Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 715 - Yemen War Mosaic 715

Yemen Press Reader 715: 8. Feb. 2021: Filme über den Jemen-Krieg – Bidens Amerika muss weiter gehen, als nur Frieden im Jemen zu fordern – Die USA werden die Unterstützung des Saudi-Krieges ...
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

... Die USA werden die Unterstützung des Saudi-Krieges im Jemen einstellen und die Einstufung der Huthis als "Terroristen" widerrufen – und mehr

Feb. 8, 2021: Films on the Yemen War – Biden’s America Must Go Further Than Merely Demanding Peace in Yemen – US will halt supporting saudi war in Yemen and will revoke Houthi “terrorist” denomination – and more

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Kursiv: Siehe Teil 2 / In Italics: Look in part 2:

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: Biden beendet US-Unterstützung im Jemenkrieg / Most important: Biden ending US support for Yemen War

cp1c Am wichtigsten: US nimmt Einstufung der Huthis als „Terroristen“ zurück / Most important: US revokes Houthi „terrorist“ designation

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

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp12b Sudan

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp13c 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

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

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

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

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Film (March 2020): The Yemen conflict explained

Since 2015, Yemen has been consumed by an intractable, multiparty war that has created a devastating humanitarian crisis and brought millions to the brink of starvation. We investigate the origins of the fighting, examine the motivations of foreign actors, and ask what steps the international community might take to resolve the conflict.

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Film: Jemen: Unerreichbare Einheit?

Jemen liegt am Südrand der Arabischen Halbinsel und hieß einst "Arabia Felix" – das glückliche Arabien. Davon ist spätestens seit 2015 keine Rede mehr, als der bis heute andauernde Bürgerkrieg das Land in eine humanitäre Katastrophe stürzte. "Mit offenen Karten" erzählt die Geschichte des seit Jahrzenten zerrissenen jemenitischen Staates. =,28599835

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Yemen: Coronavirus in a War Zone

Yemen: Coronavirus in a War Zone is presented by the indomitable Nawal Al-Maghafi. She visits al-Radwan cemetery in Aden. It opened in April, 2020. By August, it was full. “There were so many deaths, there was not even time to eat”, recalls the gravedigger, Ghassan. “It was worse than the war.” The Houthi administration downplayed the extent of the problem. They acknowledged only five cases of COVID-19. Al-Maghafi catches up with the Houthi Minister of Health in a hospital in the port city of Hodeida. He encourages her to focus on malnutrition instead. “Many people in our village died of corona”, interjects a woman sitting nearby. “We are terrified of corona.”

The arrival of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) to take over Aden's sole COVID-19 ward alleviated some of the chaos. “Patients used to leave hospital in a white plastic bag, now they are walking out”, said one doctor. Her relief is palpable. But MSF soon left, forced out by security concerns in the wake of malicious rumours that they had been murdering patients. The documentary ends with footage of a frail young boy in the throes of severe malnutrition. “There is no clean water, no safe place to live, no nutritious food”, sighs the nurse. The prospects for the child, and for his homeland, are bleak.

Film (only works in UK):

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

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Biden’s America Must Go Further Than Merely Demanding Peace in Yemen

Washington will either treat this as an inflection point or be doomed to repeating it.

But in order to actually end hostilities in Yemen, more has to be done. Yemen’s absolute devastation needs to be taken into account. For years, Yemen has been, according to the United Nations, the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

Much of this is blamed on a fairly indiscriminate Saudi coalition bombing campaign that was estimated to have targeted civilians roughly a third of the time by 2018. But the biggest problem is what has been called Saudi Arabia’s use of starvation as a weapon that has plunged millions of Yemenis into a prolonged famine. This is why even the disturbing numbers likely understate the extent of the carnage.

While ceasing participation in war crimes is an end unto itself, there is a dire need for unrestricted humanitarian access, a cessation of hostilities, and a plan to build a viable Yemen. This will not be easy.

First, the United States needs to actually end its participation. President Joe Biden’s address only promised to halt support for “offensive” operations. Needless to say, this is a bit vague. Will the United States only work to protect Saudi Arabia against Houthi rockets? Will it continue resupplying Saudi forces? The use of starvation as a weapon is largely born out of Saudi Arabia halting or slowing arrival ships in Yemen including ones that carry food, fuel, and medicine. They claim this as a defensive measure against arms smuggling. If the United States continues to support this, the worst humanitarian suffering in Yemen is likely still to come. In fact, the top U.S. commander in the Middle East recently made the claim that U.S. support for the Saudi and UAE coalition is already largely “defensive.”

Second, the U.S. mercenaries deployed to Yemen need to go. U.S. mercenary companies have played a role in Saudi and Emirati operations. U.S. espionage and militant mercenaries helping Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states are an extremely problematic proposition before one even accounts for how they are facilitating the campaign in Yemen. Whether its Booz-Allen Hamilton contributing to the Royal Saudi Navy in ways that seem to be enhancing their starvation-inducing blockade or American mercenaries carrying out an assassination campaign for the UAE in southern Yemen, these groups operate under the purview of the U.S. Department of Defense and need to be brought to heel.

Third, there is a dire need for a new Security Council resolution. The 2015 resolution (2216) was designed by Saudi Arabia’s Western backers in the outset of the war. It effectively calls for the Houthis to hand over their gains and arms. It basically means that the Houthis and their allies should surrender before their inclusion into the future of Yemen is decided upon by the internationally recognized pro-Saudi Yemeni government whose leader is “universally scorned as a puppet.” The Security Council resolution has served as a barrier to peace in Yemen and needs to be replaced with one that calls for an immediate ceasefire and unrestricted humanitarian access. There are a myriad of issues that the resolution also needs to address such as the unnerving interactions between the coalition forces and al-Qaeda aligned fighters as well as the UAE’s designs on Socotra island.

Fourth, Western countries need to deal with Yemen on its own terms. Constantly framing Yemen as either an extension of their permissive Saudi policy or their combative Iran policy is a path to nowhere. An international contact group can coordinate and also limit the extent to which Iran and Saudi Arabia see Yemen as a battlefield. The Saudis need security assurances and Iran has supported constructive diplomatic talks as even European officials have attested to. They both must limit their involvement in the country.

Fifth, there needs to be a new approach to negotiations to put Yemenis at the center of the dialogue. The Yemen conflict is a complex and multi-sided affair that cannot be settled between Houthis and Saudi proxies.

Finally, the issue needs accountability and reflection. It goes without saying that no one should be naive enough to believe that there will be any real accountability here. But Congress and the Biden administration should not be quick to dismiss some kind of soul-searching exercise as to how this happened. The first reason to do this is for the sake of the Yemeni victims. But I’d posit that Washington needs this too.

Without dwelling into a discourse about Just War Theory, it is broadly understood that civilian harm cannot be entirely extricated from war. The amount of civilian harm needs to be understood in the context of the goal being sought and the viability of that goal. If there is no achievable goal, allowing even soldiers to perish is immoral.

Which brings us to the most maddening question about much of the West’s support for the Saudi and Emirati invasion: Why did they do it and why did they sustain it?

One should not forget that the attitude towards the intervention in Yemen was actually very bullish at the onset.

The conflict that Western arms sales and emboldening had wrought now became a potential threat and Yemen had to pay the price just to buy time before confessing failure. Other such disasters are often blamed on the neglect of world powers or their infighting. This was enabled by world powers at every point. The fact that three veto-wielding Western powers who promote themselves as guardians of human rights and sponsors of the region’s stability continued to support this medieval siege and grizzly air campaign for so long is a moral failing that is hard to understand. This also reflects many of the problems in U.S. national security decision making from clientitis and enabling hardline forces to the failure of Congress to oversee foreign policy. As the U.S. Naval Academy scholar Kevin Schwartz said “Yemen has become a graveyard of myths for understanding Middle East politics and U.S. foreign policy aims.” Washington will either treat this as an inflection point or be doomed to repeating it – by Alireza Ahmadi

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

(A H)

Three new cases of coronavirus reported, 2,127 in total

(A H)

One new case of coronavirus reported, 2,124 in total

cp1b Am wichtigsten: Biden beendet US-Unterstützung im Jemenkrieg / Most important: Biden ending US support for Yemen War

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Biden setzt Saudiarabien in Jemen unter Druck und stellt die radikale Huthi-Miliz auf die Probe

Der amerikanische Präsident möchte den Krieg in Jemen beenden und stoppt die Unterstützung für Saudiarabiens Luftangriffe. Doch sollte die proiranische Huthi-Miliz die ausgestreckte Hand aus Washington nicht ergreifen, könnte sich dies wieder ändern.

Saudiarabien, aber auch die verbündeten Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate dürften somit keine hochpräzisen Lenkraketen mehr aus den USA erhalten. Ohne sie wird Riad kaum mehr in der Lage sein, in Jemen einen Luftkrieg zu führen.

«Saudiarabien verfügt nur über Raketen für zwei Wochen für seine Operationen in Jemen», erklärt Abdulghani al-Iryani von der jemenitischen Denkfabrik Sanaa Centre. Die USA versorgten Riad und seine Verbündeten jedoch nicht nur mit Munition. Laut Iryani halfen sie auch bei der Zielbestimmung, lieferten Geheimdienstinformationen und unterstützten Saudiarabien mit Hunderten von Militärberatern. Trotz der Hilfe der USA, aber auch Grossbritanniens und Frankreichs hatte der Luftkrieg verheerende Folgen.

Die Frage ist allerdings, ob der nun von Biden eingeschlagene Weg der bessere ist. Der amerikanische Präsident versucht Druck auf alle Parteien – auch auf die eigenen Verbündeten – auszuüben, um die von der Uno geführten Friedensgespräche zwischen der international anerkannten jemenitischen Regierung und der Huthi-Miliz in Schwung zu bringen. Die Jemen-Expertin Nadwa al-Dawsari sieht diese diplomatischen Bemühungen jedoch kritisch: «Eine solche politische Lösung riskiert, dass sich das militärische Gleichgewicht zugunsten der Huthi verlagert, die bisher jeden Waffenstillstand genutzt haben, um sich neu aufzustellen», schreibt al-Dawsari auf Twitter.

Mit seiner Strategie versuche Biden den moderaten Kräften unter den Huthi die Möglichkeit zu geben, sich wieder zu zeigen, glaubt Kendall. «Bis jetzt hat die amerikanische Politik den Huthi-Hardlinern geholfen, die dominierende Fraktion zu werden.» Denn wenn kontinuierlich zivile Infrastruktur zerstört werde, hätten die Menschen keine Zukunft mehr. «Alles, was dir bleibt, ist zu kämpfen», sagt Kendall. «Die Huthi sind wirklich sehr radikal und aggressiv geworden. Viel mehr als zu Beginn dieses Krieges.»

Ob mit einer solch radikalisierten Organisation über eine friedliche Machtteilung verhandelt werden kann, muss sich zeigen. Denn den Huthi ist der anhaltende militärische Konflikt mit der von den gottlosen USA und dem sunnitischen Saudiarabien unterstützten jemenitischen Regierung dienlich, um das eigene Regime zu legitimieren. Der Jemen-Experte Iryani meint indes, die Huthi sollten sich nicht zu sicher fühlen, denn Biden könne auch Zähne zeigen. «Wenn sie sich auf keine Friedensverhandlungen einlassen, werden die USA die Unterstützung für Saudiarabien wieder aufnehmen, um sich zu rächen.» Dadurch könnten sich die Kräfteverhältnisse gegen die Huthi wenden – von Christian Weisflog

und auch =

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Ist das der Anfang vom Ende des Jemen-Kriegs?

