Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 104

Yemen Press Reader 104: Die schlechte Lösung nach der Revolution von 2012 führte in den Krieg - PR der USA - Al Qaida immer stärker - US-Waffen für Al Qaida - Weltbrand - Sprengbomben - Frauen

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Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

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

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp 13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp 13c Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

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

2.2016 – Avaaz (*** A K)

EU: Stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Great news! The European Parliament just agreed that they will vote on the Saudi arms embargo on 25th February. Let's keep up the pressure until then, to ensure it passes!

They bomb schools, hospitals, even wedding parties. What Saudi Arabia is doing in Yemen is disgusting -- and they’re doing it with weapons they buy from Europe, the US, and Canada. But in 24 hours we can do the unthinkable -- win a landmark decision that could stem the flow of weapons to the Saudis.

The European Parliament is hours away from having a proposed EU-wide arms embargo put to a vote – but under heavy Saudi lobbying, some politicians are wavering.

Now more than ever, these leaders need to see that people from every corner of the Earth are looking to them to stand up and say “NO” to Saudi Arabia and their atrocities. Sign the urgent petition calling for an arms embargo -- let's show the EU champions overwhelming public support.

Sign petition here:

Comment: And what about US arms sales?

18.2.2016 – The Washington Post (*** B C P)

Why the managed transition after Yemen’s uprising led to war

Yemen’s horrific conditions today directly follow from the systematic conceptual and political failures of those who designed and administered the plan for a managed transition from the regime of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. This Gulf Cooperation Council plan directly contradicted the primary goals of the 2011 uprising. After sustaining an 11-month uprising against prodigious odds, Yemenis found themselves shackled to a transitional agreement designed by a coterie of monarchs to protect the vested interests of a plutocratic elite.

It is safe to say that five years on, the GCC transition plan has fully failed – for many of the reasons about which Yemeni activists warned from the outset.

A central organizing slogan of the 2011 popular uprising in Yemen was “No tribes, no parties — our revolution is a youth revolution.” Although it was catchier in Arabic, it is easy enough to see that the popular protesters rejected the partisan landscape, including the formal opposition, as a whole.

Yet the transitional agreement invested in precisely that partisan political class, crafting a transitional government composed of members of the former ruling party and a handful of allied opposition parties known as the Joint Meeting Parties. This left the bulk of the population unrepresented.

The National Dialogue Conference played a pivotal role, both signaling Yemen’s political unraveling and contributing to it. Marred by obstructionism, it unfolded in a climate of increasing everyday violence.

After the NDC’s conclusion, participating Yemenis were sent back to their corners in order to await the real work of governing, much of it done by presidential appointees and, in some cases, ad hoc committees.

The current war’s consequences will be far-reaching in ways that require Yemeni and international actors alike to rethink some of their assumptions about who and what matters in Yemen and why.

It is hard to envision an end to this war that either side — assuming there are only two, which is true only at the very broadest level — would consider a victory in military terms. The window for victory for the Saudi-led coalition has already passed.

Any internationally brokered post-conflict reconciliation and reconstruction process will have to contend with the same issues of inclusivity and accountability that were neglected in the 2011 transitional agreement. This time, however, the stakes will be higher, as planners will have to face the dual challenge of demobilizing militias and serving a polarized and devastated society. Until that time, the war goes on – by Stacey Philbrick Yadav

Comment: From the Washington Post, another article on the links between the abruptly ended revolution of 2011 - with a deal far from the youths' aspirations and motives which had taken them to the streets - and the war on Yemen now.
And the undesired mingling of foreign powers.

Comment: In my opinion, a very good article telling new aspects of the way which led to the war. Please read in full at the original site, here just stated some main ideas. It is astonishing that the Washington Post has published this article – blaming the best allies of the West (and thus the West as well) for their way of handling the 2011 Jemen crisis. See also

12.2.2009 – Tagesanzeiger (*** B K P)

27.000 PR-Berater polieren Image der USA

Ein Chefredakteur beklagt den immensen Einfluss des amerikanischen Verteidigungsministeriums auf seine Journalisten. Jetzt ist ihm der Kragen geplatzt: Er enthüllt schier unglaubliche Fakten über die PR-Arbeit des Pentagons. Die Bush-Administration hat das US-Militär in eine globale Propaganda-Maschine verwandelt. Tom Curley, Chef der amerikanischen Nachrichtenagentur AP, kann dazu nicht mehr länger schweigen.

Am Wochenende referierte er an der Universität von Kansas vor Journalisten über den Druck des US-Verteidigungsministeriums auf seine Berichterstatter in Kriegsgebieten wie Irak oder Afghanistan. Sein Fazit: «Es wird langsam unerträglich.» Hohe Generäle hätten gedroht, dass man die AP und ihn ruinieren werde, wenn die Reporter weiterhin auf ihren journalistischen Prinzipien beharren würden. Seit 2003 wurden bereits elf Journalisten der AP im Irak für mehr als 24 Stunden verhaftet.

Das US-Militär hat seine Propagandaabteilung gewaltig ausgebaut. Nichts wird unversucht gelassen, um die öffentliche Meinung zu beeinflussen. Laut AP-Recherchen verfügt das Pentagon über 27’000 Personen, die ausschliesslich für die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit (PR, Werbung, Rekrutierung) zuständig sind. Zum Vergleich: Das gesamte US-Aussenministerium mit Hillary Clinton an der Spitze beschäftigt rund 30’000 Personen. Die PR-Maschinerie des Militärs kostet die Steuerzahler jährlich 4,7 Milliarden Dollar. Seit 2004 sind die Ausgaben um 63 Prozent gewachsen. Wozu diese Mittel genau eingesetzt werden, bleibt meist geheim – von Marc Brup =

Kommentar: Daran sollte einmal wieder erinnert werden. Das betrifft natürlich auch Nachrichten aus dem Jemen und von anderswo, auch in unserer deutschen Presse. Abgesehen von den eigenen transatlantischen Vernetzungen greift die Presse weltweit ganz besonders auch auf die Meldungen der amerikanischen Agenturen AP und Reuters zurück.

19.2.2016 – Jamestown Terrorism Monitor (** B T)

Capitalizing on Chaos: AQAP Advances in Yemen

Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has more men, is better equipped and funded, and holds more territory than at any time in its history.

The retreat of the Houthis and military forces allied with them from parts of southern Yemen left a vacuum that AQAP has been quick to fill.

While AQAP was halted in its attempts to push into the northern parts of Hadramawt, the organization is expanding across much of southern Yemen. AQAP has infiltrated its operatives into Aden where it enjoys a complex relationship with a matrix of anti-Houthi, separatist, and Salafi militias. During the four-month battle to evict the Houthis and their allies from Aden, which ended in July 2015, AQAP operatives worked closely with many of the militias fighting the Houthis, some of which were backed by the Saudis and the Hadi government. AQAP’s operatives, particularly at more senior levels, were far more experienced fighters than the often raw recruits that made up the bulk of the militias fighting the Houthis. AQAP has also effectively inserted its operatives into the bitterly contested city of Taiz.

While an overwhelming majority of those fighting against the Houthis and their allies are opposed to AQAP and its ideology, the need for well-trained and relatively disciplined fighters has likely trumped such ideological differences; some of those fighting against the Houthis increasingly view AQAP as a useful source of well-trained, disciplined fighters.

Just as it has done in Mukalla, AQAP targeted key political figures in Abyan — and particularly those figures that cannot be easily co-opted or bought off.

Wuhayshi and his deputies — including the current AQAP emir, Qasim al-Raymi — used the lessons learned in 2011-12 to redesign their organizational structure and most importantly their approach to governing and holding territory. AQAP’s takeover and subsequent management of Mukalla are both clear examples of these changes. AQAP’s more recent campaign to retake Abyan in December 2015 appears to be of a similar design.

For all its advantages, AQAP’s light footprint strategy is replete with risks to the group.

In addition to the lessons that AQAP learned from its 2011-12 attempt to hold territory, the tactics of Islamic State in Yemen have also forced AQAP to moderate its own tactics. AQAP therefore appears to be pursuing something of a “middle way” in Yemen. Its light footprint strategy allows it to hold territory and enables it to claim that it is making progress toward establishing the caliphate that al-Qaeda (and Islamic State) desires. Yet at the same time, the strategy means that it is able to make the most of its still limited, albeit rapidly increasing, resources. For example, by leaving day-to-day governance to local councils, it is able to effectively co-opt local and regional stakeholders while being able to focus on battling the Houthis and Houthi-allied forces, which remain the primary threat to AQAP.

The debate about whether to pursue the near or far enemy remains contentious within both al-Qaeda central and AQAP. AQAP has a history of pursuing both the near enemy in the Yemeni state and now the Houthis and the far enemy in the West.

The Houthis’ push into the south however inflamed what were minimal sectarian divisions and helped — at least to some degree — bolster local support for AQAP and the Salafist militias that fought alongside them.

In addition to now having considerable resources and operational freedom to carry out attacks on the far enemy, AQAP may also be motivated to at least partially renew its focus on the far enemy by Islamic State.

The ongoing civil war and the destruction wrought by eleven months of aerial bombardment by Saudi Arabia and its coalition partners ensure that Yemen will remain fertile ground for the growth of both AQAP and Islamic State over both the medium and long-term.

Over the medium and even long-term, AQAP’s future in Yemen looks secure. While it may be compelled to take a more combative approach to confronting Islamic State, this is unlikely to significantly weaken AQAP. The only real potential threat to AQAP’s expansion in Yemen are stability and assertive and efficient governance at the local and federal levels. However, neither stability nor the formation of an effective government appear likely. Even when the war in Yemen does end, AQAP will continue to benefit from the destruction of the country’s armed forces, infrastructure, and perhaps most importantly, the intensifying hatred between rival political and religious groups – by Michael Horton

Comment: A very good article of which only a few impressions could be given here. Please read in full at the original site! Another article on the same subject see cp 14 Terrorism

21.3.2015 – Global Research (*** B T)

Yemen: American Weapons Once More “Landed Up in the Wrong Hands”. Mistakenly in the Hands of Al Qaeda

The US Latest Debacle in Yemen – Over $500 Million Worth of Military Aid Lost

But now that the cat’s out of the bag in Yemen, Obama’s best laid plans have once again been foiled by his brilliant Pentagon war strategists “losing” yet another arsenal of US military arms. That military aid intended for Yemen’s US puppet government to defend itself from insurgency recently got handed over to the big bad al Qaeda wolf that’s been banging at the government door. Yet with all the intelligence forces of the CIA and Special Ops stationed there in Yemen for years, we’re supposed to believe that they never saw this latest coup even coming – more bullshit. Lo and behold, more bad guys a few weeks ago were easily able to overthrow another weak, corrupt, US installed puppet and managed to abscond with over $500 million worth of war weapons that can now be used against America at some point in the future.

Oops! There goes another half billion dollars’ worth of war material lost to another enemy. This time in Yemen where until a few weeks ago President Obama could readily tout Yemen as the one foreign policy success story he could always hang his hat on. Yemen was the one place on this planet where Obama could avoid having to admit his foreign policy is not a total and abject failure. Yemen was where he could rationalize that his killer drone policy was actually working at keeping the enemy at bay. So what if most of the people killed by drones are innocent (over 96% by one recent analysis), many children and women that happened to get in the way. A little so called collateral damage never hurt the mighty US Empire’s warring ways.

In January Yemen’s US puppet government was overthrown by Iranian backed Shiite Houthi rebels affiliated with al Qaeda factions. These insurgent forces generated increasing strength over time in large part provoked by Obama’s predator drone policy regularly attacking and killing hundreds of mostly innocent civilians in Yemen since 2002. Last month during the ensuing unrest in the Yemen capital Sanaa, US personnel apparently were forced to close its embassy, having to evacuate US citizens from what’s now become another openly hostile, unsafe nation for Americans in the Arabian Gulf.

Subsequently the Pentagon in recent weeks had to slink before closed sessions of Congress to inform them that it fears that al Qaeda in Yemen now has in its possession countless small arms, ammunition, night-vision goggles, patrol boats, vehicles, aircraftand other large scale combat supplies that enable yet more so called Islamic extremists to wage yet more terrorism and war into the future. Pressed to account for the whereabouts of the weaponry, the Pentagon brass simply shrugged their shoulders and alluded to it most likely being in the wrong hands now. An anonymous legislative aide could only conclude, “We have to assume it’s completely compromised and gone.”

This much of the confiscated aid presumed missing and irretrievable was released:

• 1,250,000 rounds of ammunition
• 200 Glock 9 mm pistols
• 200 M-4 rifles
• 4 Huey II helicopters
• 2 Cessna 208 transport and surveillance aircraft
• 2 coastal patrol boats
• 1 CN-235 transport and surveillance aircraft
• 4 hand-launched Raven drones
• 160 Humvees
• 250 suits of body armor
• 300 sets of night-vision goggles – by Joachim Haqopian

Comment: Older article, just a few days before the Saudi air raids began. Worth reading, also dealing on the US support for Islamic terrorists. Quite up-to-date when looking at Syria also. And war ravages in both countries, in both the US had pumped in weapons and still more weapons, which within a short time fell into the hands of different factions which than could start to fight each other in a nice civil war. Is that a planed part of US foreign policy??

18.2.2016 – Der Freitag (** B P)

Die Inszenierung des Weltenbrandes

Westlicher Kuturexport Arabischer Frühling, Ukrainekrise, Syrienkonflikt und die Folgen sind ein Produkt einer Politik, die keinen Sinn für kulturell Gewachsenes und Vermittelbares hat

Was macht den Unterschied der vergangenen Zeit zu heute aus?
In der Vergangenheit haben wir zunächst einmal die Andersartigkeit fremder Länder akzeptiert. Es wirkte exotisch, am alltäglichen Leben teilzunehmen und als Besucher dieser Länder hat man sich den Sitten zumindest für die Zeit des Aufenthaltes Unterworfen. Auch damals herrschte in diesen Staaten nicht das Paradies auf Erden. Menschen wurden unterdrückt, ja systematisch verfolgt. Schon damals hat man das nicht schweigend hingenommen.

