,000 people”, displaced two million people, and sparked a cholera epidemic.

According to one Yemeni lawyer, the Saudi aim in Hodeidah is simple: to end the war once and for all – whatever the humanitarian cost. Comparing the offensive to Saudi attacks on Yemen back in 1934, he said:

(* B K P)

In the face of Hodeidah assault, Yemen is on the brink

Moreover the administration’s strong opposition to Iran, highlighted by its violation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, has encouraged the Saudis to believe that they will not face serious opposition from Washington. Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman (MBS), the architect of the war whose reputation is dependent upon the outcome, has extensive backchannel connections to the White House. Demarches from Pompeo and his predecessor to halt the blockade of Qatar have been ignored by Riyadh at no cost. Trump’s visit to Saudi Arabia last year and MBS’s visit to the United States this spring—when many touted him as a reformer—has given the Saudis the impression that America does not care about Yemen.

A serious attempt to end the war will require a concerted effort by Washington and key Western capitals—including London, Paris, and Ottawa (all major arms suppliers)—to challenge the Saudi coalition and Iran. The collapse of the G-7 summit in Quebec makes that highly unlikely.

Outside pressure is unlikely to avert the looming disaster. But even if the Houthis lose Hodeidah, the war will go on. The Houthis have been fighting the Saudis off and on for over a decade. They are good at it – by Bruce Riedel

(* B H)


Minister of Public Health and Population of the Salvation Government in Sanaa, Dr. Taha Al-Mutawakil, said in a press conference Tuesday that the number of killed and wounded by the US-Saudi aggression on Yemen, who arrived at hospitals and health facilities since the beginning of the aggression until June 9, 2018 was 35297 killed and wounded.
The Minister of Health explained that the killed toll was 11001 including 2230 children and 1698 women.
While the number of wounded was 22215, including 3248 children, and 2645 women, and the total of the disability was 2081 disability.

Remark: By the Sanaa government.

My comment: The figures certainly are ven much higher.

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

(* B H)

SMEPS: Communication development mission

The journey started, April 17th 6AM and we are on the road.

It’s so exciting starting a journey of wonders. Now I am on a communication development mission to several places around Yemen, to meet people supported by SMEPS in many sectors. Fish, agriculture, health, honey and other businesses too. Communications and I visited many governorates, first stop from Sana’a was Lahj, not too far from Aden. We certainly passed through many check points, some asked for ID’s and some didn’t bother, regardless no one asked me for any ID because I am a women, now this is an advantage. We were able to make it through check points, with no obstacles at this point. Lahj was the first stop, we met the farmer Ali Al Kiyal, he was one of the most famous farmers on our social media platforms, he was known by so many. I have previously worked on SMEPS portfolio for 2017, and Ali was among the success stories mentioned. The feeling I had when I had the chance to meet this old man in person, was a blessing. We communications function quite differently from any other organization, we literally go straight to the beneficiary and ask them for advises.

(* B H K)

Battle for Hodeida puts local aid workers in the crosshairs

Wednesday’s airstrikes and the beginnings of a ground assault by the coalition of Arab states on the city risk cutting off a lifeline of food and supplies international NGOs are straining to deliver across the country. Approximately 22 million people in Yemen — or three-quarters of the population — need humanitarian assistance, according to the United Nations.

Humanitarian workers described a “steady, gradual decline” in conditions. “We keep thinking we have hit rock bottom,” said Suze van Meegen, protection and advocacy adviser for the Norwegian Refugee Council. “In recent weeks, the thing I notice most is people feel a complete lack of control. Humanitarian organizations typically engage with parties to the conflict and put regulations in place, but we have seen those disregarded as the rules of war seem to be disregarded. Civilians are completely in the path of conflict at all times. It has become an incredibly unpredictable landscape.”

“It does beg the question and something I think we all need to reflect on is, if we can expect Yemeni staff or local staff in any country to stay and deliver when things get dangerous, why aren’t we able to trust them [to take the lead] in the same way when things are safe?” Van Meegen said.

Until now, the situation has been safer for local Yemeni staff, considering their deep knowledge of the country and conflict, Feghali said. “Now it’s not safe for anyone,” she said, adding that the ICRC did not evacuate Yemeni employees who did not wish to leave their families, nor bring their family with them abroad.

(A B H)

Film: Der jemenitische Gesundheitsminister [Regierung in Sanaa] Dr. Taha al-Mutawakel warnte vor einem drohenden Zusammenbruch des Gesundheitssystems des Landes, als er am Dienstag auf einer Pressekonferenz in Sanaa einen von Saudi-Arabien geführten Luftangriff verurteilte, bei dem eine Cholera-Behandlungseinrichtung von Ärzte ohne Grenzen (MSF) getroffen worden sein soll.

(A H)

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: Yemen Humanitarian Update Covering 4 – 11 June 2018 | Issue 19

Humanitarian agencies are increasingly worried by the likely impact of a possible military assault on Al Hudaydah City which will impact hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Prepositioning of aid supplies continues throughout the Governorate as aid organisations plan to stay and deliver • Forty-six migrants drown off the coast of Yemen

(A H)

It will be the fourth #Eid in wartime.
Some children are too young to remember what peace feels and looks like, some lost everything and everyone: home and family.
Share Aid Yemen distributed 550 Eid gifts for orphans and indigent children in #Hamadan & #Sabaeen districts #Sanaa. (photo)

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

Siehe / Look at cp1

(B H K)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees: Yemen UNHCR Update, 15- 31 May 2018

(B H P)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees, CCCM Cluster, Shelter Cluster: Yemen Situation Report May 2018

(A H P)

UN High Commissioner for Refugees: UNHCR Yemen Situation: 2018 Funding Update (as of 13 June 2018)

My comment: Total sum required US $ 116,9 million (equivalent is 14 h Saudi air raids, 24 hours, 3 years 2 ½ months now), funded 62 %

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

(A P)

Houthis Militia released two Bank employees after hours of abduction

(A H)

Photos: This is HOW Yemeni capital Sanaa looks like on the eve of Eid AlFetr! Shopping under bombing! 4 years now! Year after year!

