Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 653b- Yemen War Mosaic 653b

Yemen Press Reader 653b: 22. Mai 2020: Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 653, cp6 - cp18 / May 22, 2020: Sequel to Yemen War Mosaic 653, cp6 - cp18
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Dies ist die Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 653, Teil 1 / This is the sequel of Yemen War Mosaic 653, part 1:

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Kursiv: Siehe Teil 1 / In Italics: Look in part 1

Klassifizierung / Classification

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp1a Am wichtigsten: Coronavirus und Seuchen / Most important: Coronavirus and epidemics

cp1b Am wichtigsten: Kampf um Hodeidah / Most important: Hodeidah battle

cp1c Am wichtigsten: Waffenstillstand und Friedensangebot / Most important: ceasefire and peace offer

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp2a Allgemein: Saudische Blockade / General: Saudi blockade

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

cp6 Separatisten und Hadi-Regierung im Südjemen / Separatists and Hadi government in Southern Yemen

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp9a USA-Iran Krise: Spannungen am Golf / US-Iran crisis: Tensions at the Gulf

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp12b Sudan

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms Trade

cp13b Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

? = 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

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

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* B K P)

Islah Party reinforces southern front with troops and funding

Turkey-based Islah figure donates billions of dollars to Islah mercenaries in Abyan

Informed sources revealed that the leader of the Islah Party, Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, has sent military reinforcements to the province of Abyan in southern Yemen.

The sources said that the commander of al-Ahmar’s gaurds arrived at dawn on Wednesday in the coastal area of Shoqra, coming from Al-A’abar, accompanied by a number of military pickup vehicles carrying 23 caliber machine guns.

Other sources said that businessman and Islah figure Hamid al-Ahmar, who is based in the Turkish city Istanbul, has also provided support to the Shaqra front, worth 5 billionsof riyals.

Al-Ahmar’s money reached the Shaqra front last week and was distributed to Islah militants under the guise of a “Ramadan bonus”.

The sources said that Hamid al-Ahmar made phone calls with a number of military leaders present in Shoqra, during which he confirmed his willingness to provide more financial support to the Islah militants.

According to the sources, Hamid al-Ahmar considers the battle over Abyan as an “existential battle” to eliminate the UAE-backed STC project in the southern Yemeni provinces.

The support provided from Istanbul is in line with the well-known role of Turkey in harbouring and supporting Islah Party militants and troops. Earlier reports have stated some senior Islah leaders are living in highly wealthy conditions in Turkey.

(A P)

Gov’t official: People of Aden pay heavy price to lawlessness

Minister of Information, Muamar Al-Eryani, said on Thursday that the people of Aden pay a heavy price to insecurity and lawlessness.

The separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) which seized Aden early last August, declared late last month self-rule of south Yemen amid failure to restore public services.

Al-Eryani said that following its liberation in 2015, Aden was supposed to see a great economic and development boom, but the STC’s rebellion set the city backward.

The city was expected to attract new businesses, but the local capitals had to migrate Aden because of the frequent conflict, according to Al-Eryani.

My comment: This disaster mainly is the Hadi government’s fault. It had failed for years, the separatists just for a few months.

(*A P)

Hundreds of ppl on Thursday held a demonstration in #Aden which is infested with Covid-19. Unconfirmed reports said a protester was killed & 3 others injured by live bullets when STC forces tried to disperse em. Videos on social media showed protesters chanting anti-STC slogans.


This wasn't a demonstration against the STC. For several days security forces have been trying to impose the 10pm to 3am coronavirus curfew that's been completely ignored for weeks. Today they came after Asr to shut the city down. People started protesting against forced closure.

(* A K P)

UAE-backed Yemen forces set out conditions for withdrawal from south

The UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) has told Saudi that it will only give up on some of the power it has gained in the south of Yemen if the political aspects of the Riyadh Agreement are honoured.

The agreement, signed in November last year, called for forming a joint government after military and security measures were taken to restructure the formation of the state, however the STC has asked for the government to be formed prior to the fulfilment of the security aspects of the deal, sources have said.

The STC expressed its willingness to abolish the “self-rule administration” decision, which it announced in April, in exchange for “jumping over the security and military files in the Riyadh Agreement.”

(* B K P)

Yemen: Southern battle

A week after a renewed round of fighting began between the forces of the internationally recognised government of Yemen and the forces of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC), neither side has scored significant progress. Both sides also refuse to divulge their losses in lives and materiel, although local sources report escalations in the ongoing exchanges of fire.

“It is still hard for either side to budge from their current positions,” STC Commander Mohamed Abdel-Hadi told Al-Ahram Weekly. He said that government forces were ensconced in the heights of Al-Shaykh Salem and were still unable to break through to Zinjibar, the capital of the governorate of Abyan, which is held by STV forces. “There is probably a line of mines that they’ll have to deal with, too,” he added. STC forces are also fighting to keep government forces from entering the port city of Aden.

The outbreak of hostilities appears to have angered Riyadh which had brokered a power-sharing agreement between the two sides in November and is now frustrated by the continued escalation. “Neither side of the conflict in the south has the political will to end the military escalation and reactivate the political settlement,” a source close to the government, in Riyadh, told the Weekly.

Tensions between the government and STC grew more heated when the former implied that the STC was fostering terrorist activities.

So far, the Saudi-led Arab Coalition has taken no formal position on the developments. However, observers maintain that Riyadh wants to punish the STC for having acted unilaterally and violating the Riyadh Agreement. They also believe that the self-rule government in Aden will not be able to handle two battles simultaneously, one being the military confrontation against Yemeni government forces and the other being the battle against coronavirus which comes on top of other epidemics that have ravaged the southern port city.

“At least four epidemics have been declared in the city and they are claiming dozens of lives by the day,” STC Commander Mohamed Abdel-Hadi said. The health crisis was aggravated by floods that swept the city several weeks ago, cutting off electricity, destroying essential infrastructure and facilitating the spread of disease. The combination of all this has fuelled popular anger “against everything”, Abdel-Hadi said.

Observers doubt that the two sides will return to the Riyadh Agreement that was concluded 5 November 2019. According to a STC source, the dispute settlement committees that had been formed in accordance with that agreement have not met for five months.

The STC source believes that both sides are showing signs of a desire to back out of the agreement which “is not in our interests right now”. “Ultimately, the STC will only get three government portfolios. It will only be an administrative partner with the government while the president will be the central authority and control appointments, including the governors of the southern provinces.”

In this source’s opinion, Riyadh is currently intent on weakening the STC which wants to regain the level of control it had while the UAE was still involved on the ground in Yemen.

“Riyadh probably wants to put that era behind it,” he said. As for the Hadi government, “it got the green light to launch a military offensive to settle scores and pursue the political agendas of its components.” He added that those agendas are at odds with the aims of the STC which ultimately seeks secession.

Other sources in Aden as well as in Riyadh confirmed that the Saudi-led Arab Coalition had given the Yemeni government a green light to go on the offensive.

They believe that Riyadh’s purpose is to promote a new balance of powers on the ground so that it can assert a tighter grip on the south. One source added: “After the current Yemeni government performs its required role towards this end, it too will be put out to pasture while the STC will have been militarily and politically broken.” – by Ahmed Eleiba


(* A K P)

The STC negotiation team arrives in Riyadh to end Yemen standoff

At the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the southern forces arrived to talk about implementing a power-sharing deal signed in November

Senior negotiators from Yemen's Southern Transitional Council arrived in Riyadh on Wednesday at the invitation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to find a solution to a rift in the pro-government forces.

The team is led by Brigadier Aidrous Al Zubaidi and comes as Riyadh seeks to end a rift between the STC and the government that has led to clashes in southern Yemen.

"We arrived in the capital in response to this kind invitation and to reaffirm the strength of the brotherly relationship that binds our southern people and the leaders and the people of Saudi Arabia," Brig Al Zubaidi said on his arrival. "We reaffirm our commitment in the partnership with the Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia to combat the sabotage projects that targets the Arab national security, and we hope that this visit would produce desired results regarding finding solutions for the humanitarian and the political issues".

The visit comes amid efforts to end the STC-Government rift after both sides accuse the other of holding up an agreement hashed out in November on power-sharing in the south.

"This visit is very important, it is going to focus on a push towards implementing the Riyadh agreement. I think the visit is going to move the stagnant water," Nazar Haiytham, spokesperson of the STC, told The National.


(A K P)

UAE-backed Yemen separatists arrive in Saudi Arabia for talks

Members of the UAE-backed Yemeni Southern Transitional Council (STC) yesterday arrived in Saudi Arabia to meet with officials, Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported.

According to the London-based newspaper, the convoy headed by the head of the council Aidarous Al-Zubaidi.

The newspaper said that Al-Zubaidi’s deputy Hani Ali Bin Breik was denied entry to the kingdom due to criticism of Saudi Arabia.

This visit came in the wake of a statement issued by the Saudi-led Arab coalition in Yemen on Sunday criticising the STC over its opposition to allowing the Saudi-backed Yemen Navy carry out its job in guarding Yemen’s southern coast.


(A K P)

President al-Zubaidi pays official visit to Saudi Arabia

President of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and Supreme Commander of the Southern Armed Forces, Major General Aidroos Qassem al-Zubaidi arrived in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday, leading a high level delegation in an important visit in response to an official invitation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

My comment: This certainly is no friendly visit. And the shaking hands photo certainly is an older one – as it’s evident in coronavirus times.


(A K P)

STC chairman in Riyadh to discuss developments in south Yemen

Chairman of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) arrived in Riyadh late on Tuesday.

Eidroos al-Zobaidi was invited by Saudi Arabia to visit the Kingdom for discussions on latest developments in south of Yemen.

The Saudi Crown Prince will meet with the STC chairman, diplomatic sources said earlier on Tuesday.

Saudi Arabia has officially invited Eidroos al-Zobaidi to visit Riyadh, where he would discuss with Mohamed Bin Salman the latest developments in the south, the Emirati ERM-News website quoted the sources as saying

The STC chairman will likely leave Abu Dhabi to Riyadh in the coming hours, the sources added.


(A K P)

Al-Zubaidi Reiterates STC's Commitment to Partnership with Arab Coalition

President of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and Supreme Commander of the Southern Armed Forces, Major General Aidroos Qassem al-Zubaidi delivered a statement upon his arrival in the Saudi capital Riyadh on Tuesday, in which he highly appreciated the generous invitation of the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz.
Al-Zubaidi said "We have arrived in Riyadh in response to this generous invitation that confirms the strength of the sibling relationships between the South and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia."
In his statement, al-Zubaidi reiterated the STC's commitment to partnership with the Saudi-led Arab Coalition to counter the subversive projects that target the Arab national security.
He also expressed his hope that the meeting with the Saudi side achieve the desired results, in particular the humanitarian and political aspects.
Al-Zubaidi arrived in Riyadh leading a high level delegation in an important visit within the framework of the continuous communication and consultation between the STC leadership and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
President al-Zubaidi is accompanied by the members of the STC Presidency:

(A E P)

Following five-year suspension, Marib Gas Power Station restarts

Governor of Marib, Sultan Al-Arada, launched on Thursday starting of the Marib gas power station following five-year shutdown.

