Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 114

Yemen Press Reader 114: ****Vice: Tote Zivilisten, ungute Bündnisse - Entwicklung im Südjemen - Jihadismus im Jemen - Wahabismus-Export - Frankreich: Ehrenlegion für Saudi-Prinz - US-Drohnentote
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp 7 UNO / UN

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Mercenaries / Söldner

cp13c Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

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

11.3.2016 – Vice News (**** B H K)

Dead Civilians, Uneasy Alliances, and the Fog of Yemen's War

[A great article you should read in full at the original site, containing many photos as well. The VICE team stayed for long in Yemen, visiting many places in the country. For instance, they came to the place of the Wajijah wedding strike in September 2015, killing about 140 people. A Lot of information in this article, below just some sections in special related to the Western involvement. Here to the original site: https://news.vice.com/article/dead-civilians-uneasy-alliances-and-the-fog-of-yemens-war]

Beyond the impact of conventional weapons on civilians, there is also the thorny issue of the coalition's use of cluster bombs, which has been documented by the UN, Amnesty, and Human Rights Watch. Cluster bombs are canisters that separate in mid-air, scattering dozens if not hundreds of "bomblets," which sometimes fail to detonate upon landing, leaving live munitions that look like toys on the ground. Given the wide area over which bomblets deploy, it's all but impossible to guarantee that cluster bombs will hit a specific target. Human rights advocates insist that the Convention on Cluster Munitions, an international agreement signed by 118 countries (though not by the US or Saudi Arabia), bans their use.

During our latest shoot in Sadah, the Houthis' northern stronghold, we found fresh evidence that the Saudi-led coalition had used cluster munitions during the war. We stopped at a farm in the Nashour area of the province where Taleh al-Rezam, a retired military officer, lived with his family. Scattered along the hillside next to the farm was a collection of bright yellow canisters marked "BOMB FRAG BLU-97A/B 809420-30" that were attached to plastic parachutes. These were cluster munitions, manufactured in the US by the engineering firm Honeywell specifically for the American military, and probably part of a batch sold to Saudi Arabia by the US in the early 1990s. We also found the remnants of several of the canisters used to deliver the bombs, marked, "CBU 87B/B."

It's understandable that the Saudis would be so defensive and resistant to an independent investigation. But the position of the US and the UK, Saudi Arabia's top arms suppliers, is more problematic. They have provided both materiel and technical support for Riyadh's air war while denying direct involvement and expressing vague concern over the campaign's impact on civilians. British ministers have been particularly critical of the evidence being provided by those who claim war crimes may have been committed. In private briefings not directly authorized by their superiors, US officials have also questioned the quality of some of the reporting by organizations like Human Rights Watch and Amnesty.

Since the beginning of the conflict, the US and UK have maintained that Saudi Arabia has the right to go to war in Yemen while insisting that a negotiated political process can be the only solution. While both countries routinely call for an investigation of apparent breaches of the laws of war in Yemen, they have hesitated to support an independent mechanism that might make that happen despite having enthusiastically supported such a mechanism to investigate allegations of war crimes in Syria.

The US was largely silent while the Dutch plan was being dismantled in Geneva, and Washington has yet to publicly endorse an independent investigation. Asked whether the government would support an independent commission of inquiry on war crimes in Yemen, the Pentagon referred VICE News to the State Department. State officials in turn simply highlighted their support for the Saudi version of the resolution and an internal inquiry Riyadh announced in January.

British and American officials are deep enough inside the process of target selection to judge that international law is not being broken, then, but they are sufficiently hands-off for officials to tell us that their personnel are not involved in directing or conducting operations in Yemen, nor are they involved in Saudi targeting decisions.

A senior US defense official with intimate knowledge of support for the Saudi intervention informed us that Pentagon lawyers are involved in determining whether strikes undertaken in operations that the US supports are lawful. But when the issue of potentially unlawful strikes is raised with the UK and US governments, officials dodge the question. After the Wahijah wedding strike, for example, the White House's National Security Council released a statement distancing the administration from the Saudi intervention, explaining in general terms that it was merely providing "targeting assistance" and was not involved in any final decisions.

Roger Cabiness, a Pentagon spokesperson, said that the US military is providing the Saudi-led coalition with "logistical support, intelligence sharing, general targeting processes and best practices, and other advisory support." US assistance has also included the vital delivery of nearly 28 million pounds of fuel for coalition aircraft. But American officials are at pains to reinforce the sense that they have no actual role in the command and control aspect the campaign.

"Final decisions on the conduct of operations [including the] final vetting of targets in the campaign are made by the members of the Saudi-led coalition, not the United States," said Cabiness.

"This is not our campaign in Yemen. We are not the intelligence provider for the Saudi-led coalition," said a senior US defense official who spoke on condition of anonymity. "There's a real limit to how much we can influence this."

The US and UK position, in which they internally report that the coalition is observing the law in airstrikes they oversee while publicly dodging questions on potentially unlawful strikes, is likely due to the fact that two distinct sets of airstrikes are taking place in Yemen, according to comments from American and British officials to VICE News that are corroborated by public briefings given by Asiri, the coalition spokesperson. (Asiri did not respond to a request for comment for this article.)

One kind of airstrike is pre-planned, based on satellite imagery, drones, reconnaissance aircraft, and human intelligence on the ground. The available intelligence is carefully parsed and a decision is made about whether the prospective strike site is an important military target and "unequivocally hostile," in Asiri's words. The potential collateral damage is also taken into account.

The other variety is a contingent or "dynamic" strike, which is based on real-time emerging intelligence from the air or the ground. The decision to launch such strikes, often on the basis of much thinner intelligence, is typically made within minutes rather than the hours or days that precede pre-planned strikes. According to multiple Western defense and diplomatic officials, dynamic strikes make up the majority of aerial assaults launched by the coalition.

The Joint Combined Planning Cell in which British and American officials are participating is entirely focused on pre-planned strikes. By some estimates, these account for as little as 20 percent of the total number of aerial actions taken by the coalition. (The US is only involved in a "small minority" of strikes, a US defense official confirmed to VICE News.) Dynamic strikes are said to be conducted at a different location from planned strikes and are completely separate from the joint planning cell.

The arrangement allows American and British lawyers to say that international law has not been broken, as far as they are aware, and it allows people like Cable's successor, Sajid Javid, to sign off on arms sales to Saudi Arabia. It also provides both countries with plausible deniability of UK or US complicity if the Saudi-led coalition is in fact found to be violating international law.

American and other senior Western government officials told VICE News that the quality of the intelligence collected by the Saudis is not up to the standards that the US would usually require, and that the coalition has yet to reach an acceptable standard in its decision-making process with regard to dynamic strikes. The coalition has launched more strikes in Yemen than the US-led anti-Islamic State coalition has launched in Syria and Iraq, where US officials have been forced to admit a number of mistakes.

"As a matter of policy, we do not discuss matters and methods of analyzing and gathering intelligence," Cabiness, the Pentagon spokesperson, told us when we asked about the quality of intelligence and the coalition's ability to launch dynamic strikes with it. "The US is confident that the intelligence and advisement we relay to Saudi Arabia and other coalition members is sound and provides them the best options for military success consistent with international norms and specifically mitigating the potential for civilian casualties."

"The Saudis are totally unwilling to listen to anyone criticizing their foreign policy right now," said Nabeel Khoury, a former American diplomat and Middle East specialist who was based in Yemen between 2004 and 2007. "They feel so strongly, and this leadership is so committed and convinced that what they are doing is right, that they are not entertaining advice.

From the American point of view, Khoury adds, the Yemen war has gone on too long, produced too little, and done too much damage to the Yemeni people. "But on the motive of the Saudi war in Yemen, the US perspective doesn't seem to be that much different," he says. "This is a Houthi-instigated war supported by Iran, and that the prospect of Houthi dominance in Yemen and Iran's role in Yemen which would only grow. The US thinks that would be unacceptable."

US defense officials have long wished to see the Saudis use their arsenal in combat, and see the war as a training exercise for a potentially important military partner. Constrained by domestic oversight and budgets, the US military is now outsourcing some aspects of regional wars to Gulf states, Saudi Arabia in particular, as a reasonable if not attractive workaround.

The senior defense official noted that Gulf countries are fighting on their own for the first time in many decades. This, the official said, was "something we've dreamed of."

Saudi Arabia is publicly mulling a more active role in the fight against IS in Syria, and, having broken the seal on its American and British munitions, may soon choose to enter into other conflicts in the region. The Yemen war doesn't seem to have changed British or American minds about having the kingdom taking the lead in combat — both Obama and Cameron have provided enthusiastic backing for the idea – by Ben Anderson, Samuel Oakford, and Peter Salisbury

https://news.vice.com/article/dead-civilians-uneasy-alliances-and-the-fog-of-yemens-war

Comment: A very long, great and profound article, of which only are given scattered excerpts here. Please read in full at the original site. There also is referred to special air strikes. Don’t miss the film the VICE team had made in Yemen. – here only one thing, one of the many crazy facts revealed by this article: “US defense officials have long wished to see the Saudis use their arsenal in combat” and the Yemen war for the Pentagon as "something we've dreamed of." We wish and we dream of others making war, killing people and devastating a country: That’s the ethics of the Pentagon. And, as certainly must be concluded, of the US government in general.

Comment: A very long article about the attack on Yemen by Saudi Arabia, by some reliable authors including the very reliable Yemen expert Peter Salisbury. This article really needs to be carefully read, outlining some of the acts of violence, some origins of the conflict, and the responses of Saudi Arabia to world concern - ie to deflect criticism - and the pathetic responses of the US and UK governments.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1109943575824799

Und hier der Film von VICE / And this is the film by VICE:

Vice - Season 4 - Episode 6 - Return to Yemen & Church and States

http://www.watchseries.li/link/vidbull.com/6159869 and on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjZ1rj3e1pQ or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XPU_Z-Vg5g or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WszQV7hA36s or https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgu1_IKogdk (in Deutschland nicht zu sehen)

27.8.2015 – The Jacobine (*** C P)

Ghosts of the Left

Few remember that Yemen once had vibrant movements and a powerful left.

Nostalgia for the PDRY (People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen; Southern Yemen) explains much about the present situation in Yemen, a situation colored by discontent with the terms of Yemeni reunification and, especially since 2007, the emergence of a South Yemini nationalism as an ideological articulation of longstanding grievances over the lack of democratic and economic rights in the country.

Since unification with Saleh’s YAR (Yemen Arab Republic; Northern Yemen), the South has been subjected to various problems as a result of the sudden adoption of free market economics. Tensions over privatization became severe enough that southern leaders attempted to secede from the newly reunified country altogether.

Sana’a reestablished control over the South during the 1994 Yemeni Civil War, and continued its imposition of unpopular policies supported by powers like the United States and Saudi Arabia, as well as international lenders like the International Monetary Fund.

Subsidies were removed, the currency was devalued, the public sector was gutted with dire consequences for housing, health, and education, electricity and water networks were neglected, and many pensions were dismantled.

Unification also led to the further empowerment of northern elites, who were able to purchase property, gain control of important industries like oil and tourism, and dominate university places and the skilled labor market.

Saleh also quickly began to implement cultural policies in the South that he had previously used to neutralize dissent in the North. Essentially, Saleh’s approach was to mediate among various elites in a weak state, with particular emphasis placed on empowering tribal reactionaries in order to control Yemeni Bedouins.

While Saleh and his supporters insisted that this was necessary due to the various divisions in Yemeni society, it was obvious to many southerners that the actual purpose was to prevent too much power from gathering in any one area of the country, where it could then be used to mount a significant challenge to Sana’a.

Part of this approach meant fueling the rise of Sunni Wahhabi religious rhetoric growing in popularity in the Gulf. The rebirth of religious doctrine, as disseminated by reactionary elites linked to the Gulf monarchies, further served to neutralize left-wing thought in the region.

The consequences have been particularly severe in countries like Yemen, where they have prepared the ground for reactionary religious politics. Following years of unrest, they have also begun the creation of new forms of religious militarism, although Yemenis still broadly reject groups like Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS.

This is an important point for international observers, particularly in North America and Western Europe, to understand because it challenges narratives of Yemeni backwardness, and the reception many Islamist militants have received in the country.

Many of Yemen’s current social dysfunctions, then, are not a result of inherent problems in Yemeni society; they have been fanned by Saleh and his allies in order to silence the insurrectionist politics that once dominated the country, and threatened to engulf the entire Peninsula, in the decades prior to his rule. Their hegemony will be impossible to overcome without making space for the ideologies and platforms that have been meticulously suppressed in Yemeni society.

Interestingly, the backlash to this repression motivated the creation of various factions now at war with each other. The Houthis began as a Zaydi Shi’a cultural revival organization called the Believing Youth, which arose in direct reaction to the increasingly Sunni fundamentalist character of Yemeni society.

Northern tribes reacted to the sociocultural climate by falling back towards a Shi’a identity that seemed to have been overthrown with the creation of the YAR. And in the South, nationalism for the now defunct PDRY began to grow as its avowedly secular cultural politics were unraveled, with particularly grave consequences for southern women.

This recent trend must not be mistaken for a desire to reestablish the PDRY in all its aspects. There is more or less a consensus that South Yemen was ruthlessly oppressive. Rather, from 1994 onwards, nationalism has steadily become a major articulation for various grievances in local society, which are widely understood as a consequence of northern control under Saleh.

These nascent ideological trends solidified in 2007 when a revolt by retired army officers seeking their pensions spread across the South, eventually coalescing into Al-Hirak, known domestically as “the Southern Movement.”

Al-Hirak’s local committees vary in their positions, from desiring outright independence, to local autonomy, to increased federalism in the broader state. However, they are unified in their nostalgia for the PDRY.

Despite its authoritarianism, there was a degree of redistribution, state protection, and most importantly, economic stability that was lost with its collapse. Its existence also provided at least a hope that serious alternatives to authoritarian and monarchical capitalism could take hold on the Arabian Peninsula.

That is precisely what makes Al-Hirak, and indeed most democratic movements in the country, so frightening to greater powers in the region. Religious militants dominate news stories, and factor heavily into strategic considerations, in part because they are useful in marginalizing the potential strength of democratic politics in the country.

The Arab Spring was a moment at which Yemeni society began to revive brutally repressed ideologies and political movements in response to new conditions. It was as if the revolutionary possibilities that have been carefully pushed out of Yemeni society since the beginning of its post-colonial period had come roaring back, with particularly strong consequences for younger movements like Al-Hirak.

Criticisms that the US-Saudi bombings are serving to only fragment Yemeni society, and subverting these new possibilities by empowering jihadists, miss the point. Saudi King Salman has every interest in seeing such an outcome. Movements like Al-Hirak are built on a cultural memory of Yemenis, particularly in the South, pressing for a genuinely democratic politics that countries like Saudi Arabia have absolutely no interest in seeing realized on their borders.

It is more palatable for them to see a potential allegiance between forces as diverse as those who engaged in the National Dialogue Conference, which included the Houthis, tribal revolutionaries, Al-Hirak, and various leaders of civil society, made impossible by an imposed war. The alternative would be another PDRY potentially exporting revolution to the Gulf Cooperation Council.

The unfortunate trend of Yemeni history points to further conflict, and it is unknown how prolonged warfare will continue to shape forces on the ground. Progressive alternatives remain elusive – by Bilal Zenab Ahmed

https://www.jacobinmag.com/2015/08/yemen-conflict-southern-nationalism/

Comment by Judith Brown: This is a great historical article that not only explains the development of socialism in South Yemen, but also shows how the socialist movements affected Oman ( that actually built a barrier across the whole of its border with Yemen to stop any risk of socialist expansion) and also affected the development of discontentment amongst the Houthi northwest corner and the old South Yemen. Well worth a read if you want to understand more of Yemen's past history.

https://www.facebook.com/judith.brown.794628/posts/10154164241373641

Comment: I totally agree. Here only the end of the article which at all length describes the development in South Yemen starting about 1962.

11.3.2016 – Stratfor (** B T)

Jihadism in Yemen: A Long History, a Long Future

Jihadists will continue to be active in Yemen, as they have been for decades now.

The Islamic State will pose a persistent, low-level terrorist threat in the country.

Al Qaeda will remain a far larger and more complicated problem in the Arabian Peninsula, operating under a variety of aliases. The group has gained greatly from their tacit relationship with the Saudi-led coalition.

Analysis

Jihadists have a long history in Yemen. In fact, the first al Qaeda attacks against U.S. interests occurred with the 1992 twin bombings of the Gold Mihor and Movenpick hotels in Aden. But Yemeni jihadists have proved to be fractious, a reality that limited their capabilities until al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) formed in January 2009. Under the leadership of Nasir al Wahayshi, AQAP united a number of jihadist factions from Yemen and Saudi Arabia, forging them into a coherent and effective organization.

Even after the formation of AQAP however, internal rifts belied Yemeni jihadists' unified front. Personal animosities, tribal rivalries and differences over tactics, strategies and ideology simmered, occasionally breaking out into violence. Heavy losses suffered in a 2012 government offensive, launched after the group seized a large portion of southern Yemen, led to acrimony and finger-pointing. Some jihadists argued that the group's leadership was reckless to seize and hold territory, while others claimed it was not aggressive enough.

The Islamic State

(with Infograph)

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula

Outlook

There is little indication that the government, the Saudi-led coalition or even other jihadists will be able to eradicate the Islamic State in Yemen. While the organization will retain the capability to conduct terrorist attacks within Yemen, it likely will be unable to carry out any large-scale insurgent operations or to seize and control large areas of the country as al Qaeda has. It will remain a limited but persistent threat.

AQAP, meanwhile, has been working to deepen its regional and tribal ties, taking care not to commit the kinds of divisive attacks that have become the Islamic State's calling card. They focus instead on the "hearts and minds" campaign that the group's core has been promoting across the globe. Because of this, it will be far more difficult to dislodge al Qaeda from the areas it controls in Yemen than it was in 2012. The group will remain a serious player — and a serious threat — there for the foreseeable future.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/jihadism-yemen-long-history-long-future

cp2 Allgemein / General

12.3.2016 – Green Left (* A B K P)
Yemen: Behind Saudi Arabia's largely unreported brutal war – by Tony Iltis

https://www.greenleft.org.au/node/61301

Comment: Overview article. Just one critics here: “Iranian material assistance greatly increased after the Saudi-led intervention,” certainly not, Yemen was blocked. There have been reported just two (smaller) ships smuggling weapons – and in both cases very doubtful whether the arms were really destined for the Houthis.

03.2016 – Bertelsmann-Stiftung (** B E P)

BTI 2016 Yemen Country Report

Executive Summary

When peaceful protesters and international pressure forced Ali Abdallah Saleh – after 33 years – to hand over presidential powers within 90 days to Vice President Abdu Rabbu Mansur Hadi on 23 November 2011, Saleh left behind a number of unresolved problems. His resistance to the initiative brokered by the states of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) – an agreement he refused to sign several times – has cost the country dearly in terms of lives as well as in terms of economic development.

Expectations were high after 2011, but Yemen kept struggling with many structural problems. These include challenges to the state’s monopoly on the use of force; local unrest plus separatist calls from the southern part of the country; persistent issues of legal pluralism, nepotism, patronage and corruption; the burdens of high population growth, water scarcity and weak infrastructure; poverty combined with a poorly skilled labor force; food insecurity and rising numbers of African refugees.

