Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 129

Yemen Press Reader 129: Wollen die Saudis den Jemen teilen? - Jemens Stämme als Vermittler - Das Wasser geht aus - Saudi-Prinz Salman -CIA-Drohnenmorde, ein Beispiel - Waffenstillstand gebrochen

Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community.
Ihre Freitag-Redaktion

Does Saudi Arabia Want to Break Up Yemen? – Yemeni tribes as mediators – Running out of water – Saudi rince Salman - Anatomy of a CIA-Drone Assassination - Breaching the ceasefire

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp2a Waffenstillstand / Truce

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

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

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

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

13.4.2016 – The Globalist (*** B K P)

Does Saudi Arabia Want to Break Up Yemen?

What could possibly explain the current strategy?

Those who are familiar with Yemen’s history over the last several decades would not be surprised if it emerges that an unacknowledged goal of Saudi Arabia’s war is partition.

Yemen, a very poor country that was widely seen before the war as a paradigm for a failed state, sits across a 1,100 mile long border from wealthy, powerful Saudi Arabia. Yemen’s population – about 27 million – is nearly the same size as Saudi Arabia’s (26 million).

The best explanation for the bull-in-a-china-shop approach the Saudis have taken in Yemen to date is this: Saudi Arabia would rather demolish and break up Yemen into its former two halves again than have it remain united. After all, the latter scenario might entail dealing with a potentially hostile state. Split into two parts, Yemen might be much less of a problem.

Consider the historic dimension in support of this hypothesis: First, Saudi Arabia never supported the amicable unification of north and south Yemen in 1990, under North Yemen’s leadership.

In fact, the Saudis had tried to prevent this event from happening repeatedly in the preceding decades. They also made efforts to undo it throughout the 1990s, mainly by supporting southern Yemeni leaders and secessionist groups.

Each time, this involved the Saudis delivering more arms to one faction or another – which contributed to Yemen becoming the country in the world that ranks second only to the United States in per capita gun ownership.

Incredibly, the Saudi ambassador to the United States insisted, in his op-ed, that “The Saudi government has been the largest supporter of successive Yemeni governments.”

Second, Yemen’s Saudi-installed “transitional government” – which was established in February 2012 and which the Houthis ejected in 2015, triggering the intervention – was filled with southerners from Aden. It replaced the northern-dominated regime that had unified the country in 1990.

Third, Saudi Arabia has concentrated its war efforts on recapturing and (not very successfully) securing Aden, the former southern capital. The Saudi intervention did not begin after the rebel takeover of Sana’a, the country’s capital in the north, but rather the fall of Aden.

While moves northward have been made, the bulk of foreign military attention has been on former South Yemen regions.

Fourth, tellingly, Saudi-armed local ground forces are actually called the “Southern Resistance” and include southern secessionists. Pro-Saudi demonstrators outside a 2015 White House summit with King Salman openly displayed South Yemeni flags.

The ultimate point to be raised in support of the partition thesis is this: If partition is the ultimate goal, then the “strategy” pursued by the Saudis in Yemen is not cruelly incompetent — but rather quite effective, albeit brutal.

Pummeling Yemen from the air and invading parts of it may be a path toward a permanent partition. Thus, whether by accident or design, Yemen’s unification is being reversed 26 years later.

How does that align with the interests of the United States? In short, it does not.

Saudi Arabia – a nation of formerly nomadic peoples in a theocratic system that never cared much for earthly borders – seems to prefer a divide-and-conquer strategy.

Ultimately such a Saudi strategy – particularly in Yemen – would be even more devastating and shortsighted than the approaches pursued in the region by the United States at its worst, most strategically shortsighted moments.

Even assuming this “grand” strategy were to “work,” in the sense of successfully splitting up Yemen, all it would really achieve is the genesis of another ISIS-style group, this one grown in the lawless Yemeni hinterland incubator that once grew an al Qaeda affiliate into the main branch.

That is hardly in Washington’s interest. Nor is it really in the Saudis’ interest. And yet, that may be precisely what is happening – by Bill Humphrey and Stephen Richter

Comment: Article very worth reading. For fully getting the arguments, please read in full at the original site.

13.4.2016 – Middle East Eye (** A K P)

Why Yemen’s tribes may succeed where the UN has failed

Earlier attempts by the UN have failed to forge an agreement between parties to the conflict but, behind the scenes, the leaders of some of Yemen’s tribes have been successfully mediating local disputes, negotiating a temporary border calm, and facilitating substantial Saudi-Houthi prisoner exchanges, something that an anonymous UN official deemed the most difficult issue to resolve during the talks.

So far, tribal mediators have effectively brokered more agreements in this conflict than the UN.

That should come as no surprise, as their expertise in local politics and investment in the security of their communities make them an indispensable party to reaching peace.

Tribes across Yemen, some of which have existed as discrete socio-political entities for millennia, are a solid presence in on-the-ground politics, but are remarkably fluid in their alliances. Some tribes have long-standing relations with Saudi Arabia while also maintaining open communication with the Houthis.

Religious leaning is also not a reliable predictor of tribal allegiance, says Hussain al-Bukhaiti, a pro-Houthi activist based in Sanaa. He recounted a few instances when Sunni tribes based near the capital, some of whose members belonged to the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood and the Islah party, were driven to fight alongside the Shia Houthis after suffering casualties in a Saudi airstrike.

According to Yemen tribal expert and nonresident senior fellow at Project on Middle East Democracy, Nadwa al-Dawsari, tribes’ relationships remain flexible because their leadership will tend to stay neutral and non-confrontational unless they are attacked or feel threatened.

“Tribes and tribalism are largely misunderstood in the media,” says Dawsari. “Yemen’s tribes are highly pragmatic...and have succeeded repeatedly in putting an end to clashes and stopping attacks.

“Especially now that the conflict is so localised, tribal leaders can help to mitigate some of these disputes. They have more incentive. They’re thinking about their families, their businesses, the safety of their communities. They live there.”

Unlike national-level actors, such as Hadi and Saleh, tribal leaders are fighting for local interests that often correspond with the interests of international players, including the United States, which claims to be seeking a stable and secure Yemen, free of terrorism.

On a number of occasions, tribes in southern Yemen have battled alongside government forces to push out al-Qaeda and other extremist Islamic groups in order to ensure their communities’ safety.

Not all experts agree, however, that tribes are necessarily the key to a stable Yemen and productive peace talks.

Whenever the war does finally come to a close, tribes and other local actors will need to be part of the post-war dialogue, due to what Marieke Brandt, an expert on northern tribes and the Houthi movement, deems their “well-established and effective mechanisms for channelling crises into negotiations and mediation.”

It should be noted, however, that in Brandt’s paper on tribal militias and the 2004-10 Saada war between the Houthis and the Saleh government, she explains that the tribes’ mechanisms were intentionally weakened by the Saleh government’s manipulation and exploitation of tribal politics.

The subsequent expansion of the Houthi movement throughout northern Yemen led to further upheaval, displacing some long-established tribal leaders and drastically changing the balance of military power between the state and local actors.

The role of Yemen’s tribes has been, and will continue to be, subject to changes based on internal and external ruling powers and regional alliances. Some experts argue that this state of flux has seen the corruption and derailing of a once-functioning system, but it may be this precise adaptability that allows tribes to remain relevant and influential in both the local and national spheres – by Hannah Porter

11.4.2016 – Reveal News (** B H)

We’re running out of water, and the world’s powers are very worried

Secret conversations between American diplomats show how a growing water crisis in the Middle East destabilized the region, helping spark civil wars in Syria and Yemen, and how those water shortages are spreading to the United States.

Classified U.S. cables reviewed by Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting show a mounting concern by global political and business leaders that water shortages could spark unrest across the world, with dire consequences.

Many of the cables read like diary entries from an apocalyptic sci-fi novel.

“Water shortages have led desperate people to take desperate measures with equally desperate consequences,” according to a 2009 cable sent by U.S. Ambassador Stephen Seche in Yemen as water riots erupted across the country.

On Sept. 22 of that year, Seche sent a stark message to the U.S. State Department in Washington relaying the details of a conversation with Yemen’s minister of water, who “described Yemen’s water shortage as the ‘biggest threat to social stability in the near future.’ He noted that 70 percent of unofficial roadblocks stood up by angry citizens are due to water shortages, which are increasingly a cause of violent conflict.”

Seche soon cabled again, stating that 14 of the country’s 16 aquifers had run dry.

The classified diplomatic cables, made public years ago by Wikileaks, now are providing fresh perspective on how water shortages have helped push Syria and Yemen into civil war.

By September 2009, Yemen’s water minister told the U.S. ambassador that the water riots in his country were a “sign of the future” and predicted “that conflict between urban and rural areas over water will lead to violence,” according to the cables.

Less than two years later, rural tribesmen fought their way into Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, and seized two buildings: the headquarters of the ruling General People’s Congress and the main offices of the water utility.

In 2009, U.S. Ambassador Seche described how as aquifers were drained, and groundwater levels dropped lower, rich landowners drilled deeper and deeper wells. But everyday citizens did not have the money to dig deeper, and as their wells ran dry, they were forced to leave their land and livelihoods behind.

“The effects of water scarcity will leave the rich and powerful largely unaffected,” Seche wrote in the classified 2009 cable. “These examples illustrate how the rich always have a creative way of getting water, which not only is unavailable to the poor, but also cuts into the unreplenishable resources.” – by Nathan Halverson

Comment: Very long and profound article, dealing with the situation in general and with the situation of Saudi Arabia also.

9.1.2016 – Al-Bab (** A P)

The clown prince: Muhammad bin Salman's plans for Saudi Arabia

Is Saudi Arabia's Prince Muhammad bin Salman a reincarnation of Margaret Thatcher, the Iron Lady who reshaped Britain's economy in the 1980s? Or is he, perhaps, a reincarnation of Charles I, the seventeenth-century English monarch who lost his head in a civil war?

In an interview for the latest issue of the Economist magazine, Prince Muhammad talked effusively about his plans for transforming the Saudi economy through new taxes, mass privatisation and the sale of national assets – a plan reportedly developed with help from the multinational consulting firm, McKinsey & Co.

Asked by the Economist if what he has in mind is "a Thatcher revolution for Saudi Arabia", the prince replied: "Most certainly."

What this points to, though, is not just an economic upheaval but a political one too. It's the classic pre-revolutionary scenario, seen many times in history, where an expiring regime attempts to reform – only to discover it has left things far too late.

As deputy crown prince, 30-year-old Muhammad is officially number three in the Saudi hierarchy but he happens to be the favourite son of King Salman who came to the throne a year ago. He also presides over the kingdom's Council of Economic and Development Affairs and, as defence minister, he has overseen the destruction of Yemen.

