Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 741b- Yemen War Mosaic 741b

Yemen Press Reader 741b: 18. Mai 2021: Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 741, cp7 - cp19 / May 18, 2021: Sequel to Yemen War Mosaic 741, cp7 - cp19
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Eingebetteter Medieninhalt

Dies ist die Fortsetzung von Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 741, Teil 1 / This is the sequel of Yemen War Mosaic 7414, 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

cp9 USA

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

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp12b Sudan

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp13c Wirtschaft / Economy

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp17a Kriegsereignisse: Schlacht um Marib / Theater of War: Marib battle

cp18 Kampf um Hodeidah / Hodeidah battle

cp19 Sonstiges / Other

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

? = Keine Einschatzung / No rating

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

pH = Pro-Houthi

pS = Pro-Saudi

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

(* B P)

The Saudis Are in Search of an Unknown Yemen Exit Strategy

Riyadh must understand their Houthi adversaries to escape the Yemeni quagmire.

As the conflict enters its seventh year, Riyadh is searching for a way to discuss peace with the Houthis. Bargaining logic and the history of the Vietnam War offer a blueprint.

In the most recent move toward peace, Saudi Arabia offered to reopen the Sana’a airport if the Houthis agreed to a nationwide ceasefire. The insurgents rebuffed the idea. The proposal provided “nothing new” compared to the one Riyadh had suggested a year ago.

The Saudis likely submitted the offer to appease international critics and pressure the Houthis into negotiating. The ploy failed because the Houthis are close to capturing Marib.

The Houthis also want to make the war increasingly costlier for the Saudis by attacking Aramco oil facilities with drones and ballistic missiles. Creating such damage could force the Saudis to leave Yemen quickly and quietly without a peace conference and without the Houthis having to make any concessions.

Thus a ceasefire, let alone peace, appears illusory. Peter Salisbury, senior Yemen analyst at the International Crisis Group, predicts both parties will seek to “improve their bargaining position” via air strikes and ground fighting.

Rarely in history has a war ended and peace neatly begun. Fighting and talking are symbiotic during wartime, especially since the odds of an outright decisive military victory are slim.

What Not to Do

The worst thing Riyadh can do to exit the conflict is focus solely on preventing a Houthi victory in Marib. It is a fight the Saudis cannot win. The Houthis are determined to seize the city because it would allow them to control northern and central Yemen. Their military track record suggests they will pull off such a feat.

If Saudi Arabia only focuses on defeating the Houthis in Marib, it will either lose the city or fight a stalemate for so long that its leadership will acknowledge they lack a path to victory or a strategic interest in continuing the war. Either way, the Houthis will have the upper hand and presumably refuse to negotiate. Riyadh will have no choice but to withdraw, leaving Yemen in tatters and under Houthi rule.

Nor should Riyadh accept the Houthi’s preconditions for negotiations. History shows that these demands are bluffs. Oriana Skylar Mastro also notes in her book how states posit “maximalist preconditions that must be met before talks can begin” to “enhance the credibility of its demonstration of resiliency.”

What to Do

To bring the Houthis to the negotiation table and the war, the Saudis should instead pursue one of two options.

First, they could reallocate their manpower and munitions in Marib to other strongholds. This would allow the Houthis to seize Marib—a long-time objective of theirs—and force them to recognize that they have maximized the amount of territory they can seize. Acknowledging that fighting for well-defended coalition territory would cost much and change the balance of power little, the rebels would entertain peace talks.

Second, the Saudis could entice the Houthis to pursue peace through incentives off the battlefield. In her book, Mastro concludes that the enemy’s “strategic capacity”—its ability to continue escalating, intensifying, or prolonging the fighting—determines whether a belligerent starts negotiating. The lesser the capacity, the lesser the likelihood the belligerent only fights and never talks. The Saudis can lower their “strategic capacity” towards the Houthis by creating an environment where they and their coalition no longer pose a serious threat to Houthi political aims.

(* A H K P)

Urging parties in Yemen to make concessions, conclude peace deal, briefers caution Security Council of impending humanitarian, ecological catastrophes

Relentless military escalation by Ansar Allah in Yemen’s northern Marib region, along with import restrictions at Hudaydah, the closure of Sana’a International Airport and the absence of a political process are depriving people of hope that an end to the conflict is possible, the chief United Nations mediator told the Security Council today, calling on parties to make the concessions needed to conclude a peace deal.

“Taking the decision to end the conflict and open the door to peace is the most consequential choice any party can make,” said Martin Griffiths, the Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for Yemen, as he updated the Council on recent developments. He warned, however, that opportunities currently on the table might not be available later. “I cannot re-emphasize enough what is at stake in Marib,” he said, pointing to Ansar Allah’s offensive, ongoing for more than a year, that has caused an astonishing loss of life, overwhelming fear among internally displaced persons and a disruption of peace efforts. Reiterating his call on Ansar Allah to immediately stop its attack, he said the longer the Marib offensive continues, the greater the risks to Yemen’s broader stability and social cohesion, possibly causing the conflict to spill into areas that have remained mercifully far from the fighting.

To be sure, he said, options on the table would allow for the peaceful resolution of key issues, including lifting restrictions on the flow of commercial goods through Hudaydah port and Sana’a International Airport. Emphasizing that Yemen cannot be governed effectively without inclusive partnerships, he said the way to end the conflict is through an inclusive negotiated political settlement. Since March 2020, he said he has conducted multiple rounds of intensive and complex negotiations with each side. While the terms of the deal have undergone many revisions, all proposals would have achieved a commitment to a nationwide ceasefire, providing immense humanitarian relief and allowing for the opening of roads in Taiz, Hudaydah and Marib. “Civilians suffer the most from the weaponization of the economy,” he said, a fact laid bare in Ansar Allah-controlled areas, where severe fuel shortages are impacting hospitals, food supply and more. The terms also would have included a commitment to resume the political process.

“A deal is still very much possible,” he said, pointing to strong international backing and regional momentum for United Nations efforts. Moreover, the parties’ differences on the issues under negotiation are bridgeable. He pressed key political leaders to heed the calls of the Yemeni people and the international community, including this Council, and to make the compromises necessary to end the fighting. In the coming weeks, he said he will work to conclude negotiations on a deal to stop the fighting, address critical humanitarian issues and resume the political process. He requested greater international support for this endeavour, stressing that if needed, he will call on parties to meet face-to-face to chart a path forward. “I cannot force the parties to negotiate,” he insisted. “That is their duty to the people of Yemen.”

Also briefing the Council, Mark Lowcock, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, said Yemen is “trapped in a relentless downward spiral”, with 5 million people just a step away from starving and COVID-19 still surging, pushing the health-care system to collapse. “Famine, disease and other miseries are not simply ‘happening’ in Yemen,” he clarified. The war is imposing them. The Marib offensive and subsequent shelling, air and missile strikes have had an impact on civilians, but the risks ahead are much bigger: 25,000 people have fled, and if the fighting does not stop, up to 385,000 people could be displaced in the coming months. The violence has also fueled escalations in Hajjah, Hudaydah and Taiz, he said, emphasizing that: “We need a nationwide ceasefire right now.”

Calling for further humanitarian access, he said a promising step has been that regulations issued by local authorities on the Red Sea coast, which have stalled aid deliveries for almost 500,000 people, have been suspended until the end of the year. Despite working with Ansar Allah to sustain progress in the North, cargo movements are still delayed and interference with programme management is hampering efforts to help people in areas under its control. While aid agencies race to stop famine, providing emergency food assistance to nearly 9 million people, they are also racing to stop COVID-19. A vaccination drive begun in Government-controlled areas, where health workers have administered about 19,000 doses, is “obviously a small beginning”, he said, adding more vaccines are needed.

Meanwhile, the funding situation is “racing towards a fiscal cliff”, he said, with the United Nations response plan only 34 per cent funded. By September, food aid could be reduced for 6 million people, with cuts facing water and sanitation services, COVID-19 activities, health programmes and support for people fleeing conflict. The threat of economic collapse, which is accelerating the risk of famine, can be assuaged by strengthening the Yemeni rial, which is still trading near record lows. The recent pledge of oil derivatives worth $422 million by Saudi Arabia to the Government of Yemen over the coming year should help relieve pressure on Yemen’s foreign reserves.

