Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 723b- Yemen War Mosaic 723b

Yemen Press Reader 723b: 3. März 2021: Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 723, cp8a - cp19 / March 3 , 2021: Sequel to Yemen War Mosaic 723, cp8a - cp19
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Dies ist die Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 723, Teil 1 / This is the sequel of Yemen War Mosaic 723, part 1:

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

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

Klassifizierung / Classification

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

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

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

cp8a Jamal Khashoggi

cp9 USA

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

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13 Waffenhandel / Arms trade

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

cp8a Jamal Khashoggi

(* B P)

Inside the Biden team’s deliberations over punishing the Saudi crown prince

For senior Biden administration officials, criticism over the administration’s actions was perhaps inevitable but hasn’t always taken into account how rapidly the U.S. posture with the monarchy has changed since Biden’s inauguration, said several U.S. officials, some of whom spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations.

A team formed under the new administration weeks ago, including senior representatives of the National Security Council and the departments of State, Treasury and Defense, to look at what action to take.

The first part, an announced “recalibration” of relations with the Saudis, was relatively easy. As they filled in the blanks of what that would mean over the first few weeks, they communicated their intentions to the kingdom.

But the problem of what sanctions could be placed on Mohammed remained. Psaki drew criticism for telling reporters that the United States does not sanction the heads of government with whom it has diplomatic relations.

Officials maintained they thought about it long and hard. Sanctioning the leader of another country was rarely done, and never with the leader of a national security partner. Although the crown prince does not have a U.S. visa, and U.S. officials indicated he would not be getting one any time soon, any such decision would be infinitely more problematic once he became king, which he is virtually certain to be with the passing of his 85-year-old father.

And the crown prince was unique. Banning the grandson of the founder of Saudi Arabia would mean declaring what a senior administration official called a “hostile” relationship with the kingdom, the titular protector of the holiest sites in the Muslim world.

Even if that were tolerable, in a dangerous region where the United States seeks Saudi leadership and cooperation, untangling Mohammed’s assets for freezing from those of the kingdom was seen as virtually impossible.

“Having looked at this extremely closely, over the last five weeks or so, really, the unanimous conclusion [was] that there’s just more effective means to dealing with these issues going forward,” said a senior official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to explain the behind-the-scenes reasoning.

“The aim is a recalibration, not a rupture,” the official said.

“We’ve been very clear with the Saudis that this is an historic partnership; it’s lasted for 75 years. But the reality here in the United States and in Washington, is that the Saudis have lost both political parties . . . so that’s why we want to reset the foundation of this partnership.”

But once the intelligence report was released, and new bans and sanctions were announced, even former Obama administration officials, such as former CIA director John Brennan, suggested the Biden administration’s moves did not go far enough.

My comment: LOL. “Sanctioning the leader of another country was rarely done, and never with the leader of a national security partner“: A) Mohammed Salman still is NOT head of a state. B) Making any difference between a „national security partner“ and others shows US double standards.

(* A P)

When U.S. blamed Saudi crown prince for role in Khashoggi killing, fake Twitter accounts went to war

Such tweets were part of a broad effort by Saudi accounts, working in both English and Arabic, to shape the public narrative around the role of the crown prince in Khashoggi’s killing, according to researchers.

The source of the influence campaigns could not be definitively determined, said both independent researchers and Twitter, which said it had recently closed thousands of Saudi accounts for platform manipulation and other violations.

But the operation targeting tweets by American news organizations, using dozens of inauthentic accounts that previously had posted nonpolitical content in Arabic, “aligns with operations the Saudis have conducted on social media in the past,” according to an analysis by Advance Democracy, headed by former FBI analyst and Senate investigator Daniel J. Jones, who led the review of the CIA’s torture program.

“The coordinated activity of the accounts posting about the recently released report on Jamal Khashoggi is easy to identify,” Jones said. “In addition to the timing of the posts and the similarity of the content posted, the accounts almost exclusively post non-political content in Arabic to stay active, but then switch to making English language political posts in an attempt to rebut criticism appearing in English-language media.”

The Saudi government did not respond to a request for comment on Tuesday.

Separately, Qatar-based disinformation researcher Marc Owen Jones found that more than 600 Twitter accounts — many of them apparently fake — used a hashtag in Arabic translated as “#thepeopleofthekingdomsupportthecrownprince” on the day before the intelligence report was released.

The day of the U.S. report’s publication on Friday, thousands of accounts used two different misspellings of Khashoggi’s name to push pro-Saudi messages critical of the United States, getting the misspellings to trend on Twitter within the kingdom, according to Jones. He said the misspellings likely were an attempt to evade attempts by Twitter to block disinformation on the subject.

The Saudi government long has sought to use mass media and technology to shape public narratives about major events and politically important themes, and government officials have found that manipulating Twitter allows them to take advantage of its power without imposing bans or other restrictions that might be seen as excessively oppressive, said Jones, an assistant professor at Hamad Bin Khalifa University in Qatar.

“With the rise of Mohammed bin Salman, who is young, he understands that social media is the next big thing in terms of communication,” Marc Owen Jones said. (The crown prince is 35.)

Twitter said it has investigated and suspended about 3,500 accounts after they commented on the U.S. intelligence report, but the company was unable to say who or what is behind the influence campaign.

“Our internal teams have investigated and suspended any accounts engaged in platform manipulation and spammy activity in relation to this report, and we will continue to monitor this activity,” said Sarah Harte, a Twitter spokesperson.

The messaging in the online influence campaigns echoed arguments made publicly by Saudi officials. Saudi courts have sentenced eight people to prison terms of up to 20 years for their roles in the killing. But two top aides to the crown prince whom Saudi prosecutors said played a central role in the plot were exonerated. The crown prince has denied knowing about the operation against Khashoggi. = =

(* A P)

Activists Say Joe Biden Could Still Deliver Justice For Jamal Khashoggi

HuffPost obtained a letter from key advocacy groups outlining additional steps against Saudi Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman and lawmakers are rolling out similar proposals.

Though Biden unveiled sanctions on Saudis and others who hound reporters, dissidents and human rights activists internationally, the president notably did not announce any policy specifically targeting Prince Mohammed bin Salman, widely known as MBS. That omission prompted criticism from activists and the media. The New York Times called it a sign that “Biden choked,” while The New Yorker depicted it as a green light for brutal dictators worldwide and Bloomberg described it as a failure.

But last week’s actions do not represent the sum total of Biden’s approach to MBS. And the coalition of groups and powerful individuals who want a tougher U.S. response to the Khashoggi killing is ramping up efforts to push Biden to go further. They say they’re hopeful the president and his team can be convinced to roll out additional punishment.

“I haven’t lost faith. I still think Biden can do the right thing,” said Abdullah Alaoudh of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), the nonprofit that Khashoggi founded before his death.

This week, 42 advocacy organizations, led by DAWN and Win Without War, signed on to a statement that demands further steps to hold Saudi Arabia accountable.

The message, exclusively shared with HuffPost prior to its public release on Tuesday, calls Biden’s action on Friday “a much-welcomed act of transparency” that should be followed by sanctions on MBS and the huge Saudi sovereign wealth fund that he controls ― which owns parts of prominent American companies like Uber ― as well as by a full ban on arms sales to the kingdom, new U.S. demands for the prince to release political prisoners and an FBI investigation into Khashoggi’s murder.

Biden’s move “will ring hollow unless accountability follows,” the statement reads.

(A P)

Biden administration won’t ID Saudis barred from U.S. in Khashoggi fallout

The State Department put visa bans on 76 Saudi nationals. But who they are is a mystery

The Biden administration will not publicly identify any of the 76 Saudis it says it is barring from entering the United States as part of punishing Saudi Arabia over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The decision, which the State Department says is rooted in privacy laws governing U.S. visas, raises questions about the effectiveness of the penalty if there’s to be no public awareness of whom the U.S. has labeled a human rights violator.

POLITICO asked for identifying information on the 76 Saudis on Monday, but a State Department spokesperson declined to offer the data.

“Under U.S. law, individual visa records are confidential, and we cannot provide details as to who is or will be included in the Khashoggi Ban,” the spokesperson said. “We’re not in a position to detail the identities of those presently subject to these measures, nor will we be able to preview those who may be in the future.”

Asked how the public could be certain the penalty was being imposed and whom the U.S. has determined was engaging in activities it has deemed dangerous to dissidents, journalists and others, the spokesperson would not offer comment.

(B P)

Film, in Arabic: Dr. Zobaa’s meeting with the Middle East researcher, Annelle Sheline, about the report of Khashoggi's murder.

(* A P)

US urges Saudis to disband force behind Khashoggi killing

The United States on Monday urged Saudi Arabia to disband an elite unit controlled by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that Washington sanctioned over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"We have urged Saudi Arabia to disband this group and then adopt institutional, systemic reforms and controls to ensure that anti-dissident activities and operations cease and cease completely," State Department spokesman Ned Price said of the Rapid Intervention Force.

He also called on Saudi Arabia to take further action after last month provisionally releasing Loujain al-Hathloul, an advocate for women's right to drive in the ultra-conservative kingdom who was jailed for nearly three years.

"We are urging Saudi Arabia to take additional steps to lift travel bans on those released to commute sentences and resolve cases such as those of women's rights activists and others," Price said. =

Comment: Does US realise it means urging Saudis to 'disband' their crown prince MBS himself? Because he is the force behind Khashoggi killing!

(* B P)

Biden Betrayed His Promise to Defend Human Rights and Jamal Khashoggi

Biden vowed, if elected, not to sell more weapons to the Saudis. “We are going to make them pay the price and make them, in fact, the pariah that they are.”

Or maybe not. On Friday, the Biden Administration released a classified U.S. intelligence report on the murder of Khashoggi, which President Trump had long suppressed. To no one’s surprise, the C.I.A. analysis confirmed that M.B.S., as he’s widely known, had “approved” Khashoggi’s murder.

Yet Biden has done nothing to punish M.B.S. Absolutely nothing—to the astonishment of human-rights groups, foreign-policy experts, Saudi activists, and even some on his own staff. For days, the Administration had pledged that Biden, unlike Trump, would both take punitive measures and recalibrate the relationship. Biden’s response would symbolize his tough stance on human rights globally, the White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, said, last week.

But the Administration didn’t even mention M.B.S.’s name in the punitive sanctions that it announced after releasing the intelligence report. On Saturday, Biden refused to answer questions shouted by the press pool about whether he intended to punish the Saudi royal.

