Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 126

Yemen Press Reader 126: HRW: US-Bomben bei tödlichem Luftschlag auf Markt - Hungrig im Jemen - Al Qaida stärker und reicher - Streit im Golf-Kooperationsrat - Englands heimlicher Krieg im Jemen
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

HRW: US bombs in deadliest market strike – Going hungry in Yemen – Al Qaida emerges stronger and richer – How united is the GCC? – Britain's Covert War in Yemen – and more

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

cp7 UNO / UN

cp7a Saudi-Arabien und Iran / Saudi Arabia and Iran

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp13 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Schöner Jemen / Beautiful Yemen

Klassifizierung / Classification

***

**

*

(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

PH = Pro-Houthi

PS = Pro-Saudi

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

7.4.2016 – Human Rights Watch (*** A K)

Yemen: US Bombs Used in Deadliest Market Strike

Saudi Arabia-led coalition airstrikes using United States-supplied bombs killed at least 97 civilians, including 25 children, in northwestern Yemen on March 15, 2016, Human Rights Watch said today. The two strikes, on a crowded market in the village of Mastaba that may have also killed about 10 Houthi fighters, caused indiscriminate or foreseeably disproportionate loss of civilian life, in violation of the laws of war. Such unlawful attacks when carried out deliberately or recklessly are war crimes.

Human Rights Watch conducted on-site investigations on March 28, and found remnants at the market of a GBU-31 satellite-guided bomb, which consists of a US-supplied MK-84 2,000-pound bomb mated with a JDAM satellite guidance kit, also US-supplied. A team of journalists from ITV, a British news channel, visited the site on March 26, and found remnants of an MK-84 bomb paired with a Paveway laser guidance kit. Human Rights Watch reviewed the journalists’ photographs and footage of these fragments.

“One of the deadliest strikes against civilians in Yemen’s year-long war involved US-supplied weapons, illustrating tragically why countries should stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia,” said Priyanka Motaparthy, emergencies researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The US and other coalition allies should send a clear message to Saudi Arabia that they want no part in unlawful killings of civilians.”

On March 15 at about noon, two aerial bombs hit the market in Mastaba, in the northern Hajja governorate, approximately 45 kilometers from the Saudi border. The first bomb landed directly in front of a complex of shops and a restaurant. The second struck beside a covered area near the entrance to the market, killing and wounding people escaping, as well as others trying to help the wounded. Human Rights Watch interviewed 23 witnesses to the airstrikes, as well as medical workers at two area hospitals that received the wounded.

A United Nations human rights team visited the site the day after the attack and compiled the names of 97 civilians killed in the strike, including 25 children. The UN team said that another 10 bodies were burned beyond recognition, bringing the total number of victims to 107. Two Mastaba residents said that many members of their extended families had died. One lost 16 family members, and the other 17. A local clinic supported by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) received 45 wounded civilians from the market, three of whom died and were counted in the total death toll.

A witness who helped retrieve bodies said that he saw the bodies of about 10 Houthi fighters, whom he knew previously, among those killed. He said that some armed Houthi fighters regularly ate and slept in a restaurant about 60 meters from where one bomb detonated. The restaurant was not damaged. He said some residents objected to the Houthis’ presence but were powerless to remove them. Human Rights Watch was not able to confirm these claims with other witnesses. The only Houthi military presence identified by Human Rights Watch during its visit was a checkpoint manned by two or three fighters about 250 meters north of the market.

On March 16, the day after the attack, the Saudi military spokesman for the coalition, Gen. Ahmad al-Assiri, said that the strike targeted “a militia gathering.” He also noted that the area was a place for buying and selling qat, a plant widely chewed in Yemen as a mild stimulant, indicating that the coalition knew the strike hit a civilian commercial area. On March 18, al-Assiri told Reuters that the coalition used information from Yemeni military forces loyal to President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi when targeting the Mastaba site. He said the Houthis “deceived people by saying it was a market.” A graphic forwarded to Reuters prepared by Hadi’s government indicated that the target was a military area where Houthi forces had gathered but provided no further detail.

Hadi’s government announced on March 18 that it had formed a committee to look into the bombing. Human Rights Watch contacted the Yemeni human rights minister, who said that a Yemeni national investigative body created in September 2015 and based in Aden was charged with the investigation. Findings have not yet been reported.

Market Airstrike [Eye witnesses]

Previous Airstrikes in the Area

Coalition airstrikes have struck the area in and around the village of Mastaba at least six times over the last eight months. (With film and photos)

Coalition Airstrikes Generally

https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/04/07/yemen-us-bombs-used-deadliest-market-strike and shorter articles: http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/report-saudi-coalition-us-bomb-yemen-market-strike-38213615 and http://www.salon.com/2016/04/07/saudi_coalition_massacred_119_yemenis_at_market_with_u_s_supplied_bombs/ and https://theintercept.com/2016/04/07/u-s-bombs-were-used-in-saudi-led-attack-on-market-in-yemen-rights-group-finds/ and https://news.vice.com/article/saudi-led-coalition-in-yemen-used-2000-pound-american-bombs-to-kill-97-civilians and http://www.commondreams.org/news/2016/04/07/american-bombs-killing-civilians-yemen-report-finds and http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2016/04/yemen-bombing-saudi-arabia-civilians-us-bombs and http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/us-weapons-saudi-arabia-yemen-civilian-casualty_us_5706ce9ce4b0a506064eb0c0?

7.4.2016 – New York Times (** A P)

Report Ties U.S. Bombs to Saudi-Led Strike That Killed Yemeni Civilians

In response to questions about the Human Rights Watch report, Col. Patrick Ryder, a spokesman for the United States Central Command, or Centcom, wrote in an email that the “decisions on the conduct of operations to include selection and final vetting of targets in the campaign are made by the members of the Saudi-led coalition, not the United States.”

“The U.S. is confident that the information that we relay and noncombat support we provide 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,” he added.

“We have consistently reinforced to coalition members the imperative of target analysis and precise application of weapons in order to identify and avoid structures and areas that, if struck, could result in civilian casualties.” – by Kareem Fahim reported from Cairo, and C. J. Chivers

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/07/world/middleeast/report-ties-us-bombs-to-saudi-led-strike-that-killed-yemeni-civilians.html

Comment: In this article on the HRW report, also the reaction of the US Central Command, is given – a repeating of the well-known US propagandas phrases. Comparing Ryders words to reality, you see how empty these phrases are, in the sense of “We care for nothing”.

7.4.2016 – Greenpeace nach dpa (A K)

HRW: Tödliche Bombe auf Markt in Jemen stammte aus den USA

Bei Luftangriffen auf einen Markt im Jemen mit über 100 Toten im März ist Human Rights Watch (HRW) zufolge mindestens eine Bombe aus den USA eingesetzt worden. Bei den Attacken in der Provinz Hadscha sei eine amerikanische Bombe vom Typ MK-84 zusammen mit einem ebenfalls aus den USA stammenden Lenksystem verwendet worden, berichtete die Menschenrechtsorganisation am Donnerstag. Das habe die Auswertung von Fotos ergeben.
Es wird allgemein davon ausgegangen, dass die verheerende Attacke mit größtenteils zivilen Opfern von der saudisch geführten Militärkoalition ausging, die das Bürgerkriegsland seit über einem Jahr bombardiert. «Einer der tödlichsten Angriffe gegen Zivilisten in Jemens einjährigem Krieg beinhaltete von den USA gelieferte Waffen und macht auf tragische Weise deutlich, warum Länder damit aufhören sollten, Waffen an Saudi-Arabien zu verkaufen», sagte HRW-Mitarbeiterin Priyanka Motaparthy.
Der Jemen, in dem rund 26 Millionen Menschen leben, gehört zu den ärmsten Ländern der arabischen Welt. Schiitische Huthi-Rebellen kämpfen dort gegen Truppen und Verbündete von Präsident Abed Rabbo Mansur Hadi. Seit mehr als einem Jahr bombardiert die von Saudi-Arabien geführte Koalition Stellungen der Huthis im Land. Dabei wurden aber auch viele Zivilisten getötet.

https://www.greenpeace-magazin.de/tickerarchiv/hrw-toedliche-bombe-auf-markt-jemen-stammte-aus-den-usa

Kommentar: Die Googlesuche im Internet ergab am 8. April noch um 17.20 Uhr nur diesen Artikel bzw. Agenturbericht ALS DIE EINZIGE DEUTSCHSPRACHIGE Meldung zum Thema. Das zeigt wieder einmal, wie erbärmlich die deutschsprachigen Medien sind. Dieser Bericht lässt die USA sehr schlecht aussehen – also wird einfach nicht darüber berichtet. Anders als selbst US-Medien: bei uns kriecht man den US-verantwortlichen noch mehr herein als es die selbst die US-Medien tun. Muss man erst die "offizielle Sprachregelung" aus Washgington abwarten? Die sieht allerdings recht jämmerlich aus, siehe in cp9 USA. Und Medien in der Schweiz wie in Österreich hängen offenbar an dem, was in Deutschland veröffentlicht wird – und die deutschen Alternativmedien zeigen in diesem Fall auch wieder einmal, wie sehr sie von den deutschen „Mainstreammedien“ abhängen.

Hier auch gleich noch der Film zu einem weiteren Bombenfund:

7.4.2016 – Critical News TV (A K)

US-Streubombe im Jemen gefunden / US Cluster Bomb found in Yemen

Am 06.04.2016 wurde im jemenitischen Ma'rib eine der US-Streubomben gefunden, die im saudischen Krieg gegen die Bevölkerung des Jemens eingesetzt werden.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9w_16hLTy4

6.4.2016 – Reuters (** B H)

Going Hungry in Yemen (Slideshow)

http://de.reuters.com/news/picture/going-hungry-in-yemen?articleId=UKRTSDWBW

8.4.2016 – Reuters (** B T)

Special Report: Al Qaeda emerges stronger and richer from Yemen war

al Qaeda in Yemen now openly rules a mini-state with a war chest swollen by an estimated $100 million in looted bank deposits and revenue from running the country's third largest port.

Al Qaeda fighters there have abolished taxes for local residents, operate speedboats manned by RPG-wielding fighters who impose fees on ship traffic, and make propaganda videos in which they boast about paving local roads and stocking hospitals.

The economic empire was described by more than a dozen diplomats, Yemeni security officials, tribal leaders and residents of Mukalla. Its emergence is the most striking unintended consequence of the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen. The campaign, backed by the United States, has helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) to become stronger than at any time since it first emerged almost 20 years ago.

Yemeni government officials and local traders estimated the group, as well as seizing the bank deposits, has extorted $1.4 million from the national oil company and earns up to $2 million every day in taxes on goods and fuel coming into the port.

AQAP boasts 1,000 fighters in Mukalla alone, controls 600 km (373 miles) of coastline and is ingratiating itself with southern Yemenis, who have felt marginalized by the country's northern elite for years.

By adopting many of the tactics Islamic State uses to control its territory in Syria and Iraq, AQAP has expanded its own fiefdom. The danger is that the group, which organized the Charlie Hebdo magazine attack in Paris last year and has repeatedly tried to down U.S. airliners, may slowly indoctrinate the local population with its hardline ideology.

A senior Yemeni government official said the war against the Houthis "provided a suitable environment for the ... expansion of al Qaeda." The withdrawal of government army units from their bases in the south, allowed al Qaeda to acquire "very large quantities of sophisticated and advanced weapons, including shoulder-fired missiles and armed vehicles."

As well, the coalition's preoccupation with fighting the Houthis "made it easier for al Qaeda elements to expand in more than one area," he said. "And this is why al Qaeda has today become stronger and more dangerous and we are working with the coalition now to go after elements of the group ... and will continue until they are destroyed."

[When the Yemen army withdrew from Mukalla and the city was occupied by Al Qaida], in the security vacuum, army bases were looted and Yemen's south became awash with advanced weaponry. C4 explosive and even anti-aircraft missiles were available to the highest bidder.

And just as Islamic State seized the central bank in Mosul in northern Iraq, AQAP looted Mukalla's central bank branch, netting an estimated $100 million, according to two senior Yemeni security officials.

In Mukalla port, a thriving fuel smuggling network enriches AQAP daily.

Tribes who work with al Qaeda now control much of the country's oil infrastructure. Six white oil tanks on a beach between Mukalla and Ash Shihr are linked by pipeline to the Masila oilfields which are estimated to hold more than 80 percent of Yemen's total reserves.

The group regularly posts pictures of its fighters repairing damaged bridges and paving streets in Hadramout and other cities under its control. It says the money for the repairs comes from groups such as Guardians of Sharia or Sons of Hadramout, names AQAP has taken on as part of a rebranding effort to emphasize its local origins.

In one video posted on Feb. 28, AQAP members deliver free medical supplies and equipment to the kidney dialysis and cancer wings of a local hospital. The boxes of supplies are sealed with the tape of a Western pharmaceutical company.

The group regularly posts pictures of its fighters repairing damaged bridges and paving streets in Hadramout and other cities under its control. It says the money for the repairs comes from groups such as Guardians of Sharia or Sons of Hadramout, names AQAP has taken on as part of a rebranding effort to emphasize its local origins.

In one video posted on Feb. 28, AQAP members deliver free medical supplies and equipment to the kidney dialysis and cancer wings of a local hospital. The boxes of supplies are sealed with the tape of a Western pharmaceutical company.

"These are some medicines from your brothers, the Guardians of Sharia, to al-Jamii hospital which was going to be closed ... because of no money," says one fighter whose face is blurred out. The video also shows a hospital official saying he had received money from al Qaeda to pay workers' salaries.

The group has exploited sectarian grievances to brand their state-building project as a liberation movement. "So many areas fell to us after the Houthis left because we are the entity that people trust," AQAP leader Batarfi said.

In the five coastal provinces stretching from the government's temporary seat in Aden to Mukalla, a familiar pattern has recurred in recent months. Al Qaeda forces storm a town, plant their flags, and then watch as local leaders acquiesce.

Citizens say they are tired of moving and would rather live with al Qaeda's control.

One Mukalla resident said her life had changed little since AQAP swept through the city. "We carry out our lives normally, they walk among the people," she told Reuters by phone. "Of course they're trying to create a popular haven."

A regional diplomat who follows Yemen says that if al Qaeda manages to successfully root itself as a political and economic organization, it could become a more resilient threat, much like al Shabaab in nearby Somalia.

