Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 105

Yemen Press Reader 105: N. Chomsky: Die 11 Grundsätze der Elite - Saudi-Arabien ist Bedrohung, kein Partner - Zerstörung der Kulturdenkmäler - US-Präzisionswaffen und die saudische Koalition

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Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp 7 UNO / UN

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp 13b Mercenaries / Söldner

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

18.2.2016 – David Swanson (*** B K P)

Chomsky Wants You to Wake Up from the American Dream

Chomsky explains how concentrated wealth creates concentrated power, which legislates further concentration of wealth, which then concentrates more power in a vicious cycle. He lists and elaborates on ten principles of the concentration of wealth and power -- principles that the wealthy of the United States have acted intensely on for 40 years or more.

1. Reduce Democracy. Chomsky finds this acted on by the very "founding fathers" of the United States, in the creation of the U.S. Senate, and in James Madison's statement during debate over the U.S. Constitution that the new government would need to protect the wealthy from too much democracy. Chomsky finds the same theme in Aristotle but with Aristotle proposing to reduce inequality, while Madison proposed to reduce democracy. The burst of activism and democracy in the United States in the 1960s scared the protectors of wealth and privilege, and Chomsky admits that he did not anticipate the strength of the backlash through which we have been suffering since.

2. Shape Ideology. The Powell Memo from the corporate right, and the Trilateral Commission's first ever report, called "The Crisis of Democracy," are cited by Chomsky as roadmaps for the backlash. That report referred to an "excess of democracy," the over engagement of young people with civic life, and the view that young people were just not receiving proper "indoctrination." Well, there's a problem that's been fixed, huh?

3. Redesign the Economy. Since the 1970s the United States has been moved toward an ever larger role for financial institutions. By 2007 they "earned" 40% of corporate profits. Deregulation has produced wealth concentration and economic crashes, followed by anti-capitalist bailouts making for more wealth concentration. Offshore production has reduced workers' pay. Alan Greenspan testified to Congress about the benefits of promoting "job insecurity" -- something those Europeans in Michael Moore's film don't know about and might find it hard to appreciate.

4. Shift the Burden. The American Dream in the 1950s and 60s was partly real. Both the rich and the poor got richer. Since then, we've seen the steady advance of what Chomsky calls the plutonomy and the precariat, that is the wealthy few who run the show and get all the new wealth, and the precarious proletariat. Back then, taxes were quite high on corporations, dividends, and wealth. Not anymore.

5. Attack Solidarity. To go after Social Security and public education, Chomsky says, you have to drive the normal emotion of caring about others out of people's heads. The U.S. of the 1950s was able to make college essentially free with the G.I. Bill and other public funding. Now a much wealthier United States is full of "serious" experts who claim that such a thing is impossible (and who must strictly avoid watching Michael Moore).

6. Run the Regulators. The 1970s saw enormous growth in lobbying. It is now routine for the interests being regulated to control the regulators, which makes things much easier on the regulated.

7. Engineer Elections. Thus we've seen the creation of corporate personhood, the equation of money with speech, and the lifting of all limits under Citizens United.

8. Keep the Rabble in Line. Here Chomsky focuses on attacks on organized labor, including the Taft Hartley Act, but one could imagine further expansions on the theme.

9. Manufacture Consent. Obsessive consumers are not born, they're molded by advertising. The goal of directing people to superficial consumption as a means of keeping people in their place was explicit and has been reached. In a market economy, Chomsky says, informative advertisements would result in rational decisions. But actual advertisements provide no information and promote irrational choices. Here Chomsky is talking about, not just ads for automobiles and soap, but also election campaigns for candidates.

10. Marginalize the Population. This seems as much a result as a tactic, but it certainly has been achieved. What the public wants does not typically impact what the U.S. government does.

Unless the trends described above are reversed, Chomsky says, things are going to get very ugly.

Then the film shows us a clip of Chomsky saying the same thing decades earlier when he was still shown on U.S. television. He's been marginalized along with the rest of us.

I imagine every friendly critic of this film has a #11 to add, and that they are all different. In fact, I can think of lots of things to add, but I insist on mentioning one of them. It's the same one missing from Bernie Sanders' home movie starring Iowa and New Hampshire. Its the thing missing from all U.S. discourse but showing up in Michael Moore's movie as a great difference between the United States and Europe.

11. Dump Massive Funding into Militarism. Why should this be included? Well, militarism is the biggest public program in the United States. It's over half of federal discretionary spending. If you're going to claim that lobbyists are concentrating wealth through their influence on the government, why not notice the single budget item that eats up over half the budget? It does indeed concentrate wealth and also power. It's a vast pot of unaccountable funding for cronies. And it generates public interest in fighting foreign enemies rather than enemies hanging out on Wall Street. It does militarize the police for free, however, just in case Wall Street generates any disgruntled customers.

Comment: Looking at Point 11, you see how much this article also has to do with the Yemen war. This war depends on more connections than you would think in the first moment. The Yemen war and other wars are connected to the domestic issues of our western countries, the way we live, the way we let manipulate and govern us, which parties and politicians we vote for.

19.2.2016 – Huffington Post (** A P)

Saudi Arabia Should Be Disturbed, Not Reassured, Since It Poses a Worse Threat to the Middle East Than Iran

Washington's long relationship with Riyadh was built on oil. There never was any nonsense about sharing values with the KSA, which operates as a slightly more civilized variant of the Islamic State. For instance, heads are chopped off, but only after a nominal trial. Women have no more rights, but can afford a better life.

The royals run a totalitarian system which prohibits political dissent, free speech, religious liberty, and social autonomy. In its latest human rights report, the U.S. State Department devoted an astonishing 57 pages detailing the Saudi monarchy's human rights abuses. To the extent that personal freedom exists, it is only in private. But even then the authorities may intervene at pleasure. Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the U.S., called the KSA "Hatred's Kingdom."

At a time of heavy U.S. dependence on foreign oil a little compromise in America's principles might have seemed in order.

Today it's hard to make a case that petroleum warrants Washington's "special relationship" with Saudi Arabia.

In recent years Washington also treated Riyadh as an integral component of a containment system against Iran. Of course, much of the "Tehran problem" was made in America: overthrowing Iranian democracy and empowering the Shah, a corrupt, repressive modernizer, led to his ouster and creation of an Islamist state. Washington's subsequent support for Iraq's Saddam Hussein in his aggressive war against Iran only intensified the Islamist regime's antagonism.

But this argument for supporting the Saudi royals has become quite threadbare. The regime opposes Iran for its own reasons, not to aid America.

Whatever the alleged benefits of the Saudi alliance, America pays a high price. First is the cost of providing free bodyguards for the royals. For this reason the U.S. initiated the first Gulf War and left a garrison on Saudi soil. The inconclusive end of that conflict led to continual bombing of Iraq even during "peacetime" and ultimately the Iraq invasion. At the Saudis' behest Washington backs their misbegotten war in Yemen and remains formally committed to the overthrow of Syrian President Bashir al-Assad, the strongest force opposing the far more dangerous Islamic State.

Saudi Arabia also tramples American values beyond its own borders. In next-door Bahrain Riyadh helped suppress the majority Shia population and in more distant Egypt the Saudis subsidized renewed military rule. The KSA also has underwritten extremist Islamic teaching in madrassahs around the world (Sunnis account for roughly 85 percent of all Muslims). Even Iran never attempted to so effectively create an entire generation of extremists. Moreover, Saudi money backed al-Qaeda and people performed 9/11. Similar private support for extremist violence apparently continues. Yet Washington shields the kingdom's practices from scrutiny, refusing to release the section of the 9/11 report discussing Saudi funding of terrorism.

Over the last few years Riyadh's behavior has become more harmful to America's interests. The monarchy has been pushing to oust Syria's Assad without worrying about who or what would follow. To the contrary, Riyadh has subsidized and armed many of the most extreme opposition factions. Moreover, in Yemen Saudi Arabia turned a long-term insurgency into another sectarian conflict. In the process the royals have been committing war crimes and creating a humanitarian disaster.

Of course, the fact that Riyadh is a destabilizing force does not mean that the U.S. should attempt regime change in Riyadh. America has proved that it isn't very good at overseas social engineering--consider Afghanistan, Egypt, Haiti, Iraq, Kosovo, Libya, Somalia, Syria, and elsewhere. But Washington should stop lavishing attention, praise, support, and reassurance on the Saudi royals. Particularly important, the U.S. should disentangle itself militarily from the KSA, especially the latter's misbegotten war in Yemen – by Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow, the Cato Institute

Comment: Chapeau. Listing up with clear words all what has to be said on Saudi-US relations.

12.2.2016 – Anthropology News (*** B K)

Heritage be Damned

Now approaching 11 months, the ongoing war in Yemen is first and foremost a war against people, with upwards of 10,000 killed and many more wounded. This is one of the most dire humanitarian crises on the planet, but it is barely covered in the news media. A coalition of super rich states, able to purchase billions of dollars worth of weapons and mercenaries from as far away as Colombia, is pummeling the poorest country on the Arabian Peninsula. This proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran for rhetorical control of the Islamic faith has been nothing but toxic for Yemen. War crimes are committed daily by all sides, as pointed out by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. At this point everyone is a potential victim in the flurry of violence by the alliance of the so-called Huthis (or Ansar Allah) and former President Salih’s troops against the Saudi-led coalition, al-Qaida (now known as Ansar Shariah), ISIS or Daesh and a host of militias and gangs. A blockade of food, medicine and much more has intensified the suffering and ground the economy to a halt. Unlike the situation in Syria, Yemeni refugees have nowhere to go.

As disastrous as this war is for the Yemeni people, it is also a war against future generations who will lose parts of their rich historical heritage. The latest loss is the Taiz National Museum, a victim of Huthi bombing. This museum was the house of the last Zaydi Imam, Ahmad, and was left exactly as it was when he died in 1962. Earlier in the campaign the Dhamar regional museum was destroyed by Saudi bombs, blowing up local archaeological relics collected by an expedition from the University of Chicago. Bombs have also been dropped on the pre-Islamic site of the Marib dam and centuries-old traditional buildings in the capital Sanaa. The director of Awqaf for Sanaa reports that 136 mosques have been destroyed or damaged since the bombing campaign began. Last May the millennium-old mosque of al-Hadi ila al-Haqq, the first Zaydi imam, was bombed in the town of Sa’da, which the Saudis have labeled a military target and have virtually leveled. In Decemberanother mosque in Sa’da was destroyed. The Saudis are aided in their war against Islam past by the extremist al-Qaida andDaesh elements in Yemen, which have been destroyed centuries-old Sufi shrines in the south.

The war on Yemen’s heritage is an extension of the Saudi penchant to replace anything pre-Wahhabi with shopping malls and monuments to their regime. It is reported that 95% of the millennium-old buildings in Mecca have been destroyed in the past two decades alone. Even the house of Khadija, the Prophet’s first wife, was leveled. As Ziauddin Sardar laments, “The dominant architectural site in the city is not the Sacred Mosque, where the Kaaba, the symbolic focus of Muslims everywhere, is. It is the obnoxious Makkah Royal Clock Tower hotel, which, at 1,972 feet, is among the world’s tallest buildings. It is part of a mammoth development of skyscrapers that includes luxury shopping malls and hotels catering to the super rich. The skyline is no longer dominated by the rugged outline of encircling peaks. Ancient mountains have been flattened. The city is now surrounded by the brutalism of rectangular steel and concrete structures — an amalgam of Disneyland and Las Vegas.”

The usual term for heritage in Arabic is turath. The war in Yemen has turned into a virtual “turathocide”, where political madness determines the fate of remembrance of Yemen’s rich and varied history, both before the coming of Islam with the major South Arabian kingdoms and the long span of the Islamic era. But the past can never be completely erased, nor can a religion be restarted by cleansing what a particular group does not like about the past. Preservation of Yemen’s heritage is not only damaging to the people of Yemen, but to everyone who believes that history matters. The events of this war will be remembered long after the last bombs have exploded because only a total genocide can eliminate a people’s memory – by Daniel Martin Varisco, President of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies.

26.9.2014 – Defense One (*** B C K P)

How American Precision Weapons Opened the Door to an Arab Coalition

For years, the U.S. sold Arab militaries precision-guided bombs for this very reason, while NATO stockpiles have lagged since Libya.

President Obama’s insistence that Arab states join in on U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq serves a political purpose for Washington and the region. But that Arab states were able to play a key role in the strikes at all is owed to years of purchases of made-in-America, high-tech, precision-guided bombs.

Lt. Gen. William Mayville, Joint Staff director of operations, offered a glimpse into the accuracy of these types of weapons this week when he showed reporters pictures and videos of some of those strikes.

Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby on Thursday said that U.S.-led strikes against Islamic State-controlled oil refineries in Syria, were so precise that refinery towers purposefully were left standing while other structures of the same plant were targeted.

Nearly all of the air strikes by U.S. and coalition militaries in Syria and Iraq have used precision bombs. This type of firepower has become the standard for the U.S. military over the past decade and drastically reduces civilian deaths, officials say. On the first night of air strikes in Syria, 96 percent of the bombs used were precision-guided munitions, Mayville said.

“One of the things you’re seeing in this air campaign is the fruition of two decades of interoperability and procurement activities, training activity and education activities with our allies in the region,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said Friday during a press briefing at the Pentagon.

These nations “are performing just as well as we are on the issue of precision and reducing the possibility of collateral damage,” Dempsey said.

Air force fighters from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are participating in the strikes and those militaries use U.S weapons

“The stocks of free-fall, precision-guided weapons that countries like Saudi Arabia and UAE have got are significant,” said Douglas Barrie, a military aerospace analyst at the International Institute for Strategic Studies think tank in London – by Marcus Weisgerber

Comment: Written more than half a year before the Saudi aerial war in Yemen!! I think this article is very important to better understand the Yemen war. 1.) Cooperation between US and Saudi Arabia, training of Saudi fighter pilots by the US has a very long tradition. 2.) At that time, the US officials declared the Saudis would be as good as the US air force itself in precise bombing. 3.) The US officials praised the accuracy of modern US precise weapons, using the air raids in Syria as a proof for this claim. 4.) As the results in Syria show, this claim is wrong. Sometimes it may work – and of course just these successful precise strikes were shown – in other times it would not and cause a lot of civilian “collateral damages”. 5.) As the war in Yemen is concerned, looking at the fact that mostly civilians and civilian infrastructure fell victims of the Saudi air raids, either all the claims regarding the accuracy of the weapons and the high level of Saudi (and coalition) air force personal are fault – or, they are not, than the Saudis (with the help of their US and British “embedded” personal – DELIBERATELY TARGET civilians and civilian infrastructure. There is no other possibility.