Instead, the Treasury Department sanctioned only the Rapid Intervention Force and Ahmad al-Asiri, the former deputy head of the General Intelligence Presidency, who the U.S. identified as the ringleader of the Khashoggi assassination.

In the end, Biden personally decided that he did not want to nuke ties with a ruler who is still only in his mid-thirties and could lead the oil-rich kingdom for the next three to four decades, U.S. officials said. Washington, they added defensively, has rarely sanctioned a head of state.

What no U.S. official is willing to add is the economic subtext—that Saudi Arabia is the world’s largest purchaser of American weaponry. Biden does not want to endanger—“rupture” was the word U.S. officials kept using in interviews with me and others—his ties with M.B.S.

“This is a completely flawed argument,” Bruce Riedel, a former C.I.A. official who also worked at the National Security Council and the Pentagon, told me. Biden’s decision will have a sweeping impact on the world’s perception of the new President and his pledge to stand up for American values. He instead signalled a willingness to look the other way when dictators threaten or kill dissidents. “The bad boys will now feel they can get away with anything,” Riedel added.

The Saudis simply rejected “the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership,” in a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. And, meanwhile, M.B.S. continues to target and attack activists.

Sarah Leah Whitson, executive director of Democracy for the Arab World Now, or dawn, a group founded by Khashoggi shortly before his death to promote political reforms across the Middle East, told me. Biden’s failure to hold M.B.S. personally accountable for Khashoggi’s murder “sends a warm and comforting message to despots around the world: carry on, nothing to see here, folks, murder and chop up your perceived enemies as you see fit, anywhere you like.” – by Robin Wright

(* A P)

U.S. failure to sanction prince for Khashoggi killing 'dangerous': U.N. expert

A U.N. human rights investigator said on Monday that it was “extremely dangerous” for the United States to have named Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler as having approved an operation to capture or kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi but not to have taken action against him.

Agnes Callamard, special rapporteur on summary executions who led a U.N. investigation into Khashoggi’s 2018 murder, reiterated her call for sanctions targeting Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s assets and his international engagements.

Callamard told a Geneva news conference that what had been declassified from the report “appears to be very little indeed and that’s disappointing” and she would have expected more material evidence to have been released.

“It is extremely problematic, in my view, if not dangerous, to acknowledge someone’s culpability and then to tell that someone ‘but we won’t do anything, please proceed as if have we have said nothing’,” she said. “That to me is an extremely dangerous move on the part of the USA.”

White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said on Monday that the United States reserves the right to sanction the crown prince in the future if necessary.

“Of course we reserve the right to take any action at a time and manner of our choosing,” Psaki told reporters, adding that “Historically, the United States through Democratic and Republican presidents has not typically sanctioned government leaders of countries where we have diplomatic relations.”

(A P)

U.S. focused on 'future conduct' of Saudi Arabia after Khashoggi sanctions, spokesman says

The United States is focused on “future conduct” of Saudi Arabia and will expect Riyadh to improve its human rights record, a U.S. spokesman said on Monday, after Washington imposed sanctions on some Saudis for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi but fell short of sanctions against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“We are very focused on future conduct and that is part of why we have cast this not as a rupture, but as a recalibration” of U.S.-Saudi relations, U.S. State Department spokesman Ned Price said at a press briefing.

“We are trying to get to the systemic issues underlying the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” Price said.

“We are urging Saudi Arabia to take additional steps – to lift travel bans on those released, to commute sentences and resolve cases such as those women’s rights activists and others,” he said.

(A P)

Saudi U.N. envoy: U.S. report on Khashoggi does not prove accusations

Saudi Arabia’s U.N. ambassador said on Monday a U.S. intelligence report that implicated the kingdom’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi had presented no firm evidence.

“The report .. is based on could’ve, should’ve and would’ve and does not rise to anywhere close to proving the accusation beyond reasonable doubt,” ambassador Abdallah Al-Mouallimi said in a Twitter post.

“The Prince courageously accepted moral responsibility, presented the accused to the justice system, and pledged to reform the intelligence organizations. Case closed!,” he added.

Prince Mohammed has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s killing

(* B P)

Film: Gulf affairs expert Ali AlAhmed provides an in-depth analysis of Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and the politics of Saudi Arabia.

A part of it:

(A P)

US intelligence involved in killing Khashoggi: Houthis

The US intelligence is involved in killing the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018, member of the Houthi Supreme Political Council tweeted on Sunday.
The US former President Donald Trump and his administration are also involved in killing the Washington Post's columnist, Mohamed Ali al-Houthi added.
"The Saudi regime takes no step before asking permission from the American administration, so Trump administration is likely involved in this heinous crime," he argued.

cp9 USA

Siehe / Look at cp9a, cp13

(A P)

Sen. Ed Markey: Untold numbers of innocent Yemenis have been killed by weaponry America sold to the Saudi regime. We have a responsibility to do what we can to alleviate the suffering we shamefully played a role in creating. USAID must reverse the decision to suspend humanitarian aid. (document)

(* A P)

Omar introduces bill to sanction Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi killing

Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) on Tuesday introduced legislation to sanction Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for his role in the slaying of U.S.-based journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi.

Omar said in a statement Tuesday that sanctioning Crown Prince Mohammed is “a test of our humanity.”

“If the United States of America truly supports freedom of expression, democracy and human rights, there is no reason not to sanction Mohammed bin Salman — a man our own intelligence found to have approved the murder of U.S. resident and Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” she said.

“Every minute the Crown Prince escapes punishment is a moment where U.S. interests, human rights, and the lives of Saudi dissenters are at risk,” she added.

The legislation, called the Mohammed bin Salman Must be Sanctioned, or MBS MBS, Act, includes asset freezes to block and prohibit all the crown prince's transactions related to the United States. It also blocks his entrance to the country.

Omar said sanctions on the crown prince should be instituted in the same vein as those on leaders in Iran and Russia who “commit destabilizing or violent acts.”

“We must treat the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince no differently,” she said. “No one should get away with murder. And as a global superpower, we must lead with our values.”

Omar statement:

Full legislation:

(* B H P)

Biden under pressure to reverse Trump's aid cuts in Yemen

The Joe Biden administration faces growing calls from Democratic lawmakers and aid groups to reinstate funding to Houthi-held northern Yemen.

“This needless suffering will only be compounded by the ongoing USAID suspension,” a coalition of anti-war and civil society groups said in a letter to President Joe Biden last week. “We are alarmed that, regardless of Houthi activity, the brunt of this ongoing suspension will be borne by vulnerable civilians, and not by Houthi officials and commanders.”

In a letter to Blinken and Steele last week, Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) led a group of Democratic lawmakers calling for the United States to “expedite, restore, and expand” humanitarian assistance to Yemen, arguing that doing so is “vital to encourage other countries to meet their pledges.”

An aid official speaking to Al-Monitor on background echoed those concerns: “It’s very hard to push others to pledge when your stated policy is we’re cutting off aid to much of the country because we don’t believe aid is getting to where it needs to get.”

(* B P)

The Guardian view on Saudi Arabia: on Khashoggi and Yemen, the west too must answer

But while the US declines to say whether Prince Mohammed is included in the “Khashoggi ban” that it has imposed on visas for 76 Saudi officials, the clear message is business as usual, with only minor changes.

The reality is that the crown prince is not only running matters day to day, but is the 35-year-old heir to an old and ailing monarch.

Washington knows it may be dealing with him for decades to come. Mr Biden may not call the crown prince, but his top officials do.

Yet the outcry has come from politicians and the likes of the former CIA director John Brennan, as well as Saudi dissidents, who are angered and frightened.

The US is no longer dependent on Saudi oil as it once was, but sees the country as an essential security partner. Riyadh has made token concessions to the new administration, including releasing the women’s rights activist Loujain al-Hathloul – while still imposing restrictions on her, and keeping others behind bars. For all its vaunted “modernisation”, under Prince Mohammed it has become more repressive at home and more reckless abroad.

The crown prince spearheaded the drive into the war in Yemen that Riyadh is now regretting and struggling to exit.

And while Mr Biden has appointed a new envoy, and declared that the war must end, other priorities loom higher on his agenda.

(A K P)

US to ensure Saudi Arabia has ‘tools’ to defend itself from Iran-backed attacks

The United States said Tuesday that it would ensure Saudi Arabia had all the tools needed to defend itself against threats from Yemen and Iranian-backed attacks.

“We will ensure Saudi Arabia and our regional partners have the tools they need to defend themselves, including against threats emanating from Yemen that are carried out with weapons and support from Iran,” Secretary of State Antony Blinken said after the US sanctioned two Houthi militia commanders.

(* B K P)

Significant drop in civilian harm during 2020 indicates Covid effect: Airwars annual report

Tracking by Airwars across multiple conflicts during 2020 shows that the number of locally reported civilian deaths from the use of explosive weapons was down by two thirds compared to the previous year. Of these fatalities, around half were in the first two months of 2020.

Comprehensive new data released by Airwars in its Annual Report 2020 suggests a possible ‘Covid effect’ – a significant reduction in conflict violence, as communities locked down during the global pandemic.

‘Forgotten’ civilian deaths in Yemen

Ongoing monitoring by Airwars of counterterrorism actions in Yemen indicated a continuing if limited US campaign against Al Qaeda – despite US Central Command (CENTCOM) not having publicly declared a strike since summer 2019. Confirmation of several actions by US officials suggested control of the long-running campaign may have been passed to the CIA.

Meanwhile, following publication of an Airwars Yemen report in October, CENTCOM had to admit that it had forgotten its own recent admission of the killing of civilians during a 2017 raid on a Yemeni village.

Previous commander General Joseph Votel had told the US Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC) during in-person evidence that he took personal responsibility for the deaths of “between four and twelve” civilians in a botched raid. But three years later, CENTCOM was claiming only that there “may have been casualties” at Yakla. A senior official later apologised to Airwars for “Our failure to provide an accurate assessment [which] was an administrative mistake, and not an intent to deceive.”

Bucking a global trend of reduced conflict violence, US airstrikes against al Shabaab continued at near record levels during 2020 – although reported civilian deaths halved in number. That may have been a reflection of AFRICOM’s increased emphasis on assessing and reporting civilian harm under new commander General Stephen Townsend.