SRF News: Könnte die Ankündigung von US-Präsident Biden das Ende des seit 2015 dauernden Jemen-Konflikts einläuten?

Guido Steinberg: Das ist sehr gut möglich. Biden hat angekündigt, dass er alle Unterstützung für die Saudis in ihrem Krieg einstellt. Ohne amerikanische Hilfe sind die Saudis noch nicht einmal in der Lage, ihre Flugzeuge zu fliegen. Das sind amerikanische Jets, die auch von amerikanischen Spezialisten gewartet werden.

Auch die US-Hilfe bei der Erstellung der Zieldaten wird eingestellt. Ich kann mir unter solchen Umständen nicht vorstellen, wie der saudische Krieg in der Luft weitergehen soll. Den Krieg haben die Saudis vor allem aus der Luft geführt. Sie können ihn nicht ohne amerikanische Hilfe fortsetzen.

Saudi-Arabien hatte in den Jahren unter Präsident Trump eine sehr enge Beziehung zu Washington. Kühlt sie jetzt ab?

Auf jeden Fall.

Die Saudis werden sich jetzt überlegen müssen, wie sie überhaupt noch Ziele im Nachbarland erreichen können, um ihre Hauptgegner, die Huthis, zu schwächen.

Zwar laufen Verhandlungen mit den USA, aber bei diesen werden die Saudis jetzt in einer sehr viel schwächeren Position sein. Letzten Endes bedeutet das für sie eine Niederlage und sie werden zusätzliche grosse Mühe aufwenden müssen, wie sie ihr Verhältnis zur Biden-Administration wieder zu reparieren.

Was bedeutet die Ankündigung Bidens generell für die Golfregion?

Das wird sich wahrscheinlich schon heute andeuten, wenn Biden mit seinen wichtigsten aussen- und sicherheitspolitischen Beratern darüber sprechen wird, ob und in welcher Form neue Gespräche mit Iran über das Atomprogramm beginnen sollen. Darauf werden die Golfstaaten auch schauen, weil das iranische Atomprogramm aus ihrer Sicht die wichtigste regionalpolitische Frage ist.

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Harter Schnitt der USA im Jemen

US-Präsident Joe Biden hat Saudi-Arabien die Unterstützung für den Krieg gegen die Huthi-Rebellen aufgekündigt. Die Partnerschaft mit Riad soll trotzdem weitergehen

Der Schnitt der Biden-Regierung mit der bisherigen amerikanischen Jemen-Kriegspolitik ist scharf – und gleichzeitig ein Balanceakt, gilt es doch, dem Iran, der die Huthis unterstützt, keine falschen Signale zu senden. Aber die Meinung, dass die USA nicht mehr mit dem Bombenkrieg im Jemen assoziiert werden sollten, der durch Angriffe auf zivile Ziele viele Todesopfer fordert, wurde in den vergangenen Jahren im US-Kongress immer stärker vertreten, teilweise auch unter den Republikanern.

Allerdings ging es bei der Kritik nicht nur um den saudischen Einsatz im Jemen, sondern auch um die Menschenrechtsbilanz unter dem saudischen Kronprinzen Mohammed bin Salman und speziell um die Ermordung des bei der "Washington Post" tätigen saudischen Journalisten Jamal Khashoggi im Oktober 2018. Am Freitag forderte das Weiße Haus Saudi-Arabien auf, politische Gefangene freizulassen.

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US-Präsident Biden sichert Saudi-Arabien seine Unterstützung zu

Während Biden sich zu einer politischen Lösung für den Jemen bekannte, sichert er zugleich Saudi-Arabien seine Unterstützung zu. Riad begrüßte daraufhin die Unterstützung von US-Präsident Joe Biden für das Königreich bei der Verteidigung seiner Souveränität.

"Wir werden Saudi-Arabien weiterhin unterstützen und ihm helfen, seine Souveränität, seine territoriale Integrität und seine Bevölkerung zu verteidigen", fügte Biden hinzu.

Faisal bin Farhan, Saudi-Arabiens Außenminister, begrüßte daraufhin Bidens Unterstützung für das Königreich bei der Verteidigung seiner Souveränität und seines Territoriums gegen regionale Bedrohungen, berichtete saudischen Medien am Donnerstag.

Den Berichten zufolge erwägt das US-Militär angesichts erhöhter Spannungen mit dem Iran, einen Hafen am Roten Meer in Saudi-Arabien und zwei weitere Flugplätze zu nutzen. Während die neue US-Regierung verlautbaren ließ, sich aus dem Bürgerkrieg in Jemen zurückziehen zu wollen, stationiert sie gleichzeitig weitere US-Militärbasen in der Region, insbesondere in Saudi-Arabien.

Gerald Feierstein, ehemaliger US-Botschafter im Jemen, erklärte, der Kurs von der neuen Regierung werde die saudischen Fähigkeiten im Bürgerkriegsland kaum beeinträchtigen. Er bemerkte auch, dass Biden, indem er den Schritt auf die Beendigung der Unterstützung für "offensive" saudische Aktionen beschränke, die Tür offen lasse, um Riad weiterhin in Fragen der Verteidigung der saudischen Sicherheit zu helfen, einschließlich gegen Huthi-Raketen- und Drohnenangriffe.

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Houthi: Jemeniten lassen sich nicht von US-Worten zur Beendigung der Unterstützung des Saudi-Krieges täuschen

Als Reaktion auf die Nachricht von der Entscheidung des US-Präsidenten, den saudischen Krieg gegen den Jemen nicht mehr zu unterstützen, sagte der Oberste Politische Rat des Jemen, dass sich die Jemeniten nicht von bloßen US-Erklärungen täuschen lassen werden.

"Wir betrachten jeden Schritt, der die Belagerung und Aggression gegen den Jemen nicht beendet, nur als Formalität und achten nicht darauf", sagte Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, ein Ratsmitglied, am Freitagmorgen via Twitter.

"Wir sind nicht diejenigen, die durch Aussagen getäuscht werden, egal wie sie ausgedrückt werden", bemerkte al-Houthi.

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US ending aid to Saudi-led forces in Yemen, but questions persist

Joe Biden’s announcement is a pivot in US foreign policy, but experts say what support will be cut remains unclear.

But since the announcement on Thursday, the Biden administration has released few details on what support to Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces in Yemen it plans to end – or how it will differentiate it from other US assistance and arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

“The United States provides spare parts, munitions, technical assistance, all kinds of things to the Saudi military, which enable its offensive operations,” Bruce Riedel, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, told Al Jazeera.

“So if the Saudis continued to use the Royal Saudi Air Force to bomb targets in Yemen, presumably, under this doctrine, that aid and assistance should halt.”

The US Department of Defense said on Friday that the US intelligence assistance to the Saudi Arabia-led coalition, which was largely related to air attacks, would cease.

The Biden administration will go through an “interagency process” to determine what constitutes “offensive” support for the coalition, as well as to evaluate individual arms sales, State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a news conference that same day.

But Riedel said many questions remain, including a critical one related to easing the humanitarian crisis in Yemen: Will the announcement encompass ceasing any intelligence or other support for Riyadh’s blockade on the country?

“[Is the US] going to provide support for the Saudi navy to continue that? Are we going to give them intelligence on shipments from Iran to the Houthis?”

The Biden administration has already paused pending Trump-era arms sales to the UAE and Saudi Arabia, calling the move a “typical” re-evaluation by a new administration. Still, two pending deals for GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs and precision-guided missiles, are expected to be terminated under the announcement.

Further arms deals will likely be part of “an ongoing negotiation” as the US works towards a larger diplomatic effort to end the conflict in Yemen, said Landis.

That effort includes the appointment of Tim Lenderking as the Biden administration’s new envoy to Yemen and plans to lift the US designation of the Houthi movement as a “foreign terrorist organization”, which has been derided for stalling aid to Yemenis.

“So many of these weapons are fungible,” Landis said. “They could be for defence or offence.”

He added the Biden administration will be involved in a “delicate game” as it tries to up pressure on Saudi Arabia without driving the country towards further belligerence in Yemen or into the arms of Russia and China.

That means Biden may come up short of enacting a more lasting ban on arms sales.

“A lot of it’s going to be optics,” he said. “There’s gonna be a lot of smoke and mirrors, and a lot of head fakes by the Biden administration.”

Meanwhile, the work continues for grassroots organisations that for years have urged the US to end its support for Saudi Arabia-led forces in Yemen, said Hassan el-Tayyab, a Middle East policy lobbyist at the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL).

El-Tayyab said the Biden administration’s announcement is a good first step, but activists want the US to end all forms of assistance to the coalition.

“This means [ending] intel sharing for Saudi-led coalition air strikes and spare parts transfers that keep warplanes in the air. It means [ending] targeting assistance and logistical support and maintenance,” he told Al Jazeera.

El-Tayyab said “offensive weapons” also need to be clearly defined, and added that he wants to make sure weapons such as Reaper drones and F-35s that the Trump administration agreed to sell the UAE are included in any ban.

“I’m not a full pessimist here. I welcome the news,” he told Al Jazeera. “But I’m just trying to stay vigilant and not take the foot off the gas on advocacy pressure. Because we don’t know what’s going to happen.” – by Joseph Stepansky

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The Observer view on Joe Biden's first foreign policy speech

His intentions had been repeatedly trailed in advance. Yet Joe Biden’s first foreign policy speech as president, delivered appropriately at the state department, the home base of American diplomacy, was still a breath of fresh air. The main headlines were an end to US support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen and a brisk warning to Russia that its easy ride under Donald Trump was over. But the speech also marked a broader policy shift.

Biden’s way is the diplomatic way, not the way of war, arms sales, punishment, tantrums, stunts and threats.

All this is very welcome. Yet like every president, Biden will be judged by deeds, not words. The relief among UN agencies and aid workers that he has, in effect, called time on the Yemen war is palpable. After the Saudis and the UAE launched their air campaign in 2014 against the country’s Iran-linked Ansar Allah (Houthi) rebels, Yemenis died in their tens of thousands and were plunged into the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.
David Miliband, who heads the International Rescue Committee, applauded Biden’s actions as “a vital first step”. He said “the shift from a failed war strategy towards a comprehensive diplomatic approach cannot come a moment too soon”. Among other measures, Biden has paused arms sales to Riyadh, halted US military support and appointed a peace envoy.

Biden should go further – by immediately resuming, and preferably boosting, US humanitarian aid to areas controlled by the rebels, where 80% of Yemenis live. Trump’s last-minute designation of the Houthis as a global terrorist organisation, which impedes relief work and economic reconstruction, was rescinded on Friday. In addition, the US should back an independent inquiry into war crimes committed by all parties to the war.
Biden’s Yemen démarche, though not unexpected, will jolt Riyadh, other Gulf capitals and Israel – for it reflects a wider shift in tone and substance after Trump’s unstinting, unwise political indulgences. He pledged to continue to help US regional allies defend themselves against Iran. And he has made no move, yet, to reopen nuclear-related negotiations or build bridges to Tehran.
But this may be coming, as is publication of a classified CIA report into the murder of the Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, which is expected to implicate the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

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Five things to know about Biden's Yemen move

Coupled with a commitment to support a diplomatic resolution more forcefully and ensure delivery of humanitarian assistance, the decision fulfilled a key campaign promise and was welcomed by foreign allies, human rights groups and lawmakers from both parties.

But it also affects the delicate U.S. alliances with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and their fight against Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi separatists. The Gulf countries are key U.S. security partners in the region but are regularly criticized as getting away with human rights abuses.

