Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 707b- Yemen War Mosaic 707b

Yemen Press Reader 707b: 13. Januar 2021: Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 707, cp7 - cp19 / January 13, 2021: Sequel to Yemen War Mosaic 707, cp7 - cp19
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Dies ist die Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 707, Teil 1 / This is the sequel of Yemen War Mosaic 707, part 1:

Fortsetzung: US-Außenminister Pompeo will die Houthis als Terroristen einstufen / Sequel: US Secretary of State Pompeo wants to classify the Houthis as terrorists :

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

cp2a Allgemein: Saudische Blockade / General: Saudi blockade

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

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

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp12a Katar-Krise / Qatar crisis

cp12b Sudan

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

(A P)

Saudi commitment to Yemen deal ‘crucial’: UN envoy

Griffiths held talks with Saudi Arabia’s deputy defense minister to discuss developments in Yemen

The UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, said Tuesday that the Saudi commitment to reaching a political settlement to the Yemeni conflict was crucial.

On Monday, Griffith held talks in Riyadh with Saudi Deputy Defense Minister Khalid bin Salman to discuss the situation in war-torn Yemen.

“We discussed ways to overcome obstacles facing prospects for peace in Yemen,” Griffiths said on Twitter. He stressed on the importance of the commitment of the kingdom and the region to reach “a negotiated, Yemeni-led, inclusive political settlement” towards ending the conflict “comprehensively and sustainably”.

Griffiths gave no further details about the meeting.

Bin Salman, for his part, said that his discussions with the UN envoy focused on the kingdom’s humanitarian response in Yemen among other developments.

(A K P)

Houthis say Yemeni gov't hampers prisoner swap in Marib

The Yemeni UN-recognized government has fully stopped local negotiations on prisoner swap in the northeastern governorate of Marib, head of the Houthi prisoner committee tweeted on Friday.
"They also hampered the application of 10 swaps, covering more than 300 prisoners from both sides, that were recently agreed to," Abdul Kader al-Murtadha added.

(A P)

[Sanaa gov.] Yemeni diplomats call on UN to take clear position against Saudi aggression

Member of Yemen negotiating delegation, Abdulmalik Al-Ajri, on Saturday called on the United Nations to adopt a clear position on the blockade and aggression on Yemen.

(A P)

Griffiths Ignores Great Human Suffering of All Yemeni People from Blockade: Abdulsalam

and also

(A P)

UN Special Envoy Concludes Visit to Aden

The UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Martin Griffiths, concluded today a visit to Aden that included meetings with the Yemeni Prime Minister, Maeen Abdulmalik, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmed Bin Mubarak, members of the Cabinet, and the Governor of Aden, Ahmed Hamid Lamlas.

During his meeting with Prime Minister Abdulmalik, Mr. Griffiths once again stressed his strong condemnation of the heinous attack on the Cabinet ministers upon their arrival to Aden Airport which killed at least 25 civilians including government officials and three humanitarian workers from the International Committee of the Red Cross. He also offered his condolences to the families of the victims and the people of Yemen.

“The attack on the cabinet in Aden was devastating, not only due to the tragically heavy civilian toll, but also because it has political implications that could stir deep distrust,” Mr. Griffiths said.


and also


(A P)

Yemen: UN envoy in Aden as officials warn against Iran's interference

The Governor of Aden, Ahmed Lamlas, briefed Mr Griffiths and his accompanying delegation on last week's horrific attack in Aden international airport that resulted in dozens of civilian deaths and injuries,” Mr Griffith's office said in a statement.

and also

(B H P)

A document of violation issued by the Standards and Metrology Authority in Hodeidah confirming that the organization The World Food Programme imports through the port of Hodeidah spoilt nutritional supplements for children (image)

Photos: 81 tons of various relief foodstuffs which expired in the international food stores a year ago and destroyed them in the dump of garbage in the city of Al-Hudaydah.

A notification of a violation issued by the Standards and Metrology Authority in the port of Hodeidah, confirming the corruption of the shipment of peas, and the authority requested the World Food Organization to re-export or destroy the shipment. There are attempts to vaporize it, enter it and distribute it to the citizens, and there is a document confirming the intention to vaporize, which you will find in a previous tweet.

A special document sent by the World Food Program to the plant quarantine in the port of Hodeidah, calling on the port authorities to allow them to fumigate a number of spoiled legume shipments, including what we have previously published about (photo)

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

Siehe / Look at cp1

(A P)

Film: Fadhil AlSafwani from Awamya who is being severely tortured in #Saudi prisons shows off his weapon

(A P)

Film: My high-school classmate & one of the most polite people ever, banker Khuder AlMarhoom has been released from Saudi prison after 8 years.

Khuder & other #Shia Arab professionals who lived #Riyadh #Jeddah & Makkah were targeted to stop any attempt of establishing #Shia communities in these cities. “Spreading Shiaism” was among the charges. Some were executed for it in 2019.

(A P)

Amnesty critical of FIFA leader starring in Saudi PR video

Human rights activists are denouncing FIFA President Gianni Infantino’s starring turn in a promotional video for the Saudi Arabian government in which he claims the kingdom has made important changes.

The slick 3½-minute PR campaign was posted on Twitter by the Saudi ministry of sport on Thursday, featuring Infantino participating in a ceremonial sword dance and sweeping shots of the palaces of Diriyah.

cp9 USA

Siehe / Look at cp9a

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

(* A P)

Zarif calls Pompeo’s ‘Iran, Qaeda link’ rant warmongering lies

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says his American counterpart is marking the twilight of his already “disastrous” career with a pathetic end by resorting to more baseless warmongering lies about Iran and other countries.

“From designating Cuba to fictitious Iran 'declassifications' and AQ (al-Qaeda) claims, Mr. 'we lie, cheat, steal' is pathetically ending his disastrous career with more warmongering lies,” Zarif wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.

He was referring to a recent raft of actions by the outgoing US President Donald Trump administration’s most forward Iran hawk Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who is just eight days away from handing over the State Department.

the US top diplomat identified Iran, without any evidence, as the terrorist al-Qaeda group’s “new home base.” He made the remarks as part of, what he called, publicizing “declassified US intelligence,” which — as in the case of Washington’s other claims against Tehran — surprisingly lacked all “declassified proof.”

Zarif went on to say, “No one is fooled. All 9/11 terrorists came from @SecPompeo’s favorite ME destinations; NONE from Iran.”

Zarif was referring to Saudi Arabia and its widely-known financial and ideological sponsorship of the terrorist outfit that staged the September 11, 2001 attacks against the United States.

and also


(* B P)

THREAD/ Pompeo is using his last days in office to hold press conferences to undermine any chance of peace & diplomacy between the US & Iran. Just as he and Trump have fueled conflict within the US, he's also seeking to fuel conflict between the US and Iran on his way out.

False claims of Iran-al Qaeda ties have been peddled by the Trump administration before. Trump gave classified documents to FDD - the main lobby for war with Iran in DC - purportedly connecting Iran and AlQaeda. But despite the fanfare, the documents proved no such thing.

Now Pompeo is recycling the old falsehoods, adding some new ones and misinterpretations and spinning it as news. Such as bizarre claims that Iran is now the home base of Al Qaeda in the Middle East.

Ask yourself, if such conclusive evidence of an Iran-AlQaeda alliance really existed, why would he wait till his last week in office to reveal it? Mindful of Pompeo's 4-year effort to crush Iran, he would've revealed this at the outset to justify maximum pressure. He didn't.

A more plausible explanation is that Pompeo is changing facts to fit with his obsession w/ conflict w/ Iran. As the chances of conflict are slipping out of his hands courtesy of Trump's failed coup, Pompeo shifts his focus to prevent Biden from undoing Pompeo's mess.

Pompeo is a right-wing evangelical. They believe that a "final battle of civilizations" is inevitable and necessary. You can't reason with them because they DON'T WANT peace. The media, is either afraid to point that out or is somehow inexcusably naive.

and as a reminder, film: Ex-CIA director Pompeo: 'We lied, we cheated, we stole'


(* A P)

Al-Qaeda: Pompeo says Iran is jihadist network's 'new home base'

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has publicly accused Iran's government of allowing the jihadist network al-Qaeda to establish a "new home base" there.

"Unlike in Afghanistan, when al-Qaeda was hiding in the mountains, al-Qaeda today is operating under the hard shell of the Iranian regime's protection," he told the National Press Club.

Mr Pompeo provided no concrete evidence to support his allegations.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif called them "warmongering lies".

At Tuesday's news conference in Washington, Mr Pompeo said he could confirm for the first time that Masri had died on 7 August, although he gave no further details.

