Krieg im Jemen-Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 132

Yemen Press Reader 132: Propaganda-Analyse - Friedensgespräche verschoben, Waffenstillstand ständig gebrochen - USA und Saudis: Rolle der Saudis bei 9/11, Obama-Besuch - Religiöse Spannungen
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Analysis of propaganda - Peace talks delayed, truce breached again and again - US and Saudis: Saudi role at 9/11, Obama visit - Sectarian rift

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

cp1 Am wichtigsten / Most important

cp2 Allgemein / General

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

cp4 Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

cp9 USA

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

cp13b Flüchtlinge / Refugees

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

cp15 Propaganda

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

cp18 Sonstige / 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

Im Jemen wird der Waffenstillstand immer wieder gebrochen, die Friedensgespräche sind deshalb verschoben. Diesmal wird darauf verzichtet, mehr als einen Artikel als „Am wichtigsten“ hervorzuheben. Die hier mit ** bewerteten Artikel beziehen sich überwiegend auf Themen, die zum weiteren Umfeld des Jemenkriegs gehören, vor allem die Rolle der Saudis beim Anschlag vom 11. September 2001 und das Verhältnis USA-Saudi-Arabien.

In Yemen, the truce is breached again and again, the peace talks had been delayed. This time, only one article is labeled as “Most important”. The articles valued ** mostly refer to subjects not mainly related to Yemen, as the Saudi role in 9/11 and the US-Saudi relationship.

18.4.2016 – Reader Supported News (**A P)

US/Saudi Aggression in Yemen Celebrated by Co-Aggressor UAE

By William Boardman, Reader Supported News

The National is an English-language publication owned and operated by Abu Dhabi Media, thegovernment-run media organization of Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There is no press freedom in the UAE. Government media report the government point of view, which rarely includes criticism of the government.

On March 26, the first anniversary of the UAE’s unprovoked attack on Yemen as part of the Saudi-led coalition of mostly Arab states, the UAE’s official media published a document about the carnage in Yemen illustrative of George Orwell’s observation: “If you want to keep a secret, you must also hide it from yourself.” The truth about the war in Yemen is a largely unreported secret. The UAE officially hides that truth from itself in an editorial in The National (which follows in its entirety, section by section). It begins with the headline:

After a year in Yemen, our resolve is firm

After a year in Yemen, the US/Saudi coalition has managed to reduce the region’s poorest country to an almost unthinkable condition, where some 20 million Yemenis – about 80% of the population – need humanitarian assistance. In a country both under attack and on the verge of mass famine, what does “our resolve is firm” really mean if not continued crimes against humanity? The UAE editorial’s first sentence has no discernible meaning at all:

The start one year ago of Operation Decisive Storm comes as a reminder of the importance of the war in Yemen.

The anniversary of an aggression – that the Saudis proclaimed would be brief and decisive – is important mostly for its irony. An official Saudi press release of March 25, 2015, quoted the Saudi ambassador to the US saying: “The operation will be limited in nature, and designed to protect the people of Yemen and its legitimate government from a takeover by the Houthis. A violent extremist militia.” By then the “legitimate” government of Yemen had fled to the Saudi capital of Riyadh. Not only has more than a year of US/Saudi-led war failed to achieve any significant military success, it has produced collateral damage on a massive scale, making the country of 25 million people perhaps the worst humanitarian crisis in the world today. This reality makes a mockery of the UAE editorial's next assertion:

The UAE joined the Saudi-led coalition campaign driven by its commitment and dedication to maintaining security and establishing peace in the region.

This is, almost literally, Orwellian in its “war is peace” mindset. From the start, the US/Saudi aggression has violated international law and committed war crimes against Yemeni civilians, using cluster bombs made in the USA (and sold to the Saudis with US taxpayer subsidies). The recently-released US State Department annual human rights report on Saudi Arabia for 2015 soft-pedals the allies’ slaughter of civilians in Yemen, and omits Saudi-dropped US cluster bombs entirely (perhaps because their lingering impact killing children over years and decades is deucedly hard to assess accurately, whereas profits can be tallied almost immediately). The full despicability of the Obama administration’s position on these inhumanities is revealed in its official unwillingness to speak on the record about the blatant hypocrisy of its morally indefensible defense of the murder of civilians for profit, as reported in The Intercept:

A State Department spokesperson, who would only comment on background, pointed out that the U.S. has called on both sides of the conflict to protect civilians. He also claimed that the use of cluster munitions is not a human rights violation because the United States has not signed the ban on cluster munitions.

The State Department spokesperson did not acknowledge that only one side bombs civilians (in schools, hospitals, markets, and homes) with US-made planes dropping US-made munitions. This follows a years-long US campaign in Yemen to kill civilians with US-made drones (still in use from outside the country).

Yemen is drawn as a coherent state on maps, but most of the Yemeni-Saudi border has never been officially defined. Yemen has an ancient culture in the western part of the country, but it has never been a coherent state. The Saudis and Yemenis have engaged in sporadic, armed conflict for decades. In particular, the Saudis and the Houthis have fought over northwest Yemen and neighboring southwest Saudi Arabia, which is home to a large Houthi population. Security in the region is not directly threatened by the Yemeni civil war. For any Arab state to talk like the UAE of establishing “peace in the region” is fundamentally hilarious.

The UAE has long been a source of support for the Islamic State (aka ISIS, ISIL, or Daesh), as have Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait – all part of the coalition waging war on Yemen. Editorially, the UAE cloaks itself in the mantle of state legitimacy:

The coalition responded to the call by Yemen’s president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to restore his internationally recognised government to power.

To call the Hadi government “internationally recognized” is to fudge the reality that the Hadi government has only limited recognition among Yemenis. Hadi came to power through what US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power called, somewhat falsely, the “peaceful, inclusive, and consensus-driven political transition under the leadership of the legitimate President of Yemen, Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi.” One problem with this US formulation is that Hadi’s “legitimacy” derives from his being installed as president by an international diplomatic coup, followed by his election in a race in which he was the sole candidate. Essentially, there is no legitimate government of Yemen and has not been for decades at least. The present war of aggression by outside powers intervening in a multifaceted civil war relies for its justification on a variety of dishonest fictions. The Houthis are a sub-group of the Shi’ite Zaidis, who number about eight million in Yemen. The Zaidis governed northwest Yemen for 1,000 years, until 1962. The UAE editorial invents a different historical identity:

Houthi rebels had captured the capital of Sanaa, with the support of Iran and loyalists to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh, and were advancing towards the southern city of Aden. On the way, they had killed civilians and destroyed neighbourhoods, leading to a vast humanitarian crisis.

Iran is widely scapegoated as a nefarious influence in Yemen, but there is little or no evidence of Iranian involvement on a scale that could possibly make a difference on the ground in Yemen. Iran’s support of the Houthis, their fellow Shi’ites, has been largely diplomatic, political, and presumably financial. Former president Saleh, who has a wide following of non-Houthis, was deposed in the coup that installed Hadi. When Saleh was president of Yemen, he also fought a Houthi insurrection. While there is little doubt that all sides in the Yemen civil war (including al Qaeda and ISIS) have committed war crimes of various degree, only the US/Saudi coalition has bombed defenseless civilian populations. There is a special deceit in the UAE suggestion that the Houthis in 2015 are the cause of the Yemen humanitarian crisis in 2016. A year of largely indiscriminate bombing by the US/Saudi forces is the more proximate and powerful cause, as is the year-long US/Saudi naval blockade that keeps Yemenis caught in the bomb range while at the same time denying them food, medicine, and other essentials for survival. Nevertheless, according to the UAE editorial, the Houthis – who have suffered attacks by ISIL – are somehow responsible for ISIL attacking coalition forces in the south:

The Houthis’ disregard for Yemen’s security created fertile ground for extremism to thrive, leading to the latest attacks by ISIL that killed 20 people in Aden on Friday.

Whatever “security” Yemen has had in recent years has been largely illusory. The US drone program in Yemen spent years creating insecurity and killing civilians until the US withdrew just ahead of the fall of the Hadi government (president Saleh had also sanctioned the lethal US military presence in Yemen). And why was the US there? Because Yemen was already “fertile ground for extremism,” in particular AQAP, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, which now controls roughly half of Yemen’s southern coast, about 370 miles including the port city of Mukalla, with a 500,000 population. The effective allies in the US/Saudi war on the Houthis include not only the UAE and other coalition members, but also al Qaeda and ISIS – not in the sense that these “allies” share the same goals, but in the sense that the US/Saudi genocidal obsession with the Houthis has allowed and helped both ISIS and especially al Qaeda to expand and solidify positions in Yemen.

All the same, the UAE tries to blame the ISIL (ISIS) suicide bomb attacks in Aden on March 14, 2016, on the Houthis, when Aden is more or less under the military control of the Hadi government.Saudi and UAE forces have been deployed to Aden at least since July 2015, in limited numbers, to protect the Hadi government. The UAE has also secretly deployed hundreds of Colombian mercenary soldiers to Yemen, along with other mercenaries from Panama, El Salvador, and Chile, frequentlycommanded by Australians. During this same time period, neither Saudi Arabia nor the UAE deployed any troops to fight ISIS in Syria. UAE troop strength in Yemen reportedly peaked in the fall of 2015 atabout 5,000 troops of one nationality or another. Currently the UAE is estimated to have about 2,500 troops in Yemen as well as other deployments in Libya and Afghanistan. The UAE, with a population of about 6 million, has a military of some 65,000 active frontline personnel.

The UAE’s editorial summary of its year of war-making in Yemen relies on an imaginary threat of a wider war that would somehow have magically emerged from the possibility that the Houthis might secure their own country, or just part of it:

The precarious situation last year required swift intervention to guard against a wider conflict in the region. Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Cooperation Council allies, including the UAE, realised that the security of Yemen was critical for the Arabian Peninsula at large and that a military operation would be required. Iran, which has a history of meddling in regional affairs, has been backing the Shiite Houthi group to fulfil its own nefarious agenda of expanding its footprint in the Middle East. Quite simply, unless we had taken firm action, our security would have been at risk. This has come at a great cost, including the lives of more than 80 UAE martyrs.

More than a year after collaborating in an aggressive war against Yemen, the UAE can cite no credible or rational or legal basis for joining the attack – unless “a nefarious agenda” turns out to be an obscure casus belli under international law. Worse, the UAE doesn’t even acknowledge, much less try to justify, the criminal brutality of its war.

This criminal brutality has been documented over and over by non-governmental organizations. Most recently, on April 7, Human Rights Watch issued a report centered on the war crime of bombing a civilian market, killing 97 civilians, 25 of them children. This is no isolated incident. The responsibility and guilt for these atrocities extends to those who sell the weapons as well as those who use them. As Human Rights Watch reported in part:

Since March 26, 2015, the UN and nongovernmental organizations have documented numerous airstrikes by coalition forces that violate the laws of war. The UN Panel of Experts on Yemen, established under UN Security Council Resolution 2140 (2013), in a report made public on January 26, “documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations” of the laws of war.

Human Rights Watch has documented 36 unlawful airstrikes – some of which may amount to war crimes – which have killed at least 550 civilians. Human Rights Watch has also documented 15 attacks in which internationally banned cluster munitions were used in or near cities and villages, wounding or killing civilians…. The coalition has used at least six types of cluster munitions, three delivered by air-dropped bombs and three by ground-launched rockets….

None of these war crimes could possibly be committed by the Houthis and their allies, since they have no air force. Whatever the atrocities committed by Houthis, Saleh’s forces, or others, the humanitarian suffering in Yemen is overwhelmingly the responsibility of the US/Saudi coalition, however the UAE editorial may spin it:

The UAE has also contributed greatly to humanitarian efforts in Yemen, especially as Operation Restoring Hope got under way. More than Dh1.6 billion has been spent on infrastructure and aid programmes to provide our brothers and sisters there with electricity, food, health services, water, sanitation, fuel and transport. We will continue to help the civilian population. Of course, the ultimate goal is a political solution that restores the legitimate government.

In late April a year ago, the Saudis announced that Operation Decisive Storm was over and had achieved its goals. Saudis also announced the beginning of Operation Restoring Hope, which included airstrikes and other military actions, as well as some relief missions.

The claim that the UAE has spent more than 1.6 billion Dirham ($436 million) in and on Yemen is misleading. In 2015, the UAE apparently contributed that amount to United Nations humanitarian programs in Yemen, an amount exceeded only by Saudi Arabia. A contribution in the hundreds of millions of dollars appears generous, but represents only a couple of days of the cost of the war. Saudi Arabia is reportedly picking up most of the cost of the war: $200 million per day ($6 billion per month).

Joining a military campaign is never an easy decision to make, but in this case it was a necessary one. As the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Dr Anwar Gargash, said on Friday, the UAE is more powerful today with the sacrifice of its martyrs, and history will remember the important role Operation Decisive Storm has played in drawing “a line between acceptance and submission, and determination and will.”

So ends the official UAE version of its Yemen adventure, a version that imagines with complete falsity that the Houthi rebellion somehow put the UAE under threat of having to accept and submit. Accept and submit to what? The Houthi rebellion was a thousand miles from the UAE and has yet to go beyond Yemeni borders (except for the sporadic fighting along the Saudi border in the northwest). In reality, the US/Saudi coalition has long demanded that the Houthis accept and submit to domination by their Sunni enemies of a thousand years. Now, in mid-April 2015, an open-ended ceasefire of sorts is settling over Yemen, with the Houthis still in control of much of the country, and the Saudis continuing to bomb at will. Ironically, if anyone has so far shown true determination and will, it is the Houthis, in their resistance to a ruthless and relentless international coalition.

As for “joining a military campaign,” which the UAE officially says is “never an easy decision to make,” the UAE has apparently managed the difficult choice once again. Now the UAE has reportedly asked the US for significant increases in military support in order to escalate the war in Yemen against AQAP, al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. Officials in the US and the UAE refuse to comment on the report, which would be an expansion of fighting long under way. According to Iranian Press TV, tensions between Saudi Arabia and the UAE emerged after the UAE withdrew large numbers of troops following defeats in late 2015, leading to a recent plan by the Saudis to replace UAE troops with Jordanians.

On April 15, despite the five-day old truce, US drone strikes and US-made apache helicoptersattacked the city of al-Houta, near Aden in south Yemen. Coalition officials said al Qaeda forces had withdrawn and the government controlled the city, with five soldiers reportedly killed in an operation that took four hours.

The ceasefire that started April 10 has continued to remain in effect around most of the country, despite some violations. In the Yemeni capital of Sanaa, more than 100 miles north of al-Houta and still under Houthi control, tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out on April 15 for peaceful protest against continued airstrikes by the US/Saudi coalition.

The UN special envoy leading the peace talks scheduled to begin in Kuwait says peace has never been as close as it is today. Those talks include only “government” and “rebel” representatives. Most of the belligerents, including the US/Saudi coalition, al Qaeda, and ISIS, will not be taking part – by William Boardman

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/36394-ussaudi-aggression-in-yemen-celebrated-by-co-aggressor-uae = http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/william-boardman/66932/us-saudi-aggression-in-yemen-celebrated-by-co-aggressor-uae

Comment: Great analysis of the every day Saudi coalition propaganda.

cp2 Allgemein / General

20.4.2016 – Reuters (* B K P)

Yemen must tackle widening sectarian rift, says local peacemaker

Peace efforts have so far ignored the growing sectarian face of the conflict, which has intensified the divisions and made it harder to reach peace, the Yemen head of Search for Common Ground, an international non-profit, said in a recent interview.

Search for Common Ground's Shoqi A. Maktary said that while both approaches were essential, the need to tackle new drivers of violence was being ignored.

Sectarian divisions, mainly between followers of Shafi'i Sunni theology and the Zaydi branch of Shi'ite Islam, were increasingly visible in Yemen a year into the conflict, said Maktary, a Yemeni conflict resolution specialist.

Across much of the Middle East, regional rivalry between Sunni power Saudi Arabia and Shi'ite Iran has intensified mutual suspicion between followers of the two branches of Islam, he said.

The involvement of the arch-rivals in Yemen where they have been fighting a proxy war, "has intensified everything that is bad in Yemen," he said.

"It's intensified divides, created new ones, brought new players in," he told the Thomson Reuters Foundation while in New York to meet government and United Nations officials.

The degree to which sectarian tensions have flared up "was a new phenomenon," that was visible in daily life, Maktary said.

In the capital Sanaa, from which Houthi rebels forced out the government in 2014, Maktary said he had witnessed the looting of a house whose owner was politically aligned with the Houthis after a military defeat they had suffered.

In the same city, Muslim worshippers had begun avoiding mosques run by other branches of Islam, a precaution unheard of before the war, Maktary said.

In Taiz, Yemen's third largest city, extremists' control over the city is growing and they have carried out executions, he said.

Unless such sectarianism is rooted out, violence in Yemen may persist even if a peace treaty is reached, and could be "even worse than in Iraq," he added – by Sebastian Malo

http://webcenters.netscape.compuserve.com/news/story/0002/20160420/KCN0XH23C_1

19.4.2016 – Critical Threats (* A K P T)

2016 Yemen Crisis Situation Report: April 19

The prospects for a mediated settlement to Yemen’s conflict in the near term are fading as the al Houthi-Saleh faction seeks better implementation of the ceasefire before engaging in negotiations in Kuwait. The delayed talks would not have ended the war in Yemen, but may have begun a process of de-escalation. Key Yemeni factions will not be represented at UN-led high-level talks, driving concerns that low-level fighting will continue after a political solution is found.

