Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 71

Yemen Press Reader 71: Huthi und Verbündete töten mit Rakete 180 saudische Kämpfer/Söldner - Friedensverhandlungen gehen weiter - Hintergrund-Artikel - Kritik an USA und GB - IS und Al Kaida
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Am wichtigsten / Most important

Allgemein / General

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

Friedensverhandlungen / Peace talks

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

USA

Great Britain / Großbritannien

Iran

Propaganda

Söldner / Mercenaries

Terrorismus / Terrorism

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Am wichtigsten / Most important

18.12.2015 – Reader Supported News

Endless War Crimes in Yemen Slowed by Ceasefire (Article in full)

The first lie about Yemen’s dirty war in the world of official journalism is that the fighting there has been a “nine-month conflict” and that “the conflict started in March,” as the New York Times put it on December 17. This is simply not true in any meaningful sense. What started in March was a savage, one-sided air war backed by the US, all too similar to the Nazi-backed one-sided air war in Spain in the thirties that gave the world “Guernica” (back when the Nazis and the Saudis were chummy). Yemen’s civil war has already lasted decades, on and off. And Yemen has an even longer history of conflict (all of which the Times knows, without letting perspective clarify its reporting). For decades at least, Yemen has suffered from chronic foreign interventions and manipulations, none of which have brought much peace to the Yemeni people, who live in one of the oldest civilized regions of the world.

The illegal, brutal war that goes unspoken (except as a “nine-month conflict that started in March”) is the genocidal bombing of Yemen by Saudi Arabia and its mostly Sunni-Arab allies. This is essentially a rolling war crime of unending dimension, all supported materially, tactically, and unjustly by the US. The US is at war (the naval blockade alone is an act of war) with Yemen, on the side of the aggressors, and Congress doesn’t seem to know about it, presidential candidates fail to talk about it, the media report it little but dishonestly, and the nation stumbles on in bloody silence as its moral numbness deepens.

The sides in Yemen (there are at least four) are complicated, but the main axis of conflict is between the Houthis (and elements of the Yemeni government) and the remnants of the Yemeni government driven into exile by the Houthis, triggering the Saudi bombing campaign. The Houthis are an indigenous, tribal, Zaidi Shia Muslim population in northwest Yemen that has been in rebellion since 2004. They live in a region where people have lived continuously for more than 7,000 years. The Yemeni government in exile has only a veneer of legitimacy, having been installed by a foreign alliance (including Saudi Arabia) and confirmed in an election without opposition. Neither side is particularly savory. A purported Houthi logo reads: “God is Great, Death to America, Death to Israel, Curse on the Jews, Victory to Islam.” Saudi Arabia is an intolerant police state that has promoted fundamentalist Sunni jihad and counts ISIS among its allies in Yemen. These people, one way and another, have been at each other’s throats for centuries.

Periodic peace talks put off mass starvation among Yemeni civilians

The possibility of good news recently was that peace talks began on December 15 at an undisclosed location in Switzerland, mediated by the UN special envoy for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed. He reportedly facilitated an exchange by shuttling back and forth between the parties, working on issues as a middleman as long as the parties remain unwilling to talk directly. The talks are “aimed at establishing a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire,” according to the UN. Previous talks in June and September have produced only marginal benefits, mostly allowing humanitarian aid to be distributed to a population close to starvation and without a medical system (the Saudis have bombed hospitals). Whether the talks can do more than minimally relieve some suffering is doubtful, since the Saudi side has shown no willingness to negotiate anything but the terms of Houthi surrender.

The role of the UN is self-contradictory in Yemen. UN aid agencies are trying to save as many civilian lives as possible (about 6,000 have died in the conflict so far, roughly half of them civilians) and the UN special envoy is trying to find a negotiated settlement. The UN Security Council has made a negotiated settlement all but impossible by passing in April, in the midst of the Saudi-led war in violation of international law, a resolution that virtually calls for the Houthis to surrender and disarm, with no provision for their security. Resolution 2216 in effect applauds the Saudi-led indiscriminate bombing of Yemen (the exact, Orwellian language is “commending its engagement” [emphasis in original]). Resolution 2216 essentially blames the Houthis for everything:

such actions taken by the Houthis [that] undermine the political transition process in Yemen, and jeopardize the security, stability, sovereignty and unity of Yemen.

Unity of Yemen is a fantasy. Sovereignty of Yemen has been violated by anyone who wants to, including the Saudis, al Qaeda, ISIS (the Islamic State), and the US, first with drone assassinations, now with the Saudi-led war. Security in Yemen has been little more than a random hope for years, not least because of US civilian-killing drones. If the political transition process in Yemen had been more than political myth-making, the Houthis’ interests would have been respected and peace preserved. Resolution 2216:

Calls on all parties to comply with their obligations under international law, including applicable international humanitarian law and human rights law.

The resolution passed without dissent (Russia abstained) with some countries voting forcompliance with laws they were openly violating in their participation in the Saudi-led war. While singling out the Houthis for blame, US Representative to the UN Samantha Power omitted mention of US participation in the bombing campaign and naval blockade. She managed to express the full absurdity of a resolution divorced from reality, when she said that:

The resolution also recognized the costs of the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian crisis. A consensus agreement of all political parties was the only way forward; the United Nations must continue its efforts in that light.

Continuing to talk about talking allows bombing to go on unimpeded

The most obvious way to alleviate the humanitarian crisis, even back in April, was to stop bombing and lift the blockade. It wasn’t going to happen. It hasn’t happened.

Those who might do most to quell the carnage aren’t about to do so. The apparent reason for their collective murderousness is a belief that the Houthis, as Shia Muslims, are some sort of advance strike force for Iran. They don’t often say this out loud, and they have so far offered no compelling evidence that Iran’s involvement in Yemen is any more than a tiny fraction of their own almost unlimited warfare. Basically, the attacks on the Houthis and their allies are little more than internationally sanctioned gang rape. That ugly reality gives the Saudi aggressors and their Yemeni puppet government little incentive even to acknowledge just claims on the other side, much less to make concessions to them. In Qatar (whose planes also bomb Yemen), the Yemeni Prime-Minister-in exile recently made his side’s intransigence and willingness to rely on force clear, as far as any talks go:

Despite the optimism, and based on our experience, the talks won't be easy…. We are seeking to reach peaceful solutions but the stick will remain to achieve what could not be achieved in the talks.

At the same time the talks began in Switzerland, the parties had agreed to start a seven-day ceasefire in Yemen on December 15. So far, the ceasefire has held, sort of, with both sides reporting violations on the ground. The Saudi side has continued some air strikes (killing at least 15) but says Houthi violations may cause the talks to collapse. An exchange of several hundred prisoners on each side in Yemen was held up by al-Baydah tribesmen and then apparently carried out. The Houthis continue to hold members and relatives of the government-in-exile in Saudi Arabia. Saudi planes and gunboats have attacked targets in the north daily since the ceasefire began. By the time anyone reads this, the ceasefire may be over in principle as well as in fact.

It’s not a ceasefire for everybody in Yemen anyway. ISIS continues to fight for control of Aden. On December 17, ISIS claimed credit for the suicide car-bomb that killed the governor of Aden, installed by the Saudi-backed Yemeni government after the Saudi-coalition re-took Aden from the Houthis last July. ISIS referred to the Saudi-back governor as a “tyrant.” Not far from Aden, al Qaeda recently took over two other cities. Both ISIS and al Qaeda have benefitted from the US-back Saudi obsession with the Shia Houthis. As the crazies in and out of US government call for more and more war in the Middle East, the pointlessness and incoherence of American policy becomes so stark it’s a wonder so few people seem to notice. Killing people by the millions failed for 20 years in Indo-China, why does anyone expect it to work in the Middle East?

Like Spain in 1936, Yemen has a civil war in which foreign countries, especially the US, have intervened militarily against no effective military opposition. US military officers meet daily with Saudi military officers in Riyadh, where together they plan the next massacre in the defenseless killing ground. Yemen was the poorest country in the region even before the richest country in the region (Saudi Arabia) joined with the richest country in the world (US) in an all too literal war on poverty. And mostly, except for organizations like Democracy NOW, this unrelenting horror goes unreported in the gaseous media cloud of promoting and tut-tutting Donald Trump and other distracting irrelevancies.

Yemen today resembles Spain in the thirties in another respect: it is a real-world test zone for advanced Western weaponry. Amnesty International and other human rights groups have documented how the UK government’s illegal sale of advanced weapons to Saudi Arabia end up killing civilians in Yemen (like the British cruise missile that destroyed a ceramics factory). And it’s hardly limited to the UK. Saudis buy billions of dollars of weapons from the US and anyone else who’s selling. The US and others sell the Saudis internationally-banned cluster bombs. The Saudis drop them on Yemen. Business is booming.

And Saudi Arabia says it has pledges from 34 governments to join a new Islamic coalition to fight terrorism. How many of these governments, like Saudi Arabia, rule their countries by terror? Think about it. The leader of the coalition carrying out massive terror-bombing in Yemen is going to lead another coalition in counterterrorism. This could go on forever. Sweet. – by William Boardman

http://readersupportednews.org/opinion2/277-75/34120-focus-endless-war-crimes-in-yemen-slowed-by-ceasefire

18.12.2015 – Lobelog

The Saudi Debacle in Yemen

It has widely been reported that the newly appointed Saudi Defense Minister Muhammad bin Salman is the architect of the coalition operation in Yemen. He is also the Kingdom’s deputy crown prince (hence, directly in the line of succession), and at the same time he presides over a newly formed 10- member board of Saudi Aramco, the state oil company.

Muhammad bin Salman is “officially” 35 years old, but he is rumored to be much younger, perhaps no older than 29. As the world’s youngest defense minister, he has no known military training or experience. His frequent appearances in the Saudi media while he is visiting various military facilities are designed to depict him as the day-to-day commander of the aerial campaign. But his approach to his official duties has already earned him the unofficial nickname of “reckless.”

