Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 717 - Yemen War Mosaic 717

Yemen Press Reader 717: 14. Feb. 2021: Akute Unterernährung bedroht Hälfte der Kinder unter 5 im Jemen – Die Huthis rekrutierten über 10.000 Kinder – Jemens Jugend 10 Jahre nach der Revolution
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... Für das Wohl von Jemens nächster Generation: Zahlt heute die Gehälter der Lehrer – Jetzt ist es an der Zeit für eine Einigung im Jemen – Neue US-Jemen-Politik: Was sie wirklich bedeutet, die Konsequenzen – und mehr

Feb. 14, 2021: Acute malnutrition threatens half of children under five in Yemen in 2021 – Houthis recruited more than 10,000 children – Yemen’s youth 10 years after the revolution – To save Yemen’s future generation, pay teachers’ salaries today – Now is the time to agree on Yemen – New US Yemen policy: What it really means, its consequences – 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: Coronavitrus und Seuchen / Most important: Coronavirus and epidemics

cp1b Am wichtigsten: Neue Jemen-Politik der USA / Most important: New US Yemen policy

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp2a Allgemein: Saudische Blockade / General: Saudi blockade

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

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

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

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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Understanding the crisis in Yemen: Starving children and the Middle East's cold war

Saudi Arabia has waged war in neighbouring Yemen, contributing to what the UN has called the world’s worst ongoing humanitarian disaster. Keith Lynch offers a guide to the basics of the conflict.

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

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Acute malnutrition threatens half of children under five in Yemen in 2021: UN

Nearly 2.3 million children under the age of five in Yemen are projected to suffer from acute malnutrition in 2021, four United Nations agencies warned today. Of these, 400,000 are expected to suffer from severe acute malnutrition and could die if they do not receive urgent treatment.

The new figures, from the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) Acute Malnutrition report released today by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), UNICEF (the United Nations Children’s Fund), the World Food Programme (WFP), the World Health Organization (WHO) and partners, mark an increase in acute malnutrition and severe acute malnutrition of 16 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively, among children under five years from 2020.

The agencies also warned that these were among the highest levels of severe acute malnutrition recorded in Yemen since the escalation of conflict in 2015.

Malnutrition damages a child’s physical and cognitive development, especially during the first two years of a child’s life. It is largely irreversible, perpetuating illness, poverty and inequality.

Preventing malnutrition and addressing its devastating impact starts with good maternal health, yet around 1.2 million pregnant or breastfeeding women in Yemen are projected to be acutely malnourished in 2021.

Years of armed conflict and economic decline, the COVID-19 pandemic and a severe funding shortfall for the humanitarian response are pushing exhausted communities to the brink, with rising levels of food insecurity. Many families are having to resort to reducing the quantity or quality of the food they eat, and in some cases, families are forced to do both.

“The increasing number of children going hungry in Yemen should shock us all into action,” said UNICEF Executive Director Henrietta Fore. “More children will die with every day that passes without action. Humanitarian organizations need urgent predictable resources and unhindered access to communities on the ground to be able to save lives.”

“Families in Yemen have been in the grip of conflict for too long, and more recent threats such as COVID-19 have only been adding to their relentless plight,” said FAO Director-General QU Dongyu. “Without security and stability across the country, and improved access to farmers so that they are provided with the means to resume growing enough and nutritious food, Yemen’s children and their families will continue to slip deeper into hunger and malnutrition.”

“These numbers are yet another cry for help from Yemen where each malnourished child also means a family struggling to survive,” said WFP Executive Director David Beasley. “The crisis in Yemen is a toxic mix of conflict, economic collapse and a severe shortage of funding to provide the life-saving help that’s desperately needed. But there is a solution to hunger, and that’s food and an end to the violence. If we act now, then there is still time to end the suffering of Yemen’s children.”

Diseases and a poor health environment are key drivers of childhood malnutrition,” said WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. “At the same time, malnourished children are more vulnerable to diseases including diarrhea, respiratory infections and malaria, which are of great concern in Yemen, among others. It is a vicious and often deadly cycle, but with relatively cheap and simple interventions, many lives can be saved.”

Acute malnutrition among young children and mothers in Yemen has increased with each year of conflict with a significant deterioration during 2020 driven by high rates of disease, such as diarrhoea, respiratory tract infections and cholera, and rising rates of food insecurity. Among the worst-hit governorates are Aden, Al Dhale, Hajjah, Hodeida, Lahj, Taiz and Sana'a City, which account for over half of expected acute malnutrition cases in 2021.

Today, Yemen is one of the most dangerous places in the world for children to grow up. The country has high rates of communicable diseases, limited access to routine immunization and health services for children and families, poor infant and young child feeding practices, and inadequate sanitation and hygiene systems.

Meanwhile, the already fragile health care system is facing the collateral impact of COVID-19, which has drained meagre resources and resulted in fewer people seeking medical care.

The dire situation for Yemen’s youngest children and mothers means any disruptions to humanitarian services – from health to water, sanitation and hygiene, to nutrition, food assistance and livelihoods support – risk causing a deterioration in their nutrition status.

The humanitarian response remains critically underfunded. In 2020, the Humanitarian Response plan received US$1.9 billion of the US$3.4 billion required.

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Euro-Med Monitor & SAM’s New Report: Houthis Recruited More Than 10,000 Children In Yemen

The Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor and the SAM for Rights and Liberties said in a report released today that the Houthis have forcibly recruited 10,300 children in Yemen since 2014, warning of dangerous consequences failing to address this phenomenon might cause.

The report, the two organizations released on the “International Day against the Use of Child Soldiers” (also known as Red Hand Day), which falls today February 12, stated that the Houthis use complex patterns to forcibly recruit children and put them in hostile areas under its control in Yemen. Many children killed, as a result, and hundreds were injured. The report documented the names of 111 children who were killed during the battles between July and August 2020 only.

The report, entitled “Militarizing Childhood”, highlighted the Houthis’ use of schools and educational facilities to lure children to recruitment. The group uses an education system that incites violence and teaches the group’s ideology through special lectures inside the official educational facilities to fill students with extremist ideas and encourage them to join the fight to support the group's military actions.

The report indicated that during the past three years (2018, 2019, 2020) the Houthis began an open and compulsory campaign to recruit children. The group opened 52 training camps for thousands of adolescents and children in Saada, Sanaa, Al Mahwit, Hodeidah, Tihama, Hajjah and Dhamar, targeting children 10 years old or above.

The methods the Houthis use to recruit children include ideological programs before sending them to training camps to attend a one-month military course. After that, they are sent to battlefronts to participate in direct clashes, laying mines and guarding military points.

The Houthis threaten Yemeni families in the villages and areas under its control to force them to allow recruitment of their children, including children in displaced camps and orphanages. In some cases, the group has recruited children from poor families in exchange for monetary rewards ($150 per month).

The two organizations collected several testimonies of children recruited by the Houthis.

The testimonies indicated that the Houthis give recruited children sever punishments if they fail to carry out their orders correctly, such as food deprivation, imprisonment, physical and sexual assaults, and death threats.

“However, what is more troubling is not only the inclusion of children in military operations but feeding their simple minds with extremist ideas and filling them with hate speech and violence, and thus creating future extremists who may not be easily controlled given the huge number that the group recruits or aims to recruit in the future.”

and also


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Over ten thousand Yemeni children recruited by Houthis, a report says

“I was assigned with loading the guns and transporting them with foodstuffs to high, rugged areas. It was hard and exhausting. I used to get beaten and reprimanded when I arrived late. I cried a lot during those nights, fearing for my life and for missing my mother, father and brothers,” a 14-year-old child was quoted in the report.

According to the report, the Houthi militia did not only limit its recruitment of children to boys but also girls.

“They recruited 34 girls (aged between 13 and 17), and used them as informants, soldiers, guards, paramedics, and members of Zainabiyat, whose job is inspecting women and homes, lecturing other women about the group’s ideology, as well as maintaining order in women prisons,” it added.


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Militarized Childhood

A report on the Houthis’ recruitment of Yemeni children during war

Child recruitment and use by armed forces is one of the gravest violations that Yemeni children fall victim to as Yemen has been witnessing wars and armed conflicts for several years. This phenomenon emerged in Yemen since the era of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, when the Ministry of Defense started to accept children under the age of 15 years old into their ranks. Tribal sheikhs also sent their children to war to secure their monthly salaries the government paid at the time. However, this phenomenon significantly diminished after pressures imposed on the Saleh regime, especially after Yemen had signed several international child rights agreements.

On the other hand, armed groups in Yemen, especially the Houthis, sought to recruit children to reinforce their capabilities. The Houthis have been exploiting child soldiers since they waged a war against the Hajour al-Sham tribes in Hajjah Governorate in early 2012; their war on the Dammaj area in Saada governorate in 2013; and at a greater pace, in 2014, after they seized power in Yemen and the battles expanded. The Houthis have used complex patterns to forcibly recruit these children and use them in hostilities and compensate for their losses during the battles against the Yemeni government forces and the Arab coalition forces led by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

There have been various estimates regarding the number of children recruited by the warring parties during the conflict in Yemen. A 2017 UN report estimated the number of children recruited by the Houthis at about 1,500 children. Mwatana for Human Rights said the number is close to 1,900 children in the last three years (2019 ,2018 and 2020). An Associated Press report said the Houthis had recruited about 18,000 children by the end of 2018. The Human Rights Ministry of the Yemeni government estimated that the Houthis had recruited about 30,000 children in total since 2014.

Our team collected data from 19 Yemeni governorates that indicated the Houthis have recruited 10,333 Yemeni children since 2014. This includes 248 of those children between the ages of 11-8 years old, 3,838 children between 14-12 years old, and 6,2471 children between 17-15 years old (as detailed in Table No. 10).

The Houthis are not the only party to resort to recruiting children. Local and international reports indicated that the Yemeni government and the Arab coalition forces have also recruited children taking advantage of their families› desperate need for money, despite the Yemeni government signing an agreement with the United Nations in 2018 that includes a roadmap to stop the recruitment and use of children in the conflict.

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(** B H P)

Ten Years after the Revolution

YemeSix years of war can be enough to put an end to hope. Yemenis today are going through a collective state of despair with no light at the end of the tunnel. In part 1 of this article, we looked at one model for youth: militants who joined the frontlines with differing motives over the past six years. This second part of the article will discuss four other models of youth and their realities, ten years after the Youth: From Revolutionary Action to the Demise of Hope (Part 2)

Individualistic survival

This category consists of middle class youth who seek their own individual survival during these hard times. Many of them used to be outspoken activists with great interest and visibility in the public sphere. Yet, six years of open war, without a glimpse of political change to end Yemen’s plight, have led many middle class youth to give up on the collective struggle.

Wealth disparity in Yemen has resulted in a disappearing middle class, an issue that puts this category of youth under growing pressure to preserve a minimum level of decent livelihood.

