Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 702b- Yemen War Mosaic 702b

Yemen Press Reader 702b: 18. Dezember 2020: Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 702, cp6 - cp19 / December 18, 2020: Sequel to Yemen War Mosaic 702, cp6 - cp19
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Dies ist die Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 702, Teil 1 / This is the sequel of Yemen War Mosaic 702, 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: Großer Gefangenenaustausch / Most important: Great prisoner swap

cp2 Allgemein / General

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

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Söldner / Mercenaries

cp13c Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Kampf um Hodeidah / Hodeidah battle

cp19 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

(A P)

Yemen will fight corruption and currency woes, says prime minister

Institutional corruption and a spiralling currency will be among the targets of Yemen’s new government, Prime Minister-designate Maeen Abdulmalik Saeed said.

Speaking after a meeting with party leaders and the parliamentary speaker on Wednesday, Saeed said the new administration will focus on reviving Yemen’s economy, halting the depreciation of the riyal, alleviating the suffering of Yemenis and combating corruption in state institutions.

Devaluation of the riyal has hit ordinary Yemenis, while uncontrolled currency speculation has damaged the economy, he said.

“We are confronting a multidimensional battle. It is not only military but also economic, humanitarian and developmental. The new government represents the will of the people, and will face challenges with courage and resolute measures,” he said.

Saaed said that his government will apply radical reforms aimed at boosting revenues and improving financial management.

and also

(A P)

Taiz swarmed by Islah gunmen blockading occupied city

Military personnel have on Thursday cut off the main streets in the city of Taiz, southwestern Yemen, local sources said.

According to the sources, the armed men created chaos by firing indiscriminately, in a move that signals that the city, which is under the control of the Islah factions in Yemen, is sliding into a new wave of violence.

Local sources said that soldiers dressed in civilian clothes set tires on fire in Jamal Street in the city center, causing traffic jams in the morning.

The motives for spreading the new chaos are not known, but its timing indicates that it is linked to the news that the coalition pressured Hadi to dismiss the commander of the 22nd Mika Brigade, Sadiq Sarhan.


Mercenary recruit killed by other gunmen in Hadhramaut

and also

(A P)

Final agreement reached to form new Yemen government, says STC

A final agreement has been reached to form a new Yemeni government, the southern transitional council said on Wednesday.
The members of the new government will be announced during the implementation of military arrangements and the other terms of the Riyadh agreement, president of the UAE-backed council Aidarous Al-Zubaidi said in a statement carried by the Alghad Almushreq TV.
"The Riyadh agreement represents a true opportunity for peace in the south and Yemen and a pivotal station on the road to achieving legal aspirations of our people. Based on this, the council will remain a partner with the brothers in Saudi Arabia and other member states of the Arab coalition," he said.

(A P)

Yemeni minister: Ignoring STC coup in Socotra unaccepted as new gov't declared

Yemen's fisheries minister on Wednesday criticized the absence of any measures concerning the southern governorate of Socotra in the ongoing application of the Riyadh Agreement.
"It's unaccepted to ignore the coup in Socotra island and go to declare the government without honoring the commitments to the pullout of the Emirati-backed Southern Transitional Council (STC) troops from State's offices" in the archipelago, Fahd Kafaien tweeted.
"It was previously agreed to normalizing the situations in Socotra and restoring the island to its former condition before the STC coup, prior to starting the Riyadh pact's implementation," the Yemeni minister added.
"While the situation in Socotra is worsening, the militias are deepening their coup-oriented acts and tightening their control" of the island, he said.

(A P)

Yemeni journalist Mohammed al-Yezidi faces charges, arrest attempts in Hadramout; goes into hiding

Authorities in Hadramout Governorate, Yemen, in late September 2020 threatened to file a number of charges against Yemeni journalist Mohammed al-Yezidi, and he went into hiding after unknown individuals twice tried to abduct or detain him, al-Yezidi told CPJ via messaging app.

(A P)

Yemeni Prime Minister praises Saudi Arabia's keenness to complete mechanism to accelerate implementation of Riyadh Agreement

(A P)

Yemeni Parliament Speaker expresses his confidence in Saudi Arabia's support for programs of new government in his country

(A K P)

Yemeni court sentences soldier to death over spying for Houthis

A Yemeni government-run military court has sentenced one of the army soldiers to death on charge of spying for the Houthi group, the first ruling of its kind since the outbreak of the 6-year-old war.

(A P)

Separatist leader survives assassination attempt in Aden

(A P)

Yemeni civilian tortured to death by UAE-backed mercenaries

(* A K P)

Aden-Abyan road reopened as Yemeni government, separatists finish redeployment process

The main road that links the port city of Aden with the province of Abyan was reopened on Wednesday, as the Yemeni government and separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC) announced the reorganization of their forces from sites in southern Yemen under the Riyadh Agreement.

Military commanders told Arab News that all units were pulled from the Sheikh Salem area in Abyan under the supervision of a Saudi de-escalation team, and were replaced by neutral forces.

Local media posted videos showing dozens of military vehicles leaving their positions in Sheikh Salem for the first time in months.

Soldiers from the neutral “Giants Brigades,” major military units battling the Iran-backed Houthis along the country’s western coast, were deployed in Sheikh Salem to maintain peace.

Saudi military officers also oversaw the demolition of sand barricades and trenches built by warring factions, and reopened the main road that links Aden with other southern provinces.

In Shouqra, the main base of government troops during the fighting, residents told Arab News that peace and calm had returned to the area, and large explosions from the fighting had stopped for the first time since May.

“I see serious steps on the ground and combat forces have largely left Shouqra and neighboring areas. We want them to quickly finish this process as we are fed up with fighting,” Hassan, a resident in Shouqra, told Arab News.

and also



(* A K P)

Yemeni warring military factions complete redeployment

Forces loyal to Yemen's government and other military units of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) on Wednesday completed redeployment plans in the country's southern part under Saudi Arabia-led coalition's supervision.

Local military officials said that "the process of redeployment warring troops was completed successfully under the auspices of observers of the Saudi Arabia-led coalition."

"The Saudi-led coalition succeeded in ending the military escalation in the strategic southern regions and reunited its two nominal allies," one of the officials told Xinhua by phone.

"The coalition paved the way for declaring the new power-sharing government between the two rivals during the next days," he said anonymously.

Another official of Yemen's government said that reuniting the government forces and the STC's military units will push for liberating the country's northern regions from the Houthi rebels' control during the upcoming period.

"The new power-sharing government backed by the coalition will direct all the military operations to target the Houthis," the official said.

On Saturday, military units of the STC completely withdrew from flashpoint areas in the country's southern province of Abyan and headed back to their locations in the neighboring province of Lahj.

On the other side, a number of army units affiliated with Yemen's government were also redeployed from the military contact lines on the outskirts of Zinjibar, capital city of Abyan.


(A K P)

All military arrangements under the Acceleration Mechanism for Implementation of the #RiyadhAgreement have been completed..... (photos)


(* A K P)

Troops disengaged under Yemen deal: Saudi-led coalition

Coalition says military side of Riyadh Agreement successfully implemented

The military side of the Riyadh Agreement between the Yemeni government and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) has been successfully implemented, the Saudi-led coalition said on Wednesday.

“The troop disengagement in [the southern] Abyan province and Aden city has been carried out with discipline and commitment by both sides,” the Saudi Alekhbariya channel said, citing a coalition source.

The source said the military side of the agreement is about to complete according to the set plans.

“This paves the road for the formation of the Yemeni government,” the source said.

(* B P)

Analysis: Saudi Arabia’s twisted coalition-making path in Yemen

The situation in southern Yemen has for a long time been under the influence of the deep gaps in the Aden front and the Saudi push to end the differences in the government of the resigned President Abdrabbuh Mansour has so far gone nowhere

Despite this new accord, a hope for end of Aden differences remain largely unrealistic. On the one hand, the past experience of repeated collapse of Riyadh agreement despite the southerners’ agreement to accept the ceasefire dashes hope for the fresh deal's success especially that the southerners are seriously concerned and pessimistic about the Saudi plans to increase presence in the region and traditionally deem the coalition with the northern forces like Islah Party and forces close to Hadi as an obstacle ahead of their pro-independence ambitions.
On the other hand, even in case of maintaining this deal, chasms among the Hadi forces will be inevitable since equal sharing of the ministerial government posts with the southern separatists in line with Riyadh accord causes severe concerns and discontentment of Islah Party.
Yemen’s Al-Khabar outlet, citing informed sources, said that the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Islah, which is the strongest political party within Hadi government, plans creation of “opposition council” along with the Hadi-dismissed figures and those close to Qatar-Turkey alliance in the region.
After formation, the council will fill the Hadi government place in areas controlled by Islah forces and stand in the face of the UAE-aligned STC demands. Former Deputy Prime Minister Abdulaziz Jabari, former Interior Minister Ahmed al-Maysari, former Transportation Minister Saleh al-Jabwani, Shabwa Governor Mohammed Saleh bin Adio, and Socotra Governor Ramzi Mahrous are members of this council, reports added.
Regardless of veracity of the news, what looks definite is the surge in the differences between Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni Muslim Brotherhood affiliates which means that the end of the expedient alliance between Riyadh and Islah Party is close. This gives the party the shivers especially that the fall of Ma’rib, the traditional seat of Islah’s social and political influence, to Ansarullah and army forces is imminent.

Islah Party and shift from Saudis to Turkey
It appears that the Riyadh distancing from Islah Party is related to the heightened differences between Saudi Arabia and the Muslim Brotherhood camp led by Qatar and Turkey in the regional developments. Although in November, Saudi Arabia at the G20 summit played interested in de-escalation of tensions with Qatar and Turkey by announcing readiness to solve the Persian Gulf crisis, its stances completely conflict with its concrete actions.
Following boycott of the Turkish products and imposing a ban on the Saudi citizens’ travel as tourists to Turkey, in another offensive anti-Turkish move, a top Saudi court cleric recently issued a fatwa calling the Muslim Brotherhood a “terrorist, deviant, and non-Muslim” group, an attack certainly conducted with the Saudi government’s green light.
Although the measure was aimed at pressuring Qatar and Turkey, the Saudis ignored the fact that Muslim Brotherhood of Yemen could not remain indifferent to it, especially that under Riyadh agreement Islah Party saw its share from Aden cabinet posts cut. In recent months, many prominent leaders of the Yemeni Brotherhood have moved to Turkey from Saudi Arabia, including the party leader Muhammad al-Yadumi and Yemen’s most prominent Muslim Brotherhood cleric Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani.
This marks a new stage in the Saudi-Islah relations, pushing the two to enmity from alliance in Yemen developments.

(A K P)

Al-Amalika Brigades Send Military Force to Abyan

The Al-Amalika (Giants) Brigades sent on Tuesday a military force to join the Coalition's military observers to keep peace and to monitor the separation of forces in Abyan and their return to the fronts.
High-ranking officer of Al-Amalika said that the brigades are tasked with making demarcation points along the lines of contact in Abyan between the Yemeni government forces and the southern army that had already begun to withdraw.
The spokesman for the Abyan axis, Captain Mohammed al-Naqib affirmed that the southern armed forces started on Friday to implement the military part of the Riyadh Agreement and began their withdrawal from their positions in Abyan under the supervision of the Arab Coalition Forces.
Earlier, the Arab Coalition said that all necessary arrangements had been made to carry out the mechanism to accelerate the implementation of Riyadh Agreement


My remark: For the Al-Amalika (Giants) Brigades:


(A K P)

Riyadh Agreement: STC militia reportedly turning obligations into gains

The Southern Transitional Council rebel militia is reportedly backing down from withdrawal of forces in south Yemen and turning its obligations under the November 2019 Riyadh Agreement into gains, several sources said.