There are more articles which deserve to be “Most important”.

They are not listed here but below because they only indirectly refer to Yemen. They refer to the UN having been manipulated by the United Kingdom and the Saudis (see cp 7, UN; search: “whitewash”) and two articles on a proposal to bomb Beirut to rubble which in Israel and the USA is taken as a serious contribution to the academic debate (see cp 12, Other countries; search: “Alternet” and “Salon”).

cp2 Allgemein / General

20.2.2016 – Qatar Tribune (A P)

Don't lose hope for a better tomorrow in Yemen: Speakers at Brookings session

THE situation in Yemen may be dire, especially for civilians caught between the two sides of the conflict, but it is essential not to lose hope, according to speakers at a recent panel discussion.

Yemeni people have the capability to rebuild their country following the conclusion of the conflict, the speakers stressed. Organised by the Brookings Doha Center, the discussion entitled 'Yemen in Crisis: What Can Be Done?' sought to examine the social and political dimensions of the current crisis in the country, as speakers stressed the value of maintaining hope even in the face of daily hardships.

Rafat al Akhali, the former Minister of Youth and Sports in Yemen's post-revolutionary government

Iona Craig, who served as the Times of London's Yemen correspondent in addition to doing freelance broadcast and print journalism from that country for many years.

20.2.2016 – Fars News (* A P)

Sources: US Plotting to Control Bab al-Mandeb, UAE to Take Control of Socotra Islands

The Yemeni sources disclosed that the US and its regional allies are plotting to bring the strategic Bab al-Mandeb Strait and its Socotra islands under their control.

The former fugitive Yemeni President Mansour Hadi has signed an agreement with the UAE according to which the UAE can have access to the natural resources of Socotra islands for 100 years, informed sources said.

The newly signed agreement allows the Emirati government to invest in Socotra islands and turn the islands into a tourism hub.

According to the agreement, the Northern part of Yemen will remain under Saudi Arabia's control while the UAE will take charge of Eastern Yemen.

"Signing the agreement between Mansour Hadi and the UAE has been planned by the US to help that country achieve its increasing objectives in Yemen," the Yemeni sources added.

Socotra is a small archipelago of four islands in the Indian Ocean; the largest island, also called Socotra, is about 95 percent of the landmass of the archipelago. Socotra is located between the continents of Asia and Africa.

In a relevant development in mid-August, media reports said that Saudi Arabia had invaded and occupied Yemen's strategic Socotra Island and was building up its biggest naval base there.

"Hundreds of workers from Asian countries have been deployed by the Saudi navy to construct the kingdom's naval base on the island," Arabic-language Al-Ittihad news website quoted informed sources as saying.

Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 330 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 8,300 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.

Comment: More information on this agreement will be needed.

20.2.2016 – Right is(A K)

Yemen Update 2/20/2016

Films of protests in Sanaa, Huthi military successes

20.2.2016 – GDN Online (A P)

The capital city [of Qatar] will host a special conference on the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, organised by the Qatar Charity Society (QC) in partnership with 13 organisations and international and regional network, from 22 to 24 February.

The conference, which is held under the slogan ‘The humanitarian crisis in Yemen and the challenges and prospects of the humanitarian response,’ will see the participation of more than 90 local and international and regional humanitarian organisations and a number of international networks, along with more than 150 experts and professionals in various humanitarian sectors such as education, health, water and sanitation, livelihoods and economic empowerment, shelter and food and protection.

The conference, the first of its kind with this level of participation, aims to unite the visions of partners about the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, as well as the exchange of information and promote the follow-up mechanisms for determining the needs of those affected and the distribution of geographic areas in order to develop action plans and initiatives among the partners.

According to the initiative launched by Qatar Charity (QC) and 13 international organisations and regional network for holding this conference that the Yemeni crisis is one of the biggest humanitarian crises in the world, given the number of those affected who exceeded 80 per cent of the estimated population of about 26 million people. The initiative also suggests that the crisis in Yemen, ranked among the most current humanitarian crises in terms of lack of resources compared to the assistance required, noting that the response plan last year's estimated needs of about $ 1.6 billion in grants, while not yet in excess of $ 282 million only.

Participants are set to hold in the first two days of the conference technical workshops at the level of specialists and experts to highlight the humanitarian situation in Yemen and identify needs, while the third day of the conference will see holding of high-level meeting to view the results and launch initiatives and partnerships, alliances and coordination between field actors.

Comment: Let’s see. I hope this will be more than a new piece of Saudi coalition propaganda. The first step, the only logical, would be to stop this war on Yemen immediately.

20.2.2016 – Open Democracy (** B K P)

Disarming claims about the Saudi war in Yemen

How long can influential arms suppliers such as the UK go on supporting the violence of Saudi Arabia towards civilians in war-torn Yemen?

A cycle of claim and counter-claim has been set in motion about arms sales and international humanitarian law (IHL) in the Saudi-led war in Yemen. Serious, widespread and credible allegations of the targeting of civilians, of failures to take precautions to protect them or to investigate their deaths have been made by a growing chorus of international actors: from Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to theEuropean Parliament and, most recently, a UN panel of experts and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

Calls for a halt to arms transfers to Saudi Arabia are growing, yet major suppliers to Saudi Arabia such as the UK continue to not listen. Initially the UK government showed itself deaf, ignoring the allegations. Then it trotted out the standard line about having one of the world’s most rigorous control regimes – waiting for the fuss to blow over, essentially. But the fuss is not blowing over. The scale of civilian harm is growing, accompanied by increasingly widespread and vocal public and elite concern.

As a result, the UK government is starting to have to actually respond to the allegations. But what we’ve seen is not engagement with the substance of the claims. Rather, we’ve seen a blanket counter-claim that the UK supports efforts by its ally Saudi Arabia to restore the legitimate government of Yemen. This has led to a confrontation within the UK government between the Department for International Development (DfID) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the former arguing that the promotion of arms transfers undermines the growing provision of humanitarian aid to Yemen. (DfID does not scrutinise arms sales to Saudi Arabia because it is not poor; and the Minister of State for International Development Desmond Swayne claims he would not expect to have been consulted about them, despite the disastrous impact on the humanitarian and sustainable development situation in Yemen.)

Some of the FCO claims are clearly diversionary: Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State Tobias Ellwood telling the International Development Committee that it would be “naive” to say the UK cannot supply its allies with weapons is a crude attempt at distraction, and an evasion of the issues at stake. More seriously, it is being claimed that military action in Yemen will create the conditions for a political settlement, which is the prerequisite for improving humanitarian access and civilian safety. There are serious issues at stake here, with no easy answers. They deserve genuine debate, not the obfuscation that has largely characterised the UK government in its public performances thus far.

Until recently the Saudi government has remained largely silent, leaving the UK in the uncomfortable position of having to defend its arms client and ally. This saw a series of typically British moralising claims about how the government is trying to educate its recalcitrant southern partners. Ministers went on record saying that the UK was encouraging the Saudis to comply with IHL and to be more transparent, to exercise restraint and be more responsible: part of "what we try to do overtly, but also quietly, to advance change in Saudi Arabia," as Tobias Ellwood put it.

Then on 1 February 2016, the Saudi government issued a press release announcing the formation of a high-level independent team to evaluate military targeting and incidents involving civilians. It is not clear who is on this team, or what their expertise is in IHL; but it has been formed by the Yemeni government, and so at the very least it is not actually independent. This has echoes of the UK government helping to stymie a Dutch proposal at the UN Human Rights Council for an international, independent investigation, and supporting a Saudi counter-proposal that the Yemeni government conduct the investigation.

Accidental, indiscriminate or deliberate?

In a press release last October, the Saudi government admitted to bombing a Doctors Without Borders field hospital, and has since maintained its position that the bombing was an accident. The investigative committee decided that “the military task they were performing was never done at random or blindly. However, human errors were not ruled out.” This could mean that there were a lot of human errors – but then the press release claims the human errors are “obvious but not in high levels.” That leaves the possibility that the targeting of civilians was deliberate. The Saudi government goes on to deny having seen the UN expert report alleging 118 other violations of international law.

So, in sum, there is a process of denial, via the silence around the remaining allegations and evidence; there is the admission of a single mistake (bombing the MSF hospital), which is mitigated by the claim that there is no systematic or deliberate policy and the reassurance that independent scrutiny has now been carried out. Each step of this self-justifying narrative can be challenged; indeed, has been challenged. Until now, business could carry on as usual despite these challenges. So the most significant recent development is that the Saudis now feel they have to respond at all. But even this is tempered by the form of justification they now offer, which is remarkably similar to the typical British strategy: announce a review, and then claim that the review found no evidence of a problem.

The question is whether this shift in justification will lead to any change in military practice. When the west goes to war, it harms and kills civilians through the systematic transfer of risk onto them. Accidental "small massacres" are an inbuilt feature of western war-making, foreseen but not deliberate. That is how these governments deflect criticism: by claiming civilian deaths as collateral damage, as regrettable accidents, if they are acknowledged at all. It is rare indeed for western powers to even admit to making a mistake — they pre-empt criticism of this by referencing their own policies of civilian protection.

And the UK government never admits to breaches of its own arms export policy and its commitments under national, EU and international law, it simply asserts that it has a rigorous control regime, without shedding any light on what actually happens during the process. The Saudi-led coalition seems to be deliberately – or at the very least, indiscriminately – targeting civilians as part of its war strategy. The Saudis are now at least admitting to “mistakes”: the challenge now is to translate this into a change in Saudi military strategy, and a change in the character of debate in the UK about the ramifications for arms export policy.

Breaking point

How to break out of this cycle of claim and counter-claim? This is not a case of six of one, half a dozen of the other: some claims are more valid than others. The evidence is stacking up of the indiscriminate or deliberate targeting of civilians, and that is against international law. Yes, the UK government has an interest in supporting its allies. But it also has legal obligations, nationally, at the EU level, and internationally under the UN Arms Trade Treaty, making it responsible for violations of IHL alongside those actually carrying out the attacks using equipment supplied by the UK. At the very least these allegations need to be independently investigated.

So why is this not happening? This is where we need to think about the importance of justifications and legitimations. A European Parliament delegation is due to travel to Saudi Arabia and Qatar this week to discuss EU-Saudi relations. During this time, the UK’s Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) will meet for the first time since the general election last May. At the moment the best we can hope for is that the Saudi-led coalition no longer deliberately attacks civilians. The worst we can fear is a PR onslaught designed to cover up such attacks. This is why it’s so important to scrutinise justifications, and why the CAEC has such a crucial job to do. It is time to disarm some of the claims around arms transfers, and have a mature debate about their role in war, political settlement, humanitarianism, and civilian harm – by Anna Stavrianakis

This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence.

20.2.2016 – Daily Times (* B K)

The fundamentally flawed Saudi military doctrine combined with inexperienced defence and foreign affairs leadership created an unfavourable decision making environment at a moment of grave national crisis. As a result, despite overwhelming military superiority and availability of a strategic window of opportunity, Saudi forces completely bungled their Yemeni campaign. They had the opportunity to cordon off and eventually surround the Houthis in under two weeks and then bring them to the negotiating table for a political settlement from a position of strength. They also would have prevented spaces abandoned by the Yemeni state and left by the Hootis from being occupied by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP’s) fighters and also effectively prevent external intervention or reinforcements from reaching the Houthis. They could do none of these nor make their national territory any safer from the mounting Houthi ‘threat’. Their spluttering air campaign and disjointed attempts at para drops and limited offensives have not paid off. In fact, their pussy footed military reaction emboldened the Houthis such that recently they shelled Najran and Jizan, two major Saudi border towns, setting up a panic displacement of the Asir region’s population inwards.

There is an eager anticipation in the air that Sanaa might fall soon to the GCC coalition forces. Fall of the capital city would be like the fall of Grozny or Kabul. Like the Chechen and Taliban fighters it will free Houthi rebels to resort to bush warfare all over the countryside, and that is their strong point. The war in Yemen will invariably be prolonged.

The Houthis are not alone in giving Saudis an uncomfortable sleep at night. Their economy is melting. Iran has just been unshackled and the Kingdom’s eastern provinces are in sectarian ferment. Islamic State (IS) in neighbouring Syria and Iraq are aggressively pursuing their murderous agenda and are no friends of the Saudis. The dreaded Saudi internal security steel mesh is not as effective as it used to be.

Initiative is still with the Houthis, which is what matters in war and should worry the Saudi strategists. Rebels have been proactive for quite some time and the next might start raiding deep inside Saudi territories – by Mehboob Qadir, retired brigadier of the Pakistan army

Comment: Interesting, even as I don’t follow his assumption that “The Houthis posed a direct and immediate threat to Saudi Arabia’s stability” – they might do it now, but only as a consequence of the Saudi interference.

19.2.2016 – Fikra Forum (* B P)

The tragedy of Yemen’s civil society

In times of crisis, individuals rise up to act as their society’s conscience. These individuals work to alert the international community to human rights violations or work tirelessly to help their community recover from major obstacles, natural or man-made.

Equally significant are those journalists and human rights activists who attempt to report on human rights violations and document this dark period of the country’s history. Both branches of civil society efforts currently operating on the ground—relief and journalism—are working in extremely dangerous conditions and are a target for those who want the conflict to continue unchecked. Internal conflict within the civil society structure is also significantly weakening the success and progress of both individual institutions and civil society as a whole.
Without the violent war that has consumed the country from within during the last two years, Yemen’s civil society might have progressed considerably, providing an exemplary model to be replicated in other emerging democracies. Instead, Yemen’s current chaos has forced these organizations to either sink or swim without adequate preparation or groundwork. Many have already drowned, and although some groups have impressively survived through their tenacity, Yemen’s civil society has experienced a serious blow that erased two decades of effort and will continue to affect the post-conflict country for decades more – by Nadia al-Sakkaf, journalist and former Yemeni information minister.

Comment: Also with a look back to the development of civil society organizations. Meanwhile, the phrase of “civil society” so often has been misused by western propaganda (just denoting the organizations they fuel to overthrow other regimes) that you must be on alert when you hear it.