Here are five things to know about the president's decision on Yemen:

1. The move received support in Washington and abroad

Biden's call is seen as a common-sense action that has wide bipartisan support and appeals to the American public.

But it also underscored key priorities he has sought to emphasize as central to his goals to bring the U.S. back to the world stage, focusing on human rights and emphasizing diplomacy to resolve conflicts.

Biden made the announcement on Thursday as part of remarks laying out his administration’s foreign policy approach, saying the U.S. would end support for offensive operations carried out by a Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in northern Yemen and halt any relevant weapons sales that were pushed through at the end of the Trump administration.

This includes ending the delivery of precision guided missiles and of U.S. intelligence sharing and cooperation that critics have said implicated the U.S. in civilian casualties that Riyadh did not take sufficient care to avoid.

Yet the president made clear in his statement that the U.S. supports the right of Saudi Arabia to defend itself in the face of attacks that are launched from Houthi-controlled territory in Yemen, and will continue U.S.-military operations that target al Qaida’s operations on the Arabian Peninsula.

2. Biden picked veteran Mideast diplomat Timothy Lenderking to push diplomacy

Lenderking’s appointment as U.S. special envoy for Yemen signals how highly the administration is prioritizing efforts to support the United Nations-led process to find a diplomatic resolution to the more than six-year civil war.

His appointment was welcomed by Saudi Arabia, with its foreign ministry issuing a statement of support, as well as by Ahmed Awa Bin Mubarak, the foreign minister of Yemen’s internationally recognized government, who said the two had already spoken by phone.

The selection of Lenderking was also viewed as an effort to promote the experienced career professionals of the diplomatic corps who were sidelined during the Trump administration.

“Lenderking is both an important and predictable signal,” said Dave Harden, managing director of the Georgetown Strategy Group and a veteran of the State Department, where he focused on Yemen.

“He’s been on the job as deputy assistant secretary for years and he knows this account very well. Now he has the prominence and profile from President Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.”

3. Biden is removing the Trump administration’s Houthi terrorist designation

4. Calls grow for U.S. to get tougher on Saudi Arabia

The U.S. and Saudi relationship has come under intense scrutiny in recent years over the murder and dismemberment of U.S.-based Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018

Elisa Catalano Ewers, an adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security, said the Yemen decision makes clear that the Biden administration is following through on its “principled foreign policy instincts” and showing a willingness to have tough, honest conversations.

"The new team is signaling it is going to assess the whole of the relationship, which is deep and complex, and evaluate the issues on their merits, be clear-eyed about them, and ultimately weigh them against what is in the U.S. strategic interest," she said.

Democratic lawmakers are increasingly calling on the Biden administration to begin addressing other bad actions by Riyadh.

5. People are questioning the role of the UAE

Biden said in his announcement that the U.S. would terminate "relevant arms sales” that contribute to the offensive in Yemen, ending the delivery of precision guided missiles to Saudi Arabia, but did not address directly whether arms sales to the United Arab Emirates are included.

The administration had earlier paused an expected weapons transfer to the UAE initiated by the Trump administration, with the State Department saying the sale is under review.

But the U.S. and UAE are key partners in the counterterrorism offensive in Yemen against al Qaeda, which Biden, in his remarks Thursday, committed to continue supporting.

“This is an important area where the U.S.'s and UAE's interests overlap,” Catalano Ewers said

Amnesty International called for “all arms sales to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia” to be blocked “lest they be used to commit further war crimes in Yemen." – by Laura Kelly

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Can Americans End the War in Yemen?

While Joe Biden's recent efforts can advance the peace process, they come up against the complexity of the conflict.

Considered by many observers in the region as a step forward in the peace process in Yemen, they agree that the announcement of the Biden administration does not mean the end of the war in the country, however, and that its room for maneuver remains limited. The United States does not seem able to impose a peaceful solution on local and regional actors, especially the powerful Houthis who have refused for the moment to make any concessions.

“The Houthis have today become the dominant player politically and militarily in Yemen. Their defeat is not possible in the short term, ”notes Thomas Juneau,Gulf specialist and associate professor at the University of Ottawa. "The main challenges for the Biden administration are to curb coalition abuses in Yemen without playing into the hands of the Houthis - it is about engaging with the Houthis and Iran while holding them accountable for their aggression." , comments Elisabeth Kendall, researcher in Arabic and Islamic studies at Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

Following the recent announcements by Joe Biden on Thursday, some specialists fear in particular that the insurgents will gain ground in the face of the coming weakening of Riyadh. But it is difficult for the American president to negotiate with an organization deemed terrorist by Washington, a decision taken by Donald Trump before the handover. A measure that had also provoked an outcry from activists and NGOs.

"By putting more pressure on Saudi Arabia and other actors in the conflict, Washington can help move the peace process forward - no more," observes Thomas Juneau. “This is a complex conflict, violent, and with several levels of actors clashing. Unfortunately, even if they choose to become more actively involved than in the past, the United States will not be able to end it quickly, ”he adds. The number of actors, each pursuing their own interests, makes any outcome to the conflict extremely complex.

“I think it would be very difficult to move quickly to a national political settlement, and that a hasty settlement could cause as many problems as it solves. But what is possible in the short and medium term,it is a ceasefire and the start of a sort of political process, ”Peter Salisbury, Yemen specialist at the International Crisis Group, told the OLJ.

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Biden calling time on war in Yemen can’t atone for seven years of US-backed barbarism and bloodshed

There’s been very little coverage in the media, but Yemen has been one of the most shocking conflicts of the modern age. The carpet bombing and embargoes have brought this fragile country to the brink, and few have cared in the process. Therefore, while the Biden administration’s decision is to be welcomed, it does nothing to address the atrocities the US has enabled its allies to commit in ravaging this country.

While the new administration will move on, there’s little question that what has happened will simply be swept under the carpet. Such is the price a country pays for America’s strategic vision.

The US’ actions in Yemen are directly correlated with its policy towards Iran; a broad effort to attempt to contain Tehran from overturning the Middle East’s established political order and forging its own.

There are two rival power structures in the region. The first is led by the US, which projects its interests through working with regional client states, including Saudi Arabia and Israel. The second is that pursued by Iran, which seeks to overturn the established order and expel the presence of America, and has allies in Bashar Assad in Syria, Hezbollah, Iraq, Lebanon and the Houthis in Yemen.

The result of this escalating tension between the US, its allies and Iran has been a number of proxy conflicts against Tehran-led forces in various countries, which contributed to the Trump administration pulling out of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action – or Iran nuclear deal, as it is commonly referred-to – in 2018.

Following this emergence of an Iran-backed insurgency, US allies such as Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates sought to intervene to protect the status quo. However, they have done so with a brutal bombing campaign which has killed enormous amounts of civilians and destroyed everyday infrastructure, causing chronic food shortages.

For seven years, the US has implicitly given its backing to this conflict and continued to sell weaponry to the UAE and Saudis in its bid to confront Iran

And it has done this with relative impunity. There’s been no evidence of a genuine apology from the US for what it has caused and nor has it faced any serious condemnation. Consider, for example, the way the US has weaponized atrocity propaganda against its rivals in other countries, such as Russia in Syria. Can one imagine the aggressive rhetoric from American officials and the media if China was supporting such a destructive conflict in another country?.

Finally, after seven years of saturating the military industrial complex with deep profits at the behest of its regional allies, the US says enough is enough and the Yemenis have taken enough of a beating. But don’t expect the story to end here. In fact, given the Biden administration’s denunciation of the Trumpian ‘America First’ policy it would be no surprise if it jumped into yet another conflict in the Middle East over the next four years. The cycle, as ever, is likely to repeat – by Tom Fowdy

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Yemen: Biden to End U.S. Offensive Support for Saudi-Led Assault, But Will the War Actually End?

SHIREEN AL-ADEIMI: Well, this is the culmination of six years of activism and advocacy to end the U.S.'s role in the war in Yemen. As far as victories go, they have been far and few between. But this is probably the most significant victory, if you want to call it that, that we've had over six years, because, finally, we have a president who finally acknowledged the devastating war that is, frankly, caused by the U.S.'s participation, and is committing to end, at least in some form, the war on Yemen. So, it's significant. It’s important. But, as we’re going to talk, you know, there are some details that we need to be clear about.

So, in his speech, Biden said that he is ending offensive operations in Yemen, but committed — he went on to commit to defending Saudi borders. Now, this is really concerning to me, because I still remember the statement that the White House put out when Obama initially entered the war in March of 2015, and that was the exact same framing, that they were defending Saudi territory from the Houthis. This is what led us here — six years of war, over 100,000 Yemenis killed, 250,000 people starved to death, if not more, the entire country destroyed. And the framing was always to protect Saudi borders.

You know, he says he wants to defend Saudi people. You know, the Saudis have enjoyed U.S. support for decades. But certainly in the last several years, they have been the biggest customer of arms sales to the United States — from the United States. If we look at civilian casualties, I can’t find a figure of Saudi civilian casualties over six years. The missiles from the Houthis did not start until Saudi began bombing Yemen in 2015.

And so, to frame it as protecting Saudi borders or Saudi territories is very concerning, because if this is what we started off saying and here’s where we ended six years later, what does it mean then to continue to defend Saudi Arabian borders? At whose expense? Is it again going to be at the expense of Yemeni civilians? Is the U.S. going to stop supporting some form — providing some supports to the Saudi-led coalition but not others, for example, like intelligence sharing, in the name of defending Saudi Arabia? Are they going to continue providing assistance to the Saudis, let’s stay, with the blockade or with spare parts or with some weapon sales? He also used the word “relevant” arms sales. So, what does it mean to suspend relevant arms sales — why not all arms sales? — to Saudi Arabia and the UAE? (with interview in film) =


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Will Biden end support to war in Yemen or cut Trump funding?

US President in a humanitarian gesture claims that he wants to end US support to the Saudi war in Yemen but his real intention and motives are under question.

To find out the real reasons behind Biden’s humanitarian gesture, one needs to know the answers to the following question:

1-Why didn’t Biden oppose the Saudi war against Yemeni civilians when he was in power as vice president in the Obama administration? Crystal clear that Saudi Arabia and UAE were not able to wage such a devastating war without US then administration’s green light.

2-Why does he insist on stopping the war and canceling arms sales to Riyadh now?

Today, Iran’s ambassador to Sanaa in his twitter account said that he is not optimistic about the US’ claims on the end of support to the Yemen war, saying the US government seeks to impose a direct political and military presence in the war-torn country.

Paying close attention to Biden’s remarks saying that his administration will continue its support to Riyadh to defend itself, implies that Biden’s administration is not going to stop selling of billions of dollars of arms to Saudi and UAE kingdoms and just the justification of the sellings and companies which are going to sell may differ.

Donald Trump and companies close to him signed several agreements and contracts for arm sales with Saudi Arabia before leaving the White House. In fact, the real reason behind Biden’s decision is to deprive Trump and his circle from the benefits of these contracts that definitely will help them in US 2024 presidential election and not ending suffering of the Yemeni civilians.

In fact, Biden will continue its support to Riyadh in new formats. He is just trying to put pressure on Saudi Arabia to buy more weapons but not from the companies affiliated with Trump and his circles.

My remark: From Iran.

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Bernie Sanders Says Biden Decision on Yemen a Tribute to 'So Many Activists Over the Years'

"Yemen needs food, medicine, and healthcare—not bombs and blockades," said Sanders.

