Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 73

Yemen Press Reader 73: Yemen, die größte humanitäre Krise - HRW-Untersuchungesbericht und Augenzeuge zu saudischen Luftangriffen - Saudis, Emirate, USA kaufen in Bulgarien Waffen für Rebellen

Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community.
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Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Am wichtigsten / Most important

Allgemein / General

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Friedensverhandlungen / Peace talks

Südjemen: Hadi-Streitkräfte / Southern Jemen: Hadi forces

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

Großbritannien / Great Britain

Waffenexporte / Arms trade


Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Am wichtigsten / Most important

20.12.2015 – Yemen News Today

The Houthi-Saleh alliance is in a bind. They are portrayed as the rebels but in fact this was a classic civil war between two men who were in effect ex-Presidents, Hadi and Saleh - neither of whom I personally like very much but the world has decided to side with Hadi. In the ceasefire the Saudi-led alliance – who are desperate for progress to show that they were right to start the war – increased their attacks throughout Yemen. They have now adjourned talks, presumably hoping they can make gains before January 14th when they restart. The Houthi-Saleh alliance would prefer a ceasefire as it suits their purposes better, but they are forced to go in fighting, and what's more the Saudi-led alliance has made gains because they increased the ferocity of their attacks as the ceasefire went into operation. UN resolution 2216 was one sided and favoured Hadi and his Saudi backers, so any post positions in fighting will not be 'returned' even if they were taken unfairly - according to agreed ceasefire rules. So I fear the fighting all over Yemen will only get worse between now and January 14th.

22.12.2015 – Global Post

Yemen might be the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis

The second floor of the dialysis clinic here [at Hodeida] looks more like a refugee camp than a kidney treatment center.

A few dozen patients have been living here for days, sleeping on either plastic chairs or the grime-covered floor. They are waiting for treatment but the clinic's machines are not working. With each passing day the toxins in their blood increase. They get sicker. They can do nothing but wait.

Like all of Yemen, they are slowly dying.

The dialysis center represents all that is wrong with country right now.

he blockade, meanwhile, is having a quieter, slower, but ultimately more deadly impact.

Saudi Arabia says the blockade is preventing weapons from reaching the Houthis. But it is also preventing humanitarian aid from reaching Yemenis. The Houthis and their allies have set up their own blockades in areas they control, making the problem even worse.

Effectively, Yemenis are being strangled to death. Every day that passes they lose more and more of the essentials: food, water, shelter, fuel and health care.

All of these shortages meet at Hudeidah’s sole dialysis center.

Darweesh Abdullah, an elderly woman who lives more than 40 miles away from the center, has waited for a week, sleeping on the floor. She typically needs dialysis every four days. Now her chest has tightened, making it difficult to breathe. Her legs and feet have swollen. She can no longer walk. "After the war it got a lot harder to get help," she said.

In a room down the hall, 29 dialysis machines sit eerily idle. Mohamed Abdo, a young hospital supervisor, tries to explain the situation to a knot of forlorn patients gathered around him. There is a problem with the facility that treats the water used in the machines, he tells them, and the hospital must wait for engineers from the distant capital to fix it.

"This has happened a lot and it will happen again," Abdo said. It is stiflingly hot and humid and there is sweat dripping from his forehead. "We have a very, very big problem."

Because of a lack of fuel for generators, extended power cuts in the clinic are frequent. If they occur during dialysis, the machines stop and the blood inside can clot. "Many patients have died because of a lack of treatment," said Hanan Ahmed, a specialist at the center. Some patients can’t reach the center for treatment at all. With high fuel prices, transport costs have skyrocketed, making long journeys an arduous and expensive ordeal.

Aisha Abdo and her husband, Yahiya Hussein, have been living in the clinic for a month and a half because they cannot afford to make the trip from Haradh twice a week for Aisha's dialysis. "We don't have money to go home," Yahiya said. "We are living here for now. We don't know what the future holds."

Mohamed Taher, a father of five, was unable to raise the 2,000 riyals (about $9) to make the trip from his village about 40 miles away. His nephew, Saeed Ibrahim, watched helplessly as his uncle grew frail. On Oct. 22, Saeed came to see Mohamed and found him dead. "There's no hospital in our area and we just couldn't afford it," Saeed said, softly.

The humanitarian situation of Yemen is described at great length in 6 chapters, which you are recommended to read at the original site:

The blockade

The hungry

The displaced

The hospitals

The economy

The worst-off

by Sharif Abdel Kouddous =

Commentary: A piece of good journalism, with many photos.

20.12.2015 – Human Rights Watch

Yemen: Coalition Bombs Homes in Capital

Saudi-led Forces, US Fail to Investigate Alleged Unlawful Attacks

The Saudi Arabia-led coalition fighting in Yemen carried out at least six apparently unlawful airstrikes in residential areas of the capital, Sanaa, in September and October 2015, killing 60 civilians. Coalition members and the United States, as a party to the conflict, are required under the laws of war to investigate such attacks, but they have not.

Human Rights Watch found no evidence of any military target in an airstrike on the Old City and on al-Asbahi neighborhood in September. Airstrikes that caused civilian casualties on homes on Marib Street and in the neighborhoods of Hadda, al-Hassaba, and Thabwa hit 200 meters or more from possible military objectives. These attacks failed to distinguish civilians from military objectives or caused disproportionate civilian loss. Houthi forces in at least two of the attacks put civilians at unnecessary risk by deploying in densely populated neighborhoods. Human Rights Watch visited the sites in late October and interviewed survivors.

“How many civilians will die in unlawful airstrikes in Yemen before the coalition and its US ally investigate what went wrong and who is responsible,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Their disregard for the safety of civilians is appalling.”

One coalition attack struck a house in Sanaa’s Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, on the night of September 13, killing 18 civilians and wounding many others. Abd al-Khalik Muhammad al-Khamisi, 29, told Human Rights Watch he was sleeping at home with his family in their second-floor apartment, 50 meters from where the strike hit: “I woke up to a loud noise, and felt the glass from all the windows in the room shatter on top of us. My wife and I asked each other why a bomb would drop here; there was no military target near here. It was so loud, so dark.” Al-Khamisi found his mother holding his 2-year-old son – covered in dust but unharmed.