"We may be facing a more complicated al Qaeda," the diplomat said, "not just a terrorist organization but a movement controlling territory with happy people inside it." – by Yara Bayoumy, Noah Browning and Mohammed Ghobari

http://www.reuters.com/investigates/special-report/yemen-aqap/ = https://www.yahoo.com/news/special-report-al-qaeda-emerges-stronger-richer-yemen-094136852.html

Comment: A very interesting and long article, please read in full at the original site! With images and map at the Reuters site.

7.4.2016 – International Business Times (** B T)

Al Qaeda Winning Hearts And Minds Over ISIS In Yemen With Social Services

AQAP is one of the U.S.-designated terror organization’s most powerful divisions and since the beginning of 2016, the group has quietly seized vast swaths of Yemen, undercutting its rival, the Islamic State group, which has been the main focus of the West’s counterterrorism strategy for the last year. ISIS may have dominated international media coverage, but in Yemen, AQAP has overshadowed its younger sibling with its grassroots approach, providing essential public services to gain the trust of the local population. The group has also been willing to share power with local governing institutions before it establishes its own so-called caliphate.

“ISIS and al Qaeda [have] different [approaches]. ISIS thinks that [it] will brutalize [a population] into submission. Al Qaeda knows that some people are turned off by this brutality,” Thomas Joscelyn, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and senior editor of the Long War Journal, told International Business Times. “The entire al Qaeda model is to get as local as possible and embed with the local population.”

Under the cover of Yemen’s complex civil war, AQAP, locally referred to as Ansar al-Sharia, has made major gains against the Houthis.

“They are filling the [political] vacuum. They’re not calling themselves a state but consistently promoting their public services,” Katherine Zimmerman, a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and expert on al Qaeda, told IBT. “Basically, they’re buying goodwill.” Yemenis are not in a position to reject what AQAP is offering. More than half of Yemen’s population lives below the poverty line.

Photographs and news articles circulated on AQAP’s social media accounts, and in its propaganda newspaper al-Masra, emphasize how the group has built bridges, dug water wells, repaired roads and distributed humanitarian assistance throughout the areas it controls. The photographs also show militants carrying out punishments according to their version of Sharia law, but the group omits the most brutal scenes from its propaganda.

ISIS has no such qualms: Two weeks ago, the extremist Sunni group claimed a triple suicide bombing in the Yemeni city of Aden, which left 22 people dead. This type of attack is ISIS’ only significant move in Yemen now.

But Sunnis in Yemen, a deeply tribal population, are “looking for a local face” to fight alongside, Zimmerman said.

This is something al Qaeda has accounted for: The militants have almost imperceptibly embedded with local, pre-existing governing institutions, taking advantage of the Sunni population’s fear of persecution from Shiite Houthi rebels. The group has entered into several contractual partnerships and alliances with Sunni tribal communities, with some members marrying into prominent families in the area to ease relations. The type of contract, and the degree to which AQAP is involved in governance, varies from city to city – by Alessandria Masi (with photos)

http://www.ibtimes.com/al-qaeda-winning-hearts-minds-over-isis-yemen-social-services-2346835

Comment: That shows that Al Qaida – for a great part thanks to the totally catastrophic policy of the West – now is deeply enrooted in great parts of Yemen, from where to extinguish it again will be extremely difficult. Al Qaida in Yemen will stay a permanent menace to the West. Obama, you are a political genius, really.

1.4.2016 – Al Monitor (*** B P)

How united is the GCC?

Since the Arab uprisings began in 2010, all six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have been preoccupied with regime survival, which dictates how they project their power beyond their borders.

When Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait and to a lesser extent Oman project power abroad, they are driven by their own domestic challenges rather than by a Gulf consensus. Consequently, GCC countries have adopted contradictory projects in most Arab countries such as Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been determined to block the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in North Africa, but until recently Qatar was actively supporting it. With Syria, almost all GCC countries, with the exception of Oman, were keen on supporting so-called moderate rebels, a term that has become increasingly muddled since the Syrian uprising began five years ago. The sectarian agenda of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain — each has a vested interest in depicting its own local protest as an Iranian Shiite conspiracy against it — does not resonate well in Kuwait and Oman.

When GCC states need to project power abroad, they inflame their citizens’ imaginations with hypernationalism, which is highly important at times of regional turmoil, political instability and economic hardship.

The old, mild nationalism that immediately followed the establishment of the Gulf nation-states is developing into an assertive, hypernationalist trend centered on militarization — specifically in the UAE and Saudi Arabia, where both countries project themselves as being at war with an Iranian proxy whose tentacles reach their own backyard in Yemen.

Somehow, hypernationalism is expected to perform the miracle of homogenizing the subjects and molding them into one entity. Above all, this extreme patriotism momentarily promises to bring the fragments of the nation together in an imagined community.

The Gulf states’ contradictory goals in the Arab world may have had a detrimental impact on local societies, widening the divide between Islamists and non-Islamists, strengthening the military against civilian government, creating dependency on Gulf resources and generating new patron-client relations as a result of aid to specific regimes. Those clashing goals may have contributed in one way or another to the rise of militant Islamists across the region. So far, it is difficult to find evidence of recent Gulf expansion leading to positive, long-term democratic government across the region from Bahrain to Cairo, not to mention Syria and Yemen. Regional Gulf interventions can also be devastating at the humanitarian level. Both Yemen and Syria are stark examples of how the Gulf’s aggressive gun policy hasn’t contributed to their stability, but more likely will generate further tensions, conflicts and civilian deaths.

Second, Gulf countries’ interventions in both Syria and Yemen were framed from the very beginning as “decisiveness against Iran.” This immediately appealed to Islamists across the GCC and momentarily absorbed their anger toward their governments’ previous intervention in Egypt.

With the exception of Oman, all Gulf Islamists from Manama (Bahrain’s capital) to Riyadh expressed increasing support for their governments, although these governments had implemented repressive measures against them and curtailed their activities. Many Islamist activists began to express support for their governments for showing strength against the Iranian Shiite expansion in the Arab world.

Islamists increasingly see Gulf countries’ interventions in Syria and Yemen as revenge for the plight of Sunnis in Iraq and Syria.

The intervention in Yemen momentarily healed the rift between governments and Salafists, while keeping the Muslim Brotherhood at bay. In addition to the martial hypernationalism mentioned earlier, we now have a Salafized nationalism, a lethal cocktail of sectarianism and popular nationalism.

From the perspective of many GCC countries, extreme nationalism in its martial and Salafized versions may be the best vaccine at the moment to ward off domestic trouble, especially Muslim Brotherhood challenges. But its long-term, devastating consequences could erupt soon. GCC countries might pay a high price for inflaming the imagination with theatrical hypernationalism — a toll taken on battlegrounds.

Their repression of some Islamists and promotion of others may be a good divide-and-rule strategy, but empowering sectarian Salafists and embracing their agenda is not a long-term solution in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

There is a distinct but very thin line separating the Salafists that Saudi Arabia embraces and IS at the level of ideology and practice. The thin line relates to their position on the legitimacy of the Saudi regime. Domestic Salafists outlaw rebellion against the royal family, while IS calls for it. Saudi Salafists write petitions to the rulers, while IS adopts violent strategies. How long can the separation be sustained? For the moment, Saudi Salafists seem to be content with obedience at home and jihad abroad.

As long as the coffers have enough funds to finance GCC interventions abroad that keep domestic dissent under control, GCC countries may survive the current regional turmoil.

Would this revive enthusiasm for jihad abroad that keeps regional conflicts going? It very well might. Would Salafists turn against their own government for lagging behind when it comes to defending Sunni interests and switch from petition to terrorism? If we have learned a lesson from the history of Saudi/al-Qaeda interactions, it is likely that some of the new Salafists will do exactly that – by Dr. Madawi Al-Rasheed

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/gulf-nationalism-regime-survivial-saudi-qatar-uae.html

Comment: A very interesting back ground article. Please do not read just these excerpts but in full length at the original site.

7.4.2016 – Vice News (** B K P)

Britain's Covert War in Yemen: A VICE News Investigation

The use of drones in Yemen has long been characterized as a unilateral US policy. In response to a 2014 parliamentary question on Britain's role in the US drone program, UK foreign minister Hugh Robertson said: "Drone strikes against terrorist targets in Yemen are a matter for the Yemeni and US governments."

However, following interviews with more than two dozen current and former British, American, and Yemeni officials, VICE News can reveal that the UK played a crucial and sustained role with the CIA in finding and fixing targets, assessing the effect of strikes, and training Yemeni intelligence agencies to locate and identify targets for the US drone program. The US-led covert war in Yemen, now in its 15th year, has killed up to 1,651 people, including up to 261 civilians, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

"The involvement of the British state is something that the government ought to make plain to parliament," David Davis MP, chair of the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on drones, told VICE News. "If we know we're handing intelligence over which will be used in a killing then we ought to be confident that it meets our own rules and guidelines. If there are deaths of civilians there's a moral and legal problem."

The strike on Rafad was the fourth attempt and collectively these killed 32 people. US military documents published by The Intercept in 2015 cite a sample study of strikes in Afghanistan where almost nine out of 10 people killed were never identified, casting doubt on the robustness of methods for establishing a positive identification of the target.

The Rise of AQAP

The Hunt for Targets

The defense attaché was not involved in intelligence work, but he illustrates some of the skills that Britain brought to the counterterrorism effort. The SIS team in Yemen was by all accounts highly effective. "The British have been in Gulf states for decades. They have a reservoir of knowledge, contacts, and expertise that is very important," a former senior CIA official, responsible for operations in Yemen, explained. "If you look at what capabilities each side has, that starts to tell you something about precisely where the actionable intelligence is coming from."

One British official, working in an intelligence capacity, was more blunt: "Our station people were pretty shit-hot."

The Americans valued Britain's connections and networks of human intelligence, but the British also wanted to be involved in American operations to learn about potential threats to the UK. A former senior Yemeni diplomat said: "The British wanted to know every arcane detail because Britain had become a target. For that reason, Britain had to take part on an operational level... but they didn't want it to be known."

The operational level included drone strikes, for which British sources fed into the hunt for targets. Seche explained: "We had a targeting list with names that we could pursue." He described working with UK officers as, "very collaborative, and it was very useful for both [Britain and America] to sit and help triangulate what we were hearing from our different sources."

"If we are providing explicit intelligence to identify individuals who we know the Americans are going to go and kill by drone strike then that's a kill list," David Davis MP told VICE News.

Parallel to SIS efforts, British military trainers were responsible for training the Yemeni Counter Terrorism Unit (CTU), including setting up their surveillance section and an Intelligence Fusion Center, used to manage networks of sources and analyze intelligence gathered during hits on AQAP fixers. The CTU included a unit of women, who specialized in surveillance. CIA officers would visit the Fusion Center on a weekly basis to collect its product.

Internal Disagreements

In 2012 alone the US launched almost twice as many special operations attacks in Yemen as they had over the previous decade.

The security crisis also prompted the relaxation of the rules of engagement. Seche, by then back in Washington, explained that "there was a sense that AQAP was metastasizing and therefore we should broaden the target base and move down into mid-level operatives."

The subsequent targeting process of "signature striking" proved to be the most controversial aspect of the drone program. Rather than hitting identified targets, US drones began to fire on unidentified groups engaging in "suspicious" activity, arising from observed patterns of behavior — or signatures — by military-aged males.

For the British these strikes were unacceptable.

As a result of the shift in tactics, British military personnel were informed that they could no longer collaborate with the US on intelligence sharing.

Even when the drone campaign was at its peak intelligence capacity, mistakes were common. Numerous strikes targeting AQAP leaders actually hit unidentified individuals and the criteria for establishing a positive identification were shown to be far from watertight – by Namir Shabibi and Jack Watling

https://news.vice.com/article/britains-covert-war-in-yemen-a-vice-news-investigation and other 8shorter articles on that subject http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2016/apr/7/britains-mi6-provided-crucial-intel-obamas-drone-w/

Comment: Very long and detailed article.

Comment by Jamila Hanan: After reading how involved UKs been in #Yemen drone strikes you realise how involved must be in Saudi airstrikes too.

https://twitter.com/JamilaHanan/status/718070530063077377

8.4.2016 – Morning Star (* B K)

Britain ‘Involved’ In US Drone Strikes In Yemen

A WAR investigation published yesterday directly implicated the British government in the covert US drone programme in Yemen despite years of denials.

Vice News revealed that British personnel had played a “crucial and sustained role” in the US programme, with officials taking part in so-called “hits,” triangulating intelligence for target lists, preparing “target packages” and participating in a “joint operations room” with US and Yemeni forces.

A former senior CIA official told Vice News that Britain’s role was “pretty critical,” while a former Yemeni foreign minister said the US and Britain had a “blank cheque” to carry out the operations.

“For years, the government has denied any involvement in the US’s covert drone war in Yemen, saying it was ‘a matter for the states involved’,” said human rights group Reprieve staff attorney Jen Gibson.

“It’s now beyond dispute the UK is one of those states — working hand in glove with the Americans to create the very ‘kill list’ that drives those strikes.

According to the Vice reports, British military personnel have been seconded to intelligence agencies to carry out activities in Yemen under the aegis of the Foreign Office.

“Even more disturbing, the UK has copied wholesale the US model of outsourcing the military to the intelligence agencies in order to hide their involvement and avoid any accountability,” said Ms Gibson.

A British official reportedly confirmed that these seconded personnel were involved in the drone programme, saying: “Once they are seconded, the MoD loses any control over what they get up to.”

Reprieve, which assists civilian victims of drone attacks, challenged the Ministry of Defence in 2014 to own up to complicity in Yemen.

But at the time the Ministry insisted: “The UK does not provide any military support to the US campaign of remotely piloted aircraft system (RPAS) strikes on Yemen” and that “use of RPAS strikes for counter-terrorist purposes is a matter for the states involved.”

The government also denied knowledge of an “operations room” involved in the identification of targets.

In the same year ministers also told Parliament that there were only two British military personnel present in Yemen.

Britain’s “integral” role is understood to have continued despite numerous reports of significant civilian casualties from US drone strikes in Yemen – by Paddy MCGuffin

http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-acde-Britain-involved-in-US-drone-strikes-in-Yemen

7.4.2016 – Veterans Today (* B K)

SAS Fighting Alongside al Qaeda in Yemen

British Army’s ‘disappearing hitmen’ used legal loophole to fight in Yemen

Embedded with British foreign intelligence agency MI6, undercover troops from the Special Reconnaissance Regiment (SRR) operated in support of the Yemeni regime and US foreign policy goals before the 2014/15 revolution.