Under the deal the UAE-backed militia and government forces should be redeployed to allow the government’s return to Aden and unification of ranks against the common enemy, the Houthi militia.

But while the government forces seriously vacated the frontlines in Abyan, the STC consolidated its control on the Special Forces Camp and Public Security Camp in the province amassing more troops and weapons in them, according to military sources including the spokesman of the government’s Special Forces Amin Hussein al-Janoobi and social media activists.

My remark: As claimed by Islah Party.

(A P)

The army foils a plot to trigger unrest in Shabwa, arrests six men who fired shells on the natural gas liquefaction plant in Balhaf./ Anaween Post website.

(A K P)

Al-Jaadi: STC is not going back on Riyadh Agreement

Member of the presidency of the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and assistant secretary general, Fadl al-Jaadi affirmed that the southern leadership would meet all the challenges to implement the Riyadh Agreement.
He made clear that terrorism and coup constitute an existential threat to peace and stability, in reference to the terrorist organizations of the Muslim Brotherhood and Houthi militia.

My comment: The Riyadh agreement orders you must partner with “Muslim Brotherhood” (Islah Party), idiot.

(* A K P)

Coalition: Riyadh Agreement in Yemen makes progress after 'tireless efforts'

Military forces in south Yemen have nearly completed trust-building redeployments, commanders say

The military side of a major power-sharing agreement between the Yemeni government and Southern Transitional Council was finalised on Monday, a source in the coalition mission overseeing the troop withdrawal told The National.

On Tuesday, forces began to move heavy weapons as part of the deal, called the Riyadh Agreement because it was brokered by Saudi Arabia last year after clashes between the key Yemeni allies.

“Both parties have been seriously engaged in the implementation of the military section of the agreement. Both have been showing discipline and commitment so far,” the coalition official said.

Capt Mohammed Al Naqeeb, spokesman for STC forces, praised the role of Saudi Arabia to end the conflict in the liberated provinces. He also confirmed that the troop redeployment was progressing quickly.

Troops affiliated with the Yemeni government withdrew on Saturday and Sunday from Karn Al Kalasi in eastern Abyan, Southern Yemen, a pro-government officer in Abyan province told The National on Monday.

In Shabwa province, south-east Yemen, a militia loyal to Al Islah party targeted a military base used by Shabwa Elite Forces in the coastal area of Balhaf, eastern Shabwa on Monday morning, residents of the area told The National. The Shabwa Elite Forces are a pro-southern Yemeni brigade backed by elements of the Saudi-led international coalition that mainly battled Al Qaeda cells.

“Pro-Islah militia fired two mortars into a camp affiliated with the elite forces of Shabwa in the Balhaf area. One of the mortars fell into the sea and the other fell near a checkpoint near the gate of the base,” a resident said.

The incident came after news that the elite forces of Shabwa are preparing to return to their former bases in the province within days, in line with the military part of the Riyadh Agreement.

My comment: By an UAE news site. The last two paragraphs are pro-separatist propaganda blaming “Islah Party”. In fact, in Shabwah province UAE troops and separatist militia threaten the Hadi government’s governor and his policy, still occupy the main oil facility, misusing it as a military camp and as a secret torture prison.

(A K P)

UAE targets Saudi-backed forces base in southern Yemen

A Yemeni military source reported that Emirati forces attacked a base belonging to Saudi-backed elements in Yemen.

Media reports indicate that the UAE forces targeted a base belonging to forces affiliated with the Saudi-backed fugitive Yemeni government, al Khaleej Online reported.

According to the report, UAE forces targeted a Saudi-backed base in Shabwah Governorate in southeastern Yemen.

As Yemeni sources announced, the UAE troops stationed around the Belhaf gas facility in Shabwah fired mortars at a military base affiliated with fugitive government forces.

(A P)

Yemeni minister calls on UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen to hold the Houthi militia accountable on crimes in a number of Governorates

Abdulraqeeb Fath, Minister of Local Administration, who is also Chairman of the Higher Relief Committee in Yemen, called on the UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Yemen to hold the Iran-backed Houthi militia fully accountable on all deliberate crimes against civilians in a number of Yemeni Governorates.

(* B P)

Audio: Hoffnung in einem trostlosen Krieg

In einer Provinz im Süden Jemens hat dank einer fragilen Waffenruhe der Wiederaufbau begonnen. Eine Hoffnung für das ganze Land.

Die Provinz Schabwa, im Süden des Landes, hat dennoch mit dem Wiederaufbau begonnen. Die ZEIT-Korrespondentin Lea Frehse hat die Provinz, deren Gouverneur Bin Adio von einem "Mini-Jemen der Zukunft" spricht, besucht. Mit Ole Pflüger hat sie über den dort laufenden Wiederaufbau und die Chancen für andere jemenitische Regionen, denselben Weg zu gehen, gesprochen.

(* B P)

Shabwa governor says UAE attempted to assassinate him several times, report

Shabwa governor Saleh bin Adyo has revealed that the United Arab Emirates attempted to assassinate him several times in the past two years because of his stances against the Gulf country's schemes in Yemen.
The UAE is a member in a Saudi-led coalition which has been fighting in the country since March 2015.
The assassination attempts included sending mercenaries and snipers, and planting explosive devices at my properties, the latest of which was defused last month at my home, he told the French Le Monde Newspaper.
The UAE has not only tried to intimidate me but also tried to lure me, he said, pointing out that Abu Dhabi has sought to buy his silence over its violations in Shabwa with money. In October, it sent a delegate to me with money, he said.
The UAE is acting like a colonist not like a partner or ally against a common enemy threatening Yemen and UAE national security and interests, he added.
Recently, the local authorities in Shabwa warned of harming the sovereignty of Yemen, accusing the UAE of constructing new facilities at the Al-Alam military camp and the Balhaf LNG Plant.
The UAE sent specialised teams to carry out systematic assassinations against its foes in the interim capital Ade and other provinces, media reports have revealed.
Activists accuse it of being behind tens of mysterious assassinations of military officers, politicians, clerics and others in the past five years.
Neither investigations nor arrests have been carried out in connection with the killings, including of former Aden governor Lt. Gen. Jafar Mohammed Saad.


(B P)

STC accuses Shabwa governor of arbitrary arrests

The Southern Transitional Council (STC) accused the governor of Shabwa, Mohammad Saleh Bin Adio of using heavy-handed tactics and embezzling public funds.
In an interview with the US daily newspaper Los Angeles Times, Ahmed Haql, a human rights advocate with the STC said “We’re facing a dictatorship from this current government,”
Haql accused local authorities of making numerous arrests of local residents, including minors, on trumped-up charges. Haql’s colleagues also allege that Bin Adio has doled out contracts to his friends and embezzled public funds.
(* B P)

This is while the UAE aims to acquire the Balhaf facility to compensate for its imports of Qatari gas that were affected by the Gulf crisis.

Mohammed bin Adio, who is accused of receiving support from Qatar, is waging a struggle against the Emiratis to control the Balhaf facility, which has produced millions of cubes of liquefied gas for years. Recently, he summoned a foreign press team in an attempt to shed light on the facility in which the Emirati forces are camped.

(A P)

Prosecution of Iranian smugglers to begin in Al-Mahra

The Criminal Investigation Department in Al-Mahra governorate referred six Iranian sailors to the Public Prosecution Office over smuggling large quantities of drugs.
Recently, a destroyer of the United States Navy intercepted a sailboat off al-Mahra coast carrying shipments contain large quantities of drugs.

(A P)

Development in Shabwa attracts interest of Western media

Journalists from major Western newspapers praised the developmental activity taking place in Shabwa after their visit to the governorate at the beginning of last month. The Guardian, the British Telegraph, the American Los Angeles Times, the French Lemond, the German Der Spiegel, the German De Zeit and the Spanish El País wrote about the hope that is arising in Shabwa from among all the difficulties that a country like war-torn Yemen suffers. The newspapers recently published various reports and news stories about Shabwa and the developmental movement in the governorate, which is unique to it among all Yemeni governorates.

my comment: The governor had invited a delegation of Western journalists. And: Mission accomplished!

(B P)

Photos: For 3 years, this mother had been protesting to release her son . Her son was detained in Aden in 2017 by the UAE backed security bet. She died today while she was dreaming to see her son, and her son will not see her for ever, until when this tragedy will continue ?!.

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

(A P)

Guterres urges countries to help address economic crisis in Yemen

United Nations (UN) Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on world countries to provide financial assistance to resolve the severe economic crisis in Yemen, which has been under incessant attacks by a Saudi-led coalition over the past several years.

"I call on all member states to step up their financial support for United Nations relief operations, and to help address the severe economic crisis in the country," Guterres said in a statement issued via his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on the second anniversary of the Stockholm Agreement between Yemen’s Houthis and Riyadh-sponsored loyalists to the former regime of Yemen.

(A P)

Ansarullah: Bei Fortsetzung der Angriffe auf den Jemen wird es keine Verhandlungen geben

Der Vorsitzende des Obersten Revolutionskomitees im Jemen sagte, dass es bei einer Fortsetzung der Angriffe der saudisch geführten Kriegskoalition auf den Jemen keine Verhandlungen geben werde.

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi der Vorsitzende des Obersten Revolutionskomitees im Jemen, hat am Montag auf seiner Twitter-Seite geschrieben, dass die von Saudi-Arabien angeführte Angreiferkoalition einerseits ihre Angriffe fortsetze und andererseits behaupte für Verhandlungen bereit zu sein. Er fügte hinzu, sie (die Angreiferkoalition) wollten anscheinend Verhandlungen nur um der Verhandlungen willen, setzten aber gleichzeitig die Angriffe und die Blockade fort.

Die arabischen Regime hätten sich mit den USA zur Tötung der Jemeniten verbündet, daraus sei gefolgt, dass die USA die Regierungen ihrer arabischen Verbündeten gedemütigt und gezwungen hätten die Beziehungen zum israelischen Regime zu normalisieren, schrieb al-Houthi in einem anderen Tweet.

Er fügte hinzu, das Ergebnis solchen Vorgehens sei die Tötung von Jemeniten, die Normalisierung der Beziehungen zu den Israelis, die Belagerung des Jemen und der Handel zwischen den Arabern und dem israelischen Regime.

(A P)

Al-Houthi: No Dialogue with the Continued Aggression and Siege

Member of the Supreme Political Council Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi confirmed the readiness of the Sana'a government to negotiate with the forces of aggression after stopping the war and removing the siege.

“The Saudi-led coalition wants a dialogue for the sake of dialogue, while the aggression and siege continues,” Al-Houthi said in a tweet on Monday.

“There is no dialogue with the continuation of the aggression and siege,” he added. “Today we tell them (the countries of aggression) the gate to peace is open, the key to dialogue is in your hands, and the equation is clear."

and also

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

(A P)

Another #Saudi journalist defects to #Canada due to increased #Saudi Monarchy oppressive policies. Stay safe my friend

referring to

(B P)

To Normalize Ties With Israel, Saudi Crown Prince Must Placate His Father – and Biden

While the king sees his realm as the guardian of the whole Arab world, his son backs a Saudi-first approach. This debate will be key in relations with Israel, Iran and the new U.S. administration

Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi was shocked by Saudi Prince Turki al-Faisal’s tirade against Israel during a virtual security conference in Bahrain. After all, just a few days earlier, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu had met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (a meeting whose existence Prince Turki vehemently denied).