While it is crucial to ensure a stable, adequate flow of commercial imports through all ports, he said fuel imports through Hudaydah have plummeted. From January to April, only 200,000 metric tons of fuel entered Hudaydah, and six vessels – all cleared by the United Nations inspection mechanism – are still waiting outside Hudaydah for docking permission from the Government. Until the parties find a solution to differences over import revenue, Yemen will continue to see fuel shortages that inflate prices for food, water and everything else, while cutting into basic services. The most crucial need is peace, he said. “The war is ultimately behind the risk of famine, the spread of disease and economic collapse,” he warned, adding that measures on the negotiation table, including a ceasefire and opening the ports and the Sana’a airport, would go a long way towards alleviating people’s suffering.

In the ensuing debate, delegates called for an immediate end to violence in Marib, highlighting that a nationwide ceasefire is urgently needed and urging the parties to demonstrate a genuine willingness to engage in negotiations

and shorter UN report:

Film, whole session:

and statements of Western envoys:

(A P)

Yemen envoy Martin Griffiths to take on top UN humanitarian job

Diplomat to stay in post in Yemen until successor is found to avoid vacuum in war-ravaged country

The Yemen special envoy, Martin Griffiths, is to take on the role of UN humanitarian relief coordinator, succeeding another British diplomat, Mark Lowcock, in a move that may mark a reset in the stalled peace process in Yemen.

Griffiths was not the official British candidate but his confirmation in the role means the UK will have kept hold of a posting that has gone to British figures for more than a decade.

There had been speculation the post might go to Sweden due to the UK’s cuts to its overseas aid programme, but Britain is a permanent member of the UN security council and remains one of the largest humanitarian donors.

and shorter press report:

and statements of envoys: (Britain) (China)

(A P)

Jemen-Vermittler Griffiths wird neuer Chef

Der britische Diplomat Martin Griffiths leitet künftig das Nothilfebüro Ocha der Vereinten Nationen.

Wie UNO-Generalsekretär Guterres mitteilte, folgt der Sondergesandete für den Jemen auf dessen Landsmann Lowcock. Dieser hatte im Februar angekündigt, sich nach vier Jahren von seiner Position zurückzuziehen, um mehr Zeit mit seiner Familie verbringen zu können. Griffiths soll seine bisherige Arbeit als Jemen-Vermittler der UNO fortführen, bis hierfür ebenfalls ein Nachfolger gefunden ist.

(A P)

U.N. Yemen envoy to stay in job until successor announced

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres appointed veteran British diplomat Martin Griffiths as the world body's new aid chief on Wednesday, and said Griffiths would continue as the U.N. Yemen mediator "until a transition has been announced."

Several sources told Reuters on Tuesday that Griffiths had been tapped to replace Mark Lowcock as the U.N. under-secretary-general and emergency relief coordinator.

He will be the fifth British person in a row to be the U.N. aid chief. Britain last year reduced its foreign aid spending commitment to 0.5% of gross domestic product from 0.7%.

A replacement for Griffiths has to be approved by the 15-member U.N. Security Council.

(A P)

Britain Retains Monopoly on U.N. Relief Post

U.N.’s Yemen envoy, Martin Griffiths, is to become the U.N. humanitarian relief czar.

The United Nations plans as early as Wednesday to announce the appointment of Martin Griffiths, currently the U.N. special envoy to Yemen, as the organization’s humanitarian czar, placing a seasoned mediator and relief expert at the helm of the U.N.’s top relief agency while reinforcing a big power monopoly over the institution’s most influential jobs.

Griffiths, 69, will be the fifth consecutive British national to serve as U.N. undersecretary-general for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs since 2007, one of five cabinet-level U.N. jobs that are traditionally held by nationals from the five permanent members of the Security Council.

In selecting Griffiths, who will also take the title of U.N. Emergency Relief Coordinator, U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres passed over the official British candidate, Nick Dyer, Britain’s special envoy for famine prevention and humanitarian affairs, who was said to be favored by U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, as well as Caroline Kende-Robb, a former secretary-general of CARE International.

The decision comes just weeks after Britain announced sharp cuts in foreign aid, raising questions about whether Britain still deserves to lead the U.N.’s premier humanitarian relief agency.


(A P)

UN Yemen envoy Griffiths tapped to be UN aid chief -sources

United Nations Yemen mediator Martin Griffiths has been tapped to become the world body's new aid chief, several sources told Reuters on Tuesday, as the U.N. tries to avert several famines and help vaccinate the globe against the novel coronavirus.

and also

as a reminder:

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

(A P)

Saudi citizens banned from travelling to 13 countries, incl. Yemen

The Saudi ministry of interior announced that Saudi citizens are still banned from travelling to 13 countries through direct or indirect flights without prior permission form authorities due to Covid-19 risks.

(? B P)

Saudi Crown Prince’s Crackdown Spurs New Generation of Activists

Arrests in Saudi Arabia swell the ranks of public critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Public pressure from the family of a Saudi women’s rights activist who was jailed is emboldening the relatives of other detainees to speak out, swelling the ranks of critics of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s crackdown on perceived opponents (paywalled)

(B P)


As were mentioned before, qualitative and quantitative achievements of Ansarollah in Yemen, failure of the US maximum pressure against Iran, the US concentration from Saudi Arabia to other issues in the region and at higher level concentration from West Asia to other regions such as China and East Asia, have caused Saudi Arabia to loose her chance to advance her regional strategies. That’s why we have witnessed a conciliatory positions about Ansarollah and Iran taken by Riyadh within the recent days. For sure, if the new positions will lead to interaction with Iran and Yemeni Ansarollah, it will bring about good results to the region. If Saudi Arabia is serious in her interaction with Iran, this could lead to reduce tensions in the region and could marginalize trans-regional destructive players from field, political and economic developments of the region. The players whose lion- share of interests are met in the persistence of tensions between Tehran and Riyadh. Tensive measures taken by Saudi Arabia in the region, have put unique opportunities at the disposal of Zionist regime within the past few years, if the measures will be stopped through interactions with Iran, thus the channels and fields exploited by Zionists from Saudis’ confronting policies will be closed to a large extent. If the two important regional countries and the world of Islam, i.e. Iran and Saudi Arabia, that have great capacities in economic, political fields will interact and cooperate, the interaction will bring about important and strategic benefits not only for the two but also for the region and the world of Islam.

My remark: From Iran.

(A P)

Saudi Releases Bin Laden Construction Tycoon Detained in 2017 Corruption Sweep

Saudi Arabia has released construction tycoon Bakr Bin Laden after more than three years since he was detained as part of a corruption crackdown in 2017, two sources told Reuters on Thursday.

The former chairman of Saudi Bin Ladin group and a half-brother of Osama bin Laden, was released a few days ago but is still barred from travel, the sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

His brother, Saad, was released a few months ago, and is also under a travel ban, said one of the sources.

No charges have been made public against Bakr bin Laden, who is 75.


(* B P)

As Saudi Prince Rises, Bin Laden Business Empire Declines

Saudi Arabia's uber-wealthy Bin Laden family survived the fallout from the September 11, 2001 attacks in the US, but their fortunes nose-dived with the meteoric ascent of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A decade after the killing of 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden, disowned and labelled the "black sheep" of the family, the construction empire founded by his father is saddled with crushing debt.

The state has taken management control of the Bin Laden Group, Saudi Arabia's biggest construction company and branded by some as the kingdom's Rockefellers for their vast infrastructure projects, after they were snared in an anti-corruption purge widely seen as a shakedown.

The reversal of their fortunes is closely tied to Shakespearean power struggles and an economic overhaul in the petro-state, as it prepares for a post-oil era under de facto ruler Prince Mohammed, known as MBS.

Former company chairman Bakr bin Laden, Osama's half-brother who is in his 70s, remains in detention since a November 2017 purge that saw royals, tycoons and government ministers locked up in Riyadh's palatial Ritz-Carlton hotel, two sources close to the family told AFP.

Two other brothers, Saad and Saleh, were also held but subsequently freed, initially being made to wear ankle bracelets to track their movements, the sources added.