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

No date – Care (* B H)

Nama’s story: homeless in your own home

Despite the constant bombings, fighting, hunger and other difficulties, most Yemenis continue to stay in their homeland. Just over 170,000 of the estimated 22 million in dire humanitarian situations have fled to neighbouring countries. The vast majority stay on in their towns and villages, or have been forced to move to other parts of the country to avoid the bombings and destruction. Yemeni photographer Thana Faroq shares the story of one woman affected by the conflict.

When I met Nama my first thought was – how are so many people sleeping together? She was sharing one room with her family of around eight as well as her relative’s family. I couldn’t count all the children but I estimated there must have been nearly 20 people sharing that one room. She was one of the lucky ones – many people who don’t have relatives to help them are sleeping outside or in schools; wherever they can find shelter.

Nama and her family moved from village to village for a week trying to find somewhere they could get help and stay. Along the way they would sleep anywhere they could:

"We were sheltering under plastic sheets tacked to walls sometimes trees, we had no food no money. It seemed this was the end for us. We later moved to Bani Qa'is, seeking relatives help, but what to do if they are also devastated by the war too and they can’t afford basic stuff for themselves?”

For Nama one of the worst parts of their flight was the lack of access to toilets. “When we ran from Saada my basic human need is to use the bathroom, but when we were moving from place to place I had to do it behind a tree or wall and it was so humiliating,” she told me. Small things like this may not seem such a big deal when you think of the bigger picture. But they are. Access to a proper and safe place to go to the toilet is s a basic human right and when you’re forced to flee your home you don’t even have that. She told me how happy she was now in Bani Qa'is as CARE provided bathrooms for people.

“You see this is my kitchen here, I only can afford to make bread. The flour was donated to us by CARE and other organisations. Before this we were poor but we were able to survive… now I am not sure how we can continue."

As Nama'a tells her story, her children sneak up to the window asking their mother for food. "We haven't eaten anything since yesterday morning,” says Mohammed the oldest brother. “Sometimes we get a meal a day sometimes nothing, we can't sleep when we are hungry,” he adds.

Looking at her children I notice her young daughter. In Yemen families often marry off their daughters at a very young age and I was happy to see that Nama hadn’t. But what she went on to tell me broke my heart. Now that they had lost everything she said, they couldn’t look after their children properly anymore and she was going to have to marry her daughter off as at least then she would have a husband to take care of her.

Women are the ones who carry heavy burden and keep family together. I spoke to so many women and this is exactly what they told to me. They were so young but when you look at them they’ve aged so early, tired and exhausted.

If this conflict continues Yemen will become a country full of women old before their time, and young girls married off just for survival.

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21.2.2016 – WAM (A H P)

ERC rehab project at University of Aden

Maintenance work at five buildings and their service facilities

Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has launched rehabilitation project at the University of Aden, Yemen, which includes maintenance work at five main housing buildings and their service facilities.

Spread on an area of 59,467 square metres, the housing complex can accommodate 1,500 students from various governorates of Yemen as well as students from neighbouring countries such as Djibouti and Somalia.
ERC said the project is in line with its developmental initiatives carried out in Yemen. It also announced that the foundation stone was laid in the presence of representatives of ERC and other Yemeni educational figures.
President of the University, Dr. Hussein Bisalamh, who attended the ceremony, hailed the ERC's qualitative initiatives in Yemen, stressing that they would contribute to improving basic services, especially in the academic field.

Comment: On the other hand, coalition air raids have destroyed or damaged 39 universities in Yemen. This needs to be said to relativise the Gulf states propaganda of their humanitarian help.

Comment: Let's hope that Aden stabilises at some point in the not too distant future, and is able to open its doors and heart to the many deserving in all of Yemen who cannot continue their studies at this moment in time. Whatever the political outcomes, pragmatically the people of Yemen need to get on with their lives.

21.2.2016 – Alistar Reign Blog (A H)

Yemen: Mona Charity Brings More Than Relief – They Bring Humanity

Mona Relief has become a lifeline to the Yemeni families they reach; delivering more than physical aid, they bring with them a glimmer of hope; a reassurance that Yemen is not forgotten.

Millions of children are dying from starvation in war-torn Yemen. You Can Help Mona Save A Life Today. Please click here to donate on Go Fund Me - it's easy and secure - all funds go towards purchase of essential care packages.

20.2.2016 – Yemen Living Under The Edge (*B H)

Since March 26 2015, Saudi-led/US-backed coalition has been spreading death across the poorest country in the world, "Yemen".
Heinous crimes have been committed against the citizens: crimes which are in pure violation of the international law. These are purely crimes against humanity.
Yemeni civilians have no day without losing at least two children, without having two women being killed by Saudi- led bombs. Even animals cannot be saved from this madness.
Genocide and tragedy across the whole country implies that you have to see your family, relatives, friends killed every day, one after the another, that you have to witness severe, painful and crucial suffering.
So, how do Yemenis live their life under this madness and hysterical bombardments? How do Yemenis cope with, under this tyrannical siege?
Suha, a college student, used to live the usual youngster life: " starting the day going to college lessons, return home, studying, helping her mother and ending the day watching T.V, making some calls to friends. But after the aggression started, and the Saudi-led coalition warplanes began bombarding the entire country, claiming they were re-installing the legal government of President Hadi, Suha Mahmoud said " I had to stop my studies for this year because the jet fighters have targeted also the schools, and even if they don't bombard it, there is no guarantee of safety for the students, The attacks are heavy around the country, hitting nearly everything, so I sit home doing nothing".
Another student named Dhirar Al-Sofy explained: "Education in Yemen is getting worse, we couldn't continue studying with no electricity , and we couldn't cover the university expenses due to the financial collapse after the siege was imposed on Yemen. Universities stopped for long time during the attacks, so we didn't have enough time to cover all the curriculum".
Psychologically Suha added that " the hysterical and continuous air-raid attacks and bombs around our houses have left my mind in a confusional state and made me fearful."
Hanna Al-Wajih, another friend, added: " I have massive problems due to this aggression, I have been living in a state of horror and fear for nearly a year, constantly thinking how will my last day be? And when will it be? At any moment a missile can fall on our heads. For how long do I have to live under this madness, with air-strikes pounding residential areas and hospitals?"
Mahmoud Al-Himery added his voice on the suffering of children: "This unjust aggression has caused fear, dread and horror. Yemeni children are the biggest victims: nearly a thousand have died under the bombs and thousands are starving to death due to KSA's siege.
Azhar Al-a'aji, a journalist, pointed that: "The war has created a world pain, either physically, or psychologically. Not to mention logistically".
Hiza Al-jabry, a teacher, told Living in Yemen on the Edge: ''all of our lives' spheres have been affected by the aggression. We are not the same, psychologically, socially, economically."
Ahmed Rashid, manager, underlined that ''Jobs have completely stopped since Saudi Arabia's aggression, and most of the workers lost everything, like me. I spend all the time sitting at home, doing absolutely nothing."
Bashar Al-Makhthy concluded: " My life has become much more difficult since the war on Yemen started. I lost 70% of my habits, my past. I have no gasoline, cannot use hot war, have lost sleep because of the noise of the airplanes or explosions. I have no more electricity. For us, Yemenis, life has become impossible with this hysterical attacks and blockade"
Saudi-led/US-backed aggression and siege has caused irreparable suffering to all Yemeni civilians; prices of primary goods have skyrocketed everywhere as nothing is entering Yemen due to the blockade.
The intention seems to be clear: they aim at killing 24 million people, starving them to death.

19.2.2016 – USAID (A H)

Yemen Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #6 Fiscal Year (FY) 2016

UN agencies and ICRC deliver food, relief items, and medical supplies to communities in a largely inaccessible enclave within Ta’izz city

Number of local and international humanitarian organizations operating in Yemen increases

January food imports rise nearly 30 percent as compared to the previous month and

Comment: The role of USAID is rather dubious, there are serious objections that this is just another US organization for preparing regime changes.

19.2.2016 – UN (A H)

Film: Johannes van der Clough, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen speaking on Yemen

19.2.2016 – Ansamed (* B H)

Yemen: 21 mln out of 25 mln citizens need assistance, Lancet

Water scarce and among highest malnutrition rates in the world

Some 21 million out of a total population of 25 million need humanitarian assistance in Yemen and 15 million lack access to healthcare services, according to an editorial published by Lancet.

The journal presented the figures in introducing the World Humanitarian Summit to be held in May in Turkey. Water supplies are running out, there are no natural rivers and even the aquifers have little water.

The country suffers from one of the highest rates of malnutrition in the world and half the population lives on less than 2 dollars a day. The medical journal noted that 60 million people in the world had been forced to leave their homes due to conflicts and that 218 million are made refugees by natural disasters every year. The article mentioned the situation in Syria, where among other damage caused by war there are also a million orphans, and said that the summit hopes to bring about change.

It noted that the current response to healthcare and humanitarian crises had failed, and that the death of 5,000 migrants in 2015 seeking refuge in other countries bore witness to this.

Comment: An article in the Lancet about the situation in Yemen. From time to time one reads in articles that the number needing assistance has risen by 10 or 20% but this is ridiculous. Before the war it is true there were people living in poverty in Yemen, especially displaced people and the Gulf Returnees. But the level of need was not anywhere near the level it is now - its not just that the numbers have increased, but the level of need has increased, and some of those now in need were middle classes with employment and prospects before the war. The scale of the change is beyond endurance, and the world sits by and allows Saudi Arabia to starve Yemeni citizens. Why?

19.2.2016 – Reuters (A E H)

Yemen central bank stops guarantees for rice, sugar imports - sources

Feb 19 Yemen's central bank has told traders and local banks it will no longer provide lines of credit for the import of sugar and rice at the official exchange rate, merchants and local bankers said on Friday.

The move takes immediate effect and is likely to further deepen the country's humanitarian crisis.

One merchant told Reuters that until the beginning of February, the central bank had covered all the country's import needs of medicine, wheat, rice, sugar and milk at the official exchange rate of 215 riyals to the dollar.

"With this decision, the lines of credit would be limited to wheat and medicines only," said the merchant, who asked not to be named.

18.2.2016 – Migrando Arena (A H)

We share this message from a team of people trying to help ‪#‎Socotra

''After the two cyclones that devastated the island, destroying trees and houses and decimating the cattle, we need your help however small to deliver goats among the shepherds.
Any help is welcome, though modest, even though they are two or three euros. Together we can do wonders.'' referring to (in Spanish)

cp4 Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

Siehe “Am wichtigsten” / “See most important”

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

19.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A P)

Thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital on Friday, waving flags and chanting slogans against Saudi Arabia and the kingdom's mercenaries and al-Qaeda militants wreaking havoc across the country.

The protesters also chanted anti-US and anti-Israel slogans and called for the downfall of the Saudi monarchy.

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

20.2.2016 – Salzburger Nachrichten / APA (A T)

Al-Kaida eroberte im Süden des Jemen weitere Stadt

Das islamistische Netzwerk Al-Kaida hat mit der Eroberung der Stadt Ahwar seien Einflussbereich im Süden Jemens ausgeweitet. Al-Kaida-Kämpfer hätten sich mit Angehörigen des Volkswiderstandes ein Gefecht geliefert und drei von ihnen getötet, berichtete ein Einwohner am Samstag. Sie hätten dann ihre Flaggen auf den Gebäuden der Regierung gehisst.

20.2.2016 – Al Arabiya (A T)

Al-Qaeda seize southern Yemen town

Al-Qaeda militants took control of the southern coastal town of Ahwar inYemen on Saturday, the Arabic website of Al Arabiya News Channel reported.

According to local residents in Ahwar, al-Qaeda militants were deployed at the eastern entrances to the city and mounted the roofs tops of government buildings, where they fought with Popular Resistance Units loyal to President Abdrabbu Mansour Hadi.

“At dawn this morning the al-Qaeda gunmen clashed with the Popular Resistance forces, killing three of them. They attacked the sheikh in charge of the area and after he escaped set up street checkpoints and planted their black flag on government buildings,” one resident said.

The coastal city and surrounding district, in Abyan province, is home to over 30,000 people and is an important geographic link between the major port city of Mukalla to the east and the smaller town of Zinjibar, both of which Al Qaeda seized months ago.

20.2.2016 – Reuters (A T)

Dozens of al Qaeda militants took control of the southern Yemeni town of Ahwar on Saturday, residents said, consolidating the group's control over much of the region.

The coastal city and surrounding district, in Abyan province, is home to more than 30,000 people and is an important geographic link between the major port city of Mukalla to the east and the smaller town of Zinjibar, both of which Al Qaeda seized months ago.

"At dawn this morning the al Qaeda gunmen clashed with the Popular Resistance forces, killing three of them," one resident said. "They attacked the sheikh in charge of the area and after he escaped set up street checkpoints and planted their black flag on government buildings."

Separately, two gunmen riding a motorbike killed one of the most senior commanders in the Popular Resistance, a loose confederation of southern militias opposed to al Qaeda. =

cp7 UNO / UN

20.2.2016 – Beaconreader (A P)

UN Tells ICP to Leave UN by 5 PM After It Asks About Corruption, Ban Gallach

The UN on February 19, after Inner City Press asked about UN inaction in South Sudan and Burundi and financial irregularities, was handed a letter to leave the UN by 5 pm.Letter here.The letter is signed by the Under Secretary General for Public Information Cristina Galach of Spain but ultimately SG Ban Ki-moon is in charge.The pretext was Inner City Press three weeks earlier seeking to cover a meeting in the UN Press Briefing Room by an organization which has taken money from now indicted Ng Lap Seng and Frank Lorenzo’s South SOuth News, then gave Ng Lap Seng a photo op with Ban. =

Comment: Inner City press broadly also had reported on Yemen as a subject of the UN (see Yemen Press reader 103). Now their reporter has been thrown out for uncomfortable questions. That is the “liberty” of press and of free speech the UN defends? He seems not to have left by himself, so it seems he was thrown out by force: “I was thrown out of UN without my files or even my coat. They took my phone, & ripped off my UN ID” (, and the mainstream press reacts this way: “When UN Security threw my laptop out on 1st Ave, @VOAnews Besheer & other UNCA board member were there, laughing & filming” ( See letter: and listen how it works a journalists is thrown out of UN for his way of asking questions. . And this also is quite interesting: “Contrary to @CristinaGallach's Kafka-esque letter Banning ICP, ICP's UN pass was deactivated before ICP even got her letter” (

In this context, the following two articles also are of interest. They also show what a wretched role the UN and The United Kingdom are playing in the whole Middle East. At first, just as a prelude, this:

18.11.2015 – Bahrain News Agency (A P)

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for International Affairs receives UN official

Foreign Ministry Undersecretary for International Affairs Dr. Shaikh Abdullah bin Ahmed bin Abdullah Al Khalifa, received in his office today the United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Cristina Gallach.