He asserted that people were wrong to believe that a Shia Muslim power (Iran) and an extremist Sunni group that considers Shia heretics were bitter enemies.

"Masri's presence inside Iran points to the reason that we're here today. Al-Qaeda has a new home base: it is the Islamic Republic of Iran."

"As a result, [Osama] Bin Laden's wicked creation is poised to gain strength and capabilities."

Since 2015, Mr Pompeo alleged, Tehran had allowed al-Qaeda figures in the country to freely communicate with other members and to perform many functions that were previously directed from Afghanistan and Pakistan, including authorisation for attacks, propaganda, and fundraising.

"The Iran-al-Qaeda axis poses a grave threat to the security of nations and to the American homeland itself, and we are taking action," he added.

and also (NYT)


(* A P)

Pompeo claims Iran has secret ties to al-Qaeda

Speech an apparent move to derail attempts by the new Biden administration to resume talks with Tehran

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo alleged Iran hosted al-Qaeda’s “new operational headquarters” in an apparent move to derail attempts by Joe Biden’s incoming administration to resume talks with Tehran on the nuclear deal. Mr Pompeo cited newly declassified intelligence but did not provide evidence to back up his claims, which were immediately rejected by many experts and Tehran. Although the US has accused the two of teaming up in the past, Mr Pompeo’s claims go further than before. “Iran has allowed al-Qaeda to fundraise, to freely communicate with all kinds of members around the world, and to perform many other functions that were previously directed from Afghanistan or Pakistan,” Mr Pompeo said, adding Iran was now the jihadi group’s “new home base”. Experts have long thought that some of the Islamist group’s leadership fled to Iran following the US invasion of Afghanistan that followed the September 11 attacks in 2001, but differ over the extent of subsequent ties. Al-Qaeda’s jihadis and Iran’s theocratic leadership are on the extremes of Muslims’ Sunni-Shia religious divide and the two are on opposing sides in some locations. Iran has long denied allegations it hosts al-Qaeda. Mr Pompeo claimed Iran had agreed to expand support to the militants in 2015, the same year Barack Obama’s administration signed a deal with Iran, under which Tehran agreed to limit its nuclear programme in exchange for sanctions relief. “Everything changed in 2015,” he said. The Trump administration pulled out of the accord in 2018 and has sought to destroy it. Analysts believe it wants to scupper Mr Biden’s chances of negotiating an agreement with Iran that would lead to the US rejoining the deal.

Pressed on what evidence Mr Pompeo had to back up his claims, a senior state department official told the FT the CIA had in the past week said that Iran-based al-Qaeda leaders and their families had been “well cared for” in Iran and had "placed a renewed priority on attack plotting" since 2015. Colin Clarke, terrorism expert at The Soufan Center, a global security research institution, dismissed the idea that Iran was the jihadi group’s new headquarters and described Mr Pompeo’s remarks as “disingenuous” and “misleading”. Mr Clarke said Afghanistan and Pakistan remained the global hub for al-Qaeda, and that they had allocated more resources toward Syria. “He is massaging the facts to support his preferred policies,” he said. Mr Clarke added the US had little operational capability in Iran so hiding there had helped preserve the leadership of the group “in some survivable form”. He also said he did not think Iran was working “hand-in-glove” with al-Qaeda.

Ned Price, a former CIA counter-terrorism analyst who is now a Biden transition official, has previously accused Mr Pompeo of “playing politics with intelligence” over his decision in 2017 to declassify material that indicated Iran offered some training to al-Qaeda operatives in a deal that broke down after the jihadis violated the agreement.

and, as a reminder, from 2019:

(A P)

US Treasury Dep.: Counter Terrorism Designations


The following individuals have been added to OFAC's SDN List

(A K P)

Iran holds missile drill in Gulf of Oman amid tensions

Iran’s navy began a short-range missile drill in the Gulf of Oman on Wednesday and inaugurated its largest military vessel, state TV reported, amid heightened tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program and a U.S. pressure campaign against the Islamic Republic.

The two-day missile drill was being held in the gulf’s southeastern waters and two new Iranian-made warships joined the exercise

(A K P)

Iran in full control of Persian Gulf, says IRGC Navy commander

The commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC)’s Navy says Iran is in full control of the Persian Gulf region and monitors all movements by extraregional forces that are present in these waters.

(A P)

AEOI planning to design new heavy water reactor similar to Arak’s, lawmaker says

A senior Iranian lawmaker says the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) is taking the initial steps to design another heavy-water reactor similar to an existing one in the city of Arak.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Abolfazl Amouei, the spokesman for the Iranian Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee, said the AEOI’s spokesman had announced the matter in a meeting with members of the committee also attended by the Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal and international affairs, Mohsen Baharvand.

(* A P)

EU warns Iran enrichment moves could imperil nuclear deal

The official supervising the agreement aimed at curbing Iran’s nuclear ambitions is warning that Tehran’s decision to ramp up uranium enrichment could undermine efforts to keep the deal alive amid diplomatic efforts to bring the United States back on board.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said Iran’s intention to enrich uranium up to 20% at the Fordo underground nuclear facility “is a very serious development and a matter of deep concern,” and “has very severe proliferation implications.”

My comment: Why these crocodile tears? The EU had violated the Nuclear Deal a long time before.

(* A P)

Qalibaf: Iran Will Meet JCPOA Commitments If US Sanctions, Executive Orders Fully Revoked

Iran’s Parliament speaker says the Islamic Republic will fulfill its commitments under the landmark nuclear deal of 2015, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), only if the other parties to the deal do the same.

“Without seeking to leave the JCPOA, we have the right to not fulfill our obligations under Articles 36 and 37 of the JCPOA in the face of non-compliance by the other side,” Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf said at an open session of the Parliament on Sunday.

“Therefore, we declare decisively that Iran will comply with its commitments only if they also comply with theirs, life all the sanctions and revoke executive orders issued by the president of the United States.”

(* A P)

Iran tells SKorea its seized vessel a matter for the courts

Iran’s foreign minister told a visiting South Korean delegation Monday that the release of its vessel and crew seized by Iranian forces is a matter for the courts and out of the government’s hands, state media reported.

The development comes amid an escalating financial dispute between the countries.

The official IRNA news agency quoted Mohammad Javad Zarif as saying in a meeting with South Korea’s first vice foreign minister that the Iranian government cannot intervene in the case, which is “under review in the legal and judicial framework,” he said.

(* A P)

South Korean diplomat in Iran over seized ship, frozen funds

A South Korean diplomatic delegation arrived in Iran on Sunday to negotiate the release of a vessel and its crew seized by Iranian forces amid an escalating financial dispute between the countries, Iranian state-run media reported.

The South Korean-flagged tanker seizure by Iran’s Revolutionary Guard in the crucial Strait of Hormuz came as Iranian officials have been pressing South Korea to release some $7 billion in assets tied up in the country’s banks due to American sanctions.

Iran maintains the tanker and its 20-member crew were stopped in the mouth of the Persian Gulf because of the vessel’s “environmental pollution,” a claim rejected by the vessel’s owner. The crew, including sailors from Indonesia, Myanmar, South Korea and Vietnam, remain in custody at the port city of Bandar Abbas near the Strait of Hormuz.

Iran’s deputy foreign ministry Abbas Araghchi advised South Korea to avoid politicizing the seizure of oil tanker and stay away from futile propaganda, the ministry’s website reported Sunday. Araghchi said that the vessel has been captured in the Persian Gulf and the Iranian territorial waters only because of technical considerations and environmental pollution hazards.


(* A P)

Iran demands release of frozen assets as ROK diplomat visits after tanker seizure

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi met on Sunday evening visiting First Vice Foreign Minister of Republic of Korea (ROK) Choi Jong Kun, and demanded release of Iran's foreign exchange assets frozen in the ROK.

"For about two and a half years, South Korean banks have illegally frozen Iran's foreign exchange assets, citing fear of the United States' sanctions," Araqchi said during the meeting, official news agency IRNA reported.

The ROK's course of action has no other reason than "submission" to Washington's "extortionist policies" and is "not acceptable," he added.

Pointing to several unfruitful rounds of negotiations recently held between the two countries, Araqchi said Iran believes its assets have been frozen "more due to lack of political will on the part of the South Korean government than Washington's iniquitous sanctions."

(A P)

Lack of political will caused Iran's assets' freeze by S.Korea: Araghchi

Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister said in Tehran's view, the blocking of Iran's foreign exchange resources in South Korea has been due to Seoul's lack of political will, rather than due to the US sanctions.