(A P)

USA verhängten Sanktionen gegen führende Houthi-Rebellen im Jemen

Die betroffenen Anführer seien "verantwortlich für Angriffe auf die Zivilbevölkerung, auf Nachbarstaaten und Handelsschiffe"

Das US-Finanzministerium hat Sanktionen gegen zwei militärische Anführer der Houthi-Rebellen im Jemen verhängt. Mansour al-Saadi und Ahmed Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi kommandierten Kräfte, die die humanitäre Krise im Jemen verschärft hätten, und seien verantwortlich für die Orchestrierung von Angriffen auf die Zivilbevölkerung, Nachbarstaaten und Handelsschiffe in internationalen Gewässern, erklärte das Finanzministerium in Washington am Dienstag.

Unter anderem würden etwaige Vermögenswerte oder Beteiligungen in den USA eingefroren und müssten an die Kontrollbehörde des Finanzministeriums (Ofac) gemeldet werden. Das Finanzministerium warf den sanktionierten Personen vor, die "destabilisierende Agenda des iranischen Regimes" voranzutreiben und den Konflikt zu verschärfen, der mehr als eine Million Menschen vertrieben und das Land an den Rande einer Hungersnot gebracht habe. = =

(* A P)

U.S. Treasury blacklists two leaders of Yemen's Houthi movement

The United States on Tuesday imposed sanctions on two military leaders of the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen, accusing them of prolonging the country’s civil war and exacerbating the humanitarian crisis.

The U.S. Treasury Department in a statement said it blacklisted Mansur Al-Sa’adi, the Houthi naval forces chief of staff, and Ahmad ‘Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi, the commander of Yemen’s Houthi-aligned Yemeni air force and air defense forces.

“The United States condemns the destruction of civilian sites by the Houthi militants designated today. These individuals command forces that are worsening the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea Gacki said in the statement.

and also

and full texts by State Dep. and Treasury Dep.:

(* A P)

State Dep.: Designation of Two Ansarallah Leaders in Yemen

Ansarallah, sometimes referred to as the Houthis, plays a significant role in the conflict in Yemen and exacerbates the dire humanitarian plight of the Yemeni people. The war has destabilized the country, displaced four million Yemenis since the beginning of the conflict, and unleashed one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

We strongly condemn the Ansarallah’s continued assault on Marib and their attacks in the region, including a complex attack on February 27, which threatened civilian areas with several UAVS and a missile attack on Riyadh. Again, on March 1 Ansarallah attacked the Saudi city of Jazan and injured five civilians.

Today, the United States is taking action to respond to this behavior. We are designating two Ansarallah leaders pursuant to Executive Order 13611, “Blocking Property of Persons Threatening the Peace, Security, or Stability of Yemen,” Mansur Al-Sa’adi and Ahmad Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi. These senior Ansarallah leaders have used their positions – as Naval Forces Chief of Staff and Commander of the Air Force and Air Defense Forces, respectively – to procure weapons from Iran and to oversee attacks threatening civilians and maritime infrastructure.

Iran’s involvement in Yemen fans the flames of the conflict, threatening greater escalation, miscalculation, and regional instability. Ansarallah uses Iranian weapons, intelligence, training, and support to conduct attacks threatening civilian targets and infrastructure in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

The United States has made clear our commitment to promoting accountability for Ansarallah’s malign and aggressive actions, which include exacerbating conflict in Yemen, attacking our partners in the region, kidnapping and torturing civilians, preventing humanitarian aid access, repressing the Yemeni people in areas they control, and orchestrating deadly attacks beyond Yemen’s borders.


(* A P)

Treasury Sanctions Key Military Leaders of the Ansarallah Militia in Yemen

Today, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) sanctioned two key militants of the Iranian-backed Ansarallah, sometimes referred to as the Houthis, whose actions have prolonged Yemen’s civil war and exacerbated the country’s humanitarian crisis. Mansur Al-Sa’adi and Ahmad ‘Ali Ahsan al-Hamzi are responsible for orchestrating attacks by Houthi forces impacting Yemeni civilians, bordering nations, and commercial vessels in international waters. These actions, which were done to advance the Iranian regime’s destabilizing agenda, have fueled the Yemeni conflict, displacing more than one million people and pushing Yemen to the brink of famine.

“The United States condemns the destruction of civilian sites by the Houthi militants designated today. These individuals command forces that are worsening the humanitarian crisis in Yemen,” said Director of the Office of Foreign Assets Control Andrea M. Gacki. “The United States remains committed to promoting accountability of Houthi leadership for their actions, which have contributed to the extraordinary suffering of the Yemeni people.”

Today’s action is being taken pursuant to Executive Order (E.O.) 13611, an authority aimed at blocking property of persons threatening the peace, security, or stability of Yemen.

Since the onset of the conflict in Yemen, the Houthis, with the support of the Iranian regime, have waged a bloody war against the internationally recognized Yemeni government using ballistic missiles, explosives, naval mines, and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to attack bases, population centers, infrastructure, and nearby commercial shipping.

The Iranian regime has intensified this conflict by providing direct financial and materiel assistance to the Houthis, including small arms, missiles, explosives, and UAVs. The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)–Qods Force has provided military guidance and training to the Houthis. This support has allowed the Houthis to threaten Yemen’s neighbors and to conduct heinous attacks damaging civilian infrastructure in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. Iranian support of the Houthis has only prolonged Yemen’s civil war and contributed to the widespread suffering of millions of Yemenis in a humanitarian crisis the United Nations called “the worst in the world.”

My comment: Once again, this shows that the Biden administration still is taking sides in this war, being a warring party by itself. The explanation even is bizarre.

(* A P)

Biden's effort to end Yemen war hindered by continued fighting, funding shortfall

After removing certain sanctions on rebel leaders, he is now sanctioning others.

But it was just two weeks ago that Blinken lifted certain sanctions on the Houthis' top leadership as specially globally designated terrorists. Former Trump administration officials accused their predecessors of easing up the pressure on the Houthis, even as they marched forward on the battlefield.

State Department spokesperson Ned Price defended that decision Monday, saying that those Houthi leaders remain under different U.S. sanctions and that lifting the designation was critical to staving off a humanitarian crisis.

"It was not a mistake to do everything we could within our power to alleviate the humanitarian suffering of the Yemeni people," Price told reporters.

Price also defended the Biden administration's response to the humanitarian crisis amid a deep shortfall in funding.

The U.S. is contributing an additional $191 million for aid groups, Blinken announced Monday, on top of the $160 million the Trump administration had pledged for this fiscal year. That brings total U.S. assistance to $3.4 billion since the conflict began, according to the State Department.

The U.S. had called on Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in particular to boost their pledges after pulling back last year. Both Arab countries have announced more aid, with the Saudis telling the conference they'll supply $430 million and the UAE announcing Friday it will commit an additional $230 million.

Price wouldn't say whether the U.S. was disappointed with Monday's total, but called on the international community to "raise our ambition. ... The United States put up today, other countries made generous donations. We need to keep that momentum going," he said.

More than that, however, those pledges need to now be delivered quickly, according to David Gressly, an American who serves as the U.N.'s humanitarian coordinator for Yemen.

My comment: The headline implicates misleading propaganda: “Biden's effort to end Yemen war” is hindered by Biden himself: The US still is taking sides in this war, and apart from nice words nothing substantial really has happened.

(* B P)

Analysis: Biden retreats from vow to make pariah of Saudis

“It is undeniable that Saudi Arabia is a hugely influential country in the Arab world,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said Monday when asked about Biden’s retreat from his promise to isolate the Saudis over the killing.

Ultimately, Biden administration officials said, U.S. interests in maintaining relations with Saudi Arabia forbid making a pariah of a young prince who may go on to rule the kingdom for decades. That stands in stark contrast to Biden’s campaign promise to make the kingdom “pay the price” for human rights abuses and “make them in fact the pariah that they are.”

“We’ve talked about this in terms of a recalibration. It’s not a rupture,” Price said of the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

But what the Biden administration is calling a “recalibration” of former President Donald Trump’s warm relationship with Saudi royals looks a lot like the normal U.S. stand before Trump: chiding on human rights abuses in the kingdom, but not allowing those concerns to interfere with relations with Saudi Arabia.

In recent days, Biden officials have responded to intense criticism of its failure to sanction the prince by pointing to U.S. measures targeting his lower-ranking associates.

Watching it all, Trump suggested over the weekend that Biden’s stand on Saudi Arabia’s prince wasn’t so different from his after all.

(A P)

Rep. Tom Malinowski: I applaud President Biden for declassifying the finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman ordered the murder of Jamal Khashoggi. But naming MBS w/o holding him accountable undercuts our message to the Saudis. Today @RepAndyKimNJ and I introduced a bill to correct this. (document)

(A P)

Film: @StateDeptSpox discusses recalibrating U.S. expectations for our relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Comment: "Recalibrating" is using a word that has no distinct explanation. What is the TRUE meaning meant by using this word? Be Specific.

(A P)

Film: REPORTER: How does this [current action on Saudi Arabia by President Biden] come anywhere close to his pledge to Americans in November of 2019 at that debate? PSAKI: …It’s important to also note that there are areas where we have an important relationship with Saudi Arabia.

(A P)

Biden’s UN Envoy Vows to Tackle Yemen Crisis as Aid Falls Short

The Biden administration’s new United Nations ambassador vowed to re-energize diplomatic efforts to help bring an end to the world’s worst humanitarian disasters, citing crises in Yemen and Ethiopia.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, who on Monday took over the UN Security Council presidency for March, said the goal will be to “bring awareness to the world about these growing and devastating humanitarian crises, and to call for leadership on the council for urgent, necessary solutions.”

“In these regions, war and instability have left millions of people and two million children under the age of five at risk of starvation and acute malnutrition,” Thomas-Greenfield, who’s in her first full week on the job as U.S. envoy, told reporters. “We cannot stand idly by.”

Thomas-Greenfield’s decision to focus on Yemen in her debut at the Security Council comes as an appeal to raise money to fund the UN’s humanitarian response fell short of expectations, bringing in $1.7 billion. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the total pledge disappointing, noting that it was less than what was received in the previous two years.

(A P)

Blinken calls on Yemen's Houthis to match Saudi, Yemen government commitment to end war

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday that Saudi Arabia and the government of Yemen are “committed and eager” to find a way to end the war in Yemen and called on the Houthi group to do the same.

My comment: “Blinken said on Monday that Saudi Arabia and the government of Yemen are “committed and eager” to find a way to end the war in Yemen”: LOL.