He welcomed the UN official and reviewed with her deep-rooted relations of cooperation between Bahrain and the United Nations, mainly in communication and information areas, noting the laudable great efforts and constructive initiatives of the international organization in promoting global peace and security and reinforcing sustainable development in all countries.

He also commended the role played by Cristina Gallach in improving the UN media agencies' performance and raising public awareness of various issues and the need for radical solutions to challenges facing the international community in order to meet peoples’ aspirations for sustainable development.

And now the background:

21.2.2016 – The Guardian (** A P)

Britain lobbied UN to whitewash Bahrain police abuses

Documents indicate UK and Saudi Arabia worked to water down human rights statement

Britain has been accused of waging a behind-the-scenes PR offensive aimed at neutering United Nations criticism of Bahrain for its human rights record, including the alleged use of torture by its security forces.

Documents shared with the Observer reveal that the UN’s criticism of the Gulf state was substantially watered down after lobbying by the UK and Saudi Arabia, a major purchaser of British-made weapons and military hardware.

The result was a victory for Bahrain and for Saudi Arabia, which sent its troops to quell dissent in the tiny kingdom during the Arab spring.

But the UK’s role has prompted concern among human rights groups. According to the international human rights organisation, Reprieve, two political prisoners in Bahrain are facing imminent execution and several more are on trial, largely due to confessions obtained through torture.

The situation in the kingdom was under acute scrutiny last September, when the UN’s human rights council met to discuss issuing a high-profile statement raising concerns about possible human rights abuses. Before that meeting, the UK held discussions with officials from a large number of UN member states, as well as diplomats in the Middle East, representatives from the office of the UN’s commissioner for human rights and international campaign groups.

According to a source familiar with the initiative, the UK sought to convince other states “that things were improving” in Bahrain and to dissuade them from issuing a damning diplomatic statement that would have had an impact on the kingdom’s international reputation. Traditionally the UN statements are issued by Switzerland and then signed off by other member states who, on this occasion, appear to have been convinced by the representations made by the UK and the Saudis. The original draft was watered down heavily, according to those familiar with its contents. “The first draft contained many more condemnatory elements than the final outcome,” a source said. “The UK managed to significantly weaken the contents of the text.”

A comparison of the second and final, third draft issued on 14 September and obtained by the Observer, shows significant further amendments were made to remove embarrassing references to Bahrain and its security forces. The second draft read: “We are concerned by reports of excessive use of force by the riot police forces.” This was changed to: “We are concerned that there is insufficient accountability for human rights violations.”

Nicolas Agostini, representative to the UN at the International Federation for Human Rights, based in Geneva, said: “It is very unusual for states to engage in massive PR efforts to support their allies on the human rights council. What we witnessed last September was basically an attempt by the UK to shield Bahrain from any kind of international scrutiny. At the same time as the UK was engaging in this PR exercise on behalf of the Bahraini government, Saudi Arabia was mobilising its foreign service to bully states so that they would not support the statement on Bahrain, which is very sensitive to international pressure and cares about its image. In that sense, managing to have a joint statement on Bahrain, despite the efforts from the UK and Saudi Arabia to prevent it happening, was very important.” – by Jamie Doward.

Comment: This is just shocking. What that means for the case of Yemen, if Yemen will be in good hands at the UN, just imagine. It seems whether there is a great difference between the UNs facade and what is behind.

And here also this article referring to a really ridiculous Bahrain propaganda:

20.2.2016 – Saba News / Almotar.Net (A P)

The United Nations Security Council have urged all parties to the conflict in Yemen to take urgent steps towards resuming a ceasefire.

In a statement issued on Friday night, the Security Council called on all Yemeni parties to engage in political talks without preconditions and in good faith, including by resolving their differences through dialogue and consultations.
The Council underlined its strong support for the UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed in facilitating these talks.
The Security Council called upon all sides to comply with international humanitarian law, including to take all feasible precautions to minimize harm to civilians and civilian objects.
In its statement, the Council expressed its deep concern about the increasing presence of Al-Qaeda and Daesh organizations in the Arabian Peninsula.
Urging all parties to fulfill their commitments to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance, including measures to further ensure rapid, safe and unhindered humanitarian access, the Council further underlined the importance of the delivery of commercial goods and fuel for civilian purposes to all parts of Yemen.
The statement stressed the Security Council’s strong commitment to maintain the unity and sovereignty of Yemen territories. =

Comment: This is the Houthi news agency which is reporting that UN has called for a ceasefire. The Houthi-Saleh alliance have always wanted a ceasefire before they enter talks; the UN envoy stated that one of the obstacles for talks was whether they should be unconditional or not.

19.2.2016 – AP (A H)


The U.N. humanitarian agency's coordinator for Yemen has decried the lack of attention that has been given to the war in the Arab world's poorest country.

Jamie McGoldrick says "civilians are the losers" and that the fighting in Yemen is being "overlooked" amid greater attention on Syria's war.

His remarks came on Friday as he detailed a $1.8 billion funding appeal for Yemen this year by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

19.2.2016 – La Prensa (A P)

U.N. seeks to send humanitarian aid to 13 million Yemenis

The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, or OCHA, said on Friday it will try to reach 13.6 million people in Yemen with emergency humanitarian aid to avoid the risk of a crisis, as has happened in Syria.

U.N. Humanitarian Coordinator in Yemen, Jamie McGoldrick said in a press conference that it has been a year since the Yemeni conflict began and there is no need for it to last longer and become like in Syria, because then it will become a widespread and more terminal problem.

The organization has launched a plan to meet the basic needs of the Yemeni people, which will require $1.8 billion.

18.2.2016 – UN (A P)

Security Council Press Statement on Situation in Yemen

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Rafael Darío Ramírez Carreño (Venezuela):

On 16 February 2016, the Security Council was briefed by the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Stephen O’Brien, on the situation in Yemen. Members of the Council received a further briefing on the situation in Yemen from the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, on 17 February. The members of the Security Council were also briefed on 17 February by Motohide Yoshikawa, Chair of the United Nations Sanctions Committee on Yemen.

Comment: Flowery, empty words as long as main powers in this council fully support the Saudi aerial war on Yemen.

Comment: This is only a press statement, not a call for action - the UN in effect has so little power unless USA and UK stop their one sided support for KSA. However, it does acknowledge the humanitarian situation and the rise of extremist Sunni militias. It also reiterates the need for 2216 to be implemented with no acknowledgement that this is a flawed resolution, because it did not take into account (a) Hadi's term as interim president had already expired and (b) Hadi was and is an unpopular figure in Yemen (c) this was essentially a bid for power between two unpopular men, ex-President Saleh and Hadi whose term as president had actually expired (d) Hadi had asked his neighbour Saudi Arabia to bomb his own country and people. It also calls on the need to restart talks with no preconditions - I understand it is the Houthi-Saleh alliance that do not want to talk without a ceasefire in existence - and to implement the resolutions agreed at the last round of talks, and for ALL PARTIES (and surely that MUST include KSA that is implementing a cruel blockade and destroying food production facilities) to allow food to get to Yemen citizens.

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

20.2.2016 – Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten (A P)

Der saudiarabische Außenminister Adel al-Dschubeir will Terror-Gruppen und Söldner-Milizen in Syrien Boden-Luft-Raketen zur Verfügung stellen. Der Minister spricht in diesem Zusammenhang von „moderaten Oppositionsgruppen“ – was allerdings ein Euphemismus ist: Die im Krieg in Syrien aktiven Gruppen sind entweder von Regional- oder Großmächten ferngesteuert oder agieren mit Terror-Methoden, wie etwa die zu al-Kaid gehörende al-Nusra Front. Sie wird von den USA und den Saudis unterstützt und kämpff gegen die syrische Regierung und die Russen.

Dem Magazin Der Spiegel sagte Dschubeir, diese Waffen würden es „der gemäßigten Opposition ermöglichen, Hubschrauber und Flugzeuge des Regimes auszuschalten“ – und dadurch die Machtverhältnisse in Syrien zu verändern. Flugzeuge werden allerdings vor allem von Russland eingesetzt: Es ist der syrischen Regierung gelungen, zahlreiche Terror-Gruppen zu besiegen und vor allem den IS in die Defensive zu drängen – eine Entwicklung, die den Saudis nicht gefällt.

Kommentar: In Kürze wäre diese Waffen zu ISID durchgereicht, die dann russische und westliche (und, falls sie auch fliegen sollten) saudische Flugzeuge abschießen würde. Tolle Politik. Das Interview in cp15.

19.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A P)

Saudi FM: Militants in Syria should be armed with surface-to-air missiles

Arming militants with the missiles would “enable … [them] to neutralize the [Syrian] helicopters and planes,” German weekly Der Spiegel quoted Adel al-Jubeir as saying.

In an interview published online on Friday, Jubeir expressed Riyadh’s support for regime change in Syria.

Comment: For these interviews, see below cp15 Propaganda. Well, what does this actually mean? The experiences of some years of Syrian civil war and arms supply to the rebels clearly have shown, that the arms given to “moderate” rebels quickly and freely circulate between more or less all rebel groups. The landscape of these rebel groups is in a state of permanent floating: New groups are founded, groups unite, groups separate, parts of one group go to another, arms are sold, arms which had been airdropped fall into the hands of another group they were not destined for (happened in Syria and, as I know extremely often in Yemen) – that means: Arming ISIS with surface-to-air missiles, which they will have got and can use against any western and Russian (and off course Saudi) aircraft within a few weeks at longest.

And on Twitter, someone says this: ٭Why IS/AQ expanding in Saudi controlled #Yemen areas? ٭Why would #Saudi want to fight #IS/#AQ in #Syria if they already control half of it? ( This might be provocative, as “half of it” refers to Syria and not to Yemen, thus stating Saudi and IS/AQ to be the same, but: What the hell the Saudis now cry on defeating IS in Syria, while they themselves let grow IS and Al Qaida in Yemen, and do absolutely nothing to defeat them there??

19.2.2016 – Foreign Policy in Focus (* B P)

The Saudi Slaughter in Yemen

Why does the United States continue to support the Saudi intervention in Yemen?

The Saudis have feared Yemen for a long time. They worry that the Houthis and their allies will destabilize the Saudi regime and export revolutionary zeal to the Saudi people. The fear of losing their power is why the Saudi royals, with the help of the majority Sunni regimes in the Gulf, launched an air and ground war against Yemen. Riyadh hopes to reinstate the former government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansoor Hadi and make Yemen a satellite country of Saudi Arabia. Facing an onslaught by the highly equipped Saudi forces with American help, the Houthis were obliged to ally with the unsavory former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to defend Yemen. Although calls for talks have gone nowhere, a new effort is underway to hold negotiations in Europe under the auspices of the UN.

The Saudis have made the poorly supported claim that they are fighting a proxy war with Iranin Yemen. Unfortunately, the Obama administration parrots these lies in its official statements, which the major media then repeat. The Saudis and the Gulf States have conjured up Iranian’s involvement in order to justify their war on Yemen. In the meantime, al-Qaeda is deepening its roots and widening its reach in and around the country – by Adil E. Shamoo =

Comment: The United States bears the moral and legal responsibility for facilitating a potential genocide in Yemen that results from the current war and the population’s lack of food, basic health, and sanitation. The United States keeps wondering why the people of the region continue to harbor the worst terrorists. The reason lies in part because the United States has chosen alliances with dictators for the sake of oil and the stability of corrupt regimes.

18.2.2016 – Al Monitor (* A P)

Are latest war games just a face-saver for Riyadh?

Saudi Arabia is hosting large-scale military training maneuvers on its northeast border to signal strength to Iran and provide substance to its proposed Islamic military alliance against Iran and terror groups. The highly publicized maneuvers also deflect attention from the stalemate in Yemen, where the Saudi-led coalition backing the ousted government is still struggling to defeat the Houthi rebels and their allies.

Called "Northern Thunder," the exercise involves 150,000 troops from 20 countries, according to the Saudi press: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the UAE, Oman, Jordan, Pakistan, Djibouti, Mauritania, Senegal, Sudan, Chad, Tunisia, Morocco, Comoros, Mauritius, Malaysia, Egypt and the Maldives. The force allegedly includes 2,540 aircraft and 460 helicopters, according to Saudi media, and 20,000 armored vehicles.
Saudi commentary says the purpose of Northern Thunder is to deter Iran from aggression against the Gulf states. Implicit in their analysis is the Saudi assumption that Iraq or at least the Baghdad government is all but a satellite of Tehran and a potential Iranian ally in a future conflict between Riyadh and Tehran. From the Saudi perspective, Iraq has gone from being the Eastern shield of the Arab world resisting Persian and Shiite Iran to a puppet controlled by Iran.

The exercises are also intended to show the Islamic military alliance announced last December by Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has a solid base. The alliance is intended to both deter Iran and combat terrorists including the Islamic State (IS) and al-Qaeda. The Royal Saudi Air Force has resumed combat operations against IS in Iraq after a hiatus due to the Yemen war and has deployed aircraft to Turkey to attack IS targets.

King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud and his defense minister son are also eager to deflect attention from the Yemeni operation. They originally promised a "Decisive Storm" when they initiated the war a year ago next month. A decisive blow in Yemen against the Iranian-backed Houthis would send a sharp signal to Tehran. Iran would be prevented from building a base in the Arabian Peninsula on the kingdom's southern frontier.

Instead, it has been a costly and difficult struggle.

cp9 USA

Siehe “Am wichtigsten / Most important”

21.2.2016 – The Guardian (B K)

Death by drone strike, dished out by algorithm

The US National Security Agency’s Skynet project uses metadata to help decide who is a target – but is it technologically sound enough to justify drone strikes?

In April 2014, at a symposium at Johns Hopkins University, General Michael Hayden, a former director of both the CIA and the NSA, said this: “We kill people based on metadata”. He then qualified that stark assertion by reassuring the audience that the US government doesn’t kill American citizens on the basis of their metadata. They only kill foreigners.

If Skynet gets it wrong you could find yourself on the receiving end of a Hellfire missile

Pakistanis, specifically. It turns out that the NSA hoovers up all the metadata of 55m mobile phone users in Pakistan and then feeds them into a machine-learning algorithm which supposedly identifies likely couriers working to shuttle messages and information between terrorists. We know this because of one of the Snowden revelations published by the Intercept, the online publication edited byGlenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras and Jeremy Scahill and funded by eBay founderPierre Omidyar.

