Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 100

Yemen Press Reader 100: Mehrere Artikel über die Hintergründe des Krieges, die saudische Politik - Saudis fordern Hilfsorganisationen zum Verlassen der Houthi-Gebiete auf - Frauen im Krieg
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

cp6 Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi-government

cp 7 UNO / UN

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp 13 Mercenaries / Söldner

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Schöner Jemen / Beautiful Yemen

Klassifizierung / Classification

***

**

*

(Kein Stern / No star)

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

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

9.11.2015 – Warscapes (** B K P)

Proxies Aside; A closer look at the war in Yemen

(Article in full)

Nadwa Al-Dawsari and Michael Bronner

The Saudi-led coalition pummeling Yemen has announced that its campaign is in the final stages - preparing to declare "victory," some sources report - with the country in shambles and none of the issues driving the war resolved. The devastating civil war is playing out in one of the most internally complex nations in the Middle East, Yemen's intricate mix of tribes, religious sects and decades-deep power struggles driving a conflict intensified by the outside intervention of regional rivals. The Saudi-led air military coalition, "Operation Decisive Storm," has introduced some 100 warplanes and 100 thousand troops into the already volatile mix, with Egypt, Morroco, Jordan, Sudan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain, and now even Colombia making war in one of the poorest, yet most culturally rich, countries in the region as they combat the Houthi movement, which has received some degree of support from Iran. Airstrikes have killed more than 1,100 people, the majority civlians, and devastated Yemen's already tenuous infrastucture, while at least one in four Yemenis was in need of humanitarian assistance even before Cyclone Chapala slammed Yemen's southern coast on November 4, adding thousands of fleeing coastal residents to the already nearly 1.5 million Yemenis internally displaced by the war.

Yet, for all the outside intervention, this is not a proxy war, according to leading Yemeni scholar and conflict specialist Nadwa Al-Dawsari. The founder of Partners Yemen, the local affiliate center of Partners for Democratic Change International, Al-Dawsari's work has taken her deep into Yemen's tribal areas. Warscapes turns to her to better understand the deeper forces driving the seemingly hopeless conflict.

Michael Bronner: Thanks again for doing this. Can you tell me a little bit about your area of expertise as we get started?

Nadwa Dawsari: My main expertise is in the area of conflict and local security, mainly in tribal areas in Yemen. I have worked extensively with civil society and created a civil society organization in 2009. I have done research and field assessments on areas related to local security and justice, both formal and informal, and the relationships between the formal and informal justice and security mechanisms. I’ve written articles and reports on tribes, tribal conflicts, security and justice, al-Qaeda, tribes and al-Qaeda, tribes and the Houthis, political issues in Yemen. My work on the ground involves spending a lot of time building relationships with locals.

MB: And, of course, you’re Yemeni. Which part of the country are you from?

ND: I’m from Taiz.

MB: One of the most important cities in Yemen…

ND: Yes, it is. Taiz is important for different reasons. First, it’s the highest-populated area in the country. Taiz is in the middle between former North Yemen and former South Yemen, so geographically, it has a very strategic location. But also, Taiz is very important in the political transition context, because Taizis are the ones who spearheaded the 2011 uprising that led to removing former president Ali Abdullah Saleh from power. It’s also the area where people are the most educated in the country.

MB: Things are pretty bad there now.

ND: Yeah, it’s terrible. It’s just beyond brutal for Taizis – what they have to go through: the tight siege and the fact that medicine, and even water and food supplies, are not allowed into the city. Civilians are being bombed almost constantly on a daily basis and many children and women have been killed. There is a severe shortage of health and other key services. The situation deteriorates every day.

MB: You’ve come to the US only recently?

ND: I grew up in the suburbs of Taiz, in the countryside. I did my Bachelor’s degree in English Literature in Sanaa, and lived and worked in Sanaa until mid-2012, when I moved to the States.

MB: Your expertise is Yemen’s tribes – the country’s tribal structure. You always hear, in the most basic descriptions of Yemen, that it’s a “tribal society.” What does that really mean in the Yemeni context?

ND: Some 70 percent of the population lives in rural areas, and most of these are tribal areas. The state and the government have very little presence, if any. So, in the Yemeni context, strong tribes mean that a mechanism exists that has, in the absence of the state, provided local people with key services, particularly related to justice and security. People tend to cherish their tribal identity and be proud of it, especially in the Northern and Eastern parts of the country. That’s because the tribes provide them with protection, with the sense of community and support. That doesn’t mean that local people in tribal areas don’t have aspirations to see functioning state institutions. It is actually the opposite, according to my research. The tribal system has grown weaker over the past decades, and it’s become much less effective than it used to be in terms of its ability to address conflicts, which led to more conflicts and more security problems. That is why tribal people have a strong desire to see courts and a security presence established in their areas.

MB: Just to step back, when were the prospects best for Yemen? When did things really work smoothly? You can go back as far as you want.

ND: Well, let me talk about modern Yemen. (In the old times, of course, you’re talking about the Queen of Sheba, and then Queen Arwa – but that’s a long time ago!) In the modern history, I think Yemen was relatively stable and better off during the ‘80s, when oil was just discovered and there was a large Yemeni diaspora in the Gulf countries, particularly in Saudi Arabia – Yemenis who were sending money back home. So the economy was blooming back in the ‘80s, and I think those were, relatively speaking, the happiest days of modern Yemen.

MB: The US became heavily involved with Yemen after 9/11, but through a very narrow focus on counterterrorism. What effect did that have on the fabric of government and the fabric of the tribal society?

ND: Yes, the US has focused mainly on security and counterterrorism. That’s why the US was supportive of Ali Abdullah Saleh, a dictator who abused his power and who was extremely corrupt. He was manipulating al-Qaeda all along and was using the militant group for political gain, which has been confirmed in recent reports. US assistance to Saleh helped him solidify his regime and strengthen his and his family’s grip over power and resources. A lot of the military aid that US provided went to army and security units that were led by his son and nephews. This undermined governance and contributed to corruption, both were and have been strong causes of conflict in the country, including tribal areas, and a factor in the cause of the current war.

MB: I spent time in Yemen in early 2002, shortly after 9/11, when the US was exerting tremendous pressure on Saleh to conform to US counterterrorism policies. The American Ambassador, who was a counterterrorism figure at the State Department before he became ambassador, told me at the time that there were basically maybe six people in the whole country – six people tied to al-Qaeda – that they were very worried about. Just six! But since that time, during the period of cooperation with Saleh, there have been literally hundreds of drone strikes and al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula has become a force. How do you account for this sense now that Yemen is full of al-Qaeda?

ND: The assumption has always been that a strong central government is crucial to counterterrorism, which is quite misleading in the context of Yemen, where the central government is pretty corrupt. In other words, the problem was not in the fact that the central government was weak. The problem was in the fact that the government was too centralized and too corrupt. What Yemen needed was strong local security. Yemen needed local police. Yemen needed local institutions that are accountable and transparent, that can provide services to the people. Because local institutions were underdeveloped and often hijacked by the central government, corruption prevailed and grievances increased. It’s because of corruption that unemployment and poverty increased, and people grew very frustrated with the government. A lot of these young people who have no jobs have fought: Some of them joined al-Qaeda and other armed groups, not because they believe in the ideology, but because they’re too frustrated with the government. The same thing was true, for example, in the South, when the government fought al-Qaeda in early 2014. Some members of the Southern Movement [who support a dissolution of the single state into the pre-1990 South and North Yemen] fought with al-Qaeda. These are secular people. But they fought with al-Qaeda because they’re fighting a common enemy, which is a Yemeni government that they see as illegitimate.

MB: If you’re thinking about the war right now, we’re seeing horrible images not only from Taiz, but also from Sanaa, the capital. Are these representations emblematic of the situation across the country – is it all in turmoil – or does it vary?

ND: The country is in turmoil, but certain areas are definitely worse than others. They’re all bad, but Taiz definitely the most affected. You also have areas like Sa’ada which has been severely bombed by airstrikes. The South is a time bomb. The security situation in the South is very alarming and continues to deteriorate everyday. You hear reports about the spread of al-Qaeda and other extremist elements. There are different southern factions that are deeply divided and now armed. The governor of Shebwa [governorate], in an interview last week, said al-Qaeda is planning to take over Shebwa and Abyan. If that happens, two major governorates will be under the control of al-Qaeda. The government is absent in the South, and at the same time there is an unprecedented influx of arms that are falling into the hands of al-Qaeda, tribes and local groups. This is a recipe for prolonged and widespread conflict.

MB: If you were to trace the deeper roots of the war that’s raging now, how far back would you go?

ND: The root cause of this war is the fact that the Northern elite have always had a monopoly over resources and power while the rest of the country is marginalized. This was the case for the thousand years during which the Zaydi Imams ruled the country, and continued after they were toppled in 1962. When Saleh came to power, the Northern elite continued to control power and resources. It was Saleh’s family; Saleh’s extended tribe, Sanhan; his allies from the powerful tribal Ahmar family; and his patronage network of tribal and religious leaders and other influential figures across the country. What we have seen over the past two decades, and in particular since 2011, is the manifestation of a power struggle among these Northern elite alliance players who have since become enemies because of competition over who controls reseources in Yemen. Now, add the Houthis, who are an extension of the Zaydi Hashimites that have morphed into a rebel group. So the root cause is essentially the chronic power struggle among the Northern political elites coupled with the systematic marginalization of the rest of the country.

MB: But there are a lot of outside forces at play as well, obviously.

ND: Yes, that’s true. The Saudis are involved, and now the Iranians are involved too. The Qataris are involved. The Emiratis are involved. All these outside forces have backed up different parties of the conflict, but the conflict is Yemeni. The Houthis are not fighting with Hadi [Yemen’s president] because Iran asked them to fight Hadi. The same holds true with forces fighting the Houthis and Saleh: They’re not fighting because the Saudis gave them money to fight. The struggle is Yemeni versus Yemeni. The conflict is Yemeni versus Yemeni. Outside forces are only contributing to the conflict, and are making it worse.

MB: Can we just go through some of the players? In the most basic terms, tell me what they want in this war, starting with the Houthis.

ND: The Houthis emerged back in the early ‘90s, and they weren’t named Houthis back then. They were a newly-formed cultural movement called the Believing Youth. The purpose of the movement was to revive the Zaydi tradition in Sa’ada, which was made in response to the strong presence of an extreme Salafi institute in Sa’ada, the Dar al-Hadith Center, which was preaching anti-Zaidism [Zaidism is an early sect of Shi’a Islam – comprising some 35-40 percent of Yemen’s Muslim population – that emerged in the 8th century]. But then the movement grew and it changed in nature. Hussein Bader Al-Deen Al-Houthi, who was one of sons of the founders of the Believing Youth, turned it into a rebel movement in the early 2000s. They fought six wars with the government between 2004 and 2010. The Houthis took part in the 2011 uprising and they took part in the National Dialogue Conference. But then they allied with former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, and they staged a coup in September 2014.

MB: Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who was Saleh’s vice president, was essentially Saleh’s hand-picked successor. What happened, and how did it help precipitate the war?

ND: I think Saleh was okay with Hadi taking his place because Hadi was Saleh’s man for sixteen years. And so, Saleh thought that he could still rule Yemen through Hadi. But then, Hadi broke away from Saleh’s control.

MB: In terms of Hadi’s anti-corruption measures – things like that?

ND: When Hadi started removing Saleh’s relatives from key positions – including Saleh’s son, nephew and brother – it became clear to Saleh that Hadi is no longer “under the influence” of Saleh’s control. Saleh then started mobilizing against Hadi and the government, allying with Houthis and supporting them militarily and financially, which helped them sweep through Amran and eventually take the capital city, Sanaa, by force.

MB: Another key player is Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, the former general and business tycoon…

ND: Ali Mohsen was Saleh’s confidant and companion for 30-something years. They were partners. Saleh could not have done what he did – meaning establishing himself in power – without Ali Mohsen’s support. He was his right hand man. The two were on good terms until the early 2000s, when Saleh established the Republican Guard and made his son the commander. And so, it became clear to Ali Mohsen, and to the al-Ahmar family, Saleh’s key allies since he came to power – that Saleh was preparing his son to become the next president. An official or a written agreement between the three – Ali Abdullah Saleh, Ali Mohsen and the al-Ahmar family – was that they would rule together and agree on arrangements on how to do that. But then, when Saleh started preparing his son to become the next president, that’s where the relationship went sour between Ali Mohsen, Ali Saleh and the al-Ahmars and that is when power struggle started.

MB: How, from this internal power struggle, did the Saudis come to begin the current bombing campaign in Yemen?

ND: The Saudis have had heavy influence in Yemen since the ‘70s. Saleh was a Saudi puppet, as was his regime. That includes Ali Mohsen and al-Ahmars. The Saudis have always feared Yemen. In particular, they’ve always feared that any development or progress in Yemen towards democracy would incite calls for political reforms in their country. Through supporting Saleh and his regime, the Saudis helped maintain corruption and limit the chances for a genuine democracy to take place. When the Houthis suddenly emerged as a political and military force, the Saudis felt threatened because the Houthis were close to their regional rival, Iran. When Hadi’s government failed to stop the Houthis and eventually collapsed, the Saudis decided to intervene to prevent an any potential Iranian control in its backyard, Yemen.

MB: Would you say that, in the past, the Saudis’ control had been fairly agile? They understand Yemen and the powers at play, and in the past, they’ve controlled them fairly adeptly?

ND: They did, but it was short-sighted because they thought that they could control Yemen forever despite the growing turmoil. Again, the Saudis – and it’s the same thing with the US, and the international community more broadly – always look at national actors. The Saudis thought that they could perpetually control Yemen through the Saleh regime, and they did for a while. But that didn’t last because the regime itself started losing control. Widespread corruption and systematic marginalization fueled local grievances over the years leading to the 2011 uprising that pushed Saleh out of power. Then comes the GCC sponsored UN-US-backed transition deal, which had major flaws. It sort of recycled Saleh’s regime while granting him immunity, and no substantial political reforms happened because of that. Tension continues to build up, and if you look at Yemen today, you will see that many local forces have taken up arms and fought as they’ve grown tired of national actors and the Northern elite’s hegemony. Those cannot be “tamed” with another deal that maintains national actors, be it the Houthis or Saleh’s allies, or even Hadi and his government. No one can control all of Yemen anymore.

MB: Would you say the same is true for the US and its short involvement in Yemen – that the US misunderstood the flows of power?