Technical teams finished early May repairing of the station and electricity wires from Safer to Marib.

The station which entered service in 2009, is the first gas-powered plant in Yemen and it was shut down following the Houthis’ coup.

It was established to reinforce the national power grid with new 341-megawatt output.

and from the official site.


(* A K P)

Renewed army-STC clashes in Abyan’s north and south

The fight for Abyan's capital Zinjibar resumed, once again cutting of the road to Shaqra, and a convoy of army reinforcements was ambushed near Al-Mahfad

Two army soldiers were killed early Thursday in an ambush by gunmen linked to the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) on the outskirts of Al-Mahfad district in Abyan governorate, according to officials in neighboring Shabwa governorate's capital Ataq.

One official in the Ataq military command and another who works in Shabwa’s local authority told Almasdar Online that the gunmen attacked a cargo truck carrying a government tank in the Dhaiqah area west of Al-Mahfad. The truck was traveling in a convoy transporting army reinforcements to Abyan’s coastal town of Shaqra.

Citing the failure of existing government forces to prevent the ambush, Shabwa’s Security Committee decided to station new forces in the area.

and claims by Islah:

(A K P)

Al-Qaeda joins anti-government battles, kills 2 soldiers, destroys tank

Al-Qaeda organization in Yemen joined the separatists fighting the Yemeni army in south Yemen, killing two soldiers, injuring many and destroying military equipment including a tank.

My comment: There are reports that Al Qaeda fighters had joined the pro-Islah militia.

(A K P)

Southern forces make significant advance in Abyan

The advance made after fierce fighting erupted between the southern forces and the pro-government Brotherhood's militias (Islah Party) on Thursday.
Military field sources said that the southern forces inflicted heavy human and material losses on the fighters of Islah Party and liberated a number of new areas in the left sector of Abyan province.

(A K P)

Southern resistance launches second attack on Islah in Abyan

(A K P)

Southern resistance seizes Islah-run military camp in Abyan

(* A K P)

Emirati FM says Yemeni gov't attributes failure to UAE

The Emirati minister of state for foreign affairs on Wednesday dismissed the Yemeni foreign minister's criticism against the UAE as ashamed.
"It's regretful that the Yemeni foreign minister, Mohamed al-Hadhrami, attributes his government's political and military botch to the United Arab Emirates," Anwar Gargash added on Twitter.
Earlier, FM Hadhrami said the Yemeni official government "hasn't given the UAE a blank check to do whatever it wants, and rejects mini projects in Yemen," hinting at the Emirati support for the Southern Transitional Council (STC).
The Yemeni government will neither return to the interim capital of Aden, nor establish a third capital for legitimacy, Hadhrami added in interview with the BBC.
The government does not want to uproot the Houthi group or the STC from Yemen, it rather wants them to recover their senses, he said.
"The government hasn't abandoned or dismissed the capital of Sana'a, and will return to Aden at the right time," Yemeni FM added.

(A K P)

UAE allocates millions of US dollars to take over Socotra

Yemeni official accuses UAE of allocating millions of US dollars to enable STC forces to take over Socotra governorate.

The adviser to the Yemeni Minister of Information, Mukhtar Al-Rahbi, in a tweet on Twitter that a defected military commander from the Yemeni army arrived in Socotra from the UAE on a cargo ship, and he has 30 million dirhams (about 8 million US dollars).

He added, "The traitor colonel and the rebel Muhammad Ahmad Ali Farahi, the commander of the Coastal Battalion, arrived in Socotra from the Emirates via a cargo ship, with amounts of 30 million dirhams to cover the expenses of the rebellion in the first brigade, marine viewers," which is under the control of the Southern Transitional.

and, as claimed by the separatists:

(A K P)

Islah confiscates free fuel shipment gifted to Socotra

The pro-government Muslim Brotherhood's militias (Islah Party) seized in the early hours of Wednesday, fuel tankers sent to Socotra archipelago as a free gift by the UAE's Khalifa Humanitarian Foundation, as a part of the UAE's efforts to support the energy infrastructure in the island.
Well informed sources said that the armed militias received orders from the Islah-linked governor, Ramzi Mahrous to impose customs duties on the free fuel shipment to the Electricity Corporation in the archipelago.

(A K P)

STC deputy Hani Bin Buraik issues fatwa against government forces as Abyan fighting continues

The vice president of the UAE-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC), Hani Bin Buraik, issued a fatwa (Islamic religious ruling) on Monday, rallying forces loyal to the pro-secession STC against the army of Yemen’s internationally recognized government.

In a series of tweets, Bin Buraik described the government troops as “mercenaries” and said their dead would go to hell

(* B K P)

New pressure building in Yemen to implement the Riyadh Agreement

Observers point out that the confrontations in Abyan and the lack of a quick victory for either side, which are both signatories of the Riyadh Agreement, may compel them to make serious concessions in order to implement the agreement, especially as Saudi Arabia increases pressure.

On Monday, STC Vice-President Sheikh Hani bin Brik responded to a statement attributed to an official source in the Arab coalition accusing the STC of preventing the Yemeni coast guard from performing their duties.

Bin Brik also said that a request had been made by the representative of the coalition in Aden for the head of the self-rule administration to hand over seized boats to the leadership of the government’s Coast Guard. The administration responded, he said, by saying that “the Transitional Council has a high political leadership that the coalition needs to coordinate with and then a decision would be taken.”

The STC vice-president called on the Arab coalition to pressure President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi to implement the Riyadh Agreement

Well-informed political sources said the media statements were part of efforts to pressure the parties to move forward with the Riyadh Agreement and end confrontations in Abyan.

The sources told The Arab Weekly that parallel efforts were ongoing by military and political leaders affiliated with the Qatar-Turkey axis in Yemen to ramp up confrontations in Abyan by bringing in fighters led by Muslim Brotherhood leader Hamoud al-Mikhlafi. These forces were trained in camps funded by Doha in Taiz governorate. Their mission is take part in confrontations in Abyan and open a new front in the Lahj governorate (north of Aden) by using Muslim Brotherhood brigades, including the fourth brigade of mountain infantry.

The sources pointed out that there were also efforts to undermine the Riyadh Agreement in Hadramout governorate, where confidential sources had already confirmed to The Arab Weekly increased Brotherhood activity.

The sources said that the plan of Yemeni Interior Minister Ahmed al-Maisari, known for his close relations with Doha, was to bring about changes in the leadership of the security forces in liberated governorates that would serve the Turkish and Qatari agenda, and to tighten the Muslim Brotherhood’s grip over security institutions.

My comment: This article repeats the separatists’ propaganda plot, joining the Hadi government to a supposed Turkish-Qatari plot.

(A P)

Film: protest of Taiz employees to demand payment of their salaries Dozens of employees from Taiz governorate, southwest of Yemen, participated in a protest to demand their salaries that were delayed for several months

(A K P)

There is significant animosity in #Yemen's #Mahra to the #STC project. Strong reactions from some Mahris prompted the STC to issue this statement yday playing down tensions It's worth noting that my Mahra survey data (2012-13) showed only 13% want to be part of a new South

referring to

(A K P)

The people of the south who live in the governorate are part of the skilled population and social fabric

An official source in the leadership of the Southern Transitional Council in Al-Mahrah Governorate stated that the Transitional Leadership in the Governorate and all honorable members of Al-Mahra regard their loyal brothers from the people of the southern governorates who live in the Governorate as part of the population and social fabric. The Transitional leadership praised the apparent role of the people of the southern governorates in maintaining security and social peace through their commitment to the duties of brotherhood, good Muasher and high morals for decades with their brothers, the sons of the province, praising their keenness to continue this approach within the province between the brothers.

The source assured the southerners in the governorate that what some of the microscopic figures affiliated with known parties that serve some foreign agendas seeking to provoke racial and regional conflicts between the people of the south in the governorate did not express except themselves and do not represent the civil society with its multiple segments and its broad spectrum, stressing that the security and stability of the skilled are an umbrella for all its residents From our families and brothers, both southern and Mahri. The leadership of the council stressed that it and honorable skilled people will be at the side of any southerner from any of our beloved southern provinces subject to any regional or racial provocation without right. Southerners are brothers who are united by the Arab south with equal rights and duties and are governed by religion and law.

(* B K P)

Important statement from the General Department of Foreign Affairs regarding recent developments

The Southern Transitional Council has committed to the ceasefire initiative in accordance with the universal call made by the United Nations Secretary-General, and the Council stressed the importance of the Riyadh Agreement as a vehicle for a long-lasting UN-led peace process. We have continuously warned against the intention of the Yemeni government’s forces to militarily detonate the situation in Abyan, by sending new forces and mobilising Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements from Marib, Al-Bayda, and Al-Jawf through Shabwa, and we have warned about that clearly in our letters to the International Community on 8th April and 16th April 2020.

Today, as we mentioned before, and due to the conflicting political agendas of the Yemeni government and its failures in all fronts, it has deliberately sparked a new conflict, through the attack that was launched this morning at 06:50 AM Aden time, targeting our forces in Abyan Governorate. This attack comes after months of violations and the attacks carried out by this government without justification.

We have been patient throughout the previous period, and we have avoided responding to all violations due to our respect to the agreement sponsored by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, although, the fact that the Yemeni government did not respect any of the terms of this agreement. The previous period proved that the Yemeni government does not respect obligations and covenants and does not seek any peace in the country.

This suspicious and irresponsible behavior reflects the continuous steps that the Yemeni government is taking to thwart the United Nations-led peace efforts

The Southern Transitional Council reaffirms the importance of the “Riyadh Agreements” and the pivotal role of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a leader of the Arab coalition, and therefore, we reaffirm our strategic partnership, our commitment and support for peace and stability efforts, our right to self-defense, territory and supply, and to fight terrorism and extremism.

My comment: Really a nice propaganda trying to conceal how the separatists broke the Riyadh agreement.

(A P)

Mass march and speech festival in Abyan in support of Transitional Council’s decision to declare self-administration for South

(A P)

Citizens of Yemen Arab Republic in Socotra denounce brotherhood destructive terrorist in the archipelago

My comment: This is little more than another piece of separatists’ propaganda.

(A P)

Al-Kaf: We continue to dry up legitimacy resources of corruption

Adnan Al-Kaf, member of the Presidency of the Southern Transitional Council, shocked the legitimate government by stressing that drying up the resources of corruption continues.

(A P)

Security source: The security authority is committed to implement preventive measures to confront Corona virus and will deal firmly with violators.

A security source in the capital, Aden, said that the security services in Aden deal with responsibility and decisively towards the mission entrusted to them for the implementation of the partial curfew, and applying the guidelines of the Health Committee to confront Corona virus

My comment: By a pro-separatist news site. It’s the separatists who rule Aden.