The NSA programme doing this is called Skynet. In essence, it’s a standard-issue machine-learning project. What happens is that the algorithm is fed the mobile metadata of a number of known terrorist suspects, and then sifts through the data of 55m users to try and find patterns that match those of the training set.

We know a little – but not much – about the process by which individuals are placed on the “kill list” that President Obama personally approves every week.

It’s likely then that the output of the Skynet algorithm is just one of the considerations that goes in to identifying an individual at whom a drone strike could be targeted. So at the moment it’s probably inaccurate to say that this particular algorithm kills people; the decision to strike is still made by a human being. Nevertheless, it’s important to ask how good the algorithm is at its job.

Not great, is the answer provided by Patrick Ball, a data scientist and the director of research at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group, who has previously given expert testimony before war crimes tribunals. He has studied the Snowden documents and uncovered a flaw in how the NSA trains Skynet’s machine-learning algorithm which leads him to describe its outputs as “scientifically unsound” and “ridiculously optimistic” – by John Naughton

Comment: By these criteria people are killed – and not just these vague targets, but a lot of “collateral damage” as well. I do not know the figure, I think it was about 40 “collateral damages” to 1 target.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

see at cp 7, UN: Britain lobbied UN to whitewash Bahrain police abuses

20.2.2016 – Rachy Colly at facebook

It was officially launched today in London the International Commission for the prosecution of war criminals participating in the Saudi-Zionist aggression against Yemen.
Conference was attended by a number of journalists and media channels, as well as representatives of human rights organizations including Stop The War organization. Legal and strategic procedures that will be taken against all of those participated in the killing of Yemeni people. Such crimes will be addressed to the British courts and the European court of justice.

lawyer Om Kalthoum Ba'alawy stated that " we will knock every door of those willing to take action in support of the Yemeni people

Comment: In this case, “Zionist” really does not fit…

19.2.2016 – R.S. Karim

94 British armed forces personnel have been embedded in the KSA coalition command

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

19.12.2016 – Embassy (* A P)

Why is Canada doing business with one of the most despotic regimes in the world?

Ottawa should examine new ethical standards of acceptable behaviour for companies that export censorship.

Across party lines, Canada’s position on arms dealing with governments like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain has been crystal-clear: Where business interests and human rights may conflict, business prevails.

Earlier this month, Canadian officials visited Kuwait to talk up business. Montreal-based civil and military flight simulator company CAE recently built a flight simulator for the Kuwait Air Force, one of several Arab states currently flying fighter jets in Yemen that according to the United Nations, have killed or injured more than 8,000 civilians over the last eight months in a Saudi-led coalition.

“Great visit to @CAE_Defence’s impressive new KC-130J flight sim[ulator] & facility with @CanadaKuwait CDN Ambassador Moreau,” Cameron McKenzie, a vice president at the Canadian Commercial Corporation, recently tweeted.

But General Dynamics and CAE aren't the only Canadian companies happily supplying Gulf regimes with defence and arms outfits. According to Bahrain’s Tender Board website, Guelph-based internet filtering company Netsweeper has offered the government a "national website filtering solution" for $1.17 million.

In other words, they’re happy to stifle legitimate political dissent and actively contribute to human rights abuses in Bahrain—which, like Saudi Arabia, sentences bloggers, poets and activists to life sentences and is widely known to torture detainees.

In a damning report released last week by UK-based human rights group Bahrain Watch, Netsweeper’s presupposed bid to censor the country’s internet is analyzed in painstaking detail. The company is considered one of the world’s leading web filtering companies, and they boast a database of over eight billion categorized web pages, and a rate of adding more than 22 million URLs each day.

“The reason they’re so good is because of the specific categorizations they provide on the websites. You can block a certain type of political content,“ says Travis Brimhall, a researcher at Bahrain Watch. “They also do packet-level monitoring which means whenever information is transferred across the web and is broken down into pieces, Netsweeper can analyze even the smallest little bits that travel.”

It’s not the first time Netsweeper has come under fire for censoring the Internet for foreign clients. In 2011 and 2012, Netsweeper’s technology was documented blocking access to human rights, religious, and independent journalism resources on state-operated ISPs in Qatar, UAE and Yemen.

According to their website, Netsweeper actually strives to "create a safer society." They say their product can be used to protect users from malicious attacks online, and filter dangerous content for young students in schools.

Fair enough—but in 2012, the company used to advertise their product as a means to censor content “based on social, religious, or political ideals." And in 2011, when pressed about the use of their product by repressive regimes, a spokesperson said: “There is no good conversation for us to have” on the issue.

Actually, there are plenty of good conversations to have, starting from the ethics of doing business with despotic regimes.

Why are Canadian companies helping to quell legitimate dissent and promoting human rights abuses in Gulf countries? And can Ottawa set up new ethical standards of acceptable behaviour for companies that export censorship and surveillance technologies? – by Shenaz Kermalli

Comment: At first, I thought this article would deal with Canada’s arms deals with Saudi Arabia. But there are also other fields where business and profit prevail human rights and western countries support oppression by business.

18.2.2016 – Alternet (***B P)

George Washington U. Refuses to Condemn Professor's Call to 'Flatten' Beirut With Extreme Weapons

Where are the defenders of civility in academia now?

George Washington University is refusing to condemn one of its most celebrated professors, who wrote an article this week calling for Israel to “flatten” Beirut with overwhelming use of extreme weapons including fuel air explosives that incinerate everything in their path.

Endowed chair Amitai Etzioni published the article on Monday in the Israeli paper Haaretz, a supposedly liberal bastion, originally using the headline, “Should Israel Flatten Beirut to Destroy Hezbollah's Missiles?”

In the latest version of the piece, the headline has been modified.

In the piece, the Israeli-American scholar Etzioni argues that “it is time” to seriously consider unleashing extreme weapons against Beirut with the power to incinerate and level everything within a wide range. Beirut's greater metropolitan area is home to over one million people.

Etzioni appears to be advocating for further escalation. “Israel should examine now the ethical and logistical consequences of its first use of extreme conventional weapons against them,” he wrote.

Etzioni included the questionable disclaimer that such weapons would be used "after the population was given a chance to evacuate the area. Still, as we saw in Gaza, there are going to be civilian casualties."

When asked whether the article violates academic standards of civility, GWU spokesperson Jason Shevrin told AlterNet, "The George Washington University is committed to academic freedom and encourages efforts to foster an environment welcoming to many different viewpoints. Dr. Etzioni is a faculty member who is expressing his personal views."

Steven Salaita, who was fired in August 2014 from a tenured position at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for social media posts criticizing Israel's military assault on Gaza that year, was quick to weigh in. The vague charge of “incivility” played a key role in Salaita’s wrongful termination, for which Salaita eventually sued the university and settled. However, he never got his job back and maintains he has suffered a major blow to his career.

“I can think of no better example of the profound moral inconsistency within academic spaces than this article by Amitai Etzioni, in which he advises Israel to ‘flatten Beirut,’” he said.

In fact, the details of Etzioni's prescription for the Israeli military amount not only to a call to flatten Beirut, the only Lebanese location mentioned by name in his entire piece, but also to incinerate countless civilians.

The fuel air explosives he prescribes the use of, which are also referred to as "thermobaric weapons," were used by Russia in Chechnya in 1999 – by Sarah Lazare

Comment: This is heavy. There are more examples of people who met severe personal consequences when having criticized Israel, there was a very quick end of “academic freedom”. How different serious critics of Israel politics is treated in the US, also see

20.2.2016 – The Independent (* A P)

Roger Waters: Pink Floyd star on why his fellow musicians are terrified to speak out against Israel

Exclusive: 'If they say something they will no longer have a career – I have been accused of being a Nazi and an anti-Semite'

There also was another article on Etzioni’s demand to flatten Beirut:

20.2.2016 – Salon (*** A P)

Prominent American professor proposes that Israel “flatten Beirut” — a 1 million-person city it previously decimated

Amitai Etzioni, who teaches at renowned universities, says Israel may have no choice but to destroy Lebanon — again

A prominent American scholar who teaches international relations at George Washington University has publicly proposed that Israel “flatten Beirut” — a city with around 1 million people — in order to destroy the missiles of Lebanon-based militant group Hezbollah.

Professor Amitai Etzioni — who has taught at a variety of prestigious U.S. universities, including Columbia, Harvard and Berkeley, and who served as a senior advisor in President Jimmy Carter’s administration — made this proposal in an op-ed in Haaretz, the leading English-language Israeli newspaper, known as “The New York Times of Israel.” Haaretz represents the liberal wing of Israel’s increasingly far-right politics.

In the piece, Etzioni cites an anonymous Israeli official who estimates that Hezbollah has 100,000 missiles in Lebanon. In January, the U.S. government put that figure at 80,000 rockets. The anonymous official also says the Israeli government considers these weapons to be its second greatest security threat — after Iran.

Etzioni furthermore cites Israel’s chief of staff, who claims that most of Hezbollah’s missiles are in private homes. Whether this allegation is true is questionable. Israel frequently accuses militant groups of hiding weapons in civilian areas in order to justify its attacks. On numerous occasions, it has been proven that there were no weapons in the civilian areas Israel bombed in Gaza.

Assuming it is true, the American scholar argues, if Israeli soldiers were to try to take the missiles out of these homes one at a time, it “would very likely result in many Israeli casualties.”

In order to avoid Israeli casualties, Etzioni writes: “I asked two American military officers what other options Israel has. They both pointed to Fuel-Air Explosives (FAE). These are bombs that disperse an aerosol cloud of fuel which is ignited by a detonator, producing massive explosions. The resulting rapidly expanding wave flattens all buildings within a considerable range.”

“Such weapons obviously would be used only after the population was given a chance to evacuate the area. Still, as we saw in Gaza, there are going to be civilian casualties,” Etzioni adds. “The time to raise this issue is long before Israel may be forced to use FAEs.”

Etzioni concludes his piece implying Israel has no other option but to bomb the city of Beirut. “In this way, one hopes, that there be a greater understanding, if not outright acceptance, of the use of these powerful weapons, given that nothing else will do,” he writes.

Lebanese journalists and activists have expressed outrage at the article.

Kareem Chehayeb, a Lebanese journalist and founder and editor of the websiteBeirut Syndrome, said in response to the piece “Should Israel kill me, my family, and over a million other people to destroy Hezbollah’s missiles? How about that for a headline?”

Chehayeb told Salon Etzioni’s argument is “absolutely absurd” and reeks of hypocrisy. “If some writer said the only way to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is just to bomb Israel,” he said, “people would go up in arms about it.”

He called it “ludicrous” that a prominent American professor “can just calmly say the solution is to flatten this entire city of 1 million people.”

“I’m just speechless. It sounds ISIS-like, just eradicating an entire community of people,” Chehayeb added.

Salon called Etzioni’s office at George Washington University’s Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies several times with a request for comment, but no one answered.

After this article was published, Etzioni emailed Salon a statement. “I agree with you that any suggestion to bomb or ‘flatten’ Beirut (or any other city) would be beyond horrible and outrageous,” he said. He said Haaretz had changed and then later corrected his headline.

Salon also reached out to the university. Jason Shevrin, a spokesperson, told Salon “the George Washington University is committed to academic freedom and encourages efforts to foster an environment welcoming to many different viewpoints. Dr. Etzioni is a faculty member who is expressing his personal views.” The spokesperson did not comment any further – by Ben Norton

Comment: Please read at the original site. The article lines up the whole history of Israel attacks at Beirut which already had happened. – Another article.

One comment by a reader of “The Independent”: That’s perfect. We get two for the price of one. Flatten Beirut while Hezbolla flattens Tel Aviv. Problems solved!

20.2.2016 – Possibile (A P)

Armi italiane in Yemen: otto domande a Matteo Renzi

Nei mesi scorsi dall’Italia sono partite bombe (almeno sei carichi) alla volta dell’Arabia Saudita. Abbiamo avuto conferma che tali ordigni siano stati usati direttamente in Yemen. Da tempo, diversi parlamentari e la società civile che si occupa di controllo delle armi chiedono conto al Governo di queste spedizioni, ricevendo risposte vaghe ed evasive (tanto che la Rete Disarmo sta presentando in diverse Procure d’Italia degli esposti per violazione della legge 185/90 che impedirebbe di vendere armi a Paesi in conflitto armato, oltre che per violazione del Trattato Internazionale sugli armamenti che anche l’Italia ha ratificato).

La prossima settimana il Parlamento Europeo sarà chiamato a votare (speriamo positivamente) una Risoluzione relativa allo Yemen, che comprende un emendamento favorevole ad un embargo di armi verso i sauditi.

Ma il tempo passa e i morti aumentano e, sia per il silenzio del Governo sia per la fornitura diretta di armi, il nostro Paese si sta rendendo complice di quella che è considerata una delle più gravi crisi umanitarie attuali. Non si può attendere oltre e dunque rivolgiamo al Governo di Matteo Renzi alcune semplici domande per cui chiediamo risposte chiare.

20.2.2016 – Mideaet.liveuamap

Yemen: Houthis captured an Spanish-made Saudi Pegaso BMR near Midi.

Comment: How did it get there? A sign of Spanish arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms Trade

21.2.2016 - Telepolis (** B K)

Nahost-Geschäft beflügelt Rüstungsmarkt Bulgarien

Für den Syrien-Krieg kaufen USA und Saudi-Arabien Waffen und Munition

Aram Rostons Recherchen enthüllten die im US-Staate Delaware ansässige Firma Purple Shovel als Auftragnehmer des US-Verteidigungsministeriums. In Bulgarien bediente sich Purple Shovel diverser Subunternehmer, darunter die Firma SkyBridge Tactica, für die Francis Norwillo tätig war. Er hatte die Aufgabe, sich mit Granatwerfern sowjetischer Bauart vertraut zu machen, um anschließend amerikanische Soldaten zu schulen, die wiederum Kämpfer in Syrien an ihnen ausbilden sollten. Bereits vor einigen Monaten hat ein Telepolis-Artikel das Scheitern des von der US-Regierung mit insgesamt 500 Millionen US-Dollar finanzierten Programms zur Ausbildung syrischer Rebellen thematisiert (Vom Pentagon ausgebildete syrische Kämpfer übergeben ihre Waffen an al-Nusra).