An official document seen by AFP shows the government acquired the three brothers' collective 36.2 percent stake in the company.

and also

(? B P)

Muhammad bin Salman of Saudi Arabia plays the diplomat

Six years after his father, Salman bin Abdelaziz, became king, the prince, now in his mid-30s, may be changing, switching tactics from maximum pressure to maximum diplomacy, cutting his losses and trying to defuse conflicts. Facing resistance in the region and disapproval from President Joe Biden, he may have decided that the cost of his foreign ventures is unsustainable. Saudi foreign policy has begun to look much less aggressive. (paywalled)

(A P)

Biden Admin Rejected MBS Visit US, Leaked Royal Decree Says

A leaked secret cable from Saudi King revealed a US ban on Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman’s visit to Washington and meetings with American President Joe Biden.

The leaked royal decree orders the creation of a professional team to urgently leverage Saudi investments in the US and the help from Saudi Monarchy’s American friends and allies to pressure the State Department to end travel restrictions on MBS. The King askes that Crown Prince MBS be allowed to visit the US and meet with Biden as soon as possible, or get Biden to visit the Saudi Kingdom. The secret cable signed by King Salman was sent April 8.

The cable referenced a March 29 letter from Saudi Ambassador to Washington Reema bint Bandar conveying the refusal of the State Department for an MBS visit and meeting Biden.


(A P)

Translation of #Saudi @KingSalman secret order to get his son to visit #US & meet @POTUS

We reference the cable of Her Royal Highness the Ambassador of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques to the United States of America number 76859K dated March 29, 2021 regarding the denial of the American State Department of the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the United States of America and meeting President Joe Biden.

The Council [of Ministers] states its approval for the Political and Security Committee to establish a professional team with experience to follow up on the matter quickly. And utilizing what the Kingdom invests there [United States] to pressure the American State Department through the Kingdom’s friends and allies in the United States to arrange an official visit for His Royal Highness Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the first possible opportunity, or to organize an official visit of the President of the United States Joe Biden to the Kingdom.

Complete what is necessary to carry out this decree.


(A P)

After @GulfInstitute posted leaked cable from Saudi king ordering that Saudi investments be leveraged to pressure Pres. Biden to allow visit by disgraced Crown Prince MBS, somehow Twitter locked the account. So here again is the document and the thread.

Here is why @GulfInstitute was locked.

and as a reminder: Refuting the Saudi Claim that Churches are not Religiously Permissible January 2020,

(A P)

"Palestine is not our cause" is once again trending in Saudi. This trend goes back, and seems to be a normalization propaganda effort designed to give the misleading illusion that many Saudis do not care about Palestine

cp9 USA

Siehe / Look at cp1, cp9a

(A P)

US-Regierung will drei Guantanamo-Häftlinge freilassen

und der aus dem Jemen stammende 40-jährige Uthman Abdul al-Rahim Uthman.

(A P)

Yemeni prisoner to be released from Guantanamo

The prisoner Uthman Abd al-Rahim Uthman, a Yemeni who had been held at the Guantanamo Bay detention center since it opened in January 2002, was notified on Monday that he had been cleared, according to his attorney, Beth Jacob, who spoke to him by phone.

(A P)

People in Yemen are starving. Michigan activists push Biden to act now.

(* B K P)


The door is open for drone sales to authoritarian countries like the United Arab Emirates.

Now in a real position to influence policy as chair of the committee, thanks to two runoff elections in Georgia that few analysts expected would both result in Democratic victories, Menendez has been silent on the issue — even after news emerged in March that President Joe Biden wants to preserve his predecessor’s radical policy change.

Reuters reported on March 25 that the Biden-led National Security Council is looking to keep the shift in place and eventually form a new international agreement to guide drone exports — enabling deals selling General Atomics’ MQ-9B drones to Taiwan and the UAE, which the State Department authorized in the twilight of Trump’s presidency, to proceed.

It would be an extension of the decision made by the Trump State Department to no longer observe the international Missile Technology Control Regime’s “strong presumption of denial” standard for exports of the most sophisticated drones on the market and instead invoke its “national discretion.” Reports such as Reuters’s often emerge as a trial balloon, testing whether a new policy will engender public pushback; this one didn’t.

The chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, an outspoken hawk, made no public statements in the wake of this news: no press releases, no rebukes on social media. That’s despite the UAE’s airstrikes against civilians in Yemen and Menendez’s numerous criticisms of arms sales to the Emirates, as well as his notable effort in 2019 to block the Trump administration’s attempt to greenlight billions of dollars in exports without congressional approval by declaring a national emergency.

Indeed, no lawmaker who opposed the Trump administration’s decision or called attention to the former president’s extreme approach to arms sales has publicly derided the Biden-led White House’s reported plan to continue authorizing exports of advanced military drones using its own discretion rather than a “strong presumption of denial” per MTCR guidelines. Murphy, Coons, and even Sanders, perhaps the Senate’s most vocal critic of U.S. support for the war in Yemen, have stayed quiet.

The stakes couldn’t be higher. Not only did this policy change open the door to proliferation of some of the U.S.’s most lethal spying capabilities, it undermined an important international framework for curbing the global spread of deadly cruise missiles.

(A P)

Sec. of State Blinken: We welcome the @UN Security Council’s attention to the Houthi’s assault on Marib, which is endangering thousands of vulnerable Yemenis and overwhelming a humanitarian response already struggling to prevent famine. Yemen can't wait - it's time for a comprehensive ceasefire.

My comment: LOL. The US as one of the main perpetrators in the Yemen War just should shut up on Yemen.

(A P)

Notice on the Continuation of the National Emergency with Respect to Yemen

On May 16, 2012, by Executive Order 13611, the President declared a national emergency pursuant to the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701-1706) to deal with the unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States constituted by the actions and policies of certain members of the Government of Yemen and others that threatened Yemen’s peace, security, and stability. These actions include obstructing the political process in Yemen and blocking implementation of the agreement of November 23, 2011, between the Government of Yemen and those in opposition to it, which provide for a peaceful transition of power that meets the legitimate demands and aspirations of the Yemeni people.

The actions and policies of certain former members of the Government of Yemen and others in threatening Yemen’s peace, security, and stability continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States. For this reason, the national emergency declared on May 16, 2012, to deal with that threat must continue in effect beyond May 16, 2021. Therefore, in accordance with section 202(d) of the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1622(d)), I am continuing for 1 year the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13611 with respect to Yemen.

(A P)

Continuous flow of weapons to Houthis prolongs the suffering of Yemeni people: US Ambassador to Yemen

U.S. Ambassador to Yemen Christopher Henzel indicated that the continuous “flow of weapons” from Iran to its proxy militia in Yemen, Houthi rebels, is the reason that prolongs the war and the suffering of Yemenis.

“The recent port of call was in Iran,” Henzel said in a statement following the seizure of an arms shipment in the Arabian Sea by the U.S. Navy.

My comment: This is reidiculous. Compared to US arms supplies to Saudi coalition countries, the “continuous flow of weapons” is a drop in the Ocean.

(B P)

Biden’s Mideast Strategy And Its Geopolitical Implications – OpEd

When Biden was running for president, he made it clear that if elected he would chart a new course in addressing the problems sweeping the Middle East and restore some normalcy in a region that has been awash in turmoil and bloodshed. He pledged to revive and further improve the Iran deal, bring an end to the war in Yemen, support the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, and resume American backing of the Kurds in Syria while putting the brakes on Turkish president Erdogan’s misadventures. Every state in the Middle East understands that America’s new approach cannot be ignored because of their continuing dependency on the US in one form or another, and realizes that the regional geopolitical wind has shifted and all must now reassess their positions.

Although Biden is intensifying his focus on the Asia Pacific region, the US’ geostrategic interest and commitment to its allies in the Middle East remain the same, albeit Biden’s strategy substantially differs from his predecessor. Thus, he is creating new realities for the countries impacted, to which they must accordingly adjust.

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

Siehe / Look at cp9

(A P)

US military presence in Iraq destructive, will not promote stability, security: Iran president

(* B P)

How US and Iranian hardliners work toward their shared goal of killing the nuclear deal

Both sides require an antagonistic relationship for survival.

A persistent feature of the antagonistic U.S.-Iran relationship since the 1979 Islamic revolution is the alignment of interests between hardliners within Iran’s theocracy and hawkish forces in the United States. The two forces consistently echo each other and spread falsehoods to achieve their shared goal of sabotaging diplomacy between the two countries.

The ongoing negotiations that began in April in Vienna to restore the 2015 nuclear deal showcase the degree of common interests between hardliners on both sides. In the United States, Senate Republicans are drawing on the outbreak of violence in Israel/Palestine to call for ending the talks and warning businesses against engaging Iran.