When the coalition operation over Yemen started in late March, the current Foreign Minister of Saudi Arabia Adel bin Ahmed al-Jubeir was his country’s ambassador in Washington. At that time, Jubeir said that the aerial bombardment of “Operation Decisive Storm” was conducted to degrade and destroy the rebels’ “air force, heavy weapons and ballistic missiles.” Yet with the apparent reluctance of the coalition or its allies to launch a major ground operation, the aerial campaign has mainly led to military stalemate. Riyadh appears to have lost any hope of an unambiguous and definite victory in Yemen.

Before the war, Yemen was the poorest Arab country, and it is now a failed state. In light of this, Riyadh’s ignorance of the futility of the strategic bombardment is quite shocking. The former Soviet Union’s strategic bombardment of Afghanistan in the 1980s and the U.S. aerial bombings of Indochina during the Vietnam War proved time and time again that this type of military operation was largely ineffective when targeting an impoverished and destitute country.

After Israel, Saudi Arabia has the most modern armed forces in the Middle East and is the second closest ally of the U.S. in that volatile region. Considering the far-reaching American involvement with the Saudi military, the U.S. government did not likely miss the signals of an imminent operation by the Royal Saudi Air Force back in the spring. But Saudi Arabia intentionally kept the US in the dark until a mere hour before the first coalition jet fighter took off.

Senator John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, reportedly said that the Saudis “did not notify us…because they believe we are siding with Iran.” Riyadh had been alarmed by Iran-Houthi relations in the early months of 2015 and had been profoundly disappointed with the trajectory of the P5+1 nuclear negotiations with Tehran that were underway at the time. According to a senior American officer with Central Command (CENTCOM), however, the United States was not officially informed “because [Saudi Arabia] knew we would have told them exactly what we think—that it was a bad idea.”

Although United States is supporting the coalition with “logistics and intelligence,” U.S. military officials thought that the operation would probably turn into a protracted quagmire for Riyadh. Moreover, the American media has been reporting that the White House is “increasingly frustrated” with its ally. Nonetheless, the Obama administration is proceeding with the expedited transfer of $1.3 billion in new arms, mostly bombs, to Riyadh to replenish its arsenal in a move denounced by human rights groups and that The New York Times called “baffling and disgraceful.”

In addition, some regional experts, including Michael Horton, say that Saudi Arabia has a distorted perception of the Iran–Houthi relations. Horton, a senior analyst for Arabian Affairs at the Jamestown Foundation specializing on Yemen and Horn of Africa, who was described by veteran Pentagon observer Mark Perry as “close to a number of officers at SOCOM [Special Operation Command] and a consultant to the U.S. and U.K. governments,” believes that the reports depicting Houthi insurgents as Tehran’s agents and operatives in the Arabian Peninsula are “nonsense.”

True, some Houthi leaders have spent time in Iran, Tehran has provided political and diplomatic support to the movement, and some of the Houthis’ tactics for gaining political and military ascendance in Yemen are similar to those used by the Iran-backed Hezbollah. Yet, the Houthis are historically and intellectually more independent and indigenous than Hezbollah in Lebanon and some of the Shia militias in Iraq.

The outcome of the peace talks is all but clear. Considering the military facts on the ground and the dubious legitimacy of the embattled president of Yemen on whose behalf the Saudi-led coalition is purportedly fighting, however, would-be peacemakers will find it difficult to ignore Houthi demands for a real power-sharing agreement on how any new government will be constituted.

By asking Houthi rebels to follow the exact wording of the UNSC 2216 and leave all major cities and deliver all “confiscated” weapons—a perfectly legitimate but largely impractical demand—the entire peace process may come to a standstill. But this is highly unlikely. Houthi insurgents were not fighting to crush the coalition. The only thing they had to do was to survive, which they did.

On the other hand, Riyadh clearly wanted to defeat the Houthi on the battlefield, or at least deliver a decisive blow to militants, primarily to demonstrate its military might to Tehran. For the House of Saud, Houthi Yemenites are nothing but an extension of Iran’s influence into the Arabian Peninsula. Two years ago, the former Saudi Arabia ambassador to the U.S., Turki bin Faisal Al Saud, said that “Iran has been competing provocatively with Saudi Arabia for leadership in the Islamic world since 1979.” Prince Turki, who was the former director of Saudi foreign intelligence service, added that Iran’s leaders are attempting to create “an Iranian empire like no one had ever seen.”

Obviously, Yemen is not the sole source of the longstanding tensions in Tehran-Riyadh relations, and a peaceful settlement of hostilities would not necessarily lead to a meaningful détente between the two rivals. Yet such an agreement would lessen or eliminate a source of constant friction between the two regional giants, and it could set the stage for political negotiations on other thorny issues. – by Hooshmand Mirfakhraei

About the author: Hooshmand Mirfakhraei has a Ph.D. in international relations from SUNY Buffalo. He is a news writer and producer for the television division of the Persian Service of Voice of America. The contents and comments are the personal views of the author and do not represent the views of Persian Service of Voice of America.

https://lobelog.com/the-saudi-debacle-in-yemen/ = http://www.payvand.com/news/15/dec/1093.html

Allgemein / General

18.12.2015 – South Front

YEMEN MAP OF WAR – DEC. 18, 2015

An overview on political and military events in Yemen from Dec. 9 to 18 – by Akram Abu Abs

http://southfront.org/yemen-map-of-war/

16.12.2015 – Channel 4 News (Film)

Why is the British government still selling arms to Saudi Arabia, when they could be used on civilians in Yemen?

That’s the question posed by a group of a lawyers who’ve produced a report for Amnesty International.

The Foreign Office insists that the UK has one of the “most rigorous and transparent arms control regimes in the world.”

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1074977409321416

Comment: Well the Saudi led alliance have dropped far more than 1,000 bombs. In Saada governate alone they had 42,500 bombs in the first 250 days of bombardment. In Sanaa for weeks they had bombs at least every 20 minutes all day and night sometimes they fell in batches - they have bombed all of the west side of Yemen - perhaps some 2-3 x as big as UK - and destroyed so many cities and villages, roads, bridges, schools, markets, homes, ports, airports, electricity plants, water tanks, factories - you name it they have bombed it. They bought 10,000 bombs from US and they are paying UK three times as much for supply of munitions. It couldn't have been only 1000 bombs.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1074977409321416

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

18.12.2015 – UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

Yemen Humanitarian Bulletin Issue 7 | Issued on 18 December 2015

In this issue

Displacement continues to increase P.1

Import restrictions eased P.3

Achievements of the pooled fund 2015 P.4

New RC/HC for Yemen P.5

HIGHLIGHTS

Over 2.5 million internally displaced people in Yemen.

Import restrictions eased, yet access to essential commodities still challenging.

Jamie McGoldrick takes up RC/HC role for Yemen.

Over 2.5 million people displaced

Displacement figures continue to rise across the country

The conflict in Yemen continues to force families to flee their homes, with 2.5 million Yemenis now internally displaced. This figure is eight times December 2014 numbers, when there were approximately 334,000 displaced people in Yemen. The main drivers for displacement in Yemen are conflict related: ongoing air strikes, ground attacks and an increasingly volatile security environment.

The sixth report of the Task Force on Population Movement, led by UNHCR and IOM, was released on 10 December. It indicates that over 2.5 million people, or almost one tenth of the population, are now displaced across the country, an increase of more than 200,000 since mid-October. The majority of the displaced are women and children (67per cent). The increase in the number of displaced is due in part to improved tracking and profiling methodologies used to identify displaced people and an extended geographic reach of field teams to 82 per cent of the country.

Identifiable trends

Taizz Governorate hosts the largest number of displaced people (392,429), followed by Amran (288,437), Hajjah (228,453), Sana’a (191,786) and Abyan (186,983) governorates. These five governorates host 51 per cent of the displaced population. Fighting in Taizz Governorate displaced many families to neighbouring governorates in the past few months, including Ibb (+9,579 to 129,810) and Lahj (+11,004 to 44,886). Similarly, bombing in Sana’a Governorate caused a spike in displacement internally and to neighbouring Dhamar Governorate (+78,500 to 137,736). Today, nearly half of all displaced people originate from the governorates of Sa’ada, Taizz, and Amanat Al Asimah (Sana’a city).

In some regions, mainly in the south, people have chosen to return to their homes. However, many remain extremely vulnerable. In Aden, as ground clashes and air strikes shifted from parts of the south, the number of displaced people began dropping in mid-October from about 380,000 to approximately 12,000 in December. Yet many returnees desperately need assistance to rebuild their homes and restart their lives. They lack food, essential household items, water and sanitation services and shelter. However, in most parts of the country, it is too early to talk about returns, as the security environment remains extremely unpredictable. Obstacles to return include lack of livelihood opportunities, unexploded ordnance and landmines and, to a lesser extent, damage sustained to their homes.

Emergency shelter without sanitation facilities

Many displaced people have used their life savings to travel to safer areas. Some have found shelter with host communities, including with relatives and friends, but about half of all displaced people live in schools, public and abandoned buildings, tents, temporary structures, makeshift shelters or in the open. Some 42 per cent of displaced families live in rented houses, further depleting their limited resources.

Often, however, their accommodation offers little protection from the elements, is overcrowded, and lacks space for cooking and storing food. Many displaced people do not have access to functioning sanitation or bathing facilities, forcing them to use open areas where there is no separation between men and women. These living conditions expose displaced communities to additional health and security risks. At the end of November, some 20,627 displaced people (3,387 households) were living in 212 collective centres across the country. The Governorate of Taizz has 149 centres alone. In addition to collective centres, more than 14,338 displaced people (2,340 households) are living in 20 settlements in Al Jawf, Amran, Marib and Sana’a govern orates.

About 8 per cent of displaced people live with host communities. The arrival of displaced people places additional pressure on already deteriorating public services in many parts of the country.

Humanitarian partners have distributed essential household items to over 362,000 displaced people, tents to nearly 15,000 displaced people and emergency shelter materials to over 126,000 displaced people. Approximately 13,000 displaced people have received cash for rental subsidies.