Unreconciled coexistence with reality

Considerable numbers of Yemeni youth were forced to reconcile with the reality of war and accept the worst quality of life one can have. They cannot afford the risks of migration when they are the breadwinners for their extremely poor families. This is a category of youth who refuse to be militants and do not have the qualifications that humanitarian organizations require. They have let go of all their ambitions and dreams, and even though they have not reconciled with this reality, they keep going anyway, working in unstable small jobs with unsustainably low income. The war has put the dreams of those in the prime of their lives on hold until further notice.

Nihilism and despair

At first, nihilist thought was an initial organic reaction to war. This category of young Yemenis was hit really hard by the collapse of the revolution and the absence of political organizations with the needed revolutionary integrity to face militias, as well as internal and external exploitation and aggression. They became indifferent towards everything, not out of ignorance, but in fact the opposite. They are very well read intellectuals who are aware of the complex historical background of this war and beyond. This awareness and knowledge makes it impossible to live without a heavy sense of alienation and estrangement, as well as a struggle with everything, including the self. It is a grave form of suffering that eventually empties life of any meaning.

Hopeful elitist resistance

This last category consists of some journalists, writers, artists and intellectuals who continue to resist tyranny and violence out of their belief in the revolution and possibilities of change. The path they choose for resistance is non-confrontational and often disguised in cultural, artistic and literary activities in addition to advocacy for human rights. The language and mediums used in these activities is what makes them elitist and detached from the realities of the vast population.

With all its limitations, we must recognize that this form of activism has the potential to accumulate political and cultural consciousness. Additionally, these activities can still revive some hope in a nation that may be desperate, but still has not forgotten 11 February.

Is it possible for the revolution to rise again?

Whether they turned to militarization or not, the majority of Yemeni youth are individually and collectively in a state of alienation and estrangement. All options in this reality are alienating and deadly. In the regions under their control, Houthis govern and micromanage the movements and lives of the youth. Almost identical with the regime George Orwell describes in his novel 1984, we are looking at an oligarchy that prosecutes intentions and thoughts even before action. In regions controlled by the legitimate government, the youth are fragmented by the government and the Southern Transitional Council’s servitude to Saudi and Emirati interests. This very dark picture does not mean that revolting against tyrannies is impossible.

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The conflict has reversed decades of progress in children’s education. More than 3.7 million children are reported to be out of school or at risk of dropping out. Only two-thirds of schools are functioning, with the rest destroyed, damaged, used for military purposes or turned into shelters for displaced people. Where the buildings still stand, trained education staff are leaving or have already left. Lack of basic services – water and sanitation, electricity – and insecurity around schools pose major barriers to the teachers and students that remain in classrooms. Meanwhile, Yemen’s two Ministries of Education are both failing to provide adequate budget or support to the education system.

With pockets of famine-like conditions returning to the country for the first time in two years, catastrophic food insecurity is expected to nearly triple in the coming six months. The effect of this along with ongoing forced displacement, high unemployment, and the collapse of social support systems has meant financially struggling households have stopped sending their children – especially girls – to school. Harmful coping mechanisms such as child marriage, child prostitution, child armed recruitment, and child labor have instead become the only ways to generate income. Daily education is a vital safeguard against such practices and provides a safe space for children to thrive. But it cannot function without teachers.

In the early months of the conflict, violence was the main factor preventing teachers from doing their job properly. Some lost their lives or were injured during airstrikes and armed conflicts when their schools were caught in the crossfires. Those who objected to state funds being dedicated to frontline fighting were prosecuted, beaten or harassed. In addition, the de facto authorities – the Houthis in the north and the Southern Transitional Council in the South – took advantage of teachers’ need for financial support, only giving assistance to those who agreed to their new regulations. Those who objected were blacklisted. Schools were also used for arms storage or military camps. All of this polarized both teachers and their syndicates.

However, as the conflict became more protracted, money became the main reason holding teachers back. More than five years of unpaid or partially paid salaries continues to drive thousands of trained professionals away from their classrooms. Male teachers have become construction workers, taxi or bus drivers, or farmers. Female teachers, especially those in rural areas, have opted for home-based work, such as tailoring, scent-manufacturing or baking goods for sale.

The teachers that remain are under huge pressure to quit.


Of course, the lack of teachers is not the only reason Yemen’s education sector is struggling. Another key factor is the various warring parties’ inability to exclude it from political and security bargaining, ignoring continuous calls from civil society to unconditionally commit to protecting this vital service.

Since the conflict, however, coordination of the sector has been split between two MoEs: one in Sana’a and another in Aden. The negative ramifications have been immense. Both ministries have sought complete control and ownership of any externally funded educational projects or programs. They have indulged in futile conflicts over curriculum changes and territorial divisions, rather than responding to the urgent education needs on the ground. They have also conducted needs assessments, planning and selection of target geographic areas and partnerships unilaterally and opaquely. Neither decided to invest in education monitoring.

This has led to a major deterioration in teaching quality and learning outcomes. Many key stakeholders have also scaled back their involvement in the sector, including local non-profits who boast strong access and experience working in emergency settings.


As a result of all of this, 5 million Yemeni children are in acute need of education, according to the latest Humanitarian Response Plan. Yet with so many humanitarian needs competing for few resources, education struggles to climb the long ladder of priorities, with a funding gap of around $91 million, according to the Humanitarian Action Plan. A recent assessment showed that reconstruction costs involved with rebuilding the education sector’s infrastructure in 16 cities could rise to over $500 million. The additional health issues associated with a second Covid-19 wave will likely put further pressure on aid budgets, shunting education further down the ladder.


In sum, the situation is difficult and it would be quite ambitious, if not naïve, to suggest that full education sector reform is possible in the current climate. A peace agreement is not expected anytime soon. Schooling is not seen as important by either Yemeni decision makers or the international community, at least not to a significant extent. Plus, there are huge political, economic and governance challenges that hinder education from being conducted as normal. Nevertheless, there is an important step that can and should be taken to save additional millions of children from leaving school: paying teachers their salaries.

The benefits are obvious. Teachers in Yemen have shown themselves to be immensely flexible in difficult situations; they have taught students under trees, in mountain caves, and even in their own homes. Some have also distributed school meals they have paid for themselves. Teachers can help stop students from dropping out and ensure that classrooms remain a place for protection and nurturing.

Areas where education has ceased completely should be prioritized – by Sawsan Al-Refaei

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After the announcement of US President Joe Biden on February 5 to stop US support for Saudi Arabia’s offensive operations in Yemen, the next challenge is to ensure regional involvement does not contribute to further fragmentation. Yemen’s internationally-recognized government (IRG) and the Southern Transitional Council (STC) are supported separately by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates respectively. These Gulf states have been doing much of their bidding in Yemen through the IRG and STC, which has undermined Yemen’s ability to autonomously reach an internal peace agreement.

Regional interference from neighboring countries in Yemen’s civil war has severely complicated negotiations to reach a robust and inclusive political settlement aimed at ending the ongoing fighting. The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) has often on the surface operated as a unified front. For example, in 2015 the six-nation bloc publicly backed an aerial bombing campaign in Yemen aimed at restoring the internationally-recognized government (IRG) to power. However, GCC countries also often lack consensus about their individual postures toward Yemen

Saudi Arabia and the UAE are engaging in a cat-and-mouse game in which the Saudis want the Emiratis to urge the STC to moderate their political demands. At the same time, the Emiratis expect Saudi leadership to pressure the IRG to accept a true power-sharing agreement.

The GCC has long been involved in Yemeni affairs, partly because of Yemen’s geostrategic importance on the Arabian Peninsula. Each country has its own history with Yemen and distinct set of motives for diplomacy.


The Gulf states have tended to act in Yemen according to their national—rather than a regional—interests, especially after the GCC Initiative began to falter. Saudi officials gave their Emirati and other coalition partners short notice of their intent to begin dropping bombs in Yemen in March 2015, and with a U.S. audience in mind, they announced the launch of military operations at a press conference in Washington, D.C. The purpose of the intervention had many goals. Ostensibly, it was to stop the Houthis’ advances and re-instate the IRG. But, Saudi Arabia also wanted to ensure its biggest regional rival, Iran, was not able to expand its influence in Yemen through the their allies, the Houthis. The UAE ‘s participation in the military intervention was largely motivated by the prospect of economic gain if they could gain influence in the Port of Aden in southern Yemen.

After the initial aerial offensive, Saudi and Emirati troops subsequently deployed in different geographic areas and forged separate ties with the IRG and the STC, which is vying for an independent southern state. Armed clashes in Aden in August 2019 were just one manifestation of this lack of coordination of Saudi and Emirati policymaking. These clashes led to the UAE-backed STC exiling the IRG from its interim capital in Aden.


The challenge moving forward is to incentivize regional actors to play a constructive role in Yemen’s future peace prospects. To this end, the relationship between them and the groups they support in Yemen needs to fundamentally change. First, for any meaningful political dialogue to be effective, Yemeni groups being propped up by foreign nations will need to sever these ties and begin focusing on domestic issues. This will also require outside influences to relinquish their self-serving desires to shape Yemen’s future political and military dynamics.

All parties with an interest in Yemen’s future, including the Gulf states, Iran, the IRG, the STC and the Houthis will need to commit to new rules of engagement. This will require a foundational agreement that acknowledges help from outside countries will be needed to rebuild a post-conflict Yemen. The groups need to reach a consensus on what constitutes acceptable forms of support, such as development aid money, and to whom and in what form that support can be directed without creating further divisions.

Getting regional powers to commit to and follow through with such an agreement will not be easy – by Kristian Coates Ulrichsen

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

(A H)

Two new cases of coronavirus reported in Aden

(A H)

One new case of coronavirus reported, 2,134 in total

cp1b Am wichtigsten: Neue Jemen-Politik der USA / Most important: New US Yemen policy

Siehe / Look at cp1, cp9

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USA streichen Huthi-Rebellen von Terrorliste

Das US-Außenministerium will laut Amtschef Antony Blinken die aufständischen Huthi-Rebellen im Jemen wieder von der Liste der Terrororganisationen nehmen. Die Maßnahme, mit der ein Beschluss der Administration Donald Trump ausgehebelt wird, soll schon am Dienstag in Kraft treten.

„Mit Wirkung ab dem 16. Februar mache ich die Einstufung von Ansar Allah, auch bekannt als Huthi, als ausländische Terrororganisation rückgängig“, so Blinken in einem am Freitag veröffentlichten Statement.

Begründet wird die Entscheidung mit der schweren humanitären Situation im Jemen

und auch

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Audio: Der neue aussenpolitische Kurs der USA unter Joe Biden

In Jemen keimt leise Hoffnung auf ein mögliches Ende des Krieges. Und in Saudiarabien kommt eine Frauenrechtlerin aus dem Gefängnis.