South Korean Deputy Foreign Minister Choi Jong Kun, who is in Tehran, met with Iranian Political Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araghchi on Sunday.

(* B P)

A year without Soleimani: Will Iran retreat regionally?

The assassination of Qassem Soleimani was one of several major setbacks for Iran in 2020. Can it recover?

While Iran was experiencing these setbacks, an internal debate was raging at the highest levels, including the corridors of the National Security Council, regarding the strategic priorities of the Islamic Republic. These discussions continue and the Iranian response to foreign aggression will certainly be coming, but the timing is not clear yet.

Tehran is navigating cautiously regional and international developments. It does not want to be dragged into an all-out war that might destroy the entire project on which the Islamic Republic was built. That is why it has been investing heavily in regional power projection.

Soleimani played a central role in laying the groundwork and building the structures of Iranian regional influence. While it is important not to underestimate the impact his assassination has had on the Iranian regional project, it would be naive to assume that Iran will retreat regionally as a result.

What it may do instead is go back to conducting its regional dealings in the shadows and reverse the practice of advertising the Quds Force activities abroad, as it did during the last few years under Soleimani’s leadership.

It is important to remember that Soleimani was a shadow figure who did not appear in the media for years. His appearance in the public sphere was a decision that was meticulously studied before it was made by the IRGC.

There was a need to build a public image of a capable and powerful Iran in the region and there was no better figure than Soleimani to be its face.

(A P)

Iran holds naval parade in Persian Gulf

Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard on Saturday held a naval parade in the Persian Gulf, state TV reported, amid heightened regional tensions over Tehran’s nuclear program.

(* B P)

“Donald Trump’s parting gift to the world? Signs suggest it may be war with Iran

President Trump’s incitement of criminal mob violence and occupation of the Capitol makes clear there is no limitation whatever on the abuse of power he may commit in the next two weeks he remains in office. Outrageous as his incendiary performance was on Wednesday, I fear he may incite something far more dangerous in the next few days: his long-desired war with Iran. […]
US military and intelligence agencies have frequently, as in Vietnam and Iraq, provided presidents with false information that offered pretexts to attack our perceived adversaries. Or they’ve suggested covert actions that could provoke the adversaries to some response that justifies a US “retaliation”. […]
But time is now short to generate an exchange of violent actions and reactions that will serve to block resumption of the Iran nuclear deal by the incoming Biden administration: a pre-eminent goal not only of Donald Trump but of the allies he has helped bring together in recent months, Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE. […]
I am urging courageous whistleblowing today, this week, not months or years from now, after bombs have begun falling. It could be the most patriotic act of a lifetime.
Daniel Ellsberg was the whistleblower who leaked the Pentagon Papers, which revealed the US government had lied to the American public about the Vietnam war.

(A K P)

Joint Exercise between Saudi F-15 Fighters, US Strategic B-52 Bombers Concluded

Royal Saudi Air Force and the US Air Force concluded here today a bilateral exercise between Saudi (F-15 S A) fighters and US Air Force strategic bombers (B-52) as well as (F-16) fighters.


(A K P)

Iran's Revolutionary Guards unveil underground missile base in Gulf: state media

Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards unveiled an underground missile base at an undisclosed Gulf location on Friday, Iranian state media reported, at a time of heightened tension between Tehran and the United States.

“The base is one of several bases housing the Guards’ Navy’s strategic missiles,” the state media quoted the head of the Guards, Major General Hossein Salami, as saying.

Last year, the Guards said Iran had built underground “missile cities” along the Gulf coastline, warning of a “nightmare for Iran’s enemies”.

(* B P)

Iran Struggles to Fill the Vacuum Left by Soleimani

A year after Iran’s most renowned general was assassinated in a U.S. drone strike, Tehran is still struggling to recover from the loss. While Maj. Gen. Qassem Soleimani left behind an entire bureaucracy called the Quds Force – the overseas operations arm of the country’s elite military force, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) – his death has left a vacuum that is hampering the regime’s ability to manage the network of relations that enables Iran’s geopolitical footprint in the Arab world. It will be a while before the IRGC-QF will regain its bearing and build upon the efforts of its slain commander.

The Islamic Republic continues to mourn Soleimani, but the bigger story is that his successor, Brig. Gen. Esmail Ghani, is not able to pick up from where Soleimani left off and steer the ship in the same manner his predecessor was able to. The Iranian establishment and its regional partners have yet to come to terms with the fact that Soleimani is gone. He was a unique person whose skillset was not fully institutionalized, and therefore Ghani is left with some big shoes to fill.

President-elect Joe Biden’s forthcoming administration is preparing to resume engagement with Iran over the nuclear deal nixed by President Donald Trump, and the president-elect’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan has hinted that Iran’s missile program will likely be on the table for discussion. Regardless of the details and sequencing of issues, ultimately the Biden White House will have to work toward curbing Iran’s regional influence. Here’s where Trump’s actions have weakened Iran’s hand and why the Iranian leadership will deeply miss Soleimani, for he played a crucial role in creating the battlespace conditions that Iranian diplomats could leverage at the bargaining table.

My comment: An US view.

(A P)

US sanctions prominent Iraqi politician over rights abuses

The U.S. Treasury on Friday imposed sanctions on a prominent Iraqi politician and security official, accusing him of serious human rights abuses.

The Treasury said Falih al-Fayyadh stands accused of “directing and supervising the killing of peaceful Iraqi demonstrators” in 2019 and must be held accountable.

He is the chairman of the Popular Mobilization Forces, an umbrella of mostly Shiite militias

(B P)

Netanyahu, bin Salman "Duet" Counting on Trump's Madness to Start War in the Region

The closer the date of the outgoing US President’s exit from the White House is, the louder the sound of the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his companion, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, blow about the US war, to incite Trump and drag him into the quagmire of war with Iran. However, the news of the withdrawal of the US aircraft carrier USS Nimitz, from the Persian Gulf, was like a thunderbolt on the aforementioned duo, but did not diminish their attempts.

(* A P)

US seizes $7mn of Iran assets in latest ‘highway robbery’

The US government says it has seized $7 million in Iranian assets for “victims of terrorism”, in the latest hostile move by outgoing President Donald Trump.

In a statement, the Justice Department said the money was the US share of a civil forfeiture that targeted alleged attempts to violate sanctions on Iran with transfers of about $1 billion of Iranian-owned funds to accounts around the world.

Acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns alleged that the funds forfeited Tuesday had been destined to benefit “criminal actors who engaged in an elaborate scheme to violate US sanctions against Iran”.

Under US pressure, billions of dollars of Iran’s oil money and other funds are held up in several countries. The assets have been subject to a witch hunt by the Americans who have used Washington’s animosity toward the Islamic Republic to easily win lawsuits against the country in US courts.

Last October, reports said a US court had ordered Iran to pay more than $1.4 billion in punitive and compensatory damages to the family of a former FBI agent who allegedly disappeared during a visit to an Iranian island in March 2007.

Iran has denounced US seizures of its frozen assets in the United States as “highway robbery” and hauled the United States before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) at The Hague.

(A P)

Iraq issues arrest warrant for Trump over Soleimani killing

An arrest warrant was issued Thursday for outgoing President Donald Trump in connection with the killing of an Iranian general and a powerful Iraqi militia leader last year, Iraq’s judiciary said.

The warrant was issued by a judge in Baghdad’s investigative court tasked with probing the Washington-directed drone strike that killed Gen. Qassim Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, the court’s media office said. They were killed outside the capital’s airport last January.

(A P)

S Korean delegation in Iran to talk on frozen resources

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman said that a South Korean delegation arrived in Tehran in order to discuss about Iran’s access to its financial resources.

(A P)

Iran can "easily" enrich uranium to 90 pct purity: nuke spokesman

Iran can enrich uranium to 90 percent of purity, the spokesman for the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) announced on Thursday.

(A P)

Trump’s Unchecked Authority Security Concern for Int'l Community: Iranian FM

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, reacting to the riot in the US capital that led to the deaths of four people, said that Donald Trump’s “unchecked authority” could cause a security concern for the entire international community.

“A rogue president who sought vengeance against his OWN people has been doing much worse to our people—and others—in the past 4 years,” Zarif wrote

(A K P)

5 nations want Iran to deliver justice on downed plane

The countries whose citizens were killed when Iran accidentally shot down a Ukrainian jetliner said Friday they want Iran “to deliver justice and make sure Iran makes full reparations to the families of the victims and affected countries.”