Representatives from the al Houthi-Saleh faction refused to attend UN-led peace talks in Kuwait until the ceasefire is implemented on the ground.

The increase in Iranian support to the al Houthis is intended to generate reactions within Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) still controls Yemen’s third-largest port city, al Mukalla, in eastern Hadramawt governorate.

The Saudi-led coalition is refocusing its efforts against AQAP.

Southerners turned out in large numbers in Aden to call for independence from the north.

Low-level fighting continued along established frontlines throughout Yemen even under the ceasefire, though significant fighting tapered off.

Sub-state actors have the potential to serve as spoilers for any negotiated political settlement that they do not find acceptable. These actors must be brought into talks during the initial process in order to find a lasting mediated solution. They could otherwise continue to challenge the Yemeni government, creating conditions that AQAP would exploit for growth and expansion – by Katherine Zimmerman

http://www.criticalthreats.org/yemen/yemen-crisis-situation-reports-april-19-2016

Comment: Good overview at what happened the last week, already presented in other articles linked to in YPR. Read in detail at the original site.

19.4.2016 – Al Waght (* B K P)

Political Pundit : Yemen War Mix of Internal Turmoil, Multinational Coalition, Non-State Actors

The problem for Saudi Arabia moving into the future is that once an alliance like Saudi-led coalition against Yemen has been built and forces engaged, blood shed, it is very difficult to just ‘exit’ without any real advantage or dominant position being established. It becomes a position of foreign policy pride and image-consciousness, Dr. Matthew Crosston, Professor of Political Science, says.

Following is an interview with Mr. Crosston on Saudi-led coalition's military campaign against neighboring Yemen.

Q: What is the Yemen' wars nature and who are the warring parties?

A: The Yemen conflict is a frightening mix of internal turmoil, multinational coalition forces, militarized and radicalized non-state actors, and major powers enacting something of a regional proxy battle within Yemen borders. In one way or another, formally and informally, there is ‘activity’ supporting forces both for and against the Yemeni government and Houthi fighters that include Saudi Arabia, basically all of the countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Iran, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, and small but radical off-shoots of DAESH. To a smaller degree there is certainly ‘elevated interest’ in the activity taking place in Yemen from both the United States and the European Union. While there may not be formal forces operating within Yemen from the US or EU, it is without doubt both see the outcomes of the Yemen conflict directly affecting their national security interests.

The standard explanation is that the Yemen conflict is a classic internal crisis based on opposition forces fighting an entrenched authoritarian domestic regime. However, the reality is more complicated. Both Saudi Arabia and Iran have direct competing interests in the two local forces fighting each other. Iran would prefer the Houthi fighters oust the domestic regime, while Saudi Arabia and most of the GCC clearly want the government to remain in power. The possible entrance of AQAP and off-shoots of DAESH into the Yemen region makes the conflict much more important geopolitically to major global powers like the United States. The future of Yemen in terms of prosperity and stability is, alas, not in all likelihood of great important to any of the above-mentioned players. Rather, how Yemen goes is reflected purely through the individual geopolitical interests of each player. Thus the geopolitical importance of Yemen is minor in terms of its own long-term future but is major when it comes to larger player concerns about radicalized, militant, non-state groups that might use Yemen as a launching point for terror activity far beyond the Gulf region.

Q: How do you assess Saudi Arabia's alliance-building? How do you predict its future?

A: I am personally a skeptic about the alliance-building conducted by Saudi Arabia in terms of the conflict in Yemen. First, this alliance has clearly not put a quick and definitive end to the conflict with its side emerging the clear victor. That was the obvious optimal end-result sought and so far it is not anywhere close to becoming a reality. The problem for Saudi Arabia moving into the future is that once an alliance like this has been built and forces engaged, blood shed, it is very difficult to just ‘exit’ without any real advantage or dominant position being established. It becomes a position of foreign policy pride and image-consciousness. At the moment Saudi Arabia also has been able to hold off an international perception of being directly responsible for atrocities or poor military judgment on the fields of battle in Yemen (this is debatable, of course, but overall the global community has not risen up to condemn Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the conflict overall). Because of these factors that are part logistical, part military strategy, and part international public relations, I do not believe Saudi Arabia sees it as detrimental to itself to continue its involvement within Yemen. As such, I believe this alliance will continue to be extremely active in trying to influence how the future of Yemen goes.

Q: Do the US and Israel provide Saudi-led coalition with military and intelligence?

A: While both countries deny ‘active involvement’ in the Yemen conflict, there is damning and somewhat overwhelming reportage of Israel and the United States supplying intelligence, information, and materiel support to the Saudis. Sometimes countries can play a bit ‘fast and loose’ with this type of activity by stating all such cooperation is part of the normal relations between the two countries and that the US and Israel cannot be held responsible for what Saudi Arabia may actually do with such intelligence and information. In terms of international law this is technically credible but in terms of the spirit of conflict resolution and the termination of violent conflict, this type of posturing often rings hollow to most around the world. In this particular case, it is clear that while it seems clear Israel and the US do not think Saudi Arabia is using the best strategies and tactics within Yemen, they both still prefer a ‘Yemen solution’ that sees a stronger Saudi Arabia rather than a stronger Iran.

http://alwaght.com/en/news/51350 = http://en.abna24.com/index.php/cultural/archive/2016/04/19/748379/story.html

19.4.2016 – American Herald Tribune (* B H K)

The unspoken exploitation of children in Yemen; trafficking and child soldering

Keen on playing the political card to rally waning support to its cause, the kingdom has relaunched the old debate of child soldering in the Yemen, alleging through various channels that the Houthis are trafficking children to their canons.

Only really it is its agents, and its patsies which have … In this eternal game of cat and mouse, in this grand media play Riyadh has starred in, it is always the unbearable “other” who has committed abdominal crimes, and never the righteous kingdom.

But there is no righteous kingdom, only a tyrannical dynasty which has stopped at nothing to see erect its house over the region. In its pursuit for power, and riches, Saudi Arabia will now burn and pillage its heart content, to then accuse its victims of its own unspeakable crimes.

In February 2016, the UNICEF asserted in a report that Yemen’s “children make up a third of Yemeni fighters.” According to its findings children as young as 14 years-old have been enrolled to fight, the victims of a system which has preyed on destitution and a misplaced sense of duty.

“Children sometimes volunteer to join the conflict,” said Anthony Nolan, a Unicef child protection specialist.”

“Driven by a lack of resources, or a desire to seek revenge for their families. Their recruitment threatens to prolong the conflict for generations to come,” he added.

Now, while the UNICEF admitted in its report that child soldering has occurred across the board, and is in no way symptomatic of the Resistance, it still presented the issue as being Houthi-like.

Here is what Julien Harneis, UNICEF’s representative in Yemen, told the Huffington Post this January: “In Yemeni culture, it’s considered that you come into manhood at the age of 14 or 15 years old, and part of being a man is taking up a weapon. Yemen has the second-highest amount of arms per capita after the United States, so there’s a very strong gun culture in Yemeni society … More children have been drawn into armed groups than was the case in the past … it is something we see more frequently with the Houthis.”

I marvel at the UN’s ability to pick and choose what crimes it will feel outrage over and which it will simply ignore. If Yemen’s unlawful humanitarian blockade and Riyadh’s genocidal campaign against Shia communities only ever resulted in a few whispers, false allegations of child soldering have echoed loud across media channels. The real question everyone should be asking of course is whose child soldering?

While I will not deny that thousands and maybe tens of thousands of children have had over the past year to carry a weapon when they should have been at school getting an education, blame should not fall on those communities which have had no choice but to see their children’s innocence sacrificed to the pyres of war.

Yemen’s children have been forced to carry weapons for they face a fight to the death with the House of Saud.

Hundreds of communities in the Highlands have suffered brutal air raids and ground assaults by mercenaries. And when all able men have gone to join the Resistance it is often women, children and the elderly who have been left to stand and protect whatever left is there to defend.

Can we in all honesty expect, let alone demand that self-defence be denied, when self-defence is all there is left?

And yes, children should not have to fight! Yes, children should be allowed to be children … Saudi Arabia robbed Yemen of that right. Yemenis should not be made to carry the burden of guilt.

But self-defence is not what the Unicef and other media have referred to … The Unicef clearly stipulated that the Houthis have enrolled under-age boys into its army so that it could oppose Saudi Arabia military coalition.

According to Houthi officials, reliable military sources and NGOs in Yemen such allegations are outright fabrications.

The Houthis have not employed children in their army! It is those in alliance with al-Saud who have. Those powers the West knows only too well since only a moment ago they were deemed political pariahs – the remnants of an era Western capitals wanted to see gone; the time of the infamous Muslim Brotherhood.

That old dragon has surfaced again with the appointment of General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar – the very man, who, under President Ali Abdullah Saleh massacred the Highlands to better reinvent Northern Yemen a Wahhabi outpost. Gen al-Ahmar was called to serve on Abdel Rabbo Mansour Hadi’s pretence government this February as Prime Minister and Vice-President. Surprise, surprise his anointment was confirmed by al-Saud Royals.

A high ranking leader of al-Islah party – an umbrella coalition of tribes and political factions, Gen. al-Ahmar was confirmed by Wikileaks as the mastermind behind former President Saleh’s failed assassination attack back in 2011.

But that’s not all, in April 2011 Human Rights Watch slammed the US government for supporting Gen. Al-Ahmar after it was established he liberally practiced child soldering. He then was the head of the 1St Armoured Division.

Salah Iryani, a former adviser to President Saleh explained in an interview this April how radical members of al-Islah have encouraged militias to recruit children for their suicide attacks - hoping children would look less conspicuous to Resistance fighters.

“Children in remote villages have been forcibly recruited by militias linked to al-Qaeda and al-Islah … it is difficult to tell the difference in between the two those days … children have been radicalised, children have bene abused and their families co-opted into a military complex for which human rights means nothing,” said Iryani.

But this is not all.

What the Unicef failed to talk about in its eagerness to de-legitimize the Resistance is that human traffickers have thrived in the south – in those very areas the Saudi-coalition is said to have gained control over.

Hundreds of children have already gone missing … sold to an industry which ekes a profit out of misery, destitution and helplessness.

Of course few will be those who dare push the issue forward since it would entail challenging Saudi Arabia – by Catherine Shakdam

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

http://ahtribune.com/human-rights/834-yemen-war.html

Comment: “Resistance” here means the Houthi movement. Reading this I think this article is painting the Houthis too white. It is a fact that the Hadi government and it’s allies are misusing child soldiers as well, so the critics of having blamed only or mainly the Houthis for this is certainly right.

18.4.2016 – Oxfam (* A H K P)

Yemen’s War: 10 things To Know Before President Obama’s Trip to Riyadh

This week, President Obama will visit Saudi Arabia, Yemen’s neighbor to the North and a party in the war that has consumed the country. The conflict will definitely be a point of discussion for the President’s visit. Here’s what you absolutely have to know.

More people need humanitarian assistance in Yemen than anywhere else on the planet. 2 million people, to be precise. For those of you doing back-of-the-envelope math, in a country of over 25 million people, that’s more than four out of every five Yemenis.

More than 6,100 people have been killed and more than 19,520 have been injured. Most of those have been civilians, and two thirds of the deaths have been caused by US-supported coalition airstrikes.

Yemen is one of the world’s most water scarce countries. Its capital Sana’a has been projected to become the first in the world to run dry – and that was before the conflict began.

Yemen is nearly entirely dependent on imports for food, fuel, and medicine. Yemen produced some fuel before the war, but its refineries have been heavily damaged.

The coalition’s de facto blockade has been absolutely devastating. For the better part of a year, the Saudi-led coalition has imposed a “licensing and inspection regime” that has partially, and at times completely, blocked commercial and humanitarian shipments. At times, Yemen has received less than five percent of its food and fuel needs.

Banking problems are making the situation worse. As the Central Bank of Yemen runs out of foreign money, its ability to support imports has declined. It’s incredibly difficult to get cash into or out of the country, which has also had an effect on remittances from the diaspora. The net effect of all this is to push food prices even further out of the reach of Yemenis.

The risk of famine is real and imminent. Thanks to the conflict, the de facto blockade, the banking challenges, and other issues, approximately half of Yemen is one step away from famine, according to the UN food agency.

Yemen’s health care system has collapsed. Since airstrikes began in March 2015, over 600 health facilities have closed due to damage, lack of supplies (including electricity), or absence of staff. As a result, over half the country is without access to basic health services.

Children are paying a huge price. According to a report from the UN Children’s Fund, more than 900 children have been killed due to conflict, and mostly due to coalition airstrikes. 10,000 children under five years of age have died of preventable diseases, due to the collapse of the Yemeni health care system.

The US has played a role in creating this crisis – and can help end it. All sides of the conflict are responsible for causing this massive humanitarian crisis. The US, which has supported the Saudi-led coalition responsible for causing two of the casualties through the use of airstrikes and explosives in civilian areas, does not have clean hands. While the US has sought to bring an end to the crisis and improve the humanitarian situation, it has continued to support the coalition – including through major arms sales – because it’s unwilling to jeopardize its close relationship with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states to do it. As a result, Saudi Arabia has actually cited US support to deflect criticism of its conduct in Yemen.

President Obama’s trip to Riyadh comes at a critical stage. With a recently agreed ceasefire gradually – and unevenly – taking hold across the country, and peace talks just beginning, President Obama could apply the pressure needed to push the coalition and the Government of Yemen to prioritize peace over their own interests. However, President Obama needs to arrive in Riyadh prepared to demonstrate that the US is willing to extricate itself from the coalition if the ceasefire and talks fail. Peace talks have already been postponed as of this writing, with the parties accusing each other of intransigence and bad faith. If negotiations fall apart and President Obama poses for a photo op without a meaningful course correction, he could embolden the coalition and enable another year of this devastating war. That would be a profound injustice for the millions of Yemenis whose lives hang in the balance – by Scott Paul, senior humanitarian policy advisor at Oxfam America.

http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2016/04/yemens-war-10-things-to-know-before-president-obamas-trip-to-riyadh/

cp3 Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

19.4.2016 – The American Conservative (*A K)

The Saudis Are Starving Yemen to Death

The humanitarian crisis in Yemen is as severe as any in the world, and may well be the worst when we consider how many millions of people are at risk of starving to death, but it generates none of the attention or outrage that other conflicts have provoked in the last twenty years. There are many possible explanations for why this is the case, and I have offered some in previous posts, but it continues to be somewhat shocking that a group of states can wreak such gratuitous havoc on an impoverished country with the blessings of Washington and London and face so little scrutiny or criticism. No doubt lobbying by the Saudis and their allies account for some of this, but some of it unfortunately seems to come down to the fact that almost no one cares what the Saudi-led coalition is doing to Yemen with U.S. and British support if they are even aware of it.

Despite the fact that the Saudi-led blockade is depriving millions of people of basic necessities and creating near-famine conditions (al-Maghafi writes that “[t]wenty of Yemen’s 22 governorates are precariously poised on the verge of devastating famine”), the blockade and its effects are barely mentioned in most reports and then only in passing. Regrettably, one of the side-effects of the blockade is that it makes it very difficult for anyone to enter the country to document what is happening. Another is that it prevents Yemenis from being able to get out of the country where they might find some relief, and those that manage to get out of the country find few places to seek refuge. While refugees from Eritrea and Syria are able to call attention to the terrible conditions in those countries, most Yemenis are trapped in the war zone where few are able to tell their stories, and so they remain effectively invisible to outside audiences.

While there is hope that peace talks in Kuwait may lead to a halt in the fighting, it is the blockade that is doing the greatest harm to most of the population, and the civilian population desperately needs the Saudi-led coalition to lift that blockade on their country. If that doesn’t happen, the humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen is sure to grow much worse in the coming months. The disgrace of our government’s ongoing support for the Saudi-led war also gets worse with each passing day – by Daniel Larison

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/the-saudis-are-starving-yemen-to-death/

cp4 Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

20.4.2016 – Cicero (* B K)

Unesco-Kulturerbe in Schutt und Asche

Obendrein erlitt das weltberühmte Kulturerbe des Jemen – ähnlich wie in Syrien und Irak – schwerste Schäden. Felix Arabia – „glückliches Arabien“ nannten die Römer einst diese Region, in vielen Teilen ein Open-Air-Museum mit märchenhaften Landschaften und epochalen Kulturschätzen. Seit Beginn des Krieges im März 2015 jedoch überschlagen sich die Berichte über Bombenschäden, Plünderungen und Raubgrabungen. Unesco-Chefin Irina Bokova geißelte öffentlich „die sinnlose Zerstörung einer der reichsten Kulturen der arabischen Welt“. Europäische Antikenspezialisten registrierten bei Auktionen einen dubiosen Anstieg von „südarabischen Objekten aus alten Sammlungen“.