The anti-diplomacy efforts of right-wing forces in the United States are playing right into the hands of Iran’s most zealous elements, who require anti-Americanism as a legitimizing force. Hardline opponents of the moderate Rouhani administration in Iran are themselves currently in a fury to stop the Vienna talks and the nuclear deal’s revival. After the Zarif tape was leaked, they organized a conference at the old American embassy in Tehran to denounce the Vienna negotiations themselves.

(B P)

Iran To Saudi Arabia: Sell Our Oil And We Will Reduce Houthi Attacks

Iran is looking to persuade its regional rival Saudi Arabia to help it to sell Iranian crude oil on international markets in exchange for limiting attacks from the Iran-aligned Houthi rebels in Yemen on Saudi oil infrastructure, Middle East Eye reported on Wednesday, quoting Iraqi officials with knowledge of recent secretive Iranian-Saudi talks in Baghdad.

During the talks last week, Iran “offered to sell it [the oil] to the Saudis at a price lower than international prices on the condition that the Saudis sell it on the world markets in their own way,” a senior Iraqi official close to Iran and familiar with the talks told Middle East Eye.

Saudi Arabia demanded an end to the Houthi attacks, and this was their biggest interest in the talks, according to the Iraqi officials familiar with the talks.

(* B P)

The other Iran talks

However, these talks should be greeted with only cautious optimism and limited expectations. It is unlikely that we will see a “Nixon Goes to China” or “Sadat Goes to Jerusalem” type of exchange between Riyadh and Tehran. Unlike the rapprochement that occurred between the states after Britain’s withdrawal “east of Suez” and America’s “twin pillar” policy, Iran largely remains a revisionist state in the eyes of Saudi Arabia. The one-time close security cooperation that characterized Saudi-Iranian relations during the 1970s is highly unlikely to return, even in the face of complete American withdrawal from the Gulf, much less the entire region.

The bad blood between the two sides is well known. The Saudis never entirely trusted the Shah.

Previous attempts at détente, such as those that followed the death of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, faltered because of ideational hurdles. The challenges that Iran threw at Saudi Arabia over issues such as the Organization of the Islamic Conference (now the Organization of Islamic Cooperation), the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, and the Salman Rushdie affair made rapprochement impossible in the early 1990s. Today, there is correspondence between Saudi Arabia’s quagmire in Yemen, Iran’s poor financial performance, the U.S. desire to pull out of the Middle East (as evidenced by the Biden administration’s announcement that it would indeed be withdrawing from Afghanistan), interest in restoring the nuclear deal, and the need for a regional security agreement.

The ideational security dilemma

However, the “ideational security dilemma,” unlike Jervis’s security dilemma, stands in the way of Saudi Arabia and Iran making a grand bargain that would settle their differences. The traditional security dilemma suggests that increases in states’ material capabilities — even if they are defensively motivated — may make other states less secure, leading to conflict. All regimes have to establish their domestic legitimacy.

Hoping to eliminate Iranian influence from their borders, along with a belief in the efficacy of the offensive, led Saudi Arabia to invade Yemen. Instead, Riyadh found itself in a multi-year quagmire.

If successful, the talks may allow Saudi Arabia to extricate itself from the morass, but they are unlikely to lead to a grand bargain that resolves all of its disputes with Iran. One means that the two sides may avail themselves of in pulling out of Yemen is GRIT, or Graduated and Reciprocated Initiatives in Tension Reduction, a tool used in arms control.

Regional ramifications

However, the talks are likely to exacerbate Israel’s fears of abandonment and concerns that the de facto containment regime is on the brink of collapse.

(B P)

Can Saudi Arabia and Iran really be friends?

So why might they be looking to make nice now?

Washington is one reason. In a dangerous world, the Saudis are worried about the Biden administration. "Saudi Arabia can no longer expect the same backing that they had under Trump," says Ahmed Al-Omran, editor of the (very good) Riyadh Bureau newsletter. Since coming to office, Smokin' Joe has cut support for Saudi Arabia's ruinous military campaign against Iran-backed rebels in Yemen, chided Riyadh over its lousy human rights record, and launched a full-bore diplomatic effort to revive the Iran nuclear deal — something the Saudis always opposed.

(A P)

Iran’s chief negotiator: Resumption of Additional Protocol implementation ‘predicated on sanctions lifting'

Iran’s chief negotiator says Tehran’s resumption of the voluntary implementation of the Additional Protocol allowing short-notice inspections of the country’s nuclear sites is “predicated” on the verifiable lifting of sanctions.

(A P)

FM says Iran ready for closer ties with rival Saudi Arabia

Iran’s foreign minister said Wednesday that his country is ready for closer ties with its regional rival Saudi Arabia, adding that he hoped recent talks between the two sides would lead to greater stability in the region.

Mohammad Javad Zarif was speaking in Damascus after a meeting with Syrian President Bashar Assad. On Monday, Iran’s foreign ministry confirmed the talks, mediated by Iraq and hosted in Baghdad early last month.

(* B P)

Saudi-Arabien und Iran auf Annäherungskurs?

Die direkten Kontakte zwischen den mächtigen Rivalen könnten zur Entspannung am Golf führen. Dazu trägt auch die Neu-Justierung der US-Politik bei.

Zu den Gründen für die Annäherung sagt der Iran-Experte Adnan Tabatabai vom Bonner Beratungs- und Forschungsverein für den Orient, Carpo: "Nach der drastischen Eskalation der Sicherheitslage in der Region des Persischen Golf im Jahre 2019 und der verheerenden Auswirkung der Covid-19-Pandemie seit 2020 scheinen sowohl Teheran als auch Riad zu erkennen, dass man den Weg der Deeskalation gehen muss. Doch es ist ein sehr fragiler Prozess, den es politisch zu schützen gilt, damit alle Beteiligten den unmittelbaren Nutzen sehen und ihr politisches Gesicht innen- und außenpolitisch wahren können."

Tabatabai vermutet, dass sich die Regierung Rohani von der Eröffnung eines Dialogs mit Riad auch Unterstützung für das Zustandekommen eines erneuerten Atomabkommens und damit einer Beendigung der US-Wirtschaftssanktionen erhofft. Die Zukunft des Abkommens hängt nach dem einseitigen Ausstieg der USA unter Donald Trump und der darauf folgenden Serie von Verstößen durch Teheran in der Schwebe.

Mit dem Amtsantritt von Joe Biden kam eine Wende in der amerikanischen Nahost-Politik. Biden kritisierte deutlich den Krieg Saudi-Arabiens im Jemen und entzog Riad die Unterstützung der USA dafür. Zugleich begann er Verhandlungen mit dem Iran über eine Wiederbelebung des Atomabkommens von 2015. In diesem veränderten internationalen Umfeld teilte der saudische Thronfolger Mohammed bin Salman Ende April mit, dass er gute Beziehungen zu Teheran anstrebe und sich einen wohlhabenden Nachbarn wünsche. Man setzte auf die regionale Diplomatie, sagte er im saudischen Fernsehen.

Die Nahost-Expertin Sanam Vakil von der britischen Denkfabrik Chatham House sieht auch im Jemen-Konflikt inzwischen eine mögliche Annäherung zwischen Riad und Teheran, wie sie gegenüber der DW sagt: "Riad bemüht sich eindeutig um die Unterstützung des Irans, wenn nicht sogar um Hilfe, um den Jemen-Krieg zu beenden. Dies allerdings würde erfordern, dass Teheran die Houthis an den Verhandlungstisch bringt, wenn es das schafft."

(A P)

Roadside bomb hits US logistics convoy in western Iraq

(A P)

US excessive demands, refusal to remove Iran bans complicating Vienna talks: Press TV

The excessive demands put forward by the United States and its refusal to remove hundreds of anti-Iran sanctions related to the 2015 nuclear deal have been behind the complications hindering the talks underway in Vienna, Austria, on a potential revival of the accord.

Press TV has obtained information that the United States is complicating the Vienna talks by insisting on keeping in place 500 anti-Iran sanctions included in the 2015 nuclear deal, officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).

Washington’s insistence on keeping these 500 persons and organizations under sanctions will prevent Iran from benefiting from the economic privileges offered under the JCPOA. It will also get in the way of Iran normalizing its trade relations with the rest of the world in contravention of Article 29 of the deal, according to the information.