With King Salman – who is 80 – taking a back seat, Prince Muhammad has come to the fore, often giving the appearance of acting as monarch. At times in his Economist interview he slipped presumptuously into the "royal singular", as if he were already king:

"I have surface-to-surface missiles right now on my borders."

"I have a global economic network."

"My debt-to-GDP is only 5%."

"I have reserves [of job vacancies] now, ten million jobs that are being occupied by non-Saudi employees that I can resort to at any time of my choosing."

In his twelve months as defence minister the prince has acquired a reputation for recklessness – a quality which he now seems determined to apply to the Saudi economy. It remains to be seen whether his sources of economic intelligence are any more reliable than his sources of military intelligence: speaking of Yemen in the interview he made the unbelievable claim that "over 80% of Yemeni lands" are now "under the control of the legitimate government".

To the prince's PR advisers, a five-hour on-the-record interview with the Economist might have seemed like a good idea at the time – a way of acquiring some gravitas. But by granting him such a platform, the Economist in effect handed him a sword with which to behead himself.

The economic context of the interview is that with low oil prices and an expensive but intractable military conflict in neighbouring Yemen, the kingdom has been eating into its financial reserves at an alarming rate. Prince Muhammad tried to allay fears about this by describing new ways of raising money to make up the spending shortfall.

Among the proposals he mentioned, the one attracting most attention in the west is a plan to offer shares in the national oil producer, Saudi Aramco, to the public. In economic terms Aramco is bigger than many countries and even a partial sell-off would probably result in the largest share offering the world has ever seen but the reaction so far has been one of scepticism rather than excitement.

Bloomberg, the business-orientated news agency, reported the story under a headline saying: "Shock, Laughter Greet Plan for Saudi Arabia's Record Oil IPO". It continued:

"The news was greeted with incredulity in the financial industry, according to interviews with a half dozen bankers who do business in the Middle East. They asked not to be identified to protect their business interests."

One obvious problem is that with oil prices at their lowest level for a decade, and with moves away from fossil fuels creating long-term uncertainties, investors might be in no hurry to buy shares.

The other problem, potentially more serious, is that Aramco doesn't meet the standards of transparency and disclosure normally required of public companies. This makes it impossible to put a financial value on the business. Rectifying that, Bloomberg points out, would require the Saudi government "to give investors more detailed information about Aramco’s reserves and production capacity, something oil-producing nations consider state secrets".

While the Aramco proposal has added to doubts about the prince's economic credibility two of his other proposals raise questions about survival prospects of the Saudi monarchy. One is taxation, the other privatisation.

The general pattern in Arab countries, and especially in the oil-rich Gulf states, is low taxation coupled with generous government subsidies. This helps to explain why so many undemocratic regimes in the region have remained in power for so long: it's a way of buying the public's quiescence.

Saudi Arabia has now embarked on a five-year programme of "restructuring" subsidies which has already led to price increases for fuel, electricity and water. Other GCC states have been taking similar action.

In addition, Saudi Arabia is planning to introduce Value Added Tax and a so-called "sin tax" on tobacco and other unhealthy products such as sugary drinks.

Taxes are never popular, and Prince Muhammad's role model, Margaret Thatcher, generally favoured cutting them, though she did have a fetish for one tax in particular – the poll tax – which led to her political assassination (metaphorically speaking) by her own party.

For autocratic rulers, though, the main problem with taxes is that the higher they are the more likely it is that people will demand a say in how the money is spent. It was the cry of "no taxation without representation" that spurred the American revolution in the 18th century, and a quarrel between King Charles I and his parliament over tax that helped to trigger the English revolution in the 17th century.

As a rule of thumb, high taxes can act as a spur towards democracy and accountable government. Conversely, where taxes are low the pressure for democracy and accountability is usually less.

Although indirect taxes such as VAT tend to arouse less hostility than direct taxes (such as income tax, which is not proposed for Saudi Arabia), the imposition of some completely new taxes coupled with lifting of subsidies is scarcely going to pass unnoticed by ordinary Saudis and many of them will feel the pinch.

In an interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times last November, Prince Muhammad conceded that his proposed economic changes "could have political ramifications". In his more recent interview with the Economist, however, he dismissed the idea that they could require a remaking of the social contract between rulers and ruled:

Q: You believe you can have more taxation without more representation?

A: There are no taxes.

Q: But you are introducing taxes.

A: We’re talking about different forms of taxes. We’re talking about VAT, it will not be applied to any of the basic products; it will be on accessories.

Q: The VAT will not be on basic products.

A: Such as water, dairy, milk …

Q: They will be excluded?

A: No doubt. If they will influence the price.

Q: I see. But you can have that kind of taxation without an increase in representation?

A: Again, one thing is not related to the other. This is not a decision from the government against the people. This is the decision of Saudi Arabia. With the government that represents the people. Before any decision to reform, we work on many workshops that represent many people.

Finally, and potentially most dangerous of all for the regime, is the question of privatisation. Asked what he will privatise, Prince Muhammad told the Economist:

"Health care, educational sector, some military sectors such as military industries and some state-owned companies. It will decrease some of the pressure that the government has, and some of them may create good profit."

The problem here is that the public sector in Saudi Arabia (and other Arab countries too) doesn't primarily exist to provide services to the public; it's a way for regimes to buy loyalty by providing salaries in exchange for often minimal – and sometimes purely notional – amounts of work.

The Saudi authorities have been trying for years to push more of their citizens into the private sector but without much success, because the pay and conditions of government jobs are far too attractive. Privatisation could thus be seen as a backdoor way of transferring government employees from the public sector to the private sector.

The difficulty, though, is that the public sector has become so bloated that sections destined for sell-off would have to be stripped of their fat, either before or after privatisation, in order to make them economically viable. That, in turn, would alienate the very people whose loyalty had been bought by providing them with cushy jobs in the first place.

Saudi Arabia certainly needs change, and has done for a long time. In a way, these economic moves are just a belated if ill-considered catching-up exercise. Previous rulers have held back for fear of the political consequences but Prince Muhammad, confident as ever, seems to think he can forge ahead without any – by Brian Whittaker

[This is the full text. This text is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International license.

Comment: The title could be misunderstood. If he would be a clown, that would be nice. Clowns normally do not begin wars causing thousands of killed people and the destruction of half a country.

For Prince Salman, also see cp8 Saudi Arabia.

cp2 Allgemein / General

13.4.2016 – Jordan Times (* B P)

The significance of the Yemen ceasefire however is not to be judged by the combatants’ compliance. Rather, it is the reality that the two main conflicting sides in Yemen have reached the inevitable conclusion that the only possible solution for the crisis is a political settlement reached through negotiations; hence a political ceasefire.

It is this political, rather than the military, ceasefire that counts.

Negotiations towards that end are set to start soon. Most likely they will. Talks may take time and may have to overcome many difficulties and obstacles. But as long as both sides will display adequate political will to engage in meaningful discussions with the intent of resolving the dispute once and for all, there is a good deal of hope for success.

In both Yemen and Syria the truce is meant to prepare the ground for negotiated settlements.
Much scepticism continues to surface, though, regarding the situation in both countries, based on previous failed efforts.

The accrued disasters wreaked by wars cannot go unnoticed by the many involved states in the region.
If faced by the choice between bad, perpetual and very costly wars, and political compromise, the latter will definitely be wiser and safer, even if seen as a humiliating retreat.
The hope that the warring parties have reached this conclusion, realising that their wars could go on indefinitely without achieving any of their goals, is good reason to expect the ceasefires to hold and the subsequent talks to end up in agreements.
The process will not be quick or smooth. It may take months, even years, but eventually it will solve problems and restore the peace the people in the region have long been deprived of.
It is true that many hopes were dashed before. Let us brace for a positive change this time – by Hasan Abu Nimah

Comment: Let us hope he is right.

11.4.2016 – Janes (A P)

Yemeni government reshuffle and Kuwait talks reflect Saudi desire to consolidate support base and end military campaign

Despite the latest ceasefire already being breached by local factions, the main Yemeni actors involved in the negotiations and senior Saudi officials - including the Saudi defence minister -have emphasised their optimism towards upcoming talks in Kuwait.

A recent reshuffle in the internationally recognised Yemeni government assures that any political settlement would involve recognising the Houthi as one of the main political actors in north Yemen, alongside the divided General People's Congress (GPC) party, Vice-President General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and the Muslim Brotherhood-backed Islah political party.

Such a settlement would, however, do little to address a likely growing separatist insurgency around Aden, and would probably facilitate unchecked jihadist expansion in Hadramawt, Abyan, Shabwa, and increasingly in Aden and Lahj provinces.

The following would be important positive indicators during the coming week of improving prospects of UN-brokered negotiations: The Saudi-led coalition limiting its air and naval campaign to retaliatory strikes in areas where there is active factional ground fighting (eg Taiz), and halting its campaign elsewhere (eg Houthi stronghold in Saada); Houthi-aligned forces refraining from cross-border raids and artillery fire on Saudi Arabia; Houthi and pro-government forces refraining from undertaking major offensives to capture new territory – by Meda Al Rowas

10.4.2016 – The National UAE (* B K P)

Viewpoint with James Zogby: The status in Yemen – video

James Zogby discusses the progress made by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen with Barbara Bodine, former US ambassador to Yemen and Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University. Viewpoint with James Zogby is a weekly TV interview programme on politics and foreign policy, featuring in-depth discussions of current events and topics that matter to the Arab American community.

Comment: Quite interesting and sincere as far as I listened to it.

cp2a Waffenstillstand / Truce

Siehe / See cp16, cp17

13.4.2016 – Reuters (A K P)

Ceasefire observers deploy in three Yemeni provinces to monitor truce

Local ceasefire monitors arrived at three Yemeni provinces on Wednesday to consolidate a shaky truce, residents and officials said, ahead of U.N.-sponsored peace talks scheduled to start in Kuwait next week.

Local officials said teams of 12 monitors were deployed in Marib province east of the capital Sanaa, in southwestern Taiz province and in Hajjah province in the north to try to stop truce violations and allow humanitarian aid to pass through.

The monitors - officers and tribal figures from among the Houthis and followers of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, along with Hadi's government - would also try to resolve problems and record complaints of violations and send them to a higher committee working under United Nations supervision.

The deployment comes amid fresh reports of violations by both sides of the truce that began at midnight on Sunday.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam had said local committees would be deployed in six provinces where fighting had been taking place. Apart from Marib, Hajjah and Taiz, monitors would also be deployed in Shabwa, al-Bayda and Dalea provinces in southern and central Yemen.

13.4.2016 – Pars Today (A P)

Ansarollah: Waffenstillstand ist für Friedensgespräche wichtig

Eine Einigung über den Waffenstillstand ist nach Ansicht des Sprechers der jemenitischen Ansarollah-Bewegung einer der wichtigsten Schritte in Richtung der vollständigen Beendigung des Krieges.