All these challenges have only been aggravated by political violence. While Syria and Iraq attracted the most international Islamist militants, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and its affiliates continued to be in vogue, mostly for Yemenis and Saudis but also for militants from other Arab countries, Africa, Europe, Asia and the United States. In parallel, a group of local rebels, the Huthi movement, turned into a key veto player on the national level, a role that challenges this movement as a whole.

Nevertheless, core elements of the Implementation Mechanism of the GCC Initiative have been achieved in spite of all challenges: in 2014, an inclusive 10-month National Dialogue Conference closed with a catalogue of recommendations, and a Constitutional Drafting Committee finalized the first draft of the new constitution in January 2015. Donor money was pouring into the country, and donors had a free hand in supporting governmental organizations as well as Yemeni NGOs – at least until early 2015. The Yemeni riyal and the inflation rate remained stable during the political turmoil. The population growth rate has declined and school enrollment is on the rise.

On the other hand, power struggles among political elites of the distant and the recent past as well as newcomers like the Huthis severely hamper the political and economic development of the country. Yemen’s insufficiently qualified and bloated bureaucracy, combined with declining per capita income, still low enrollment ratios, low absorption capacity, the general depletion of oil and water resources and unstable oil prices, does not bode well for the country’s economic future. As to be expected, popular discontent with Yemen’s economic and political development is still growing. Poverty and malnutrition have reached alarming levels during the review period.

When evaluating Yemen’s economic indicators, it is important to remember that despite the country’s relatively stable non-oil sector, its key source of revenue is hydrocarbon exports. Yemen is a rentier state, albeit one of the poorest of its kind. The country is unlikely to meet even one of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in 2015. Given the limited resources, accommodating the demands of veto powers will be very difficult

Chapters:

History and Characteristics of Transformation

Transformation Status

I. Political Transformation

1 | Stateness

2 | Political Participation

3 | Rule of Law

4 | Stability of Democratic Institutions

5 | Political and Social Integration

II. Economic Transformation

6 | Level of Socioeconomic Development

7 | Organization of the Market and Competition

8 | Currency and Price Stability

9 | Private Property

10 | Welfare Regime

11 | Economic Performance

12 | Sustainability

Transformation Management

I. Level of Difficulty

II. Management Performance

14 | Steering Capability

15 | Resource Efficiency

16 | Consensus-Building

17 | International Cooperation

Strategic Outlook

For many years, Yemen has been discussed as an example of a failing state, despite surviving the impact of the Arab Spring. The combination of persistent political marginalization of new actors, poor government and donor performance, and an erratic strategy by major regional players has brought the country close to civil war. Under the current regional and economic conditions, more protests are expected and the country might fall apart.

While a technocratic approach was needed to address the country’s many problems after 2011, actors who tried to change the balance of power, using violent means whenever they saw fit, dominated the scene. Those who brought about change have been sidelined, in particular youth and women. Also, the window of opportunity to establish a federal system might have closed during 2014 because the Huthis were not given the guarantee they needed to prevent re-marginalization. This bears the risk that frustration and anger among those who feel excluded from political decisions and material benefits will reach a new peak.

Key to the political and economic future of Yemen is the management performance of any new government and an inclusive approach; however, this creates a dilemma. The need to include as many political forces as possible might reflect negatively on the composition and thus performance of public administration. Much will depend on the outcome of the ongoing re-shuffling of the structure of the elite. While almost all core players came forward in 2014, a new stable elite coalition has yet to emerge.

Yemen is likely to receive international attention in the coming years, mainly due to the activities of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. This is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, international actors’ hasty decisions and clumsy measures in the fight against militants can further aggravate the situation as it undermines any government’s legitimacy. On the other hand, international attention obviously encourages reform-oriented bureaucrats, benefits the cause of state-building and potentially strengthens civil society and the private sector. The risk is that regional events (Syria, Iran, the Middle East conflict) will distract global attention and aid from Yemen at a critical moment and that “sectarianism” will be used as an explanation for the complex set of internal conflicts.

While state infrastructure is still limited in scope and effectiveness, and despite shortcomings and setbacks, democratic elements have spread and taken root. The National Dialogue Conference was successful and the draft for a new constitution has been prepared. Rising literacy rates among the younger generations, increasing proficiency among Yemeni journalists, networking between Yemeni and international NGOs, and increasing access to the Internet have all served to stimulate democratization. The global community should closely monitor potential spoilers of the transformation process.

Fundamental challenges need to be addressed, including a weak national economy and ineffective administration, a private sector that can act freely but is hesitant to make major investments, high population growth, clientelism and unresolved domestic power struggles.

These challenges cannot be dealt with quickly. The structural flaws of Yemen’s economy will persist in the intermediate future as oil production – though declining – is secured for some time, and the marketing of gas reserves continues.

External factors, particularly transnational terrorism, regional unrest, economic problems in the GCC states and their sometimes erratic approach towards Yemen will affect investment in and economic aid to Yemen. Economic and political developments in the Middle East and at the Horn of Africa thus have repercussions on Yemen’s economy and society. In short, Yemen will remain dependent on financial and technical support from the donor community.

In contrast to neighboring Gulf monarchies, the traditional shortage of state services in Yemen has kept its population rather self-reliant. Nevertheless, any Yemeni government must address the problems of the rural population, much of which is excluded from the formal sector and lives according to tribal or customary rules that are much more deeply entrenched than state law. There is a growing sense of inequality within the population, not so much in legal but in economic and political terms. This was the underlying cause of the massive protests of 2011.

Key strategic tasks are difficult to identify because the challenges are so numerous. Priority should be given to issues related to equal access to public services such as water, health and education rather than investing in the security apparatus and in military equipment, which might be looted by militias. The problem of fuel subsidies must be addressed, but in a more refined way than in 2014.

Continued efforts should be made to reduce corruption on all levels, improve local governance (whether Yemen will become a federal state or not) and strengthen the non-oil sector to ensure the provision of basic commodities.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

http://www.bti-project.org/de/4579/laenderberichte/detail/itc/YEM/ity/2016/ and in full: http://www.bti-project.org/fileadmin/files/BTI/Downloads/Reports/2016/pdf/BTI_2016_Yemen.pdf

Comment: Bertelsmann Stiftung always is taking a ”neoliberal” approach and view point, stressing the “free market” ideology. Very successfully Bertelsmann is taking great influence in Germany. The look at Yemen also is determined by that. Is “free market” really a problem Yemen has in the moment?

11.3.2016 – Human Rights Watch (* A B K)

Dispatches: Why You Should Watch VICE’s Yemen Documentary on HBO

Two weeks from now will mark the one-year anniversary of the war in Yemen – when nine countries led by Saudi Arabia began an aerial bombing campaign in Yemen. Many of the airstrikes over the past year appear to have been unlawful – including 36 attacks that I and my colleagues investigated that killed more than 500 civilians. Residential neighborhoods, markets, schools, and hospitals have all been bombed. Some attacks may have been war crimes. If you are diligent about reading the news, you may know this already.

What you may not know is that because the United States has provided targeting assistance and other direct combat support to the Saudi-led coalition, it is a party to the conflict, which places important international legal obligations on the US. What you also might not know is that US weapons have been used in unlawful airstrikes – and could perhaps in the future. According to the US Congressional review, between May and September 2015, US companies sold $7.8 billion worth of weapons to the Saudis, some of which may end up in Yemen. In October, the US government approved another arms sale to Saudi Arabia for $11.25 billion, and just a month later Washington signed another Saudi deal, for more than 10,000 advanced air-to-surface munitions including laser-guided bombs, “bunker buster” bombs, and MK84 general purpose bombs, worth $1.29 billion. The Saudis have used all these weapon systems in Yemen.

Tonight, “Vice on HBO” is screening a documentary that captures the devastating human cost of this war. Every American should watch the documentary – to know about US involvement in a war that Washington never bothered to tell you about. It’s on at 11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, and available to subscribers to HBO online – by Belkis Wille

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/11/dispatches-why-you-should-watch-vices-yemen-documentary-hbo

10.3.2016 – CCTV (* B K P)

Films: The Heat: Yemen’s forgotten crisis

With bombings nearly every day and an unrelenting humanitarian crisis, can Yemen find a peaceful solution or is more war on the horizon?

Thousands have been killed and millions are displaced. Frequent bombings and ground fighting take place across the country. This is daily life in Yemen.

The country is embroiled in a yearlong war over a fight for political stability. The United Nations is taking renewed interest in the conflict. CCTV America’s Liling Tan reports from the United Nations.

The Heat interviewed a panel of experts on the political and humanitarian situation in Yemen:

Afrah Nasser, a Yemeni journalist and co-founder of Yemeni Salon.

Catherine Shakdam, a Middle East political analyst who works with the Shafaqna Institute for Middle Eastern Studies.

Ibrahim Alqatabi, a Yemeni expert and political commentator.

http://www.cctv-america.com/2016/03/10/the-heat-yemens-forgotten-crisis

Also at Youtube:

Film 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXDk217-bn4

Film 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=49&v=BI2qffHA24I

10.3.2016 – Nasser Arrabyee (* B K P)

Audio: Nasser Arrabyee (duration: 22:35 min.)

Nasser Arrabyee, a Yemeni journalist based in Sanaa, discusses Saudi Arabia’s “Unholy War” in Yemen, and how Saudi air strikes against civilians increase popular support for the Houthis.

http://scotthorton.org/interviews/2016/03/10/31016-nasser-arrabyee/

10.3.2016 – WNYC (B K)

Yemen Pays the Price for Saudi Paranoia (Audio)

Yemen is embroiled in a bloody civil war. But the nation is playing a strategic role in the broader sectarian conflict between the Sunni-majority nation of Saudi Arabia and Shiite-led Iran, whom the Saudis believe are backing the Shiite Houthi rebel fighters in Yemen.

In "Return to Yemen," VICE journalist Ben Anderson takes viewers with him into the heart of the fighting as he embeds with the Houthis in the Yemeni capital of Sana'a.

The Saudis, Anderson says, "are so paranoid about Iranian influence surrounding them that they've launched an indiscriminate bombing campaign, which they thought would take weeks, possibly months at best. It's now ten months on, and you could actually argue the Saudis are losing."

http://www.wnyc.org/story/inside-saudi-arabias-war-against-yemen/

10.3.2016 – Occhi della Guera (* B K P)

Yemen, radiografia di un conflitto – by Gianluca Padovan

[Overview article in Italian]

http://www.occhidellaguerra.it/yemen-radiografia-di-un-conflitto/

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

12.3.2016 – Aljazeera (* B H K)
Yemen's healthcare system confronts mounting burden

Hundreds of healthcare facilities in the war-torn country have been rendered nonfunctional, as casualty numbers rise.

As the war in Yemen nears its first anniversary, the state of healthcare in the country has never been more precarious, doctors say.

Tariq Noman, a cardiovascular surgeon based in Yemen who spoke at the Yemen Humanitarian Crisis Conference in Qatar last month, said that the current situation is "disastrous".

"Houthi militias have been attacking hospitals, ambulances and medical staff directly. Hospitals in Taiz have come under shelling from Houthis almost on a daily basis," Noman told Al Jazeera. "But what can we do? We have to go to work and do our job."

Noman said that his job entails treating patients with multiple bullet wounds, broken bones and vascular injuries.

"We receive every type of trauma injury you could imagine, and we try our best to save as many lives as we can and minimise disabilities with basic resources and depleting medical supplies ... We have treated some [Houthis] who had been caught by the resistance forces. We don't discriminate, as our work is humanitarian."

Since last February, Noman has been working at a government hospital in Taiz, which has been under siege by Houthi rebels.

According to the UN, 600 health facilities have been deemed nonfunctional due to conflict-related damages or shortages of staff and supplies. Delivery of healthcare in the country has become more challenging than ever before, Pranav Shetty, a health coordinator with the International Medical Corps, told Al Jazeera.

"We have been trying to deliver supplies in places like Taiz and Aden, but the unpredictable nature of the conflict has been a major hurdle for all aid agencies and international organisations operating in Yemen,"

Even when aid supplies make it in to besieged areas like Taiz, Shetty said, they do not always reach the intended recipients - or they arrive too late, after critical medicines have expired. Hospitals also lack the necessary equipment to operate on the growing number of wounded, with 27,000 people reported injured in Yemen since October 2015.

"The biggest surgery in a normal situation is nothing compared to war trauma, which means that a person can have injuries in the chest, abdomen, bones, all at the same time," Noman said. "Facilities - like properly functioning labs, ICUs, dialysis units - are either missing or in a dilapidated state."

To cope with the increasing needs, hospital staff have trained local volunteers and medical students in basic emergency response. When doctors receive monetary donations, they share the funds with the volunteers.

"Everybody is poor in Yemen. They don't have food. We try to help them with food and rations," Noman said. "Nobody is eating well in Yemen."

The long-term effects of the war will only start to become prominent after the conflict ends, Shetty said.

"There are thousands of children going unvaccinated, terminally ill patients not being able to receive regular treatments, and pregnant women missing out on crucial check-ups," he said. "All of this will add up and become a burden on Yemen's already weakened healthcare system." – by Hafsa Adil

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/yemen-healthcare-system-confronts-mounting-burden-160311111849065.html

Comment: Well, the situation is disastrous as described. Anyway, it is quite strange how you can write an article on this subject without even mentioning Saudi air raids, which have destroyed a lot of hospitals and medical facilities (much more than Houthi shelling ever could do), and the Saudi blockade of the Houthi held part of the country, blocking medical aid, medicine and equipment from entering the country.

12.3.2016 – Living in Yemen on the Edge (B H)

It´s all here. Blogger May Haddad received a message from her friend in Yemen and these are the most powerful lines of all on the war on #Yemen
´´I have not been communicating because of the very difficult living conditions that are NOT suitable for HUMANS...,,

https://www.facebook.com/961126490607048/photos/a.961595153893515.1073741828.961126490607048/984524448267252/?type=3&theater

11.3.2016 – PRI (** A H)

Yemenis still can’t get out. But they can speak out.

Few Yemenis have been able to leave their country since its civil war escalated a year ago. In March 2015, neighbor Saudi Arabia chose to back one side in Yemen's war, and it called on Arab allies to help. The Saudi-led coalition has been bombing Yemen ever since. It has sealed off Yemen and kept its people trapped inside. I asked four young Yemenis who are active online to talk about the war they can't escape.

1. Aziz Morfeq: Now used to being bombed.

2. Ahmed Algohbary: 'My most important message'

“I'm gonna just say it was really a horrible year,” Ahmed Algohbary tells me from his apartment in Dhamar City, south of the capital. He's recording his answers to my questions and sending them via a smartphone app. The lag time makes this a very slow conversation, but Ahmed is patient, eager to tell his story. At 22, he is in his fourth year studying English at Dhamar University, Yemen’s largest.

In the fall of 2014 Ahmed watched the Houthi fighters take over Dhamar City much as they had Sanaa, quickly and with little resistance from Yemeni soldiers.

“Ali Abdullah Saleh told them not to fight the Houthis,” Ahmed says. His account matches that of UN observers who concluded that Saleh, a still influential former dictator, pulled strings to enable the Houthis to advance, to unseat President Hadi and to mobilize the half of Yemen’s national army still loyal to him.

“It was peaceful when the Houthis took over,” Ahmed says. But that didn’t last. Ahmed’s family home stood right next to the local military base, which became a daily target for Saudi bombing raids in March 2015. The Afgogharis had to move out.

“You know, the army place is empty,” he tells me. “There is no weapons, no soldiers. But [the Saudi coalition] keep bombing it many times.” Even now Saudi air strikes continue to level buildings around Dhamar, including some at the university.

Ahmed says the war has taken its toll on his education. “Before the war we had great English professors,” he notes. “And now, because of the war, many of our English professors have left the country.” Ahmed, who welcomed our conversations as a chance to practice his English with me, says some of the teachers that remain in Dhamar are a disappointment to him. “They cannot even speak well as English language, so the situation my college is very bad and it is getting worse now,” he adds, “because the teachers, they don't have money now... because of money shortage in our university. I think the situation is getting worse.”

Ahmed Algohbary made this recording, which he asked me to share. It's the story of his best friend, Bilal, who died in a Saudi air strike April 19, 2015. Ahmed wrote the story in English so that westerners could understand. "It is my most important message for what is happening in Yemen," he says.

Toward the end of Ahmed’s story, he pleads with the United Kingdom to stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia. Both the UK and the US have supplied tens of billions of dollars in aircraft, guided bombs and surface-to-air missiles to the Saudis and other coalition forces. The two western powers currently provide assistance with targeting and help refuel coalition jets in flight

3. Suha: 'We can describe it as slow dying'

4. Summer: 'Yemen is not like Syria' – by Stephen Snyder

http://www.pri.org/stories/2016-03-11/yemenis-still-can-t-get-out-they-can-speak-out

11.3.2016 – Sputnik News (B H)

Keine idyllische Kindheit: Maschinengewehr ersetzt Mädchen in Jemen das Spielzeug

Das Video aus der zentralen Provinz Marib im Jemen zeigt erschütternde Bilder: Kleinen Mädchen wird beigebracht, wie man aus einem Maschinengewehr oder Granatenwerfer schießt. Die Kinder meistern die präzisen Schießübungen sogar http://de.sputniknews.com/videos/20160311/308365659/jemen-kinder-maedchen-gewehr.html

11.3.2016 – Mohammed Basha (A H K)

Major development: 20 trucks loaded with emergency aid from @KSRelief #Saudi #KSA arrived in Sa'dah, the main #Houthi stronghold

https://twitter.com/Yemen411/status/708126331406458880

Comment: If that really is true, it really would be a “mayor development”: The Saada region is needing this help most urgently. Never something like that had happened since the beginning of the war. If it is true, might be really a little sign of the will to achieve a more peaceful solution of the conflict.

10.3.2016 – World health Organisation (*B H)

Yemen's national oncology centre struggles to continue functioning

4-year-old Fatima Al-Harazi has waited for 2 weeks for a bed so she can start her second session of chemotherapy at the national oncology centre in Sana’a.

"She cannot eat and sleep. She keeps crying bitterly from pain," said Fatima's grandmother.

Fatima is suffering from a large soft tissue tumour in her left cheek and long waits for chemotherapy mean that her health is deteriorating rapidly.

Next to Fatima, 3-year-old Ahmed Mahyob is lying on his mother's lap, he has been diagnosed with stomach cancer. His parents had been seeking treatment in their home governorate of Hajja, but in desperation have travelled to Sana’a as his health worsened.

"This centre is our only hope. I can never afford to send my child abroad for treatment. I could barely afford to bring him here," said Ahmed's father.

A diagnosis of cancer in a child is devastating for any family. The distress for a family already living in a country suffering such a violent conflict is made worse by the financial hardship that comes with needing to care for a sick child.

Shams Al-Qadhi, 14, from Taiz, diagnosed with lung, skin, intestinal and liver tumours presents as a tired and thin figure. Her family says that she needs testing and treatment that is now simply not available in Yemen.

"I lost one of my daughters due to the same type of cancer. I'm doing whatever I can to save the life of Shams but my financial position doesn't help me," said Sham's father, letting out a sigh of frustration.

Fatima, Ahmed and Shams are just 3 of around 47 000 cancer patients across Yemen who urgently need care at this oncology centre.

Only option for care

Since its establishment in 2005, the national oncology centre has diagnosed and treated more than 60 000 patients. The need for the centre has become more significant than ever for Yemen due to the lack of available cancer care outside the capital.

"Many governorates suffer from absence of oncologists. Some of the patients resort to come to Sana'a to visit oncologists and pay a large sum of money," Dr Afif Al-Nabehi, Director of the national oncology centre in Sana'a told WHO.