(* B H K)

Yemen minister: 20,000 children have been recruited by Houthi militia

Yemen’s Minister of Social Affairs and Labor said more than 2 million Yemeni children are working due to the war triggered by the Houthi militia, while more than 20,000 have been recruited to fight in the war, violating international conventions and laws protecting children’s rights according to new statistics published by the ministry.

My comment: By the Hadi government and thus dubious. And further on, it’s deployed that 2,372 schools had been destroyed – without mentioning Saudi coalition air raids, what a bad joke!

(* A P)

Journalist dies soon after release from Houthi detention

The Committee to Protect Journalists today called on the UN Security Council to investigate the case of a Yemeni journalist who died from torture while detained by Houthi rebels, according to Nabil Alosaidi, co-chair of the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate.

Anwar al-Rakan died June 2, two days after being released by the Ansar Allah movement, commonly known as the Houthis, according to a statement from the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate sent to CPJ and to news reports.

Alosaidi told CPJ that according to al-Rakan's family, the journalist was abducted approximately one year ago because he was found in possession of a press card from the syndicate. Alosaidi told CPJ that the family did not know what happened to him until the Houthis contacted them and told them he was being transferred to a local hospital. CPJ could not confirm the exact date of al-Rakan's disappearance.

According to the syndicate's statement, Belqees TV, and the independent Yemeni newspaper Al-Masdar, al-Rakan's health deteriorated sharply as a result of severe torture while detained, leading to his release shortly before his death.

Remark: Earlier reporting YPR 421, cp5.

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

(A T)

Car bomb kills 3 UAE-backed troops in southern Yemen

No group has yet claimed responsibility for deadly attack in southern Abyan province

At least three people were killed Thursday when a car bomb exploded near a security checkpoint in Yemen’s southern Abyan province, according to local sources.

A local security source, who spoke to Anadolu Agency on condition of anonymity, said a suicide car bomber had targeted UAE-backed security forces (who support Yemen’s internationally-recognized government) in Abyan’s eastern Al-Wadeei Directorate.

According to the source, the blast killed three UAE-backed troops and injured seven others, including a commander.

(* A P)

Hadi returns to Aden Thursday

A presidential source said to almasdaronline that the president Abdu Rabbu Mansoor Hadi will return during the next few hours to the temporary capital Aden (South Yemen).
According to the source, the purpose of the return is to follow the ongoing military operation in Hodeida also he will spend the Eid in the city, the source did not clear whether this return is permanent or only temporary visit.
This return comes after the visit made by Hadi to Abu Dhabi which proceeded by Saudi effort to close the gap between the two parties after a year of disputes.

(* A P)

Yemen: prominent human rights activist arrested

Responding to reports that Abdulrasheed al-Faqih, the Executive Director of Mwatana Organisation for Human Rights, was arrested this morning while on his way to Sey’oun airport in the southern Yemeni city of Mukalla, Samah Hadid, Amnesty International’s Middle East Campaigns Director, said:

“Abdulrasheed al-Faqih is one of Yemen’s most prominent human rights defenders and has worked tirelessly to expose the myriad human rights abuses committed by all parties in Yemen’s brutal conflict.

“Unfortunately, Abdulrasheed al-Faqih’s courage and dedication have made him the target of repeated harassment, and prior to his arrest today he was detained by Huthi forces on several occasions.

“We fear he has been arrested - yet again - solely for his human rights work; and if this is the case he must be released immediately and unconditionally and allowed to travel and seek the medical treatment that he needs.


(* A P)

Forces Loyal to Hadi Must Immediately Release the Executive Director of Mwatana, Abdulrasheed al-Faqih

In the release issued today, Mwatana for Human Rights states that President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government must immediately release Abdulrasheed al-Faqih, the Executive Director of Mwatana for Human Rights.

At around 6:30 am, forces loyal to president Hadi detained al-Faqih at “Bab al-Falaj” checkpoint in Marib governorate. Al-Faqih was on his way to Seiyun city in Hadhramout governorate for the purpose of travelling abroad.

Al- Faqih was travelling to seek medical treatment in addition to a mission that involves preparations for a training workshop in partnership with the European Union.

(B H)

War leaves Yemen's Aden hollowed-out shadow of former self

The mood is eerie on the mostly empty streets of Aden, Yemen's southern port city and designated seat of government that has suffered three years of civil war.

Damaged buildings are hollowed-out versions of their former selves, a testament to past lives and aspirations of inhabitants who now scrape by on aid handouts and the bare minimum for survival. Shot-up storefronts and apartment blocks, carcasses of burnt-out armored vehicles and signs marking minefields now define the cityscape along the sea.

On the beach, old pleasure venues also lie empty, broken and deserted. A shattered night club and a vacant children's theme park are ghostlike reminders of generations past.

Even with a civil war in full swing, people seek some simple recreations and acts of normal life — young men get haircuts and women visit salons where a blow-dry costs 200 Yemeni Riyals ($0.80).

My comment: And anti-Houthi propaganda always wants to tell that life is much better in “liberated” areas.


Photo: Aden's infrastructure was weak before Houthi invasion 2015 and now it doesn't exist anymore , continuous electricity blackouts sewage every where here is a photo of how Adeni citizens are coping with it .

(A T)

Security forces disrupted a planned al Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) attack in al Mukalla city, Hadramawt governorate, eastern Yemen on June 12. The security forces seized explosive devices and various munitions during a raid on a mausoleum in Hala area, western al Mukalla city, eastern Yemen. Hadramawt Governor Major General Faraj al Bahsani said that AQAP militants planned to use the explosives for an attack at the end of Ramadan.[2] and

(* B E P)

The Marib paradox: How one province succeeds in the midst of Yemen’s war

The province of Marib in Yemen has undergone a remarkable transformation, from a place of conflict to beacon of relative stability even while the war continues in Yemen, including not far from Marib.

Central to this improvement is the leadership shown by the province’s governor, Sheikh Sultan al-Arada, who has taken advantage of the decentralisation drive that was supposed to form part of Yemen’s post-uprising transition but which has recorded only patchy success.