According to the United Nations, most of the 2,500 civilian deaths since the coalition began its military campaign in late March against the Houthis, also known as Allah Ansar, have been from coalition airstrikes. Human Rights Watch is unaware of any investigations by Saudi Arabia or other members of the nine-nation coalition into these or other allegedly unlawful strikes, or of any compensation for victims. The US, by coordinating and directly assisting coalition military operations, is a party to the conflict and as such is obligated to investigate allegedly unlawful attacks in which it took part.

Following: Investigation of 6 air strikes at Sanaa.

Kommentar: 60 Luftschläge auf Sanaa wurden näher untersucht. Es waren in Sanaa freilich noch wesentlich mehr und auch wesentlich mehr als die 60 Toten dieser 10 Luftschläge.

21.12.2015 – Common Dreams

Rights Group Says Disregard for Civilian Life by US and Saudi Arabia Is 'Appalling'

Human Rights Watch blasts Saudi-led coalition for apparent war crimes and failure to investigate

The United States has been party to numerous apparent war crimes committed by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen, yet—along with all nations responsible—is violating international requirements to investigate bombings of homes, schools, and refugee camps, Human Rights Watch (HRW) declared on Monday.

Coming just hours after peace talks concluded with no clear resolution to the nearly nine-month-old conflict, the report finds that the coalition launched six "apparently unlawful airstrikes" in residential areas of Sanaa, Yemen's capital, that killed a total of 60 civilians during September and October. One September 13 bombing of a home in Sanaa's old city, which is protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, killed 18 civilians and wounded far more – by Sarah Lazare

And The Independent at the same subject:

20.12.2015 – Human Rights Watch

Witness: A Wedding Bombed in Yemen

It was an October night and the al-Sanabani family was readying to celebrate the wedding of three couples. It was around 9:30 p.m. when Muhammad Jamal Saleh Ghouba al-Sanabani arrived at his relative’s home, where the wedding was to be held, to take part in the celebration.

Then, Yemen’s war caught up with them.

“I heard whizzing for a moment, then came the explosion,” al-Sanabani, 33, told Human Rights Watch two weeks after a warplane bombed his relative’s home. “It was a huge explosion inside the yard. The sky turned red. I didn’t realize at that moment it was an airstrike and still now also can’t believe it – it’s like a nightmare that plays before my eyes.”

Instead of celebrating his cousin’s marriages, al-Sanabani spent the night trying to dig the wounded out of rubble, searching the wreckage in hopes of finding his mother and small daughter alive.

Families began gathering for the wedding at 9 p.m. that October 7, when the families brought the three brides -- Khetam, Hana, and Jamila -- to the home of al-Sanabani’s relative, Muhammad Saleh Ghouba al-Sanabani. The house sat atop a small hill overlooking the village of Sanaban, about 150 kilometers south of Sanaa. The brides were to be wed that night to three of the elder al-Sanabani’s sons – Moayed, Ayman, and Abd al-Rahman. Throughout the evening they heard jet planes overhead, but they did not believe they were in danger because planes had flown in the area before without conducting any strikes.

Al-Sanabani told us he and his wife had just arrived at the house along with four of his brothers. By 9:30 the procession of grooms to their father’s home was nearly finished. His own father was standing at the gate of his house, just 10 meters away when a bomb from a coalition warplane struck the compound next to the ground-floor room of his father’s home where the women and girls had gathered.

Gas cylinders, diesel and petrol stored for the wedding exploded, setting fire to the building. Al-Sanabani was thrown to the ground, disoriented by the pressure of the explosion. When he recovered, he headed to the house, afraid for his mother and his daughter, Joud, whom he believed were inside with about 50 other women and girls.

He saw his brother Jameel on the ground, who told him to find their father. “It was a big shock when I saw [my father],” al-Sanabani said. “He was different— swollen and split in half. I can’t describe the scene. My father, only 65-years-old, dead.”

Rubble covered the gate to the house. Al-Sanabani said he and a few other men pried open the gate and helped a few women out. They went inside. He heard a voice calling for help.

“I saw one of my cousins inside covered with rubble, except for her head, which was visible,” he said. “It was a very difficult situation. She was calling me by name, begging for help. She was terrified and crying. I tried to help her but I couldn’t do anything—the roof was falling on top of us.”

Others showed up to help in the rescue effort. They were able to extract al-Sanabani’s cousin – her face had been disfigured and she had lost an arm. Altogether, 18 women and girls were buried under the rubble in the room.

Al-Sanabani began searching for his mother and daughter. He saw women evacuating from the second floor of the house by ropes tied to the windows. The fire kept growing, so he left the building to see if his mother and daughter were in the yard.

He learned that his 30-year-old brother Essam had been killed along with Essam’s son Muhammad, 5. An uncle had died as well.

The fire died down after about 45 minutes. Al-Sanabani found his mother’s remains inside the compound. They were “charred and burned,” he told us. Neighbors said he might find his daughter Joud in nearby houses, where others had taken some children. He found his 8-year-old son Jamal but still could not find his daughter.

“The next afternoon at 1 o’clock, some people brought a body to the mosque to be buried after prayers,” al-Sanabani told us. “Someone came to ask me to check if she was my daughter because they couldn’t tell -- the body was so charred. I refused to look at her in such shape. They brought to me the only thing that was left – her hair clip. I gave it to her mother, who immediately recognized that it was hers.”

In addition to the destruction of the Al-Sanabani home, 25 other homes in the village were also damagedin the airstrike. Al-Sanabani and other residents said there were no military targets in the vicinity, no Houthi forces, not even a checkpoint. Altogether the airstrike killed 43 people, including 13 women and 16 children. Dozens were wounded. The victims and their families have received no compensation from any coalition country – by Belkis Wille

21.12.2015 – Balkan Insight

War Gains: Bulgarian Arms Add Fuel to Middle East Conflicts

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US have bought millions of dollars of Bulgarian weaponry, much of it likely destined for the war in Syria, a BIRN investigation reveals.

October last year, plane spotters noted with some excitement that Boeing 747 jumbo jets marked Saudi Arabian Cargo had begun landing at the airport of the Bulgarian capital, Sofia.