(* B P)

Schattenkrieger am Werk

Iran erhöht die Uran-Anreicherung auf 60 Prozent und setzt so vor den Wiener Verhandlungen ein deutliches Zeichen

Wenn Israels Premier Netanjahu eine Rückkehr der USA zum Atomvertrag mit dem Iran verhindern will, gibt es dafür ein todsicheres Mittel: den Schattenkrieg mit Teheran. Dass daraus ein harter militärischer Schlagabtausch wird, ist jederzeit möglich. Die Biden-Regierung hätte dann keine andere Wahl als die der Parteinahme und des Beistands für Israel. Was hieße das für den Nuklearvertrag?

Vorerst scheint die iranische Regierung nicht gewillt, aus dieser Eskalationsdynamik auszusteigen. Nach dem Anschlag am 11. April auf die Atomanlage in Natans, der Israel angelastet wird, gab sie bekannt, Uran auf 60 Prozent, also deutlich stärker als bisher anzureichern. Dieses Niveau wäre zwar noch nicht waffentauglich, käme dem aber sehr nahe. Vizeaußenminister Seyed Araghchi deutete den Schritt als Conditio sine qua non für die Wiener Gespräche, mit denen der Atomdeal von 2015 reanimiert werden soll. Im Klartext: Wir greifen auf diese vertragswidrige Anreicherung zurück, solange die USA ihre vertragswidrigen Sanktionen nicht zurückfahren.

Nach Auskunft von Alireza Zakani, dem Vorsitzenden des Islamic Parliament Research Center in Teheran, wurden mit dem Angriff auf Natans mehrere tausend Zentrifugen zerstört. Ein Teil davon habe sich zur Reparatur im Ausland befunden. Auf dem Rückweg seien 136 Kilo Sprengstoff in die Fracht geschmuggelt worden, so Zakani. Man mache sich keinen Begriff vom Entsetzen der iranischen Wissenschaftler über das Ausmaß des Schadens. Fereidun Abbasi-Dawani, Chef der Energiekommission im iranischen Parlament, ergänzt, dass es die Täter auf ein Elektrizitätsumspannwerk 50 Meter unter der Erde abgesehen hatten. „Da waren Experten am Werk. Die Explosion traf das Stromverteilungssystem und das Notfallkabel für die Generatoren.“

Nach Auskunft von Alireza Zakani, dem Vorsitzenden des Islamic Parliament Research Center in Teheran, wurden mit dem Angriff auf Natans mehrere tausend Zentrifugen zerstört. Ein Teil davon habe sich zur Reparatur im Ausland befunden. Auf dem Rückweg seien 136 Kilo Sprengstoff in die Fracht geschmuggelt worden, so Zakani. Man mache sich keinen Begriff vom Entsetzen der iranischen Wissenschaftler über das Ausmaß des Schadens. Fereidun Abbasi-Dawani, Chef der Energiekommission im iranischen Parlament, ergänzt, dass es die Täter auf ein Elektrizitätsumspannwerk 50 Meter unter der Erde abgesehen hatten. „Da waren Experten am Werk. Die Explosion traf das Stromverteilungssystem und das Notfallkabel für die Generatoren.“

Außenminister Mohammed Sarif meinte auf einer Pressekonferenz in Teheran, Israel habe „falsch gewettet“, wenn es glaube, dass der Angriff auf Natans sein Land bei den Nuklearverhandlungen schwächen werde. „Im Gegenteil, es wird unsere Position stärken.“

Die USA wiesen es klar von sich, „in irgendeiner Weise“ an dem ausgeklügelten Sabotageakt beteiligt gewesen zu sein, ließen aber offen, im Vorfeld davon gewusst zu haben. Immerhin ist es nicht völlig ausgeschlossen, dass US-Geheimdienstmitarbeiter Details durchsickern ließen, weil der Anschlag Joe Bidens Absicht unterläuft, den Atomvertrag, wenn nicht retten, so doch neu aushandeln zu können. Das wirft die Frage auf, ob die Ankündigung des Iran, Uran höher anzureichern, als Warnung an die USA gedacht ist, entweder den Verbündeten Israel zu zügeln oder das unwiderrufliche Ende des Nukleardeals zu riskieren.

Ebendiese Alternative ist es, die den iranischen Verhandlungsspielraum in Wien nicht unbedingt einschränkt. Jetzt ticke die Uhr, warnte Außenminister Sarif die Vertragspartner Großbritannien, Frankreich und Deutschland

and English version, April 13:

(B P)

Iran and Sau di Arabia talks: Stakes of the states at play in West Asia’s conflicts

Fast forward to 2020, and the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel, the UAE and Bahrain, which brought Israel–Arab ties to a new beginning. Next, the big question remained whether the Saudis would join this arrangement. However, now that Riyadh is willingly opening channels for talks with Iran, without a third-party mediation, this adds a new dimension to the path forward that the Saudis are willing to take. The oddity here is perhaps that Riyadh chose to go opposite to the UAE and the Abraham Accords, and attempt to talk with Iran directly. Finally, this change in thinking of the Saudis at the end of the day may not be bad news. If any of these initial stage talks can lead to even a few introductory steps towards institutionalising a long-term dialogue, it will be one of the most significant regional diplomatic successes in recent history, and a critical barrier broken to allow multiple theatres of conflict dotted across the West Asian region a possible chance towards resolution and long-term peace.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

(A P)

British Foreign Secretary Accuses Houthis of Blocking of Peace Process in Yemen

The United Kingdom has accused the Houthis of blocking of peace process in Yemen and of forcing children into battle.
In a statement, British Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said that "We continue to witness harrowing stories of Yemeni children being forced into battle and women being kidnapped in Houthi territory".
He added: "The United Kingdom calls on the Houthis to meet with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen (OSESGY) and end their Marib offensive and the blocking of peace".

My comment: By Britain, such a statement is a bad joke.

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

(A E P)

INTERVIEW: Oman wants to extend gas pipeline network to Iran and Yemen: minister

Oman would like revive plans to import Iranian gas via pipeline should the nuclear deal be reinstated, and is also considering extending its pipeline network to Yemen, Mohammed al-Rumhy, the sultanate's oil and gas minister told S&P Global Platts.

(A P)

Arab Parliament Disapproves European Parliament Silence Against Israeli Flgrant Violations, in Palestine

(B P)

Rwm in Sardinia, reconverting is possible: from weapons to sustainable projects

Proposals for the reconversion of the factory that produces bombs in Domusnovas arrive from civil society organizations. The goal is to create alternative local economies, respectful of the environment and workers and free from war

Since it was proven that the Domusnovas bombs have been used in the conflict in Yemen since 2015, civil society organizations have mobilized to demand a stop to production and the conversion of the factory, rumors that have remained largely unheard.

But now, there is not only the ethical question. Some recent developments, such as the revocation by the Italian government of export authorizations to countries in conflict, the registration in the register of suspects of the Rwm leaders and officials of the Armament Authorization Unit (Uama) by of the Judge for the preliminary investigations of Rome, seem to indicate reconversion as the only viable way, not only for pacifists.

(A P)

Turkey Says Dialogue on Disputes With Saudi Arabia to Continue

Turkey and Saudi Arabia will maintain dialogue to address their disagreements, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, after discussing bilateral ties and Israeli actions in Jerusalem and Gaza with his Saudi counterpart in Mecca.

Cavusoglu and Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met for talks aimed at overcoming a rift over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul that led to bitter recriminations and a Saudi boycott of Turkish goods.

(A P)

Turkey says dialogue on disputes with Saudi Arabia to continue

Turkey and Saudi Arabia will maintain dialogue to address their disagreements, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Tuesday, after discussing bilateral ties and Israeli actions in Jerusalem and Gaza with his Saudi counterpart in Mecca.

Cavusoglu and Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Prince Faisal bin Farhan met for talks aimed at overcoming a rift over the 2018 killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul that led to bitter recriminations and a Saudi boycott of Turkish goods.

and also

(A P)

Yemen’s Houthis say they joined 'anti-Israel' front - analysis

Houthis say more openly what was said in propaganda in the past. Now they have begun to raise funds for the Palestinians.

Now they are saying more openly what was said as merely propaganda in the past. The Houthi leader appears on billboards on Iran’s Quds Day, showing him helping liberate Jerusalem. He and other pro-Iran leaders, some of them killed in the past, are seen riding into Jerusalem, observing the Dome of the Rock.