ND: Yes, definitely. The US government and the international community have always looked at Yemen through the lens of Sanaa and the lens of national actors. First it was the Saleh government, then Hadi. The US and the international community continued to overlook the local dynamics and local conflicts that are increasingly shaping the conflict and are the key to the solution.

MB: If you consider the current bombing – the Saudi air strikes, which have wrought such havoc, and also US drone strikes, which are ongoing – it’s hard to figure out what the purpose is. It doesn’t seem like there's very much to bomb that might resolve anything in Yemen.

ND: That is true. The country’s infrastructure, including schools, hospitals, bridges, you name it, has been destroyed. Thousands of civilians have been killed. It didn’t change much except that the situation worsened and continues to deteriorate.

MB: Insofar as the US is currently supporting the Saudis and the coalition, how is the US role perceived right now?

ND: Among the Houthis and their supporters, and those who are most affected by the air strikes, there is resentment. Last month, the US signed a $ 1 billion dollar arms agreement with the Saudi government. A proposal by the Netherlands to set up a committee to investigate into war crimes in Yemen was dropped because it didn’t have sufficient backing from key countries including the US. It gives the impression that the US is complicit in supporting war crimes committed by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. On the other hand, the US government was reluctant at the beginning to condemn the Houthi/Saleh take-over of the capital by force. In October last year, US drone strikes in Radaa targeted AlQaeda but also tribesmen who were fighting Houthis. This actually helped the Houthis control the town and surrounding areas. It created resentment towards t he US among local tribes that resisted the Houthis advance into their areas. As a result, there is a strong perception that the US is also in bed with Iran and hence Houthis.

MB: To what extent would you credit, among the myriad of dynamics at play, the Saudi-Iranian animosity and a sense of proxy war?

ND: I don’t think Iran is dictating what the Houthis are doing, but Iran has certainly supported the Houthis a lot. Many Houthis – hundreds, if not thousands – were trained by Hezbollah in Lebanon, and trained in Iran as well. You can trace the influence of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard training in the way Houthis conduct their operations and how they go after their opponents, as well as in the way their security apparatus is functioning. When the Houthis took over before the Saudi’s intervened, a Houthi delegation visited Iran and signed a deal with the Iranian government that includes operating fourteen flights per week between Sanaa and Tehran. They’ve reinforced the Saudis’ fears, valid or not, that Iran is utilizing the Houthis to disrupt Saudi Arabia. The Saudis also supported local actors to fight Houthis. The Houthis are not fighting on behalf of Iran, and local actors are not fighting on behalf of Saudi Arabia. Anti-Houthi local actors are using Saudi money and support to push the Houthis out of their regions. Same thing with the Houthis; they’re using Iran’s support to extend their power to as large an area as possible in the country.

MB: Is it possible for anyone to win the war at this point?

ND: I don’t think so. The political process seems to be hitting a dead end. There are no signs of good will to enter into political negotiations whatsoever from wither side. The Houthis have increased their offensive in Taiz and Mareb. In Taiz, they’ve been enforcing a tight siege, preventing medicine, food and even water from entering the city. They’ve been bombing the city every day, killing dozens of civilians. At the same time, the airstrikes intensified especially in the areas under Houthi control in the North, and many civilians were killed because of that. It seems that the Houthis, and the Saudis, are more interested in resolving this militarily. But when you look at the military operations, you see that for the past months, it’s been more or less a stalemate. The Houthis advance, and then pro-Hadi government and local forces push them out, and then the Houthis advance again and so on and so forth. It’s been pretty much stagnant. I think it’s going to be a long war, unless somehow, miraculously, conflict sides agree to negotiations in good faith.

MB: Just to go back to the protests in 2011, which is the most immediate spark to the current conflict, there’s tendency to lump all of the different Arab countries’ uprisings under the vague category of Arab Spring. In Yemen, what were the particular dynamics at play, and how do these fit in the path towards war?

ND: In 2011, yes, the protesters were inspired by what happened in Tunisia and Egypt. But then, Yemenis have been protesting since the early 2000s against the government. Yemeni activists were protesting in front of the cabinet and in front of the Presidential Palace against corruption, injustice and human rights abuses. Yemen’s uprising was driven by 20 years of political marginalization and unaddressed local grievances. But, like other Arab Spring countries, the uprising in Yemen was about ending the control by a small political elite over power and wealth; it was about revolting against marginalization, corruption, injustice and human rights abuses. It was about the desire to end tyranny.

MB: The period that you just described – the early 2000s into 2011 – is the exact same period that the US has partnered with Saleh and counter terrorism…

ND: Yes. The US government has turned a blind eye to Saleh’s human rights abuses and his corruption, simply because he was an ally in the war on terror.

MB: Is it fair to say that the resources his government received from the US enabled him to enrich his family?

ND: I think it is fair to say that. Saleh used the counter terrorism assistance to strengthen his and his family’s grip over power. His son was the head of the Special Forces and nephew was the head of Central Security Forces, the two armed units that received extensive training and support from the US as part of the CT partnership. After a decade of support, Saleh’s family’s grip on power became stronger, and in reaction, Yemen’s al-Qaeda faction did too.

MB: The Houthis, who have fought six wars with Saleh’s government, are now allied with Saleh (now that he’s out of power). What is the timetable for this about-face?

ND: It’s hard to track in definite terms, but we could see patterns beginning in 2011 when the Houthis started fighting with the tribes in Al Jawf and Marib. It was clear that the Houthis had access to arms – heavy arms – that they wouldn’t have access to unless somebody gave it to them, and that was Saleh. Their dramatic expansion across Yemen in 2014 was also facilitated by tribal leaders who are loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh.

MB: To what do you describe the growth of ISIS? Similar to what Al-Qaeda experienced in the early 2000s?

ND: In my opinion, it is hard to confirm the presence of ISIS in Yemen. Are there individuals who are sympathetic with ISIS? Probably yes. But does ISIS exist as a group? I don’t think that there is enough evidence to confirm that yet. ISIS does not have any documented presence in Yemen. With Al-Qaeda, we know who they are. We know the names of their leaders .We know which tribes they come from and which ones they interact with. We know which areas they control. With ISIS, there’s none of that. They clearly don’t control any areas. Tweets, videos and photos of masked men with pick-up trucks, guns and black flags cannot be assumed to be evidence of an ISIS existence. ISIS could be part of the propaganda, or it could comprise an attempt by some local armed groups, extremist or otherwise, to brand themselves. Having said that, it is a problem by itself and debating whether it is ISIS or not is not as relevant as is the need to bring functioning government institutions to the entire country and establish security to prevent further deterioration.

MB: But al-Qaeda has grown as a result of the conflict. What’s the main reason for that?

ND: Let’s take the South, for example. During the fighting since March, police stations have closed down. Security forces withdrew from most governorates. The courts closed. Most of the South remained with no functioning police and security forces, no functioning courts, no functioning government. Al-Qaeda can come into any city when there is no government in place that can stop them. There has also been an influx of weapons and heavy arms everywhere because of the looting of army bases over the past few years. Local governments don’t have the capacity to stand up to al-Qaeda. Same thing with the tribes. Let’s take Al Bayda, where the tribes in the past have successfully limited al-Qaeda’s presence and activities. In 2014, when these tribes were pushed to fight the Houthis, they joined hands with al-Qaeda. They’re not trying to limit al-Qaeda’s presence anymore, because they want help in pushing the Houthis out of their areas. The government collapsed and violent conflicts spread in many parts of the country. This chaos offers the perfect environment for al-Qaeda to recruit and operate. But, the failure of the transition government to bring in most needed governance and security reforms also was also a major contributor to the conflict and, as a result, the spread of AlQaeda.

MB: Thanks very much for doing this.

ND: Thank you. – by Nadwa Al-Dawsari and Michael Bronner

Michael Bronner is Editor-at-large for Warscapes magazine. Nadwa Al-Dawsari is a conflict specialist and civil society leader, originating from Yemen

http://www.warscapes.com/conversations/proxies-aside-closer-look-war-yemen

Comment: Very interesting analysis of the situation in Yemen and the background of the war. I want to thank Michael Bronner for the permission to use this article.

One critical point has to be added: Nadwa Al-Dawsari mentioned that hundreds or even thousands of Houthi fighters would have been trained by Hizbollah in Libanon. Where does she know this from? When this should have happened? Are there any sources she has for that? There must be great doubts at that. Who has seen them in Libanon? It hardly could have been possible to overlook them. And: How should they have got there and back? Hard to imagine. By land: The only way is leading through Saudi Arabia. How they should have managed this by the thousands, even by the hundreds? Saudi Arabia blocked its southern frontier to Yemen even before the war. By sea? The Houthis did not control any port before late 2014. And where to go by boat? Going ashore in Jordan, without having been detected? Or by air plane? From which Yemeni air port such lots of fighters should have started? The Houthis did not control Sanaa and its airport before September, 2014.

Yemen is a very militarised society. Alreadywhen resisting to the Egyptians in the 1960ies Yemen war, northern Yemeni tribal fighters have shown how well they can fight . They would not be in need of Hizbollah training. What the Houthis seem to have learned from Hizbollah are methods of propaganda - but you do not need any fighters for that.

11.2.2016 – Der Standard (** B K)

Jemen: "Es gibt keine Guten in diesem Krieg"

Von den westlichen Medien weitgehend unbeachtet bombardiert eine von Saudi-Arabien angeführte Militärkoalition seit über zehn Monaten Rebellen im den Jemen. Ein Bericht an den UN-Sicherheitsrat erhebt Vorwürfe gegen beide Konfliktparteien. Amnesty-Krisenbeauftragte Donatella Rovera sprach mit Bert Eder über ihre Erfahrungen im Land und westliche Unterstützung für die Luftangriffe.

STANDARD: Ein kürzlich an die Öffentlichkeit gelangter Bericht an den UN-Sicherheitsrat wirft allen Konfliktparteien vor, Hunger als Mittel der Kriegsführung einzusetzen und bemerkt, dass "keine einzige humanitäre Kampfpause eingehalten" wurde. Rechnen Sie damit, dass der Sicherheitsrat deshalb aktiv wird?

Rovera: Die aktuelle Sicherheitsrats-Resolution zum Jemen unterstützt ganz klar eine Konfliktpartei und rechtfertigt den Krieg. Die sogenannte "international anerkannte Regierung" Präsident Hadis genießt wohl mehr Unterstützung bei den Personen, die für diese Resolution gestimmt haben, als im eigenen Land: Sein Mandat ist abgelaufen, er wurde als einziger Kandidat gewählt. Die Internationale Gemeinschaft ist, was den Schutz der Zivilbevölkerung im Jemen betrifft, grandios gescheitert. Alle Konfliktparteien sind für zivile Opfer verantwortlich, aber die meisten Toten fordern die Luftangriffe der saudi-geführten Koalition. Artilleriegranaten oder -raketen zerstören vielleicht ein Haus, aber eine 500 oder 1.000 Kilo schwere Bombe richtet einen viel größeren Schaden an.

Sowohl EU-Mitgliedstaaten als auch die USA unterstützen diese Bombardements – 99,9 Prozent der Geschoße und Bomben, die ich im Jemen gesehen habe, stammten aus US-Fertigung, darunter auch international geächtete Streubomben. Berater aus den USA und möglicherweise auch aus Großbritannien stehen der Koalition bei der Zielauswahl zur Seite. Bereits vor dem Krieg war Jemen von Lebensmittelimporten abhängig, weil dort fast nichts produziert wird – durch die Blockade gibt es praktisch keine Lieferungen aus dem Ausland mehr, die Wirtschaft steht still. Schon vor dem Konflikt hatte die Bevölkerung einen viel niedrigeren Lebensstandard als etwa die Syrer oder die Iraker, seitdem hat sich die Situation drastisch verschlechtert.

Ein Großteil der Luftangriffe ist militärisch betrachtet sinnlos, sie treffen Wohnhäuser, Geschäfte, Fabriken oder Moscheen.

Dass Marokko beteiligt ist, erfuhren wir erst, als ein Pilot getötet wurde, sogar sudanesische Streitkräfte wurden gesichtet: die UN unterstützen also eine Koalition, an der ein Land beteiligt ist, gegen dessen Präsidenten es eine Anklage vor dem Internationalen Strafgerichtshof gibt und gegen das ein Waffenembargo besteht – so verrückt ist der ganze Einsatz! Solange keine konkreten Kriegsverbrechen-Vorwürfe gegen den Australier vorliegen, drohen ihm wohl keine Konsequenzen. Generell ist es kaum möglich festzustellen, wer für Luftangriffe verantwortlich ist. Wir erfahren nicht, welchem Land das Flugzeug gehört, das die Bombe abwarf, die ein bestimmtes Haus zerstört hat – die Koalition veröffentlicht solche Informationen nicht

STANDARD: Die Saudis unterstützen die international anerkannte Regierung – welche Rolle spielt Ihrer Ansicht nach Iran in diesem Konflikt? Rovera: Das weiß ich nicht. Im Gegensatz zum Irak oder zu Syrien, wo iranische Rüstungsgüter und wiederholt auch hochrangige Militärvertreter gesehen wurden, haben wir im Jemen keine solchen Beobachtungen gemacht. Das Land steht unter Belagerung durch die saudi-geführte Koalition, was Waffenlieferungen zusätzlich erschwert …

STANDARD: Am Ende steht die Forderung nach einer internationalen Untersuchungskommission. Gibt es Hoffnung, dass eine solche in absehbarer Zeit eingerichtet werden könnte?

Rovera: Das wär zu begrüßen. Der Großteil der Zivilisten wird allerdings von der Koalition getötet, manche auch von den Huthis. Die Koalition hält das ganze Land in einem Belagerungszustand, die Huthis verfolgen Menschen, die sie kritisieren, nehmen willkürliche Verhaftungen vor und blockieren Lebensmittellieferungen für Städte wie Tai´iz, wie unser Bericht kritisiert. Es gibt keine Guten in diesem Krieg. Wenn eine Seite weniger Schäden anrichtet, bedeutet dies nur, dass sie nicht über die dafür erforderlichen Mittel verfügt.

Donatella Rovera ist Amnesty-Krisenbeauftragte und war im Sommer 2015 im Jemen. http://derstandard.at/2000030663254/Jemen-Es-gibt-keine-Guten-in-diesem-Krieg

Kommentar: Es lohnt die vollständige Lektüre. Das Interview spricht noch weitere Fragen an.