"A Saudi cargo plane had never come here... for the past 20 years," explained Stephan Gagov, a veteran Bulgarian plane spotter.

The flights became so frequent that Gagov started a thread on an online plane-spotting forum about them, using the phrase "the regular route" in the title. Spotters reported seeing the planes land twice in late October, once in November, four times in December and once each in March and May this year.

The giant aircraft arrived from Jeddah, loaded up with cargo then flew to the Saudi city of Tabuk, about 100 km from the border with Jordan, noted the spotters, who use online flight-tracking tools.

Gagov estimated the planes took on between 60 and 80 tonnes of cargo in crates each time. He could not see what was inside the crates but he could tell they were heavy.

After the Saudi flights stopped, cargo planes from Abu Dhabi began arriving. Airbus A330F and Boeing 777F aircraft bearing the livery of Etihad Cargo landed in Sofia five times between late June and mid-August this year. Even more recently, on October 19, an Etihad Cargo Airbus 330F flew from Abu Dhabi to the Bulgarian city of Burgas and then to Al Dhafra Air Base, a military installation just south of the Emirati capital.

The Saudi, UAE and Bulgarian authorities have not disclosed the contents of these shipments. But the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network, BIRN, can reveal that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have bought large quantities of weapons and ammunition from Bulgaria in the past two years, almost certainly for use by local forces they support in the war in Syria, and possibly also the conflict in Yemen.

Bulgaria's annual report on defence industry exports, which was published in August this year but received no media coverage, states that the government approved more than €85 million worth of munitions and military equipment sales to Saudi Arabia in 2014, with deals to the value of almost €29 million completed by the end of the year.

The Bulgarian government has also told BIRN that it issued permits for the sale this year of weapons to the United Arab Emirates.

Bulgaria makes and stockpiles mainly Soviet-style weapons. Analysts say it is highly unlikely Saudi Arabia or the UAE would buy these for their own forces, which use modern Western weapons, and it is therefore much more plausible they bought the munitions for local factions they back in Syria and Yemen, where Soviet-style arms are widely used.

A well-connected Bulgarian former military officer told BIRN the Saudi purchases were transported on the aircraft seen by the plane spotters and that they were intended for Syrian opposition fighters, with later shipments possibly also being used in Yemen.

Opposition fighters and independent analysts have also told BIRN that Bulgarian weapons are being used in Syria, where more than 250,000 people have been killed and more than 11 million forced from their homes since war broke out in 2011.

Under communism, Bulgaria — a country of just seven million — built an enormous weapons industry, employing 110,000 people and bringing in up to $1.5 billion (€1.3 billion) in hard currency per year. The regime acquired Soviet technology to make small arms and ammunition.

Saudi Arabia has not been a major customer for Bulgarian arms firms in recent years. But that changed in 2014.

The Bulgarian government's report says it issued permits for munitions and military equipment sales worth €85.5 million to Saudi Arabia last year — including ammunition worth €65.4 million, large calibre weapons to the value of €12.5 million and small calibre weapons worth €5 million. By the end of 2014, Bulgarian companies in the sector had completed deals for exports to the Gulf state worth €28.9 million.

Bulgaria's Economy Ministry, which oversees the arms trade, told BIRN in a statement that the deals included small arms as well as light and heavy weaponry.

A UN report listed 827 light machine guns and 120 SPG-9 recoilless anti-tank guns as part of Bulgaria’s arms exports to Saudi Arabia in 2014.

Ben Moores, a senior analyst at defence consultancy IHS Janes, said such weapons were likely going to Syria or Yemen. The Saudi military is armed with Belgian-made light machine guns and does not use SPG-9s, he said.

In a BBC interview in late October 2015, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir openly acknowledged that Riyadh supplied arms to Syrian opposition fighters. "We have to contribute to changing the balance of the power on the ground," he said.

The Bulgarian former military officer said some of the weapons shipped to Saudi Arabia "may have also been used for Yemen, as the later flights coincided with the beginning of the Saudi operation there". Saudi Arabia started military action in Yemen in late March in support of forces loyal to exiled President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Unlike Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates already had a recent history of buying arms from Bulgaria. A diplomatic cable from the US embassy in Sofia, published by WikiLeaks, reported that the UAE funded a 2010 deal to buy tens of thousands of assault rifles, 100,000 high-explosive charges, rocket-propelled grenades and ammunition for Yemen's then-government.

The cable also said that Bulgaria consults with the US embassy on potentially controversial arms deals. Contacted by BIRN, the embassy declined to say whether it was aware of other countries buying Bulgarian weapons for use in Syria.

This year, the Bulgarian government issued licences for the export of ammunition, firearms and defence equipment to the UAE, the Economy Ministry told BIRN. It declined to state the value of these deals.

Pieter Wezeman, a researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, said "it doesn’t make sense" that the UAE would buy weapons and ammunition from Bulgaria for its own forces. He said he suspected these munitions would be diverted to either Syria or Yemen. Moores voiced a similar conclusion.

On June 6 this year, a fatal explosion at an arms testing ground in rural Bulgaria forced the United States to admit it had been weapons-shopping in Bulgaria as part of an effort to support Syrian opposition fighters.

A US contractor, 41-year-old Navy veteran Francis Norwillo, died when a rocket-propelled grenade exploded as it was being loaded into an RPG-7 launcher. Two other US citizens and two Bulgarians were also hurt.

The Americans were working for a US company named Purple Shovel, contracted by the US military to help train and equip opposition fighters in Syria, the US embassy said in a terse statement.

"The three contractors were conducting familiarization training for other company employees at the time of the incident," the embassy said, declining to make any further comment.

A US government procurement database shows that Special Operations Command (SOCOM), which was in charge of the US military effort to assist Syrian fighters, awarded Purple Shovel a contract worth more than $26.7 million (€24.6 million) in December 2014 to supply foreign weapons and ammunition. Their country of origin is listed as Bulgaria.

The contract was amended twice to reach a total value of $28.3 million, according to the database.