Sen. Bernie Sanders was among those welcoming the White House announcement Thursday that the U.S. will limit its role in the Saudi-led war on Yemen by ending support for "offensive operations," with the Vermont Independent calling the development "a tribute to the work of so many activists over the years."

"Yemen needs food, medicine, and healthcare—not bombs and blockades," the senator tweeted.

In a statement, Sanders pointed to the legislative effort he undertook three years ago along with Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah ) to end U.S. participation in the bombing campaign of Yemen—now in its sixth year—as well as sustained activism by peace advocates.

"Today's announcement by President Biden that the United States will end support for offensive operations in the Yemen war, and his naming of a Special Envoy to help resolve this conflict and bring aid and reconstruction to Yemen, are important steps," said Sanders, "and a tribute to the work of so many activists over the years."

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Yemenis welcome Biden move to halt coalition support, mistrust persists

“This is a good announcement and we are hopeful that the war will stop and that they (Americans) will deliver on their promises... We hope that... Yemen can have... a better (future),” said Ibrahim Mohammed al-Hababi, a Sanaa resident.

“We don’t trust what the Americans say at all because they were part of the war... If they want us to trust them, they should stop the war directly and immediately,” said Khalid al-Qadadi, another Sanaa resident.

“I ... urge President Biden and his new envoy to prioritize putting Yemenis at the center of any negotiation, and holding those who committed war crimes accountable for their actions,” Karman said in a statement.

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Yemenis give cautious welcome to US shift in policy on conflict

Joe Biden’s decision to end support for Saudi-led coalition seen as important step towards peace

Yemenis have cautiously welcomed Joe Biden’s announcement that the US is ending its support for the Saudi-led coalition fighting in the country’s complex war, saying the decision is an important step on the long road towards finding a peaceful solution to the conflict.

Biden’s announcement was greeted with cautious optimism by several Yemenis to whom the Guardian spoke on Friday. “This is a long overdue and great step which opens the possibility of shifting to a diplomatic rather than military solution to the war,” said Ahmed Abdo Ali, a resident of Sana’a.

Osama alFakih, an advocacy director for Mwatana, one of the only human rights groups still operating in the country, said: “Many Yemenis I know have raised their expectations since yesterday’s announcement to see an end to this war. Ending the US support to the coalition is a good start but not enough. Yemenis need to see real efforts to support accountability and reparations for victims of all warring parties.”

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Iranischer Botschafter im Jemen sieht die neue US-Politik über das arabische Land pessimistisch

Hassan Irlou twitterte: "Sicherlich hat die neue Regierung eine andere Politik gegenüber dem Jemen als die vorherige, nämlich eine direkte politische und militärische Präsenz im Jemen, wie es im Irak und in Syrien geschehen ist."

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Iran envoy says he is not optimistic about US new policy on Yemen

"The US is a great devil & we are not optimistic about what they say," Irloo said in his Twitter account.

"Certainly the new government has a different policy towards Yemen than its predecessors," he added.

"We should hope to the God & people of Yemen that they had historical resistance & stability & will continue until victory," he noted.

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US can't fool Yemenis by claiming end of support to Saudis

Yemen’s Supreme Political Council said that Yemenis will not be fooled by US claim on the decision to stop supporting the Saudi invasion.

“We consider any move that does not end the siege and aggression against Yemen as just a formality and do not pay any attention to it,” Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, a council member said via Twitter Friday morning, Al-Masirah reported.

“We are not those who are deceived by statements no matter how they are expressed,” al-Houthi noted.

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Former [Hadi gov.] Yemeni FM: There is an opportunity for peace in Yemen

“If we want it today, there is a historic opportunity to stop the war and enter peace negotiations in Yemen. But if we also desire the opposite, this war could continue for another twelve years,” Khaled Al-Yamani told The Arab Weekly.

Former Yemeni Minister of Foreign Affairs Khaled Al-Yamani expressed his belief that the return of US diplomacy to the forefront of the international scene is a very important development.

Speaking with The Arab Weekly from his place of residence in the United States, Yamani said that the appointment of Tim Lenderking as US special envoy to Yemen is crucial for the Yemeni file. Yamani expects the envoy to coordinate the US administration’s efforts with allies and friends and streamline the humanitarian activities of the US government and international agencies to help the Yemeni people and stop one of the worst humanitarian disasters of time

My comment: Follows a very twisted view of the Hadi government.

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Former South Yemen president welcomes end to US support to Saudi offensive operations

Ali Nasser Mohammed, Former President of the Democratic People’s Republic of Yemen [as independent South Yemen was known prior to 1990], has commented on US president Joe Biden remarks, in which he said that “the war on Yemen must stop” and announced that all US support for “offensive operations participating in the aggression on Yemen” has stopped.

“We welcome any regional, international or diplomatic efforts to help Yemen stop the war and achieve peace,” Ali Nasser Mohammed said.

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Statement on the U.S. Ending Support for the War in Yemen

Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Mercy Corps CEO says:
“We applaud the Biden Administration's announcement ending U.S. participation in Yemen's war. We urge the United States to increase its diplomatic role in order to bring an end to the Yemen conflict. The U.S. must continue to support UN efforts to reach a ceasefire and use its influence to end this brutal conflict, which has created the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

“The appointment of Special Envoy Lenderking is a critical step forward.

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White House Pauses Smart Bomb Sale to Saudi Arabia, But Leaves Room for Future Weapons Aid

Since World War II, the US has maintained a strategic alliance with the Saudi kingdom and asked few questions about its internal or external affairs. In exchange, Washington gets access to cheap petroleum and huge airfields. However, the genocidal war in Yemen is unprecedented and popular opinion has shifted firmly against Riyadh.

“We are ending all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” Biden said in a Thursday speech. “At the same time, Saudi Arabia faces missile attacks, UAV strikes, and other threats from Iranian-supplied forces in multiple countries. We’re going to continue to support and help Saudi Arabia defend its sovereignty and its territorial integrity and its people."

In other words, weapons sales to the Arab monarchy aren’t cancelled or banned. However, it’s unclear who Biden is referring to as carrying out attacks against Saudi forces. A White House spokesperson told Defense News that US support for offensive operations against Daesh and Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula would continue - indeed, the US’ undeclared war in Yemen long predates the Saudi-led conflict.

While Biden is much more critical of the monarchy than Trump was, he is still keen on cooperating with Riyadh, including trying to bring them into negotiations with Iran on a new nuclear deal to replace the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action - a move Tehran has repeatedly rejected.

“In the 75 years of this peculiar alliance between the United States and Saudi Arabia, the two countries have had many deeply serious, profound differences, over many subjects," historian Thomas Lippmann told Sputnik in 2019.

"The United States has never - not once - put this relationship on the line over the fate, or the human rights of, any individual or group of individuals. In fact, the Truman administration put a policy in writing that said exactly the opposite. It said: ‘We're there to do business and for reasons of security. We're not there to tell them how to run their country or organize their society.' That policy's never been rescinded, and that's what we have always done."

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Film: Joe Biden ends Military Support for Saudi Arabia's Yemen War - Impact on US Saudi Relations

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What US ending Saudi war support means for Yemen

Biden decision to stop support of Saudi-led war in Yemen greeted with cautious relief

“A step towards life. I miss life a lot,” said one official with a Yemen-based human rights group.

But Osamah Alfakih, director of communications at Mwatana, a rights group, warned that the announcement would not see fewer Yemenis killed overnight.

“The end of casualties is going to happen when there’s a political agreement,” he said from the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, currently controlled by the Houthis. While the news was “huge” and something for which Yemenis had waited a long time, Alfakih said it was not enough on its own.

Vakil, of Chatham House, said it was clear Biden was going to take a different approach toward the kingdom but that didn’t mean abandoning the relationship.

Saudi Arabia, seen as a leader in the Sunni Arab world, has long been an important ally of the United States in the region, cooperating on counterterrorism, acting as a bulwark against Iran and presiding over crucial oil reserves.

“It’s a relationship that’s historical and strategic and considered of value to the United States,” she said.

Alfakih of Mwatana stressed that there was more to be done in Yemen. If Washington wants to prove that there was a change in approach toward Yemen, it should push for a political agreement and support efforts to bring accountability for those who committed violations on all sides of the conflict as well as reparations for victims, he added.

“People have raised their expectations to see an end to this armed conflict," Alfakih said. "Now the most important part is to translate this announcement into actions.”

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Biden’s announcement on ending US support for the war in Yemen, explained

The US isn’t totally out of the war. It’s just shifting into a new, less destructive posture.

Biden’s three-pronged Yemen policy, explained

The new policy has three elements: the end of “offensive operations” in Yemen, the continued support for Saudi Arabia’s defense, and a new push for a diplomatic solution to the conflict.

Let’s start with the “offensive operations” part. Simply put, the US won’t help the Saudi-led coalition fight the Houthis in Yemen anymore. If Riyadh’s forces want to bomb positions within the country, they will do so without US help to refuel warplanes, collect intelligence, or target positions.

Furthermore, the US won’t sell weapons to Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates — a top coalition member — that they could use during the war like the advanced warplanes or precision-guided munitions. Those would be the “relevant arms sales” Biden mentioned, the same ones he froze to conduct a review of them last month.

But that doesn’t mean the US will stop fighting in Yemen. Per the administration, it will continue to strike al-Qaeda and ISIS militants in the country to ensure they can’t use it as a base to hatch plots against America.

So ending support for the fight against the Houthis, and continuing the fight against America-threatening terrorists — that’s pretty straightforward. What isn’t as clear is what the second element, supporting Saudi Arabia’s defense, means in practice.

The biggest complication here is what defines an “offensive” versus a “defensive” move. Say the Houthis attack Saudi Arabia, which experts I spoke to expect they will continue to do. The rebels launched missiles at an airport and airbase in Saudi Arabia in 2019, and at Saudi oil stations last year. Under international law, Riyadh has the right to retaliate in a commensurate way.

Would the US help Saudi Arabia in such a retaliation?

For some experts, the ambiguity from Biden’s team here means the door for such support remains open. “I would’ve liked them to unequivocally say that the US is no longer going to be involved in Saudi aggression in Yemen,” said Annelle Sheline, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft.

One reason the Biden administration allowed for ambiguity, she surmised, was to keep Saudi Arabia happy while the US seeks to rejoin the Iran nuclear deal, which Riyadh opposes. Sheline worries Saudi Arabia could try to entice the US back into military support with claims that its actions are defensive in nature. “The whole war has been defensive in Saudi’s eyes,” she told me.

But providing defensive assistance isn’t just about Saudi Arabia’s well-being; it’s about naked US self interest, too.

America has thousands of troops stationed in the country to deter Iranian aggression in the region. And per January comments by Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, the military chief for all US forces in the Middle East, America wants to expand the number of Saudi bases to place service members while tensions with Tehran remain high. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia possesses about 17 percent of the world’s proven petroleum reserves.

Protecting US troops in Saudi Arabia and the oil America may want to import, then, could explain why the Biden administration wants to support Saudi’s defensive operations, experts say.

“The main focus of our efforts will be the diplomatic effort to end the war in Yemen via the UN-led process to impose a ceasefire, open humanitarian channels, and restore long-dormant peace talks,” the White House spokesperson told me. “Our primary objective is to bring the parties together for a negotiated settlement that will end the war and the suffering of the Yemeni people.”

That’s easier said than done. Most experts say the Houthis are winning their fight against Saudi Arabia as they continue to control the capital, Sana’a, and capture more territory. As a result the rebels have little incentive to negotiate for peace because fighting for longer could increase their leverage in future talks. “The incentives are in the wrong place,” Sheline said.