(A P)

The [separatist militia] security belt forces continue implementing curfew in Aden the capital


(A P)

[Separatist leader] Major General Bin Brik discusses with directors of all districts of Aden the capital urgent treatment of service file.

(A K P)

[Separatist] Major General Salem Abdullah Al-Socotri talks about the situation in Socotra

Major General Salem Al-Socotri said that the security situation in Socotra today is stable, the points that the Governor, Ramzi Mahrous has created have been removed, after pursuing a hateful behavior directed at the immediate arrest of some people who love freedom, peace and justice and reject the Brotherhood project led by Qatar and Turkey, which are trying to impose it by force !!

My comment: And again, telling the separatists’ propaganda story of a Turkish/Qatari plot (look at cp15).

(* B K P)

Yemen: When will its Miseries and Agonies End?

The coronavirus pandemic has not cooled the drive of some governments to intensify further the civil war flames in Yemen, and prolong even further the tragedy of Yemen’s people. Out of their selfish and strategic interests, leaders of such countries as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and the USA, continue their blatant interference in the affairs of this Arabic state, while not permitting the simplest opportunity for Yemenis themselves to achieve a peaceful solution.

The latest step in this direction (a Jesuit-style pitting of various Yemeni groups against one another), with support from the UAE, was the announcement by the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) of its establishment of self-rule in the south of the country.

The STC had barely made its announcement, when Washington’s current administration immediately intervened. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo declared ominously, that Washington was “concerned” about such actions, and warned that they threatened efforts toward a renewal of peace negotiations between Yemen’s government and the Houthi rebels. Speaking of which, Washington might heed advice that if it was truly interested in a peaceful settlement of the Yemen crisis, it should cease cramming into Saudi Arabia and the UAE huge amounts of weaponry, which the latter use in their neighboring Arab country.

At the same time, the UAE is attracting attention with its sharply increasing activity to resolve Yemen’s conflict from a position of strength.

Many political analysts consider the latest events a signal of the UAE’s discontent with Saudi Arabia’s unilateral activities. To the UAE, either the Riyadh agreement will take into account the interests of all the players on the Yemen battlefield, foremost the UAE, or a bitter confrontation will commence between these two Arab states and their allies in Yemen itself. The UAE fears the loss of its influence in Yemen, and the STC’s current maneuverings are a type of trial balloon that should nudge the other side toward the quickest possible formation of an analogous government. Besides, this step makes abundantly clear that the South, in this instance, is prepared to separate from the North and form its own government, as was done in the past. Non-support of the STC by authorities in a few provinces is not very indicative, since Saudi Arabia has its own allies in these provinces. But if the situation develops into real clashes, according to experts, the majority of people there will support the STC, and not Saudi Arabia.

It seems, however, that the UAE’s strategy is directed in the long run toward recreating the Southern Yemen government by pumping in money and weaponry, and also by providing military training and political support to its southern separatist allies.

Unlike the UAE, Saudi Arabia cannot extract itself from Yemen so easily because it considers it part of its sphere of influence in the region. Saudi Arabia’s main objective in Yemen is to maintain Yemen in a “low grade” conflict, that will keep it weak, and not allow it to threaten Riyadh’s regional hegemony.

(A K P)

Info Minister says STC disrupts Yemen military supplies

Yemen’s Information Minister said the separatist Southern Transitional Council has been disrupting the logistics of the army and popular resistance on the frontline with Houthi militia.

In a statement to Saba, Muammar al-Eryani said the STC militia controlling Aden are engaging in works to undermine the military achievements against the other militia (of Houthis) in the north.

and also

(A K P)

Al-Awlaki: Brotherhood militia reinforcements towards Abyan will be a scourge for them

The Member of the Presidency of the Southern Transitional Council Salem Thabet Al-Awlaki confirmed the existence of brotherhood reinforcements towards Abyan, and considered them to be a response to the slap the Brotherhood project received in Socotra, and indicated that it would be a scourge for them.

(* A K P)

Fighting subsides in Yemen’s Abyan province

Fighting between government troops and separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) forces in Yemen’s southern Abyan province subsided as the Saudi-led coalition sponsored a fresh truce, local media and officials said on Tuesday.
Residents in Abyan said that the main road linking Abyan’s Shouqra with the port city of Aden was reopened for several hours on Tuesday to allow stranded travelers to return to their houses as warring forces traded fewer shells.
Last week, Yemeni government forces launched an offensive to drive out separatists from Abyan and Aden.

On Tuesday, local media and members of the STC said fighting had abated after the Saudi-led coalition invited council leaders for talks with the government in Riyadh to end fighting and put into place the Riyadh Agreement.
A member of the STC, who preferred not to be named, said the council’s leader Aidaroos Al-Zubaidi would be traveling to Saudi Arabia for talks about a new truce to end fighting in Abyan and the STC’s self-rule declaration that obstructed efforts to fight the spread of coronavirus in Aden.

Government officials refused to comment on reports of a truce, but local media said that the Saudi-led coalition was putting pressure on the government and STC to immediately implement the Riyadh Agreement that reduced tensions in Aden last year.

(* A K P)

South Yemen in tumult as Yemen government, separatists face off in Abyan

Saudi-backed government forces in Yemen launched an offensive in the southern province of Abyan against UAE-backed southern secessionists who declared self-rule in the southern governorates last month.

The conflict in south Yemen escalated abruptly over the last few days, undoing progress in the peace effort and risking a rise in armed confrontations in southern provinces.

On May 11, ferocious armed clashes between Yemeni government forces and southern separatists broke out in Abyan province in southern Yemen. Government forces led an offensive on the outskirts of the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC)-controlled Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan, in a bid to recapture it.

The fighting continued through the weekend in Abyan province. At least 14 fighters were killed on Saturday when pro-government troops attacked the STC forces near Zinjibar, roughly 60 kilometers (37 miles) from Aden in the country’s south, AFP reported.

Now a new battle has kicked off in Abyan and the government forces’ eyes are set on Aden, the interim capital, amid fierce resistance by the STC fighters. The government is inclined to use force and regain what it lost to the STC since last year.

On May 14, Yemen’s Prime Minister Maeen Abdulmalik said the key to restoring peace in Yemen is to restore the country and its institutions and end the armed militia rebellion.

Political observers have said the government push would not have happened without Saudi approval. Aden-based political analyst Abdulraqeeb al-Hidiani told Al-Monitor, “Saudi Arabia has granted the government forces a green light and tremendous support to end the rebellion of the STC.”

Hidiani added, “The battle that is taking place in Abyan would be incomplete without taking over and restoring Aden. Saudi Arabia clearly stands by the Yemeni government because it has used all means to persuade the STC to implement the Riyadh agreement, but to no avail.”

Khalil Muthna al-Omary, the editor-in-chief of Rai Alyemen news site, sees the current fighting as a reflection of rivalry between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia. He told Al-Monitor, “Riyadh backs [President Abed Rabbo Mansour] Hadi’s forces while the Emirates supports the STC with weapons and advanced military equipment. The STC leadership releases its statement from Abu Dhabi and the Yemeni government declares its statements from Riyadh.”

Omary expects Riyadh and the international community will not allow the battle to reach Aden for the time being, given the calamitous situation in the city.

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

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UN chief renews call for global cease-fire to tackle virus

The United Nations secretary-general is again urging all parties to conflicts to respond to his call for a global cease-fire to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic

The United Nations secretary-general is again urging all parties to conflicts to respond to his call for a global cease-fire to tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, pointing to the more than 20,000 civilians killed or injured in attacks in 10 countries last year and millions more forced from their homes.

Antonio Guterres said in a report to the U.N. Security Council released Thursday that the pandemic is “the greatest test the world has faced” since the world body was established 75 years ago. And he said it has already had a severe impact on efforts to protect civilians, especially in conflict-affected countries where weak health care systems can be overwhelmed.

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

Siehe / Look at cp1, cp9

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Saudi suspends new applications to affordable housing scheme

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Housing yesterday suspended applications for support under the Sakani affordable housing program.

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Saudi Atomic Reactor Progresses With Inspectors Still Frozen Out

Satellite images show roof built over reactor in Riyadh

IAEA monitors are still awaiting new verification agreement

Saudi Arabia is pushing ahead to complete its first nuclear reactor, according to satellite images that have raised concern among arms-control experts because the kingdom has yet to implement international monitoring rules (subscribers only)

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The Painful History of Epidemics in Saudi Arabia

For Saudi Arabia, the Covid-19 crisis is just another episode in a long series of viruses which have struck the Kingdom since the Spanish flu of 1919.

The campaigns to expel immigrants which regularly follow epidemic crises, as in 2013–2014, took off again in April 2020. But the King’s inclusive speech of 19 March, addressed to the Kingdom’s “citizens and residents,” raised hopes of a degree of flexibility in a country where, according to 2018 figures, the majority of medical personnel are still foreigners.

The King announced that, whatever the nationality of coronavirus patients, the cost of their treatment would be borne by the state. As in other Gulf countries, the epidemic triggered articles and online debates criticising unscrupulous employers for their treatment of migrant workers and demanding greater state control in this field as well. When the first expulsions of Ethiopian workers in April provoked a storm of protest, the authorities stepped up their explanations, defending their exemplary handling of the epidemic by underlining the Kingdom’s financial and diplomatic contribution to the efforts of international institutions such as the WHO and G20, the contribution of its medical students to the battle against the virus in Europe, and the humanitarian aid provided to affected countries such as China.

As Saudi Arabia prepares for what King Salman in his address called “an even more difficult phase ahead on the global level,” questions about the future of the fantastically ambitious Vision 2030 may well already be outdated. The epidemic appears even to have provided an opportunity to settle, at least diplomatically, the continuing crisis in Yemen, with the successive announcements of a unilateral ceasefire and massive financial and humanitarian aid.

The epidemic of 2020, like that of a century ago, comes at a particularly uncomfortable economic and political time. As on the previous occasions, it brings the Saudi kingdom up against some old demons of which the people have never lost sight from one generation to the next: the extension of the state’s economic and social role, the interests guiding it in managing the sanctuaries at Mecca and Medina, the status it confers on non-Sunni Saudis and foreigners on Saudi soil, and more generally, the shape of its participation in globalisation. The Kingdom’s epidemic history suggests that once again, the public health crisis will for the Saudi state be a moment both of accelerated change and of expansion in its own role.,3895

(* B E P)

Coronavirus, Plunging Oil Prices Cast Shadow over Saudis' $500b Futuristic Mega City with Artificial Moon

The futuristic tech-hub, which will be built to run entirely on alternative energy, is part of the prince's ambitious VISION 2030 campaign and was scheduled to be completed by 2025. But the austerity measures due to the plummeting oil prices and the economic slowdown seem to have put the future of the mega city at risk, according to a Times report.

NEOM would operate independently of the rest of Saudi Arabia, with different laws for workers and more relaxed women's rights, as well as more freedom to foreign visitors such as the right to drink alcohol, which is forbidden in Saudi Arabia.