Mohammad Abdelsalam warnte vor Versuchen der "Händler", die vom Krieg in Jemen profitieren, und fügte hinzu: Der Waffenstillstand ist ein richtiger Schritt, der unternommen werden muss, um das jemenitische Volk vom Erfolg der Friedensverhandlungen zu überzeugen.

Weiterhin wies er auf die Zustimmung seiner Bewegung und des ehemaligen Präsidenten Jemens, Ali Abdullah Salih, zu den UN-Resolutionen hin und betonte: Die Ansarollah hat nicht vor, bis in die Ewigkeit jenseits der Regierung Waffen in die Hand zu nehmen, und ist bereit, die Waffen niederzulegen.

Der Sprecher des Ansarollah-Verhandlungsteams bezeichnete die militärische und Sicherheitslage Jemens als komplizierter als zuvor, und sprach sich für eine klare politische Einigung auf Bildung einer Regierung in diesem Land aus.

and what Saudi propaganda made o fit:

13.4.2016 – Stratfor (A P)

Yemen: Houthis Will Hand Weaponry Over To Government, Spokesman Says

Houthi spokesman Mohamed Abdel-Salam confirmed that his delegation has agreed to negotiate according to the U.N. Security Council’s resolutions and relinquish high-caliber weapons to the Yemeni government, Saudi-owned media outlet Asharq Al-Awsat reported April 13. The delegation is comprised of Houthi militants and armed supporters of ousted Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

13.4.2016 – KUNA (A K P)

Ceasefire in Yemen crucial to success of peace talks -- GCC

Commitment to the ceasefire in Yemen, which started April 10, is "fundamental" to the success of peace talks taking place April 18 in Kuwait under the auspices of the UN, said the General Secretariat of the GCC on Tuesday.
Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs and Negotiations at the General Secretariat, Abdul-Aziz Al-Owaishiq, told Radio Kuwait that continued truce between conflicting parties in Yemen will speed up bringing the crisis there, which has lasted five years, to an end.
He noted Kuwait's "positive" role, along with those of the GCC states, in making a success out of the peace negotiations in Kuwait.
These negotiations, he said, depend on the UN security council resolution no. 2216 which came out April 14, 2015 regarding the crisis in Yemen.
He specified that the resolution calls for withdrawal of Houthis from cities, turning in their weapons, return of the legitimate government, release of captives and hostages by Houthis, and instilling security among the populace.
He further said that a special committee has been formed by the General Secretariat, which has already arrived in Kuwait, entrusted with monitoring any violations of the terms of the truce. He emphasized that the purpose of the ceasefire is to give the peace negotiations a chance for success, noting that this third round of talks in Kuwait are headed for success because both sides are eager to come up with a comprehensive political solution to the crisis in Yemen.

Comment: “These negotiations, he said, depend on the UN security council resolution no. 2216”: The best way to blow up the negotiations.

13.4.2016 – France 24 (A K P)

Yémen : "pas un conflit entre Riyad et Téhéran, c'est que que l'Arabie Saoudite veut faire croire"

Malgré le cessez-le-feu, des combats entre forces loyalistes et rebelles pro-iraniens ont éclaté dans la nuit de lundi à mardi dans certaines régions du Yémen. De son côté, l'ONU affirme que la trêve est globalement respectée, en dépit de violations.

13.4.2016 – MSN (A K P)

Film: Yemen's fragile ceasefire

A fragile ceasefire enters its second day in Yemen between Houthi fighters and the Saudi-backed government.Yemen has been at war since March last year and civilians have been bearing the brunt. Mereana Hond reports.

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

14.4.2016 – Dr. R S Karim (A H)

@monarelief to distribute Rice to thousands in Al-Hodeidah Governorate starting next week!

Comment: For MONA, see and film:

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

14.4.2016 – Aljazeera (* A P)

Talking to Yemen's Hadi: A president resisting defeat

Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi speaks with Al Jazeera's Yemeni affairs editor Ahmed al-Shalafi

Hadi told me that during his time at the National Defence Council, which was headed by Saleh back in 2012, he opposed the shelling of al-Taghyeer Square in Sanaa, where thousands of Yemenis held protests against Saleh's rule.

Hadi, along with other political parties, struggled to spare the country the tragedies of war by assisting with the drafting of the GCC initiative for a transfer of power in Yemen.
What Hadi told me during our meeting seemed to confirm what many Yemenis already believe about Saleh: that he is somebody who thrives on planting the seeds of strife.

Saleh's personality is dominated by two traits, he said: violence and holding grudges.

Many people think that Hadi's 17-year service as Saleh's vice president is proof of his weakness. Hadi begs to differ.

While he does acknowledge that he benefited a great deal, he, nonetheless, points out that disagreement with Saleh over many issues was a key feature of their relationship.

Hadi explained that he believes a federal Yemen, a state with defined provinces, and a return to the draft constitution that was an outcome of the Gulf initiative, is the way forward in order to bring stability back to Yemen.

Fifteen minutes into our conversation, Hadi was still talking about the aftermath of the 2011 revolution.

I tried to steer the discussion to the present time, but to no avail. A phone call from Washington asking Hadi about his recent decision to sack his vice president and prime minister, Khaled Bahah, brought us closer to the issue.

I asked about Bahah - and his reported keenness to communicate with the Houthis. Hadi chose his words carefully, but his general description of a year-long series of disputes with Bahah implied a clear divergence between the two men over crucial issues.

When I asked whether or not he consulted with his allies, Hadi replied that he consults with Saudi Arabia - and other countries - on all matters. He did, however, stress that his decisions always aim to serve the welfare of Yemen.

I understood that Hadi believed that there was a plan being plotted by Bahah to push the Houthis into handing power over to him instead of Hadi. That way, Bahah would be able to return to Sanaa, form a national unity government and remove Hadi from power. He believes Bahah was trying to execute this plan before the Kuwait talks, due next week.

"There are no problems between me and Bahah. I agreed to appoint him as vice president during a critical phase in Yemen's history. Others have also supported that [decision]," Hadi said.

Of Bahah's alleged plot, Hadi said: "It was a defeat for all of us, and I will not accept that."

He hopes that a federal Yemen will soon prevail and will, he insists, work hard to achieve this goal.

Comment: Interesting interview, showing the world Hadi seems to live in. Hadi’s thoughts just turn around Hadi: That Bahah could have been a president of compromise for all sides in Yemen and thus could have been a possibility for achieving a peace in Yemen does not matter at all – he is blamed for having planed a “coup” against Hadi. For Hadi does not matter peace in Yemen, only Hadi staying president is what matters. And he is caught in the illusion of the better times of his presidency, when he thinks the political process of searching for a new constitution and a federal state could be picked up again at the point at which it had been interrupted in 2014 – as if nothing would have happened in the meantime. At least thanks to the Saudi interference, a way back is possible no more. And off course, Hadi tries to distance himself from ex-president Saleh – to make forgotten that he himself is an offspring of the Saleh system – as also those whom he had shared around himself as vice-president and prime-minister: old Saleh cronies all these three.

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

14.4.2016– Die Freie Welt (* A P)

Schluss mit Waffenlieferungen an Saudi-Arabien

Die deutsche Außenpolitik glänzt mit dem erhobenen Zeigefinger, wenn es um den Iran, Russland oder China geht. Doch bei Saudi-Arabien werden beide Augen zugedrückt. Das wirkt wie Heuchelei.

Saudi-Arabien sieht sich bedroht

Das saudische Königshaus sah sich schon immer in seiner Existenz bedroht. Man hat Angst vor dem „Islamischen Staat“ (IS), Al-Qaida und deren Ableger, obwohl man deren Geist dereinst selbst mit aus der Flasche gelassen hat. Man fürchtet sich vor einem chaotischen Syrien, vor einem schiitisch dominierten Südirak und vor allem vor den schiitischen Huthi-Milizen im Jemen. Der Iran ist sowieso Erzfeind.

Auch die schiitische Minderheit an der Ostküste des eigenen Landes sowie die rebellischen Stämme an den Grenzen des Königreiches werden als Bedrohung empfunden. Überhaupt fürchtet man sich vor der Idee einer islamischen Republik, wie sie jährlich zur Hadsch von hunderttausenden Mekka-Pilgern ins Land gebracht wird.

Die Saudis haben ein historisches Legitimitätsproblem

Doch die Furcht greift noch tiefer. Das liegt daran, dass die Saudis im eigenen Lande und in der islamischen Welt ein Legitimitätsproblem haben. Denn Anfangs regierte die Familie Saud nur in Zentralarabien. Die Küste des Persischen Golfes war von unabhängigen schiitischen Beduinenstämmen bewohnt. Die Westküste am Roten Meer mit den Bergen des Hedschas und den Heiligen Stätten von Mekka und Medina war das Königreich jener alten Dynastie der Haschemiten, von denen der heutige König von Jordanien abstammt.

In den 1920er Jahren hatten die Saudis das Westarabische Reich der Haschemiten gewaltsam erobert und die alte Dynastie, die ihren Familienstammbaum auf den Propheten Mohammed zurückführt, vertrieben. Parallel hatten die Saudis die Küste des Persischen Golfes erobert.

Die Folge: Das Königreich Saudi-Arabien brauchte eine Legitimation, um die Vereinigung großer Gebiete der arabischen Halbinsel zu rechtfertigen. Die Begründung war, dass man sich als Verkünder und Vertreter der orthodoxen wahhabitisch-salafistischen Auslegung des sunnitischen Islam verstand. Damit waren die klassischen Sunniten im Hedschas an der Küste des Roten Meeres und die Schiiten am Golf zu religiösen Minderheiten geworden. Diese Spannungen prägen das Land bis heute.

Im religiösen Wahn, den wahren Islam zu repräsentieren, und im Bündnis mit den Klerikern des Salafismus, erfüllt das saudische Regime eine Mission. Man will als Hüter des Heiligen Stätten eine besondere Rechtfertigung der eigenen Herrschaft sowohl nach innen als auch nach außen aufrechterhalten.

Im Namen dieser Mission investiert Saudi-Arabien viel Geld in die Verbreitung des Salafismus. Kein islamisches Land der Welt übt so viel Einfluss auf die anderen islamischen Länder aus wie Saudi-Arabien. Überall werden Moscheen, Koranschulen, islamische Universitäten, politisch-islamische Gruppierungen und islamische Fernsehsender finanziert. =

13.4.2016 – AFP (B P)

Saudi religious police ordered to be 'kind and gentle'

Government strips Mutawaa force of powers of arrest, saying they must 'carry out duties of encouraging virtue by advising kindly and gently'

Saudi Arabia has stripped its frequently criticised religious police of their powers to arrest, urging them to act "kindly and gently" in enforcing Islamic rules.