But most experts agree that ending America’s limited involvement in the conflict is a wise, though imperfect, move. Washington’s role in Yemen until now made the US complicit in a horrid war for years, and it’s better late than never to seek a less calamitous path – by Alex Ward

My comment: A somewhat twisted view, taking for granted that Iran is an enemy the US must stand against (7,000 miles away from the US) and that this justifies pro-Saudi engagement.

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UN welcomes US decision to ‘strengthen its diplomatic engagement’ towards Yemen peace deal

“We welcome the decision of the United States to strengthen its diplomatic engagement in support of the UN-led efforts to find a negotiated, comprehensive political solution to end the conflict in Yemen”, the note to correspondents based at UN Headquarters said.

“This is a positive development that could create further momentum for dialogue. Special Envoy Griffiths looks forward to working constructively with all parties at this critical time for the Yemeni people”, added the note from the Spokesperson’s Office.

The UN statement concluded by welcoming “all decisions seeking to create further space for dialogue and to alleviate the suffering of the Yemeni people. In this connection, we continue to call for the reversal of the designation of the Houthis as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, and Specially Designated Global Terrorist.”

Senior UN officials are calling for the full reversal of the designation, along with other humanitarian partners in Yemen, although the Biden administration has said it will exempt some transactions involving the Houthis, on humanitarian grounds. Those exemptions are set to expire on 26 February.

The UN said that the request for full reversal of the designation was “based purely on humanitarian grounds, amidst a growing risk of famine in Yemen.”

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New U.S. stand on Yemen war can be 'step towards correcting past mistakes' - Iran

Iran’s foreign ministry said on Saturday a new U.S. stand on the Yemen war can be a “step towards correcting past mistakes”, after President Joe Biden said this week Washington was ending its support for a Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen.

“Stopping support ... for the Saudi coalition, if not a political maneuvre, could be a step towards correcting past mistakes,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh was quoted as saying by state media.

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Leading Aid Official David Miliband on What Joe Biden's Pivot Means to Yemen

TIME spoke with Britain’s former Foreign Secretary David Miliband, now CEO of the International Rescue Committee (IRC), about what Biden’s announcement might mean for Yemen’s future, and what still needs to be done.

You’ve called President Biden’s shift from “a failed war strategy” to “a comprehensive diplomatic strategy” an important first step. What should be the next step?

We think that four things are absolutely key. One: a ceasefire that is effective in the country. Secondly, the infusion of humanitarian aid because the U.N. call for $3.5-billion aid is only 40% funded. Third, a clear decision to reverse the designation of the Houthi rebel movement as a global terrorist force, because that makes commercial and humanitarian work impossible. Fourth, a sustained and effective political process to bring an enduring peace beyond the ceasefire.

Are you already seeing the effects of Mike Pompeo’s designation of the Houthis as a global terrorist force impacting aid access in Yemen?

It’s played out as a further constraint on economic activity. It hasn’t yet played out on the humanitarian front because an extra month of humanitarian exemption was given by the Biden Administration in one of its first days in office. There’s an urgent need to revoke the designation and give clarity not just to humanitarians that they won’t be contravening U.S. law, but also to private sector actors.

Will the U.S. ending support for the Saudi-led offensive materially change the situation on the ground?

I think this is a significant move, both in substantive terms and in political terms. In substantive terms, there are American jets, American engineers, American parts. So this is serious. It is important. In political terms, the Administration is signaling very clearly that it wants a different approach. The U.S. went into this with Saudi Arabia in 2015, and it is now calling for a change of course—well beyond the time that not just the humanitarian damage of the current war strategy was clear, but also the failure of the war strategy to deliver on the military goals that had been set.

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Pentagon: Troop numbers under review, role in Yemen shifts and extremism takes center stage

Kirby further detailed the change in the Pentagon’s role in the [Yemen] conflict under the new administration.

“The Administration is currently reviewing how best to implement those objectives. The Department of Defense has long said there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen,” Kirby told Military Times in an email statement. “The U.S. is committed to a negotiated, UN-led political settlement to end the civil war and the humanitarian crisis.”

Until Biden’s recent announcement, Kirby said the DoD had “been providing limited non-combat assistance for coalition operations. This included intelligence and advice and best practices to reduce civilian casualties.”

Kirby stressed both in his Friday press conference and in his statement that the shift on operations inside Yemen does not affect U.S. counterterrorism efforts against al-Qaida and ISIS in the region as well as assisting Saudi Arabia and other Gulf partners with defense of their borders from Yemen or other regional adversaries.

My comment: A twisted view of US’ former role in the Yemen War.

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Saudi Arabia vows to continue its operations in Yemen

Saudi Arabia's Deputy Defence Minister Prince Khalid Bin Salman announced on Friday that his country will continue its political and military support to the Yemeni government against Iranian-backed Houthi militias, news agencies reported.

His comments came in response to US President Joe Biden's decision to end US support for the kingdom's military campaign in Yemen.

Bin Salman, however, expressed: "We look forward to continuing working with our American partners to alleviate the humanitarian situation and find a solution to the Yemen crisis."

According to Anadolu Agency, he also reaffirmed the kingdom's commitment to supporting diplomatic efforts to reach a comprehensive settlement in Yemen based on the Gulf initiative, United Nations (UN) Security Council Resolution 2216 and the outcomes of the Yemeni national dialogue.

My comment: In the last paragraph quoted here, Salman refers to the “three references”, which blocked all peace efforts for 6 years now, as they fix the Hadi government’s claim of sole “legitimacy” and demand the Houthis to capitulate. Thus, they would lead to a full Saudi victory, just without arms – or would give a pretense to continue the war as it had been before.

More reports:

cp1c Am wichtigsten: US nimmt Einstufung der Huthis als „Terroristen“ zurück / Most important: US revokes Houthi „terrorist“ designation

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US-Außenministerium will Terror-Beschluss zu Huthis kippen

Blinken hat den Kongress über seine Pläne informiert. Er hofft, dass die dringend benötigte humanitäre Hilfe für die Menschen im Jemen nun besser ankomme.

Das US-Außenministerium will die umstrittene Einstufung der jemenitischen Huthi-Rebellen als Terrororganisation rückgängig machen. Ein Sprecher teilte am Samstag auf Anfrage mit, das Ministerium habe den US-Kongress formell über diese Pläne von Außenminister Antony Blinken informiert.

Man sei nach einer umfassenden Prüfung zu diesem Schluss gekommen. Weitere Details würden in den kommenden Tagen bekanntgegeben. Der Sprecher betonte, die Entscheidung habe nichts mit der Einschätzung der Huthis und ihres verwerflichen Handelns zu tun, zu dem etwa Attacken auf Zivilisten gehörten.

Die Entscheidung basiere allein auf den schweren humanitären Konsequenzen der Einstufung. Blinken hatte bereits kurz vor seinem Amtsantritt angekündigt, er wolle die Einstufung der Huthis als Terrorgruppe „umgehend überprüfen“.

Er befürchte, dass diese keinen praktischen Nutzen mit Blick auf die Huthis bringe, dafür aber die dringend benötigte humanitäre Hilfe für die Menschen im Jemen enorm erschwere. Blinkens Vorgänger Mike Pompeo hatte die Einstufung kurz vor seinem Ausscheiden aus dem Amt veranlasst.

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US-Aussenministerium will Terror-Einstufung der Huthis kippen

Das US-Aussenministerium will die umstrittene Einstufung der jemenitischen Huthi-Rebellen als Terrororganisation rückgängig machen.

Ein Sprecher teilte am Samstag auf Anfrage mit, das Ministerium habe den US-Kongress formal über diese Pläne von Ressortchef Antony Blinken informiert. Man sei nach einer umfassenden Prüfung zu diesem Schluss gekommen. Weitere Details würden in den nächsten Tagen verkündet. Hilfsorganisationen und die Vereinten Nationen reagierten erleichtert und sprachen von einem wichtigen Schritt, damit sich die Notlage im Jemen nicht noch verschärfe.

Der Sprecher des US-Aussenministeriums betonte am Samstag, die Entscheidung, die Terror-Einstufung zu kippen, habe nichts mit der Sicht auf die Huthis und ihr verwerfliches Handeln zu tun, zu dem etwa Attacken auf Zivilisten gehörten. Die Entscheidung basiere allein auf den schweren humanitären Konsequenzen der Einstufung.

Die Vereinten Nationen begrüssten die Pläne des neuen US-Aussenministers. Dies schaffe grosse Erleichterung für Millionen Menschen im Jemen, die zum Überleben dringend auf humanitäre Hilfe und Importe angewiesen seien.

Auch Hilfsorganisationen und Kongressmitglieder äusserten sich erleichtert. Der Präsident der Organisation International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, sprach auf Twitter von einer wesentlichen und richtigen Entscheidung, die den Menschen in dem krisengeplagten Land Hoffnung bringe. Der demokratische Senator Chris Murphy sagte, es handele sich um einen wichtigen Beschluss, der Menschenleben rette. Es sei auch ein weiteres Signal, dass die Regierung von US-Präsident Joe Biden den Krieg im Jemen beenden wolle.

Die Huthi-Rebellen reagierten verhalten auf den von Biden angekündigten Kurswechsel. «Es wird keinen wahren Frieden geben vor einem Ende der Aggression und einer Aufhebung der Blockade», schrieb Mohammed Abdel Salam, Chefunterhändler der Huthis, bei Twitter.

und auch


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»Gewalt züchtet Gewalt«

Donald Trump hat die Huthi-Rebellen am Ende seiner Amtszeit zur Terrororganisation erklärt. Jemen-Expertin Elisabeth Kendall analysiert, wen der Ex-Präsident mit der Entscheidung beschenkt hat – und wen sie am härtesten trifft.

Kendall: Es gibt einige Aspekte, warum die Huthi diese Bezeichnung inzwischen durchaus verdienen. Ursprünglich waren die Huthi aber nicht gewalttätig oder terroristisch. In ihren Anfängen machten sie als schiitische Minderheit in den Neunzigerjahren zunächst auf Missstände aufmerksam, und das war legitim.

Inzwischen befinden sie sich mit Unterbrechungen seit 16 Jahren im Krieg und, wie man weiß, Gewalt züchtet Gewalt. Die Huthi rekrutieren Kinder, inhaftieren und foltern Andersdenkende.

SPIEGEL: Welche Konsequenzen hat die Terroreinstufung für den Jemen?

Kendall: Die Verknappung von Lebensmitteln und Waren treibt die Preise in die Höhe. Das kommt dem organisierten Verbrechen, den Schmugglern zugute. Ironischerweise dürfte das ausgerechnet die korrupten Führer stärken, anstatt sie zu schwächen.

SPIEGEL: Was wollen die USA überhaupt erreichen?

Kendall: Einige sehen darin ein Abschiedsgeschenk von Ex-Präsident Donald Trump an die Saudis. Riad arbeitete ja jahrelang auf die Brandmarkung der Huthi hin. Wahrscheinlicher ist aber, dass diese Maßnahme zu einer umfassenderen Strategie gehört, um die Pläne der Biden-Administration zu durchkreuzen, sich Iran – dem Hauptverbündeten der Huthi – erneut anzunähern und das Atomabkommen wiederzubeleben.

Ironischerweise spielt die Klassifizierung als Terrorgruppe Iran noch in die Hände, man könnte sagen, es wird das Gegenteil von dem erreicht, was angeblich beabsichtigt wird.

SPIEGEL: Was würde die Macht der Huthi brechen?