With temperatures dropping to 0°C in parts of Yemen, an estimated 146,000 families need support to prepare for winter. Thirty per cent of these people require urgent assistance. Humanitarian partners estimate that $16 million is required to address the clothing needs of 43,850 families and to improve emergency shelter for 23,387 families.

Finding alternative housing to schools

The new academic year, delayed by two months, resumed on 1 November. Humanitarian partners have been working to find alternative accommodation for displaced families living in schools. These efforts have reduced the number of schools accommodating the displaced from over 400 to 238 as of 1 December. In Aden, UNHCR has been coordinating with local education authorities to ensure that displaced people living in schools receive shelter solutions.

In northern and central governorates,2 the protection; shelter/non-food items; education; water, hygiene and sanitation; and early recovery clusters worked closely with local authorities and displacement committees to find alternative shelter. In November, some displaced families were relocated to alternative accommodation while others received cash assistance and food rations for six months.

Community centres operated by UNHCR partners have provided a range of services to displaced communities in Sa’ada, Hajjah and Amanat Al Asimah governorates. This includes psychosocial support, legal advice and cash assistance.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/yemen-humanitarian-bulletin-issue-7-issued-18-december-2015 report in full: http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/OCHA_YEMEN_Hum_Bulletin_7_18_Dec.pdf

18.12.2015 – International Organization for Migration, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

The Task Force on Population Movement Report: 2.5 million IDPs as a result of conflict in Yemen

The situation in Yemen, one of the poorest countries in the Middle East, has substantially worsened since the start of the conflict in March 2015. The Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM), led by UNHCR and IOM and in collaboration with several operational partners, in its sixth report has determined that there were 2,509,068 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Yemen. These figures point to an increase of nine per cent since 15 October 2015, and an eight fold increase since March 2015. While displacement has decreased in the southern governorates, where there have been large scale returns in recent months, it has increased significantly in the northern governorates, consistent with the patterns of conflict.

“The TFPM report provides an extremely useful support mechanism to more effectively manage the response to the increasingly dire humanitarian situation throughout Yemen”, said Nicoletta Giordano, the Chief of Mission for IOM in Yemen. Since October 2015, when the TFPM published its fifth report, IOM and UNHCR have increased the coverage area for the information collection by 82%, and have incorporated a great degree of quality data; thereby increasing the level of confidence in the findings. The report estimates that 45 per cent of all IDPs have fled to areas within their own governorate of origin, while 55 per cent have sought refuge in other governorates.

The five governorates most affected by the conflict – Taizz, Amran, Hajjah, Sana’a and Abyan – account for more than 1.2 million of the 2.5 million IDPs or 48 per cent of all IDPs in Yemen. Taizz Governorate has over 392,000 IDPs - the highest of any other governorate. Intensified hostilities have also increased displacement in Sana’a and Dhamar governorates. At the same time, IOM reports that 210,000 displaced people have returned to their homes in Aden over recent months. However, displacement is only one aspect of this crisis and the needs in Aden and other southern governorates remain high, with many returnees in need of assistance to rebuild their homes and restart their lives. “The ongoing conflict, damage to civilian infrastructure, and strain on already depleted resources has exacerbated an already precarious humanitarian situation”, highlighted Johannes van der Klaauw, the UNHCR Representative in Yemen. The sixth report points to the main needs of IDPs: food, non-food items (NFIs), WASH, and shelter solutions. Most IDPs have lost their livelihood and sought shelter with relatives and friends, in schools, public and abandoned buildings, makeshift shelters or in the open with little to no protection.

In responding to the needs of IDPs and other conflict-affected communities, the Shelter/NFI and Camp Coordination and Camp Management Cluster, led by IOM/UNHCR, have assisted over 362,157 persons with NFIs, 126,698 persons with emergency shelter materials/kits, 14,854 persons with tents, and 13,085 persons with cash assistance for rental subsidies. Cluster partners have also provided psychosocial and legal assistance to individuals with specific needs.

http://reliefweb.int/report/yemen/task-force-population-movement-report-25-million-idps-result-conflict-yemen-enar and full report http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/Press%20Release%20Yemen%20TFPM%206th%20report%20IDPs%20-%2018%20December%202015%20-%20EN.pdf

18.12.2015 – IRIN

Aid? What aid? Besieged Yemenis ask

On Thursday night, representatives of Yemen’s warring parties announced a deal to immediately allow aid into the besieged city of Taiz. But residents say this week’s truce still hasn’t brought them the relief they so desperately need.

It is too soon to really tell what impact Thursday night’s agreement will have, but some recent progress has been noted.

Julien Harneis, Yemen country director for UNICEF, said his organisation had managed to bring water, fuel, and mobile medical clinics into Taiz in the last week. He hoped the new deal would make this aid easier to access.

“We have been able to operate inside Taiz and throughout,” Harneis said. “However, this new access will allow this to be done in a safer way… and will allow families to access the assistance we provide.

“We can do water trucking. We can bring in mobile medical clinics. But if parents don’t feel it is safe to move, then that assistance is not going to be used.”

Despite the latest truce, which supposedly began on Tuesday morning, clashes were ongoing. Both sides accuse the other of breaching the ceasefire, although Thursday night’s agreement was seen as a major breakthrough for the peace talks and was accompanied by a reported exchange of prisoners.

Streets are deserted in Taiz, apart from military vehicles. The Old City, once a popular destination for dining out, has been taken over by Hadi loyalists and is routinely targeted by Houthi shelling.

Ameen wants to leave so he can find work and enroll his children in school. Almost all of the 58 schools in Yemen that the UN says have been occupied by armed groups are here, in this one city.

"I don't think there will be a truce in Taiz as the two warring sides insist on fighting,” he told IRIN. "We are just waiting for death in Taiz, as we have neither work nor a way to flee."

After O’Brien’s statement, efforts to get more aid into the city were redoubled. The World Food Programme announced last week that it had trucked in enough provisions to last 145,000 people a month.

But some intended recipients said it wasn’t enough, and that despite plans by aid organisations to scale up operations during the “truce”, they had seen no change in what people were actually getting.

Ibhrahim al-Faqeeh, a supervisor at Al-Hikmah, a local charity that helps distribute for international aid organisations, told IRIN that the aid he anticipated was still stuck.

"We have 5,000 bags of wheat, flour and rice in [southern] Ibb Province, and we were waiting for the truce to bring them to the city. But the war did not stop and the Houthis are still besieging the city, so they did not allow us to bring aid to Taiz.”

Thursday’s deal has not brought results, he said. “The conditions in Taiz are still the same… the only thing that has changed is that the warring sides in Switzerland agreed to allow humanitarian aid to arrive in the city. But, in fact, nothing has arrived.”

The war has left many Taiz residents jobless and dependent on food aid.

Abdul-Jabbar Al-Roaini lost his job as a tutor when war broke out and relies on aid for his basic needs. He said he was shocked at the lack of change the truce had brought to his home city.

"Basic goods are available in the market as traders can bring them to the city on unpaved back roads. But the price is more than double and we do not have the money,” he told IRIN.

Medical aid is in short supply too. A doctor at Al-Thawra Hospital, which is under the control of fighters loyal to Hadi, told IRIN on condition of anonymity that patients were dying due to a shortfall in oxygen supplies.

"Many people died in hospital because of the shortage of oxygen,” he said. “We have been bringing it through the mountains, but it is difficult and we can’t bring much as it isn’t safe.”

OCHA, the UN’s emergency aid coordination body, was not immediately available for comment. Other aid groups told IRIN it was simply to soon to tell what the new deal would mean, both for their access and for the people of Taiz – by Nasser Al-Sakkaf

http://www.irinnews.org/report/102306/aid-what-aid-besieged-yemenis-ask

Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

16.6.2015 – The Telegraph

Yemen: the Unesco heritage slowly being destroyed

The Unesco World Heritage Site Old City of Sana’a in Yemen is the latest of the Middle East’s ancient settlements to be ravaged by conflict – by Lizzie Porter

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/destinations/middleeast/yemen/11678151/Yemen-the-Unesco-heritage-slowly-being-destroyed.html

Kommentar: Schon älter, lesenswert.

Friedensgespräche / Peace talks

19.12.2015 – NZZ

Jemen-Verhandlungen Friedensgespräche vor dem Aus

Kein Ende der Kämpfe in Jemen

Vorstösse der prosaudischen Truppen gefährden die Friedensgespräche in Magglingen. Die Huthi-Delegation boykottierte am Freitag die Verhandlungen.

Nach zwei Vorstössen von regierungstreuen Soldaten in bisher von den Huthi beherrschte Gebiete im Norden Jemens stehen die Friedensgespräche zwischen den Bürgerkriegsparteien in Magglingen bei Biel vor dem Aus. Die Huthi haben am Freitag gegen den Bruch der siebentägigen Waffenruhe protestiert, die zu Beginn der Gespräche am Dienstag ausgerufen worden war, und sind den Verhandlungen ferngeblieben. Eine Einigung scheint weiter entfernt denn je.

http://www.nzz.ch/international/naher-osten-und-nordafrika/kein-ende-der-kaempfe-in-jemen-1.18665563

Kommentar: Im Folgenden noch zu den Kämpfen im Jemen. Mittlerweile ist die Meldung überholt, es wird weiter verhandelt (s. folgenden Meldung).

19.12.2015 – Middle East Eye

Yemen peace talks continue despite ceasefire violations

Yemen's warring parties resumed UN-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland on Saturday despite ceasefire violations that threatened to end dialogue.

The United Nations special envoy for Yemen has voiced alarm at widespread violations of a fragile ceasefire, but insisted the ongoing peace talks between the warring sides in Switzerland would continue.

Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed "is deeply concerned at the numerous reports of violations of the cessation of hostilities," his office said in a statement issued late Friday.

Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said on Friday that there was an "urgent need for all parties to adhere to the ceasefire".