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Film: Biden kündigt Bruch mit Trumps Außenpolitik an (u. a. Themen)

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Audio: Jemen: haben die USA Einfluss auf die Kriegstreiber?

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UN welcomes US revocation of Yemen’s Houthis as terrorists

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric on Friday called the U.S. action “extremely positive.”

“We hope that helps build momentum for a political solution to the conflict in Yemen,” Dujarric said. “I think the reversal of the designation, the naming of the (U.S.) special envoy (for Yemen), and the clear, clear language from the top of the administration, from president Biden himself, expressing his strong support for the U.N.-led mediation process ... are very, very welcome indeed.”

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US Sec. of State Blinken: Revocation of the Terrorist Designations of Ansarallah


Effective February 16, I am revoking the designations of Ansarallah, sometimes referred to as the Houthis, as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) under the Immigration and Nationality Act and as a Specially Designated Global Terrorist (SDGT) pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13224, as amended.

This decision is a recognition of the dire humanitarian situation in Yemen. We have listened to warnings from the United Nations, humanitarian groups, and bipartisan members of Congress, among others, that the designations could have a devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to basic commodities like food and fuel. The revocations are intended to ensure that relevant U.S. policies do not impede assistance to those already suffering what has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. By focusing on alleviating the humanitarian situation in Yemen, we hope the Yemeni parties can also focus on engaging in dialogue.

Ansarallah leaders Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim remain sanctioned under E.O. 13611 related to acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen. We will continue to closely monitor the activities of Ansarallah and its leaders and are actively identifying additional targets for designation, especially those responsible for explosive boat attacks against commercial shipping in the Red Sea and UAV and missile attacks into Saudi Arabia. The United States will also continue to support the implementation of UN sanctions imposed on members of Ansarallah and will continue to call attention to the group’s destabilizing activity and pressure the group to change its behavior.

The United States remains clear-eyed about Ansarallah’s malign actions, and aggression, including taking control of large areas of Yemen by force, attacking U.S. partners in the Gulf, kidnapping and torturing citizens of the United States and many of our allies, diverting humanitarian aid, brutally repressing Yemenis in areas they control, and the deadly attack on December 30, 2020 in Aden against the cabinet of the legitimate government of Yemen. Ansarallah’s actions and intransigence prolong this conflict and exact serious humanitarian costs.

We remain committed to helping U.S. partners in the Gulf defend themselves, including against threats arising from Yemen, many of which are carried out with the support of Iran. The United States will redouble its efforts, alongside the United Nations and others, to end the war itself. We reaffirm our strong belief that there is no military solution to this conflict.

We urge all parties to work towards a lasting political solution, which is the only means to durably end the humanitarian crisis afflicting the people of Yemen.

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US removes Yemen's Houthi rebels from terror list

Secretary of State Antony Blinken says action necessitated by 'dire humanitarian situation in Yemen'

The Biden administration moved to formally revoke Friday the terror designation applied to Yemen's Houthi rebels in the waning days of Donald Trump's presidency.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the action would be effective Feb. 16, adding the move was necessitated by the "dire humanitarian situation in Yemen."

"We have listened to warnings from the United Nations, humanitarian groups, and bipartisan members of Congress, among others, that the designations could have a devastating impact on Yemenis’ access to basic commodities like food and fuel," the top diplomat said.

"The revocations are intended to ensure that relevant U.S. policies do not impede assistance to those already suffering what has been called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis," he added.

While the group itself is being removed from the terror blacklist, three of its key leaders -- Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi, and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim -- will remain sanctioned under separate actions.

and also

and how Saudi Al Arabiya tells it:


Background on the #US decision to revoke terror designations for Ansar Allah and #Houthi leadership. #Yemen

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US Keeps Houthi Leaders on Terror List, Vows No Let up on Pressure

The United States announced that it would not lift sanctions off the leaders of the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen.

State Department spokesman Ned Price declared on Wednesday that Houthi leaders Abdul Malik al-Houthi, Abd al-Khaliq Badr al-Din al-Houthi and Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim “remain designated under the UN sanctions regime and are sanctioned under a US authority, Executive Order 13611, related to acts that threaten the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.”

“We do not intend to let up the pressure on those who are responsible for these attacks [on Saudi Arabia], who are responsible for seeking to do harm to American citizens, who are responsible for seeking to do harm to our Saudi partners,” he stressed during a press briefing.

“The Houthi leadership will find themselves sorely mistaken if they think that this administration is going to let off the pressure – is going to let them off the hook for the reprehensible conduct that they continue to undertake. They will find themselves under significant pressure, and I suspect we may have more to say about that in the coming days,” he added.

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Sec. of State Blinken: Spoke with @FaisalbinFarhan. Saudi Arabia is an important security partner. We won’t stand by while the Houthis attack Saudi Arabia. We remain committed to bolstering Saudi Arabia’s defenses and finding a political settlement to the conflict in Yemen.

My comment: Nothing really new since 2015. Obama is back.

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What Does Biden’s Yemen Policy Mean for Saudi Arabia?

U.S. President Joe Biden seeks to end the six-year war in Yemen by dialing down military interventions and returning to diplomacy. Strange as it may seem, the Saudis’ current strategy is not that different.

On the surface, Biden’s announcements on Yemen signal a big policy shift.

Interestingly, Saudi Arabia has been reserved in its response, primarily welcoming more defense cooperation and the appointment of an envoy. One might expect more of an indignant reaction, especially to the end of U.S. military support for the Saudi offensive. But there are several likely reasons for the Saudis’ muted tone. First, it’s currently unclear which arms sales the Biden administration will focus on and how they will define “offensive” and “defensive” actions by Saudi Arabia.

Second, while Riyadh publically supported the earlier U.S. designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group, this was largely because this was what the Yemeni government and the United States wanted.

Third—and relatedly—despite Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan’s seemingly cordial meeting with Lenderking, increased U.S. diplomatic engagement creates some unwelcome uncertainty around the Saudis’ long-standing back channel negotiations with the Houthis. The delicate ecosystem the two parties have kept running could be put at risk.


One overriding reason for Saudi Arabia’s understated response is that its military strategy has already been changing for some time and partially aligns with Biden’s policy changes. In mid-2019, Saudi Arabia started to shift from a strategy of hard intervention to soft intervention, with a noticeable decline in its military operations against the Houthis.

The economic, humanitarian, and political costs just became too high to be tenable, particularly when the coronavirus pandemic hit

Given these costs and successive failures to stop the Houthis’ advancement, the current Saudi vision focuses on weakening the Houthis rather than defeating them. Direct Saudi-led coalition attacks against the Houthis have decreased dramatically over the last several years.

This trend sounds positive, but depending on the details of Biden’s reduced offensive support, Saudi Arabia may still try to secure the weapons it wants from elsewhere—Russia and China, for instance.

Ultimately, Saudi Arabia will protect its interests and likely claim that military attacks are defensive rather than offensive. And it will seek the weapons it needs to retaliate against the Houthis’ increasingly sophisticated drone attacks and other aggressive moves.


The appointment of a U.S. envoy should help pry open channels of communication with the Houthis. But broadly speaking, talks with the group are not starting from square one. For the past two years, the Houthis and the Saudis have held secret discussions despite the hostilities—either through Omani mediators or through old communication lines between the two parties in the Saudi border city of Dhahran Al-Janoub.

The United States could play at least a tempering role and perhaps a greater one if armed with a comprehensive strategy to account for the numerous actors with stakes in the conflict’s outcome. The Houthis have made huge inroads in the war and are unlikely to accept a power-sharing deal, while many Yemeni citizens may not accept any legitimate governing role for the Houthis given the human atrocities committed by the group.


The simple answer is no. Even if future U.S. actions are in Saudi Arabia’s interest, the security cost of leaving Yemen is more than the cost of staying there. Riyadh will probably further invest in undercover proxy fighters while it continues to reduce its direct military interventions. This pattern resembles the strategy of the UAE

This model also clearly applies to Iran, which uses loyal Houthis to exert its influence. Saudi Arabia is unlikely to leave this influence unchecked and will therefore continue to support its own loyal factions in Yemen, including governmental forces. This is evident in Saudi statements that followed Biden’s policy announcements.

Finally, there’s an overarching reality that will be hard to overcome. The Houthis and Saudis appear to be enemies, but in fact they are indirectly partners. The existence of the first party legitimizes the existence of the other; in other words, each provides a convenient bogeyman for the other. The Houthis will find no better excuse to remain dominant than Saudi Arabia, which has made so many huge mistakes during the six years of war. In the same way, Saudi Arabia will find no better excuse to remain in Yemen than the Houthis, given the continuing Iran-backed attacks on Saudi lands and parts of Yemen. Saudi Arabia will not abandon its Yemeni supporters or pass up opportunities to expand its influence – by Ahmed Nagi

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This Is Yemen After Biden Declared an End To American Support for the War

The Biden administration sparked a sense of hope around the world that the war on Yemen could finally be over. For those on the ground though, the bombs keep falling, food is scarce and hope is in short supply.

Despite recent talk of the U.S. ending support for the war, the Saudi-led Coalition has only intensified military maneuvers in Yemen in recent weeks. Saudi warplanes are seen regularly above highly populated urban areas in the north of the country, dropping hundreds of tons of weapons, most supplied by the United States.

In the oil-rich Marib province, which lies adjacent to Yemen’s Houthi-led capital of Sana’a, Saudi warplanes are trying to prevent local militant groups and militias once allied with the Saudi-led coalition to yield territory to quickly advancing Houthi-led troops. Saudi warplanes now target not only Houthi troops but the retreating fighters that once faced them.

Since February 3, when the Biden administration announced it would end support for offensive Saudi military action against Yemen, the Saudi-led Coalition has also doubled down on its blockade of the country, preventing oil ships and even materials used to dispose of unexploded ordnance, including cluster bombs, from entering the country.

In Sadaa, Hajjah, and the oil-rich Marib province, more than 150 airstrikes using the U.S- made bombs, including MK 81-82-83-84 cluster bombs, have been carried out according to the Yemeni Executive Mine Action Center (YEMAC), an organization backed by the United Nations.

These attacks, according to the Houthi-led government in Sana’a, could not happen without a green light from the U.S. government, and all the talk about peace and an end to support for Riyadh are little more than talk for the sake of diplomatic consumption.

Cautious optimism

“Over there, they are talking about peace, but here, we hear nothing but the roar of American-made warplanes over our heads and the sounds of explosions from their bombs,” one father told MintPress. His 13-year-old son Ra’ad and two other children, 13-year-old Raghad Salah al-Shawl and 10-year-old Najwa Ali Matari are being treated for serious injuries at al-Thawrah Hospital after they were struck by a cluster bomb as they were grazing their sheep in al-Gafrah in nearby Sana’a province. “We need an end to the airstrikes and a lifting of the blockade, not deceptive statements,” Ra’ad’s father added angrily.