Und die Liste der Verluste wird lang und länger. Ein einziger Luftangriff vernichtete das Museum von Dhamar im Hochland, welches 12.500 Objekte beherbergte. Das gleiche Schicksal erlitten die beiden antiken Ausgrabungsstätten Baraqish und Sirwah aus vorislamischer Zeit, wo deutsche Forscher eine große Tempelanlage freilegten. Fünf Häuser der Altstadt von Sanaa, die zum Unesco-Welterbe gehören, fielen saudischen Bomben zum Opfer. Auch die beiden antiken Großschleusen am ältesten Staudamm der Menschheit in Marib, der bereits im Koran erwähnt ist, wurden beschädigt.

Die aus dem 3. Jahrhundert stammende Stadtmauer von Saada, der Hochburg der Houthis, liegt in Trümmern genauso wie die tausend Jahre alte Zitadelle von Taiz, der drittgrößten Stadt des Landes. Das örtliche Museum, was wertvolle Manuskripte und vorislamische Exponate besaß, brannte völlig aus. Shibam im Hadramaut, das zum Unesco-Weltkulturerbe gehört und mehr als zehn Jahre lang von deutschen Spezialisten restauriert wurde, erlitt durch ein IS-Bombenattentat schwere Schäden an der Stadtmauer und Häusern, die nun einsturzgefährdet sind – von Martin Gehlen

http://www.cicero.de/weltbuehne/buergerkrieg-jemen-friedensverhandlungen-kuwait/60803

cp5 Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

19.4.2016 – Y Net News (A D)

Jews who refused to leave Yemen having second thoughts

The 67 Yemeni Jews who refused to join the recent secret airlift to Israel organized by the Jewish Agency are now having second thoughts. Sources in Yemen report that the group, comprised mostly of children and the elderly and located in the Yemeni capital Sana’a and its neighboring province of Amran, has been subject to constant harassment.

Speaking to The Media Line on condition of anonymity because of fear of reprisals, a Yemeni Jew now trying to leave for Israel said the remaining Jews complain that in addition to increasing abuse by Muslims, there is no one to lead their religious rituals or to educate their children.

The Jews who remained behind have confirmed reports that the spate of publicity accompanying the mini-exodus and the showcasing of the 600-800 year old Torah scroll that the emigrants took with them has effectively drawn targets on the backs of those who opted out of the airlift.

http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4792977,00.html

19.4.2016 – AP (A D)

Yemeni rebels hold Jew over smuggling out old Torah scroll

Yemeni security officials say a member of the country's Jewish minority has been detained over allegations he helped smuggle an 800-year-old scroll to Israel.

The officials say Yahia Youssef Yaish is being interrogated by the intelligence service run by Shiite Houthis rebels, who control the country's capital, Sanaa.

The officials also said on Tuesday that three airport employees have also been detained over the same allegations.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Apr-19/348144-yemeni-rebels-hold-jew-over-smuggling-out-old-torah-scroll.ashx#

20.4.2016 – Aljazeera (* C K P)

Film: Yemen: Pulling the Strings

How did Yemen’s Houthis take Sanaa so easily? Was former President Saleh part of an unlikely alliance with the group?

The current crisis in Yemen is a very complex one.

This film focuses on one aspect of it - how the Houthis were able to move south from their northern base and take the capital, Sanaa, quite so easily, and whether former President Ali Abdullah Saleh may have played a role in this move.

Founded in the early 1990s by Hussein Badr Eddin al-Houthi, the Houthis grew into a strong military force.

As Zaidi Shia, they were convinced of their right to participate in the national government and fought a series of six wars against the Saleh regime between 2004 and 2010. Here, we look at the rise of the Houthis and their move south from their northern stronghold of Saada Province, and explore the possibility that there was more to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh's role in this than was apparent at the time.

Some who had been closely associated with Saleh and served in the army during battles against the Houthis testify here about what they saw as double dealing.

Fahad Al Sharafi was a leading member of Saleh's General People's Congress Party during the third Houthi war.

"I was part of the presidential committee when the president ordered the First Armoured Division and the 17th Infantry to withdraw. These honourable men had to leave behind the sacrifices they'd made," he says. "They even had to leave the bodies of their comrades without covering or burying them."

Abdullah Al Hadhari is a Brigadier-General in the Yemeni Army and has a PhD in international law. He took part in the six wars against the Houthis and was surprised at some of the orders coming out of Sanaa.

"I think the ceasefire was the biggest crime," he says. "Tribes supporting us were being annihilated and killed but the government turned a blind eye on the pretext of the ceasefire."

"All these tribes were served up to the Houthis on a golden platter," Sharafi continues. "Many tribes fought alongside the government and achieved victory but the government gave them up during the truce."

Al Sharafi also spotted what he felt was double-dealing between Saleh and the businessman, politician and arms dealer, Fares Manaa, while he was negotiating peace deals with the Houthis.

"The Houthis had four trucks loaded with weapons that were used against the people of Ghamar while Fares was part of a mediation committee," Sharafi says. "He was on a mediation committee and supplied weapons to the Houthis at the same time."

In February 2011, Yemenis protested against Ali Abdullah Saleh and his government on the streets of Sanaa. Houthis took part in the Youth Revolution which led to Saleh handing over power to Vice President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. But some Yemenis thought that their commitment to their own cause was greater than to the general good. The revolution seemed also to galvanise the Houthis and give them both the opportunity and encouragement they needed to initiate their move south. They duly made their gradual way towards the capital, attacking the cities and villages in their path.

At the same time, Saleh began plotting how to take revenge on those who had opposed him during the revolution, including leading military figures like Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar and Hamid al-Qushaibi. It's possible that Saleh manipulated the Houthis to serve his interests in a proxy war against his own political enemies, including new President Hadi.

As the Houthi rebellion gained momentum in 2014, forces in the Yemeni Army and Republican Guard who had remained loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh, may have colluded with the Houthis to help pave their way to the capital. When they arrived there, they were able to take the city with unusual ease, explained by interviewees in the film, by the lack of resistance by army groups involved in this double dealing.

"I believe the Minister of Defence betrayed Yemen, the nation and his military honour. He betrayed the Arab nation because he handed over Sanaa to the Houthis instead of defending it as a national and constitutional duty," Hadhari laments.

Peace talks are planned in Kuwait in the coming days, involving the three main players - the internationally-recognised government of President Hadi with the Sunni tribes, the Houthis and the Saleh's General People's Congress Party.

The film concludes that if factional in-fighting and Machiavellian plans had not been hatched by Saleh, the Houthis and all the other parties involved, Yemen might have been spared such a prolonged and damaging civil conflict.

http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/aljazeeraworld/2016/04/yemen-pulling-strings-160420111557078.html

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

19.4.2016 – Breitbart (* A P)

Southern Yemenis Seek Secession: ‘Independence and Right of Self-Determination’

Pro-secessionists protesters in southern Yemen, estimated to number in the thousands, are demanding “independence and right to self-determination” amid a fragile ceasefire between warring parties and delayed United Nations-brokered peace negotiations.

For years now, residents of southern Yemen have been protesting in the streets, demanding their right to self-determination. Their efforts have reportedly failed to elicit a response from the international community.

“The southern people demand right of self-determination and other political projects are unacceptable,” reads the pro-secession rallies’ slogan, reports China’s state-run news agency Xinhua.

According to the report:

The Parades Square in Aden’s neighborhood of Khor Maksar and surrounding streets were packed with separation supporters from Yemen’s north amid heavy security measures and deployment of armored vehicles in the area.

The crowds waved flags of what used to be Southern Yemen and hoisted posters of secessionist leaders, shouting slogans such as “We swore never to unite with northerners,” whilst others carried banners.

“Three of my brothers were killed during the war with Houthis who came from northern Yemen to invade Aden last year. … We will keep demanding independence from them until death,” Ali Naif, a student at Aden University, where some of the demonstrations took place, reportedly told Xinhua as tears ran down his face – by Edwin Mora

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2016/04/19/southern-yemenis-demand-independence-right-self-determination/

cp7 UNO und Friedensgespräche / UN and peace talks

20.4.2016 – Aljazeera (A K P)

Yemen peace talks set to begin in Kuwait after delay

Houthis agreed to take part in UN-brokered talks after assurances that pro-government forces would respect truce.

Peace talks between Yemen's Houthi rebels and government are set to begin in Kuwait after the Houthis agreed to participate following assurances that pro-government forces would respect a ceasefire, the United Nations has said.

A delegation of Houthi representatives and their allies flew out of Sanaa on Wednesday to join the talks, saying the UN had assured them over the truce.

"The Yemeni peace negotiations will start tomorrow in Kuwait under the auspices of the United Nations," UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said from New York.

The UN-brokered talks had been set to open in Kuwait on Monday but were put off after the Iran-backed fighters failed to show up over alleged violations of the ceasefire, which took effect on April 11.

The Yemeni government delegation, which arrived in Kuwait at the weekend, had threatened to pull out if the talks did not start on Thursday morning.

The delegation, in a statement, also accused the Houthi rebels of violating the ceasefire in many areas.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/04/yemen-peace-talks-set-kuwait-delay-160420171242538.html

20.4.2016 – Hussain Albukhaiti (A K P)

#Yemen-i delegates has just left #Sanaa to Muscat then will head to #Kuwait

https://twitter.com/HussainBukhaiti/status/722779660434673664

20.4.2016 – APA (A K P)

Rebellen im Jemen wollen doch an Verhandlungen teilnehmen

Nach ihrer anfänglichen Weigerung werden die Rebellen im Jemen und ihre Verbündeten nun doch an den Verhandlungen zu einer Beilegung des Konflikts teilnehmen. Sie hätten vom UNO-Vermittler "Zusicherungen" im Zusammenhang mit dem Waffenstillstand erhalten, erklärte der Vertreter der schiitischen Houthi-Rebellen, Saleh al-Sammad, am Mittwoch.

Nach Angaben eines Vertrauten des mit den Rebellen verbündeten Ex-Präsidenten Ali Abdallah Saleh sollte die Delegation am Donnerstag in Kuwait eintreffen.

Die Verhandlungsrunde zwischen den Bürgerkriegsparteien unter Vermittlung der Vereinten Nationen sollte ursprünglich bereits am vergangenen Montag in Kuwait-Stadt beginnen. Doch blieben die Rebellen dem Treffen fern, daraufhin musste UNO-Vermittler Ismail Ould Scheich Ahmed es auf unbestimmte Zeit vertagen. Die Houthi-Delegation und ihre Verbündeten begründeten ihren Schritt mit der anhaltenden Verletzung des Waffenstillstands durch Saudi-Arabien.

http://www.salzburg.com/nachrichten/welt/politik/sn/artikel/rebellen-im-jemen-wollen-doch-an-verhandlungen-teilnehmen-192899/

20.4.2016 – Spiegel Online (A K P)

Jemen-Krieg: Rebellen reisen zu Friedensgesprächen nach Kuwait

Mit zweitägiger Verspätung wollen die Vertreter der jemenitischen Huthi-Rebellen am Mittwoch zu Friedensgesprächen nach Kuwait reisen. Die Delegation habe sich dazu entschieden, nachdem der Uno-Sondergesandte Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed und mehrere Botschafter ihnen versichert hätten, dass die Waffenruhe im Jemen eingehalten werde, berichtete der Huthi-nahe Sender al-Masirah unter Berufung auf einen Sprecher der Aufständischen.

Die neue Runde der Friedensgespräche hatte ursprünglich am Montag beginnen sollen. Die Vertreter der Huthis und des mit ihnen verbündeten Ex-Präsidenten Ali Abdullah Saleh erklärten jedoch, sie wollten erst nach Kuwait reisen, wenn die Waffenruhe respektiert werde. Die Delegation der Huthi-Rebellen und Vertreter von Ex-Präsident Ali Abdullah Saleh konnten am Montag wegen schwerer Kämpfe nicht aus Jemens Hauptstadt Sanaa abreisen. Der Nachrichtenkanal al-Arabija meldete, vor allem die fünf ständigen Mitglieder im Uno-Sicherheitsrat hätten Druck auf die Rebellen ausgeübt.

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/jemen-krieg-rebellen-reisen-zu-friedensgespraechen-a-1088248.html

20.4.2016 – AFP (A K P)

Yemen's Houthi rebels and their allies have agreed to join delayed peace talks in Kuwait after the United Nations assured them that pro-government forces would abide by a ceasefire.

Kuwait's information ministry said the talks -- the most important attempt yet to resolve Yemen's devastating conflict -- would now open Thursday.

The rebels' Al-Masirah television quoted Huthi representative Saleh al-Sammad as saying they agreed to join the talks after receiving assurances from the U.N. envoy and ambassadors that the ceasefire would be respected by loyalist forces.

A Western diplomat in Kuwait said that representatives of the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council sent a message to the rebels saying they "understand their fears" and urging them to "quickly join" the talks.

The rebels had been assured that the agenda for the talks would be "clear and tackle issues that could help achieve peaceful solutions," said Mahdi al-Mashat, a representative of rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi.

Writing on Facebook, Mashat warned however that "we will have the right to suspend our participation" if the assurances are not met.

A representative of the rebel-allied General People's Congress (GPC) party, Yasser Alawadi, said on Twitter that his delegation would travel to Kuwait Thursday.

The GPC is led by former Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Apr-20/348279-yemen-delegations-pledge-to-leave-for-peace-talks-in-kuwait.ashx and by AP http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/yemens-rebels-reverse-decide-attend-peace-talks-38532497

20.4.2016 – Hussain Albukhaiti (A K P)

#Yemen-i delgs sent letter2 #UN confirming going2 #Kuwait (C pic)

https://twitter.com/HussainBukhaiti/status/722709297738727424

19.4.2016 – Atlantic Council (* B K P)

Three Questions That Could Make or Break Yemen’s Peace Talks

In the event that the talks are successfully rescheduled later this week in Kuwait, the warring parties will be tackling a range of issues that has previously held up progress towards a resolution. Demobilization of the Houthis, the release of detainees, the rebuilding of state infrastructure, the transition of territory from armed groups to the legitimate Yemeni Government, and “interim security arrangements” will all be on the table. As the initial postponement of the talks on April 18 demonstrate, the chances of failure are far higher than the slim chances of a breakthrough, but the dialogue in Kuwait could hinge on these three questions:

Can UNSCR 2216 be renegotiated?In April 2015, the UN Security Council passed a resolution on the Yemeni crisis that has since come to define the international community’s preferences for how the civil war should end. The resolution requires the Houthis to take a number of steps in order to make a diplomatic settlement more palpable. The only problem however is that the Houthis have long viewed this resolution as a one-sided capitulation to the very government it is aiming to dislodge. The resolution calls on the Houthis to “immediately and unconditionally” refrain from further acts of violence; withdraw from the territory it has taken and hand over control of that territory to the Yemeni Government; cede authority over all of its heavy weapons; and release all detainees in its custody. In the past, the Hadi administration has categorized these demands as preconditions before any talks about a political transition can occur.
If Hadi’s delegation enters the talks next week on the assumption that the Houthis will need to meet all these conditions before discussions about governing occur, then is it exceedingly unlikely that diplomacy on April 18 will prove any more successful than last December’s efforts. The Security Council is responsible for defending and upholding international peace and security, but on Yemen, the council may be in the ironic position of making peace more difficult through an uncompromising resolution that one side in the conflict has long believed is unfair.

Will the Saudis and the Houthis continue to talk?

[…]

Will Hadi continue to be President? Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi is apt to claim that he alone is the legitimately elected and internationally supported President of Yemen. While this is technically true (Hadi was the only name on the ballot in 2012), he has spent far more time in Riyadh than in Sana’a or Aden. The government he leads has spent more months in exile over the past year than it has spent inside of Yemen’s borders. Indeed, if it were not for the military backing of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Hadi’s tenure would have been dissolved as soon as the Houthis swept into Yemen’s capital city in September 2014.
Discussions revolving around the creation of a transitional governing authority will become even more difficult in the event that the Houthi delegation insists on Hadi’s resignation. If reports are to be believed, Hadi’s resignation is being described by some members of the Houthi movement as a principle that cannot be shortchanged or ignored during the negotiations Hadi’s status has received even more scrutiny over the past several weeks after his sudden dismissal of Yemeni Prime Minister Khaled Bahah and his appointment of a Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar as Vice President.

The more the Yemeni government delegation is seen as intransigent or inflexible at the talks, the greater likelihood that Hadi will be seen as part of the problem rather than an incremental part of the solution.
As in all negotiations to end civil wars, the key word in the peace talks is “compromise.” If the Houthis and Hadi are unable to defer to compromise, then the violence will continue, hundreds more Yemeni civilians will die, and the prospects for diplomacy in the future will be hostage to even more resentment among the parties – by Daniel R. DePetris

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/three-questions-that-could-make-or-break-yemen-s-peace-talks

Comment: This is certainly a strange agenda setting which only can lead to a quick failure of all negotiations. “Demobilization of the Houthis”: Why only of the Houthis and not of all irregular armed forces, including those the Hadi government had labelled as “army”? What about the demobilization of all foreign forces in the country? “the transition of territory from armed groups to the legitimate Yemeni Government”: Which “armed forces” does the author mean? I think he just is referring to the Houthis. Why? Which “legitimate Yemeni government” does he mean? There is none, since February 25, 2015. At thet date, the prolonged term of president Hadi ended. Thus, the author is wrong stating that Hadis legitimacy would be “technically true” because “Hadi was the only name on the ballot in 2012” – well , he was elected for a two years term in 2012, prolonged for another year, thus ending after 3 years precisely on February 25, 2015. Hadi. who called for the Saudi air strikes, certainly is no candidate for any united transitorial government which should be the result of successful peace negotiations. The only service he stil can do for is country is to step aside and give a new legitimate government the chance of a good start. UN resolution 2216 off course has to be renegotiated, as it is totally one sided – asking everything from one side of the conflict and absolutely nothing from the other – thus even legitimizing the worst what happened in the whole conflict – Saudi air strikes mainly on civilians and civilian infrastructure, the demolition of half a country. That is a fault from which the West who had promoted this resolution – which had blockaded any solution for peace in the last year – never can be whitewashed again.