Marib’s newly acquired autonomy has allowed it to retain a share of its natural resource wealth, improve infrastructure, and expand government services, including paying state employees regularly and supporting a functioning judicial system.

Decentralisation processes which are locally led in this way represent a core lesson for international players interested in extending stability and peace across Yemen.

Europeans should work to bolster stabilisation in Marib while applying its lessons elsewhere in Yemen, at all times linking their efforts to those of the UN while collaborating with regional and international partners.

Comment: The paradox in all this thriving and praising is that people in #Marebcontinue living with explosions as night soundtrack, that there is no constant electricity or running water.

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

(* A K P)

Parts of missiles fired at Saudi Arabia came from Iran: U.N. chief

Debris from five missiles fired at Saudi Arabia by Yemen’s Houthi group since July 2017 “share key design features with a known type of missile” manufactured by Iran and some of the components were manufactured in Iran, U.N. chief Antonio Guterres wrote in a confidential report to the Security Council.

However, the United Nations has not been able to determine when the missiles, components or related technology were transferred from Iran and if they violated U.N. restrictions, Guterres said in a biannual report on the implementation of U.N. sanctions on Iran.

The June 12 report, seen by Reuters on Thursday, is a further blow to U.S. efforts to hold Iran accountable over accusations it violated U.N. resolutions on Yemen and Iran by supplying weapons to the Houthis. In February Russia vetoed a western attempt to have the Security Council call out Tehran.

My comment: This is no real news; it had been stated by an UN panel earlier.

(* A K P)

In Yemen As Saudi Coalition Bombs Near Hodeida NRC Warns of 2d Cholera Outbreak

Inner City Press on May 29 asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric about the Saudi led Coalition's and UAE's moves on Hodeida. Now on June 13 after UAE foreign minister Anwar Gargash delivered the final threat (the UAE Diplomatic Academy has former UN envoy to Libya Bernardino Leon) and Dujarric announced the withdrawal by the UN of its international staff from Hodeida, the assault is proceeding. There will be a UN Security Council meeting about it at noon on June 14, behind closed doors, at the request of the UK.

On June 13 Inner City Press asked Guterres' spokesman Stephane Dujarric, UN transcript here: Inner City Press: I wanted to ask you, on Yemen who the UN thinks is calling the shots.

(* A K P)

UN urges Yemen port be kept open despite offensive

The UN Security Council on Thursday called for a key port in war-ravaged Yemen to be kept open to deliveries of vital food and humanitarian supplies after the Saudi-led coalition launched an offensive to seize Hodeida.

But the council brushed aside a call by Sweden, a non-permanent member, for a freeze to the military operation to allow time for talks on a rebel withdrawal from the Red Sea port.

Following a two-hour closed-door meeting, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia, who holds the council presidency, said council members were "united in their deep concern about the risks to the humanitarian situation."

Council members "reiterated their call for the ports of Hodeida and Saleef to be kept open," said Nebenzia.

My comment: The Swedish call was the minimum of common sense. It’s symptomatic that the Security Council “brushed it away”. This is a 100 % total failure of this Council; its main task would be to prevent assaults like this, whether in Yemen, in Afghanistan, in Rwanda, in Kosovo or wherever. Fail, fail, fail.

(A K P)

Sweden calls on UN to demand halt to Hodieda offensive

Sweden called on the UN Security Council (UNSC) to demand an immediate halt to the Saudi and UAE-led offensive and bombardment of a key port in Yemen, to prevent a major humanitarian disaster from unfolding.

(* A K P)

UN Security Council to meet Thursday on Yemen port offensive

The UN Security Council will meet Thursday for urgent talks following the launch of an offensive on the Yemeni port of Hodeida, a lifeline for aid, by government forces backed by the Saudi-led coalition, diplomats said.

Britain requested the meeting to be held behind closed doors at noon (1600 GMT) -- the second time this week that the council will have met on the crisis in Yemen.

The United Nations has raised alarm over the military operation, which could cripple deliveries of commercial goods and humanitarian aid to millions of people in Yemen, which is on the brink of famine.

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson warned in a statement that the military operation around Hodeida must not disrupt the flow of goods through the port.

"The coalition have assured us that they are incorporating humanitarian concerns into their operational plans. It is vital to maintain the flow of food, fuel and medical supplies into Yemen," said Johnson.

On Monday, the UN Security Council said it supported Griffiths' diplomatic efforts but did not specifically call on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, whose troops are backing Yemeni forces, to refrain from attacking Hodeida. and film

My comment: UN Security Council failure, failure, failure due to open (and covert even more) US support for the Saudi coalition.

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

(A E P)

Saudi Crown Prince tells Putin kingdom wants to keep working with Russia

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday that Saudi Arabia wants to continue cooperation with Russia on global oil markets, adding that this cooperation was beneficial for the whole world.

(A K P)

As Saudis Go to War, the Crown Prince Attends a Soccer Match

As they pounded the area around Al Hudaydah’s airport, the architect of the war, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, was attending the opening match of the World Cup in Moscow, Saudi Arabia versus Russia.

The crown prince cheered on the Saudi team from a luxury box with his host, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia.

My comment: This really is secondary. This very New Yotk Times had hailed, praised and adulated this prince.

(A P)

Human rights blogger arrested in Saudi Arabia

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reiterates its call for the immediate release of all journalists and citizen-journalists detained in Saudi Arabia after the female blogger and human rights activist Nouf Abdulaziz Al Jerawi became the latest victim of a wave of arrests of bloggers and rights activists.

(A P)

HRW urges Saudi Arabia to reveal whereabouts of Saudi-Qatari national

Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Wednesday urged Saudi authorities to disclose the whereabouts of a Saudi man with dual Qatari nationality whom Kuwait said it had deported to Saudi Arabia on May 12 at the kingdom’s request.

cp9 USA

Siehe / Look at cp1 , cp1b1-2

(* A K P)

The Assault on al Hudaydah: Surfacing America’s Partnership Problems

American interests in Yemen include preventing Iran from expanding its influence over the al Houthi movement and possibly deploying advanced weapons systems near the strategically vital Bab al Mandab Strait, as well as defeating growing ISIS and al Qaeda organizations and affiliates that have flourished in Yemen since the Arab Spring.