My comment: There is no question whether Saudi Arabia wants to “normalize” with Israel or not. But, be honest, this is not up to the Saudis, it’s up to Israel. There still exists the “Arab peace Initiative” which would grant such a “normalization” if Israel finally fulfills it’s commitments according to UN resolutions and leaves all the regions it had occupied in 1967 including Eastern Yerusalem and the Golan Heights. “Normalization” without this (and this is to what the meaning of “normalization” has been shifted nowadays) simply would mean to recognize annexations and everlasting occupation. No politician who at least is halfway sane could really do this.

(* A E P)

Saudi Arabia plans spending cuts to trim deficit amid virus

Saudi Arabia plans to cut more than 7% in spending next year, the finance ministry said, as the region’s biggest oil producer seeks to trim a gaping budget deficit amid the coronavirus pandemic and falling oil prices.

The kingdom expects its deficit to hit $79.4 billion this year, according to a government budget statement released late Tuesday, an estimated 12% of the country’s gross domestic product. By slashing spending to $264 billion next year, it hopes to bring its deficit down to 4.9% of the country’s economic output.

My comment: LOL. Estimated cost of Yemen War in one year: US$ 73 billion (200 million a day). Without the Yemen war, there would almost be no deficit at all.


(A E P)

Aramco may have to sell assets, borrow more to maintain Saudi dividend

Oil giant Aramco, whose dividend remains vital to helping Saudi Arabia contain a huge deficit, may have to sell assets and borrow more to fulfil its fiscal role amid uncertainty in oil prices, market specialists said.

(* B P)

Saudi Arabia Is Scrubbing Hate Speech from School Books. Why That's a Win for the Trump Administration

new reforms stripping out lessons of hatred toward the “other” – whether Christian, Jewish, or gay – and dictats to defend the Islamic faith through violence.

The Kingdom’s latest batch of textbooks has for the first time removed sections calling for non-believers to be punished by death, and predicting an apocalyptic final battle in which Muslims will kill all Jews, according to a report released Tuesday by a Jerusalem-based think tank that analyzes global curricula for extremist and intolerant views.

The “trend line is cause for optimism,” says Marcus Sheff, CEO of the nonprofit Institute for Monitoring Peace and Cultural Tolerance in School Education, or IMPACT SE. “We do see a significant change…a real institutional effort … at the highest levels to make a change to modernize the curriculum to remove offense.”

That said, the books, which are used in the public K-12 curriculum and made freely available throughout the Arab world, still characterize Jews and Christians as “enemies of Islam.” They say that infidels “do not have any good deeds” and will spend eternity in hell, according to the report, made available exclusively to TIME prior to its publication. “No question about it, there is still a way to go,” says Sheff.

It’s a potentially critical change in a country that has been widely criticized for teaching and exporting its strict interpretation of Sunni Islam across the Muslim world.

Trump Administration officials say the changes are proof that Saudi Arabia is turning a corner on extremism, thanks in part to their quiet lobbying to put textbook reform near the top of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s Vision 2030 plan to modernize the Kingdom.

One of the report’s peer reviewers, David Weinberg, Washington Director for International Affairs at the Anti-Defamation League, says “some of the most intolerant parts of the curriculum have now been removed, which is truly remarkable,” including the removal of passages calling for the death penalty for adultery, acts of homosexuality and perceived acts of magic. But he agrees problematic passages remain, including references to Jews who commit wrongdoing being turned into “real monkeys,” and passages that “encourage enmity and demonization toward infidels and polytheists,” a blanket term used for Jews, Christians, Shi’ite Muslims and other perceived nonbelievers, Weinberg says. “They’re not there yet.”

Ali Shihabi, a Saudi author and political analyst based in New York and Europe, says curricula reform in Saudi Arabia has been underway since 9/11, and “accelerated” under MBS, but that the effort has been “resisted by a ‘conservative deep state’” in the Saudi education ministry. “The process has been one of two steps forward, and one back, but forward nonetheless,” he says.

The MBS-blessed reforms to the 2020 textbooks include removing most references to Jihad, broadly defined as the fight against enemies of Islam and interpreted differently across the Muslim world. The previous version included an example that declared violent Jihad as the pinnacle of Islamic teaching. Just a decade ago, Sheff says, the curriculum centered around preparing students for Jihad and martyrdom.

The texts no longer include the anti-Semitic trope that “Zionist Forces” run the world and are plotting to expand Israel’s territory from the Nile to the Euphrates, according to the IMPACT-SE report. And for the first time, a key Saudi religious teaching has been deleted that describes an end-of-days battle between Muslims and Jews in which all the Jews would be killed.

But, he [Ali AlAhmed] and others caution, simply removing the references is not enough. “If you don’t talk about Jihad, you leave it for others to interpret. You need to talk about it the right way,” and replace the hateful material with “more proactive instructions on how to deal with other faiths.” He points out that Saudi scholar Dr. Hassan Farhan al-Maliki is still jailed in Saudi Arabia and facing a possible death sentence for allegedly confessing to the crime of “calling for freedom of belief” and criticizing some of the more extreme practices of Saudi Salafi Wahhabism, the strict sect of Islam upon which Saudi Arabia was founded.

“You’ve got to be able to say it is okay for different countries…to have Muslims practice Islam the way they would like to,” Pandith says. The Saudis haven’t added anything to teach “respect for the diversity of Islam,” she says. “By omitting that, they’re already saying their way is the only way.” – by Kimberley Dozier

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Saudi Arabia hires new crop of lobbyists with Joe Biden poised to roll back Trump-era relationship

Saudi Arabia is on a hiring spree for lobbyists as President-elect Joe Biden, who has signaled that he will take a tougher stance with the nation, gets ready to take office.

With the potential for a more turbulent relationship with the U.S., the kingdom has been hiring some lobbyists with ties to Republican congressional leaders.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is on a hiring spree for lobbyists as President-elect Joe Biden, who has signaled that he will take a tougher stance with the nation, prepares to take office.

With the potential for a more turbulent relationship with the U.S., Saudi Arabia has been hiring some lobbyists with ties to Republican congressional leaders.

These lobbyists will potentially have more success engaging with GOP lawmakers in the new Congress instead of Democrats or Biden’s administration. Republicans made gains in the House of Representatives during the 2020 election and could have a slight edge in the Senate if they win one of the seats up for grabs in two Georgia runoffs set for early next month.

The government of Saudi Arabia finished 2018 spending more than $30 million on lobbying activities, according to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics. So far in 2020, the spending has been at $5 million.

One of the recent hires came through the Larson Shannahan Slifka Group, an Iowa-based public affairs shop that signed a lucrative contract with the Saudi Embassy last year. Also known as the LS2group, the embassy agreed in 2019 to pay it $1.5 million for one year.

New records show LS2 recently brought on Arena Strategy Group, for actions that will “include informing the public, government officials, and the media about the importance of fostering and promoting strong relations between the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” a foreign lobbying report says.

The contract started Dec.1, weeks after Biden was declared president-elect, and will include government relations work, the document said. The contract is worth about $5,000 each month.

Saudi Arabia’s D.C. embassy also recently hired Off Hill Strategies for the period spanning the final stretch of the election through the transition period.

The firm is a boutique lobbying shop founded by Tripp Baird, who was once director of government relations at the conservative organization Heritage Action for America.

According to a filing, an executive at public relations juggernaut Edelman emailed a leader of a massive Saudi land development known as Neom to detail their agreement.

(* B P)

Dagbladet can reveal that Norwegian authorities intervened when Saudi Arabia deployed a mysterious ten-man security team to Norway.

The Saudis wanted the security team to be registered as diplomats - with the benefits that follows.

The Norwegian Police Security Service has informed a Norway-based critic of the Saudi regime about the case.

He fears for his safety.

In the early summer of 2018, Norway received an unusual request from Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's government.

Saudi Arabia wanted to send ten men on an official assignment to Norway, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirms to Dagbladet. The ten men were all security guards, who were deployed to work at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Norway, according to Dagbladet’s sources. But Saudi Arabia wanted the security guards to be registered as diplomats in Norway. This would give them extended room for manoeuvring in Norway.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs intervened, and the Norwegian Police Security Service (PST) has informed Iyad el-Baghdadi (43) - a Norway-based journalist, activist, and critic of the Saudi regime - about the incident.

Dagbladet has received confirmation from several sources that there were several issues regarding the ten-man security team that made the Norwegian authorities react.

Both the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the PST were surprised that Saudi Arabia requested that the security guards be granted diplomatic status - and registered in the official Diplomat List. It is unusual for security people at embassies to be registered as diplomats. Both diplomats and other embassy personell - arriving on a so-called «D-visa» to Norway - is given diplomatic immunity. Which, as one of several benefits, means that the host country cannot arrest you if you commit a crime. But being registered formally as a diplomat gives you a wider range of benefits.

Norwegian authorities reacted to the fact that the major increase in security staff did not reflect what they knew regarding the activity level at the embassy.

Officials at PST have later noted that security personnel, from the consulate in Istanbul, played key roles in the murder of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Dagbladet has learned.

(* B H P)

Abuse of detainees in Saudi camps continues despite international outcry, report shows

One migrant told researchers that he had seen three detainees killed by guards

Several months after Saudi Arabia pledged to investigate slave-like conditions inside detention centres for tens of thousands of mainly Ethiopian migrants, a new report published on Tuesday shows that little has changed.

Several migrants at a deportation centre in the Saudi capital Riyadh spoke to researchers at Human Rights Watch (HRW) in November on phones smuggled into the centres.

They claimed that about 350 of them were kept in unsanitary rooms in the centre and guards beat migrants with rubber clad-metal rods.

Six out of nine of HRW’s interviewees said that they witnessed guards beat migrants so severely that they were taken from the detention room but never returned.

In one case, a 27-year-old man from Ethiopia claimed he saw the killing of three other detainees, two of whom were beaten so badly by the guards that they died immediately as a result of their injuries; the third died two hours later.

There are also signs that many more nationalities could be in the centres. Previously it was thought that almost all of the migrants were Ethiopians, who had migrated to the rich Gulf nation for a better life.

However, migrants told researchers that Indians, Pakistanis, Chadians, Ghanaians, Kenyans, Nigerians, and Somalis were also kept in the camps. It is unclear how many non-Ethiopian migrants there are in the centres.

HRW spoke to two Indians from the centres. One of them said that the sub-Saharan Africans were generally kept in different rooms to the South Asians. It is also understood that women and children are kept in different buildings to the men.

The news comes almost three months after an investigation by The Telegraph found that thousands of migrants were being kept for months on end in sunless rooms and forced to sleep and eat in their own faeces as part of a Saudi policy designed to limit the spread of coronavirus.

cp9 USA

Siehe / Look at cp9a

(B P)

President-elect Joe Biden can help end the war in Yemen

Through his campaign promises, President-elect Joe Biden promised to “end US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen.” Biden should go one step further and pledge to end the war itself.

I, instead, believe that Biden’s approach will be more pragmatic—addressing the root causes of the regional malady and lack of coexistence. I remain hopeful that his approach will evolve with wisdom and cautiousness, working with historical regional allies and pacifying the volatile Middle East by returning to core American democratic values in international relations.

So, what are Biden’s options for stopping the war in Yemen? In line with the new administration’s commitments to strengthening multilateralism, President-elect Biden will need to encourage the UN Security Council (UNSC) to speak in one voice on the Yemeni tragedy. This is particularly important after almost one year of successful efforts by the Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, to reach a consensus between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels on the Joint Declaration. A compromised plan, the Joint Declaration may lead to a nationwide ceasefire, economic and humanitarian measures, the resumption of political consultations on security, and a political settlement to reach a sustainable and implementable solution establishing a national unity government.