Auch wir sind der Ideologie verfallen, dass das, was wir - zurecht - als gut erachten und was bei uns Errungenschaften einer langen schmerzlichen Entwicklung sind, von anderen Staaten und Kulturen nun einfach 1:1 übernommen werden könnte. Diese Sicht ist im besten Sinne naiv, wie sich zeigt letztlich aber hoch gefährlich. Dem westlichen unreflektierten Kulturreport, der natürlich ebenso blind für die kulturellen Vorgaben fremder Länder, wie auch für die eigenen Schattenseiten ist, stellen sich nun Reaktionen konservativster Art entgegen, für die wir keinerlei Verständnis aufbringen, so absehbar das in sich gewesen ist. Offensiver Einflussnahme von außen wird immer eine klare, profilierte defensive Reaktion erfolgen, die genau das unmöglich macht, was wir im Grunde erreichen wollen. Der naive Vorsatz, Entwicklungen erzwingen zu wollen, verhindert die Entwicklungen selbst. Ein Kind, das zum Lernen gezwungen wird, wird keine Freude am Lernen entwickeln. Eine Meinung, die mir massiv aufgezwungen wird, ruft in mir Opposition hervor, selbst wenn sie meiner eigenen Grundüberzeugung gar nicht so fremd ist. So verhindert dieses Vorgehen geradezu die Entwicklung dessen, was sie vorantreiben will.

Längst vergessen, aber noch nicht lange her, dass nordafrikanische junge Menschen als modern, internetaffin und westlich orientiert galten (genau das Gegenteil zu dem, wofür man sie heute gern hält). Ihnen traute man zu, im Rahmen des sogenannten "arabischen Frühlings" (dessen Symbol, die geballte Faust, nicht zufällig in allen Konfliktzonen auftaucht, bis hinein in die Ukraine, Nordafrika und den Nahen Osten)ihre Länder zu westeuropäischen Demokratien zu reformieren.
Das Gegenteil ist geschehen. So ging aus der ägyptischen "Revolution" die ultrakonservative Bewegung der Muslimbruderschaft als Gewinner hervor. Die geplante Umgestaltung der ägyptischen Gesellschaft, die offensichtlich dem Wählerwillen entsprach, konnte nur durch einen Militärputsch gestoppt werden, der merkwürdiger Weise von den demokratischen Staaten des Westens niemals negativ hinterfragt wurde. Offensichtlich ging es weniger um freie Wahlen als darum, dass dann auch der richtige gewählt würde. Von allen Ländern des arabischen Frühlings ist lediglich ein Land, Tunesien, mit gelungener Revolution übrig geblieben. Die Spur der Verwüstung der zweifellos westlich unterstützten "Frühlingsbewegung" ist fatal. Libyen, das längst einen gemäßigten Kurs steuerte, Syrien, in dem trotz aller gegenteiliger Propaganda das Volk damals viel friedlicher lebte als heute, Ägypten, das wieder eine Militärdiktatur genießen darf, sind die Wegmarken eines westlichen ideologischen Feldzuges, der keine Idee davon hat, was dieMenschen in den betroffenen Ländern denken und leben wollen. Im Gegenteil, die politischen Umwälzungen der letzten Jahre haben auch hier eine Hinwendung zu ultrakonservativen, fundamentalistischen Strömungen hervorgebracht, unter denen vor allem die zu leiden haben, die man angeblich befreien wollte.
Strömungen, die uns natürlich auch mit denen erreichen, die aus diesen zerstörten Ländern flüchten.

Und dann sind da noch die anderen Akteure. Die Türkei, Saudi Arabien, der Iran, der zerstörte Irak, die Hisbollah, die Kurden. Man mag sich im Westen noch so erstaunt geben, aber alle diese Staaten handeln genau so, wie man es von ihnen hätte erwarten können. Die Türkei versucht ihre Herrschaft über die Kurden und das Nachbarland Syrien territorial und herrschaftlich auszubauen, was doch eigentlich niemanden wundern muss.
Saudi Arabien, das aber auch so gar nicht von westlichen Werten angefochten ist, bemüht sich wie immer, seine Lesart des Sunnismus vor allem gegenüber den Schiiten, perspektivisch sicher aber auch gern gegen den Rest der Welt, durchzusetzen. Die Emirate leisten dabei traditionell gern Schützenhilfe. Der Iran versucht, seine schiitischen Glaubensgeschwister zu schützen, was wohl auch niemanden wundern darf. Die schiitische Hisbollah geht damit natürlich konform und beide unterstützen den syrischen Präsidenten Assad, der selbst einer muslimischen Minderheit angehörig, keinerlei Interesse an sunnitsichen fundamentalistischen Bewegungen hat, und der paradoxer Weise in Auftreten und Lebensstil am ehesten in das Raster westlicher Lebensauffassung paßt.
Und hier begrüßen wir dann alle Mitwirkenden wieder auf dem Schlachtfeld, Verzeihung, natürlich der politischen Bühne, denn was wäre der sich ankündigende Weltenbrand anderes als die Fortsetzung mißlungener politischer Mittel mit mißlungenen militärischen Strategien. Da im Bereich Syrien jeder nach seinen eigenen Interessen handelt, allen voran die westliche Hegemonialmacht USA, deren Rolle nach wie vor eher zwielichtig als erhellend ist, und da offensichtlich der sogenannte "Westen" gern bereit ist, sich von den verschiedensten Teufeln reiten zu lassen, nur um Herrn Assad zu beseitigen und Russland, das sich strategisch klüger, vielleicht auch brutaler erweist, als man es erwartet hätte, in seine Schranken zu weisen, in die es sich aus o.g. Gründen niemals zurückziehen wird.
Nun mag man ja die westliche Position verstehen, was mir persönlich schwer fällt, so wenig ich Wladimir Putin oder Herrn Assad für Heilige halte, was aber dennoch erschreckend ist, ist, dass offensichtlich einmal mehr die Vorstellung davon fehlt, was nach einer Beendigung des Krieges kommen könnte. Allein schon das macht die Hoffnung, dass die Flüchtlingsströme mit dem Schweigen der Waffen versiegen und syrische Staatsbürger gern in ihr Land zurückkehren werden, illusorisch.
Vielmehr stehen wir wahrscheinlich bestenfalls historisch vor dem Phänomen der größten Völkerwanderung aller Zeiten (die Menschen aus der Ukraine werden nicht lange auf sich warten lassen), mit all den Belastungen und Aufgaben, die so etwas vor allem Westeuropa auferlegt, oder schlimmstenfalls vor einem Weltkrieg apokalyptischen Ausmaßes. Dass es hier kaum mahnende Stimmen gibt, erfüllt mich mit schlimmsten Befürchtungen – von Pastor Ralph

Kommentar: Sehr lesenswerter Artikel, es lohnt die vollständige Lektüre auf der Originalseite (in neuem Tab öffnen!).

cp2 Allgemein / General

19.2.2016 – Fars News (A K P)

The differences between Saudi Arabia and the UAE in Yemen have increased to such levels of severity that the Saudi fighter jets have targeted the positions of pro-Hadi militias in Ma'rib province.

The Saudi warplanes' raid on pro-Hadi militia targets in Farza9 region in Ma'rib province came just one day after the UAE fighter jets in a similar move pounded a pro-Saudi camp in Yemen's Lahij province.

On Tuesday, Emirati fighter jets targeted the positions of pro-Saudi camp in al-Hawtah city in Lahij province.

The UAE warplanes' raid on pro-Saudi militia targets in Lahij came just one day after Saudi fighter jets in a similar move pounded a UAE military convoy, killing two UAE military servicemen.

The differences between the UAE and Saudi Arabia in Yemen have heightened after the UAE replaced its soldiers with Blackwater mercenaries which faced the stern oppositions of the Riyadh government.

As a result, fugitive President Mansour Hadi and his Prime Minister Khaled Bahah have been running a feud for the past several months, and their differences grew noisy when a number of Saudi officials worked out a plan to replace the former president with his premier - who had both fled to Saudi Arabia then - in order to encourage the revolutionary forces back in Yemen to work with him and allow him to start a new government.

Political observers believe that the quarrel between Hadi and his prime minister derives from the underlying row between Saudi Arabia as supporter of Hadi and UAE as supporter of Bahah.

Meantime, Lahij and Aden provinces have been the scenes of numerous attacks against pro-Hadi forces; the latest case was assassination of Aden governor Ja'afar Saeed.

In a relevant development in late December, Hadi's palace 18.2.2016 – Der Standard (A K P)

Riad will Jemen-Einsatz fortsetzen

Bis zur vollen Kontrolle des Landes durch Regierung – Außenminister: Erfolg nur eine Frage der Zeit Riad/Sanaa – Saudi-Arabiens Militäreinsatz im Jemen wird nach den Worten von Außenminister Adel al-Jubeir so lange andauern, bis die sunnitische Regierung in dem Nachbarland wieder uneingeschränkt an der Macht ist. Al-Jubeir sagte der Nachrichtenagentur AFP am Donnerstag, es sei "nur eine Frage der Zeit, bis es der internationalen Koalition im Jemen gelingt, die Regierung wieder herzustellen". Ziel sei es, die Kontrolle über das gesamte Staatsgebiet zurück zu erlangen. Die Unterstützung für die "legitime Regierung" werde so lange anhalten, bis diese Ziele erreicht seien oder bis eine politische Einigung darüber gefunden worden sei, sagte der saudiarabische Außenminister.

18.2.2016 – AFP (A K P)

Yemen intervention will continue until govt restored: Saudi minister

Saudi Arabia's military intervention in Yemen will continue until the country's legitimate government is fully restored to power, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told AFP Thursday.

"It's a matter of time before the international coalition in Yemen succeeds in restoring the legitimate government... in control of all of Yemen's territory," he said.

"The support for the legitimate government will continue until the objectives are achieved or until an agreement is reached politically to achieve those objectives." =

Comment: It's not an intervention, it's an aggression. 3/4 of the country reclaimed? Then what about AQAP, Daesh, IS et similia in the south? Included or not in the 3/4??

17.2.2016 – Sheba Rights (* B K)

Statement prepared for the UN Human Rights Commission on behalf of Yemen by Sheba Rights.

Article 1 of the Convention on Cluster Munitions states that:

“An obligation never to use, produce, transfer or stockpile cluster munitions. It also includes several positive obligations to ensure no further use and to redress past harm caused by the weapons.”[1].

A cluster munitions, is an explosive device containing multiple explosive sub munitions. Like landmines, these sub munitions can remain a fatal threat to anyone in the area long after a conflict ends.

Decades after the initial bombing, these sub-munitions still have potential to claim lives, often surpassing even landmines in their threat to civilians. Their continued use is met with almost universal abhorrence. The Convention on Cluster Munitions banning their use has 113 signatories[2].

Even countries that haven’t signed the treaty are still bound by customary international humanitarian law, specifically that:

“An indiscriminate weapon is a weapon that cannot be directed at a military objective or whose effects cannot be limited, and the use of such inherently’ indiscriminate weapon is prohibited. [3] Rule 71

Cluster bombs are indiscriminate weapons that are imprecise at the time of use and leave behind submunitions that remain a threat for anyone in the area long after use. When the CBU-52B/Bs are used,[4] it disintegrates in mid-air, depositing up to 220 bomblets at a time on an area roughly the size of a football field.

These weapons should never be used under any circumstances. Saudi Arabia and other coalition members – and the supplier, the US – are flouting the global standard that rejects cluster munitions because of their “long-term threat to civilians,” according to Human Rights Watch arms director Steve Goose.[5]

“The use of cluster munitions in populated areas may amount to a war crime due to their indiscriminate nature,” the UN spokesperson pointed out.[6]

“The coalition’s repeated use of cluster bombs in the middle of a crowded city suggests an intent to harm civilians, which is a war crime. These outrageous attacks show that the coalition seems less concerned than ever about sparing civilians from war’s horrors.”

More than 7,500 people have been killed and over 14,000 others injured since the strikes began. The Saudi war has also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure. [7]

Since the beginning of the war on Yemen, Sheba Rights Coalition (SRC) has collected credible evidence that Saudi-led coalition used cluster bombs in air strikes on Yemen’s on 56 occasions. [8]

Below are the attacks documented by Sheba Rights coalition:

Sanaa (1 strike),

Saada (34 strikes),

Aden (1 strike),

Hajjah (11 strikes),

Taiz (6 strikes),

Lahj (1 strike),

Ibb (1 strike), and

Marib (3 strikes).

[following the details] =

17.2.2016 – Vocativ (K)

"This Is Not Aleppo:" Pictures Of The War-Ravaged City Of Taiz

The Arab world's poorest nation is under bombardment, and forgotten by the rest of the world. [more or less an introduction to the Yemeni situation, with focus at Taiz only]

The scenes are virtually identical: obliterated streets, hungry and desperate people trying to survive bombardment from the sky. But while the world’s attention is on the plight of the Syrian city of Aleppo, the people of Yemen say they’ve been forgotten.

Residents of Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, are seizing on growing international concern over Syria’s civil war with the hope of drawing attention to their country’s own widening conflict and humanitarian crisis, which has received far less media coverage. Faced with starvation and rocket fire raining from above, some living in Taiz have turned to social media to catalogue their city’s destruction and plead for assistance.