Complete collapse

In late 2015, the national oncology centre appealed to the humanitarian community and international bodies to "save the cancer care services in Yemen from the brink of complete collapse". They warned of the looming health disaster brought about by lack of life-saving chemotherapy drugs, laboratory reagents, and even simple pain killers.

The lack of availability of medicines and diagnostic supplies is a direct result of the defacto blockade on Yemen since March 2015, which shows few signs of lifting. Pharmaceutical merchants and the humanitarian sector have not been able to import the much needed supplies in anything touching the quantities needed. In addition, the collapsing economy has meant that budgets across the government sector have been stretched to a point that the centre has been unable to meet even basic running costs. The centre is now at a point where it closure seems like the only option.

"We're doing our best to survive and keep working within our dwindling possibilities," said Al-Nabehi. "Unless we receive functional support, we have no choice but to shut down our centre soon."

It is clear that the closure of this centre would not only mean that Fatima, Ahmed and Shams will lose their lifeline but thousands of others across Yemen will suffer as further casualties of the war in Yemen.

Since the beginning of the crisis, WHO has reached more than 7 million people in 23 governorates through the provision of medicines, medical supplies, mobile medical teams and mobile clinics. However, the gaps remain huge as the health system continues to collapse, leaving 14.1 million people in urgent need of health care. In 2016, WHO and health partners require US$ 182.3 to meet increasing health needs in Yemen. In 2015, WHO received only US$ 42.6 out of a total requested US$ 84 million.

http://www.emro.who.int/yem/yemen-news/yemens-national-oncology-centre-struggles-to-continue-functioning.html

10.3.2016 – US Agency for International Development (A H)

Yemen Complex Emergency Fact Sheet #7 Fiscal Year (FY) 2016

HIGHLIGHTS

Humanitarian access improves, despite delays due to insecurity and bureaucratic restrictions

The UN condemns violence against civilians following a recent attack on civilian infrastructure

UNVIM commences operations for Yemen response

KEY DEVELOPMENTS

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) report that conflict in Yemen has internally displaced an estimated 2.4 million people as of January 31. This represents a 4 percent decrease from the estimate of 2.5 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) reported in late 2015; IOM and UNHCR attribute this decrease to some IDP returns to southern Yemen, as well as improved tracking methodology.

Relief organizations estimate that 75 percent of Yemen’s 333 districts face relatively low humanitarian access constraints, and only 7 percent are severely constrained, according to the recently launched 2016 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). The most serious access constraints persist in front-line areas in Al Bayda’, Marib, and Tai’zz governorates, as well as areas of Hajjah and Sa’dah governorates that border Saudi Arabia and regularly experience heavy airstrikes and cross-border shelling. Despite access improvements, humanitarian needs continue to outpace the ability of relief agencies to provide aid to the approximately 21.2 million people requiring humanitarian assistance, according to the HRP.

Humanitarian organizations—including U.S. Government (USG) implementing partners—are scaling up relief operations and providing food supplies, health services, and other relief assistance to conflict-affected populations throughout Yemen and neighboring countries.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-complex-emergency-fact-sheet-7-fiscal-year-fy-2016 and in full: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/03.10.16%20-%20USG%20Yemen%20Complex%20Emergency%20Fact%20Sheet%20%237.pdf

Comment: Be aware that USAID is much more than a humanitarian organization – it serves as a prolonged arm of the US government for the interference in other countries.

23.8.2015 – Stepfed (* B H)

From Yemen, a story of survival and courage despite the conflict

Living in a conflict–torn country, I’ve always struggled to understand the concept of peace. How can an individual who lives under air raids, naval shelling and ground fighting feel any sense of security?

For this reason, for the past few months I’ve been documenting nothing but stolen moments of peace. During this ruthless war in Yemen, life has not stopped. I am always amazed how people can cope with the situation, how they manage to enjoy life despite hardships. Women shopping, children playing and men gathering for breakfast in different neighborhoods were among the moments I captured.

Lately I started taking photos in the hardest hit areas in Sana’a and I met Hilema; the woman who embraced her pain and refused to be intimated.

She invited me to the ruins of her modest house, the rubble that was her home, where I found the walls and ceilings laid waste.

To me, what was beautiful was the resilient soul inside this woman who coped with her tragedy with so much grace. She chose to embrace the pain and never be broken.

War might have destroyed her house but it also taught her that the real fight is to continue living despite everything the conflict brings – by Thana Faroq (with photos)

https://stepfeed.com/more-categories/big-news/yemen-story-survival-courage-despite-conflict/

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

12.3.2016 – Human Rights Watch (A P)

Yemen: Houthis Ban Rights Advocate’s Travel

Abdulrasheed al-Faqih’s Passport Confiscated

Houthi officials in Yemen confiscated the passport of a prominent human rights advocate on March 4, 2016. The Houthis should immediately end the travel ban on Abdulrasheed al-Faqih, executive director of the Mwatana Organization for Human Rights, the country’s leading independent documentation group.

The Houthis should stop interfering with the work of Yemen’s human rights advocates and organizations, which is being carried out with increasing difficulty.

“Cracking down on human rights workers by taking their passports speaks volumes about human rights under the Houthis,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. Abusive actions like these will only undercut the Houthis’ credibility in future peace talks.”

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/03/12/yemen-houthis-ban-rights-advocates-travel

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

13.3.2016 – ORF (A T)

Mindestens 19 Tote bei Regierungsoffensive im Jemen

Bei einer Offensive gegen Al-Kaida-Kämpfer in der südjemenitischen Hafenstadt Aden sind mindestens 19 Menschen getötet worden. Wie heute aus Sicherheitskreisen verlautete, hatten Sicherheitskräfte unterstützt von Luftangriffen der arabischen Militärkoalition gestern eine Offensive gestartet, um das Stadtviertel Mansura von den Islamisten zurückzuerobern. Bei den 19 Todesopfern handelte es sich demnach um 17 Al-Kaida-Kämpfer und zwei Polizisten.

http://orf.at/stories/2329497/

13.3.2016 – Aljazeera (A T)

Air raids targeting al-Qaeda in Yemen kill 17 fighters

At least 20 civilians and fighters wounded in raids, as well as three members of the security forces.

Air strikes killed at least 17 suspected al-Qaeda fighers in a restive district in the southern Yemeni port city of Aden, witnesses, medics, and a security official said on Sunday.

The air raids hit al-Mansoura district, a stronghold for fighters and an area that has witnessed several attacks against security officials since the Saudi-led coalition retook Aden last July from Iran-allied Houthi rebels.

Sources said at least 20 civilians and fighters were wounded in the strikes, as well as three members of the security forces.

The raids targeted fighters who were sitting atop vehicles, and one strike hit a government building. Intermittent clashes were still going on Sunday, they said.

A security official said the air strikes - thought to have been carried out by the Saudi-led coalition - were the "second stage" of freeing al-Mansoura from al-Qaeda fighters.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/03/air-raids-targeting-al-qaeda-yemen-kill-17-fighters-160313064136076.html

12.3.2016 – AFP (A T)

14 killed as police, jihadists clash in Yemen's Aden

At least 12 Al-Qaeda fighters and two policemen were killed late Saturday in fighting on the ground and coalition air strikes on second city Aden, security sources said.

Fighter jets and Apache helicopters from the Saudi-led coalition carried out four air strikes in support of the security forces, they said.

Clashes in the port city's Mansura residential district continued late Saturday after breaking out in the late afternoon after security forces set up new checkpoints, they added.

Dozens of gunmen in balaclavas carrying the Al-Qaeda flag deployed to push back police trying to enter the neighbourhood, witnesses said.

The police said in a statement that fighting against the "armed terrorist gangs in Mansura will continue to ensure the safety of residents" in the internationally recognised government's temporary capital.

The air strikes -- which started after jihadists shot at an Apache helicopter -- hit a municipal office and a jihadist arms depot, witnesses said.

http://news.yahoo.com/yemen-police-clash-jihadists-aden-173709836.html

In these fightings at Aden, Saudi jets dropped bombs which also killed civilians:

12.3.2016 – Hisham Al Radhi

Mansora locl council #Aden was hit by #Saudi jets targeting armed groups n populated areas killing civ as well (Film)

https://twitter.com/HishamAlRadhi/status/708747433552039937

11.3.2016 – WAM (A K)

6300 Yemeni National Resistance fighters join government security forces

More than 6300 Yemeni fighters from the pro-government National Resistance Forces have so far joined the government's security forces, Yemeni Interior Minister and Deputy Prime Minister, Major General Hussain Mohammed Arab announced Thursday.

"We take great interest in enforcing peace and stability in all the country's governorates and not only in Aden," the Saudi state news agency SPA quoted the Yemeni minister as saying.

Arab made the remarks as he opened a special training course at al-Nasr camp in Aden.

http://www.wam.ae/en/news/[Arab]/1395292697910.html

Comment by Judith Brown: War is the only source of employment - but I hope these fighters are not extremists. Paid by Saudi Arabia of course.

https://www.facebook.com/judith.brown.794628/posts/10154164194098641

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

12.3.2016 – Reuters (A P)

U.S. raises possibility of Syrian-style ceasefire in Yemen

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry raised the possibility on Saturday of getting a ceasefire in Yemen similar to the arrangement that has been implemented in Syria, the State Department said.

Speaking in Hafr al-Batin in Saudi Arabia, at a meeting with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir whose country leads an Arab coalition trying to dislodge Iran-allied Houthis from areas in Yemen captured last year, Kerry said that both sides have agreed to work together in the coming days "to explore the possibilities of a political solution."

"We both agree that it would be desirable to see if we can find a similar approach, as we did in Syria, to try to get a ceasefire," Kerry said, referring to the truce that has largely been holding for nearly two weeks in Syria.

"So we’re going to continue to work on that quietly and we have a team of people who are going to continue to be working together to that effect," he added.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-kerry-idUSKCN0WE0TU

Comment: Let us see. More articles on Kerry’s visit see cp10 USA.

11.3.2016 – Xinhua (* A P)

Rocky and thorny road ahead to reach permanent truce in Yemen

The ceasefire which was lately reached by Saudi Arabia and Yemen's Ansarullah, known as the Houthi militia, is taking hold. Analysts here foresee rocky and thorny problems ahead before permanent truce is reached.

The deal included a prisoner swap, according to statements by Houthi officials and the Saudi-led coalition which has been bombing Yemen for around one year.

Observers argued that the deal for ceasing fire on the border between Saudi Arabia and Yemen reflected the desire of both sides to avoid more losses after a year of war.

Abubaker Abdullah, a political analyst and writer, said Saudi Arabia is seeking to avoid more losses after it has failed through the bombing campaign and ground battles on the border to defeat the Yemeni forces and popular committees.

"Saudis also are seeking to bring the situation in southern cities under control amid increasing chaos caused by battles," he said.

Nabil Albukiri, a Yemeni researcher, said the Houthis accepted the truce as a token of friendship after big losses during their internal wars in Yemen and battles with Saudi and Arab forces on the border. "The Houthis wanted to show a goodwill after devastating losses," Albukiri said.

Yaseen Al-Tamimi, a political analyst based in Turkey, said the truce came within the Houthi commitment to the UN resolutions.

"It was not that official deal. If Saudi Arabia accepts to strike a deal with the Houthis, that means it accepts a new Hezbollah is formed in the region," Al-Tamimi said.

Observers said the truce was not that big deal which means it won't lead to a permanent ceasefire in Yemen.

"It is difficult to say the truce will lead to a permanent ceasefire in Yemen. Saudi Arabia has failed politically and militarily in the country and now is seeking to survive and get out of the war which will lead to severe consequences in the Kingdom and Yemen," Abdullah said.

Albukiri said the truce could lead to a resumption of UN-brokered peace talks between the Yemeni government and Houthi group.

"However, such talks if they take place will be controlled by regional and international developments," said Albukiri – by Fuad Rajeh

http://www.china.org.cn/opinion/2016-03/11/content_37996703.htm = http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2016-03/11/c_135176568.htm

Comment: That seems quite optimistic, looking at statements by Assiri and the Houthi related Yemeni army.

And a Saudi view of the events (which already had been reported in Yemen Press Reader 113):

12.2.2016 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

Settlement Is within Hours

In the ballpark, Yemen’s ambassador to the U.N. revealed that a prisoner exchange deal has taken place between Houthi militias and the Saudi-led Arabian coalition forces. The exchange was arranged and mediated by Yemeni tribal members located in bordering areas with Saudi Arabia.

The exchange was realized in context of the trust-building measures demanded by the U.N. as a step forward towards preliminary preparations for another round of Yemeni peace talks.

Ambassador al-Yamani expressed his optimism on the prisoner exchange accomplishment to have a positive effect on the negotiations and hasten the new peace talks sessions sponsored by the U.N.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat the peace talks are expected to resume late this March. Al-Yamani also pointed out that the U.N. special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed has not specified a date for the negotiations, however, it is decided that they take place in the last week of current March, and will be held in Switzerland.

Moreover, al-Yamani clarified that the previous round of peace talks in Switzerland outlined the importance of trust-building measures so that the ceasefire is sustained on the long term, in addition to lifting the barricade off of Taiz and stepping towards freeing those held captive.

http://english.aawsat.com/2016/03/article55348404/taiz-no-longer-besieged-settlement-within-hours

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

12.3.2016 – The Independent (* A P)

Saudi Arabia due to 'complete' January mass executions with four more deaths

Ali al-Nimr, the teenage nephew of a Shia cleric executed in January, is feared to be among those to be beheaded

Four more prisoners are reportedly to be killed by Saudi Arabia as the country moves to “complete” a wave of mass executions that started in January.

The kingdom put 47 people to death on a single day that month, including the prominent Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and at least one teenager, sparking global protests.

But articles carried in state-affiliated media ahead of the date claimed 52 people were to die, sparking speculation that some of the executions had been delayed.

Okaz, a liberal newspaper believed to be one of the most-read in Saudi Arabia, reported that four convicted “terrorists” were due to be beheaded imminently on Friday.

Their punishment has reportedly been endorsed by the requisite 13 judges, who found them guilty of belonging to terrorist groups, carrying out criminal acts and “embracing a takfirist approach contrary to the Quran and Sunnah”.

The word “takfiri” has become a sectarian slur used by Muslims against other Muslims in the Middle East, but is used by Saudi Arabia to describe radical Sunnis who oppose the state’s Wahhabist doctrine.

The report did not name the prisoners but human rights group fear they could include three juveniles arrested after attending anti-government protests in 2012.

Ali al-Nimr, Dawood al-Marhoon and Abdullah al-Zaher were aged between 16 and 17 at the time of their arrests and their death sentences were upheld by Saudi Arabia’s Specialised Criminal Court last year– by Lizzie Dearden

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-due-to-complete-january-mass-executions-with-four-more-deaths-a6927486.html

Comment: One constant question is always there. May it be for the war, may it be for news like this, we ask: WHY?

On this subject, also this older article:

30.9.2015 – US Uncut (* B P)

The father of the Saudi boy awaiting execution wants you to know one thing

Mohamed al-Nimr’s 20-year-old son, Ali, is set to be beheaded and crucified by the Saudi government for protesting. He maintains his son is innocent of charges and that his execution is politically-motivated.

Ali’s outspoken father, who sent the photos below, recounted Ali’s childhood.

Why would the Saudi government want to execute such an ordinary child? In addition to al-Nimr’s support for democratic protests, Mohamed recounted the government’s seemingly outlandish charges: that Ali seized guns and uniforms from an entire police unit.

“All of this is impossible,” Mohamed said. “Ali was a 16-year-old boy. How could he steal the weapons and uniforms from an entire police patrol? It’s shameful the government has accused Ali of this.”

Mohamed speculates that there are political motives behind the government’s charges. As he explained, “There is a serious political element to Ali’s arrest. Many of the accusations relate to Ali’s uncle Sheikh Nimr Baqir Al-Nimr [a dissident who played a prominent role in supporting the Arab Spring]. Shiekh al-Nimr criticized the government. Ali’s arrest is to stop Shiekh Nimr from criticizing the Saudi Government.”

Ali’s only crime appears to be supporting nonviolent, pro-democracy protests.

“We were hopeful during the Arab Spring because we were pro-democracy. We wanted a more democratic system in Saudi Arabia,” Mohamed said. “But hundreds of the demonstrators were arrested, with most of them still in prison. These prisoners are all from the same region as Ali. The families of all these prisoners are, of course, very upset.” – by Paul Gottinger and Ken Klippenstein

http://usuncut.com/world/ali-mohammed-al-nimr-father-speaks-out/

11.3.2016 – Living in Yemen on the Edge from France 24

This comes as a big suprise. According to a report of France24,
the proportion of people who think they're "Atheists, convinced" is the highest in Saudi Arabia compared to that of all the other Arab countries.
The survey was carried out by the Gallup International Institue.
The news is unexpected given the nature of Saudi society, which is subject to a strict application of the principles of the Islamic Ummah.

Why are we posting this? Because they tried to make the war on Yemen also a war of religion against ´Shia backed militias´. In a country, Yemen, where Sunni and Shiite pray together..

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=984032754983088&id=961126490607048

Comment: No wonder looking at Wahabism.

11.3.2016 – The Muslim Issue (** B P)

Saudi Arabia pumping millions to promote Wahhabism in India

The diplomatic documents released by WikiLeaks last week have revealed that Saudi Arabia is pumping in millions of rupees into India for opening of religious trusts and non-governmental organisations.

WikiLeaks have disclosed an undated document that contains a list of Indian institutions and societies that have applied for financial assistance from the Arab nation.

The document suggests that the government of Saudi Arabia itself pledged donations to nine such institutions located across different states, including Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Kerala and Maharashtra.

Saudi Arabia pledged 4.5 million Saudi Riyal (SR) to different institutions in Kerala only.

Similarly, In Uttar Pradesh, 75,000 SR were pledged to two different societies for establishing a Madrasa building and a vocational centre for girls.

The documents also reveal that the Secretariat General of the Muslim World League in Mecca, a controversial organisation with alleged links to terror funding, had requested Saudi Arabia to establish the organisation’s Salafi or Wahhabi centres in India.

Wikileaks that has published more than 60000 leaked cables from Saudi Arabia, also revealed that the country was concerned about Iran’s “growing influence” and outreach to the Shia community in India.

It is worth a mention that, India’s Shia population is the world’s second-largest after Iran. Unlike the Arab countries, differences between Shias and Sunnis in India are doctrinal, and mainly in areas such as ritual law, theology and religious organisation.

“To counter the increasing Shia influence, a certain section in the Saudi establishment has been propagating Wahhabism in India,” says an MHA official in an interview to Sunday Guardian.

In the last three-four years there has been a steady rise in Wahhabi preachers coming to India to conduct seminars.

“There is no doubt that Wahhabism is getting stronger in the country, especially in Kerala, mainly because of the radicalisation of a large number of local youth who are going to Saudi Arabia in search of employment. Kerala has been showing signs of sharp radicalisation. This was the only state where posters mourning the death of Osama Bin Laden had come up and a prayer for Ajmal Kasab was also held after he was hanged,” warned the official.

Donations from Saudi are pouring in and playing a key role in this process, which is being repeated across other parts of the country as well.