There is an urgent need for both the Yemeni government and the Houthis to conclude the negotiation of the Joint Declaration.

If the UN-led process proves to be unsuccessful, another option is to reintroduce former Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace plan of 2016 – by Ambassador Khaled H. Alyemany, former Foreign Minister of Yemen [Hadi gov.].

My comment: I took some points. A great part of this article is biased anti-Houthi and even shows anti-Iranian paranoia.

(* B P)

Lloyd Austin And The War On Yemen

Mark Perry has written an excellent report on Lloyd Austin’s policy views. Among other things, Perry finds that Austin was strongly opposed to the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen when he was in charge of Centcom.

The Obama administration’s support for the war on Yemen was one of its greatest and most destructive errors. If the president and the Secretary of Defense had listened to Austin’s advice and refused to support the war, that could have been avoided. It reflects very well on Austin’s judgment that he understood that the Saudi intervention wasn’t going to succeed. One of my concerns about Austin is that he would be too indulgent of the Saudis and the UAE because of his Centcom experience, just as Mattis had been when he was Defense Secretary, but this record suggests just the opposite. At the very least, that bodes well for how the Biden administration will act in Yemen. Austin’s view of the war on Yemen helps make sense of why Biden selected him.

McCain was one of the most vocal supporters of U.S. involvement in the war until his death in 2018, and his eagerness for even greater involvement was part of a decades-long record of getting major foreign policy issues wrong. The fact that Austin kept being on the opposite side of these policy debates from McCain is a useful reminder of just how reckless McCain was and how sensible Austin apparently is. Austin’s nomination should receive careful scrutiny, and there are still more questions for him to answer at his confirmation hearing, but reports like this one suggest that Biden has made a good choice – by Daniel Larison

referring to

(* B P)

Lloyd Austin Isn’t Who You Think He Is

The “silent general” has never been very quiet on policy. That’s exactly why Biden picked him as defense secretary—and why Washington’s foreign-policy establishment is wary.

But most crucially, it’s clear that Biden and Austin share common beliefs, including a healthy skepticism about America’s serial Middle East interventions, a deep-seated belief in the efficacy of diplomacy, and a nearly instinctive commitment to rebuilding U.S. alliances. These are the foreign-policy ideas that helped secure the White House for Biden—but have not always been as popular with the military as with the American public.

Austin is criticized for failing to predict the rise of the Islamic State and for failing to anticipate Saudi Arabia’s March 2015 intervention in Yemen. “That’s all bullshit,” a senior retired Army officer who worked with Austin in Iraq told me. “Why blame Austin? No one saw ISIS coming and no one predicted what the Saudis would do. In both cases, this was a J-2 [military intelligence] failure. If you know anything about the military that’s not exactly shocking.”

What’s crucial is what Austin did in the aftermath of these failures, particularly after the Saudi intervention in Yemen. “Lloyd was enraged by the Saudi intervention,” a senior officer who worked with Austin at Centcom said, “because we [the Americans] were quietly supporting the Houthi fight against AQAP [al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula] at the time.” Austin was so angered by the Saudi move, this now-retired officer said, that he considered formally requesting that the Obama administration denounce the intervention. “We waved him off of that,” the officer with whom I spoke at the time said. But Austin also predicted the troubles the Saudis would face and made his views known to senior civilians at the Pentagon. “He thought the Saudis would lose in Yemen and that, before it was all over, we would have to bail them out,” this same officer noted. Austin was right on both counts: The Saudis found themselves mired in Yemen and dependent on U.S. intelligence assets in their fight.

As crucially, the Saudi intervention marked the first time that Austin would cross swords with then-Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain, who slammed the military for its failure to fully support the Saudi effort. The reason the Saudis didn’t notify Centcom of their plans ahead of time, McCain said, was because “they believe we are siding with Iran.” The rebuke didn’t sit well with senior U.S. officers at Centcom or at the U.S. Special Operations Command, who had been quietly supporting the anti-AQAP effort. And it didn’t sit well with Lloyd Austin. A senior commander who served with Austin said that McCain purposely “blindsided” Austin in order to make the Obama White House look bad. Siding with Iran? McCain, this officer suggested, knew better: “The reason the Saudis didn’t inform us of their plans,” the officer told me at the time, “is because they knew we would have told them exactly what we think—that it was a bad idea.” – by Mark Perry

(A P)

While the #Saudi government is prosecuting #American Hostages & sending women rights champions #LoujainAlHathloul #SamarBadawi & #NaseemaAlSadah to terrorism courts, COS Mark Milley @DeptofDefense is hopping with the Saudi military. Shameless.

referring to

(B P)

Biden & Yemen war

AS Joe Biden prepares to enter the White House next month, one foreign policy item that should be on top of his agenda should be ending American support for the brutal Saudi-led war in Yemen.

Perhaps time and circumstances have taught Mr Biden that this war is morally reprehensible, and must end. Many observers have noted that once Western support dries up, it will be very difficult for Riyadh to continue the war effort.

(* B P)

The US can try for a "quick win," but the path to a resolution is full of obstacles

Despite the almost certain effort to intensify U.S. engagement on Yemen, the path to a resolution is not necessarily straightforward and some of the administration’s own policy preferences may present obstacles to a successful initiative. First and foremost, the administration will need to identify the basic nature of the conflict correctly — that it is a civil war and not a Saudi-Iranian proxy war or a Saudi-Yemen war. While placing Saudi Arabia at the center of the conflict has been popular in Washington and more broadly in Western circles, pressuring the Saudis to end their intervention unilaterally will not resolve the conflict.

In a related matter, the administration will be under pressure to re-balance the relationship with the Saudis and move away from the blank check approach of the Trump administration, especially in regard to Saudi human rights and civil liberties violations and accountability for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

While there may be interest in reviving the effort by former Secretary of State John Kerry to broker a U.S.-led peace deal, the Biden administration would be better off strengthening support for the U.N. effort led by UN Special Envoy Martin Griffiths. Doing so would allow the U.S. to avoid the bilateral traps that would complicate a U.S.-only initiative – by Jerry Feierstein, ex-US ambassador to Yemen

(* B P)

The Biden administration needs a Yemen policy

A Biden presidency is a great opportunity to revisit past U.S. interventions toward Yemen, which were shortsighted and counterproductive. The administration needs to adopt a new approach that can help end the conflict in the country and protects U.S. interests in the region long term. Despite its strategic importance, previous U.S. administrations viewed Yemen solely through a security lens, where assistance has been defined by counterterrorism objectives. For decades, the U.S. provided former President Ali Abdullah Saleh with training, arms, and funding that the dictator used to solidify his power and oppress his own people, leading to the 2011 youth uprising.

Since March 2015, the Obama and Trump administrations both have viewed Yemen through a Saudi-Iranian conflict lens, totally overlooking the local dynamics of the conflict. In doing so, they offered unconditional support to Saudi Arabia and the UAE in the form of political capital and arms sales. Both countries are responsible for high civilian casualties, major destruction to Yemen’s infrastructure, and gross human rights violations tied to counterterrorism operations. Their mismanagement of the war and divergent agendas further complicated Yemen’s conflict and risks fracturing the country beyond repair.

The Biden administration should first end the unconditional arms sale to the Saudis and the Emiratis and stop outsourcing Yemen to the two Gulf monarchies. It then needs to develop a Yemen policy. This should start by understanding the local dynamics of the conflict in Yemen by talking directly to Yemenis and designing future support accordingly. Biden, however, should not be too hasty to demonstrate a departure from the Trump era by pressuring the Saudis to force the Yemeni government to accept a U.N.-mediated political settlement with the Houthis either. As it currently stands, the U.N.-led mediation process is focused only on the Iran-backed Houthis and the Hadi government, which is heavily controlled by the Saudis, excluding most Yemeni groups. – by Nadwa al-Dawsari

My comment: Flawed by the author’s anti-Houthi viewpoint. Reasonable paragraphs are quoted here. keep in mind that the Hadi government of 2012 was a perpetuation of the old elites’ rule and that the Houthi uprising turned against this rule – contradictorily allying with the other part of the very same elite. – The author really should have refrained from mentioning the importance of US interests in the region – “US interests” means US imperialism, as the US claims the whole world to be its sphere of interests and that all political, military and economic solutions in any place of this planet first and foremost must serve US interests (which, seiously spoken, are the interests of the 0,1 % US elite). Thus, if any state really should function as a peace broker in Yemen, it really must be neutral and should not side with any party in the conflict (and this exactly is what the author suggests when claiming that “the current [UN] formula would play into the hands of the Houthis and, consequently, Iran”. For a really peaceful solution, the US, having been warring party in this conflict from its very beginning, just should keep out – and cede any positive role to let’s say the Vaticane, Oman, Uruguay and Switzerland.

(B P)

Promoting an inclusive peace process for Yemen

Although the United Nations is mediating between the conflict parties, a solution to the war is not in sight. A major reason for this stalemate lies in the structures and constraints on which the U.N.-led peace process for Yemen is based. The Biden administration could support a broad peace process for the country that brings forth a lasting solution.

Only an inclusive peace process can bring forth lasting peace for Yemen to which all conflict parties, political stakeholders, and civil society actors need to agree. The Biden administration could push for a new U.N. resolution that replaces the former resolutions that recognized the Houthis and the Hadi government as conflict parties and demanded the return to the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference. U.N. Special Envoy to Yemen Martin Griffith should get support to establish an inclusive and broad peace process without any preconditions or restrictions. Future peace talks need to be opened up to include many other important issues, such as the southern cause — the grievances in South Yemen and the marginalization of South Yemenis emanating from unification in 1990 and the war in 1994 – by Anne-Linda Amira Augustin is a political advisor in the European Representative Office of the Southern Transitional Council - by Anne-Linda Amira Augustin

(B P)

Yemen cheat sheet for Biden

Focus on Yemen itself and not as a side issue in regional relations with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states. Yemen is complicated and should not be left to Riyadh or Abu Dhabi to interpret.

Coordinate among allies to get more humanitarian aid and relief to all of Yemen, including Houthi-controlled territories, despite manipulation of the aid. Press for more transparency but deliver aid. COVID has taken global humanitarian attention away from Yemen, but Yemen is desperate, truly. Here, support to better manage the inspection regime might help the flow of goods through Hodeida.

Help set a more conducive military environment for talks. Get the Saudis to limit military activity in Yemen to the defense of Marib (or anywhere else the Houthis open a new offensive) and not attack Sanaa, Dhamar, or Saadah. Marib is politically important for the northern faction of the anti-Houthi alliance and the future of a multilateral political settlement in the north. The Houthi regime might be prodded to stop its attacks on Saudi Arabia in exchange for limiting the geography of Saudi air support for the forces of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. If possible, the U.S. might help coordinate a more effective blockade of advanced weapons technology reaching the Houthis to ease Saudi fears.

Revise U.N. Security Council Resolution 2216 (due for renewal in 2021) to recognize Houthi de facto governance in the north and facilitate a more realistic political dialogue. Yemen is de facto divided, and the sides are incompatible for the time being. A period of stabilizing two Yemens may be a constructive step before a single national government is conceivable - by Charles Schmitz

My comment: And again, through a biased lense. On the Middle East Institute which hosts this series:

(B P)

The US should play a more active role in pursuing peace

Given the complex dynamics and multiple actors involved, all former U.S. administrations favored outsourcing Yemen to the Gulf while keeping their prerogative to intervene directly when a national security threat is perceived.