Under changes approved by the Saudi cabinet, religious officers will no longer be allowed to detain people and instead must report violators to police or drug squad officers, the official Saudi Press Agency said, reporting the changes late Tuesday.

Officers of the Haia force, also known as the Mutawaa, must "carry out the duties of encouraging virtue and forbidding vice by advising kindly and gently" under the new rules, it reported.

Saudi Arabia's religious police enforce the country's strict interpretation of Islamic law including segregation of the sexes, and ensuring that women cover themselves from head-to-toe when in public.

Formally known as the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, its members also patrol shops to make sure they are shut during prayers five times daily.

Before the new regulations, officers were allowed to arrest people using alcohol or drugs and committing certain other offences including witchcraft.

Their tactics have regularly been the subject of controversy, most recently in February when members were arrested for allegedly assaulting a young woman outside a Riyadh shopping mall, local media said at the time.

13.4.2016 – Middle East News Agency (A P)

Formation Of Joint Militia Between Saudi Arabia And Israel In Red Sea

Based on secret documents leaked by a senior military official linked to left-wing liberal party “Meretz”, in 2014 a memorandum of understanding is concluded on joint military cooperation between Israel and Saudi Arabia in the Red Sea.

This agreement is concluded to Saudi Arabia and Israel management on Bab el-Mandeb Strait, the Gulf of Aden and the Suez Canal and the Red Sea littoral countries as well.

Published information from this source mention in duty of a host by Israel of a number of officers Arabia to participate in military training courses in the base of polonium of Port of Haifa in 2015.

And this attempt has taken on Israel-Saudi Arabia cooperation to support regional security and stability and combating terrorist groups in the Red Sea.

13.4.2016 – Alalam (A P)

Saudi-Israeli Military Cooperation on the Island of Tiran: Revealed

An Israeli military source close to the leftist disclosed that the Saudi and Israeli military cooperation agreement signed with the centrality of Tiran Island, Al-Alam News Network reports.

According to Al-Alam News Network, the agreement includes monitoring and control of the Strait of Bab el-Mandab, Gulf of Aden, the Suez Canal and the Red Sea littoral states.

According to documents from the military source, Tiran Island will be used as the headquarter of a joint operation between Tel Aviv and Riyadh in the Red Sea.

Last year, a number of Saudi Arabia officers attended training course at the naval base Polonium in the port of Haifa, the military source disclosed.

The Egyptian government has handed over the ownership of disputed Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir to Saudi Arabia amid strong objection from several former officials as well as the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Egyptian cabinet announced in a statement released on Saturday that both islands fall within the territorial waters of Saudi Arabia as codified in the maritime border agreement signed between Cairo and Riyadh the previous day.

Egyptian Prime Minister Sherif Ismail inked the border demarcation accord with the Saudi side in the presence of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in the Federal Presidential Palace, eastern Cairo.

Meanwhile, legal experts and opposition figures in Egypt have cast doubt on the legitimacy of the agreement on the two strategic islands, arguing that relinquishing authority over Egyptian territory is unconstitutional.

10.4.2016 – The Independent (A D)

Saudi Arabia crackdown on 'un-Islamic' hairstyles forces footballers to ditch 'Qaza' haircut

Saudi Soccer Federation issued a decree last week banning the mohawk like style

11.1.2016 – RT (*A P)

Turkey and Saudi Arabia biggest threats to world peace – Sen. Black

In an interview with RT, Virginia state Senator Richard Black says that Saudi Arabia and Turkey are the two biggest threats to world. “It’s not Iran, it’s not Syria, it’s not any other country. It emanates from Saudi Arabia,” Black says, noting the prominence of the Islamic doctrine of Wahhabism. Meanwhile, Turkish President Erdogan intends to impose an absolute dictatorship, the senator says.

14.4.2016 – Muftah (* A P)

Change Is Not Coming to Saudi Arabia

On April 4, 2016, CNBC ran an article about Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud that read like a hagiography. The thirty-year-old prince – who is also Minister of Defense and chair of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs – was described as “stan[ding] in stark contrast to the traditional Western image of a Saudi leader – young, urbane and with views that seem far from traditional.” Bin Salman, the article declared without irony, “is changing the world.”

His Vision 2020 for Saudi Arabia contains the same buzz words as Assad’s and Gaddafi’s respective reform plans. Like his predecessors, Prince Mohammad also appears to be more interested in shedding blood than in helping his people. As the media praises him, he has continued to wage a war in Yemen, which has created a humanitarian catastrophe in the country. Far from benefiting the Saudi people, the Yemen conflict has depleted Saudi’s coffers and, along with the slump in oil prices, set the country on a course toward possible bankruptcy in only a few years.

While the CNBC article argues that “Bin Salman has also been popular with Saudi youth, who have been supporting him through the Yemen war,” a recent undercover documentary from Frontline offers a very different picture of Saudi society and shows how despised the Al Sauds actually are.

Behind the Saud family’s glossy image of opulence, lies a sprawling underground of poverty and marginalization, with the gap between rich and poor growing wider and wider as the country’s economic troubles become deeper and deeper. From this perspective, Salman’s plans “are just a belated if ill-considered catching-up exercise,” when “an expiring regime attempts to reform – only to discover it has left things far too late,” as Brian Whitaker masterfully put it in his al-Bab blog.

How long will it be before the mainstream media catches up with this reality?

Comment: For Prince Salman, also see cp1 Most important.

cp9 USA

13.4.2016 – The Hill (* A P)

Senate resolution would limit weapons sales to Saudi Arabia

A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced a resolution that would set conditions on sales of U.S. air-to-ground weapons to Saudi Arabia.

Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) offered the measure after reports emerged that the Saudis have used U.S. weapons in attacks in Yemen that killed civilians.

“Saudi Arabia is an important partner, but we must acknowledge when a friend’s actions aren’t in our national interest,” Murphy said in a written statement.

Murphy and Paul’s resolution would require the president to certify that certain conditions are being met before selling or transferring air-to-ground munitions to Saudi Arabia.

“For too long the Obama administration has not been holding countries receiving U.S. military munitions accountable in the Middle East,” Paul said in a written statement. “It is no secret that Saudi Arabia’s record on strictly targeting combatants and legitimate military targets in Yemen has been questionable.” – by Rebecca Kheel and by Vice News

12.4.2016 – Foreign Affairs (* B P)

The United States Has No Gulf Allies

The word “ally” is used far too casually in Washington’s Middle East lexicon. It’s time to break this bad habit, because the truth is that with the exception of Turkey—a NATO member—the United States does not share a single alliance with any Middle Eastern country. As the U.S.-GCC summit in Riyadh approaches, understanding what really constitutes an alliance couldn’t be more important.

All this is not to say that the United States shouldn’t have alliances in the region. But the objective reality is that it doesn’t. That Washington so frequently mischaracterizes its bonds with Middle Eastern capitals does great disservice to them, to their own expectations from the United States, and to U.S. policies toward the region. It also unnecessarily aggravates nations with which the United States has real alliances.

In U.S. public policy debates, the words “partnership” and “alliance” are used interchangeably. But the difference between the two is real. If two or more countries are allies and thus share a mutual defense treaty, it means that one is legally committed to the security of the other and vice versa. In short, it would contribute to the defense of the other if the other were attacked. Such a treaty generally comes with permanent standing headquarters, diplomatic missions, and a range of supporting infrastructure and processes. And in the United States, a mutual defense pact requires Senate ratification and consent. The most prominent example of an alliance is NATO – by Bilal Y. Saab

8.4.2016 – Al Monitor (B P)

Will US-Saudi 'special relationship' last?

Despite what many observers see as a strain in US-Saudi relations over very different if not completely opposite foreign policy postures, the two countries' shared interests remain a firm and unchanging foundation for their cooperation.

While political differences between the two governments should not be dismissed, bilateral relations between the two countries have not endured for over seven decades by happenstance. A plethora of mutual interests will ensure that Saudi Arabia and the United States will remain important allies for the foreseeable future. This is especially the case in the old “oil-for-security” equation, which had sustained the relationship for decades. It has been reformulated in light of the shale oil revolution in the United States that made it less dependent on oil imports and as the Saudi armed forces's military capabilities have improved significantly in recent years.

For starters, the two countries continue to support each other in the military campaigns that each of them is leading.

For its part, the United States is providing vital intelligence and logistical support to the Saudi-led campaign against the Iran-supported Houthi rebels and the allies of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen. In addition to supporting the UN resolution that lent international support to the Saudi effort by holding the Houthis responsible for the instability and violence in the country, the United States has provided Saudi Arabia with advisers to provide assistance in minimizing collateral damage.

The two countries also cooperate very closely in the fields of intelligence gathering and counterterrorism. It is well documented that Saudi Interior Minister and Crown Prince Prince Mohammed Bin Nayef provided the United States with vital information that enabled US security officials to prevent a potentially devastating terrorist attack in 2010. The two countries have also worked in tandem since 2004 to curtail terrorism financing by designating entities and individuals as terrorism supporters.

In the same vein, Saudi Arabia continues to exhibit a clear preference for US weapons and training.

When asked about the current state of relations between the United States and Saudi Arabia during a recent interview, Mohammed said, “We consider ourselves to be the main ally for the US in the Middle East and we see America as our ally as well.” It is also worth noting that over the past three weeks, three different congressional delegations headed by Senators Lindsey Graham and Ben Cardin and House Speaker Paul Ryan have visited Saudi Arabia and met with senior leaders including Salman – by Fahed Nazer

Comment: This article seems to coincident rather with an official view. Certainly, such a close relationship to a regime like Saudi Arabia unmasks all US claims to be aware of human rights worldwide. The sentence related to the Yemen war “the United States has provided Saudi Arabia with advisers to provide assistance in minimizing collateral damage“ really is odd and shows the humanitarian level of the author.

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

13.4.2016 – Parliament (A P)

Film: Arms Export Controls Committee

Wednesday 13 April 2016 Meeting started at 3.03pm, ended 4.51pm

13.4.2016 – Parliament (* A P)

Use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen inquiry - publications

Oral evidence

23 Mar 2016 - Use of UK-manufactured arms in Yemen - oral evidence | PDF version (247 KB)

Evidence given by Roy Isbister, Arms Unit, Saferworld, Oliver Sprague, Programme Director, Military Security and Police, Amnesty International, David Mepham, UK Director, Human Rights Watch, Tim Holmes, Regional Director, Middle East & Commonwealth of Independent States, Oxfam

Written evidence

Mwatana Organization for Human Rights - written evidence |PDF version

Mrs and Dr Julie and Jim Maxon - written evidence | PDF version

Colchester Creek - written evidence | PDF version

Article 36 - written evidence | PDF version

Dietrich Klose - written evidence | PDF version

Jamila Hanan - written evidence | PDF version

UK Working Group on Arms /Contorl Arms UK - written evidence | PDF version (129 KB)

Foreign and Commonwealth Office - written evidence | PDF version (

Southwest Initiative for the Study of Middle East Conflicts - written evidence | PDF version (94 KB)

Human Rights Watch - written evidence | PDF version (80 KB)

Transparency International UK - written evidence | PDF version (97 KB)

Dr Anna Stavrianakis - written evidence | PDF version

Campaign Against Arms Trade - written evidence | PDF version

University of Leicester - written evidence | PDF version

Lieutenant General (Retired) Sir Simon Mayall - written evidence | PDF version

Simon Mayall, the former Ministry of Defence Middle East adviser until late 2014, warns the committee on arms exports not to succumb to the complaints of human rights and aid charities about Saudi behaviour.