“This is not Aleppo,” resident Samee Al Yaman posted on Facebook Tuesday along with an image of a rubble-strewn boulevard. “This used to be the most beautiful street in Taiz.” Dozens of other Facebook users in Taiz have started to compare their bombed out blocks and sick and hungry citizens to that of Aleppo and other cities in Syria ravaged by war, a analysis by Vocativ found – by Vladi Vovcuk and Shane Dixon Kavanaugh

Comment by Judith Brown: This is Taiz - it is the city with the most ferocious ground war in Yemen at the moment. But not the only city that is suffering - many others are also suffering - Saada has been bombed daily for 10 months, the city is flattened by between 45-50 thousand air to group missiles in 10 months, including attacks on food sources. And now forces are approaching Sanaa and that too is at risk of being embroiled in ground war. So terrifying.

17.2.2016 – Deutsche Welle (* B P)

Vielfrontenkrieg im Jemen

Die Gewalt im jemenitischen Bürgerkrieg weitet sich aus. Der Frontverlauf wird immer komplizierter. Die Eskalation wäre vermeidbar gewesen. Dafür hätte es allerdings einen anderen politischen Zugang gebraucht.

Blockade als Waffe

Die Rolle des Iran

Umstritten ist allerdings, in welchem Umfang Iran die schiitischen Huthis tatsächlich unterstützt. In einer kürzlich veröffentlichten Studie hat der Think Tank "International Crisis Group" (ICG) auch das iranische Engagement im Jemen untersucht. Demnach werden die Huthis vom Iran und der ihr verbundenen libanesischen Hisbollah militärisch unterstützt. Allerdings: "Die Unterstützung ist wesentlich geringer als jene, die die Staaten des Golfkooperationsrates den Gegnern der Huthis zukommen lassen. Auch ist sie für die Kampffähigkeit des Huthi/Saleh-Lagers nicht entscheidend", heißt es in der Studie. Vielmehr entstammten die meisten der von den Huthis eingesetzten Waffen aus geplünderten Regierungsbeständen.

Die ICG zitiert einen auf Anonymität bestehenden iranischen Offiziellen: Der iranische Einfluss im Jemen werde überschätzt. "Tatsächlich ist er minimal, und das wissen auch die Saudis. Jemen ist von unserer Küste weit weg. Wir brauchten bereits vor dem Krieg keine Waffen dorthin zu schicken. Jetzt ist das praktisch unmöglich geworden." Allerdings, so der Offizielle weiter, sei der Krieg für Iran strategisch von Nutzen: "Saudi-Arabien geht im Jemen unter. Der Krieg legt dem Königreich einen hohen Blutzoll auf. Auch kostet er das Land Ansehen und bringt es finanziell in erhebliche Bedrängnis."

Vielfältige Fronten

Die Fehler der Diplomatie

Längst strahlt auch der Syrienkrieg in den Jemen. Dort führen Saudi-Arabien und Iran einen Stellvertreterkrieg. Dadurch hat die Gewalt einen immer stärker konfessionellen Charakter angenommen, der zunehmend auch die Kämpfe im Jemen prägt.

Für deren Eskalation macht die liberale, in London erscheinende arabische Tageszeitung "Al Araby al-jadeed" vor allem die saudische Politik verantwortlich. Hätte man in Riad den Konflikt wirklich lösen wollen, so hätte man die einzelnen Fronten im Nachbarland sorgfältig voneinander trennen müssen. "Stattdessen haben die im März letzten Jahres begonnenen Bombenangriffe sie zusammengeführt." – von Kersten Kripp

16.2.2016 – Saba Net (* B K P)

USA kills Yemeni people with GCC funds

The costs of the U.S. logistic support to Asifat al-Hazm, (Operation Decisive Storm) offensive mounted by the Saudi-led coalition against Yemen, reached more than US$ 174 billion in 10 months While the United States of America (USA) is implementing its big project in the Middle East region, the Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) countries open the doors of their treasuries widely to finance this project, as a second task beside their main task as tools for the project implementation. These countries will not gain anything from this dual task, but wasting their funds. They will discover that the threats targeting their national security were just a Hollywood trick.

In the first place, we have to put this question: If the U.S. project is targeting the whole region, why the GCC states will be excepted from that? To answer this question, we should know that the U.S. project moves on two directions. In the first direction, the project targets some countries directly, and in the second direction it targets some others indirectly. The GCC states are among the indirectly-targeted countries because they are allies of the USA and its protectorates. The USA has drawn its plan in a proficient manner to push those countries to engage in and plunge into the project automatically through representing the American will in the implementation and facing the consequences that will lead them to destruction. Thus, the USA would have achieved its purpose by getting rid of those countries indirectly.

American Plot and Gulf Stupidity

Launching its project, the USA started attacking the Gulf entity political mind through provoking its latent fears from losing thrones and utilizing its feeling of military inability to deter any aspiring power. The USA worked on feeding this feeling through the “lake monster” strategy; by creating delusive enemies. Iran and its nuclear project was the ideal model of this monster, which the Gulf entity should be afraid of it. Thus, the Gulf entity began purchasing weapons hysterically from the USA to enhance its defensive abilities in preparation for any Iranian attack.

According to a report issued by IDEX Organization, the gross value of the weapons deals, which the GCC countries have concluded with the USA between the years from 2002 to 2012, amounted to about $ 500 billion (at an average equals $ 70 billion per year). This is aside from the costs of the maintenance, spare parts and military training programs, which reach more than US$ 12 billion.

For accelerating the project implementation, the USA advised Saudi Arabia to move from the defensive readiness square to the preventive attack square, according to the fourth generation strategy of wars based on proxy war. In other words, through targeting the internal communities by organizations via a regional strategy to hit the countries it believe they pose a threat to its national security. Some GCC states, topped by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) resorted to fund and to direct Al-Qaeda and “Daesh” organizations toward the targeted countries directly by USA, like Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen. As a result, the USA achieved the first phase of its project successfully.

Asifat al-Hazm and the Biggest American Profit

The USA was not content with the Iranian monster. Therefore, it made another lake monster to push the GCC states to implement its project, believing that they should face this monster’s danger in order to maintain their strategic national security. The USA chose Yemen particularly because it is the model it was not able to destroy it in the Arab Spring scheme. Yemen freed from the U.S. control through the September 21 Revolution, which put an end to the subjection to abroad. So, the USA placed the features of the hypothetical monster in this revolution and its leaders and exported this illusion to the GCC countries and linked it to Iran, via an allegation that Yemen’s expansionary revolutionary project tends towards the neighboring countries according to an Iranian agenda. For this reason, the GCC states announced the state of alert and took up arms to defend their strategic national security, which is allegedly threatened by Yemen. They waged a pre-emptive war against Yemen and destroyed everything in the country. Thus, the USA took its revenge on Yemen via the stupid Gulf entity and profited in three directions; the first is that it destroyed Yemen to subjugate it, the second is the profits it gained from this war and the third is drowning the Gulf entity in the war swamp in order to be exhausted economically and financially, which would lead it to the collapse.
Asifat al-Hazm Bill
After ten months from the aggression on Yemen, The emphasis is on the scale of the destruction wrought by the American war machine through the Gulf tools, without paying attention to the massive losses in the other site. Some observers see that Yemen incurred fatal losses at the human, developmental and economic levels due to this aggression. But the steadfastness of the Yemeni people during this period made a global din, not only at the level of the military victories, but also at the level of weakening the economy of the richest countries in the world. In this regard, the U.S. “Foreign Policy” Magazine published a report, in which it revealed some costs of the Gulf war on Yemen. In light of the report, which summarized the aggression bill during six months only, we will expand the bill to include ten months as in the following table:
The military service Cost/ hour Cost / day Cost / month Total cost in 10 months
Two warships accompanied by frigates $300 million $9 billion $90 billion
Two spy satellites $2 million $48 million $1.044 billion $14.4 billion
Extracting satellites data $10 million $300 million $3 billion
AWACS planes $250,000 $6 million $180 million $1.8 billion
Weapon deals $65 billion
Total cost in ten months US$ 174,200,000,000
Without mentioning the air raids costs, the statistics of the U.S. magazine, during six month from the aggression, stated that more than 150 fighter jets carried out nearly 35 thousands raids and dropped 140 thousands missiles and bombs of various types on targets, mostly civilian and populated areas. The used missiles included 40 thousands missiles of small size, with a total value amounts to six billion dollars (each missile costs $ 150,000). The Saudi-led coalition warplanes dropped also 50 thousands missiles of the medium size with a total cost reached $ 15 billion (each missile costs $ 300,000), as well as 50 thousand missiles of big size with a total value amounted to $ 25 billion (each missile costs $ 500,000).

The cost of the air supply, fuel, maintenance, spare parts and Kerosene for an aircraft in each raid amounted to $ 150 thousand, which brings the total cost of all raids to five billion dollars, in addition to the air supplying planes that costs two millions dollars per day.

With respect to the wages of the Blackwater mercenaries, press sources have mentioned that the wage of each fighter amounts to $ 1,500 per day (About $ 45,000 per month).

We have to mention here that the costs included in this report are only the costs flowing into the U.S. treasury. The report did not touch on the costs the GCC states incurred in their aggression on Yemen and at the other levels; for example the funds spent in buying the consciences and loyalties in Yemen and the attitudes of some countries, whether via a symbolic participation in the aggression or providing the regional and international political cover for this aggression. As such, the dairy costs of the war at the land lever were not accounted. So, to which number the bill of this aggression costs will reach?

Harvest of the Dual Project

By looking closely in the course of what the USA is doing, the vision becomes clearer that it reaps the most abundant harvest in all directions. All these astronomical numbers of money squandered by the Gulf entities have been poured into the U.S. treasury. These entities will not earn anything in exchange for their service to the American project and from the outcome of the illusion sold to them by their major ally. Do these entities realize that they are on their way to economic collapses; due to the depletion of their wealth by the USA?

And thus, the second phase of the American project is achieved by devastating the states of this direction in an indirect manner and without their knowledge. Given that these countries are just banks, if they run out their balances, they announce their collapse automatically, with no need to detonate the situations from inside them like the directly-targeted countries – by Hussein al-Junaid

Comment: Interesting, even if you do not agree to the main idea of this article.

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

19.2.2016 – UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (A H)

Infographics: Yemen 2016: Humanitarian Needs at a Glance, and Humanitarian Response Plan at a Glance = and =

No date – America-Mideast Educational and Training Services (B H)

Responding to Crisis in Yemen

Despite aerial bombardments, fuel shortages, and a complete lack of electrical power, our solar-powered Sana’a office has been able to deliver limited services throughout most of the conflict. Sadly, though, students and teachers continue to face suspended studies and threats to their safety, and the office is not yet open for except for testing services and advising by EducationUSA staff by phone or email.

In Aden, our office opened following a harrowing summer of intense conflict, and staff moved quickly to

restart testing and advising programs, both of which are critical for Yemenis seeking to apply to study in the United States, as well as to resume the English language courses that are critical to job and education prospects for the country’s large youth population. Students are adjusting to a post-conflict environment following months of fighting, although security remains tenuous there.

Our students report that the lessons that they learned in our programs, from improving their English proficiency to honing their leadership skills, are helping them find a path of hope through the crisis.

The U.S. Department of State-funded English Access Microscholarship (Access) Program is also making a difference. The English skills these non-elite students learn may lead to a job opportunity or a scholarship to study abroad.

Comment: They certainly do a good job there. “U.S. Department of State-funded” – that means, the US government is giving a little bit for education in Yemenwith the one hand, while it supports the destruction of half the country (including more than 500 schools and much more up to now) with the other hand.

18.2.2016 – ACTED (A H)

February 2016: Yemen crisis update

Almost a year on after the beginning of the war in Yemen, there is still no end in sight. This conflict has so far killed at least 6,000 people. An estimated 82% of the population, that is to say more than 21 million people, require humanitarian assistance. Ground fighting and airstrikes have turned Yemen into one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

More than 2 million people have fled their homes. Yemenis all across the country struggle to eat every day and have access to safe water. Risks of disease, malnutrition and psychological trauma are extremely high, especially for children, and more than 3 million of them have no access to education. Schools and hospitals are being destroyed.

In addition to the war, the blockade that has crippled one of the most import-reliant countries provokes food, fuel and medical supplies shortages, increasing the population’s vulnerability and affecting their livelihoods.

As access to many areas in the country remain critically constrained due to ground fighting, airstrikes and fuel scarcity, ACTED field teams continue to balance the urgent requirement to meet immediate needs with careful considerations of security. In Ibb, ACTED has supported the local water corporation to access fuel and provided essential spare parts to sustain water pumping to nearly 300,000 people.

For rural populations in Al Dhale’e, ACTED has promoted improved sanitation environments to almost 60,000 people, rehabilitated 19 communal water points and is working on 9 other ones. The teams have also distributed water filters at household level across 15 villages in this governorate, and have reached an additional 14,000 people with hygiene kits in Ibb. Soon, they will begin water trucking to more than 35,000 people and kit distribution in Al Jawf and Al Dhale’e. In addition to those activities, an emergency cash distribution will be organized to support more than 10,000 people. However, many needs remain unmet as fighting continues.

The war in Yemen has struggled to catch the world’s attention, due to its slow build-up, the protracted nature of the crisis and its inaccessibility to media. Yet, the crisis situation continues and populations are in great need of humanitarian assistance.

Parties to the conflict must support safe and unrestricted humanitarian access to civilians in need, and work together for a permanent ceasefire and lasting political solution.

18.2.2016 – United Nations Population Fund (** B H)

Report from Yemen: Transforming the lives of women in a conflict zone

Selam*, age 35, lives with her husband and four children in a small town in Yemen’s Shabwah governorate, where airstrikes and casualties regularly occur. Many Shabwah residents have fled the fighting, but Selam’s family is a member of Al Muhamasheen, Yemen’s “untouchable” or servant class, and like many poor residents, they could not afford to leave.