But these limited calculations that focus only on American and regional interests ought to be re-examined considering the human toll and suffering that Yemenis are experiencing today. The U.N. has warned that the situation is likely to get worse. Famine is hitting the majority of households nationwide and the lack of access to services, including water and sanitation, increases the vulnerability of an already fragile country. After six years of intervention, the inability to protect civilians from airstrikes should prompt a serious action plan to de-escalate. Such a plan would also need to address the human rights abuses inflicted on minority groups, women, activists, and the populations held captive by the Houthis.

Regardless of the Biden administration’s strategy in Yemen, it is essential to understand that U.S. involvement, or lack thereof, is being carefully monitored by local groups whose interests are closely intertwined with regional powers. As the incoming Biden administration shapes its policies for dealing with the region, it should avoid creating an imbalance that will fuel the cycle of conflict on the ground. Under such circumstances, the administration has limited options other than supporting a comprehensive peace agreement that would require the cooperation of all actors involved — an outcome that may still take years to realize – by Fatima Asbo Alasrar

My comment: The author has been a Saudi mouthpiece over years. This seems to have changed a little bit, but the anti-Houthi stance is still dominating.

(B P)

Yemen policy from the inside out

The United States’ strategic interests in Yemen have often revolved around threats, such as al-Qaeda or the Iranian-backed Houthis, and around protecting economically essential assets adjacent to Yemen, such as Red Sea shipping lanes or Saudi oil facilities. These issues are priorities indeed, but the Biden administration may find the solutions to them lie in focusing on their common thread: Yemen’s stability. For its Yemen policy, the Biden administration should not simply trade the Trump administration’s Iran lens for a Saudi lens but instead employ a Yemen lens.

In addition to a strategic re-think, the United States should consider getting tactical in Yemen. To increase the odds of a global settlement to the war, the United States could work to build international support for a robust humanitarian response to Yemen’s increasingly desperate situation.

The crisis in Yemen is not one that the Biden administration can solve alone, nor one that will end merely as a result of a change in American policy toward Saudi Arabia. The conflict continues because, despite their regional patronage, no Yemeni party is strong enough to win, weak enough to lose, or, frankly, incentivized toward peace. As a result, the international community has been unable to table a plan that can meet the demands of either the Hadi government or the Houthis. The Biden administration should pursue a Yemen-lensed policy that focuses tactically on creating incentives — where disincentives now exist — for the Yemeni parties to come to the peace table.

My comment: Many of these US authors take it for granted that the US has strategic, military, political and economic intereste in every place on this planet. No, this isn’t normal!!

(B P)

The Yemeni people must be the priority

The Biden administration needs to restore respect for American ideals and values in terms of democracy and restore respect for human rights in its foreign policy. The American administration has always viewed Yemen from the perspective of the Saudi-Iranian conflict rather than the lens of the Yemeni people

My comment: With a clear anti-Houthi stance, again.

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

(A P)

Spokesman Raps Adoption of Anti-Iran Resolution at UN

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh denounced the adoption of a resolution against Iran by the United Nations General Assembly.

In a statement released on Thursday, Khatibzadeh slammed the ratification of the anti-Iranian resolution at the UN General Assembly, which he said has been put forward by Canada and supported by the European states and the Zionist regime, like the past couple of years.

The resolution lacks legal credibility, the spokesman said

(A P)

Iran builds at underground nuclear facility amid US tensions

Iran has begun construction on a site at its underground nuclear facility at Fordo amid tensions with the U.S. over its atomic program, satellite photos obtained Friday by The Associated Press show.

Iran has not publicly acknowledged any new construction at Fordo, whose discovery by the West in 2009 came in an earlier round of brinkmanship before world powers struck the 2015 nuclear deal with Tehran.

While the purpose of the building remains unclear, any work at Fordo likely will trigger new concern in the waning days of the Trump administration before the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden. Already, Iran is building at its Natanz nuclear facility after a mysterious explosion in July there that Tehran described as a sabotage attack.

“Any changes at this site will be carefully watched as a sign of where Iran’s nuclear program is headed,” said Jeffrey Lewis, an expert at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies who studies Iran.

My comment: What do the really expect after the US had smashed the Nuclear Deal?

(A P)

Nach Angriff auf Öltanker in Dschidda: Iran lehnt jeden Sabotageakt gegen Sicherheit des Seeverkehrs ab

(A P)

Iran signs agreements for arms export: Defense Minister

Iranian Minister of Defense said that the Islamic Republic has signed a number of agreements with other countries in the field of arms export.

Brigadier General Amir Hatami made the remarks on Wednesday, noting that despite US sanctions, the Islamic Republic is pursuing arms cooperation with other countries after the end of Arms Embargo.

(A P)

U.S. blacklists Chinese, UAE-based companies over sale of Iranian petrochemicals

(A P)

Leader renews vow to avenge Gen. Soleimani's assassination

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei says vengeance for Iran’s senior commander Lieutenant General Qassem Soleimeni, who was assassinated by the US, is certain and will be exacted at any time possible.'s_assassination

(A P)

Next US Admin Will Bow to Iranian Nation: Rouhani

The Iranian nation’s fortitude will surely force the next US administration to give in, President Hassan Rouhani said.

In comments after opening a number of projects carried out by the Interior Ministry on Thursday, Rouhani said he is quite confident that the Iranian nation’s resistance will make the next US administration give in.

“We must all try to strengthen national power, because increased national power and unity will force everyone to bow down to the Iranian nation,” he added.

(A K P)

Iran Calls for End to Development, Testing of Nuclear Weapons: Envoy

Middle East: Iran's permanent representative to Vienna-based international organizations has called for an end to the development and testing of nuclear weapons, saying such a move is the first step toward total nuclear disarmament.

Kazem Gharibabadi made the plea at the 55th Session of the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) in the Austrian capital on Tuesday and underlined Iran’s long-standing position on the need for the complete elimination of all nuclear weapons.

“Iran supports the objectives stipulated in the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) with the ultimate goal of disarmament, as well as general and complete disarmament under strict and effective international control,” he said.

“We also strongly believe that stopping all explosive tests of nuclear weapons and other nuclear explosions, as well as ending the quantitative development and qualitative improvement of these weapons, is the first necessary step towards nuclear disarmament,” Gharibabadi added.

(A P)

Iran leaders: Biden arrival won’t guarantee better relations

Iran’s supreme leader and the country’s president both warned America on Wednesday that the departure of President Donald Trump does not immediately mean better relations between the two nations

(A P)

Iraq to sue US over sovereignty violation, use of depleted uranium weapons: Official

An advisor to the Iraqi parliament's foreign affairs committee says the Baghdad government is planning to lodge an international lawsuit against the United States for violating the country's sovereignty and using internationally-banned munitions in civilian areas.

(A K P)

With eye on Iran, Israel tests missile defense system

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

(* B K P)

The Government's Excuse forARMS SALES TO SAUDI RABIA Goes Against its Own Policy

Steve Shaw reports on how Trade Secretary Liz Truss’ excuse that there is no ‘pattern of war crimes’ in the Gulf Nation goes against its own export criteria

Millions of pounds’ worth of arms resumed flowing from the UK to Saudi Arabia in July when the Government claimed any Saudi air strikes in Yemen that violated International Humanitarian Law were simply “isolated incidents”. Trade Secretary Liz Truss said at the time it was because there is no “pattern” of war crimes that the arms exports, halted by a June 2019 court ruling, were now free to continue.

But the Government’s Arms Export Committee has heard this is not a valid justification and in fact it goes against its own export criteria. Roy Isbister of the Arms Unit at Saferworld told the committee that the language of Government policy on exports is simply that it will “not grant a licence if there is a clear risk the items might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”. There is no legal requirement for there to be a pattern.

“Even if a pattern were required, there is a pattern,” Isbister continued. “There is the same perpetrator, the same conflict, the same conduct which is airstrikes, the same harm caused and the same international law concerns which are being mentioned by all manner of international experts.”

He added: “Of all the arms transfers from the UK this century, these are the transfers that have had the most significant developmental impact. Yemen as a country has been destroyed. It is suffering from epidemics of cholera and it is on the brink of famine. Famine is a technical term but when you get to famine you are way past catastrophe.”

Isbister’s comments during the committee on 14 December echoed those made by Molly Mulready, a former lawyer at the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office. Mulready told a November meeting of the Human Rights Lawyer Association that she had been on the “wrong side” during her time working for the Government and labelled British arms sales to Saudi Arabia “illegal”. She said the Government’s export policy is based only on whether there is “clear risk” of a single incident, not that there has been a series of incidents.

She explained that in January 2016, when Philip Hammond was Foreign Secretary, the Ministry of Defence tracked 104 alleged “incidents of concern” in Yemen and a third of those were carried out by the Saudi-led coalition. Not a single one was considered a “legitimate military target”. However, the clear risk threshold for the export criteria was advised to be only “finely balanced”.

(* B P)

To Be Taken Seriously, Open Labour Needs to Do Much, Much Better on Yemen

The debate over the future of the Labour party’s foreign policy has begun. Last week, the soft left grouping Open Labour published a pamphlet entitled A Progressive Foreign Policy for New Times

Co-sponsored by the Labour Campaign for International Development, the 29-page document reviews the party’s recent record, and proposes a way forward, purportedly rooted in the principles of humanitarian internationalism. So it was both striking and deeply troubling to see one issue conspicuous for its near total absence from the pamphlet: the war in Yemen.

Here is the crucial point: the Saudi air force is operationally dependent on Washington and London. Its warplanes rely on spare parts, maintenance and ammunition that only the British and Americans can provide. A fleet of Eurofighter Typhoons, sold to Riyadh by the last Labour government, plays a central role in the war.

In terms of human cost and degree of complicity, Yemen is the most consequential issue in British foreign policy since the Iraq war. All the leading humanitarian and human rights NGOs are demanding that London immediately pull the plug on its support for the Saudis. Echoing and amplifying that demand could not be more urgent. Lives literally depend on us doing so.

And yet Open Labour’s foreign policy pamphlet devotes a grand total of two-and-a-bit sentences on page 15 to the subject of Yemen. Worse still, the thrust of this brief passage is to downplay British culpability, and to chide the socialist left for focusing on it.

So this “progressive foreign policy” has nothing to say on how we might pressure the government to end its enabling of Saudi war crimes. No thoughts are offered on how to ensure that Britain is never again complicit in using the starvation of children as a strategy of war. And no effort is made to reflect on Labour’s specific role in providing a fleet of warplanes that have been pulverising Yemen indiscriminately for nearly six years.

Such a dismissive treatment of Yemen encapsulates the problems with the broader argument Open Labour’s document advances. That argument has two key components. First, that the anti-imperialist left is too focused on the West, and not on the crimes of others. Second, that Labour needs to rehabilitate the “humanitarian interventionism” and associated forms of power projection which characterised the party’s last period in government.

Take the most urgent example. If British progressives united to make the political costs of supporting Saudi Arabia prohibitive, the removal of that support would seriously impede the war effort of the worst killer in the conflict.

The second component of the pamphlet’s argument – the rehabilitation of Blair-style interventionism – virtually requires the case of Yemen to be downplayed and misrepresented. Jingoistic notions of Western power as a fundamentally benign force for good in the world cannot be squared with the hard reality of what Western powers have done to the people of Yemen. Here, what the pamphlet deals in is a liberal version of nationalistic dogma, not humanitarian internationalism. Another Britain may be possible – but only by confronting, not evading, the reality of what it is right now.

In economic, military and diplomatic terms, the UK remains one of the top half-dozen powers in the international system. To be a citizen of such a country, let alone a member of one of its two parties of government, is to bear a considerable degree of responsibility toward many others around the world. Doubtless Open Labour is capable of making some serious contributions on these matters. But it will have to do much better than this.