Asked about the deal, SOCOM spokesman Kenneth McGraw said via email:

"The weapons that were purchased with this contract included the AT-5 Anti-Tank Missile Launcher, the SPG-9 Anti-Tank Recoilless Gun and RPG-7 Rocket-Propelled Grenade Launcher."

But he said the weapon involved in the explosion at Anevo was not part of the contract. Despite the fatal incident, McGraw said the contract had not been cancelled.

The US procurement database shows SOCOM also awarded a contractworth more than $32,000 (€28,200) to another US company, UDC USA, to supply ammunition from Bulgaria. The contract was signed on the same date as the Purple Shovel deal and displays the same "solicitation ID", the code used on a written call for bids to fulfil a contract.

Reached by phone and asked if the contract was for the US task force arming Syrian fighters, company president Matthew Herring told BIRN: "No, no, we're not a part of that and we're certainly not at liberty to talk about it." – by Mariya Petkova

Comment: That is a heavy story. Really worth to be read in full. There is also a “Turkish connection”. And there is one more EU state selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and allies…

Allgemein / General

22.12.2015 – Iran Review

Iran's Role in Restoring Peace to Yemen

The first problem in this country is the issue of Zaidi Shias in Yemen, which were driven out of the power structure as a result of a coup d’état that was carried out by Nasserite pan-Arabs in 1962 after they have ruled Yemen for about 1,000 years. Subsequently, they suffered serious economic, religious and political deprivation, were persecuted by nationalist Arabs as well as anti-Shia Salafist groups, and deeply believed that there was a well-planned scheme in order to eradicate this ethnic minority. Zaidi Shias, or Houthis, who had experienced some kind of identity-based awakening and come up with political demands of their own following the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, witnessed increasing presence of anti-Shia Salafist preachers, who had been sent by Saudi Arabia on the pretext of supporting the central government in Yemen in the face of South Yemen separatists forces. In practice, however, those preachers were bent on propagating Wahhabism among Zaidi Shias and this issue, boosted the resolve of Yemen’s Shias to get their political, cultural and economic rights recognized. Continuation of that process led to the emergence of Ansarullah movement and seven major military conflicts, the last of which broke out between Houthis and their ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh (the former president of Yemen), on the one hand, and the Saudi-led coalition forces, on the other hand, which has continued up to the present day.

However, major challenges with which Yemen is facing cannot be considered limited to demands of a Zaidi minority. After the coup d’état carried out by Nasserite army officers in 1962, which was followed by another coup staged by leftist officers who supported the former Soviet Union, the country was practically divided into two northern and southern parts. These ideological conflicts, which had divided Yemeni people on the two sides of political and ideological frontiers for a matter of three decades, finally reached their end after the implosion of the Soviet Union and the beginning of the national unity process in early 1990s. Of course, due to the intense rivalry among political elites in Yemen to gain more power, the national unity process in Yemen practically did not lead to broad-based participation of the elites from South Yemen in the political power structure. This happened because the leaders of North Yemen, topped by the country’s former president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, were not ready to share power with southern people. Such differences over position and power finally ended in a civil war in 1994 and gave birth to a secessionist movement in the south; a movement which is now considered as a major actor in the southern parts of Yemen.

In the meantime, the issue that has drawn attention from experts and analysts of Middle East issues during the past few months has been strange insistence by Saudi Arabia and a large part of regional Arab media that have been trying to accuse Iran of supporting Yemen’s Ansarullah movement. In this way, they have been trying to ignore the core issue and avoid facing the two basic problems of Yemen, that is, the issue of the legal rights of Houthis and the secessionist movement in the south, and instead, blame all Yemen’s problems on Iran. One of the accusations that have been regularly leveled against Iran by the Arab media close to Saudi Arabia is sending arms to Shia Muslims in Yemen. At the same time, according to Yemen experts, there are more than 50 million firearms in the hands of Yemeni people and few houses can be found in Yemen in which such weapons cannot be found. Trading arms in Yemen is quite easy and ordinary people are able to even acquire heavy weapons.

By the way, it must not be forgotten that the Yemeni army, which is still loyal to Abdullah Saleh, is equipped with semi-heavy and heavy weapons and Yemenis do not need to receive arms from Iran. However, despite all the conflicts in Yemen, if regional and transregional powers make a decision to put an end to the crisis in the country, establish a national unity government through the presence of all political groups in Yemen, and recognize the rights of religious minorities, there would be hope in the termination of violence in this impoverished country. There is no doubt that to restore peace to Yemen the root causes of historical problems in the country must be addressed, and leveling baseless charges against countries like Iran by accusing them of intervention in Yemen’s internal affairs will not solve any problem. On the other hand, commitment of the political elites to principles of democracy and the rule of law will be of high significance in this regard. In the meantime, Iran can use its influence and convince the Ansarullah movement that continuation of the civil (inter-Yemeni) war will get them nowhere. On the contrary, an inter-Yemeni agreement will strip all foreign countries of the excuses and tools they have to influence Yemen and will enable Ansarullah to play an effective role in ending the bloody civil war in the country while increasing their soft power potential as a responsible actor in the Middle East – by Hossein Bozorgmanesh

Kommentar: Eine vernünftige Stimme aus dem Iran.

21.12.2015 – The Chicago Monitor

Yemen: The Other U.S. Supported War in the Middle East

Yemen, prior to the Arab Spring, remained unstable with different groups conveniently pitted against the other while the power of its leaders was kept intact. The correlation between these two aspects of the state was overlooked because of the long existing distrust ingrained in the community. As a result, the fact that those in power exploited this deep-rooted enmity has been perceived as the regular state of affairs. Being the poorest nation in the Middle East for many years, contributes to the dismissal of Yemen’s recent escalation into severe humanitarian crisis. The majority of the world has paid little attention to Yemen since the civil war broke out in full force in March 2015 between the al-Houthi’s said to be backed by Iran and the Saudi-led coalition of some Arab states backed by the U.S. and British. However, the Saudi military intervention in Yemen’s civil war has less to do with preventing more deaths and threats to surrounding borders and more to do with displaying regional influence through a preemptive attack disguised as a necessary action of self-defense.