"Purple Shovels großer Durchbruch kam im Dezember 2014, als es zwei Verträge im Wert von 50 Mio USD gewann für das Syrien-Programm des Special Operation Command (SOCOM), das die Aktivitäten von Amerikas Elite-Militäreinheiten koordiniert", schrieb Roston.

Eine von der bulgarischen Journalistin Maria Petkova für das Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN) durchgeführteRecherche hat nun ergeben, dass in Bulgarien keineswegs nur die USA Waffen für ihre Verbündeten im Syrien-Konflikt kaufen, sondern auch Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE).

In ihrem Artikel hat Maria Petkova Fotoaufnahmen von Planespottern am Flughafen Sofia veröffentlicht, die Landungen von Frachtflugzeugen aus Saudi-Arabien und den VAE dokumentieren. "In den letzten zwanzig Jahren ist hier nie ein Cargo-Flugzeug aus Saudi-Arabien gelandet", zitiert Petkova den bulgarischen Planespotter Stephan Gagov. Inzwischen seien Landungen saudischer Frachtflugzeuge und Maschinen aus den VAE so häufig geworden, dass man sie fast als "reguläre Route" zwischen Sofia und dem Nahen Osten bezeichnen könne.

Der von Petkova referiertе Jahres-Exportbericht 2014 der bulgarischen Rüstungsbranche erweist das Balkanland als globaler Exporteur militärischer Ausrüstung und Munition mit mehreren Abnehmerländern auch im Nahen Osten. Allein die von der bulgarischen Regierung genehmigten Ausfuhren an Waffen und Munition für Saudi-Arabien summieren sich auf rund 85 Mio €.

"Bulgarien lagert und produziert Waffen sowjetischen Typs", schreibt Petkova und beruft sich auf Experten, denen zufolge es höchst unwahrscheinlich sei, "dass Saudi-Arabien oder die VAE diese Waffen für ihre eigenen Streitkräfte kaufen, da diese moderne Waffen aus dem Westen nutzen. Daher ist es plausibler, dass sie diese Waffen für die lokalen Fraktionen kaufen, die sie in Syrien und in Jemen unterstützen, wo Waffen sowjetischer Art weit verbreitet sind." – von Frank Stier

Kommentar: Die Saudis beliefern auch die auf ihrer seite kämpfenden jemenitischen Milizen mit Waffen. Bei den Abwürfen aus der Luft bleibt es nicht aus, dass viele in die Hände der Huthis und von Al Qaida fallen.

cp13b Söldner / Mercenaries

21.2.2016 – RT (** B K P)

Pentagon mercenaries: Blackwater, Al-Qaeda… what’s in a name?

CIA-linked private “security” companies are fighting in Yemen for the US-backed Saudi military campaign. Al-Qaeda-affiliated mercenaries are also being deployed. Melding private firms with terror outfits should not surprise. It’s all part of illegal war making.

Western news media scarcely report on the conflict in Yemen, let alone the heavy deployment of Western mercenaries in the fighting there. In the occasional Western report on Al-Qaeda and related terror groups in Yemen, it is usually in the context of intermittent drone strikes carried out by the US, or with the narrative that these militants are “taking advantage”of the chaos “to expand” their presence in the Arabian Peninsula, as reported here by the Washington Post.

This bifurcated Western media view of Yemen belies a more accurate and meaningful perspective, which is that the US-backed Saudi bombing campaign is actually coordinated with an on-the-ground military force that comprises regular troops, private security firms and Al-Qaeda type mercenaries redeployed from Syria.

There can be little doubt in Syria – despite Western denials – that the so-called Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL)) jihadists and related Al-Qaeda brigades in Jabhat al-Nusra, Jaish al-Fateh, Ahrar ash-Sham and so on, have been infiltrated, weaponized and deployed for the objective of regime-change by the US and its allies. If that is true for Syria, then it is also true for Yemen. Indeed, the covert connection becomes even more apparent in Yemen.

Last November, the New York Times confirmed what many Yemeni sources had long been saying. That the US-backed Saudi military coalition trying to defeat a popular uprising was relying on mercenaries supplied by private security firms tightly associated with the Pentagon and the CIA.

The mercenaries were recruited by companies linked to Erik Prince, the former US Special Forces commando-turned businessman, who set up Blackwater Worldwide. The latter and its re-branded incarnations, Xe Services and Academi, remain a top private security contractor for the Pentagon, despite employees being convicted for massacring civilians while on duty in Iraq in 2007. In 2010, for example, the Obama administration awarded the contractor more than $200 million in security and CIA work.

Erik Prince, who is based primarily in Virginia where he runs other military training centers, set up a mercenary hub in the United Arab Emirates five years ago with full support from the royal rulers of the oil-rich state. The UAE Company took the name Reflex Responses or R2. The NY Times reported that some 400 mercenaries were dispatched from the Emirates’ training camps to take up assignment in Yemen. Hundreds more are being trained up back in the UAE for the same deployment.

This is just one stream of several “soldiers of fortune” going into Yemen.

The involvement of Blackwater-type mercenaries – closely associated with the Pentagon – can also be seen as another form of American contribution to the Saudi-led campaign.

The mercenaries sent from the UAE to Yemen are fighting alongside other mercenaries that the Saudis have reportedly enlisted from Sudan, Eritrea and Morocco. Most are former soldiers, who are paid up to $1,000 a week while serving in Yemen. Many of the Blackwater-connected fighters from the UAE are recruited from Latin America: El Salvador, Panama and primarily Colombia, which is considered to have good experience in counter-insurgency combat.

Also among the mercenaries are American, British, French and Australian nationals. They are reportedly deployed in formations along with regular troops from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.

In recent months, the Houthi rebels (also known as Ansarullah) and their allies from the Yemeni army – who formed a united front called the Popular Committees – have inflicted heavy casualties on the US-Saudi coalition. Hundreds of troops have been reportedly killed in gun battles in the Yemeni provinces of Marib, in the east, and Taiz, to the west. The rebels’ use of Tochka ballistic missiles has had particularly devastating results.

So much so that it is reported that the Blackwater-affiliated mercenaries have “abandoned the Taiz front” after suffering heavy casualties over the last two months. “Most of the Blackwater operatives killed in Yemen were believed to be from Colombia and Argentina; however, there were also casualties from the United States, Australia and France,” Masdar News reports.

Into this murky mix are added extremist Sunni militants who have been dispatched to Yemen from Syria. They can be said to be closely related, if not fully integrated, with Al-Qaeda or IS in that they profess allegiance to a “caliphate” based on a fundamentalist Wahhabi, or Takfiri, ideology.

These militants began arriving in Yemen in large numbers within weeks of Russia’s military intervention in Syria beginning at the end of September, according to Yemeni Army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman. Russian air power immediately began inflicting severe losses on the extremists there. Senior Yemeni military sources said that hundreds of IS-affiliated fighters were flown into Yemen’s southern port city of Aden onboard commercial aircraft belonging to Turkey, Qatar and the UAE.

Soon after the militants arrived, Aden residents said the city had descended into a reign of terror. The integrated relationship with the US-Saudi coalition can be deduced from the fact that Aden has served as a key forwarding military base for the coalition. Indeed, it was claimed by Yemen military sources that the newly arrived Takfiri militants were thence dispatched to the front lines in Taiz and Marib, where the Pentagon-affiliated mercenaries and Saudi troops were also assigned.

It is true that the Pentagon at times wages war on Al-Qaeda-related terrorists. The US airstrike in Libya on Friday, which killed some 40 IS operatives at an alleged training camp, is being trumpeted by Washington as a major blow against terrorism. And in Yemen since 2011, the CIA and Pentagon have killed many Al-Qaeda cadres in drone strikes, with the group’s leader being reportedly assassinated last June in a US operation.

Nevertheless, as the broader US-Saudi campaign in Yemen illustrates, the outsourcing of military services to private mercenaries in conjunction with terrorist militia is evidently an arm of covert force for Washington.

This is consistent with how the same groups have been deployed in Syria for the purpose of regime change there.

The blurring of lines between regular military, private security contractors with plush offices in Virginia and Abu Dhabi, and out-and-out terror groups is also appropriate. Given the nature of the illegal wars being waged, it all boils down to state-sponsored terrorism in the end – by Finian Cunningham

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

19.2.2016 – Wilson Center (** B P)

ISIS's Growing Caliphate: Profiles of Affiliates

During its first two years, the Islamic State cultivated sympathizers from more than 40 organizations in dozens of countries. By early 2016, it had formally embraced groups in eight countries that, together, have another 15,000 fighters beyond its ranks in Syria and Iraq. ISIS referred to its affiliates as semi-independent wilayats, or “provinces”—pockets of territory, varying in size—that expanded its geographic reach and strategic depth.

ISIS’s growing variety of affiliates highlights the group’s complexity and global reach. Its expansion, beyond the so-called caliphate that covers about one-third of Iraq and one-third of Syria, presents a major challenge for international efforts to defeat the group.

ISIS appears to model its wilayats, or provinces, on the administrative systems of the Ottoman Empire and Abbasid Dynasty, although their provinces were contiguous and shared a single government. In early 2016, ISIS provinces varied greatly in power and influence. The strongest affiliates were in Egypt and Libya. Other affiliates, such as those in Yemen, Nigeria, and Afghanistan, posed a substantial threat to the stability of the regions in which they were located. ISIS branches in Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and the North Caucasus still lacked the strength to gain or hold territory.

Rather than build new provinces from the ground up, ISIS has typically coopted existing jihadist organizations. Groups initially contacted ISIS leadership and presented military and organizational plans of action, then pledged allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. ISIS leadership accepted the oaths, publicly acknowledged the province, and either appointed a new leader or endorsed an existing one. The new provinces typically received training, funding, and foreign fighters, as well as a polished media presence. In return, ISIS expanded its global reach and deepened its strategic resilience. The following are profiles of ISIS provinces beyond Iraq and Syria.

Country by Country: Libya, Egypt, Yemen, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Russia


Strength: 300 fighters

Reach: ISIS operates in ten of Yemen’s 21 governorates. It has declared eight provinces in Yemen, naming them after existing governorates.

Notable Attacks:

Mar. 20, 2015: Detonated suicide vests in two Shia mosques, killing 137 people and wounding at least 357 in the worst terrorist attack in Yemeni history. The attack was ISIS’s first major operation in Yemen, timed to coincide with the declaration of Wilayat Sanaa.

Apr. 30, 2015: Released a video showing the beheading of 15 Yemeni soldiers.

Sept. 2, 2015: Detonated two suicide bombs in Sanaa, killing at least 28 people.

Dec. 6, 2015: Claimed responsibility for a car bombing that killed Jaafar Saad, the governor of Aden, and six of his bodyguards.

Background: ISIS first established a presence in Yemen in November 2014, when Baghdadi accepted a pledge of allegiance from Yemen’s ISIS supporters. ISIS took advantage of the instability. In January 2015, ISIS supporters expanded their ranks and conducted their first attacks.

The top commander of ISIS in Yemen is known as Abu Bilal al Harbi; his real name is Nasser al Ghaydani. Al Harbi is a Saudi national and a scholar of Islamic law. His main responsibility is to recruit fighters and accept pledges of allegiance on behalf of ISIS caliph Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. It is unclear how much direct control al Harbi exerts over the Yemeni wilayats, which reportedly operate independently.

ISIS has attracted fighters from Yemen’s tribes and defectors from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). AQAP, which remains the dominant jihadist group in the country, has condemned ISIS’s attacks as indiscriminate and has criticized the group on social media. ISIS conducts regular attacks on government forces and Houthi rebels. ISIS has also targeted Zaydi civilians in an attempt to ignite a sectarian conflict in Yemen.

19.2.2016 – AFP (A T)

Russia accuses Turkey of helping jihadists recruit fighters

Russia is accusing Turkey of helping jihadists recruit fighters from the Caucasus and Central Asia to fight in Syria, according to a letter sent to the UN Security Council.

Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin said in the letter dated February 10 that recruiters from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) had reportedly established a network in the Turkish city of Antalya for foreign fighters from the former Soviet Union.

In September, a group of 1,000 IS fighters from Europe and Central Asia were taken from Turkey to Syria through the border crossing at Gaziantep, said the letter.

The recruiters are active in Turkish detention centers where they connect lawyers with foreigners who agree to join ISIL ranks once they are released, according to the letter.

Moscow said Turkish intelligence was helping to fly ISIL militants from Syria through Turkey to Yemen using Turkish military air transport, or by sea to Yemen's port of Aden.

Russian nationals with contacts with Turkish security and police are involved in recruitment through madrasas in a number of Turkish cities, it added.

Comment: That would not astonish me at all.

19.2.2016 – Soufan Group (* B T)

Capitalizing on Chaos in Yemen

An Islamic State suicide bomber attacked an anti-Houthi coalition training camp in Aden on February 17, 2016, killing at least 13 recruits

• Both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State have taken advantage of the chaos in Yemen to enhance their relative positions

• The Islamic State in Yemen has ramped up its attacks against government and security targets in Aden in recent months in attempts to destabilize the security situation

• At the same time, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has begun rapidly expanding its territorial holdings in Yemen.

Comparing the strategies employed by the Islamic State and al-Qaeda in Yemen offers important insight into the overall strategic vision of both groups. For its part, the Islamic State remains primarily committed to creating instability and fueling sectarianism. The group first announced its presence in Yemen on March 20, 2015, when four suicide bombers struck two Shi’a mosques in the capital of Sana’a, killing 137. In a statement following the bombings, the Islamic State claimed its fighters were seeking to halt the Safawi (Safavid, a reference to Iran) invasion of Yemen—in line with the virulent anti-Shi’a narrative of its parent group in Iraq and Syria. In the following months, the Islamic State continued its attacks on Shi’a targets, particularly mosques, and between May and September 2015 the group carried out at least 10 attacks on Shi’a mosques in Sana’a alone.

Unlike its branches in Syria, Iraq, and Libya, the Islamic State in Yemen does not yet openly control territory—despite the presence of training camps scattered throughout the south of the country.

Al-Qaeda has had a presence in Yemen since at least 1992, and has built deep relationships with tribal groups, particularly in the large, remote Hadhramaut governorate in the east. Formed in 2009 by the merger of the Yemeni and Saudi branches of the organization, AQAP is considered the most dangerous al-Qaeda franchise.

By capturing key towns along the coast and major highways, AQAP is establishing smuggling routes that can be used to supply not just its fighters, but also those living under its control—which is critical to the building of local alliances.