The Houthi-led Ansar Allah movement and its allies initially welcomed Biden’s statements about bringing peace to Yemen with cautious optimism, promising to act as a good faith partner in any negotiated settlement to end the war. Yet that optimism has quickly waned in the face of continued Saudi violence, as did the overwhelming conviction of most Yemenis that the United States is not serious about peace nor that it will halt the sale of lethal weapons, intelligence sharing, or even training to Saudi Arabia.

There is an overwhelming sense among Houthi leadership that if a settlement will be reached, they will not have a seat at the table. Last Thursday, Houthi forces targeted a Saudi Air Base and the Kingdom’s Abha Airport near the Yemeni border with ballistic missiles and drones. And while a statement from the group claims that the attacks came in retaliation for Saudi airstrikes and to pressure Saudi Arabia to reopen Yemen’s airports and other ports of entry, Yemeni political analysts told MintPress that the attack was meant to send a message to the United States that a solution to the war could only be found in Sana’a, not in neighboring Tehran or Muscat.

The Houthi attacks coincided with a visit to Tehran by Martin Griffiths, UN Secretary-General Special Envoy for Yemen, and visits to Saudi Arabia and Oman by Timothy Lenderking, the new U.S. envoy to Yemen. Much to the Houthis’ dismay, neither Griffiths nor Lenderking met any Houthi officials in Sana’a.

Biden’s announcement to end support to Saudi Arabia did little to alleviate Yemenis’ concerns. It lacked clarity or specificity as to what policies would be introduced to effect that change. It did not mention the blockade on Yemen and it reiterated Washington’s support for Saudi Arabia’s right to defend itself. That statement left many Yemenis feeling that Biden was expressing sympathy towards Saudi Arabia and ignoring the plight of Yemenis, who have been much harder hit by the war.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s announcement that Ansar Allah would be delisted as a terrorist organization did little to help, as it came with renewed efforts from Washington to apply pressure on the leadership of Yemen’s popular movement.

Yemenis are now left with the stark reality that Biden’s statements have changed little on the ground. People are still suffering from cholera, malnutrition, and starvation; from horrific atrocities and indiscriminate bombing and shelling; from the destruction of infrastructure and the economy. Hundreds of thousands have perished, millions are displaced, and tens of millions have been left impoverished. The long-term effects of malnutrition and trauma on an entire generation of young Yemenis ensure the costs of this war will continue for decades to come.

Just as the war was announced from Washington, the only likely end to the war will be announced from Washington – by Ahmed Abdulkareem

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Yemen conflict: Will Biden's approach finally end the war?

Analysts say ending offensive support for Saudi-led coalition is important step, but questions linger over specifics of new US policy

Still, despite the announcement, which has been celebrated by lawmakers, humanitarian groups and anti-war activists, the specifics of the new US position remain unclear.

What are "offensive operations" and the weapons relevant to them? And with the US administration reasserting America's commitment to the kingdom's security, how far would that support go in relation to the conflict in Yemen?

"We really just need more clarity, and what's needed is answers from the DoD [Department of Defense] and the State Department," said Hassan El-Tayyab, legislative manager on Middle East policy at the Friends Committee on National Legislation.

Many of the war's critics were pleased with Biden's announcement to end weapons sales "relevant" to Saudi Arabia's offensive operations in Yemen.

Nabeel Khoury, a former US diplomat who served in Yemen from 2004 to 2007, said bombs that could be used in Yemen appear to be part of the "relevant" arms sales that Biden intends on halting.

The withdrawal of US logistics support deals a blow to the kingdom's war effort, which is already struggling to make advances against the Houthis, Khoury said.

"If the Saudis make a decision to continue regardless of what the US action is, then they would have to get supplies from somewhere else. It is possible but complicated because to supply American jets, you need American ammunition and American equipment," he told MEE.

Seth Binder, advocacy officer at the Project on Middle East Democracy (Pomed), echoed Khoury's remarks, saying that running low on munitions may derail the kingdom's war efforts.

"They certainly have a stockpile of arms that they could carry on for a little bit. But essentially, if they know they're not getting resupplied by the US, that will affect how they carry out operations," Binder told MEE.

Moreover, some parts, while seemingly minuscule, are vital to the functioning of the weaponry.

"If [the Saudi and UAE-led coalition] didn't have the steady flow of these spare parts, and this maintenance and technical support, they couldn't keep this war going," Tayyab said.

Still, the language used in the announcement raises questions about what kind of weapons sales will be allowed to proceed under the new guidelines, considering that some weapons could be considered as both "offensive" and "defensive" in nature.

"The Biden administration’s use of the word 'offensive' military operations appears intentionally vague, in order to give the US room to manoeuvre in the future," Annelle Sheline, a research fellow at the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, told MEE.

"Many weapons systems are not easily qualified as definitely offensive or defensive, so the US could sell what it considers a defensive weapon that the Saudis use for offensive purposes."

Biden's Yemen announcement comes at a time when the administration is conducting a strategic review of US-Saudi ties.

Khoury said that while the kingdom does have UK arms and equipment, American support remains vital for carrying out operations in Yemen. He also dismissed the notion that Riyadh could turn to China or Russia for help.

"That would be a transition in everything - in equipment and tactics and training. It's not something you can do overnight," he said.

Khoury added that it would not make strategic sense for Riyadh to continue the "already difficult" war without American support, especially because the White House is scrutinising the kingdom's human rights record.

"If you're going to oppose the Biden administration on ending the war in Yemen and on the internal human rights front and on reconciliation with Iran, well, then you're probably chucking the whole relationship."

Saudi security

Biden's announcement of ending US support for Saudi Arabia's war efforts in Yemen came with assurances that Washington would remain committed to the kingdom's security.

Tayyab noted that helping the Saudis in a defensive posture does not show the Biden administration is fully committed to ending the Yemen war, considering that this has been used by Washington previously to justify its military assistance.

"Part of the pretence of us getting into the war in the first place was to help defend Saudi Arabia," he said.

For its part, the administration announced that it would end limited non-combat assistance for the coalition's operations, including intelligence sharing.

However, Centcom commander General Kenneth McKenzie - the top US general in the Middle East - said on Monday during a virtual panel that the US will continue to give intelligence to Riyadh when it comes to preventing attacks on the kingdom coming from Yemen.

Khoury said Washington's assurances to Saudi Arabia would help quell the fear that ending the war in Yemen may lead to Iranian attacks on the kingdom, noting that the US already has a large military footprint in the region.

"The whole Saudi involvement in Yemen is partly [driven by] paranoia because they think Iran is there and [they'll] take over Yemen, which there's no evidence of that," he said.


As the United States ended its support for the Saudi-led coalition and moved to reverse the previous administration's designation of the Houthis as a terrorist group, it warned the Yemeni rebels against continuing attacks on Saudi Arabia.

Tayyab said that while the delisting of the Houthis was a welcome decision, the warnings should not be coming from Washington because it has not been a balanced arbiter in the conflict.

"The problem is when, when the US has been involved in the Saudi/UAE-led coalition's war and blockade, I worry that the US has lost a lot of credibility," he told MEE.

"And in my opinion, it would probably be better if messages like this come from the UN."

Political efforts to end the war

Binder, of Pomed, said ending support for the US Saudi-led coalition bolsters the diplomatic process by establishing Washington as an "independent arbiter".

He acknowledged that the conflict is multi-faceted and tensions between various Yemeni parties will remain regardless of what the Americans, Saudis or Emiratis are doing, but he said the US administration's efforts - including de-listing the Houthis and naming a special envoy - show that Washington wants to help with negotiations.

"The US is really trying to take on that role to help push towards a ceasefire and push towards peace," he said.

Khoury also highlighted that the American diplomatic push is not only relying only on words, as the previous administration had repeatedly called for ending the conflict without taking action.

"It is not just the word of the president. It's the fact that the president has taken on these actions right from the start," he said.

The former diplomat, however, acknowledged that ending the conflict will not be an easy task.

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Biden's move on Yemen sparks new questions

The question at hand now is what the administration will consider offensive support versus defensive.

“That is the real question and from my understanding, it's still a live debate in the administration where they’re trying to figure out what the president's decision actually means in practice,” said one advocate familiar with the discussions. “From conversations I've had, it seems part of that is due to the fact that there's division within the government about basically how to define offensive and I think also what to consider in terms of past behavior by these actors.”

But Biden and other administration officials also stressed the United States would continue defending the Saudis from attacks, as well as continue counterterrorism operations inside Yemen against al Qaeda and ISIS.

While praising Secretary of State Antony Blinken and national security adviser Jake Sullivan, Khanna also suggested “there are certain people in the National Security Council we have to have a close eye on.”

The advocate familiar with the Biden administration’s debate also suggested some opposition in the National Security Council exists to cutting off support for the Saudis.

“There have been good signals that it’s more than a rhetorical change, but I think, ultimately, after six years of enabling war crimes and mass famine we need more than steps in the right direction,” the advocate said of Biden’s policy. “The real question for me is, which part of the administration wins? Is it parts of NSC that want to keep doing business as usual or are we actually going to lead with our values and human rights and let the State Department be in charge of the decision?”

A spokesperson for the National Security Council did not respond to a request for comment.

After Biden’s announcement, Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said intelligence sharing related to offensive operations, as well as “some advice and best practices” that was intended to curtail civilian casualties, has “been terminated.” But he would not elaborate on what support will end, saying he “wouldn't want to get ahead of any decisions that haven't been made yet.”

Gen. Frank McKenzie, commander of U.S. Central Command, also stressed the U.S. interest in Yemen is in fighting ISIS and al Qaeda and argued U.S. support in the fight against the Houthis “has actually been extremely limited even up until now.”

“We will move out smartly to comply with the direction that we've been given. However, we will also continue to support the Saudis as they defend themselves,” McKenzie said at a Middle East Institute event. “Over the last several weeks, a number of attacks have been launched out of Yemen against Saudi Arabia. We will help the Saudis defend against those attacks by giving them intelligence when we can about those attacks. But what we will not do is help them strike, continue to conduct offensive operations into Yemen, so that won't continue.”

With questions lingering about how the new policy will be implemented, advocates are zeroing in on billions of dollars in arms sales to the Saudis, as well as the United Arab Emirates, saying both countries’ past misuse of U.S. arms should factor heavily in Biden's decision-making – by Rebecca Kheel

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A historic opportunity for peace in Yemen

If the Biden administration’s peace efforts in Yemen are successful, US diplomacy will have made a comeback and the president’s words about leading by example would have real substance. To boot, peace in Yemen would contribute considerably to lessening tensions in the Gulf region and pave the path for a different and more constructive relationship with Iran. For that to happen, the Biden administration must find the middle ground between the hubris of power—exhibited in the 2003 US invasion of Iraq—and the paralysis that can result from an excessive focus on the limits of intervention.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous article for the Atlantic Council, there are three levels of the Yemen conflict: the national, regional, and international. Of the three, the most difficult is the national level. Whereas the US can boldly use its influence with international actors, Yemen’s delicate internal balance is not a natural terrain for any foreign power—let alone a country like the US, which is seen as having taken sides in the struggle.