Comment: I really was in doubt about the sincerity and sense of this inquiry, as I stated in my evidence. Jamila Hanan in her submission wrote: “This inquiry has been launched by The Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) which consist of four select committees meeting and working together: the Business, Innovation and Skills Committee, the Defence Committee, the Foreign Affairs Committee and the International Development Committee. According to the website "The four committees work together because each has an interest in arms exports" ( I do not, therefore, anticipate findings to be impartial. An independent inquiry into the UK's sales of arms to Saudi Arabia and British support for the bombardment of Yemen is still necessary.” Thus, all doubts are appropriate. One exceptional statement is the one by Simon Mayall: Lifes don’t matter, it’s only our business and our [the elite’s] geopolitical interest that count. Caring more for lifes what be, in Mayalls words: “ to indulge special interest groups over our national interest”. Really nice.

14.4.2016 – The Guardian (* A P)

Returning refugees to Yemen may breach human rights, says UK

Home Office assessment appears to contradict Foreign Office advice that there is no need to suspend Saudi arms sales

Indiscriminate acts of violence by both sides in the civil war in Yemen, including Saudi bombing of medical centres, is so widespread that the Britain has declared sending asylum seekers back to most parts of the country would likely be a breach of the European convention on human rights.

The internal assessment of Saudi strategy appears to run counter to claims by the Foreign Office (FCO) that Saudi-led airstrikes have not been in breach of humanitarian law and there is no need to suspend arms exports to the country. Published on Wednesday, the Home Office assessment of Yemen was issued in guidance to its immigration and asylum decision-makers.

Hours later, a Foreign Office memorandum was released to the select committee on arms exports licences declaring that Saudi Arabia was aware of its obligations under international humanitarian law, and acting within the law. It asserted there was no need for the UK to suspend arms export licences to Saudi.

The difference in tone between the two reports, including the clear acceptance by the Home Office that the Saudi-led coalition has been involved in indiscriminate acts of violence against civilians, contrasts with the carefully worded FCO defence of Saudi targeting procedures in Yemen. It underlines the diplomatic sensitivities inside the Foreign Office about the UK’s relationships in the Gulf.

Citing UN sources, the Home Office guidance adds: “Of the civilian casualties, 60% were as a result of air-launched explosives (ie from aircraft); 23% ground-launched; and 17% improvised explosive devices. The casualties were mostly in the largest urban areas, with the majority in Sana’a and surrounding districts.” – by Patrick Wintour

13.4.2016 – The Guardian (* A P)

UK has 'legal duty' to challenge Saudi Arabia over Yemen airstrikes

The British government must challenge Saudi Arabia over whether it is using UK weapons to breach international humanitarian law by launching indiscriminate airstrikes in Yemen, a leading lawyer has told the UK arms export control select committee.

Phillipe Sands QC of Matrix Chambers said that, faced with compelling evidence of what is happening in Yemen, ministers had a legal duty to go back to the Saudi government to check whether its assurances about the use of UK weaponry were valid.

The UK has licensed the sale of £6.7bn of weaponry to Saudi Arabia, including an estimated £2.8bn since airstrikes against Yemen began in March 2015.

Sands, a war crimes expert, claimed ministerial statements showed the British government had not pressed the Saudis to explain what actions they were taking to ensure their targeting was designed to prevent civilian casualties.

He said that, regardless of Saudi intent, the legality of Saudi actions, and in turn UK arms exports licences, turned on whether the Saudi actions were causing disproportionate civilian casualties and thus in breach of international humanitarian law.

Sands said that, by selling arms to Saudi Arabia and not making subsequent inquiries into their use, the UK was in breach of international, European and domestic law. Britain had a duty to form its own view of whether the Saudis were in breach of international law, he argued.

But in a bid to rebut Sands’s claims, the government submitted a memorandum to the committee on Wednesday, saying the Saudis were not targeting civilians.

In its fullest public defence of Saudi military strategy in Yemen, the memorandum states: “In carrying out analysis the Ministry of Defence had access to a wide range of information, including Saudi-led coalition operational reporting data, imagery and other reports and assessments including UK defence intelligence reports and some battle damage reports.”

The UK government regularly raises “the importance of international humanitarian law with Saudi government”, it adds, claiming that the Saudis have conducted “numerous investigations” into “incidents of concern”, including those involving civilian casualties and “remains genuinely committed to international humanitarian law compliance”.

It concludes: “The government is currently satisfied that extant licences for Saudi Arabia are compliant with export licensing criteria.”Sands said it was wrong to suggest the UK government was not involved in the conflict since it was present in the joint planning cell, and providing weaponry – by Patrick Wintour see also

Comment: “the government submitted a memorandum to the committee on Wednesday, saying the Saudis were not targeting civilians”: incredible.

13.4.2016 – Global Research (* B C P)

Saudi Arabia: Britain’s Hand in the Making of a “Terror State”

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has managed to nose itself into a unique global position. Despite the persistent reports of human rights abuses from within the kingdom, it continues to stand as an ally and ‘friend’ to both the UK and the US.

In a recent television interview for ITN news, Malcolm Rifkind, the former chair of the Intelligence and Security Committee for Parliament, said:

“Over the years Saudi Arabia has been a strong ally of the United Kingdom, of the West. Apart from Yemen, Saudi Arabia has not had a reputation of using its military in other countries.”[2]

The reason Rifkind can get away with such a plainly false statement is because the Saudi’s internal reputation has for a long time overshadowed its (overt) external operations. However, the last 20 years have seen the regime increase its military muscle in the region.

Why does the UK have such a cosy arrangement with an infamously brutal regime? Yes, the obvious lure of oil is a major factor, but if you really want to understand how this friendship developed, you’ll need to know a little bit about its history.

The Origins of Wahhabism

Britain Authenticates Extremism

A major part of Abd-al Aziz’s strategy for reclaiming the peninsula was to extend Wahhabism through radical teaching into the surrounding Bedouin tribes. The traditional tribesmen were considered theological ‘blank slates’ by the House of Saud. Primitive and unenlightened, the Jahiliyyah were opened up to Wahhabi conversion by Saudi clerics with great enthusiasm.

The British Government began courting Abd-al Aziz when it became clear he would emerge as ruler of a vast portion of Arabia. The British rulers had much Empire to protect in the region, with the Sykes-Picot Agreement being discussed at the same time. Aziz knew he needed the British in order to authenticate the nation, and therefore to embed Wahhabism into the Kingdom.

In 1915, with the eyes of the world on the Dardanelles, France and Belgium, Ibn Saud signed the Darin Treaty, where he agreed to become part of the British Protectorate.

From Protection to Oil Addiction

The Rise of the Islamic State

The contempary incarnation of the Ikwhan needs no introduction. IS (or ISIS) are extremists whose clever use of social media, cold-blooded brutality and military proficiency has catapulted them into the centre of global affairs.

The conditions created by the West’s war-sanctions-war policy in Iraq since 1991, left the country utterly broken, and a fertile breeding ground for extremism. John Pilger recently wrote, “like Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, ISIS are the mutations of a western state terror dispensed by a venal imperial elite undeterred by the consequences of actions taken at great remove in distance and culture.” [3] I’d like to add another aspect to distance and culture: time.

The British were well aware of the Wahhabi culture within Saudi Arabia throughout their early relationship. Indeed, one of their officials even converted. Yet, seemingly, at no time did it ever occur to anyone to be concerned about supporting the oppressive and violent culture of Wahhabism. Even a rudimentary sociological examination would have shown the self-destructive seed lying at the heart of the new Saudi society. But instead it has been allowed to grow unchecked by international concern, in favour of protecting part of an empire which has since become the private property of Western oil corporations.

Unintelligent Intelligence

In an interview last year, David Cameron was pressed into giving his opinion on why the UK is so willing to maintain a friendly relationship with one of the worst regimes on the planet:

The Saudi Intelligence argument, used here by Cameron to hard-brake an interview he was rapidly losing control of, is echoed time and again by other politicians intent on keeping the relationship unchanged. Later, in the same ITN report as quoted earlier, Rifkin uses it too:

“The intelligence relationship is crucial, and that’s not just a general statement. I can make one hard example which is in the public domain. There are a lot of other examples I couldn’t give. But the hard one is the intelligence the Saudis gave to the United Kingdom, which led to a terrorist attempt to blow up a transatlantic air liner going to the United States. That failed.”[4]

But the reality is not so straightforward. It isn’t the pleasant back and forth of information you might be led to think. Unlike Rifkin’s claim, the intelligence was actually given to the US/CIA, not to the United Kingdom. Prince Nayef bin Abdul-Aziz “personally made the call to the [then] White House counter-terrorism chief, John Brennan, to warn him about the Yemeni bombs.”[5]

A leading Saudi political opponent also told me that UK intelligence is permanently barraged with information, but the vast majority of it is aimed at opponents of the regime living in Britain, in an attempt to undermine and hurt their credibility, making it difficult to filter for genuine threats. Other Middle Eastern commentators have described the “Saudi intelligence structure [as] sloppy, unsophisticated, and badly trained.”[6]

If we add all this to the Serious Fraud Office being forced to drop the case of major corruption and slush funds surrounding BAE and Saudi arms deals, we begin to see the fickle nature of our intelligence sharing relationship. The SFO were told to retract because “the Saudis threatened to stop sharing intelligence with the UK.”[7]


History has seen a covert British hand forever present in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is a hand that rarely restricts, but often encourages Saudi ambition. But the British presence has become more apparent in recent years, as tensions in the Middle East have intensified after US military involvement from the 1990s onwards.

Despite corrupt arms deals, allegations of sponsoring terrorism, the murderous war in Yemen where internationally outlawed cluster munitions are being used, and their own incredibly bad human rights record, Saudi Arabia now sees itself as unaccountable to international law; much like the UK and the US, allies it once followed but now stands shoulder to shoulder with.