But U.S. policy in Yemen suffers from the ongoing push to reduce American commitments abroad, begun under President Obama but continued under President Trump. Washington has outsourced American interests to the UAE and Saudi Arabia. It relies on the Saudi-led coalition to contain Iran in Yemen and weaken the Salafi-jihadi movement there. The U.S. maintains a tiny troop presence in Yemen, and its support to the coalition consists primarily of weapons sales and intelligence sharing.

Th e truth is that the United States needs it partners much more now than they need the U.S. Washington could pause or withhold weapons shipments and suspend intelligence-sharing, but neither action would prevent the Saudis and the Emiratis from continuing the war as they choose.

The U.S. continues to try to steer its partners away from actions that make an already-bad humanitarian situation much worse.

Hudaydah is also central to achieving a peaceful resolution of the conflict. The Saudis see al Houthi retention of Hudaydah in any final settlement as a red line because it would facilitate larger-scale Iranian influence and support. The al Houthis believe they must have a port to survive as an autonomous or semi-autonomous region within an otherwise hostile Yemen. This offensive broke a stalemate in Yemen’s civil war and will scuttle the efforts of UN Special Envoy for Yemen Martin Griffiths to resume political negotiations. The Saudi-led coalition is seeking to create facts on the ground ahead of any such negotiations, but those facts may deter the al Houthis from even entering into talks at this time.

The United States must prepare for what comes next. The question is not whether the al Houthis will lose al Hudaydah, but rather, what the Saudi-led coalition will lose in the process of winning – by Katherine Zimmerman

My comment: A main problem which Zimmerman and many other US authors (and US citizens) even are not able to realize: This is the simple fact that the US is not the lord nor the policeman of the world, that the US cannot impose its interest to all parts of the world.

(* A K P)

Sen. Rand Paul: Why should we Give Money or Arms to Saudi Arabia to End up in the Hands of ISIS?

In 2016, Congress overwhelmingly voted to allow the family members of those killed in the 9/11 attacks to sue Saudi Arabia. So why, less than a year later, are we agreeing to sell Saudi Arabia billions of dollars in arms to further escalate a war that has been loudly and repeatedly condemned internationally?

And why should Congress – the branch constitutionally charged with debating and approving America’s involvement in war – remain silent?

This week, a bipartisan group of senators will make sure the people’s representatives go on the record when the U.S. Senate takes up our joint resolution of disapproval.

Already, U.S. military assistance through intelligence, refueling missions, and the sale of major U.S. defense equipment has not abated the humanitarian crisis in Yemen. If anything, it has exacerbated it, and it has associated our name with Saudi Arabia’s tactics in Yemenis’ minds.

(* B K P)

American Mass Media and Punditry Remain a Dishonest, Militaristic Embarrassment

One of the most telling examples came courtesy of an interaction between Washington Post opinion writer and MSNBC pundit, Jonathan Capehart and a non-pundit human over Twitter.

Finally, just as mass media was having a uniform panic attack about a peace summit, those peacenik Middle East democracies, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, were preparing an attack on the port of Hodeidah in Yemen, a move that could lead to the starvation of millions.

It’s worth remembering that the U.S. government plays a direct role in Yemeni atrocities by arming and refueling the planes of the Gulf states responsible for the greatest humanitarian disaster on earth at the moment, yet U.S. mass media barely pays it any mind.

(* A B K P)

What would deeper involvement in Yemen mean for US troops?

(* B K P)

A Humanitarian Catastrophe: U.S.-Backed Forces Attack Key Yemeni Port Imperiling Millions

We speak with Congressmember Ro Khanna in Washington, D.C. He recently co-authored a bipartisan letter calling for Defense Secretary James Mattis to help prevent an attack on Hodeidah.

REP. RO KHANNA: It would just be a catastrophe of civilian casualties. An attack on Hodeidah would mean thousands and thousands of women and children and civilians would die. Second, the port of Hodeidah is the only place right now, for practical purposes, that food and medicine can get into Yemeni civilians. So, this is—one would think it just should be common sense that the United States and the international community would be doing everything in our power to keep that port open. In the past, even Ambassador Nikki Haley has talked about the importance of that port for civilians. And it would be really a dereliction of our own values to not do everything in our power to stop that attack, and do everything in our power to stop refueling the Saudis from their bombing campaign in Yemen.

AMY GOODMAN: What about the United Arab Emirates? It’s United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia. What is the U.S. interests in both of these places?

REP. RO KHANNA: Well, we see them both as allies, candidly, to contain Iran. And this type of balance-of-power politics has gotten us into a lot of problems in the Middle East. And, unfortunately, we’re continuing the same type of thinking, saying that we need to ally with countries that may be a check on Iranian expansion. Unfortunately, the administration has continued down that path of thinking, without any authority from the United States Congress. But the first step is to really understand what our involvement and role is in Yemen. The administration has been very coy about admitting that we’re actually aiding the Saudis in a proxy civil war, aiding the United Arab Emirates in a proxy war in Yemen against Iran, because they know that has absolutely no authorization under congressional—by Congress.

(A K P)

United States: Press for Cease-Fire in Attack on Yemen’s Port City of Hodeidah

In response to a Saudi Arabian-led coalition attack on Yemen’s western port city of Hodeidah on June 13, 2018, Freedom House issued the following statement:
“The United States should immediately condemn today’s attack on Yemen’s port city of Hodeidah and insist on an immediate cease-fire, if a humanitarian disaster is to be avoided. The United States should urge Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and both the rebels and the government of Yemen to negotiate a lasting political settlement.”