In a joint statement marking the one-year anniversary of the Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 crash, Ukraine, Canada, Britain, Afghanistan and Sweden said they want Tehran “to provide a complete and thorough explanation of the events and decisions that led to this appalling plane crash.”


(B K P)

A year on, questions haunt Iran’s downing of Ukrainian plane

A year after Iran’s military mistakenly downed Ukraine International Airlines Flight PS752 with two surface-to-air missiles, the answers that have emerged from the disaster only seem to lead to more questions.

Officials in Canada, which was home to many of the passengers on board, and other affected countries have raised concerns about the lack of transparency and accountability in Iran’s investigation of its own military, while grieving families allege harassment by Iranian authorities.

“Without knowing what really happened to them, we’re stuck in that same horrible night,” said Ebrahim, who lives in Dallas, Texas. “We haven’t received anything close to the truth.”

The shootdown ignited an outburst of unrest across Iran, deepened public mistrust in the government and further damaged Iran’s relations with the West.

(A K P)

Israel verlegt Luftabwehr in den Süden da iranische Angriffe aus dem Jemen befürchtet werden

Das israelische Militär hat in den letzten Tagen aus Sorge vor einem Angriff der vom Iran unterstützten Houthi-Miliz im Jemen Luftabwehrbatterien rund um die südliche Stadt Eilat stationiert.

Der Entscheid fiel auf den ersten Jahrestag der Tötung von Qassem Soleimani, dem einflussreichen Chef der Quds-Truppe des Korps der Islamischen Revolutionsgarden, durch die USA bei einem Luftangriff im Irak und anderthalb Monate nachdem Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, der Leiter des militärischen Atomprogramms des Iran, mutmasslich von Israel getötet worden war.

Einige Militärs gehen davon aus, dass der Iran die kommenden Wochen vor dem Amtsantritt von Joe Biden für einen Vergeltungsschlag gegen Israel nutzen könnte.

(A K P)

IDF deploys air defenses to south amid threats of attack from Yemen

Iron Dome and Patriot batteries seen in Eilat area in recent days over concerns Iran may seek revenge for killings of Soleimani, Fakhrizadeh with attack on Israel by Houthis

The Israeli military has deployed air defense batteries around the southern city of Eilat in recent days amid concerns of an attack from the Iran-backed Houthi militia in Yemen.

The move came around the first anniversary of the United States killing of Qassem Soleimani, the influential head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps’ expeditionary Quds Force, in an airstrike in Iraq and a month and a half after Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, the head of Iran’s military nuclear program, was killed, allegedly by Israel.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

(* B K P)

UK spent £2.4m to help Saudi Arabia comply with international law

Over the last four years, the Gulf state has been accused of bombing and killing Yemeni civilians

Britain spent £2.4m over the last four years to help Saudi Arabia’s military comply with international humanitarian law – during which time the Gulf state has been accused of indiscriminately bombing and killing Yemeni civilians.

The figures – obtained via parliamentary questions – are the first time the UK has detailed the amount spent via secretive funds to the kingdom, prompting a campaign group to say British taxpayers were backing the country’s military.

James Cleverly, a Foreign Office minister, said last October that the UK funded British troops to help Saudi Arabia “protect its national security” and to “support the Saudi military’s compliance with international humanitarian law”.

Two months later, in response to a follow-up question from SNP MP Martyn Day, James Heappey a defence minster, revealed in a letter that the moneys involved amounted to £2.4m since 2016, including £550,000 in 2019-20.

The campaign group which helped uncover the figures said the revelation embroiled the UK in “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis” where thousands of civilians have been killed since the civil war in Yemen began in March 2015, largely from indiscriminate bombing by a Saudi-led coalition, supplied by western arms makers.

Sayed Ahmed Alwadaei, the director of the Bahrain Institute for Rights and Democracy (Bird), added: “It is deeply disturbing that the UK government is spending taxpayers’ money bolstering the Saudi’s military capacity.”

But what has been less apparent is the closeness of the UK-Saudi air force relationship behind the scenes.

A former Conservative defence minister has previously told the Guardian when there had been accusations of civilian casualties following bombing in Yemen, British ministers would ask their Saudi counterparts what had happened.

At the same time, other ministers have signed off sales of arms to Riyadh, including Boris Johnson, when he was foreign secretary. Johnson approved the sale of Paveway guided missiles in August 2016, a few days after an airstrike on a potato factory in the country had killed 14 civilians.

The money to support the Saudi military comes principally via the secretive Integrated Activity Fund, now renamed the Gulf Strategy Fund, a pool for money which the UK spends on the six cash-rich Gulf states. Its budget was £20m a year until the coronavirus crisis forced a sudden cut to £8.4m.

Ministers had until recently refused to disclose how the fund’s cash was spent, citing national security exemptions, amid accusations that it may be linked to serious human rights abuses. But in the last year there have been signs of greater transparency.

But Day, the SNP MP for Linlithgow and East Falkirk, said the UK was “not content with merely profiting from arming Saudi Arabia’s brutal war on Yemen”.

He added: “I am shocked to find that the UK government has also covertly funnelled millions of pounds through secretive funds to train the Saudi armed forces.”

(* B K P)

Yemen – humanitarian crisis deepens

The UK, the United States and nations across the European Union are complicit in the ongoing war in Yemen.

Over half of the combat aircraft used for bombing raids by the Saudis are supplied by the UK. There can be little doubt that these weapons have been used in the attacks upon civilian targets and researchers on the ground in Yemen have retrieved material which backs this up. This has included the retrieval of material from education establishments, warehouses and hospitals, none of which could be described as military targets.

As well as aircraft, the UK has supplied precision guided missiles and cluster bombs resulting, not only in devastating loss of life, but life altering injuries for those who do survive attacks. With the medical infrastructure in a state of collapse, due to a combination of the bombings and the blockade of essential supplies, the United Nations has described Yemen as the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis. UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, has described Yemen as being in “imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades”.

The UK government has attempted to defend its position by pointing to the £1 billion in aid that has been provided to Yemen since the conflict began in March 2015. However, as the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) point out,

“The most recent government statistics show that the UK has licensed at least £6.5 billion worth of arms to the Saudi-led Coalition since the start of its ongoing bombing campaign in Yemen. The figure covers the period from March 26 2015, when the bombing began, until March 26 2020.”

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

(* B K P)

Die Militarisierung der arabischen Außenpolitik

Regierungsberater fordern Stopp für Waffenlieferungen in die arabische Welt. Deren Anteil liegt bei fast einem Drittel der deutschen Rüstungsexporte.

Berliner Regierungsberater dringen auf einen Kurswechsel bei den Rüstungslieferungen in die arabische Welt und sprechen sich für einen Exportstopp aus. Wie es in einer aktuellen Analyse der Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (SWP) heißt, hätten diverse Staaten Nordafrikas sowie des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens seit den arabischen Revolten im Jahr 2011 begonnen, ihre Außenpolitik aus der Kontrolle durch die USA zu lösen und sie immer eigenständiger zu gestalten. Dabei nutzten sie allerdings "stärker als zuvor militärische Mittel ..., um Interessen durchzusetzen"; dies zeige sich etwa in den Kriegen im Jemen, in Libyen und in Syrien. Es bestehe "eine hohe Wahrscheinlichkeit", dass deutsche Waffenexporte in die arabische Welt beitrügen, "Europas Nachbarschaft zu destabilisieren", warnt die SWP. In der Tat kommen deutsche Waffen schon längst in den Kriegen im Jemen und in Libyen zum Einsatz. Dabei ist der Anteil der Waffenlieferungen an die fünf größten arabischen Käufer am gesamten deutschen Rüstungsexport in den vergangenen 20 Jahren von 3,1 auf 32 Prozent gestiegen.

(A P)

Erklärungen des Auswärtigen Amts in der Regierungspressekonferenz vom 11.01.2021

ADEBAHR (AA): Das ist ein vertrauliches Gespräch mit dem Außenminister gewesen. Die Themen haben wir genannt und auch vertweetet. Ich kann so viel sagen, dass es beim Thema Jemen darum ging, dass eine politische Lösung für den Konflikt gefunden werden muss. Es ging auch um die wirklich schwierige humanitäre Notlage im Jemen. Insofern sind das die großen Themen, die wir aus diesem vertraulichen Gespräch genannt haben.

ZUSATZFRAGE: Das heißt, die saudische Kriegsführung des Jemen-Krieges wurde vom Minister nicht explizit angesprochen oder kritisiert und auch nicht die Verantwortung von MbS für den Mord an Khashoggi?