Is it finally time for the British public to reconsider the real value of such a relationship? And, to weigh that value against the bloody violence that inevitably comes with it? – by John Gaunt

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

14.4.2016 – AFP (* A P)

Canada under fire over Saudi arms sale

Canada's Liberal government refused to back down Wednesday in the face of growing criticism for having greenlit arms sales to Saudi Arabia that could help it wage war in Yemen.

A previous Conservative administration announced the $12 billion sale of light armored vehicles in February 2014.

However, the Conservatives are now raising alarms over the arms sale -- believed to be the largest in Canadian history -- while the New Democratic Party (NDP) accused the Liberals of misleading Canadians.

The Liberals have refused to cancel the sale since coming to power in November, saying it was a "done deal" that could not be broken off without possibly incurring significant penalties and job losses.

But documents released this week by the justice department in response to a lawsuit seeking to block the deal showed Foreign Minister Stephane Dion signed crucial export permits only last Friday.

Canadian media published excerpts saying Dion was advised that the sale of the vehicles equipped with machine guns and anti-tank weapons would help Riyadh in its efforts at "countering instability in Yemen" and fighting the Islamic State group.

In a retort to critics, Dion said Wednesday that similar weapons systems sold to Saudi Arabia since 1993 had been used responsibly.

"The best and updated information indicates that Saudi Arabia has not misused the equipment to violate human rights," he told reporters. "Nor has the equipment been used in a manner contrary to the strategic interests of Canada and its allies."

13.4.2016 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Canada’s Trudeau government quietly approves arms exports to Saudi

Canada’s foreign affairs minister signed off on export permits for a controversial $15bn weapons deal with Saudi Arabia, a spokesperson for Stephane Dion confirmed to Middle East Eye.

“The Minister of Foreign Affairs has signed the export permit for Light Armoured Vehicles … to be sold to Saudi Arabia,” Global Affairs Canada spokesman Joseph Pickerill told Middle East Eye in an emailed statement.

Department of Justice documents first reported by The Globe and Mail newspaper showed Dion approved six permits to “export … [light-armoured vehicles] and their associated weapons systems, spare parts and technical data to Saudi Arabia”.

A Canadian minister would not normally sign export contracts himself, but a memo from Global Affairs Canada obtained by The Globe said: “This exceptional measure is warranted by the high public profile and dollar value of these proposed exports.”

The permits cover $11bn of the $15bn deal, the newspaper reported.

Ontario-based company General Dynamics Land Systems signed the landmark weapons contract with Saudi Arabia worth $15bn in 2014.

"The decision to authorize export permits for the Saudi arms deal despite its obvious incompatibilities with Canadian export controls is disconcerting and disappointing," Cesar Jaramillo, executive director of anti-war group Project Ploughshares, told Middle East Eye.

"Proceeding with this deal sets the bar impossibly low; if human-rights pariah Saudi Arabia is considered to be an eligible recipient of Canadian military exports, it is hard to see who would not be," Jaramillo added.

But Dion’s signature is significant because up until this point, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had insisted his Liberal government was bound to uphold the controversial weapons contract, which was signed under the previous Conservative government.

The Liberals have essentially described the contract as a done deal, and Trudeau defended it by saying that “a change of government does not endanger everything that was previously signed” – by Jillian D’Amours and by RT

14.4.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K)

Jordanians to replace UAE forces in war on Yemen: Report

Jordanian military forces and advisers will be replacing UAE troops fighting in the Saudi war on Yemen, following reports of serious disputes among the few "coalition" members, a report says.

Yemen’s Khabar news agency, citing informed sources, reported on Thursday that the decision had been made following a recent visit by Saudi deputy crown prince Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud to Jordan.

Price Mohammad, who is the Saudi defense minister, met King Abdullah in the Jordanian port city of Aqaba and signed a package of agreements, including on development of military cooperation.

The report said the deployment of Jordanian forces will now be coming after the United Arab Emirates withdrew the bulk of its military force from Yemen's Ma’rib following a series of military setbacks.

Jordanian military forces reportedly took part in the Saudi operation in Aden last July following the flight of Saudi-backed militiamen loyal to former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.


12.4.2016 – Israel Times (A P)

Israel says it gave written consent to Saudi island transfer

Defense minister reveals coordination between Jerusalem, Cairo and Riyadh, hints at burgeoning strategic interaction

Israel gave written approval to the Egyptian transfer of the Red Sea islands of Sanafir and Tiran to Saudi Arabia, Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon revealed Tuesday.

His acknowledgement, given in a briefing with reporters Tuesday, hints at growing, though quiet, Israeli-Saudi cooperation in recent years.

According to Ya’alon, Israel was told in writing about the island transfer between Cairo and Riyadh, which came as part of a series of cooperation agreements signed last week between Saudi King Salman and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi in Cairo. The Cairo-Riyadh agreements cement the alliance of the two Sunni Arab states in a region undergoing chaotic change and facing the growing sway of Shiite Iran to the east.

“An appeal was made to us – and it needed our agreement, the Americans who were involved in the peace agreement and of the MFO,” Yaalon said, referring to the Multinational Force and Observers peacekeeping forces at the Israeli-Egyptian border. “We reached an agreement between the four parties – the Saudis, the Egyptians, Israel and the United States – to transfer the responsibility for the islands, on condition that the Saudis fill in the Egyptians’ shoes in the military appendix of the (Egypt-Israel) peace agreement.”

The raft of agreements also includes some $16 billion in Saudi investments in the ailing Egyptian economy.


12.4.2016 – CBC (* A P)

Canada: Stéphane Dion approves export permits for $11B in LAVs to be sent to Saudi Arabia

Documents obtained by CBC News are shedding light on the strategy the federal government is using to justify the sale of light armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia.

The newly revealed documents from Global Affairs Canada confirm that Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion has signed off on export permits to ship $11 billion worth of the $15-billion vehicle sale to the desert kingdom.

These documents also say that it's rare for a foreign affairs minister to personally sign off on export permits, but that this is an exception because the deal is so high profile — and worth so much money.

The deal with Saudi Arabia was struck by Stephen Harper's government, and when it was announced the Conservatives used the opportunity to tout the thousands of jobs it would create and sustain in southern Ontario.

But since the sale of vehicles by General Dynamics Land Systems was announced, questions have emerged over Saudi Arabia's human rights record.

Comment: Ever so disturbing. Ever so wrong when you read: ´Documents say past sales have not been linked to violations of civil or political rights in the kingdom”.

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Siehe cp9, 10, 12 / See cp9, 10, 12

cp13b Flüchtlinge / Refugees

14.4.2016 – UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Shelter Cluster (* A H)

On 18 February, the 2016 Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan was launched in Geneva. In total, a staggering 21.2 million people – four out of five Yemenis – are in need of humanitarian assistance. Relentless conflict with increased attacks on essential civilian and economic infrastructure has pushed basic social services to near collapse. The economy has ground to a halt and millions of families have lost their livelihoods. The Shelter/CCCM/NFI Cluster objectives for 2016 illustrated as follow:

Objective 1: Provide adequate shelter solutions and NFIs to the most vulnerable.

Objective 2: Ensure access to basic services for the most vulnerable living in collective centers and settlements.

Objective 3: Strengthen local stakeholders’ capacity for shelter, NFIs and CCCM response.

In 2016, cluster partners intend to assist over 2 million people, including vulnerable IDPs, host communities, refugees and migrants. The context for the response can vary significantly from IDPs in spontaneous settlements, often in barren, rural areas, to returnees in the Southern region of the country. The cluster will respond to significant numbers of IDPs living with host families (in urban and per-urban settings) and some of the most vulnerable IDPs living in dire conditions at collective centers. It is anticipated that with a protracted conflict and fighting on numerous fronts, IDPs will be displaced multiple times. The ongoing conflict and its shift to new locations has exacerbated needs for shelter and non-food items (NFIs).
Cluster partners will therefore prioritize delivery of emergency shelter kits, NFIs, return kits, humanitarian cash assistance and other assistance tailored to the host communities who are supporting large numbers of IDPs. Partners will also rehabilitate damaged houses for returnees or IDPs, construct transitional shelters where appropriate and rehabilitate/upgrade collective centers.

During January and February, the cluster continue to run the Post Distribution Monitoring for Non-Food Items and Emergency Shelter programming covering nine governorates across the country. These monitoring exercises will assist with designing future assistance. and in full:

14.4.2016 – The Citizen (B H)

Syria, Yemen refugees seek out asylum in Tanzania

Faced with increasingly tough conditions to enter Europe, numerous people fleeing unrest in Middle East countries have sought asylum in Tanzania, The Citizen has learnt. Syria, Yemen refugees seek out asylum in Tanzania

cp15 Propaganda

13.4.2016 – Bahrain News Agency (B K P)

GCC rushed to fulfill Yemeni people's humanitarian needs

The Arab Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries had immediately acted to help Yemen and support its stability and territorial unity, as soon as the Saudi-led Arab Coalition on April 21, 2015, announced the end of Operation Decisive Storm and launch of Operation Restore Hope.

UN's Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the World Food Programme (WFP) have announced that at least six million Yemeni people were suffering from lack of food security and were in dire need of urgent food supplies.
People in 10 out of 22 Yemeni provinces did not have anything to eat. This has triggered the UN and its relief agencies to launch an appeal for USD 274 million to meet urgent humanitarian needs in Yemen.
Custodian of the two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz, in less than 24 hours since the appeal was launched, announced provision of the entire sum for Yemen, a humanitarian gesture reflecting how responsible the Saudis were towards their Yemeni brethren.
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in a bid to organize the collection and distribution of aid, opened the King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Action Centre last May.

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) had also rushed to help the Yemeni people, and contributed to restoring security and stability in the country. The UAE offered in 2015 USD 138.5 million to Yemen to be the world's largest relief assistance provider for the country, which represented around 31 percent of global aid in the first six months last year. The UAE provided food supplies, medical equipment and medication and clean water. The UAE dispatched six airplanes last June carrying food to the Yemeni people, and in August the UAE Red Crescent allocated USD 81 million to support its relief operations in Yemen.
Kuwait, part of its quest to alleviate suffering of the Yemeni people, donated USD 100 million upon instructions of His Highness the Amir Shaikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah to support relief efforts in Yemen.

Comment: The greatest killers in Yemen praised as the greatest benefactors. The sum spent by the UAE for Humanitarian aid in Yemen is the same than the costs of 16 ½ hours aerial war against Yemen.

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

14.4.2016 – Haykal Bafana (A K PH)

#Saudi jets still screaming low over capital Sanaa. And as usual, AK fire into the air is heard. #Yemen is the definition of defiance.

#Yemen ceasefire : #Saudi jets now screaming low over capital Sanaa, on bombing runs on Nehm district, 50 km NE of Sanaa Airport.

14.4.2016 – Hisham Al-Omeisy (A K PH)

Frenzy of jets in Sana'a sky. Guess Saudi seriously pissed ground forces it's backing failed in push towards capital passed 3 days.