The comments came after Yemen's ceasefire, which took effect on Tuesday, appeared to have collapsed as government forces seized two towns from Houthi militia and the Saudi-led Arab coalition accused the militiamen of escalating the conflict by firing ballistic missiles.

The special envoy "urges all parties to respect this agreement and allow unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most affected districts of Yemen," the statement said.

It was issued after a fourth day of rocky peace talks, during which the special envoy "held several sessions with the participants," the statement added.

The discussions "focused mostly on security issues in Yemen, in light of the alarming developments on the ground," it said, stressing that both sides had "renewed their commitment for a ceasefire."

"A coordination and de-escalation committee was created to strengthen adherence to the cessation of hostilities," the statement said.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/yemen-peace-talks-continue-despite-ceasefire-violations-1436143376

19.12.2015 – Reuters

Yemen negotiators to form ceasefire committee as U.N. peace talks resume

Yemeni negotiators taking part in U.N.-sponsored peace talks agreed on Saturday to form a committee to oversee a fragile ceasefire after fresh fighting imperiled their efforts to end Yemen's civil war, sources close to the talks told Reuters.

They said the committee would be headed by a Lebanese army general and consist of representatives from the Saudi-backed government of Yemen's President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi and from the rival Houthi movement, which is allied to Iran.

Both sides arrived at a hotel in the Swiss city of Biel on Saturday to attend a fifth day of talks aimed at halting the eight-month conflict in the Arab world's poorest nation, which has killed thousands of people and caused widespread destruction and a major humanitarian crisis.

Face-to-face talks between Hadi's government and the Houthi group have not occurred since Wednesday evening, after the Houthis rejected demands for the release of detained senior officials, including Yemen's defense minister and Hadi's brother, said sources close to the talks.

The U.N. special envoy, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, is shuttling between the two sides to try and bridge differences.

The Houthis say they are ready to free the prisoners once a permanent ceasefire is agreed, another source close to the talks told Reuters.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-idUSKBN0U20A620151219 siehe auch http://www.dw.com/en/ceasefire-committee-formed-for-yemen/a-18929433

19.12.2015 – Reuters

UN envoy concerned at Yemen ceasefire violations, talks continue

The United Nations Special Envoy for Yemen voiced deep concern on Friday, the fourth day of peace talks, at "numerous reports of violations of the cessation of hostilities" and set up a mechanism to strengthen compliance, a U.N. statement said.

Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said that the heads of delegations at talks being held in Switzerland between the exiled Yemeni government and Houthi rebels had renewed their commitment to a ceasefire that took effect on Tuesday.

"He urges all parties to respect this agreement and allow unhindered access for the delivery of humanitarian assistance to the most affected districts of Yemen," the statement said. Talks would continue on Saturday to "build on what was agreed upon in previous days and continue efforts to find an urgent political resolution to the crisis in Yemen".

Talks would continue on Saturday to "build on what was agreed upon in previous days and continue efforts to find an urgent political resolution to the crisis in Yemen", it added.

http://www.trust.org/item/20151218221537-e3vf3/ and http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-yemen-security-idUKKBN0U11IF20151218

Comment: Is this the condemnation that the Houthis require in order to return to the negotiating table? We shall see.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1074981522654338

18.12.2015 – Tagesanzeiger

Verstösse gegen Waffenruhe im Jemen

US-Präsident Obama und der UNO-Sondergesandte Ahmed rufen zum Stillstand der Waffen im Jemen auf. Huthi-Rebellen haben zudem die Friedensgespräche in der Schweiz gestoppt.

http://www.tagesanzeiger.ch/ausland/naher-osten-und-afrika/Verstoesse-gegen-Waffenruhe-im-Jemen/story/12647677

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi-Arabien

19.12.2015 – IRNA

Journalist: Riyadh hostage to its own policy in the region

The country has found itself in a very difficult position: it has already been drawn into a number of regional conflicts, including in Syria, Yemen and Libya, and now is also being pressured by internal problems, according to Anthony Samrani, an observer from the Lebanese daily L'Orient-Le Jour.

According to Sputnik, apart from the complications and weakening of its positions in Syria and Libya, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is now being pressured by its own internal problems, Samrani’s writes in his article.

The regional crises particularly highlighted the divisions between two of the country's prominent statesmen of the kingdom: Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, Deputy Crown Prince of the country.

The kingdom is also being destabilized by threats from the so-called terrorist jihadist groups, whose rhetoric has already attracted a large number of followers.

According to data recently released by the analytical center Soufan Group, 2,500 Saudis have joined the ranks of Daesh (also known as ISIL/ISIS), making the country the second largest contributor to the jihadist groups.

Due to international and regional pressure and internal destabilization, Saudi Arabia finds itself in a somewhat paradoxical position: on the one hand, it is being criticized for favoring Daesh and for propagating the Wahhabi ideology in the region, and at the same time these very jihadist groups, which it is accused of supporting, threaten the country directly.

In this dual situation, the kingdom makes a decision to create an “Islamic coalition against terrorism”, which will include 34 countries. Thus Riyadh wants to demonstrate that it is at the forefront of the fight against terrorism

However the author wonders which country will decide which group is a terrorist, taking into account that in its statement, released on Tuesday, Riyadh did not explicitly mention Daesh.

The author offers Egypt, as an example: the country is a member of the coalition; it regards all groups connected with the Muslim Brotherhood, as terrorists. Qatar, on the other hand, does not classify al-Nusra Front, al-Qaeda affiliate in the region, as the one.

Another unclear issue is where specifically this coalition will be able to intervene. Any military operation in Syria and Iraq would strengthen the positions of Damascus and Baghdad.

http://www.irna.ir/en/News/81884759/

Comment: This is an article from an Iranian website - however it is a thoughtful consideration of the recent 'anti-terrorism coalition' that Saudi has just set up, raising some interesting points. My point is this; if Saudi troops would not fight in Yemen and mercenaries had to be paid to do so, some of which like Sudanese and Columbian mercenaries come from groups that have received much international criticism in the past for their brutal, terrorising methods of warfare - then how exactly does Saudi plan to fight any terrorist groups anywhere?

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1075200345965789

18.12.2015 – Counterpunch

Saudis’ Anti-Terror Window-dressing

Faced with greater public awareness of its role promoting Sunni jihadist terror, Saudi Arabia has announced a 34-nation “anti-terrorism coalition,” but it may be just window-dressing for Riyadh’s anti-Shiite agenda, not a serious move against extremism, an issue addressed by ex-CIA analyst Paul R. Pillar.

The leaders of Saudi Arabia in particular, but also several other participants in the 34-nation anti-terrorism coalition that the Saudis put together and was announced this week, want to tell us that they are against terrorism and that they are pulling their weight in opposing it. Beyond such messaging, this new group of states — which mostly are Muslim-majority nations and all of which are members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation — is unlikely to amount to much.

A fundamental and underlying limitation is one that also affects much discussion of counterterrorism in the West: that terrorism is not, as the term often gets used, some discrete and identifiable bunch of bad guys, but rather a tactic that can be and has been used in pursuit of greatly different goals by different people. And so among Muslim nations as well as among others, the concept of counterterrorism gets exploited and batted in different directions by governments with different agendas centered on other issues. One has only to look at the mess in Syria to see this dynamic at work.

Our hopes also ought to be tempered in noticing the absence from the announced group of the majority Shia nations of Iran and Iraq (and, not surprisingly, Syria). This is a sign that sectarian and nationalist rivalries have affected the thinking behind the new grouping at least as much as any common commitment to curbing terrorism.

For the Saudis, who are the lead players in the new group, the role of Wahhabism both as a foundation of their own regime and as an ideological precursor of the radical Sunni varieties of jihadism that contribute most of the terrorism-related headlines and concerns today continues to be a major impediment to full and effective Saudi counterterrorist efforts.

This is true whether the action is unilateral or is wrapped in a multilateral context such as the newly announced coalition. The fragile legitimacy of the Saudi regime is part of what is in play once a battle of ideas goes beyond the de-radicalization of individuals and gets to more general ideological underpinnings of political violence. – by Paul R. Pillar

https://consortiumnews.com/2015/12/18/saudis-anti-terror-window-dressing/

3.12.2015 – The Intercept

This article was published by Al Jazeera America on December 3. Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Qatar appear to have blocked the article outside of the United States because it is critical of an ally of Qatar, so we are making it available here to international readers. Read our accompanying piece, Al Jazeera Blocks Anti-Saudi Arabia Article.

Saudi Arabia Uses Terrorism As An Excuse for Human Rights Abuses

Reports emerged last week that Saudi Arabia intends to imminently execute more than 50 people on a single day for alleged terrorist crimes.

Although the kingdom hasn’t officially confirmed the reports, the evidence is building. Okas, the first outlet to publish the report, has close ties to the Saudi Ministry of Interior and would not have published the story without obtaining government consent. Some of the prisoners slated for execution were likewise recently subject to an unscheduled medical exam, a sign that many believe portends imminent execution. There has already been a spike in capital punishment in Saudi Arabia this year, with at least 151 executions, compared with 90 for all of 2014.

The cases of six Shia activists from Awamiya, a largely Shia town in the oil-rich Eastern province, are particularly disconcerting. The majority of Saudi’s minority Shia population is concentrated in the Eastern province and has long faced government persecution. The six activists were convicted for protesting this mistreatment and other related crimes amid the Arab uprisings in 2011. Three of them were arrested when they were juveniles. Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent Shia religious leader who was convicted of similar charges, also faces imminent execution.

All the convictions were obtained through unfair trials marred by human and civil rights violations, including in some cases torture, forced confessions and lack of access to counsel. Each defendant was tried before the Specialized Criminal Court, a counterterrorism tribunal controlled by the Ministry of Interior that has few procedural safeguards and is often used to persecute political dissidents. Lawyers are generally prohibited from counseling their clients during interrogation and have limited participatory rights at trial. Prosecutors aren’t even required to disclose the charges and relevant evidence to defendants.