19.4.2016 – Hakim Almasmari (A K P)

Document: #Yemen Peace Talks confirmed as Houthi & allies informs #UN they will attend peace talks starting Thursday

https://twitter.com/HakimAlmasmari/status/722547956969246720

19.4.2016 – Reuters (A K P)

U.N. world powers press Yemenis to start talks, truce in danger

The United Nations and world powers sought on Tuesday to persuade Yemen's Houthis to send representatives to peace talks in Kuwait as a shaky truce teetered near collapse, delegates said.

Houthi negotiators have stayed put in the capital Sanaa, which their movement holds, demanding a ceasefire that began on April 10 be fully observed before they travel for the talks.

The Houthis have also rejected a proposed agenda that stipulates they hand over heavy weapons and withdraw from areas they control before a new government comprising all Yemeni forces is formed.

An advisor to the U.N. delegation in Kuwait said the Houthis had been "very positive" until two days ago and had agreed with envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed on almost everything.

A Western diplomat said the Chinese ambassador to Yemen delivered a message from the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council to the Houthis urging them to attend the talks.

The Houthis complain that Hadi's forces are trying to exploit the truce to try to make gains on the ground in several provinces, while war planes from the Saudi-led alliance continued to fly over areas held by the group.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdul-Salam said on Monday the movement had long been ready for a dialogue to bring peace to Yemen and stability to the entire region, but the violence had not stopped with the ceasefire.

Abdul-Salam said one of the committees set up to monitor the ceasefire in the northern al-Jawf province had had a lucky escape from an air strike by the Saudi-led coalition.

Abu Malek al-Feeshi, another prominent Houthi leader, criticised the U.N. envoy, accusing him of presenting contradictory drafts for peace talks. He said in a Facebook posting that his group was ready for peace "at any venue and at any time" as soon as the fighting stops.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari; Writing by Sami Aboudi; Editing by Tom Heneghan and Angus MacSwan)

http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-security-talks-idUKKCN0XG1EH

Comment: It is quite absurd that it seems now even in UN brokered negotiations the Houthis are given an agenda demanding them to capitulate. It is obvious that they would reject that and that “negotiations” based on such an agenda would be no negotiations in the real sense of this word.

19.4.2016 – Pars Today (A K P)

Jemen: Ansarullah-Bewegung kritisiert UNO

Der Sprecher der Ansarullah-Bewegung im Jemen Muhammad Abdel Salam hat die UNO wegen ihrer Unfähigkeit bei der Herstellung einer Waffenruhe in diesem Land kritisiert.

"Leider ist es der UNO, als der größten internationalen Organisation noch nicht gelungen, gegen diejenigen, die den Waffenstillstand verletzen, vorzugehen und diese haben stets die Schwäche der Vereinten Nationen ausgenutzt", sagte Abdel Salam am Montag im Gespräch mit dem libanesischen Fernsehsender al-Mayadeen. Die Jemeniten seien der Ansicht, dass die Jemenkrise nur auf politischem Wege gelöst werden kann. Ohne Einstellung der Luftangriffe werde sich nichts ändern, so der Ansarullah-Sprecher.

http://parstoday.com/de/news/middle_east-i5662-jemen_ansarullah_bewegung_kritisiert_uno

19.4.2016 – Tasnim News (A K P)

Saudi Arabia Not Committed to Ceasefire: Yemen’s Ansarullah

A spokesman for Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah Movement lashed out at Riyadh for continuing to violate a ceasefire in war-torn Yemen, and criticized the United Nations for failing to condemn it.

“The current problem in Yemen is that the other side of the conflict (Saudi Arabia and its allies) is not committed to the (UN-brokered) ceasefire,” Mohammad Abdul-Salam told Al Mayadeen TV on Monday.

The United Nations has also failed to condemn Riyadh for its violation of the truce, he said.

Abdul-Salam further emphasized that the Houthi movement will not accept the rule of Saudi mercenaries over the transitional period.

“We will never surrender,” he went on to say.

http://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2016/04/19/1053218/saudi-arabia-not-committed-to-ceasefire-yemen-s-ansarullah

18.4.2016 – Almanar (A K P)

Kuwait Talks Delayed, Saudi Goes on with Ceasefire Violations

Al-Manar knew that both Ansarullah revolutionary movement and General People’s Congress party had reservations on taking part in peace talks in Kuwait because of the continuous violations of ceasefire by the Saudi-led coalition.

For his part, UN envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced that the talks have been delayed.

"Due to developments over the last few hours, the start of the Yemeni-Yemeni peace negotiations scheduled to begin today... in Kuwait, will be delayed," the envoy said in a statement, without specifying when they might take place.

Earlier on Monday, Ansarullah sources told al-Manar that the two parties were holding a meeting in bid to decide on going to Kuwait for talks aimed at ending over a year of Saudi-led intervention in Yemen.

The sources added that Ansarullah and the GPC had firmly refused to receive the paper handed by UN Yemen Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, stressing that the acceptance of such paper is considered as surrender.

“The solution could be just through setting an inclusive agenda,” the sources said, stressing that Ansarullah join the peace talks if the Saudi-led aggression was not stopped.

http://english.almanar.com.lb/adetails.php?fromval=1&cid=23&frid=23&eid=266308

18.4.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K P)

Yemen peace talks delayed over ongoing war

The negotiations aimed at ending more than a year of war and the Saudi military aggression were scheduled to kick off today. But citing heavy combat and the nonstop Saudi air campaign, officials of the party of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh have described participation in the talks as pointless, also complaining that there's no respect for the fragile ceasefire. Delegations representing Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and Saleh's General People's Congress party have yet to depart the capital Sana'a to Kuwait for talks with representatives of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi. Officials loyal to Hadi say Ansarullah and Saleh representatives would likely arrive on Tuesday. Saudi airstrikes and fighting persist on several fronts throughout the country despite the truce deal that took effect a week ago. Over 94-hundred Yemenis, many of them women and children, have been killed in Saudi attacks since March 20-15.

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

cp8 Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

18.4.2016 – The New York Times (** A K P)

Obama to Visit a Saudi Arabia Deep in Turmoil

Mr. Obama may try to use his visit to mend relations, but it remains unclear how badly the ties that have long bound the United States and the Saudi monarchy have weakened, and whether the damage can be repaired.

“It is a concerning factor for us if America pulls back,” said Prince Turki al-Faisal, an outspoken member of the Saudi royal family, a former head of intelligence and a former ambassador to the United States. “America has changed, we have changed and definitely we need to realign and readjust our understandings of each other.”

The moment is a perilous one for the Saudis as they face economic and demographic challenges as well as strategic and security concerns.

The mounting frustration has led Saudi Arabia, under a new monarch, King Salman, to abandon its quiet checkbook diplomacy and lash out. In January, it executed 47 men on terrorism charges, including Qaeda militants and the Shiite cleric — sending what it thought was a message to deter jihadists and Iran from trying to destabilize the kingdom.

Analysts have begun speaking of a “Salman Doctrine,” although it is mostly associated with the king’s son Mohammed bin Salman, 30, who is the defense minister and is second in line to the throne. The doctrine calls for increased self-reliance and more assertiveness in regional affairs.

Diplomats who track the kingdom question whether Saudi Arabia has the strategic capabilities to match its new ambitions. One test case is Yemen, where the kingdom and its allies have carried out a bombing campaign for more than a year, trying to oust the Houthi Shiite militant group from the capital and restore the government — at tremendous cost to the people of Yemen. An estimated 6,400 people have been killed, more than half of them civilians; nearly half the country’s provinces are on the verge of famine; and Al Qaeda has expanded its control in the south.

The Saudis defend the war as essential to their national security. “It is a war of necessity,” said Abdulaziz Sager, a Saudi political scientist and the chairman of the Gulf Research Center. “You can’t let a failing state with a violent nonstate actor be your neighbor.” – by Ben Hubbard and Nicholas Kulish

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/19/world/middleeast/obama-to-visit-a-saudi-arabia-deep-in-turmoil.html

24.9.2011 – The Independent (** B P)

Mecca for the rich: Islam's holiest site 'turning into Vegas'

Historic and culturally important landmarks are being destroyed to make way for luxury hotels and malls, reports Jerome Taylor

Over the past 10 years the holiest site in Islam has undergone a huge transformation, one that has divided opinion among Muslims all over the world.

Once a dusty desert town struggling to cope with the ever-increasing number of pilgrims arriving for the annual Hajj, the city now soars above its surroundings with a glittering array of skyscrapers, shopping malls and luxury hotels.

To the al-Saud monarchy, Mecca is their vision of the future – a steel and concrete metropolis built on the proceeds of enormous oil wealth that showcases their national pride.

Yet growing numbers of citizens, particularly those living in the two holy cities of Mecca and Medina, have looked on aghast as the nation's archaeological heritage is trampled under a construction mania backed by hardline clerics who preach against the preservation of their own heritage. Mecca, once a place where the Prophet Mohamed insisted all Muslims would be equal, has become a playground for the rich, critics say, where naked capitalism has usurped spirituality as the city's raison d'être.

But a number of prominent Saudi archaeologists and historians are speaking up in the belief that the opportunity to save Saudi Arabia's remaining historical sites is closing fast.

The destruction has been aided by Wahabism, the austere interpretation of Islam that has served as the kingdom's official religion ever since the al-Sauds rose to power across the Arabian Peninsula in the 19th century.

In the eyes of Wahabis, historical sites and shrines encourage "shirq" – the sin of idolatry or polytheism – and should be destroyed. When the al-Saud tribes swept through Mecca in the 1920s, the first thing they did was lay waste to cemeteries holding many of Islam's important figures. They have been destroying the country's heritage ever since. Of the three sites the Saudis have allowed the UN to designate World Heritage Sites, none are related to Islam.

To build the skyscraper city, the authorities dynamited an entire mountain and the Ottoman era Ajyad Fortress that lay on top of it. At the other end of the Grand Mosque complex, the house of the Prophet's first wife Khadijah has been turned into a toilet block. The fate of the house he was born in is uncertain. Also planned for demolition are the Grand Mosque's Ottoman columns which dare to contain the names of the Prophet's companions, something hardline Wahabis detest.

For ordinary Meccans living in the mainly Ottoman-era town houses that make up much of what remains of the old city, development often means the loss of their family home – by Jerome Taylor

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/mecca-for-the-rich-islams-holiest-site-turning-into-vegas-2360114.html

cp9 USA

20.4.2016 – Xinhua (* B P)

Commentary: World to face messier Mideast in post-Obama era

http://en.chinagate.cn/2016-04/20/content_38287674.htm

20.4.2016 – NZZ (* A P)

Obama-Besuch in Saudiarabien

Partner wider Willen

Ein Staatsbesuch von Präsident Obama bei König Salman in Riad steht vor der Tür. Die Beziehung der beiden Staatsoberhäupter ist kühl.

Der amerikanische Präsident Barack Obama reist diese Woche nach Saudiarabien. Angesichts der rasanten Umbrüche in der Region und der unterschiedlichen Prioritäten der beiden Länder, welche die Beziehung belasten, wird Obama viel zu besprechen haben. Neben einem Treffen mit König Salman ibn Abdelaziz wird er an einem Gipfel des Golfkooperationsrates teilnehmen, dem Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Katar, Saudiarabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate angehören. Sein Aufenthalt in Saudiarabien kommt zu einem Zeitpunkt, an dem die Beziehungen zwischen Riad und Washington ein neues Tief erreicht haben.

Obamas Haltung zum Arabischen Frühling verärgerte das Königshaus.

Das Königreich fühlt sich belagert und kämpft angesichts der sinkenden Ölpreise mit wirtschaftlichen Problemen. Die neue Führung von König Salman tritt dezidiert aggressiver als ihre Vorgänger auf, unter anderem, weil sie sich von Washington im Stich gelassen fühlt.

Dennoch bleiben die beiden Länder aufeinander angewiesen. Washington stützt sich auf Saudiarabien, um die Strasse von Hormuz zu sichern, durch die ein Grossteil des weltweit gehandelten Rohöls verschifft wird. Riad ist ein wichtiger Abnehmer amerikanischer Waffenexporte.

Saudiarabien mag über ein beeindruckendes Waffenarsenal verfügen, ist aber mangels einer kampferprobten und effizienten Armee trotzdem auf Washingtons militärischen Rückhalt angewiesen, und Washington fehlt es an einer starken Alternative in der Region – von Monika Bolliger

http://www.nzz.ch/international/naher-osten-und-nordafrika/obama-besuch-in-saudiarabien-partner-wider-willen-ld.14882

20.4.2016 – RT (** A P)

Obama zu Besuch in Riad: Mehr Selbstständigkeit für Saudi-Arabien im Rahmen einer engeren Allianz

Präsident Barack Obama besucht heute das Königreich Saudi-Arabien. Öffentlich hatte seine Regierung in den letzten Jahren demonstratives Desinteresse an der Region gezeigt. Im Hintergrund stehen jedoch milliardenschwere Rüstungsinvestitionen. Die Falken im Pentagon wollen zudem eine formale Allianz zwischen der NATO und den Golfstaaten. Nach einem Treffen mit König Salman besucht Obama den Gipfel des Golfkooperationsrates.

Die Regierung von Barack Obama war von Anfang an deutlich auf Distanz zu den befreundeten Regierungen in den arabischen Ländern gegangen. Schon vor seinem Amtsantritt rief Obama bei seiner Rede in Kairo die Staatenlenker in der Region auf, eine überfällige Modernisierung ihrer Gesellschaften anzugehen. Zudem orientierte der demokratische Hoffnungsträger darauf, eine alte Verbindung zu den Golfstaaten zu lösen: „Die Art, wie wir Energie verbrauchen“, argumentierte Obama im Jahr 2008, „stärkt unsere Feinde.“

Mithilfe einer größeren Unabhängigkeit von Erdölimporten erreichte die Regierung Obama auch, dass die US-Regierung auf die Nöte der arabischen Verbündeten weniger Rücksicht nehmen musste. Als der Arabische Frühling begann, rührte Washington keinen Finger, um den ägyptischen Herrscher Husni Mubarak zu retten. Dies war nur einer der Punkte, die das saudische Königshaus verärgerten.

Auch die saudische Hoffnung, dass das Weiße Haus im Jahr einen offenen Krieg gegen die Regierung von Bashar al-Asad beginnt, enttäuschte Obama mit seinem Rückzug von der berüchtigten Roten Linie. Schließlich, und das dürfte einer der schmerzhaftesten Punkte für die Golf-Herrscher sein, unterlief Barack Obama jeden ernsthaften Versuch vonseiten der Golfstaaten und aus Israel, die Regierung im Iran zu stürzen.

Erst vor kurzem bezeichnete Obama die saudische Regierung als „Trittbrettfahrer“, die von Amerika erwarten, dass es die Probleme im Nahen Osten für sie regelt. Zudem kritisierte Obama öffentlich, dass die sunnitischen Monarchien die Terrorgruppen in der Region unterstützen. Dabei ließ er deutlich anklingen, dass er das wahhabitische Königreich nicht „automatisch als Verbündeten“ betrachtet.

Gleichzeitig ließ die Regierung Obama den alten Verbündeten zunehmend großen Gestaltungsspielraum bei der Neugestaltung der Region. Und schaut man hinter die Fassade der öffentlichen Kritik, muss man feststellen, dass kein anderer Präsident und kein anderer Außenminister der USA so häufig in Riad zu Gast waren wie Barack Obama und John Kerry. Insbesondere im zeitlichen Umfeld des Preissturzes für Rohöl in den Jahren 2014 und 2015 waren die Kontakte so regelmäßig wie lange nicht mehr.

Die Regierung von König Salman agiert außenpolitisch deutlich aggressiver als ihre Vorgänger, und das akzeptiert die US-Außenpolitik ebenso stillschweigend wie wohlwollend. Analysiert man die harten Facts, zeigt sich die nicht offiziell erklärte Allianz mit Saudi-Arabien stärker als je zuvor.

Dies drückt sich besonders bei den Waffenlieferungen aus: Zusammen haben die Golfstaaten mehr als 130 F15-Kampfflugzeuge in den USA bestellt, über deren endgültige Freigabe das Weiße Haus nun entscheiden wird. Die Rüstungsindustrie und die Falken in Washington wollen endlich eine offizielle militärische Allianz mit den Golfstaaten erreichen. Diese Forderung wird Anfang Juli auf dem NATO-Gipfel in Warschau diskutiert.