Airstrikes in Sana'a. Yes, in capital. Trying to understand current ceasefire while jets in sky now

14.4.2016 – Hisham Al-Radhi (A K)

Truce days 4: #Saudi jets are hovering & screaming overhead now, huge explosion was heard at 5am as they stroke Attan area #Sanaa

13.4.2016 – Jemen FS (A K)

heavy Explosion in sanaa 5 min ago .saudi's airstrikes see also and and

13.4.2016 – Southfront (B K)


The United Arab Emirates is a member of the Saudi-led coalition which intervened in Yemen. In May 2015, the UAE military deployed 3 Light Attack Aircraft, AT-802U, on the al-Anad air base in Yemen in order to train the Hadi government’s pilots.

It’s should be noted that the Houthi alliance have attacked this air base repeatedly. This is why the Saudi-led coalition is pushed to keep a significant ground force in the area. In other case, the government’s ground operations will have a lack of an aerial support.

According to reports, the UAE Air Force has 24 AT-802U modified to the Block 1/2 Border Patrol Aircraft configuration. 6 of them have been handed over to Jordan for air patrols at the border. Considering the tense situation in the region, the UAE decided in 2015 to purchase 24 more AT-802U modified to the Block 3 configuration.

The AT-802U’s characteristics allows aircraft to operate successfully at low and ultralow altitudes. Experts also emphasize the reliability of aircraft structure, a high fuel capacity and a medium fuel efficiency.

In comparison with other US aircraft, AT-802U has low operating costs which draw attention of customers from around the world. Another important fact is AT-802Us, which operate in Yemen, don’t use expensive service ammunition such as GBU-12 or DAGR because the Houthi alliance doesn’t have enough heavily-protected objects of infrastructure.

It could be concluded that the Saudi-led coalition has started to use a wide range of different low-cost systems in the Yemeni conflict in order to avoid loses of high-cost systems such F-16 or AH-64 as result of the Houthi alliance’s anti-air measures. This is a real reason of the UAE training program for Yemeni pilots. Furthermore, low-cost systems have obvious advances in long-running low intensity conflicts as the war in Yemen.

13.4.2016 – AP (A K)

Saudi-led coalition targets Al-Qaeda stronghold south Yemen

Witnesses say attack helicopters from a Saudi-led coalition struck Al-Qaeda militants in southern Yemen, where the group has exploited the conflict between Shiite Houthi rebels and government forces to expand.

The Apache strikes in the town of Koud in Abyan province Wednesday killed at least 10 militants and wounded others, witnesses said, speaking on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals. It is one of the few times the coalition has been directly involved in battling Al-Qaeda.

13.4.2016 – Ahmed Alghobary (A K PH)

Breaking :#Saudi led coalition air strike targeted a civilian house in Nihm district #Sanaa #Yemen #YemenCrisis

13.4.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Saudi fighter jets keep pounding Yemen despite truce

Saudi warplanes have targeted a number of areas across Yemen for the third day since a UN-brokered ceasefire went into force.

Yemen's al-Masirah television network said Saudi jets bombarded the Dhubab district of Ta'izz Province as well as the Sirwah and Jebel Hilan districts of Ma'rib Province early on Wednesday.

According to the report, Saudi-backed militants also launched mortar attacks on the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, and in the province of Jawf.

Pro-Saudi forces further carried out missile attacks in the Yemeni provinces of Shabwah, Lahij and Dhale despite the truce that took effect at midnight (2100 GMT) on Sunday.

4.2016 – Legal Center for Rights and Development (A K PH)

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

9. April: (wrong date given)

10. April:

11. April:

12. April:

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Beide Seiten brechen den Waffenstillstand - Both sides are breaking the truce

14.4.2016 – Zeit Online (A K)

Viele Tote trotz Waffenruhe

Seit drei Tagen gilt eine Waffenruhe im Jemen. Dennoch gab es Tote bei Kämpfen zwischen dem Militär und Aufständischen. Weitere Menschen starben durch Überschwemmungen.

Im Jemen sind seit Beginn der Waffenruhe vor drei Tagen mindestens 35 Kämpfer regierungstreuer Truppen und eine unbestimmte Zahl von Aufständischen getötet worden. Nach Angaben des Militärs griffen Aufständische vor allem Stellungen in der Umgebung der Hauptstadt Sanaa an. 26 regierungstreue Kämpfer wurden demnach in Nihm, nordöstlich von Sanaa, neun weitere in Sarwah im Osten getötet.

14.4.2016 – AP (A K)

Yemen officials: 40 killed in 2 days of fighting, airstrikes

Yemeni officials say at least 40 people have been killed over the past two days across the country in violence that has strained a cease-fire that started this week.

The officials say the fatalities resulted from airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition, which is battling the country's Shiite rebels and their allies, and in fighting on the ground between rival groups. They say the capital, Sanaa, has been particularly hit by airstrikes.

They say a coalition airstrike Thursday in Nahm, an area east of Sanaa, killed at least one civilian and wounded five.

14.4.2016 – AFP (A K)

35 loyalists dead since Yemen ceasefire

At least 35 pro-government fighters have been killed in clashes with rebels near the Yemeni capital in the first three days of a UN-brokered ceasefire, military sources said Thursday.

The rebels attacked positions of Gulf-backed loyalist fighters in Nihm, northeast of Sanaa, where clashes have occurred for two weeks despite warring parties promising to abide by a ceasefire that took effect last Sunday at midnight.

A number of Iran-backed rebels were also killed in fighting that erupted after the attack on Wednesday, the sources said.

Twenty-six loyalist fighters have been killed in the Nihm region and another nine around Sarwah in Marib province to the east of Sanaa, according to the military sources.

The fragile truce is meant to pave the way for peace talks next Monday in Kuwait.

In the southern loyalist-held province of Shabwa, rebels on Wednesday fired a mortar round on a village, killing three children aged between six and 10, according to a provincial official.

13.4.2016 – Islam Times (A K PS)

Saudis, mercenaries keep breaching truce in Yemen: Houthis

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement has accused Saudi Arabia and its mercenaries of constantly violating a truce agreement across the country, saying the Saudis have almost no regard for the UN-sponsored deal less than a week before peace talks.

The Houthi-run al-Masirah TV said on Tuesday that pro-Saudi militants have targeted numerous positions of Houthis as well as civilians while Saudi fighter jets continued pounding positions across Yemen despite the truce which came into effect at midnight between Sunday and Monday.

The report said Saudi mercenaries had launched rocket attacks on residential places in Jawf, Marib and Sa’ada provinces, all of them north of Yemen. Similar attacks were also carried out in central province of Ta’izz in the east.
It said Saudi warplanes attacked positions in the same provinces plus Sana’a, Amran and al-Hudaydah in the north while a health center in Lahij in southern Yemen came under fire.
Houthis on Monday recorded 39 violations of truce by Saudis and allies, including attacks in Ta’izz and the central province of Baida. They said Saudi warplanes also flew sorties over several areas of Yemen.
Saudi officials responded by describing the breaches as “minor”, accusing the Houthis of carrying out attacks on forces loyal to Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s resigned president who enjoys support from Riyadh.
Officials in the UN admitted cases of violations ahead of peace talks scheduled in Kuwait on April 18. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said there were “some pockets of violence” but said that “the cessation of hostilities seems to be largely holding.”

13.4.2016 – AFP (A K)

Officer killed as Yemen clashes continue despite truce

Yemeni rebels killed a senior loyalist officer on Wednesday and deadly clashes erupted elsewhere in the country despite a UN-brokered ceasefire, sources said.

The fragile truce has been in place since midnight Sunday and is meant to lay the groundwork for peace talks next week in Kuwait.

The Shiite Huthi rebels, pro-government forces and the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in the country last year have all promised to abide by the ceasefire, but sporadic fighting has continued.

Loyalist military sources and medics told AFP that a rebel sniper shot dead the commander of a pro-government army brigade, Major General Zaid al-Huri, early Wednesday in the northeast of the central Sanaa province.

The rebels fired a mortar round in the same area, wounding six loyalist soldiers, the sources said.

In Marib province to the east, two pro-government fighters were killed and seven wounded in several hours of overnight clashes with rebels, loyalist officer Major Abdullah Hasan said.

At least one rebel was killed and several wounded and captured during the fighting, Hasan said.

The country's warring sides have traded accusations of jeopardising the ceasefire ahead of the talks due in Kuwait from Monday.

In a statement, a Huthi military official accused loyalist forces, including the Saudi-led coalition, of "violating the ceasefire" on Tuesday in Marib, Jawf in the north, and Taez in the southwest.

Yemeni authorities said at least 117 ceasefire violations by the rebels were recorded in seven provinces on Monday, according to a statement on the website.

The coalition, which launched a military campaign against the Iran-backed rebels last year, had described violations on Monday as "minor".

Comment by Judith Brown: Nor surprisingly despite the ceasefire - which is mainly between Saudi and the Houthis - pockets of violence continue. There are so many groups of fighters with this brutal war and it will be difficult to control them even if peCe breaks about between the main protagonists.

13.4.2016 – Arab 24 (A K PS)

Yemen: Houthis accused of violating ceasefire in Nahem

Houthi militias and Saleh forces tried to overcome the Popular Resistance forces and the legitimate control by controlling new sites in Nahum Front eastern the Yemeni capital Sanaa, despite the truce declaration of a ceasefire between the between the two sides of the conflict in Yemen. The resistance was able to fend the attack and headway.

Despite the declaration of a truce to stop the shooting in Yemen for the second time, but the observations confirm breaking it by the Houthi militias since the early hours in all fronts amd the continuation of the shooting by them.

Field commanders in Nahum Front also confirmed breaking the truce by the Houthis by firing a ballistic and a katyusha rockets, trying to take advantage of the Resistance commitment to the truce in order to make a progress, but the Resistance was able to fend their progress and caused them a lot of losses in lives and locations.

It is noteworthy that the Nahum Front is witnessing fierce battles between the Popular Resistance forces and the legitimate forces on one side, and between the Houthi militias and Saleh fighters on the other, and the resistance waa leading tge progress in the recent days before the announcement of the truce.

13.4.2016 – Gulf News (A K PS)

Loyalist officer killed as Yemen clashes continue

Al Houthis trying to make the most of suspension of air raids by mobilising troops and weapons

Yemeni rebels killed a senior loyalist officer on Wednesday and deadly clashes erupted elsewhere in the country despite a UN-brokered ceasefire, sources said.

The fragile truce has been in place since midnight on Sunday and is meant to lay the groundwork for peace talks next week in Kuwait.

The Shiite Al Houthi rebels, pro-government forces and the Saudi-led coalition that intervened in the country last year have all promised to abide by the ceasefire, but sporadic fighting has continued.