ADEBAHR: Ich habe darauf hingewiesen, dass es ein vertrauliches Gespräch war. Was wir öffentlich daraus sagen, ist das, was ich Ihnen in meiner Antwort eben habe mitteilen können.

Mewin Kommentar: LOL. Frage an den Fragenden: Was erwarten Sie denn von einem Schauspieler, der (in einem miesen Stück) einen (miesen) Außenminister mimt?

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

(A K P)

Cyprus, UAE sign first military cooperation agreement

Cyprus and the United Arab Emirates on Tuesday signed their first military cooperation agreement as the eastern Mediterranean island nation seeks to bolster relations with nearby countries in the Middle East.

Cyprus already had military agreements with Egypt, Israel and Jordan, and its armed forces hold training exercises with the forces of those countries. The nation also has signed a deal to help train Lebanon’s army.

(* B K P)

Evolving UAE Military and Foreign Security Cooperation: Path Toward Military Professionalism

The UAE has an opportunity to professionalize the military by building its strategic planning and force development capabilities and by committing to international principles of professional military conduct and greater transparency and accountability.

After two decades of concerted investment and operational experience, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) armed forces, dubbed “Little Sparta,” are now one of the leading militaries in the region.1 With approximately 63,000 active uniformed personnel for a population of 9.9 million (only 1.2 million of which are Emirati), allegedly augmented by foreign auxiliary and mercenary forces, the UAE has gained global attention for its role in countering Iran and violent extremist networks and for interventions in Yemen and Libya.2 It is one of the United States’ closest military partners in the Middle East.3 American scholar Kenneth Pollack assesses that, taken as a whole, the UAE’s military is the most capable among the Arab states, while there may be variance across the force.4

The UAE has an opportunity to capitalize on these developments and become a professionalized military by building its strategic planning and force development capabilities, enabling it to set its regional priorities and force structure, and by committing to international principles of professional military conduct and greater transparency and accountability that will buttress its legitimacy at home, in the region, and with international partners. Military professionalism includes an understanding of leadership, strategy, history, tactics, warfighting domains, organization, technology, and capabilities. It also involves a commitment to moral conduct and to incorporating lessons learned to apply and move forward as part of an institution.

If developed, the UAE’s strategic planning capabilities would enable it to better match defense priorities with resourcing. For example, if the country envisions other counterinsurgency and proxy war campaigns in the future, does it need to create both capacity and capability within the UAE force to perform those missions in a more effective and integrated manner? Or will a continued reliance on mercenary forces be sufficient, but open the UAE to international scrutiny and erode its legitimacy in the eyes of key partners? Concretely, the UAE should undertake a review of its interventions in Yemen and Libya, which have tested the military’s force structure and capabilities and wherein the UAE reportedly has hired and mobilized mercenary groups and proxies to supplement its force. Gaps in the UAE’s strategic planning capabilities exacerbate the risks of overextension and reliance on less professional and less integrated forces.

Investments in the UAE’s strategic planning capabilities could also be linked to an integrated approach to defense and technology industrial development to build not only the UAE’s industrial base but also to unlock further opportunities for joint production and development with the United States and other foreign partners.

However, international concerns about the values undergirding the UAE military as an institution, including whether it upholds Law of Armed Conflict principles and its reliance on shadowy mercenary forces, point to limitations in its growth as a professional military and may limit international cooperation with the UAE over time.

My comment: From Carnegie Center. Be honest, what a pro-UAE propaganda BS is that?

(A P)

Turkey’s paramilitary group SADAT enlisted Yemen’s radical cleric al-Zindani, a US-designated terrorist

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan invested in the Muslim Brotherhood network to carve out influence in the war-torn Gulf nation of Yemen and sent a team organized by his chief military advisor to meet with a US-designated terrorist in Sanaa, a Nordic Monitor investigation has found out.

According to the internal records of private military contractor SADAT, which many believe is a de facto paramilitary force loyal to the Islamist president of Turkey, Shaikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, a 70-year-old cleric listed as a terrorist by the United States, privately met with a visiting SADAT delegation in Yemen to discuss Arab and Muslim affairs.

Erdoğan’s paramilitary group SADAT, which is led by Adnan Tanrıverdi, a retired officer and former chief military advisor to President Erdoğan, has been functioning as a training and logistical hub for jihadists in Turkey, Syria, Libya and other countries

(A P)

Iran demands Saudi stop the war in Yemen

Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh demanded that Saudi Arabia stop the war in Yemen, accusing Riyadh of dragging the region into danger as a result of its destructive policies

(* B P)

The Middle East Cold War Behind the Ethiopian Crisis

The operation conducted by the Ethiopian Federal Army in the northern Tigray region threatens to trigger a further wave of instability in one of the most vulnerable areas of the world. Ethiopia is the keystone of a very fragile arc of instability that has Afghanistan on one side, and Libya on the other. Accordingly, it would be narrow-minded to consider the impact of the current crisis on the Horn of Africa alone. By examining it from a regional angle, it is possible to identify a variety of issues that render the context highly volatile. These concerns range from the outstanding dispute over water in the Nile Basin to the two proxy conflicts in Yemen and Libya, passing through the complex Sudanese political transition to the weak sovereignty of the Somali government. The scenario sketched thus provides both the suitable milieu for the spread of transnational challenges - Islamic radicalism, internally displaced persons, human smuggling, piracy, warlords - and the ideal arena for competition among external actors.

Since 2011, the most fragile countries of the above-mentioned arc of instability have become the battleground of the new cold war among the leading players of the Middle East.

Ethiopia has partially escaped from these logics thanks to its political and economic weight. Further, Addis Ababa has tried to profit as much as possible from the Middle Eastern scramble. Evidence of this can be found in the fact that all the Middle Eastern players have tried to nurture diplomatic and trade relations with Addis Ababa. Recent developments, however, seem to have thrown Ethiopia into the melee.

From the angle of the Middle East cold war, the UAE and Egypt are the two actors who could gain the most from Ethiopian instability. In the worst-case scenario for Addis Ababa, the resistance of the TPLF could turn into armed guerrilla warfare; in the best case, it would lead to a complicated process of post-war reconstruction and trust-building in the Tigray region. In both cases, Ethiopia should devote its resources to the domestic field. A context of instability that would benefit Egypt and the UAE more than any other players in the area. In fact, a weak Ethiopia would give a further boost to Egyptian ambitions in the region; the balance of power in the Nile waters issue would change. Likewise, the African Union – whose headquarters are in Addis Ababa - could reconsider its intransigent position towards Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi. For the UAE, a weakened Ethiopia as a commercial-military dependent would fit in with its overall designs on the region. Furthermore, the Ethiopian crisis may affect Somalia, an already fragile state whose security is also ensured by AMISOM troops (mostly Ethiopians). A new wave of turmoil in Somalia would undermine the system-building projects of the two main UAE-Egypt rivals - Qatar and Turkey -, and generate new challenges and vulnerabilities in the whole Horn of Africa.

(B P)

Once Allies, Cairo Wrestles Abu Dhabi for Influence in the Middle East

The Gulf states’ reconciliation with Qatar and Israel’s cooperation with the UAE are the latest blows damaging Egyptian President Sissi’s prestige, just as a new U.S. president takes over (paywalled)

(* B K P)

Israel adds Yemen to its active combat fronts

The Israelis have significantly increased talk about the emergence of a new threat front represented by Yemen, which did not exist before, whether in terms of the Houthis targeting Israeli naval ships in the Red Sea or launching missiles at Israel itself in retaliation for the Israeli strikes against Iran.

Recent days have witnessed what can be described as a "boxing match" between Israel and the Houthis in Yemen, who depend on Iran's help and are receiving instructions from Hezbollah. Therefore, the Chief of Staff of the Israeli Army, Aviv Kochavi, warned of an attack coming from Yemen, which prompted the Houthis to respond that it is better for Israel to remain concerned with its own affairs because if it takes military action against them, a war will break out that will harm it.

Although Israel and Yemen are separated by over 2,000 kilometres, the Israelis believe that the Houthis have long-range missiles that could hit the cities of Eilat and Beersheba in southern Israel, and the Israeli ships sailing in the Red Sea and the Bab El-Mandab Strait, and that they use sea mines and small explosive boats that carry out suicide bombings on large ships.

Israeli estimates suggest that Iran will be very comfortable if retaliation against Israel for the assassinations of senior Iranian officials Qasem Soleimani and Mohsen Fakhrizadeh comes from Yemen, although it is also considering attacking it from Iraq. Therefore, it has transferred drones and cruise missiles to its militia bases there. While in Iraq they can work without permission from the Baghdad government, Iran just needs to convince the Houthis in Yemen of the need to attack the Israeli army.