Washington sichert mit seinen Stützpunkten in den Golfstaaten die Straße von Hormuz, durch die 30 Prozent des weltweit gehandelten Rohöls transportiert werden. Saudi-Arabien führt vermehrt Militärübungen durch und setzt amerikanische Waffen für den Krieg im Jemen ein.

Die Golfmonarchien rüsten zwar seit mehr als zehn Jahren unglaublich auf. Mangels einer kampferprobten und effizienten Armee sind sie jedoch weiterhin auf militärischen Rückhalt und technischen Support angewiesen. Die Geheimdienste Saudi-Arabiens und der USA arbeiten seit jeher eng zusammen. Spätestens nach 1979 existiert auf dieser Ebene eine stillschweigende Sicherheitskooperation mit Ägypten und Israel.

Aus dieser alten Verbindung entstanden die Mudschaheddin in Afghanistan ebenso wie die extremistischen Milizen in Libyen und Syrien. Diese Proxy-Kriege nach dem Modell der Operation Cyclone sind inzwischen sogar zum bevorzugten Instrument der gemeinsamen Außenpolitik avanciert, auch wenn Präsident Obama diese Entwicklung nicht immer mitgetragen zu haben scheint, wie sich an seinen Äußerungen zu Operation Timber Sycamore ablesen ließ.

Schließlich, und das ist vielleicht die wichtigste Kooperation in jüngster Zeit, besteht zwischen Riad und Washington eine gemeinsame Energiepolitik. Während die Fracking-Schwemme dazu führte, dass die US-Firmen die Importe aus allen Regionen der Welt reduzierten, erfreut sich das saudische Königshaus eines unverändert hohen Absatzes in die USA.

Gerade am vergangenen Wochenende ließ das Königshaus einen lange geplanten Deal platzen, mit dem 16 Produzentenstaaten eine Stabilisierung der weltweiten Förderung erreichen wollten.

Egal, wie die öffentliche Wahrnehmung der Golf-Monarchen ist, am Ende wird Barack Obama eine realistische Außenpolitik verfolgen. Sie läuft darauf hinaus, dass die Beziehungen mit den Golf-Staaten gestärkt werden, unabhängig davon, ob man gemeinsame Werte vertritt. Für Barack Obama zählen am Ende gemeinsame Interessen und dass er sich die Hände nicht selbst schmutzig macht. Dies steckt hinter der Formulierung einer „neuen Verantwortung für die Verbündeten“.

Eine für Obama typische Lösung, die auch seine mögliche Nachfolgerin mittragen kann, lautet: Mehr Selbstständigkeit für die Regionalmächte im Rahmen einer engeren Allianz.

https://deutsch.rt.com/international/37913-obama-in-riad-mehr-selbststandigkeit/

20.4.2016 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

Obama lands in Saudi Arabia as 9/11 bill row grows

Obama on two-day visit focused on issues including Syria and Yemen, amid US moves to hold Saudi royals accountable for 9/11 attacks

US president Barack Obama landed in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday hoping to ease tensions with Riyadh amid rows over a controversial US terrorism bill and differences over the war in Syria, Yemen and relations with Iran.

Speculation rose over fraught US-Saudi relations when King Salman did not meet the US president after his landing, instead greeting GCC leaders at another airport.

Obama was received by Prince Faisal bin Abdulaziz, the governor of Riyadh.

The media response to Obama's two-day trip has also been highly muted and unlike his last visit a year ago, the Saudi state news channel al-Ekhbaria did not broadcast Obama's arrival.

Obama’s visit comes a day after he apparently relaxed his position on a highly contested bill that could see families of 9/11 survivors sue Saudi Arabia based on the findings of a redacted 28-page section of the Congressional 9/11 report that many believe links low-ranking Saudi diplomats to the 2001 terrorist attacks on the US.

While it is unclear whether the bill will be discussed during Obama’s visit, differences over the war in Syria, Yemen and also relations with Iran are expected to feature prominently during the meeting.

However, while analysts widely believe that Obama’s visit is intended to mend ties, it is unclear whether he can offer enough reassurances to Riyadh over the relative thaw with Iran which has been causing tensions between the allies for years and has accelerated since world powers signed a nuclear deal with Iran to end years’ worth of sanctions.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/obama-fraught-saudi-visit-911-paper-controversy-grows-931512937

19.4.2016 – Arab News (A P)

Daesh, Yemen, Iran to figure high in Obama-GCC talks

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman will hold wide-ranging talks with US President Barack Obama, who is due in Riyadh on Wednesday with his defense chief Ashton Carter.
Obama will also attend a GCC-US summit to meet the leaders of the Gulf bloc on Thursday.
Obama’s talks with the Gulf leaders, including King Salman, will touch on a range of bilateral, regional and international issues including the fight against Daesh, Saudi-led peace efforts in Yemen, Iran and above all, issues of regional stability.
American Ambassador Joseph Westphal said the US ties with Riyadh and our GCC partners are and will remain “a cornerstone of regional stability.”
He added: “For over 70 years, the US has maintained a core national security interest in the security and stability of the Middle East generally and the Gulf region specifically.”
He said Washington is committed to strengthening “our strategic partnership with GCC member states.”
According to the itinerary, Obama will embark on the three-nation trip on Tuesday, which will take him to the UK and Germany, and then to Saudi Arabia. In Riyadh, he will begin his official visit on Wednesday afternoon by meeting with King Salman.
“The president will talk with leaders of the Gulf countries about agreements on counterterrorism, bolstering ballistic missile defense systems, and defense against cyber threats,” said Rob Malley, a senior adviser to Obama on the Middle East, at a press briefing in Washington.

On all these issues there is “more work to be done,” but that is what President Obama is going to discuss with his Gulf counterparts, Malley added, while referring to the forthcoming US-GCC summit. He further said that “Obama also wants to hear ideas from King Salman and other leaders for dealing with economic issues, given the sharp drop in oil prices.” The president would also like to hear about ideas to shore up the global economy.
The US-GCC summit will be a chance for the two sides to narrow their differences. Senior Gulf officials have long insisted that Iran’s sponsorship of Hezbollah in Lebanon, militias in Iraq and Syria, and the Houthi rebels in Yemen is a threat to the whole world.
It is widely believed that the summit in Riyadh will focus more on repairing and strengthening ties between the Gulf bloc and the US.

http://www.arabnews.com/featured/news/912591 and see an Iranian article on this visit: http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2016/04/20/461640/Obama-visits-Saudi-amid-tensions-/ and a Saudi view: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/perspective/analysis/2016/04/20/As-Obama-visits-Riyadh-a-look-at-US-Saudi-relations-amid-Yemen-war-.html

Comment: Nothing really new from Washington. See also this: Yemen’s War: 10 things To Know Before President Obama’s Trip to Riyadh, http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2016/04/yemens-war-10-things-to-know-before-president-obamas-trip-to-riyadh/ . And the following item would be very interesting for these talks as well:

17.4.2016 – Zerohedge (** A P)

Saudi Arabia Threatens To Liquidate Its Treasury Holdings If Congress Probes Its Role In Sept 11 Attacks

We have been greatly surprised by the reemergence of the topic of September 11 in recent weeks, and specifically the taboo - in official circles - issue whether there was a "Saudi connection" in the biggest terrorist attack on US soil. Just last weekend, out of the blue, 60 Minutes held segment on the "28 pages" that were classified in the Congressional investigative report into 9/11 - pages that allegedly confirm the Saudi connection.

To be sure, Saudi officials have long denied that the kingdom had any role in the Sept. 11 plot, and the 9/11 Commission found “no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded the organization.” But critics have noted that the commission’s narrow wording left open the possibility that less senior officials or parts of the Saudi government could have played a role. Suspicions have lingered, partly because of the conclusions of a 2002 congressional inquiry into the attacks that cited some evidence that Saudi officials living in the United States at the time had a hand in the plot.

Those conclusions, contained in 28 pages of the report, still have not been released publicly. It was the surprising rekindled focus on these 28 pages in recent days that suggested that something may have been afoot.

Something was.

In a stunning report by the NYT, Saudi Arabia has told the Obama administration and members of Congress that it will sell off hundreds of billions of dollars’ worth of American assets held by the kingdom if Congress passes a bill that would allow the Saudi government to be held responsible in American courts for any role in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

Or mostly Congress, because Obama has remained steadfast in his support of his Wahhabi petrodollar overlords, and has been busy lobbying Congress to block the bill’s passage, according to administration officials and congressional aides from both parties, and the Saudi threats have been the subject of intense discussions in recent weeks between lawmakers and officials from the State Department and the Pentagon. The officials have warned senators of diplomatic and economic fallout from the legislation.

By way of background, the Senate bill is intended to make clear that the immunity given to foreign nations under the law should not apply in cases where nations are found culpable for terrorist attacks that kill Americans on United States soil. If the bill were to pass both houses of Congress and be signed by the president, it could clear a path for the role of the Saudi government to be examined in the Sept. 11 lawsuits.

Suddenly Saudi Arabia is panicking: its response - if the US does pass this bill it would liquidate hundreds of billion in U.S. denominated assets, and perhaps as much as $750 billion in US Treasurys (the NYT's estimate of Saudi Treasury holdings).

The NYT rports that none other than Adel al-Jubeir, the Saudi foreign minister, delivered the kingdom’s message personally last month during a trip to Washington, "telling lawmakers that Saudi Arabia would be forced to sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets in the United States before they could be in danger of being frozen by American courts."

To be sure, the Saudis whose budget deficit has soared in the past year as a result of collapsing oil prices, would stand to benefit from monetizing their US reserves. According to many, it is only a matter of time anyway. However, a dramatic, immediate liquidation would likely spark a market panic. Outside economists are skeptical that the Saudis will follow through, saying that such a sell-off would be difficult to execute and would end up crippling the kingdom’s economy. But the threat is another sign of the escalating tensions between Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The Obama administration, meanwhile, is far less concerned about the market impact of a Saudi liquidation, and far more worried what a real inquiry into the Saudi role of Sept.11 would reveal (and who it would implicate) and as a result is building strawman arguments that the legislation would put Americans at legal risk overseas. In fact, as the NYT reports, "Obama has been lobbying so intently against the bill that some lawmakers and families of Sept. 11 victims are infuriated. In their view, the Obama administration has consistently sided with the kingdom and has thwarted their efforts to learn what they believe to be the truth about the role some Saudi officials played in the terrorist plot."

“It’s stunning to think that our government would back the Saudis over its own citizens,” said Mindy Kleinberg, whose husband died in the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and who is part of a group of victims’ family members pushing for the legislation.

Stunning indeed, and yet that's precisely who the "U.S." president sides with when attempting to get to the bottom of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Meanwhile, families of the Sept. 11 victims have used the U.S. court system to try to hold members of the Saudi royal family, Saudi banks and charities liable because of what the plaintiffs charged was Saudi financial support for terrorism. These efforts have largely been stymied, in part because of a 1976 law that gives foreign nations some immunity from lawsuits in American courts.

It is this law that the proposed Senate Bill intends to overturn; it is this Bill that Saudi Arabia is suddenly in arms over.

And it is the Saudis that Obama is siding over instead of his own people.

But of course, Obama can't openly come out and say he would rather keep the truth of Saudi involvement buried than push for a probe, so Obama administration officials counter that "weakening the sovereign immunity provisions would put the American government, along with its citizens and corporations, in legal risk abroad because other nations might retaliate with their own legislation. Secretary of State John Kerry told a Senate panel in February that the bill, in its current form, would “expose the United States of America to lawsuits and take away our sovereign immunity and create a terrible precedent.”

In other words, the logic is that if the US pursues a full-blown inquiry into the Saudi role behind 9/11, the US itself would be subject to a comparable stripping of immunity - with respect to alleged U.S. terrorist attacks - and "create a terrible precedent." In effect, the US government is defending its position by saying that if one can get to the bottom of Saudi terrorism in the U.S., the world may next learn about U.S. terrorism across the globe.

And that just can't be allowed to happen.

Meanwhile, even as Obama fights tooth and nail to protect the Saudi's dirty laundry, the administration pretends to side with US citizens: "John Kirby, a State Department spokesman, said in a statement that the administration stands by the victims of terrorism, “especially those who suffered and sacrificed so much on 9/11." It just refuses to reveal those who are truly responsible for their death.

The only desire Saudi Arabia has is to maintain the status quo, one where nobody looks at who pulled the strings behind Sept. 11 and in exchange for which the Saudis would continue dutifully recycling petrodollars, or if they don't get their way, they will simply proceed to launch the biggest liquidation of US Treasuries in history. Or such is their stunning threat..

Which brings us to the original question: why the Saudi panic, and why immediately threaten with the "nuclear option", namely liquidating US Treasuries, if the Saudis have nothing to hide? The question is, of course, rhetorical – by Tyler Durden

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-04-16/saudi-arabia-threatens-us-it-will-liquidate-its-treasury-holdings-if-congress-passes

Comment: Very long article, read in full at the original site, dealing also in length with the stunning fact that the sum of US debt from the Saudi is unknown as it had been hidden by the US treasury for 40 years. On this subject, see also http://www.9news.com.au/world/2016/04/19/08/27/911-bill-under-scrutiny-as-obama-heads-to-saudi-arabia

18.4.2016 – The Hill (* A P T)

White House signals veto on Saudi 9/11 bill

The White House on Monday signaled President Obama would veto legislation to allow Americans to sue the government of Saudi Arabia for any role officials played in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/276696-white-house-signals-veto-on-saudi-9-11-bill

20.4.2016 – RT (* A K P)

Obama: ‘If we let Americans sue Saudis for 9/11, foreigners will begin suing US non-stop’

President Barack Obama has said the classified pages of the 9/11 Commission report that do not “compromise major national security interests” may “hopefully” be soon released, but argued against any potential legal action against Saudi citizens.

Obama, who flew to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday, discussed in an interview with Charlie Rose his relationship with the Saudi regime and the controversially-classified 28 pages of the report, which some believe contain links between 9/11 terrorists or Al-Qaeda and Saudi officials.

The full conversation aired Tuesday night on PBS after initially airing highlights on CBS News.

Former US Senator Bob Graham, who has seen the pages as intelligence committee chair, had already told the CBS program “60 Minutes” that he believes the Saudi government helped the 9/11 hijackers.

When asked by Rose if he had read the pages, Obama said he “had a sense of what’s in there.”

While admitting it has been a long time since the US intelligence started evaluating the data contained in the classified pages, Obama said that “a whole bunch of stuff” needs to be “verified.”

He hinted that “hopefully this process will come to a head very soon.”

“But this has been a process which we generally deal through the intelligence community, and Jim Clapper, our director of intelligence, has been going through to make sure that whatever it is that is released, is not going to compromise some major national security interests of the United States, and my understanding is that he’s about to complete that process,” said Obama.

Rose also asked about legislation that would allow the relatives of 9/11 victims to sue the Saudis, which passed the Senate Judiciary Committee in January, but has yet to be voted on by the full body.

Obama has said that he doesn’t support the bill, due to the possibility of foreign citizens – presumably victims of US wars and drone strikes – suing the government.

"If we open up the possibility that individuals in the United States can routinely start suing other governments, then we are also opening up the United States to being continually sued by individuals in other countries," the commander-in-chief said.

The Saudis have reportedly threatened to sell its $750 billion in US assets if Congress passes the law.

https://www.rt.com/usa/340313-obama-saudi-pages-classified/

Comment: “Obama has said that he doesn’t support the bill, due to the possibility of foreign citizens – presumably victims of US wars and drone strikes – suing the government.” This answer is unmasking. There are lots of reasons for individuals from all over the world to sue the US for killing and devastating. And for the reason of keeping up such a foreign policy Obama betrays his fellowcountrymen, the families of the 9/11 victims. They only are important in rhetoric and as a good pretense for bringing terror, killing and destruction to the whole Middle East – since more than 14 years now.