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

(* A P)

Vor Verhandlungen zwischen den USA und Iran werden die Einsätze erhöht

Die Ursache für die Explosion auf einem israelischen Frachtschiff im Golf von Oman am Freitag ist vermutlich ein iranischer Raketenangriff. Es ist wohl ein weiterer Nadelstich, mit dem Teheran den USA und ihren Verbündeten in der Region seine Macht demonstrieren will.
Auf dem Weg von Saudiarabien nach Singapur hatte die «Helios Ray» in der Nacht von Donnerstag auf Freitag die Meerenge von Hormuz bereits passiert, als sie im Golf von Oman plötzlich von einer Explosion erschüttert wurde. Das Frachtschiff, im Besitz einer israelischen Firma, musste umdrehen und in Dubai anlegen, wo seine auf beiden Seiten durchlöcherte Bordwand repariert werden soll. Am Samstag flogen israelische Sicherheitsbeamte in die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate, um in der Sache zu ermitteln.

(A P)

Spokesman Dismisses Blinken’s “Baseless” Allegations about Iran’s Role in Yemen

Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Saeed Khatibzadeh rejected “baseless” allegations raised by US Secretary of State Antony Blinken that Iran increases tensions in Yemen, stressing that crisis in the Arab country has no military solution.

(A P)

Netanyahu accuses Iran of attacking Israeli-owned cargo ship

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday accused Iran of attacking an Israeli-owned ship in the Gulf of Oman last week, a mysterious explosion that further spiked security concerns in the region.

Without offering any evidence to his claim, Netanyahu told Israeli public broadcaster Kan that “it was indeed an act by Iran, that’s clear.”

“Iran is the greatest enemy of Israel, I am determined to halt it. We are hitting it in the entire region,” Netanyahu said. Iran promptly dismissed the charges.

The blast struck the Israeli-owned MV Helios Ray, a Bahamian-flagged roll-on, roll-off vehicle cargo ship, as it was sailing out of the Middle East on its way to Singapore on Friday. The crew was unharmed, but the vessel sustained two holes on its port side and two on its starboard side just above the waterline, according to American defense officials.

The ship came to Dubai’s port for repairs on Sunday, days after the blast that revived security concerns in Mideast waterways amid heightened tensions with Iran.


(A P)

Israeli-owned cargo ship back at sea after suspected attack

(* B P)

How Europe is undermining Biden’s Middle East agenda

The stagnation around the JCPOA, or Iran nuclear deal, is a case in point. Biden’s goal of rejoining it, after Trump withdrew, presented the Europeans with an opportunity both to mend the transatlantic ties and save this key non-proliferation agreement. Yet, the E3 moves to date have been mostly counter-productive.

Just as International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi secured an agreement to continue cooperation with Tehran after an Iranian law restricted the agency’s inspections past February 21, the E3 reportedly pushed for a formal censure of Iran at the Agency’s Board of Governors meeting. Such a step would further narrow the Hassan Rouhani administration’s room for maneuver which already faces intense domestic pressure to end cooperation with the IAEA.

The E3 playing tough with Iran, however, is not surprising given the statements its representatives were issuing lately. In October last year, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas called for a “new deal” that would address Iran’s other “destabilizing behavior,” such as its ballistic missiles program and regional activities. In January 2021, French President Emmanuel Macron emphasized that any negotiations with Iran would have to be “very strict,” without specifying what that entails. He also hinted that Saudi Arabia would have to be included in such future negotiations — an obvious non-starter for Iran.

At the root of such equivocations lies the idea that Trump’s sanctions against Iran somehow built leverage that the West must use to force Iranian concessions before the U.S. return to the deal. The E3 made it clear that they considered the ball to be on the Iranian side — despite the fact that it was Washington who violated the deal first.

On the face of it, this looked like strengthening Biden’s hand. In reality, it only encouraged the United States to overplay its hand by refusing to move fast on sanctions relief. This fueled narratives from Rouhani’s domestic critics who would like to give up on the JCPOA conclusively.

Indeed, Iran’s decision to reject, at least for now, the informal talks between the E3, United States, and Iran proposed by the EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell demonstrates the failure of the “use the leverage” strategy. In the absence of a credible U.S. move, Tehran will not view Biden differently from how it viewed Trump.

(A P)

Iran’s Zarif warns of countermeasures if IAEA governors issue anti-Iran resolution

Iran’s foreign minister has warned against a likely anti-Iran resolution by the IAEA Board of Governors, saying the Islamic Republic has some options to take in case “reason does not prevail” on the other side.

The board is about to hold a quarterly meeting in Vienna Monday, with the US having said it wants a resolution to "express the Board’s deepening concern with respect to Iran’s cooperation with the IAEA”.

The US has reportedly sent a position paper to the board members, demanding that they call on Iran to reverse its remedial measures and cooperate with the IAEA to explain how uranium particles were allegedly found at old, undeclared sites.

“We have provided the necessary explanations about these conditions to all members of the Board of Governors. We hope that reason will prevail, and if that does not happen, we have options to take,” Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on the sidelines of a meeting of the Parliament’s National Security and Foreign Policy Committee on Monday.

(* B P)

Rejoining the Iran Nuclear Deal Is Not Enough

WHEN JOE BIDEN and his top advisors describe their approach to relations with Iran, they usually emphasize two goals. First, they want to reenter the 2015 nuclear deal. Second, they want to resist Iranian influence in the Middle East, which they consider singularly malevolent. Biden, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken have all characterized Iran’s foreign policy as “destabilizing.” Biden has also called Tehran’s behavior “aggressive,” while Blinken has added the epithet “egregious.”

In Washington, the first goal attracts the most attention because it’s the most controversial. Virtually all the Republicans in Congress, and some of the Democrats, believe the nuclear deal was a mistake, and oppose reviving it. The second goal, obstructing Iranian regional influence, occasions less discussion because the presumption underlying it—that Iran is a uniquely bad actor in its neighborhood—is widely considered self-evident.

But this rarely questioned assumption has enormous consequences for US policy in the Middle East. The Obama and Trump administrations used the specter of Iranian aggression to justify their support for the immensely destructive war that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have waged in Yemen. And although the Biden administration has ended support for “offensive operations” in that war and is reviewing arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the charge of Iranian malevolence will likely justify their continuation in some form, just as it helps to justify US military aid to Israel. The claim that Iran is especially destabilizing also rationalizes many of America’s non-nuclear sanctions on the country, most of which will remain even if the Biden administration rejoins the nuclear deal, and which ensure that the US does not establish normal diplomatic relations with Tehran.

These US policies, which make the Middle East more violent and less stable, are built on a false premise. Whether one examines Iran’s defense spending, its support for “terrorism,” or its military intervention in other countries, the country’s foreign policy is no more aggressive than those of Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Turkey, or Israel, its chief regional competitors. In the Middle East, Iran is one brutal, self-interested, middle power among others. What distinguishes it from its adversaries is not its malevolence, but its independence from the United States.

Recognizing that Iran is no more destabilizing than its foes is not “whataboutism.” It is the precondition for a more effective and humane US policy in the region. Blinken has vowed that, in addition to resuscitating the nuclear deal, the Biden administration will seek a new agreement to restrain Iran’s missile program and end “its destabilizing actions in country after country.” Yet Iran is unlikely to limit its missile program while the US keeps arming its rivals. Curbing Iranian intervention in Syria and Yemen will require acknowledging that Tehran has security concerns that can only be assuaged if the US encourages its adversaries to change their behavior as well. By rejoining the nuclear deal, the Biden administration may avert war with Iran. But unless it challenges the bipartisan assumption that Iran behaves fundamentally differently than its neighbors, it has little chance of helping to broker regional peace – by Peter Beinart

(A P)

Iran Rejects Offer of Direct U.S. Nuclear Talks, Ratcheting Up Tension With West

Iran rejected a European Union offer to hold direct nuclear talks with the U.S. in the coming days, risking renewed tension between Tehran and Western capitals.

Senior Western diplomats said Iran’s response doesn’t quash the Biden administration’s hopes of reviving diplomatic efforts to restore the 2015 nuclear deal, struck between Iran and six world powers and abandoned by the Trump administration in 2018. But they said it seemed to set a deadlock: Iran wants a guarantee it wouldn’t walk away from a meeting with the U.S. without some sanctions relief, which Washington has so far ruled out.

With Tehran escalating its nuclear activities in recent months in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal, the U.S. conducting airstrikes on Iranian-backed militias in Syria, and Iranian presidential elections in June, diplomats have warned that opportunities to ease tensions might now be imperiled.


(A P)

Iran says time "not appropriate" for informal meeting with Europe, U.S.

Iran on Sunday said that time is "not appropriate" for Iran to hold an informal meeting with Europe and the United States.

"Considering the recent positions and actions of the United States and three European countries, the Islamic Republic of Iran does not consider the time to be appropriate for an informal meeting proposed by the European coordinator of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)," said Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Saeed Khatibzadeh.

(A P)

UN atomic watchdog: Deal with Iran key to full inspections

A temporary agreement with Iran to allow United Nations inspectors continued access to the country’s atomic facilities is less comprehensive than before, but lays the groundwork for the return to full verification measures if and when Tehran allows it, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency said Monday.

(* A K P)

Bidens Angriff auf Syrien: ein tatsächlich anklagbares Verbrechen

Letzten Donnerstag setzte Präsident Biden fort, was leider zu einer Washingtoner Tradition geworden ist: Syrien zu bombardieren. Der Präsident befahl einen Militärschlag in der Nähe der irakisch-syrischen Grenze, bei dem mindestens 22 Menschen getötet wurden. Die Regierung behauptet, sie habe eine “vom Iran unterstützte” Miliz als Vergeltung für die jüngsten Raketenangriffe auf US-Einrichtungen im Irak beschossen.
Wie bei den Präsidenten Obama und Trump vor ihm ist jedoch Bidens Rechtfertigung für den US-Schlag und seine Ziele nicht glaubwürdig. Und seine Behauptung, der US-Angriff würde zu einer “Deeskalation” in der Region führen, ist lächerlich. Man kann sich nicht den Weg zur Deeskalation bomben.
Biden reiht sich damit in einen beschämenden Klub von US-Führern ein, deren Interventionen im Nahen Osten und speziell in Syrien nichts im Interesse der USA erreicht, sondern zum Tod von vielen Tausend Zivilisten beigetragen haben.
(…) In der Tat ist der Beginn eines Krieges gegen ein Land, das die Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika nicht angegriffen hat und nicht bedroht, ohne die Genehmigung des Kongresses ein anklagbares Verbrechen.