(* B K P)

Time for Diplomacy, Not War, in Yemen

The coalition had sought direct military assistance from the United States, which has provided weapons, intelligence, and logistical support throughout the war. The Trump administration declined, however, and encouraged the coalition to give the United Nations time for diplomacy. This remains the right approach. As tragic as the situation in Yemen is today, continued American support for military intervention is the wrong answer. Not only does the United States lack a compelling national security interest in Yemen, but by supporting the Saudi-led coalition the United States has contributed materially to the one of the worst humanitarian disasters of the 21st century. Further military support won’t improve American security, but it risks making things worse for Yemen.

American support of the Saudi-led war in Yemen has been spurred by two ultimately misguided arguments.

Nor is there any assurance that a coalition military “victory” would put an end to conflict in Yemen. Conventional military campaigns are good for killing people, destroying infrastructure, and taking territory, but the United States has learned through painful experience in Iraq and Afghanistan that even America’s awesome firepower cannot create peace.

Last, but most fundamentally, American support for the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen puts the United States on the wrong side of international law and moral duty

It is past time for the United States to stop supporting the war in Yemen. The Trump administration should tell the Saudi-led coalition not to launch an assault on Hodaideh. Further, the United States should make it clear to the Saudis that the coalition needs a plan to wind down the war – by A. Trevor Thrall

(* A K P)

US Congressmen: Stop ‘Famine-Triggering Attack’ on Yemen’s Port City Hodeida, Which Could Starve Millions

Lawmakers from both major parties have published a letter calling on the U.S. government to withdraw support for a military attack on Yemen’s port city of Hodeida, which would almost certainly unleash a humanitarian disaster that could starve millions of people.

The letter — which follows in full below — was signed by prominent Democratic and Republican congressmen, and is directly addressed to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

(* A K P)

Keith Vaz MP: Government must make it clear the UK does not tolerate an attack on Hudaydah Port

Former Minister Keith Vaz has written to the Prime Minister about the military assault on the port of Hudaydah in Yemen. 40 MPs have also co-signed the letter including Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee Tom Tugendhat MP, Stephen Twigg MP, Chair of the International Development Committee and Harriet Harman MP, Chair of the Joint Committee on Human Rights.

“We are gravely concerned that in the absence of commercial imports in case of an attack on the port for any length of time, parts of the population could experience famine. As the UN Humanitarian Coordinator Lise Grande said “as many as 250,000 people may lose everything— even their lives,” if there is a military attack on Hudaydah Port. We urge you to use all available means to end this catastrophic military assault on Hudaydah Port by the Saudi and Emirati led coalition. This includes removing material support from combatants. We implore you to make a statement condemning an attack on Hudaydah and calling for an urgent ceasefire.”

(* A K P)

The UK Government Is Aware Of How Deadly A Strike On Hodeidah Could Be – So Why Is It Continuing To Arm The Bombers?

Governments like the UK have not been mere bystanders in the chaos: they have been active participants.

Even the UK government has raised reservations about the plan. The Middle East Minister, Alastair Burt, said he is “extremely concerned” that aid agencies are not getting the security guarantees they need, and has called for all parties to the conflict to “allow safe, rapid and unhindered humanitarian access to all parts of Yemen.”

Despite their professed concerns, Burt and his colleagues have refused to reconsider their uncritical political and military support for the Saudi-led coalition. The reality is that UK fighter jets and missiles are almost certainly being used in the assault.

This has been complemented by a fawning political relationship

If the UN’s worst predictions become a reality then those that have armed and supported the conflict cannot say that they were not warned.

Governments like the UK have not been mere bystanders in the chaos: they have been active participants. This war could never have been fought without their complicity and compliance.

(* A K P)

Britain is complicit in Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen

The government rightly condemned Assad’s attack on Aleppo. Why is it silent on the Saudi assault on Hodeidah?

The problem for Britain is that we are complicit in this attack. It is part of the coalition that supports Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen. Yemen is already blockaded by the Saudi coalition. Repeated warnings that a manmade famine is being generated have been ignored. Britain, as the “penholder” on Yemen at the UN security council, nevertheless takes a nakedly pro-Saudi approach to the conflict. Indeed, a recent presidential statement drafted by Britain had to be suppressed by other members of that same security council. Britain rightly condemns the Houthis for launching sporadic missile attacks on Riyadh, but stays silent on the nightly air attacks by the Saudi air force that kill innocent civilians in Yemen.

The British government finds itself not on the side of innocent families who fear the fire that falls from above, but on the side of the perpetrator who has launched a huge military gamble to take Hodeidah from the Houthis. The echoes of what the Russians did in Syria over Aleppo ring out. The government rightly condemned the brutal attack on innocent lives in Aleppo. Where is Britain’s voice of sanity in the looming humanitarian catastrophe in Hodeidah?

This reckless assault to capture Yemen’s main port threatens the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians. It is time for the government to make clear it will no longer support what Saudi Arabia is doing in Yemen and call for an immediate ceasefire.

Indeed, cynics are saying that the whole reason for the timing of this attack on Hodeidah is to destroy any chance of Griffiths and the United Nations securing the ceasefire upon which those political talks must depend – by Andrew Mitchell, Conservative MP

cp13 Wirtschaft / Economy

(* B E H)

International Telecommunication Union: Yemen Joint Market Monitoring Initiative May 2018

The Yemen Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) was launched by REACH in collaboration with the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster and Cash and Market Working Group (CMWG) to support humanitarian actors with the objective of harmonizing price monitoring among all cash actors in Yemen. The JMMI incorporates information on market systems including price levels and supply chains. The basket of goods to be assessed comprises eight non-food items (NFIs), including fuel, water and hygiene roducts, reflecting the programmatic areas of the WASH Cluster.

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

Siehe / Look at cp6

(* B K P T)

The Broader Implications of What’s Happening in Yemen

Besides the humanitarian crisis, there is a national security component to the overall lack of stability in Yemen. In analysis that The Cipher Brief’s Bennett Seftel produced in late February, the risk of terrorist groups exploiting uncertainty in Yemen is high.

Bottom Line: For more than three years, conflict in Yemen has afforded terrorist groups – namely al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – lawless territory to exploit opportunities to recruit from the Yemeni masses afflicted by a humanitarian catastrophe. U.N. efforts to broker a peace deal have failed, leaving the nation embroiled in civil war, and turning an international campaign to oust AQAP from its strongholds into a perpetual motion machine: endlessly attacking the ever-filling ranks of AQAP, which is fueled and facilitated by the continuing conflict.