However, the futuristic city comes at the expense of forcing the Howeitat tribe of Bedouin Arabs, who have lived in the areas bordering Jordan for hundreds of years, to relocate.

A Wall Street Journal report from 2019 said that up to 20,000 Howeitat tribals could forcibly be removed from the area to make room for the dream city. In April, the project was criticized by human rights activists around the world after reports of a Saudi activist named Abdul Rahman al-Howeiti of the tribe was allegedly killed by Saudi security forces after he refused to leave his home on the land that was slated to house the futuristic project.

Last, year, analysts expressed concerns that NEOM could create funding pressures as Saudi Arabia faces a huge budget deficit due to its lower income and heavy expenditure. Saudi Arabia reported a $9b budget deficit in the first quarter of 2020

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Report: Jailed Saudi Royals Hire Washington Lobbyists to Secure Their Freedom

Jailed Saudi royals hire Washington lobbyists to secure their freedom: Report

Imprisoned members of the Saudi royal family have sought the help of lobbyists with close ties to the US president

Associates of jailed members of the Saudi royal family have hired lobbyists with close connections to US President Donald Trump to advocate for their release, the New York Times reported.

A former senior associate of Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz bin Salman al Saud hired Robert Stryk, a lobbyist with strong connections to Trump's foreign policy circles, to "advocate for the release" of the prince, the Times reported on Monday.

Filings submitted by Stryk's consulting firm, Sonoran Policy Group, indicate he will lobby the United States, Britain, France and the European Union for six months for the release of Prince Salman.

According to the Times, Stryk has connections with key figures in Trump's inner circle

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Warning 2 journalists: #Saudi govt didn’t end flogging. It just limited its use. The decision affect “tazir” cases. Had cases are still flogged. Don’t mislead the world. Flogging was a cost center & but now it’s a profit center. Fines instead of lashes = $$.

cp9 USA

Siehe / Look at cp9a

(* B K P)

The State Department IG Trump fired should be digging into Saudi Arabia and Yemen

Steve Linick's dismissal is raising questions about a massive arms deal, but there's much more U.S. policy that needs to be examined.

But focusing on the technicalities of the arms sales process in examining Linick's firing doesn't get to the heart of an even bigger scandal — the one that began with the initial decision in March 2015 to support Riyadh's military campaign in Yemen.

When the Saudis approached the Obama administration for military assistance — which ended up including the refueling of Saudi and Emirati fighter jets to streamline their operations — Yemen was already in a bloody civil war. Senior lawmakers at the time largely supported U.S. operations in the conflict, viewing the intervention as a justified response to an illegitimate offensive by an Iranian-supported militia group.

Ultimately, the parties most responsible for Yemen's carnage are the combatants themselves. But by plunging itself into a conflict it should never have been involved with, Washington lengthened the war, giving the parties on the ground zero reason to negotiate a settlement.

For the United States, Yemen holds little national security significance.

Many of the original backers of U.S. military support for Riyadh's Yemen campaign have come to regret it, with many U.S. officials since acknowledging that the interagency debate leading to the Obama administration's support was not only rushed, but also driven by misplaced expectations about America's ability to restrain the Saudi-led coalition. As the report notes, "the U.S. would use the influence afforded by its support to encourage precision targeting and seek to protect civilians" — a conclusion that over time has been disproved repeatedly.

Unfortunately, the U.S. continues to sit in the passenger seat, praying that the driver will eventually sober up. It's abundantly clear that a long-overdue course correction is required.

First, the Trump administration should stop placing the U.S. in the middle of the endless Saudi Arabia-Iran power struggle

Washington's involvement, wholly unauthorized by Congress, should end.

U.S. policymakers should also undertake an honest, comprehensive reassessment of the U.S.-Saudi relationship in general.

U.S. and Saudi interests are increasingly diverging.

If U.S. policymakers were smart, they would use the latest inspector general controversy as an opportunity to work to end a shameful and counterproductive chapter in U.S. foreign policy – by Daniel R. DePetris

(* B K P)

Pentagon claim of zero civilian deaths in Yemen is divorced from reality

There are innumerable accounts from local sources and media as well as rights organisations that contradict the US claim.

Last week, the US Pentagon hit back by saying it had not killed any civilians in Yemen during 2019, a claim it also made the previous year in its annual report on civilian casualties in connection with American military operations.

These claims border on the absurd and are at their core, deceitful, only serving as a reminder that the US remains committed to continuing its policy of holding zero accountability towards the innocent men, women and children killed by its kinetic actions and foreign policy.

It is in fact what the Pentagon’s annual report on civilian casualties omits that really does answer and reveal why the US military hasn’t recorded or acknowledged a single civilian death in Yemen during the course of its participation in the conflict for the past two years.

It chooses to not mention CIA-led operations and US military supported actions, including those carried out by Saudi coalition partners guided or supported by US military assets.

Naturally, The Pentagon only acknowledges its own findings and ignores those of human rights organisations, and others from local and US media sources, international aid groups, and other non-government agencies.

But here’s the thing – under President Trump, the US has made it official policy to deny civilian casualties caused by its secretive drone program.

Amnesty International accuses the US military of providing “zero accountability” for these deaths, particularly when it comes to its drone war against the militant group, Al Shabaab in Somalia.

While Africa Command, which coordinates US military operations in Somalia, has publicly acknowledged it carried out a dozen or so drone strikes in the Janaale region during March, it has not taken responsibility for a single civilian casualty, and it did not reply to our request for comment.

To put this into context, the US military carried out 36 aerial attacks in Yemen during 2018, according to Mwatana, but maintains that they did not result in a single civilian casualty.

The US position stands directly in contradiction to those affected by its operations on the ground and the numerous rights organisations whose job it is to document the crimes.

To the rest of the world, the US sends out strong signals when they choose to actively deny the consequences of their actions.

Principly, that the lives of Africans, Arabs, and Asians have inferior significance, which, of course, only exacerbates and feeds the very thing it is trying to end: anti-American driven terrorism – by C. J. Werleman

(* B K P)

Letters to the editor

U.S. Arms Sales and the Yemen War

Jobs tied to arms sales should never be used as an excuse to fuel mass slaughter, as the Trump administration has done with respect to the sale of Raytheon bombs to Saudi Arabia for use in the war in Yemen. But if the president wants to raise jobs as an issue, he should at least get his facts straight.

Arms sales to Saudi Arabia have created 20,000 to 40,000 jobs in recent years, well under one-tenth of 1 percent of total U.S. employment. That’s a far cry from the 500,000 jobs tied to Saudi sales claimed by President Trump. Virtually any other expenditure of the same funds — or any other export — would create far more jobs than spending on weapons.

Selling arms to repressive regimes is bad foreign policy and bad economic policy. It’s time to end U.S. arms sales to Saudi Arabia, once and for all – by William D. Hartung

(* B P)

Saudi Arabia dumps Trump; Democrats shouldn't be fooled

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is nothing if not an opportunist. Donald Trump's election in 2016 was a godsend for the kingdom.

The crown prince moved quickly to embrace the new administration.

Over the course of March and April the twin shock of collapsing oil demand and Saudi production increases pushed the price of West Texas Intermediate crude into negative territory. U.S. shale producers from North Dakota to Texas started going bankrupt, and layoffs began to hit hard in an industry that employs 2.5 million Americans.

Saudi Arabia went from strategic partner to pariah, almost overnight. Leading Republican senators from the oil patch began pushing for tariffs and punitive sanctions. In a phone call with MBS on April 2, Trump reportedly "threatened the complete withdrawal of American troops from the kingdom if the Saudis didn't slash oil production."

On top of that, Trump's poll numbers began to tank, and all of a sudden, it looked like the much maligned Democrats could soon be back in power.

All of which helps explain why Saudi Arabia is turning its back on its erstwhile Republican patrons and pivoting to court its former nemesis on the other side of the aisle. The Saudi government recently engaged two new firms to strengthen ties with the Democratic establishment. Meanwhile, its existing army of lobbyists has turned their focus to blue state leaders.

Saudi Arabia's new charm offensive should be a matter of concern for two reasons. It sends a signal to the Republican establishment that the rats are leaving a sinking ship. And it should not fool the Democrats into believing that Riyadh is any less of a danger -- or more of a friend -- than it has been in the past.

This is not a question of playing both sides of the political fence, as is customary in the Washington influence game. Saudi Arabia's opportunistic about-face reconfirms what dissidents like me and others have been saying for years: the kingdom cannot be trusted.

Repeating the old policies of accommodating the Saudis has not worked well for any administration. It has not only undermined U.S. credibility and values, but has also cost America lives and treasure.

MBS made a bet on Trump. That bet is not paying off, and he is now putting his money on the Democrats. Hopefully, they will heed the lessons of the past and not repeat the GOP's mistake

No amount of lobbyist PAC contributions or slick talking points can mask the fundamental reality of Saudi perfidy. The kingdom will run to whomever it thinks can help them. Democrats should not be fooled. And Republicans should be ashamed for having been duped – by Ali AlAhmed

Comment: This is very true. Additionally, the US-#Saudi relationship has become more of a burden than a benefit as they face a crumbling economy, massive failure in #Vision2030, diminished influence in the region and energy independence in the US, while still refusing to make real change.

(* B K P)

Zur Absicherung von Jobs in den USA: Krieg im Jemen muss weitergehen

Die Rüstungsindustrie in den USA bekam nur wenig von den Folgen der Corona-Krise zu spüren. Während Millionen Menschen entlassen wurden, suchen Unternehmen wie Raytheon neues Personal. Der von Saudi-Arabien geführte Krieg im Jemen sorgt dafür, dass die Auftragsbücher voll bleiben.

Die unrühmliche Rolle insbesondere der USA und Großbritanniens auf Seiten der kriegsführenden Allianz war immer wieder Gegenstand von Kritik einiger Organisationen und selbst in den jeweiligen Parlamenten. Man wusste ganz genau, dass ohne die Milliardenverkäufe von Unternehmen wie BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Boeing, Raytheon oder auch Rheinmetall der Krieg schon lange beendet gewesen wäre.

Da die Rüstungsverkäufe nur durch Freigabe der jeweiligen Regierungsstellen erfolgen, hätte es beispielsweise das US-Außenministerium in der Hand gehabt, das Blutvergießen im Jemen zu stoppen. Im Juni 2017 wäre es beinahe dazu gekommen, dass der Senat gegen den Verkauf von präzisionsgelenkter Munition im Wert von einer halben Milliarde US-Dollar an Saudi-Arabien gestimmt hätte. Nach einer heftigen Debatte stimmten 53 Senatoren für den Verkauf, 47 dagegen.

Ein Jahr später versuchten einflussreiche Senatoren wie Lindsey Graham mit einer Resolution, die US-Regierung zum Umdenken in ihrer Haltung zu Riad zu zwingen.