This text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

https://themuslimissue.wordpress.com/2015/07/08/saudi-arabia-pumping-millions-to-promote-wahhabism-in-india/

Comment: What can be reconstructed only is the top of the iceberg. Inter-Muslim strife between Sunni and Shia is getting a real problem in India now. – This spreading of Wahabism off course not only affects India. All countries where Muslims are living are affected, from Germany to Indonesia. Spreading Wahabism means spreading sectarian strife, disabling those “infected” from living in peace in one society with non-Muslims and other Muslims like Shiites or moderate Sunnites. Just have a look at Pakistan, where the Saudis had founded ca. 22.000 madrasas to teach the Wahabi way of Islam. Sectarian strife, killing of Christians and Shiites (for “religious” reasons) now is common there. From the 1960s, the Saudis hat spent about USD 100 billion for spreading Wahabism worldwide (About USD 7 billion the Soviet Union spent for propagating communism).

10.3.2016 – Alternet (** A P)

We Are Witnessing the Decline of Saudi Arabia as a Major Power

With falling oil prices and new players, Saudi Arabia's power is ebbing.

Like an angry dragon, Saudi Arabia lashed around the region, throwing money and arms, encouraging chaos in this and that country. One underestimates the biliousness of monarchs: at a 2009 Arab League meeting, Qaddafi had cavalierly dismissed the King of Saudi Arabia as a creation of the British and a protectorate of the Americans. It was evident that the monarchs would not tolerate his existence for much longer. Two years later, they—with Western help—dismissed him.

Qaddafi was a personal affront to the Saudi King. More serious was the imagined threat America’s Kingdom perceived in Iran. When the Shah of Iran ruled there, the Kings of Arabia smiled. It was Islamic republicanism they hated, for it directly threatened them. Saudi Arabia’s fear of Islamic republicanism is what drives its policy. Saudi Arabia, Israel and the West pushed back against Iranian influence through the U.S.’ Syria Accountability Act (2003), the Israeli war on Lebanon (2006) and the nuclear sanctions regime of 2006. None of these worked.

Just as the Arab Spring provided the opportunity for the Saudis to intervene in Libya, so too did it provide the Saudis with the pretext for regime change in Syria and in other theaters where it fantasized about Iranian influence (Bahrain, Yemen and Lebanon). The Saudi ambition was to erase Iran’s presence. Five years later, the detritus of that policy is clear: Libya, Syria and Yemen are destroyed, whereas Bahrain has been reduced to a prison of dreams. The Saudi diplomat’s scorn was prophetic.

But much of the Saudi dream, given encouragement by the United States, has now turned. Syria and Yemen have been destroyed, but they remain standing. Iran has been welcomed into the fraternity of nations, whether with the slow erasure of the nuclear sanctions regime or integration into the Chinese and Russian networks. Saudi Arabia’s oil civil war has served to bankrupt Saudi Arabia as much as its adversaries. No flag of truce has gone up yet on the palaces of Riyadh. Nonetheless, there are inklings that King Salman’s circle is aware of their grave miscalculation.

[Chapter on Syria]

Yemen

King Salman’s son Mohammed bin Salman has staked his legitimacy on the Saudi bombardment of Yemen. The richest country in the Arab world has bombed the poorest country in the Arab world since March 26 of last year. No strategic gains have been met by the Saudi bombing. The forces of the Houthis and former president Abdullah Saleh are the Saudi targets. Their resistance has been fierce, but it has also been from a position of unevenness. Saudi Arabia has the best equipment, fully supplied by the West. As human rights groups have warned, responsibility for the considerable Saudi war crimes in Yemen are shared between Riyadh and its Western suppliers. Al-Qaeda’s gains in southern Yemen have been serious. It has used the Saudi air power as its airforce. This is what Mohammed bin Salman’s war has come to mean.

An exit from the quagmire in Yemen is not apparent. King Salman wants a dignified way to withdraw. He summoned a Houthi delegation to Riyadh last week. They are now in the palaces of the King, listening to their proposals. This is the first time that the Houthis have sent an envoy to Saudi Arabia, but it is not the first attempt at a peace process.

[Chapter on Oil]

Rather than take responsibility for its dangerous gambits, Saudi Arabia will start to blame the West, particularly President Barack Obama, for not bombing Syria and for the end to the Iranian nuclear sanctions. This is a cliché. It is not near reality. America’s Kingdom overreached. In doing so, it destroyed several Arab states. This is not the time for scorn. This is the time for great sadness for what has befallen great Arab societies, which will have to dig deep into their resilience to rebuild their communities. – by Vijay Prashad, Professor of International Studies at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut

http://www.alternet.org/world/we-are-witnessing-decline-saudi-arabia-major-power = http://www.salon.com/2016/03/11/we_are_witnessing_the_decline_of_saudi_arabia_as_a_major_power_partner/

10.3.2016 – Fars News (* A P)

War-Making Blowback: Saudis Running Out of Cash

When Saudi Arabia and its rogue partners in crime decided to launch costly wars of attrition against Yemen, Iraq, and Syria, it never occurred to them they would go bankrupt.

After so many years of war-making and no desirable outcome, that’s exactly what is happening to the once rich and confident Royal family in Riyadh – and its clique. Amid low oil prices, the House of Saud is running out of cash and options, meaning they can no longer afford to buy expensive American weaponry for their costly wars of attrition and deceit.

In fact, just like their bankrupt American masters, the Saudis have already become desperate for cash and legitimacy to continue their costly wars. Riyadh is running large budget deficits and is drawing down on its currency reserves. The IMF estimates “it will run out of cash reserves in five years, and will then go deeply into debt.”
The picture is clear: The House of Saud’s regime-change fantasy lies in ruins in Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. It cannot call it quits. It cannot continue to spend on bombs and terror proxies either. If the aim was to choke the resistance group of Ansarullah, the Saudis have misjudged badly - just as they misjudged the disastrous wars on Syria and Iraq at every stage.

Far from retrenching, they are foolishly spraying even more money around, giving away millions of dollars to the Salafi-Takfiri terrorists to stand their shaky grounds for a few days more. Desperate enough, the Saudis are also foolishly engaged in a massive military build-up - entirely reliant on imported weapons - that is certain to bankrupt them one way or another.
They are leading the wars of attrition across the Middle East and they are burning through foreign reserves at a silly pace – some $12 billion a month. They know they are trapped and they know their fates are sealed. They also know even if they orchestrate an end to their sectarian warfare, it’s already too late.
The reality of the matter is significantly more straightforward. As the IMF reports, on the current course the Saudi reserves will be down to $200 billion by the end of 2018, just enough to run their Wahhabi-Industrial Complex for a limited period of time.
So expect to hear more bad news for the rickety political class in the war-making capital. Not only do they have to deal with the after-shocks of their botched sectarian warfare abroad, they will also have to deal with the current democratic revolt at home, which is destined to gather steam when they run out of cash to spend on “diplomacy” and “human rights” at the UN. Threatened by this new reality, the House of Saud’s days are numbered.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941220000961

Comment: Iranian point of view – anyway, not so far from truth.

10.3.2016 – Manquehue (B P)

Executions in Saudi Arabia reach ‘frightening’ rate as 70th prisoner in 2016 is killed

Saudi Arabia is executing people at a "frightening" rate, campaigners have warned, after it emerged the kingdom had killed its 70th prisoner of the year bringing the total number to almost half that of 2015.

Alaa al-Zahrani, who was put to death in the Red Sea city of Jeddah, was found guilty of killing fellow Saudi Abdullah al-Sumairi with a rock to the head, the interior ministry revealed in a statement published by the Saudi's official state news agency SPA.

Several advocacy groups that monitor the death penalty worldwide placed the figure at 157 last year, with beheadings reaching their highest level in two decades.

Saudi Arabia does not release annual tallies, though it does announce individual executions in state media throughout the year. Most people beheaded in the oil-rich kingdom are beheaded by sword.

Speaking to The Independent, Amnesty International UK's Head of Policy and Government Affairs Allan Hogarth said: "The death penalty is always cruel and unnecessary, but the Saudi justice system lacks evens the basics of a fair trial system and it's truly frightening that its courts are sentencing so many people to death.

"With death sentences imposed after deeply unfair - and sometimes secret - proceedings, with defendants often denied a lawyer, and with courts regularly convicting people on the basis of 'confessions' extracted under torture, Saudi Arabia is making a mockery of justice and dozens of people are paying with their lives.

"It's time that 'strategic allies' like the UK started speaking out about this shocking state of affairs. For too long Downing Street has bent over backwards to avoid 'offending' the Saudi royals. Saudi Arabia's human rights record is utterly appalling and the UK government should say so."

http://en.institutomanquehue.org/issues/human-rights/executions-saudi-arabia-reach-frightening-killed.html

5.3.2016 – Real News (* B K P)

Film: 2016 Summit on Saudi Arabia: Supporting Change in Saudi Arabia

Mohammed Al-Nimr, son of executed Sheikh Nimr Al-Nimr, Daniel Arshack, lawyer for imprisoned attorney Waleed Abu al-Khair, Sanam Naraghi-Anderlini, Executive Director, International Civil Society Network (ICAN). Moderator: Nada Khader

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=15813#.VuH3z4y60dU.facebook

14.3.2015 – The Independent (A P)

Is your name now 'banned' in Saudi Arabia?

Kingdom releases 50 names parents are forbidden from calling their children, such as Linda, Alice and Elaine

Saudi Arabia's interior ministry has banned 50 names they argue contradict the culture or religion of the Kingdom, according to reports by local media.

Parents in the Kingdom will reportedly no longer be able to call their children by names such as Linda, Alice, Elaine or Binyamin (Arabic for Benjamin) after the civil affairs department at the ministry issued a list of the prohibited names.

Binyamin is believed in Islam to be the son of Prophet Jacob, but is also the name of the current Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Some names on the list are allegedly banned by the interior ministry because they are considered “blasphemous,” non-Arabic or non-Islamic, or contradictory to the kingdom’s culture or religion, Gulf News has reported.

The ban was also allegedly justified by the ministry because some of the names were deemed foreign or "inappropriate" – by Heather Saul

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/is-your-name-now-banned-in-saudi-arabia-9192298.html

Comment: Just one more example how much Wahabism is bossing the life of people in every aspect.

Comment: 1. ‪#‎Yemen has always welcomed everyone 2. A name is something you generally do not choose 3. The list we would like to see is the world blocking criminals from Al Saud + accolites from bombing Yemen.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=984513531601677&id=961126490607048

cp9 USA

11.3.2016 – RT (* A K)

150 Drohnentote in Somalia und die (völker-)rechtswidrige Arroganz der USA

Am 7. März 2016 kam die Meldung, dass die USA in Somalia 150 Al-Shabaab-Kämpfer bei Luftangriffen getötet haben. Ob es Drohnen waren oder bemannte Kampfflugzeuge, ist umstritten. Die FAZ zum Beispiel stellt das fest und applaudiert in gewisser Weise, weil es ja gegen islamische Terroristen gegangen ist. So einfach ist das nicht. Es kann nicht richtig sein, dass die USA nach Lust und Laune einfach Luftangriffe auf souveräne Staaten fliegen.

Seit langer Zeit wird uns mit reißerischen Hollywood-Produktionen suggeriert, dass es völlig normal ist, wenn Bedienstete der USA – Soldaten, FBI oder CIA – in allen Staaten der Welt operieren und Menschen umbringen. Es sind ja immer die Guten, die wie James Bond die Welt vor Bösewichtern retten. Mit Selbstverständlichkeit wird vorgeführt, wie Amerikaner weltweit in Ermittlungen in fremden Ländern die Führung übernehmen und der Fall kann am Ende natürlich nur gelöst werden, weil die omnipotenten Amerikaner den blöden Nicht-Amerikanern zeigen, wie man mit Bösewichtern umzugehen hat, meist unter Missachtung lokaler Gesetzgebung. Niemand beschwert sich darüber, dass dabei jegliches Völkerrecht mit Füßen getreten wird, denn der Weltpolizist rettet ja die Welt.

Permanenter Völkerrechtsbruch – und keiner sagt was

Die Realität sieht nicht anders aus. Täglich unterschreibt der US-Präsident die Befehle, aufgrund derer weltweit Menschen von Drohnen ermordet werden, ohne Rücksicht auf irgendein rechtsstaatliches Verfahren. Jetzt mal wieder war Somalia dran. Die US-Luftwaffe fliegt – erst letzte Woche – Angriffe in Libyen denen auch Nicht-Libyer zum Opfer fallen. In Syrien bombardiert sie routinemäßig seit einem Jahr was immer ihr zerstörungswürdig erscheint, Seit an Seit mit einer Koalition der Willigen. Die völkerrechtswidrige Zerstörung des Irak und Libyens ist schon Geschichte und darf in öffentlichen Diskussionen nicht als Ursache für die Flüchtlingsströme gebrandmarkt werden. Wofür haben wir überhaupt noch ein Völkerrecht?

Messen mit zweierlei Maßstab

Saudi-Arabien bombardiert den Jemen, zerstört Städte, Altenheime und Krankenhäuser. Völkerrechtswidrig. Hat man irgendeinen Westpolitiker gehört, der auch nur ein mahnendes Wort dazu gesagt hätte? Fehlanzeige. Die USA bombardieren in Kundus gezielt ein Krankenhaus. Die Welt akzeptiert den Hinweis auf ein „Versehen“, fordert nicht einmal eine Entschuldigung. Ich muss leider feststellen: Das Völkerrecht existiert nur noch dann, wenn es gegen erklärte „Feinde“ der USA instrumentalisiert werden kann. Dann müssen selbstverständlich Sanktionen verhängt werden, die aber in der Regel nur so sein dürfen, dass sie den USA selbst keinen Schaden zufügen. Abgesehen davon, dass sich die USA selbst an ihre eigenen Sanktionen nicht halten, wann immer es ihnen passt.

Nun stelle man sich vor was passieren würde, wenn China, Russland oder Iran auch nur ansatzweise ähnlich handelten wie oben beschrieben.

Legte man dieselben Maßstäbe, die für Russland gelten, an die Türkei, die USA oder an die Kiew-Regierung, dann hätten schon längst massivste Sanktionen gegen diese Verbrecherstaaten verhängt werden müssen. Aber wenn die USA in Somalia angeblich nur Terroristen totbomben, dann wird das nicht einmal ansatzweise hinterfragt in der Weise, wie auf sämtliche Aktionen Russlands in Syrien reagiert wird. Wer will denn ernsthaft glauben, dass bei diesem US-Angriff keine Zivilisten oder Kinder als Kollateralschäden ihr Leben lassen mussten? Ach ja, wir sind die Guten und schicken mit den Bomben ja nur die Segnungen der Demokratie. Demokratie, Ausbeutung, Hoffnungslosigkeit und jede Menge neuer Flüchtlinge – von Peter Haisenko

https://deutsch.rt.com/meinung/37236-150-drohnentote-in-somalia-und/

8.3.2016 – The Intercept (** A K)

Nobody Knows the Identities of the 150 People Killed by U.S. in Somalia, but Most Are Certain They Deserved It

The U.S. used drones and manned aircraft yesterday to drop bombs and missiles on Somalia, ending the lives of at least 150 people. As it virtually always does, the Obama administration instantly claimed that the people killed were “terrorists” and militants — members of the Somali group al Shabaab — but provided no evidence to support that assertion.

Nonetheless, most U.S. media reports contained nothing more than quotes from U.S. officials about what happened, conveyed uncritically and with no skepticism of their accuracy: The dead “fighters … were assembled for what American officials believe was a graduation ceremony and prelude to an imminent attack against American troops,” pronounced the New York Times. So, the official story goes, The Terrorists were that very moment “graduating” — receiving their Terrorist degrees — and about to attack U.S. troops when the U.S. killed them.

With that boilerplate set of claims in place, huge numbers of people today who have absolutely no idea who was killed are certain that they all deserved it. As my colleague Murtaza Hussain said of the 150 dead people: “We don’t know who they are, but luckily they were all bad.” For mindless authoritarians, the words “terrorist” and “militant” have no meaning other than: anyone who dies when my government drops bombs, or, at best, a “terrorist” is anyone my government tells me is a terrorist. Watch how many people today are defending this strike by claiming “terrorists” and “militants” were killed using those definitions even though they have literally no idea who was killed.

Other than the higher-than-normal death toll, this mass killing is an incredibly common event under the presidency of the 2009 Nobel Peace laureate, who has so far bombed seven predominantly Muslim countries. As Nick Turse has reported in The Intercept, Obama has aggressively expanded the stealth drone program and secret war in Africa.

This particular mass killing is unlikely to get much attention in the U.S. due to

The lack of attention notwithstanding, there are several important points highlighted by yesterday’s bombing and the reaction to it:

Beyond that, the U.S. government’s own documents prove that in the vast majority of cases — 9 out of 10 in fact — it is killing people other than its intended targets. Last April, the New York Times published an article under the headline “Drone Strikes Reveal Uncomfortable Truth: U.S. Is Often Unsure About Who Will Die.” It quoted the scholar Micah Zenko saying, “Most individuals killed are not on a kill list, and the government does not know their names.”

So yesterday the president killed roughly 150 people in a country where the U.S. is not at war. The Pentagon issued a five-sentence boilerplate statement declaring them all “terrorists.” And that’s pretty much the end of that. Within literally hours, virtually everyone was ready to forget about the whole thing and move on, content in the knowledge — even without a shred of evidence or information about the people killed — that their government and president did the right thing. Now that is a pacified public and malleable media – by Glen Greenwald

https://theintercept.com/2016/03/08/nobody-knows-the-identity-of-the-150-people-killed-by-u-s-in-somalia-but-most-are-certain-they-deserved-it/

11.3.2016 – reuters (A P)

Kerry stresses need to end Syria, Yemen conflicts in talks with Saudis

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry stressed the need to move now to end the conflicts in Syria and Yemen in talks with top Saudi officials on Friday, a senior U.S. official said.

Kerry also sought to reassure officials of the importance of U.S.-Saudi ties a day after President Barack Obama was quoted in a U.S. magazine as saying regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran need to "share the neighborhood" and establish a "cold peace."

Meeting at a Saudi military base outside Hafr al-Batin near the Saudi border with Iraq, Kerry held talks with Saudi King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef, Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir.

The U.S. official said Washington supported U.N. efforts to get all the Yemeni parties into talks. He also said that during his meetings, "Kerry reaffirmed the strong U.S. commitment to our valued and important partnership with Saudi Arabia."

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-kerry-saudi-idUSKCN0WD26J

Comment: The US are definitely partisans in this war – what Kerry clearly is expressing again – so they are unable to play the role of a serious broker. That should be clear to everyone who did not fall on his head. They just should keep out.

Comment: Stop selling arms, for instance.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=984633381589692&id=961126490607048

11.3.2016 – AP (A P)

Kerry arrives in Saudi for talks on Syria, Yemen wars

His visit came as the kings of Bahrain and Jordan joined Pakistan’s prime minister, Abu Dhabi’s crown prince, Qatar’s emir and the Saudi king for a parade and airshow marking the end of the military exercise, dubbed “Northern Thunder.” The drill focused on how to coordinate combat operations and guerrilla warfare tactics among the Muslim-majority countries that are members of a larger counter-terrorism alliance announced by the kingdom in December.

Kerry’s talks focused on the civil wars in Syria and Yemen, where a Saudi-led campaign has been targeting the country’s Iran-backed Shiite rebels.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/kerry-arrives-in-saudi-for-talks-on-syria-yemen-wars/2016/03/11/3f771f00-e7ba-11e5-a9ce-681055c7a05f_story.html

Comment: Western wording is propaganda: The Houthis are called “Iran-backed Shiite rebels”. 1.) Backing by Iran is mostly rhetoric; 2.) They are not Shia, but Zaidi; 3.) They are no more “rebels”, as they form a government in the country’s capital city since about one year. Poroshenko, Yazenjuk in Ukraine still labeled “rebels” one year after the Maidan coup?