Journalists working for Vice News have uncovered how the secret unit helped prepare local troops for raids, arrest operations and drone strikes as well as helping to compile “kill lists.”

The British Foreign Office claims it suspended counter-terrorism “capacity” after the collapse of the old regime, but Ali al-Ahmadi – former head of Yemen’s secret police – told Vice journalists that British intelligence activity is ongoing amid the Saudi-led war.

Dodging the law?

The clandestine operation appears to have exploited a legal loophole to circumvent the military’s human rights obligations after it emerged UK and US Rules of Engagement (ROE) for drones sharply diverge.

A series of US drone strikes in eastern Yemen – including one that killed a prominent local anti-jihadist preacher and four other men in 2012 – led to British intelligence sharing with the US being halted and then recalibrated.

Soldiers from the unit were relocated from their covert base to the Sheraton Hotel in the capital Sana’a and banned from accompanying Yemeni forces or even carrying weapons.

However, these rules do not apply to MI6 or soldiers seconded to it because the intelligence agency operates under the auspices of the Foreign Office rather than the Ministry of Defence (MoD).

An anonymous British official told Vice:Once they are seconded, the MoD loses any control over what they get up to.

This practice, the investigators claim, allows the MoD to maintain its obligations under the European Convention on Human Rights while still using British military personnel to continue providing intelligence used in assassinations.

British Army’s ‘disappearing’ hitmen

The original circumstances of UK troop deployment in 2006 are shrouded in mystery but the investigating team suggests that a group of conventional troops – Royal Marines – arrived alongside a special forces counter-terrorism unit tasked with supporting Yemen’s Central Security Forces (CSF) and other controversial internal security units.

The CSF, which had been accused by Human Rights Watch of using child soldiers and of carrying out arbitrary detentions, was run by then-Yemeni President Saleh’s nephew, Colonel Yahya Saleh. He described the UK soldiers as extremely secretive.

They stipulated that we couldn’t take their photos, or mention their names; even when we were honoring the American trainers the British avoided having their names mentioned,” he told the investigators.

Other UK servicemen who lived in close proximity to the special forces teams described how they kept spare rooms for military “visitors” who would sometimes appear to do a hit, they would come in, do their thing, and then disappear again.”

These clandestine forays are alleged to have been in support of “kill or capture” missions against the local branch of Al-Qaeda.

When in Rome…

Mystery also surrounds the behavior or identity of a Lawrence of Arabia-like embassy defense attaché – a role usually filled by a high ranking officer – who went totally native” to win over the locals.

“The defense attaché of the British embassy was much more active than the American. He was meeting with everybody,” Khalid Ahmed al-Radhi, a contractor working with US forces, told Vice.

A former colleague describes the attaché as going “totally native. He was chewing khat [a stimulant plant] three or four days a week. But the Yemenis loved him for it.”

Another UK source described the fused military/intelligence operation as “pretty sh*t-hot.

‘Avoiding accountability’

The MoD told the reporters it does not comment on special forces operations, but Tory MP David Davis was critical of the idea that UK-sourced intelligence was being used to compile drone “kill lists.”

“Killing people from a clear sky who are guilty of nothing is a very fast way of signing up a lot of people to our enemies,” he said.

Jennifer Gibson, a lawyer from the human rights group Reprieve said it is now “beyond dispute” that the UK is working with the US “to create the very kill list that drives those strikes.”

She branded as “disturbing” the UK’s use of the “US model of outsourcing the military to the intelligence agencies in order to hide their involvement and avoid any accountability.” – by GPD

http://www.veteranstoday.com/2016/04/07/sas-fighting-alongside-al-qaeda-in-yemen/

cp2 Allgemein / General

8.4.2016 – Near Eastern Outlook (* B K P)

The Bitter Lessons of the Military Intervention in Yemen

Although the formal pretext for the invasion of Yemen was “the restoration to power of the deposed Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi”, the actual aim of Riyadh’s aggression was the suppression of the Houthis rebels who have managed to seize control of the better part of Yemen.

In the very beginning the Yemeni conflict was domestic in nature, but once the Houthis captured Sana’a it gained both regional and religious dimensions. The Houthis deposed the pro-Saudi and pro-American president Mansour Hadi, who came to power only due to the so-called Arab spring movement. The former president chose to flee the country and seek refuge in Saudi Arabia, while the latter decided that the events in Yemen posed a direct threat to the security of the kingdom. After all, the Al-Sauds could not even tolerate the thought that they may share a common border with a Shia state, one that would enjoy the support of Iran.

Washington’s decision to immediately jump atop the Yemeni war bandwagon received no understanding both within the US or abroad. Although the Houthis were not particular fans of the West, their revolt was aimed against the autocrat imposed upon them and against Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). The primary enemy of the Houthis – AQAP – is also declared to be one of the principal rivals of Americans interests in the region.
http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/08/the-bitter-lessons-of-the-military-intervention-in-yemen/

The results of the military adventure the Saudi-led coalition embarked on have been a strategic failure for Saudi officials so far. A year into the extremely expensive military campaign, the invading forces are nowhere near their stated objective
http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/08/the-bitter-lessons-of-the-military-intervention-in-yemen/

The continuation of the armed invasion of Yemen has largely been caused by the fact that the UN Security Council has been busy discussing other “hot spots” in the Middle East, while leaving the ongoing genocide of the Yemeni civilian population virtually unchecked. Moreover, it is hardly possible to achieve any positive results in this area, since the better part of international initiatives on Yemen were left to Saudi Arabia’s good will and so far it has demonstrated to possess none.

However, the fate of the Middle East and the Arab World rests on the Yemeni conflict, since its continuation is seriously threatening the stability of the Arabian Peninsula and the oil-producing Gulf monarchies. This war resulted in the strengthening of the Sunni radical movements in the region, namely AQAP, the Muslim Brotherhood and the “Islamic State,” for which Riyadh and all of its accomplices should bear full responsibility. – by Martin Berger

http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/08/the-bitter-lessons-of-the-military-intervention-in-yemen/

Comment: Here just a few excerpts of this overview article.

8.4.2016 – Middle East Revised (* B K)

Safa Al Ahmad: There’s No Longer A Yemen.

Safa Al Ahmad is a Saudi freelance journalist and filmmaker. Her focus is the Arabian Peninsula, primarily Saudi Arabia and Yemen, and her work so far has been insightful, corageous, informative and mesmerizing in many ways.

She has been reporting on Yemen since 2010, and is one of the rare journalists who spent much time inside the country (she keeps going there) and is able to talk about the complexity of the situation on the ground today.

I am so happy Status Hour recently aired an interview with her. In conversation with Adel Iskandar, Al Ahmad delves into her recent coverage of Yemen reflecting on the humanitarian disaster there, the various actors on the ground, and the gendered dimensions of covering this conflict.

“Fighters are the ones who get salaries these days in Yemen, nobody else does. It just goes to show you how fragile the situation has become. I would argue that there’s no longer a Yemen, North and South are completely separate from each other”, Ahmad says.

Please listen to this important interview and stay informed about the horrendous situation in Yemen, which remains under-reported and totally neglected (Audio, 58 min)

https://middleeastrevised.com/2016/04/08/safa-al-ahmad-theres-no-longer-a-yemen/ and https://soundcloud.com/status-7/yemen-quietly-being-killed-with-safa-al-ahmad-english

7.4.2016 – Tagesspiegel (* B K P)

Krieg im Jemen: Das saudische Desaster

Vor einem Jahr hat die Golfmonarchie in den Jemen-Konflikt militärisch eingegriffen – ohne Erfolg. Nun soll es eine Waffenruhe und Friedensgespräche mit den Aufständischen geben

Der kommende Sonntag könnte für die Menschen im Jemen etwas ganz Besonderes werden. Denn wenn sich die Konfliktparteien an ihre Versprechen halten, tritt am 10. April ein Waffenstillstand in Kraft. Bisher sind zwar alle Versuche gescheitert, die Lage im Krisenland zu beruhigen. Doch es gibt vorsichtigen Optimismus, dass dieses Mal wirklich die Luftangriffe und Artilleriegefechte zumindest vorläufig eingestellt werden – um eine Grundlage für die ab dem 18. April in Kuwait geplanten Friedensgespräche zu schaffen. „Das ist wirklich unsere letzte Chance“, warnte vor Kurzem UN-Vermittler Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. Anderenfalls könnte der verheerende Krieg zwischen der von Saudi-Arabien geführten Koalition und den Huthi-Rebellen zum Dauerzustand werden.

Die Zuversicht, dass sich womöglich endlich etwas zum Besseren wendet, hat mehrere Gründe. Zum einen setzen die Diplomaten auf den Syrien-Effekt. Selbst dort ist es gelungen, die verfeindeten Parteien an einen Tisch zu bringen und die Gewalt wenigstens zu verringern. In den vergangenen Tagen hat auch im Jemen die Heftigkeit der Gefechte etwas abgenommen. Zum anderen wächst sowohl bei den Aufständischen als auch in der saudischen Führung die Verhandlungsbereitschaft. Das gilt vor allem für das sunnitische Königshaus in Riad. Denn der Krieg – da sind sich die Beobachter weitgehend einig – ist für die Golfmonarchie ein militärisches Debakel und damit auch ein politisches Desaster. Ganz abgesehen davon, dass der Feldzug sehr viel Geld kostet. Angesichts des immer noch niedrigen Ölpreises sind die Kassen der Herrscher schon lange nicht mehr prall gefüllt.

http://www.tagesspiegel.de/politik/krieg-im-jemen-das-saudische-desaster/13418100.html

8.4.2016 – Stratfor (** B P)

Politics: The New Battlefront in Yemen's Civil War

Summary

The chaotic political situation in Yemen is no less settled today than it was five years ago, when then-President Ali Abdullah Saleh resigned, compelled by protest and nursing serious injuries from an assassin's bomb. The transitional government that replaced his administration never put down deep roots, and Saleh's influence never truly dissipated. Now that peace talks are set to start April 18 in Kuwait in an effort to end a yearlong civil war, political maneuvering in the country is underway in earnest once again.

Analysis

Saleh clearly retains a sizeable support base. But this is due more to a perceived lack of viable options among Yemenis who dislike Hadi — whom they consider complicit in the Saudi coalition's enduring bombing campaign — than to deep support for Saleh.

Reorganizing the Government

Facing political challenges of his own, Hadi has shuffled the country's leadership in an effort to shore up his position (and that of his most important backer, Saudi Arabia) as the peace talks approach. On April 3, he demoted Khaled Bahah, who held the offices of both vice president and prime minister, to an advisory role.

The leadership shuffle may ultimately reduce the influence of the UAE and the Southern Resistance going forward. Bahah had developed ties with Emirati leaders and his removal from power could limit the UAE's ability to shape Yemen's future in the peace talks. Bahah is highly regarded by the Southern Resistance, too, and his attempts to distance himself from Hadi may enhance his popularity among the group. Even so, Maj. Gen. Nasser al-Nubia, a prominent leader in the Southern Resistance, has expressed support for Bahah's replacements.

However, this should not be mistaken for full support from the Southern Resistance: The movement is composed of many factions

Underlying Struggles

Underlying the commotion of Saleh's post-Arab Spring ouster are political rivalries that have never settled, leaving a weak and fractured political landscape that has enabled outside powers to intervene. While elements of the Yemeni military remain loyal to Saleh, the Islah party and one of its more powerful mouthpieces, al-Ahmar, are now in a position of control. Moreover, the conflict in Yemen has exposed delicate tensions between GCC members of the coalition. Even though they are united in a common fight against Saleh, the Houthis and various militant groups, the UAE and Saudi Arabia do not necessarily have the same goals for a postwar Yemen.

Meanwhile, the connection between Iran and the Southern Resistance faction known as Hirak will be of future concern to Saudi Arabia. More Hirak military leaders have trained in Iran — Saudi Arabia's archrival — than Houthi rebels, which had already drawn Saudi concern.

One possible result of the Kuwait peace talks could be a new GCC-backed federalist plan for Yemen. But if enough Hirak leaders, and their vocal southern Yemeni support base, feel that a federalist solution will not meet their needs, they could once again turn to Iran for support. The Saudis, along with GCC and Western interests, also do not want the Hirak forces and other southerners to take up with the resurgent AQAP or Islamic State movements that are active in southern Yemen. As Yemen's turbulent history and the country's various factions attest, a peace negotiation unfurled in Kuwait may end the Saudi coalition's campaign, but it will not necessarily bring lasting peace to the country.

https://www.stratfor.com/analysis/politics-new-battlefront-yemens-civil-war

7.4.2016 – Die Welt (B K)

"Der Jemen wird das neue Syrien"

Humanitäre Situation in dem Land auf der arabischen Halbinsel ist katastrophal. Aber da es abgeschottet ist, können die Menschen dem Krieg nicht entfliehen

In der Bevölkerung und auch bei den UN wird der Einsatz der Saudis immer kritischer gesehen. So habe die saudische Luftwaffe "ein Gemetzel" im Jemen angerichtet, sagte kürzlich der Hohe Kommissar für Menschenrechte, Seid Raad al-Hussein. Zwei Drittel der zivilen Opfer würden auf die Militärkoalition zurückgehen. Am Jahrestag des Kriegsbeginns gingen Tausende Menschen in Sanaa auf die Straße: "Gemeinsam gegen die tyrannische saudi-arabische Aggression", stand auf einem Banner – von Mareike Kürschner.

http://www.welt.de/print/die_welt/politik/article154083643/Der-Jemen-wird-das-neue-Syrien.html

Kommentar: Überblicksartikel, der im Wesentlichen mit ähnlichem Wortlaut bereits am 29. März erschienen war. Der oben zitierte Passus ist neu eingefügt. Neu ist das alles freilich nicht – man fragt sich, warum braucht „Die Welt“ so lange zu dieser Erkenntnis?