(* B P)

Film: Brexit Election? What About Yemen...

What’s the worst things that the British state’s doing right now? It isn't Brexit. The worst is climate change, the second one is Yemen.

and also:

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

(B K P)

Sevim Dagdelen, MbB: Gesetzliches Verbot von Rüstungsexporten ist überfällig

„Von einer restriktiven Rüstungsexportpolitik der Bundesregierung kann angesichts hoher Ausfuhrgenehmigungen selbst in der Corona-Krise und anhaltender Waffenlieferungen etwa an Länder der Jemen-Kriegsallianz und die autoritäre Türkei nicht die Rede sein. Nur ein gesetzliches Verbot von Waffenexporten kann diese verantwortungslose Waffenexportpolitik beenden“, erklärt Sevim Dagdelen, abrüstungspolitische Sprecherin und Obfrau der Fraktion DIE LINKE im Auswärtigen Ausschuss, zur Vorstellung des Rüstungsexportberichts der Gemeinsamen Konferenz Kirche und Entwicklung (GKKE).

DIE LINKE fordert als ersten Schritt einen sofortigen Stopp aller Waffenlieferungen an alle Länder der Jemen-Kriegskoalition, wie es seit 2018 im Koalitionsvertrag zugesagt ist, darunter neben Saudi-Arabien und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten das autokratisch regierte Ägypten, das mittlerweile sogar zu den Spitzenempfängern deutscher Kriegswaffen gehört. Auch die Waffenausfuhren über Tochterfirmen deutscher Rüstungskonzerne im Ausland und Komponentenlieferungen im Rahmen europäischer Gemeinschaftsprojekte müssen beendet werden.“

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

Siehe / Look at cp1 (Emirates)

(A P)

During her virtual visit to #Yemen today, [Netherland’s] Minister @SigridKaag talked to representatives of Yemeni civil society on inclusive peace and accountability. Thanks @RashaJarhum @RAlmutawakel @omeisy and @fahdsaif for their excellent recommendations that we will take with us.

(A P)

China conducts anti piracy drill in Gulf of Aden

China’s 36th PLA Navy Escort Task Group (ETG) recently carried out a sea and air coordinated hostage rescue drill in the western waters of the Gulf of Aden, CGTN reported.
According to Chinese officials, the exercise was designed to test the force’s ability to deal with emergencies.
China has been carrying out the tasks of escorting ships in the Gulf of Aden and off Somalia's coast since 2008.

(A K P)

French military planes conduct exercises near Yemeni coast

French warplanes have on Wednesday carried out sorties in the Gulf of Aden, off of Yemen’s southern coast, Yemen News Portal reported.

This coincides with a fierce conflict between several parties over the Balhaf LNG plant, which is owned by France’s Total, which holds more than 39 percent of its shares and is currently controlled by the UAE, while China is entering as a vital port operator in the Arabian Sea.

Air traffic maps in the Gulf of Aden showed French military aircraft flying off the coasts of Abyan and Shabwah.

My comment: What the hell is their business there?

(A P)

'France covering up UAE crimes at secret Yemen prison'

Lawmakers demand answers from French gov't over report of UAE running covert jail at gas production site in Yemen

A member of the French Parliament on Wednesday accused Emmanuel Macron’s government of covering up crimes committed by the UAE at a factory in Yemen used as a secret prison.

“How long will you continue to lie?” lawmaker Clementine Autain asked Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Defense Minister Florence Parly during a speech in Parliament.

“I asked Parly about this. He said he had no knowledge. I raised my concerns to Le Drian. He directed me to the relevant companies. I wonder what the ministers do.”

Autain said she was speaking on behalf of the 51 French lawmakers who signed an open letter on Monday expressing concerns over the UAE running a prison at a gas production factory, partly owned by French oil company Total, in Balhaf, Yemen.

She pointed out that the French government gave €216 million ($263 million) in loans to a group of companies, including Total, when the Balhaf factory was established.

“A few days ago, you awarded the Legion d'Honneur to [Egypt’s President] al-Sisi. Today, your silence covers up the crimes the UAE committed in a factory built with the support of France,” she said.


(A P)

New Dilemma for France in Yemen for Its Involvement in Emirati Violations

The French government began diplomatic moves, on Sunday, in an attempt to avoid its new impasse in the 6-year war against Yemen.

The French ambassador to Yemen held a meeting with the president of the pro-aggression government, according to Maeen Abdulmalik's office.

The office said in a post published on its Twitter page that the meeting focused on helping France implement what it described as a "Competency Government Program."

The meeting coincided with the preparation of 51 members of the French Parliament, a new petition against the French Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian. The petition aims to interrogate him about “violations” committed by the Emirati forces inside the Balhaf LNG facility in Shabwa governorate, which is operated by the French company Total and which the Emirati forces use as their base on the eastern coast of Yemen.

France is trying to strengthen its presence in the Oil regions, where its oil companies operate many sectors, specifically in Hadramout, Shabwa and Marib, all these provinces are currently under the authority of the Islah Party. However, there are now fears that the implementation of the Riyadh Agreement and the Gulf reconciliation will strike French interests.

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

What Is the French Leclerc Tank Doing in Yemen?

In the summer of 2015, the United Arab Emirates threw two battalions of Leclercs into the civil war in Yemen.

While the French Leclercs remain unblooded, the Emirati tanks have actually seen combat — in Yemen, where the UAE has deployed between 70 and 80 Leclercs.

The Emirati Leclercs are split in two armored battalions, one of which remains stationed around Aden, while the other patrols Yemen’s mountainous central region. The armored brigade also includes a mechanized battalion of Russian BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicles equipped with 100-millimeter guns, plus a battery of G6 155-millimeter self-propelled howitzers.

In videos, Leclercs can be seen racing down roads and firing their main guns in urban skirmishes. But how effective are they? It’s unclear whether the Emirati tanks have directly clashed with the Houthis’ own small number of captured tanks. But there is some information to work with.

cp13b Mercenaries / Söldner

(* A K P)

Two Thousand Sudanese Fighters Arrive in Yemen: Al-Mayadeen

Yemeni sources confirmed to Al-Mayadeen that a new Sudanese brigade had arrived at the border Midi and Haradh fronts, between Jizan and Hajjah.

Two thousand Sudanese fighters arrived from Jizan to the areas of "Jabhat" and "Al-Tina", to replace the forces of the "Sixth Hazm" Brigade, one of the brigades of the Sudanese forces participating in Saudi coalition forces in Yemen.

The sources added that the "sixth brigade" will return to Sudan after two months, noting that the new Sudanese brigade "Hazm 8" still needs comprehensive information and training on the nature of the land and the battle in Midi by its predecessor, the Sixth Brigade.

The Sudanese government announced early this year that it would reduce its military presence in Yemen from about 5,000 soldiers to a "small" group of about 650 soldiers. Months earlier, the transitional prime minister, Abdullah Hamdok, confirmed that his country was working to reduce its military presence in Yemen, from 15,000 soldiers to 5,000.

cp13c Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

(* B C)

Sanaa manuscript

The Sanaa palimpsest (also Ṣanʽā’ 1 or DAM 01-27.1) is one of the oldest Quranic manuscripts in existence.[1] Part of a sizable cache of Quranic and non-Quranic fragments discovered in Yemen during a 1972 restoration of the Great Mosque of Sanaa, the manuscript was identified as a palimpsest Quran in 1981; as it is written on parchment and comprises two layers of text. The upper text largely conforms to the standard 'Uthmanic' Quran in text and in the standard order of chapters (suwar, singular sūrah); whereas the lower text (the original text that was erased and written over by the upper text, but can still be read with the help of ultraviolet light and computer processing) contains many variations from the standard text, and the sequence of its chapters corresponds to no known Quranic order. A partial reconstruction of the lower text was published in 2012;[2] and a reconstruction of the legible portions of both lower and upper texts of the 38 folios in the Sana'a House of Manuscripts was published in 2017 utilising post-processed digital images of the lower text.[3] A radiocarbon analysis has dated the parchment of one of the detached leaves sold at auction, and hence its lower text, to between 578 CE (44 BH) and 669 CE (49 AH) with a 95% accuracy.[4]

(C P)

Photo: A replica of the Holy Qur'an written by the hand of Imam Ali Ibn Abi-Taleb (AS) is put at the Ancient Mosque of Old City of Sanaa.

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* A E P)

Loses in Yemen's GDP in past six years estimated at over $90 billion

The cumulative losses in Yemen's gross domestic product during the past six years have been estimated at more than $90 billion, the [Hadi gov.] country's permanent representative to the United Nations Abdullah Al-Sadi said.
The losses included $43 billion in state earnings, including taxes and customs, that have not been collected and deposited in the Central Bank, mostly from the Houthi-run regions, he said in a speech to a meeting of the UN General Assembly on Monday.

The Houthi group ousted the internationally recognised government and seized power in September 2014.
Al-Sadi held the group responsible for the sharp depreciation of the national currency and the suffering of millions of families that are now living below the poverty line, on less than $2 a day.

My comment: Blaming the Houthis for this is propaganda BS.

(* A E P)

Arab coalition looted US$ 3.5-bln oil revenues: Houthis

The Saudi-led coalition looted more than US$ 3.5 billion in revenues of 47,680,000 barrels of oil in last two years, the Houthi minister of oil and minerals said Monday, noting that the funds were deposited into the Kingdom's banks.
"In 2018, 18,080,000 barrels of crude was looted from oilfields and sold with nearly US$ 1.3 billion," Ahmed Daris added. "In 2019, 29,600,000 barrels of oil was sold with more than 2.3 billion dollars," according to al-Masyra TV.
The Houthi minister accused Yemen's official government-affiliated local authorities in Marib of looting 600 million rials daily in revenues of Safir refinery's oil and gas products, and selling C5 products from Safir fields to Arab coalition countries with 100 million rials daily.
"There is also secret, undeclared withdrawal from oil wells in occupied areas, and the value of stolen supplies is distributed vie exchangers to local and international bodies," Daris claimed.
"Oil funds stolen from [revenues of] oil and Safir and Aden refineries are enough to cover the civil servants' salaries and the country's other needs."

and also

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

(A T)

#AlQaeda-linked media today reported that #AQAP fired rockets at Balhaf LNG facility in Shabwah #Yemen Notes -It's NOT a formal AQAP claim but definition of AQAP has become blurry -Some AQAP have been co-opted by militias -Balhaf is a flashpoint between gov, separatists, locals

Comment: I would argue that most alleged AQAP attacks are staged by political actors (both Yemeni & regional) as a red herring. So for Yemen analysts & international media. Please don't take the bait! The real culprit might be the beneficiary of the narrative the attacks reinforce

cp15 Propaganda

(A P)

Shatara: STC presents a role model for state administration

Member of the Presidency of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), Vice-President of the National Assembly for Control and Inspection, Mr. Lufti Shatara confirmed that despite the lack of means and the attempts by some to disturb the situation, the STC presents a role model for the administration of the Southern State.
Shatara said in a tweet today that "Aden as a model under the STC's rule provides a model to be followed and puts in place a foundation for running the Southern State."
"Amid lack of possibilities and some attempts to disturb the situation, the things went towards the establishment of security, stability, calm and dealing with responsibly." Shatara added.
(A P)

Iran dominates education culture sectors: Yemeni info minister

Iran and the Houthi group dominate the sectors of education and culture, and affect the Arabic language in favor of the Persian in Yemen's Houthi-held northern areas, the Yemeni information minister tweeted on Thursday.
"Attempts by the Iranian regime and its Houthi tool to target the Arabic language and to impose the Persian come as part of a plot aimed at Yemen's identity, Arabism and cultural heritage," Moammar al-Eryani added.