18.4.2016 – Welt Online (** A P T)

So halfen saudische Agenten den 9/11-Terroristen
Noch immer hält die US-Regierung ein Dossier über den 11. September 2001 zurück. Kurz vor Barack Obamas Besuch in Saudi-Arabien werden die Verwicklungen des Königreichs in die Terroranschläge bekannt.
Der Demokrat Bob Graham war achtzehn Jahre lang Mitglied des US-Senats und hatte dabei ein Jahrzehnt die Geheimdienste kontrolliert. Seit dreizehn Jahren ist er im Ruhestand. Jetzt, wenige Monate vor seinem 80. Geburtstag, hat er die USA erschüttert. In einem Interview mit dem Sender CBS verriet er letzte Woche ein Staatsgeheimnis.
Graham wurde auf die Hijacker angesprochen, die am 11. September 2001 vier Flugzeuge entführt und sie in das World Trade Center und das Pentagon gesteuert hatten: Hatten die Entführer im Vorfeld Hilfe bekommen? Ex-Senator Graham bestätigte: „Ja, von den Saudis.“ Die Hilfe sei „substanziell“ gewesen. Und er bestätigte ebenfalls, dass er mit „den Saudis“ die dortige Regierung, einflussreiche Wohlfahrtsverbände und wohlhabende Einzelpersonen meinte. Fünfzehn der neunzehn Entführer stammten aus dem Königreich Saudi-Arabien. Die Attentäter ermordeten am 11. September 2001 fast 3000 Menschen.
Graham war von einem Reporter der CBS-Sendung „60 Minutes“ interviewt worden. Thema war ein sagenumwobenes Geheimdossier, das die US-Regierung noch unter George W. Bush nach den Anschlägen unter anderem vom FBI verfassen ließ. Das 28 Seiten lange Dokument beleuchtet, wer die Entführer in den USA unterstützte. Es ist so brisant, dass es noch immer unter Verschluss gehalten wird.
Graham gehörte einer von zwei Kommissionen an, die klären sollten, ob die Sicherheitsbehörden der USA die Anschläge von New York und Washington hätten verhindern können. Die Mitglieder der Kommissionen durften das Geheimdossier nur einsehen. Darüber sprechen dürfen sie eigentlich bis heute nicht, ihr Wissen durfte nicht einmal in den Abschlussbericht der Kommissionen einfließen. Doch Graham und andere Mitglieder deuteten nun in Interviews an, was in dem Papier steht – von Stefan Aust und Dirk Laabs
http://www.welt.de/geschichte/article154460697/So-halfen-saudische-Agenten-den-9-11-Terroristen.html

19.4.2016 – New York Times (A P)

Senator Says He May Back Bill Exposing Saudis to 9/11 Lawsuits

A bill opposed by the Obama administration that would expose Saudi Arabia to legal jeopardy for any role in the Sept. 11 attacks appeared to gain momentum on Tuesday when the senator holding it up said he would be open to supporting it.

Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said in an interview on Tuesday that he would drop his opposition to the bill — predicting it could pass the Senate next week — if the sponsors of the legislation agreed to changes that he believed were important to protect American interests abroad. He did not specify what changes he was requesting.

“The goal is to bring people to justice who have been involved in terrorism,” Mr. Graham said. But he added, “I don’t want Americans to be held liable because of one bad actor in some embassy somewhere.”

Mr. Graham was an original co-sponsor of the bill, but has tried to block the legislation in recent days as his concerns grew about possible unintended consequences – by Mark Mazzetti and Jennifer Steinhauer

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/04/20/world/middleeast/saudi-arabia-september-11-lindsey-graham.html

10.4.2016 – CBS (** A P T)

28 Pages. Former Sen. Bob Graham and others urge the Obama administration to declassify redacted pages of a report that holds 9/11 secrets

Bob Graham won't discuss the classified information in the 28 pages, he will say only that they outline a network of people that he believes supported the hijackers while they were in the U.S.

Steve Kroft: You believe that support came from Saudi Arabia?

Bob Graham: Substantially.

Steve Kroft: And when we say, "The Saudis," you mean the government, the--

Bob Graham: I mean--

Steve Kroft: --rich people in the country? Charities--

Bob Graham: All of the above.

Graham and others believe the Saudi role has been soft-pedaled to protect a delicate relationship with a complicated kingdom where the rulers, royalty, riches and religion are all deeply intertwined in its institutions.

Porter Goss, who was Graham's Republican co-chairman on the House side of the Joint Inquiry, and later director of the CIA, also felt strongly that an uncensored version of the 28 pages should be included in the final report. The two men made their case to the FBI and its then-director Robert Mueller in a face-to-face meeting.

Porter Goss: And they pushed back very hard on the 28 pages and they said, "No, that cannot be unclassified at this time."

Steve Kroft: Did you happen to ask the FBI director why it was classified?

Porter Goss: We did, in a general way, and the answer was because, "We said so and it needs to be classified."

Goss says he knew of no reason then and knows of no reason now why the pages need to be classified. They are locked away under the capital in guarded vaults called Sensitive Compartmented Information Facilities, or SCIFs in government jargon.

Steve Kroft: Is there information in the 28 pages that, if they were declassified, would surprise people?

Tim Roemer: Sure, you're gonna be surprised by it. And, you're going to be surprised by some of the answers that are sitting there today in the 9/11 Commission report about what happened in San Diego, and what happened in Los Angeles. And what was the Saudi involvement.

Much of that surprising information is buried in footnotes and appendices of the 9/11 report -- part of the official public record, but most of it unknown to the general public. These are some, but not all of the facts: – by Steve Kroft

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/60-minutes-911-classified-report-steve-kroft/

Anmerkung Christian Deppe: Wer über den 11.09.2001 nicht sprechen will, sollte über den IS schweigen. CBS veröffentlichte am 10.04.2016 ein Interview zu einem Aspekt der angeblichen Anschläge von 19 arabischen Terroristen auf das WTC und das Pentagon. Das Interview behandelt die geheimnisvollen 28 Seiten, die zwar Bestandteil der Aufklärung der Ereignisse durch einen Senatsausschuss sind, jedoch von Präsident Bush von der Veröffentlichung ausgenommen wurden. Sie behandeln die Finanzierung und Unterstützung der angeblichen Terroristen durch saudi-arabische Gelder und Personen. Das Interview wie auch viele andere Veröffentlichungen machen deutlich, dass es in den USA eine breite Bewegung gibt, die nicht nur auf die Veröffentlichung der Seiten dringt, sondern mit einer großen Fülle von Belegen und Argumenten eine neue Untersuchung der Vorfälle vom 11.9. fordert. …
Seit dem 11.9. halten der Terror und die Abwehr des Terrors die Welt in Atem, mit allen negativen Folgen für die Demokratie, die Bürger- und Freiheitsrechte. Basierend auf einem unfassbaren Verbrechen und anhaltendem Betrug wurden und werden Kriege angezettelt, Menschen gezielt getötet, Länder verwüstet und die Verfassungen ausgehebelt. Unsere Politiker, die es besser wissen werden, schweigen und lassen es zu, dass die Welt in den Sog eines Dauerkriegs gerät, der von manchen als Beginn des 3. Weltkriegs bezeichnet wird (s. z.B. die Interviews mit Niels Harrit).

http://www.nachdenkseiten.de/?p=33012#h11

20.4.2016 – Washington Post (* A P)

Saudi government has vast network of PR, lobby firms in U.S.

The Saudi government and its affiliates have spentmillions of dollars on U.S. law, lobby and public relations firms to raise the country’s visibility in the United States and before the United Nations at a crucial time.

And some of Washington’s premier law and lobby firms — including Podesta Group, BGR Government Affairs, DLA Piper and Pillsbury Winthrop — have been tasked with the job, according to a review of Justice Department filings. Five lobby and PR firms were hired in 2015 alone, signaling a stepped-up focus on ties with Washington.

The firms have been coordinating meetings between Saudi officials and business leaders and U.S. media, and promoting foreign investment in the Saudi economy. Some have even been tasked with coming up with content for the embassy’s official Twitter and YouTube accounts.

The Saudi government, embassy and government-owned entities have been contracting with U.S. consulting firms for more than 30 years. The work ranges from years-long agreements for legislative advice to one-time PR outreach efforts during “VIP visits” of Saudi leaders to Washington and New York.

The lobby firm Podesta Group has an ongoing contract with the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, a government entity, for $140,000 monthly. Barring any changes to the fee schedule, the year-long work would earn the firm $1.68 million by the end of 2016.

BGR Government Affairs, the lobby firm founded by Ed Rogers and former Mississippi governor and Republican National Committee Chair Haley Barbour, was hired by the Center for Studies and Media Affairs in 2015 to “provide public relations and media management services” for a $500,000 fee – by Catherine Ho

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/04/20/saudi-government-has-vast-network-of-pr-lobby-firms-in-u-s/?tid=sm_tw

18.4.2016 – The Hill (* A P)

Saudis have lobbying muscle for 9/11 fight

Saudi Arabia has an army of Washington lobbyists to deploy as it tries to stop Congress from passing legislation that could expose the country to litigation over the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The kingdom employs a total of eight American firms that perform lobbying, consulting, public relations and legal work.

Five of the firms work for the Saudi Arabia Embassy, while another two — Podesta Group and BGR Group — have registered to represent the Center for Studies and Media Affairs at the Saudi Royal Court, an arm of the government. PR giant Edelman, meanwhile, is working for the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority to encourage international investment.

The hiring spree began early last year, when Saudi Arabia signed six K Street firms. It added BGR to its roster last month.

For all of 2015, the country spent more than $9.4 million on advocacy in Washington, according to disclosure records filed to the Justice Department. One of its U.S. oil subsidiaries, meanwhile, is responsible for external relations such as throwing or sponsoring events on behalf of the kingdom.

The Podesta Group is billing Saudi Arabia $140,000 a month for its public relations services. During the last few months of 2015, it sent 27 emails, had two phone calls and one meeting with lawmakers and staffers, journalists, and organizations including Human Rights Watch and the Center for American Progress, disclosure forms show.

Meanwhile, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, with a contract is worth $15,000 per month, most recently advised Saudi Arabia on the Iranian nuclear agreement. But the country also consults on legal issues concerning U.S.-Middle Eastern relations.

DLA Piper receives $50,000 a month from the kingdom and sent hundreds of emails to top congressional staffers between September and the end of February regarding meeting requests and, more generally, “issues affecting U.S.-Saudi Arabia national security interests.”

The law and lobby firm Hogan Lovells, which includes former Rep. Norm Coleman (R-Minn.) on its $60,000-per-month Saudi Arabia contract, scored meetings with Sens. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.),Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John McCain (R-Ariz.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska), as well as Reps. Ed Royce (R-Calif.) and Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), from September to February, in addition to numerous phone calls and emails with members and senior staffers.

The bulk of Saudi Arabia’s advocacy spending goes to MSL Group, a PR and consulting firm, which took in more than $7.9 million from the country last year, according to a tally of disclosure records.

The firm, which has had the kingdom as a client since 2002, has been working with Saudi Arabia to create a positive image for its military strikes in Yemen, according to news website The Intercept, as well as a more positive image for the U.S. ally overall.

One of the firms working through MSL Group, Targeted Victory, ran Mitt Romney’s digital operation during his 2012 run for the White House. Its subcontract was worth $340,000 from April to September of last year – by Megan R. Wilson

http://thehill.com/policy/international/276741-saudis-have-lobbying-muscle-for-9-11-fight

Comment: With good PR exercise (while lobbying) they will start making the world believe that Yemen attacked them.

https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1010625505657146&id=961126490607048

14.4.2016 – Brookings (B P)

Mr. Obama goes to Riyadh: Why the United States and Saudi Arabia still need each other

The relationship between Saudi Arabia and the United States has been deteriorating since 2000 due to serious and fundamental differences on Israel, democracy, Iran, and other issues. President Barack Obama's visit next week can help contain these differences and emphasize common interests but it won't restore the relationship to its glory days – by Bruce Riedel

http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/markaz/posts/2016/04/14-obama-saudi-arabia-visit-riedel

Comment: A quite weak article by Riedel who had written much better things. Off course, the US must make a sort of realistic politics trying to stay on good terms with all players in the region. But any sort of closer alliance with such terrible states like Saudi Arabia should be an absolute no-do.

18.4.2016 – Telepolis (* A P)

Das Vertrauen in Medien ist nicht nur in Deutschland gering

Nach einer Studie haben nur 6 Prozent der US-Bürger wirkliches Vertrauen in Medien, die meist nur über Soziale Netzwerke wahrgenommen werden, zudem werden auch hier die Grenzen hochgezogen

So zeigte sich gerade wieder bei einer für die USA repräsentativen Umfrage in den USA, die im Rahmen des Media Insight Project, das The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research und das American Press Institute gemeinsam betreiben, durchgeführt wurde.

Hier sagen 41 Prozent, sie würden den Medien kaum Vertrauen schenken, 52 Prozent bringen nur ein gewisses Vertrauen auf. Lediglich 6 Prozent haben hohes Vertrauen. Am meisten Vertrauen wird dem Militär entgegengebracht (das allein bringt einen Nichtamerikaner schon ins Nachdenken). Selbst die Banken genießen größeres Vertrauen als die Medien. Nur der Kongress sieht - wie in vielen anderen Umfragen - noch schlechter aus, ihm trauen letztlich nur 4 Prozent.

Nun sind der Kongress, in dem fast nur Millionäre sitzen, und die spendenabhängigen Politiker in einem politischen System, das letztlich nur zwei Parteien kennt, eine nationale Eigenheit, die durchaus große Skepsis erzeugen kann. Aber wenn man die deutsche Diskussion über die Lügenpresse einbezieht, dann scheint der Vertrauensverlust in die Mainstreammedien mit dem in die Mainstreampolitik zusammenzuhängen. Die AfD der USA ist etwa die Tea Party, Figuren wie Trump erscheinen auch in den USA als die Alternative zum scheinbar alternativlosen Zustand für weitgehend unpolitische, aber wütende Zeitgenossen.

An Glaubwürdigkeit haben Medien vor allem verloren, wenn sie einseitig sind und Tatsachen falsch dargestellt wurden. Aber man muss hier bei den Äußerungen natürlich vorsichtig sein, denn gerne werden Nachrichten als korrekt beurteilt, wenn sie der eigenen Einstellung entsprechen, und als einseitig, wenn man bestimmte Aspekte als unwichtig, aufgebauscht oder verfälscht betrachtet.

60 Prozent der Befragten sagen, es sei ihnen wichtig, bei den Nachrichten und Informationen auf dem Laufenden zu sein. 65 Prozent behaupten, Nachrichten aktiv zu suchen. Dabei werden gedruckte Zeitungen und Magazine gegenüber dem Fernsehen und dem Internet deutlich weniger genutzt. Ganz vorne liegen Nachrichten von Fernsehsendern, inklusive online, Soziale Netzwerke liegen mit 23% noch vor lokalen Zeitungen 23 Prozent, nationale oder internationale Zeitungen finden mit 9 Prozent weniger Beachtung als Online-Medien wie Buzzfeed, Huffington Post oder Yahoo!News mit 11 Prozent.

Das täuscht aber, denn viele verfolgen die Nachrichten ihres Mediums bereits über Soziale Netzwerke, was heißt, dass man letztlich nur Shortnews konsumiert und sie häufig teilt, ohne deswegen direkt zum gesamten Text/Film etc. der Quelle zu gehen. Man bekommt News im endlosen Informationsfluss, in dem es nur Vermischtes gibt, man stolpert darüber. Facebook steht mit weitem Abstand ganz oben, gefolgt von YouTube, Twitter und Instagram. Zwar sagen die meisten, sie würden vor allem die Faktentreue, die Neuigkeit und Einbeziehung von Experten schätzen, aber für viele ist der Aspekt der Unterhaltung wichtig - und nicht zuletzt wird auch Medien vertraut, weil sie die eigene Einstellung wiedergeben.

Allerdings ist das Vertrauen in die über Facebook erhaltenen Nachrichten eher gering, besser kommen Twitter, Reddit und vor allem LinkedIn weg. Angeblich spielt dabei keine große Rolle, ob die Nachricht von vielen Menschen geliked, geteilt oder kommentiert wird, wichtiger soll sein, wer die Nachricht gepostet hat und vor allem ob die Quelle als vertrauenswürdig gilt.

Bei digitalen Medien ist für die Menschen weniger der Inhalt primär, sondern wie welche Werbung platziert wird, wie lange die Seite zum Laden braucht und wie gut eine Website für ein mobiles Gerät funktioniert.

Am stärksten sind die Befragten interessiert an nationaler Politik (22%), gefolgt von Verkehr und Wetter (12%), Verbrechen und öffentliche Sicherheit (8%) und Sport (7%). Auslandsnachrichten oder Wirtschaft interessieren mit 4 Prozent hingegen kaum.

Der Blick auf die Welt ist also eng, Informationsquellen sind stärker lokal/regional. Das ist erstaunlich, eigentlich sollte man meinen, dass sich mit dem Internet und dem globalen Zugriff auf Medien und anderen Informationsquellen der Horizont erweitern würde. Möglicherweise fallen aber nicht die Grenzen, sondern werden sie nun als Kompensation weiter verstärkt. Man will von der Welt möglichst wenig wissen und bleibt lieber bei und unter sich. – von Florian Rötzer

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/47/47985/1.html

cp10 Großbritannien / Great Britain

20.4.2016 – Telepolis (* B K P)

Großbritannien: Waffenlieferungen für den Jemen-Krieg

Seit der militärischen Intervention Saudi-Arabiens im Jemen wurden von der britischen Regierung Waffenexporte im Wert von über 3,5 Milliarden Euro für das Wüstenkönigreich genehmigt

Großbritannien ist nach den USA der größte Waffenzulieferer für Saudi-Arabien. Dem wichtigsten Kunde für die britische Waffenindustrie im Nahen Osten wurden seit 2010 Lizenzen für Exporte von Kriegswaffen im Wert von 8,4 Milliarden Euro ausgestellt. Seit Saudi-Arabien sich offen militärisch in den Jemen-Krieg eingemischt hat, seit März 2015, hat das britische Wirtschaftsministerium Waffenexportlizenzen in Höhe von über 3,5 Milliarden Euro für das Königreich ausgestellt.