Loyalist military sources and medics said that a rebel sniper shot dead the commander of a pro-government army brigade, Major General Zaid Al Huri, on Wednesday in the northeast of the central Sana’a province.

Yemeni government forces and Al Houthis fought with heavy weapons on many fronts on the third day of UN-brokered truce aimed at ending year-long hostilities in the war-torn country.

Loyalists said on Wednesday that Al Houthis have been capitalising on the suspension of air raids by the Saudi-led coalition to marshal new troops and military equipment to the battlefields.

A tribal leader said Al Houthis amassed as many as 40 armoured vehicles in the northern province of Jawf before launching attacks on territories under the control of government forces in Metoun district.

The tribal leader who requested anonymity said the government forces managed to repel Al Houthis’ “aggressive” assault on Tuesday midnight in the district’s centre, but not before losing two of their fighters. The leader said the Houthis used cannons, Katyusha rockets and anti-aircraft guns in their assault.

Government military officials think that Al Houthis are trying to make the most of the absence of warplanes that gave their opponents superiority on the ground to add new areas to their shrinking territories in the province.

Unlike other fronts where loyalists make slow advance, tribesmen in Jawf have liberated most of the province and heading to borderlines with Sana’a and Saada provinces. Fighters in Marib also reported attacks on Wednesday by Al Houthis in Serwah district.

In the besieged Taiz, residents said on Wednesday that voices of thunderous explosions did not stop in the last couple of days as Al Houthis continue to hammer the city with shells. Zakaria Al Shara’abi, a local journalist who tracks Al Houthi violations, said he recorded 15 violations of the truce in Taiz since Tuesday midnight including shelling of residential areas and resistance fighters’ positions with mortar, tanks and anti-aircraft guns. Al Shara’abi added that a rocket fired by the rebels on Wednesday morning from the edge of the city burnt a house in the eastern side of the city.

cp18 Sonstige / Other

14.4.2016 – NZZ von AP (A)

Starke Regenfälle: 16 Tote bei Überschwemmungen in Jemen

Überflutungen nach heftigen Regenfällen haben in Jemen mindestens 16 Menschen das Leben gekostet. Zudem seien zudem nördlich der Hauptstadt Sanaa mehrere Dämme gebrochen, teilten Sicherheitsbeamte und das Innenministerium am Donnerstag mit. Die Wassermassen hätten Strassen überflutet, Autos fortgeschwemmt und Kühe mitgerissen. Auch Sanaa selbst und die Hafenstadt Aden im Süden des Landes seien betroffen gewesen.

14.4.2016 – AP (A)

Much of Yemen Flooded by Heavy Rainfall, 16 Dead

Heavy rainfall in several parts of Yemen has caused widespread flooding that killed at least 16 people and caused the collapse of small dams, including two in Hajja and Omran provinces north of the capital, Sanaa, security officials and the Interior Ministry said on Thursday.

The ministry said the 16 were killed over the past 24 hours, mostly in Omran and Hajja. Damage to property was particularly heavy, with rushing muddy water cutting off roads and sweeping away cars and cattle, according to the officials.

Besides Hajja and Omran, unusually heavy rainfall over the past 24 hours has also hit Sanaa and the southern port of Aden – by Ahmed Al-Haj

14.4.2016 – Yemen Post (A)

Cities UNDER WATER in #Yemen as rains kill 16 civilians, damage 1000s homes, tear streets &displace 10,000 families (photo)

14.4.2016 – Hussain Bukhaiti (A)

Effected areas by rain R sufferin,roads completely cut&ppl R stuck cos of destroyed #Yemen bridges by #Saudi #UAE CO (photos)

13.4.2016 – Vice News (** C K P T)

Cash, Candy, and 'Collateral Damage': An Anatomy of a CIA-MI6 Drone Assassination

Though the number of people injured in covert US strikes is not officially recorded, they play a crucial role in the struggle for hearts and minds across Yemen's southern hinterland. Bystanders and family rushed the children to a local clinic, where Hamza awoke while shrapnel was extracted from his chest. All of the children survived.

Representatives of Ansar al-Sharia — al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula's (AQAP) political wing — would later visit the children, bringing candy and 100,000 Yemeni riyals each (then worth $465). The militants also swore to take revenge on the families' behalf, tapping into the Yemeni tradition of blood feud.

Saleh Muhammed al-Sunna, a 55-year-old pedestrian on his way to Azzan's vegetable market, was just 15 meters (50 feet) from the targeted vehicle. The intensity of the blast tore his body to pieces. Days later Ansar al-Sharia gave his family 200,000 riyals.

"The deaths of innocent bystanders has a moral dimension but also a huge strategic dimension in cultures which have a very strong sense of honor," said British MP David Davis, chair of the UK's All-Party Parliamentary Group on Drones. "It will make the problem worse."

The Azzan strike, on March 30, 2012, is clear proof of the risk. "We were devastated by the news of Saleh's death," said Abdelhakim al-Hadad, al-Sunna's cousin. "We would have done anything to avenge his death. America and Britain are the ones who deprived our family of its breadwinner."

The target of the strike was Ahmed Said Saad, who five Azzan residents described to VICE News as a Syrian doctor and a member of Ansar al-Sharia.

The Overhead program, of which GCHQ is a part, then informed the CIA, who sought corroboration of the target's location from officers at Yemen's National Security Bureau (NSB), who SIS agents were mentoring, before routing a drone to intercept the car. It is likely GCHQ was tracking Saad as part of the program, before passing on the information for the strike. As a former senior CIA official responsible for operations in Yemen explained: "The sharing there was very, very extensive... particularly with the Brits. There was very clear coordination and cooperation."

Although Saad's 4x4 was in open ground on its short journey, the Reaper drone tracking his vehicle did not fire until the car entered Azzan, a town of approximately 10,000 people. The CIA drone unleashed a Hellfire missile as the vehicle passed by a vegetable market near a mosque in the western district of Azzan's inner town. The two militants were killed instantly.

The proximity of al-Sunna, only 15 meters from the blast, and the shrapnel injuries to five children in a populated area raise questions about the CIA's rules of engagement.

The attack also raises questions in Britain about the legality of SIS' intelligence sharing, which was critical to the find-and-fix phase of Saad's assassination. UK rules of engagement require that there is no risk of collateral damage according to the pre-strike CDE, either within the kill or casualty radius of the strike.

That they eventually did so inside a densely populated town alarmed many of Azzan's residents. Mohsen Hassan Salem, who took his injured nephew Amin for treatment in the provincial capital of al-Mukalla some 140 miles away, told VICE News that "the family really struggled" to meet the $1,500 cost of treatment. "They could've hit them on open road, away from a built-up area. Why didn't they do that?"

Nearly a year after the strike, the CIA arranged for $50,000 in freshly minted dollar bills to be paid to al-Sunna's family via the NSB, Yemen's principal intelligence agency. But they never compensated the children. This is only the second publicized case of secret CIA condolence payments.

A spokesman for the White House's National Security Council told VICE News: "Although we will not comment on specific cases, were non-combatants killed or injured in a US strike, condolence or other ex gratia payments, such as solatia, may be available for those injured and the families of those killed."

But the CIA's gesture was likely too little too late.

Al-Hadad, authorized to represent the family, said that in exchange for receiving the cash, the NSB official demanded he bring a signed declaration from the family stating that they would forfeit any legal recourse. The encounter with the NSB was cold, he said. "It was as if a sheep had been slaughtered, nothing more."

Letta Tayler, senior counterterrorism researcher at Human Rights Watch, commented: "When AQAP does a better job than the US government at providing redress for civilian deaths in US drone strikes, the Obama administration should realize it has a serious problem." – by Namir Shabibi and Jack Watling

13.4.2016 – Frankfurter Rundschau (B P)

Arabische Jugend lehnt IS ab

Die große Mehrheit der arabischen Jugendlichen lehnt laut einer neuen Studie die Terrororganisation „Islamischer Staat“ (IS) ab. Dennoch können sich immer noch 13 Prozent der Befragten vorstellen, den IS zu unterstützen, ergab der „Arab Youth Survey 2016“, über den die „Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung“ (Mittwoch) berichtet. 2015 hatten noch 19 Prozent angegeben, sie seien dem IS nicht abgeneigt.

Die Hälfte der jungen Leute bewertete die Terrororganisation als das derzeit „größte Hindernis“ für den Nahen und Mittleren Osten. 78 Prozent gaben an, sie würden die Gruppe selbst dann nicht unterstützen, wenn diese weniger Gewalt anwendete. Ebenfalls etwa drei Viertel der Befragten glauben, dass die Dschihadisten mit ihrem Bestreben, dauerhaft ein Kalifat zu errichten, scheitern werden.

Die Rolle des Islam wird von den befragten Jugendlichen kritisch gesehen: Mehr als die Hälfte der Befragten gaben an, Religion habe ein zu großes Gewicht in der Region. Das Verhältnis zwischen Sunniten und Schiiten empfindet fast die Hälfte der Befragten als verschlechtert gegenüber 2011, und nahezu drei Viertel sahen darin einen Hauptgrund für die Unruhen in der Region.

Für die Studie hatte eine Agentur aus Dubai zu Jahresbeginn 3.500 Araber zwischen 18 und 24 Jahren in 16 Ländern der Region befragt.

Laut der Studie sind 37 Prozent der jungen Araber der Ansicht, ihre Länder böten ihnen keine guten Berufsaussichten. Im Bürgerkriegsland Jemen sind es sogar 82 Prozent.,28501302,34080892.html

12.4.2016 – The Guardian (B P)

Most young Arabs reject Isis and think 'caliphate' will fail, poll finds

The vast majority of young Arabs are increasingly rejecting Islamic State and believe the extremist group will fail to establish a caliphate, a poll has found.

Only 13% of Arab youths said they could imagine themselves supporting Isis even if it did not use much violence, down from 19% last year, while 50% saw it as the biggest problem facing the Middle East, up from 37% last year, according to the 2016 Arab Youth Survey.

However, concern is mounting across the region as a chronic lack of jobs and opportunities were cited as the principal factor feeding terrorist recruitment. In eight of the 16 countries surveyed, employment problems were a bigger pull factor for Isis than extreme religious views.

The Arab Youth Survey was based on 3,500 interviews across a range of issues with respondents aged 18 to 24.

It found that 47% believed Sunni-Shia relations were deteriorating and 52% felt religion played too big a role in a region dominated by Saudi Arabia and Iran – respective cheerleaders for each sect and on opposite sides of the wars in Syria and Yemen. – by Ian Black

Vorige / Previous:

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-128: / Yemen Press Reader 1-128: oder / or

Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
Geschrieben von

Dietrich Klose

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

Dietrich Klose

Was ist Ihre Meinung?
Diskutieren Sie mit.

Kommentare einblenden