11.3.2016 – Annahar (A P)

Kerry heads to Saudi and France for Syria, Yemen, Libya talks

Secretary of State John Kerry is heading to Saudi Arabia and France this week for discussions with top Saudi and European officials about conflicts in Syria, Yemen and Libya.

The State Department says Kerry will leave late Thursday for the Saudi city of Hafar al Batin on its northeastern border with Iraq and Kuwait, where 20 countries just concluded a three-week counterterrorism military exercise.

http://en.annahar.com/article/331889-kerry-heads-to-saudi-and-france-for-syria-yemen-libya-talks

10.3.2016 – Sputnik News (* A P)

Obama rät Saudi-Arabien zur Aufteilung der Nahost-Region mit Iran

Präsident Barack Obama hat dem US-Verbündeten Saudi-Arabien in einem Interview für die Zeitschrift „The Atlantic“ einen „kalten Frieden“ mit dem Iran empfohlen und dabei die Möglichkeit einer US-Unterstützung für Riad bei dessen Konfrontation mit Teheran ausgeschlossen.

Es gibt ernsthafte Differenzen zwischen dem Iran und Saudi-Arabien, die unter anderem die Gegenseiten in den Bürgerkriegen in Syrien und im Jemen unterstützen.

„Der Iran ist seit 1979 ein Feind der USA gewesen und hat den Terrorismus auf staatlicher Ebene unterstützt, dieses Land stellt eine regelrechte Bedrohung für Israel und viele unserer Verbündeten dar und nutzt jedwedes destruktives Verhalten“, sagte Obama. Die USA würden nicht beabsichtigen, die „traditionellen Verbündeten“ wie die Saudis zu verlassen, so der US-Staatschef.

Dabei werde Saudi-Arabien die Region mit dem Iran „teilen“ müssen, so Obama. „Die Konkurrenz zwischen den Saudis und den Iranern, die die Kriege in Syrien, im Irak und im Jemen von außen nährt, erfordert, dass wir unseren Freunden und den Iranern sagen, sie müssten eine effektive Methode zur Aufteilung der Region finden und eine Art kalten Frieden herstellen“, so Obama.

„Unsere Partner am Persischen Golf, unsere traditionellen Freunde haben nicht die Möglichkeit, selbständig den Brand zu löschen oder selbständig einen entscheidenden Sieg zu erkämpfen. Dies würde bedeuten, dass wir kommen und unsere Militärmacht nutzen müssten, um die Angelegenheit beizulegen. Das liegt nicht nur nicht im Interesse der USA, sondern auch nicht im Interesse des Nahen Ostens“, so Obama.

http://de.sputniknews.com/politik/20160310/308353424/Obama-Sauri-Arabien-Nahost-Region-Iran.html

Kommentar: Die Negativbeschreibung des Iran, die Obama hier abgibt, trifft auf jeden Fall 1:1 auf Saudi-Arabien zu – die Bedrohung Israels einmal abgesehen. Aber merke: Mein Terrorist = guter Terrorist; Dein Terrorist = böser Terrorist. Die Aussagen von Obama kritisch beleuchtet hier: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/yemen-and-the-obama-doctrine/

10.3.2016 – New York Times (* A P)

Obama Criticizes the ‘Free Riders’ Among America’s Allies

President Barack Obama believes that Saudi Arabia, one of America's most important allies in the Middle East, needs to learn how to "share" the region with its archenemy, Iran, and that both countries are guilty of fuelling proxy wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen.
In a series of interviews with the magazine Atlantic published on Thursday, Obama said a number of US allies in the Persian Gulf — as well as in Europe — were "free riders," eager to drag the United States into grinding sectarian conflicts that sometimes had little to do with US interests. He showed little sympathy for the Saudis, who have been threatened by the nuclear deal Obama reached with Iran.
The Saudis, Obama told Jeffrey Goldberg, the magazine's national correspondent, "need to find an effective way to share the neighbourhood and institute some sort of cold peace". Reflexively backing them against Iran, the president said, "would mean that we have to start coming in and using our military power to settle scores. And that would be in the interest neither of the United States nor of the Middle East."
Obama's frustration with much of the Arab world is not new, but rarely has he been so blunt about it. He placed his comments in the context of his broader struggle to extract the United States from the bloody morass of the Middle East– by Mark Landler

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/world/middleeast/obama-criticizes-the-free-riders-among-americas-allies.html = http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/world/us/saudis-must-learn-to-share-region-with-iran-obama/articleshow/51348627.cms

Comment: Advice. Reprimand. Warning. But arms are good business.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=983555498364147&id=961126490607048

Comment: Obama the entertainer. That sounds better as it is, as Daniel Larison states (see Yemen Press Reader 113), link to the original site: http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/yemen-and-the-obama-doctrine/ .

25.2.2016 – Middle East Institute (* A P)

What a Trump Presidency Means for the Gulf

Trump’s comments about the Gulf states have been less than reassuring. In extensive remarks on Saudi Arabia, Trump stated in August 2015 that he "wasn’t a big fan” of the country and that the United States had paid too much to "back them up." Trump predicted that Saudi Arabia "is going to be in big trouble pretty soon and they're going to need help ... We get nothing for it and they're making a billion dollars a day." He added that "the primary reason we're with Saudi Arabia is because we need the oil. Now we don't need the oil so much."

Following Trump’s controversial call last December to ban Muslims from entering the United States, the leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council issued a statementexpressing "deep concern at the increase of hostile, racist and inhumane rhetoric against refugees in general and Muslims in particular."

Despite their alarm, there may be some convergence between the positions of the Gulf states and Trump on Iran.

Trump has changed his tune on Saudi a number of times. In a speech last June, he said, “I love the Saudis … whenever they have problems, we send over the ships.” Trump continued, “Saudi Arabia without us is gone. They’re gone.” Trump’s capriciousness is one reason why the Gulf states may prefer someone more predictable, a Hillary Clinton for instance, whom they’ve known and worked with for years.

Another concern for the GCC is Trump’s complete lack of even basic knowledge of regional players. Trump’s candor was on full display when he admitted to Hugh Hewittthat he knew little about Hezbollah’s Hassan Nasrallah, al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri, Jabhat al-Nusra’s Abu Mohammed al-Jolani, and ISIS’ Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The reason, he contended, was, "I think by the time we get to office, they’ll all be changed," despite the fact that many of them have been around for decades.

Trump’s position on Syria is also unclear for the GCC.

A Trump presidency would deny the United States the so-called moral high ground from which to preach to other countries. After all, it would be ironic for a nation whose leader is publicly calling for an immigration ban on followers of a certain religion to rebuke other countries for their human rights record – by Sultan Al Qassemi

http://www.mei.edu/content/article/what-trump-presidency-means-gulf

Comment by Haykal Bafana: An important article. I'd agree Trump as POTUS would not be good news for the GCC. Or for Muslims worldwide.

But the fact is, US politicians are almost slaves to streams of political thought which resonate with the American public.

From that perspective, I think the larger risk for the GCC is that whether Trump wins or not, the new US president is likely to tap into the same popular wave of rhetoric as Trump : Americans have clearly shown they support his extremist ideas.

So even if Trump loses, Trump wins, for I suspect the new US president will adopt Trump-ette policies.

https://www.facebook.com/haykal.bafana/posts/967855769961100

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

11.3.2016 – The National Scot (A P)

MPs set to probe Saudi arms links

MPs are to investigate the use of British arms in the conflict in Yemen in which thousands of civilians have been killed and millions left facing hunger.

The inquiry has been set up two weeks after members of the European Parliament called for an arms embargo against Saudi Arabia in response to its Yemen bombing campaign and amid mounting concern over the humanitarian situation in Yemen.

The probe is being carried out by a parliamentary watchdog on military equipment sales, the Commons’ Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC), which ceased work before last year’s general election and has been recently reconvened.

“We have launched this inquiry to understand what role UK-made arms are playing in the ongoing conflict in Yemen,” said Chris White, the new CAEC chairman, as he announced the inquiry.

Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, the SNP’s trade and investment spokeswoman, who has raised concerns in the
Commons about British arms sales to Saudi Arabia, welcomed the inquiry.

“The UK Government has escaped scrutiny on arms sales to Saudi Arabia for too long after the watchdog on the export of weapons and military equipment ceased work last year,” she said.

“The UK Government cannot justify selling billions of pounds worth of weapons to Saudi Arabia when just last year the Ministry of Justice was pressured into pulling out of a £6 million prison contract with the Kingdom because of concerns over human rights.

“That is why the CAEC investigation is essential so that Parliament can hold the government to account.
“We cannot have any more delay for a full inquiry into these most serious of allegations.”

Andrew Smith of Campaign Against Arms Trade also backed the inquiry, saying: “We welcome the announcement of an investigation, but these arms sales should never have been allowed in the first place.

“Saudi Arabia is one of the most repressive regimes in the world and has unleashed a humanitarian catastrophe on Yemen, yet it has enjoyed uncritical political and military support from the UK.”

CAEC has called for written submissions on evidence about whether UK-manufactured arms are being used by the Royal Saudi Armed Forces in the conflict in Yemen and whether criterion over arms export licences have been breached, and if so what action should be taken – by Kathleen Nutt

http://www.thenational.scot/news/mps-set-to-probe-saudi-arms-links.14891

10.3.2016 – Janes (A P)

UK parliament to review arm sales in gulf region in wake of Yemen conflict

The Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) of the UK parliament launched an inquiry on 10 March designed to review arms sales to the gulf region and whether some arms manufactured in the UK have been used by Saudi Arabian or other forces during fighting in Yemen.

The committee is seeking submissions through 25 March surrounding sales of arms to the gulf region, and is looking to "ask questions about the role the trade plays in advancing UK interests there," according to the committee's announcement.

Several reports have indicated that civilians may have been targeted by Saudi Arabian forces, including a United Nations report, although Saudi Arabia has not acknowledged civilian deaths.

http://www.janes.com/article/58704/uk-parliament-to-review-arm-sales-in-gulf-region-in-wake-of-yemen-conflict

Comment: “Several reports have indicated that civilians may have been targeted by Saudi Arabian forces” is a crazy phrase according to what has happened.

10.3.2016 – Parliamant (A P)

Use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen inquiry launched

The Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) launches an inquiry into the use of UK-manufactured arms in the conflict in Yemen.

Inquiry: Use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen

Committees on Arms Export Controls

The inquiry will look at the size of arms sales to the gulf region and ask questions about the role the trade plays in advancing UK interests there. It will also examine if weapons manufactured in the UK have been used by the Royal Saudi Armed Forces in Yemen, if any arms export licence criteria have been infringed and discuss what action should be taken in such cases.

CAEC comprises members of the Defence, Foreign Affairs, Business, Innovation and Skills and International Development Committees and was first formed in 1999. Its remit is to examine the Government's expenditure, administration and policy on strategic exports, specifically the licensing of arms exports and other controlled goods.

Chair's comments

Committee chairman, Chris White, said:

"The defence and security industry is one of the UK’s most important exporters, however it is vital that its financial success does not come at a cost to the nation’s strategic interests. We have launched this inquiry to understand what role UK-made arms are playing in the on-going conflict in Yemen. Have the criteria set by the government for granting arms export licences in the region been respected and what should be the consequences if they have not? We will also ask if greater consideration should be given to the impact that arms sales have on the sustainable development of the regions where they are bought, and may be used, and the role the Department for International Development should play in this assessment."

Terms of reference

Written submissions are invited on the following issues:

What are the UK’s strategic interests in the region and wider afield? To what extent and how are those strategic interests being advanced?

What significance does the region play in terms of the UK defence and security industry?

Are UK-manufactured arms being used by the Royal Saudi Armed Forces in the conflict in Yemen?

Have there been any infringements of the UK Government’s criteria for the granting of arms export licences with regard to the use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen? If so, what should be done as a consequence?

Should DfID’s formal involvement in granting arms export licences be extended to consider the impact on the sustainable development of both the recipient country and countries where British arms may ultimately be used?

The deadline for written submissions is 25 March 2015.

Send a written submission to the Use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen inquiry

http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/other-committees/committee-on-arms-export-controls/news-parliament-2015/uk-arms-yemen-launch-15-16/

10.3.2016 – The Guardian (* A P)

UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia face inquiry and high court legal action

Powerful parliamentary committee will examine arms sales after Yemen bombing leads to claims of human rights breaches – by Patrick Wintour and Alice Ross

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/10/uk-arms-sales-saudi-arabia-inquiry-yemen-bombing-human-rights

Comment: I cannot help it, but I really have a much more critical approach to this inquiry. What is it really for? There already had been a parliament inquiry in December 2015 on the Yemen war, with quite a lot of evidence given. This was a bulk of evidence proving Saudi war crimes in this war. And after this inquiry, there had been a resolution by the European parliament requiring a ban on arms exports to Saudi Arabia. It should be evident that British weapons bought by the Saudis have been used in this war in the same way as weapons imported from other countries. If Britain had exported a plenty of weapons to Saudi Arabia, they will have been more often used as weapons exported by let us say Belgium. So what about this inquiry?

By this new inquiry, the critics of British arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States now are required to proof – attack by attack – that especially British arms have been used. That will be difficult up to impossible in the most cases. To identify the air plans raging over your head while you are running for a shelter? Seeing whether they are (British) Typhoon Eurofighters or American F-15 bombers? The greater part of attacks happening at night –still a greater job to identify the planes, really.

The bombs dropped – were they really British? There are a lot of images and films showing the victims and the destruction of the raids. Well, now parliament asks whether the bombs dropped on some mountain village really were British or not. The village is in ruins and many people are killed, anyway. The whole intention of this inquiry sounds odd to me. I only now two cases for certain, when British bombs have been used. But what is the evidence of that? That there are just 2 out of 160.000 air raids in which British bombs had been dropped?

The Saudis have bought a plenty of British bombs, BAE Typhoon Eurofighters form a mayor part of the Saudi air fleet, British arms export to Saudi Arabia really had exploded since the beginning of the Yemen war. Thus, statistics and reality just tell us that, if x % of the bombs bought by the Saudis und y % and their air fleet being BAE Typhoons, that x % of the bombs dropped on Yemen are British and y % of the air planes used for that are British, only unless you clearly have different evidence. Or who really will believe that the bombs they bought from the British just will be stapled in the Saudi arsenals, while only American, Italian etc. made bombs are dropped? Who really will believe that the BAE Typhoons mostly stay on the ground, just US bombers flying all the raids? Just unless otherwise PROOFED.

Thus, I think the result of this inquiry will be that only in very few cases it can really be proofed that British arms and equipment is involved. The result of this inquiry will serve the Tory government – which always has proofed to be almost “horny” for selling arms to Saudi Arabia – to claim that they now have got the proof that British arms exports almost are not involved in the Yemen war, and they so have the right to continue their arms exports. Well, anybody would know that this claim would be a folly – but it will be no greater folly than for instance the permanent claim of Mr. Ellwood that there is no evidence for Saudi air strikes hitting civilians, telling this again and again like a broken disk against all evidence.

Comment: Actualized version of an article already presented at Yemen Press Reader 113.

17.12.2015 –BBC (** A B K P)

Saudi arms sales: Court threat by campaign group – by Gabriel Gatehouse

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35118296

Comment: An older article I earlier had overlooked, giving a good overview over the British interference and arms trade.

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

12.3.2016 – EU (A P)

Press release on the meeting between HR/VP Federica Mogherini and Abdul Malek Al Mekhlafi, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Yemen, Brussels

Mogherini recalled the full support of the European Union to ongoing efforts by the UN Special Envoy for Yemen Mr. Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to achieve a resumption of negotiations, in line with relevant UN Security Council Resolutions.

She stressed the urgency of an inclusive political solution to end the current conflict in the face of increasing state fragmentation, human suffering, the rise of terrorism and potential regional spillover. HRVP Mogherini and Minister Al-Mikhlafi discussed ways to achieve a durable ceasefire. Confidence building measures, including the release of political prisoners, the end of cross-border attacks will play an important part in this endeavour.

In the face of the unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, HR/VP Mogherini underlined the need for all parties to ensure the protection of civilians and of humanitarian aid workers, and to facilitate unhindered access for assistance throughout the country.

The EU reiterated its readiness to continue playing its part also in humanitarian and development efforts to the benefit of all Yemenis

http://eeas.europa.eu/statements-eeas/2016/160307_01_en.htm

11.3.2016 – Press TV Iran (* A P)

Prince Nayef himself requested France's Legion d'Honneur: Report

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef himself requested to be honored with the prestigious award of Legion d'Honneur, a French magazine has revealed.

Causette published this week a series of email exchanges between French officials showing they accepted a request by the Saudi prince to award him the prestigious award earlier this month.

“No reason not to do it: It must be discreet concerning the media, without covering it up,” said the North Africa/Middle East director of the French Foreign Ministry in response to warnings that the awarding would raise questions due to Saudi Arabia’s bad reputation in human rights.

The French ambassador to Riyadh had warned advisors in the presidency and foreign ministry ahead of the awarding that the move may stir controversy in the media.

The official in the foreign ministry responded by saying that if questioned why the award should be given to Prince Nayef, the government “should respond '(for the) fight against Daesh and economic partnership'. Of course, let's add, for good measure, elements about human rights,” Causette reported.

The French magazine also revealed that the awarding was done at the request of Nayef, saying he had asked for the honor “at a time in which he seeks to boost his international stature.”

The report said French President Francois Hollande gave the green light to the move hours after foreign ministry officials approved it. Hollande awarded Nayef with the Legion d'Honneur during a visit to Saudi Arabia.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2016/03/11/455132/France-Saudi-prince-Nayef-Legion-dHonneur/

Comment: With this additional story, France looks even more miserable. Well, let us all require to receive the Legion d'Honneur as well, as we all certainly have less blood at our hands and thus would deserve it even more. Mr. Hollande, I’am waiting.

There are following some more reports on this subject how France is prostituting itself. There already have been records in Yemen Press reader 113 as well. Here a nice cartoon: https://twitter.com/Dip_Ye/status/708711736275296256

10.3.2016 – Strategic Culture (** A P)

France Flogs Soul for $3bn Saudi Arms Deal

Now we know how France secured a $3 billion arms deal from Saudi Arabia – by bestowing a senior Saudi prince with the Legion of Honor. For many French citizens the Legion of Honor symbolizes France’s national soul. And now the French government has put a grubby price tag on it.

The move by Paris to grasp the chance of selling weapons to Saudi Arabia also comes a week after the European Union parliament voted for an embargo on weapons supply to the kingdom over mounting human rights concerns.

Again, the French authorities – despite lofty proclamations about human rights and international law – don’t seem to have any scruples when it comes to clinching a $3 billion arms contract.

That contract was reportedly in the balance last week because of a diplomatic spat between Saudi Arabia and Lebanon, where the French weapons, paid for by the Saudis, were destined for.

Then, to the relief of the French government, the Saudis announced that they were going ahead with the arms purchase. In the new arrangement, the Saudis said that they would be taking consignment of the weapons supply from France – for their own use, thus cutting out the Lebanese national army, which had been originally designated as the beneficiary of the defense upgrade.

A day later, on Friday, Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef is received in Paris at the French presidential Élysée Palace and duly awarded the Legion of Honor.