Bei Peter Navarro – einem der persönlichen Berater von US-Präsident Donald Trump in Wirtschaftsfragen, der beste Kontakte zur Rüstungsindustrie pflegt – klingelten daraufhin die Alarmglocken.

Wie jetzt von der New York Times aufgedeckt wurde, schrieb er daraufhin ein Memo an Trumps Schwiegersohn Jared Kushner und weitere ranghohe Regierungsbeamte im Weißen Haus. Die Überschrift desselbigen war unmissverständlich: "Trumps Waffenverkäufe im Mittleren Osten in extremer Gefahr, Jobverluste imminent."

Dass Navarro diesen alarmistischen Ton einschlug, war kein Zufall. Er wurde von Lobbyisten der Rüstungsunternehmen umgarnt, zu denen bis 2017 auch Mark Esper bei Raytheon gehörte, bevor er von Trump in das Verteidigungsministerium geholt wurde. Ihre Strategie war simpel: Dem US-Präsidenten sollte verdeutlicht werden, dass ein Stopp der Waffenverkäufe nach Saudi-Arabien genau jene Arbeitsplätze gefährdet, die er eigentlich schaffen wollte.

Die Intervention Navarros im Weißen Haus zeigte Wirkung. Trotz der immer lauter werdenden Kritik an Saudi-Arabien in den Fluren des Kongresses sagte Trump nach Khashoggis Mord in einem TV-Interview bei Fox Business:

Wir haben eine unglaubliche Wirtschaft geschaffen. Ich will Boeing, und ich will Lockheed, und ich will Raytheon, dass sie diese Bestellungen annehmen und viele Menschen einstellen, um dieses unglaubliche Equipment herzustellen.

Dass mit diesem "unglaublichen Equipment" auch eine Verantwortung einhergeht, hat der Abgeordnete und ehemalige Menschenrechtsbeauftrage des Außenministeriums unter Barack Obama, Tom Malinowski, deutlich gemacht. "Die Menschen schauen auf uns", sagte er gegenüber der New York Times. Malinowski kritisierte deswegen die Außenpolitik von Donald Trump

Diese Kritik des ehemaligen Menschenrechtsbeauftragtenan der Trump-Politik ist zwar berechtigt, aber er ignoriert die Tatsache, dass es Obama war, der Saudi-Arabien bei der Aggression gegen den Jemen von Anfang an beigestanden hatte. Oder dass es auch unter Obama war, als Libyen von der NATO zerstört und der Drohnenkrieg massiv ausgeweitet wurde. Trump ist nur ehrlicher, wenn er betont, dass ihm US-amerikanische Jobs wichtiger sind, als sich Gedanken über die Verwendung des "unglaublichen Equipments" durch Saudi-Arabien zu machen. Das gilt umso mehr in Zeiten der Corona-Krise, in der Millionen Menschen aufgrund des wirtschaftlichen Lockdowns ihre Arbeitsplätze verloren haben.

This is an extract in German oft hie NYT article:

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Senior officials advised against Trump emergency arms sales to Saudis

The dispute is now at the center of an inspector general's probe into whether the deal was conducted legally.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo disregarded the advice of high-level officials at the State Department, Pentagon and within the intelligence community in invoking an emergency waiver last year to circumvent congressional review of billions of dollars in arms sales to the U.S. allies in the Persian Gulf region, according to two former administration officials and three congressional sources.

That decision was under investigation by a government watchdog who was fired last week at Pompeo’s urging, and it has fueled renewed accusations from lawmakers that the Trump administration bucked the will of Congress and even violated the law when it fast-tracked the weapons sales. The secretary of state is facing intense scrutiny over the inspector general’s ouster, which has unleashed a flurry of negative stories and a torrent of criticism on Capitol Hill.

In justifying the move to Congress, Pompeo wrote that Iranian aggression” and “increasing regional volatility” necessitated an urgent delivery of certain weapons to U.S. partners in the Middle East.

But during meetings last spring of the National Security Council at several levels, high-level career and political officials from the Pentagon, State Department and intelligence community agreed that there had been no change in Tehran’s behavior to justify invoking emergency authorities and advised against doing so, according to a former administration official who attended the meetings.

“There is nothing going on right now that we could point to that would say it was any different than the month before,” the former official said.

Further, some of the weapons included in the sale — $8 billion worth of guided missiles for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, bombs for Jordan, and other items — would not come online for at least a year.

“Our conclusion was, ‘Nobody supports this being an emergency, so we think that the declaration wouldn’t have any grounds and we shouldn’t do it,’” the ex-official added.

(A P)

State IG was investigating Trump emergency arms sales to Saudis, Pompeo's use of staff to run errands when fired: Sources

Two senior Democratic lawmakers are now investigating Steve Linick's firing.

The State Department Inspector General who was fired by President Donald Trump late Friday was investigating his administration's use of emergency powers to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia despite congressional opposition, according to a senior Democratic lawmaker.

Inspector General Steve Linick is the latest federal watchdog removed by Trump and the latest impeachment player who may have faced some form of presidential retaliation. Pompeo recommended his dismissal and supported the president's decision, a senior State Department official told ABC News Friday.

The watchdog office was also looking into whether Pompeo used staff to run personal errands, according to a congressional aide.

(A P)

Imagine if the Al Qaeda link was with Iranian -- not Saudi -- terrorists. We would be at war with that country. But in the U.S. the anti-Iran lobby protects Saudi Arabia, whitewashes it of terrorism & pretends Iran is the big state sponsor of Al Qaeda.

referring to

cp9a USA-Iran Krise: Spannungen am Golf / US-Iran crisis: Tensions at the Gulf

(A P)

US cannot bring Iranian nation to its knees: President Rouhani

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U.S. blacklists Iran's interior minister over human rights abuses

The United States imposed sanctions on Iran’s interior minister on Wednesday, accusing him of engaging in serious cases of human rights abuse.

Interior Minister Abdolreza Rahmani Fazli gave orders authorizing the Law Enforcement Forces (LEF) of Iran to use lethal force in response to anti-government protests in November, leading to the killing of protesters, including at least 23 minors, the U.S. Treasury Department said in a statement.

(A P)

Venezuela to escort Iranian tankers bringing needed fuel

Venezuela’s defense minister said Wednesday that planes and ships from the nation’s armed forces will escort Iranian tankers arriving with fuel to the gasoline-starved country in case of any U.S. aggression.

Defense Minister Vladimir Padrino López said Venezuela’s navy and air force will welcome the five Iranian tankers, seeing them through the nation’s maritime territory and into port. He compared the fuel tankers to humanitarian aid that China and Russia have sent to help Venezuela combat the new coronavirus pandemic.

(* B T)

Washington’s tall tale of Iranian-Al Qaeda alliance based on questionably sourced book ‘The Exile’

A disinformation campaign aimed to justify the assassination of Qassem Soleimani by painting him and Iran as willing enablers of al-Qaeda. The propaganda operation relied heavily on a shoddily sourced book, “The Exile.”

The U.S. assassination of Qassem Soleimani in January touched off a new wave of disinformation about the top Iranian major general, with Trump administration allies branding him a global terrorist while painting Iran as the world’s worst state sponsor of terrorism. Much of the propaganda about Soleimani related to his alleged responsibility for the killing of American troops in Iraq, along with Iran’s role in Syria, Lebanon, and Yemen.

But a second theme in the disinformation campaign, which has been picked up by mainstream outlets like the Wall Street Journal and National Public Radio, was the claim that Soleimani deliberately unleashed al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s campaign to kill Shiites in Iraq. That element of the propaganda offensive was the result of the 2017 publication of “The Exile,” a book by British journalists Adrian Levy and Cathy Scott-Clark, which spun a new version of the familiar U.S. propaganda line of a supposed Iranian terror alliance with al-Qaeda.

Levy and Scott-Clark introduced the theme of secret collusion between the two open adversaries with an article in the The Sunday Times in early 2018, dramatically entitled “Tehran in devil’s pact to rebuild al‑Qaeda.” Soleimani, they claimed, “first offered sanctuary to bin Laden’s family and al-Qaeda military leaders,” then proceeded to “build them a residential compound at the heart of a military training center in Tehran.”

But those two sentences represented a grotesque distortion of Iran’s policy toward the al-Qaeda personnel fleeing from Afghanistan into Iran. Virtually every piece of concrete evidence, including an internal al-Qaeda document written in 2007, showed that Iran agreed to take in a group of al-Qaeda refugees with legal passports that included members of bin Laden’s family and some fighters and middle- and lower-ranking military cadres – but not Zarqawi and other al-Qaeda military leaders — and only temporarily and under strict rules forbidding political activity.

The crucial fact that Levy and Scott-Clark conveniently failed to mention, moreover, was that Iranian officials were well aware that al-Qaeda’s leadership figures, including military commanders and with their troops, were also slipping into Iran from Afghanistan, but Iranian security forces had not yet located them.

(A K)

Iraq: Rocket lands near US embassy inside Baghdad's Green Zone

A rocket has hit an empty house in the Iraqi capital's heavily fortified Green Zone, a military statement has said.

The rocket was launched from an eastern district of Baghdad, according to the statement, and was the first to land in the high-security zone in weeks. There were no reports of casualties in the attack.

(A K P)

Defense Minister Warns of Iran’s Crushing Response to Aggression

Iranian Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami warned the enemies that any threat to the country’s national interests and security will draw a rapid and crushing response, making a reference to the January missile attack on the US airbase of Ain al-Assad in Iraq.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

Siehe / Look at cp2

(A E P)

Saudi Bid For Newcastle United Approved

The Premier League has approved an agreed deal between Sports Direct tycoon, Mike Ashley, and a consortium led by Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund (PIF), chaired by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, alongside funding from UK-based billionaire brothers David and Simon Reuben.

The deal will mean that Saudi Arabia owns around 80% of Newcastle United. Ashley has had control of the club since 2007 when he bought it for $167 million.

(* B K P)

The UK must immediately stop selling arms that are killing Yemeni civilians

After more than five years of war, governments, including the UK, can no longer credibly claim to be fooled by coalition promises.

When Boris Johnson was Foreign Secretary, he used his decisive influence in the arms licensing process to recommend approval of the continued sale of weapons by British companies to Saudi Arabia, despite strong evidence that the Coalition had been carrying out indiscriminate and disproportionate strikes on civilians and civilian property in violation of international humanitarian law. The prime minister’s casual approach to Yemeni civilian life was astounding.

When reflecting on whether or not to continue weapons sales after a massacre such as this, not many would arrive at the phrase “extremely finely balanced.” That is the wording Johnson used in an internal memo less than a month later when he communicated his recommendation for licenses to Saudi Arabia to continue.