Kendall: Darauf gibt es keine einfache Antwort. Ziel muss es ein, das Regime zur Verantwortung zu ziehen, ohne die Menschen, die unter ihm leben müssen, kollektiv zu bestrafen.

SPIEGEL: Wie könnte ein Frieden aussehen – nach fast sechs Jahren Krieg?

Kendall: Der Jemen als Staatsprojekt dürfte am besten als föderales Modell funktionieren. Über die Anzahl der Regionen wird diskutiert, ich sehe mindestens sieben. Bedeutsam ist, Repräsentationsmechanismen aufzubauen, die nicht nur von oben nach unten wirken, sondern auch von unten nach oben. Der Konflikt muss auf diplomatischem Wege gelöst werden.

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U.S. to drop Houthi terrorist designation due to Yemen crisis

The United States intends to revoke the Houthi movement’s terrorist designation in response to Yemen’s humanitarian crisis, reversing one of the Trump administration’s most criticised last-minute decisions.

The move, confirmed by a State Department official on Friday, came a day after President Joe Biden declared a halt to U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen, which is widely seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the official said.

Houthi official Mohammed Ali al-Houthi on Saturday told Al Mayadeen TV that the group had heard the U.S. administration’s recent statement.

The move, confirmed by a State Department official on Friday, came a day after President Joe Biden declared a halt to U.S. support for the Saudi Arabia-led military campaign in Yemen, which is widely seen as a proxy conflict between Saudi Arabia and Iran.

“Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the official said.

Houthi official Mohammed Ali al-Houthi on Saturday told Al Mayadeen TV that the group had heard the U.S. administration’s recent statements on Yemen, but had yet to see anything happen.

“We welcome the stated intention by the U.S. administration to revoke the designation as it will provide profound relief to millions of Yemenis who rely on humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to meet their basic survival needs,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

Aid groups working in Yemen welcomed the move.

“This is a sigh of relief and a victory for the Yemeni people, and a strong message from the U.S. that they are putting the interests of Yemenis first,” said Mohamed Abdi, country director for the Norwegian Refugee Council, and urged the Biden administration to push for an immediate nationwide ceasefire.

The State Department official stressed that the action did not reflect the U.S. view of the Houthis and their “reprehensible conduct”.

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US plans to revoke terrorist designation for Houthi rebels

A State Department spokesperson confirmed the reversal of former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s eleventh-hour move, which critics warned could block aid from being delivered to areas under Houthi control as starvation and shortages of medicine ravage Yemen.

“[Secretary of State Antony] Blinken has been clear about undertaking an expeditious review of the designations of Ansarallah given the profound implications for the people of Yemen, home to the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe. After a comprehensive review, we can confirm that the Secretary intends to revoke the Foreign Terrorist Organization and Specially Designated Global Terrorist designations of Ansarallah,” the spokesperson said, using another term for the Houthis.

“We have formally notified Congress of the Secretary’s intent to revoke these designations and will share more details in the coming days,” the spokesperson added. “Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

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State Department to revoke Houthi terror designation due to "humanitarian consequences"

Democratic Senator Chris Murphy lauded the news that the designation would be revoked, tweeting, "Reversing the designation is an important decision that will save lives and, combined with the appointment of a Special Envoy, offers hope that President Biden is committed to bringing the war to an end."

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Jim Risch and House Foreign Affairs Committee Lead Republican Michael McCaul said in a joint statement that while they, too, were concerned about the humanitarian impacts of the terrorist designation, it was crucial for the Biden administration to "ensure the revocation of the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation be paired with significant, targeted pressure on the Houthis."

"We should not let the Houthis believe they have been given a free pass for their violent actions," the lawmakers added.

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Biden will reverse Trump’s decision to label Yemen’s Houthis as terrorists

The move reinforces Biden’s swift new direction on Yemen policy.

Critics said the move was an attempt by Pompeo to both hurt Iran by punishing one of its proxies and box in the incoming Biden administration as he headed out the door, but Pompeo seems to truly believe the decision was the right one.

Pompeo’s hopes are about to be dashed.

According to three people familiar with the decision, the Biden administration will revoke the foreign terrorist organization designation — known as an FTO — from the rebel group as part of its new strategy to handle the Yemen war. Two of the sources said the State Department had formally notified Congress of its decision.

“This decision has nothing to do with our view of the Houthis and their reprehensible conduct, including attacks against civilians and the kidnapping of American citizens,” a State Department official told me on the condition of anonymity.

“Our action is due entirely to the humanitarian consequences of this last-minute designation from the prior administration, which the United Nations and humanitarian organizations have since made clear would accelerate the world’s worst humanitarian crisis,” the official said, adding that the US remains committed to protecting Saudi Arabia from further Houthi attacks.

Activist and humanitarian groups praised the administration’s decision.

“This purely counterproductive designation had caused months of uncertainty as aid organizations, banks, and importers of critical commodities like food and fuel were left in limbo,” said Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s policy advocacy director. “As the Biden administration has made clear, it is the humanitarian consequences of the designation, not the conduct of the de facto authorities, that warrants this reversal.”

With the new policy, the Biden administration reversed a notable Trump national security decision, put the US on the road to a diplomatic solution in Yemen, and perhaps ensured thousands of Yemenis get the care they need.

It shows how quickly Biden’s team is moving: In just two days, the new administration has sparked a major shift in America’s role in Yemen’s war.

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Citing Humanitarian Impact, Biden Reverses 'Dangerous' Designation of Houthis as Terrorist Group

Moving forward, said one expert, "the international community needs to stop fueling the conflict, generously fund Yemen's humanitarian response, and prioritize peace."

Oxfam America's humanitarian policy lead Scott Paul, who said last month that Trump and Pompeo's decision to label the Houthis a "Foreign Terrorist Organization" (FTO) was a "dangerous policy that will put innocent lives at risk," welcomed the decision to scrap the "purely counterproductive designation" in a statement Friday.

"As the Biden administration has made clear, it is the humanitarian consequences of the designation, not the conduct of the de facto authorities, that warrants this reversal," Paul said. "Unfortunately, even with the designations revoked, we're back to the previous and unacceptable status quo where millions of people still face extreme hunger, cholera, Covid-19, and daily violations by warring parties more interested in their own military advancement than the basic needs and rights of Yemenis."

"International and Yemeni humanitarian organizations are still not saving as many lives as they could because of a lack of funding and unacceptable interference by the parties. Aid has not, and cannot, meet the needs of Yemen's vulnerable people alone," he continued. "The only way to prevent greater suffering is through an inclusive, political settlement that enables an equitable economic recovery."

Paul emphasized that "for any progress in Yemen to be sustainable, women must be afforded their rightful place at any negotiating table," adding that "the international community needs to stop fueling the conflict, generously fund Yemen's humanitarian response, and prioritize peace."

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and a longtime critic of U.S. involvement in the Saudi-led assault of Yemen, released a statement praising the Biden administration's reversal as "another signal of their commitment to end the war in Yemen."

and also

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Yemen Houthis say end of terror designation a 'step towards peace'

Yemen's Huthi rebels on Saturday called the US move to delist the group as a terrorist organisation an "advanced step towards peace".

Abdulelah Hajar, advisor to the head of the supreme political council, a Huthi executive body, told AFP that "cancelling the designation is an advanced step towards peace".

Hajar said the new US administration had "got off to a good start", but warned the credibility of the steps "will not be achieved unless they are proven on the ground and felt by the Yemeni people -- by lifting the siege and stopping the war".

He also said the newly appointed US special envoy to Yemen, Timothy Lenderking, must "meet all parties", warning that if the Huthis are excluded, "there will be no step towards peace".


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Member of the Supreme Political Council, Mohammad Ali Al-Houthi, commented on Saturday about the Joe Biden on Yemen.
Al-Houthi, in an interview with Al-Mayadeen, said, “that Sanaa is waiting to convert the US President’s statements on stopping the war into action, expressing Ansarullah’s readiness for dialogue that serve in the public interest of the Yemenis.”
He affirmed that “Washington is supposed to stop the aggression against our country, describing the US President’s statements regarding stopping the war as just statements, which were expected to stop the war and to lifted siege.
Al-Houthi called on an end to the war and the siege imposed on Yemen, demanding the payment of compensation from the countries of aggression similar to the compensation that Kuwait obtained from Iraq.
He added there are not any contacts from the movement with United States far ever.
“What Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been doing in Yemen is the full-fledged terrorism, and the coalition of aggression had tried to wage a military war against us since 2004, but it failed, and we are ready to continue further.

and also

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Biden's Double Stance on Saudi Crimes in Yemen

The inspired picture by Biden’s speech about the future of the Yemeni crisis indicates that Saudi Arabia and the UAE, which were defeated in the 6-year war with the Yemenis, will emerge from this war in a way called face-saving, especially since the Saudis and Emiratis have been looking for such an opportunity for at least two years.

Ansarullah in Yemen has taken a stance towards Biden’s statements, declaring that peace can only be achieved in Yemen if the aggression stops and the siege on the country is completely ended, and this means that cutting political solutions, or financial and media solutions, will not work in Yemen.

Biden’s assertion of Saudi Arabia’s right to defend itself, as well as the reference to Ansarullah’s use of Iranian missiles, refers to the new US policy that seeks to separate Yemen from the axis of resistance. It is not unlikely that Biden decided at first to prevent Iran and the axis of resistance from defending the Yemeni people, then after that and in the coming stages, arranging the Yemeni negotiating table in a way to serve Saudi interests, so Saudi Arabia and the UAE emerge victorious.

The truth is that Biden's policy towards the Yemeni issue is highly biased and raises suspicion, and perhaps hopes can be made for US policy in this regard if the Yemeni issue is accompanied by the opening of other Saudi issues, including the political and ideological detainees, human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and the interference of Saudi in all other countries, including Iraq, Lebanon and Syria..Perhaps the first step in this regard is to lift the secrecy of the Khashoggi issue.

My remark: A pro-Houthi, pro-Iranian view.

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Aid groups hail US taking Yemen’s Houthis off terror list

Aid agencies working in war-torn Yemen on Saturday welcomed plans by President Joe Biden’s administration to revoke the terrorist designation of Yemen’s Houthi rebels in order to mitigate one of the world’s worst humanitarian disasters.

David Miliband, head of the International Rescue Committee, said the designation would have done nothing to address terrorism in the Arab world’s poorest country, and would only hinder much-needed aid deliveries to Yemenis living in Houthi-held areas.

“This is a further, vital, correct decision to bring hope to Yemen’s crisis-stricken population,” he said. “The next steps are to raise aid flows, negotiate a permanent cease-fire, and get the diplomatic process moving to establish a sustainable political settlement.”

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Statement: Reacting to reports that the US Government intends to revoke the designation of Ansar Allah as a Terrorist Organisation

Reacting to reports that the US Government intends to revoke the designation of Ansar Allah as a Terrorist Organisation, Yemen Country Director for the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), Mohamed Abdi, said: “We welcome the decision by the US Government to revoke these designations which would have had catastrophic humanitarian consequences and hampered our ability to get food, fuel, medicines and aid into the country. This is a sigh of relief and a victory for the Yemeni people, and a strong message from the US that they are putting the interests of Yemeni’s first.

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U.S. plan to take Yemen's Houthis off blacklist gives relief to millions, U.N. says

The United Nations on Friday welcomed Washington’s plan to revoke a U.S. terrorist designation for Yemen’s Houthi group “as it will provide profound relief to millions of Yemenis who rely on humanitarian assistance and commercial imports to meet their basic survival needs,” U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.