They also seek to "adopt the Iranian corrupt culture and ideology, as part of the subversive plot in the region and the illusive restoration of the Persian empire.
"The establishment of Persian language section in Sana'a University is one of the Iranian efforts to impose control over Yemen's educational and cultural sector.

and also

(A P)

International community should respond to Yemen: Experts

International community including Turkey should help end raging conflict in Yemen, say leading experts

Iran, the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia should pull out from war-torn Yemen where 24 million people, half of whom are children need urgent aid, experts said.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, former Yemeni Health Minister Dr. Najeeb Ghanem said STC receives military, financial and political support from the UAE.

Noting that the UAE officially declared war against members of the Islamic Islah Party, Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, was reluctant to firmly support the national army and popular resistance and did not allow the national army to fight decisively against Houthi militias, Ghanem said.

Stating that UAE and Saudi Arabia's airstrikes against the Houthis mostly target civilians and infrastructure in Yemen, Ghanem said: "The Houthi militias started a proxy war in favor of Iran. They stopped paying salaries to public employees by seizing all public funds in the areas under their control. The Houthis caused the spread of poverty while destroyed the vast social sectors in Yemen and seized many real estates."

Ghanem emphasized that the Houthi militias have recruited tens of thousands of young people, including children and committed a crime against humanity, while the international community is watching the violence in silence.

Stating that Iran continues its show of power by bombing the vital economic centers and oil facilities with rockets and drones through the Houthi militias

Ghanem argued that the Yemeni crisis could have ended if the national army was sufficiently supported.

"No one can guarantee peace and stability in Yemen if Iran and the Houthi militias declare that they have won the war," said Ghanem.

(A P)

Yemeni official: Talking about Stockholm Agreement after two years of Houthi dishonoring is useless

A member of the [Hadi] government's negotiation team in the December 2018 Stockholm said talking about the implementation of the Stockholm Agreement reached in those consultations is useless now, given the Houthi dishonoring of the deal for two years.

In a statement to Al-Thawra official news website, Askar Zuayl called on the United Nations openly declare the Houthi responsibility for obstructing the implementatio

(A P)

Houthi ministry condemns deadly attack on football stadium in Taiz

The youth and sports ministry in the Sanaa-based national salvation government on Wednesday condemned an attack earlier this week on the Al-Ahli Football Club Stadium in Yemen's Taiz province in which football player Nasser Al-Raymi and his son Amran were killed.
The two died and others were injured after an artillery shell landed in the stadium. Media loyal to the internationally recognised government said the shell had been fired by Houthi fighters.

The ministry criticised the attempts to blame the attack on the Houthi fighters and turning media shows into propagandas.
We condemn the attack and gangs of mercenaries and betrayers within the Saudi-UAE coalition responsible for it, the ministry said

and by Saba:

(A P)

US needs to take on a leadership role to secure its interests in Yemen

The Biden administration should chart a new course for Yemen, breaking from the flawed policies under Presidents Obama and Trump. That means retaking a leadership role to secure U.S. interests: defeating al-Qaeda’s threat, reducing Iranian influence, stabilizing the region, and addressing humanitarian conditions. Yemen’s myriad conflicts even beyond its civil war have created opportunities for al-Qaeda and the Houthis to strengthen, destabilized the Arabian Peninsula, and exacerbated already-poor humanitarian conditions. Focusing on these conflicts, rather than just the civil war or counterterrorism, is the best way forward.

The U.S. should help resolve the key underlying issue: the future division of power and resources in Yemen. It should lead efforts to negotiate subnational settlements to reduce conflict, especially where al-Qaeda operates. Such steps will begin stabilizing parts of Yemen, making it less permissive for al-Qaeda and improving access for humanitarian and development assistance. Additionally, the U.S. should ensure the Houthis do not benefit from assistance programs while also preventing partners from taking actions that drive the Houthis toward Iran.

Crucially, the Biden administration needs to resist the temptation to break with Saudi Arabia altogether in Yemen. Hammering the Saudis (or Emiratis) for worsening Yemen’s catastrophic humanitarian conditions may play well in Congress but will not create the conditions necessary to end Yemen’s war. Saudi activities in Yemen are not contingent on U.S. support, and the move will distance a key Gulf partner, especially should Iranian nuclear negotiations resume. Instead, quietly helping the Saudis exit the military conflict without further empowering the Houthis — or Iran — would be energy better spent – by katherine Zimmerman =

(A P)

To engage constructively, the US should localize its Yemen policy

There is a growing fear, however, that the Biden administration could be a repeat of the Obama era when it comes to the Gulf and Yemen.

President Barack Obama pursued de-escalation and rapprochement with Iran that excluded ballistic missiles and non-conventional arms from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), had major Middle East foreign policy failures that created a vacuum for Russia to fill, eased the pressure on Tehran and its network of proxy militias, and gave members of the Arab Coalition a blank check in Yemen. While some of these themes may crop up again, the new administration must take a lessons-learned approach to reimagine U.S. Yemen policy, if indeed there is one.

For the Biden administration to engage in a meaningful and constructive way in Yemen, the U.S. should localize its Yemen policy. As Peter Salisbury put it in the title of a recent piece, “Yemen Should be a Factor in U.S. Yemen Policy.” This will first require the U.S. to develop concrete views on Yemen beyond counterterrorism, security, and humanitarian concerns; then factor in regional contexts and strategic considerations, including U.S.-Gulf or U.S.-Iran dynamics; and finally utilize the tools at its disposal to restore America’s leadership role in Yemen’s conflict resolution and stabilization efforts – by Ibrahim Jalal

(A P)

Yemen minister warns of international ignorance of Houthi terrorism in the Red Sea

The minister of information Muammar al-Eryani has warned of the international community’s continued ignorance of the Houthi terrorist activities in the Red Sea.

(A P)

The Houthis, who occupied Sana’a to reverse ‘a price rise’, have increased the price of yoghurt by five folds./Voice of Yemen.

(A P)

UN fixed attitude not to blame Houthis now draws all the attention, criticism

What seems to be a fixed attitude by the United Nations officials not to point the finger of blame at Houthis for the crimes they do is drawing all the attention and criticism amongst Yemeni government officials and independent activists alike.

Abdullah Salah, a rights activist, says the UN Special Envoy and the Humanitarian Coordinator, who should condemn at least the major Houthi atrocities always follow this trajectory: They avoid commenting on the Houthi massacres as much they can. And when they do comment under mounting criticisms, they will always come up with broad terms that refrain from pointing the finger directly at Houthis. Or they will seek to dilute the Houthi responsibility by distributing the blame among the warring ‘parties.’ Even when the atrocity in question is widely known to be the unprovoked work of Houthis.” Salah said this “seemingly fixed attitude not to blame Houthis is now drawing more attention and criticism in the Yemeni government and civil society circles than the Houthi appalling acts themselves!”

(A P)

‘Saudi Arabia has granted over $17bn in humanitarian aid to Yemen since 2015’

Saudi Arabia is committed to making all efforts to improve the lives of Yemenis, and it is the largest donor of aid to its neighbor, said Abdullah Bin Yahya Al-Muallami, the Kingdom’s permanent representative to the United Nations, on Monday.
He also said that Saudi Arabia has provided more than $17 billion in humanitarian and development aid to Yemen since 2015.
Al-Muallami made the remarks in a speech during a virtual meeting organized by the United Nations on the humanitarian situation in Yemen entitled “Avoiding famine in Yemen: What can we do in 2021”.
Al-Muallami stated that Saudi Arabia pledged to provide $500 million this year, of which $300 million is meant for projects implemented through UN agencies, and $200 million is allocated for supporting projects through the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) in Yemen.
He pointed out that the aid is being delivered in different regions through projects implemented by UN agencies and KSrelief, especially in the field of food security, as the Kingdom has so far provided more than $1 billion in projects related to food security in Yemen.
Al-Muallami emphasized that Saudi Arabia is a strong partner of the UN and other international and regional organizations, and remains committed to the efforts made to promote a political solution in Yemen.$17bn-in-humanitarian-aid-to-Yemen-since-2015

(A P)

More Saudi coalition „We are benefactors“ propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

(* A K pH)

Saudi coalition air raids and shelling day by day

Dec. 16:

Dec. 15:

Dec. 14:

Dec. 13:

Dec. 12:

(* A K)

The Saudi-led coalition warplanes on Wednesday intensively bombed Houthi sites and gatherings in the Yemeni northeastern governorate of Marib.
The airstrikes come amid escalated fighting between the Yemeni official government troops and Houthi forces in different areas of Marib.
The coalition fighter jets carried out over 10 raids on Madghal, Rahabah, Mahiliah and Sirwah districts, leaving scores of Houthi fighters killed or injured and military machines destroyed, local sources said.

(A K pH)

More Saudi coalition air raids Saada p. Marib p., Jizan, Najran marib p. Marib p., Asir

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Siehe / Look at cp18

Im Jemen herrscht ein militärisches Patt. Eine größere Offensive mit größeren Erfolgen und Geländegewinnen für eine Seite bleiben seit der Offensive der saudischen Koalition gegen Hodeidah im Jahr 2018 aus. Kleinere Offensiven, ständige gegenseitige Angriffe und Gefechte mit Toten auf beiden Seiten und Opfern unter der Zivilbevölkerung gibt es aber ständig. Besonders betroffen sind die Provinzen Hodeidah, Taiz, Al Bayda, Al Dhalea, der Bezirk Nehm in der Provinz Sanaa, die Provinzen Al Jawf, Marib, Hajjah und Saada.

There is a military stalemate in Yemen. A larger offensive with greater successes and territorial gains for one side has been absent since the Saudi coalition's offensive against Hodeidah in 2018. Smaller offensives, constant mutual attacks and skirmishes killing fighters of both sides and causing victims among the civilian population are constant. The provinces of Hodeidah, Taiz, Al Bayda, Al Dhalea, the district of Nehm in the province of Sanaa, the provinces of Al Jawf, Marib, Hajjah and Saada are particularly affected.

(A K pS)

Two civilians were killed as a result of #Houthi shelling and the explosion of a Houthi landmine in Marais district in al-Dalea governorate.

(A K)

Houthis say forces about to seize Marib-Baihan road as airstrikes increase

(A K pH)

Two men injured in Saudi shelling on Sa'ada

and also

(A K pS)

The Joint Forces Command of the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Terrorist Houthi Militia Launches Ballistic Missile (Thursday) Morning from (Sana’a), Falls Short in (Sa’dah)

(A K pH)

In Sa’adah, two citizens were wounded by Saudi border guards in Ar-Raqo area in Munabbah border district. The aggression launched a raid on Kataf district.

(A K pS)

A civilian named Sami Saeed Mohsen was killed yesterday when a Katyusha rocket fired by Houthi rebels hit his house in the southern province of Al Dale (photos)

(A K pS)

A military projectile, launched by Houthi militia on a border village, did not cause any injury or damage, Civil defense in Jazan spokesman reports

(A K pS)

Film: The child Majed Khaled Ghaleb died as a result of his injury to an anti-aircraft missile launched by the Houthi militia on the Al-Saeed Mosque neighborhood on November 30, 2020

(A K pS)

Masam, the Saudi Project for Landmine Clearance in Yemen: 1492 Houthi-laid mines and explosive devices have been cleared during the second week of December.

(A K pS)

Young man killed by explosive device planted by Houthi militia west of Marib

and also

(A K pS)

Houthi tank’s shell “kills” civilian in Al-Dhale

(A K?)