Issue: AQAP has demonstrated a resiliency to return to liberated areas once security forces vacate, continues to amass support by actively fighting against the Houthis in southern Yemen alongside many local tribes, and still remains focused on launching attacks against the West. In addition, Yemen’s population has been ravaged by constant violence, starvation and disease, leaving them with no place to turn other than to those, such as AQAP, who are offering assistance on the ground.

The Worldwide Threat Assessment released by the DNI earlier this month detailed the continued threat posed by terrorist groups in Yemen stating that, “AQAP and ISIS’s branch in Yemen have exploited the conflict and the collapse of government authority to gain new recruits and allies and expand their influence.” Furthermore, the report asserted that “both groups threaten Western interests in Yemen and have conducted attacks on Houthi, Yemeni government and Saudi-led coalition targets.”

Response: Through covert action and aerial strikes, the U.S. has eliminated numerous AQAP targets since the Trump administration came into office and has collected important intelligence on the group’s operations. Further, the U.S. has worked with its regional allies to bring humanitarian assistance into the country and has pledged to increase its funding for emergency food and supplies into the country. Evidence uncovered from a U.S. raid on AQAP in Yemen indicated that AQAP is developing new methods and technologies to target commercial aviation.

My comment: A quite US-centered look at Yemen.

cp15 Propaganda

(A P)

Hodeidah assault puts port deal back on the table

The heightened military pressure on Houthi positions in Hodeidah province, coupled with the potential humanitarian impact of the battle, has sped up the UN-led efforts to reach a negotiated solution to the conflict.

The other view, which is held by the Yemeni government, virtually all factions fighting the Houthis on the ground, and the Arab coalition, is that only by keeping the military pressure on the Houthis will the militia’s hard-line leadership genuinely agree to a negotiated solution.

The US, which has been giving technical and logistical support to the Arab coalition, has held an ambiguous position on the Hodeidah offensive. The US Congress opposes it, yet there might be growing support within US government circles as it could be a way to end the stalemate. US support is considered essential, particularly to UAE forces.

My comment: “only by keeping the military pressure on the Houthis will the militia’s hard-line leadership genuinely agree to a negotiated solution.” This contains a mayor propaganda fault: Itt correctly reads “genuinely agree to a negotiated solution which includes they accept all our preconditions, the first of which is they capitulate before”.

(A P)

No Going Back: The UAE's Strategic Move in Hodeidah Should Bring to a Close the First Phase of Yemen's War

Despite significant logistical and diplomatic challenges, liberating the port is vital to providing more humanitarian relief and meeting coalition war aims.

What most observers fail to understand, after just tuning in to Hodeidah, is that the UAE and its Yemeni partners have been preparing to liberate the port since 2016 in order to weaken the Houthis, create leverage for negotiators, limit the rebels’ ability to import Iranian-provided arms, and bring the port back up to full capacity as a humanitarian import hub. Unfortunately, Hodeidah’s liberation was prevented by successive protests from the United States, the UN, and aid agencies, leaving northern Yemen to languish with insufficient food.

The liberation of Hodeidah, Saleef, and the whole Red Sea coast should give Saudi Arabia and the UAE a great deal of reassurance that the Houthis can no longer smuggle in large numbers of missiles capable of hitting Riyadh or elsewhere, and that they cannot become a new “southern Hezbollah,” akin to the Iranian proxy in Lebanon – by Michael Knights

My comment: This is almost a C+P repeating of Saudi / UAE propaganda, by an US so-called “Think Tank” (Lobby organization). This “Washington Institute” would be worth a closer look: and

(A P)

Saudi, UAE urhe international community to aid Yemenis in Hodeidah

My comment: What a bad propaganda joke: Those who worsen the situation to the extreme disguise as those begging for help for those whom they themselves had made victims.

(A P)

UAE Armed Forces, operating within Saudi-led Arab Coalition, launch battle for liberation of Hodeidah and its strategic port at Yemeni legitimate government request: UAE Cabinet

ABU DHABI, 14th June, 2018 (WAM) -- The Federal Cabinet has commended the courage and efficiency of the UAE Armed Forces in the battle for the liberation of Hodeidah and its strategic port, under the Saudi-led Coalition at the request of the legitimate Yemeni government.

In a statement it issued on Thursday, the Cabinet said, "At the request of the legitimate Yemeni government, our Armed Forces operating within the Saudi-led Arab Coalition are launching the operation for the liberation of Hodeidah city and its port from the illegitimate grip of the Houthi militias.

"While this operation is based on the request of the legitimate Yemeni government and the UN Security Council’s relevant resolutions, which sanctify the legitimate intervention, it also aims to put an end to the hostile practices perpetrated by the Houthi militias and bring stability to Yemen and its brotherly people.

My comment: No, it’s wrong that UN resolutions “sanctify the legitimate intervention”. They do not; and the intervention is not “legitimate” at all.

And the same propaganda continues here:

(A P)

Arab Coalition Launches Military and Humanitarian Operation in Hodeidah

ABU DHABI, 14th June, 2018 (WAM) -- In response to the request of the legitimate Yemeni government and in support of the Yemeni Armed Forces, the Arab Coalition has launched a military and humanitarian operation to liberate the port of Hodeidah in western Yemen.

The operation aims to ensure unobstructed humanitarian relief to the Yemeni people through liberating the port and securing international maritime access. The operation in Hodeidah, part of Operation Restoring Hope, is in response to the request of the legitimate Yemeni government and based on UN resolution 2216 of 2015.

The liberation of the port of Hodaidah aims to revive political negotiations that have stalled due to the intransigence of the Houthi Militia, who have continued to exploit the port as a corridor to smuggle Iranian weapons, and seize cargo

That’s ridiculous, putting upside down: “The operation aims to ensure unobstructed humanitarian relief to the Yemeni people”, when it is going to block it; “The liberation of the port of Hodaidah aims to revive political negotiations”, these negotiations where underway, the assault has killed them.