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How the Houthis became 'terrorists' for three weeks - analysis

US flip-flop on terror designations underpins the problem with political decisions impacting counter-terror strategy.

The US decision to remove the Houthis in Yemen from the list of foreign terrorist organizations reflects yet another roller coaster in US foreign policy.

The US has a robust list of groups and individuals designated terrorists over the years. However, administrations often change those that they target. The Trump administration sought to target Iranian-backed groups with these designations; other administrations have targeted Al-Qaeda-linked groups. The US may be fighting the Taliban and terrorists one day and then looking to make peace with them the next.

This lack of clarity stands behind the flip-flop on the Houthis and calls into question the overall Western parlance when it comes to “terrorism.” Designating groups as being “terrorist” has been used by countries like Turkey as justification to invade, bomb, ethnically cleanse and target civilians under the guise of “fighting terrorism.”

WHEN IT came to the Houthis, things were more complex.

The arbitrary nature of the labelling of them as terrorists paved the way for them to be removed from the list. The US administration likely knew this but Pompeo’s agenda was to let a series of decisions drop right before the end of the administration to either box in or force the Biden administration to walk them back.

The State Department does maintain a list of designated organizations with dates they were added or removed. But it doesn’t have links to why the organizations were put on the list or what criteria they met. This is because the US doesn't explain why it has labelled one group or another as “terrorists” or what they did to get on the list.

THE ISSUE of humanitarian aid and needing to have it go through or into areas controlled by a “terrorist” group is one of the problems inherent in the US concept of designating some groups as such. It’s unclear why America doesn’t simply have an exception for humanitarian aid.

On the side of not having groups labelled “terrorists” are those who advise “engaging” with them rather than blacklisting them and empowering “hardliners.” Under this logic, it’s better to talk with these groups than make it impossible to do so. The US doesn’t negotiate with or deal with “terrorists.” The logic of “engagement” has tended to cement in place and legitimize these groups, enabling Hamas, Hezbollah or the Houthis to become de facto rulers of terror statelets. The roller coaster ride with the Houthis betrays any real discussion about the group’s methods. The Houthis do terrorize civilians and use missiles and drones to attack other states and the government of Yemen. The criteria for designating “terrorists” no longer appear to be about their methods. They don’t need to target civilians or blow up buses to be “terrorists.” Groups that never target civilians can be called “terrorists” while groups that ethnically cleanse and massacre are not.

This lack of clarity unsurprisingly means that this becomes more a political tool than one that has a clear criteria and logic, and under which US administrations need to show cause and go through some rigorous court rulings to determine who is a terrorist and who is not.

The flip-flop of calling Houthis “terrorists” one week and then not the next will make many groups assume that all they need to do is wait for a new administration in Washington to get their enemies labelled “terrorists.” Turkey has played this game with Washington already; other states will likely learn the trade.

My comment: From Israel. Critizising this “flip-flop” policy obviously is justified. Of course, in this case, an Israeli news site claims that the Houthi designation was justified. But, it exactly was a misuse of a terroist designarion by the former Trump regime to achieve political goals which had nothing to do with the Houthis themselves and with Yemen. The Houthis are not “de facto rulers of terror statelets”, they ARE the (one) government of Yemen. Well, this (Houthi) government really might “terrorize civilians and use missiles and drones to attack other states”. But, please stay serious. This exactly is what Saudi Arabia, Israel and the US are doing day and night since many decades. So please, either label all of them as “terrorists” – or just leave it.

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By revoking Houthis designation as FTO unconditionally, Biden Admin made a huge mistake. Revoking could have been used as a leverage on the Houthis to deliver something in return, at least allow engineers to empty SAFER tanker. The US just lost that leverage for nothing.

Biden Admin wants to demonstrate a shift n US approach towards #Yemen by stepping up diplomacy & ending support for militarily intervention.The expectation is that Houthis will reciprocate & engage in peace talks in good faith. But that is not how Houthis will interpret this

Houthis will see & sell this as a victory from God, that they forced America to succumb to their demands effortlessly. Revoking the decision easily tells Houthis that they r free to continue their violence & will never be held accountable for their brutal ways to take power

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Sen. Tom Cotton: The Houthis are armed & trained by Iran’s overseas terror corps, the IRGC & Hezbollah. The decision to remove their terrorist designation is repeating the errors of the Obama administration by appeasing Iran & refusing to call terrorists by their name.

The administration should be seeking justice for Americans, not sanctions relief for terrorists.

The Houthi’s slogan is “Allah is greater, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.” The Biden administration just said they’re not terrorists.

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McCaul, Risch Statement on Biden Plans to Rescind Houthi Terrorist Designation

We strongly urge the Biden Administration to ensure the revocation of the Foreign Terrorist Organization designation be paired with significant, targeted pressure on the Houthis. We should not let the Houthis believe they have been given a free pass for their violent actions.”

cp2 Allgemein / General

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Interactive Map of Yemen War

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Einmal Terror und zurück

Jemen: Erleichterung über Rücknahme der Listung der Ansarollah. »Kehrtwende« in US-Politik weniger weitgehend als behauptet

Die »Kehrtwende« in der US-amerikanischen Jemen-Politik, die viele Analysten beschwören, sei vor allem symbolisch, so der ehemalige US-Botschafter im Jemen, Gerald Feierstein, auf Anfrage der Washington Post. Spürbar behindert würden die kriegerischen Fähigkeiten Saudi-Arabiens und seiner Verbündeten kaum. Dies war im übrigen auch nicht der Fall, als schon Barack Obama wegen der wiederholten Bombardierung von Zivilisten die Kooperation »herunterfahren« musste. Mit der Weitergabe von Geheimdienstinformationen, politischer und logistischer Unterstützung sowie der Entsendung von Spezialkräften hatte er den Angriffskrieg im Jemen seit dessen Beginn im März 2015 aktiv unterstützt.

Ihre »Antiterroreinsätze« im Jemen, insbesondere die berüchtigten Drohnenangriffe, will die Biden-Administration ohnehin fortführen, um »US-amerikanische Interessen« und die »Sicherheit von Verbündeten« zu schützen. Und der neue Jemen-Gesandte Timothy Lenderking, der unter Trump als stellvertretender Staatssekretär unter anderem für den Iran zuständig war und über exzellente Kontakte in die Golfstaaten verfügt, muss erst noch zeigen, ob die USA tatsächlich eine gerechte und tragfähige Lösung für den Jemen anstreben. Von einer Aufhebung der Blockade, die für die größte humanitäre Katastrophe unserer Zeit verantwortlich ist, ist zumindest bislang keine Rede gewesen.

Saudi-Arabien selbst dürfte die angekündigte diplomatische Offensive Washingtons durchaus zupass kommen. Denn spätestens seit den Angriffen auf die beiden ertragreichsten saudischen Ölfelder und der Gefangennahme Hunderter saudischer Soldaten durch die Ansarollah im Herbst 2019 sucht man in Riad nach einer Exitstrategie aus dem nicht zu gewinnenden Krieg, der durch Konflikte innerhalb der Koalition noch verkompliziert wird und den Biden in seiner Rede nicht umsonst neben einer humanitären auch eine »strategische Katastrophe« nannte.

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US Shakes Up Yemen Policy, But Long Road To Peace

Given Yemen's complex dynamics, analysts say the challenge is finding a compromise acceptable to its myriad armed factions.

"The million dollar question in Yemen (is) how to end all of its overlapping wars?" asked Gregory Johnsen, who has written widely on US policy in the country.

"The US has clear and obvious leverage with Saudi Arabia. It is much less clear what leverage the US has with the Huthis."

The appointment of veteran diplomat Timothy Lenderking as a US special envoy for Yemen is expected to boost efforts to end the war.

"With Saudi Arabia's growing interest in an exit strategy, there is real opportunity for Biden to harness the momentum," said Varsha Koduvayur, a research analyst at the Washington-based Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

Kodavayur said that would be critical in Yemen, where the resurgence of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) "remains a threat" -- despite the reported arrest its leader Khalid Batarfi =

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Will Biden's new policy resolve the conflict in Yemen?

Biden is not only perceived as cooler towards Riyadh than Trump was, he is also believed to want to reshape wider American policy in the region.

How the U.S.-Saudi relationship develops may also be influenced by what happens in Yemen as a result of the move. Biden's decision to pull back from a full-throated defense of Saudi involvement in Yemen could usher in a change in the way the conflict has been managed. If so, then it would be a break with the situation in that country over the past half decade.

In addition to that consideration, other, more practical ones may have weighed on the Biden team. The Houthis are now firmly entrenched in the north. Not only have the Saudis and Hadi been unable to push them back, they now look on the verge of taking Marib province, with its vital oil and gas supplies.

Meanwhile, in the south, Hadi's claim to be president for all Yemenis has been damaged by fractures within his coalition

For Salisbury, a new approach to managing and resolving the conflict is therefore needed.

Whether such a move will happen remains uncertain for now. So far Biden's statements have not gone beyond reviewing the terrorist designation on the Houthis and withdrawing support for Saudi intervention. But while they will not resolve the conflict in Yemen, they do open a door to a new way of dealing with the crisis in that country. It is an opportunity and one which should be grabbed as quickly as possible.

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Film: Illegaler Krieg gegen Jemen - Teil 1 - Drohnenangriff der USA, Friedensnobelpreis Obama

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Ein rostiger Supertanker wird zur Drohkulisse im Jemen

Das Ringen um die Nachkriegsordnung ist eröffnet. Die Houthis könnten ein mögliches Umweltfiasko als Faustpfand einsetzen, um die USA sowie Saudiarabien zu Konzessionen zu zwingen (Premium)

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Gulf: Shifting Perceptions on Missile and Drone Attacks

In fact, two convergent moods are emerging in the Middle Eastern region and among Western allies. First, missile and drone attacks targeting Saudi Arabia, occurring against the Saudi soil and partly in the Red Sea waters, are not only Riyadh’s problem. These mostly threaten Saudi national security but, as time goes by, also regional stability, included maritime and energy security.

Second – and in other words – the Houthis’ attacks against Saudi Arabia and its civilian (mostly economic) and military interests are growingly perceived by the Middle Eastern allies of Riyadh, but also by European and American partners, as a regional security issue. Not only a dispute between Yemen’s Houthis (Ansar Allah) and the Saudis.

This emerging shift in political perceptions was not granted, especially given the highly-unpopular – and strategically counterproductive – military intervention that Saudi Arabia has been guiding in Yemen, against the Houthis, since 2015. But in the Middle East, the proliferation of armed drones and missile capabilities, also by non-state actors, has quickly become a top issue on the agenda.[1]

More that experts’ analysis, and before Biden’s speech, two official statements had already shed light on this changing mood. In fact, despite few details of the latest episode against Riyadh were made public, the official reaction of some European states and of the US administration was firm and telling.

France, Germany and the United Kingdom (the E3 group) declared in a joint statement that “proliferation and the use of missiles and drones undermine the security and stability of the region, to which we are strongly committed”. The E3 group, who toured Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Oman at mid-January 2021 for talks on Gulf security, also added that “we reiterate our firm attachment to the security and integrity of Saudi territory”. French President Emmanuel Macron even proposed to include Saudi Arabia and the UAE in talks regarding Iran’s ballistic missile program and, more broadly, on discussions on the role of Iranian-related militias in the Middle Eastern region.

Recurrent attacks, especially by the Houthis, reflect higher militarization by non-state armed groups, and conversely, defensive counter-militarization in the Middle Eastern region: ballistic missiles and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) stand at the centre of the picture, again.