Riyadh says Red Sea oil tanker explosion a ‘terrorist attack’

Yesterday morning a ship packed with explosives rammed an oil tanker off the port of Jeddah. No casualties or injuries among the 22 sailors on board. Possible spill of crude oil into the sea. There are currently no official claims, but Saudi suspicions converge on Houthi rebels in Yemen.

There are currently no official claims of yesterday’s attack. However, the suspicions of the leaders of the Saudi kingdom are directed at the Houthis, who in the last period have intensified attacks and reprisals against Saudi targets - particularly in the energy sector - in response to the long-standing military campaign by Riyadh in Yemen.

The port of Jeddah is a strategic distribution center for the Saudi oil giant Aramco, which has triggered the alert of many international operators in the sector.


(A K?)

Jeddah attack proves acts undermining regional security: UAE

Attack on the oil tanker off the Saudi port of Jeddah is new evidence that terrorist groups seek to undermine the regional security and stability, the Emirati foreign ministry said Tuesday in a statement.
The statement reiterated Emirati full solidarity with Saudi Arabia amid "these subversive, terrorist attacks.. and against any threat targeting its security and the security of international navigation and trade.

cp18 Kampf um Hodeidah / Hodeidah battle

Seit dem Abkommen von Stockholm vom 13. Dezember 2018 gibt es einen Waffenstillstand für Hodeidah. Zwar bleiben größere Offensiven aus, kleinere Gefechte gibt es aber laufend, und beide Seiten werfen sich ständig Verstöße gegen den Waffenstillstand vor.

Since the Stockholm Agreement of December 13, 2018, a ceasefire has been in place for Hodeidah. There are no major offensives, but smaller battles are going on and both sides constantly are accusing each other of violating the ceasefire.

(* A K P)

Yemeni Politicians Urge Hodeidah’s Liberation From Houthi Hold

Yemeni politicians are collectively calling for the resumption of military operations set to free the Red Sea port city of Hodeidah from the hold of Houthi militias who have exploited a UN-sponsored ceasefire to step up their attacks against shipping routes, traffic Iranian arms, and plunder the country’s resources. Yemeni politicians warn that the leniency shown to Houthis by the international community has only encouraged the group to strike harder and reach out beyond Yemeni waters, attacking shipping routes in the Red Sea and Saudi ports.

“Freeing Hodeidah, which is the last outpost that Houthis hold which overlooks the sea, will inevitably impact Houthi military capabilities, given that they won’t be able to run arms through the port there anymore,” Yemeni political analyst and academic Fares al-Beil told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Beil underlined that removing Houthis from Hodeidah was vital to bring the group’s attacks against shipping routes to a halt.

and also

My comment: It seems a new propaganda / blackmailing campaign related to Hodeidah has been started. Anti-Houthi politicians want to persuade the Saudi coalition to start a new offensive at Hodeidah – i. e. to do the work of “liberating” Hodeidah for them, even arguing with the propaganda narrative of protection of international shipping routes (which hardly endangered by the Houthis, but even more by Saudi war ships firing at the Yemeni coast). These claims of course should blackmail the UN to give up its neutrality at Hodeidah and to finally take sides with the Hadi government and its militia, to prevenmt such an offensive to happen. And therefor, this propaganda campaign is enforced by two further claims: that a) the Houthis are those who violate the Stockholm agreement (actually, both sides do) and that therefore b) the UN mission should relocate to a place where it’s under Hadi government militias’ control.

(A P)

Houthis obstructing implementation of Stockholm agreement, Al-Ahmar

Vice president Lt. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar on Wednesday accused the Houthi Group of obstructing the implementation of the Stockholm agreement which was signed by Yemen's internationally recognised government and the group in late 2018.
The government has made many concessions to translate the agreement into realities on clear bases but the Houthis have deliberately obstructed it, he said at a meeting with Daniela Kroslak, the Deputy Head for the United Nations Mission to support the Hudaydah Agreement (UNMHA).


(A P)

[Hadi] Gov't demands to relocate UNMHA HQ from Houthi-controlled part of Hodeidah

Yemen's government on Thursday called on the UN mission to support the Hudaydah agreement to relocate its headquarters from the Houthi-controlled part of Hodeidah city into a neutral place before its team resumes participation in the meetings of the redeployment coordination committee.
It is unacceptable that the UN mission remains controlled by the Houthi group, said foreign minister Mohammed Al-Hadhrami at a meeting with the deputy head of the UN mission Daniela Kroslak.
Months ago, the government suspended its participation in the meetings of the redeployment coordination committee after Col. Mohammed Al-Sulayhi, a member of its team in the committee, was killed by a Houthi sniper.

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US-Saudi Forces Prevent Head of UN Mission of Entering Ad-durayhimi

Member of the [Sanaa gov.] national delegation in the Coordination Committee, Major General Mohammad Al-Qadri, revealed that the US-Saudi aggression prevented the head of the United Nations mission in Hodeidah, General Abhijit Joha, from entering Ad-Durayhimi.

During his interview on Almasirah, Monday, he said that "We met yesterday the UN delegation and presented a number of demands, the most important of which is the return of the other party to the Stockholm agreement." He pointed out that what is happening in Hodeidah is a full-fledged war and not just violations, adding that "the United Nations sees this matter."

Major General Al-Qadri stressed that the aggression is still intransigent in the issue of detaining ships, denouncing the inability of the United Nations to do anything about this continuous intransigence. He warned, "We are able to open the Hodeidah fronts at any moment, but we are still committed to the Stockholm agreement to approve that we want the peace."

(A K pH)

Daily violations

Dec. 17:

Deec. 16:

Dec. 15:

cp19 Sonstiges / Other

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UN-Organisation warnt vor neuer Heuschreckenplage in Ostafrika

Die Welternährungsorganisation FAO warnt vor einem Wiederaufflammen der Heuschreckenplage in Ostafrika und im Jemen. Trotz intensiver Bemühungen im zurückliegenden Jahr seien die Lebensgrundlagen und die Ernährungssicherheit von Millionen Menschen durch neue Schwärme bedroht, teilte die UN-Organisation am Mittwoch in Rom mit.

Günstige Wetterbedingungen und verbreitete Regenfälle hätten zu einer ausgiebigen Bruttätigkeit in Ost-Äthiopien und Somalia geführt. Die Heuschrecken drohten erneut im nördlichen Kenia einzufallen. Zu beiden Ufern des Roten Meeres wachse eine neue Generation der Tiere heran und bringe Eritrea, Saudi-Arabien, Sudan und den Jemen in Gefahr.

FAO-Generaldirektor Qu Dongyu warnte, der Kampf gegen die Plage sei noch nicht vorüber. Die Heuschrecken nähmen täglich zu; es bestehe das Risiko, dass die Nahrungsmittelknappheit für vulnerable Familien in der betroffenen Region sich verschlimmere.

Zusätzlich zu bereits gesicherten 200 Millionen US-Dollar zur Heuschreckenbekämpfung benötigt die FAO laut der Mitteilung im kommenden Jahr weitere 40 Millionen Dollar, um die Plage in den am stärksten befallenen Ländern Äthiopien, Kenia, Somalia, Sudan und Jemen unter Kontrolle zu bringen. Dort lebten schon jetzt mehr als 35 Millionen Menschen in akuter Ernährungsunsicherheit. Ohne Maßnahmen könne deren Zahl um 3,5 Millionen steigen.

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Disaster looms as locusts threaten livelihood of millions in region

A ravenous pest is threatening the livelihood of millions of people in the Middle East and Africa — but the menace did not appear overnight. In fact it has been slowly building for three years.

Locusts breed in remote areas and thrive in damp conditions. Moisture is critical if their eggs are to survive and hatch, and it also feeds the fresh, green vegetation they need for food and shelter.

In early 2018, the insects found the perfect breeding ground in the Empty Quarter of the Arabian Peninsula. It is a part of the desert that is difficult to access, with “sand dunes as tall as Manhattan skyscrapers.”

There are no roads, no villages and no means of communication, so the normal steps to monitor and contain growing swarms of locusts could not be taken. Then the weather intervened to make matters worse.

It is extremely rare for two cyclones to bring storms to the area in the same year, but that is exactly what happened. In October 2018, just as the sand in the Empty Quarter had started to dry out after the first storm, a second brought more rain. As a result, the swarm of locusts began to grow out of control.

“That allowed for three generations of breeding: an 8,000-fold increase in locust numbers over a very short period of nine months,” said Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer at the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). For the past 33 years he has been operating a desert locust monitoring and early-warning system.

“It was like Club Med,” he added. “The locusts were completely on holiday.”

When the vegetation that had sprouted thanks to all the rain, on which the locusts had been feeding during breeding, was stripped bare, the insects began to migrate. The first swarm headed across the Persian Gulf into Iran, Pakistan, India and Southwest Asia. A second went in the opposite direction, toward Yemen.

In summer 2019, the locusts hopped across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden to Somalia and Ethiopia where they plagued the Horn of Africa, aided by widespread seasonal rains that again provided the perfect conditions for intensive breeding.

The FAO carried out control operations that it said saved 2.7 million tons of cereal crops, enough to feed 18 million people for a year in countries that are already reeling from poverty and food insecurity.


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FAO seeks funds to fight locusts in Horn of Africa, Yemen

A new generation of Desert Locust swarms is threatening agricultural and pastoral livelihoods and the food security of millions of people in the Horn of Africa and Yemen despite intense efforts to control the pest throughout 2020, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) said on Wednesday.
New locust swarms are already forming and threatening to re-invade northern Kenya and breeding is also underway on both sides of the Red Sea, posing a new threat to Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, the Sudan and Yemen, the orgranization warned, adding that more than 35 million people are already acutely food insecure in these five countries and FAO estimates this number could increase by another 3.5 million, if nothing is done to control the latest outbreak.
FAO is now seeking a further $40 million to increase surveillance and control activities in the most affected countries - Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia, the Sudan and Yemen - in 2021.


(* B H K)

Yemeni Civil War Unleashes a Plague of Locusts

Effectively controlling swarms became possible only in the twentieth century with the ability to spray pesticides from aircraft. Even more essential was the discovery of their breeding areas, in remote desert regions, which enabled early intervention against "hoppers,", or young locusts that hadn’t yet grown wings and had not begun to swarm.

As the locust forecasting expert for the UN’s FAO noted, Yemen – a "frontline" territory for locusts, in which they are normally endemic – had an effective locust-control system that could nip incipient swarms in the bud, but that was before the civil war broke out in 2014. But now, according to an official at the Yemeni agriculture ministry, "Our infrastructure is completely devastated…Our buildings, our vehicles, and our equipment were all destroyed and looted during the war and the government has no budget for emergencies."

Earlier in November 2019, Saudi Arabia donated $1.5 million to the FAO’s Central Region (which includes Yemen and nearby countries) to attempt to control the cascading locust activity. As the largest part of Saudi Arabia’s tiny (1% of its land mass) but critical agricultural sector is immediately adjacent to Yemen, the Saudis have a strong vested interested in managing locusts. Clearly, $1.5 million was a mere drop in the Red Sea that failed to make an impact.

As always, there’s a balancing act going on: how to judiciously respond to one of nature’s legendary agents of devastation but not destroy the human, animal, and agricultural environment. Pesticides can indeed harm the environment. But war harms it much more.

In Yemen, where war has destroyed human efforts at control, and locusts began to swarm, it looks like the end of the world. For those in the path of the swarms – whose crops, fields, and livelihoods are wiped out – it is the end of their world.

and also

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-701 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-701: 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:

15:31 18.12.2020
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
Dietrich Klose