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

7.4.2016 – Living in Yemen on the Edge (A H)

Death is the only thing a 13 year old can expect in his life. In Yemen, of course
No food, no medical aid and medicines allowed to enter Yemen thanks to the Saudi-led land-air-sea siege on Yemen. A siege which has entered its second year, just like the war.
Yemeni children wonder what have they done wrong to the King of Saudi Arabia and how they, just children!, can pose a threat to the Kingdom´s security.
Many children have starved to death, 320.000 are food ensecure and malnourished and many children have died of illnesses.
Ahmed is thirteen years old. He has experienced, already, being under thousands of bombs since the war on Yemen erupted. He has experienced enough fear, sadness and desperation since March 26 of last year.
But Ahmed is not like any other kid. He has hepatitis and no medicine in sight. Ahmed has grown fast and accepts his fate. There are no medicines in the few operating and still standing hospitals in Yemen (95% of hospitals have either been bombed or had to shut down due to lack of gasoline, water and medicines) and clock is ticking against him.
Absurd as it seems, there is no way of helping him. Most likely Ahmed will leave us and the world will never know that there was a kid called Ahmed, Yemeni, and had dreams like any other kid and that our silence against this genocide inflicted on the Yemeni population helped him on his last journey (with image9

https://www.facebook.com/961126490607048/photos/a.961595153893515.1073741828.961126490607048/1003979859655044/?type=3&theater

7.4.2016 – World Food Programme, Emergency Telecommunications Cluster

Yemen – Conflict: ETC Situation Report #9, Reporting period 07/03/16 to 04/04/16

The Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (ETC) installed a much needed Communications Centre (COMCEN) for humanitarians in the common United Nations (UN) compound in Ibb. The COMCEN is operational and allows humanitarians to utilize radios and satellite communications, increasing their safety and security.

ETC is looking for Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) willing to host the back-up office for NGOs in Ibb and Sa’ada.

ETC member Ericsson Response is preparing to deploy WIDER connectivity solution to Yemen. WIDER enables humanitarians to access the Internet, and the ETC to manage bandwidth distribution.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-conflict-etc-situation-report-9-reporting-period-070316-040416 and in full http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/2016%20-%2004%20-%2004%20-%20Yemen%20-%20ETC%20SitRep%20%239.pdf

Comment: Remember how the Saudis rejected a ship hired by the UN bringing humanitarian aid to Yemen because there was telecommunication stuff on board.

26.3.2016 – The Independent (* B H)

Yemen conflict: 80 per cent of population in need of humanitarian assistance and it could get worse, says Oxfam

Air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition have destroyed infrastructure vital to food security

[Another article on the Oxfam report, not yet linked to. See earlier Yemen Press Reader. Here just remembered one thing:]

British companies such as BAE Systems have sold 58 Eurofighter jets and 2,400 500lb Pathway-IV guided missiles to Saudi Arabia in the past year – by Will Worley

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-conflict-eighty-per-cent-population-need-humanitarian-assistance-aid-oxfam-a6954116.html

24.3.2016 – UNICEF (* B H)

The grieving mother of a child soldier

“My son Mohammed, was only 15 when he was killed. He used to love sports and poetry and always stood first in class. My child has been taken away from me early, without even me having the chance to grieve for him.” Miryam speaks sadly.

Her story is but a reflection of the tragic times for many families who are coping with the loss of their children who were recruited as soldiers in Yemen’s on-going conflic

Miryam is a single mother of 4 children from Malla district in Aden. She barely manages to support the family financially with her meagre government salary. Despite her scant resources she is known to the whole neighbourhood as a strong woman and is deeply respected as a mother. “I brought up my children with dignity, I never sought charity or support, I worked around the clock to support my family. I wanted them to grow feeling proud of me as I will always be proud of them,” she says.

Mohammed was a teenager when the conflict flared in Aden. He joined an armed group in May 2015 when his city Malla was surrounded by the militia.

During his days with the armed group, Mohammed was also in contact with his family, which had to move out when the conflict peaked in Malla, followed by the outbreak of dengue fever.

“I keep asking myself why my son has taken such path. Why was he desperate to do it? Did he feel pressured by the circumstance and people around him?

Now I recall all the memories. His isolation in his room, his eyes that were full of tears. Maybe he needed a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on during the traumatising times he experienced at such an early age,” Miryam says with tears.

There has been a spike in the recruitment and use of children, primarily boys, by armed forces and groups – by Ansar Rasheed and Halima Abdullah

https://blogs.unicef.org/blog/the-grieving-mother-of-a-child-soldier/

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

7.4.2016 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Hadi faces growing opposition as Yemen peace talks loom

President faces split in own administration and calls to resign from Houthis, anti-Houthi resistance and civilians days before talks in Kuwait

Houthi rebels say they will never accept Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi as Yemen's leader, saying the "traitor" would not be welcome in the capital Sanaa even if peace talks scheduled later this month are successful.

The comments to Middle East Eye come less than a week before a 10 April ceasefire between Hadi's forces and those of the Houthi movement, which will be followed a week later by talks in Kuwait to end Yemen's year-long conflict.

A source in the Houthi political office, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Houthis welcomed the peace talks but would never allow Hadi and his backers to rule them.

"If Saudi Arabia needs to end the war in Yemen, the traitor Hadi should not be part of the solution," the source said.

"Yemenis will not accept him again after he brought the invasion to destroy our country."

He stated Yemen was sick of war and was in dire need of peace talks, but Houthis were steadfast that a political solution should not involve Hadi.

"The Houthis forgave Ali Saleh who fought them in Saada for six years," he said in reference to the former president who is now aligned with the Houthis.

"They can forgive anyone who did not participate in the invasion against Yemenis - but they cannot forgive traitors."

The source's comments, which repeatedly included the words "traitor" and "invasion", are a shot across the bows of Saudi and Gulf efforts to end the fighting in Yemen, and follow Hadi's apparent attempt to purge his own administration of enemies – by Nasser Al-Sakkaf

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hadi-yemen-peace-talks-1633145393

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

8.4.2016 – Gulf News (* A P)

Bahah urges Yemenis to challenge his sacking

Bahah’s critics say his firing was within Hadi’s rights, and that his replacements are more suitable

Yemen’s former vice-president and prime minister on Tuesday heavily criticised his dismissal by President Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, saying that the decision breached the GCC-brokered peace initiative and the constitution.

Hadi on Sunday dismissed Khalid Bahah from his positions as his deputy and head of the cabinet and replaced him with two powerful political, tribal and military figures.

Bahah, who initially issued a reconciliatory note, issued a lengthy statement on Tuesday accusing the president of breaching previous agreements and the constitution and urged the political forces to reject the decision.

Bahah said he was forced to look the other way at Hadi’s abuses of power as not to cause a rift between his government and the presidency.

Bahah, who took charge in late 2014 as a consensus prime minister after Al Houthis captured the capital, accused Hadi of initiating a parallel government that works “independently” from his government and committing “improprieties” like buying off people and vested interests.

In his statement, an angry Bahah said the dismissal breaches principles of the constitution, GCC peace initiative, UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and political consensus.

“This is not true,” Mukhtar Al Rahabi, a former top media aide to Hadi, told Gulf News on Wednesday. “Bahah was dismissed by a president who has constitutional legitimacy. The same political parties that endorsed his selection as the vice-president and prime minister are backing the president’s decree.”

Some analysts think that Hadi made Bahah a scapegoat for the failures in his governance. “Bahah was prompted to issue this strongly worded statement when Yemeni activists began accusing him of betraying the country and allying with Al Houthis. The man felt offended and humiliated,” said Yasser Al Yafae, a local journalist from Aden.

Hadi’s critics say that Bahah’s successors are unpopular in the south where the separatist sentiment holds sway. “Daghar is known for his strong public opposition to secession. Al Ahmar is loathed here for his role in 1994 war,” said Al Yafae. Al Ahmar and Hadi were leading army commanders who defeated the forces of former South Yemen in 1994 – by Saeed Al Batati,

http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/yemen/bahah-urges-yemenis-to-challenge-his-sacking-1.1705408

7.4.2016 – Middle East Eye (** A P)

Hadi faces growing opposition as Yemen peace talks loom

The Saudi-backed president of Yemen is facing a growing battle for survival, as his administration fractures, former supporters call for his removal.

Bahah's sacking has made public the split between Hadi and Bahah supporters, according to political analyst and former managing editor of al-Tagheer news website, Mohammed al-Hassani.

"The dispute between Bahah and Hadi means that Hadi has to leave the leadership as Bahah has more acceptance by the different sides in Yemen, and the Houthis can accept him, but they will not accept Hadi."

He stated that the dispute ultimately splintered the Saudi-backed administration - much in the interests of the Houthis.

"It seems that Hadi is not willing to leave the leadership and this is the main reason that made him demote Bahah, and this is not in the interest of the peace talks."

Hassani said peace talks in Kuwait had to appoint a new leader to Yemen who is neutral, and not one of the old leaders such as Hadi or Ali Mohsen al-Ahmer, Saleh's former right-hand man and Bahah's replacement, but someone who appealed to all sides.

He suggested Sanaa's mayor, Abdulqader Hilal, as a possibility.

In his most recent visit to Yemen's capital, UN special envoy Ismail Ould al-Sheikh met Hilal - a man seen by many as among the most neutral leaders in the conflict.

Some Popular Resistance fighters in Taiz province, who have battled the Houthis and their siege of its provincial capital, also expressed their opposition to Hadi.

Fadhl al-Rabei, a political analyst and the head of Madar Strategic Studies Centre, said the comments were typical of many fighters.

"Most are fighting because of their country or because they hate the thought of the Houthis, so we cannot say that they are pro-Hadi fighters, but they are anti-Houthi fighters."

He said Salafi groups, who had fought against the Houthis, were also anti-Hadi and would not accept him as a president.

"The Salafis [fought] with the resistance in Aden, but when Hadi returned they became anti-Hadi fighters," he said.

"They do not want him to be a president, and they accuse Hadi of bringing the Houthis to Aden, and the same thing will happen in Taiz."

Fadhl al-Rabei, a political analyst and the head of Madar Strategic Studies Centre, said the comments were typical of many fighters.

"Most are fighting because of their country or because they hate the thought of the Houthis, so we cannot say that they are pro-Hadi fighters, but they are anti-Houthi fighters."

He said Salafi groups, who had fought against the Houthis, were also anti-Hadi and would not accept him as a president.

"The Salafis [fought] with the resistance in Aden, but when Hadi returned they became anti-Hadi fighters," he said.

"They do not want him to be a president, and they accuse Hadi of bringing the Houthis to Aden, and the same thing will happen in Taiz."

He stated that if Hadi was a wise man, he would leave the presidency and give it to someone else who is accepted by all sides in Yemen – by Nasser Al-Sakkaf

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/hadi-yemen-peace-talks-1633145393

Comment: Well I guess Hadi must be the most unpopular person in Yemen. The only way he can rule is as a despot.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1123325187819971

6.4.2016 – Press TV Iran (* A P)

Bahah dismissal to widen gap between Saudis, UAE: Pundit

Press TV has concocted an interview with Dr. Naseer al-Omari, a political commentator from New York, to investigate the ceasefire announced on Tuesday by the spokesman of Yemeni Ansarullah movement, Mohammed Abdulsalam, along several regional borders with Saudi Arabia.

I believe that all fighting factions in Yemen, including Saudi Arabia, feel that this war is not going anywhere. If the Saudis want to enter Sana’a where Ali Abdullah Saleh has a great deal of support and the Houthis, this is going to be a catastrophe. So, I believe that everybody understands at this point that going to Sana’a is a huge catastrophe and the Saudis are not willing to take that chance. So, I believe that clock has turned one year prior to the Saudi invasion of Yemen and now back to a political process that was plagued by a lot of disagreements among Yemenis. So, now with the Saudis trying to bring everybody to the negotiating table, I believe we will see new types of complications.

[The fact that Hadi has fired Bahah] reflects disagreement between the Saudis and the United Arab Emirates and now we have a complete turnaround with the appointment of Ali Mohsen [al-Ahmar] to the new government who is known for his hard-line stance against the Houthis. So, there we go again. We are back to a political process that is sponsored by the Saudis who themselves have no record of a democratic process and now back to the negotiating table with a lot of issues to overcome and a divided country and a country that needs to be rebuilt and the Saudis are not exactly clear on how all of that would happen.

It is believed that the former prime minister was very close to the United Arab Emirates. It was their top choice and he had his own disagreements with Hadi. So, now it is believed that the Saudis have probably not consulted with the United Arab Emirates when they dismissed the former prime minister. So, there you go. We have former allies now becoming new enemies and it seems the fate of Yemen. We have a lot of complications and the situation is slipping in terms of security and this government is supposed to come in and rebuild and all of these things are theoretical and on the ground the Yemeni people continue to suffer unfortunately.

http://presstv.ir/Detail/2016/04/06/459379/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-Ansarullah-Houthis/

6.4.2016 – Arab 24 (A T)

Yemen: Attempts to maintain security in Aden

Aden Security Directorate recently began attempts to preserve security of the city of Aden in Southern Yemen, through the deployment of security points in the streets of the city, in order to maintain the safety and security of the region from any terrorist organizations.

Despite the turmoil plaguing the city of Aden in southern Yemen, the security and the peace recently begun to gradually return after the deployment of security points in the streets of the city which work on a vehicle inspection

The deployment of security checks by Aden security directorate in the streets aim to maintain the security of the city, and clearing of sleeper cells, and reconstruction as well.

http://arab24.com/portal/index.php/en/%D9%82%D8%B5%D8%B5-%D9%88%D9%85%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B6%D9%8A%D8%B9-%D9%85%D9%82%D8%AA%D8%B1%D8%AD%D8%A9-2/bahrain-2/item/1544-yemen-attempts-to-maintain-security-in-aden

Comment: The Hadi government wants to propagate that they effectively fight against gangs and terrorists; there can be doubted whether they will be successful.

5.4.2016 – Al Araby (A P)

Ousted Yemeni PM rejects 'unconstitutional' sacking by Yemeni president

Bahah, who was sacked on Sunday, called for support from political allies

Yemen's former prime minster has called his dismissal a "coup", in violation of the country's constitution.
Khaled Bahah, who was sacked on Sunday by President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi over "shortcomings" in the government's performance, said his dismissal was "unconstitutional".
"There must be a general consensus on the appointment of a new prime minister in line with the Gulf Initiative," read a statement posted on Bahah's Facebook page on Tuesday.

"Accepting these arbitrary decisions is an abandonment of all governing authorities put in place for the transitional period and is a violation of the constitution of Yemen," the statement added.
"The political forces that support the constitution do not accept the coup led by President Hadi and the new government that was formed in an unlawful way."
In support of Bahah, the Nasserist Unionist organisation - one of Yemen's three major political parties - has decried his dismissal and the new appointments made by the Yemeni president.

http://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/4/5/ousted-yemeni-pm-rejects-unconstitutional-sacking-by-yemeni-president

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

8.4.2016 – AFP (* A P)

Yemen truce raises hope of ending conflict

A new ceasefire enters into effect in Yemen midnight Sunday, with the United Nations hoping it can be the cornerstone of a long-lasting peace deal at upcoming talks in Kuwait.