The transformation of Yemen into a new arena with Israel means that it will be joining the Iranian "circle of fire" against Israel, especially since the latter has been operating in the Red Sea for years, preventing the smuggling of Iranian weapons and protecting Israeli cargo ships.

It is no longer a secret that the UAE and Israel are planning to establish joint intelligence bases on the island of Socotra, 350 kilometres from the coast of Yemen, to collect information on maritime transport in the Gulf of Aden, the Horn of Africa and Egypt.

The recent Israeli submarine dispatch to the waters of the Red Sea, and then to the Gulf region, was a source of concern for the Houthis in Yemen, and therefore, they showed a state of security and military preparedness to carry out all types of qualitative operations.

cp12a Katar-Krise / Qatar crisis

(* B P)

No one comes out on top in end of Qatar stand-off

Saudi Arabia still needs to do more to rehabilitate its reputation

There is justifiable scepticism over whether last week’s agreement will be sufficient to heal the deep wounds caused after the Arab quartet severed transport and diplomatic ties with Qatar, or will lead to a cold peace in which rivalries fester beneath the surface. But the rapprochement should be welcomed.

They accused Qatar, long considered a maverick, of supporting Islamist groups and being too cosy with Iran. Doha denied the allegations and used its gas riches to cushion the blow to its economy. It has emerged more confident in its ability to be independent from its larger neighbours. And rather than sever its ties to Iran, the boycott pushed Qatar closer to the Islamic republic

Doha did not concede to the 13 maximalist demands that Riyadh and Abu Dhabi set, including closing the Al Jazeera television network and a Turkish military base in Qatar. But there are no winners. All sides have paid a human and financial cost. Saudi companies lost an export market; the UAE lost trade and tourism. Both suffered reputational damage. The Gulf Cooperation Council, which had been the region’s only functioning trade bloc, was undermined as its core tenets — unity and the freedom of movement and work among its six member states — were broken. The sudden detente appears to be a direct result of Donald Trump’s election defeat.

The Trump administration did belatedly pressure the rivals to end the dispute. But it is the prospect of Joe Biden’s presidency that has prompted Saudi Arabia’s embrace of its rival.

(A P)

Qatar-Saudi Arabia direct flights resume amid Gulf detente

A Qatar Airways jetliner landed in Saudi Arabia on Monday, completing the first direct flight from Doha to Riyadh since the kingdom’s boycott of the tiny, energy-rich state in 2017.

(A P)

Airport officials: Egypt reopens airspace to Qatar flights

(A P)

First Qatari vehicles cross border into Saudi after Gulf detente

(A P)

Qatar airlines resumes flights through Saudi skies

(* B P)

Naher Osten: Neuer Geist, neue Allianzen?

Was wurde erreicht in al-Ula? Das vollständige Dokument der Vereinbarungen ist noch nicht veröffentlicht, es sei voraussichtlich voller "unverbindlicher Platitüden", berichtet der Vizepräsident des Think Tanks Middle East Institute. Auch das zeigt ein Klima an.

Vereinbart wurde vor allem die Absicht, dass die Krise beendet werden soll. Inwieweit die Handelsblockade, die seit dreieinhalb Jahren von KSA und VAE gegenüber Katar praktiziert wird, praktisch ausgesetzt wird, wird sich erst zeigen. Der FIFA-Präsident macht sich aber schon weniger Sorgen um die Durchführung der WM in Katar.

Sämtliche Forderungen, die von Saudi-Arabien und den Vereinigten Arabischen Staaten an Katar gestellt wurden (Machtkampf im Nahen Osten: Katar soll sich gefügig zeigen), wurden vom Emirat nicht erfüllt. Dazu gehörte z.B. das Ende von al-Jazeera, das Einstellen von Beziehungen zu den Muslimbrüdern oder der Hamas - und nicht zuletzt eine Veränderung der Beziehungen zu Iran.

"Es gibt keinen Effekt auf unsere Beziehungen zu einem anderen Land", so der katarische Außenminister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al-Thani gegenüber der Financial Times.

Nun wird in Expertenkreisen viel darüber spekuliert, was passiert, wenn sich Saudi-Arabien, VAE und Katar tatsächlich annähern. Dann könnte Katar als Mittler das Verhältnis zwischen Saudi-Arabien und der Türkei verbessern, berichtet der französische Nahostexperte Georges Malbrunot.

Die Verbundenheit zur Muslimbruderschaft ist aber eine Gemeinsamkeit zwischen der Türkei und Katar. Man kann gespannt sein darauf, wie Bidens neuer Nahost-Experte mit der Quadratur des Kreises umgehen wird

(* A P)

No diplomatic ties to Qatar yet, but trade, travel resuming, says UAE

Arab states boycotting Qatar could resume travel and trade links with Doha within a week under a U.S.-backed deal, but restoring diplomatic ties requires more time as parties work to rebuild trust, a United Arab Emirates official said on Thursday.

UAE Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Anwar Gargash told a virtual news conference that measures to be implemented within a week of the agreement “include practical measures of airlines, shipping and trade”.

However, he said, other issues such as restoring full diplomatic relations would take time given geopolitical issues such as Iran, Turkey and political Islamist groups regarded by traditional Arab autocrats as an existential threat.

“Some issues are easier to fix and some others will take a longer time,” Gargash said, adding that bilateral working groups would try to move those forward.”


(A P)

Easing dispute, UAE announces reopening of borders to Qatar

The United Arab Emirates announced on Friday that it would reopen its borders and airspace to Qatar after boycotting the tiny energy-rich country alongside its Gulf allies since 2017.

The decision to restart commerce and travel would take effect on Saturday, Foreign Ministry official Khalid Abdullah Belhou was quoted as saying by the UAE’s state-run WAM news agency.

The move comes after Saudi Arabia declared a breakthrough in settling the yearslong rift with

cp12b Sudan

(A P)

Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia say talks on disputed dam deadlocked

Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia failed to achieve a breakthrough in the African Union-led talks to revolve their years-long dispute over the controversial dam that Ethiopia is building on the Blue Nile, the three countries announced on Sunday.

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Siehe / Look at cp10

(B K P)

Photo: Guns, ammunition, holsters, and other accessories for sale in Shabwah. The region’s history of both #AQAP #VEO violence and government of #Yemen conflict with the #STC has sustained the local arms market.

cp13b Wirtschaft / Economy

(A E)

Yemeni rial decline pushes exchange market to stop

The Yemeni Aden-based exchangers union decided on Tuesday to stop foreign exchange transactions, following a spiral decline in the national money's value.
The decision is based on directives issued by the Central Bank of Yemen, and in conformity with the public interest, the union said in a circular sent to all exchange offices in the interim capital of Aden.
In Tuesday transactions, the US dollar's purchase rate increased to 770 Yemeni rials in Aden, according to bankers.
The rial saw relative recovery following the new government's arrival in Aden on 30 December.

(A E P)

CB Yemen calls exchange agencies to establish united remittance web

The Aden-based Central Bank of Yemen (CBY) on Sunday called on exchange offices to sign and contribute to the establishment of a united remittance system.

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

(A T)

#AlQaeda #Yemen just released lesson 18 of #AQAP leader Batarfi's video series. Again, old footage with date cropped. But it raises interesting questions. If comms are live & posting the backlog, -Why are no operational claims appearing? -Why has Batarfi produced nothing new?

(A T)

1/ Last night, #AQAP's formal wire released new lecture material by the leader of #AlQaeda in #Yemen, Khalid Batarfi. What might this signal? Probably weakness more than strength…

Superficially, the resumption of this #Quran lecture series after an 8-month gap suggests #AQAP is back in business. The lectures had ceased abruptly on 13 May 2020 when a US op killed the #Pensacola shooter go-between (possibly a #drone strike in Wadi 'Ubaydah, Ma'rib)

3/ But in fact, #AQAP’s latest release highlights the patchy comms & disappearance of their leader. The footage was recorded minimum 8 months ago (same set-up, clothing, light/shadow + date cropped out). So it does nothing to dispel rumours of Batarfi’s capture, demise or retreat

cp15 Propaganda

(A P)

The path to peace in Yemen is not strewn with roses

Rapid transformations could stop the war in Yemen as we have known it but may not end the suffering of Yemenis and restore their state.

The Riyadh Agreement has crowned Saudi efforts to unify the legitimacy front in order to cope with the upcoming transformations and challenges that loom in the region.

The international community views this step as an important pillar of the comprehensive settlement effort in Yemen, which UN envoy Martin Griffiths promotes through his vision known as the “joint declaration” even if opponents of the Houthi project view it only as a reward for the coup.