The conflict and resulting displacement have left few employment options in the region. And with her husband unable to find work, Selam and her four children began going out each day to beg for charity, despite the danger. When they returned home at night, Selam would hand their meagre earnings over to her husband, who generally spent the majority on khat and tobacco.

One particularly hot day, Selam’s four-year sold son Ahmed fell ill after sitting in the sun all day begging with very little to eat. Selam used their day’s earnings to buy the sick child medicine, and then went home to report to her husband she had nothing left to give him.

"He went back into the room, and I thought he was going to sleep and leave me to attend my sick child," says Selam. Instead he returned with his belt in his hand and flogged the boy. Selam was subjected to several blows herself as she attempted to stop him, and then, unable to, passed out.

When she woke up, her husband was gone. Selam gathered her children and went out to report the abuse to the police; however, when she arrived she discovered that the station has closed due to the air strikes. A soldier who was waiting in front of the gates to receive his pay check advised her to go the UNFPA-supported Yemeni Women Union (YWU), and gave her the address. It was in Attaq, the governorate’s capital, several kilometers away.

Having no money for transportation, Selam and her four children set out on foot.

"We found her and her children completely covered with dust. On her body were signs of beating, and one of her children was crying, and she wept for him,” said Nagiba Al-Sheikh, head of YWU branch in Shabwah. “We sat with her and calmed her down.”

Nationally, 92 per cent of women in Yemen reported that violence against women commonly occurred in the home in a 2013 health survey, and in times of conflict, amidst the chaos and sense of lawlessness, rates of gender-based violence (GBV) often increase. This vulnerability is further heightened by the fact that, as in Selam’s case, the fighting reduces women’s already often limited options for prosecuting against GBV or receiving medical and counselling services to help them recover from it.

In response, the UNFPA has scaled up its services in the country, including by supporting YWU, which operates in 18 of the country’s governorates.

In the last year, YWU and other UNFPA supported centres have offered sexual and gender-based violence treatment and counselling services to nearly 6,000 survivors, over 300 of whom were in Shabwah. These services often include linking women to safe houses, legal services and employment.

After Selam and her kids arrived at the YWU, the team started to take action. “All security services were closed due to the war, so we called her husband and made him pledge not to beat her again and to do his job as a father,” says Ms. Al-Sheikh. “And then we arranged a job for him as a porter with a trader who used to do business with YWU."

The team also secured a job for Selam as a cleaner at a hospital where the regular staff had fled due to the conflict. “The war situation did not discourage us,” adds Ms. Al-Sheikh.

Today, Selam’s children, who used to spend their days begging in front of the local mosque, are enrolled in school, and the children report that their father, now employed, regularly buys them apples.

“My life has been transformed from a life of poverty, begging and beatings to a life where my kids could go to school and my husband and I have jobs and look after our children together.” says Selam, her eyes brimming with tears. "I could not dream of more." – by Fahmia Al-Fotih

*Name changed to protect identity.

Comment: You see how blockade and bombings lead to hunger and illness, to joblessness and to families falling apart, leaving especially women and children in a state of despair. Consequences of the Saudi war.

18.2.2016 – Standplaats Wereld (B H)

Yemen’s broken youth

“Aunt, if you know any way to migrate to Europe plz just tell me, I wanna run away from this world”. Said, the son of one of my Yemeni friends, sent me this Facebook message some time ago. I was shocked and first did not know what to answer him. While I got used to phonecalls from my friend Noura, who I support financially (see blog), the desperate situation in Yemen had never reached me through chat messages on Facebook.

I have known Said since he was a small boy, two or three years old, and saw him develop into a smart and cosmopolitan young man. He loved to speak English with me, and became a Facebook addict when smart phones made their entry in Yemen. He slept with his phone next to him, and made friends all around the world.


Said and Lina are just two young and promising Yemenis who dream of the future – in or outside Yemen. There are millions of them, their lives being destroyed by the current war. While my heart burns for all the Yemenis that are affected by the war, I am mostly hurt by the fact that the future of Yemen’s new generations is broken into pieces. What is left of a country when young and aspiring people like Said and Lina do not get a chance to turn their dreams into reality?

While social media has made the world seem so much smaller, social realities cannot be changed. I can only hope that the war will soon be over; that Lina will indeed be able to become a doctor and that Said can come to Europe. But this may be wishful thinking… – by Marina de Regt =

18.2.2016 – Middle East Eye (B H)

Film: Anxious Yemenis continue studies under threat of bombs, gunfire

"While we are in class we are constantly afraid, nervous and anxious." Anxious Yemenis continue studies under threat of bombs, gunfire - Produced by MEE contributor Mohammed Al-Mikhlafi

18.2.2016 – Doctors without Borders (A H)

Film: Tariq Hassan Al Saady on situation in Saada, Yemen

"Health structure is completely collapsed"

Film: Tariq Hassan Al Saady on IDPs from Saada, Yemen

"But it was really sad to see other people who could not afford to leave out of Saada because the bombing was everywhere"

17.2.2016 – UNCHR (A H)

Jemen: UNHCR liefert Hilfsgüter an 1.000 Familien

NHCR lieferte am 14. Februar Decken, Matratzen und weitere Hilfsgüter an 1.000 vom Konflikt eingeschlossene Familien im umkämpften Stadtzentrum von Taizz, im Südosten des Jemen. Nach fast fünf Monaten war dies das erste Mal, dass UNHCR Zugang zur Stadt bekam und die dort dringend benötigte Unterstützung leisten konnte. Mit der Hilfe von lokalen Hilfsorganisationen konnte UNHCR die Verteilung der Hilfsgüter an drei Standorten innerhalb der Stadt durchführen: Al Qahirah, Salh und dem Al Mudhaffar Berzirk.

Taizz war in den letzten zehn Monaten Schauplatz heftiger Kämpfe, durch die mehr als 200,000 Menschen von regelmäßiger humanitärer Hilfe abgeschnitten waren.

17.2.2016 – United Nations (B H)

Statement by Adama Dieng, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and Jennifer Welsh, Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, on the situation in Yemen (16 February 2016)

Amidst reports of continuing intense airstrikes and ground fighting in Yemen, including in the capital Sana’a, the Special Advisers to the SecretaryGeneral on the Prevention of Genocide and on the Responsibility to Protect expressed concern at the heavy toll on civilians of the conflict in Yemen.

The two Special Advisers noted that “One year after the escalation of the conflict in Yemen, the world is witnessing the erosion of respect for international humanitarian and human rights law on a daily basis in the country. Civilians and civilian infrastructures continue to be targeted by all parties to the conflict, to the point that the attention of the international media has largely become saturated. We call on the international community - and notably on the Security Council - to take action to end this unacceptable situation”.

The Special Advisers underlined that serious abuses and violations of human rights law and of international humanitarian law by all sides and their allied forces have been extensively documented, including by the United Nations. Evidence gathered suggests that some of these violations may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. “We acknowledge that the parties have expressed regret at the number of civilian casualties and have committed to the principle of accountability,” the Special Advisers observed. “We now expect that commitments by the Yemeni authorities and by Saudi Arabia to conduct credible and independent investigations into all alleged violations and provide reparations to victims will be swiftly implemented. It is imperative that the international community also gives immediate consideration to the most effective means of supporting this goal, including the possibility of establishing an international independent and impartial mechanism to support accountability in Yemen”.

Noting the co-operation between State Parties to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) and the Saudi-led coalition, the Special Advisers requested that these State Parties lead by example by fulfilling one of the treaty’s main purposes, which is to control arms flows to actors that may use them in ways that breach international humanitarian law.

Finally, Special Advisers Dieng and Welsh warned that the impact of the violence in Yemen is already spreading across the border with Saudi Arabia and within the broader region. They concluded: “The international community cannot afford to underestimate the risk of a spillover of a conflict that is fuelling religious and sectarian divide. We must, collectively, make the protection of the civilian populations of Yemen our primary consideration if we are to avoid a catastrophe in this region”.

17.2.2016 – Aljazeera (B H)

Yemen's displaced in dire need of food

Aid groups operating near besieged city of Taiz are not providing displaced people with what they say they need most.

Many of those displaced from Taiz are now living in rural areas, especially al-Shimayateen district, where international aid organisations such as Save the Children and Oxfam have opened branches to help to alleviate the humanitarian situation.

The displaced people say they are in dire need of food, which aid organisations are reportedly struggling to provide.

Ghazi al-Husaini, a co-ordinator with Oxfam based in al-Turbah, told Al Jazeera that many displaced people need blankets and mattresses for the winter. He said he was aware that some displaced people sold the aid, which he considered to be a type of stealing.

Despite the shortcomings of aid delivery in al-Turbah, the humanitarian situation is far worse in the city of Taiz, where the Houthi siege largely prevents medical supplies and other necessities from entering the city.

Comment: Media mostly just look at Taiz, the rest of the country suffering under the Saudi blockade is not much better off.

19.2.2016 – Spiegel Online (* A H)

Zoo im Jemen: Verlassen, vergessen, fast verhungert

Millionen Menschen leiden unter dem Bürgerkrieg im Jemen. Das Elend wird aber auch in einem Zoo sichtbar: Die Tiere siechen dahin, fressen sich gegenseitig auf. Helfer wollen nun möglichst viele retten.

Es sind grausame und bewegende Fotos, die im Taiz-Zoo im Jemen aufgenommen wurden. Seit Monaten ist der Tierpark verlassen. Etliche Tiere sollen bereits verhungert sein, darunter elf Löwen und sechs Leoparden.

In den vergangenen fünf Monaten seien, nach Angaben von Jonkergouw, bereits elf Löwen und sechs Leoparden gestorben. 20 Löwen und 26 Leoparden seien noch immer am Leben. Insgesamt brauchen 281 Tiere Hilfe. Neben den Raubkatzen handelt es sich um Hyänen, Luchse, Schlangen, Krokodile, Affen, Eulen, Papageien und einige weitere Vogelarten. "

Die Rettung der Tiere stellt die Helfer vor eine große Aufgabe: Ein einziger der ausgehungerten Leoparden braucht für den Anfang zwei bis vier Kilo Fleisch pro Tag, ein Löwe sogar vier bis fünf. Dazu kommen 100 Kilo Grünfutter für die Vegetarier sowie 5000 Liter Wasser. Viele der Tiere sind zudem geschwächt und krank, brauchen ärztliche Hilfe, Betäubungsmittel, Vitamine, Kochsalzinfusionen oder Antibiotika - von Juri Auel und Benjamin Maack

Kommentar: Auch die Menschen (ver)hungern in dieser Stadt, in diesem Land.

17.2.2016 – Daily Mail (A H)

The king of the jungle facing an agonising death: Tragic lion is among hundreds of animals starving in Yemen horror zoo where animals have turned to cannibalism to survive

Some 280 animals are starving to death at a zoo in southern Yemen

Several of the predators have resorted to cannibalism to survive

Lions, leopards and other animals can be seen with weeping wounds

The zoo animals have been all but abandoned due to the war in Yemen

Shocking pictures have emerged of dozens of animals starving to death in a zoo in Yemen, forcing them to resort to cannibalism to survive.

Lions, leopards and other animals can be seen with weeping wounds as they feast on members of their own prides at the park in Taiz, southern Yemen.

The 280 animals living in the zoo have been all but forgotten since armed conflict began in the country in March 2015 – by Sara Malm see also

Comment: Horrible; but some westeners seem to care more for starving animals than for starving children.

17.2.2016 – Relief Web

New Taiz city map

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

18.2.2016 – The Guardian (** B K)

The city where war is the best employer: life in liberated Aden

Pulverised by air strikes and tank shells, Yemen’s port city is back in government control – but with few jobs and no state, allies have become rivals and the temporary capital is fracturing

Aden – pulverised by air strikes and tank shells – represents the Saudi-backed government’s greatest success in Yemen’s civil war, yet with a victorious coalition of separatist militia, jihadis, Salafists and loyalist army units unravelling, and few sources of employment for the civilian population, the city is fragile. The Yemeni state shows no sign of re-establishing itself despite thereturn of its president from exile.

Life was gradually coming back to Aden. A few cargo ships gingerly waited in the harbour, the markets were crowded and in the dusk hours the wet sands of the Arabian sea glittered with the reflections of women in black abayas and fathers in sarongs paddling with their children. Young men sat in their cars chewing khat, mesmerised by the orange sun sinking in the dark frothy waters.

“Just give me time and money and I will turn this city into the new miracle of the region,” he [the governor of Aden] said. “We have everything. We just need stability.”

Obscuring the governor’s dreams of a new Dubai lies a poor and wretched city, broken by decades of misrule, corruption and civil war. Airstrikes and tank shells have created corridors of devastation where floors lie flattened like crumpled biscuits, columns hang in mid-air and buildings miraculously stand on one corner.

One thing does seem to be working well in Aden: electricity. The governor handed the power plants to the UAE Red Crescent, which provided massive generators. And some parts of the city function as they always have. Wooden dhows bring cattle from Somalia, passengers embark after a torturous 30-hour sea journey from Djibouti, and cargo ships empty cement on to the shore at what is now the country’s only functioning port.

No one knows how many fighters roam the streets; 50,000, the governor said, maybe as many as 65,000. Many of them joined the resistance after the Houthi rebels left.

War is the city’s best employer. Those who fought to recapture Aden wanted a reward, and those who hadn’t see the resistance as the easiest way to earn a salary. Fighters are arriving daily from training camps in the countryside near Aden, some are trained in Saudi Arabia and others in Eritrea or Sudan.

The field commander

North v south

Aden was in a state of dichotomy. On one hand it was the temporary capital of Yemen, ruled ostensibly by Hadi and his government, whose return to power had been the raison d’être for the war and the Saudi intervention. Yet Hadi rarely left his heavily guarded presidential compound perched high on top of a hill, while in the streets below most of the people saw the war as a war of liberation from northern rule from Sana’a, and Aden as the capital of an independent southern state.