The memo’s language, which characterises the continued supply of weapons to Saudi Arabia as a nuanced issue, implied the government was giving the decision the scrutiny it deserved. The truth later emerged in the course of litigation brought by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT): the government was not even studying individual airstrikes closely enough to take a view on whether they had violated international law. This flaw in process was so fundamental as to cause the UK’s Court of Appeal to quash the licensing decisions in June 2019 on so-called ‘rationality’ grounds – a notoriously difficult threshold to meet. The UK government has yet to decide whether it will grant further licenses to Saudi Arabia or suspend extant licenses – but the limits of the public law remedy ordered by the Court of Appeal have meant that transfers under old licenses are allowed to continue.

The CAAT decision is an important step and should be celebrated, but the UK government is currently appealing, and legal proceedings are slow and imperfect. While the case and others like it work their way slowly through judicial systems, Coalition airstrikes continue to kill and maim Yemeni civilians, often using western weapons.

A government led by Boris Johnson must also be subjected to rigorous parliamentary scrutiny, something that would be delivered by a properly constituted Select Committee.

As the litany of appalling civilian tragedies continues, we are calling for the UK Parliament to establish an arms exports Select Committee without delay.

After more than five years, governments, including the UK, can no longer credibly claim to be fooled by coalition promises. They have too often proven hollow, too often shown to be nothing more than window-dressing in an effort to keep arms flowing.

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

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Film: “Krankenwagen statt Panzer” – Proteste gegen Waffenexporte und Deals im Schatten von Corona
Mit bundesweiten Protestaktionen hat das Bündnis “Rheinmetall entwaffnen!” gestern auf die Hauptversammlung des Rüstungskonzerns Rheinmetall aufmerksam gemacht. Protestaktionen richteten sich nicht nur gegen das Unternehmen und dessen Profit mit tödlichen Waffen, sondern auch gegen die türkischen Militäreinsätze in Syrien und Waffenexporte der deutschen Bundesregierung.

(A K P)

Sevim Dagdelen: Mordsgeschäfte von Rheinmetall stoppen

„Für ‚Bomben-Geschäfte‘ geht der Rüstungskonzern Rheinmetall im Jemen und anderswo über Leichen. Die Bundesregierung ist für diese menschenverachtenden Lieferungen von Rheinmetall mit verantwortlich und fördert in schändlicher Weise die mörderischen Profite des Düsseldorfer Rüstungskonzerns, indem sie Gesetzeslücken nicht schließen will und damit Rheinmetall direkte Lieferungen für Kriege in aller Welt über Tochterfirmen ermöglicht“, erklärt Sevim Dagdelen, abrüstungspolitische Sprecherin der Fraktion DIE LINKE und Obfrau im Auswärtigen Ausschuss, anlässlich der Online-Jahreshauptversammlung der Düsseldorfer Waffenschmiede Rheinmetall. Dagdelen weiter:


(A P)

Kriegstreiber heimgesucht

Geschäfte von Rüstungskonzern Rheinmetall boomen. Proteste vor Wohnhaus von Unternehmenschef

(A H)

Schüler spenden für Jemen-Kinderhilfe

Die Aufführung des Weihnachtsmusicals am Gymnasium spielt 2000 Euro ein

Nach Verzögerungen wegen einer ausstehenden Rechnung und der Einschränkungen wegen der Corona-Epidemie konnten Schülerinnen des Deutschherren-Gymnasiums Aichach nun endlich wie geplant ihre Spende an die Jemen-Kinderhilfe überreichen.

Das Geld wurde eingespielt durch die Aufführungen des Weihnachtsmusicals „Rock Nativity“ im November 2019.

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

(A K P)

Schweiz: Drei Vorschläge zur Begrenzung der Rüstungsexporte

Zwei Initiativen, in denen es um den Export und die Finanzierung von Kriegsmaterial geht, haben einen schweren Stand in der Regierung und im Parlament – aber gute Chancen, dass sie bei Volksabstimmungen angenommen würden.

Gemäß der „Neuen Zürcher Zeitung“ lieferte die Schweiz 2017 Kriegsmaterial für 23 Millionen Franken nach Saudi-Arabien, das damals aktiv am Krieg im Jemen beteiligt war. „In der Interpretation des Bundes fällt die saudische Beteiligung am Bürgerkrieg in Jemen jedoch nicht unter das Ausschlusskriterium der Kriegsmaterialverordnung“, schreibt die Zeitung.

Eine Allianz von Parteien, Kirchen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Organisationen, darunter die Gruppe für eine Schweiz ohne Armee (GSoA), will mit der Initiative „Gegen Waffenexporte in Bürgerkriegsländer“ die Bewilligungskriterien für Kriegsmaterialexporte in der Verfassung verankern. Exporte in Bürgerkriegsländer sowie in Länder, welche die Menschenrechte „systematisch und schwerwiegend“ verletzen, sollen ausnahmslos verboten werden. Doch das geht dem Bundesrat zu weit.

cp12b Sudan

(* B K P)

Is Sudan emerging from the Yemeni quagmire?

During the period following the announcement of the formation of the Sovereign Council in Sudan, it was clear that the withdrawal of troops from Yemen did not issue a unified and final position by the Council and specifically the military side, and considers the various statements by officials in Sudan, that they come within the framework of evasiveness and try to escape the popular pressure demanding a decisive and final position of absurd involvement in the war on Yemen, which enters its sixth year, and led to the death and wounding of tens of thousands of Yemeni civilians and pushed the country to the biggest and most dangerous disaster Humanitarian worldwide according to reports of international humanitarian organizations.

It is believed that the decision to withdraw troops or not has not yet been issued, and the situation can only be defined by the actual ruler of the Sudan, in the sense that the military participating in the Sovereign Council (president and deputy) are in fact directly involved in sending Sudanese troops to Yemen, and therefore the survival of the forces is linked to the agenda of those who sent them.

It is noteworthy that the statement of the Minister of State of the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, Omar Qamaruddin, that his government succeeded in returning the majority of Sudanese soldiers sent to the war in Yemen, was not the first statement in this context, as some of the sudanese media leaks have already emerged that the vice president of the Sudanese Sovereign Council, Mohammed Hamdan Hamidti, gave orders to withdraw 10,000 Sudanese troops in Yemen.

In this context, political analyst Hassan Barkia said that the decision to withdraw Sudanese forces from Yemen or reduce them is linked to "internal and external" factors, with regard to internal factors. "The external factor will be decisive in the withdrawal of troops and is specifically linked to international pressure on Saudi Arabia to find a peaceful solution to the Yemeni issue," Barkia said, adding that a number of observers believe that there is a clear link between the announcement of the withdrawal of both Sudanese and Emirati forces during the past few months, and that the withdrawals were not random.

There are many reports about the type of Sudanese forces participating in the war on Yemen, but most of these reports indicate that they are formed in large numbers from the Rapid Support Forces of semi-tribal composition, which are local militias known for the name "Janjaweed", and the Rapid Support Forces have previously been accused of committing war crimes and crimes against Humanity is widespread when used by the Sudanese regime during its war in Darfur

As the years of war passed, it became clear that the participation of the rapid support forces in Yemen was not a coincidence or an act, but was intended by the coalition forces "Saudi Arabia and the UAE" for what is known as the fact that they are distinguished from the rest of the military formations with their ability to move fast and sudden and fight from the SUV and with medium and light armament.

During the years of Sudanese involvement in the Yemeni quagmire, the number of troops involved remained unannounced, until the commander of the Sudanese Rapid Support Forces, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Hamdan Hamidti, revealed that the strength of his country's forces involved in the War in Yemen reached 30,000 soldiers, most of them rapid support forces.

Apart from official Sudanese statements, we must point out the growing popular rejection in Sudan over participation in the war in Yemen, especially with the increasing number of deaths among their country's forces

Thus, it is clear that the various Sudanese statements on reducing the number of troops in Yemen are not as serious as required, because they avoid the most important thing, which is to end their presence completely, which confirms that power-sharing between the military and civilians is still a formality, while the de facto ruler in Khartoum and the controller has not changed, especially with regional support from the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and the end of external adventures and the dilemma of engaging in the absurd war in Yemen and interfering in the Libyan conflict remains a formality.

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Siehe / Look at cp1, cp9, cp10, cp11, cp12

(* B K P)

Saudi Arabia Reveals Its Military Spending in Yemen War

The amount of military spending within Saudi budgets in its led-coalition against Yemen during the past five years exceeded its spending on the education and health sectors, reaching 20.9% of the total government spending.

The financial statements of Saudi budgets revealed that military spending allocations from 2016 to 2020 exceeded 273 billion dollars, an increase of 71 billion dollars over the amount spent on the health sector.

The United States of America topped the list of arms suppliers to Saudi Arabia, especially after Donald Trump took office in January 2017. The deal concluded on his first visit to Riyadh amounted to $110 billion.

The arms deal, which Trump described as a "supposed achievement" and that "provides a million jobs," totaled $470 billion over 10 years, as Saudi investments in various US sectors.

Saudi Arabia decided to reduce its military expenditures as part of austerity measures

My comment: These Saudi figures refer to military spending in total. The cost of the Yemen War only can be estimated. There is an estimate of US$ 200 million a day. This would be US$ 377 billion.

(* B K P)

Denmark sold arms to UAE despite ban over Yemen concerns: report

A Danish media investigation has accused the country’s largest arms manufacturer of war crimes in Yemen in a series of reports published on Danwatch on Sunday.

The investigation, which was based on classified documents, aerial images as well as photos and images shared to social media, has found the Danish company has continued to supply arms – including radar and missile defence systems - to the UAE.

The military hardware developed by Terma, a Danish aerospace and defence manufacturer, found its way into Emirati warships directly involved in a naval blockade against Yemen, preventing civilian ships carrying food, medicine and fuel from reaching millions of starving civilians in the war-torn country.

The investigation reviews local Emirati TV footage showing the country’s Al-Dhafra warship – equipped with Terma’s Danish Scanter 2001 radar system - blocking the passage of a smaller cargo ship carrying humanitarian aid. This shows one explicit instance where the firm is implicated in the ensuing famine, according to the investigation, which caused the deaths of at least 85,000 children.

cp13b Wirtschaft / Economy

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* B E P)

Yemen currency collapse is ignored epic catastrophe in the way

The Yemeni Riyal seems to be wanting to overtake the Syrian Lira in collapse. Within the past two months the Riyal has lost almost 12% of its value depreciating from YR 160 to 183 versus the Saudi Riyal.

The continuous unrest and recent coup by separatists in the country's interim capital Aden, the broad-day-light looting of YR 35 billion (roughly USD 5 million) from the central bank last week, the country's shut-down because of coronavirus, the lack of revenues in hard currency and other reasons are hastening the depreciation of the Riyal.

In a world obsessed with coronavirus spread, the issue is not drawing attention and is likely to turn to an epic catastrophe in a country already suffering the world's worse humanitarian crisis.

(* B E H)

Yemen Monthly Economic Update April 2020

While the number of officially confirmed COVID-19 cases increased sharply, devastating rains and flooding compounded Yemen’s dire economic and humanitarian conditions. Food security continues to deteriorate with the practical end of Saudi Arabia’s food import facility, recent floods, infestation of swarming locusts, and rising food prices. Increasing fragmentation of national capacity further complicates management of socio-economic conditions.