10.2.2016 – Al Araby (**B K P)

The only beneficiaries of nearly a year of bombing have been al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group

Strategic gains have been few. The fractured chessboard of Yemeni politics is as complex today as it was on the day the Saudis began to bomb - 26 March 2015.

Why did the Saudis and their allies start to bomb Yemen? There was no clear casus belli. The transition agreement of 2011 had frayed - President Mansour Hadi's mandate ended a year before he resigned in February 2015.

Various groups jockeyed for position towards a new agreement, which was not on the horizon. The seizure of Sanaa was not inevitable, but it was not surprising either. The Saudi bombs followed.

Who took Sanaa? Two rival political formations - the Houthis and Ali Abdullah Saleh's General People's Congress - came together against Hadi's government to take the capital. Saleh had prosecuted a war against the Houthis from 2004 to 2010. Nonetheless, they allied for this thrust.

One of the great tragedies of the Yemen war has been that the domestic politics of Yemen - which are considerably complex - now swirl around in the regional geopolitical tensions between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

Iran used to have minimal relations with the Houthis and Saleh. Their so-called common Shia ties are also weak, given that the Zaydi Shia of Yemen disagree with the Iranian Twelvers on various matters of succession and doctrine.

Saudi Arabia's paranoia of Iranian influence plays a major role here. Eclipsed are the other fissures in Yemen: questions of federalism and secession, North vs South, republican secularism vs Islamic rule. Saudi Arabia's insertion into the conflict has complicated matters and made peace an impossible idea.

If the Saudis wished to weaken the Houthis and Saleh, it is surely the case that Saudi intelligence would have picked up the signs of internal problems between these two camps.

The most sensible approach would have been to try and pry them apart. What the bombing from 26 March did was to bring them together. Could it be that the Saudis were not thinking strategically and were merely motivated by hatred of Iran?

Or could it be that domestic concerns in Saudi Arabia propelled the war? After all, just prior to the war, King Salman took the throne and appointed his son Mohammed bin Salman as defence minister.

Mohammed bin Salman - known locally as MbS - appeared on Saudi television the day after the bombing began; he was in the military operations centre, on the phone, talking to pilots, looking at maps. The Yemen war might have been MbS' opportunity to show that he was really in charge.

Now it is an albatross around his neck. Saudi Arabia cannot be seen to withdraw unless it has won. The legitimacy of the monarchy is vested in that outcome. Yemen is sacrificed to such motivations.

The unification of Yemen in 1990 is in danger of tearing apart. The two forces are content to sit near the old borderline, with the city of Taiz straddled by both. Militias of the Houthis and the Southern Resistance have now become as important as the splintered Yemeni army.

The United Nations has been sidelined. Its problems here are equal to its problems in Syria. Geopolitical tensions and the dominance of the gun on the ground make it unlikely that the parties will sit at a UN table. What the Crisis Group minimises in its report is the role of the West, which has been considerable

It has continued to rearm the Saudis throughout the conflict, putting itself, as it were, as party to the conflict and not as neutral observer. A forthcoming book edited by Sheila Carapico - Arabia Incognita. Dispatches from Yemen and the Gulf (Just World Books, May 2016) - details the Western role here. Its implication strengthens the Saudi ambition and weakens the US.

Meanwhile, two horses of the apocalypse stalk Yemen; [Famine and extremism] – by Vijay Prashad

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/comment/2016/2/10/the-tragedy-of-yemen-is-not-a-marginal-one = https://zcomm.org/znetarticle/the-tragedy-of-yemen-is-not-a-marginal-one/ = http://www.alternet.org/world/inside-major-humanitarian-tragedy-yemen

Comment: This outlines the tragedy of Yemen today. It reveals evidence that the Houthi-Saleh alliance had started to crumble before the Saudis started their bombing campaign, which then cemented their relationship. And the arrogance of 'MbS' as on the first day of bombing Yemen he was shown to be 'in charge' of the whole procedure. I wonder what sort of gloss they will use to cover his misadventure as the tragedy of Yemen inevitably spills over into KSA.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1102387166580440

5.2.2016 – HispanTV / The Dawn (** A K P)

Why does Saudi war against Yemen not come to an end?

This article aims to study some aspects of the Saudi war campaign; its implications for the Saudis and the reason for its extension.

In March last year, in order to restore the power of Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi, Saudi Arabia launched a war against neighboring Yemen; however, almost 11 months later, the war continues and represents a daily expenditure of about 200 million dollars to Riyadh (Saudi Arabia’s capital), whose economy is going through the worst crisis in its history, mainly due to the issue of falling oil prices in the international market.

In addition to the economic costs, the Saudis have seen an increase in insecurity in the southern parts of the country, bordering Yemen, due to the attacks of popular movement Ansarolá. Along with an instability issue, the number of fatal casualties among the Saudi ranks are increasing. According to official figures, more than 122 troops have been killed and a thousand have been wounded since the conflict began.

This situation has brought the Saudi monarchy to start thinking of ways to end the military action. However, the reality on the ground shows that the conflict is more is political than military in nature and that the bombings and attacks are aimed at forcing their counterparty, the Ansarolá movement, to agree to greater concessions when negotiating. With all this, they intended to show that if conditions and provisions of Riyadh are not accepted, they must pay on the battlefield.

Regardless of what is happening between Riyadh and Ansarolá, too, there is a large discrepancy between these actors and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While the Emirati forces have the largest representation among the ground forces of the so-called Saudi coalition against Yemen, there are many differences between Abu Dhabi and Riyadh about the Yemeni political map. In fact, Saudi Arabia, along with forces loyal to Mansur Hadi*, is fighting against the troops of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh; while, on the other hand, the UAE opposes to fight Saleh followers and has even given refuge to members of his family.

Likewise, the UAE outrightly opposes the Yemeni party “Al Islah”, which has close links to the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia. Therefore, it does not allow the members of this organization to be present in the talks to end the Yemeni conflict.

On the battlefield in Yemen, the Saudi military is present in the North, while the southern territories are relatively in the hands of the UAE. There are reports that show that the United Arab Emirates are to sign an agreement with Mahfoudh Khaled Bahah, Yemen’s former Vice President, according to whom, Bahah may empower the southern provinces. Of course, this caused a harsh reaction from Mansur Hadi and the Saudis.

Now, the different positions of the US and Saudi Arabia about what is happening in Yemen, have triggered concerns around a probable division of the country, like before 1990. The Saudis themselves are concerned that, if this partition occurs, once again, the southern region would be in hands of their opponents.

Besides all these factors that have prolonged the Saudi war against Yemen, there is also uncertainty that has arisen about the future of Saudi Arabia. When the Saudis attacked Yemen they did not expect such a strong resistance of the Yemeni people’s committees, so Riyadh, which is considered sponsor of takfiri** groups, led ISIS terrorists to this country, and today, these extremists are operating in different parts.

Thus, if war ended without the annihilation of these terrorists, there is a risk that they would also spread to Saudi Arabia itself and become a threat to the Arab kingdom, perpetuating instability and insecurity in the country.

However, it should be mentioned that the Saudi invasion of Yemen was a strategic mistake that highlighted the immaturity of leaders in the foreign policy area. Since the era of classical style ‘land warfare campaigns’ has passed today, it is less common for a country or a government to resort to a military action of this size to achieve their goals.

In modern times, not even the most powerful countries advocate the armed force option, because of its negative impact on the military, economic and social field; but, what else can we expect from Saudi Arabia that doesn’t even have a powerful army and lacks a thriving defense industry.

The Saudis, who are eager to appear before the world as a regional power, now, to maintain their reputation, are forced to continue the invasion until they find a favorable alternative. However, this strategic error has staked its existence, especially in the current economic situation, together with the political war that is goung on within its own borders.

It can be said that with its war against Yemen, the Saudis have committed to an act of political suicide, because apart from the internal affairs they have faced, at the international level they have placed themselves in the focus of criticism from human rights organizations, because of the slaughter of thousands of innocent Yemenis and the total destruction of the country’s infrastructure – by Rasoul Goudarzi

**A takfiri is a Sunni Muslim who accuses another Muslim (or an adherent of another Abrahamic faith) of apostasy

http://www.thedawn-news.org/2016/02/10/why-does-saudi-war-against-yemen-not-come-to-an-end/ = (Espanol) http://www.hispantv.com/newsdetail/terrorismo/203905/invasion-arabia-saudita-yemen-ansarullah

Comment: This is a very interesting piece of writing, outlining and explaining the challenges and tensions between UAE and Saudi (who are meant to be allies); between Islah and UAE; and the problems that Saudi faces as it is trapped in a war that has to have a favourable resolution before it can exit. It also explains the term 'takfiri' for those who see this term written down but are unsure what it means. Well worth a read.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1099278020224688

11.2.2016 – Vice News (** A K)

Exclusive: Saudi Arabia Warns the UN and Aid Workers in Yemen

The Saudi government has sent letters to the United Nations and to aid agencies operating in Yemen, stating that they should leave areas under Houthi control in order to be safe from bombing, VICE News can reveal.

An initial letter was sent by the Saudi mission in Geneva on February 5 to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The "note verbale" — French for "verbal note," a kind of diplomatic communication — requested that OCHA "notify all the international organizations working in Yemen about the necessity of relocating their headquarters outside the military operations areas to be away from regions where the Houthi militias and the groups belonging to them are activating, in order for the Coalition forces to guarantee the safety and security of the international organizations." A similar letter, addressed to "International Organisations and their employees," and marked "urgent," was sent out on the same day by the Saudi embassy in London.

Houthi rebels and their allies loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh control areas where the majority of Yemen's population lives, including the capital Sanaa, where most aid organizations and UN operations are headquartered.

The Saudi government has sent letters to the United Nations and to aid agencies operating in Yemen, stating that they should leave areas under Houthi control in order to be safe from bombing, VICE News can reveal.

An initial letter was sent by the Saudi mission in Geneva on February 5 to the UN's Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The "note verbale" — French for "verbal note," a kind of diplomatic communication — requested that OCHA "notify all the international organizations working in Yemen about the necessity of relocating their headquarters outside the military operations areas to be away from regions where the Houthi militias and the groups belonging to them are activating, in order for the Coalition forces to guarantee the safety and security of the international organizations." A similar letter, addressed to "International Organisations and their employees," and marked "urgent," was sent out on the same day by the Saudi embassy in London.

Houthi rebels and their allies loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh control areas where the majority of Yemen's population lives, including the capital Sanaa, where most aid organizations and UN operations are headquartered.

"This note verbale is very clear in my view, it is telling humanitarian organizations to get the hell out, before the coalition makes a full assault on the capital and other areas under Houthi control," said Belkis Wille, Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch, who reviewed the letters. "The coalition's message suggests that they are trying to absolve themselves of their responsibility to facilitate humanitarian access, and be vigilant in distinguishing between military and civilian objects in their operations."

Noting that that three hospitals supported by the medical charity Doctors Without Borders, as well as dozens of civilian sites, have been hit by Saudi-led aircraft, Wille said the Saudi communication "unfortunately befits the tone of the coalition's level of commitment towards abiding by the laws of war."

Other humanitarian workers that VICE News spoke with who had seen the letters said that while it may not indicate the Saudi coalition intends to endanger aid staff, they followed a pattern of problematic messaging issued by Saudi diplomats. All of the sources VICE News consulted said the letters were at best ambiguous – by Samuel Oakford

https://news.vice.com/article/exclusive-saudi-arabia-warns-the-un-and-aid-workers-in-yemen and from Reuters http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-war-saudi-un-idUSKCN0VK2CE and AFP http://www.france24.com/en/20160212-saudi-arabia-asks-un-move-aid-workers-yemen

Comment: Any comments? Isn't this against ANY law, not only the laws of war (which is against the law itself)?

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=967859726600391&id=961126490607048

Comment: Now the Saudis even clearly announce that they will bomb civilians, that is commit war crimes??

cp2 Allgemein / General

11.2.2016 – Huffington Post (* B P)

A Message To My Child, In Memory Of The Revolution In Yemen

Five years ago, in February 2011 to be exact, along with a huge crowd of young people, eager for a Yemen filled with goodness, justice and a secure future for you and the children of your generation, I headed to Sanaa University Square. I chanted with them at the top of my lungs, "The people want to bring down the regime." A regime that ravaged the country for 33 years. A regime that spread ignorance, poverty, corruption, nepotism, regionalism and racism. It is the regime that is currently lighting the fuse of sectarianism as I write this message to you.

Over the past five years, never did I regret sharing the dream of a new Yemen with my fellow revolutionaries. However, nor did I imagine that you would come to life and the Yemen we dreamed of would have become how it is now as I write this message to you. I did not imagine that the victim would become the executioner, or that the state would disappear, or that weapons would become the daily means of dialogue between all parties – by Raghda Gamal

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/raghdagamal/a-message-to-my-child-in-_b_9201902.html?utm_hp_ref=world&ir=WorldPost = http://www.istackr.com/page/1466259/A-Message-To-My-Child-In-Memory-Of-The-Revolution-In-Yemen/

10.2.2016 – Taiz News (A K)

Film: Why resistance civilians members are forced to defend their city and their selves from ‪#‎Houthi ‪#‎Saleh militia aggression

https://www.facebook.com/taizncitynews/?target_post=1088152107885974&ref=story_permalink

Comment: I am sure this is how the Taiz people see their truth but truth is always a contested issue in war. So this man is saying it as it is for him. But point one - the Houthis are against government. They are against the present government but they had agreed with the UN envoy Jamal Benomar for a five man ruling team headed by Hadi until elections - and they knew they would not win elections. It was the very unpopular Hadi who reneged on the deal and fled first to Aden and then to Riyadh and asked Saudi to start bombing his own country and people. Secondly the issue of the siege. All Yemen is under blockade and some stuff is getting into Taiz reported by aid organisations, in the background of the speaker you see cars, people and children walking around and not looking like skeletons. Some areas like Saada have a worse humanitarian situation. Thirdly all militias and fighting forces are killing people in Taiz; it is the most brutal part of a terrible, terrible war. I do have sympathy with Taiz - in effect they don't have sympathy with either the old South Yemen or the rest of the North, so they are isolated in their suffering; North and South deride them and deny what they are going through. They also are not supported by UAE as the majority of their fighters are Islah and that is seen as a terrorist organisation by UAE. And of course, the people in Taiz itself are split - many fighting with the Houthi-Saleh alliance against what they see as the invasion by a foreign force. The Islah supporters are the most polarised in Yemen and see only a military victory as a possible outcome; they have long animosity against Saleh for historical reasons. And the southerners remember the Islah militias from Taiz in the 1994 war who so brutally suppressed their hopes of an independent South and hence their animosity. These supporters of Islah don't acknowledge the sufferings of the rest of Yemen, and they don't ever acknowledge the deaths from the Saudi led coalition in Taiz though there is heavy aerial bombardment there. If they did it would be easier somehow to get Yemenis to unite for peace. As it is, many in the rest of Yemen say that there is no problem in Taiz and they cry crocodile tears. It is such a complicated and heart breaking story.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1098682140284276

10.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (B K P)

Film: Saudi Arabia Prostrates Itself Before Washington as Its Yemen Disaster Unravels

Eric Draitser of http://StopImperialism.org provides his commentary (Feb. 9, 2016) on Saudi Arabia's recent pandering to Washington neocons to continue supporting its criminal war on Yemen. Draitser explains that the Saudi war has been an utter failure, and that the divisions within the House of Saud are becoming increasingly apparent. He also notes the US role in Yemen, and Washington's geopolitical agenda for the country, and strategy for the region.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_dnmabf9XJ4&feature=player_embedded

10.2.2016 – TV2 Africa (A K)

Film: Zaid al-Alaya'a on Yemen unrest

Yemeni forces and Al-Qaeda militants battled Tuesday in the southern port of Aden, leaving several people dead. The government is trying to establish control over Aden, after pushing out Houthi rebels last year. The Houthis still control Yemen’s capital Sana’a and other parts in the north. Analyst Zaid al-Alaya'a in Yemen capital gives Vincent Makori some perspective on the evolving situation in Yemen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3TKyvYCg6m4

10.2.2016 – Before Its News (A K)

Films: Yemen Update 2/17/2016

http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2016/02/yemen-update-2102016-us-blackwater-to-withdraw-mercenaries-from-yemen-2777852.html

10.2.2016 – Aljazeera (* A P)

Film: Can the dream of Yemen's revolution be salvaged?