The Trump administration’s listing of the Houthi rebels as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) in January—which the Biden administration reversed—only highlighted the US involvement on the side of the Arab coalition since the war started. The best assistance the US can render is to convince all foreign powers—mainly the five permanent members of the UNSC—to stop fueling the war with arms sales and weapon transfers and to deploy their diplomacy to help end the war instead. Only then could the international community truly turn swords into plowshares and help the people of Yemen emerge from devastation to rebuild their country.

At the regional level, the Arab coalition partners and Iran will need to be engaged in reducing regional tensions, starting with the cessation of hostilities in Yemen, ceasing the shipments of arms to their allies in the country, and alleviating each other’s fears regarding the proliferation of missiles and weaponized drones. In addition to their often divergent security concerns, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should postpone some of their economic and commercial interests in Yemen until a new post-war government is formed in the country.

The international level of this conflict can best be addressed by beginning with the United Nations Security Council (UNSC). Members of the UNSC should not revisit previous Yemen resolutions but agree on collaborating for peace and issuing a call to end all acts of violence in in the country. The UNSC must not presume to define the parameters of peace or go back to judging who was to blame for the conflict. Rather, the task should be to get security council members’ arms merchants to cease and desist from supplying weapons and military expertise until the war has stopped and peace talks are seriously underway. Only the US can launch such an initiative to convince China, Russia, and European states to join in a major push for peace.

How US diplomats can wade through Yemen

The internal struggle for power in Yemen is, of course, how the conflict started and where it will have to end.

For American diplomats, wading through internal Yemeni issues with the hopes of settling their differences will be a daunting task. To begin with, US Special Envoy Lenderking and his team will need to talk to all concerned parties, some of whom Washington has not had much dealings with in the past.

Only the US can step in and provide the leadership—which has been missing for the past six years since the coalition’s intervention began—to move all the parties of the Yemen conflict towards peace – by Nabeel Khoury

My comment: Even the serious Khoury claims “US leadership” – which, when executed, always had been disastrous where evr on this planet. The US obviously is unable (and unwilling) to play the positive role Khoury wants it to play.

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To End 'Blank Check' for Saudi-UAE Assault on Yemen, Coalition Demands Biden Permanently Cancel $37 Billion in Arms Sales

"Permanently canceling these transfers is an essential step toward ending the cycle of impunity that U.S. policy has helped create."

A coalition of more than 80 anti-war advocacy groups and experts is calling on President Joe Biden to solidify his commitment to ending U.S. support for the devastating, years-long assault on Yemen by permanently canceling dozens of Trump era arms sales—worth a combined $36.5 billion—to the murderous Saudi regime and the United Arab Emirates.

the anti-war coalition argued in a letter (pdf) to the president Thursday that "curtailing U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) should not be limited to arbitrary definitions of what equipment and services are 'offensive' or 'defensive,' but instead should be guided by these countries' past behavior as required by U.S. and international law."

"These monarchies have committed and continue to commit human rights violations, not only domestically—where hundreds of human rights defenders, journalists, academics, and artists languish in jail—but also throughout the region in Yemen, Libya, and beyond," reads the letter, signed by Win Without War, CodePink, Amnesty International USA, Justice Democrats, the Yemen Alliance Committee, and dozens of other organizations.

"Permanently canceling these transfers is an essential step toward ending the cycle of impunity that U.S. policy has helped create," the groups wrote, "but it does not on its own constitute peace, healing, or justice for the Yemenis—as well as countless other civilians throughout the region—who have long suffered, in significant part as a result of a virtual blank check of U.S. military support for these countries."

"Any return to business as usual when it comes to the U.S. relationship with these two countries," the coalition added, "will be woefully insufficient to meet your own campaign promises or the needs of the Yemeni people at this moment."

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Biden Ramps Up Efforts to End Yemen War: ‘World’s Largest Humanitarian Crisis’

Following President Joe Biden’s decision on Feb. 4 to end “all American support for offensive operations in the war in Yemen, including relevant arms sales,” his administration has initiated talks with the Saudis and has called on Houthi rebels to halt attacks (short overview article)

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US Congressman hails Biden's shift on Yemen war but urges vigilance

Yemen war critic Ro Khanna welcomes decision to end American support for Saudi offensive operations but warns against 'twisted definition' of 'defensive'

US Congressman Ro Khanna, a leading critic of the war in Yemen, has cautioned that lawmakers will be "vigilant" about the scope of Washington's involvement in the conflict after President Joe Biden announced ending US assistance for the Saudi-led coalition's offensive operations.

Speaking on a virtual panel organised by the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft on Thursday, Khanna welcomed ending US support for the war and credited activists and anti-war groups for making a "tremendous impact" leading to Biden's "historic decision".

Khanna highlighted that Biden's announcement last week is a major change in US posture that pressures the Saudis to work with UN envoy Martin Griffiths to end the war.

"That is not a meaningless statement or a statement that has no value," Khanna said. "It's a dramatic shift in American foreign policy that sends a clear signal to the Saudis that they need to come to the peace table with Martin Griffiths and have peace."

The congressman, who is a prominent voice in the progressive wing of the Democratic Party, noted that Saudi Arabia has characterised its entire bombing campaign in Yemen as defensive.

"My understanding and reading of the Biden administration is they view all of that as offensive," Khanna said. "If you are bombing a Yemeni village, if you are striking Yemen, that is offensive."

The California Democrat, however, warned against misinterpreting the administration's new policy.

"We have to be vigilant to make sure that the twisted definition that the Saudis use doesn't prevail. Congress will be vigilant on that," Khanna said.

The progressive lawmaker had led early efforts to end US involvement in the Yemen war, partnering with Senator Bernie Sanders as well as a few Republican legislators, including Senator Mike Lee of Utah who opposed American intervention in the conflict.

Khanna said on Thursday that he trusts Biden and his top aides - including Secretary of State Antony Blinken and National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan to fully deliver on that promise following last week's announcement. Yet he expressed wariness of some hawkish individuals on the US National Security Council without identifying them.

He also urged the US administration to push to end the siege on Yemen, which is perpetuating the humanitarian crisis in the war-torn country.

"We need to make sure that we're vigilant and that we aren't providing the intelligence or operational support to continue any of the strikes," Khanna said.

"We're also asking them to lift the blockade that's still ongoing, and that's not allowing commercial activity or food or medicine to get into Yemen."

and also

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Film: How Biden can end the war in Yemen: A new U.S. approach

What can and should President Joe Biden do to end the war in Yemen? Within his first week in office, Biden paused two Trump administration initiatives: the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the designation of the Houthi movement as a foreign terrorist organization. Both actions are temporary and may be reversed; neither suspends US support for the Saudi military’s aggression in Yemen. Even if Biden decisively withdraws US support, what will it take to end the war, mindful of the other factors driving the violence in Yemen, especially the flow of resources from Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Iran.

Join U.S. Representative Ro Khanna (D-CA), Aisha Jumaan, President and founder of the Yemen Relief and Reconstruction Foundation, and Annelle Sheline, Research Fellow for the Middle East at the Quincy Institute, as they discuss how to address the world’s greatest humanitarian catastrophe. Trita Parsi, Quincy Institute Executive Vice President, will moderate the conversation.

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Yemen: “Mission Accomplished”… For Now?

Which brings us to the war in Yemen. Since 2015, the US has been giving crucial assistance to Saudi Arabia’s military coalition in its war against Yemen’s Houthi rebels. US assistance takes the form of intelligence sharing, logistics and targeting assistance, arms sales, and transfer of spare parts for coalition warplanes.

That may all be ending.

Biden thus provided himself with a loophole big enough to drive an Abrams tank through. Hassan El-Tayyab, a Middle East expert at the Friends Committee on National Legislation, asks: how does the Biden Administration distinguish offensive from defensive operations? Does the Administration consider intelligence-sharing to be offensive? How about targeting assistance? Logistical support? Transfer of spare parts for coalition warplanes? At this point, El-Tayyab says, we don’t know.[1]

We don’t know, but it’s imperative that we find out. Biden emphasized that the US remains committed to Saudi Arabia’s defense. Biden said that “Saudi Arabia faces missile attacks, UAV [drone] 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.”

President Barack Obama said the same thing in 2015.

But if everything the US, Saudi Arabia, and UAE have done in Yemen since 2015 has been defensive, what isn’t defensive? Stretch the definition of defense sufficiently and even dropping a 227 kg laser-guided bomb manufactured by US defense contractor Lockheed Martin on a bus carrying 40 schoolchildren, as a Saudi warplane did on August 9, 2018, might be deemed defensive.

US Drone Assassinations in Yemen

One category of military activity is definitely non-offensive in the eyes of the Biden Administration. According to Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, the US will continue operations against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Peace Breaks Out?

It will take more than the US simply stepping aside to bring peace to Yemen. On February 4, President Biden said his administration was “stepping up diplomacy to end the war in Yemen,” reach a ceasefire, and revive peace talks.

Biden is in for a fight. So are Yemen peace activists. There will be resistance from the well-heeled Saudi and defense contractors’ lobbies. Also from Iran hawks who regard the Houthis as little more than proxies for Iran. Resistance may even come from what would seem to be an unlikely quarter. Peace Group Code Pink is circulating a petition calling attention to 27 members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus who have accepted “thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from weapons companies.” Some Yemen activists want Congress to pass, and President Biden to sign, a War Powers Resolution on Yemen to ensure that peace is genuine and lasting.

The fight is worth it – by Charles Pierson

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Biden's Yemen Policy Won't Work Any Better Than Trump's

Sadly for the people of Yemen, the Biden move is little more than foreign policy kabuki, with no intention of addressing the underlying problem of Yemenis dying. Rather, it represents yet another manipulation of the small Red Sea nation as a pawn in the American tactical game in the Middle East.

First, Yemen: A messy conflict has grown out of a messy country, built on a messy post-Cold War unification of North and South Yemen. While it’s tempting to blame one sect or another, one party or another, one meddler or another, there is no reason to choose. There is sufficient blame to go around.

A desperately poor nation to start, shortchanged by the petroleum gods, Yemen’s troubles are a potent mix of religious, political, economic and regional battles that have never been addressed, either by outside parties or leaders at home. Instead, the many fissures that cleave the country have become opportunities for outsiders to further their own great game.

As if this potent stew was not enough for Yemen, new proxy battles between various Gulf powers began to play out in recent years.

And there is, theoretically, a new Biden Yemen policy. It will not work.

Here’s why: Biden’s policy is, at least in intention, the opposite of Trump’s Yemen policy. In reality, it is much the same: A set of demands for power sharing with no leverage and no teeth. In the world of black and white that the United States has become, anything Donald Trump embraced is bad, etc. Thus, arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are on hold. The United States is no longer supporting most Saudi operations in Yemen (never mind these largely ended in 2018). The Houthis are nominally no longer called terrorists. And Iran is now the prism through which Biden national security policy will play out. If this looks feckless, there is a reason.