Now the Houthis say they have begun to fundraise for the Palestinians.

The Houthis say that Yemen, one of the world's poorest countries, will raise money for the “resistance.” The Houthi warnings about joining the “resistance” may be mostly talk, but they can have real implications. Over the past two years there have been increasing reports of Houthi threats, including threats to Eilat in southern Israel.

They have long range drones and missiles.

The wider picture is also that the Houthis may have a role in Iraq – and with the pro-Iran militias in Iraq, there is a wider threat heading at Israel through Syria and in linking up with Hezbollah.

If some in the US policymaking discussion have their way, the Houthis might be able to claim they held the Saudis off and the result could increase threats to other states in the region. The US is critical of the Saudi role in Yemen. The Houthis now have wider regional goals.

My comment: As it’s seen in Israel.

cp12b Sudan

(* A P)

France holds global talks to offer debt relief for Sudan

French President Emmanuel Macron announced the cancellation of Sudan’s $5 billion debt to France in an effort to support the country’s transitional leadership and help its crippled economy recovering, at a Paris conference gathering African leaders and international creditors.

Macron hosted the event Monday for Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of Sudan’s ruling sovereign council, and Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok. The heads of state of neighboring Egypt and Ethiopia were notably attending, as well as the International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat.

(A P)

Sudan fires top judge, accepts prosecutor’s resignation

The development came amid growing criticism by activists of the justice system for purported delays in trials related to the crackdown on protesters during and after a popular uprising that led to the military’s overthrow of longtime autocrat Omar al-Bashir in 2019.

(A P)

UN seeks proposals to end force on Sudan-South Sudan border

The U.N. Security Council voted unanimously Tuesday to extend the mandate of the nearly 3,700-strong peacekeeping force in the disputed Abyei region on the Sudan-South Sudan border until Nov. 15.

It also asked Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to provide recommendations for reconfiguring and ending the mission, although Guterres informed the council early last month that he couldn’t provide such options because of differences between the two countries.

Both Sudan and South Sudan claim ownership of the oil-rich Abyei area.

(A P)

Group: Sudan forces disperse protest in Khartoum; 2 killed

Two protesters were killed when Sudanese security forces dispersed a demonstration late Tuesday in the capital of Khartoum, a local medical group said.

The violence broke out when dozens of protesters made their way late in the day to the sealed-off area outside the military’s headquarters to commemorate a deadly break-up of a protester camp two years ago. The protesters have demanded justice for those killed in the 2019 violence.

Security forces closed off major roads and streets leading to the government and military headquarters in Khartoum ahead of the protests.

The Sudanese doctors’ committee said security forced fired live bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters, killing at least two people and wounding more than 15 others, some of them in critical condition.

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

(* A K P)

Revealed: Australia defies UN pleas over atrocities in Yemen, escalates weapons exports to Saudis

Documents released under Freedom of Information reveal Australia approved 103 military export permits to UAE and Saudi during the Yemen war – and denied just three permit applications. Michelle Fahy investigates Australia’s escalating export trade in weapons with the Saudi dictatorship, in defiance of its international commitments.

The Defence Department allowed local weapons-making companies to export to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, two countries behind the disastrous Yemen war, even as the UN was pleading for the rest of the world to stop supplying weapons to these countries.

In the nearly six years from 1 July 2015 to 31 March 2021, the Defence Department approved 103 permits for munitions exports to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

In the same period, the Department denied just three permit applications to Saudi Arabia and none for the UAE.

The figures were released last week following a Freedom of Information request. The permits cover permanent military exports of munitions. The munitions list includes military specific goods and technology such as weaponry, ammunition, missiles, armoured vehicles, military vessels, as well as military-specific items such as helmets and body armour.

Near blanket secrecy surrounds exactly what the Defence Department is approving for export to these two authoritarian countries. Australia has long used ‘commercial in confidence’ and ‘national security’ reasons to justify its secrecy, which is in stark contrast to the increased transparency envisaged by the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT). Australia worked hard at the UN to bring the ATT into being, and ratified the treaty in 2014.

However, specific information about one company’s exports came to light in late 2018 and 2019 when Canberra-based weapons manufacturer Electro Optic Systems (known as EOS) was revealed to be supplying its remote weapons systems to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

(* A K P)

Osamah Alfakih: How German & South African companies fuel the war in Yemen

Osamah Alfakih from Yemeni human rights organisation, Mwatana, discusses the role of German arms corporation, Rheinmetall, and its South African subsidiary in the war in Yemen. This video was first shared at the webinar- "How German and South African corporations fuel the war in Yemen", hosted by Open Secrets, ECCHR, Urgewald and Mwatana.

cp13b Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

(* B C)

Volume opens a door to understanding Yemen’s architecture

Mohit Buch enjoys a vicarious journey through Yemen, which offers a rare understanding of the region’s architecture through the details of buildings’ reconstruction

In what can be described as a written expedition through Yemen, Salma Samar Dalmuji’s meticulous cataloguing of typologies and individual structures is a work of clarity and dedication.

This updated edition re-examines the first print of 2007. It highlights studies of many buildings that have since been destroyed and those undergoing reconstruction procedures. It begins in the southern city of Lahij, drawing us further into the mainland and the governorate of Hadramut. This sense of journey and vicarious discovery forms the backbone of this work while a certain informality gives it a sense of drawing straight from the author’s travel journal. From houses to mosques, the variety of typologies it covers provides a detailed insight into the built environment of Yemen and the lives that it shapes.

A constant theme is that of conversations with residents and master builders who supply first-hand accounts of the Yemeni vernacular.

cp13c Wirtschaft / Economy

(* A E)

Yemeni national currency further declines in gov't-held areas

The US dollar exceeded 900 Yemeni rials late on Monday at local exchange markets in Aden and other Yemeni provinces under the official government's control.
This is the highest depreciation seen by the Yemeni national currency since the new government was formed under the Riyadh Agreement in December 2020.
One US dollar is exchanged for 915 rials at evening transactions, banking sources told Debriefer, as Saudi rial approximated 240 Yemeni rials.
Exchange rates see relative stability in Sana'a City and other Yemeni Houthi-held areas, where one US dollar is bought with 595 Yemeni rials and one Saudi rial with 157 Yemeni rials.
Exchange rates volatility wreaks havoc on ordinary Yemenis' living, as food prices spirally rocket.

(* B E P)

Deterioration of the Foreign Exchange Rate of the Yemeni Rial

The Development Champions Forum held multiple online discussions in the period from 20-24 June 2020 to discuss the reasons behind the recent deterioration in the foreign exchange rate of the Yemeni rial. The Champions also discussed possible immediate interventions that can be applied by the concerned parties to curb the rial’s depreciation against foreign currencies. This Flash Report presents a summary of those discussions and the resulting recommendations.

To summarize, the key causes of the present deterioration in the Yemeni rial are as follows:

  1. Diminishing foreign currency reserves of the Central Bank of Yemen due to the following: a. Depletion of available reserves at the war’s onset; b. Plunge in crude oil exports and suspension of liquified natural gas (LNG) exports; c. Depletion of the two billion dollars deposited in March 2018 by Saudi Arabia into the Central Bank of Yemen to support financing Yemen’s essential foodstuff imports. (The remaining amount of this deposit is less than $300 million. Besides, in recent months, increased difficulties have been faced to withdraw funds from this deposit.) In addition to the erosion of the Central Bank’s foreign currency reserves, remittances from Yemeni expatriates have plummeted. Initially, foreign currency inflows into Yemen from remittances were impacted largely by Saudi Arabia’s campaign to nationalize its labour market. The impact of these policies and restrictions was subsequently compounded by the outbreak of COVID-19. This is due to the pandemic’s impact on the economies of neighbouring countries where the majority of Yemeni expatriates work.
  2. Lack of coordination between the government’s fiscal policy and the monetary policy of the Central Bank of Yemen, while CBY continues print and issue new money without cover to finance the expanding deficit of the government’s budget through overdraft (credit).
  3. The split of monetary policy between Sana’a and Aden and the use of exchange rate fluctuations for political aims (e.g., the strict enforcement by the de facto authority in Sana’a of its ban on new banknotes issued by the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden; and the dispute over the mechanism of withdrawing from the aforementioned Saudi deposit to cover import documentary letters of credit (L/Cs) issued by Yemeni commercial banks to local importers of staple foodstuffs). An additional related factor is the impact of the security and political situation on the operations of the Central Bank (e.g., armed robbery of consignments intended for the Central Bank in Aden and Mukalla).
  4. Ineffectiveness of monetary interventions by the Central Bank.
  5. Psychological factors affecting consumer behaviour on the demand side.
  6. Lack of commitment by the local authorities in some governorates to deposit central and local sovereign revenue in the general government account in the Central Bank of Yemen in Aden or its branches in the governorates, instead retaining such amounts in private accounts that are disposed of by the local authorities outside the control of the Central Bank.
  7. Closure of correspondent banking relationships with local Yemeni commercial banks by a number of international correspondent banks due to the ongoing state of war in the country, the status of the central bank, and the weak capacities of some Yemeni banks.