Analysts are optimistic after mediation efforts have largely silenced the guns along the border with Saudi Arabia, which is leading a pro-government coalition that has bombed Huthi rebels and their allies since March 2015.

"For the first time, the groups that can end major military operations, particularly the Saudis and the Huthis, appear to be more willing to do so," said April Longley Alley, a Yemen specialist at the International Crisis Group.

Riad Kahwaji, director of the Institute for Near East and Gulf Military Analysis (INEGMA). added that, in attending talks in Riyadh, the Huthis have opted for a "unilateral settlement," ignoring their ally Saleh.

The marginalisation of Saleh, who was ousted in 2012 after 33 years in office following nationwide protests, is likely to please Yemen's President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and his Saudi backers, but the veteran leader could still hinder a political process.

Hadi himself is in an awkward position after his surprise sacking of deputy president and prime minister Khaled Bahah, who slammed the measure as a "coup d'etat" and accused the president of "abusing and obstructing the work of his government".

Ongoing fighting and the cabinet reshuffle just before negotiations kick off on April 18 "are only a few obstacles that could undermine the Kuwait talks", said Alley.

"Even if major combat ends, the road to peace in Yemen will be long and difficult and internal conflict is likely to continue for some time," she said – by Taieb Mahjoub

https://www.yahoo.com/news/yemen-truce-raises-hope-ending-conflict-074025071.html = http://www.france24.com/en/20160408-yemen-truce-raises-hope-ending-conflict

7.4.2016 – Hisham Al-Omeisy (A K)

Biggest joke about ceasefire is that Saudi wants to continue flying it's jets with ceasefire on ground only. Seriously! Imbeciles.

https://twitter.com/omeisy/status/718357982304694273

7.4.2016 – Overseas Development Institute (ODI) (* A P)

Yemen ceasefire may only defer further conflict

Ending the conflict is not going to be a straightforward process of adhering to the ceasefire and signing an agreement for yet another ‘peaceful transition’. A peace agreement between the Houthis and the Saudis may bring a temporary pause in fighting, but it won’t bring peace.

A ceasefire won’t address the expansion of radical groups across Yemen

With the economic blockade restricting access to food and medicine, Saudi-led airstrikes pounding the country from outside, and Houthi rebels restricting movement within, Yemenis are trapped.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) has stepped in where the state has stepped back, capitalising on the civil war and expanding across southern Yemen.

The ceasefire can help ease the conditions that Yemenis are living in, but it won't reverse the vicious cycle of radicalism unleashed in the country.

This time, accountability should be non-negotiable

Back in 2012, the UN’s carefully-engineered agreement – backed by the US and Saudi Arabia – removed President Ali Abdullah Salih without holding him accountable for episodes of violent repression that occurred while he was in power.

This time, accountability should be non-negotiable. A UN panel investigating the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen concluded that ‘widespread and systematic’ attacks on civilian targets have taken place in violation of international humanitarian law.

The Yemeni public has little confidence in President Hadi’s ability to ensure accountability and restore peace – many suspect that his ‘path to peace’ is in fact a path to getting back in power.

Yemen needs faith in a new leadership to get past the worst humanitarian crisis it has ever had to endure. Getting the same old faces back in power will only aggravate the situation further.

More than a ceasefire, Yemen needs an honest broker

Yemenis feel betrayed by the international community – even the UK, which has continued to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia.

This conflict needs an honest broker that can press for accountability for violations by all parties; facilitate a genuine transition of power to new leadership; and rapidly create an economic reconstruction plan for Yemen, focusing in youth.

Yemen’s crisis is a lesson for the conflict and peacebuilding community and a call for a rethink. Short-term fixes for states are long-term woes for the world. There is no short cut. Yemen has paid a heavy price for a broken transition, the memory of which will unfortunately outlast peace talks.

A comprehensive and long-term strategy based on accountability with pressure from the international community should inform the peace talks and the ceasefire. Otherwise, it may only defer further conflict – by Sherine El Taraboulsi

http://www.odi.org/comment/10373-yemen-ceasefire-defer-conflict

7.4.2016 – Almasdar ( A K P PH)

Saudi offers ceasefire to the Houthis after humiliating defeat in Midi
The Saudi Royal Army and the Arab Coalition suffered their most embarrassing defeat at the hands of the Houthi forces last week, losing over 500 military personnel during their assault on the Midi District in the Hajjah Governorate. As a result of their losses and failed advance, the Saudi regime was forced to offer a ceasefire deal with the Houthi forces in order to save face after over-hyping this large offensive in northwestern Yemen. Both sides ultimately agreed to a temporary ceasefire in the Midi District, despite the ongoing battles in southwestern Yemen and the nearby Al-Jawf Governorate.
In addition to the ceasefire at Midi, the Saudis also agreed to back off the Yemeni Army controlled city of Rabuah after failing to advance over the weekend. As part of the ceasefire agreements in Midi and Rabuah, both sides will exchange prisoners and the enemy casualties.
https://www.almasdarnews.com/article/saudi-armys-offers-peace-houthis-humiliating-defeat-midi/

6.4.2016 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

Yaser Alroaini: No Ceasefire in Yemen Prior to Militias Withdrawal

emeni State Minister for the Implementation the Outcomes of the National Dialogue, Yaser Alroaini, said that Houthi armed militia must begin withdrawing from Yemeni governmental institutions, which are overrun by Houthi militants. Minister Alroaini requested that Houthis relinquish all weaponry prior to implementing ceasefire next Sunday.

In an interview with Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper, Alroaini confirmed that negotiations are conducted in direct reference to the U.N. Security Council resolution, which should be met with comprehensive implementation.

Stressing on the dangers posed on the Yemeni community and neighboring countries, Alroani brought up the distressing necessity to unarm all militias, so that Yemen’s sovereignty remains intact.

Alroani stated that military field pressure is what forced militias to consider border ceasefire and participate in upcoming national talks. Arm’s cargoes are still being confiscated on their route to Houthis, which proves the militias’ corrupt intentions.

Alroani stressed that Houthis remain a constituent to the Yemeni community; however, only when they abandon arms.

When asked about the Yemeni legitimacy government delegation arriving to Kuwait for ceasefire preparations and about the entailed measures taken by the legitimacy government, Alroani confirmed that the legitimate administration had responded with notable positivity to the U.N. special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed proposal on ceasefire.

He told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the pro-legitimacy delegation has accepted Ahmed’s suggestion on establishing an atmosphere which encourages conducting deliberations in Kuwait.

The Yemeni legitimate government has officially embarked on ceasefire set for April 10, based on the U.N. envoy’s request, which represents a preliminary cessation of hostilities.

However, on the other hand, endorsing declarations on future peace talks were not made by the insurgency, nor were trust-building actions provided, Alroani added.

Regardless, the pro-legitimacy administration is bent on guarding both peace and Yemeni citizens, in addition to its discretion that the course towards a solution is political, which is the adopted approach for resolving the Yemeni crisis according to the U.N. resolution 2216, Alroani said.

Concerning attending a political solution in Kuwait, it is regrettable that the insurgent militias have not issued any statements; it seems that they are still fixed on their insurgency – by Arafat Madabish

http://english.aawsat.com/2016/04/article55349336/yaser-alroaini-no-ceasefire-in-yemen-prior-to-militias-withdrawal

Comment: This statement is a somewhat crazy propaganda. It contains a pretense not to implement a ceasefire and let fail any peace talks. Why one side of the conflict should withdraw from anywhere, should abandon arms as a condition just for a ceasefire? This could be the result of (certainly extremely difficult) peacetalks. He requires to “Unarm all militias”: what about all your so-called “Resistance” fighters – also those which had been declared to be a part of the Yemeni army? And he should not speak of legitimacy at all, as the legitimacy of his own government ended February 25, 2015. And it stays his secret why the “militia” (as he only means the Houthis by that) wouls endanger Yemeni souvereignity. Foreign interference certainly does much more – why he does not demand any foreign troops to leave the country and stop interference bombing?? Off course, peace-preventing UN resolution 2216 cannot miss in this statement. And that there is no statement by the Houthi side, just is a lie, see here:

6.4.2016 – ABNA (A P)

Saudi Arabia, Yemen Ansarullah Agree to Keep Ceasefire in Mede, Enforce It in Other Provinces

The spokesman of Ansarullah in Yemen, Mohammad Abdol Salam, announced that the movement agreed with the Saudis on keeping the ongoing ceasefire in Mede as well as all the border areas and enforcing it across the various Yemeni provinces.
Abdol Salam added that in the context of preparing for the UN-sponsored talks between the Yemeni factions mid-April, the negotiators concluded an accordance on reaching a comprehensive and lasting truce and following up the cause of the prisoners and the missing soldiers.

http://en.abna24.com/service/middle-east-west-asia/archive/2016/04/06/745494/story.html

6.4.2016 – Iran Daily (A P)

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah calls truce in war-stricken regions

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has announced a ceasefire in several border regions with Saudi Arabia in a bid to pave the way for upcoming political talks among Yemeni groups.

The movement's spokesman, Mohammed Abdulsalam, said on Tuesday that as a “first step”, the truce would halt military operations in a number of Yemeni provinces, including the Midi border area in the northwestern Hajjah province.

He added that the truce would pave the way for peace talks between Ansarullah and fugitive former president Abd Rabbouh Mansour Hadi’s loyalists.

http://www.iran-daily.com/News/139021.html

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

7.4.2016 – Khaleej Times (A P)

Expats welcome Saudi Arabia's 'permanent residency' plan

Expatriates residing in Saudi Arabia have lauded Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence's plans to offer a US Green Card-like system, which would offer permanent residency to the nearly 10 million expats in the Kingdom, Saudi Gazette reported.

"The Green Card-like program and a plan to allow employers to hire more foreign workers above their official quotas for a fee could generate $10 billion a year each," the deputy crown prince had told Bloomberg in an exclusive interview.

Talking to the daily and Okaz, Nidal Ridwan, chairman of the Federation of Labor Committees in the Kingdom, said that he expected the formation of an independent authority to implement the new system

http://khaleejtimes.com/region/saudi-arabia/expats-welcome-saudi-arabias-permanent-residency-plan

Comment: What´s really happening is that the Kingdom needs - desperately - cash. Waging wars cost, price of oil is at its lowest.
The move could generate $10 billion and another $10 billion is expected to be generated from the fees imposed to exceed foreign worker quotas.
The measures would raise at least an extra $100 billion a year by 2020, which would more than triple non-oil income and balance the budget, Bloomberg reported.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1003814006338296&id=961126490607048

7.4.2016 – Badische Zeitung (* B P)

Junge Künstler hadern mit den Zuständen in ihrem Land

Saudi-Arabiens junge Künstler hadern mit den politischen und sozialen Zuständen in ihrem Land / Trotz drohender Verfolgung agitieren sie gegen die Mächtigen.

Doch die Mächtigen in dem ölreichen Königreich dulden keinen Widerspruch. Die meisten ihrer Kritiker sitzen, zu langen Strafen verurteilt, hinter Gittern.

Im Mai erscheint in der Schweiz Maters Herzensprojekt, seine Fotodokumentation "Desert of Pharan" über die totale Kommerzialisierung von Mekka zu einem Gigazentrum des frommen Massentourismus.
Sie zeigen beispielsweise die neuen Superluxussuiten mit Blick auf die Kaaba, von denen aus Betuchte den Hadsch für 3000 Dollar die Nacht verfolgen können. Das spirituelle Zentrum der islamischen Welt werde so zerstört, sagt der Künstler. "Das alles ist das Werk von zehn Jahren – weniger als einer Generation."
Seine Kritik gilt vor allem dem Königshaus, dessen ehrgeizigen Stadtplanern sowie dem Bin-Laden-Konzern, der seit den Anfängen des modernen Saudi-Arabiens das Baumonopol in der Heiligen Stadt hat – von Martin Gehlen

http://www.badische-zeitung.de/ausland-1/die-kunst-das-oel-und-die-kritik--120488495.html

cp9 USA

7.4.2016 – Washington Post (A P)

Kerry tells Iran to join efforts for peace in Yemen and Syria

Secretary of State John F. Kerry on Thursday called on Iran to stop its destabilizing behavior and work with its neighbors in the Middle East to end the wars in Yemen and Syria.

Kerry, who came to the island kingdom of Bahrain to meet with his counterparts in the Gulf Cooperation Council, said they all were concerned about Iran.

“Rather than send weapons to the Houthis, join in efforts to convince the Houthis to make peace,” Kerry said.

“If Iran is going to give meaning to the words in the last few days about wanting to work with people, it is by getting engaged in making peace in Yemen, not adding more weapons and fueling the conflict,” Kerry said.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/middle_east/kerry-walks-a-delicate-line-on-human-rights-in-bahrain/2016/04/07/0285af88-fb58-11e5-813a-90ab563f0dde_story.html

Comment: That is really a joke. Kerry tells Iran should not be “adding more weapons and fueling the conflict.” Who had sent certainly 10.000 fold the lot of arms the Iranians had sent to Yemen? Who had “fueled the war” even in a quite real meaning, who refuels the Saudi fighter jets? Is there anything which had fueled this war more than the political support of the US for the Saudis? What single political measure has fueled this war more than UN resolution 2216?

7.4.2016 – US State Department (A P)

Secretary @JohnKerry comments on #Yemen after a Gulf Cooperation Council Ministerial Meeting in Manama, #Bahrain.

https://twitter.com/StateDept/status/718154388548624384

Comment by Jamila Hanan:

Can anyone translate what this clown @JohnKerry is saying? I don't understand a word. Is he from another planet??

https://twitter.com/JamilaHanan/status/718185443628556288

7.4.2016 – US State Department (A P)

Mark C. Toner

Deputy Spokesperson
Daily Press Briefing

Washington, DC

April 7, 2016

QUESTION: You’ve probably seen the Human Rights Watch report overnight, which said that the – they have evidence that U.S.-supplied bombs had killed 97 civilians and stuff in Yemen on March 15. Is it your understanding or have you got any independent verification that these were U.S. – that the investigation outcome is true?

MR TONER: So Lesley, we don’t. And the Secretary actually spoke to this in the press avail that he did recently in Bahrain. He was asked this very question.