Unfortunately, the Saudis do not need American assistance to continue to muck up their efforts to oust the Iranians from Yemen; they have been trying to get out of Yemen for the last two years and can’t even do that. Over those years, the United States has done little more for the Saudis than try to ensure that they stopped, whether by intention or incompetence, bombing school buses full of kids. The Houthis, meanwhile, have shown no inclination to allow the aid they were hoarding

If this nightmarish tale stirs sympathy for the various envoys and the downtrodden Yemeni people, it’s no surprise. But none of that sympathy has translated into a serious Yemen policy driven by anything other than virtue signaling (Saudi Arabia’s leaders are persona non grata with the Democratic party), Iran signaling (Iran being more grata) in a desperate effort to restart the JCPOA, and tactical maneuvering to appear to be addressing a humanitarian crisis without the commitment of any serious foreign policy capital.

How will it end? Much as it began – by Danielle Pletka =

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Biden’s Half Measures to End the War in Yemen are Not Enough

While these steps have the potential for ending the war in Yemen, a lot is missing in the President’s announcement. The US is not just an outside observer of the war. Huge profits that the US military-industrial complex has reaped from this war have made the US an active participant in it. Moreover, President Biden made no mention of withdrawing US military forces from Yemen.

In declaring his commitments Biden does not include any statement about assuming responsibility for taking part in a war that has created what is today the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

In his speech the President repeated the word “democracy” seven times and said: “we must start with diplomacy rooted in America’s most cherished democratic values”. Does this principle apply to the medieval-type kingdom of Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates? Like every president since FDR, Biden confirmed the strategic alliance between Saudi Arabia and the US. The US has more than 80,000 civilian contractors in Saudi Arabia and thousands of troops there even though it is against Saudi law to have foreign troops on its soil.

What President Biden should have said, but did not say:

End all arms sales and maintenance agreements with Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates as long as they are engaged in the war and beyond.

Remove the Houthis from the terror list so they can participate in peace talks.

Acknowledge the role of the US and the military industrial complex in the war by apologizing to, and paying reparations to, the Yemeni people. Apologize to the American people who had to pay for the US participation in the war.

End all US military presence in Yemen.

Reparations to the people of Yemen should not be paid by US taxpayers, but by the arms industry.

President Biden can do better than what he promised to do in his speech. The opportunity is now before him to do justice and establish peace and friendship with the people of the Middle East and he must do it – by Mary L Wentworth and Yoav Elinevsky

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Ending Yemen’s Multilayered War

For much of Biden’s foreign policy team, then, Yemen represents both unfinished business and, potentially, a small but significant piece of a wider course correction in U.S. policy toward the Middle East.

This perhaps explains why the new administration has been so active on Yemen.

More vigorous U.S. involvement in ending the war is welcome news, but the Biden administration should proceed with the full picture in mind. It should work with Saudi Arabia—whose involvement in the Yemen war has been a major contributing factor to the human suffering there, though not the only one—and others to either implement a cease-fire or deescalate fighting along key front lines as much as possible, and to alleviate the humanitarian crisis.

But it also needs to bear in mind that the war on the ground is being fought among Yemenis, and it is Yemenis who will need to end it. Without broad buy-in from a wide range of local actors, quick wins will not bring long-term peace. Ending the “big war” between Houthi forces and those broadly aligned with Saudi Arabia and ousted President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi could still leave Yemen with a series of even more intractable “small wars.” To avoid this, the Biden administration will need to adopt a more holistic approach toward Yemen.

Saudi Intervention, American Indecision

When Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners first intervened in Yemen’s burgeoning civil war in March 2015, Obama chose to adopt a one-foot-in, one-foot-out approach to the conflict.

At the same time, Washington did not fully buy Riyadh’s view of the crisis then unfolding across its border in Yemen.

A New Approach?

The arrival of the new administration has brought with it an injection of new energy and ideas about how to end the conflict and address the humanitarian emergency. Biden and his top advisers have also suggested they will try to recalibrate

Some diplomats working on Yemen and other regional files are hopeful that these different policy strands can be managed in parallel, to complementary effect. In their ideal world, the new administration would return to the nuclear deal while engaging with Tehran, using the prospect of sanctions relief to persuade it to return to compliance. At the same time, the U.S. would work toward peace in Yemen through diplomacy, something the administration believes will be easier now that it has clearly removed itself from the war. Given that Iran and Saudi Arabia are on opposite sides of the conflict in Yemen, Washington could lay the groundwork for a deescalation of tensions between the two rivals by offering them an opportunity to find common ground in ending the war.

The new U.S. posture on Yemen is a welcome shift from its ambiguous position over the past six years, which has seen Washington call for peace while participating in the war.

A core challenge for U.S. policymakers is the military balance of power on the ground, which over the past two years has swung significantly in the Houthis’ favor.

Specifically, the Houthis’ rivals fear that the rebels would use the terms of any agreement to expand their territorial reach, for example by taking Marib,

Even if Hadi’s government can come to terms with the Houthis on a cease-fire or power-sharing agreement, the local groups that have been fighting the Houthis—both under the government’s umbrella and outside of it—are unlikely to accept it, especially if it aims at recentralizing power in Sanaa. That is a red line for southern secessionists in Aden and neighboring governorates, as well as tribesmen in semi-autonomously run regions like Marib in the north.

The Challenge Ahead

None of this is to say the new administration should not channel more energy toward finding a political solution in Yemen alongside the U.N., that doing so would not complement efforts at de-escalation in the wider Middle East, or that the Biden administration will be naïve in its approach to a conflict that has proven so difficult to resolve in the past. Nor does it mean that peace is impossible in Yemen.

Rather, it is to say that Lenderking, the new special envoy, will have his work cut out for him

Ideally, the U.S. and its partners will find a way to get at least a measure of that buy-in for U.N.-led efforts to broker a cease-fire and bring the parties to the table for face-to-face negotiations. But if the U.S. is serious about fostering peace in Yemen, it should recognize that building a truly inclusive political settlement will require painstaking diplomatic work with all parties to the conflict that could prove to be a dispiriting slog.

If the Biden administration wants to succeed in Yemen, it will need to take the long view – by Peter Salisbury

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The wrong America is back

Joe Biden's foreign-policy reset heralds a return to the dark days of liberal interventionism.

For the political restorationists, determined to push through a return to the pre-Trump, pre-Brexit status quo, Joe Biden’s fledgling US administration is being steadfastly presented as a force for global good.

So they heard nothing ominous in his first foreign-policy speech, and its flagship declaration that ‘America is back’. Nothing a tiny bit troubling in his pledge that America ‘is ready to take up the mantle and lead once again’. Nothing a little reminiscent of the barbaric ethical foreign-policy approach of the Clinton, Bush and Obama years in his determination to ‘reclaim … [our] moral authority’ on the world stage.

No, it was a sign of good things to come. ‘A breath of fresh air’ as the UK’s Observer newspaper put it. Heck, moral man that he is, Biden even promised to end American support for Saudia Arabia’s ‘offensive operations’ in Yemen, ‘including relevant arms sales’. A move former New Labour pin-up David Miliband praised as a ‘shift from a failed war strategy towards a comprehensive diplomatic approach’.

Which certainly sounds like good news.

But Biden is not promising to withdraw support for Riyadh entirely. The State Department has not even specified what Biden means by a cessation of ’relevant arms sales‘. After all, one man’s ‘relevant arms sale’ is another man’s weapon of mass destruction.

In fact, Biden also said that because ‘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’. Which, given Yemen’s Houthis number among the ‘other threats from Iranian-supplied forces in multiple countries’, seems to green-light the continuation of the war in a reduced, and no doubt more internationally palatable form.

So Biden’s speech, even with the much vaunted adjustment to the war in Yemen, was not quite the ‘breath of fresh air’ that the restorationists claimed it was. But then, why would it be? For this is not a new start. Rather, is a restart of a foreign-policy approach honed to such disastrous effect during the late 1990s and 2000s. One still driven by an all-too-familiar team of signed-up members of the forever-war brigade, who see the world as a stage on which the US can perform and project its missionary role. To push, prod and change bad regimes the world over – in the name of democracy and increasingly climate change – and to hell with sovereignty.

That is what should have been heard in Biden’s lofty, self-aggrandising talk of reclaiming America’s ‘moral authority’ internationally, and his boast that ‘we are a country that does big things’. Not the promise of a more peaceful, diplomatically engaged approach to come. But the threat of a more destabilising, ethically posturing interventionism to return – by Tim Black

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New sheriff in town: Joe Biden looks to end the war in Yemen

His decision may say more about America’s troubled relationship with Saudi Arabia

Joe Biden has promised a different approach.

Much will depend on the details of his policy. If America merely cuts off the flow of “smart” bombs, the Saudis can continue dropping dumber ones. If it goes further, though, it could hobble the Saudi war machine.

Years of lavish spending mean the kingdom has all the tanks and warplanes it needs. But it still needs other things from America, such as munitions and spare parts.

If America stops maintaining Saudi jets, half of the kingdom’s air force could be affected, estimates Tom Beckett of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, a think-tank in London.

At best, though, this would ease a conflict that had reached an impasse anyway.

America’s about-face on Yemen may matter more for the future of its partnership with Saudi Arabia.

Mr Biden himself said in a presidential debate that he would treat it like a “pariah”.

That is unlikely. Americans may be exasperated with Saudi Arabia, but it remains a big oil producer and a useful intelligence partner. Mr Biden cannot simply cut ties. Nor, however, can he avoid confrontation. He plans to re-enter the nuclear deal with Iran. And he will probably keep up his criticism of the kingdom’s human-rights record, as it seems to have produced a result: the release on February 10th of Loujain al-Hathloul, a women’s rights activist. Mr Biden’s challenge will be to find a path that neither indulges the kingdom’s worst impulses nor reinforces its worst fears.

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Biden policy shift emboldens Yemen’s Houthi rebels

Biden's moves to freeze Saudi arms sales and drop Houthi terror designation threatens to spark more conflict than it resolves

Iran is the Houthi’s principal international backer and chief influencer. The UN’s Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths visited the Iranian capital for the first time on February 7 in an effort to bring Tehran onboard a new peace initiative.

Tehran had earlier welcomed the US change of heart provided “it is not a political maneuver,” Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesperson Saeed Khatibzadeh said on February 8.

Yet, “The Iranian Foreign Ministry still insists that for de-escalation the Houthis should be recognized as the legitimate government of Yemen,” says Al-Iryani, “so things are not going in the right direction.”

Long road ahead

“Anyone who thinks peace is on the cards is going to be disappointed,” says Kendall. “But what can happen is that an effort can be made to prevent the conflict getting worse. That in itself would be a major achievement.”