It has been five years since Yemenis stood together to demand change and the resignation of long time president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

They had hoped it would be a fast beginning to a new era, but many Yemenis now say their revolution was hijacked by foreign powers and brought more poverty and conflict.

So, can the dream of Yemen's revolution be salvaged? And what will it take for Yemenis - and their many foreign backers - to make peace?

Presenter: Kamahl Santamaria. Guests: Baraa Shiban - Human rights activist, who was a member of Yemen's National Dialogue process; Adam Baron - Visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations; Mohammad Al Shami - Yemeni civil society activist

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2016/02/dream-yemen-revolution-salvaged-160210162415711.html

10.2.2016 – The Intercept (** H K)

LAST CALL: THE LIFE AND DEATH OF AN AMBULANCE DRIVER IN YEMEN

THE AMBULANCE, a white, ramshackle Land Cruiser, rattled along the bumpy road in Saada City, in the far north of Yemen, on its way to answer an emergency call. When the driver, 35-year-old Abdulmalik Amer, arrived at the scene in the Dhayan district, 12 miles from the city, he found a collapsed house with four inhabitants trapped inside — victims of a Saudi airstrike.

For Amer, the father of two young children, January 21 was a typical day of work as an ambulance driver. It was also his last.

Amer and a colleague, with the help of local residents, retrieved the four injured people from under the rubble and were about to drive to the Jumhuriya Hospital, which is supported by Médecins Sans Frontières, or MSF, when another airstrike hit.

The ambulance was ripped to shreds, killing everyone on board, as well as those who had congregated to help. Women and children nearby were seen stumbling away.

When civilians gathered to help the injured, another airstrike came down. At least 26 people were killed and 48 injured in the series of strikes, which was caught on camera.

Michael Seawright, who served as MSF’s project coordinator in Yemen, saidthat the MSF-run emergency department in Saada City often received patients who had traveled four or five hours for treatment, because it was the only hospital with emergency surgical capacity in the province. “People would come in missing feet, hands, and with severe abdominal and head trauma,” he said.

Despite over a decade of work in war zones, including in Syria, Seawright said, “I have never seen such destruction conducted in such a short period as in Yemen.”

The attacks that killed Amer were also the fourth time in less than three months that medical workers associated with the international aid group MSF have come under Saudi attack. “This latest loss of a colleague is devastating, and it demonstrates the ruthlessness with which health care is coming under attack in Yemen,” said Teresa Sancristóval, emergency coordinator at MSF, in a statement issued a day after the Dhayan attack.

Amer was known for traveling routes that others were too afraid to drive; Saudi airstrikes often hit after rescuers gather to help survivors of an initial attack, making it particularly dangerous for ambulance drivers. He had survived a number of bombings similar to the one that led to his death.

On June 5, he narrowly escaped such a strike, suffering shrapnel wounds to his arm.

Hajr said that Amer would often help in the emergency room, stitching wounds and giving injections to the injured. He even attended to the dead.

“Before he would put corpses into the morgue, he would make sure to wipe off blood stains from their faces,” said Hajr. When asked why he did that, Amer would say, “So that their relatives can at least see them without blood on their faces.”

After Amer’s death, the hospital is without its best driver. “There was a bombing today,” Hajr said, “and everyone was expecting Abdulmalik to show up.” – by Shuaib Almosawa

https://theintercept.com/2016/02/10/last-call-the-life-and-death-of-an-ambulance-driver-in-yemen/

Comment: Instead of trying to protect civilians by calling for a ceasefire, Washington is selling Saudi Arabia precision weapons to replace U.S.-made cluster bombs. This policy amounts to an ineffectual “nod towards protection of innocent civilians”

In the meantime, the death count in Yemen continues to grow and nearly every Yemeni has a story of a family member or friend killed in an airstrike.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=967258703327160&id=961126490607048

9.2.2016 – L’intelletuale dissidente (* B K P)

Guerra nello Yemen, perché l’Europa non deve armare l’Arabia Saudita

Comprendere il cuore della crisi yemenita per sospendere definitivamente le vendite militari all’Arabia Saudita. Ne abbiamo parlato con la giornalista Laura Silvia Battaglia: “Lo Yemen ha due caratteristiche che lo rendono un Paese strategico: prima, la sua posizione sul mare, che gli consente di controllare lo stretto di Baab al Mandab, dal quale passa di tutto (..) Dall’altro è un Paese che poggia su una delle più ampie falde petrolifere che l’Arabia Saudita sfrutta ed è interessante sapere che il punto di massimo sfruttamento, non ancora messo a regime, è proprio qui in Yemen, nel Marib” – da Roberta Baron

http://www.lintellettualedissidente.it/esteri-3/guerra-nello-yemen-perche-leuropa-non-deve-armare-larabia-saudita/

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

11.2.2016 – Red Cross (A H)

Yemen: Staggering crisis, insufficient response

Dominik Stillhart, director of operations at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), has just concluded a three-day visit to war-torn Yemen.

"I am appalled by what Yemenis are having to endure," said Mr Stillhart. "Their quest for survival, food, water and shelter is a daily struggle amidst continuous air strikes and ground fighting. The restrictions on the movement of fuel, food and medicine into and around the country are making the crisis even worse."

As the conflict and people's suffering have intensified, the ICRC has scaled up its activities. It is one of the few international organizations present across Yemen, with offices in Sana'a, Sa'ada, Taiz and Aden. In 2015, the organization helped more than three million Yemenis.

"We are committed to continuing to help all Yemenis, irrespective of their affiliation, provided our teams are allowed to work safely," said Mr Stillhart. He described the staggering scale of the crisis and the insufficient humanitarian response, further curtailed by the lack of security and access for humanitarian organizations.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-staggering-crisis-insufficient-response

10.2.2016 – UN News Center / WHO (*A H K)

UN health agency delivers medical aid inside Yemen's Taiz city after blocked entry

Following months of blocked access to the Yemeni city of Taiz, and in response to mounting emergency health needs, the World Health Organization (WHO) said today it has successfully delivered more than 20 tonnes of life-saving medicines and medical supplies to meet the most urgent needs of those with limited access to humanitarian aid.

The health supplies, which had been blocked from entering the city for eight weeks, were delivered to Al-Thawra, Al-Jumhoori, Al-Rawdha and Al-Ta'aon hospitals as of 31 January, WHO said in a press release.

“Hospital staff in Taiz City are desperate for medicines and medical supplies so that they can continue to offer the most basic medical care. The delivery of these WHO supplies is a huge step that we are hoping will pave the way for the provision of more medical support to the city,” said Dr. Ahmed Shadoul, WHO representative in Yemen.

The supplies include trauma kits, interagency emergency health kits, diarrhoeal disease kits and 170 oxygen cylinders, enough for about 35,000 beneficiaries. In addition, dialysis solutions were facilitated to Al-Thawra Hospital for 30,000 dialysis sessions for one year.

WHO said that three districts in Taiz – Al Mudhaffar, Al Qahirah and Salah – still remain inaccessible and people are in urgent need of food, safe water and life-saving health services. Many hospitals have been forced to close their intensive care units due to a lack of fuel, medicines and health staff, and patients with chronic medical issues such as diabetes, kidney disease and cancer are struggling to access essential medicines and dialysis centres.

Shortages in food have led to a significant increase in prices, with many people now unable to afford basic food items, resulting in increased risk of malnutrition, especially in children, WHO said. The main wells providing safe drinking-water have shut down due to interruptions in power supplies and a lack of fuel for generators.

WHO added that earlier this week, an aid plane landed in Sana'a airport with an additional 40 tonnes of medicines and medical supplies, which will be distributed where they are most needed across the country.

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=53204#.VrwWK_nhCUk = http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/following-months-blocked-access-who-medical-supplies-reach-taiz-city-yemen

Comment: This seems to be a never ending game – blockade–delivery is granted–blockade etc. The need for such supplies is the same throughout the country, as far it is blocked by the Saudi blockade, not only at Taiz which is blocked by the Houthis. Saada is as desperately in need as Taiz, but it is not in the Western focus.

Comment: Well I keep getting news of aid being delivered to Taiz although there are repeated reports that it isn't arriving there. Here we have a report in a KSA news outlet that says it is arriving. It confirms all of my earlier claims - that there are 200,000 in the city, MSF got medical aid into Taiz in January, and 40 tons of aid was air dropped into Taiz by Saudi Arabia earlier this year. The WHO delivery was also confirmed by UN today.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1098785636940593

In other parts of Yemen still suffering even more, comes this comment: What about other cities in Yemen? It is sad that we in Sana'a or Hadjah don't count! So, those in favorable of the Saudi-American assault on Yemen are considered humans and hence the world is held accountable for their whatever. En contraire, those defending the country deserve no attention despite their equal or may be worse direness. Such double standard is disgusting. We are drying out in here, but our dignity allow us not to cry foul.

https://www.facebook.com/judith.brown.794628/posts/10154094007363641

10.2.2016 – Reuters (* B H K)

In Yemen war, hospitals bombed to rubble, starvation spreads

[ Overview on the medical and human situation ]

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-humanitarian-idUSKCN0VJ1D1

3.2.2016 – European Union (B H)

The European Commission is supporting the people affected by the conflict as well as populations across the country suffering from malnutrition or facing food insecurity and armed clashes. The bulk of humanitarian funding is used to provide food, water and sanitation, basic health care, shelter and household items for the internally displaced people, the refugees from the Horn of Africa and the communities who are hosting these uprooted people.

The remaining funding is allocated to humanitarian agencies who provide appropriate treatment and relief to children suffering from acute malnutrition. With the worsening conditions faced by an increasing number of migrants stranded in Yemen, the Commission is also funding shelter, health care, protection, as well as water and sanitation assistance for the most vulnerable ones.

A small portion of Commission funding is also used to ensure monitoring of the rapidly evolving humanitarian situation and security, as well as coordination among humanitarian actors and donors. Advocacy work – disseminating information about the humanitarian principles – is also being conducted.

http://ec.europa.eu/echo/where/middle-east-north-africa/yemen_en

11.12.2015 – Oxfam (** B H)

Our Country, Our Peace: Women and War in Yemen

In Yemen, as in any other armed conflict, men and women are affected differently, with the latter often bearing the brunt. Gender inequalities rooted in local laws and customs shape the abilities of women and men to engage and have a say over what is going on in their lives.

In Yemen now, mothers are eating less in order to ensure that their children have enough to eat. 522,000 pregnant mothers are unable to get basic healthcare. Displacement is tearing families apart and is impacting relationships and dynamics, giving rise to different forms of violence. With men and boys killed or unable to find work, many women have become the breadwinners and primary carers responsible for finding shelter, food, and medicine for their families.

It’s now been one month since 71 countries pledged political and financial support to women affected by war, and sponsored a second resolution - UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2242 - that reiterated the importance of women’s roles in ending conflict and peace-building. October 2015 marked the 15th anniversary of the UN Security Council’s landmark first resolution – UNSCR 1325 - on women and armed conflict. The progress made as well as the opportunity and need for far greater recognition of women’s human rights leaves us concerned by the frequent under-representation of women in many formal processes related to the maintenance of international peace and security.

Yemeni women showed courageous leadership during the country’s popular uprising in 2011, and have demonstrated that they are a force for peace. The UN and member states must ensure that Yemeni women can participate and have both a voice in the upcoming peace talks and a say in the future direction of their country. UN member states must now uphold their pledge to support women’s roles in preventing and resolving conflicts beginning with Yemen. An inclusive process that meaningfully involves women and addresses their needs is more likely to address social and economic inequalities generally – thereby promoting long-term peace and stability.

In their own words, the women and men we met in Yemen tell us about the impact of war on their lives. The fluidity of the situation on the ground is counterbalanced by only one constant: everyone we spoke with called for peace and an immediate end to the fighting. Otherwise, Yemen, its people, and their futures will be lost for good.

[8 people, men and women, speaking]

https://oxfaminternational.exposure.co/our-country-our-peace

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

11.2.2016 – Press T Iran (A P)

Yemeni demonstrators decry Saudi military campaign

Thousands of Yemenis have taken to the streets of the capital, Sana’a, condemning the Saudi regime’s deadly military campaign against their country.

During the Thursday march in Sana’a, the Yemenis chanted anti-Saudi slogans and censured the United States for backing the Riyadh regime in its aggression against its southern neighbor.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2016/02/11/449776/Yemen-protest-rally-Saleh-Yemen-revolution-Sanaa

cp6 Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi-government

11.2.2016 – The Long War Journal (* A T)

Al Qaeda seizes more territory in southern Yemen

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has expanded its footprint across southern Yemen by seizing five towns, including a provincial capital, over the past two weeks. Al Qaeda’s official branch in Yemen continues to capitalize on Yemen’s chaotic civil war.