I had the chance to speak with Yemeni-American Wafa Yafai about the current situation in Yemen in order to capture a clearer picture on how the situation is taking a toll on Yemenis themselves. Although Wafa resides in Chicago, she still has family members that live in Yemen and her husband runs a business in Yemen, which is directly impacted by the war. Wafa shed some light on how the war has affected her and her family and Yemenis as a whole; here is what she had to say:

Since the bombing campaign, who do Yemenis blame for the destruction that is happening around them?

The Yemeni’s see weapons made by America as the cause of much of the destruction around them. These are weapons that were being supplied for the fight against Al-Qaeda. However, since the U.S. didn’t retrieve them back, many forces used them for their fight. The Houthi’s use the weapons and the Pro-Saleh troops also use them, which all further vilifies the U.S. The people don’t have real facts, all they have is what they see in front of them and how the different groups are showing and using this as propaganda to gain supporters. With the all the confusion, the Yemeni citizens don’t know who to blame for their anguish, so then they view it as a matter of “us against the world.” They don’t have a face to put to the enemy and people now wonder why they should even help each other out.

What do you make of the Saudi versus Iran focus on the issue?

This is my issue with KSA (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia), Iran, and all of the Middle Eastern countries. They are so now involved with the issue, where were they from the get-go? They knew the country was going downhill. Why didn’t they prevent it? If they are so worried about their borders, why didn’t they help this country to develop, kick out the president and actually make better schooling, better military, better policing, better governmental foundation that will actually develop into a great country? They just sat there and watched it go down hill, basically explode, and are now pointing fingers at everyone else except themselves. This issue did not happen overnight.

Wafa is one of many Yemenis whose lives have been disrupted by this tragic war. Being able to send money to family members in Yemen has become incredibly difficult and distrust in the community runs deep. In addition, there are no outside forces to rely on to change the situation at hand because every player in the game is invested for their own gain. There was a ceasefire briefly instated recently for the sake of peace talks between the Houthi’s and the Saudi-led coalition. However, as of December 18th the ceasefire was suspended due to violations from both sides with a promise of extended peace talks at a later time.

The public has not paid attention since the beginning of this war and now even with the brief attempt at instigating peace talks, attention from the world is even more rare. This civil war has been swept under the rug effectively, and cries of sorrow go unheard daily. The fact stands that with the schisms inside of Yemen and the Arab world in general, Yemen’s civil war is one of the most complex conflicts of our time centered on a struggle for regional supremacy. However, that does not excuse or permit the mass murder of innocent children, women and men that has been occurring in Yemen since the start of the conflict. Yemen’s war, in the truest sense of the term, is a forgotten war, headed towards a path of nothing but more destruction and grief unless aggressive pursuit for a solution is sought by all parties involved, including the U.S., and the rest of the world starts paying attention – by Tsedenya Bizani

Kommentar: Langer und einfühlsamer Artikel einer jungen Frau, die die Dinge zusammenfasst; sie, bleibt stellenweise aber etwas an der Oberfläche. Die Rolle Saudi-Arabiens bleibt auf eine Reaktion auf eine iranische Bedrohung verkürzt. Eine solche Bedrohung war im Jemen nie akut, und die Geschichte der saudischen Einmischung im Jemen geht bis 1934 zurück. Damit verschieben sich die Gewichtungen deutlich.

21.12.2015 – Press TV Iran

Yemen, Syria suffering from US, Saudi intervention: Scholar

Press TV has conducted an interview with Wahid Azal, an independent scholar and political commentator from Berlin, on the Saudis’ constant bombardment of Yemen despite agreeing to a truce to hold UN-brokered peace talks in Switzerland.

Press TV: Looks like despite the UN-brokered ceasefire that is in place, the Saudis have increased their airstrikes on the Yemenis, what was the point of talks in Switzerland, when none of the requirements have been met? And we’ve seen this before. It doesn’t really come as surprise anymore.

Azal: Well, this is typical Saudi behavior to buying time. I mean, look since March this intervention began, this Arab [Persian] Gulf coalition, that involves – Saudi, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE – have carried out constant indiscriminate airstrikes despite calls by the UN and attempted brokered peace, it continues unabated.

I mean, Amnesty International reported that back in September the Saudi coalition was even targeting schools in Yemen. So, this is as usual as far as the Saudis are concerned.

This conflict in Yemen can end tomorrow, if the United States puts its put down and told its client petrodollar kingdom, Saudi Arabia, to quit it. It’s very simple.

But the fact of the matter is that we have US special forces operating on the ground, helping the Saudi coalition. And the American drones are flying over Yemen and providing intl. to the Saudis. So, this is farce. This is just basically buying time.

This is the same situation in Syria, I mean, these two situations are nearly identical and both of them have Saudi and American involvement. So, it’s basically the same situation in another part of the Middle East.

Press TV: So, do you think it’s Saudi Arabia not obeying orders or has the US weakened as world power?

Azal: I don’t think American power cares anymore about international law or even the perception of implementing it. And this is why we have these conflicts even though you have sound bites from politicians condemning the status and the other things.

Where it matters on the ground, they don’t really care. I mean, because basically the arms dealers are making money and American foreign policy is attaining its goal of continuing to fuel the chaos in the region

Kommentar: So etwas hört man im Iran natürlich gerne. Aber deswegen ist es ja nicht falsch.

20.12.2015 – Der Freitag

Der Krieg, den niemand stört

Das kleine Land auf der arabischen Halbinsel leidet. Doch anders als das Getöse in Syrien, still und heimlich. Woran liegt das?

Nachdem heute die Friedensverhandlungen der Konfliktparteien in der Schweiz gescheitert sind, schafft es der Bürgerkrieg im Jemen wieder ein wenig in die Schlagzeilen der internationalen Medien. Im Bürgerkriegsland toben schon seit März heftige Gefechte, die aber größtenteils von der Weltöffentlichkeit ignoriert wurden. Das könnte sich rächen.

Obwohl sogar Barack Obama zum Einhalten der Waffenruhe aufrief, sah sich keine Konfliktpartei dazu veranlasst. Dabei steigt das Leid im Jemen von Tag zu Tag. Hilfsorganisationen überbieten sich gegenseitig in Warnungen, die Lage im Land ist laut Mark Kayne von Save the Children die „weltgrößte Krise“ und schlimmer als alles, was er bisher gesehen hat.