Nach Informationen, welche die Organisation Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) von der Regierung erhalten hat, sind es 122 Lizenzen seit dem Eintritt der Saudis in den Krieg, der laut UN-Angaben bis Anfang März dieses Jahres 3.000 Zivilisten das Leben gekostet hat – von Thomas Pany

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/48/48005/1.html

20.4.2016 – The Guardian (* A P)

Why is Britain still selling Saudi Arabia arms to use in Yemen?

Labour MPs need to unite behind the UN, NGOs and Jeremy Corbyn’s demand for a suspension of weapons sales and an investigation of their use in Yemen

In the House of Commons debate on intervention in Syria last December, one message rang out loud and clear: Britain will not tolerate indiscriminate violence committed by extremists, and will act decisively to counter any threat to our national security.

How then to explain the deafening silence from those same voices on thesituation in Yemen? There Saudi Arabia, a regime that fits the definition of “extremist” if the term has any serious meaning, is leading a brutal military operation in which UK-supplied aircraft, bombs and missiles are playing a major role.

Labour has called for an immediate suspension of arms sales to the Saudis and an investigation of their use in Yemen, a welcome change from New Labour’s policy of full support for Riyadh. Tony Blair quashed a Serious Fraud Office investigation into corruption surrounding major weapons contracts, and Gordon Brown signed off on the most recent sale of combat aircraft in one of his first acts as prime minister. If hitherto quiet Labour MPs could support their leadership now on Yemen with the same passion they showed in supporting the government over bombing Syria last December, they could help atone for their party’s past record, and maybe offer some hope for Yemen’s suffering population – by David Wearing

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/apr/20/britain-selling-saudi-arabia-arms-yemen-corbyn

19.4.2016 – The Guardian (A P)

Ministers drop plans for war powers law

Defence secretary says he does not want to be constrained by a commitment to seek MPs’ approval before deploying troops

Ministers have abandoned plans to introduce a war powers act that would enshrine into law a commitment to seek parliamentary approval before deploying British troops in combat.

Michael Fallon, the defence secretary, told MPs: “I should … emphasise that the prime minister and I have to take decisions about the deployment of ships and planes and troops.” They did not want to be “artificially constrained in action to keep this country safe”, he said.

Fallon, who first announced the decision in a written Commons answer, told MPs later that ministers would “keep parliament informed and we will of course seek its approval before deploying British forces in combat roles into a conflict situation” – by Richard Norton-Taylor

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/apr/18/ministers-abandon-plan-war-powers-law-mps-troops

Comment: The militarization and the dedemocratisation of society in progress – not only in Britain, anyway.

19.4.2016 – The Guardian (* B K P)

UK licences £2.8bn of arms sales to Saudis since kingdom entered Yemen war

Government releases £7m of military export licences in last three months of 2015 despite calls to suspend arms sales

The British government released licences for the export of £7m of arms to Saudi Arabia in the last three months of 2015, taking the total value of such licences since the country entered the civil war in Yemen to £2.8bn.

Calls are growing for the UK to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia in light of allegations, including by a UN panel, of indiscriminate bombing of Yemeni civilians by the Saudi-led coalition, which backs the neighbouring government against Houthi rebels and forces loyal to a deposed president.

The figures released on Tuesday (pdf) show that the UK government has issued 122 licences for military exports to Saudi Arabia since it became involved in the civil war in March 2015. The UK has issued export licences worth £6.7bn for arms to Saudi Arabia since 2010.

In the final quarter of 2015, the government issued military licences valued at more than £7.2m, including £3m worth of ML4 licences that include the export of grenades, bombs and missiles. These were accompanied by eight open export licences allowing the Saudi air force to buy unlimited components for combat aircraft without applying for separate licences.

Separately, the UK government revealed it had not rejected a single export licence request since March 2015 on the basis it might be used to repress internal human rights. The UK government said it had blocked seven licences on the basis that the arms might be diverted to undesirable ends – by Patrick Wintour

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/19/uk-issues-28bn-export-licences-arms-saudi-arabia

19.4.2016 – The Independent (* B K P)

Britain has exported £2.8bn of arms to Saudi Arabia since it started bombing Yemen in 2015

Kingdom is the biggest recipient of UK arms exports despite repeated calls for an embargo

The UK has approved 122 military licences to the value of £2.8bn to Saudi Arabia since the regime started its widely condemned bombing campaign in Yemen last March, it has been revealed.

Saudi Arabia is the biggest recipient of UK arms by a significant margin, and since 2010 has received military equipment worth £6.7bn, according to official government figures collated byCampaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

A breakdown of the £2.8 billion worth of arms exported to Saudi Arabia from the UK includes £430,000 of licences for armoured vehicles and tanks, £1.1bn for grenades, bombs, missiles and countermeasures, and £1.7bn for aircrafts, helicopters and drones.

The exports continue despite Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Doctors Without Borders all accusing Saudi Arabia of violating international humanitarian law with their continued air strikes.

David Wearing, a researcher on UK-Saudi-Gulf relations and the author of the CAAT report, said: “Successive governments of all political colours have prioritised arms sales over human rights.

“The toxic UK-Saudi alliance has boosted the Saudi regime and lined the pockets of arms companies, but has had devastating consequences for the people of Saudi Arabia and Yemen.

“For the sake of those people, the UK government must finally stop arming and empowering the brutal Saudi monarchy,” he said – by Kayleigh Lewis

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/saudi-arabia-uk-arms-exports-trade-calls-embargo-yemen-conflict-a6991851.html

Comment: Nothing new for those following my Yemen Press Reader, a scandal every day anew nevertheless.

18.4.2016 – The Guardian (A P)

MPs to investigate British arms fairs after 'evidence of criminality'

Inquiry coincides with case where protestors were acquitted for blocking DSEI arms event after judge ruled they had acted to prevent illegal trading

MPs will scrutinise British weapons fairs after a judge ruled last week that there was “clear, credible evidence” that criminal wrongdoing has occurred at the UK’s largest arms event.

A court on Friday dismissed charges against protesters who blocked the road outside the Defence Systems and Equipment International (DSEI), after they argued that they acted to stop greater crimes being committed using weapons bought in the UK – by Ben Quinn

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/apr/18/mps-to-investigate-british-arms-fairs-after-evidence-of-criminality?CMP=twt_gu

13.4.2016 – Middle East Eye (* A P)

UK weapons sales to Saudi Arabia break international law, says expert

Panel of MPs told entire communities are being targeted in Yemen by UK-armed, Saudi-led coalition

The UK government has breached international, EU and its own domestic laws by selling arms to Saudi Arabia that were used in its military campaign in Yemen, according to a leading international lawyer.

Last year, the UK supplied export licenses for almost $4.3bn of arms to Saudi.

Speaking to a select committee on arms exports and control made up of UK politicians, Philippe Sands QC said Britain had “not asked the right questions” when it came to whether or not it should sell arms to the kingdom for use during its offensive into Yemen.

“Having asked the wrong questions, it has reached answers that are implausible,” said Sands who spoke in his capacity as a barrister but is also a law professor at University College London.

Sands and his team had been asked by Amnesty, Oxfam and Safer World to provide a legal opinion on whether the UK was breaking any laws by continuing to sell weapons to Saudi Arabia that it knew could be used in its more than year-long campaign in Yemen.

“It appears clear that coalition forces are engaged in violations of international humanitarian law,” Sands said.

“In those circumstances, an assurance given by the Saudis does not appear to be worth the paper it is printed on. If I were a minister, to rely on such an assurance in the face of a report by a Security Council group of experts … I would be extremely anxious.”

The breaches of the UK government’s continued weapons exports, he said, were in relation to articles six and seven of the international arms trade treaty, the EU common principles, and the UK’s own laws.

The government has not acknowledged that there have been any breaches of international humanitarian law by the Saudis during the aerial campaign, in which UK-made arms are being used.

Sands said the government’s investigations into the accusations had so far relied on “reassurances from the Saudi authorities,” which was not good enough under the law.

“As a result of the legal obligations imposed on the United Kingdom’s government… you can’t just rely on reassurances of others and you can’t just say it is for others to form a view on this, not governments.

The arms trade treaty specifically mentions the obligations of governments to form their own conclusions, he added.

The UN and human rights groups have repeatedly criticised all sides in Yemen of committing violations and not doing enough to protect civilians in the conflict that has claimed more than 6,000 lives.

A government memo, recently circulated to MPs on the committee and read out to Sands stated that: “The government is currently satisfied that extent licences for Saudi Arabia are compliant with the UK’s export licensing material.”

The message emphasised “in particular, we note that the Saudi-led coalition is not targeting civilians.”

“It depends what you mean by they’re not targeting civilians, again they are slightly weasel words,” replied Sands when asked about this statement.

“It is a form of words that is accurate but does not reflect the totality of the story.”

“Is there someone in Riyadh deciding that there are a group of civilians they wish to target and deciding to take them out? No. Is there a situation in which entire towns or entire areas are being targeted? We know that to be the case.

“And it follows from that … that is in its face a violation of humanitarian international law.”

Sands acknowledged that there were situations where non-combatants could be hit without it being a breach of international law.

“War is bad wherever it happens and inevitably there will be circumstances where non-combatants - without being explicitly targeted - are injured or are killed.

“The crucial question is terms of engagement and what you do when faced with a situation where civilian deaths are inevitable.” – by Philippa Stewart

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/uk-breaking-international-law-selling-arms-saudi-arabia-expert-66230111 = http://www.theworld-aroundus.com/news/uk-weapons-sales-to-saudi-arabia-break-international-law-says-expert/

cp12 Andere Länder / Other countries

20.4.2016 – Watson.ch / Blick (A K P)

Bundesrat bewilligt Export von Kriegsmaterial in Jemen-Konfliktgebiete

Der Bundesrat erlaubt wieder Rüstungsexporte in die Golfregion. Er bleibt aber zurückhaltend: Waffen, die im Jemen-Konflikt oder zur Unterdrückung der eigenen Opposition eingesetzt werden könnten, dürfen nicht ausgeführt werden.

Wegen des Kriegs im Jemen hat der Bundesrat letztes Jahr ein Exportmoratorium für die Region verhängt. Mehr als 50 Gesuche nach Saudi-Arabien, Katar oder in die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate stapelten sich seither auf den Schreibtischen der Bewilligungsbehörde. Millionenschwere Aufträge waren blockiert.

Entsprechend gross war der Druck auf den Bundesrat, die Situation zu klären. Nach wochenlangem internen Ringen hat die Regierung am Mittwoch nun teilweise nachgegeben. Er bleibt aber zurückhaltend.

Verboten bleibt der Export von Rüstungsgütern in Länder, in welchen Bürgerkrieg herrscht. In kriegsführende Länder hingegen dürfen grundsätzlich Waffen verkauft werden.

Diese Praxis hat der Bundesrat nun mit Bezug auf die Golfregion präzisiert und entschieden, einige Gesuche zu bewilligen, andere nicht. Verboten bleibt der Export von Waffen, die leicht zu transportieren sind und die auch im Jemen-Konflikt zum Einsatz kommen könnten, wie es in einer Mitteilung des Bundesrats heisst.

http://www.watson.ch/Schweiz/articles/423582557-Bundesrat-bewilligt-Export-von-Kriegsmaterial-in-Jemen-Konfliktgebiete = http://www.blick.ch/news/schweiz/trotz-jemen-konflikt-bundesrat-bewilligt-export-von-kriegsmaterial-id4941306.html

20.4.2016 – Reuters (A K P)

Swiss cabinet blocks arms exports that could wind up in Yemen

The Swiss government blocked on Wednesday exports to the Middle East of war materiel worth some 19 million Swiss francs (£13.7 million) that it suspected could wind up fuelling the year-long war in Yemen.

The government approved around 185 million francs worth of military exports to the region, mostly parts and components for air defence systems in Egypt, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia and the UAE that it said were unlikely to be deployed in Yemen.

But it rejected unidentified Swiss companies’ requests to send small arms, ammunition, spare parts, 25,000 hand grenades and more than 8,000 shells to the region, the neutral country’s cabinet said in a statement.

http://www.euronews.com/newswires/3183094-swiss-cabinet-blocks-arms-exports-that-could-wind-up-in-yemen/

14.4.2016 – The Globe and Mail (* A K P)

Canada violating international law with Saudi arms sale: expert

A controversial rationale the Trudeau Liberals are using to justify approving exports of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia – that these machines could help Riyadh prosecute a war in neighbouring Yemen – is figuring prominently in a Federal Court challenge aimed at stopping the shipments.

Eric David, a renowned human rights legal scholar from Belgium who has acted in major international cases, is lending support to a March 21 lawsuit led by University of Montreal professor Daniel Turp that seeks to block exports of the weaponized armoured vehicles from Canada.

In an affidavit being added to the lawsuit, Prof. David of the Free University in Brussels says he believes Canada is violating international law by shipping arms to a country already accused of massive human-rights violations in Yemen. A United Nations panel investigating the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen found “widespread and systematic” attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law.

Allowing the “sale of armoured vehicles to Saudi Arabia … would violate the obligation to respect and ensure the respect of human rights and international humanitarian law,” Prof. David wrote in a 196-page filing.

“The sale of armoured vehicles … becomes an “internationally wrongful act.” – by Steven Chase

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/canada-violating-international-law-with-saudi-arms-sale-expert/article29640135/

cp13a Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Siehe / See cp 10, 11, 12

18.4.2016 – World Economic Forum (* B K)

Who is spending the most on weapons?

Länder mit den höchsten Militärausgaben als Teil des BSP

Countries with the highest military expenditure as a share of GDP

1. Saudi Arabia: 13,7 % 2. Russia 5,4 % 3. USA 3,3 %

https://twitter.com/wef/status/722303920979243008

11.4.2016 – World Economic Forum Blog (* B K P)

Who is spending the most on weapons?

Global military spending has increased in real terms for the first time since the US began withdrawing troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute shows a 1% real increase in global spending last year - the first increase since 2011.

Which regions have increased military spending?

The United States, despite a drop in 2015, is still the biggest global spender on its military, with a 2015 expenditure of almost $600 billion.

This is considerably higher than the next biggest spender, China, which spent an estimated $215 billion on military – by Emma Luxton

https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/04/the-world-is-spending-more-on-weapons

cp13b Flüchtlinge / Refugees

19.4.2016 – International Organisation of Migration (A H)

Displacement Rises in Yemen: IOM

IOM yesterday (18/4) released its first Yemen Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Area Report, confirming that after one year of conflict, internal displacement in the country continues to rise.

The report is published based on data collected by IOM to support the 8th Task Force for Population Movement (TFPM) report, and provides additional detail in its analysis to support the humanitarian community in identifying displaced and returned populations to the level of village or neighborhood.

The DTM in Yemen is an IOM information management tool that gathers specific data on the status of internally displaced people (IDPs) through a dedicated field presence of 125 staff and extensive key informant network.

Under the TFPM, IOM is responsible for displacement tracking across 12 governorates and deploys its teams in Abyan, Al Bayda, Al Mahara, Aden, Al Dhale’e, Al Jawf, Hadramaut, Ibb, Lahj, Shabwah, Socotra and Taizz.

The teams have now identified and validated the location of 942,342 individuals displaced by conflict (157,057 households) and 443,232 individuals who returned following displacement due to the conflict (73,872 households).

They also identified eight shelter arrangements in which IDPs have sought refuge. These include rented housing, host families (rented or hosted), host families (hosted by non-relatives), out of settlement arrangements with relatives and friends, public or private buildings, schools/health facilities/religious buildings, informal settlements and collective centers.

The teams also observed that fewer people were moving from north to south, compared to people moving within the southern region. Of the identified IDP population, the majority came from southern governorates or from areas within their own governorate.

To complement the DTM Area Report, IOM has also released a focused profile on Taizz governorate, which represents 66 percent (620,934) of the total number of displaced people identified.

The 8th and most recent report of the TFPM released in April 2016 identified 2,755,916 people as internally displaced in Yemen since the crisis erupted in late March 2015.

The TFPM is a Protection Cluster working group established in April, 2015 and co-led by IOM and UNHCR. It uses a collaborative approach to coordinate efforts and harmonize tools and methodologies among partners to track and monitor internal displacement for the whole of Yemen.

IOM Yemen’s DTM is funded by OFDA (US) and DFID (UK). IOM is seeking additional funding to expand its operations to profile the needs and intentions of vulnerable, affected populations.

http://www.iom.int/news/displacement-rises-yemen-iom

cp14 Terrorismus / Terrorism

Siehe / See cp 10

20.4.2016 – Nasser Arrabyee (A T)

Yemen local chief Sultan Ali Asbahi Was assassinated now in Taiz central where Qaeda/ISIS increasingly take over

https://twitter.com/narrabyee/status/722714343448715264

19.4.2016 – Southfront (A K T)

Yemen: Al-Qaeda’s Expansion. Saudi-Led Military Actions Coordinated with those of AQAP Terrorists

The Saudi-led coalition’s actions to combat the al Houthi-Saleh forces and re-establishing Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s government in Aden are clearly coordinated with AQAP. The group has been actively targeting the leadership of the popular resistance committees allied with the al Houthi-Saleh forces. An important fact is the same committees coordinated with the Yemeni military against the group in 2012. Thus, despite the coalition’s statements to combat AQAP, the Saudi-led forces will unlikely open a front against their ally.