AQAP took “full control” of Houta, the capital of Lahj province, on Jan. 26, according to Al-Araby al-Jadeed. Pro-government militias in the town fled as AQAP fighters were “storming the public institutions” and blew up a police station.

After overruning Houta, AQAP marched on four towns in the provinces of Abyan and Shabwa, traditional strongholds for the jihadist insurgent group. On Feb. 1, AQAP took Azzan in Shabwa without a fight.

Next to fall was Mahfid, a town in Abyan province, on Feb. 4, according to Al-Masdar Online. AQAP raised it’s black banner and set up security checkpoints throughout the town. Mahfid, like Azzan, was taken without opposition from security forces.

Additionally, AQAP recently took over the coastal towns of Shoqra and Ahwar in the Abyan province, according to a Feb. 8 report by AFP.

The five towns are the latest major population centers in southern Yemen to fall under al Qaeda’s sphere of influence. The first city to fall was Mukalla, the capital of Hadramout province, in April 2015. AQAP launched several high-profile assaults on Yemen military bases before capturing the provincial capital.

In December 2015, AQAP overran Zinjibar, the capital of Abyan province, and the nearby town of Jaar after clashes with Yemeni security forces.

In addition to the cities and towns known to be held by AQAP, the group also holds sway over rural areas in Abyan, Shabwa, and Hadramout provinces.

AQAP seeks to administer the territory it has recently seized, and is promoting its efforts on social media. Recently, AQAP has highlighted its efforts to provide services as well as put into effect sharia, or Islamic law, in Mukalla, Zinjibar, and Jaar. [See LWJ report, AQAP provides social services, implements sharia while advancing in southern Yemen.]

http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2016/02/al-qaeda-seizes-more-territory-in-southern-yemen.php

10.2.2016 – Warscapes (* B T)

The Music of the Islamic State

He then asked the Daesh militants to leave. The curly haired youth approached him and warned: “You will regret this, Muhammed.” The young man then signaled to his group to leave and got into a car bearing the Daesh logo. These cars openly roam city streets despite the presence of armored government vehicles and the Arab coalition’s security forces, and despite President Hadi’s return to Aden and the numerous promises to maintain security.

From that day since, Muhammed only moves through the city in the company of his armed friends. His mother’s heart is once again filled with dread, and her health has worsened (she suffers from high blood sugar and asthma). Every day, she awaits Muhammed’s safe return from the cafe, breaking down with joy each time he returns.

Muhammed’s experience is all too common. Extremists bearing the Daesh banner routinely pressure commercial establishments on a very local level, from the owners of simple handicraft shops to small- and medium-sized businesses, forcing them to fly Daesh banners and play their chants and music. The Islamic State roams public spaces with impunity, even staging video and photo shoots in different parts of the city for footage they can use in their videos, including those of killings, in productions reminiscent of those emerging from other countries in which there is a presence of the Islamic State – by

http://www.warscapes.com/reportage/music-islamic-state

10.2.2016 – Al Monitor (A P)

Why Yemen may not be heading for a split

Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi won over two prominent secessionist leaders by giving them positions of power in the current government. In doing so, he redirected rebel interests to align with his fight against the Houthis and his predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The SMM leaders' participation in Hadi's government brought the idea of a federal regime to the forefront. But the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels’ attempt to control state institutions by force hampered all steps toward implementing this option. This solidified a large section of southerners to adapt by abandoning the demand of disengagement with the north to support Hadi’s regime. The southerners, most notably the SMM, strengthened their political alliances with Hadi supporters to create an axis in the southern arena to help support a new approach to Yemeni unity.

However, Hadi's decision to give the SMM positions of power was criticized in the north as setting the foundation for a progressive independence of the southern regions. But the move helped Hadi restructure the security and military institutions in the south, while also maintaining the north's antagonism toward the Houthis.

Yemeni author and political analyst Abdul Rakib al-Hadiani noted how Hadi's strategy helped to merge the popular resistance with the military and security official apparatus.

“The SMM turned, after this decision, from an opposition force in the street into tools in the hands of the legitimate government," Hadiani told Al-Monitor.

He explained that Hadi took advantage of the circumstances to push the secessionist movement to help deal with the immediate threat of the Houthis. Regional players, represented by the countries of a Saudi-led coalition, were also an important factor in dissuading the SMM from demanding a revival of south Yemen, which was united with the north in 1990.

The south's demand for secession was completely abandoned when those making the demand agreed to be part of the state administration, creating a strong alliance, Hadiani noted. “It will not be easy to topple the existing settlement, now that the SMM is part of it,” he said.

In Hadiani’s view, the secessionists had no choice but to accept the internationally recognized and militarily protected government, since any opponent would have to confront not only Yemini military, but other countries in the Gulf as well – by Ashraf Al-Falahi

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/02/yemen-president-hadi-southern-mobility-movement-secession.html

Comment: It is hard to believe that the separatist position will disappear by such appointments. More probable, separatists will turn against those leaders who have aligned with the Hadi government to participate in its privileges.

11.2.2016 – Cihan.com (* A P)

‘Yemen hires its biggest island out to UAE for 99 years’

Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is making arrangements to hire the island Socotra, located in the south, said a Lebanon based TV channel. Reportedly, the island will be hired out to Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates (UAE) for 99 years.

According to Al-Mayadeen TV channel’s news, the island was offered for UAE to get its support for the civil war in Yemen, no further information about the negotiation was provided yet. Reportedly, the island may also be under the governance of US. It was also mentioned in the news that the island will be hired for the investments of touristic, economic and navigation fields.

The mystery island of the Earth; ‘Socotra’: Socotra is an island and a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean.

The long geological isolation of the Socotra archipelago and its fierce heat and drought have combined to create a unique and spectacular endemic flora. The island group also has a rich fauna, including several endemic species of birds.

https://www.cihan.com.tr/en/island-socotra-yemen-aden-gulf-hiring-2011605.htm

10.2.2016 – Living in Yemen on the Edge (* A P)

A secret plan has been revealed
The UAE aims to run Socotra island for 100 years in order to exploit and take advantage of its geographical location and environmental diversity in the creation of a full economic, trade and navigation project advanced by the US as a step in the occupation and control of sources.
Humanitarian titles, logos and cooperation projects are false: the UAE is US's ambitious hand in gripping the island
Private sources revealed that the agreement was prepared between Mohammed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Hadi.
According to sources, Hadi has rented Socotra to the UAE for nearly a hundred years, in order to invest and take advantage of its location and its environmental pluses, through the creation of economic, tourist, commercial and maritime projects.
This information was uncovered by a French intelligence at the end of August last year, after a meeting in the Moroccan city of "Tangier" between the UAE and Saudi Arabia's military leader.
In order to avoid a dispute between the two parties involved in the aggression on Yemen, they jointly decided to to divide Yemen into two spheres of influence in the future. According to the site, "Intelligence Online" in the report entitled the "Yalta Saudi UAE in Tangier" it was agreed that the north of Yemen will remain under the influence of Saudi Arabia, the Middle under the supervision of the UAE, while the central Yemen, will be under the joint supervision between these two the two countries.
This serves the purposes of the US activity through its arm Emirates in Aden and most recently in Socotra.. Most of all this would secure the southern gate of Bab al-Mandab Strait, the international maritime corridor linking the Indian Ocean and the countries of the world.
As far as Socotra is concerned, America already disclosed its intention to create an alternative to prison Guantanamo and a military base which would secure its interests and control of the shipping lanes in the region.

https://www.facebook.com/961126490607048/photos/a.961595153893515.1073741828.961126490607048/967366049983092/?type=3

Comment: Really unmasking.

Take a look at this island:

12.2.2016 - Another (*)

An Alien Island in the Arabian Sea (with photos)

Located 130 nautical miles east of Africa, Socotra is truly a world apart. Separated from the mainland by the waves for at least 250 million years, the island archipelago is home to a series of exotic species found nowhere else on the planet. Stranded by continental drift, instead of being created volcanic activity, it is one of the most isolated landforms on Earth.

http://www.anothermag.com/design-living/8360/an-alien-island-in-the-arabian-sea

cp7 UNO / UN

10.2.2016 – Sputnik News (A P)

Russia to Propose Weekly UN Security Council Meetings on Yemen

ussian Ambassador to the UN Vitaly Churkin said that Russia will propose weekly UN Security Council meetings on the humanitarian situation in Yemen as well as revisiting of Libyan humanitarian struggles.

http://sputniknews.com/politics/20160210/1034548164/russia-propose-unsc-yemen-meetng.html

10.2.2016 – Inner City Press (A P)

On Yemen, Weekly UNSC Meetings Proposed on Strikes Involving US & UK

The UN Secretariat's bungling of Yemen mediation has become ever more clear, according to multiple sources and documents exclusively seen by Inner City Press, see below.

On February 10, when a proposal for weekly UN Security Council meeting about Yemen was made, Inner City Press asked the proposer, Russia's Ambassador Vitaly Churkin, about airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition which, he noted, includes the US and UK. As fast transcribed by InnerCityPro.com:

On February 1 Inner City Press asked incoming President of the Security Council Rafael Ramirez of Venezuela about Yemen. Video here. [and more people asked] – by Matthew Russell Lee
http://www.innercitypress.com/yemen108fishy021016.html

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

10.2.2016 – The Washington Institute (** B P)

The Shift in Saudi Foreign Policy

While many believe that Riyadh's Yemen campaign and oil policy are sowing the seeds of domestic instability, the kingdom's activist approach is likely to endure for the foreseeable future given Washington's recent track record.

From Yemen to Syria to Lebanon, Riyadh is now pursuing an agenda that at times stands in stark opposition to the articulated regional policies of Washington.

Saudi Arabia's more robust approach is a reaction to the Obama Administration's diplomatic overtures to Tehran in the context of the nuclear agreement.

The signing of the nuclear Framework Agreement in April 2015 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action in July 2015 confirmed Riyadh's fears about an American realignment in the Gulf.

As Washington moved closer to detente with Tehran, Saudi Arabia has charted a new, more aggressive policy toward Iran. The first skirmish, just three months after King Salman's coronation -- and a month prior to the signing of the Framework Agreement -- was in Yemen.

It wasn't the first time that the Saudis engaged in military operations against the Houthis; Riyadh deployed troops to fight the Houthis in 2009-10, but withdrew after three months when casualties started to mount.

Yemen has been the highest profile initiative in Riyadh's more aggressive approach to Iran, but it's not the only battleground.

Beyond its unprecedented kinetic operations in Yemen and its creative new approach in Lebanon, the more aggressive Saudi approach can also be seen in its domestic decision making.

These Saudi initiatives represent a divergence from the Obama Administration's policies. To wit, the Administration has been extremely critical of the Saudi air war in Yemen. Last year, an anonymous US official told The Los Angeles Times the campaign was a "disaster," complaining that the Saudis didn't have a "realistic endgame."

For the Obama Administration, Riyadh's robust approach to Iran is problematic. Judging from these latest Saudi policy initiatives, it seems that the Kingdom has decided to go it alone, to pursue its interests without regard for the wishes of the US. While many believe Riyadh's Yemen campaign and its oil policy are sowing the seeds of instability in the Kingdom, given the Administration's track record containing Iran, for the foreseeable future, Saudi Arabia's more activist approach is likely to endure – by David Shenker

10.2.2016 – Daily Times (** B P)

Saudi paranoia

When the US signed the nuclear deal with Iran, despite all of Riyadh's protestations, it looked like a serious breach of trust that only further reinforced Saudi paranoia

Saudi Arabia is one terribly insecure kingdom; it sees dangers lurking all around and, therefore, tends to shoot in all directions, metaphorically speaking, though it is not much of an exaggeration when one looks at how over-extended it is. It has its forces in Bahrain, it is bombing Yemen indiscriminately to crush the Houthi rebellion there — said to be instigated and supported by Iran — and it has been arming and providing financial support to all kinds of rebel groups in Syria to overthrow the Bashar al-Assad regime. The Saudi-backed high negotiating committee of Syrian opposition and rebel groups has basically been trying to set preconditions in Geneva designed to sabotage the peace process and it looks like they might succeed.

At home in Saudi Arabia, the regime has a pact of sorts with the country’s clerical establishment, which supports the monarchy and, in turn, the kingdom is the champion of Islamic orthodoxy, promoting the Wahhabi brand of Islam, regionally and globally, with generous funding of mosques, madrassas (religious schools) and in all sorts of other ways. These Saudi-funded and promoted institutions have been the wellspring of militant ideology embodied in al Qaeda and now Islamic State (IS), which is causing havoc, starting with the al Qaeda-linked 9/11 attacks in the US and now by IS militants in a number of countries. With no demonstrable popular support at home by way of periodic elections or in any other way, the Saudi monarchy has sought to establish legitimacy by championing Islamic orthodoxy combined with the custodianship of the Islamic faith’s holiest sites. Its strategic and economic ties with the US underwrote its security and continue to do so. Saudi Arabia’s status as the world’s largest oil producer and the US’s increasing dependence on oil imports from it during much of the last century, created a symbiotic relationship between the two countries that seemed to override other considerations.

However, things are changing slowly, creating even greater nervousness in the Kingdom. First, the eruption of the Arab Spring early in the decade created political turbulence in the region, starting with Tunisia and spreading to Egypt and elsewhere in the region.

Other developments in the region were not propitious either. The popular rebellion in Syria, for instance, provided an excellent opportunity to get rid of the Bashar al-Assad regime, regarded as an Iranian proxy in the largely Sunni Arab world, but it did not go according to plan.

When the US signed the nuclear deal with Iran, despite all of Riyadh’s protestations, it looked like a serious breach of trust that only further reinforced Saudi paranoia. It seemed to be losing its centrality in the US’s scheme of things when it came to Middle Eastern affairs. Washington seemed to be exploring ways of dealing within the region outside the box to give its policy some flexibility, however limited. In other words, Saudi Arabia was still an important element of its Middle Eastern policy but it seemed to be losing its veto power. And the Saudis have reacted badly to it, having never believed in the efficacy of diplomacy to deal with contentious regional issues because that is indicative of weakness and vulnerability.