(* B K P)

Film: Biden “Illegally” Bombs Iranian-Backed Militias in Syria, Jeopardizing Nuclear Talks with Tehran

“Very quickly the Biden administration is falling into the same old patterns of before, of responding to this and that without having a clear strategy that actually would extract us from these various conflicts and actually pave the way for much more productive diplomacy,” says Trita Parsi, executive vice president of the Quincy Institute. We also speak with California Congressmember Ro Khanna, who says President Biden’s recent airstrikes in Syria lacked legal authority. “This is not an ambiguous case. The administration’s actions are clearly illegal under the United States’ law and under international law,” says Khanna.

(B K P)

Inside the attack that almost sent the U.S. to war with Iran

David Martin speaks with troops who were there as an Iranian ballistic missile attack rained down on Al Asad Airbase in Iraq, part of six days that saw the U.S. and Iran go to the brink of war.

Thirteen months ago the two countries came perilously close to war. It began with an American drone strike which killed Iran's most powerful general and ended with an Iranian ballistic missile attack against U.S. troops in Iraq. It was the largest ballistic missile attack ever against Americans. Tonight, we will show you for the first time, drone video of the attack and talk to the troops who were there the night the U.S. and Iran went to the brink.

Alan Johnson in recorded video: Hey buddy. If you're seeing this video some bad things happened to Dad last night... So I need you to be strong, OK, for mom. And just always know in your heart that I love you, OK. Bye buddy.

A few hours after Army Major Alan Johnson recorded that message to his son, Iranian ballistic missiles began raining down on Al Asad Airbase in Iraq where 2000 U.S. troops were based. As a drone recorded the attack, Americans caught in the crosshairs could do nothing but run or duck and cover.

Each missile carried a warhead weighing more than 1,000 pounds.

Alan Johnson: Well, words can't even describe the amount of energy that is released by these, these missiles.

Johnson was taking cover in a bunker designed to protect troops against much smaller warheads weighing only 60 pounds.

Alan Johnson: Knocked the wind out of me followed by the most putrid tasting ammonia tasting dust that swept through the bunker coated your teeth.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

(A P)

Keir Starmer attacks 'unconscionable' cut in aid to Yemen

Boris Johnson responds to criticism by accusing Labour leader of prioritising Arab country over UK

Boris Johnson has been accused of an “unconscionable” decision of cutting aid to war-ravaged Yemen, at a bad-tempered PMQs in which the prime minister accused Keir Starmer of prioritising the Arab country over the UK.

The UK has announced it will give Yemen only about £87m in aid this year, down from £164m in 2020. The Labour leader said there was widespread outrage at the decision to cut the aid.

“The UN has said that Yemen faces the worst famine the world has seen for decades. And the secretary general said on Monday that cutting aid would be, in his words, a death sentence for the people of Yemen. How on earth can the prime minister justify selling arms to Saudi Arabia and cutting aid for people starving in Yemen?” he said.

Johnson blamed the pandemic for the decision to cut spending, saying it was due to the “current straitened circumstances” and added: “I think the people of this country will think that we’ve got our priorities right.”

And also


(A P)

Tory MPs insist Commons must approve Yemen aid cut as it ‘puts lives at risk’

Former cabinet minister David Davis has warned the policy to cut aid to Yemen ‘puts lives at risk’ and must receive prior approval from MPs.

(* A P)

We’ve cut aid to Yemen and children will starve – is this what global Britain means?

Monday’s announcement confirmed my worst fears – not even those in the most desperate crises are safe from aid cuts.

I was warned in January that British ambassadors in developing countries were being asked to cut their aid budgets by 50 to 70%. When I raised this with the foreign secretary, Dominic Raab, he said he did not recognise the figure. Monday’s cut to aid for Yemen confirms my worst fears – that these figures are true and not even those in the most desperate humanitarian crises are safe.

There remains a shocking lack of transparency from government about where wider aid cuts will fall and I am not aware of any consultation with NGOs or partners in the global south to minimise their impact. I have heard about forthcoming cuts to projects seeking to empower girls to know their rights and report cases of violence, while warnings have also been sounded about programmes dealing with nutrition, water sanitation and hygiene and sexual and reproductive health. Analysis suggests that because of government cuts 5.3 million fewer children a year will be immunised and 4.5 million fewer will gain a decent education.

It is even more perverse that the government made this decision while maintaining arms exports to countries connected to the civil war – by Sarah Champion, MP

(* A P)

Piers Morgan blasts 'cowardly' government for 'not having the guts' to stand up to Saudi Arabia

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng appeared on Good Morning Britain was probed by Piers Morgan on the government's decision not to sanctions Saudi Arabia following the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Piers Morgan took aim at the government's "cowardly" action to slash aid to Yemen - but not take sanctions against Saudi Arabia following reports on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng appeared on Good Morning Britain today and was initially questioned on the vaccine roll-out and the missing person with the Brazil coronavirus variant.

But the questioning soon turned to the UK government's decision to cut aid to war-torn Yemen by more than half, alongside the decision not to issue sanctions to Saudi after a declassified US intelligence report into Khashoggi's murder in 2018 concluded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to "capture or kill" the journalist.

Defending the government's decision, Kwarteng referred to the US response: "They haven't specifically ruled out having sanctions because they realise that the way to influence Saudi Arabia isn't simply to cut off-"

"Hang on," Piers interjected. "I think that's cowardly too. I think Joe Biden has shown moral cowardice. He was all over this when he was running for president and now he's president, he's bottled it. He's done exactly what Donald Trump did.

"No-one dares stand up to Saudi Arabia because they've not got the guts. I don't care what America's response it - I'm asking you as the UK government representative today, how comfortable do you feel that we've just halved our support for the poor, war-torn people of Yemen?

"But, at the same time, we are giving no sanctions and virtually no public criticism of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who started that war - who is using our weapons to kill people and also saws up journalists and is not being made accountable? How comfortable are you with that?"

(A P)

Foreign aid: Kwarteng defends Yemen cuts in tense clash 'Trying to answer your question!'

BUSINESS Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng defended the Government's plan to reduce Yemen foreign aid after he was grilled over why the UK has pulled its support at a time where the middle-eastern country faces a huge "crisis".

Mr Kwarteng replied: “I haven't seen the numbers but the actual amount that we're reducing is something like 0.7 percent of GDP to 0.5 percent.

“I think it was felt that given the incredible stress that we've gone through in Britain giving 0.7 percent of the economy in this particular year was challenging.

My comment: Lol.

(* A H P)

Boris Johnson facing backlash over drastic foreign aid budget cut to war-torn Yemen

Senior Tory MPs warn the cut could deepen the world’s gravest humanitarian catastrophe and bolster terrorist group Al Qaeda

Boris Johnson is preparing to provoke a storm of protest by slashing in half the aid budget to war-torn Yemen, the Evening Standard has learned.

A cutback from £187 million this year to around £90 million is set to be announced at a United Nations pledging conference by Foreign Office Minister James Cleverly.

Senior Conservative MPs said a cut on such a scale could deepen the world’s gravest humanitarian catastrophe and could bolster terrorist group Al Qaeda which is based there.

Andrew Mitchell, the former Tory Chief Whip, said MPs would be raising questions with Foreign Office ministers tomorrow.

“The Yemen cut is unspeakable, incomprehensible and probably contrary to the will of Parliament,” he said.

“This means essentially that four million people, mainly children, will be continuing the slow agonising and obscene process of starving to death.”

Tobias Ellwood, who chairs the influential Commons Defence Committee, said: “It is not just the largest humanitarian challenge in the world, it is also the fact that Al Qaeda is taking full advantage of the absence of any government. It is an unwise step. This is our first big test with an invigorated White House wanting to rejuvenate western resolve. It is not the message we should be sending.”

Around 60 senior Conservatives have already signalled unease about the Government’s attempts to cull the annual budget for aid spending, which was written in law by David Cameron’s government at a target level of 0.7 per cent of GDP.

and also

(* A H P)

Yemen conflict: UK defends Yemeni aid cuts amid criticism from MPs

The UK government has defended its decision to slash humanitarian aid to Yemen, saying it would continue to "do its bit" to support the most vulnerable in the war-torn country.

The government has said pressure on the public finances from the pandemic means tough choices are required.

Defending the move in Parliament, ministers said the UK could be "proud" of its humanitarian record in Yemen, having given £1bn since the conflict began.

"We're doing our bit," Mr Raab said. "Of course these are very difficult financial circumstances. We remain, as we have done over the last five years, between the third and fifth highest donor into Yemen."

But Labour's shadow international development secretary Preet Kaur Gill condemned the move.

"The British people have a proud history of stepping up and supporting those in needs, but the actions of the government yesterday betrayed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni children as he chose to leave them to starve."

And former Conservative international development secretary Andrew Mitchell said the move was "unconscionable" given the desperate situation in Yemen.

"The fifth richest country in the world is cutting support by more than half to one of the poorest countries in the world during a global pandemic," he said.

He also warned it was a "harbinger of terrible cuts to come" to support for other countries.

"Everyone in this House knows the cut to 0.7% is not a result of tough choices but is a strategic mistake with deadly consequences. This is not who we are."

(A H P)

CAAT condemns UK cut in aid to Yemen

The UK government today made a major reduction in its aid to Yemen, pledging only £87 million at a UN donor conference – despite being penholder for Yemen at the UN. The reduction in aid comes after warnings from the UN that Yemen faces the worst famine the world has seen in decades.

The UK is complicit in this crisis. The humanitarian disaster is a direct result of the devastating war in Yemen, and UK-made fighter jets, bombs and missiles are playing a central role in attacks by the Saudi-led coalition, which have destroyed infrastructure across Yemen.

UK aid to Yemen is eclipsed by the value of arms sales that the government has licensed to the regimes that are responsible for the ongoing bombing campaign.

The most recent government statistics show that the UK has licensed at least £6.8 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since the start of its ongoing bombing campaign in Yemen

(* B H P)

UK under pressure over plan to slash aid for Yemen by 50%

UN seeking to raise $3.85bn to avert widespread famine in country devastated by years of civil war

Yemenis and international aid organisations have urged the UK to reconsider reported cuts of up to 50% of its support for humanitarian efforts in the country’s devastating civil war.

The UN is hoping to raise $3.85bn (£2.76bn) from more than 100 governments and donors at a major virtual pledging conference on Monday to avert widespread famine in what is already the world’s worst humanitarian crisis. The total raised at last year’s conference fell $1.5bn short of what was needed.