Während die UN zumindest in ihren veröffentlichten Berichten die Blockade des Landes durch Saudi Arabien nicht erwähnt, formulieren andere deutlich drastischere Vorwürfe. Amnesty International bezichtigt alle Konfliktparteien internationales Recht gebrochen zu haben, seit Beginn des Konfliktes im Schnitt 43 pro Tag. Insbesondere die saudische Luftwaffe wird heftig kritisiert. Sie solle ohne Rücksicht auf Zivilisten bombardieren und auch geächtete Streubomben eingesetzt haben, laut AI.

Besonders die Zerstörungen der Infrastruktur sind verheerend

Auch Regierungen, die mit Saudi Arabien verbündet sind, schweigen im Anbetracht des Krieges dort. Die wenigen offiziellen Erklärungen sind größtenteils nicht mehr als bloße Aufrufe, die so scheint es mehr Alibi-mäßig gemacht werden – von Abrahan Garcia

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

22.12.2015 – Global Post

Yemen might be the world’s most urgent humanitarian crisis

More at: “Most important”

Commentary: A piece of good journalism, with many photos.

21.12.2015 – UN News Centre

Amid dire humanitarian situation, some 2.5 million now internally displaced in Yemen – UN

The situation in Yemen has substantially deteriorated since the conflict broke out in early 2015, with a nine per cent increase in the internally displaced persons (IDPs), which have reached 2.5 million, according to a recent United Nations-backed report on the issue.

“The ongoing conflict, damage to civilian infrastructure, and strain on already depleted resources have exacerbated an already precarious humanitarian situation,” Johannes van der Klaauw, the Representative of the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Representative in Yemen said, highlighting the latest report of the Task Force on Population Movement (TFPM), which was led by UNHCR and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and partners.

The main needs of IDPS, according to the report, are food, water, sanitation and hygiene, and shelters. Most IDPs have lost their livelihoods and have sought shelter with relatives and friends, in schools, public and abandoned buildings and makeshift shelters or in the open with little to no protection.

“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 the country.

Compared to the last report, the latest study has increased the coverage area for information by 82 per cent, while incorporating accuracy in timely data collecting to ensure the result. It estimates that about half of all IDPs have fled to areas within their governorate of origin, while 55 per cent have sought refuge in other areas.

The five governorates most affected by the conflict – Taiz, Amran, Hajjah, Sana’a and Abyan – account for more than half of the 2.5 million IDPs in Yemen, with more than 1/3 of them in Taiz.

In response, UNHCR and IOM have assisted IDPs and other conflict-affected communities with emergency shelter kits, tents and cash subsidies, as well as psychosocial and legal assistance.

21.12.2015 – British Red Cross


Three-year-old Hayat’s name means life, yet she almost lost hers when her family’s home in Yemen was bombed on 24 September. Her sister Dunia was killed and Hayat’s foot was so badly damaged that it had to be amputated.

The sisters are casualties of Yemen’s nine-month-old civil war, which has plunged the country into a humanitarian crisis.

“The overall humanitarian situation in Yemen is nothing short of catastrophic. On average, you have 25 people killed in Yemen every day and another 125 are injured,” says Rima Kamal of theInternational Committee of the Red Cross.

“The civilian population is suffering on multiple fronts. You have on-going air strikes, heavy ground fighting and then, on top of that, restrictions on the movement of goods and services,” she adds. Eight out of ten people in Yemen need humanitarian relief.

After her foot was amputated, Hayat began wondering why she couldn’t walk like other children and asked her father to fetch a foot for her from the market.

Instead, her parents took her on a two-hour journey to a physical rehabilitation centre supported by the Red Cross in Sana’a, Yemen’s capital.

Hayat was at first apprehensive when being measured for a prosthetic leg in the strange, noisy place. But when she got her new leg two days later, she was all smiles and insisted that she could walk by herself.

As she grows, Hayat will need a new prosthetic leg each year. However, since the conflict began, hospitals and medical facilities similar to the one that helped Hayat are disproportionately under attack.

“There were 100 attacks on hospitals and health care facilities since March,” says Rima Kamal. “Hospitals are no longer the safe places they used to be. We have incidents where both patients and hospital staff have been killed and injured.”

You can help by supporting our Yemen Crisis Appeal. Since March the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement has have provided 2.2 million people in Yemen with food, water and health care. A donation will help our partners reach those, like Hayat, who urgently need humanitarian aid.

Please give to the Yemen Crisis Appeal

Crisis in Yemen: your questions answered

Beyond the headlines: how bad is life in Yemen right now?

16.12.2015 – European Commission Humanitarian Aid Office

Yemen Crisis - Humanitarian overview - ECHO Daily Map | 16/12/2015

Friedensverhandlungen / Peace talks

21.12.2015 – The American Conservative

Yemen Peace Talks Collapse Again

The latest round seemed the most promising attempt thus far as the futility of the conflict has become increasingly obvious, but this round of talks has ended with the same result. Perhaps the talks in January will be more successful, but there is little reason to expect that they will be.

All parties to the conflict are responsible for this outcome, but the intervening governments bear a very large share of the blame for having escalated and internationalized an internal conflict earlier this year. Far from making a negotiated settlement easier, the involvement of outside forces has had the opposite effect, and they have been inflicting enormous damage on the civilian population in the process. To make matters worse, the Saudis and their allies are under no pressure from their Western supporters to reach a settlement or even to ease the blockade that has been starving the population for most of the last year. The U.S. and Britain continue to provide the Saudis with the weapons they require to continue their campaign and they are putting no pressure on the Saudi-led coalition to halt the campaign, and until that changes the Saudis will be in no hurry to accept a compromise.

The humanitarian disaster in Yemen continues to grow worse the longer that the war goes on. Millions of civilians are being starved to death with the support of our government, millions have been displaced by fighting that our government is helping to fuel, and thousands have been killed and many thousands more wounded by weapons the U.S. has sold to the Saudis. The horrifying effects of the war on Yemen are very gradually starting to be noticed in the U.S. and Britain, but the war is still mostly ignored and neither Obama nor Cameron faces much criticism or scrutiny for the support they are lending to the coalition –– by Daniel Larison

21.12.2015 – Süddeutsche Zeitung von Reuters

Feuerpause soll verlängert werden

Direkt aus dem Reuters-Videokanal

Die Fortsetzung der Friedensverhandlungen soll ab dem 14. Januar in Äthiopien erfolgen.