On the surface, they must show strength against their enemies at home and abroad. And that was unequivocally demonstrated with the execution of the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr for alleged terrorism offences. This seemed to have been done without consulting the US as Washington was taken aback, counselling both Iran, where anti-Saudi protesters vandalized the Saudi embassy in the midst of strong protests, and Saudi Arabia to exercise restraint. Riyadh seemed keen to demonstrate its strength and resolve to crush any kind of dissidence as terrorism. At the same time, this sounded like the dangerous tantrums of a child used to having its own way. The US thus would have a serious problem diversifying its Middle Eastern policy, with Riyadh ready to act as a spoiler. It will be interesting to see how the US handles Saudi Arabia’s erratic behavior – by S. P. Seth

http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/opinion/10-Feb-2016/saudi-paranoia

22.6.2015 – The National Interest (** B P)

Meet Saudi Arabia's Biggest (and Most Controversial) Twitter Star

Even Saudi Arabia’s oppressive religious police recently joined Twitter.

But, as it turns out, that same police force reportedly shut down 10,117 Twitter accounts in 2014 for “religious and ethical violations” online. Many Saudi citizens have been subjected to harsh sentences for online activism, including by terror courts.

Perhaps the most telling cautionary tale is the case of a Saudi cleric named Saleh bin Awad al-Moghamsy, appointed as preacher at one of the most historic and venerated mosques in the Islamic world: the Quba Mosque in Medina. According to a recent study of influence on social media that looked not just accounts’ number of followers but also the intensity of user actions such as “retweets” and “favorites,” Moghamsy is the single most influential Saudi non-royal on social media.

Perhaps Moghamsy’s most shocking comment was delivered on a Qatari state TV program in 2012, when the cleric ruled that Osama Bin Laden died with more sanctity and honor in the eyes of Allah than any “Jews, Christians, Zoroastrians, apostates and atheists,” whom he described as “infidels.” Indeed, Moghamsy implied that any Muslim dies with more honor than a non-Muslim, irrespective of the individual’s character or worldly deeds.

Moghamsy has a particular penchant for demonizing Jews and Judaism.

And though the Jews are among his favorite topics, Moghamsy also has plenty to say about others. He has called Shiites a “misguided sect” and similarly claimed that the Christians have “squandered their religion.” The Christian religion in his view is “falsified and null and void.”

As for the ideal role of women in society, he has ruled that “Allah created woman as an ornament in the eyes of men.”

None of Saleh Moghamsy’s offensive remarks, not even his controversial Bin Laden comments, seem to have affected his cozy ties with the Saudi royal family, including with Saudi Arabia’s current king, Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

A mere three months after the preacher outlined his Islamic supremacist views with reference to Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia’s then-Crown Prince Salman chaired a board meeting for a cultural-religious research center in Medina that was run by Moghamsy. Not only did Moghamsy get to participate in the meeting, it was covered by the regime’s state news wire, which mentioned that the cleric presented the country’s heir with a commemorative gift.

As is suggested by the international orientation of these recent events, Moghamsy’s influence transcends borders. Aided in part by satellite TV channels, guest lectures, and his powerful presence on social media, the preacher has been embraced, sometimes physically, by religious and political elites in all five of the Sunni-ruled Arab Gulf states.

In an era of harsh sectarian warfare and military gains by the Islamic State, the Gulf is desperately in need of more love, brotherhood and tolerance. But achieving this requires America’s Arab Gulf allies to stop granting state privileges to prominent preachers of such obvious intolerance, including Moghamsy. Until they do so, these governments are in clear violation of their explicit commitment to tackle the hateful ideology that fans the flames of conflict that is spreading alarmingly across the Middle East – by David Andrew Weinberg and Oren Adaki

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/meet-saudi-arabias-biggest-most-controversial-twitter-star-13158

4.2.2016 – US News (* B P)

Here’s What Would Happen if Saudi Arabia Deployed Troops to Syria

The oil-rich Gulf kingdom’s prior military actions raise concerns about how it could affect an already blood-soaked battlefield.

The outcome of a Saudi deployment on the ground in Syria could make an awful situation even more nightmarish, some experts think, as it would likely focus less on creating stability and more on finding ways to punish its chief enemy, Iran.

It also has vastly different goals for Syria than the U.S., or most other countries actively participating in the fighting there. Offering to deploy ground forces is almost certainly more of a message to Iran that the Saudi government will not tolerate its ongoing operations there in support of the regime of Bashar Assad, just as Saudi Arabia has criticized Iranian meddling in the civil war in its neighboring Yemen.

"Saudi Arabia's strategic goals in Syria are very different from ours. And any new introduction of foreign ground troops into Syria would be greatly complicating efforts to focus attention on ISIS as the threat," says Stephen Kinzer, a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute of International and Public Affairs. "The Saudis know what their goal is. They want to overthrow Assad. Period."

He wrote an op-ed in The Boston Globe this week outlining what he describes as a new sense of "aggressive activism" in the Saudi government, which views its neighborhood as increasingly unstable and believes it can no longer fully rely on U.S. support.

It's also unclear how, if at all, Saudi forces would cooperate with other ground troops, such as the Kurdish fighting units known as the YPG and the peshmerga. Saudi Arabia's actions in recent conflicts are blighted by accusations of heavy-handedness or even criminal activity – by Paul D. Shinkman

http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2016-02-04/heres-what-would-happen-if-saudi-arabia-deployed-troops-to-syria

3.2.2016 – Boston Globe (* B P)

Why Saudi Arabia is behaving like a cornered boxer

The year since King Salman and his powerful son took over has been a wild one for Saudi Arabia. Past Saudi leaders prized stability above all. That conservatism has been thrown to the shamal, the wild wind that rips across Saudi deserts. In its place has come an aggressive activism that may radically reshape the kingdom and the region around it.

Fear drives Saudi Arabia’s new militancy. Part of its challenge is domestic. The extremist terror epitomized by the Taliban, Al Qaeda, and ISIS has its roots in Saudi Arabia. That terror, inevitably, has begun erupting inside the kingdom itself. Yet because the regime relies for its legitimacy on the blessing of militant clerics, any crackdown can be only half-hearted.

Even more alarming to the Saudis is what they see in their neighborhood. The state system that shaped the Middle East for generations is collapsing. Iran, which the Saudi regime sees as its main enemy, is emerging from decades of isolation.

Plunging recklessly into wars of choice, directly confronting Iran, and scorning the United States — King Salman refused to attend a summit President Obama called in May — are steps previous Saudi leaders would not have taken. The new regime’s approach to the Middle East is, as the German intelligence service recently concluded, “an impulsive policy of intervention.”

All of this comes against a backdrop of sharply falling prices for oil, the commodity that has kept Saudi Arabia rich since its founding 83 years ago.

Saudi Arabia is behaving like a cornered boxer, a frightened power lashing out at perceived enemies in ways it never did before. The prudent restraint that was long its trademark evaporated in 2015. In a year when much changed in the Middle East, this may prove to have been the biggest change of all – by Stephen Kinzer

http://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/2016/02/03/why-saudi-arabia-behaving-like-cornered-boxer/CwRObNveMrzLR6P7k691XN/story.html?s_campaign=bostonglobe%3Asocialflow%3Atwitter

cp9 USA

10.2.2016 – Jewish World Review (* B P)

Why is Obama still killing children?

Obama has tried to disguise his illegal drone program with the patina of legal legitimacy. Perhaps the most horrifying aspect of the drone program -- aside from the serial child killing -- is the normalization by the U.S. of extrajudicial assassination as an accepted practice under a tortured interpretation of constitutional due process and International law.

Obama first publicly acknowledged the pre-emptive first strike drone program during a May 2013 speech at the National Defense University in Washington, D.C.

America's actions are legal," Obama said. "We were attacked on 9/11. Within a week, Congress overwhelmingly authorized the use of force. ... We are at war with an organization that right now would kill as many Americans as they could if we did not stop them first. So this is a just war -- a war waged proportionally, in last resort, and in self-defense."

This argument had previously been rejected by Christof Heyns, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, summary or arbitrary executions. "It's difficult to see how any killings carried out in 2012 can be justified as in response to (events) in 2001," Heyns told a conference in Geneva, Switzerland.

Addressing criticism of civilian casualties, Obama argued that before any pre-emptive first strike is taken, "there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured -- the highest standard we can set."

In April 2015, the Open Society Justice Initiative (OSJI) released a report that "casts serious doubt on whether the ... 'near-certainty' standard is being met on the ground, and whether the U.S. is complying with international law."

"All of them (the victims) were innocent and poor people who had nothing to do with any terrorist group," the relative of a family killed in a Yemen drone strike told OSJI: We had hoped that America would come to the region with educational and development projects and services, but it came instead with aircrafts to kill our children."

The OSJI's findings were supported later in the year by a U.N. report from the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. "If accurate, the U.N.'s estimates would represent a significant rise in confirmed civilian casualties in the country as a result of drone strikes," Vice News reported in September 2015.

"The illegal use of armed force, knowing that it will inevitably kill large numbers of civilians, is a crime against humanity," attorney Benjamin Ferencz wrote in response to a journalist's 2012 request for a statement on Obama's drone program. "Those responsible should be held accountable by national and international courts." – by Nat Hentoff

http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/hentoff021016.php3

10.2.2016 – Salon (** A P)

Obama “on verge of” launching another bombing campaign in Libya, after dropping 23,144 bombs on six countries in 2015

The U.S. persistently uses bombs to try to solve the very problems its own bombs had created

The notion that the U.S. is considering another bombing campaign in Libya in order to fight ISIS is almost laughably ludicrous, because it was in fact the first U.S.-backed bombing campaign in Libya that brought ISIS into the North African nation in the first place.

Fifteen years of U.S. war and occupation in Afghanistan have only brought us back where we started — with an estimated quarter of a million Afghans dead in the process.

“President Obama has now pledged to maintain an indefinite occupation and the U.S. military claims U.S. forces will need to stay in the country for decades to support a failing Afghan state,” Loewenstein added.

The U.S. bombing in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria is clearly not working; the idea that it somehow will in Libya is absurd.

Instead of countering violent extremism effectively, the U.S. resorts to trying to bomb it out of existence.

The U.S. is a country at perpetual war; it persistently uses bombs to try to solve the very problems its own bombs created.

In 2016, Americans have become desensitized to war. The U.S. has been involved in incessant military conflicts for at least the past century, and even longer. Another war being added to the list is apparently no longer news-worthy.

Yet if history is an indicator, and it always is, the new war in Libya will be just as effective as the old one – by Ben Norton

http://www.salon.com/2016/02/10/obama_on_verge_of_launching_another_bombing_campaign_in_libya_after_dropping_23144_bombs_on_six_countries_in_2015/

9.2.2016 – The Antimedia (* A P)

Bernie Sanders Loves Obama’s Foreign Policy

The Vermont senator’s campaign has largely focused on corporate welfare and economic inequality, focusing little attention on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. Sanders did tell Face the Nation he believes the United States should not fight the wars alone, calling for a “coalition with major countries and with Muslim countries whose troops will be on the ground.”

“My main concern in terms of the Mideast is to make certain that the United States does not get involved in perpetual warfare in the quagmire of Iraq and Syria and Afghanistan,” he said. Sanders, however, has so far failed to comment on the fact that the United States government has been funding the same “terrorists” the West is now fighting.

John Dickerson also asked Senator Sanders how he felt about Hillary Clinton’s assertion that he lacks foreign policy experience. Sanders responded by noting that Hillary Clinton made the same claim about Barack Obama in 2008. “And it turned out not to be true,” Sanders said. “I am impressed by the quality of his foreign policy.”

Wait a minute. Did Bernie Sanders just say he was impressed with Obama’s foreign policy? Why would a man who claims to be against corporate welfare, and who advocates for equality and freedom, be impressed by such a disastrous foreign policy agenda? After all, large corporations stand to benefit by continuing the wars. President Obama not only continued many Bush era programs and policies — he expanded them.

Obama did not put an end to the wars in Afghanistan or Iraq. Rather, he helped spread the death and destruction to Libya and Syria. He wages ongoing drone bombings in Yemen, Pakistan and Somalia, which often murder innocent people. Obama also operates the infamous “disposition matrix,” also known as the presidential kill list, and has allowed torture to continue during his administration in the form of force feeding at Guantanamo Bay.

Perhaps Sanders’s support for the president’s foreign policy is not surprising, especially considering that despite campaigning as anti-war, he supported Bill Clinton’s war in Kosovo. Further, he lobbied to obtain a chunk of the Pentagon’s ill-fated trillion dollar F-35 contract for his home state of Vermont, rejecting protests from progressive constituents while reinforcing the most foundational aspects of the military-industrial complex he criticizes. I have also previously pointed out that Sanders supports nations responsible for despicable human rights violations, specifically Israel and Saudi Arabia.

In my eyes, Obama, Clinton, Bush, Cruz, Sanders, Trump and Rubio are all part of the establishment — and should be ignored. However, many well-meaning individuals are looking to Sanders and Trump as “anti-establishment” candidates. We must remember that simply being against the establishment does not guarantee one’s ideas are worthy or functional – by Derrick Broze

[The full text is licensed under a CC Attribution 4.0 International license]

http://theantimedia.org/bernie-sanders-loves-obamas-foreign-policy/

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

10.2.2016 – Gegenfrage (A P)

Großbritannien stoppt UN-Initiative gegen Bombardierung von Schulen

Großbritannien hat die Unterzeichnung einer UN-Vereinbarung abgelehnt, laut der Schulen in Kriegsgebieten geschützt werden sollen, meldet der britische Telegraph. Zuvor wurde die Initiative von 51 Staaten unterzeichnet. Die Vereinbarung wurde ironischerweise von einem ehemaligen britischen Militäroffizier erstellt und ist ein Projekt des UN-Kinderhilfswerks UNICEF (Link hier).

Grund für die Aktion war die Bombardierung von Schulen im Jemen durch die Luftwaffe Saudi-Arabiens. Insbesondere Großbritanniens Außenminister Philip Hammond stemmte sich gegen eine Unterzeichnung der Initiative. Laut RT wird gemunkelt, dass sich das britische Verteidigungsministerium und das Außenministerium vor Rechtsfolgen aufgrund von Kriegsverbrechen im Irak und in Afghanistan schützen möchten.