Reports emerged earlier this year that the UK was planning to slash the legally mandated budget of 0.7% of national income on foreign aid projects, a move diplomats and experts warned would translate into a 50%-70% reduction in funding and a “gut punch” for the world’s poorest.

Cutting the aid budget in Yemen in particular would be “very serious indeed”, continuing the “slow, agonising and obscene process of starving to death” for millions of people, the former international development secretary Andrew Mitchell told the Today programme on Monday.

“We are beyond dismayed by reports that the government intends to cut aid to Yemen by a staggering 50%. To slash food and medicine to these children as they stand on the brink of famine and a second Covid-19 wave risks many thousands of deaths,” said Kevin Watkins, chief executive of Save the Children UK.

“This is one of the first illustrations of the devastating real-life consequences of the UK’s decision to abandon its commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI [gross national income] on aid, and we hope the government will urgently rethink this move in time to avoid tragic consequences for the world’s most vulnerable children.”


(* B H P)

UK urged not to cut life-saving aid to Yemen

Britain ‘cannot wash our hands’ of complicity in humanitarian crisis, Tory MP says

The UK government has been warned against cutting aid to Yemen, amid fears tens of millions of pounds will be slashed from Britain’s contribution to humanitarian relief efforts.

Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, announced last year that Britain planned to cut its international aid budget from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of GDP, amid the economic fallout of the coronavirus crisis. In doing so he broke a Conservative manifesto pledge.

Mr Mitchell said reducing help for Yemen would have dire consequences and damage Britain’s global standing, given its backing for Saudi Arabia’s coalition, which is battling Houthi rebels there in a conflict that has caused widespread civilian casualties.

Speaking to BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Mr Mitchell said that while he was yet to see firm figures, there could be a cut of as high as 50 per cent in Britain’s support for Yemen. He said: “The effect of a 50-per-cent cut would be very serious indeed.

Mr Mitchell added that the UK was “complicit” in the disaster gripping Yemen and that cutting aid would set “a very bad example”.

He said: “We cannot wash our hands of that. The military campaign in Yemen has led to the destruction of infrastructure. It's led to the famine conditions which exist there now.

Tobias Ellwood, the Conservative chair of the Commons defence committee, also warned against cutting aid.

(* A P)

Dubai princess kidnapper is praised by UK at arms fair

Britain’s top military officer in the Middle East said leaders of a Gulf state are offering their young people a ‘hugely exciting future’ – days after the country’s unelected prime minister was accused of holding his daughters hostage, Declassified has found.

Air Marshal Martin Sampson made the comment in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at an arms fair last week which was endorsed by Liz Truss – Britain’s trade secretary and women’s minister.

The UK displayed a warship at the arms fair despite British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab saying shortly beforehand there was “deeply troubling” evidence that women from the UAE’s ruling family are under house arrest for trying to escape Dubai – a city state in the Emirates run by Sheikh Mohammed al Maktoum.

A previous police probe stopped after pressure from the Foreign Office, which wanted Britain to stay friendly with Dubai’s billionaire ruler.

The comments by Sampson, whose formal title is Defence Senior Advisor to the Middle East and North Africa, suggest this strategy of appeasement is still in place.

He said at the arms fair: “If I was a young Emirati, I would be looking around here and I would be confident that the leadership here and in the region was doing things and presenting them with the opportunities to have a hugely exciting future.”

A friend of Latifa, human rights lawyer David Haigh, told Declassified that Britain’s presence at the arms fair was “appalling”.

“There’s countless human rights issues with the UAE, they are non-stop. Sheikh Mohammed is quite rightly seen as a pariah by the public and the press. The British government should be reconsidering its relationship with him in the light of what’s happened – you’ve got to draw a line somewhere.”

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

Siehe / Look at cp13

(A P)

The Gulf courts Oman

After many years of neutrality in Gulf and other conflicts, Oman is now playing a more active foreign-policy role

The Omani capital Muscat has been the target of various Gulf diplomatic efforts over the last few weeks in relation to the conflict in Yemen.

Though Oman has been trying to keep to the same line of “quiet neutrality” on regional issues inherited from late sultan Qaboos Bin Said, there have been indications of a shift, with new sultan Haitham Bin Tarek slowly notching up activity in his country’s foreign policy.

Emirati Foreign Minister Sheikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al-Nahyan visited Muscat in mid-February to meet his Omani counterpart Sayed Badr Bin Hamad Al-Busaidi.

Sources in Oman and the UAE confirmed that the conflict in Yemen had been top of the agenda, especially with regard to exploring a political settlement in the war-torn country. Though the UAE withdrew its troops from Yemen in 2019, it is still part of the Saudi-led Coalition to support legitimacy there.

The coalition has implied that Oman has been facilitating Iranian logistical support for the Houthi rebels in Yemen through its borders with the country. Now that the new US administration is pushing for a halt to the war and is preparing to re-engage with Iran, the Omani role will be a conciliatory one.

Apart from Qatar, Oman is the only GCC country that has kept up good relations with Iran.

Oman has traditional ties to eastern Yemen with tribal extensions across the border. It also has strong ties with Iran built on history and trade rather than on the “transactional” basis of the Qatari-Iranian relations that were strengthened after the boycott of Qatar by its Arab neighbours in 2017.

Saudi Arabia is no longer in a position to impose its policies on other GCC members, and it acknowledges that it needs a Gulf consensus before there can be any settlement of the crisis in Yemen. Oman would be an important balancing power in that regard.

(A K P)

Jemen-Krieg: Iran fordert Stopp von Rüstungslieferungen an saudi-arabisch geführte Kriegskoalition

Iran hat die "Kriegstreiber" aufgefordert, sich zu verpflichten, den Verkauf von Waffen und Munition an die saudi-arabisch geführte Kriegskoalition gegen den Jemen einzustellen, der nur dazu dient unschuldige Menschen zu töten.

Der ständige iranische Botschafter bei den Vereinten Nationen in Genf, Esmaeil Baghaei Hamaneh, sagte am Montag, dass die rechtswidrige Gewalt gegen den Jemen eine klare Verletzung der UN-Charta und gegen den Grundsatz der Selbstbestimmung der Menschen sei und gestoppt werden müsse.

(A P)

The tourists who flock to Dubai seem happy to overlook a few missing princesses

How many abducted and imprisoned princesses would it take for British tourists to turn their backs on Dubai? Three? Four? Ten? Because two “disappeared” princesses doesn’t look like being enough, even now that a secretly filmed account by one of them, saying she had been captured, assaulted, drugged and repatriated, has appeared on the BBC – corroborating the fact-finding judgment of a UK judge, published a year ago.

A few weeks before McFarlane’s findings clarified reports that had been circulating for years, May was content, for a fee of £115,000, to promote Dubai – whose female citizens need their husbands’ permission to work – as if it took a sympathetic view of women’s rights. In fact, the spectacle of May offering her blessing to the sheikh’s world of pain makes you wonder if we haven’t been a bit hard on Nick Clegg, Faustian-pactwise. To ignore the abduction of Princess Shamsa, from whom nothing has been heard for two decades, surely puts you in a slightly inner circle of hell.

Indeed, if the actual disregard for human rights in UAE has never seriously threatened its appeal to British tourists, it probably owes much to the obliging personalities who have bought property, holidayed, performed or otherwise forged celebrity alliances between these nations, undaunted by Dubai’s arbitrary detentions, prisoner mistreatment and indentured migrant labour.

My comment: ????? Now, “missing princesses“ should do it – while six years of bombing Yemen did not???? How mad these British upper-Middle-Class scribblers actually are???

(A P)

New Zealand: Greens leaders pull out of KiwiSaver scheme distributed by Kiwibank after Yemen war link

cp13 Waffenhandel / Arms trade

(* A K P)

US to Consider Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia on Case-by-Case Basis Through Process Led by NSC

However, after becoming president, Biden has only taken minor measures to affect that war without applying major pressure to Riyadh.

A US State Department spokesperson said Monday that Washington would not issue a blanket ban on selling weapons to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The decision comes after the release of an intelligence dossier linking the monarchy to a prominent journalist's assassination and amid the kingdom's ongoing war in Yemen.

"The NSC [National Security Council] leads the process to evaluate proposed weapons transfers," State Department spokesperson Edward Price said at a press briefing. "That’s the way it should be. They will be evaluated... on a case-by-case basis going forward."

"We are aware of a network known as the Rapid Intervention Force, a unit of the Saudi Royal Guard that has engaged in counter-dissident operations, including the operation that resulted in the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi," Price said. "We have urged Saudi Arabia to disband this group and then adopt institutional systemic reforms and controls to ensure that anti-dissident activities and operations cease."

(* B K P)

Spain invoiced 2,000 million in weapons for the Yemen war, a thousand times more than what it donated in humanitarian aid

With this background scenario, the new US Executive headed by Joe Biden has decided to paralyze arms exports to Arabia , something that the Italian Executive has also done . These steps, added to the recommendations made by the United Nations Group of Experts on Yemen in relation to the need to put an end to this type of commercial operations , have added pressure on Spain , a fundamental ally of the Saudi regime in matters of sale of goods. weapons.

In fact, this country became one of the main suppliers of military material to the absolutist regime of Salmán bin Abdulaziz , an old friend of Juan Carlos I. In 2015, coinciding with the beginning of the attacks, the Spanish military industry reached its peak. selling arms to Arabia.

The rhythm would be maintained during the following years, in which there were also millionaire deals with other member countries of the coalition that attacks Yemen. All these operations were authorized by an Interministerial Board that is in charge of analyzing requests for arms exports. It does so under absolute secrecy: thanks to a resolution adopted by the Government of Felipe González in 1987 , its minutes are secret.

The figures provided by Commerce in different annual reports indicate that between 2015 and June 2020 - the last period for which there is official information - there were arms sales to the Saudi-led coalition worth more than 2,050 million euros , of which 1,234 million euros were invoiced to the Saudi government.

In the same period, Spain granted 2.3 million euros to Yemen as "contributions" for humanitarian purposes, which is approximately 1,000 times less than what was billed in the arms field to the coalition that carries out the attacks in the Yemeni territory.

(* B K P)

Exposed: South Africa’s role in Yemeni civil conflict’s humanitarian crisis

Weapons produced in South Africa are awash in Yemen and being used by numerous parties in that war, says a report by Open Secrets.

Since the outbreak six years ago of the bitter regionalised war in Yemen resulting in a desperate humanitarian crisis, South African arms companies, including Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM), have profited handsomely from the sale of weapons to parties central to the conflict.