To ascribe coincidence to these developments would be impossibly naive. The quiet, almost secretive, way in which the heir to the Saudi throne was awarded the honor shows that the Paris authorities knew that granting of the medal could prove to be embarrassing.

News of the accolade only came out through reports that were carried in the Saudi official media outlet, whose House of Saud rulers were of course delighted with the grand French «honor».

France’s presidential office was obliged to confirm the award two days later – on Sunday – after the news had been broken by the Saudi media. Why the coy official French manner? No doubt, Paris was all too aware that it would appear that the gong was bestowed because it was a tawdry pay-off to the Saudis for their arms purchase going through.

The awarding of the prestigious French medal – considered to be the nation’s highest honor – has sparked public furor in France and around the world because of Saudi Arabia’s horrendous human rights record. «Disgraceful», «Shame», «Worthless», are just a few of the words of condemnation to have erupted across news and social media.

On the same weekend that the Saudi minister – a nephew of King Salman – received his French honor, the absolute, unelected rulers executed the 70th person so far this year from among the country’s burgeoning prison population. Most executions in the oil-rich kingdom are carried out by beheading with a sword. Often the decapitated corpse is subsequently hung by crucifixion in public view as a macabre warning to would-be offenders.

There is also widespread public outrage over Saudi Arabia’s ongoing bombardment of neighboring Yemen where thousands of civilians have been killed in Saudi-led air strikes over the past year. The Saudi campaign – supported by the US, British and French governments – claims to be aimed at putting down an «Iranian-backed rebellion» led by Houthi fighters.

But those claims are dubious. Yemen looks to many observers like a case of illegal foreign aggression by the Saudis on the poorest country in the Arab region. In any case, as the United Nations has declared in several dire humanitarian warnings, most of Yemen’s 24 million population are suffering from a Saudi military blockade, with reports of children starving from lack of food, water and medicines.

Furthermore, while the French presidency claimed that the Legion of Honor was awarded to Mohammed bin Nayef, the country’s interior minister, for his role in the fight against terrorism, the official citation strains credibility and contempt.

There is abundant evidence to show that the Wahhabi Islamist Saudi rulers have been prominent financial and ideological sponsors of al-Qaeda-linked terror groups over many years. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted the Saudi terror connection back in 2009 in diplomatic cables leaked by whistleblower source Wikileaks. These same Saudi-backed terror groups are a central element in the Western-backed covert war for regime change in Syria since March 2011.

But getting back to the French-Saudi arms deal. Only last week that deal looked set to be cancelled after the Saudi rulers announced that they were not going ahead with a $4 billion aid grant to Lebanon’s government. That offer was reportedly made to Lebanon back in November 2014 by Saudi Arabia. Most of it – some $3 billion – was slated to be spent on French weapons and other military equipment in order to upgrade the Lebanese national army.

Last month, the Saudis backed away from the grant to Lebanon because they claimed that the Beirut-based Hezbollah Shia resistance movement was exerting too much influence over the Lebanese government, of which it is an elected coalition party.

The Saudis were irked, for instance, after the Lebanese government declined to support Riyadh in denouncing Iran over an attack by protesters on its embassy in Tehran. That incident followed the execution by Saudi Arabia of Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in January this year, along with 46 other prisoners.

The real reason for Saudi petulance is that Hezbollah militia fighting in Syria have been a major military factor in why Syrian president Assad’s army has managed to turn the strategic tables on the anti-government insurgents there. Russian air power and Syrian army ground forces backed by Hezbollah and Iranian militia have salvaged Syria from a proxy war for regime change that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and Western governments had fomented over the past five years.

Cancellation of the military grant to Lebanon by the Saudis was also accompanied by other diplomatic slights towards Beirut, including travel warnings and a fresh declaration by Saudi Arabia and its Persian Gulf cronies against Hezbollah as a «terrorist organization».

Thus there can be little question that the abrupt Saudi cut-off of military aid to Lebanon is part of its proxy war in Syria.

That cut-off, however, appeared to leave France out in the cold as the weapons supplier. Until, that is, Saudi Arabia subsequently announced that it was going ahead with the French arms purchase, with the equipment being shipped to Saudi Arabia instead of Lebanon.

With the French economy languishing under sluggish growth, sagging trade and budget deficits and record unemployment, the news of the Saudi $3 billion arms deal would have been met with intense relief in Paris.

And so the red carpet at the Élysée Palace was rolled out – «discreetly» mind you – for the Saudi dictator’s nephew.

The Legion of Honor is supposed to be France’s highest national accolade, awarded to outstanding citizens and foreign dignitaries. It was created in 1802 by emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.

At the same time that Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammed bin Nayef received his medal from French president Francois Hollande in Paris, the Legion of Honor was also awarded separately to British veterans of the Second World War for their courage during the D-Day landings in 1944.

No wonder then that the juxtaposition of the awards has sparked public anger in France and England, with protesters claiming that the accolade has been grossly devalued for those deserving recipients – men and women who gave their lives to save France and Europe from fascist despotism.

If the Legion of Honor is taken as a symbol of French national soul, then it is understandable that many are disgusted that France’s soul is flogged for an arms deal with the one of the world’s most despotic regimes.

It should not be surprising, too, that French president Hollande and his government are viewed with such increasing contempt, both nationally and internationally.

Hollande’s corroding credibility is a problem that is shared by other Western governments, Washington and London in particular, who are likewise seen to be corrupt. Because, like Paris, they are consorting with despotic regimes for the same sordid self-interests of selling weapons and trying to destabilize foreign states – by Finian Cunningham

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2016/03/10/france-flogs-soul-for-3bn-saudi-arms-deal.html

8.3.2016 – Middle East Eye (** A P)

Legion of shame: France's absurd award for Saudi's bin Nayef

Mohammed bin Nayef, the prince who wins a gong for his fight against terror, is in point of fact the architect of a Saudi reign of terror

And Francois Hollande? Well, sensing perhaps that France can replace America in the affections of the House of Saud, he has been a very busy man. Nowhere more busy than in the selling of arms in the Gulf.

Last year he signed a $12 billion deal with Mohammed bin Salman who also serves as the kingdom’s defence minister. He sold $7 billion worth of weapons including 24 Rafale fighter jets to Qatar, a country with an indigenous population of less than 300,000. And then there was the matter of the $7 billion worth of French arms to Lebanon, which the Saudis were paying for.

They abruptly pulled the plug on that deal in a fit of pique, one that Hollande no doubt appreciated. The Saudis were annoyed that Lebanon had not condemned the sacking of their embassy in Tehran in the wake of the execution of a leading Saudi Shia cleric, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr in early January.

Chivalrous to a fault, they didn’t feel it was right that France should be left holding the bag. So the Saudis said they’d take the weapons. After all Saudi Arabia has a war in Yemen that bin Salman launched nearly a year ago, so it is not as if all those guns and ammo were going to sit idle. Pure coincidence I am sure that the Legion d’Honneur was announced mere hours later.

Now, undoubtedly, the sale of weapons has been a huge boost to an otherwise ailing French economy. Experts say it has created 30,000 new jobs in a country with high levels of unemployment. But tipping vast quantities of arms into the world’s most unstable region is not in the cold light of dawn the wisest of strategies to pursue. But pursue it President Hollande has done, with a vengeance.

Along the way, the country that is founded on liberty, equality and fraternity has turned a blind eye to the savage human rights abuses that Saudi Arabia carries out on an almost daily basis. Peaceful critics of the regime like Raif Badawi are sentenced to long terms in jail and the lash for having the temerity to question the absolutism of the House of Saud. In Badawi’s case 10 years and 1000 lashes.

The beheading of Sheikh Nimr and three other Shia from the Eastern Province along with 43 alleged al-Qaeda members and sympathisers seems not to have troubled the French president one little bit.

He conveniently ignored the allegations of torture in detention, forced confessions, the denial of legal representation and a deeply flawed court system that waved through the death sentences. And the request from the prosecutor that after the beheading the sheikh’s corpse be crucified.

Juveniles when arrested, like Ali the nephew of Sheikh Nimr, now sitting on death row? Not a concern. No apparent concern either about allegations that a young man died in custody on 4 March, the same day the president pinned the award on the proud chest of bin Nayef. The authorities say the death was due to “a psychological state of fear,” whatever that means. His family say he was tortured to death.

I don’t think that Hollande is a man who appreciates irony. If he did he would surely have noticed that Mohammed bin Nayef, the prince who wins a gong for his fight against terror, is in point of fact the architect of a Saudi reign of terror, one where he has used mass executions to buttress his position as he vies with the young bin Salman for the throne. Legion d’honneur or Legion d’honte? I don’t know about you but I will opt for the latter – by Bill Law

http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/frances-legion-honour-or-legion-shame-1367030562 and an article by The Independent, march 6: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/francois-hollande-quietly-awards-frances-highest-honour-to-visiting-saudi-crown-prince-a6915711.html

17.1.2016 – Arab News (A P)

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman was conferred on Sunday the highest Mexican honor for his contributions to promote bilateral relations and for his “distinguished services to mankind in general.”

The Order of the Aztec Eagle was presented to the king by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto at Al-Yamamah Palace.

“The Aztec Eagle (collar) is the highest Mexican recognition presented to non-Mexican heads of state for their services to Mexico and for rendering services to humanity,” said Mexican Ambassador Arturo Trejo. King Salman, on his part, reciprocated the gesture and presented the coveted King Abdulaziz Medal to Nieto at the palace ceremony.

According to the citation, King Salman received the order for his important contributions and dedication in promoting understanding, friendship, peace and for rendering services to mankind. The Aztec Eagle (collar) is made up of 30 pieces of gold-plated silver and decorated with the Mexico City Aztec emblem.

The talks between the two leaders were followed by the signing of nine agreements as announced earlier, said Trejo. “Both the king and Nieto witnessed the signing.”

Trejo added that the two leaders discussed a range of bilateral and international issues besides ways and means to expand economic cooperation, investment in new sectors and strengthening the political dialogue. King Salman was also invited by the Mexican president to visit Mexico.

Mexican Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said Mexico was particularly interested in the Gulf states’ large investment funds, “which represent an opportunity for Mexico to capture investment.”

Mexico is keen to attract investment to its oil sector after Nieto undertook reforms that ended state-run firm Pemex’s 77-year monopoly.

http://direct.arabnews.com/featured/news/866441?quicktabs_stat2=0

Comment: This article seems to have been overlooked before. Well, Why the French shall be the only ones giving such honors to Saudi leaders? Crazy is the only word fitting if looking at the motivation: “King Salman received the order for his important contributions and dedication in promoting understanding, friendship, peace and for rendering services to mankind”: That is comedy. “Promoting peace”: In Syria and in Yemen?? “Promoting understanding”: Again: Syria, Yemen, let’s add with Iran, and now Lebanon? By spreading sectarian Wahabism around the world?? “Rendering services to mankind”: What services?” Specify, please. For bombing Yemen and sending weapons for intensify war in Syria?? Well, the real reason is somewhat hidden in the later part of the article: “Mexican Energy Minister Pedro Joaquin Coldwell said Mexico was particularly interested in the Gulf states’ large investment funds”: Well, that’s it. The Saudi way of making foreign policy – by money, by simple buying the foreign countries and politicians. Well, there I cannot compete with. Certainly even being much less bloody, different from the Saudi king I will not have any chance of the “Mexican Eagle”.

Comment: Congratulations, Mexico. We think you are not getting the point.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=983868531666177&id=961126490607048

10.3.2016 – Le Monde (A K P)

La Suède met fin à sa coopération militaire avec l'Arabie saoudite au nom des droits de l'homme

La Suède a décidé de ne pas renouveler son accord de coopération militaire signé avec l'Arabie saoudite en 2005, a annoncé mardi 10 mars le premier ministresocial-démocrate, Stefan Löfven. « Il sera rompu », a déclaré M. Löfven à la radio publique SR depuis Kiev, à propos de cet accord qui était controversé au sein de la majorité de gauche en raison de la question des droits de l'homme.

En 2014, selon cet accord modeste, Riyad avait acheté pour 338 millions de couronnes (37 millions d'euros) d'armement suédois.

Cette décision est rendue publique peu après un incident diplomatique entre les deux pays, l'Arabie saoudite ayant empêché la ministre des affaires étrangèressuédoise, Margot Wallström, de prononcer un discours prévu lors d'une réunion de la Ligue arabe au Caire.

http://www.lemonde.fr/europe/article/2015/03/10/la-suede-met-fin-a-sa-cooperation-militaire-avec-l-arabie-saoudite-au-nom-des-droits-de-l-homme_4591005_3214.html

Comment: Sweden ends itsmilitary cooperation with Saudi Arabia for its violations of human rights.

8.3.2016 – Gulf News (A K)

Saudi Arabia ‘to open military base in Djibouti’

Djibouti keen to expand ties and cooperation with Saudi Arabia

Djibouti is looking forward to signing an accord with Saudi Arabia to set up a Saudi base in the Eastern African country, its ambassador in Riyadh said.

Dhia-Eddin Bamakhrama said that he expected the signing to take place soon, adding that relations between the two countries have been steadily improving and that their security, military, economic and political cooperation have now reached unprecedented levels.

“The agreement will cover cooperation in all terrestrial, marine and aerial military aspects,” Bamakhrama told London-based Al Sharq Al Awsat daily.

The ambassador said that the recent visit by President Esmaïl Omar Guelleh to Saudi Arabia and his meeting with King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud had marked a far-reaching positive change in the relations between the two countries.

It also resulted in the formation of a joint military commission to discuss cooperation between the two countries, he added.

The envoy said that relations between Djibouti and Saudi Arabia were open at all levels and that two countries had convergent views on all issues in the region, adding that the participation of his country in the anti-terror Islamic coalition was in response to an invitation from Riyadh.

In January, Djibouti cut off its diplomatic relations with Iran following the attacks on the Saudi embassy in Tehran and general consulate in the northern city of Mashhad.

Despite its proximity to highly restive regions in Africa and the Middle East, Djibouti has been a model of stability.

Djibouti is already home to the largest permanent American military base in Africa, Camp Lemonnier, accommodating 4,000 US personnel.

The US reportedly used its base to launch drones that bombed sites belonging to Al Qaida in Yemen.

Djibouti also hosts a French military base while several other navies often use its port.

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/saudi-arabia/saudi-arabia-to-open-military-base-in-djibouti-1.1686291

Comment: This will be quite useful for the Saudis in their Yemen war. The reason why Djibouti is doing this: Saudi money, as so often. And Western countries have their military bases there as well.

13.3.2016 – Al Araby (* A K P)

Is Djibouti Saudi's bridge over troubled waters to Yemen?

Djibouti is home to militaries from across the world

Reports that Saudi Arabia is planning to build a military base in Djibouti have been a hot topic of discussion on both sides of the Red Sea.

Lying on the Horn of Africa and in some of the world's most troubled waters and poverty-stricken lands, Djibouti's strategic location is its gold.

A long list of foreign countries have built military bases in Djibouti, which sometimes leads to the ironic situation of militaries of mortal enemies being figuratively speaking, parked next to one another.
Israel is said to have a secret military presence in the East African country, and they might be there to eavesdrop on regional foe Iran whose navy is said to drop in at Djibouti's Red Sea ports from time-to-time.
Meanwhile, established western powers US and France have bases in the country, but could be soon joined by Asian superpower China, which also has plans to set up a camp in the Horn of Africa.
Not wanting to feel left out, Saudi Arabia is the latest country planning to build a station in the African nation, according comments from Djibouti's ambassador in Riyadh.
"The agreement will cover cooperation in all terrestrial, marine and aerial military aspects," said Dhia-Eddin Bamakhrama.
The ambassador promised that the two countries would ink the deal shortly, and reveal more details about the military bases.

A new base in East Africa could help it secure its hold over Yemen but analysts are sceptical about its importance.
"I can't see much military benefit to a Saudi base in Djibouti, given Djibouti's proximity to Saudi," said
James Spencer, a Syria analyst.
However, Saudi has provided financial support to Djibouti and the country recently joined the Riyadh led Islamic military coalition, which organised a massive war game excercise in northern Saudi Arabia this week.
"If it follows the pattern of other countries in the [Islamic] coalition, Saudi's investment in Djibouti is a quid pro quo for the latter's participation. Somalia was given $50 million; $5 billion was deposited into Sudan's central bank, which was also involved in breaking ties with Iran."
Riyadh military intervention against Houthi rebels in Yemen is also viewed by many analysts of stubbing out any potential Iranian threat on the kingdom's southern borders.
It could also help it secure control over the Bab al-Mandeb checkpoint which is a crucial transit point for Gulf oil to Europe.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/blog/2016/3/13/is-djibouti-saudis-bridge-over-troubled-waters-to-yemen

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Siehe auch cp 10 Großbritannien, cp12 Frankreich / See also cp 10 Great Britain, cp 12 France

cp13b Mercenaries / Söldner

11.3.2016 – Deutsche Wirtschaftsnachrichten (* A K)

Jemen: Neue US-Söldner ziehen in den Kampf gegen Rebellen

Im Jemen sind neue Söldner der US-Firma DynCorp angekommen, um die Rebellen im Land zu bekämpfen. Sie sollen die Söldner von Blackwater ersetzen. Diese wurden zuvor von den Rebellen reihenweise getötet.

Die ersten Söldner der privaten US-Militärfirma DynCorp sind am Mittwoch am Hafen von Ras Omran südwestlich von Aden angekommen. Sie werden die Söldner von Academi, ehemals Blackwater, ersetzen, da diese im Kampf gegen die Houthi-Rebellen nicht bestehen konnten, berichtet die griechische Zeitung tribune. In den vergangenen Wochen sollen nach einem Bericht von TeleSUR über 39 Blackwater-Söldner im Jemen ums Leben gekommen sein. Bereits am 1. Februar wurde der US-amerikanische Blackwater-Befehlshaber Nicholas Butros bei Kämpfen gegen die Rebellen in der Provinz Lahij getötet. Die Blackwater-Söldner mussten sich aus der Region Bab el Mandeb komplett zurückziehen.

Die Söldner von DynCorp wurden im Auftrag der Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate (VAE) in den Jemen entsendet. Die VAE unterstützt die Regierung in Sanaa gegen die Rebellen. DynCorp soll für den Einsatz drei Milliarden Dollar erhalten.

http://deutsche-wirtschafts-nachrichten.de/2016/03/11/jemen-neue-us-soeldner-ziehen-in-den-kampf-gegen-rebellen/

11.3.2016 – Sputnik News (*A K)

Fresh Blood! New US Mercenaries Deployed to Fight Against Rebels in Yemen

New mercenaries of the US company DynCorp have recently arrived in Yemen to fight rebels in the country. They should replace the mercenaries of the company Blackwater, many of whom had been killed in battle, German newspaper Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (DWN) reported.

The first mercenaries of the private US military company DynCorp arrived on Wednesday at the Yemeni port of Ras Omran southwest of Aden. They will replace Blackwater's mercenaries, since the latter were unable to defeat the Houthi rebels, DWN wrote, citing the Greek newspaper tribune.

In recent weeks, about 39 Blackwater soldiers were killed in Yemen during the fighting. For instance, on February 1 the US Blackwater Commander Nicholas Boutros was killed in battle in the Yemeni province of Lahij.