Kommentar: Verlängert? Es gibt schon längst keine Feuerpause mehr.

20.12.2015 – Sputnik News

UN Yemen Ceasefire Deal Falls Apart Before Peace Talks - Houthi Member

The United Nations has failed to stop the conflict in Yemen for the peace talks’ period as the truce fell apart before it started, a member of the political bureau of the Shiite Houthi movement, also known as Ansar Allah, told Sputnik.

"The United Nations lacked powers to stop the war. The truce has not had time to plainly start and has already collapsed. On the same day, when the negotiations began, the Arab coalition’s warplanes launched airstrikes on some areas in Yemen, and still no real truce has begun," Ali Kahum said in a phone conversation.

According to him, the Houthi militants have to defend themselves, and the bombing is still ongoing.

"It seems that the governmental negotiators do not have the right to make decisions, and Saudi Arabia leads the negotiations in the same manner it wages a war against Yemen," Kahum stressed, noting that he had no hope the dialogue to be successful.

21.12.2015 – Press TV Iran

Ansarullah delegate says Yemen talks “positive”

The latest round of Yemen peace talks end without a ceasefire although an agreement is made to form a joint military committee and to allow access for humanitarian aid. Negotiators from the Ansarullah movement say the talks were positive and that Saudi Arabia will be forced to retreat – Film by Homa Lezgee

21.12.2015 – MSN from AFP

Yemen truce fragile as rebels threaten Saudi Arabia

A ceasefire in Yemen that has been frequently violated was due to be extended Monday night, as fighting persisted in the north and rebels vowed more missile attacks on Saudi targets.

The truce was set to be renewed for one week, a day after the Saudi-backed government and Iran-backed rebels wrapped up peace talks in Switzerland without any breakthrough.

Ten rebels were killed as loyalists pressed their offensive in Nihm, 40 kilometres (25 miles) outside the capital, they said.

Loyalists also advanced towards the Saudi border post of Baqa in northern Jawf province.

Kommentar: Die Aussage der Überschrift ist zwar nicht falsch, aber Propaganda from its best: Yemen truce fragile as Saudi Arabia threatens Yemen“ hätte es ebenso heißen können. Und im Artikel ist dann auch vom Vormarsch der Truppen der Huthi-Gegner die Rede, was nach Meinung von AFP offenbar keine Gefährdung eines Waffenstillstands darstellt. Ganz schön schräg.

20.12.2015 – National Yemen

Yemen Foreign Minister Says Ceasefire Extended For One Week

A troubled ceasefire in Yemen has been extended by one week on condition that Houthi forces commit to the truce, the country’s foreign minister said on Sunday.

Abdel Malek al-Mekhlafi made the announcement to reporters in Switzerland where peace talks ended earlier on Sunday.

Yemen’s warring sides have agreed to meet again on Jan. 14 to continue talks but the location is yet to be decided.

Mekhlafi said the extension of the ceasefire was subject to Houthi forces’ commitment to the truce – by Fakhri Al-Arashi

Kommentar: Ein makrabrer Witz oder Propaganda? Einen Waffenstillstand gibt es schon längst nicht mehr, und vor allem die Seite dieses Ministers hat den Waffenstillstand gebrochen und für bedeutende Geländegewinne benutzt, von den „üblichen“ saudischen Luftangriffen ganz zu schweigen

20.12.2015 – UN News Centre

Yemen: UN envoy adjourns peace talks till January pending enforcement of a proper ceasefire

In the face of numerous violations of the cessation of hostilities in Yemen, the Special United Nations Envoy today decided to adjourn peace talks in Switzerland for a month to allow for bi-lateral in-country and regional consultations to achieve a ceasefire.

“Given the centrality of the cessation of hostilities to the success of talks, the Special Envoy has elected to adjourn the talks until the middle of January 2016,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said in a communiqué.

“In order to ensure adherence to the cessation of hostilities and enable sustainability, the Special Envoy judges that additional bilateral consultations will be required in Yemen and in the region in the coming weeks. The Special Envoy shall continue to work with the parties to identify and implement confidence-building measures that will help build respect for a durable ceasefire and peace process.”

The conflict between the factions has worsened Yemen's already poor food situation, adding over 3 million people to the ranks of the hungry in less than a year, the UN World Food Programme (WFP) has reported, with 7.6 million people severely food insecure – a level that requires urgent, external, food aid.

Last week, the UN World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners today appealed for $31 million to ensure the continuity of medical services for nearly 15 million Yemenis following the collapse of the country's health system.

In his communiqué, Mr. Ould Cheikh Ahmed cited the parties' constructive engagement in the UN-facilitated talks, but said progress was affected by numerous violations of the cessation of hostilities.

“Despite this, the parties made serious progress through identifying a framework for negotiations towards a comprehensive settlement, in addition to defining a set of relevant confidence-building measures relating to prisoner release, improved social services and improving the flow of humanitarian aid to Taiz (central Yemen) and other Yemeni governorates,” it said.

He noted that the parties agreed to develop a package of confidence-building measures including a mechanism for the release of prisoners to include all detainees and prisoners once a permanent ceasefire is in place, to establish a Co-ordination and De-escalation Committee of military advisors from both sides, facilitated by the UN, and to lift all forms of blockade and allow safe and rapid access for humanitarian supplies.

The participants also agreed to a negotiating framework for a comprehensive agreement to end the conflict and allow the resumption of inclusive political dialogue, to continue the work of the Coordination and De-escalation Committee and identify a suitable location for it in the region, to meet again for a second round of UN-facilitated talks, and to ensure a greater involvement of women in the talks.

“The Special Envoy wishes to commend the participants for the work so far undertaken and plans to convene the next round of these talks on 14 January 2016,” the communiqué concluded.

21.12.2015 – Aljazeera

Yemen peace deal elusive but rivals vow to meet again

Warring parties wrap up peace talks in Switzerland with no major breakthrough but pledge to meet again next month.