(A P)

Operations to liberate Hodeidah port open way for successful political process, will bring peace in Yemen: Dr. Anwar Gargash

Dr. Anwar bin Mohammed Gargash, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, has said the commencement of operations to liberate Hodeidah port opens the way for a successful political process that will bring peace in Yemen.

The minister added that Houthis are a militia who represent a tiny fraction of the people of Yemen. "They overthrew the country’s constitutional government and have oppressed and plundered the country since," Dr. Gargash said in a statement on commencement of operations to liberate Hodeidah port.

For three years, the Houthis have resisted multiple opportunities to engage in serious peace talks, and in the meantime, the humanitarian situation has worsened on the ground, he added.

"The security threat posed by the Houthis not only to Yemenis but to Yemen’s neighbours has grown," he said =

My comment: As so often, expectations connected to a military assault will hardly come true. And, keep in mind, a military success will never be the precondition tro peace, as Gargash claims here, it’s just the way to impose one’s preconditions to the other side. Please keep in mind that there is a difference between “peace” and “victorious peace”. And this is what Gargash and his allies want, it doesn’t matter how many people will have to die for it.

(A P)

Islah leaders: Liberating Hodeidah will cut the coup d'état airways and save millions of people

Metaphorically speaking about the impact of retaking the vital seaport on the Houthi rebels, the head of the Information Department of the Yemeni Congregation for Reform (Islah) party, Ali al-Jaradi, tweeted, "The liberation of Hodeidah will cut the airways of the coup" and save millions of people.

"The humanitarian crisis is the stay of the Yemeni people hostages to the rebels," he said.

My comment: Propaganda even reaching imbecility.

(A P)

In Hodeidah, the Status Quo is Not an Option

Under Houthi custodianship, Hodeidah’s port is in disrepair and incapable of operating at full capacity. Repeated Houthi attacks on shipping—in the last two months their militias fired missiles at both a Saudi ship carrying oil and a Turkish ship carrying wheat—and the consequent inflation in insurance premiums have deterred ships from docking. Cumbersome bureaucratic procedures, excessive paperwork, and Houthi taxes—amounting to as much as $100,000 per ship, according to a reliable source—are another major disincentive for would-be exporters. To prevent weapons smuggling into the port, incoming vessels also have to undergo rigorous screenings, which delays the arrival of essential goods. Liberating the port from Houthi control would eliminate these hindrances.

In addition, the Saudi-led coalition has every incentive to protect and, if necessary, rehabilitate the port as quickly and as efficiently as possible. Saudi Arabia already hosts tens of thousands of Yemeni refugees; new shortages in food and medicine would only increase that number. The coalition also knows that the costs of any reconstruction will fall on its shoulders and has drawn up contingency plans to ensure that aid continues to reach Yemen’s population in the event that the port is damaged during the fighting.

My comment: A fireworks of 98 % propaganda by a so-called “think tank” which in fact is a 100 % Saudi/UAE lobby organization: =

(A P)

KSA, UAE urge the human rights, UN bodies to expedite aid through Hodeida port

Advisor-Royal Court Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabeeah, who is also the General Supervisor of King Salman Center for Humanitarian Assistance and Relief Aid (KSrelief), and Dr. Reem Bint Ibrahim Al-Hashmi, UAE minister of state for international cooperation affairs, co-held a press conference on Wedneday here on behalf of the Coalition for the Restoration of Legitimacy in Yemen to cast light on the deteriorating humanitarian situation in Yemen in general, and Houthi-controlled Hodeida port and province in particular.
In a joint statement, the two sides shed light on the flagrant violations committed by the Houthi militias in Hodeida port, barring foreign assistance to be delivered to the needy inside Yemen, confiscating the contents of vessels waiting outside the docks of the port to unload the aid.
The humanitarian assistance being sent by international organizations have been looted by the Houthis in control of Hodeida port, while also preventing goods and oil derivatives from entry, causing famine, starvation and poverty inside the province, the report said.
The report citing, former UN envoy for Yemen’s report, said that the Houthis continue to reject an initiative to allow assistance enter into the country.

My comment: propaganda blackwashing the Houthis, as background music for the Hodeidah assault and for distracting from the humanitarian disaster the Saudi coalition will effect by this.

(A P)

Fall of Hodeida will be major milestone in Yemen war

From the coalition’s perspective, the fall of Hodeida will also be the beginning of the end for the Al Houthi militia, and will secure marine shipping in the Bab Al Mandab Strait. It will also be a massive blow to Iran, which has used the port to smuggle weapons to Al Houthis, thus sustaining their war effort. When Hodeida is liberated, the coalition will be able to box in Al Houthis in Sana’a, cut their supply lines, and force them to the negotiating table.

The Al Houthi militia can still spare the Yemeni people a lot of hardship and violence if it withdraws from the port city. But there is little reason to be optimistic.

My comment: The old propaganda, and the general sound is: We can use all violence possible, it’s always the other side whho ist o blame, because they could have avoided that by retreat and capitulation and didn’t.

(A P)

Who’s Stopping the Hodeidah Assault?

Newly-appointed Yemeni Foreign Minister Khaled al-Yamani said there is a state that stands against liberating Hodeidah. But he did not name it. However, he made enough hints for the ordinary observer to know which state it is. He said it’s the same country that stood against the protection of civilians in Syria.
Not many thought that major powers in the UN Security Council will intervene in the Yemeni war after they had rejected intervening to restore the legitimate government which came into existence through decisions taken by the UN Security Council that abandoned it after the coup.
Above all, the UN Security Council failed at condemning Iran for its support of the Houthi rebels due to the use of veto power. So why is the coalition abstaining from fighting and taking into consideration the UN Security Council if it can seize Hodeidah, the Houthis’ most important city?
It is because the legitimacy wants to please the five permanent members of the Security Council to get their support in the remaining military and political measures it intends to take to end the coup.
Iran and the Houthis are planning a huge massacre in Hodeidah after their militias and reinforcements infiltrated residential areas to use civilians as human shields.