The deployment of new DynCorp soldiers was initiated by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) which supports the official government in Sanaa and promised three billion dollars for the campaign.

http://sputniknews.com/us/20160311/1036149750/us-mercenaries-yemen.html see also https://southfront.org/first-group-of-dyncorp-mercenaries-arrived-in-yemen-and-replaced-the-ones-from-ex-blackwater/

cp13c Flüchtlinge / Refugees

11.3.2016 – Middle East Monitor (* B H)

For decades, Yemen has been a transit country for East Africans, with dozens of them drowning on their way across the Red Sea every year. As it’s the poorest Arab state, most migrants meant to move on to Saudi Arabia or other Gulf nations. Many ended up in the care of international organisations with the Yemeni side providing plots of land for refugee camps and basic infrastructure. Although racism and exploitation clearly are pressing and the chances of entering the small formal labour market have been very low, overall Yemen has been more hospitable to African migrants than any of its oil-rich neighbours.

However, since the beginning of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen in March 2015, chances for Somalis, Ethiopians and Eritreans to safely make it to a Gulf state via Yemen have reached an all-time low. Many migrant workers and refugees, however, have ignored this fact. While the United Nations’ Refugee Agency (UNHCR) records over 260,000 mostly African refugees, nearly 100,000 East Africans arrived in Yemen by boat in 2015 alone. Two thirds arrived since March 2015 when the conflict began, UNHCR says.

As the new Yemen report of the Bertelsmann Transformation Index shows, the rising numbers of refugees puts additional strain on Yemen’s already weak public administration – one of the least developed in the world. “The provision of services cannot keep up with the population growth and the influx of refugees,” the report warns.

In the absence of reliable reports, videos on the internet reveal deplorable conditions of refugees trapped on the southern side of the Saudi-Yemeni border, which Saudi Arabia has been trying to fortify in recent years. In March 2015, a Saudi airstrike hit a refugee camp in the northern town of Harad, killing dozens of refugees.

10% of Yemenis are internally displaced

Unsurprisingly, this war produced yet another type of refugee. According to the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) up to 2.5 million Yemenis – about ten per cent of the population – have been internally displaced so far. They have few options for leaving the country either because of a lack of means or because of the increasingly restrictive visa policies of their brotherly Arab countries and the fact that almost all foreign embassies in Yemen are closed.

Nevertheless, creative and experienced with hardships, many Yemenis found a way out. They mainly went to Egypt and Jordan, but also to East Africa, including to Somalia, sometimes using the same means of transport that the African refugees used to escape to Yemen. A small portion of mainly well-educated Yemenis made it to Europe, the United States or the Far East.

UN agencies estimate that about 170,000 Yemenis have left the country since the beginning of the war. The damage this brain-drain is doing to the economy adds to the harm done to the infrastructure, already in dire need of heavy investment before the air raids, and the damage to the underdeveloped private sector.

With the war in Yemen, migratory flows have reversed: East Africans and Yemenis who flee the country now for the first time outnumber those who use Yemen as a stop-over to Gulf states.

In the worst case, Yemen has to wait until the conflict parties run out of money. In the best case, the international community takes off the velvet gloves when dealing with the conflict parties – by Iris Glosemeyer

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/24445-trapped-in-yemen

11.3.2016 – International Organisation for Migration (A H)

Yemen Crisis: IOM Regional Response - Situation Report, 10 March 2016

Highlights

Since the beginning of the crisis, a total of 586,096 IDPs and conflict-affected persons in nine governorates in Yemen have benefitted from IOM’s WASH activities.

IOM in Djibouti, Yemen and Ethiopia are coordinating to restart the sea evacuations of stranded Ethiopian migrants in Al Hudaydah, Yemen. A total of 1,036 migrants have been registered so far and evacuations are expected to start as early as next week.

To date, over 75,600 people have arrived in Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan from Yemen. Of this, over 24,100 individuals have received post-arrival assistance from IOM.

Situation Overview

Access across Yemen remains difficult as a result of deliberate restrictions put in place by the warring parties (as is the case in Taizz City since August 2015) and due to insecurity. Humanitarian partners face extreme challenges accessing border areas of Sa’ada and Hajjah due to ongoing air strikes and artillery barrages. Serious constraints also persist in front-line areas in Marib and Al Bayda governorates.

According to the seventh report of the Task Force on Population Movements, the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Yemen has decreased slightly by 79,000 people since December 2015, to 2.43 million in February 2016. Taizz governorate now hosts the largest number of IDPs (550,000 individuals), followed by Hajjah (353,000 individuals) and Sana’a (253,000 individuals).

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-crisis-iom-regional-response-situation-report-10-march-2016 and in full http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/IOM%20Yemen%20Crisis%20Sitrep%2010%20March%202016%20%2341.pdf

11.3.2016 – International Organization for Migration (* A T)

IOM Condemns Wednesday Attack at Migrant Response Point in Hodeidah, Yemen

In the last two months, IOM has assisted more than 1,000 stranded and destitute migrants, mainly at the Migrant Response Point in Hodeidah, with medical care, non-food items, and temporary shelter for the most vulnerable cases. Despite the challenges posed by conflict context in 2015, IOM has assisted over 13,000 vulnerable and stranded migrants in Yemen.

Having suffered a series of human rights violations during their journey to and through Yemen, migrants routinely come to IOM's MRPs in Aden and Hodeidah in desperate need of life-saving assistance. IOM’s migrant assistance and protection operations are supported by the DFID, ECHO, US Department of State, Sida, UN-CERF, and USAIM.

These days, IOM and government partners in Yemen and throughout the region are working earnestly to resume evacuation operations, which in 2015 benefited 4,222 migrants. The operational evacuation plan for 2016 starting this month – during its initial phase – aims to evacuate 1,250 stranded migrants in Hodeidah who have requested this specific support.

According to IOM estimates, there are several thousand more stranded migrants who seek a way home and escape from Yemen's conflict. IOM expects to operate both sea and air evacuations in the coming months for 6,900 migrants.

http://www.iom.int/news/iom-condemns-wednesday-attack-migrant-response-point-hodeidah-yemen

cp13d Wirtschaft / Economy

Siehe auch cp2 (Bertelsmann Stiftung) / See also cp2 (Bertelsmann Stiftung)

11.3.2016 – Reuters (A E)

Film: Life not sweet for Yemen honey farmers

Bee-keepers in Yemen produce some of the world's finest honey, but sales and revenues are increasingly becoming another casualty of the bitter armed conflict in this impoverished Arab state. Shanade James reports.

https://nz.news.yahoo.com/video/watch/31079403/life-not-sweet-for-yemen-honey-farmers/#page1

Comment by Judith Brown: This is a story about Yemen's famous honey, a monoculture honey like New Zealand's Manuka honey. It is delicious and as a monoculture and inevitably organic honey (although not certified but no chemicals are used) it has medicinal properties particularly relating to infection and inflammation. If you want to buy Yemeni honey you can still buy on line. For example, www.yemensidrhoney.com

https://www.facebook.com/judith.brown.794628/posts/10154164372768641

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

Siehe “Am wichtigsten” / See “most important”

12.3.2016 – Pakistan Defense (A T)
Yemen - AQAP organizes "We are coming Aqsa" in al-Mukalla, Hadhramaut. [VID]

[Al Qaida propaganda video; photos from Al Qaida videos showing Al Qaida caring for the population]

http://defence.pk/threads/yemen-aqap-organizes-we-are-coming-aqsa-in-al-mukalla-hadhramaut-vid.425491/

11.3.2016 – International Organization for Migration (* A T)

IOM Condemns Wednesday Attack at Migrant Response Point in Hodeidah, Yemen

On 9 March 2016, at 3:00 PM, an armed group stormed the IOM Migrant Response Point (MRP) in Hodeidah, Yemen and fired automatic weapons inside the premises. The assault resulted in the death of a 16-year-old unaccompanied migrant.

More than 70 vulnerable migrants and 17 members of the IOM staff were inside the MRP at the time of the forced entry. One bullet hit a pre-fabricated metal container used by the IOM Protection team to register migrants. The bullet pierced the container's wall, fatally wounding the 16-year-old who had hidden inside. The boy died at the scene; IOM's medical team coordinated the transport of his body to the nearest hospital.

IOM is shocked and appalled by this brutal attack and is working closely with the local law enforcement so that a thorough investigation will be conducted.

http://www.iom.int/news/iom-condemns-wednesday-attack-migrant-response-point-hodeidah-yemen

10.3.2016 – Juan Cole (B T)

Why Isn’t this News? US-Saudi War Helping al-Qaida Flourish in Yemen

Much of the work to deny AQAP a safe haven in Yemen, flawed as it was, has now been completely undone. Uprooting AQAP was always going to be a long, onerous process in a state as weak as Yemen, but Saudi’s U.S.-facilitated war has significantly increased the difficulty. The widespread bombing, which has destroyed hospitals and factories in addition to hundreds of homes, has ensured that any future Yemeni government will be unable to take on AQAP by itself for years, if not decades. In effect, the United States has helped to guarantee that its controversial and costly counterterrorism mission in Yemen will have to continue indefinitely.

Though much damage has already been done, the United States must at the very least stop contributing to its own insecurity. First and foremost, it should make its military assistance conditional upon the Saudi-led coalition strictly limiting its air strikes to actual military positions. The United States must not assist with the targeting and bombing of any additional civilian infrastructure targets. Washington should also push the Saudis to devote more attention to helping local groups confront AQAP on the ground.

Meanwhile, the United States should seek to be the largest, most visible supporter of the reconstruction of Yemen. In the present, it should seize every available opportunity to publicly call for, provide, and deliver humanitarian assistance to the Yemeni people, including by pressuring the Saudis to permit the free flow of aid. Washington must also prepare for the post-conflict period, including how it will engage with local actors and facilitate good governance and economic development. All will not be forgiven overnight, but the United States has guaranteed that it will be involved for much longer than that – by Bill Hess

http://www.juancole.com/2016/03/why-isnt-this-news-us-saudi-war-helping-al-qaida-flourish-in-yemen.html

Comment: This article gives an overview over the implications of this war, facts which have been reported and linked here for many times. I agree with many of his proposals what the US should do. But one thing just would not word, therefore the US must be a totally different state than it is today: “engage with local actors and facilitate good governance and economic development”: that always and everywhere just have been pretended arguments for interfering in other countries just for the own benefit. What about of today’s Ukraine?

cp15 Propaganda

11.3.2016 – Khaleej Times (A P T)

The GCC will not spare any terrorist group

Terrorists of different ideologies are a threat to the Arabian Gulf region, and the GCC will confront their views and the violence perpetrated by them effectively on the ground and online. These groups are centered in the north and south of the region, not to mention sleeper cells, which rear their head every now and then to cause damage to life and property.

GCC countries have a clear plan to root out terror, no matter what religion or ideology the terrorists embrace, but there's a bigger challenge when some countries sponsor militias and provide them with weapons to stoke trouble in the region.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took on Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. The terrorist group had launched some attacks against the kingdom and killed many civilians and members of the security forces. The Saudi counter offensive against the group forced them to move base to Yemen. Then Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh played on fears of world powers and sought money and munitions to fight the group. He failed in his bid to rein in the organisation which tried to assassinate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Naif, who was then the Saudi minister of interior.

Now Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is carrying out attacks against Emirati forces in Aden, which serve the interests of former president Abdullah Saleh and the Houthi rebels, who are sponsored and supported by Iran. Terror groups and militias in Yemen exploit children and use them as soldiers. There is fear all around. Our fight is not against any people, religion, or a school of thought, but against the pervasive spread of violence that is corrupting the minds of our youth.

Some militia in Yemen are loyal to former president Saleh; they support Al Qaeda and back the Houthis, who are in turn backed by the regime in Iran. GCC countries are also up against hardline Salafist groups in Syria and Iraq represented by Daesh and the Al Nusra Front. Terror unleashed by these groups will be curbed and violence in any form will not be tolerated by countries in the region.

In Syria and Iraq, violent ideology is widespread because of fragile and weak states. Governments there support some sect at the expense of another. They instigate local militias to take up arms and turn against each other with the sole purpose of remaining in power. Gulf countries have battled such tendencies with vigour and will not stand by idly as such groups run riot and local governments look the other way.

Recent statements by UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan sheds light on our strategy. "We cannot differentiate between terror groups Daesh and Al Nusra Front on the one hand and the militant groups in Syria and Iraq, who are sponsored by Iran on the other." Shaikh Abdullah said if we want to put an end to Daesh and Al Nasr, we cannot disregard what is being committed by Abu Al Fadl Al Abbas Brigade, Badr group, and Hezbollah against the Iraqi and Syrian people.

Today, Iran wields control over governments in Iraq and Lebanon. It has influenced politics in both countries by creating and arming terrorist groups that have massacred people.

Evidence shows that groups sponsored by Iran are no less barbaric than groups like Daesh and the Al Nusra Front. Abu A Fadl Al Abbas Brigade, Al Mahdi Army, Failaq Al Quds, the Badr Group, Asaeb Ahl Al Haq, Al Mukhtar Army, Tharullah, Malek Al Ashtar, as well as Hezbollah have the same violent, sectarian agenda, but are controlled by different masters. We cannot focus on one terror group and let the other take advantage and gather the spoils of hate. They must be fought intelligently and also at the intellectual level online and offline. The UAE established the Hedayah centre to respond to these terror groups online. There's also Sawab which is a joint initiative with the United States. This is a battle for the hearts and minds of people, particularly the young, who can be indoctrinated easily. We have to pool our thoughts together and fight the terrorists on the ground and not let them destroy our way of life.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/editorials-columns/the-gcc-will-not-spare-any-terrorist-group = http://www.israelnews.net/index.php/sid/242132587

Comment: They have been and still are great sponsors of terrorists worldwide, and still finance and arm them and support them where they calculate the terrorists would be of any use for their plans and goals (like in Syria). They only combat terrorists if these also have turned against them.

11.3.2016 – KUNA (A P)

Arab FMs renew support to Yemen s constitutional legitimacy

The Arab League Council on Friday reaffirmed commitment to supporting the legitimate authority in Yemen represented by President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi

http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2492050&Language=en

Comment: Hadi’s government since February 25, 2015, no more is the “legitimate authority” in Yemen – that day definitely had expired his prolonged term. Insisting in the totally one-side UN resolution 2216 will mean to prolong the Yemen war into eternity. Here, Hadi’s “legitimacy” even is labeled as “constitutional”: Even more a joke, as their nothing is to be found which backs any “legitimacy” of him – he just being a transitional president, elected for 2 years) – and the constitution clearly states that sanaa is the capital city of the country, no exemptions given. Thus, Hadi having proclaimed Aden to be the capital of the country for a five-years term, even as only provisional, simply is contradicting the constitution. In the constitutional capital city of Yemen are ruling the Huthis, already from that point of view even more “constitutional” than Hadi.

Well, unless – the “West” domininating the UN and the Saudis take it for granted that are they who just have the right to dictate worldwide who is the “legitimate” government of any country wherever, not caring at all for this state’s constitution, political processes and population. That’s exactly what is happening in Yemen, what they are trying in Syria and Libya, where the “West” was keen to install a government just by its own arbitrariness (while there already were existing two competing governments in that country), just for being granted by this new “legitimate” government the right to bomb in Libya.

11.3.2016 – WAM (A P)

Yemen's President, Vice President congratulate Army and Popular Resistance on Taiz victories

President of Yemen Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi has praised the acts of heroism of the National Army and Popular Resistance Forces to defend security, stability and constitutional legitimacy as well as restore normal life in the country.

He also hailed their efforts aimed to put an end to the coup operations committed by the militia of al-Houth and the Forces Loyal to the Ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh which resulted in huge catastrophes to the homeland and Yemeni people.

https://www.wam.ae/en/news/arab/1395292759187.html

11.3.2016 – Qatar News Agency (A P)

The Foreign Ministers of the Arab League Council praised Friday the role the State of Qatar played in hosting a conference providing humanitarian aid in Yemen.

The council also thanked King Salman bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia for the big humanitarian role he is playing to alleviate the humanitarian conditions in Yemen. The council also thanked the United Arab Emirates for its support to Yemen.

The council stressed their support to the legitimate authority in Yemen represented in its president Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi. The council added that any negotiations must take place in the context of the GCC initiative and the outcomes of the national dialogue, as well as UN Security Council resolutions. They highlighted resolution no. 2216 in particular.

The council also agreed to label Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.

http://www.qna.org.qa/en-us/News/16031122470039/Arab-League-Foreign-Ministers-Praise-Qatari-Conference-on-Yemen

Comment: That’s little more than a Saudi propaganda event. The Saudi “humanitarian support” for Yemen is equivalent to the costs of 1 day 9 hours aerial war against Yemen. – Hadi’s government since February 25, 2015, no more is the “legitimate authority” in Yemen – that day definitely had expired his prolonged term. Insisting in the totally one-side UN resolution 2216 will mean to prolong the Yemen war into eternity.

11.3.2016 – Arab News (A P)

Iran’s game in Yemen

The deputy chief of staff of Iran’s armed forces has hinted that his country may send military advisers to Yemen, as it has in Syria. He said that Tehran felt a duty toward both countries. Iran has been present in Yemen since before the coup against President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s government last year.
Its expanded presence is a major reason Saudi Arabia built a military alliance and launched a war there, when it confirmed suspicions that Iran was behind the Houthis’ seizure of the capital, and was sending “military consultants” and huge shipments of arms to support them.
After its proxy seized power with the help of forces loyal to Hadi’s predecessor Ali Abdullah Saleh, Tehran said there would be a daily flight to Sanaa, up from one per week. Iran’s only exports to Yemen are arms and fighters.

It costs Tehran a small amount of money to rent ships and repeat its attempts.

All this suggests that it wants to turn Yemen into another Syria, and into a battlefield for Iran-linked militias from Afghanistan to Lebanon. Tehran seems to be sending a message after positive developments regarding Yemen, such as negotiations, prisoner exchanges and delivery of aid for the first time. Iran either wants to destroy this progress or grant more leverage to its allies, who have lost more than half the territory they had seized.
Reconciliation in Yemen will increase pressure on Iran in other conflict zones such as Syria, so it is in Tehran’s interest to keep the fighting going.

The country [Yemen] resembles Afghanistan in its rugged terrain, complicated tribalism and difficulty of movement. Tehran would be committing a mistake to send more arms and fighters to Yemen. Although this would complicate the situation for Saudi Arabia and its allies, Iran’s losses would be huge.
At the beginning, many people doubted that Iran was involved in Yemen, but today we rarely hear an expert deny the role it has played throughout the crisis. The same is true of its role in Syria, Bahrain and Iraq.
Iran does not lack courage to get more involved in Yemen, but this will backfire militarily and politically. Perhaps this is what Riyadh needs to prove that Iran’s threat has increased after the nuclear deal — to besiege the Iranians in the mountains and plains of a country that is resistant to invaders – by Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

http://www.arabnews.com/columns/news/893416

Comment: Observers are speaking of a “Saudi paranoia” as far as Iran is concerned. Whether it’s paranoia (in this case they really believe it) or just propaganda in many pieces, like this one is, will hardly to be distinguished. “Iran was behind the Houthis’ seizure of the capital, and was sending “military consultants” and huge shipments of arms to support them”: Iran dissuaded the Houthis from occupying Sanaa. There might be some military consultants from Iran in Yemen, but certainly not many. The Houthis are allied to the mayor part of the Yemeni army and themselves have more than 10 years of fighting experience, they would not need any Iranian consultants. “Huge shipments of arms”? There were a few (small) ships holding arms within the last years, with some of them still doubtful where they came from and where they went to. And even if they all went to Yemen to deliver arms to the Houthis – compared to the bulk of arms the Saudis buy from the whole worlds that will not be more than 0,1% of it. – Mocking that Tehran wanted to install a daily flight from Iran to Yemen – well that really is a heavy interference, compared to 160.000 bombing flights of the Saudi coalition within one year.