In terms of timing, the UN-led moves, which are running in parallel to international pressure led by the UK, do not seem to be in the interest of the Yemeni government.

The Yemeni government still needs some time to rearrange matters on the internal front of the legitimacy camp and address the accumulated mistakes before it is ready to sit at the negotiating table or engage in a quick round of military confrontations in order to make up for the losses it recently incurred as a result of the political conflict within the anti-Houthi camp, as was the case with Al-Jawf governorate and the Nihm region which the Houthis were able to recapture.

On the regional level, the region has witnessed an important event that may reflect directly on the Yemeni file. This event is reconciliation between Qatar and the boycotting countries whose boycott was punctuated by severe political and media strife in which Yemen was one of the main battlefields.

Many Yemenis hope that the Gulf reconciliation deal will bear fruit in Yemen by boosting the Arab coalition’s efforts to curb Iranian influence. These efforts aim to reach a just and real peace based on establishing justice and respect for the state and reversing the effects of the Houthi coup, and not enshrining and recognising it as a fait accompli as illustrated by statements made by international officials who talk about peace without features or prerequisites.

The third shift that may cast a shadow over the course of the Yemeni file is related to the victory of US President-elect Joe Biden, whose initial foreign policy indications point to his policies being an extension of former President Barack Obama’s in accommodating the Iranian project.

This means easing sanctions on the Iranian regime, a return to the nuclear agreement and going along with the UK’s vision for a political settlement in Yemen based on supporting Griffiths’ efforts and clinching agreements that are difficult to implement on the ground.

Based on these considerations, the path of peace in Yemen does not appear to be strewn with roses, as expected scenarios are likely to include a peace agreement under international pressure, which could be similar to the Stockholm Agreement. This could stop the war as we have known it over the last six years but will not end the suffering of Yemenis nor allow them to achieve their basic aspiration of restoring the state.

(A P)

Finally, Americans hear the truth on Iran

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has finally told the American people what they needed to hear about the malign regime in Tehran. Americans now know a truth that we in the region have been trying so hard to communicate: Iran and Al-Qaeda are, and have been for a long time, best buddies.
In the US and elsewhere in the West, our suggestions of Iran-Al-Qaeda ties were initially laughed off, dismissed with a heavy dose of skepticism. We were accused of trying to tarnish Iran’s image, of projecting our problems on to them. The skeptics appeared to have logic and reason on their side: How could an extremist Sunni terror organization and an extremist Shiite regime work together? But they forgot the dictum: “My enemy’s enemy is my friend.” Iran and Al-Qaeda became friend.

(A P)

Iran’s regime and Al-Qaeda: An axis of convenience

With less than two weeks left in office, the Trump administration has publicly accused the Iranian regime of having ties with the terrorist group Al-Qaeda. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo revealed the link on Tuesday using recently declassified intelligence material during a speech to the National Press Club in Washington.

This was the first time a US secretary of state had provided evidence of the links between the Tehran regime and Al-Qaeda. The intelligence included information on the assassination of Al-Qaeda’s second in command, Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, also known as Abu Mohammad Al-Masri, in Tehran on Aug. 7 last year.

Al-Qaeda has helped Iran against Western forces in Syria and Iraq and has provided the pretext for the IRGC to increase its influence in Baghdad, Damascus and Sanaa. Their alliance likely explains why the terrorist group has never carried out an attack against the Iranian regime.

Iran is the godfather of many terror groups across the region, including Al-Qaeda. More attention should be paid to the regime’s long-standing ties with this militia. In light of all this evidence, it is incumbent on the international community — and particularly the next US administration — to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its funding, arming and empowering of one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the world.

(A P)

Why calling Khamenei’s bluff may be Biden’s best option

Iran on Saturday gave President-elect Joe Biden an ultimatum: Lift the US sanctions on Tehran by Feb. 21 or we kick out nuclear watchdog inspectors.

Though Iran might feel it is putting pressure on the US, in fact this belligerent attitude makes it more difficult and embarrassing for Biden to go back to the deal. But how should Biden respond to such an ultimatum? To start with, he should not yield to Iran,

(A P)

Iranian-backed Houthis Test Yemen’s New Unity Government

Iran’s intervention in Yemen’s civil war will likely escalate as the country’s newly instated Saudi-led government takes form.

Unsurprisingly, Iranian regime leaders have also tried to exploit the disorder in Yemen to their advantage. Iran would view a Houthi conquest over Yemen’s legitimate government as a victory, since regime officials seek to put allied Shia Muslims in power across the Middle East.

Since 2012, the Iranian intervention to support the Houthi rebels ranging from military aid to training and monetary assistance has increased significantly.

The Houthi assaults against Saudi Arabia coincided with the Iran-Saudi Arabia conflict.

As Yemen’s newly instated Saudi-led government continues to take form, Houthi rebels will likely escalate attacks targeting its officials. The incoming U.S. administration is expected to be tough on Saudi Arabia. The Iranian-backed Houthis may be testing Joe Biden’s resolve if Saudi forces retaliate in the upcoming weeks.

(A P)

For Israel, Houthi threat a whole new ballgame

Israel fears that Iran would encourage the Houthis in Yemen to attack the southern city of Eilat.

According to publications, Iran already started encouraging Hamas to target EAPC facilities. Israel fears that the Houthis could also pick up that mission, and that Tehran may transfer (or have already transferred) other long-range weapons to the Houthis.

An attack against Israel by the Houthis could well serve Iran. It would send a clear menacing message to Israel, without Iran taking openly the blame for it. Israel estimates that Iran could prefer this way of operation.

(A P)

Houthis replace Yemen's national anthem with Persian one

The Iranian-backed Houthi putschist militia has abolished the national anthem of the republic of Yemen and replaced it with the Khomeinist Revolution Anthem.
Starting from Saturday, all official opening ceremonies in the capital Sana'a and the other Houthi-held governorates of northern Yemen should begin with the Khomeinist Revolution Anthem in Persian language. Arabic is still the official language in Sana'a.


(A P)

Houthis replacing Yemeni national anthem with Iran's anthem, Gov't

[Hadi gov.] Yemen's information minister Muammar Al-Eryani on Saturday accused the Houthi group of replacing the national anthem with the Khomeini revolution anthem to launch its sectarian activities in Sanaa.

This is evidence of the group's allegiance to the guardianship of the Islamic jurist in Iran, he said.

(A P)

[Hadi gov.] VP: Houthi militia’s atrocities prove actual malice toward Yemenis

The Vice President of the Republic (Lt Gen) Ali Mohsen Saleh stated that the ongoing vicious attacks by Iran-backed Houthi militia theocratic militants against the villagers in the region of al-Haimah eastern Taiz governorate reveal deep malevolence it bears toward Yemen and the Yemenis.

(A P)

Film: #Houthi crimes have no statute of limitation

(A P)

Yemenis should write history now, while still fresh

We are all seeing the Nazi crimes of the Houthi militia in the country now while the government’s unarmed army struggles hard to defend the remaining safe civilians in its areas of control.

We have also seen how the United Nations, which nominally recognized the Yemeni government in 2012, stood by the Shia theocratic putschists ever after.

Today, after six years of international conspiracies, the Yemeni army and its popular supporters are mostly defensive. The civilians under Houthis are suppressed into silence while living a life like hell. The train of Houthi massacres never stop in the government-held territories, especially in the besieged city of Taiz, where the militia pour down their missiles and mortar rounds. The heroic army, with no heavy arms or salaries, is restricted by an undeclared international pressures to not do more than defend the city against a final Houthi ground incursion.

(A P)

Normalization And The Turmoil In Yemen – OpEd

In this new era of Israeli-Arab normalization, Israel has an even more direct interest than it always had in the outcome of the decades-long civil conflict in Yemen.

The Bab El-Mandab Strait is the narrow gateway out of the Red Sea into the Gulf of Aden, and in fact the strategically important island was wrested from the Houthis in 2015 and has remained under the control of the coalition ever since. Israel, Saudi Arabia and the UAE view the Strait as of key strategic importance in ensuring access to the Indian ocean and beyond. All consider it vital to prevent the Strait falling into the hands of Iran’s proxy, the Houthis.

Saudi Arabia, determined to prevent Iran from extending its footprint into the Arabian peninsula, intervened in March 2015 to beat them back.