Perhaps the Houthis can peacefully withdraw from the city; therefore saving themselves as well as citizens – by Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

My comment: This is odd propaganda. „Iran and the Houthis are planning a huge massacre in Hodeidah after their militias and reinforcements infiltrated residential areas to use civilians as human shields“ ist he greatest nonsense. Iran is planning nothing in Yemen. Fighting in the streets of a city is „use civilians as human shields“?? Well, how to fight in a city without endangering civilians? But why he blames those defending against an assault – and does not blame the attackers? Only blaming them would make any sense.

(A P)

Arab Coalition provides unequivocal support for international humanitarian operations in Yemen: Report

Since the onset of its military operations in support of the internationally recognised government in Yemen, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition has been supportive of the relief operations undertaken by different UN and international humanitarian organisations in the country.

The myriad partnerships and agreements concluded by the UAE and Saudi Arabia with several global organisations to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to the largest possible numbers of Yemeni society, including those living in areas still under the grip of the Iran-backed Houthi militias, bear witness to the tremendous efforts made by the pro-legitimacy powers. The Yemeni people’s support and appreciation of the UAE and Saudi aid campaigns and operations are a testimony to the sincerity of efforts made by the two countries, not to mention the global acclaim of the significant humanitarian role they are tirelessly playing in the country.

In the meantime, the terrorist rebels left no stone unturned to break international conventions and dodge UN laws to smuggle in weapons into the occupied Yemeni areas, plundering state banks and departments and imposing taxes on the people to fund their atrocities. Recruitment of children and using them as human shields in their operations speak volumes about their crimes against humanity at large.

My comment: Lol. And this exactly the day when they start their Hodeidah assault/slaughter.

(A P)

Saudi's ambassador to US: Houthis rejected all peaceful means to resolve Hodeidah situation

Sheikh Khaled bin Salman said the kingdom will not accept the threat the Houthi rebels pose

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US said that the Houthi rebels have rejected all peaceful means to hand over Yemen’s port city of Al Hodeidah to the UN.

Prince Khaled bin Salman said the kingdom will not accept the threat the Houthi rebels pose, as the Arab coalition launched an offensiveon the rebel-held city on Wednesday.

Al Hodeidah – Yemen’s second largest port – has been used by the Iran-backed militia to smuggle weapons, including ballistic missiles, that have repeatedly been launched towards Saudi Arabia.

“The Houthis have so far launched 150 ballistic missiles against civilian areas in KSA, latest of which was intercepted today … no nation can accept such a threat to its land and people on its borders,” he tweeted.

Prince Khaled said that Saudi Arabia has been and will continue to put effort into supporting the people of Yemen.

“These efforts included the recent contribution of $1.5 billion to UN relief efforts in Yemen, the largest in UN history, as well as initiatives to enhance the capacity of ports throughout Yemen, including facilitating the entry of cranes into Al Hodeidah,” he said.

“Addressing the humanitarian situation in a sustainable and effective manner requires liberating Yemen from the control of Houthi militias, which intentionally disrupt the flow and distribution of humanitarian supplies.” and and his nonsense propaganda, even more extensive:

My comment: What a propaganda bullshit. The UAE had blackmailed the UN, thus making impossible further peace efforts. – Fort he Houthi missiles to Saudi Arabia, he puts upside down. The Houthi missiles could not have been a „threat“ to Saudi Arabia, as the Saudi interference in the Yemen war and the saudi air raids had begun 10 weeks BEFORE the Houthids fired their first missile. – „initiatives to enhance the capacity of ports throughout Yemen“, by blockade? By an assault against Hodeidah?? By bombing the cranes in Hodeidah harbour, then boasting for having allowed the installation of new ones?? What a shit.

(A P)

More Saudi /UAE “We are benefactors” propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

(* A K pH)

Saudi coalition air raids day by day:

June 13:

June 12:

(* A K pH)

Saudi airstrike on Yemen kills 7 civilians

Seven Yemeni civilians including a woman were killed in a Saudi airstrike on a residential area in the border province of Saada.

According to al-Masirah new network, Saudi fighters targeted a house in the border city of Ghamra.

(A K pH)

2 children killed in Saudi bombing in Hajjah

Two children were killed and others, of one family, were injured on Thursday when artillery force of the US-backed Saudi-led aggression coalition shelled Hajjah province, a security official told Saba News Agency.
The shelling targeted Bani-Qais area of Medi desert

(A K pH)

Airstrike on a private car in #Saada province. Two martyred

(* A K pH)

More Saudi coalition air raids recorded on:

June 14: Hodeidah p. (for all, look aat cp1b2 Jawf p.

June 13: saada p. Hajjah p. Saada p.

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Siehe / Look at cp1b1-2

(A K)

Saudi Arabia claims Yemen missile intercepted, Iran-backed rebels say they hit air base

Saudi air defenses on Thursday intercepted a ballistic missile fired from rebel-held territory in neighboring Yemen, Saudi Press Agency said. The missile was intercepted over Khamis Mushait in the kingdom’s south, according to the military. No casualties were reported. The Iran-backed rebels claimed in a statement that the missile hit a Saudi air base, AFP said.

(A K pH)

Two civilians were killed in artillery and missile shells which fired toward residential areas of Razih and Munabeh border districts.


(A K pH)

Civilian killed in Saudi ground attacks in Saada

A civilian was killed when the Saudi-led aggression coalition shelled artillery and missile in Saada province, a security official told Saba News Agency.
The shelling targeted residential areas in Munabeh border district, damaging civilians’ properties.

(* A K)

Saudi Arabia intercepts missile fired towards border city Jazan

The spokesperson of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthis in Yemen, Turki Al Maliki said that the missile was fired from Saada province in Yemen at 3:46 a.m. local time (0046 GMT) on Wednesday.

He renewed his country's accusations towards Iran of standing behind the Houthi militias by supplying them with weapons and missiles.

My comment: The launch look at YPR 422, cp17. – The missile was launched against military structures, other claims are C+P propaganda by those who themselves target civilians daily.

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-422 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-422: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

und alle Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

07:12 15.06.2018
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