full document:

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

(A T)

#AlQaeda seeks to channel outrage at #Palestine horrors into global #jihad. #AlAqsa anger has provoked a new issue of #Nafir bulletin after a 6-month gap: "Al-Aqsa in the Protection of al-Bara' bin Malik's Descendants". Urges Muslims globally to kill Jews & Americans

cp15 Propaganda

(A P)

Yemen [Hdi gov.] Accuses Houthis of Abusing Palestinian Cause for Their War Effort

The Yemeni [Hadi] government accused the Iran-backed Houthi militias of abusing the Palestinian cause to recruit more members to fight the Yemeni people and collect funds for their war effort.

Information Minister Moammar al-Eyrani warned the people against “falling victim to the Houthis’ exploitation and misinformation.”

In official statements, he said the Houthis were abusing the “Palestinian cause and tragedy of the Palestinian people in occupied territories to make political and financial gains, prolong the war in Yemen and continue to kill Yemenis.”

(A P)

Significant Hurdles Impede the Success of the US Envoy to Yemen

The U.S. envoy to Yemen may not achieve much more than the three previous U.N. envoys have, each of whom has pushed for a peaceful solution in Yemen to no avail. This is due to some considerable hurdles, including the Houthi ideology of superiority and the militia’s extensive supply of weapons.

First, the formidable challenge is the ideology of the Houthi group. The Houthis believe that they descend from the family of Prophet Muhammad; thus, in their belief, they have the divine mandate to govern the Yemeni people. They have long embraced this dogma, and will not depart from it.

Therefore, just as it would be hard to convince a practicing Muslim to convert to any other religion, it would also be hard to dissuade the Houthis from their sense of superiority and destined rulership.

It will be a tremendous challenge for a U.N. envoy or a U.S. envoy to convince the Houthis to negotiate seriously, stop the war, and agree to elections so that the Yemeni people can choose their rulers freely. Without addressing the ideological notions held by the Houthis, it is difficult to foresee an end to the chaos in Yemen.

Second, the Houthi arsenal is still rich in weapons, as they continue arming thousands of fighters and deploying them to the frontlines. The abundance of arms is a significant factor behind the Houthis’ preferance for the military solution.

Indeed, the ongoing smuggling of weapons from Iran has contributed to the Houthi military might

My comment: it’s still absurd that the US now mimes the peace broker in Yemen and even laments arms supplies to the Houthis, while the US itself supplies 1000 times more to the anti-Houthi coalition.

(A P)

It’ll never be accepted Sana’a & all of Yemen becoming a Persian colony, [Hadi gov.] Defense Minister says

(A P)

Iran: Desperate Times, Desperate Gambles

The new Iranian “ambassador” came to Yemen mainly to supervise Iranian support for combat operations and take a more direct role in running the war. Quds felt so confident that they bluntly rejected recent UN and American offers for ceasefire talks and instead increased the number of offensive operations. For more than a month Quds force officers outside Yemen have boasted to foreign journalists who proceeded to publish what Quds Force was up to in Yemen. The Iranian senior clerics, who have the final say in what Iranian policy is, realized that openly discussing the direct Iranian control of rebel operations was a mistake. Quds was ordered to leave media interviews and Internet announcements to the government.

Iran is taking more direct control over the Shia rebels as part of negotiations to end economic sanctions on Iran. If Iran pulled out of Yemen, the Shia tribal forces would be defeated, as they have many times before. Quds force commanders are reluctant to give up gains made in Yemen and may have been told that they could revive support for the Yemeni Shia after the economic sanctions on Iran are lifted. Because of these sanctions Quds force saw its budget cut by half since 2017, forcing major reductions in Quds activities in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Yemen was always the least expensive Quds operation and did not suffer noticeable aid cuts.

(A P)

Yemen’s Chance for Peace Weakens as the Fighting against the Houthis Intensifies

From this show of open defiance and evident disregard for negotiating with the coalition, the Houthis have demonstrated that they are not interested in peace, and are more than prepared, eager even, to continue the conflict that currently favours them. This favour is evident in that the Houthis have now been carrying out drone strikes and targeting key areas within the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh, which appears to only be the beginning of this latest operation. This does not only emphasize their confidence and manpower by attempting such ambitious attacks, but also showing that they do not intend to let the conflict end anytime soon, with open warfare being their clear intention in the long term.

(A P)

[Hadi gov.] Yemeni Defense Minister Praises Support of Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen for Joint Arab Defense Battle Against Iranian Threat

(A P)

Yemeni President Values Saudi Arabian-led Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen's Stances, Providing Support to Yemeni Army

(A P)

Yemen’s President says Houthis reacted with violence to peace efforts

Yemen’s president said the government has reacted constructively to peace efforts, but said the Houthi militia responded with more violence, state news agency SabaNew reported.
“We have dealt constructively with all efforts and calls for peace by the UN and International Community, we frequently offered concessions in order to stop bloodshed and put an end to our peoples’ suffering after more than six years, but this terrorist militia responded with more escalation,”

(A P)

Jemen – Schnell steigende Corona-Zahlen

(A P)

Opinions: What is going to happen after Houthis wasted peace opportunity?

“I firmly believe the picture of the relationship between the terrorist Houthi guerrilla and the United States is now clear for anyone who can see and hear.

This guerilla works to destroy Islam; changes it to an ideology that criminalizes the Taraweeh Prayer considering it as an innovation, and replaces it with speeches by its terrorist leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi; and changes mosques to places for chewing Qat.

It is a guerrilla that is not different from fascism and Nazism, if not worse. If fascism and Nazism discriminate between people on racial basis, the Houthis establish discrimination on religious sectarian grounds.

It is time for Yemenis to take a united stand against this guerrilla that destroys their country and their future.

(A P)

One day’s news reveal how conspiracies beset Yemen government

One day’s course of routine news stories about Yemen can reveal how foreign conspiracies beleaguer Yemen and its legitimate government Yemen from different directions and sources.

If pieced together, these haphazard stories - coupled with the western media’s ongoing inflamed campaign that adopts the Houthi causes including the suspension of the Saudi airstrikes, a lifeline to Marib, and the UN officials’ blatant calls to replace the Security Council’s resolutions on Yemen instead of enforcing them- signal how the Yemeni legitimacy is surrounded by conspiracy from everywhere.

(A P)

Saudi Press: Saudi Arabia Plays Vital Role in Achieving Stability, Security and Prosperity, Regionally and Globally

(A P)

Film: The “Humanity of the National Resistance” provides Eid clothes for 3,400 children in 4 districts of the West Coast

(A P)

US gets reality check from Yemen’s rebels

The limits of talking softly with Yemen’s brutal Houthi rebels should now be abundantly clear to the Biden administration. The trouble is that the US has no big stick to wield instead.

Given Iran’s support for the insurgents, this bodes well for Tehran in its nuclear negotiations with the US — but ill for American allies in the Middle East.

But the US did not reckon with the Houthis’ fanatical determination to keep fighting, and Iran’s interest in keeping them foaming at the mouth. Both have grown stronger with the Biden team’s soft-pedalling.

In recent weeks we have seen abundant evidence of bad faith, from both the Houthis and Iranians. =

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More Saudi coalition „We are benefactors“ propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

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Aggression kills man, injures two women in Bayda

A man was killed on Monday by aggression raid in al-Makla area in Radaa district in Bayda province, a military official said on Tuesday.

The official added two women also injured in the aggression raid in the same, the raid also caused heavy damage to civilians' properties.

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More Saudi coalition air raids Marib p. Marib p., Jawf p., Saada p. Marib p. Marib p. Jawf p. Marib p.

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Siehe / Look at cp17, 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.