QUESTION: Apologies.

MR TONER: No worries. So no clarity is what he said. We just don’t have the clarity right now what type of weapon may or may not have been used. But then, of course, he said very strongly that we need to see an end to all combat operations in Yemen. We need to see the continuation of the peace process and we need to see a ceasefire take place. But I just would say we obviously take these reports very seriously. Certainly we’ve spoken in the past and continue to speak out against civilian casualties. And we’ll just look into it. We just don’t have any more details here.

QUESTION: So is there going to be any investigation from your side?

MR TONER: I think we’re looking into it. I don’t know if – I don't know that I’d --

QUESTION: So you don’t know if that’s a formal investigation?

MR TONER: -- classify that as a formal investigation, but I’m certainly aware that we’re looking into the details.

QUESTION: Do you know, Mark --

MR TONER: Yes, sir.

QUESTION: -- if the type of bomb that was described by Human Rights Watch is a type or is --

MR TONER: I don’t.

QUESTION: -- among the things that the State Department, in coordination with the Pentagon, actually gives – signs off on? So, no?

MR TONER: Yeah. I don't have that.

QUESTION: On that topic --

MR TONER: Yeah, please. Yeah.

QUESTION: -- and other issues in the press conference. But on this very issue, I mean, most everybody thinks or suggests or knows that the Saudis use – almost 100 percent of their weapons are American weapons in this case. Why would you not conduct an investigation?

MR TONER: Well, again, we’re certainly concerned by any credible allegations of civilian deaths or attacks on civilians. Our understanding is that the coalition is going to conduct an investigation into the incident. We’ve encouraged them to do so in a prompt manner. We believe the need for an investigation – or there is a need for an investigation. I know that the Saudis have also formed a committee or announced the formation of a committee that will evaluate military targeting writ large that they say will ensure the protection of civilians and investigate these kinds of incidents. We’ve encouraged them to do so, to carry out an investigation. So we’ll wait and see the results of that investigation.

QUESTION: So you are fine with Saudi Arabia investigating itself in this case?

MR TONER: I think they have said they are going to do it. They’ve established this commission. We’ll wait and see what the results are.

QUESTION: Yeah. Also during the press conference --

MR TONER: Yeah.

http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/04/255595.htm and for Yemen: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/dpb/2016/04/255595.htm#YEMEN

Comment: O god.

7.4.2016 – PBS (* B K P)

What’s the U.S. role in Yemen’s civil war?

There are new questions about the depth of American involvement in Yemen, where investigators for Human Rights Watch say that bombs used in a Saudi air raid that killed 119 people last month were sourced by the U.S. For more on the conflict and America’s role and responsibility, Judy Woodruff talks to retired Col. Derek Harvey, a former Army intelligence officer.

COL. DEREK HARVEY (RET.), Former Army Intelligence Officer: Yes, it’s been true that large numbers of civilian casualties.

And I think it’s inevitable, given the skill and lack of training and use of the weapons and technology that the Saudi air forces employ in Yemen today.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And what do you mean by that? What do you mean by lack of training and skill, or lack of skill?

COL. DEREK HARVEY: Well, Judy, I think we are very accustomed in America and elsewhere in the world to the high professionalism and great skill of the U.S. Air Force and Western European countries, who have rules of engagement, training, and capabilities that allow them to reduce collateral damage and civilian casualties.

Other countries around the world, to include the Saudi Arabian air force, doesn’t have that same level of skill. They fly higher. They’re not as good at employing those weapons. They, you know, are probably trying to avoid civilian casualties. Everything we see seems to suggest that. But it’s inevitable, given the type of conflict and the skill level of those that are involved in this conflict.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Why did the U.S., why did this administration decide to provide this kind of military support to the Saudis and to this coalition, intelligence, refueling, and all the rest?

COL. DEREK HARVEY: Well, part of it is, we have been attempting to bolster the relationship with Saudi Arabia after some of the fractious disagreement about the Iran nuclear deal, and concerns in Saudi Arabia and in the Gulf about Iranian continued efforts to encroach on Sunni Arab areas.

And with the successes of Iran in Iraq and in Syria and Lebanon, they saw this as another threat from Iran supporting the Shia-aligned Houthis in Yemen that was going to threaten Saudi Arabia. The United States simply decided it was best to pollster and repair that relationship with Riyadh and support them in the way that we have been doing it.

JUDY WOODRUFF: And what — I mean, can you spell out a little bit more about what the support entails?

COL. DEREK HARVEY: Clearly, we are providing some advice and assistance with limited what I would call coaching. But we’re not selecting or directing the operations or directing any targeting.

There is intelligence that’s being provided from a range of U.S. intelligence capabilities, to include drones that are flying over Yemen on a regular basis. The air refueling that was commented on in the intro piece is — has been an important element.

But, mostly, the Saudi Arabians and the other Gulf countries that are involved in this conflict primarily use U.S. weapons and munitions. And, inevitably, it’s going to be American-sourced equipment, weapons and munitions that will be used in Yemen.

JUDY WOODRUFF: So, how much responsibility does the United States bear for these civilian casualties?

COL. DEREK HARVEY: Well, I don’t think we’re involved in selecting any of those targets. It’s indirect.

We have been supporting an ally, and, in that sense, you know, there is some responsibility. The United States administration, the Obama administration, Secretary Kerry and others, have distanced themselves very clearly from that conflict and are recognizing that it’s really about supporting Saudi Arabia and repairing the relationship.

So, they understand that they’re in a hard place because of the blowback and the concerns that the United States is being tainted by the support of the Saudi Arabians in this conflict.

JUDY WOODRUFF: But do you — is it your sense that the administration has explained the conflict here, the contradiction here?

COL. DEREK HARVEY: No, not at all.

This is another war that is forgotten. It’s on the back burner. It’s, in part, part of our larger C.T. strategy that imploded almost a year ago in Yemen.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Counterterrorism.

COL. DEREK HARVEY: Yes, our counterterrorism strategy.

And, unfortunately, since the civil war expanded and the Saudis became involved, our ability to go after al-Qaida and the expanding Islamic State elements in Yemen has been hurt.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/whats-the-u-s-role-in-yemens-civil-war/

Comment: Oh my goodness.

7.4.2016 – NBC (A P)

U.S. Constantly Working for Yemen Cease-Fire: John Kerry

The Secretary of State said all shooting in Yemen must stop, "whatever weapons are being used." (Film)

http://www.nbcnews.com/video/u-s-constantly-working-for-yemen-cease-fire-john-kerry-660745283654

Comment: The US having fueled this war from it’s very beginning, more hypocrisy hardl< can be imagined. “"whatever weapons are being used": a very weak distraction from the US involvement as just shown again by the HRW report on the Mastaba air strike (see cp1)

7.4.2016 – US State Department (A P)

Joint Press Availability With Bahraini Foreign Minister Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed al-Khalifa

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, could you answer the same question about the reforms?

QUESTION: And also about Yemen – Yemen --

SECRETARY KERRY: I’m sorry, I thought I had answered the question. Which part of the question?

QUESTION: The – in Yemen, the --

SECRETARY KERRY: Yemen, I got it. What’s the other? What’s the third question?

QUESTION: The reform – about – just about the reform efforts in Bahrain, whether there was more that you’d like to see --

SECRETARY KERRY: Well, let me just say that His Majesty King Hamad began a very serious, constructive effort at reform a number of years ago, in which he created a number of different entities with an ombudsman and other efforts in order to try to bring people together. And regrettably, I think a great mistake was made when the opposition obviously chose to boycott the election. And I think that polarizes things rather than helps them.

We discussed the 2018 elections today and the prospect for those elections and some of the work that might be able to be done over the course of the next weeks and months. And the foreign minister assured me that they want nothing more than a full, fair election with full participation by everybody, but obviously without the violence, without threats, without extremism polarizing people and making that election more complicated. So we hope it will be. And we’re going to work with them very closely in an effort to try to ensure that.

Bahrain has made progress in some areas. They’ve created institutions that have oversight of security institutions, but more work obviously remains. And we’ve expressed concerns where we have some of those concerns. And one of those efforts is to work with the opposition in order to try to put some of the reforms in place.

But in the end, our relationship with Bahrain is built on the common interests that we share, and one of those interests in joint efforts to combat violent extremism. And so we believe that broadening the rights and opportunities and bringing people together in the political process is one of the ways to actually counter it, and we’re encouraging that kind of activity.

With respect to Yemen, I don’t have any solid information, any documentation with respect to what weapon might or might not have been used. There are questions being asked. What I will say about Yemen is this: We have been – we, the United States – I personally have been in multiple weekly conversations and meetings over the course of the last weeks in an effort to try to secure a full ceasefire in Yemen. And we will have that conversation even tonight. I talked with the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia yesterday about it, over the weekend. We’re constantly trying to move this towards it.

I cannot avoid saying that I think that President Hadi has complicated some of those efforts significantly in the last few hours. And I hope that decisions will be made that will facilitate our ability to be able to move towards the negotiations that we have all been working towards on the 18th of April. Whatever weapons are being used, our preference is that all shooting stops, that they have a full ceasefire and come to terms on the potential of what the structure of a new government could be. I thought we were making significant progress on that up until this most recent decision. My hope is that at tonight’s meeting we can have some clarification of how we might be able to make some steps to get back on track fully.

We still believe that negotiations ought to take place. We still believe the ceasefire ought to take place. But we’ve got to work on the politics of it. But I’ll try to get some greater details for you, David, about the particular munition used in that particular incident.

http://www.state.gov/secretary/remarks/2016/04/255568.htm

Comment: Rather ridiculous. Bahrain, an extremely oppressive regime. And, “With respect to Yemen, I don’t have any solid information, any documentation with respect to what weapon might or might not have been used”, is just a lie, see HRW article at cp1 Most important.

7.4.2016 – Near Eastern Outlook (** B P)

The US Pulls Out Of Yemen: Why So Sudden?

Last year Barack Obama hailed the CIA’s work in Yemen as a “model” counter-terrorism operation. His intelligence network had worked with the Hadi government to target Al Qaeda operatives in the country, and was boasting considerable success.

We are all aware the Al Qaeda was created by the US and Saudi intelligence to pursue its policy in Afghanistan, and that it formed the blueprint for several other terrorist groups inserted into countries the West had an interest in. We have seen the trails of arms and personnel supplied to such groups, and frequently seen such influential US figures as former president Ronald Reagan and Senator John McCain openly meeting with them and supporting their cause, for as long as it suits the US.

So if any country knows who the terrorists are, where they are and what they are doing it is the US. But the looting of the documents has not only led to the closure of the US Embassy in Yemen, President Hadi having already fled to Aden, but the withdrawal of the last Special Operations forces in the country. These same forces have been there throughout the civil war which followed the Arab Spring, but now feel so compromised they have to leave for their own safety.

The real reason for the troops’ departure has been suggested by the Pentagon itself. As soon as the US Embassy closed it was announced that over $500 million worth of “counter-terrorism” equipment in Yemen has disappeared, including helicopters, drones and jeeps.

This is a very familiar scenario to anyone who has followed other US military projects. The Georgia-Russia War of 2008 was a good example of a conflict in which a large quantity of US-supplied weaponry mysteriously disappeared. This was actually because most of these weapons were never used in combat, never even arrived to Georgia. They had already been sold on to terrorist groups in deals brokered by the US, as a recent article in this journal, amongst many others, demonstrated.

The US supplied similar military aid to Iraq, but far larger in quantity. Its prolonged involvement in that country to “make this aid work” via training and support became a severe domestic embarrassment. None of this support prevented the rise of ISIS, funded by oil sold on the US market and armed and staffed by US trainees moved around from hotspot to hotspot on fake Georgian passports.

The US has remained in Yemen whilst a civil war is going on. Despite all its alleged successes against terrorists, the same Yemeni Army it trained and supplied, and its own Special Operations forces. But they have been unable to stop the Houthi advance. Could this be because it did not have the weapons to do it? Could it be that the looted files will name the same suppliers and “consultants” who have supplied weapons to Ukraine, Syria and Georgia?

Bad guy, good guy

The US has been in Yemen until now because it supported the local version of the Arab Spring revolts. According to sources who were on the ground at the time, even then it was supplying large quantities of small arms to combatants in a country already awash with them, who needed political support rather than weapons.

The outcome of the Arab Spring was a US takeover. The president the people were supposedly protesting against, Ali Abdullah Saleh was replaced by his Vice-President, equally responsible for the crimes of his regime. This solution did not give the people what they wanted, hence the civil war which has forced that Vice-President into internal exile. But it was arranged by Washington, and we can expect that the usual paybacks were involved.

The official line now is that the missing weapons were looted by Yemeni Army units still loyal to Saleh, who have joined the Houthi out of nationalist motives. The story goes that he is using the Houthi to take power again, despite the Houthi allegedly being motivated by a desire to destroy any Sunni-dominated government, such as that led by Saleh.

Nationalist motives are claimed by every organisation regarded as “terrorist.” These claims are ignored until the groups concerned are successful, or win US-backing. Only then do they become nationalists, freedom fighters but not terrorists. We can recall Chad in 1982, when the terrorist FAN became the legitimate nationalist government defending the country against the “Libyan-backed” deposed president within a week of talking over, and the Taliban suddenly being treated as a political force when the Afghan government, at US urging, began negotiating with them.

If the accusation of Saleh looting is being made with the word “nationalist” attached the deposed president is being given credibility, implying he will be rehabilitated or even reinstalled. This would answer the question of where the weapons have gone. With regret, the US will have to accept the inevitable restoration of Saleh due to the sheer numbers of arms he has at his disposal. The fact that there is, as yet, no evidence that he has stolen any arms at all is a small inconvenience the US will forget to mention.

All eggs in the wrong basket

Further evidence that the US took over Yemen to smuggle arms to terrorists is provided by the manner in which it has conducted the “counter-terrorism” campaign it has waged to justify that presence. Increasingly, it has used a single weapon – the drone strike – to attack local Islamic State and Al Qaeda affiliates, rather than pursuing the range of military options the scale of the equipment supplied would give it.

In January 2015 Obama was forced to defend the use of drones, saying that the alternative was committing US troops to the area. He did not however mention that all the arms and equipment supplied, much of which is now apparently missing, was supplied so that the Yemeni Army would do what the US troops would be doing if deployed there.