The problems aren’t just procedural. Saudi law criminalizes dissent and the expression of fundamental civil rights. Under an anti-terrorism law passed in 2014, for example, individuals may be executed for vague acts such as participating in or inciting protests, “contact or correspondence with any groups … or individuals hostile to the kingdom” or “calling for atheist thought.”

One of the defendants, Ali al-Nimr, was convicted of crimes such as “breaking allegiance with the ruler” and “going out to a number of marches, demonstrations and gathering against the state and repeating some chants against the state.” For these offenses, he has been sentenced to beheading and crucifixion, with his beheaded body to be put on public display as a warning to others.

Because of these procedural and legal abominations, the planned executions for these Shia activists must not proceed. They should be retried in public proceedings and afforded due process protections consistent with international law, which includes a ban on the death penalty for anyone under the age of 18.

No other executions should take place in Saudi Arabia. Capital punishment is morally repugnant and rife with error and bias, as we know all too well in the United States. Moreover, any outcome produced by the Saudi criminal justice system is inherently suspect. Inadequate due process, violations of basic human rights and draconian laws that criminalize petty offenses and exercising of civil rights are fixtures of Saudi rule.

They’re also fixtures of authoritarian regimes in general. Those who simply expect Saudi Arabia to reform its criminal justice system ignore the fact that the kingdom is an authoritarian regime that uses the law as a tool to maintain and consolidate power. They also ignore the reality that Saudi Arabia often escapes moral condemnation in large part because of its close relationship with the U.S.

In 2014, for example, President Barack Obama visited the kingdom but made no mention of its ongoing human rights violations. In return, he and the first family received $1.4 million in gifts from the Saudi king. (By law U.S. presidents must either pay for such gifts or turn them over to the National Archives.) The two leaders discussed energy security and military intelligence, shared interests that have connected the U.S. and Saudi Arabia for nearly a century.

Obama traveled to the kingdom earlier this year to offer his condolences on the passing of King Abdullah and to meet with the new ruler, King Salman. Again, human rights were never mentioned. Instead, U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice tweeted that Abdullah was a “close and valued friend of the United States.”

This deafening silence is not lost on Saudi Arabia and has emboldened its impunity. In the wake of the Arab uprisings, the kingdom’s brutal campaign against its Shia minority and political opposition has deepened. Shias have limited access to government employment and public education, few rights under the criminal justice system and diminished religious rights. Those who protest this discrimination face arbitrary trial and the prospect of execution for terrorism. Consider that Saudi Arabia has not carried out a mass execution for terrorism-related offenses since 1980, a year after an armed group occupied the Grand Mosque of Mecca.

Dissent of any kind is quelled. In November, Ashraf Fayadh, a Palestinian poet and artist born in Saudi Arabia, was sentenced to death for allegedly renouncing Islam. His supporters allege that he’s being punished for posting a video of police lashing a man in public.

Even the kingdom’s neighbors aren’t immune from its authoritarian agenda. Numerous reports suggest that the Saudi-led coalition against opposition groups in Yemen has indiscriminately attacked civilians and used cluster bombs in civilian-populated areas, in violation of international law.

Despite its appalling human rights record, Saudi Arabia was awarded a seat on the U.N. Human Rights Council last year and this summer was selected to oversee an influential committee within the council that appoints officials to report on country-specific and thematic human rights challenges. Unsurprisingly, Saudi Arabia has used its newfound power tothwart an international inquiry into allegations that it committed war crimes in Yemen.

It’s not by happenstance that the kingdom announced the mass execution just days after 130 people were killed in Paris in the worst terrorist attacks in Europe in more than a decade. Even before Paris, the U.S. used its “war on terrorism” to invade and occupy Afghanistan and Iraq, engage in mass surveillance and develop an assassination program immune from judicial oversight. Is it any surprise that Saudi Arabia feels emboldened to intensify its own “war on terrorism”? – by Arjun Sethi

https://theintercept.com/2015/12/18/heres-the-al-jazeera-article-on-saudi-arabia-you-cant-read-outside-the-u-s/

1.12.2015 – The Intercept

Im Innern der Saudischen Propaganda-Kampagne zur Umgarnung amerikanischer Politikschaffender und Journalisten

Kurz nach dem Start der brutalen Luft- und Bodenangriffe der Saudis gegen Jemen, begann das saudische Königreich damit, erhebliche Ressourcen darauf zu verwenden einen PR-“Blitzkrieg” in Washington, D.C. zu starten.

Die PR-Kampagne ist dazu gedacht, enge Beziehungen zu den USA zu bewahren, obwohl der saudisch geführte militärische Einfall ins ärmste arabische Land im Mittleren Osten fast 6.000 Menschen getötet hat, fast die Hälfte davon Zivilisten.

Teile dieser Charme-Offensive beinhalten den Start eines pro-saudischen Medienportals, welches von hochrangigen republikanischen Wahlkampf-Beratern betreut wird: eine englisch-sprachige Webseite mit dem Zweck, den neuesten Entwicklungen des Kriegs in Jemen eine positive Deutung zu geben; glitzernde Diners mit Eliten der amerikanischen Politik und Wirtschaft; sowie ununterbrochene Bemühungen, Reporter und Politikschaffende auf seine Seite zu ziehen.

All dies wurde begleitet von einem Spendenrausch an amerikanische Lobbyisten mit Verbindungen zum Establissement in Washinton. Die Saudi-Arabische Botschaft [in den USA] beschäftigt nun, wie wir berichtet haben, den Bruder von Hillary Clintons Wahlkampf-Vorsitzenden, den Führer des republikanischen Politischen Aktionskomitees [PAC] sowie eine Anwaltskanzlei mit engen Beziehungen zur Regierung Obamas. Einer von Jeb Bushs größten Financiers, Ignacio Sanchez, betreibt ebenso Lobby-Arbeit für das saudische Königreich.

In den letzten Monaten ist die saudi-arabische Botschaft, welche keine Antwort gab auf die Anfrage eines Kommentars, sehr beschäftigt damit gewesen, Washington zu umwerben.

Im September half das Königreich, opulente Galas im Ritz Carlton und im Andrew Mellon Auditorium für Washingtons Business-Eliten zu sponsern. Den Veranstaltungen wohnte König Salman bei, zusammen mit den Vorstandsvorsitzenden von General Electric und Lockheed Martin, dem Vorsitzenden von Marriot International sowie Funktionären bedeutender Think-Tanks.

Vom Königreich unterstützte Non-Profit-Organisationen haben eine positive Presse durch verschiedene Kanäle gesichert. Zum Beispiel am 21. September wurde in der New York Times eine Kommentarspalte von Hussein Ibish, vorsitzender ansäßiger Gelehrter des Instituts der Arabischen Golf-Staaten in Washington, einem neuen Think-Tankkomplett finanziert von Saudi-Arabien und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten, veröffentlicht, welches im Titel ausrief: “A Saudi-American Reset”, ‘Ein saudi-amerikanischer Neustart’. Im Kommentar spielte Ibish die “zwei Jahre lang dauernden, als Kränkungen wahrgenommen und angeblichen Brüskierungen” herunter und behauptete, dass “neue Konturen einer revitalisierten jedoch sich fortentwickelnden Partnerschaft zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und Saudi-Arabien beginnen, Form anzunehmen”.

Auch prognostizierte Ibish, dass Saudi-Arabien bereit sei, “Anstrengungen zur Beeinflussung der Ereignisse in Syrien zu verstärken”. Faktisch jedoch beendete das Königreich seine Luftschläge [gegen ISIL] in Syrien in diesem Monat, da es stattdessen seine militärischen Ressourcen zum Krieg in Jemen umleitete. Die Times stellte Ibish als beitragenden Kommentator dar, und gab seine Position als vorsitzender ansäßiger Gelehrter des Instituts der Arabischen Golf-Staaten in Washington an, gab aber keinen Hinweis zur finanziellen Unterstützung dieses Instituts.

Die Anstrengung der saudischen Botschaft, die Berichterstattung zu formen, wird von Qorvis geleitet, einer Beratungsfirma, welche für die saudische Regierung seit den Monaten nach den Terroranschlägen des 11. September 2001 arbeitet. Die jüngsten Veröffentlichungen von Qorvis, gemäß dem Gesetz zur Registrierung Ausländischer Agenten [Foreign Agents Registration Act], zeigen, dass die Beratungsfirma eine ganze Webseite geschaffen hat – operationrenewalofhope.com – welche den saudi-geführten Krieg in Jemen anpreist. Die Firma untersucht ebenso “potentielle, bodenständige Unterstützer in bestimmten Staaten” und stellt sich zur Verfügung für andauernde Bemühungen, Reporter für den Krieg im Jemen zu gewinnen.

Die Email-Schüsse von Qorvis auf die Medien wurden zusammen mit Saudi-Arabiens Team von angeworbenen Lobbyisten koordiniert, einschließlich H.P. Goldfield, einem Lobbyisten bei der Firma Hogan Lovells und gleichzeitig Vize-Vorsitz der Albright Stonebridge-Gruppe.

Im Juli verkündete die saudische Botschaft den Start von “Arabia Now”, ein “Online-Netzwerk für Nachrichten aus dem Königreich”, laut derPresseveröffentlichung. Seitdem war die Seite darum bemüht, Saudi-Arabien als Bastion von Menschenrechten und Fortschritt zu bewerben, und manche Beiträge behaupten, dass das Königreich das “großzügigste Land der Welt” sei. Während Saudi-Arabiens Kriegsschiffe humanitäre Hilfe für Jemen blockierten, behauptete das “Arabia Now”-Nachrichtennetzwerk, dass “Saudi-Arabien das einzige Land war, dass auf das Ersuchen um humanitäre Hilfe von der UN reagierte, um Jemen zu helfen, mittels einer Spende von 274 Mio. Dollar”.