The country is already fragmenting, with conflicts also erupting between south and north and within the south in addition to the frontlines between Houthis and Saudi-backed forces in the center and north.

“I’m hoping that the Houthis will de-escalate before it is too late,” says Al-Iryani. “If not, the US may re-enter the conflict on the side of the Saudis in a big way and we’ll see a major escalation of the conflict.”

For certain, the new US Yemen special envoy faces “a massive challenge,” says Kendall.

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Does Biden's Administration Really Want to Stop War against Yemen or Is It Maneuvering for other Goal?

Also, those who hear the American democrats directing on the seriousness of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, mentioning the mistake of the previous administration’s policy in supporting the war against it, feels that this “democratic” administration has a long history of respecting human rights and peoples' rights to self-determination, or that these democrats were absent completely for six years, and they recently paid attention to this international regional aggression against Yemen and its oppressed people.

In fact, saying that “the decision of the war on Yemen stems from the Saudi and Emirati regimes” is totally unthinkable, because these regimes are subordinate to the Americans in their decisions, and they were nothing but a faithful implementer of US policy, especially on the issue of a sensitive war that needs huge military, media and international capabilities, and most importantly, the ability to confront the international community and its institutions.

On the other hand, how can these regimes have the decision to wage war on Yemen or any other country independently or isolated from the Americans. They are presented and protected to be a cover and an implementation of the US policy in the region,

So, we can put President Joe Biden's maneuver in provoking this broad campaign to stop the war on Yemen, by suspending arms deals to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, or by raising the media atmosphere about the wrong course of the war on Yemen, in the field of presenting points to tempting Iran and dragging it into negotiations, with the aim of pushing it to concede and make a decision to stop enrichment of the nuclear agreement. Before Washington cancels the sanctions on Iran and returns to abide by the terms of the agreement, to show the Biden administration through this that it has presented a goodwill message to Iran, in which there is some concession that puts the latter in a position that requires it to make a corresponding concession.

Of course, for Iran, this position will not be more than an open American maneuver, and it is well aware of the path that the Biden administration is adopting in this engagement or sensitive negotiation, through two directions:

(B K P)

A thaw in relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia dependent on Yemen issue: analyst

Ghasem Moheb Ali, an expert on West Asia, says the resolution of conflict in Yemen can lead to the improvement of relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Moheb Ali highlighted the Biden administration’s policy towards Yemen and noted, “Biden’s administration is seeking to resolve the Yemen crisis by diplomatic and political means. Therefore, Biden’s foreign policy team intends to use the United Nations to handle the crisis.”

“The visit of the United Nations special envoy on Yemen to Iran indicates the U.S. and the United Nations are trying to find out the reaction of Iran towards the Biden’s policy to Yemen. They are assessing whether Ansarollah can join the peace process in the country and stop firing the missiles on Saudi Arabia,” he told ILNA news agency.

Regarding likely changes in Saudi foreign policy, he underlined, “Foreign policy of Saudi Arabia is heavily dependent on the Yemen crisis. After the crisis in Yemen worsened, the relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia deteriorated.”

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Biden’s rushed US policy moves on Yemen could backfire, analysts say

Not only did Biden fail to seek any concessions from the Houthis, but his rushed move gave them an added sense of confidence, according to several Yemen experts who spoke to Al Arabiya English.

With the recently inaugurated US president preaching human rights values since he was on the campaign trail, he and the State Department have failed to mention the FSO Safer oil tanker off the coast of Yemen.

Meanwhile, analysts say the US administration's decision to revoke the terrorist designation of the Houthis has emboldened the group, which continues to launch bomb-laden rockets and missiles at Saudi Arabia.

Hours after Biden said he would reverse Trump’s designation of the Houthis, the group escalated an offensive to capture one of the Yemeni government’s last northern strongholds, Marib.

Biden’s anxiousness to re-enter the JCPOA

Analysts and former US officials worry that Biden’s foreign policy toward the Middle East will be closer to former President Barack Obama’s than some predicted.

Although Biden has repeatedly said he would not move first to re-enter the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), other reports suggest he is considering certain steps.

Reuters reported earlier this week that the US president’s team was looking at ways to ease economic sanctions on Iran, including the facilitation of a loan from the International Monetary Fund.

Iran and its proxies will welcome Biden’s moves.

This was evident on Tuesday when Al-Akhbar, a pro-Hezbollah Lebanese newspaper, had a front-page article titled: “Sanaa forces moving to capture Marib.”

My remark: Biased, by a Saudi news site.

(B K P)

Escalating Conflict

Instead of stemming the violence, this has fueled hostilities even further. The brazen attack on a commercial aircraft in the Saudi Arabian Abha airport shows that a simple attempt to take a backseat will not work. The Houthi rebels undoubtedly saw this as the perfect opportunity to strike

It is clear that even with a reduced role, the US will continue to remain a partner of Saudi Arabia and will not ease up the pressure on the Houthi rebels. In the interest of peace, if the US does not want to take part in the conflict, it must still extend all political and logistical support to the Kingdom to ensure that its intentions are not misunderstood in Yemen. This would help in preserving the integrity of the coalition and safeguarding its aims.

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Film: Between doing the right thing or the necessary thing, @JoeBiden has chosen doing the necessary thing in #Yemen but in the wrong way

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ADRA appelliert an US-Regierung: Humanitäre Hilfe im Jemen nicht blockieren!

Die Adventistische Entwicklungs- und Katastrophenhilfe ADRA appelliert an die internationale Gemeinschaft und speziell an die neue US-Regierung, die Helfer*innen im Jemen zu unterstützen. Alle Maßnahmen, die das Leid der Menschen im Jemen vergrößert, sollten rückgängig gemacht werden. Zeitgleich fordert ADRA dazu auf, dass die Friedensverhandlungen kraftvoll fortgeführt werden.

cp2 Allgemein / General

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Interactive Map of Yemen War

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Daily Yemen Map Update

Feb. 13:

Feb. 12:

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Audio: A short conversation with @maysaashujaa on Yemen

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[Sanaa gov.] Yemeni military intelligence: The battle in Yemen is a battle for all humanity

Major General Abdullah Yahya al-Hakim, head of the Military Intelligence in the National Salvation Government of Yemen, said that “the battle today is the battle for the liberation of Earth and human, as well as a battle for morality, tolerance, amnesty and morals.”

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Mohammed Abdulsalam: Yemeni military operations are defensive and will end as soon as Saudi-led war does

The head of the [Sanaa gov.] National Negotiation Delegation of Yemen, Mohammad Abdulsalam, said “that the operations of the Yemeni army are purely defensive, and will continue until the end of the aggression and the lifting of the siege imposed by the Saudi-led coalition on Yemen.”

Mohammad Abdulsalam affirmed on Twitter that “there is not real peace without practical steps on the ground, whatever the positive statements may be.”

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Biden wants to cut off U.S. support for the Saudi-led war, but it will take more than that to end the conflict and begin the recovery process.

IN HIS FIRST significant foreign policy announcement since taking office, President Joe Biden broke with both former presidents Donald Trump and Barack Obama and declared an end to U.S. support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen. But it will take more than U.S. withdrawal to end the violence there. Rep. Ro Khanna, activist Shireen Al-Adeimi, and reporter Akbar Ahmed join Ryan Grim to discuss.

RK: The Saudis, of course, use the defense to prosecute the war in Yemen. I mean, they basically launch missiles into the residential sites in Yemen to target the Houthis, claiming that they were doing that in a defensive posture to prevent an attack on Saudi Arabia. So their explanation is not going to fly. And the Congress needs to make sure that it’s actually a defensive and not offensive strike into Yemen. And we have to be vigilant to make sure that the Saudis aren’t able to exploit that definition.

RG: What is the path to actually ending this war? Like, not just U.S. involvement in it, but the war itself?

RK: Right. It’s more pressure on the Saudis. I mean, Griffiths is doing a phenomenal job as a U.N. envoy. And he has not had a partner with the United States in putting pressure on the Saudis to stop the bombing, to come to an agreement, to make sure that they lift the blockade that allows food and medicine into Yemen.

So the critical thing is that Saudis really need to understand that it’s not just the U.S. isn’t going to be complicit in furthering the war — the United States actually is going to be on the side of putting pressure to end the war. And I think if the Saudis feel that pressure sufficiently, Griffiths was, in my view, close to the finish line, and can have the leverage to end the war.

SA: That was the catalyst for Saudi — direct, overt Saudi intervention. Now, Saudi has intervened in Yemen multiple times, but never this overtly.

The Houthis, as you can tell by what you just shared, are not proxies of Iran. They have a positive relationship with Iran, they do receive some sort of support from Iran, but they don’t do what Iran or Tehran dictates. And so they felt that they would march onto Sana’a. By then, Saleh had been removed from power, he voluntarily transferred power to his VP in late 2011, his VP was Hadi, but remained the most powerful man in Yemen, as Hadi fumbled through a two-year term that was extended by another year, but still left out, you know, the Southern secessionists — which later formed as the STC, at the time, it was called al-Hirak — and these agreements with the Gulf left out the Houthis. And so the Houthis felt like they would apply pressure to Hadi to try to get all groups into a unity government. But of course, they ended up taking over the Capitol and precipitating all of this intervention. Under the pretext of restoring Hadi to power, the U.S. and the Saudis have been destroying Yemen for the past six years.

In addition to money, of course, it’s about strategic interest in Yemen. The U.S. didn’t just enter Yemen because — I mean, partly it was because, you know, the Iran deal had just passed and they wanted to appease Saudis by helping them through this war that, like you said, was packaged as this — I mean, they called it Decisive Storm, storms come and go, right? There’s nothing decisive or stormy about what happened.

But they entered because they thought this would be quick, they could help appease the Saudis who were very upset by the Iran deal. And they could, of course, secure their interests in Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, where they’ve always had a strong man in Yemen who supported their interests —what would happen when you have a group like the Houthis who are overtly anti-Saudi and anti-U.S.? What does that mean, then, for the 6.2 million barrels of oil and oil products per day that go through Bab-el-Mandeb, which Yemen controls to Europe and to Asia?

Right now, I think that’s still a battleground for control, because the province where Bab-el-Mandeb is actually where I’m from originally, which is Taizz. And part of it is with the hands of the coalition; the other part is with the hands of the Houthis, so it remains the frontline battleground for control over Bab-el-Mandeb Strait. But whoever controls Bab-el-Mandeb wins the war, right?

and podcast also:

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The Yemen I know and love

The image of Yemen that most see in the US is a bleak one: war-torn, plagued by hunger and disease, hopeless. But these horrors are an incomplete snapshot of the real Yemen. The country I know and love — and have been fighting for since before the beautiful uprising ten years ago — is strong, beautiful and rich in history, home to some of the world's earliest cities and first skyscrapers. It is full of dreamers and dreams -- some realized, and others still waiting to be achieved.