For instance, the United States are expected to deploy the Israeli-manufactured system Iron Dome (missile defense system) in the American bases hosted by the Gulf monarchies, with Israel’s approval.

Given this picture, it’s clear that converging perceptions regarding ballistic missiles and armed drones’ proliferation are on the rise among Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Israel and Western partners (included some European states). The regional security threat coming from non-state actors’ warfare is tangible, and no more (only) to Saudi Arabia, whose civilian infrastructures discovered to be too vulnerable.

But it’s still too early to envisage whether or not shifting security perceptions will be translated into multilateral dialogue, or even policies, aimed to mitigate a risky drones and missiles’ proliferation in the region – by Eleonora Ardemagni

My comment: This is rather odd. “It’s all about oil” – what other reason could exixt for the Europeans claiming that Saudi and Gulf security should be an international problem? It’s odd if the Houthis are labeled “non-state actors”, taking a twisted Western labeling as reality. It’s odd to lament on Houthi missiles against Saudi Arabia while taking the Saudi destruction war against Yemen as neglectible. It’s odd to lament about “proliferation and the use of missiles and drones undermine the security and stability of the region”, while the West itself – Europe included – floates the whole region with all types of arms. If this article would show anything, it’s the twisted worldview of Western politicians and journalists.

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Biden says he’s ending US support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen. Here’s what that means.

President Joe Biden’s announcement that the U.S. will end its support of a Saudi-led coalition’s yearslong war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels likely will increase pressure on the kingdom to end its campaign there. However, reaching an enduring peace for the Arab world’s poorest country still remains in question.

The Iran-backed rebels remain firmly entrenched in the country’s north and hold its capital, Sanaa. The rest of the country is being held by competing tribal, regional and political alliances, backed overall by the Saudi-led coalition that’s been fighting there since 2015.

How those fractious forces respond will be key as the United Nations, the West and regional countries try to find a power-sharing political arrangement agreeable to all sides. Yemen’s long-troubled modern history suggests any deal will be difficult to reach and perhaps even harder to stick to.

However, previous U.N.-led efforts have yet to end the conflict. Meanwhile, secessionists allied to the UAE have openly battled other troops allied to the coalition. Any peace between the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthis may only see the country divided again in the future.

My remark: Overview article.

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How Severe Is Yemen’s Humanitarian Crisis?

Yemen was suffering one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises. Then the pandemic struck. Now famine is looming, and signals of changing U.S. policy are being closely watched for how that could affect essential aid.

Some 80 percent of Yemenis receive humanitarian assistance. However, the United Nations–led aid response was only half-funded in 2020, when donations slowed amid the coronavirus pandemic and countries including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States slashed aid to Houthi-controlled territory over the rebels’ diversion of aid shipments. The Trump administration’s decision to brand the Houthis a foreign terrorist organization, which criminalized interaction with the rebels, has prompted concerns of further aid disruption

Humanitarian groups warn that Yemen is “being starved” and that famine is imminent, mostly because of man-made causes and economic disruptions. For instance, the Saudi-led coalition’s prolonged blockade of Yemen has led to an increase in food prices.

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Film: Yemen: Remembering the Arab Spring

Ex-journalist Afrah Nasser remembers Yemen’s journey from revolution to war to the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

“It was fascinating and magnificent… in the beginning where thousands, if not millions, of young people [were] dreaming of a better Yemen.”

Ex-journalist Afrah Nasser remembers Yemen’s journey from revolution to the war that led to the world’s worst humanitarian disaster.

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Yemen between the Impact of the Climate Change and the Ongoing Saudi-Yemen War: A Real Tragedy

This paper assesses the impact of climate change and Saudi-Yemen ongoing war on Yemen’s economy, agriculture, households and health and the proposed solutions for adaptation to climate change.

Agriculture sector mainly depends on primitive methods and rain steams which make it vulnerable to extreme climate changes such as drought and floods. The sector also faces various challenges, the most important of all is the scarcity of water resources. It absorbs almost 50 percent of the work force and accounts for 11.4 percent of GDP (current prices) in the average during the period 2001-08. Rainfall varies widely across the country, from less than 50 mm along the coast, and rising with the topography to between 500 and 800 mm in the Western Highlands, and dropping again to below 50 mm in the desert interior.

The water sector in Yemen faces formidable challenges, and water table is declining in average by about 6-7 meters annually due to groundwater over-abstraction. The capital Sana’a is one of top ten water scarce cities in the world and its groundwater is being drastically depleted. The increasingly growing water crisis in Yemen has severe socio-economic and environmental consequences including decreased agriculture productivity, reduced food security, increased conflict over resources and accelerated land degradation, and increased livelihood vulnerability. With the current weak adaptive and institutional capacity, climate change associated impact including more frequent, and prolonged droughts under specific climatic sceneries will push livelihood vulnerability of the poor into further declines, leading to further environmental resource degradation, increased ecological scarcities, and hardship, and hence increased poverty expansion.

Climate changes since the 1960s include: Increased temperature (1.8°C+) at a rate of approximately 0.39°C per decade, with most rapid rate of increase occurring during the summer months (June-August); rate of warming is more rapid than the global average. Decrease in average rainfall at a rate of 1.2mm per month (-9%) per decade, generally affecting the drier seasons, with declines particularly noted in the Highlands.

Projected Changes might include: Mean annual temperature increasing by 1.2°C to 3.3°C by 2060, with warming occurring more rapidly in the country’s interior than in the coastal areas. Substantial increase in frequency of hot days and nights (exceeding temperature of hottest 10% historical days/nights); decrease in frequency of cold days and nights. Wide range of projections (increases and decreases) for rainfall, with probable increases in September-November rainfall. Proportion of total rain falling in heavy events occurring September-November is expected to increase. Amounts of rain in maximum 1- and 5-day events occurring September-November are expected to increase. Increase in sea level rise of 0.30 m to 0.54 m by 2100.

cp2a Saudische Blockade / Saudi blockade

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Jemen: 80.000 Menschen wegen der Schließung des Flughafens von Sanaa gestroben

Laut dem Direktor des internationalen Flughafens der jemenitischen Hauptstadt Sanaa hat die Schließung dieses Flughafens durch die von Saudi-Arabien geführte Kriegskoalition zum Tod von mehr als 80.000 Jemeniten geführt.

"Das Leid der jemenitischen Bevölkerung hat seit viereinhalb Jahren aufgrund der Schließung des Flughafens von Sanaa zugenommen", sagte Khalid al-Sharif am Sonntag und beklagte, dass die internationale Staatengemeinschaft dieser Situation nur tatenlos zugeschaut hat.

"Angesichts des anhaltenden Krieges und der sich verschlechternden Gesundheitssituation, die durch die Belagerung des Jemen durch die saudische Koalition verursacht wurde, müssen mehr als 450.000 Patienten zur Behandlung ins Ausland gebracht werden", sagte der Direktor des Flughafens von Sanaa.

Der internationale Flughafen in der jemenitischen Hauptstadt ist seit 2016 wegen der durch die saudische Armee verhängten Luftblockade geschlossen.

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Sana'a Airport Director: Airport closure caused death of 80,000 patients

Director General of Sana'a International Airport, Khaled Al-Shayef, announced on Sunday that the closure of the airport caused the death of more than 80,000 patients who needed to be treated abroad.

During a joint press conference with a number of civil society organizations held Sunday in Sana'a, Al-Shayef confirmed that more than 450,000 patients still need to travel to receive treatment abroad due to the continuing war and poor health conditions as a result of the comprehensive blockade.

The closure of the airport has caused a lot of damage in the humanitarian and health aspects and in all aspects of civilian life for Yemenis, Al-Shayef said.

He pointed out that more than one million patients are threatened with death due to the lack of drugs for incurable diseases, and that over 3,000 patients, registered with the Ministry of Health, suffer from cardiac abnormalities and they urgently need to travel abroad for treatment.

More than 12,000 patients with kidney failure need urgent kidney transplants, and that more than 65 cases of cancer are threatened with death at any moment, he added.

He said that one out of every ten passengers traveling between Sana'a and Aden or Sana'a and Sayoun dies due to the long distance, the rugged road and the large number of military points spread on the road.

The airport's director pointed out that more than a million Yemenis cannot enter Yemen, and thousands of students at home are deprived of their scholarships due to the closure of Sana'a airport and the siege on Yemen.

Al-Shayef mentioned that the direct losses of targeting Sana'a Airport by the Saudi-led aggression coalition amounted to more than $ 150 million.

The aggression coalition bombing of the airport continued even in the presence of some United Nations flights, he explained, stressing that "these crimes will not pass without judicial prosecution."

and also

(A P)

Yemen Petroleum Company warns of collapse in all service sectors due to continued detention of fuel vessels

Ammar al-Adra’i, executive director of the Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC) has warned of the collapse of all service sectors in the coming days due to the continued detention of fuel vessels by Saudi-led coalition countries at sea and the denial of their entry into the port of Hodeidah.

The move came during a protest held in front of the UN headquarters in the capital Sana’a.

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

(B E H)

Video from @SMEPSYEMEN shows new local manufacturing of drip irrigation systems. Making this technology available locally helps sustain agriculture, saves water, reduces cost & massively contributes to food security.

(* B H)

With the support of Germany, WHO and INTERSOS provide life-saving medical care to children in Ibb governorate

With the Government of Germany's support, the World Health Organization (WHO) and INTERSOS are working together to support 6 health facilities in Far Al-Udayn and Hazm Al-Udayn districts in Ibb governorate. The support entails providing emergency primary and secondary health and nutrition services and reinforcing outreach and referral mechanisms with a network of community health volunteers.

The partnership aims to reduce morbidity and mortality of the most vulnerable conflict-affected populations, focusing on children under 5 and pregnant and lactating women.

Yazid, an 11-year-old boy, lives with his family in Hayran, a village in Far Al-Udayn district. In October 2020, he was brought to Al-Mazhan District Hospital after suffering for 3 days from high fever, persistent vomiting, joint pain, and hematuria. The boy was found to have malaria. He was admitted to the inpatient department, where he received anti-malarial treatment, including intravenous therapy and other necessary medications. The boy's condition was continuously followed up by doctors and health staff at the health facility until he fully recovered a few days after being admitted.

Malaria is one of the infectious diseases for which the WHO-INTERSOS partnership supports health facilities in Ibb governorate. T

(A H)

Real time pictures, @monarelief's team delivering now 3000 students in 21 schools in the capital Sana'a breakfast meals. The project which was launched today and funded by @PartnersRelief will continue for 3 months. More pictures will be shared later from other schools.

3,000 students receiving 180,000 meals in #Yemen over the next few months is very good news indeed!

Thank you @monarelief for your partnership and tenacity to once again put love into action. Funded with phenomenal generosity by @karmagawa and @timothysykes. (photos)

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

(B H)

IDPs in Yemen by District vs IPC (Acute Food Insecurity Phase Classification), As of Dec 2020

Yemen: IDP Hosting Sites by District vs IPC (Acute Food Insecurity Phase Classification), As of Dec 2020

Yemen: IDP Hosting Sites by District vs IPC (Acute Food Insecurity Phase Classification) with 5 Km active areas of conflic zone, As of Dec 2020

(* B H)

Nearly 105,120 people had been displaced to or within Marib since January 2020. Despite challenges brought on by the #COVID19 pandemic & the conflict, IOM and @KSRelief_EN are partnering to reach the most in-need families with vital aid.

Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp5 – cp19

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-714 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-714: 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:

07:07 08.02.2021
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

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