“Arabia Now” kaufte werbende Tweets im Bereich [Washington,] D.C

Kürzlich angefragte Veröffentlichungen zeigen, dass Targeted Victory, eine Beratungsfirma gegründet von Zac Moffatt, einem GOP- [= “Good Old Party”/”gute alte Partei”, Synonym der US-Republikaner] Strategen, der als digitaler Direktor von Mitt Romneys Wahlkampf diente, beim Management von “Arabia Now” mitgeholfen hat. Moffatts Firma wurde von der anderen erwähnten Beratungsfirma, Qorvis, ins Spiel gebracht.

Qorvis hat andere Firmen angeworben, um die öffentliche Meinung zu erfassen, einschließlich Tuluna USA, eine Online-Befragungsfirma, und American Directions Group, eine Telefon-Befragungsfirma gegründet vom selben Meinungsforcher, der vorher für Bill Clinton arbeitete.

Qorvis dirigierte ebenso die Bezahlung von Honoraren für prominente Figuren der Politik. So zum Beispiel Mark Kennedy, ein ehemaliger republikanischer Kongressabgeordneter, welcher 2.000 Dollar für eine Ansprache erhielt.

Von April an bis September diesen Jahres berechnete Qorvis der saudischen Regierung fast Sieben Mio. Dollar, mehr als die doppelte Menge des vorherigen Berichterstattungszyklus.

Es dürfte kein Zufall sein, dass saudische Vertreter regelmäßig in Nachrichtenprogrammen des Kabelfernsehens aufgetreten sind sowie in Veranstaltungen von Think-Tanks in Washington, D.C. um amerikanischen Zuschauern zu versichern, dass der saudisch geführte Krieg in Jemen im Interesse der USA sei – von Lee Fang

https://propagandaschau.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/im-innern-der-saudischen-propaganda-kampagne-zur-umgarnung-amerikanischer-politikschaffender-und-journalisten/

English version see Yemen Press reader 58: https://theintercept.com/2015/12/01/inside-saudi-charm-campaign/

USA

18.12.2015 – Counterpunch / Common Dreams

Yemen Crisis: One More Reason to Re-evaluate the Toxic U.S.-Saudi Alliance

While this is a necessary step towards ending the violence that has killed thousands, crippled infrastructure and led to a critical humanitarian crisis, the peace talks should include a mechanism for rebuilding this impoverished nation. Saudi Arabia, which is responsible for most of the destruction with its relentless bombings, should be forced to pay for the terrible damage it has wrought. So should the United States.

The U.S. involvement in the Yemen crisis can be summed up in four words: allegiance to Saudi Arabia. The United States’ problematic relationship with Saudi Arabia goes all the way back to World War II, when U.S. officials started to see Saudi’s oil as a strategic advantage. Since then, the U.S. has blindly supported the Kingdom in almost every political and economic effort, despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is an ultraconservative Islamic monarchy rife with human rights abuses.

Naturally, the U.S. agreed to support its close ally in its endeavor to ‘reinstate order’ in Yemen by providing intelligence, weaponry and midair refueling, as well as sending U.S. warships to help enforce a blockade in the Gulf of Aden and southern Arabian Sea. The blockade was allegedly to prevent weapons shipments from Iran to the Houthis, but it also stopped humanitarian aid shipments to beleaguered Yemeni citizens. The American CIA and military intelligence are also on the ground in Yemen, providing targeting and other logistical support, and Uncle Sam’s drones are constantly flying overhead, sending intel to the Saudis.

The U.S. is the main supplier of these weapons being used to carpet bomb Yemen. Cluster munitions, which are sold to Saudi Arabia by an American company called Textron, have been used in several coalition strikes. These horrific bombs constitute a particular danger to civilians because of their wide area of effect and the fact that unexploded bomblets can remain hazardous for decades after their deployment, which is why they are banned in over 115 countries. “Saudi-led cluster munition airstrikes have been hitting areas near villages, putting local people in danger,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch. “These weapons should never be used under any circumstances. Saudi Arabia and other coalition members – and the supplier, the US – are flouting the global standard that rejects cluster munitions because of their long-term threat to civilians.”

The United States’ direct role in coordinating Saudi air operations also makes the United States complicit in war crimes. “The US government is well aware of the Saudi-led coalition’s indiscriminate air attacks that have killed hundreds of civilians in Yemen,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “Providing the Saudis with more bombs under these circumstances is a recipe for greater civilian deaths, for which the US will be partially responsible.”

To make matters worse, the terrible conditions on the ground have led to the strengthening of extremist terrorist groups that will inevitably plague that nation for years to come.

Saudi Arabia’s involvement in Yemen has only destroyed lives and created a state of total chaos, and the U.S. government is complicit in the carnage. Both nations should, as part of the peace process, be forced to pay reparations for the tremendous damage their bombs have inflicted.

The Yemen crisis should also serve as a prime moment for the U.S. to reconsider its alliance the Saudi regime, a regime that not only denies human rights to its own people but exports death and destruction abroad. – by Medea Benjamin

http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/12/18/yemen-crisis-one-more-reason-to-re-evaluate-the-toxic-u-s-saudi-alliance/ = http://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/12/18/yemen-crisis-one-more-reason-re-evaluate-toxic-us-saudi-alliance

18.12.2015 – Press TV Iran

US political reality shifting against Saudi Arabia: Writer Trita Parsi

The political reality in the United States is beginning to shift against Saudi Arabia after years of silence over the kingdom’s role in terrorism in the Middle East, an author and political scientist says.

“If you just take a look at the coverage in the media in the last three months, the amount of criticism of not only Saudi Arabia, but this silence of the role of Saudi Arabia in this has started to change quite dramatically,” said Trita Parsi, the founder and current president of the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

Parsi told Press TV last week that the absence of Saud citizens and the inclusion of Iranian nationals in a congressional bill that restricts travel to the US is “absurd.”

“There’s no evidence, no example, of any Iranians fighting for ISIS (ISIL) and certainly then coming to Europe or to the West,” Parsi said. “This (bill) was added last minute by Republicans.”

A report last week by the British daily newspaper, The Guardian, says the US House’s visa measure wrongly targets Iranians who have never subscribed to such an ideology or engaged in similar acts of terror.

http://www.presstv.com/Detail/2015/12/18/442259/Trita-Parsi

Großbritannien / Great Britain

17.12.2015 – Yemen News Today

Talking peace whilst making war – or maybe assisting genocide. Update 17.12.15

I want to discuss another big story of the week; the suggestion that the British government could be implicated in providing weapons to Saudi Arabia to enable them to continue their war crimes on Yemen, despite protests from various peace and human rights organisations who repeatedly over months pointed out the illegality of many of the Saudi-led coalition’s war activities.

This was clear from the start, when Saudi Arabia immediately declared Saada governate to be a military zone although Saada was home to hundreds of thousands of civilians, most of whom had never belonged to a militia and had never threatened any other country – or person. Because of the high fertility rate in Yemen, half of the civilian population living there are and were children. Although the coalition first dropped letters telling residents they were going to destroy their homes, there was nowhere for them to go and they either dispersed or lived in makeshift tents that have also been subject to further bombing raids; on 30th March around 200 people died when a displaced persons camp was destroyed. Saada province is the homeland of the Bakil tribe, a Zaidi tribe from which the ‘Believing Youth’ Zaidi revivalist group emerged in the 1990s, that later developed into militia that fought in seven wars with the Yemeni government and Saudi Arabia. This Shia militia became known as ‘the Houthis’, and it seems that these attacks were intended to disperse or kill their tribe. As pointed out by Martin Shaw: “…(genocide is) a form of violent social conflict or war, between armed power organisations that aim to destroy civilian social groups and those groups and other actors who resist this destruction”. The reality in northwest Yemen has enough identifiers with genocide theory to ring alarm bells in those providing the assailants with weapons.

Munitions estimated to be worth £1.75 billion were exported to Saudi Arabia between January and June this year; a total order of £3.8 billion has been placed. In March Philip Hammond the Defence Secretary stated that Britain would do everything to support the Saudi campaign in Yemen except directly taking part in the conflict; in July it was reported that Paveway IV bombs were being diverted from the RAF to Saudi Arabia. The British position until recently was that Saudi Arabia had assured them that British ordinance was not being used in illegal war activity and they were relying on Saudi Arabian officials to tell the British government if they did so.

In November lawyer representing the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) told the BBC: “The UK has a very clear legal regime, and that regime says that the UK won’t provide licenses for arms exports if there is a clear risk there may be violations of international humanitarian law…the current position of the UK government is unlawful.” The Arms Trade Treaty, which came into force last December, prohibits the sale of weapons where there is a clear risk they could be used for war crimes.

Following the threat of legal action, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office stated that “the Saudi military’s attitude to humanitarian law is careless. Officials fear that the combination of British arms sales and technical expertise used to assist bombing raids on Yemen could result in the UK being hauled before the International Criminal Court on charges relating to direct attacks on civilians.” The blaming of Saudi Arabia when the UK government has repeatedly been told of evidence of war crimes from multiple sources does not seem credible. I have heard that the government is very worried about the threat of legal action. Although the Houthi-Saleh alliance has also committed war crimes, the British government has not supplied them with weapons.

And meanwhile, the violations of the ceasefire by both sides continue, with the BBC reporting that the Saudi-led coalition has made big military gains during the ceasefire. In protest at the lack of protests by the UN over these military manoeuvres, the Houthi delegates have left the peace negotiations indefinitely. The difficulty for the Saudi-led coalition is that 9 months of killing and destruction has not resulted in any gains, and they need to have gains to ‘prove’ their action was justified. I’m not sure what will happen next; the battle remains at stalemate and the killing goes on – by Judith Brown

http://yemen-news-today.org/2015/12/18/talking-peace-whilst-making-war-or-maybe-assisting-genocide-update-17-12-15/

Iran

Mehr News Agency

Iran's first public donations in Yemen

Along with the continuation of Saudi attacks against defenseless and oppressed people of Yemen, the first part of Iran's public donations collected by the International Union of Islamic Ummah was distributed among the families of martyrs and wounded (with images / mit Bildern)

http://en.mehrnews.com/photo/112947/Iran-s-first-public-donations-in-Yemen

Propaganda

18.12.2015 – Propagandaschau

Saudische Propagandakampagne im ZDF

[im ZDF kann man ] bewundern, wie die Saudis ihre Werbung durchaus geschickt an prominenter Stelle platzieren können. Getarnt als Journalismus, wurde im Zwangsgebühren finanzierten ZDF eine ganze Serie von “Berichten” über eine vollkommen belanglose Kommunalwahl im Land der Ölscheichs ausgestrahlt – zur besten Sendezeit in den Hauptnachrichtenformaten “heute” und “heute-journal”.