I remain immensely hopeful, even as my fellow citizens suffer in a terrible proxy war involving self-interested nation-states, because I know their resiliency and aspirations. A brutal dictatorship could not extinguish our quest for freedom, nor could the deadly crackdowns of the War on Terror era, and neither will this current carnage.

My faith in Yemeni dreams is further buoyed by the memories of the brave souls who joined me for sit-ins in Freedom Square in Sanaa, our capital, starting in 2007.

The time has come not only for the war to end, but for a new beginning. And no one is better equipped to chart that course than Yemenis themselves.

As we look back on 10 years since Yemen's Arab Spring, we should not forget the potential before us. We need to stop the war and hold the criminals accountable – by Tawakkol Karman

(A P)

Yemen [= Hadi gov.] pushes UN to salvage oil tanker ‘time bomb’

Country's envoy says the world must get tough on ‘blackmailing’ by the Houthis

Yemen wants the UN Security Council to take “binding deterrent measures” against the Houthi rebels for not allowing repairs on a stranded oil tanker that is close to spilling its million-barrel load into the Red Sea.

In a letter, Yemen’s UN ambassador Abdullah Ali Fadhel Al Saadi called for “stricter” action on the FSO Safer, an oil platform moored off Yemen’s coast that experts say could soon rupture and release 1.1 million barrels of oil.

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Biden is tackling the Yemen crisis with "urgency," but Iran won't make it easy

Griffiths has been trying for years to craft a political deal between Yemen's warring factions, and he knows that any solution will depend on other "regional and international actors." His travel itinerary provides some insight into who those actors are.

Before coming to Riyadh, Griffiths was in Iran's capital for two days. His office said in a statement that the visit was, "intended to drum up support for his peace deal that aims to reach a political settlement and end the war."

"I believe that the UN envoy wants to make sure that the resolution of the Yemen crisis is not part of any future Iranian nuclear deal," Badr Alqahtani, Yemen editor at the Saudi-owned Asharq Al Awsat newspaper, told CBS News. "There is an agreement between the U.S. and Saudi positions, even if they have different techniques: They both want the political process to succeed."

"The Houthis' decision is in the hands of Iran," Alqahtani said, referring to the Islamic Republic's vital backing for the insurgency in Yemen. "I hope that Iran will allow the Houthis to move forward with the political solution."

Washington's ongoing, and increasingly tense standoff with Iran over that country's nuclear program won't make it any easier to find that political solution. Just this week the UN nuclear agency said Iran had started producing uranium metal, Tehran's latest serious breach of the terms of the 2015 nuclear deal that President Biden wants to draw the Iranians back into.

When asked why Lenderking was dispatched to Riyadh so quickly and virtually alone this week, the State Department spokesman said it reflected "the urgency of the Yemen conflict" to the Biden administration.

Political analyst Hussein al Bukhaiti, who is close to the Houthi leadership, told CBS News that the Houthis, "consider the war a United States war. If it was not for the United States, who have given the Saudis the green light, this war would not have started on Yemen."

My comment: Mixed with quite a bulk of propaganda. Very little depends on Iran, which has limited leverage in Yemen. Lamenting about Iran violating the nuclear deal is odd as the US had violated (and left) it before.

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Britain’s Deadly Role in the War on Yemen – Steve Bell, Stop the War Coalition

The war on Yemen is inexplicable if it is simply viewed as a proxy war by Iran. There is no serious Iranian presence inside Yemen, neither the US State Department, nor the Panel suggest this. Nor has anyone demonstrated that AnsarAllah is receiving billion of dollars of armaments from Iran, as the Coalition is from the US, Britain and others. Nor has anyone demonstrated logistical and political support from Iran that is comparable to that provided by the Coalition’s allies.

It has to be registered that the failure of the war has domestic roots. The resistance to the Coalition has been led from within Yemeni society, and in response to what is perceived as an external intervention in Yemen’s affairs. The Saudi and UAE war efforts have been unsuccessful because they are perceived as invaders and occupiers who are destroying Yemen.

This has been expressed by the involvement of the majority of the formerly unified armed forces of Yemen alongside the popular committees and militias of AnsarAllah. The invaders have been held at bay by Yemenis, not Iranians.

The nascent state led by AnsarAllah

The Panel recognises the existence of this entity. “Over the past five years the Houthis have successfully expanded their territorial and economic footprint in Yemen to the point where they now control a significant portion of the country’s economy. With close to 80% of the Yemeni population living in areas under their control, the Houthis are responsible for the delivery of public services that meet the needs of the citizens, fair and just allocation of revenue, and effective resource mobilisation and allocation – all necessary precursors for a well-performing Public Fund Management (PFM) system”(page189).

The National Salavation Government in Sana’a, and the state apparatus built by AnsarAllah and allies, have been built under an ongoing siege, war and foreign occupation. It is not credible to expect the same transparency, accountability and routine efficiency that longer established states demonstrate. That said, it is notable that the evidence of corruption in the Panel’s report is not sustained.

The state budget has apparently “several violations” which are “suspicious in nature”. The “violations” are in conflict with laws which refer to the pre-conflict Republic – inevitably in times of war different methods apply. There are concerns of irregularities that “could be attributed to corruption and mismangement of resources” (Page190), yet there is no definite demonstration of such practices.

Throughout there is the assumption of corruption. For example, the Panel is unable to effectively audit the “General Authority on Zakat” (charitable donations) or the authority for humanitarian affairs (SCMCHA) yet we read that the Panel “believe” that the authorities are “potentially diverting a portion of the aid it receives or manages”(page196). Probably best to withold judgement on people operating under conditions of war, siege, generalised hunger, and insecurity until you have evidence.

Of course, there may be problems of corruption. But these need to be addressed by Yemenis, not by speculation from outside. However one estimates the achievements or failures of the revolutionary state, it has to be recognised as an essential part of an inclusive peace process of the Yemeni people.

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Yemenis Still Demand Their Rights

Social media has brought Yemen much closer to the international community. I see this all the time as someone who uses social media a disproportionate amount. There are social media campaigns run on issues about Yemen; some US senators are following Yemenis inside the country on Twitter.
But social media is dominated by Yemenis like me in the diaspora because we have better access to the internet and electricity.
Most of my friends from my generation who took part in the protests are now outside the country, in Egypt, Europe, Malaysia, the US. One of my biggest concerns is that we are all from privileged backgrounds and we probably don’t necessarily reflect the concerns of people on the ground, the poorest in our country, living through a humanitarian crisis, struggling for their basic needs. This makes social media campaigning by its nature elitist. I constantly keep the question in my mind, whether my activism truly reflects the needs of people back home.

And a major achievement was that now, I wholeheartedly believe that that the whole Arab region thinks about human rights differently as a result of the Arab Spring. In Yemen, human rights values are no longer seen as a Western imposed or foreign term. We introduced these concepts into peoples’ minds as an important value rather than an import from outside that threatened our culture. Yemenis now want their rights, whether access to healthcare or food or the right to freedom of expression. Now there is a big demand for rights to be acknowledged. When the Houthis block the internet for instance, there is always a huge outcry.
This is the positive legacy of the Arab Spring, despite all the failures and traumas.
A huge difference is that whereas in 2011 we could talk about one Yemen, with several different political movements within it. Today there is a different reality. Yemen is moving towards division, and not united any more. It’s hard to see another strong man like Ali Abdullah Saleh, with all his flaws, coming to unite the country. One aspect of the division in Yemen is how the Yemeni rial from the south cannot be used in the north and vice versa, for instance. The fact that there is currently no international political will to recognise its division is the only thing still keeping it together.
International actors do play a huge role – whether the UN providing aid, Western states selling arms to Saudi Arabia, Iran’s involvement – and I don’t dismiss this. But the international narrative denies Yemenis agency. It’s all about what Saudi Arabia or what Iran wants. Yet we are a country with our own ancient history, our own political curiosity. What the international community needs to do is support Yemenis to come together to decide for themselves – by Afrah Nasser =

(A P)

Yemen [= Hadi gov.] calls on US to stop Houthi attacks on civilians

Authorities in Yemen urged the US and the international community Thursday to put pressure on the Houthis to stop attacks against Yemenis, according to local media.

President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi met with new US Special Representative to Yemen Tim Lenderking in Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, the official Saba news agency reported.

Hadi accused Iranian-backed Houthis of targeting civilians in defiance of ongoing peace efforts.

“Houthi militias and Iran did not adhere to various peace agreements, the most recent of which was the Stockholm Agreement,” said Hadi.

Underlining that Houthis target civilian settlements not only in Yemen but in Saudi Arabia, Hadi said Houthis attack innocent civilians and displaced people with Iranian missiles.

Lenderking said the US supports the Yemeni government and Saudi Arabia against Houthi attacks.

Underlining the negative Iranian role in increasing tension and conflict in Yemen, Lenderking said: “We are working to reach a lasting agreement to stop the ongoing war and to achieve peace in the country.”

My comment: Anything new with the new Biden administration? It does not look so.

(B K P)

(from late 2014): Yemen Situation Report

A variety of local conflicts and grievances with central government throughout Yemen are being increasingly framed in religious and sectarian terms, particularly since the 2011 youth uprisings toppled a 30-year old regime.

cp2a Saudische Blockade / Saudi blockade

(A K P)

Red Sea Ports Corporation denies arrival of fuel ships at Hodeida port

The Yemeni Red Sea Ports Corporation on Saturday denied what was circulated by Saudi-led aggression coalition media on the arrival of fuel tankers at the berths of Hodeida port.

The corporation confirmed, in a statement, that these allegations are baseless and come in the context of the media war pursued by "the aggression coalition and its media outlets."

(A K P)

Aggression holds new ship carrying more than five thousand tons of gas

The Yemeni Oil Company confirmed on Friday that the aggression coalition had pirated a new ship carrying five thousand and one tons of domestic gas.

The company's official spokesman, Essam Al-Mutawakel, explained to Saba that the number of ships detained by the aggression coalition increased to 13 ships of oil derivatives.

and also

(A K P)

Company: Saudi Arabia Pirates Ship Carrying Gas to Yemen

The seizure raised the number of ships pirated by Saudi Arabia to 13, YPC Spokesman Essam Al-Mutawakel told Yemen’s official Saba Net news agency on Friday.

Al-Mutawakel said the silence of the international community and the United Nations has encouraged Saudi Arabia to continue stealing Yemeni ships and preventing their entry to the strategic port of al-Hudaydah.

Such arbitrary practices are a “clear and explicit evidence that the United States is striving to suffocate the Yemeni people and increase their suffering”, he said.

The spokesman held the forces of the Saudi coalition, which he said “are led by the US and the UN”, fully responsible for the Yemeni people’s suffering, as well as for what will happen in the coming days.

Fortsetzung / Sequel: cp3 – cp19

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-716 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-716: 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:

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

Dietrich Klose

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