In doing so RDM may be guilty of contributing to gross human rights violations in Yemen, a small republic in the southern Arabian Peninsula.

This according to an investigation by NPO Open Secrets titled “Profiting from Misery — South Africa’s war crimes in Yemen”. The report is to be released on 3 March 2021 during a webinar with Daily Maverick which can be attended virtually at noon.

The report reveals that when civil war broke out in Yemen in early 2015, South African arms companies exported weapons worth R2.81-billion to Saudi Arabia, and weapons worth R4.74-billion to the UAE. Both countries are involved in the conflict.

“These exports include mortars and mortar shells, artillery guns and shells, ammunition, armoured combat vehicles and software for various types of electronic warfare. Much of this materiel has likely been used as part of the Saudi and UAE offensive in Yemen, with devastating consequences for the civilian population.”

Rheinmetall Denel Munitions (RDM) was requested by Open Secrets investigators Michael Marchant, Zen Mathe, Caryn Dolley and Hennie van Vuuren to respond to specific charges and findings, but declined to do so, specifically with regard to munitions used in an attack on the Yemini strategic port city of Hodeidah in 2020.

Codenamed Operation Golden Victory, the Saudi-led attack paid little heed to warnings by humanitarian agencies of “catastrophic humanitarian consequences” in that 80% of food and aid to Yemen was channelled through the port. Water supply was also disrupted by the strike.

The report reveals that two of the vehicles in the convoy which attacked the port were identified as South African G6 Rhinos.

According to Denel Land Systems the G6 Rhino as a “155mm self-propelled Gun-Howitzer… a battle-proven, highly mobile, fully protected wheeled self-propelled gun with ultra-quick reaction and a firing range of more than 50km.”

“It is clear that weapons produced in South Africa, likely by RDM and other companies, are awash in Yemen and being used by numerous different parties in that conflict,” the report states.

The Open Secrets report states that RDM joins many global arms companies that have profited “from the devastation of war and the resulting misery of Yemenis”.

RDM is a joint venture between the German arms company Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH which holds a 51% stake and South African state-owned arms company Denel, with a 49% holding.

That RDM supplied these munitions is confirmed by National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC) reports as well as the companies’ own statements.

RDM responded to questions by investigators about the company’s role in selling munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, which are leading the strikes in Yemen, that it had applied to the NCACC for all necessary permissions to export weapons from South Africa.

The focus on RDM specifically, say the authors of the report, is because the German majority shareholder faces a ban in Germany against exporting any weapons to Saudi Arabia.

“While our investigation focuses on RDM, all roads lead back to Germany”.

South Africa’s arms regulators are legally required to prevent the export of weapons that may contribute to human rights violations or worsen conflicts, but “in this case, they have completely failed to do so”.

“Instead the South African government has bowed to the interests of the arms industry and its profits and the suffering of Yemenis has been ignored,” the report noted.

(* A K P)

Saudi Arabia to receive four more Black Hawks

Deliveries by June 2022 will come under original 2017 FMS contract.

Lockheed Martin subsidiary Sikorsky has obtained a $53.87 million contract modification from US Army Contracting Command, to produce four UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters for Saudi Arabia.

Work will be performed in Stratford, Connecticut, with an estimated completion date of 30 June 2022.

The helicopters will be delivered to Saudi Arabia

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

(A T)

Possible US drone strike hits al-Qaeda forces near Ma’rib

A drone believed to belong to the US air force has Tuesday launched airstrikes on pro-Saudi factions, in the west of Ma’rib province.

This was reported by Yemen News Portal, based on local sources.

According to the sources, one of the airstrikes hit a car carrying fighters believed to belong to al-Qaeda, east of Wadi Nakhla, where clashes with the Yemeni army forces have been going on for days.

The death toll or identity of the victims was not known as the bodies of the victims’ torn apart.

The raid reinforces reports that the coalition has used al-Qaeda elements in its fight against Yemeni forces in Ma’rib province.

(A T)

Official wire of #alQaeda in #Yemen has just released a rare 5-page statement re. the Houthi assault on #Marib. It seeks to draw a direct causal link between #USA lifting the Houthi #terror designation & the subsequent advance. Says US gave #Houthis a "green light"

New #AQAP statement is an odd mix. It seems highly calculated politically, with religious elements tacked on. It was released on formal #alQaeda #Yemen wire but I wonder who wrote it. (N.B. Interesting to see #Mahra singled out with #Marib as places where some pander to USA)

cp15 Propaganda

(A P)

The UN knows these intuitive steps could save Yemen but ignores them

Here is what the UN can do to Yemen if it is seriously willing to help Yemen in the face of famine threat.

Force an end to the endless Houthi wars instead of supporting the militia.

Force the militia’s to quit their theocratic ambitions and military expansion or uproot the militia militarily, without the “there is no military solution to the conflict in Yemen ” malicious excuse which – assuming we are kids - wants to convince us that Houthis are militarily undefeatable!

- Secure the full and real return of the Yemeni government in in all its staff, tools, military forces and authority to Aden to handle the country’s overall economic problems.

- Enable the government to regain control over the country’s occupied seaports.

- Ensure that the country's biggest industrial project, a natural gas liquefaction plant, in Balhaf, Shabwa, be de-militarized by the occupying UAE forces

(A P)

Houthis and Iran are preventing solution to Yemen crisis, not Saudi Arabia: Schenker

Saudi Arabia has taken a “very productive approach” to Yemen over the last year and a half and tried to reach an end to the yearslong conflict, the top US diplomat for the Middle East under former President Donald Trump said in an interview aired Tuesday.

Speaking in one of his first interviews since leaving the US State Department, David Schenker criticized the Biden administration's decision to revoke the terror designation that Trump had imposed on the Iran-backed Houthi militia.

Biden administration officials also said the US blacklist would make it difficult for humanitarian groups to get badly needed aid to civilians.

Asked if he had those fears when the State Department decided to sanction the Houthis, Schenker told Al Arabiya: “The truth is that the US Department of Justice has never prosecuted humanitarian organizations for unintentional leakage to terrorist organizations. So, I think that was a straw man.”

“I think by … any reasonable standard by American law, the Houthis, given their working relationship with the IRGC, are a terrorist organization. They kidnap people; they fire missiles and one-way UAVs at civilian targets. They are a terrorist organization,” Schenker added.

(A P)

Saudi Arabia urges UN Security Council to hold Houthis accountable for threat posed to global peace, security

Saudi Arabia urged the UN Security Council (UNSC) on Tuesday to shoulder its responsibility and hold the Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen accountable for the threats they pose to international peace and security.
The Houthis’ terror activities continue to jeopardize UN efforts to reach a comprehensive solution in Yemen, and undermine the credibility of UNSC resolutions, Abdallah Al-Mouallimi, Saudi Arabia’s permanent representative to the UN, wrote in a letter seen by Arab News.

(A P)

Brotherhood militias send 200 tanker trucks to Houthis

More than 200 tanker trucks loaded with smuggled fuel, en route to Houthi-held areas, arrived in Wasit village of Markhah As-Sufla District in the west of the oil-rich Shabwa province in less than a week.
Well-informed sources affirmed that 200 tanker trucks came from Shabwa's Qana oil port to Wasit village where they unloaded the smuggled fuel into small tanks for transferring them off roads to Houthi-held areas in al-Baidha governorate.
Qana oil port is under the control of Islah-linked militias, the military wing of the Muslim Brotherhood in Yemen.

My remark: As claimed by southern separatists.

(A P)

Under Patronage of HRH Crown Prince, IMSIU to Hold International Conference Titled "the Kingdom's Efforts in Serving Islam, Muslims and Consolidating Values of Moderation"

In a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Dr. Ahmad Al-Amri, President of Imam Mohammed bin Saud Islamic University (IMSIU), said that HRH the Crown Prince's patronage of this conference affirms the Kingdom's approach in serving Islam and Muslims, adding that the conference seeks to deliver the Kingdom's message aimed at achieving security and peace in the whole world.

(A P)

IMPORTANT: MBS's disinfo machine is now producing propaganda videos targeting @DAWNmenaorg and its members, including @sarahleah1. These videos are being distributed here on Twitter. This kind of output has in the past been coupled with hacks and other forms of state action.

referring to film:

(A P)

International community must take decisive action to stop Al Houthi attacks

US pressure on the Tehran-backed militia in Yemen doesn’t seem to be working

Three weeks ago, we said here that the Biden administration’s decision to revoke the Iran-backed Al Houthi militia’s designation as a terror group was wrong, and will only exacerbate the conflict in Yemen.

We said the hasty decision “will only empower the militia to intensify its aggression on the Yemeni people and escalate its terrorist attacks on Saudi Arabia. It will also send the wrong signal to Iran to continue its belligerent policies in the region.” We urged, “for the sake of the Yemeni people and peace in the region, the US should rethink its decision.”

Over the past few days, we were proven right. In a span of few hours on Saturday, the Arab Coalition intercepted and destroyed a ballistic missile attack by the Al Houthi militia targeting Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh and destroyed six explosive-laden drones targeting civilian areas in the south of the kingdom.

The international community has a duty to take a decisive action to stop these fanatics who continue to cause immense suffering for the Yemeni people, threaten regional security and attack civilian areas in Saudi Arabia. Finally, we hope that Washington is paying attention to the consequences of its decision

The attacks were just the latest as the group, which has waged war on the Yemeni people since September 2014 when it overthrew the legitimate government and took over major cities aided by Iran, also intensified its aggression on the Yemeni city of Mareb.

It has also defied all calls, by the Arab coalition, the United Nations and Western powers, to engage in talks aimed at ending the war. Their refusal to heed the calls for political solution is obviously under orders from Tehran who are using the Yemen conflict and its Al Houthi proxy as a bargaining chip in its negotiations with the West over the Iranian nuclear programme.

(A P)

Unappetitlich und widerlich

Der Krieg in Jemen muss endlich aufhören. Und er kann es. Was es braucht, ist Druck auf die Hauptverantwortlichen in Riad und Teheran.

Dass Saudi-Arabien nicht nur zerstört, sondern auch hilft, ist wichtig. Die diesjährigen 430 Millionen Dollar aus Riad sind unverzichtbar für die Hilfsorganisationen im Jemen. Und um fair zu sein: Saudi-Arabien ist nicht nur Täter, sondern auch Opfer. Jemens Huthis, die vom Iran unterstützt werden, schicken regelmäßig Raketen über die Grenze, auf Flughäfen, auf Ölanlagen. Letztens flog eine bis nach Jeddah. Dagegen dürfen sich die Saudis wehren. Nichts aber rechtfertigt den Krieg gegen Jemens Zivilbevölkerung.