Dass die Saudis jetzt überhaupt Frauen zu belanglosen Kommunalwahlen zulassen, ist Teil der Imagekampagne und dürfte nach “Beratung” westlicher PR-Agenturen – wie sie in der “Anstalt” karikiert wurden – und auf Druck westlicher Verbündeter beschlossen worden sein. Naturgemäß hilft es dieser und jeder anderen oberflächlichen Imagepolitur wenig, wenn niemand davon erfährt und da kommt die Redaktion der ZDF-“Nachrichten” gerade recht. Diese Redaktion hat die Geschichte von den “saudischen Frauen, die jetzt wählen dürfen” nicht nur einmal in die sogenannten “Nachrichten”-Sendungen gepackt, auch nicht zweimal oder dreimal oder viermal, sondern insgesamt mit sage und schreibe 5 als Journalismus getarnten “Berichten”.

https://propagandaschau.wordpress.com/2015/12/18/saudische-propagandakampagne-im-zdf/

Kommentar: Informativ wird präzise die Propagandamasche auseinandergenommen. Abzulehnen ist das Beschimpfen um des Beschimpfens willen, das die Macher der Propagandaschau leider zum Programm (oder zumindest Stilmittel) erhoben haben.

18.12.2015 – The Intercept

AL JAZEERA BLOCKS ANTI-SAUDI ARABIA ARTICLE

THE CORPORATE HEADQUARTERS of Al Jazeera appears to have blocked an article critical of Saudi Arabia’s human rights record from viewers outside the United States. The news network, which is funded by the government of Qatar, told local press that it did not intend to offend Saudi Arabia or any other state ally, and would remove the piece.

The op-ed, written by Georgetown University professor and lawyer Arjun Sethi and titled, “Saudi Arabia Uses Terrorism as an Excuse for Human Rights Abuses,” ran on the website of Al Jazeera America, the network’s U.S. outlet. It comments on reports of 50 people recently sentenced to death for alleged terrorist activity and criticizes the U.S. government’s silence on Saudi Arabia’s human rights record.

The article ran on December 3, and is still available in the United States, but people attempting to view the link in other countries were given an error or “not found” page. (For international readers, we’ve reprinted the full text of the article here.)

When asked by The Intercept about the article, Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha said in a statement, “After hearing from users from different locations across the world that several of our web pages were unavailable, we have begun investigating what the source of the problem may be and we hope to have it resolved shortly.”

Last week, the Saudi Arabian newspaper Okaz quoted a director of Al Jazeera apologizing for the article and saying that it would be removed.

The criticisms of Saudi Arabia in Sethi’s piece are by no means unusual.

A few days after publication, Sethi’s Twitter feed was flooded with attacks from pro-Saudi accounts. David Johnson, senior opinion editor at Al Jazeera America, retweeted many of the attacks. (He declined to be interviewed for this piece.)

“The trolling seemed like an organized concerted effort to intimidate me,” Sethi said. “I will not submit to this act of censorship. Human rights are universal and I will continue to litigate and write about violations wherever they occur.” – by Cora Currier

https://theintercept.com/2015/12/18/al-jazeera-blocks-anti-saudi-arabia-article/ see also in The Independent http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/al-jazeera-block-article-slamming-saudi-arabian-human-rights-record-a6779596.html

Söldner / Mercenaries

19.12.29015 – Dawn

UAE sending Colombian mercenaries to Yemen: sources

The United Arab Emirates has secretly sent some 300 Colombian mercenaries to fight for it in Yemen, paying handsomely to recruit a private army of well-trained, battle-hardened South American soldiers, sources told AFP.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the Colombians' experience fighting leftist guerrillas and drug traffickers in their home country made them attractive recruits for the UAE, whose relatively inexperienced army is part of an Arab coalition helping Yemen's government fight a war against Huthi rebels.

"Colombian soldiers are highly prized for their training in fighting guerrillas," one source, a Colombian former army officer, told AFP in Bogota.

"Colombians have so many years of experience in war that they can take it."

The presence of Colombian troops in Yemen's bloody conflict further complicates what is already a messy proxy war pitting Iran, which backs the rebels, against a United States (US)-backed Arab coalition led by rival regional heavyweight Saudi Arabia.

a month ago about 300 of the 3,000 Colombians recruited so far by the UAE "decided voluntarily" to go fight as full-fledged mercenaries in southern Yemen, based in the port of Aden, the source said.

Their deployment came after 30 Emirati soldiers were killed in Yemen in a missile attack blamed on the rebels.

The source said the UAE initially planned to send 800 Colombians but met resistance from the recruits, who complained that fighting in Yemen was beyond the scope of their original contracts.

"The Colombians were supposed to pass unnoticed as local Emirati troops, and that caused a large number of them to desert,” the source said."

They said their contract was in the UAE and not fighting other people's wars. "He said the UAE sought to sweeten the deal by limiting tours of duty to three months and offering an extra $120 a day in combat pay. They want to make war an industry using Colombians as cannon fodder," he said.

"The UAE is participating in the coalition by discreetly sending mercenaries to Yemen. And it is a fact that among those mercenaries there are former members of the Colombian military."

A retired senior Colombian officer who asked not to be named said this had "created quite a lot of problems” for the Colombian defense ministry."

(on this subject see quite often in former “Yemen Press Readers”.

http://www.dawn.com/news/1227422/uae-sending-colombian-mercenaries-to-yemen-sources

Comment: I really understand why Yemenis in the north hate these mercenaries that have been paid to fight them by Saudi Arabia and UAE; they are invaders, but I guess they only know what their paymasters tell them. In the past Yemenis too have been paid to fight as mercenaries, such as in Afghanistan and Syria, which were not their wars. I hate everything in this merciless war. My feeling is that these mercenaries are being used just the same as Yemenis were when they were mercenaries; poor men who are paid by rich men to fight other poor people, to protect the wealth of the elites. I just wish that it was possible for the ceasefire to be respected, so that ordinary Yemeni people could get on with their lives, and peace could be given a chance.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1075207232631767

Terrorismus / Terrorism

11.2015 – Gulf States Analytics

Monthly Monitor Report

Page 7–10:

THE “ISLAMIC STATE” CHALLENGES AL-QAEDA IN YEMEN

The deadly competition amidst this conflict between al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the local Daesh (“Islamic State”) affiliate, Wilayat al-Yemen, will have far reaching ramifications for the future of Yemen and its neighbors in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

By early April 2015, AQAP seized Mukalla, Yemen’s fifth largest city and capital of the Hadhramaut Governorate (the country’s largest governorate). Observers compared this to Daesh’s conquest of Mosul in Iraq; tentative local support allowed the groups to overcome weak state security forces that quickly surrendered or fled. However, AQAP’s control over Mukalla is very different from Daesh’s domination of Mosul, where they were quick to impose strict codes of conduct. The al-Qaeda fighters in Yemen seized local institutions under the apolitical, secular name the “Sons of Hadhramaut,” and were quick to begin sharing power, at least in principle, with local tribes and other Hadhramis.

On the other hand, Wilayat al-Yemen is a nascent and inchoate entity in Yemen. The group is also a fierce competitor for AQAP’s resources and recruits. Since declaring the announcement of the presumptive “caliphate” in June 2014, Daesh has been openly hostile to cooperation with other militant groups, preferring oaths of allegiance.

The relationship between Daesh’s Yemen-based division and the core leadership based out of Raqqa, Syria is unclear. Wilayat al-Yemen has, at the very least, the communications capacity of Daesh-core and has released videos with similar style and gruesomeness.

Wilayat al-Yemen’s simultaneous October 6 attacks against Houthi targets in Sana’a as well as Gulf Coalition forces and Yemeni government figures in Aden sent a clear message: Wilayat al-Yemen has no interest in taking sides in Yemen’s civil war. This is juxtaposed with AQAP which, directly or indirectly, is working with anti-Houthi forces in south and central Yemen. Al-Qaeda’s division in Yemen is in effect on the same side as President Hadi and his GCC allies.

Although recent calls made by al-Raymi for attacks on Western governments are nothing new, it should be noted that AQAP views this as a key distinction between itself and its competitor Wilayat al-Yemen.

Although AQAP is by no means a long-term ally of the Riyadh-led military coalition, the group until recently did not appear to be in any direct conflict with the multinational force led by the Saudis. As of writing, no coalition bombs have fallen on Mukalla and AQAP has largely avoided attacks on the Gulf Arab coalition forces.