The flag of South Yemen, which unified with the north in 1990, then lost to it in a 1994 civil war, fluttered over schools and government institutions and were painted on walls and shop fronts. “Since liberating Aden, neither Hadi nor the coalition have been able to build a state and they are not letting us build a one,” said a member of the Southern Resistance council.

Funeral – by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad

Comment: Very interesting and long article. For really getting it, please read in full at the original site.

cp7 UNO / UN

18.2.2016 – UNO (* A K P)

Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, Briefing to the Security Council

Mr. President,
Thank you for this opportunity to brief the Security Council once again on the latest developments in Yemen.
It has been two months since the parties met in Switzerland, for the first face to face talks of the peace process. Those talks produced agreements on several measures which have provided much needed practical and moral support to the Yemeni people, including the delivery of humanitarian aid to the city of Taiz and the release of some prisoners.
The announcement of a cessation of hostilities on the first day of the talks was accompanied by the creation of a De-escalation and Coordination Committee, aimed at strengthening adherence to the cessation of hostilities. There was also broad agreement to the principles of a general framework based on the provisions of Security Council Resolution 2216 (2015). The talks have served as the beginning of a process toward agreements on ending the war and Yemen’s return to a peaceful political transition.
The parties left the last round of talks in a positive spirit, with practical proposals, recommendations and hope for a better future for Yemen and the Yemeni people.
Tragically, the security situation in Yemen has deteriorated since the end of the talks. The latest UN reports indicate that more than 6,000 Yemenis have lost their lives since March 2015, and more than 35,000 have been injured.
Yemen is living through the most heart-rending days in its history.
Many parts of Yemen are again witnessing airstrikes and extensive ground fighting. There has also been a significant increase in the number of missiles fired indiscriminately into Saudi Arabia. The escalation of military activities along with a worsening of regional tensions has created additional obstacles which threaten to delay a new round of talks.
There has been a notable upsurge in the number and magnitude of attacks carried out by terrorist groups in Aden, Lahej, Abyan, Shabwa and Sana’a. There have been attacks on Yemeni Army checkpoints and residences of key security officials. The assassination of prominent political and security officials in the South of the country has continued unabated. On 28 January, an attack on the Presidential Palace in Aden resulted in the death of eight people including civilian bystanders. Earlier today, a suicide bomber attacked a Yemeni army camp in Aden, reportedly killing at least ten people.
I have repeatedly underlined the increasing presence of terrorist groups in Yemen which create a long-term threat for the country and the region. The absence of the State in many parts of Yemen has facilitated the expansion of these terrorist groups. Al Qaeda and the Islamic State are present in many parts of Yemeni territory. There are reports of their growing influence in large areas of the governorate of Hadramout and their control of its port, maritime traffic, and illegal oil trade. Reports of attacks on civilians, including stonings, and executions of captured civilians and Yemeni army soldiers are deeply worrying.
The basic freedoms of Yemenis, including freedom of expression, continue to be undermined. There has been significant rise in the systematic persecution of civil society activists in Yemen, including reports of violent attacks and arbitrary detention of many journalists. Acts of intimidation, harassment and disappearances of journalists are a clear violation of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.
Yemenis continue to face grave violations of international humanitarian law. Respect for human rights and international humanitarian law is critical to the ability of Yemenis to survive this current crisis with dignity and safety. The agencies, funds and programmes of the UN are doing their best to uphold the rights of Yemenis and provide needed assistance. It is important that all UN staff are able to work in safety and without restriction. I call upon the Government of Yemen and all other stakeholders to uphold these principles and to respect and support the work of the UN and its agencies.
I have been engaged in an intensive round of consultations with Yemeni leaders and regional partners in recent weeks. I discussed the challenges facing the peace process with the Foreign Ministers of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, the Sultanate of Oman, Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, France, the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council, in addition to the vice Foreign Minister of Japan and the vice Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea, all of whom underlined their continued support for an end to violence in Yemen a political settlement.
I met with Yemeni Vice President and Prime Minister Khaled Bahah on 8 and 16 January, in addition to repeated meetings with representatives of the Yemeni Government, other Yemeni leaders and civil society figures. I also traveled to Sana’a, where I met with senior officials from the Houthis and the General Popular Conference, as well as key political parties, women’s and youth groups.
During this latest round of consultations, I sought to ensure that some of the positive commitments which emerged from the talks in Switzerland were implemented. While far from a comprehensive settlement, these commitments yield tangible benefits to the Yemeni people and bolster the peace process.
I worked for the release of two Saudi nationals by the Houthis on 14 January, after almost ten months in captivity, which was welcomed by the Secretary-General and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This positive development was shortly followed by the release of the Yemeni Minister of Technical and Vocational Education, Abdul Razak al-Ashwal and four Yemeni political and media activists. I will continue to press for and work towards the release of others detainees.
Building on commitments made in Switzerland, UN agencies and international NGOs expanded the delivery of assistance to Taiz, including to areas that had been cut off for many months. WHO, WFP and MSF have all been able to deliver critically needed assistance to Taiz in recent weeks and I hope that this city, and other areas which have suffered tremendously in recent months, will continue to receive assistance on a regular basis. I call on all parties to ensure that humanitarian agencies have free and unhindered access to all parts of Yemen.
I have also pursued agreements which seek to preserve the functioning of key state institutions on which the Yemeni people depend. Preserving their functioning helps current service delivery and will also facilitate a faster and more effective recovery after an agreement. The Central Bank’s Board of Directors met recently in Amman, with the participation of the Yemeni Minister of Finance and the Sana’a-based Central Bank Governor. Together with the Resident Coordinator, UNICEF and the WB, I am working to relaunch Yemen’s Social Welfare Fund, which will provide critical financial support for the poorest of Yemen’s people.
These are some positive measures which demonstrate willingness to cooperate in order to preserve the viability and effectiveness of key state institutions in advance of a settlement. Implementation of these measures will require continued political support from all of the parties, as well as generous support from donors to replenish the various funds and mechanisms, so as to contribute to the stability of the Yemeni economy. The conflict is causing grave damage to the capacity of Yemen’s public and private sectors. Both are critical for Yemen’s future economic prospects and the ability of people to survive in the present circumstances. Humanitarian aid is critical, yet limited in its reach. Many Yemenis continue to rely on private sector economic activity. The extensive damage to private sector infrastructure, for this reason, is of great concern.
In spite of the collapse of the cessation of hostilities, the De-escalation and Coordination Committee has continued to function, with constructive participation from all sides. The parties committed to strengthening the Committee’s capacity and to agree on a precise location for its meetings. The work of the De-escalation and Coordination Committee is essential in order to ensure the success of cessation of hostilities in the future.
Despite these areas of limited progress, deep divisions persist that prevent me from calling for the next round of talks. The parties are divided over whether a new round of talks should be convened with or without a new cessation of hostilities. I have not, unfortunately, received sufficient assurances that a new cessation of hostilities, should I call for one, would be respected.
As the Secretary General has stated repeatedly, there is no military solution to this conflict. A recommitment to a cessation of hostilities which leads to a permanent ceasefire is the practical expression of this truth and I urge the Council to support this step and take action towards its implementation as soon as possible.
Yemen has suffered greatly, and its people have withstood an unspeakable tragedy. The country’s infrastructure is destroyed; families dispersed, and its social fabric torn apart. This is a critical and most difficult phase. With every passing day, more and more Yemeni lives are lost.
A new cessation of hostilities will open the way of new talks and agreements on Yemen’s return to a peaceful and orderly transition. I will continue to work with all sides in Yemen, the region and the international community to build consensus on the key elements of such future agreements.
The conflict in Yemen is political, so the solution must also be political. Only an inclusive peace process will ensure a future of reconciliation and peace in the country. The Yemeni people have shown a spirit of compromise in the interest of preserving the unity of their country many times in the past.
We must, collectively, help Yemen rediscover this spirit of compromise. Only in this way can Yemenis overcome the current violence and build a peace process which can bring together all of Yemen’s diverse communities and allow them to jointly and peacefully look to their future and the future of the country.

18.2.2016 – NTV (A P)

"Tiefe Spaltung" beider Seiten: Frieden im Jemen rückt in weite Ferne

Eigentlich soll Ould Cheikh Ahmed in den Friedensgesprächen zwischen der jemenitischen Regierung und den Huthi-Rebellen vermitteln, doch der UN-Gesandte steht auf verlorenem Posten: Für die Ausweglosigkeit der Situation findet er deutliche Worte.

In den Verhandlungen über eine Beilegung des Konflikts im Jemen zeichnet sich nach Einschätzung der UNO keine Bewegung ab. Aufgrund der "tiefen Spaltung" zwischen beiden Seiten sei es ihm nicht möglich, eine neue Runde von Friedensgesprächen anzusetzen, sagte der UN-Sondergesandte Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed im UN-Sicherheitsrat. Er verurteilte die zunehmende Gewalt im Jemen durch Luftangriffe und Gefechte am Boden.

Es bestehe keine Einigkeit darüber, ob vor solchen Beratungen eine neue Waffenruhe vereinbart werden solle, sagte Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Zudem seien die Konfliktparteien nicht bereit, die nötigen Garantien für eine Feuerpause zu bieten.

17.2.2016 – Reuters (A P)

U.N. Yemen envoy says divisions over truce preventing peace talks

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen said on Wednesday he was unable to call another round of peace talks because the warring parties are deeply divided over whether there should be a ceasefire to coincide with a new round of negotiations.

"Deep divisions persist that prevent me from calling for the next round of talks," U.N. Yemen envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed told the U.N. Security Council. "I have not, unfortunately, received sufficient assurances that a new cessation of hostilities, should I call for one, would be respected."

"We cannot delay these talks, in my view, beyond the month of March," he told reporters after the briefing.

17.2.2016 – UNO (B P)

Yemen living through "most heart-rending" days in its history

Yemen has suffered greatly and its people have withstood an "unspeakable tragedy", the UN special envoy to the country told the Security Council on Wednesday.

Latest UN figures indicate that more than 6,000 Yemenis have lost their lives since March 2015, and more than 35,000 have been injured during the on-going civil war.

Jocelyne Sambira reports.

Forces loyal to the nation's President backed by a Saudi-led coalition are battling Houthi rebels for control in several parts of the country.

Negotiations for a lasting ceasefire have stalled since December, because of an upsurge in fighting.

Speaking through an interpreter to members of the Security Council, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed called for a cessation of hostilities which would open the way for renewed talks.

He is speaking through an interpreter.

"Yemen is living through the most heart-rending days in its history. Many parts of Yemen are witnessing airstrikes and extensive ground fighting. There has also been a significant increase in the number of missiles fired indiscriminately into Saudi Arabia. The escalation of military activities along with a worsening of regional tensions has created additional obstacles which threaten to delay a new round of talks."

On Wednesday, a suicide bomber attacked a Yemeni army camp in Aden, reportedly killing at least ten people.

Mr Ahmed warned the absence of government control in many parts of the war-torn nation, has facilitated the expansion of terrorist groups like Al Qaeda and the Islamic State or Dae'sh – by Jocelyne Sambira, United Nations.

17.2.2016 – Inner City Press (** B K P)

ICP Asks Yemen PR of WFP Ship Mainport Cedar, He Cites Iranian Military Equipment

[The headline does not show how many subjects are treated]

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.

[Yemen government PR] Alyemany said that that ship had been found to have Iranian military equipment. Video here. We'll have more on this: we have asked OCHA and now three WFP spokespeople as well.

Things have gotten worse. Inner City Press is exclusively informed that UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, he of the failed talks and murky trips to Dubai, South Korea and Japan, has put at least a half dozen no-show jobs on the UN payroll, with the post holders getting paid up to $15,000 a month to stay in their homes, in London, Mecca, Sweden, Dubai, Cairo and Beirut and do... nothing.

We'll start, as the first example, with the last of these

As we are now filling in, Ismael Ould Cheikh Ahmed has the UN paying top dollar to people who are hardly working, chilling in London and in one case Mecca, an associate of Hadi. This is UN money, thus public money. The question is, what will the UN's Office of Internal Oversight Services do? We'll have more on this.

And now this - Inner City Press is informed that the Saudi-led Coalition hit with a missile the UN's own UNFPA compound. The UN should have complained and gone public, but didn't. Why not? Because the UN envoy IOCA has been told to stay away while Saudi Arabia bombs. How's that working out?

We'll be at the Security Council, on February 17, covering Yemen. On January 29, the UN Spokesman threw Inner City Press out of the UN Press Briefing Room then on February 1 made this threat, here.

On January 27, Inner City Press asked UN Spokesman Stephane Dujarric, transcript here. […]

Back on January 19, Inner City Press asked Uruguay's Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Jose Luis Cancela, chairing the day's Security Council debate on Protection of Civilians, if the Council does enough to protect civilians in Yemen, including monitoring the effects of airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. Video here.

Cancela diplomatically replied that he was not there to comment on specific countries -- inside the Council, there was much talk of Syria, a smattering on Burundi -- but turned the question toward not hitting schools and hospitals, both of which have happened in Yemen.

On January 18, Inner City Press asked UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq:

Inner City Press: I wanted to on Yemen ask you, there's been this pretty extensively reported airstrike by the coalition in Sana’a on a police station that's apparently killed 25 people. And also IRIN, previously a UN affiliate, has said that one of its journalists was killed in an airstrike. And I wanted to know, does the UN… can they confirm particularly the death of the journalist Almigdad Mojalli and do they have any comment on it?

Deputy Spokesman Haq: We don't have the confirmation that we can provide, but certainly we would be concerned about the killing of any journalist. We're aware of the media reports in this case.

So, nothing on the airstrike on the police station, and non-acceptance, it seems, of even the statement by Voice of America, which has alsowritten to the UN against the Press. What's wrong with the UN?