Ein Sprecher des Außenministeriums sagte gegenüber dem Telegraph, man unterstütze zwar den Geist dieser Initiative, habe jedoch Bedenken, ob diese die genauen Leitlinien des Völkerrechts widerspiegelten. Großbritannien unterstützt Saudi-Arabien beim Angriffskrieg gegen den Jemen.

http://www.gegenfrage.com/un-initiative-gegen-bombardierung-von-schulen-von-grossbritannien-gestoppt/

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

9.2.2016 – European Parliament (A P)

Foreign Affairs MEPs received by King Salman of Saudi Arabia

A delegation of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee, led by its vice-chair Mr. Andrej Plenković, visited the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to discuss the state of relations between the Kingdom and the EU, as well as the overall security situation and recent developments in the Middle East and the Gulf.

Members met with King Salman bin Abdulaziz, Vice-speaker of the Shura Council Mohammed al-Jefri and 20 members of Shura. MEPs also met the Minister of Justice, Dr. Waleed al-Salmaan, Under-Secretary for Multilateral relations at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Prince Turki al-Kabee, and the Chairman of the Human Rights Commission Dr.Bandar al-Aiban. A meeting was also organised with the King Salman Humanitarian and Relief Centre.

During the visit, Members discussed the political situation in the Kingdom as well as security and economic challenges. They held a fruitful exchange of views with King Salman who stressed the importance of dialogue in areas of common interest, with particular reference to the various regional crises in which Saudi Arabia aims to help improve stability. The importance of EU-Saudi relations was also reaffirmed, with the EU being the Kingdom’s main trading partner, as was the need to strengthen this relationship. The King also reiterated his commitment to achieving peace in the Middle-East through the Arab Peace Initiative.

In all meetings, open discussions were held on the situation in Syria and Yemen. MEPs emphasised the need for de-escalation of Saudi-Iranian tensions and a renewed dialogue between Riyadh and Tehran. The need for further cooperation on counter-terrorism was highlighted. The conflict in Yemen was also discussed with Brigadier General Ahmed al-Assiri, spokesperson of the coalition in Yemen. Members emphasized the need for a full respect of international humanitarian law and the need for a political solution to the conflict.

In the dialogue with the President of the Human Rights Commission, MEPs recalled the need to respect human rights in accordance with the law and international standards. MEPs raised the case of the Saudi blogger Raif Badawi, laureate of the 2015 Sakharov Prize.

http://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/news-room/20160209IPR13503/Foreign-Affairs-MEPs-received-by-King-Salman-of-Saudi-Arabia

5.2.2016 – Globe and Mail (A P)

Ottawa to face court challenge over Saudi arms deal

Opponents of Canada’s $15-billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia are taking Ottawa to court in an attempt to block shipments of the combat vehicles, a move that could force the governing Liberals to explain how they justify the sale to a human-rights pariah under weapon-export restrictions.

Daniel Turp, a professor of international and constitutional law at the University of Montreal, is leading the effort, supported by students and a Montreal law firm with a record of class-action work and anti-tobacco litigation.

There is evidence Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is out of step with the majority of Canadians by refusing to cancel the deal. The manufacturer, General Dynamics Land Systems in London, Ont., is still gathering material for production.

A poll by Nanos Research suggests most Canadians consider the massive arms sale out of line with Canada’s values and believe human rights should trump jobs. The survey showed nearly six in 10 feel it is more important to ensure arms go only to countries “that respect human rights” than it is to support 3,000 jobs by selling weaponized armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

The Canadian government is the prime contractor in the deal to sell combat vehicles with machine guns and anti-tank cannons to the Saudi force that protects the Mideast kingdom’s monarchy from internal threats. The deal is expected to include upward of 1,000 fighting vehicles, plus service and training – by Steven Chase

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-face-court-challenge-over-saudi-arms-deal/article28631497/http:/www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/ottawa-to-face-court-challenge-over-saudi-arms-deal/article28631497/ and see also http://www.globalresearch.ca/canada-sells-weapons-to-state-sponsor-of-terrorism-class-action-law-suit-against-ottawa-over-15-billion-saudi-arms-deal/5506886 = http://southfront.org/canada-sells-weapons-to-state-sponsor-of-terrorism-class-action-law-suit-against-ottawa-over-15-billion-saudi-arms-deal/

02.2016 – Amnesty International (B K P)

¿Barcos españoles para violar derechos humanos en Yemen? No en nuestro nombre

a empresa española Navantia está a punto de cerrar un contrato para la venta de cinco corbetas a Arabia Saudí, aún a riesgo de que se puedan usar para cometer violaciones graves del derecho internacional. Ayúdanos a parar esta operación antes de que sea tarde.

El bloqueo naval al que Arabia Saudí somete a Yemen desde marzo de 2015 tiene un nombre: es una violación grave del derecho internacional humanitario. Y los ataques indiscriminados de la coalición saudí contra escuelas, hospitales y población civil también tienen un nombre: crímenes de guerra.

Hemos preguntado al Gobierno español si Arabia Saudí ha usado aviones, bombas y municiones españolas para cometer crímenes de guerra. Hasta ahora la respuesta es que no hay respuesta: el gobierno español no sabe, no contesta, pero entre 2010 y el primer semestre de 2015, vendió armas a este país por valor de más de 1.200 millones de Euros.

El Tratado sobre el Comercio de Armas y otras normas prohíben la venta de armas para cometer atrocidades.

Existe un claro riesgo de que las cinco corbetas que Navantia quiere construir para Arabia Saudí pudieran ser usadas para cometer violaciones del derecho internacional humanitario, como el bloqueo naval saudí de Yemen o los ataques indiscriminados de la coalición, ataques cuyas víctimas son la población civil.

No queremos sangre yemení en nuestras manos. Ayúdanos a parar esta venta de armas, armas que podrían utilizarse para cometer atrocidades.

https://www.es.amnesty.org/actua/acciones/espana-barcos-yemen-ene16/

cp13 Mercenaries / Söldner

10.2.2016 – Mint Press News (* B K)

‘Blackwater Mercenaries’ Are Fighting For Saudi Arabia In Yemen

Saudi Arabia has been using paid mercenaries from around the world to gain a competitive edge in it's failing offensive in Yemen, including, according to a Yemeni Army Spokesman, the infamous BlackWater.

A spokesman for the Yemeni army told Russian media that hundreds of mercenaries are fighting in his country on behalf of Saudi Arabia and its allies.

“They hire poor people from around the world to take part in the hostilities. Among them are Somalis and people from Sudanese tribes,” Brig. Gen. Sharaf Ghalib Luqman told the state-operated Russian news agency RIA Novosti, according to a Jan. 19 report from Sputnik, the agency’s international arm.

“However, there are also Europeans, Americans, Colombians. These are contractors from a structure known as Blackwater. This division includes around 400 people.”

the employers of the mercenaries fighting in Yemen remain somewhat unclear. Blackwater became Xe Services in 2009. Following a company restructuring and change in ownership, the company was renamed the Academi in 2011. At that time, founder Erik Prince officially left the company but retained the rights to the name Blackwater.

A Dec. 10 report from Iran’s PressTV, citing Yemeni news sources, claimed that “15 Blackwater foreign fighters” were killed in clashes with Houthi forces, who currently control the Yemeni government. PressTV reported that “80 Saudi-led troops, including 42 Blackwater mercenaries,” were killed in a ballistic missile attack on Dec. 13. And a Jan. 31 report claimed that a “Blackwater commander,” Nicholas Petros, “was killed along with a group of mercenaries fighting for the Saudi regime in its war on Yemen.”

Kane Hippisley-Gatherum, writing in December for Middle Eastern news site Al Bawaba, noted that the Academi’s website makes no mention of these recent deaths, although press releases have been issued when other mercenaries are killed. Hippisley-Gatherum suggests that the mercenaries were hired from another global security corporation by an ally of the Saudis in their war against the Houthis:

“A company called Reflex Responses (R2) reportedly had the contract with the UAE, and Prince does not own or run that company. He did, however, work to oversee the efforts to train and recruit troops. The New York Times reported last month that Prince has left his role in the UAE program several years ago.

… [I]t appears evident that ‘Blackwater’ troops did not recently die in Yemen.

The UAE recently deployed hundreds of its mercenaries, many of them Colombian, to fight in Yemen. The New York Times reported that it was the first combat deployment of the private army which Prince helped set up with R2.”

Ultimately, Hippisley-Gatherum concludes: “Press TV may have reported that they were with Blackwater, but given that the company in charge is actually R2, and that Prince allegedly doesn’t hold a role there anymore, that is clearly not the case.”

Regardless of who issues their paychecks, it does seem clear from multiple media reports that foreign mercenaries are fighting — and dying — in Yemen.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/213579-2/213579/

10.2.2016 – Iran German Radio (A K PH)

Blackwater-Söldner ziehen sich aus Jemen zurück

Nach mehreren Niederlagen in der jemenitischen Provinz Taizz zieht nun das US-Sicherheitsunternehmen Blackwater seine Söldner aus diesem Land zurück.

Wie die staatlich-jemenitische Nachrichtenagentur SABA am Dienstag berichtete, gab der Leiter dieses Sicherheitsunternehmens, nachdem einige Mitglieder seiner Sturmtruppe getötet und verletzt wurden, den Befehl zum Rückzug aus dem Jemen.

Dafür sollen fünf Flugzeuge bereitgestellt worden sein.

Bei den Angriffen der jemenitischen Armee und der Volkstruppen am Montag, wurden 7 Söldner des Blackwater-Unternehmens getötet und 39 weitere verletzt.

Die Entscheidung von Blackwater führte zur Besorgnis der Armee der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate, die diese Söldner bestellt hatte. Einige Verantwortliche der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate, wie z.B. der Befehlshaber der Luftwaffe, sind mit einem Privatflugzeug nach Aden gekommen.

http://german.irib.ir/nachrichten/nahost/item/296855-

10.2.2016 – Fars News (A K PH)

Report: US Blackwater to Withdraw Mercenaries from Yemen

The Blackwater security company decided on Tuesday to take out its strike forces from Al-Amri Front in Ta'iz province, the Arabic-language Bemanioun news website reported on Wednesday.

The Blackwater's decision came after its forces sustained heavy losses in al-Amri front.

Seven Blackwater mercenaries were killed and 39 others were injured in Al-Amri front.

Meantime, the Arabic-language Sahafa24 website reported that 49 percent of the US Blackwater company belongs to the UAE's ruling family.

The UAE government has sent five airplanes to Aden to take out the Blackwater forces.

On January 31, tens of Blackwater mercenaries, including their US commander, were killed in the Yemeni army and popular forces' attacks on their positions in the Southwestern province of Lahij. Several Apache and Typhoon helicopters were also destroyed in the Yemeni attack.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941121000681

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

11.2.2016 – Haykal Bafana (B T)

Al Qaeda release photo of their B10 attack yesterday on the "murtad" #Yemen army in Al Qatn, Wadi Hadhramaut. And please, don't tell me "It's ISIS." Listen : In Yemen, AQAP & ISIS are the same people, using different brands, depending on the day of the week. DIfferent paymasters for AQAP & ISIS, you see. So to tap both financing streams, this branding distinction has to be maintained in Yemen. Besides, to do really nasty things, it's convenient to use the ISIS label, to keep the AQAP name "honourable".

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=951959204884090&set=a.103653093048043.7771.100002100572787&type=3

Comment: This would be interesting; but makes him think so?

11.2.2016 – Nachdenkseiten (** B K P T)

„Krieg gegen den Terror“: Was heißt das wirklich?

Peter Becker, Rechtsanwalt und Vizepräsident der IALANA, wirft einen erfrischenden Blick auf den Zusammenhang von Staatsterrorismus und dem, was wir geläufig Terrorismus nennen. Hier sein Text für die NachDenkSeiten.

„Krieg gegen den Terror“: Was heißt das wirklich

Über diesen Begriff ‚Staatsterrorismus‘ sollten wir weiter nachdenken. Alle Terrorismus-Definitionen zeigen, dass der Terror eine Reaktion ist. Wenn man den Abläufen weiter nachspürt, drängt sich die Frage nach Recht und Unrecht auf. Beginnen wir mit Israel:

Wie entstand dieser Staat, wie hat er sich entwickelt, was lernen wir?

Der palästinensische ‚Terrorismus‘ entsteht als – in der Tat – „Waffe der Schwachen“ gegen die Starken. Aber das ist nicht das einzige Merkmal des ‚Terrorismus‘: Er richtet sich gegen die rechtswidrige Vorgehensweise des Starken.

‚Krieg gegen den Terror‘ I: Diese Bezeichnung wurde erstmals 1985 von der US-Regierung unter Präsident Ronald Reagan verwendet, nach dem Anschlag von 1984 auf die internationalen Friedenstruppen in Beirut und mehreren Flugzeugattentaten. Auch hier sind die Zusammenhänge evident: Der Libanon-Krieg war der erste arabisch-israelische Konflikt, den Israel begann, ohne dass seine Existenz unmittelbar bedroht war (Motto: „Frieden für Galiläa“). Der Krieg wurde selbst in Israel als Angriffskrieg gewertet; Premierminister Begin und Verteidigungsminister Ariel Scharon mussten zurücktreten. Auslöser waren übrigens zwei Anschläge in Paris Anfang April 1982, bei denen die israelische Botschaft angegriffen und ein Diplomat erschossen wurde. Der Anschlag auf den US-Stützpunkt war die Antwort auf die amerikanische Unterstützung für die israelische Intervention.

Der Beobachter merkt (1): Terror ist nur das, was die anderen machen.

Und niemals sind die USA Terrorist: Das zeigt das US-Verhalten unter demselben Reagan gegenüber El Salvador, Nicaragua und Grenada.

Man lernt (2): Terrorismus wird nur von den Gegnern der USA und ihren Helfershelfern ausgeübt. „Wer immer dasselbe sagt, hat recht“, so Max Uthoff.

Krieg gegen den Terror‘ II: Am 11.09.2001 flogen zwei angeblich von Al Kaida-Anhängern gekaperte Flugzeuge in die Twin Towers in Manhattan. Darauf hielt US-Präsident George W. Bush am 20. September 2001 eine Rede vor dem Kongress, in der er erklärte: „Unser Krieg gegen den Terror beginnt mit Al Kaida, aber er endet nicht dort. Er wird nicht enden, bis jede terroristische Gruppe von globaler Reichweite gefunden, gestoppt und geschlagen ist.“ Der UN-Sicherheitsrat verabschiedete daraufhin die Resolutionen 1368 und 2001, mit denen die Mitgliedstaaten ermahnt und verpflichtet wurden, insbesondere eine Anti-Terror-Gesetzgebung zu verabschieden. Die Resolutionen stützten sich auf Art. 41 in Kapitel VII der UN-Charta, der nur etwa Embargos oder den Abbruch der diplomatischen Beziehungen vorsieht. Gleichwohl begannen die USA und Großbritannien am 7. Oktober 2001 mit Luftangriffen gegen Afghanistan, deren Ziel es war, das Taliban-Regime zu stürzen – was gelang. Unmittelbare Konsequenzen:

Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) gegen den Terrorismus,

26. Oktober 2001: Patriot Act,

Bush-Doktrin vom 04.09.2002, nach der sich die USA Präventivschläge gegen Staaten vorbehalten, die möglicherweise Terroristen unterstützen.