Für Hunger und Leid im Jemen tragen zwei externe Akteure die Hauptverantwortung: Saudi-Arabien und Iran. Wie in jedem Krieg spielen auch interne Konfliktdynamiken eine Rolle, aber wenn Riad und Teheran wirklich wollten, ließe sich die Katastrophe im Jemen beenden.

„Dieser Krieg muss aufhören“, hat Joe Biden gesagt. Ja, das muss er. Und das kann er. Was es dafür braucht, ist Druck auf Saudis und Iraner gleichermaßen!5754478/

Mein Kommentar: Mit Verlaub, die Kernaussage des Artikels ist Quatsch.

Die Hauptverantwortlichen für diesen Krieg und seine katastrophalen Folgen (von Akteuren im Jemen selbst abgesehen) sind auf Rang 1 in der Tat Saudi Arabien, aber genauso die USA, Rang 2 teilen sich Großbritannien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate, endlich auf Rang 3 auch der Iran, aber mit ihm gleichauf die EU. Wer die meisten Hauptverantwortlichen einfach ausblendet, zeichnet ein völlig falsches Bild.

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

(* A K pH)

Saudi coalition air raids and shelling day by day

March 1:

Feb. 28:

Feb. 27:

Feb. 26:

(B K pH)

[Sanaa] Ministry of Water: 1,488 Facilities Hit by US-Saudi Aggression

The Ministry of Water and Environment held a press conference, Wednesday, in Sana'a, during which it reviewed the damage of the water and environment after 6 years of the US-Saudi aggression on Yemen.

The Ministry stated that the water sector is one of the most affected sectors by the suffocating blockade as a result of the continued piracy on fuel tankers.

It emphasized that aggression directly and systematically bombed water and sanitation projects in the various governorates is a flagrant violation of international and humanitarian charters, norms, and laws.

It indicated that the number of facilities and equipment destroyed as a result of the aggression reached 1,488 facilities and 410 climate and rain stations, torrents, underground stations and quality water stations. The total cost was estimated over 383 billion riyals indicating that the aggression directly destroyed.

(A K pH)

Aggression fighter jets target IDP camps in Marib

The US-Saudi aggression coalition fighter jets targeted on Tuesday the displaced people camps in Serwah district of Marib province, a local official told Saba.

The aggression warplanes launched 6 airstrikes on the displaced camps in Al-Hayal and Al-Swabin areas in Thanna valley, north of the Marib Dam Basin, causing serious damage to the camps and killing livestock, said the official.

and also

(A K pH)

More Saudi coalition air raids Several prov. Marib p.

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Siehe / Look at cp4, cp18

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

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

(A K pH)

Five Citizens Killed, Wounded in Sa’adah By Saudi Bombing

one citizen was killed and 4 others were wounded on Wednesday by Saudi border guards in the Shada border district.

and also

(A K pS)

Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia Toward Southern Region

(A K)

Yemeni [Hadi] gov't says troops fended off Houthi attacks in Taiz

(A K pS)

KSrelief's Masam Project Dismantles more than 1,400 Mines in Yemen within One Week

During the fourth week of February 2021, King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Masam Project to clear Yemeni lands of mines, dismantled 1,428 mines, planted by the Iran-backed Houthi terrorist Houthi militia in various regions of Yemen.

(A K pH)

[Sanaa gov.] Army drones target warplane hangars at Abha Airport

The drone forces targeted the Saudi international airport in Abha city on Tuesday, the armed forces spokesman told Saba.

The drone forces targeted the warplane hangars at Abha International Airport with Qasef 2K type drone and the strike was accurate, Brigadier General Yahya Sarie added.

and also


(A K pS)

Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen: Interception, Destruction of Bomb-Laden UAV Launched by Terrorist, Iran-Backed Houthi Militia Toward Southern Region

(A K pS)

Iranian-backed Houthis threaten to attack Aramco: 'Wider scope than 2019 attack'

The Houthis pointed to the “Safer oil fields”, as an example. It was not clear where this red line was or what specific infrastructure they don’t want targeted

The Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen, who released footage of their ballistic missiles targeted Saudi Arabia’s capital over the weekend, have warned Saudi Arabia against escalation in the western and northern frontlines of Yemen. They say they will strike at Saudi Arabia’s Aramco if Saudi Arabia or UAE “fighters or supporters” commit “aggression” in certain areas.

The Houthis pointed to the “Safer oil fields”, as an example. It was not clear where this red line was or what specific infrastructure they don’t want targeted.

The reports, which appeared in numerous media in Iran and media linked to the Houthis quoted several reports which warned Riyadh that future Houthi attacks will for “far beyond the recent ‘5th deterrence balance’ that they have achieved. The Houthis using drones and missiles have targeted Aramco facilities before over the last several years.

and also

(A K pS)

[Saudi] Civil Defense: Military projectile launched by Iranian-backed terrorist Houthi militia falls on border village in Jazan Region

The Spokesman for the Civil Defense Directorate in Jazan Region, Colonel Mohammed bin Yahiya Al-Ghamdi, has stated that the directorate received a report about the fall of a military projectile launched by the Iran-backed Houthi terrorist militia from inside Yemen towards one of the border villages in Jazan Region.
Colonel Al-Ghamdi added that the military projectile had fallen in a public street, resulting in the injury of five civilians, including three citizens and two Yemeni nationals, as a result of flying shrapnel, and they were transferred to the hospital to receive appropriate medical care. The flying shrapnel also damaged two houses, a grocery store, and three civilian vehicles (photos)

(A K pS)

A new Houthi ballistic missile landed on #Marib this morning. This picture shows the missile Houthis fired from Sanaa outskirts today.


(A K pH)

[Sanaa gov.] Yemeni forces advance to 7 kilometers from Ma’rib city centre

According to the military sources, the fighting has been concentrated since Monday morning on the outskirts of the city of Ma’rib, where the army and Popular Committees are trying to penetrate the city through taking full control of the Sahanl-al-Jan camp.

The Sahn al-Jan military is reportedly still under the control of the coalition forces so far. The camp has received militants from al-Qaeda as reinforcements last Thursday.

The sources said that the Yemeni army forces have advanced from the several mountain ranges of Dash al-Khashab and Dash al-Haqn towards the areas of Nakhla near the camp.

The sources confirmed that the coalition warplanes launched three air raids, targeting their own weapons stores in Sahn al-Jan.


(A H K pH)

UN Should Provide Safe Passages for Marib's Displaced

The head of the Supreme Council for the Management and Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, Abdulmohsen Tawoos, called on the United Nations to provide safe passages for displaced from Marib city to exit, instead of acting mourning them in the media.

Tawoos stressed the readiness of the Council to accommodate the displaced and provide for their needs, pointing out that some organizations have taken displaced from Serwah, Madghal and Raghwan to Marib governorate and have made them human shields.

For his part, the Governor of Ma'rib, Sheikh Ali Toaiman, said that "we have received information of detaining the displaced in the governorate of Ma'rib by the US-Saudi mercenaries and they were not allowed to leave."

and also

My comment: This would not be an option: Where should they go? And end of the assault would end this problem.


(A K pS)

[Hadi gov.] Yemeni premier: Houthi missiles threaten two million IDPs in Marib

My remark: While the Houthi side claims that the Saudi coaltion had committed air raids against refugee camps:


(* A K pH)

Coalition moves operations room from #Marib, based on US advice Saudi-led coalition forces moved their joint operations room from the #Yemeni city of #Marib to ‘Al-Wadeah’ crossing at the border with Saudi Arabia, local sources reported on Monday.

The coalition forces have completed the transfer of all the equipment of the so-called “joint operations room” from #Marib towards the Al-Wadeah crossing, within the border strip of the Kingdom,the sources said. The sources confirmed that Brigadier General Nasser Al-Thibani,

commander of the so-called joint operations room, began his work in the new headquarters at Al-Wadeah crossing. Al-Thibani explained that the transfer of the joint operations room was based on “#American advice” to preserve whom he described as “brothers in the coalition.”

Last Saturday, Al-Thibani left the city of #Marib with all his family members, heading for Sayoun city in #Hadramout province, as part of a series of large escapes of military leaders from the city after Sanaa forces approached it.

(A K pS)

Marib: Houthi Ballistic Missile Kills One Civilian, Leaves 7 others Wounded

One civilian was killed and seven others wounded on Monday when a missile launched by the Iran-backed Houthi militia struck a residential area in Marib city.

According to local sources, a missile launched by the Houthi rebels landed at al-Rawdah neighborhood, leaving one civilian killed and seven others wounded, some of whom in a critical condition.

The Houthi militia has lately intensified its missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and Yemen’s oil-rich Marib city, the latter is home to about two million IDPs.

The militia launched Sunday as many as 10 missiles toward the city of Marib, the last stronghold of the Yemeni government in north Yemen.

and also


(A K pS)

[Hadi] Yemeni gov't condemns Houthi missile attack on Marib residential area

(A K pS)

Houthis fire ballistic missile towards neighborhood in Yemen's Marib

The Iran-backed Houthi militants have fired a ballistic missile towards a district in Yemen's Marib province killing one person and injuring two others, Al Arabiya TV reported Monday.

The channel quoted a security source who said the attack targeted the Al-Rawda neighborhood.

and also


(B K P)

Winning: Iran Prevails With Simple And Cheap

Iran has discovered that its cheapest weapon for attacking Saudi Arabia was more effective in getting past Saudi air defense systems than the hundreds of ballistic missiles fired from Yemen against Saudi targets. This was made clear in September 2019 when Iran sent at least 25 explosive equipped UAVs and cruise missiles to attack the Saudi Abqaiq oil facility and shut down half of Saudi oil production for several days.

Since the 1980s Iran has spent billions of dollars and kept thousands of Iranian engineers and technicians busy developing and building UAVs

cp18 Kampf um Hodeidah / Hodeidah battle

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

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

(A K pS)

Man killed, other injured by Houthis in south Hodeidah


(A K pH)

Daily violations, as claimed by the Sanaa gov. side: Mar. 2

cp19 Sonstiges / Other


Photos from Aden: Details of street life, simple people who dream of a peaceful tomorrow where they don't worry about their next meal.

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-722 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-722: 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