Shelters for internally displaced people (IDP) were particularly hit hard with a loss of food stocks. Crops and livelihoods were washed away, and irrigation systems were destroyed, with implications for household income and agricultural production in 2020. In Aden, the absence of effective drainage system and stormwater management contributed to the severity of flooding. Rainwater ran off roads and bridges without control, ravaged houses and buildings, especially those that were built randomly near the flood ducts and knocked down electricity and other services. Problems with weak drainage system were exacerbated by poor waste management, which allowed clogged sewage and drainage systems to overflow. Water supplies were contaminated as a result, while much of floodwaters stagnated in low areas, providing an ideal condition for infectious diseases to spread. In flood events, rapid provision of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services is key to limiting the outbreak and spread of diseases.

Provision of water for handwashing, regular maintenance ofshared sanitation facilities,safe management of septage and wastewater, and increased messaging on handwashing and safe sanitation practices are among these measures to prevent the spread of diseases.

Salary disbursements by the Government in Aden have stagnated in recent months.

(B E H)

Yemen: joint market monitoring initiative, April (Round 2) 2020

The Yemen Joint Market Monitoring Initiative (JMMI) was launched by REACH in collaboration with the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster and the Cash and Market Working Group (CMWG) to support humanitarian actors with the harmonization of 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 nonfood items (NFIs), including fuel, water and hygiene products, reflecting the programmatic areas of the WASH Cluster. The JMMI tracks all components of the WASH Survival Minimum Expenditure Basket (SMEB) since September 2018. With the current global COVID-19 pandemic, REACH has adapted the JMMI to begin assessing the potential impact of the pandemic on markets and on respondents' businesses.

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

(A T)

The group calling itself #ISIS in #Yemen finally claims a little action: Says it bombed a Houthi vehicle on Bahran road in Qayfa, al-Bayda' Sunday & handily provides us with an aerial view This is its 1st op in a month. One wonders what it's up to when it's not busy being ISIS (photos)

cp15 Propaganda

(A P)

As the UN acts blind, Shia extremists keep shelling Yemen city with ballistic missiles

No condemnation is often heard from the UN officials over these war crimes. Neither the UN peace mediator nor the Humanitarian Coordinator. Both of them exhibit a motherly sympathy with Houthis hurting whenever they are in trouble or claim they are in one.

(A P)

Turkish ambitions in Yemen ... penetrated through charitable institutions, Muslim Brotherhood

The increasing presence of Turkey in the troubled Yemen, especially the southern region of it, as well as the countries surrounding Yemen, is causing more concern in the Arab Gulf and Egypt alike, especially as the region that Turkey focuses on is located in the Gulf of Aden, Bab al-Mandab and the Red Sea.

These fears are heightened by the joint Turkish-Qatari sabotage efforts in Yemen through a Turkish agenda and Qatari funding for some Yemeni political and tribal figures affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood movement classified on the terrorism list in many countries.

"Non-governmental organizations" … are apparently charitable and have an intelligence core

Media reports indicate that the malicious Turkish activities under the cover of "humanitarian relief organizations" have actually started in Yemen in three coastal Yemeni regions: Shabwa, Socotra, and al-Mukha region in Taiz governorate, by settling the appropriate ground to enter them in the field by finding a sea port located under the control of its customers in Yemen.

Non-governmental organizations (NGO) are part of the intelligence agencies. The NGO and its employees obtain information that even the most powerful official intelligence agencies cannot obtain in other ways, as these organizations constitute an important source of information, as they have an important and many information base as a result of their direct mixing with The societies, especially the poor, that make up the majority of the people in the majority of the societies that these organizations target.

Turkey initially tried to use the so-called soft power by penetrating into the poor countries, taking advantage of that by recruiting the youth of those countries and sending them as mercenaries to serve their interests.

My comment: The Turkish / Qatari propaganda story once again.

(A P)

NGO warns against Houthis’ maltreatment towards Coronavirus patients

The American Center for Justice (ACJ), a US-based non-government organization (NGO) warned on Wednesday about mistreatment being inflicted on the COVID-19 patients by the Houthis.

The ACJ said in a statement that the action threatens a large-scale health disaster which will affect everyone.

My comment: Another US fake NGO? But, which one really is it? or or

(A P)

Yemen’s Houthis Should Come Out of Tehran’s Patronage

Houthis relationship with Iran is closer than ever, with a growing overlap in capabilities and strategic priorities. Yemen’s war is a gift to Iran. Tehran sees it in this way that quiet manipulation of the Yemeni war has reinforced its main opponent Saudis fears that it is flexing muscle in their backyard. Iran’s relationship with the Houthis plays into Iran’s strategy of controlling key Arab waterways. Control of Yemen and its strategic ports give control of vital commercial and energy shipping lanes that connect the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean and the Middle East to Europe.

It’s very unfortunate that Houthis don’t realise that Iran is not interested in seeing Yemen in peace and prosperity. Iran is only helping them just to create its proxy force in Arabian Peninsula.

But now gradually it has become a tool in Iranian hands. Iran aim was always just to gain a foothold in Yemen. Which would allow it, despite the weakness of its naval forces.

To sabotage international commerce and energy markets when its interests are threatened. Hence Iranians are not interested in solution to Yemeni crisis as they know very well that flaring up this conflict will serve their geopolitical objectives. =

(A P)

Saudi official’s gesture brings smile on Yemeni child’s face

The story of a child in a refugee camp in Yemen who made a pair of spectacles from a metal coat hanger so that he could sell them to buy Eid clothes for his family caught the imagination not only of the Yemeni media but also international humanitarian groups.

When Yemeni journalist Abdullah Al-Jaradi heard about the youngster’s creativity, he took up the cause and arranged an online auction to raise as much money as possible. His efforts were widely embraced on social media by international charities.

The winning bid was placed by Ousama Al-Gosaibi, the managing director of the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance in Yemen (Masam).

and also:

My comment: Comparing both reports even shows that Saudi propaganda has calculated a 2 ½ fold higher US$ rate compared to the rate really paid in Yemen.

Comment: How sweet! Perhaps Saudi officials can give him a home next time!

(A P)

Important speech from [separatist] President Al-Zubaidi to people of the south and southern armed forces

The President of the Southern Transitional Council, Supreme Commander of the Southern Armed Forces, President Aidaroos Qassem Al-Zubaidi, delivered on Monday, an important speech for the southern people and the southern armed forces regarding the recent military developments.

In his speech, President Al-Zubaidi said that thirty years have past in which we lived in the worst stage after targeting our homeland, our people, and our identity under the project of the unjust unity, from which our people got nothing but killing, abusing, suffering, oppression, and humiliation, and since July 7, 1994 soon that unity became the worst occupation in modern history.

President Al-Zubaidi said that we have adopted peace and have chose the dialogue option out of our belief that it is the best way to resolve disputes.

we have faced irresponsible forces whose approach is terrorism and chaos, and do not respect the covenants and agreements, in which they see in the other side only a subordinate subject to their authority and arrogance, which imposes on us defending the gains and freedom of our people in the face of the war machine and terrorism that have been exported for three decades by the forces of Sana’a regime to the south.

President Al-Zubaidi stressed that today there are brute military mobilization campaigns remind us the wars of the previous invasions on the south in 1994 and 2015, which are being led today by the Houthi militias on one side, and the Brotherhood militias on the other, leaving Sana’a and Marib behind and directing their strength and weapons towards the south, and raising hollow slogans to liberate the liberated land, and then deliver it to Houthi and Iran, as happened in Al-Jawf and Marib, or to Qatar and Turkey, as happened and still happening in Shabwah, Taiz and Al-Mahra, ignoring the choices and aspirations of the people of the South, and the dangers approaching to the regional national security, and the Arab project led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

President Al-Zubaidi addressed the people of the south, saying now it’s the time to defend the national gains, calling them to be prepared to support the hero forces on all fronts of fighting, and to defend the south in the face of the invasion of Houthi and Brotherhood militias, pointing out that we are in an open war with the forces hostile to our national project, top of which are al-Qaeda and ISIS organizations, and to defend the aspirations of our southern people and their choice of independence

(A P)

Saudi political analyst: Al-Ahmar is a graduate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s school

He said via “Twitter”: The Brotherhood in its actions toward Aden is supported by influential leaders within the Legitimacy and headed by Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, a graduate of the Muslim Brotherhood’s school, who is driven by the hateful northern mentality towards the people of South Arabia.

My comment: He blames the vice president of the Hadi government. Well, Ahmar had been close to Al Qaeda for years.

(A P)

Bin Farid: Only head of the iceberg appeared from the betrayal of leaders of the legitimacy

The head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Southern Transitional Council in Europe, Ahmed Omar Bin Farid, commented on a report broadcast by Al-Arabiya Al-Hadath on the betrayals of the leaders of the legitimate government to the Coalition in exchange for receiving Qatari money.

(A P)

Emirati military expert: #Socotra will remain southern and those who take advantage of #Erdogan will fail

Al-Kaabi wrote on “Twitter” that Socotra was and will remain southern .. Those who take advantage of Erdogan will fail, as have the gangs of Al-Wefaq failed.

Al-Kaabi added, “Al-Jazeera focused on news of the rebellion and attempted coups in Qatar. Turkish channels reported on this. Al-Hamdeen media broadcast its lies about Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE, to no avail. Qatar’s internal events are more dangerous. Leave flopping and lying”.

(A P)

More Saudi coalition „We are benefactors“ propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

(A K pH)

221 Saudi-led airstrikes in one week: Armed Forces Spokesman

(A K pH)

Aggressionsluftwaffe 21 Luftangriffe auf drei Provinzen

und auch

(A K pH)

series airstrikes on provinces

(A K pH)

Eine Reihe von Luftangriffen

(* A K pS)

Senior Houthi Leaders Killed by Coalition Airstrike in Al-Dhale

At least six top Houthi commanders were killed along with dozens of pro-Iran fighters in accurate airstrikes carried out by the Arab Coalition on Houthi positions in the west of Qataba district in al-Dhale governorate on Wednesday.
Military and local sources reported that the Arab Coalition launched several airstrikes targeting the Houthi gatherings and military reinforcement in the areas of Habil Yahya, Habil Obeid and Habil al-Sama'i in the western parts of Qataba.
The same sources said that the Coalition air raids resulted in the destruction of a number of military vehicles, equipment and fortifications.

(A K pH)

4 Saudi-led airstrikes launched on Saada

(A K pH)

US-Saudi Aggression’s Daily Update For Wednesday, May 21th, 2020

(A K pH)

Aggression alliance carries out15 raids on Marib, al-Jawf

(A K pH)

Nine airstrikes on al-Jawf byaggression warplanes

(A K pH)

Aggression warplanes hit Qaneyadistrict with 5 raids

(A K pH)

29 strikes on 4 provinces

(A K pH)

Aggressionsluftwaffe fliegt 15 Luftangriffe auf den Provinzen Marib und Al-Dschouf an

(A K pH)

Kampfflugzeuge der Aggression fliegen 9 Luftangriffe auf Al-Dschouf

(A K pH)

Aggression launches five raids on Khab Washaaf district, Jawf p.