In the talks in Switzerland, despite the happy-talk Note to Correspondents issued on December 20, UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed was repeatedly accused of merely operating “for the Saudis,” while the Saudi-led coalition took more military action.

Inner City Press intended to put the question directly to Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, after UN Deputy Spokesperson Farhan Haq at the December 22 noon briefing said he would be speaking at the Security Council stakeout after briefing the Security Council.

But after the Council meeting, in which High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid al Hussein said that of harm to schools and hospitals, "a disproportionate amount appeared to be the result of airstrikes carried out by Coalition Forces" -- Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed did not as promised appear at the stakeout.

Inner City Press obtained UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed's documents for the delayed talks in Switzerland, and exclusively put them online here.

Meanwhile the Houthis are denouncing UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmad and his (mis) representation to the Security Council regarding what they agreed to. This has happened before and the goal seems to be delay to allow for more air strikes. There's work of mercenaries, in essence, including from Colombia in Aden, joining the troops from ICC-indicted Sudan.

A new level of dysfunction was hit with the deployment in Aden of hundreds of troops from Sudan, putting ICC-indicted Omar al-Bashir on the same side as the US and UK. (Inner City Press is exclusively informed that "UN" envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed is working on a similar Saudi deal with his native Mauritania, see below.)

Inner City Press is reliably and exclusively informed that the Saudis snubbed Eliasson, denying several of his meeting requests and finally providing him only with the Foreign Minister, just before he left. In Iran, complaints against envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed were lodged, that he does not have the trust of the Houthis. What kind of envoy is this? What kind of UN?

After the UN Security Council's praise of talks ostensibly committed to UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed was not updated after Hadi canceled participation in the talks, then the Saudi led coalition bombed Oman's Ambassador's house in Sana'a.

Comment: Much longer, a lot of details, revealing the strange role of the UN in the Yemen conflict.

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

18.2.2016 – Project Syndicate (B P)

Islam versus Islam

Beyond attracting millions of Muslim workers from South Asia, Saudi Arabia financed the establishment of Wahabbi madrassas along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. The Taliban (which, in Arabic, means “students”) in both Afghanistan and Pakistan are the products of these seminaries, as are militias like Lashkar-e-Taiba and Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, which have mounted attacks on religious sites in India.

Today’s turmoil reflects a clash of worldviews that is both theological and political. Conservative Sunnis, such as those who adhere to fundamentalist Wahhabism, favor theocratic authoritarian rule, whereas more moderate Sufi Sunnis would prefer liberal and inclusive political systems. The same is true of the Shia. Iran has long stuck to theocratic rule, but now seems to be looking toward reform. Whether the sectarian divide can ever be bridged most likely depends on whether reformists can gain sufficient influence in both camps. If not, the conflict will continue to rage, accelerating the breakdown of regional order we now see – by Shahid Javed Burki, former Finance Minister of Pakistan and Vice President of the World =

Comment by Judith Brown: It is true that there is a Sunni Shia split - but the answer is - why? Religious extremism and intolerance are growing in the Middle East. It is too trite to say the schism has existed since the 600s - there were many centuries of pragmatism and and tolerance in between then and now. Wahhabism was used by the Sauds as a means of controlling the population and keeping them in control of Saudi Arabia - and the oil that was found there made them more determined to hang on to power and wealth. And the oil fields of Saudi Arabia were largely in Shia areas, fuelling fear that the Shias would want independence.

18.2.2016 – Hoover Institution (* B P)

Saudi Arabia Is The Middle East’s Biggest Danger

Over the last decade, Saudi Arabia has emerged as the Middle East’s most assertive power. Stirred to action by the fall of Saddam Hussein, the rise of Iran, and deeply unsettled by the Arab uprisings, the kingdom has taken on an increasingly interventionist role. In Egypt, Bahrain, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Saudi powerbrokers have used money and violence in an attempt to bend the region to their will.

What drives Saudi Arabia’s regional politics? More importantly, what are the costs of so much intervention?

In pursuing a broad political agenda, the kingdom has become increasingly violent, beholden to dangerous pathologies, and unpredictable. Because powerful Western backers, primarily the United States and Great Britain, not only condone, but also directly support the militant turn, Saudi leaders have been empowered to lash out recklessly. They are able to do so with little accountability. Thousands of Yemenis, Bahrainis and Syrians have suffered as a result. And the real dangers that lurk in the region, particularly support for terrorism and radicalism, have flourished.

The depth of Saudi Arabia’s impact on the region is perhaps most evident in Yemen, where it has been waging a war for almost a year. Publicly, the Saudis have claimed that their objective in Yemen is to restore the legitimate government of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.

Riyadh was instrumental in engineering his rise to power in 2012 and in maintaining a friendly autocratic state in southern Arabia. As the Houthi hold has strengthened over the last 18 months, with the help of another former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and in spite of a relentless Saudi bombing campaign, Riyadh has also justified its war by claiming the Houthis are a fifth column for Iran. Although untrue, it is a message that is well-received and supported by the kingdom’s Western patrons.

The main result has been chaos and devastation in Yemen.

In addition to the terrible humanitarian toll, there are also clear political consequences unfolding. To support the war and to sustain the claim that it is Iran rather than itself driving regional violence, Riyadh has recklessly stoked anti-Shiite sectarianism. The effects are on broad display in Yemen as well as in Syria, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia itself where militants mimic the sectarian line and use it to justify mass murder.

In spite of all the evidence that Saudi Arabia’s behavior is destabilizing, official Western support for the kingdom remains unchanged, particularly in the United States. This can partly be explained by inertia and, with much of the region in turmoil, unwillingness on the part of American policymakers to provoke a political crisis with a long-time partner. American support also is the consequence of profit. The kingdom serves as a lucrative market for American weapons systems. Less obvious, but no less true, Saudi Arabia’s role in “securing” the flow of oil out of the Middle East is also overstated. The reality is and has been, no matter the level of oil prices, that oil is not scarce globally. The kingdom is hardly indispensable when it comes to energy.

For American policymakers, there are few compelling reasons to maintain the status quo, even if it is the easiest thing to do. Instead, it is time to reflect on whether the Saudi-American relationship is served by mutual interest – by Toby C. Jones

17.2.2016 – Eurasia Review (* B P)

Saudi Arabia Caught In A Self-Made Cocoon – OpEd

The Saudi Arabia that we knew before the rise of King Salman was a country with extremely conservative and moderate rulers. Serenity and patience and avoiding hasty measures were major features of those times. Today, however, there is no sign of that tact and prudence. During the past year, Saudis have been following an aggressive, rash and nervous policy to show a new image of themselves.

Without a doubt part of this alteration can be attributed to changes among the country’s decision-making officials.

The issue, however, is not limited to this. An important part of the reason for change in Saudi Arabia’s approaches should be sought in the serial failures of this country in the course of regional developments. When accumulation and persistence of these failures was combined with a change in Saudi Arabia’s rulers, Saudis just lost their patience and opted for inconsiderate and hasty approaches.

In reality, Saudi Arabia has been a loser in many developments and rivalries in the region, or at least, has not been able to proceed with its plans in full. Syria is one of these cases. Iran’s nuclear issue was another case in which Saudi Arabia failed.

Supporting terrorist groups with the goal of undermining the regional power of Iran and its allies such as Iraq and Syria was another example of Saudi Arabia’s plans, which finally failed to bear fruit. Today, the process of countering terrorist groups is rapidly going ahead. This is while adoption of this policy by Saudi Arabia has cast serious doubts on this country’s prestige and character as a committed and constructive actor in the region from the viewpoint of Western countries. At present, critical approaches against Saudi Arabia are rising in the West and this country does not enjoy the same status in the eyes of Western countries that it previously had.

Yemen is another case in which Saudis have failed.

The important point, however, is that instead of trying to identify the root causes of its problems and recent failures in the region, Saudi Arabia has been taking even more radical approaches in an apparent effort at projection in order to get out of the complicated situation in which Riyadh is currently caught.

Saudis believe that through an approach of fomenting crises in the region, they would be able to provide themselves with an opportunity to change the course of developments in their own favor.

This is the big mistake that Saudis have made. In order to make up for your failures, you cannot take steps that have led to those failures in the first place. The “all or none” approach has stripped Saudis of any degree of resilience and has put them in a virtual cocoon. Saudis, however, have to come to grips with undeniable realities in the region even if those realities are bitter. Therefore, giving up obstinacy and adopting interactive and reconciliatory approaches, especially toward countries that have different views from Saudi Arabia like Iran, is the sole way for Saudi Arabia to get rid of crises it has fostered with its own hands – by Mohammad Khajouei

cp9 USA

No date – Bureau of Investigative Journalism (** A B K)

Covert Drone War

Tracking US drone strikes and other covert actions in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia. Find details of the latest strikes with the full data here. The Bureau does not track Coalition strikes in Iraq and Syria - this work is done by Airwars.

18.2.2016 – The Nation (* B K P)

War Crimes and US Responsibility in Syria and Yemen

Washington is giving substantial support to the Saudi-led war in Yemen, even helping to choose bombing targets.

Starving out noncombatants is a war crime. Unfortunately, it is one being widely and routinely practiced, sometimes by allies of the United States. Washington has a responsibility to see that charges are brought at the International Criminal Court against civilian officials and military leaders who order such crimes. Where politics makes this step impossible, the United States must at the least mobilize what boycotts and sanctions it can. Where the policy is being carried out by US allies, Washington’s obligations are clear.

Some UN officials have seen a pattern of Saudi airstrikes on food convoys headed to Houthi-held areas, or on ports key to provisioning the civilian population. The Houthis have also been charged with using food denial as a tool of war. The threat of famine is driven not only by military disruptions of food delivery but also by price spikes in what food there is. (Many victims of famine starve to death not because there is no food but because they cannot afford to buy it.)

Cynics will maintain that wars inescapably involve war crimes. The history of military diplomacy, however, does not support that contention. Outside of superhero movies, no one boasts of killing innocent women and children. Even those who glorify their own ruthlessness depict their victims as dangerous or polluting to the body politic, not as innocent. Rather, movements and governments are eager to justify themselves to the outside world, and gaining its support is sometimes crucial to their success. Throwing light on war crimes, as defined by international treaties and instruments that are now enforceable against individual leaders under the Rome Statute, is crucial to combating this recrudescence of mass brutality in the contemporary world.

The United States has little leverage on the Houthis in Yemen (who are largely autonomous despite exaggerated Saudi claims of Iranian backing). But Washington is giving substantial logistical support to the Saudi-led war effort against them, even helping to choose bombing targets. Where it sees Saudis bombing hospitals in Taiz or blockading ports even from food deliveries, Washington has a responsibility to speak out.

Indeed, the United States should long since have cut off aid to hard-liners who even tactically ally with Al Qaeda on the battlefield; didn’t 9/11 teach us anything?

The United States needs to make fighting the use of starvation as a tool of war a priority in its own diplomacy – by Juan Cole

Comment: The author is certainly right in what he requires the US to do. But for me, it is also clear that he still is led by an illusion: the illusion, that the US nevertheless would be a good guy in the scene – well, they certainly are not or no more (if they were ever, must have been pre-1953 anyway).

16.2.2016 – Foreign Affairs / Brookings (B P)

Fight or flight: America’s choice in the Middle East

The modern Middle East has rarely been tranquil, but it has never been this bad, writes Ken Pollack. The next U.S. president is going to face a choice in the Middle East: do much more to stabilize it, or disengage from it much more. This piece was originally published in Foreign Affairs.

What the United States should certainly not do is refuse to choose between stepping up and stepping back and instead waffle somewhere in the middle, committing enough resources to enlarge its burden without increasing the likelihood that its moves will make anything better. Civil wars do not lend themselves to half measures. An outside power has to do the right thing and pay the attendant costs, or else its intervention will only make the situation worse for everyone involved, including itself. The tragedy is that given the U.S. political system’s tendency to avoid decisive moves, the next administration will almost inevitably opt to muddle through. Given the extent of the chaos in the Middle East today, refusing to choose would likely prove to be the worst choice of all – by Kenneth M. Pollack

Comment: To my opinion, a quite typical (and bad) example of a view that takes it for granted that US interests must be the measure the whole world has to be treated with. And it is taken for granted that the US must interfer. They really must not.

15.2.2016 – NDR (** B K)

Film: "National Bird" - der Drohnenkrieg der USA

Kulturjournal - 15.02.2016 22:45 Uhr Autor/in: Thorsten Mack

"National Bird" begleitet Menschen, die das Schweigen über den geheimen Drohnenkrieg der USA brechen. Regisseurin Sonia Kennebeck hat drei ehemalige Soldaten der U.S. Air Force getroffen.,kulturjournal4368.html

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

18.2.2016 – The Independent (* B P)

Saudi Arabia bombing civilian targets in Yemen is helping grow BAE Systems sales, says Amnesty International

Saudi Arabia’s potentially illegal bombing of civilian targets in Yemen, currently being investigated by the United Nations, is helping to grow sales of fighter aircraft made by BAE Systems, according to Amnesty International.

Amnesty International says that that financial figures from the British-based multi-national defence contractor, reveal that a net gain of close to £1 billion over the last year in the company’s UK division is down to continuing sales and engineering support of its Eurofighter Typhoon jet to the Royal Saudi Air Force.

BAE stongly denied that sales to Saudi Arabia were helping fuel the conflict in Yemen, and that their improved sales were related to the bombing campaign.

Details of fighter jet sales, and UK-manufactured missiles, both licenced by the UK government, are examined in a UN report currently being studied by the Security Council.

Amnesty International alleges that although BAE’s military-related sales contracted in recent years, the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen, alongside plans for further Saudi involvement in bombing in Syria, helped improve operating profits last year from £1.3 billion to £1.5 billion.