US commanders have confirmed that Yemenis are perfectly capable of handling these weapons themselves, but political decisions are preventing them doing so. Have we not heard that many times before? The implication of this is that the army command contains many Houthi sympathisers or Saleh supporters, despite a purge carried out since Saleh’s removal, which successfully replaced anyone with such sympathies and can be repeated at any time.

The drone campaign has undoubtedly claimed many civilian lives. It has been condemned by the UN and many European politicians, and even the Yemeni parliament, whose members owe their livelihoods to giving no more than constructive criticism to President Hadi, eventually ordered a halt to the strikes in defiance of him. In at least some cases they are also contrary to the US’s own policy on targeted killings, as Human Rights Watch has pointed out.

The US is now saying that its pullout will leave it without the connections to conduct its counter-terrorism campaign. Therefore all that missing military hardware will be lost or rendered useless. However it insists it will still attack targets within Yemen from outside the country. This will, most conveniently, make drone attacks the only option, and legitimise the previous practice by the back door, now that other weapons, including all the missing ones, can no longer be used.

Conclusion

The US knew when it entered Yemen that the two modern states whose merger formed it had only come into existence as a result of nationalist uprisings against colonial powers: the British in the south, the former Aden Protectorate, and the Ottomans, and subsequently the Saudis who supported the native monarchy, in the north. It also knew that the primary reason these had taken place was the attitude of the colonial powers, whose only interest in Yemen was in using it as a staging post to protect other, more important interests, not those of Yemenis themselves.

If the US ever wanted out, this history would give it every excuse. The locals were revolting against foreign domination again. Of course they were, there could not be another reason, it was as inevitable as the Manifest Destiny the US claimed was its own when it destroyed its own native population.

But the US has stayed in Yemen through an ongoing war, its client government fleeing the capital and the American embassy closed. None of these factors have made it leave. When the rebels get hold of its intelligence documents however it shuts up shop, though few would have cared about the seizure if the US itself hadn’t drawn attention to it.

If these documents are released we will finally have proof from within US intelligence of what has so far only been proven or alleged by other sources. Then Yemen will become famous as the place the US took over just to supply arms to terrorists it was supposed to be fighting. Then many politicians in many countries in which this has happened, and many US arms manufacturers and dealers, will compete to sacrifice each other to save themselves.

Wouldn’t you run away if you were the one on the ground, in the firing line of any investigation? When those who have just left Yemen have no choice but to talk themselves, we might just find the world becomes a better place, at least for a while – by Seth Ferris
http://journal-neo.org/2016/04/07/the-us-pulls-out-of-yemen-why-so-sudden/

5.4.2016 – Foreign Policy (* B K T)

Obama’s Most Dangerous Drone Tactic Is Here to Stay

From Yemen to Somalia, the White House has gone back to bombing men it can’t confirm are militants — potentially leaving innocents trapped in the crossfire.

In May 2013, President Barack Obama’s aides indicated that they were prepared to phase out the most controversial element of the administration’s drone war: so-called “signature strikes” against military-age men on battlefields around the world that took place even if American officials didn’t know who the targets were — or if they were actively plotting against the United States.

The tactic had sparked fierce criticism from human rights groups and some lawmakers, who said it effectively gave the CIA carte blanche to bomb groups of men in countries ranging from Yemen to Pakistan simply because of where they lived and whether they showed any behavior commonly associated with militants. Opponents argued that the strikes were certain to kill innocents given that U.S. officials knew so little about who they were targeting and had no concrete way of identifying the dead afterward.

Nearly three years later, the administration has abandoned any pretense of reining in its use of signature strikes. With the Islamic State expanding its reach, Washington is doubling down on the tactic and dispatching drones to strike at targets in Yemen and Somalia.

Signature strikes like the ones in Somalia and Yemen form a key element in Obama’s aggressive drone bombing campaign, one that will be handed over to the next president 10 months from now. The signature raids have been carried out in Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia — countries where the United States is not engaged in a publicly declared war — and, unlike targeted killings against specific extremist leaders, do not require presidential approval.

“Signature strikes have resulted in large numbers of bystander casualties in Pakistan and Yemen,” Jameel Jaffer, a deputy legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, told Foreign Policy.

There’s little doubt that the attacks have taken out hundreds — possibly thousands — of militants, but there’s also little doubt that civilians have been caught in the crossfire. The numbers are impossible to pin down, given the lack of clear reporting on the ground in places like Pakistan and Yemen. But a few cases stand out and highlight the dangers of conducting war almost exclusively from the air.

Last week Obama and a senior legal advisor at the U.S. State Department effectively defended the tactic, pushing back against accusations that strikes have been carried out indiscriminately and without knowing who was being killed on the ground.

Asked about the recent U.S. bombing raids in Yemen, Somalia, and Libya, Obama told reporters on April 1 that the United States employs a “vigorous set of criteria” for its counterterrorism operations and that intelligence is “checked, double-checked, triple-checked before kinetic actions are taken.”

If the U.S. identifies a training camp that is clearly linked to al Qaeda or the Islamic State, then “a strike will be taken.”

The same day, Brian Egan, the State Department’s legal advisor, offered a broad defense of the administration’s drone war and the signature strikes in particular – by Dan De Luce and Paul Mc Leary

http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/04/05/obamas-most-dangerous-drone-tactic-is-here-to-stay/

30.3.2016 – Telesur (A P)

Bernie Sanders: 'Drones Have Done Some Good Things

Democratic presidential contender Bernie Sanders says his rival Hillary Clinton "obviously" poses a greater risk of getting the U.S. involved in a conflict like the 2003 invasion of Iraq, but says he too is "absolutely prepared to use force."

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, the senator from Vermont said he is "absolutely not" a pacifist, pointing out that, "for better or worse," he supported President Bill Clinton's intervention in Kosovo and "voted for the war in Afghanistan because I thought that bin Laden should be brought to justice."

Sanders also noted his support for President Barack Obama's use of unmanned aircraft to kill suspected militants in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen and elsewhere.

"Drones are a big issue," Sanders continued. "And drones have done some good things. They've been selective; they've taken out people who should be taken out."

Drones have also done "some terrible things, which have been counterproductive to the United States," said Sanders. "But would I rule them out completely? No, I would not. But I am aware that they have in some cases, you know, you use a drone and you end up killing 40 people in a wedding in Afghanistan; that is not a terribly humane thing to do or productive thing to do."

In terms of how to combat the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, Sanders offered support for the current U.S. strategy. "I think that air attacks have been helpful," he said, citing an estimate that the extremist group has lost around 20 percent of its territory in the last year. "The Iraqi army is beginning, god willing, to show a little bit of gumption and capabilities in taking back Ramadi, which is no small thing. And hopefully they will continue to be aggressive, and we've got to use, you know, kind of coordinate with the Kurds and everybody else."

And "yes," Sanders continued, "I think (the U.S. should be) using special forces in the appropriate way."

Despite his avowed support for U.S. intervention abroad, Sanders contrasted his position with Clinton, saying the former secretary of state "is much more into regime change, much more into U.S. use of troops than I am."

"I've studied regime change for a long time," said Sanders. "And you know what? It looks good on day one. Often it does not work."

"You use force when the security of the United States is in danger," said Sanders. "That's when you use force. But you don't use force just because there are some awful people out there who we hate."

http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/Bernie-Sanders-Drones-Have-Done-Some-Good-Things-20160330-0006.html

Comment: Sanders really a better alternative than Clinton or Trump? For those outside ot the US, might be it’s marginal.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

Siehe Cp1 am wichtigsten / See cp1 Most important

cp13 Flüchtlinge / Refugees

8.4.2016 – International Organization for Migration (B H)

Map: Yemen Crisis Response: Movements and Arrival Assistance (As of 06 April 2016)

http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/IOM_Yemen_Crisis_Response_Map_20160406.pdf

8.4.2016 – International Organization for Migration (B H)

Yemen Crisis: IOM Regional Response - Situation Report, 24 March - 6 April 2016

On 29 March, IOM evacuated 251 Ethiopian migrants from Al Hudaydah port to Djibouti. Since the beginning of the conflict, IOM has organized 15 boat rotations evacuating a total of 3,002 migrants by sea.

From 24 March to 6 April, IOM Ethiopia, in coordination with IOM Djibouti, provided transportation and post-arrival assistance to 492 Ethiopians returning to Ethiopia from Obock, Djibouti.

To date, over 77,000 people have arrived in Djibouti, Somalia, Ethiopia and Sudan from Yemen. Of this, over 25,000 individuals have received post-arrival assistance from IOM.

Since the beginning of the current conflict, approximately 2.7 million Yemenis have been displaced and over 21 million are in need of humanitarian protection and assistance. As of 24 March, main access challenges are in Sa’adah and Hajjah governorates due to airstrikes and artillery barrages. Constraints are also heavy on the frontlines of Marib, Sana’a, Taizz, Amran, and Al Jawf governorates. As of 29 March, access to Taizz remains largely restricted; the Aden–Taizz road is closed, the Mokha–Taizz road is closed and Al Turbah–Taizz and Ibb–Taizz roads are difficult to access due to fighting or a restriction on relief cargo (source: Logistics Cluster, 29 March).

The 8th Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM) report from was released on 5 April 2016. A year on from the start of the conflict, this report reaffirms the continuation of the humanitarian impact of the conflict and indicates a total number of 2,755,916 internally displaced persons (IDPs), as compared to 2,430,178 IDPs in the 7th report (published in March 2016). The 13% increase in the overall displaced population is observed in pockets of Yemen such as Amanat Al Asimah,
Taizz, and Al Hudaydah.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-crisis-iom-regional-response-situation-report-24-march-6-april-2016 and in full http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/IOMYemenCrisisSitrep24Mar-6Apr2016%2343.pdf

7.4.2016 – Wall Street Journal (** B H)

Yemen’s Looming Migrant Crisis

Africans risk a perilous sea crossing and a trek through a war zone seeking jobs in Saudi Arabia.

They arrive daily by the hundreds now. Frustrated university graduates unable to find jobs at home; drought victims who’ve seen their livestock perish; victims fleeing violence spawned by religious or tribal conflict.

Two months ago, it was perhaps only several dozen a night, every one of these men and, increasingly, women, arriving on foot, sometimes having walked for months to reach this seaport. So eager are they to cross the Bab el Mandeb, a dangerous stretch of water separating them from the Arabian Peninsula, that they will embark on journeys that can seem almost biblical.

Known as the “gateway to grief,” the strait’s treacherous waters have swallowed more than 3,700 African migrants since 2006. Across the 28-kilometer strait lies Yemen, a country ravaged by bitter conflict. But to these job seekers—overwhelmingly Ethiopian, with a few Somalis, Sudanese and Eritreans—the conflict is no deterrent. If anything, it has become an important selling point for those arranging passage.

“Saudi Arabia is their destination. Many are returning to jobs they had there before,” says Ali Abdallah Al-Jefri, who directs the International Organization for Migration’s (IOM) Migrants Response Center here. Human smugglers tell the migrants that because of the raging violence in Yemen, “now is a good time to try to go back to Saudi Arabia,” Mr. Al-Jefri says. Instead, it’s the worst time.

Many of these migrants—already about 10,000 have been counted since January, compared to about 80,000 for all of 2014—are part of a growing population of vulnerable men, women and children who have disappeared upon leaving Djibouti. Some have died at sea trying to enter Yemen, including 44 confirmed drowned so far this year. Others have been kidnapped or tortured. The exact numbers are still unclear.

Further complicating matters: Because any African labor crossing Yemen is, by definition, unregulated, governments of the region simply don’t know how many have successfully made the journey.

In March, after IOM helped 300 Ethiopians return from Yemen, many of the them told us of the hardships they endured at the hands of kidnappers. “Ahmed” told of brutal torture and raping and killings.

While few migration emergencies match Yemen for the severity of the terror being inflicted on its victims, what’s happening in this region is part of a growing world-wide scourge of violence wherever migrants roam – by Mohammed Abdike, director of the department of operations and emergencies at the International Organization for Migration

http://www.wsj.com/articles/yemens-looming-migrant-crisis-1460058295

7.4.2016 – UNCHR (* B H)

Attack on care home brings new dangers for refugees in Yemen

Ethiopian refugee Nouria believed she would finally be able to live in peace when, at the age of 63, she moved into a care home run by the Missionaries of Charity in the Yemeni port of Aden earlier this year. She was wrong.

Gunmen burst into the home in March and shot dead 16 people, including four Ethiopian asylum-seekers and one refugee, who were employees at the home.

Traumatised, Nouria survived the attack but is still struggling with the psychological effects. "I still suffer flashbacks and nightmares," she said. "When I recall the attack, I often faint. I am scared of staying at home alone."

She has returned to the Kharaz refugee camp, where she lived for 15 years before moving to Aden.

Nouria is one of more than 260,000 refugees of various nationalities in Yemen. She originally fled Ethiopia years ago because of political instability and settled in the Kharaz camp, in Yemen's Lahij governorate, which houses about 18,000 refugees.

However, without family members to support her, she found life a struggle. In September 2015, she moved to Basateen district near Aden, seeking a better life and hoping to obtain medical assistance, but ended up living on the street.

UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and its partner InterSos, a non-profit agency that works with the survivors of the conflict in Yemen, found a place for Nouria at the care home for the elderly, where she would be able to receive medical and psychological care.

At the time of the attack, three refugees and four asylum-seekers were living in the care home. Nouria was one of two women refugees who survived.

"This is a terrorist act that targeted innocent people and refugees," said refugee community leader, Abdulbasit, who helped arrange the burials for the Ethiopian asylum seekers killed in the attack. He said the refugees lived in fear of another attack. "Nowadays, we avoid gathering at one place for the fear of being attacked."

Security in Yemen has deteriorated since fighting there intensified in late March 2015, and tens of thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers in urban areas decided to move to other parts of the country. Many returned home in the past few months after some stability returned to the province (governorate) of Aden.

In recent weeks, however, security in the city has again deteriorated and the refugee communities there feel a growing sense of despair. Many have lost their livelihoods and are afraid to travel, yet cannot return to their home countries.

More than 21 million people – 82 percent of Yemen's population of more than 26 million – are in need of protection or humanitarian assistance and a further 173,000 have sought safety abroad.

That was not an option for Nouria.

Yemen has historically been a transit hub for refugees, asylum-seekers and economic migrants from the Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and beyond. Although it is the poorest country in the Gulf, it has been exceptionally generous towards refugees. It is the only country in the Arabian Peninsula that has signed the 1951 UN refugee convention and its 1967 protocol.