As long as Iran’s malevolent involvement persists, no end seems in sight to Yemen’s civil conflict. A determination to frustrate Iran’s aspiration to dominate the Middle East is one element uniting Israel and the Arab signatories to the Abraham Accords. =

(A P)

Film: #Houthis' strong ties with #Iran

(A P)

More Saudi coalition „We are benefactors“ propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

Siehe / Look at cp1

(* A K pH)

Saudi coalition air raids and shelling day by day

Jan. 10:

Jan. 9:

Jan. 8:

Jan. 7:

Jan. 6:

Jan. 5:

Jan. 4:

(A K pH)

More Saudi coalition air raids Several prov. Marib p., Jawf p. Marib p., Saada p. Marib p. Saada p. Saada p., Najran

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)

Young girl shot by Houthi sniper succumbs to wounds in Taiz

A six year old girl has died succumbing to her wounds sustained from a Houthi gunshot in December in the central Yemen city of Taiz, local sources said.

(A K)

#Yemenis report the death of several #UAE invasion soldiers in Shabwa. This proves that UAE govt is lying about ending its invasion

(A K pH)

In Sa’adah, two citizens were seriously injured as a result of Saudi artillery shelling Al-Sheikh area in Munbeh border district. Saudi missile and artillery shelling targeted citizens' homes and properties and populated villages in Razih, Shada, and Qutaber al-Border districts

and also

(A K pS)

Houthis launch aggressive operation against villagers in Dhamar

Iran-backed Houthi theocratic militiamen launched an aggressive military campaign on Sunday against the village of al-Mashakhirah in the district of al-Hada of Dhamar governorate.
According to the Yemeni News Agency (Saba) a local human rights NGO issued a statement reported that the militia's militants have besieged the village with large number of pick-up 4 wheel drive autos, armored vehicles and dozens of gunmen.
The village has been subjected to indiscriminately shelling with medium and heavy weapons, seven villagers were arbitrary arrested and moved to unknown places.

(A K pS)

KSrelief's Masam Project Dismantles 1,567 Mines in Yemen During 1st Week of January

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief)'s Masam Project for Clearing Mines in Yemen demined 1,567 mines during the first week of January 2020, including 201 anti-personnel mines, 130 anti-tank mines, 1,217 unexploded ordnance and 19 explosive devices.
Since the beginning of the project, as many as 210,072 mines planted by the Houthi militia have been dismantled.

(A K pS)

Over 30 Houthi militiamen killed and injured western Marib

(A K pS)

Film: This innocent man screams out of pain while doctors try to pull out a bullet from his body. The man was shot yesterday by a #Houthi #sniper in the five-year besieged city of #Taiz

(A K pS)

Yemeni official troops [= pro-Hadi gov. fighters] say retook sites in Jawf

(A K)

Violence renews in Dhale in south Yemen

Fierce battles on Saturday renewed between the government and Houthi forces in the districts of Qaatabah and Murays in Yemen's Dhale province.

(A K pS)

Yemen: At least 1 child killed in Houthi shelling

Houthi artillery shelling in southern Yemen leaves 3 civilians injured, says military spokesman

At least one child was killed in a Houthi artillery shelling in southern Yemen late Friday, the military said.

Two children and a woman were injured in the attack at a residential area in Taiz province, military spokesman Col. Abdul-Basit al-Bahr told Anadolu Agency.

and also (photo)

(A K pH)

3 Citizens, Including Woman, Injured by US-Saudi Shell in Taiz

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 pS)

A fisherman was killed by a marine mine planted by the Houthi group in #Hodeidah governorate, leaving behind a family without their sole provider.

(A K pS)

Film: Child Haja Abdullah Essa,7, was shot today morning by a Houthi gunman in Hays district, south of the port city of Hodeidah. =

(* A K P)

[Hadi gov.] Yemeni RCC team say Guha thwarted UNMHA mission

Chairman of the UN Mission to Support the Hodeida Agreement (UNMHA), Abhijit Guha, has thwarted UNMHA's mission, the Yemeni government's senior negotiator to the Redeployment Coordination Committee (RCC) said Monday, accusing the Indian general of partiality.
Guha "is no longer an impartial mediator," Mohamed Eadha added. "He failed in his task and foiled the Mission."
UNMHA and its chairman are detained by the Houthis, and fulfill their dictations, the Yemeni official claimed.
UNMHA had demanded the Houthis to allow them access to places that recently saw military activity and civilian losses in Hodeida.
In response, UNMHA on Sunday said they received a proposal from the group to establish a demilitarized zone in the Yemeni western governorate.
The government team, however, has "no knowledge about what happens and no contact with General Guha," Eadha said, as the Houthis and UNMHA report "one-sided work that is absolutely rejected."
According to the Houthi RCC team, UNMHA chairman told them that the government troops would reposition themselves 8 kilometers away from their current site in the nearby of Thabit Brothers Compound.
The government troops "won't withdraw one meter," Eadha said as his team's work with UNMHA is still suspended until their demands are met.
In March 2020, the government suspended its team's work in the RCC, after one of its liaison officers was shot while at monitoring task, and called for UNMHA office to be relocated into neutral area.

and also

(A K P)

Sana'a Objects Strongly, Escalation of US-Saudi Aggression, in a Message to UN Mission General, in Hodeidah

The Deputy Chief of the General Staff and the head of the national team for redeployment in Hodeidah, Major General Ali Al-Mushki, condemned the escalation of the US-Saudi Aggression and its mercenaries in Hodeidah governorate.

(A K pH)

Daily violations

Jan. 12:

Jan. 11:

Jan. 10:

Jan. 9:

Jan. 8:

Jan. 7:

cp19 Sonstiges / Other

(B H)

Desert Locust situation update 11 January 2021

breeding is underway along both sides of the Red Sea coast. Hopper groups and bands are present along both sides of the Sudan/Eritrea border. Scattered solitarious adults prevail along the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden coastal plains in Yemen, and one mature swarm appeared in the northern highlands from the coast.

(* B D)

Socotra: Paradise found

The ‘Galápagos of the Indian Ocean’, is a governorate of troubled Yemen. Travel legend Hilary Bradt has spent the last 40 years hoping to reach this unique destination – and now she finally has...

But this isn’t about Yemen, nor about the political shenanigans that have blighted it [see Footnotes pages]. This is about a small island, scarcely larger than Cornwall, pushed by geological forces into the ocean millions of years ago to settle some 250km from the Horn of Africa. The island of Socotra has always had a touch of magic about it: little known, hard to get to, undeveloped for tourism, but quite extraordinary. A landscape of rocks coloured like strawberry ice-cream, plump bottle trees flaunting golden bellies and buttocks, and the iconic dragon’s blood trees. Who wouldn’t dream of going there once the secret is revealed to them?

And it was revealed to me over 40 years ago when I went to a talk and saw faded slides of this very special island that none of us had heard of and most immediately forgot about. Not me. An Attenborough tel

Experienced travellers know that a country that hits the disaster headlines back home is often as peaceful a place as anywhere when you actually visit. The first words from our guide, Wagdi, when he met us at the airport were, “This is the safest place in the world; in the world!” It was only a small exaggeration. The only sign we saw of its ongoing political tussles was a variety of flags painted on rocks, identified as Southern Yemen and the UAE, and a cheery ‘Welcome to Saudi Arabia!’ pinging on our phones when we passed through some military areas.

So here we were, with only six days to discover as much as we could about Socotra, not just to fulfil my four-decade dream but also as part of my research for Bradt Guides’ latest project – the very first guidebook to the island. Driving from the airport to its north-coast capital Hadiboh, our excitement at seeing our first bottle trees and Egyptian vultures, surely the most elegant and classy of all their family, was dampened as we passed through an avenue of discarded plastic. This is Socotra’s blight and there’s no point in pretending otherwise. The town’s ubiquitous goats seemingly thrive on a plastic-filled diet, but there is only so much that they can deal with.

We visited Hadiboh market to watch old men with chocolate-brown skin and white beards cutting up large, still flipping fish, and to buy dates from a stall laden with (imported) oranges, apples and other fruit, and then escaped inland to the Haggeher mountains. And these are serious mountains, over 1,500m high, often clothed in cloud that nourishes the lush vegetation on their slopes, home for some of Socotra’s endemic species of reptile, and providing pasture for the cattle herded by Socotra’s Bedouin.

Fit visitors with more than a week at their disposal can go deep into the Haggeher on camel treks (the camels carry supplies, not tourists) and those paths are steep and rugged. We looked up at the mountains from the Diksam plateau and then down, over 700m down, at Wadi Dirhur, which slices Socotra almost in two (photos)

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-706 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-706: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

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

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

11:32 13.01.2021
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

Dietrich Klose

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

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