According to the company’s own figures for 2015, the Saudi military market helped boost its overall performance. Sales increased by £1.3 billion to £17.9 bn.

In 2005 the Saudi government placed an order with BAE for 72 Eurofighter Typhoons. The company described 2015 sales as part of an “existing order” – by James Cusick

17.2.2016 – Daily Mail (A P)

Two elite Saudi Air Force engineer cadets training in UK are arrested after woman claims she was raped

Woman complained she was sexually assaulted by two men last week

The Saudis, both 21 are alleged to have carried out the attack in Telford

One arrested on suspicion of rape, second with conspiracy to rape

Two Saudi Air Force cadets training in Britain have been arrested over an alleged rape.

The Middle Eastern recruits, both 21, who are currently stationed at an RAF base, were held after a woman complained she was sexually assaulted last week.

The Saudi men, based at RAF Cosford in Shropshire, are alleged to have carried out the attack in nearby Telford.

One of them was arrested on suspicion of rape, while the second was held on suspicion of conspiracy to rape. They have been released on bail until next month.

The Shropshire air base is the only place in the country where decommissioned Jaguar jets are used for students to learn how to work with live aircraft.

The RAF Cosford website states that its school trains over 1,000 students per year, including 'engineer officers from a number of overseas countries such as Sultanate of Oman, Nation of Brunei and, Kingdoms of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.'

Training students from Saudi Arabia and other foreign countries generated around £11.5 million for the Ministry of Defence in 2012-13.

MoD bosses agreed to let up to 2,000 Libyan recruits train at Bassingbourn Barracks in Cambridgeshire in 2014.

But the multi-million pound programme was abandoned after allegations of rape, drunkenness, fighting and vandalism.

Comment: The rape is the one thing. The other: What the hell Britain is training Saudi pilots? Just another aspect of the immense support Britain is giving to the Saudis in the Yemen war. What do you think these pilots would do when coming home? The best place for them really is a British jail – for a long time. Working in the jail laundry is a better job for them than bombing Yemeni settlements.

cp11 Deutschland / Germany

19.2.2016 – Cicero (* A P)

Deutsche Waffenexporte: Gabriels Scheitern

Eigentlich wollte Wirtschaftsminister Sigmar Gabriel die deutschen Rüstungsexporte senken – insbesondere die Ausfuhren auf die arabische Halbinsel. Tatsächlich steigen die Zahlen. Auch Saudi-Arabien erhält weiterhin Militärgüter. 2015 dürfte ein Rekordjahr bei den Waffenausfuhren werden.

Gabriel muss also über die Waffenexporte aus der Bundesrepublik an das Regime in Riad sprechen. Der Vize-Kanzler und SPD-Vorsitzende hatte versprochen, bei den Rüstungsausfuhren alles anders, alles besser zu machen als seine Vorgänger. Doch bisher konnte er nicht liefern. Nun versucht er, seine Kritiker zu beschwichtigen. Vor den auf ihn gerichteten Mikrofonen teilt er die Welt der Waffen in gut und böse ein, in Kriegsgerät für den Angriff und für die Verteidigung.

„Wir haben Saudi-Arabien defensive Rüstungsgüter geliefert, keine offensiven“, behauptet Gabriel. Außerdem habe er Entscheidungen früherer Bundesregierungen gestoppt: „Ich habe gesagt, ich werde keine Kampfpanzer nach Saudi-Arabien liefern und auch keine Sturmgewehre in der Lizenzfertigung“, sagt der Minister. Sturmgewehre und Panzer, das scheinen für Gabriel also offensive Rüstungsgüter zu sein – böse Waffen. Doch ein genauer Blick auf die genehmigten deutschen Ausfuhren zeigt: Das gelieferte Kriegsgerät ist nicht defensiv, dient also nicht zur Verteidigung.

Gestoppt hat Gabriel lediglich die Ausfuhr von Kampfpanzern, für die das Kabinett aus Unions- und FDP-Ministern eine Vorgenehmigung erteilt hatten. Außerdem hat er die Zulieferung von Teilen für das G36 ausgesetzt.

Über eine bereits genehmigte Ausfuhr von Patrouillenschiffen an Riad denkt Gabriel aber nochmals nach: Der Grund ist eine Seeblockade Saudi-Arabiens vor Jemen. Das sind nur kleine Schritte.

Gabriels Rüstungsexportpolitik ist gescheitert – von Hauke Friederichs

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

19.2.2016 – Die Presse (B P)

Skandal mit 30 Jahren Anlaufzeit

Da machte Peter Pilz große Enthülleraugen: Die Saudis haben österreichische Gewehre und schießen damit im Jemen! Nun ja: Die Geschichte hat einen ur-langen Bart - denn die Knarren haben sie dort schon seit drei Jahrzehnten – von Wolfgang Greber

Kommentar: Dies zu den in Yemen Press Reader 103 angezeigten Artikeln zum Thema. Dieser Skandal ist demnach wohl keiner, wenn der Verkauf der Gewehre schon so lange zurückliegt. Immerhin.

18.2.2016 – Watson (A P)

Bischof Gmür: «Es ist schlimm, dass die Schweiz mit Saudi-Arabien Geschäfte macht, wie wenn nichts wäre»

Der Bischof des Bistums Basel, Felix Gmür, ist besorgt ob der Verfolgung von Christen in muslimischen Ländern. In diesem Zusammenhang kritisiert er namentlich Saudi-Arabien und den Umgang der Schweiz mit dem islamisch-konservativen Königreich.

Saudi-Arabien sei «ein Staat, wie wir ihn nicht wollen. Dort dürfen Christen kein Kreuz tragen, keine Gottesdienste feiern. Es gibt keine Religionsfreiheit. Das müsste unsere Regierung auf diplomatischer Ebene angehen», forderte Gmür in einem Interview, das die Zeitschrift «Schweizer Illustrierte» am Freitag veröffentlichte.

Es sei «schlimm, dass die Schweiz mit diesen Ländern Geschäfte macht, wie wenn nichts wäre».

18.2.2016 – The Hill (B P)

The war in Syria is not a civil war

I commented just on a few lines of this article, as it transports the typical American propaganda. My comment is here:

Be honest: "Let's be clear about the real source of the problem: The Russian-backed Syrian regime. The rest, including the horrors of ISIS, are symptoms of this conflict. To end the conflict, you cannot simply describe the symptoms because they hold more political capital at home."
No. This was a third-world dictatorship as many have existed and still exist. In the 2000s, this state was described by western media as a somewhat idyllic multi-religious state where people lived quite well. This regime was good enough for the West to bring people there to be interrogated the more rugged way, with Syrian help. Let's say it, to be tortured in a way they did not want to do it themselves.
Then, for geopolitical reasons the US elite did not want this regime any more, and they were keen to achieve another of their regime changes. Well, the Assad regime had kept a sort of balance between the Sunni majority and the Alawite, Christian, Shiite minority, securing the survival of these minorities. Off course, the Assad government (and the minorities depending on it) did not give way to these US interferences - and Alawites, Christians, Shiites had very good reasons why.
In the western media, within a very short time the presentation of the Assad regime changed drastically from a rather idyllic state to a bloodthirsty dictatorship, even putting Assad close to Hitler - what seems to happen to all regimes the US wants to overturn. It is really striking how many western media (not only in the US, but in Europe as well) not only are following the interests of US foreign policy, but even honestly follow all the zigzags this policy makes.

There would have been some much more disgusting dictatorships more qualified for a “regime change” than Assads Syria: Saudi Arabia in the first place, spreading jihadism in the whole Islamic world. But they even are supported by the US. Well, Assad was an ally of Russia and the Iran, that’s it.

THAT is the "real source of the problem": The US policy of regime change in Syria, pumping weapons and more and more weapons into that country, giving them to everybody who was holding his hands up and calling himself “moderate”. And the weapons quickly came into the hands of everybody who wanted them, from ISIS to Al Qaida (= Al Nusra in Syria), and this is the way everything started.

17.2.2016 – Egyptian Streets (* A P)

Egypt ‘Won’t Hesitate’ to Send Troops to Gulf Allies if Asked, Says Sisi

Egypt will not hesitate to deploy ground troops into the territory of its Gulf state allies to protect them from threats if it is asked to do so by those countries’ leaders, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Wednesday.

In his comments at a briefing with Kuwait journalists, the Egyptian leader “made it clear that Egypt will not hesitate to send forces to brotherly Gulf counties to defend them if they face any direct threat or aggression,” a statement released by the presidency reads.

Once regarded the leader of the Arab world, Egypt has been struggling to recover its former role in the region following the turbulence that came with the 25 January uprising that ended the 30-year long reign of strongman Hosni Mubarak.

The most populous Middle Eastern country and the recipient of billions of dollars of aid from the Gulf, Egypt has joined the Saudi-led and U.S.-backed military coalition.

Some analysts say that if Egypt were asked to send ground troops to Yemen, it would not have much choice but to abide by the request – that is, if it wants to maintain its well-needed financial support from the Gulf.

Reports have indicated that Egypt in fact already has deployed military forces to Yemen. Egyptian ‘security sources’ told Reuters in September last year that as many as 800 Egyptian soldiers arrived in Yemen that month – by Samir Shalabi

17.2.2016 – Telesur (** A P)

No, Israel Should Not Flatten Beirut

A debate over whether Israel should commit war crimes and wipe out a city of at least 1 million people is somehow acceptable.

This week, the prominent Israeli newspaper Haaretz ran an opinion piece by Amitai Etzioni, titled “Should Israel Flatten Beirut to Destroy Hezbollah's Missiles?”

The short answer is yes — but we’ll get to that in a minute.

Who, you may ask, is the fellow who has taken it upon himself to ponder this important matter? As it turns out, Etzioni is not some random internee at a psychiatric institution but rather a professor at the George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Etzioni begins his philosophy session with a claim from an anonymous “Israeli representative” in D.C. that Hezbollah’s alleged stockpile of “100,000 missiles [is] now Israel’s number two security threat,” second only to a nuclear-armed Iran.

He then jumps across the ocean to a previous conference in Herzliya, Israel, where he says the Israeli chief of staff “revealed that most of these missiles are placed in private homes,” raising another question on top of the to-flatten-or-not-to-flatten one: “If Hezbollah starts raining them down on Israel, how can these missiles be eliminated without causing massive civilian casualties?”

Never mind that Hezbollah has never started raining anything on Israel without serious provocation — or that civilian casualties generally haven’t been at the top of that country’s list of concerns.

Upon returning to the U.S. from Israel, Etzioni says that he “asked two American military officers what other options Israel has” for missile eradication. And what do you know: “They both pointed to Fuel-Air Explosives [FAE].”

These bombs, Etzioni explains, “disperse an aerosol cloud of fuel which is ignited by a detonator, producing massive explosions.” And that’s not all: “The resulting rapidly expanding wave flattens all buildings within a considerable range.”

Lest we devote too much thought to the fact that this professor at a prestigious American institution of higher learning has literally just advocated for the total destruction of a “considerable” piece of territory, Etzioni stages a slight retreat: “Such weapons obviously would be used only after the population was given a chance to evacuate the area.” But this obviously fails to account for the Israeli military habit of ordering civilians to evacuate areas and then bombing them en route.

And it may be news to Etzioni, but the intentional targeting of civilian areas and civilian infrastructure happens to be a war crime – by Belén Fernández

Comment: A “serious” newspaper of a “western” country publishes an article seriously asking to bomb and flatten a city of 2 million people. What if somebody would propose that in a British newspaper (let’s take The Guardian) or a German (let’s take Süddeutsche Zeitung) to flatten Budapest (1.7 million) because of Mr. Orbans politics? Can you imagine? Or in an American one (let’s take Washington Post) to kick off these damned liberals in Toronto (2.6 million)? Is this the “serious” attitude of Israels mainstream and those supporting Israel in the USA?

16.2.2016 – The Globe and Mail (* A P)

EU lawmakers to vote on banning arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Growing anxiety about weapons sales to Saudi Arabia is prompting the European Parliament to consider urging a ban on arms exports to the Mideast country.

European Union lawmakers are gearing up for a vote Feb. 25 on whether to call for an embargo on weapons sales to Saudi Arabia, a country with an abysmal human-rights record that faces fresh accusations of indiscriminately bombing civilians in Yemen.

International concern is mounting about supplying arms to the Saudis as the Canadian government waits for production to begin of weaponized armoured vehicles that Ottawa is selling to Riyadh in a $15-billion transaction – the biggest manufacturing export deal ever struck in Canada.

The passage of the resolution in the European Parliament would not be binding but would be a moral censure of trade with Saudi Arabia and put further pressure on the Trudeau government to reconsider Canada’s role in equipping the Saudi military.

The resolution EU legislators are set to vote on reproaches the U.K., Spain, France and Germany for supplying arms to Riyadh as the civilian death toll mounts in Yemen. A UN panel has accused a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states of major human-rights violations in Yemen including killing more than 2,600 civilians in air strikes.

The resolution “strongly criticizes the intensive arms trade of EU member states with various countries in the region … [and] calls for an immediate suspension of arms transfers and military support to Saudi Arabia and to its coalition partners.”

A proposed amendment, which will also be voted on, urges the imposition of a EU-wide embargo on arms sales to Riyadh – by Steven Chase

15.2.2016 – Dawn (B P)

Saudi pressure

THAT Pakistan has thus far managed to steer clear of the fires in the Middle East is no less than a miracle.

The Pakistani government dodged the Saudi request for direct involvement in Yemen last year. But this pressure will sustain. The reason is simple: there is no other Muslim country that has deep links with key Arab regimes and can be coerced to lend an army actually worth its salt.

Quite apart from the Saudi demand, Pakistan also risks being burnt if the principal beneficiaries of the chaos in the Middle East — the militant Islamic State group and its affiliates — extend their reach into South Asia proper. They are already operating in Afghanistan and beginning to do so in Pakistan.