Regardless of the Islamic State and AQAP’s divergent strategies, the chaos in Yemen is providing opportunity for both groups. Without a concerted international effort to end the conflict and reconstruct the devastated country, it is unlikely that this trend will reverse in the near future.

1.2.2016 – Al Shorfa (* B T)

Yemenis slam al-Qaeda's destruction of tombs
Yemeni clerics and citizens have condemned in the strongest terms the mid-January destruction and desecration of Muslim tombs in Marib province's Wadi Abida by al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

"A group of militants belonging to al-Qaeda destroyed a number of civilian graves" in the area of Wadi Abida, the Saba news agency reported January 16th.

The group's fighters attempted to justify this act of desecration by claiming they were confronting "atheism", the agency said.

Al-Qaeda has previously accused mourners of engaging in "polytheism" when they enter cemeteries to pray at the tombs of their deceased relatives.

The group's desecration of cemeteries is not new. In recent years, it has destroyed the tombs of Muslim civilians and religious figures in al-Mukalla in Hadramaut province, al-Hawta in Lahij province and Jaar in Abyan province.

The latest incident in Marib has been met with widespread public condemnation.


"Radical and extremist elements vandalised and tampered with cemeteries," said Yemeni Confederation of Labour Unions in Marib chairman Abdullah Abu Nab, denouncing AQAP's destruction and desecration of cemeteries.

Marib province residents reject these acts that are "contrary to the teachings of Islam", he told Al-Shorfa.

"Such actions demonstrate the extremism and fanaticism of those who do this to Muslim cemeteries," he added.

Cemeteries and the rituals and customs with which Yemenis bury their dead are sacrosanct, Abu Nab said.

"It is customary for us in Marib province, as well as other Yemeni provinces, to inscribe the name of the deceased on the tombstone, whose outer form is shaped in a certain way with cement as a marker for those who wish to visit the grave later on," he said.

Tampering with graves and destroying their features demonstrates al-Qaeda's brutality, he said, "as the tampering has made them indistinguishable to relatives".

Al-Qaeda is trying to assert its presence through these acts of desecration, he said, and merely wants to send the message: "We are here".


Sharia prohibits tampering with grave sites and tombs, said Sheikh Jabri Ibrahim, director general of guidance at the Ministry of Endowments and Guidance.

Prophet Mohammed established that the sanctity of the deceased is the same as that of the living, Ibrahim told Al-Shorfa.

The Prophet forbade a person from sitting on a grave, he said, saying, "It is better that one of you should sit on live coals which would burn his clothing and come in contact with his skin than that he should sit on a grave".

"Therefore, graves must be respected, and the deceased also must be respected and may not be attacked, because that would be disregardful of God’s law and disrespectful of God’s rites, for honouring God’s rites demonstrates piety of the heart," Ibrahim said.

"Graves may not be attacked under any pretext," Ibrahim emphasised, refuting al-Qaeda’s attempts to justify its acts of violation.

Those engaging in such acts "brought forth extremist ideas, quoting texts that do not lend themselves to jurisprudential interpretation", he added.


The hadith that states, "If you come across a raised grave level it to the ground", does not mean "graves may be vandalised", Ibrahim said.

This hadith intended to address the way people used to worship graves before the advent of Islam, he said, adding that "no one in this current age worships graves".

"Yemenis are people of faith and wisdom, and they do not worship graves," he said.

Al-Qaeda's desecration and destruction of graves reflects the extent of the group’s religious extremism and fanaticism, said Hassan al-Zaidi, editor of the Marib News website.

"I condemn such acts," the Marib province native told Al-Shorfa, adding that they only lead to sectarian strife among the people of one country.


Al-Qaeda objects to the way some people write the names of their deceased relatives on the graves, which are only slightly raised above the ground, al-Zaidi said, adding that al-Qaeda's views are rejected by Yemeni society.

"The terrorist elements kill and shed the blood of innocent people if they oppose their views," said Sanaa public sector employee Moeen Saleh, 32.

"They target the living, so what they do to the deceased and cemeteries comes as no surprise," he told Al-Shorfa.

Saleh said he moved his family from Marib to Sanaa due to the proliferation of these groups and their brutal abuse of civilians and violation of their sacred sites – by Abu Bakr al-Yamani in Sanaa =

15.2.2016 – Long war Journal (* B T)

Ex-Guantanamo detainee prominently featured in al Qaeda propaganda

Ex-Guantanamo detainee Ibrahim al Qosi has become a prominent fixture in Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula’s (AQAP) propaganda since early December, when he first revealed that he is a senior leader in the group. Qosi most recently delivered a two-part critique of the Saudi monarchy, entitled “A Message to Our People in the Land of the Two Holy Mosques.”

Qosi’s testimony echoes that offered by another bin Laden loyalist, Nasir al Wuhayshi, who explained al Qaeda’s rationale for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. In an interview recorded prior to his death in June 2015, and published just recently, Wuhayshi said al Qaeda’s leaders decided not to target the “tyrants” ruling in Muslim-majority countries because they wanted to avoid any potential internal discord. [See LWJreport, AQAP publishes insider’s account of 9/11 plot.]

As The Long War Journal has previously reported, al Qaeda has relocated part of its global management team from South Asia to Yemen. Therefore, some jihadists have been both AQAP leaders and managers in al Qaeda’s global network. It is possible that Qosi, who served directly under Osama bin Laden in the 1990s, is serving in that capacity today – by Thomas Joscelyn

cp15 Propaganda

21.2.2016 – Gulf Magazine / Alekhbariya (A P)

Houthis are the essence of the problem in Yemen: Human Rights Minister

Yemeni Minister of Human Rights Izz Al-Din Al-Asbahi said that the Houthi coup is the essence of the problem in Yemen, characterising the group as an armed militia that has turned against the state, law, legality and the constitution, as well as the existing political agreements and compromises in Yemen.

The minister Alasbahi said that Al-Houthi militia does not have any clear political project, program, nor structure in any context known today nor it has political entities, and this is the greatest challenge to the political situation in Yemen.

This came in his participation in the seminar which was held today in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, entitled “Yemen and current challenges”, organized by the Arab Organization for Human Rights. =

21.2.2016 – The National AE (B P)

Yemen will not be easily persuaded to join the GCC

Perhaps of greater interest is Yemen’s lower labour costs. If integration reduced or removed barriers to business, GCC companies could base themselves in Yemen and benefit from much lower manufacturing costs.

The real clincher, however, is security. A country of Yemen’s size and vulnerability on the Arabian Peninsula, bordering two GCC countries, is too much of a risk to leave unprotected. The Saudi-led coalition has spent the best part of a year pushing back the Iranian-backed Houthis. The only way to ensure that their influence does not return is to draw Yemen more tightly into the GCC fold.

Full GCC membership would be difficult, however. Full integration would require widespread reform of governance, economics and the rule of law.

There is an interim solution, however. That would be an “associate” membership of the GCC that would make visas for Yemenis easier to obtain and make businesses for the GCC easier to open. This is the kind of agreement that Morocco now has with the European Union, and it would make closer integration possible, without the leap of faith full integration would require.

On the security front, too, closer ties would present an opportunity for the GCC. A combined GCC force could be stationed in Yemen to enhance the Yemeni army.

Speaking in Abu Dhabi last week, Yemen’s former foreign minister, Riyad Yassin, made this argument – by Faisal Al Yafai

Comment: The arguments for a connection of Yemen to the GCC – problematic by themselves (see comments below) – are “embedded” into ideas of standard propaganda.

Comment: This is shocking. Appalling.
The way they use and abuse and dream of abusing Yemen is outrageous.
Reference to Yemen as a basin to profit from both in terms of investing and using the country's cheap-labour is a scandal.
They make you even believe that Saudi Arabia has been protecting Yemen from Iran for almost a year.
The last paragraphs are the 'pearls of the article':
''So entrenched has the feeling of secession become across south Yemen – the common view is that the Houthi rebels, the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and basically anyone else north of Taez, is a “northerner”, a term that is now close to derisory – that it will be extremely difficult to overcome.

Even the plan to create a federal state with six regions, which was to be enacted in 2014 and which precipitated the war with the Houthis, would now be hard to bring back.

After being shelled, shot at and besieged by Houthi rebels and army units loyal to Mr Saleh, southern Yemenis will take some persuasion to stay in a united Yemen. All the more reason for Mr Saleh and his militias, as Mr Yassin argued last week, “not to be rewarded for their terror in any future settlement”.

The reward though is worth the effort. The best way of stabilising the country and the broader peninsula remains a united Yemen with closer ties to the GCC. The war has changed much, however, and ironically getting Yemen into the GCC will now be easier than persuading Yemenis to stay united.''

Comment: What has happened in the last year is not to protect Yemen from Iranian influence - and it seems a strange way to do it, even if it were true - destroying Yemen in order to save it. There was an internal conflict between two unsavoury political figures in Yemen - to my mind neither with credibility - ex president Saleh and president Hadi whose term as interim president had expired. Saudi took one side in this war. The Iranian influence was not strong before the war but arguably it has become stronger in the past year because of the Saudi attacks. And other militant groups such as Islah, Al Qaeda and ISIS have gained far more than Hirak as claimed. As for the GCC - it is a EU style of unification and it is united for economic and security reasons. Maybe they should have thought of the potential market and the potential cheap labour force before they turned Yemen away in earlier times. Now the security risk to GCC membership is too difficult.

21.2.2016 – Arab News (A P)

GCC plans media campaign on Yemen goals

The Gulf Cooperation Council’s (GCC) information ministers held their third extraordinary meeting here on Thursday to discuss a joint media strategy about the bloc’s objectives in the region, particularly in Yemen.
The meeting was held at the King Salman Airbase Airport under the chairmanship of Adel Al-Toraifi, Saudi Arabia’s minister of culture and information, in the presence of GCC Secretary General Abdullatif Al-Zayani.
Chairing the meeting, Al-Toraifi said Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman was keen to see the ministers develop strategies that would serve the people of the region.
He said the meeting was being held to discuss a joint media plan that would highlight the way in which relief efforts in Yemen were being hampered by Houthi militias and forces loyal to ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
He said that these groups were disrupting peace efforts by launching ballistic missiles. “These criminal attacks are attacks against all the GCC countries,” he said.
He said that GCC states face many challenges including negative media campaigns, which require a firm response.
“Our responsibility, as ministers of information, in these difficult and critical periods, is to grow and advance our media. We have to address these media campaigns against the GCC states.

Comment: That means we will have to await a lot of more propaganda to come. If looking at the propaganda we have got yet, seeing that it consists in about just a dozen or at most 20 main ideas, that will become a quite boring event.

20.2.2016 – Hisham Al-Omeisy on Twitter (A P)

Hadi's Minister of Human Rights: "A political solution now will expose #Yemen to violence & chaos" ..& war isn't!!?

20.2.2016 – Dolt on Twitter (A P)

#Saudi military spokesperson talks about #Islamic coalition to be led by #US? [#US is not a Muslim country yet?]

19.2.2016 – Arab News (A P)

Iranian cruelty against Yemen civilians rapped

Iran is helping the Houthis and supporters of the ousted president commit “heinous crimes” in Yemen.
This is according to Mohammed Abdul Majid Qubati, Yemen’s information minister, who also thanked his counterparts from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) for discussing the Yemeni situation at their third extraordinary meeting in Riyadh.
“The Houthis and supporters of the deposed (president Ali Abdullah) Saleh are committing heinous crimes daily against the innocent people of Yemen with the support of Iran,” he said in a statement to the Saudi Press Agency.
Qubati said Tehran still controls most of the Yemeni diplomatic missions in Europe, where pro-Iranian Houthi rebels and Saleh followers work.
“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.”
He said that Saleh had planted his followers over more than 30 years in Yemeni diplomatic missions in non-Arab countries, after having sold the resources of the country to Iran.
Qubati thanked Saudi Arabia, the GCC and Arab countries for supporting the legitimate government of Yemen, particularly in terms of humanitarian relief in cooperation with the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Aid, which had provided more than 90 percent of this aid.

Comment: Well, we already had that minister’s remarks in another article at Yemen News Reader 103. Look at my comments there. A new variant: “Iranian cruelty against Yemen civilians rapped”. The Iranians –even if they would like – do not have any possibility to be present in Yemen. Who is bombing Yemen? Iran?? How stupid propaganda really can be? I still miss Putin to be made responsible for cruelties in Yemen, as Russia in some way is associated to Iran.

19.2.2016 – Der Spiegel (** A P)

SPIEGEL-Gespräch – „Iran soll uns in Ruhe lassen

Der saudi-arabische Außenminister Adel al-Jubeir will in Syrien weiterhin einen Regimewechsel, den Rebellen dazu Boden-Luft-Raketen liefern – und weist Kritik an der Hinrichtungspraxis seines Landes zurück.

"Niemand kann vorhersagen, wie sich Syrien kurzfristig entwickelt. Langfristig wird es ein Syrien ohne Baschar al-Assad sein. Je länger das dauert, desto schlechter.

Es gibt zwei Wege, und beide führen zu einem Syrien ohne Assad. Der eine Weg ist der politische Prozess, die Verhandlungen des sogenannten Wiener Formats. Die andere Option ist, dass der Krieg weitergeht und Assad besiegt wird.

SPIEGEL: Sind Sie dafür, syrische Rebellen mit Boden-Luft-Raketen auszustatten?

Jubeir: Ja. Wir glauben, dass die Lieferung von Boden-Luft-Raketen die Machtverhältnisse in Syrien verändern wird. Sie werden der gemäßigten Opposition ermöglichen, Hubschrauber und Flugzeuge des Regimes auszuschalten, die sie mit Chemiewaffen beschießen und bombardieren. Boden-Luft-Raketen würden die Machtverhältnisse so verändern, wie sie sie seinerzeit in Afghanistan verändert haben. Allerdings muss man bei dieser Frage sehr vorsichtig sein, denn diese Waffen dürfen nicht in die falschen Hände geraten.

SPIEGEL: Wie erklären Sie sich die ideologische Nähe zwischen dem Wahhabismus in Saudi-Arabien und dem IS? Wie erklären Sie sich, dass der IS, mit geringen Abweichungen, die gleichen drakonischen Strafen anwendet, die auch Saudi-Arabiens Justiz anwendet?