American PR actions, called “countering AQAP”, will not halt AQAP’s expansion. Limited number of airstrikes just maintain a semblance of the anti-terror campaign in the country. In turn, the US-supported gulf countries’ actions are setting the ground for further expansion of the group.

https://southfront.org/international-military-review-yemen-al-qaedas-expansion/ = http://www.globalresearch.ca/yemen-al-qaedas-expansion-saudi-led-military-actions-coordinated-with-those-of-aqap-terrorists/5520758 and film https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=7&v=MaDEmHiKXF0

Comment: Well, let’s call this a hypothesis.

18.4.2016 – Mail Online (A T)

Al-Qaeda release pictures of two Australian jihadis killed in drone strikes in Yemen

The two Australians were killed in a US drone strike in November 2013

One of the men is Abu Salama Al-Australi, known as Christopher Harvard

The other is Abu Suhayb Al-Australi, known as Muslim bin John

Pictures of the men were shown on propganda video 'Harvest of Spies 3'

Al-Qaeda claims to have killed 'two spies' who led the US to the cars

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3545762/Al-Qaeda-release-pictures-two-Australian-jihadis-killed-drone-strikes-Yemen.html

cp15 Propaganda

Siehe cp1 Am wichtigsten / See vp1 Most important

20.4.2016 – Saudi Press Agency (A K P)

The Coalition Command of Supporting Legitimacy in Yemen announced that it was briefed on allegations made public by the Houthi spokesperson that the coalition airstrikes have targeted a civilian home in the village of Qotbain Mswarah in Nahm Province in Yemen.
Emanating from its responsibilities towards the brotherly people of Yemen, the coalition command has assigned the Incidents Assessment Team to verify these allegations quickly and forward the result urgently prior to taking the necessary measure upon principles of the internationally-recognized rules of professionalism.

http://www.spa.gov.sa/viewstory.php?lang=en&newsid=1492008

Comment: The Saudis investigating any of their own airstrikes against civilians is a rater odd propaganda.

cp16 Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

20.4.2016 – Hussain Albukhaiti (A K P)

NOW #Saudi #UAE strikes on Hailan mountain #Marib

https://twitter.com/HussainBukhaiti/status/722709297738727424

19.4.2016 – Aggression Y (A K PH)

#Sadaa:KSA-US aggression's warplanes are hovering in low altitude over different areas....

https://twitter.com/AggressionY/status/722511832192167936

19.4.2016 – Hussain Albukhaiti (A K PH)

Zaid 17,Gafeer 4 & Zainab 8 killed by #Saudi #UAE strikes on Mohammed Al-Gaaheli Home in Nehim NE #Sanaa #Yemen Some still under rubble #UN

https://twitter.com/HussainBukhaiti/status/722485700814315520

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

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

19 April:

https://www.facebook.com/551288185021551/photos/a.551858951631141.1073741828.551288185021551/621644487985920/?type=3&theater

18.4.2016 – Sultana (A K PH)

Hours ago #Saudi jets hit homes of civilians & IDPs (kids & women) in Ghail Shaleef #Nihm

https://twitter.com/SultanetZman/status/722159488783028224

18.4.2016 – Hisham Al-Radhi (A K PH)

#Saudi jets loudly screaming overhead now #Sanaa Does that have something to do with Houthi/Saleh absence from #Kuwait meeting today!

https://twitter.com/HishamAlRadhi/status/722148118226198528

18.4.2016 – Yemen Post News (A K)

#Breaking Millions in FEAR as Saudi warplanes fly "very low" in skies of #Yemen capital Sanaa late forcing children to hide

https://twitter.com/YemenPostNews/status/722145628097277952

18.4.2016 – Hussain Al-Bukhaiti (A K PH)

#Saudi #UAE jets flying low over the capital #Sanaa #Yemen This could be the final straw in #Kuwait peace talk

https://twitter.com/HussainBukhaiti/status/722145387180662784

18.4.2016 – Hisham Al-Omeisy (A K PH)

Fighter jets doing low altitude acrobatics. Terrible sound. Driving point home that airstrikes won't cease despite ceasefire?

https://twitter.com/omeisy/status/722148168381685761

18.4.2016 – Hisham Al-Omeisy (A K PH)

Call me crazy, but sending fighter jets screaming through Sana'a & criss crossing sky now won't help de escalate or break deadlock.

https://twitter.com/omeisy/status/722144498067836929

Comment: Even if they do not bomb Sanaa by this manoeuvres now – they did it for more than one year now, and people must be in fear with the jets roaring over them. The definition of “terrorism” in Wikipedia is as follows: “Terrorism, in its broadest sense, is defined as the use of violence, or threatened use of violence, in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim”.

cp17 Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

20.4.2016 – Reuters (A K)

GCC, U.S. agree joint patrols to block Iran arms to Yemen:

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries and the United States have agreed to carry out joint patrols to stop any Iranian arms shipments reaching Yemen, the bloc's secretary general, Abdullatif al-Zayani, said on Wednesday.

Zayani was speaking at a news conference with U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter after a meeting between Carter and his counterparts from the GCC, which includes Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Iran denies accusations by Gulf states that it is smuggling weapons to Yemen, where GCC countries are involved in a military campaign against the Tehran-allied Houthi movement.

(Reporting by Sami Aboudi and Yeganeh Torbati, Writing by Angus McDowall, Editing by William Maclean)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-gulf-carter-patrols-idUSKCN0XH0Y2

Comment: This is really absurd looking at the fact that the US are selling weapons for many billions and that the GCC countries are those who receive them. Stopping these shipments should be even more urgent than stopping some fishing boats bringing weapons to the Houthis.

19.4.2016 – Al Araby (A K)

Blame game continues as clashes escalate in Yemen

At least 13 fighters were killed in clashes between pro-government forces and Houthi rebels in Yemen, military sources said on Tuesday, after ceasefire disputes between warring factions delayed the scheduled peace talks.

Fighting erupted in Marib, east of the Yemeni capital despite the implementation of a UN-brokered ceasefire a week earlier.

Five pro-government soldiers and eight Houthi rebels were killed in the conflict that continued into Tuesday, sources suggested.

The warring parties battled in other parts of the country including Taiz and Nihim as government officials awaited the arrival of the Houthi delegation at the Kuwait-based peace talks.

Pro-Hadi chief-of-staff General Mohammed Ali al-Maqdishi accused the rebels of "not respecting" the April 11 ceasefire which he said his forces were committed to.

"The truce is still holding based on orders from our political leadership," said Al-Maqdishi.

But the Houthi leadership - which refused to attend the talks in the last minute - continues to blame the Saudi-led coalition of violating the truce as airstrikes continue across the country.

"We affirm our continued commitment to dialogue... and this is why our demand from the first day was for talks to be held in an atmosphere of calm, peace, and stability," Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam said in a Facebook statement.

"But unfortunately, since April 11, the aggression hadn't stopped and the air strikes have continued on several areas," he added.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/4/19/blame-game-continues-as-clashes-escalate-in-yemen and film by Middle East Eye: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68bQlhHBKX4

19.4.2016 – Yemen Post (A K)

Blood not PEACE in Taiz: Houthi clashes with Saudi allied fighters today destroy 7 homes & kill 4 #Yemen civilians.

https://twitter.com/YemenPostNews/status/722442348706336769

18.4.2016 – Hussain Al-Bukhaiti (A K PH)

Reports of ongoing ground attack by #KSA backed forces with heavy #Saudi #UAE strikes on strategic Nehim area East #Sanaa #Yemen

https://twitter.com/HussainBukhaiti/status/722166909312110592

17.4.2016 – Almotamar (A K PH)

Aggression still breaches ceasefire in Yemen

he Saudi aggression and its hirelings continued on Saturday to breach, for the sixth day in row, the UN-brokered ceasefire in several provinces.
In Sana'a, the Saudi warplanes launched two airstrikes on Berran and al-Ma'adi areas in Nehm district, a military official said.
Meanwhile, the aggression's mercenaries attacked with Katyusha rockets military sites in Bani Bareq and Fardhat Nehm, while the army and popular committees repelled an advance of the mercenaries on al-Hamrah Mount, Helh, Harim Mount and Shaikh Mount, the official said, adding that many of the mercenaries were killed or injured in addition to destroying an armored vehicle.
The official said the mercenaries keep breaching the ceasefire, as they attacked the sites in many areas, including al-Madrab, al-Shabakah Mount, al-Khetam Mount, al-Manqatha, al-Ghawi, al-Garf Mount, Thubab, Dhabab Valley, Ham Mount, air defense camp and al-Jahmalaiah.
A warship of the aggression bombed Thubab city in Taiz, according to the official.
The aggression's mercenaries fired artillery shells on houses and stores in Souk al-Ethnain and a school in al-Edha area in al-Maton district, he said.
They also attacked with light and medium weapons the army and popular committees' sites in al-Serb in al-Maton district, al-Urdhi village in al-Ghail district and al-Maslob district.
Moreover, the mercenaries attacked the military sites in al-Jamajem in al-Zaher district of Baidha province and in al-Wahbieah area between Mareb and Baidha provinces.
The official said the aggression's warplanes launched two airstrikes on Khera Mount in Jabal Yazid of Amran province and three airstrikes in Mareb province; two on Hailan Mount and one on a souk in Serwah district.
In Shabwa province, the aggression's mercenaries fired artillery shells on different areas of Usailan district and attacked military sites in Shamis and al-Salim in Usailan and al-Saq area in Baihan district.
The aggression's warplanes continued to intensively fly in the skies of Sana'a, Taiz, Jawf, Baidha, Dhale, Ibb, Hodeida, Mareb, Sa'ada, Hajjah, Dhamar and Amran provinces.

http://muhitelyemen.net/en/local/news/2686.html

16.4.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K P)

Yemeni tribesmen warn Saudi Arabia against truce violations

Yemeni capital Sana’a witnessed a massive rally on Saturday organized by several tribes. The tribesmen attending the march once again voiced support for the army and popular committees in the face of Saudi Arabia’s repetitive violations of the UN-brokered ceasefire. Meanwhile Ansarullah Movement is warning that the April 18 talks with Saudi Arabia will be postponed because the kingdom does not respect the current truce. From Sana’a Mohammad al-Attab reports.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyWv-KN640E

16.4.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K P)

Yemen's Ansarullah slams truce violations in letter to UN

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement says Saudi Arabia and its mercenaries are not serious about peace in Yemen as they keep violating a UN-brokered truce in the war-torn country.
Ansarullah made the statement in a letter to UN Special Envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. The statement said the violations come as the Yemeni army and popular committees have been committed to the ceasefire since its introduction last Sunday. Ansarullah also called on the UN to fulfill its responsibilities regarding peace in Yemen and do whatever it takes to end bloodshed there. Saudi jets have been bombing Yemen, killing people in the days following the Sunday truce. There are also reports of ground fighting across the country, marring the ceasefire. More than 9400 Yemenis have been killed in the Saudi-imposed war since March 2015.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWss1yfU_gk

cp18 Sonstiges / Other

20.4.2016 – World Food Programme Food and Agriculture Organization, Government of Yemen (A H)

Yemen: Joint Rapid Assessment on the Impact of Locust Outbreak in the Tehama Region, January 2014

Yemen is facing another worst locust outbreak since 2007. Locust swarms have been descending on Yemen for the past several months starting in June 2013 when first spotted in Shabwa governorate, burdening the current development challenges of the country. Although Yemen’s domestic production only covers about 15 percent of the national food requirement and heavily depends on imports (around 85 percent), any damage on the local crops due to natural hazards including locust infestations will seriously affect the precarious food security situation of poor households who are directly or indirectly dependent on agriculture.

Recent reports released from different sources including that from the Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation (MoAI) and FAO’s website indicated that there is a growing concern about the invasion of desert locust into Yemen and currently spreading out to various governorates including those in the Tehama Region as well as Aden, Lahej, Shabwa, and recently to Sa’ada. The government is struggling to control the outbreak amid reported shortages of pesticides and other equipment. While the level of outbreak and magnitude of damages caused by the locust infestation will still need to be investigated through in-depth study, as the situation in Tehama region has been reported as the most serious, a rapid assessment was conducted particularly focusing on that region based on available information and field level observations and interviews. The situation in other areas is still being closely monitored.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-joint-rapid-assessment-impact-locust-outbreak-tehama-region-january-2014 and in full: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/joint_assessment_of_impact_of_locust_outbreak_on_tehama_region_of_yemen.pdf

19.4.2016 – UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (A )

Yemen: Flash Floods Location Map (16 Apr 2016)

http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Map%20Yemen%20OCHA.pdf

19.4.2016 – UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (A)

Yemen: Flash flooding in seven Governorates - Flash Update 2 | 19 April 2016

An estimated 49,0001 people have been affected and 24 deaths have been reported.

Significant losses to livelihood assets are reported, as crops have been damaged, livestock drowned, agricultural inputs lost.

More than 10 national and international humanitarian organizations are coordinating the response with national authorities.

Humanitarian partners and authorities continue to assess and respond to affected communities in seven governorates in Yemen that were affected by the heavy rainfall on 13 and 14 April. An estimated 49,000 people have been affected and 24 deaths have been reported in Al Hudaydah, Amran, Hajjah, Sana’a, Aden, Marib and Al Mahwit governorates.

Al Hudaydah continues to be the most affected Governorate, as 20 villages have reportedly been affected and an estimated eight people were killed. The most severe damage is reported in Az Zuhrah and Alluheyah districts. OXFAM reports that at least 1,080 households (6,480 people) have been affected; including 300 IDP households (1,800 people). An estimated 80 per cent of households in Al-Rafee’e and 90 per cent of households in Rabu Al Wadi are currently staying in open spaces due to lack of shelter. Abs Development Organization for Women and Child (ADO) is reporting that approximately 600 households (3,600 people) have been displaced. Flooding continues to limit access to some areas thus hindering assessments. Losses to livelihoods include sorghum, sesame and maize stocks, livestock and 30 hectares of crop. In addition, markets are not functioning.

In Amran, more than 3,000 households (18,000 people) have been affected; many of which have been housed in public schools. Initial estimates indicate that 200 houses have been destroyed. Roads and water infrastructure have also been damaged. Nearly 1,196 households were assessed between 15 and 17 of April. The five assessment teams deployed to Amran City by the Emergency Operation Team assessed 824 families (4,944 people). Findings highlighted the need for rapid intervention in the sectors of shelter/NFIs food, water and sanitation and health. Initial reports also indicate that 200 families (12,000 people) in Amran and Jabal Eyal Yazeed districts lost their livestock and crops.

In Hajjah, an OXFAM assessment conducted on 14 April in Sharas District reported that 14 people were killed due to rockslides, 150 households (900 people) were displaced and roads to seven villages were cut off. The water infrastructure sustained significant damage, jeopardising supply for 98,512 people. The local water corporation is preparing a damage list in coordination with UNICEF. According to local authorities, the floods damaged 12 irrigation wells, three drinking wells, 30 water harvesting reservoirs, 32 crop farms, and two protective walls for fields. In addition, 430 head of livestock were lost.

[…]

In Marib, the most affected areas are in Harib Al Qaramish District. Flooding has significantly damaged a number of public and private properties such as water infrastructure, water pumps, agricultural land as well as the main road leading to Harib Al Qaramish District. In Sirwah District, YRCS estimated that 1,600 IDPs are affected by the floods.

In Al Mahwit, reportedly, a dam burst causing flooding in farmlands and further destruction to infrastructure.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-flash-flooding-seven-governorates-flash-update-2-19-april-2016 and in full http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Flash%20Update%20II-%20Yemen%20Flooding_%2019%20April.pdf

18.4.2016 – Almotamar (A)

Abu Dhabi warns of tropical cyclone hitting Yemen, Oman coasts

Local authorities in Al-Muhra governorate, south Yemen, said Tuesday they have taken precautionary measures for facing the sea cyclone expected to hit its eastern coasts.
Sources of the local authority in the governorate told almotamar.net they have taken precautionary measures after receiving information that the cyclone was heading towards Yemen coasts and warned fishermen to stay alert for any emergency and forces of Yemen's Coast Guard are deployed to encounter any possibilities.
Information indicates that a tropical cyclone could hit the coasts of Yemen and Oman. Meteorological administration in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, pointed out the existence of a deep depression in the process of developing into a tropical cyclone over the south of the Arabian Sea about 1000-1500 km away from the southern coasts of Oman and Yemen moving at a speed of 7-10 km per hour.
The main weather forecast centre of Abu Dhabi Meteorological Centre mentioned that forecast maps indicate the cyclone reaching the coasts of the Arabian Peninsula Thursday evening and the area is affected with rainy clouds and winds the speed of which can reach 20-25 knots.
The Yemeni National Centre of Meteorology has warned of the possibility that the depression could move to Socotra Island and Mukalla coast in six hours time and that would cause a state of tough sea on its coasts and waves could probably be at a height of 2-5 meters accompanied with rainy clouds and storms and north-eastern winds at a speed of more than 45 knots.

http://www.almotamar.net/en/3628.htm

Vorige / Previous:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose/krieg-im-jemen-neue-artikel-zum-nachlesen-131

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-131: / Yemen Press Reader 1-131:

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

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

22:56 20.04.2016
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
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Dietrich Klose

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