This is hardly surprising: after all, they have old connections here from the time they were part of Al Qaeda; they espouse a sectarian agenda that appeals to Sunni extremist outfits in Pakistan; and any number of militant groups out of favour and under attack from the Pakistani state are in desperate need of a patron that Al Qaeda no longer is.

Pakistan must avoid getting sucked into this mess. The starting point for this has to be the recognition that Islamabad’s traditional pro-Arab policy has been overtaken by events.

The present Saudi force-heavy strategy won’t deliver and as the House of Saud’s desperation grows, they’ll inevitably look to crank up the pressure on Pakistan. We’ve already seen hints of a ‘with us or against us’ ultimatum — mercifully so far only from an Emirati minister shooting from the hip.

But when this comes seriously and directly from the Saudis, we’d be stuck — for defying this block beyond a point entails grave costs. Foremost amongst these would be a possible move towards Pakistani diaspora repatriation that is virtually unaffordable given the economic burden it entails and the hardened religious interpretations the expats are likely to bring back with them.

But Arab desperation could also lead to more blatant coercion, most obviously, by stoking sectarian fires within Pakistan. Of course, obliging the Arabs could lead the Iranians to consider the same approach to force Pakistan to rethink such a move.

Pakistan’s only recourse is to play the middle. It should proactively mediate the conflict – by Moeed Yusuf

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Siehe / See cp 10, 11, 12

cp13c Flüchtlinge / Refugees

18.2.2016 – International Organization for Migration, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Map: Yemen Situation: Regional Refugee and Migrant Response - Population movements out of Yemen | As of 01 February 2016 or

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

Siehe auch “Am wichtigsten” / See also at “Most important”

19.2.2016 – Carnegie Endowment (**B T)

Rising Extremism in Yemen

Riyadh’s support for militants fighting the Houthis has greatly benefited al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Yemen.

Noother actors have benefited more from Saudi intervention in Yemen than extremist groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State (IS). Part of Saudi Arabia’s strategy to avoid putting their own troops on the front lines is to air-drop weapons and money to local militants fighting the Houthis—which comprise a range of actors including tribal forces, Islah Party members, pro-Hadi popular resistance committees, and some Southern separatist wings. According to local witnesses in Taiz, Abyan, and Aden, Saudi Arabia allegedly airdropped weapons and money to militants who at times fight alongside al-Qaeda, including Abyan fighters under the leadership of Abdul Latif al-Sayed, a former al-Qaeda leader fighting with the popular resistance committees loyal to Saudi-backed President Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi.

This support has benefited al-Qaeda, which continues to fight Houthis in the central provinces of Aden, Abyan, Shabwah, Mareb, and Taiz. Saudi Arabia has also indirectly supported al Qaeda’s efforts by allowing them to solidify territorial control in other areas. In Mukalla, al-Qaeda looted military bases and banks in April 2015 and declared the city an Emirate.

However, rifts within al-Qaeda have grown more pronounced.

These divides within the group are compounded by disagreements between Emirati and Saudi officials over which anti-Houthi militants are too extreme to support. Most anti-Houthi militants, politicians, and activists are from Muslim Brotherhood and Salafi groups, whom Saudi Arabia’s new leadership is content to support. Yet these are explicit enemies of the UAE.

The internal conflict within al-Qaeda (and between Saudi Arabia and the UAE) is increasingly benefiting the Islamic State.

For now, the Islamic State’s influence remains mostly confined to Sanaa, Bayda, and Aden, though they are gaining support in other Houthi-controlled areas in the northwest. But reversing these advances will be particularly difficult, as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda gain greater support among Salafi groups angered by their defeats at the hands of the Houthis—making the Saudi gambit particularly dangerous in the long term – by Nasser Arrabyee =

Comment: This is an extremely important article. It outlines the rift between KSA and UAE as related to the handling of extremist militias, including UAE's objections to Saudi's policy of dropping arms to extremist militias in Yemen (Al Qaeda AND Islah, which is listed by UAE as a terrorist organisation), the disastrous effect of the USA drone strike on the long term leader of AQAP last year, and the rise of ISIS in Yemen directly because of rifts between Saudi and UAE, and rifts between different factions within AQ.

cp15 Propaganda

20.2.2016 – Gulf News (A P)

A dedicated force needed for Yemen

A Yemeni call for an “out of the box” initiative from the Gulf states to rein in the foreign agendas of some internal factions goes to show that the Gulf states need to focus on Yemen for the long term, and cannot neglect the country after hostilities are over.

Former foreign minister Riyad Yassin on Wednesday called on the Gulf states to help the internationally recognised government deter the expansionist agenda of the Iran-backed Al Houthi militia. This goes to show that even once a settlement is reached with the militia, Yemen’s government will need assistance from neighbouring states in keeping the country independent, united and strong. This can only be done with a dedicated military presence of the Gulf states, no matter how small, as a warning for ambitious neighbours that the country’s independence is a red line, and that its security equates with the security of the Gulf.

Already, Gulf and Arab states have stepped up to the plate and made a bold statement in Yemen through its military coalition fighting to restore Yemen’s legitimate government. Yemen is, however, a poor nation that has been devastated further in the past year of fighting. This makes the task of rebuilding the war-torn country one of the most pressing for the GCC states, who have invested tremendously in the neighbouring country not only financially but also with their blood.

Yassin is right when he expresses fear that the country would not be able to protect itself from future threats. While Al Houthis are the most pressing and dangerous threat facing the country today, the presence of Al Qaida and Daesh (the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) in the country are a cause for concern for the Hadi government as well as the Gulf states.

Yemen’s inability to deal with such threats makes it incumbent on the Gulf states to step in. It is their duty and obligation to do so, not only in assisting a neighbouring state, but also in keeping terror groups from gaining a foothold so close to our own doorsteps.

The Gulf states’ intervention in Yemen has sent a strong message to two menacing parties in the region, the terrorists and Iran, that contrary to popular perception, the countries are capable and willing to protect themselves and their allies at any cost.

A major military drill coined Northern Thunder that has brought together 21 countries in Saudi Arabia is sending exactly that message to the region’s enemies far and wide.

Comment: That is a new aspect of propaganda: Asking for a permanent UAE military presence in Yemen even after the war is over.

19.2.2016 – Gulf Magazine (A P)

Yemen says Iran is guilty of running the “Qum” diplomatic missions

The Minister of Information of Yemen, Dr. Mohammed Abdulmajeed Qubati has expressed thanks and gratitude to the Ministers of Culture and Information of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for Arab States for their interest in discussing the Yemeni situation in their meeting, which was held in Riyadh on Thursday and calling for the continuation of information mechanisms to expose the crimes of Houthi militias and Saleh’s followers in Yemen.

“Houthis and rebels of the deposed Saleh are committing daily heinous inhumane crimes against the innocent people with the support of Iran, which still controls most of the Yemeni diplomatic missions in Europe, where pro-Iranian Houthi rebels and Saleh followers work,” stated the minister, knowing that some Yemeni diplomatic missions are operated from the Iranian city of “Qum” because of the loyalty of the ambassadors to the Government of the mullahs.

The Yemeni Information Minister also explained that the ousted Saleh planted his followers for more than 30 years in the Yemeni diplomatic missions in non-Arab countries, after having sold the resources of the Yemen to Iran, including its missions, which remain to be loyal to Tehran.

At the conclusion of his statement, he expressed appreciation to the positions of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, GCC and Arab countries with Yemen, particularly with regard to their provision of humanitarian aid in cooperation with international humanitarian organizations to the needy in Yemen, especially those who suffer from Houthi siege, highlighting King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid which provided more than 90% of this aid.

Comment: “Houthi / Saleh” crimes: Most civilians fell victims of Saudi air raids, what about that? Here are the Iranians I missed so much below. The “Qum connection” – what should this be? Qum is the religious center of Iran, the Houthis are Zaidites, no Shiites. The diplomatic personal loyal to Tehran? It seems they are loyal to Saleh who installed them, as Qubati himself says. It is certainly true that Saleh was placing his followers everywhere. But selling Yemens resources to Iran sounds like propaganda. That Saleh is one of the greatest cleptocrats of all times is another story and should not be mingled with the actual war. Saudi Arabia is only mentioned in a most positive way as a benevolent donor of humanitarian aid, as if there would be no bombing at all. That is really crazy. And, one thing more. I miss UN resolution 2216 here. He most have forgotten it.

18.2.2016 – WAM (A P)

Information Ministers of members of the Cooperation Council for Arab States of the Gulf (GCC), on Thursday denounced human rights violations committed by the rebel Houthi militias and forces loyal to now-ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen.

The GCC ministers also condemned as war crimes the Houthi-Saleh militia’s deliberate blocking of humanitarian aid from reaching besieged Yemeni areas, targeting civilians, bombing residential areas and medical centres, using internationally banned mines in Yemen and continuing the unjust siege of Taiz city. They said these acts are violation of International Law and contradict human, Islamic and Arab values.

The GCC condemnation came in the final communique of an extraordinary meeting chaired by Saudi Minister of Culture and Information, Dr. Adel l Toraifi, at the Riyadh Airbase in Saudi Arabia in the presence of Secretary-General of the GCC, Abdullatif bin Rashid Al Zayani.

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmad Sultan Al Jaber, Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Director of National Media Council (NMC) represented the UAE at the meeting.

They also denounced attempts by the Houthi-Saleh militias to block UN-brokered peace talks overseen by the UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to restore security, peace and stability to Yemen based on UN Security Council Resolution 2216, the outcome of Yemen’s National Dialogue Conference and the GCC Initiative for Yemen.

They stressed that media agencies in the GCC members should shoulder their responsibility in exposing all the crimes being committed by the Houthi-Saleh militias and showing them to the Arab and international public opinion. = and see also

Comment: All the old propaganda phrases which already so often have been commented here. No mention of Saudi coalition air raids, of cluster bombs, UN resolution 2216 off course cannot be missing, and “exposing all the crimes being committed by the Houthi-Saleh militias”. I think there will miss a lot of crimes which will not be mentioned. One thing really is missing, I start suffering from withdrawal symptoms: What about the Iranian connection?

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

Legal center for Rights and Development

17. Feb.:

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

18.2.2016 – AFP (A K)

Yemen loyalists seize town overlooking rebel-besieged Taez

Yemeni pro-government forces on Thursday seized a town overlooking the besieged city of Taez after weeks of deadly fighting with Iran-backed rebels in the area, military sources said.

The capture of Al-Misrakh comes as part of an offensive loyalists launched in November to break the siege on Yemen?s third city, where some 200,000 civilians are caught up in the fighting.

The town is south of the provincial capital, where two days earlier a rebel sniper shot dead a cameraman working for the government-run Yemen TV channel, drawing condemnation from international media watchdogs =

17.2.2016 – Foreign Affairs (A K)

Yemen – Journalist shot dead by sniper in Taiz

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) condemns TV journalist Ahmed Al-Shaibani’s targeted murder by a sniper yesterday in the southwestern city of Taiz and calls for independent investigations into the crimes committed by both sides in the war in Yemen.

A video reporter for state-owned Yemen TV, Shaibani was killed while covering the fighting in Taiz along with other journalists. A sniper shot him in the head as he and other reporters crossed a road in a western district of the city to inspect the damage inflicted on a factory by Houthi rebel missiles.

Shaibani was the first journalist to be killed in Taiz since the start of the war. An Al-Jazeera video shows him being shot as he runs across the road. He died on the spot. RSF condemns his death.

17.2.2016 – Committee to Protect Journalists (A K)

Yemeni journalist killed in Taiz

Armed men in the central Yemeni city of Taiz fatally shot Ahmed al-Shaibani on Tuesday, according to his colleagues and employers.

Al-Shaibani, a Yemeni journalist working for the independent Yaman Newswebsite and state-run Yemen TV, was shot to death while reporting on fighting in Taiz by gunmen belonging to the Houthi rebel alliance, both his employers reported.

A graphic video published by the Yemen Shabab television channel Tuesday shows al-Shaibani and three other individuals in civilian clothes running across a street in a neighborhood badly damaged by fighting when Al-Shaibani falls to the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. Later, two men in military clothing attempt to pull al-Shaibani off the street, but they also come under fire.

Armed men in the central Yemeni city of Taiz fatally shot Ahmed al-Shaibani on Tuesday, according to his colleagues and employers.

Al-Shaibani, a Yemeni journalist working for the independent Yaman Newswebsite and state-run Yemen TV, was shot to death while reporting on fighting in Taiz by gunmen belonging to the Houthi rebel alliance, both his employers reported.

A graphic video published by the Yemen Shabab television channel Tuesday shows al-Shaibani and three other individuals in civilian clothes running across a street in a neighborhood badly damaged by fighting when Al-Shaibani falls to the ground with a gunshot wound to the head. Later, two men in military clothing attempt to pull al-Shaibani off the street, but they also come under fire.

19.2.2016 – Almasdar News (A K PH)

Yemeni Army, Houthi forces overpower the Saudi Army in northern Yemen
The Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard – alongside the Houthis and popular committees – clashed with the Saudi-led Coalition at the border-town of Mede on Tuesday, resulting in a fierce battle that accumulated a high death toll for all parties involved. Saudi-led forces repeatedly attempted to breach the Yemeni Army’s front-line defenses at the coastal town of Midi near the nation’s capital of Sanaa; however, these attacks failed to yield any gains and ultimately resulted in their withdrawal north towards the Saudi border. Adding to the plight of the Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen, the Houthi forces seized the Al-Rasha Mountains that overlook the town of Jadaan in the Mareb Governorate, leaving several Saudi soldiers and mercenaries dead.

Vorige / Previous:

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-103: / Yemen Press Reader 1-103: oder / or

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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