Ab 20. Mai 2003 wurde der Irak-Krieg geführt, mit dem eines der primären Ziele des ‚Project for the New American Century‘ (PNAC) von 1997 umgesetzt wurde. Gründer des PNAC waren spätere Staatsmänner, der amerikanische Vize-Präsident Dick Cheney, Verteidigungsminister Donald Rumsfeld, Staatssekretär im Verteidigungsministerium Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Perle, der die Iran-Contras-Aktion organisiert hatte. Auch Jeb Bush, der sich jetzt um die Präsidentschaft bewirbt, gehörte zu den Gründern.

‚Terrorismus‘ in diesem Sinn ist also nicht mehr nur die Bekämpfung des eigentlichen Terrorismus, sondern Krieg gegen das, was die USA als Terrorismus ausgeben: eine neue Kriegsermächtigung, unter Umgehung des Gewaltverbots in Art. 2 Abs. 4 der UN-Charta und ihres Art. 51 mit dem Selbstverteidigungsrecht.

Was lernen wir (3)? Wenn der ‚Staatsterrorismus‘, der den Terror als Waffe der Schwachen auslöst, regelmäßig rechtswidrig ist, weil er das Völkerrecht verletzt, kann die Botschaft nur lauten: Zurück zum Völkerrecht. Und der Jurist überlegt: Wenn der Terrorist ‚Angst und Schrecken‘ verbreitet, um sich gegen rechtswidrigen Staatsterrorismus zu wehren, kann die Reaktion nicht einfach sein, nur ihn vor das Gericht zu stellen oder seine Bewegung mit Waffengewalt zu bekämpfen, während der Staatsterrorist weitermacht. Andererseits kann ein Staat die Ausübung von ‚Angst und Schrecken‘ durch Terrorismus nicht folgenlos lassen. Es muss eine Weiterentwicklung der Rechtsordnung geben.

Die kann nur bei den Vereinten Nationen liegen. Sie müssen die Kraft entwickeln, den ‚Staatsterrorismus‘ aufzugreifen und Ross und Reiter zu nennen. Das richtige Instrument dafür ist – vorbereitend – das Gutachten des Internationalen Gerichtshofs zur Untersuchung der rechtswidrigen Akte, die den Terrorismus auslösen, und das Aufgreifen jedes einzelnen völkerrechtswidrigen Aktes der Staaten, die sich über die Charta erheben und meinen, den Frieden nach eigenen Maßstäben herbeibomben zu können; sei es ohne Mandat des Sicherheitsrates, sei es durch rechtswidrige Inanspruchnahme des Selbstverteidigungsrechts – von Peter Becker, Rechtsanwalt und Co-Präsident der International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA).

http://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=31074

10.2.2016 – Shabestan News (A T)

An armed person attacked a mosque in Yemen

Last night, an armed person has attacked a mosque in Abin province of Yemen and injured the prayer leader of mosque.

http://en.shabestan.ir/detail/News/37686

cp15 Propaganda

11.2.2016 – WAM (A P)

Yemeni President lauds Arab Coalition's great support to Yemen

Yemeni President Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi highly appreciated the great support provided by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud towards Yemen through fighting coup militias.

Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said in his speech on the 5th anniversary of the peaceful youth revolution, the Yemeni president thanked the Arab coalition under the leadership of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

He added that the request of military and political intervention provided by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states was a choice to prevent a fall of Yemen in the hands of militias which are supported by Iranian aggressive directives.

https://www.wam.ae/en/news/emirates/1395291490403.html = http://www.totaluae.com/news/yemeni-president-lauds-arab-coalitions-great-support-to-yemen/

11.2.2016 – Saudi Arabia: Iran regime must stop supporting terrorism in Syria and Yemen

Brig. Gen Ahmed Al-Assiri, the Saudi military spokesman said on Thursday that Riyadh is “ready” and will fight with its U.S.-led coalition allies to defeat ISIS militants.

He also sent a message to the regime in Iran, saying that if Tehran is serious in fighting ISIS, then it must stop supporting “terrorism” in Syria or Yemen.

Saudi military spokesman also said that the Islamic Military Alliance will take effect within two months.

The Saudi military spokesman said the Saudi’s decision to send troops to Syria is “final” and “irreversible”.

http://www.ncr-iran.org/en/news/iran-world/19885-saudi-arabia-iran-regime-must-stop-supporting-terrorism-in-syria-and-yemen

Comment: This is rather ridiculous.

10.2.2016 – Albawaba (A P)

Saudi gives Yemen 4,000 food baskets

King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Aids Center has recently distributed 4,000 food baskets in Al Wazi’iyah District at Taiz Governorate through the Humanitarian Aid Coalition and its partners from associations and institutions. The food baskets were distributed in the Directorate within the “distribution of 100,000 food baskets” project; while the rest of food baskets will be distributed to other directorates in the Governorate in the coming days.

http://www.albawaba.com/news/saudi-gives-yemen-4000-food-baskets-803784

Comment: I bomb you, starve you, make you die without medicines, bomb your hospitals-schools-factories-homes, poison your crops but, mind you, I give you 4000 food baskets. Conscience laundering.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=967264846659879&id=961126490607048

7.2.2016 – The Independent (* A P)

The Only Way is Ethics: A campaign calling for The Independent to lay off the Saudi regime vindicates our stance

Last week, we received 32 identical emails complaining about The Independent’s critical coverage of Saudi Arabia. Perhaps there are also Saudi citizens who would not feel represented by those emails

When many people complain about the same thing, it is vital that weight of numbers is not regarded as an intrinsic marker of the strength of an argument. That isn’t to say it can’t be: if hundreds of readers were offended by a particular image, their concern might be a good indicator of an editorial misjudgement. On the other hand, mass complaints might be no more than an attempt by a lobby group to pursue a wider agenda.

Last week, we received 32 emails complaining about The Independent’s coverage of Saudi Arabia. Each message was from a self-professed Saudi citizen, and I’ve no reason to doubt that they were sent with real feeling by actual people.

The 32 emails might, however, have made a stronger impact if they had they not all been identical, and expressing unhappiness at our “inaccurate, misleading and erroneous allegations”, which amounted to “psychological warfare aimed at diminishing the Saudi society”. We were, it was said, obviously intent on trying to “shake the confidence of Saudis in the policies and wisdom of their government”.

None of the people who wrote to us specified any particular articles about which they had concerns, nor identified any of the many inaccuracies we were supposed to have published. There was little that made me think that these complainants were habitual Independent readers.

In the absence of any specific errors, it was hard to avoid the conclusion that these emails were anything more than a concerted attempt to put pressure on The Independent to be less critical of a Saudi regime which, within its own borders, is subject to barely a murmur of criticism – by Will Gore

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/the-only-way-is-ethics-a-campaign-calling-for-the-independent-to-lay-off-the-saudi-regime-vindicates-a6859356.html

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

11.2.2016 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Saudi aggression targets several districts in Sana’a

The Saudi aggression warplanes launched a series of air raids on Bani Matar, Sanhan and Hamdan districts of Sana’a province on Thursday. The hostile war jets waged two raids on al-Subaha area and two others on Ayban Mountain in Bani Matar district, which led to severe damage to the telecommunication towers and citizens’ houses and property, a security official said. Another air raid targeted Bait al-Hadhrami area in Sanhan district, leaving damages in the agricultural lands, the official added. Moreover, the aggression warplanes launched five raids on the areas of al-Madwar, al-Qanaza, al-Ara and Dhela’a in Hamdan district, which resulted in large damages in the agricultural lands and citizens’ houses in those areas.

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news419016.htm

10.2.2016 – Tasnim News (A K PH)

Family of 5 Killed in Saud-Led Coalition Strike on Yemen Capital

Five members of the same family were killed when a Saudi-led coalition airstrike hit their home in Yemen's capital Sana'a, rescuers and neighbors said Wednesday.

The bodies of a father and two of his children were still under the rubble of the destroyed building while rescue workers managed to pull out the dead bodies of a woman and young girl, according to an AFP photographer at the site.

It was not immediately clear if there were any other people in the building when it was hit.

The dead father was identified by neighbors as Mounir al-Hakimi, a program director at the Yemen Today television channel, which is owned by former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh's supporters are allied with Houthis who have controlled Sana'a since 2014.

The channel itself said on its website that four family members were killed in an airstrike but did not mention Hakimi or confirm that the victims were members of his family.

The building is located near the Houthi-controlled presidential headquarters in central Sana'a, which was struck by a missile overnight.

http://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2016/02/10/997344/family-of-5-killed-in-saud-led-coalition-strike-on-yemen-capital and at New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/11/world/middleeast/yemen-airstrike-kills-family-in-capital.html?_r=0

11.2.2016 - Al Araby (* A K)

Two more journalists silenced in Yemen's war

Two Yemeni journalists and their children were killed on Wednesday following a Saudi-led coalition airstrikes on a residential neighbourhood in the Yemeni capital Sanaa.

The victims are the latest casualties in a war that has seen consistent violence against journalists and broadcasters by both sides of the conflict.

Two airstrikes hit a local school as well as the home of journalist Suaad Hujaira, 30, killing her, her husband, broadcaster Munir al-Hakami, 37, and their three sons, local residents said.

Hakami worked for the state-owned Yemen TV, now under the control of Houthi-rebels.

There was no clear military target in the area, residents added.

The local union of journalists called for an investigation into the deaths and an immediate stop of violence against journalists, which it described in a statement as "increasingly restricting the freedom of expression in Yemen".

Violence against journalists by all the warring parties has increased since the onset of Yemen's latest war in March 2015.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/2/11/two-more-journalists-silenced-in-yemens-war

Comment: Unwanted journalists: The Houthis arrest them, the Saudis bomb them, just taking the children as a "collateral damage".

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

11.2.2016 – Saba News (A K PH)

Many mercenaries killed, others injured in Jawf

The army and popular committees targeted the aggression hirelings in Jawf province with missiles, a military official said on Thursday.

The missile force of the army and committees pounded with Katyusha rockets crowds of the enemy mercenaries in Rayhan site in al-Hazm district, killing a number of them and injuring others, the official explained.

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news419018.htm

11.2.2016 – Reuters (A K)

Pro-government forces seize camp outside Yemen capital

Yemeni pro-government forces backed by Saudi-led air strikes seized control of a military camp 60km (40 miles) from Sanaa on Thursday, local officials and residents said, as troops advance toward the capital held by Iran-allied fighters.

Pro-government forces seized the Fardhat Nahm camp outside Sanaa in battles with Houthi fighters that left a number of people dead and wounded, local officials and residents said, without giving precise figures.

Aircraft from the Arab coalition carried out dozens of strikes during the battles in the area, they said. The camp is located on one of the defense lines for the capital.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-idUSKCN0VK14U

11.2.2016 – Dubai Eye (A K PS)

Strengthened military campaign against Houthi rebels to be launched

The city of Midi is set to become the launching point for a strengthened military campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Military officials in the fifth military region have confirmed that the coastal city in Hajjah province will be the starting point of the new campaign.

Yemeni government forces regained control of the district from Houthi militia earlier this week, and have cleared the area of mines and explosives.

http://dubaieye1038.com/strengthened-military-campaign-against-houthi-rebels-to-be-launched/

11.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Three Saudi troopers killed in Yemeni retaliatory attack

At least three Saudi soldiers have been killed by Yemeni forces in Saudi Arabia’s southwestern Asir region in an attack that came after a series of airstrikes.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/11/449702/Saudi-Arabia-Yemen-retaliatory-attack-Asir

10.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Yemeni forces target military bases in Saudi Arabia

Yemen’s al-Masirah television said the Yemeni forces fired artillery shells at several military bases, including al-Karas in the southwestern region of Jizan on Wednesday.

The Yemeni forces also launched rocket and artillery assault at a military base in the province of Najran in southwestern Saudi Arabia.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/10/449630/Yemen-Saudi-Jizan-Houthi

10.2.2016 – Yemen Fights Back (A K PH)

Film: Taking Over Saudi City of Khobe by Yemeni Fighters

Quick synopsis about fights deep in Saudi Arabia starting with Khobe, Jizan

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zju7leHUFG0&feature=youtu.be

cp18 Schöner Jemen / Beautiful Yemen

9.2.2016 – Zahra Al-Harazi

More photos of Yemen - Sanaa, a UNESCO world heritage site. Bombed by the Saudi led coalition in this terrible war, and UNESCO didn't even kick up a little fuss. The world is unaware of the gems it is losing.

My beloved Yemen

from 5 UNESCO world heritage sites, mountain, valleys and seas, the oldest living city in the world to the land of the Queen of Sheba... Yemen is a wonder to behold.

https://www.facebook.com/zahra.alharazi.1/media_set?set=a.10150682824370934.458763.699140933&type=3 = https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1098037507015406

21.1.2015 – Passion Passport

Photo Essay: Travels in Yemen

Curious about what it would be like to travel in Yemen? Jon Collins was; so much so that he took the leap and ventured there himself, never once turning back. What he discovered was a country full of rich tradition and history, and bold and generous personalities. He shares:

“For me, it…was almost like traveling through time … [I]n many ways, the difficulty of organizing and following through with travel in Yemen is far outweighed by the sheer beauty of the landscape..and authenticity of its culture…”

http://passionpassport.com/photo-essay-jon-collins-travels-in-yemen/

1996 – Gerlinde Schanze

Film: Jemen-Rundreise Teil 1–3

Im Jahre 1996 hatten wir noch das große Glück bei einer faszinierenden Individualreise durch den gerade wiedervereinigten Jemen Land und Leute authentisch zu erleben.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bm3UjXyLHcg

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PbZQiZeVwvY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6oI8qKlbsE

Vorige / Previous:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/krieg-im-jemen-neue-artikel-zum-nachlesen-99

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-99: / Yemen Press Reader 1-99:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose oder / or

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

22:40 11.02.2016
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

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