(A K pH)

Saudis launch 30 airstrikes across Yemen

(A K pH)

Houthis Say Saudi Coalition Launched About Dozen Airstrikes on 2 Yemeni Provinces

(A K pH)

Aggression alliance launches 2 raids on Hajjah

(A K pH)

Aggressionsluftwaffe fliegt 5 Luftangriffe auf Khub Osha'af, Dschouf, an

(A K pH)

Kampfflugzeuge der Aggressionsallianz fliegen zwei Luftangriffe auf Al-Dhaher, Saada

(A K pH)

Aggression coalition launches 2 raids on al-Dhaher district

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Siehe / Look at cp1b

(A K pH)

Ein Zivilist durch Söldnerfeuer in Hadschah verletzt

(A K pS)

Houthis committed 59 ceasefire violations in 24 hours

(A K pS)

[Hadi gov.] Yemeni army seizes strategic points from Houthis

Four members of Houthi militia killed, others held as captives

(A K pH)

In Sa’adah, the Saudi enemy bombed more than 30 rockets and shells on populated villages in the border district of Razih during the past hours.

The Ghafra area of Adh-Dhahir district witnessed Saudi missile and artillery shelling

(A K pH)

Film: Jizan: A number of Saudi military positions were stormed in front of the Doud military website.

(A K pH)

Saree: 13 Offensivoperationen, 221 Aggressionsüberfälle in einer Woche

(A K pH)

13 offensive operations, 221 Saudi-led airstrikes in one week: Armed Forces Spokesman

(A K)

Ballistic missile hits residential neighborhood in center of Marib city

A ballistic missile hit on Thursday the center of Marib, causing a violent explosion, according to local sources.

The sources said: "The ballistic missile launched by the Ansar Allah group (Houthis) fell on a residential neighborhood in the center of the city of Marib, northeast of Yemen.

The sources did not provide any details about the damages and human and material losses caused by the missile.

(A K pS)

Senior Houthi leader killed in failed attack on al-Dhale

(A K pS)

Yemeni [Hadi] gov't says its army liberated sites in Nihm

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

(* B H P)

Greater Horn of Africa and Yemen Desert Locust Crisis Appeal (January–December 2020)

Over 42 million people facing severe acute food insecurity in the ten targeted countries (Global Report on Food Crises 2020)

1.7 million ha of land targeted for control in the ten countries (by December 2020)

153 000 households targeted for rapid livelihoods protection in nine of the ten countries (activities: June–December 2020)

USD 231.64 million total funding required by FAO for rapid response and anticipatory action in the ten countries from January to December 2020

(A H P)

Heuschrecken-Plage: Weltbank hilft Opfern mit 500 Millionen Dollar

Die Weltbank will die Betroffenen der verheerenden Heuschrecken-Plage in Ostafrika und dem Nahen Osten mit einem millionenschweren Hilfspaket unterstützen.

Rund 500 Millionen Dollar (etwa 455 Millionen Euro) werden in die Hilfe für arme Kleinbauern, Viehhirten und ländliche Familien gesteckt, wie die Weltbank am Donnerstag mitteilte. Die Menschen leiden unter einem der schlimmsten Ausbrüche von Heuschrecken der letzten Jahrzehnte.
Die Weltbank will demnach unter anderem Betroffene mit direkten Geldtransfers unterstützen sowie in den Wiederaufbau von Landwirtschaft und Viehbeständen investieren. «Heuschrecken-Schwärme sind eine doppelte Krise für Länder, die auch die Covid-19-Pandemie bekämpfen», teilte Weltbank-Präsident David Malpass mit.
Seit Monaten fallen Millionen von Wüstenheuschrecken über Teile Ostafrikas, Asiens und des Nahen Ostens her und zerstören Ackerland und Weiden.

(A H P)

World Bank approves record $500 million to battle locust swarms

The World Bank on Thursday approved a record $500 million in grants and low-interest loans to help countries in Africa and the Middle East fight swarms of desert locusts that are eating their way across vast swaths of crops and rangelands.

Four of the hardest-hit countries - Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda - will receive $160 million immediately, Holger Kray, a senior World Bank official, told Reuters. He said Yemen, Somalia and other affected countries could tap funds as needed.

“The Horn of Africa finds itself at the epicenter of the worst locust outbreak we have seen in a generation, most probably in more than a generation,” he said, noting the new coronavirus pandemic is exacerbating the crisis.

Locust swarms have infested 23 countries across East Africa, the Middle East and South Asia, the biggest outbreak in 70 years, the World Bank said.

(B H)

Desert locust infestations from E Africa could move to India, Pak next month: FAO official

The desert locust invasion, which poses a significant threat to the livelihoods and food security, is expected to move from East Africa to India and Pakistan next month and could be accompanied by other swarms, a top official of the UN’s food and agricultural agency has warned.

The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO’s) Senior Locust Forecasting Officer Keith Cressman said: “Everybody knows we''re facing one of the worst desert locust situations that we''ve probably had in a number of decades”.

“It''s obviously being focused at the moment on East Africa, where it''s extremely vulnerable in terms of livelihoods and food security but now in the next month or so it will expand to other areas and will move (towards)…West Africa.

“And it will move across the Indian Ocean to India and Pakistan,” Cressman said during a virtual briefing on Thursday on the FAO Desert Locust Appeal amid the new threat to Southwest Asia and Africa’s Sahel region.

Currently, the locust invasion is most serious in Kenya, Somalia, Ethiopia, southern Iran and in parts of Pakistan and starting in June, it will move from Kenya to throughout Ethiopia, as well as to Sudan and perhaps West Africa.

(B H P)

'War is closing in': Father's desperate plea for his family to be extracted from Yemen

As Yemen faces a humanitarian disaster due to the coronavirus and the ongoing civil war, an Australian father says he's powerless to help his family who is stuck in the country.

Yemeni-Australian Ahmed Al-Shubili believes his family in Yemen faces a long and "extremely dangerous" journey ahead as they attempt to join him in Australia.

The Sydney man has been campaigning to have his family extracted from Yemen since hostilities in the country began in 2015, and he returned to Australia in late 2019 to press his claim further.

As revealed by SBS Arabic24 in April, one of the main obstacles in his way was securing Australian citizenship for his youngest son Ahed.

(* B)

Film: Der Nahe Osten und wir - Jemen

Sonja Langkafel vom Daniel-Pöppelmann-Haus in Herford gibt Einblicke in die Bilderwelt von Katharina Eglau.

(* B D)

In pictures: Yemen's hidden art scene finds a new home

A new art gallery in Sanaa is supporting and showcasing the work of emerging artists from Yemen and the diaspora

Yemen’s small but growing art scene has flown under the radar, with much of the general narrative on the country tending to revolve around two extremes: conflict or crisis. This is what drove Yemen-based artist Ibi Ibrahim and London-based curator and writer Lizzy Vartanian Collier, 26, to create Arsheef, the first contemporary art gallery in Sanaa dedicated to contemporary Yemeni artists, both in the country and those of the diaspora. Or, as Collier, who grew up in London and whose mother migrated from war-torn Beirut says, to showcase the country’s “invisible but very much alive art scene"

(A H)

Outrage over travel vlogger's stay on Yemen's Socotra Island during coronavirus pandemic

A social media influencer and travel vlogger has been slammed for refusing to self-isolate or evacuate Yemen's Socotra, potentially putting locals on the isolated island at risk of contracting the disease.
YouTuber Eva Zu Beck arrived in Socotra, located nearly 400 kilometres south of the Arabian Pensinula, on 11 March - the same day the World Health Organisation declared the global coronavirus outbreak a pandemic.

The travel vlogger has faced a backlash ever since, exacerbated by a CNN article published on Tuesday that critics said failed to interrogate the risks Zu Beck had introduced to locals.

There are fears the potentially deadly Covid-19 disease could spread and cause devastation in one of the world's most impoverished nations - where medical facilities have been destroyed in Saudi-led bombing and malnutrition is prevelant.
Socotra island is severely ill-equipped to deal with a coronavirus outbreak. Despite improvements made over the past decade with foreign aid, medical care in the archipelago remains limited.
Many Socotrans seek advanced medical care on Yemen's mainland or elsewhere.
The isolated island has just one intensive care unit (ICU) for a population of 60,000 people. While figures of how many ventilators are in the main hospital are not available, Yemen as a whole has just 500 ventilators.

Twitter user @Habibiline alleged: "This vlogger keeps calling Socotra a 'desert island' but the reality is there are over 60,000 people on the island. She intentionally decided to miss two evacuation flights, as she does not want to infect her grandparents but she doesn't give two shits about people on the island."
"The island only has 1 ICU unit in order to deal with the pandemic & this is in the midst of the civil war & the world's worst humanitarian crisis," @Habibiline continued.

Others have chimed in, calling Zu Beck's decision "selfish" and "immoral".



Isolating on a desert island: Polish YouTube star skips lockdown

Editor's Note — Since this story published early on May 19, vlogger Eva zu Beck has provided an update to the situation in Socotra on Instagram. The story has been revised to reflect those comments.

While the rest of the world stays inside, Zu Beck, who grew her social media following to over 1 million with her travel vlogs on off-the-beaten path destinations like Pakistan, Bangladesh and Syria, has spent the last two months wild camping on deserted white-sand beaches, fishing for grouper in the open ocean and climbing 10 story-high sand dunes as she waits out the pandemic on one of the world's most isolated islands.

The only catch? She has no idea when she'll be able to leave.

With permission from Socotri officials, Zu Beck and four other tourists decided to stay. The rest, including Zu Beck's Canadian boyfriend, returned to Cairo on the last flight out of Socotra.

She says she didn't realize how serious the coronavirus outbreak was when she arrived in March, and medical screening upon entry reassured her that she wasn't introducing the virus.

But not everyone agrees with Zu Beck's decision to visit a remote and potentially vulnerable island as the pandemic took hold. Since this story published early on May 19, Zu Beck has heard from a number of critics via social media through the campaign #Respect_Socotra, who argue that her presence is endangering the local community.

Zu Beck's close contact with the local community was facilitated by Socotra's lack of lockdown restrictions. She isn't aware of any reported cases of coronavirus, and the island is one of the few places on earth that continued to operate as normal.

"There are no social distancing or lockdown measures on Socotra," Zu Beck said in a recent interview. "We are free to visit friends and move around as we please. It's as if we're in a parallel universe."

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-652 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-652: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

Untersuchung ausgewählter Luftangriffe durch Bellingcat / Bellingcat investigations of selected air raids:

Untersuchungen von Angriffen, hunderte von Filmen / Investigations of attacks, hundreds of films:

11:08 22.05.2020
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

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