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Citizen Killed by Saudi Border Guards Gunfire in Sa’adah

on Monday in Al-Raqo district of Sa’adah governorate

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Taiz sees renewed fighting between Yemeni gov't, Houthis

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Yemeni Taiz under Houthi attack

Military clashes were renewed early on Thursday between the Yemeni official government troops and Houthi fighters in the northern and western parts of Taiz city.

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Yemeni Forces Launch Large, Joint Operation Targeting Aramco, Sensitive Targets in Najran

The spokesman for Yemen’s Armed Forces said the Air Force and Rocketry Force launched a large and joint operation targeting Aramco, Najran Airport and sensitive targets in the city of Najran, with twelve ballistic missiles and drones.

Brigadier General Yahya Saree said in a post on Twitter on Thursday that the large joint operation was carried out with seven Badr and Sa'ir ballistic missiles and five Qasef-2K drones.

Yemeni missiles and drones have hit the designated targets at Saudi Arabia with high precision.

Sare’e noted that the attack came in line with the country's "legitimate response" to the aggression's escalation and an all-out siege on the Yemeni people.

and also


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Saudi air defenses intercept 8 UAVs and 3 ballistic missiles launched by Houthis from Yemen

Saudi air defenses have intercepted and destroyed eight drones and three ballistic missiles targeting Saudi Arabia, the Arab Coalition supporting Yemen's legitimate government said on Thursday.

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Houthi's projectile falls on border village in Jazan

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New Saudi Crime Kills, Wounds Two Citizens in Sa’adah

One of the border villages in Shada district was subjected to Saudi missile and artillery shelling, confirming that a boy was killed and his father was injured after the shells fell on their home.

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KSrelief's Masam Project Dismantles 2,664 Mines in Yemen during 1st Week of May

King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Project (Masam) for clearing mines in Yemen, dismantled, during the first week of May 2021, a total of 2,664 mines, including 2,517 anti-tank mines and 147 unexploded ordnance.
Since the beginning of the project, as many as 243,712 mines have been dismantled.

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Material damage reported as Houthi projectile lands in Saudi border village

cp17a Kriegsereignisse: Schlacht um Marib / Theater of War: Marib battle

Siehe / Look at cp4

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Sources; Houthi missile targets residential quarter in Marib

The Iranian-backed Houthi group late on Thursday targeted the Yemeni northeastern city of Marib with a ballistic missile, local sources said.
The Houthi missile hit a residential quarter in the city, leaving a number of civilians injured, the sources added.
A huge explosion sound was heard in many populated areas in Marib on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, local residents said.

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Battle for Yemen’s Marib heats up, as 53 dead in 24 hours

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Over 70 Houthi fighters killed in Marib, Taiz: Gov't troops

At least 70 Houthi militants were killed on Thursday in Taiz and Marib governorates, the Yemeni official government troops said.
No less than 40 Houthi fighters were killed by the national army in the western edges of Marib governorate, military sources said.
Backed by tribesmen, the national army foiled a suicide advance towards al-Mashjah and al-Kasara fronts attempted early on Thursday by Houthi militants, who were forced to retreat the sources added in remarks carried by the army-run
The Saudi-led coalition aircraft targeted Houthi reinforcements in the two fronts, leaving human and ordnance losses, according to the sources.

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522 Houthis were killed in the past month, 752 between April 1-May 12 and 2.852 since January, Yemeni news websites reported Friday, quoting Houthi sources. The majority has been killed in #Marib.

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Houthi rebels intensify assault on Yemen's Marib region despite ceasefire efforts

Heavy fighting is underway in Yemen's oil-rich Marib region, where Houthi rebels have intensified their assault. Millions of innocent people are caught in the crossfire and facing starvation. CBS News producer Amjad Tadros joins "CBSN AM" from Amman, Jordan, to explain the latest developments.

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[Hadi] Yemen government troops advance in Marib province amid fierce fighting

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Child killed in mine explosion in northeast Yemen

A child was killed in a mine explosion in Yemen's Marib province on Tuesday.

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Yemen - update on hostilities in Marib governorate (DG ECHO, UN, NGOs, Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 12 May 2021)

Since the escalation of hostilities in Marib governorate in February 2021, approximately 2,870 already internally displaced households (20,000 individuals) have been displaced. It is estimated that Marib hosts 1 million internally displaced people (IDPs). Sirwah district is the most affected by the ongoing fighting. From February to April, IDPs moved from 9 out of the 14 displacement sites in Sirwah due to fighting in close proximity to IDP sites. Incidents of armed violence are affecting people at an unprecedented rate in Marib. In the first quarter of this year, the Civilian Impact Monitoring Project recorded 79 incidents of armed violence that directly affected civilians, resulting in 74 casualties, including 18 fatalities. DG ECHO supports partners providing an emergency response in Marib through the Rapid Response Mechanism, as well as multi-purpose cash assistance, site management, health services, WASH, shelter and non-food items.

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.

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Civilians killed, injured by Houthi drone strike in Hodeidah

At least one civilian was killed and five others were injured in a drone strike conducted by the Iran-backed Houthi coupist militia on a local market in al-Duraihimi district, south Hodeidah.
The injured victims were taken immediately to al-Khokha hospital for receiving medical treatment, local sources said.

and also


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Houthi brutal shelling spoils joy of Eid in Hodeidah

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Films: A child was shot by Houthi militia in the city of Hays

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Daily violations as reported by the Houthi side

May 17:

May 15:

May 14:

May 13:

cp19 Sonstiges / Other

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17 days travel through Yemen in 2005


Photos from Yemen

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Film: Eid clothing to distribute to the children of Al-Jahmiliya neighborhood in Taiz As Eid ul-Fitr is on the door, millions of Yemenis can’t afford to purchase Eid clothing, amid the spread of hunger, poverty, and the insanely high prices left by the seven-year wars. As a contribution to alleviating the misery, the "My Name Islam" Foundation distributed children’s clothing to poor and displaced families in the Al-Jahmiliya neighborhood, Taiz

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Yemen Ramadan show sparks outcry over use of blackface

Racist and anti-refugee tropes in the new TV series Cappuccino have led to calls for the show to be cancelled

Ramadan is the season of sitcoms and TV series around the Middle East, but particularly in Yemen, where few channels show fictional shows outside of the Muslim holy month of fasting.

After breaking their fast at sunset, many Yemenis like to tune in and watch TV with their families.

Most TV channels in Yemen show series that project the political views of their owners and operators, six years into the Saudi-led offensive in the country against Houthi rebels.

But, while the politicisation of Ramadan shows isn't unusual in Yemen, one new series, Cappuccino, has caused a significant stir by featuring two actors in blackface.

Blackface is the act of darkening one's skin tone in what has been denounced as a racist caricature of Black people and appropriation of Black cultures. It has a long history both in the Middle East and beyond.

Cappuccino, which is broadcast on Yemen Shabab TV, based in Turkey, depicts two Black characters working as servants in a coffee shop. But they are played by Yemeni actors in blackface speaking purposefully broken Arabic to mimic African refugees in Yemen.

Yemeni sociology teacher Mamoon Mohammed believes that Yemeni TV series encourage division instead of unity between communities, in large part due to the political affiliations of each channel.

"Most Yemeni TV series are racist, they criticise Yemenis based on their skin colour, region and political affiliation, and this year there is racism against refugees from the Horn of Africa," he told MEE.

"This isn't the type of TV series that Yemenis need. We need shows that call for peace, unite the community, and make Yemenis accept each other and accept refugees who fled their countries," Mohammed added.

"If people in the Horn of Africa are watching the racist sitcoms against refugees in Yemen, they will have a bad attitude towards Yemeni refugees in their countries, and this isn't what we want at all."

While Yemeni actors may say they are working under pressure and that it can be hard to find the funding necessary to make high-quality TV series at short notice, Mohammed believes "that this isn't a convincing reason to be racist against anyone".

"We call for a humane relationship among Yemenis, and with other people either inside or outside the country."


11 Facts About Yemen You Probably Didn’t Know


Yemen – Forests and deforestation

Vorige / Previous:

Jemenkrieg-Mosaik 1-740 / Yemen War Mosaic 1-740: oder / or

Der saudische Luftkrieg im Bild / Saudi aerial war images:

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

Liste aller Luftangriffe / and list of all air raids:

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

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

07:01 18.05.2021
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

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