The attack on the care home has left Nouria once again without a safe place to call home. Although now back in the Kharaz refugee camp, she has no family members or relatives to take care of her. "I want to find a place where I can feel peaceful but right now," she said. "I don't have anywhere else to go." – by Tiffany Tool and Soojin Hyung, Yemen

http://www.unhcr.org/570660b26.html

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

Siehe cp1, Am wichtigsten / See cp1, Most important

2016 – Open Democracy (** B T P)

The war on terror: an interim report

These weekly analyses started immediately after the attacks in New York and Washington on 11 September 2001, and as this is the seven-hundred-and-fiftieth column it is perhaps appropriate to reflect on developments in what was soon called the 'war on terror'.

In the wake of 9/11 there was widespread support across western governments for strong military action against al-Qaida and its Taliban hosts in Afghanistan, although from the start there were voices expressing another view. The first column in this series warned that the atrocities should be seen as a provocation by al-Qaida to drag the west into a long drawn-out war in central Asia. Oxford Research Group published a longer report along the same lines (see "The United States, Europe and the majority world after 11 September", ORG, September 2001).

The scholar-activist Walden Bello, taking an even wider view, condemned the attacks but went on presciently to argue:

"[The] only response that will really contribute to global security and peace is for Washington to address not the symptoms but the roots of terrorism. It is for the United States to re-examine and substantially change its policies in the Middle East and the Third World, supporting for a change arrangements that will not stand in the way of the achievement of equity, justice and genuine national sovereignty for currently marginalised peoples. Any other way leads to endless war."

Such views got nowhere at the time, the war went ahead, and in late January 2002 – after the Taliban had been dispersed – George Bush used his state-of-the-union address to Congress to declare an extension of the war to an “axis of evil” of rogue states, with Saddam Hussein’s Iraq heading the list. The long-planned termination of that regime started fourteen months later and within six weeks seemed, like Afghanistan, to have been a great success, with Bush’s “mission accomplished” speech on 1 May 2003 celebrating the end of hostilities. The war on terror appeared to have been won.

Instead, complex wars ensued in Afghanistan and Iraq with over a quarter of a million people killed, yet there have been periods when the devastating conflicts seemed to be diminishing. In 2009, for example, the incoming United States president, Barack Obama, could begin to carry out his campaign promise of getting US troops home from Iraq, and in 2011 the killing of Osama bin Laden appeared to confirm that al-Qaida was finished.

At the same time, the Arab awakening was seen initially as promising a new era for the Middle East, but it led rapidly to a bitter war and a disastrous non-peace in Libya, severe and brutal repression of dissent in Syria, and further deep divisions in Iraq with a marginalised Sunni minority.

Syria and Iraq then provided the opportunity for a revitalised al-Qaida in Iraq (AQI) to reinvent itself and proclaim a new caliphate – Islamic State, or ISIS – which took control of a population of around six million in a proto-state that sought continual expansion. It went on to establish an offshoot in Libya with its own territorial ambitions and developed links across west Africa, the Sahel, Yemen and even Russia's Caucasus.

Within months, that brought the west back to war in the Middle East. Since August 2014, 20 months ago, some 10,000 air-raids have killed 28,000 ISIS supporters (see “After Brussels: understanding and countering ISIS’s strategy”, IISS Strategic Comment, March 2016). In this period there have been intermittent reports that this new manifestation of al-Qaida was in retreat, for example after losses in Kobane and Ramadi, or in light of the Paris and Brussels attacks, which are claimed to be desperate reactions to these setbacks on the ground.

Fifteen years on

Looking back over these fifteen years it is extraordinary how often western leaders have stated that the end is in sight and that just some more military effort will bring success. Every time, the optimism is soon blighted – yet the official mantra ('there is no alternative') persists.

The current period is hearing the same blithe reassurances, though a recent column in this series argued that the European attacks demonstrate ISIS's global prowess, its ability to stir up anti-Muslim bigotry and attract more adherents from the margins, and its capacity to extend the war from the Middle East directly to countries it accuses of killing its people (see "After Brussels, ISIS's strategy", 25 March 2016).

There is, though, an even more important dimension. It was reported in that earlier column that ISIS had been preparing this change in strategy for over a year. It now appears that the planning goes back much further, with the building up of cadres of potential attackers over several years (see Rukmini Callimachi et al, “In Europe, ISIS sowed its seeds”, New York Times, 30 March 2016).

If ISIS's change of strategy predates the western military response to its advances – and is not at heart a response to the reversals since the air-war started 20 months ago – the implications are chastening. What this means is that the ISIS planners had worked out in advance how the west would respond to its rapid expansion, and were far less fixated on the geographical creation of a territorial caliphate than was supposed.

From the start, it would seem, ISIS recognised that there would be a strong and sustained response and that they would face very many casualties. Because of this expectation, resources were being put into the planned war in Europe and elsewhere some years ago. This may seem far beyond what one would expect unbalanced extremists to be able to do, but one of the most consistent problems with western analysis has been a serious underestimation of the intellectual resources embedded in the creation of ISIS strategy.

On reflection this should hardly be surprising – ISIS paramilitary leaders have many years of fighting elite western forces, mostly notably in the shadow war against JSOC in Iraq from 2004 to 2008. Moreover, the last decade's experience itself builds on an earlier quarter of a century of paramilitary combat in Afghanistan: against the Soviets in the 1980s, alongside the Taliban against the Northern Alliance warlords in the 1990s, and against American forces in the early 2000s. It is this hard, determined background, coupled with a religious intensity that transcends this earthly life, that makes the current war so robust and difficult to counter – so much so that it is probably not amenable to a military solution at all.

If that view is not acceptable in western capitals, neither is the scale of investment required to nurture the alternative to military control. Part of that alternative lies in countering the underlying poverty of ISIS's religious vision, and can only come from within Islam; but the other part is addressing the reasons for the alienation and marginalisation of so many young people across the Middle East and beyond.

The latter certainly does require sustained western involvement, though of a very different kind than the military approach of the last fifteen years. Rather, it means taking to heart the views expressed by Walden Bello amid the post-9/11 fallout. In the unlikely event of this series of articles surviving another five years until the thousandth is published, some time in 2021, my fear is that we still will not have made that transition – by Paul Rogers, professor in the department of peace studies at Bradford University, northern England

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

https://www.opendemocracy.net/paul-rogers/war-on-terror-interim-report

7.4.2016 – The Soufan Group (* B T)

Driving Back al-Qaeda in Yemen

.• On April 3, a Yemeni official reported that Saudi-led coalition aircraft had struck several al-Qaeda camps near the port city of Mukalla

• The strikes come less than a week after Yemeni government troops launched an offensive against al-Qaeda positions in the southern city of Aden

• Al-Qaeda has capitalized on the chaos in Yemen to expand its influence and territory in the country

• As negotiations between the Saudi-backed Yemeni government and the Shi’a Houthi rebels gain traction, Yemen and its allies will likely shift their focus to containing the spread of al-Qaeda.

The increased pace of operations against al-Qaeda follows a year that has seen significant expansion of al-Qaeda-controlled territory in Yemen; the group seized control of at least seven cities since last April. The first city the group captured was the port city of Mukalla, the provincial capital of Hadhramaut, where al-Qaeda’s regional affiliate, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), has a long history. Throughout the past year of conflict, AQAP has grown increasingly bold, expanding west toward Aden, and even taking neighborhoods within Aden itself. The Saudi-led coalition, for its part, has been singularly focused on defeating the Houthi rebel force, which the coalition views as an Iranian proxy. In February 2016, the BBC even reported that coalition-backed forces were fighting alongside al-Qaeda militants during an operation against the Houthis near the city of Taiz.

In any operation against AQAP, the Yemeni government will require significant support from international partners. However, it remains to be seen how willing the Saudi-led coalition will be to commit to another engagement in the country. Willingness to negotiate with the Houthi rebels is indicative of coalition fears of getting bogged down in Yemen, as happened to the Egyptian military in the 1960s.

Even with the support of international partners, driving back AQAP will not be an easy task.

http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-driving-back-al-qaeda-in-yemen/

cp15 Propaganda

6.4.2016 – USAID (A H P)

UNITED STATES ANNOUNCES NEARLY $139 MILLION IN HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE FOR YEMEN

The United States announced nearly $139 million in humanitarian assistance in response to the Yemen crisis today.

The contribution will help meet the urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable people in the Middle East's poorest and most food insecure country. Since the beginning of the current conflict in March 2015, approximately 2.7 million Yemenis have been displaced and over 20 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian protection and assistance. The USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) estimates that at least 6 million people in Yemen are currently in need of life-saving food assistance.

The United States looks forward to the expected April 10 cessation of hostilities announced by the United Nations and is seeking to help ensure its implementing partners are able to utilize this de-escalation to distribute assistance throughout Yemen to all those in need. The United States urges all parties to the conflict to ensure that they are cooperating with humanitarian workers as they access all parts of the country.

This latest assistance includes additional food supplies, emergency health care, nutrition services, shelter, safe drinking water, and protection to the most vulnerable families and communities. The additional food supplies include approximately 122,000 metric tons of U.S. sourced wheat, peas, and vegetable oil that will be delivered through the UN World Food Programme's emergency operation in Yemen.

The United States has mobilized a robust humanitarian response to the crisis in Yemen despite the complex and insecure operating environment. This latest contribution brings total U.S. humanitarian assistance for Yemen to more than $317 million in fiscal years 2015 and 2016.

The United States remains committed to helping the people of Yemen.

https://www.usaid.gov/news-information/press-releases/apr-6-2016-united-states-announces-nearly-139-million-humanitarian-assistance

Comment: This must be labeled as propaganda only. The US is the main supporter of the Saudi air raids. The sum mentioned here equals 17 hours Saudi bombing in Yemen. “The United States remains committed to helping the people of Yemen” is just a lie. They just should stop refueleing Saudi jets bombing Yemen, and shut up.

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

7.4.2016 – Albawaba (A K PH)

Yemen: Three pro-Hadi commanders killed

Almashhad-alyemeni, a pro-Hadi website, said on Wednesday that a leader from the Salafi Islah party and two field commanders were killed in the clashes in the northern area of Naqil al-Aqabah of al-Jawf province on Tuesday.

According to the report, pro-Hadi forces were sent to capture the area of al-Aqabah in al-Jawf from the Yemeni forces on Monday.

The news comes as the Yemeni forces continued to make gains against the Saudi-backed forces on Wednesday as Yemen's army and popular committees took control of the strategic military base of al-Shabaka, which overlooks the Bab-el-Mandeb Strait, in Ta'izz Province, according to al-Masirah television channel.

http://www.albawaba.com/news/yemen-three-pro-hadi-commanders-killed-826200

Comment by Judith Brown: I guess there is a lot of jockeying for position ahead of the Yemen truce and peace talks - as well as a lot of propaganda that makes it impossible to work out what actually is going on. But with so many reported disagreements one can only hope that the negotiators really want peace for Yemen.

https://www.facebook.com/judith.brown.794628/posts/10154263079878641

7.4.2016 – The National UAE (A K PS)

Fierce fighting erupts in Taez city ahead of Yemeni truce

Fierce fighting erupted on Wednesday in Taez city where Houthi rebels attempted to seize more territory ahead of a Yemeni truce planned for next week.

The fighting in Taez came as Saudi Arabia said that two people had been killed in a Saudi town by shelling from northern Yemen, undermining recent promises from the rebels to halt fighting in border areas.

The Iran-backed Houthis have sent reinforcements to Taez from Hodeida province as they attempt to break a deadlock in the city. Taez has suffered some of the worst fighting in the conflict.

Resistance forces loyal to the internationally recognised government, supported by air strikes from the Saudi-led coalition, clashed with the Houthis in districts across the city as they tried to hold their position.

Nabil Al Adimi, a leader with the popular resistance, told The National that they confronted attacks by the Houthis in the Air Defence Camp and Al Zonoog area north of the city. There were also clashes in Gabal Habashi district, 30 kilometres from the city.

“The Houthis are still trying to advance in more areas in the province before the peace talks," the commander added.

He said more than 10 coalition airstrikes had targeted the Houthis to try and stop them from gaining territory.

A number of resistance fighters had been killed, he added, but would not say how many.

Meanwhile, the Houthis continued to hit residential areas of Taez, with 10 civilians injured since Tuesday.

http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/fierce-fighting-erupts-in-taez-city-ahead-of-yemeni-truce

6.4.2016 – Fars News (A K PH)

Yemeni Army Captures Saudi Arabia's Strategic Military Base Near Bab Al-Mandeb

The Yemeni army and popular forces continued their advances in Western Yemen, and seized a strategic military base near Bab al-Mandeb Strait from the Saudi-led troops.

Saudi Arabia's Al-Shabaka military base is now in control of the Yemeni army and popular forces.

Al-Shabaka military base overlooks Bab al-Mandeb Strait which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950118000722

6.4.2016 – Living in Yemen on the Edge (A K PH)

Yemeni troops regain Mount "Network" overlooking Bab al-Mandab

A local official in the Yemeni province of Taiz, said army troops and People's Committees regained lmount "network" which overlooks the strategic Strait of Bab el Mandeb, southwest of the country.

The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the military commissions fought battles which lasted until dawn on Wednesday, April 6, during which they managed to regain and secure the Mount and made progress towards the mountain "Majer" and Al- Shamayatayn District.

Information indicates there are casualties and injuried as a result of the harsh fighting in the area between the army forces and committees, and groups of local militants and mercenaries (Saudi Alliance) allies.

Military sources, reported on Tuesday evening (yesterday) that the Saudi led coalition launched airstrikes targeting different areas in Alqbith and Allowazeip Taiz, in the Mount Han in Dhobab district

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1003485653037798&id=961126490607048

cp18 Schöner Jemen / Beautiful Yemen

3.4.2016 – Al Monitor (A P)

Welcome to one of the most exotic islands in the world

The Yemeni island of Socotra offers diverse and unique scenery. It is a place where history and culture meet in a magnificent natural setting with high levels of biodiversity. The island is home to a rich flora and fauna that includes rare species of birds not found anywhere else in the world – by Ashraf al-Falahi

http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/originals/2016/04/yemen-island-socotra-biodiversity-strategic-role-economy.html

Vorige / Previous:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/krieg-im-jemen-neue-artikel-zum-nachlesen-125

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-125: / Yemen Press Reader 1-125:

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

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

17:37 08.04.2016
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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