The rise of Wilayat al-Yemen is a threat to AQAP. It took years of effort and patience to find its space at the fringes of Yemeni society, and then in vacuums left by the state, slowly ingratiating itself with a range of Sunni Islamists and a few important tribal conglomerates. AQAP’s social connections often preclude the group from attacks against civilians within the country – a lesson Wilayat al-Yemen is likely not going to learn soon – but that only increases the likelihood of the group stepping up attacks against Arab Coalition forces and Western targets abroad – by Adam Simpson

https://gallery.mailchimp.com/02451f1ec2ddbb874bf5daee0/files/Gulf_State_Analytics_November_2015_Report.pdf

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

18.12.2015 – Der Standard

Jemen: Dutzende Tote bei Regierungsoffensive

Die Bemühungen um Frieden im Jemen haben einen schweren Rückschlag erlitten. Regierungstruppen eroberten nach Angaben vom Freitag innerhalb von 24 Stunden zwei Städte, dabei wurden nach Auskunft eines Militärsprechers dutzende Aufständische getötet

Die Regierungstruppen eroberten zunächst die Stadt Harad und dann Hasm, die Hauptstadt der Provinz Jawf. An den Kämpfen gegen die schiitischen Huthi-Rebellen waren Truppen des Präsidenten Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi beteiligt. An der Einnahme von Harad waren rund tausend Soldaten beteiligt, die aus der Luft von der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten arabischen Militärkoalition unterstützt wurden. Ein Militärsprecher sagte, auf der Seite der Aufständischen habe es dutzende Tote gegeben.

http://derstandard.at/2000027785308/Jemen-Dutzende-Tote-bei-Offensive-der-Regierungstruppen

http://derstandard.at/2000027785308/Jemen-Dutzende-Tote-bei-Offensive-der-Regierungstruppen

19.12.2015 – Gulf News

Yemen government forces seize two towns

http://gulftoday.ae/portal/d3f963a8-5914-4b88-9ef0-85dbfc363923.aspx

Commentary: There is an irony how all sides report 'victories' in this ceasefire, without a spot of irony, without any regret that the ceasefire looks as if it is broken. Instead, the joy at any 'victory' on one's own side, however it was achieved - even by ignoring the ceasefire and pushing any hope for peace in Yemen further and further away.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1074982815987542

18.12.2015 – The National UAE

Yemeni pro-government forces take second rebel-held city in 24 hours

Pro-government Yemeni forces on Friday captured the capital of northern Al Jawf province, the second rebel-held city to fall in 24 hours.

News of the seizure of Al Hazm came as the Saudi-led coalition fighting the rebels said two ballistic missiles had been launched from Yemen towards Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh said one of the missiles was intercepted by the kingdom’s air defences, but that the other hit an area of desert east of the Saudi Arabian city of Najran. It did not mention any casualties.

Faisal Al Aswad, a journalist based in Al Hazm district where Al Hazm city is located, said local resistance fighters were clearing the area of Houthi rebels, after Yemeni troops and allied tribesmen captured local government buildings.

“Pro-government forces took over the public compound, which consists of most of the government offices in the province and [the provincial headquarters] of all government institutions,” Mr Al Aswad said.

The pro-government forces seized Al Hazm after making significant gains in the neighbouring province of Marib, residents and tribal sources said.

Yemeni troops had captured the northwestern town of Harad on Thursday after crossing over from Saudi Arabia where they had been trained and equipped.

About 1,000 soldiers were involved in the operation to take the town, a Yemeni military official said, adding that dozens of renegade troops allied with the Iran-backed Houthis had been killed.

Mr Al Aswad, the journalist, said Yemeni forces took over the whole of Al Hazm district after recapturing two military bases, including Alabinat, which is near to Al Hazm city.

“Pro-government forces detained dozens of Houthis and [allied soldiers loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh] inside Alabinat, after their colleagues outside the camp fled the district, leaving them behind,” he added.

Mubarak Al Abadi, an anti-Houthi activist in Al Hazm, said that most of the district’s residents were opposed to the rebels. When the pro-government forces arrived in Al Hazm, he said, residents joined them in liberating the district.

Fadhl Al Rabei, a political analyst and head of the Aden-based Madar Strategic Centre for Studies told The National that the capture of Al Hazm and Harad was a reaction to the multiple violations of an agreed ceasefire by the Houthis. The truce came into force on Tuesday and was supposed to hold for a week.

“This means that there is not a ceasefire on the ground, but these victories [by pro-government fighters] will force the Houthis to accept a political solution as they have lost many areas in different provinces, while the loyalist forces are advancing towards Sanaa,” he said.

In Switzerland, Yemeni peace talks were reportedly halted on Friday after the Houthis suspended all meetings with the internationally recognised government of Abdrabu Mansur Hadi, members of both sides said – by Mohammed Al Qalisi

http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/yemeni-pro-government-forces-take-second-rebel-held-city-in-24-hours

Kommentar: Hier die Ereignisse (siehe Yemen Press Reader 70) noch einmal referiert aus Sicht der Emirate. Ganz offen rühmen sich beide Seiten ihrer Siege während des Waffenstillstands. Ein massiver Vormarsch wird hier mit den Waffenstillstandsverletzungen der Gegenseite begründet - was so kaum glaubhaft und unter Propaganda einzuordnen ist. Die Seite der Huthi wiederum begründet das Abfeuern von Raketen auf saudische Gebiete mit eben diesem Vormarsch der Gegenseite.

19.12.2015 – Albawaba

Saudi troops hit with two ballistic missiles from Yemen as ceasefire collapses

At least 180 Saudi-led troops were killed after Yemen's army fires a ballistic missile at a military base in retaliation for heavy bombing and capture of two Yemeni towns despite a ceasefire.

The army, backed by Houthi fighters, launched a Tochka ballistic missile at the military camp in Yemen’s west-central province of Ma’rib Friday afternoon, the Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported.

The fatalities include a number of Saudi officers and military personnel, it said. The website had earlier put the toll at 120.

A military source said Yemeni forces had also fired two Qaher 1 ballistic missiles at the Najran region in southwestern Saudi Arabia. The counterattacks, the source said, came after Saudi Arabia's violation of the ceasefire.

Since the truce came into effect on Tuesday, the kingdom has escalated its heavy bombing of Yemen and forces loyal to pro-Saudi Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi have overrun two towns.

According to a Yemeni army spokesman, Saudi warplanes have conducted more than 300 airstrikes against Yemen ever since the ceasefire.

http://www.albawaba.com/news/saudi-troops-hit-two-ballistic-missiles-yemen-ceasefire-collapses-783146

19.12.2015 – Alalam

VIDEO: 180 Saudi Backed Terrorists Killed in Yemeni Forces Missile Attack

Yemeni Army and popular forces have targeted Saudi backed terrorists in Marib province, killing 180 terrorists and mercenaries and their Senior commanders by Tochka and Qaher-I ballistic missiles.

Yemen's Tochka ballistic missiles hit the Saudi army's gathering centers in Jizan province today.

The Yemeni forces also fired a Qaher-I missile at Saudi forces' bases in Najran on Friday.

Yemen's Tochka ballistic missile also hit the pro-Hadi forces' positions in Ma'rib earlier today.

The missile attacks came in response to the violation of truce by the Saudi bomb strikes.

On Tuesday, the Yemeni missiles destroyed the command center of Saudi border guards in Asir province.

Meantime, the Yemeni missiles hit the Saudi governmental buildings in al-Rabou'a region of Asir province.

The Yemeni army also fired 52 rockets at the border regions of Alab, al-Sheibani, al-Hazar and al-Thurein in Asir province.

On Monday, Yemeni forces hit Jizan airport in Southern Saudi Arabia with their new surface-to-surface ballistic missiles.

"The Qaher-I missile precisely hit the target, the Jizan airport; the third such missile used in the past 24 hours to target military positions in Southern Saudi Arabia," Yemeni military sources told FNA.

The first Qaher-I ballistic missiles targeted Khalid bin Abdulaziz air base in Asir province in Southwestern Saudi Arabia on Sunday.

The second ballistic missile hit the Saudi-led coalition's command headquarters in Sha'ab al-Jen region near Bab al-Mandeb in Ta'iz province. Over 150 coalition servicemen, including 23 Saudi troops, 9 UAE officers and soldiers, seven Moroccan officers and 42 Blackwater troops were killed in the second attack.

Qaher-I is an updated version of a Russian-made surface-to-surface missile.

The Saudi-led forces sustained heavy casualties in the Yemeni army's missile attack on the Bab al-Mandeb region in Southwestern Yemen.

http://en.alalam.ir/news/1770693

18.12.2015 – Press TV Iran

Yemeni forces kill 120 Saudi forces in ballistic missile strike

Yemeni forces say they have managed to kill 120 troops working for Saudi Arabia spearheading a war on Yemen in a ballistic missile attack in the country’s central province of Ma'rib.

The Yemeni army, backed by popular committees loyal to the Houthi Ansarullah movement, targeted a military camp with a Tochka ballistic missile on Friday afternoon, Yemen's Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported, adding that a number of Saudi soldiers were among the dead.

Earlier in the day, Yemeni forces also launched two other ballistic missiles towards military bases in Saudi Arabia's southwestern Najran region. One of them, a Tochka missile, was intercepted by Saudi forces in the Yemeni airspace and fell in the vicinity of Ma'rib city. The other one, a Yemeni ballistic missile named Qaher 1, hit a desert area eastwards of the city of Najran.

According to the Saudi Press Agency, the Saudi Coalition Forces Command confirmed the news in a statement without mentioning the number of casualties and the extent of damage inflicted.

Yemenis carry out these attacks in retaliation for Saudi strikes, launched with the aim of undermining Houthi Ansarullah movement and bringing back to power the country’s fugitive former president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2015/12/18/442294/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-Houthi-Ansarullah-Marib-Najran-Tochka-Hadi-UN-Najran

18.12.2015 – Hassan Al-Haifi

A new Toschka Missile fired on Al-Tadaween Saudi and mercenary camp in Mareb by Yemeni Army and Popular Committees leads to 90 mercenaries killed, a Saudi Lieutenant Colonel and a number of other Saudis accompanying him. In addition, 2 Appache helicopters and a Patriot Anti Missile System were destroyed.

https://www.facebook.com/hassan.alhaifi/posts/1002921816421453

18.12.2015 – South Front

YEMEN MAP OF WAR – DEC. 18, 2015

An overview on political and military events in Yemen from Dec. 9 to 18 – by Akram Abu Abs

http://southfront.org/yemen-map-of-war/

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-70: / Yemen Press reader 1-70:

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

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

Fotos von saudischen Luftangriffen / Photos of Saudi air attacks

(18 +, Nichts für Sensible; Graphic!)

http://poorworld.net/Yemen/YemenImages2015-12-15-Muharraq.htm (15. Dez)

http://poorworld.net/Yemen/YemenImages2015-12-16-RasIssa.htm (16. Dez.)

14:52 19.12.2015
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

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

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