Jubeir: Das ist eine Vereinfachung, die keinen Sinn ergibt. Der IS greift uns an, sein Führer Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will Saudi-Arabien zerstören. Diese Leute sind Kriminelle, sie sind Psychopathen. Die Mitglieder von „Daisch“ tragen Schuhe. Soll das heißen, dass jeder, der Schuhe trägt, zu „Daisch“ gehört?

SPIEGEL: Bestreiten Sie die Ähnlichkeit zwischen der extrem konservativen Auslegung des Islam in Saudi-Arabien und der religiösen Ideologie des IS?

Jubeir: Der IS ist ungefähr so islamisch, wie der Ku-Klux-Klan christlich ist.

Jubeir: Wir haben ein Justizsystem, und wir haben ein Strafrecht. Wir haben die Todesstrafe in Saudi-Arabien, und das sollte respektiert werden. Sie haben keine Todesstrafe, und wir respektieren das.

SPIEGEL: Wir sollen respektieren, dass Menschen ausgepeitscht werden?

Jubeir: So wie wir Ihr Justizsystem anerkennen, sollten Sie auch unseres anerkennen. Sie können uns Ihre Werte nicht aufzwingen, sonst regiert irgendwann das Recht des Dschungels.

SPIEGEL: Auch Ihre Außenpolitik ist aggressiver geworden. Seit Beginn der saudischen Offensive im Jemen im März 2015 sind dort nach Angaben der Uno rund 6000 Menschen getötet worden. Was wollen Sie mit diesem Krieg erreichen?

Jubeir: Wir wollten keinen Krieg im Jemen, aber wir hatten keine Wahl. Eine radikal-schiitische Miliz, die mit Iran und der Hisbollah verbündet ist, hatte das Land übernommen – die Huthis. Sie besaßen schweres Geschütz, ballistische Raketen und sogar eine Luftwaffe. Hätten wir untätig danebenstehen sollen, während das an unserer Türschwelle geschah, noch dazu in einem Land, in dem al-Qaida eine enorme Präsenz hat? Wir folgten also dem Wunsch der legitimen Regierung und griffen ein, als Teil einer Koalition, um die Regierung zu unterstützen. Inzwischen haben wir die Bedrohung, die diese Waffen für Saudi-Arabien darstellten, weitgehend eliminiert. 75 Prozent des Jemen sind befreit und unter Kontrolle der Regierungstruppen.

SPIEGEL: Wie lange soll das so weitergehen? Die Hälfte der Opfer in diesem Krieg sind Zivilisten.

Jubeir: Wir werden die Operation fortsetzen, bis das Ziel erreicht ist. Wir hoffen, dass die Huthis und Expräsident Ali Abdullah Saleh einer politischen Lösung zustimmen, und wir sind bereit, gemeinsam mit unseren Verbündeten in den Golfstaaten einen umfangreichen Plan für den Wiederaufbau vorzulegen. Wir haben kein Interesse an einem instabilen oder zerstörten Jemen.

Das Gespräch führten die Redakteure Samiha Shafy und Bernhard Zand.

Kommentar: Das ist Propaganda vom Feinsten. Am besten: „Der ,Islamische Staat‘ ist ungefähr so islamisch, wie der Ku-Klux-Klan christlich ist.“ Es geht hierbei um nichts Anderes als um die Islamvariante, der der IS anhängt. Und die ist völlig identisch, sie ist der saudische Wahabismus. Der einzige Unterschied zwischen IS und den Saudis ist, dass die einen wollen, dass ein Kalifat in Arabien regiert, und die anderen, dass der Saudi-Klan regiert. Es geht allein um die Frage, wer regiert, um die Macht. Der Unterschied zwischen ISIS und Saudis ist genauso groß wie der zwischen Goebbels und Göring oder zwischen Barbarossa und Heinrich dem Löwen oder Caesar und Pompeius, um weiter zurückzugehen. Es ist wirklich schwer erträglich, dass der Spiegel dem saudischen Außenminister hier ein Forum zur Verbreitung seiner Propaganda geboten hat, ohne das anschließend entsprechend zu kommentieren. – Spaßig: „75 Prozent des Jemen sind befreit und unter Kontrolle der Regierungstruppen“? Das stimmt nur, wenn man Al Kaida zu den jemenitischen Regierungstruppen rechnet. Diese haben ja nicht einmal die Kontrolle über ihre Hauptstadt Aden.

And the same in English:

20.2.2016 – Spiegel Online (** A P)

Saudi Foreign Minister: 'I Don't Think World War III Is Going To Happen in Syria'

In an interview, Saudi Arabian Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir expresses his continued support for regime change in Syria and his desire for rebels to be supplied with anti-aircraft missiles that could shift the balance of power in the war.

I don't think anyone can predict what the short term will look like. In the long term, it will be a Syria without Bashar Assad. The longer it takes, the worse it will get.

We have always said there are two ways to resolve Syria, and both will end up with the same result: a Syria without Bashar Assad. There is a political process. The other option is that the war will continue and Bashar Assad will be defeated.

SPIEGEL: Is Saudi Arabia in favor of supplying anti-aircraft missiles to the rebels?

Al-Jubeir: Yes. We believe that introducing surface-to-air missiles in Syria is going to change the balance of power on the ground. It will allow the moderate opposition to be able to neutralize the helicopters and aircraft that are dropping chemicals. Just like surface-to-air missiles in Afghanistan were able to change the balance of power there. This has to be studied very carefully, however, because you don't want such weapons to fall into the wrong hands.

SPIEGEL: How do you explain the ideological closeness between the Wahhabi faith in Saudi Arabia and Islamic State's ideology? How do you explain that Daesh applies, with slight differences, the same draconian punishments that the Saudi judiciary does?

Al-Jubeir: This is an oversimplification which doesn't make sense. Daesh is attacking us. Their leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, wants to destroy the Saudi state. These people are criminals. They're psychopaths. Daesh members wear shoes. Does this mean everybody who wears shoes is Daesh?

SPIEGEL: Are you contesting the similarities between the extremely conservative interpretation of Islam in Saudi Arabia and Islamic State's religious ideology?

Al-Jubeir: ISIS is as much an Islamic organization as the KKK in America is a Christian organization.

Al-Jubeir: We have a legal system, and we have a penal code. We have the death penalty in Saudi Arabia, and people should respect this. You don't have the death penalty, and we respect that.

SPIEGEL: Should we respect the flogging of people?

Al-Jubeir: Just like we respect your legal system, you should respect our legal system. You cannot impose your values on us, otherwise the world will become the law of the jungle.

SPIEGEL: Your foreign policy has become more aggressive as well. According to the United Nations, about 6,000 people have been killed in Yemen since the beginning of the Saudi Arabian offensive in March 2015. What do you want to achieve with this war?

Al-Jubeir: The war in Yemen is not a war that we wanted. We had no other option -- there was a radical militia allied with Iran and Hezbollah that took over the country. It was in possession of heavy weapons, ballistic missiles and even an air force. Should we stand by idly while this happens at our doorstep, in one of the countries in which al-Qaida has a huge presence? So we responded, as part of a coalition, at the request of the legitimate government of Yemen, and we stepped in to support them. We have removed, to a large extent, the threat that these weapons posed to Saudi Arabia. Now 75 percent of Yemen has been liberated and is under the control of the government forces.

SPIEGEL: For how long is this supposed to continue? Half of the victims in this war have been civilians.

Al-Jubeir: We will continue the operation until the objective is achieved. We hope that the Houthis and Saleh will agree to a political settlement, and we are prepared, along with our Gulf allies, to put in place a very substantial reconstruction plan for Yemen. We have no interest in seeing an unstable Yemen or seeing a Yemen that is devastated.

Interview Conducted By Samiha Shafy and Bernhard Zand

18.2.2016 – AFP (**A P)

Saudi ground forces would target IS in Syria: minister

Saudi forces participating in any US-led ground operation in Syria would focus on fighting the Islamic State jihadist group not the Damascus regime, the kingdom's foreign minister told AFP on Thursday – Interview by Ian Timberlake and Abdul Hadi Habtor

An excerpt of that seems to be this article:

19.2.2016 – (A P)

Al Jubeir: Operations in Yemen would carry on until the government is fully restored to power

In an interview in Riyadh, Adel Al Jubeir said separate Saudi-led military operations in Yemen would carry on until the country’s government is fully restored to power and that the kingdom would not cut oil production despite falling prices.

“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,” Al Jubeir 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.”

Al Jubeir said the coalition had helped the government reclaim more than three-quarters of Yemeni territory, open up supply lines for aid and “put enough pressure on Al Houthis and Saleh for them to seriously consider a political process”.
He dismissed claims that Saudi Arabia was mired in the conflict.
“A very, very small part of our total military is involved in Yemen and it is not bogged down,” the soft-spoken Al Jubeir said.
Saudi Arabia and its Gulf allies have said Iran is interfering throughout the Middle East and Riyadh cut ties with Tehran in a major diplomatic row earlier this year.
“If Iran wants to have good relations with Saudi Arabia there is a need for Iran to change its behaviour and to change its policies. Mere words will not do the job,” the minister said.
He also rejected any suggestion that Saudi Arabia feels abandoned by its longtime ally Washington following Tehran’s nuclear deal with world powers.
“Absolutely not,” the former US ambassador said. “I don’t see any reduction of that relationship. If anything I see a strengthening of that relationship as time goes by.”

Comment: The normal propaganda. Just funny. “the coalition had helped the government reclaim more than three-quarters of Yemeni territory”, most of this territory is in the hand of Al Qaida. The territory the Yemen “government” can reclaim not even is the city of Aden, even there militia, Al Qaida and IS precail. Or: ““A very, very small part of our total military is involved in Yemen and it is not bogged down,” while Houthis and Saleh forces are advancing on proper Saudi territory.

19.2.2016 – CNN (A P)

Film: Saudi FM: 'We have the death penalty. We make no bones about it'

Adel al-Jubeir tells Christiane Amanpour: "nobody has a right to criticize the legal system of Saudi Arabia except the Saudi people."

Saudi Arabia says it will not stop military intervention in Yemen and that the war will continue until the country’s fugitive former president returns to power. and see also on Iranian TV:

Comment: Great as propaganda. What would he think about: nobody has a right to criticize the legal system of Yemen / Syria / Bahrain except the Yemeni / Syrian / Bahrain people."??

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

21.2.2016 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Aggression kills six in Bani Dhabyan

Three people were killed on Sunday in Saudi air raids on Bani Dhabyan of Sana'a province, a security official said. The official added that the Saudi aggression targeted a car in Danna area, killing six people.

21.2.2016 - Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Jemen: 30 Zivilisten bei saudischen Luftangriffen getötet

Bei den saudischen Luftangriffen auf die Wohnhäuser in der Region Ghafere in jemenitischer Provinz Saade sind am Sonntagmorgen 30 Jemeniten, darunter 10 Kinder und Frauen, getötet worden.

Laut Saba Net verschärften die saudischen Kampfflugzeuge in den letzten Stunden ihre Angriffe auf verschiedene Provinzen Jemens.

Die saudischen Kampfjets bombardierten außerdem mehrmals den internationalen Flughafen in Sanaa, teilte eine Sicherheitsquelle mit.

Saudische Kampfflugzeuge flogen außerdem Luftangriffe auf Wasserbehälter in der Provinz Taiz. Dabei wurden zwei Menschen getötet und zwei weitere verletzt, fügte er hinzu. Dem Bericht zufolge griffen sie außerdem ein Krankenhaus in der Stadt Zebab in Taiz an.

21.2.2016 – Sputnik News (A K)

Saudi-Led Coalition Airstrike Kills 30 in North Yemen

At least 12 children and 10 women were killed during an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition against the Shiite Houthis in Yemen, according to a local source.

An airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition against the Shiite Houthis killed over 30 people in the northwestern Yemeni province of Saada, a local source told Sputnik on Sunday.

"Coalition fighter jets conducted a series of strikes in the Gafira area, resulting in the deaths of 31 people and dozens injuries. Ten houses were completely destroyed," the unnamed source said.

The source said the bodies of at least 12 children and 10 women had been discovered at the site.

The Saudi-led coalition carried out airstrikes on the southwestern province of Taiz earlier, including on a hospital near the strategic port of Mocha. see also at

Legal Center for Rights and Development (A K PH)

Alle saudischen Luftangriffe / All Saudi air raids

20. Feb.:

19. Feb.:

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

21.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Yemeni forces bring down Saudi spy drone in Jizan

Yemeni forces have successfully brought down a Saudi spy drone in the kingdom’s southwestern border region of Jizan, reports say.

Yemeni media said a technical team of the army and allied Houthi Ansarullah fighters managed to bring down the aircraft intact on Sunday.

Saudi authorities have not yet released any comment on the incident.

In another development, the Yemeni army fired a Qaher 1 ballistic missile at a gathering of the Saudi-backed militants loyal to Yemen's fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, in the Maraziq dessert in Jawf Province. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage.

20.2.2016 – Arab News (A K PS)

Citizen in Jazan hurt by projectiles from Yemen

fall of several military projectiles inside Al-Aridh province from Yemeni territory resulted in the injury of a citizen taken to hospital for treatment.

19.2.2016 – Fars News (A K PH)

Commander: 500 Emirati Soldiers Under Yemeni Forces' Siege in Ma'rib

A senior Yemeni official announced that the country's army and popular forces have gained major military achievements in Ma'rib against the Saudi-led enemies and laid siege on the UAE soldiers in the Western province.

"Over 500 Emirati military servicemen are presently under the siege of the army and popular forces in the Eastern part of Farza region in Ma'rib province," senior Ansarullah Commander Ali al-Houthi told FNA on Friday.

He further said that the Yemeni forces thwarted an attack by the Saudi-led forces and laid siege on over 500 UAE government troops.

Earlier this month, a Yemeni Tochka missile hit the Sa see also film and film

18.2.2016 – The Guardian (A K)

Houthi snipers blamed for shooting of Yemeni journalist

Reporter was shot dead while running for cover after shelling of factory

A Yemeni journalist was shot dead on Tuesday while reporting on clashes in the city of Taiz. Ahmed al-Shaibani, who worked for the Yaman News website and state-run Yemen TV, was running for cover when gunmen opened up.

A graphic video made by the Yemen Shabab TV channel, and released on YouTube, showed al-Shaibani falling to the ground with a fatal gunshot wound.

It is unclear who was responsible although colleagues believe the shots came from Houthi fighters trying to take the city from forces loyal to Yemen’s president, Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Vorige / Previous:

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-104: / Yemen Press Reader 1-104: 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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