It is Iran who “wants to turn Yemen into another Syria”?? Well, Yemen actually already is, but certainly not because of the up to now small Iranian interference, but because of Saudi bombing. Iran is warned to interfere in Yemen because Yemen is a country where invaders will loose: “The country resembles Afghanistan in its rugged terrain, complicated tribalism and difficulty of movement. Tehran would be committing a mistake to send more arms and fighters to Yemen. […] Iran’s losses would be huge”, because Yemen is a “country that is resistant to invaders” – how ridiculous is this? That exactly is the experience the up to now only invaders in Yemen, the Saudis and their coalition, are making in the moment. If this is a reason for not interfering in Yemen – why the Saudis did invade it?? And, last: “today we rarely hear an expert deny the role it [Iran] has played throughout the crisis” – well, might-be propagandists in Saudi and Gulf media, in the Yemen Press Readers had been reported bulks of experts’ statements which not confirmed this Saudi propaganda view.

10.3.2016 – The Independent (** A P)

Saudi Arabia issues extraordinary defence of human rights record in speech to UN council

A Saudi official said the Kingdom was 'one of the first countries to promote human rights' and 'fights torture in all its physical and moral manifestations'

Saudi Arabia has issued a remarkable response to criticisms from the United Nations over its human rights record.

In a speech delivered to the UN in Geneva, the Saudi delegation rejected outright a UN report which strongly criticised the Kingdom’s increased use of death sentences and executions.

Bandar al-Ali, Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Culture and Information, claimed the Kingdom was a bastion of human rights, and “fights torture in all its physical and moral manifestations”.

In an annual report to the UN’s Human Rights Council, Juan Mendez, the Special Rapporteur on Torture, said it was becoming clear the escalating number of executions in the Kingdom amounted to torture and breached international law.

Responding, Mr Ali said: “Saudi Arabia is one of the very first countries which promoted human rights. Such a support and a commitment to promote and protect human rights is but a duty imposed by the Islamic sharia from which the statutes of my country is derived.

“My country fights torture in all its physical and moral manifestations through strict legislation and executive measures that are applied on all.

“[Government procedures code] prohibits any physical or psychological harm to be inflicted on an arrested person. It is also prohibited to subject [the accused person] to torture or degrading treatment.”

Mr Ali’s astonishing comments follow warnings by campaigners that the Kingdom is executing people at a “frightening” rate

Maya Foa, who is the head of the death penalty team at the human rights organisation, Reprieve, told the Independent: “Saudi Arabia's claims to the UN human rights council sound like a sick joke when one considers the reality within the country - including the arrest, torture and execution of juveniles, political protestors and others – by Alexandra Sims

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/saudi-arabia-issues-remarkable-response-to-un-criticisms-of-its-human-rights-record-a6922191.html

Comment: Propaganda of such a grotesque dimension that it is rated two stars.

9.3.2016 – Huffington Post (A P)

Confronting Extremism

Extremism, especially violent extremism, is a scourge on the planet. Those who promote extremist ideologies or sponsor acts of violence in the name of Islam cannot be condoned or supported by anyone of true faith. In Saudi Arabia, extremists have attempted to hijack our religion, have murdered many of our people and used terrorism to intimidate our nation. There are two things that Saudi Arabia and its people hold most dear, and will never allow to be threatened - our faith and our security.

Saudi Arabia has been falsely accused by some commentators of promoting extremism. Don't they realize that extremists are as much or more of a threat to Saudi Arabia than to any other part of the world? If critics took the time to look at the facts, they would see that Saudi Arabia has and will continue to lead all nations in combating the mindset that foments violent extremism. Because as the home of Islam's two holiest mosques, we have both the responsibility and the authority to prevent Islam from being perverted by evildoers.

[…]

Saudi Arabia is waging a "war of ideas" to prevent the terrorist mindset from taking root among vulnerable populations in our country and around the world.

[…] – by Abdullah Al-Saud, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/abdullah-alsaud/confronting-extremism_b_9420330.html

Comment: This really is a great propaganda piece. Well, I very much like the last sentence cited above.

Comment: Well - KSA does definitely confront 'extremism' inside their own borders, but they only challenge any 'extremist' or non-extremist views that challenge the stability or authority of their absolute monarchy. As the new KSA ambassador suggests, the Hanbali school of Islam is very conservative and is not directly associated with violence. But what is is associated with KSA is enforcing unconditional support of the existing system of rule inside Saudi Arabia - with 'legalised' violence inside Saudi Arabia often associated with observance to religious law designed to coerce the population to toe the line - beheadings, amputations, stoning, lashing, imprisonment often associated with torture.

He says nothing about the position of women and the restrictions that are explained by citing Islamic law and enforced by the ministry of Vice and Virtue. The leader of the two mosques has actually called for the killing of Shia Muslims just because they are Shia. Is this the Hanbali school of Islam or is it a more hard line Wahhabi position which is a distortion or exaggeration of the Hanbali teachings? There has been evidence - more than that, claims by Saudi Arabia - of funding of schools throughout the world that teach this extremist way of practising Islam - in Islamic countries such as Yemen, Pakistan, Indonesia, North African States, in partial Islamic countries - Sri Lanka, Europe. Many assert this has been increasing dramatically in the past decade. Those attending these mosques have been associated with violence or 'terrorism'.

There have been Saudi spokespersons recently who have agreed that the doctrines of ISIS are the same as those in Saudi Arabia, except of course they don't support a monarchy - yet. There has been evidence of Saudi funding of ISIS in Syria and Iraq. There has been evidence of Saudi Arabia directly supporting and funding extremist militias in Yemen - Al Qaeda and Islah particularly - and the Saudi led coalition were seen fighting alongside Daesh, Al Qaeda and Islah militias there and despite extensive bombing in the areas where non-Sunni militias were operating, Al Qaeda controlled areas have not been attacked at all. This is a clever piece of writing that does not say anything inaccurate but nevertheless distorts the actual truth of the effect of Saudi influences on extremist militias and violence associated with Islam.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1109986289153861

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

12.3.2016 – Abu Zeid Alkebsy

New massacre in khawlan Sanaa 5 killed 3 of them are children n their parents Saudi airstrik hit their car.

https://twitter.com/abdullaalkebsy/status/708701665021526016 and https://twitter.com/Fatikr/status/708591773636038657

12.3.2016 – Saba News (A K PH)

War jets wage five sorties on Serwah

The Saudi war jets launched on Saturday five air raids on Serwah district of Mareb province, a local official said. The Saudi warplanes targeted Hailan mount, the main road and al-Haqil area in Serwah causing severe damage to public and private interests, the official added.

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news422011.htm

03.2016 – Legal Center for Rights and Development (A K PH)

Saudische Luftangriffe Tag für Tag / Saudi air raids day by day

9.März:

https://www.facebook.com/551288185021551/photos/a.551858951631141.1073741828.551288185021551/601247820025587/?type=3&theater

10. März / March:

https://www.facebook.com/551288185021551/photos/a.551858951631141.1073741828.551288185021551/601252370025132/?type=3&theater

11. März / March:

https://www.facebook.com/551288185021551/photos/a.551858951631141.1073741828.551288185021551/601249400025429/?type=3&theater

12. März / March:

https://www.facebook.com/551288185021551/photos/a.551858951631141.1073741828.551288185021551/601660579984311/?type=3&theater

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

12.3.2016 – Cihan (A K)

Over 100 killed as Yemen gov't forces break rebel siege on Taiz

Fighting raged in Yemen's rebel-besieged city of Taiz over the past 24 hours, as pro-government forces advanced and broke rebel siege on the city and over 100 people were killed in the clashes, officials said on Saturday.
"We announce that our forces on Friday night broke the rebel siege on southwestern areas of Taiz after beating the Shiite Houthi rebels and their allies loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh," read a brief statement by the government army and local resistance unit.
The advance of the forces loyal to the internationally recognized President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi was backed by warplanes from the mostly Arab coalition forces led bySaudi Arabia.
Medical officials said more than 100 fighters were killed from both sides during the past 24 hours only, mostly from Houthi rebels who were hit by Saudi-led airstrikes.
The battles began three days ago, but Hadi forces managed to retake Almisrakh and Alakroudh districts on the southwest of Taiz, and controlling Al-Dehi crossing road and recapturing the old airport and the 35th military brigade camp during the fighting on Friday and overnight, according to loyal officials.
"Now roads were secured and open for humanitarian aids to enter the city," the loyal army statement added.
Government officials said the next round of battles would take place in southeast the city, where the republican palace, central security camp and Taiz international airport are still under the rebel control.

https://www.cihan.com.tr/en/yemen-taiz-siege-rebel-2032810.htm

12.3.2016 – Alalam (A K PH)

VIDEO: Fight to Win Yemen’s Third Biggest City of Ta'izz Intensifies, 57 Killed

At least 57 people are killed as pro-Saudi militants battle Houthi Ansarallah fighters and Yemeni army forces in a push to capture Yemen's third biggest city of Ta'izz; Most of them Killed in Saudi Arabia Air Strike.

Military sources said 37 members of the Yemeni army and their allied Houthi fighters and six civilians were martyred in Friday clashes which involved airstrikes by Saudi warplanes.

Fourteen militants loyal tofugitive former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi were also killed. Medical officials said most of the casualties were caused by Saudi aerial assaults.

Saudi Arabia has been pommeling Yemen from the air, sea and ground for a year now in a bid to restore Hadi to power.

Taizz governor Ali al-Maamari said pro-Hadi forces captured areas in the western and southern suburbs of Ta'izz, including the al-Misrakh district.

Local witnesses, meanwhile, said al-Qaeda-linked militants had kidnapped a number of Houthi fighters in Ta’izz.

http://en.alalam.ir/news/1797971

11.3.2016 – Press TV IRAN (A K PH)

Nearly two dozen of Riyadh's mercenaries killed in Yemen

Nearly two pro-Saudi militants loyal to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have been killed in an offensive by Yemeni army forces and allied fighters in the southwestern province of Ta'izz.

On Friday evening, at least 23 Saudi mercenaries were killed as Yemeni troops backed by fighters from Popular Committees mounted a rocket attack in the Dhubab district of the province, located about 350 kilometers (217 miles) south of the capital, Sana’a, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported.

A senior commander, identified as Colonel Salem Mubarak, was among those killed in the offensive. As many as 50 militiamen were also wounded in the surprise attack.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/03/11/455172/Yemen-Popular-Committees-fighters-rocket-attack-Dhubab-Taizz-Saudi-mercenaries

Comment: That is contradicting the other reports speaking of Houthi’s defeats:

11.3.2016 – Der Standard (A K)

Jemen: Dutzende Tote bei Offensive regierungstreuer Kämpfer

Einheiten gehen nahe südwestlicher Stadt Taes gegen Rebellen vor

Bei einer Offensive regierungstreuer Einheiten gegen Aufständische sind im Jemen am Freitag nahe der südwestlichen Stadt Taes nach Behördenangaben mindestens 57 Menschen getötet worden. Es handle sich um 37 Rebellen, sechs Zivilisten und 14 regierungstreue Kämpfer, hieß es aus Militärkreisen. Demnach gelang der Regierungsseite unterstützt von Angriffen der saudiarabischen Luftwaffe unter anderem die Rückeroberung von Straßen.

http://derstandard.at/2000032781187/Jemen-Dutzende-Tote-bei-Offensive-regierungstreuer-Kaempfer

11.3.2016 – Zeit Online (A K)

Mindestens 57 Tote bei Offensive regierungstreuer Kämpfer in Jemen

Aden (AFP) Bei einer Offensive regierungstreuer Einheiten gegen Aufständische sind im Jemen am Freitag nahe der südwestlichen Stadt Taes nach Behördenangaben mindestens 57 Menschen getötet worden. Es handle sich um 37 Rebellen, sechs Zivilisten und 14 regierungstreue Kämpfer.

http://www.zeit.de/news/2016-03/11/jemen-mindestens-57-tote-bei-offensive-regierungstreuer-kaempfer-in-jemen-11222205

12.3.2016 – Reuters (*A K)

Forces loyal to Yemen's president have broken a siege by the Iranian-allied Houthis around the strategic Yemeni city of Taiz, local fighters and residents said on Saturday.

At least 48 people were killed in heavy clashes in Yemen's third biggest city, medics and local fighters said, and at least 120 were wounded. Witnesses said there were bodies scattered in the streets.

The reported capture of the western entrance to Taiz, nearly half of whose 250,000 residents had been trapped since May, was hailed by the pro-Hadi Sabanew news agency as a major breakthrough.

The rival Houthi-run news agency, Sabanews, acknowledged heavy fighting in Taiz but said fighters from the group had killed 27 fighters loyal to Hadi.

Yemeni Vice President Khaled Bahah, who is also the prime minister, told a news conference in the southern port city of Aden that the Yemeni government was preparing an aid convoy to Taiz to leave soon, but gave no further details.

Bahah also said the government had prepared 1,000 men to impose security in Taiz immediately to avoid a repetition of the lawlessness that had gripped Aden – by Mohammed Ghobari and Mohammed Mukhashaf

http://ca.reuters.com/article/topNews/idCAKCN0WE0H6

11.3.2016 – AFP (A K)

57 killed as Yemen loyalists advance near rebel-besieged Taez

At least 57 people were killed on Friday as Yemeni pro-government forces gained ground around third city Taez which has been under rebel siege for several months, officials said.

The loyalists backed by warplanes of a Saudi-led military coalition took back areas in the western and southern suburbs of the city, said governor Ali al-Maamari.

They "reopened key roads that the Huthis (Iran-backed Shiite rebels) had been blocking for nine months," said the governor, who lives in exile in Saudi Arabia.

That should allow for humanitarian and medical aid to reach about 200,000 besieged inhabitants, he said.

Loyalist military sources said clashes between pro-government forces and air strikes had killed at least 57 people on Friday, 37 of them rebels, six civilians and the rest loyalist fighters.

Earlier a source in the army's 35th brigade confirmed that loyalists had seized Al-Misrakh area to the south of Taez city after heavy fighting that led to several deaths in the past few days.

Dozens of military vehicles carried rebel fighters out of the western suburb of Taez towards the city of Hodeida on the Red Sea, witnesses said.

The coastal city remains under the control of the insurgents and their allies, army units loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

http://news.yahoo.com/57-killed-yemen-loyalists-advance-near-rebel-besieged-185641945.html

11.3.2016 – AP (A K)

CLASHES IN YEMEN'S BESIEGED CITY OF TAIZ KILL MORE THAN 50

Clashes intensified on Friday between Shiite rebels and local fighters in the besieged city of Taiz, killing at least 45 fighters on both sides and six civilians over the past 24 hours.

The medical officials said Friday that most of the 45 killed over the past 24 hours died in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition. They also said that six civilians were killed in random shelling of residential areas.

According to witnesses, Islamic militants who are fighting next to the local resistance have kidnapped a number of Houthi supporters and members of the ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh's party in the city of Taiz after storming their houses and shops.

Al-Qaida in Yemen has posted videos before for its operations in Taiz. The group, along with Salafis, has been fighting side-by-side with the local resistance fighters – by Ahmed Al-Haj

http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_YEMEN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-03-11-09-14-42 and see what happened to this person because off being a “Houthi” (graphic!!) https://twitter.com/narrabyee/status/708308278107881472 and film: https://twitter.com/alhashmi223/status/708325288669749248

Comment by Judith Brown: There seems to be a lot of movement and changes in Taiz. I have been sent a video of fighters alleged to be Daesh on Taiz pulling dead opponents behind them on a motor cycle. There have been reports of child soldiers 'rescued' by the Islah militias in Taiz. What is happening? The Houthis are in peace talks in Saudi still - Saleh and Hadi are said to be sick - Hadi off to US for 'medical care' - one report of Hadi's resignation not confirmed anywhere. Whatever is happening, let's hope it means peace not just for Taiz but also for the rest of Yemen.

https://www.facebook.com/judith.brown.794628/posts/10154164022103641

12.3.2016 – Aljazeera (A K)

Film: A breakthrough in Yemen?

The partial lifting of the siege in Taiz will pave the way for delivery of much needed aid.

But the coalition is now making gains. It has largely ended the Houthis' nine-month siege of Taiz - Yemen's third largest city.

Yemeni officials say that government troops have almost taken back the city entirely and they can now deliver aid to about 200,000 residents.

But what is the strategic value of Taiz? And how will this advance affect talks being held between Saudi officials and Houthi leaders?

Presenter: Sami Zeidan
Guests:

Hisham Jaber - Retired Lebanese army general and strategic analyst

Mohammed Jumeh - Writer for Al Quds Al Arabi and political analyst

Adam Baron - Visiting fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/insidestory/2016/03/breakthrough-yemen-160312170032233.html

And a Saudi view:

12.3.2016 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A K PS)

Taiz No Longer Besieged

Late Friday evening, both the Yemeni National Army and the Popular Resistance managed to relief Taiz from the barricade formerly imposed by Houthi militia and pro-Saleh (ousted President Ali Abdullah Saleh) combatants. Pro-legitimacy forces fought at both battlefronts taking place at the city and in Wadi al-Dabab, which later resulted in successfully lifting the insurgency’s upper-hand off of Taiz. Battlefronts witnessed fierce bloody clashes at which tens of Houthi and pro-Saleh militias were reported killed at the 35th armored brigade’s headquarters, the University of Taiz and at al-Saleh’s Gardens resort.

National Army and Popular Resistance Spokesman in Taiz Col. Mansour al-Hassani told reporters at Asharq Al-Awsat that the siege has been lifted off of Taiz. “The barricade has been broken on the western front of Taiz, tens of insurgents were killed during the confrontations, and it was for humanitarian purposes that we were not allowed to visually record or broadcast the incident,” he said.

“On Friday, Houthis suffered a grave loss among their ranks. Our forces also took over the entire military arsenal militants left behind after they fled the battlefield,” al-Hassan also confirmed that the Popular Resistance has gained a large amount of arms and weaponry.

http://english.aawsat.com/2016/03/article55348404/taiz-no-longer-besieged-settlement-within-hours

10.3.2016 – AFP (A K)

Film: Fighting continues in Yemen's central city of Taez

Fighting continues in Yemen's central city of Taez between rebel forces and pro-government fighters, backed by the strikes of the Saudi-led coalition.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NXDk217-bn4

10.3.2016 – Hispan TV (A K)

The Yemeni Army ruled out Wednesday the rumors that it has reduced its operations of retaliation against Saudi military areas along the border Arabia.
"the yemeni army and the combatants of the popular movement Ansarallah are conducting military operations against Saudi military posts along the Saudi borders and so far have not received any official order to limit these operations", said the spokesman of the yemeni army, Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman, in statements collected by the Russian agency of news sputnik.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=983598961693134&id=961126490607048 from http://www.hispantv.com/newsdetail/yemen/218075/ejercito-yemeni-luqman-ataques-frontera-saudita see also http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/03/09/454801/Yemen-Saudi-border-calm

Comment: “Yemen army” here: The part loyal to Saleh and backing the Houthis. No truth at the border any more… In the situation of now, a declaration like this is rather stupid.

Vorige / Previous:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/krieg-im-jemen-neue-artikel-zum-nachlesen-113

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-113: / Yemen Press Reader 1-113:

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

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

13:11 13.03.2016
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

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

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