Yemen's warring parties have wrapped up peace talks in Switzerland with no major breakthrough but vowed to meet again next month, even as fighting raged on the ground.

The six days of closed-door meetings were strained by repeated violations of a ceasefire aimed at calming tensions between pro-government forces and the Iran-backed Houthi rebels who control Yemen's capital.

The head of the government negotiating team said the ceasefire will be extended for seven days after it officially expires on Monday.

UN special envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed announced in Bern that a new round of talks would be held on January 14 at a location yet to be decided.

"Unfortunately there were numerous violations," Ahmed told a news conference in the Swiss city, adding that the UN had called for "a ceasefire which is not time-bound".

Missiles have been fired from rebel-held areas, even slamming down on the Saudi side of the border with deadly consequences, while government forces have seized several areas back from the rebels.

Ahmed still said the talks had made "serious progress".

Both sides agreed on a negotiating framework, on setting up a joint de-escalation committee, and they worked on a package of confidence-building measures, he added.

These measures included an agreement "in principle" to release all prisoners, he said, while acknowledging that such an exchange would probably not happen before a sustainable ceasefire had been agreed on.

But, Ahmed stressed: "I am optimistic about a full prisoner release and that [it] will take place very soon."

The two sides had also agreed on the need to "lift all forms of blockade and allow safe, rapid and unhindered access for humanitarian supplies to all affected governorates", according to the final statement.

The conflict has escalated dramatically since a Saudi-led coalition started conducting air strikes against the Shia Houthi rebels in March, with more than 5,800 people killed and more than 27,000 wounded since then, according to UN figures.

Independent journalist Iona Craig described the outcome of the first round of peace talks as an "agreement to keep talking".

"By agreeing to go along with the UN and international community in this, means that they can just keep fighting. So at the moment, that commitment to peace talks or political negotiations appears to be just minimal - enough to keep the pressure off them so that they can then go back and just keep fighting," Craig told Al Jazeera.

"It's hard to be optimistic that they are any closer to reaching a political deal or settlement that will result in a long-term ceasefire," she added. and from BBC:

20.12.2015 – New York Times

Despite making what the United Nations called “serious progress” in the discussions, repeated violations of the cease-fire appeared to have doomed the current round, according to a statement issued by Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, the United Nations special envoy to Yemen. He said that the negotiations would resume in mid-January.

But as a new deadline approached, the hostilities appeared to be accelerating. Political leaders have appeared unwilling to stop the fighting — perhaps hoping to tip the negotiations in their favor — or lacking any influence over the multitude of armed groups that have sprung up during the war.

In recent days, anti-Houthi fighters have mounted a broad offensive across several northern provinces, and captured new territory, including a provincial capital.

Despite the continuing fighting, one diplomat said there had been a “palpable warming on a personal level between the two delegations over the course of the week.” The diplomat, who requested anonymity because of the delicacy of the talks, said that the issue of prisoner releases appeared to be one of the most difficult to resolve.

Abdul Wahab al-Humigani, a government negotiator writing on Facebook, blamed the collapse of the talks on the Houthis’ “intransigence,” including on the issue of releasing prisoners.

Nasser Bagazgooz, who was part of the Houthi delegation, asserted that his side had made “big” concessions, including agreeing to withdraw Houthi forces from cities and from government institutions, and to hand over weapons.

The Houthis had asked for the formation of a new government “from across the political spectrum,” and elections within a year, he added – by Kareem Fahim and Saeed al-Batati

18.12.2015 – International Medical Corps

Yemen External Situation Report #31 - December 18, 2015


14.4 million people in Yemen are food insecure

At least 2.5 million people are internally displaced

Conflict has led to more than 5,800 deaths, including 2,300 civilians, since mid-March

More than 27,900 people have been injured since mid-March


International Medical Corps mobile teams access communities in Taizz City

Peace talks continue amid ceasefire violations

Conflict parties agree to allow additional aid into Taizz


International Medical Corps and other humanitarian actors in Yemen are working diligently to reach areas of need in Taizz City while conflict parties are engaged in UN-sponsored peace talks in Switzerland. Conflict parties on both sides agreed to a seven-day cessation of hostilities to coincide with the talks and that began on December 15. Although fighting has continued well into the ceasefire period, relief organizations are utilizing every opportunity to negotiate access and deliver medical care, food, and other assistance. Taizz City has been the front line of fighting for several months, and up to 200,000 people have been besieged in parts of the city without access to aid. Roads in and out of Taizz have largely been closed or dangerous to utilize, with aid deliveries unable to pass through checkpoints for several weeks. However, access negotiations made some progress in late November and early December; for example, the UN World Food Program (WFP) successfully negotiated access into the city to deliver muchneeded food supplies sufficient for 145,000 people for a one-month period.

International Medical Corps’ mobile medical teams were able to enter Salh District, on the eastern side of Taizz City, on December 15, and were the only mobile medical teams to enter the city on the first day of the ceasefire. The mobile teams observed that active fighting and siege conditions persist in much of the city, and the health sector has been hard hit, with hospitals unable to function partially due to the inability to get supplies. Medicines—antibiotics, analgesics, and anti-parasitic medication—and safe drinking water are in short supply.

Mobile teams observed that essential services in Salh do not appear to be functioning, while markets, gas stations, medical centers, and pharmacies appeared closed. Many residents have been displaced from their homes as a result of ongoing fighting and are seeking areas of greater safety. Teams also noted that hostilities were ongoing around Salh while they delivered care. Insecurity and active conflict prevented the mobile teams from reaching Al Qahirah District, while Al Mudhaffar District also remains difficult to access. Mobile teams returned to Salh on December 16 and 17, providing care to internally displaced persons (IDPs) who have sought shelter in schools and other buildings, as well as others. International Medical Corps plans to continue providing assistance in Taizz City as long as mobile teams are able to negotiate access to conflict-affected areas and people in need.

On December 17, the UN announced that conflict parties had reached an agreement during peace talks to allow the resumption of humanitarian aid deliveries to Taizz City. The UN expects additional aid deliveries to reach Hajja, Sa’ada, and other cities as well. and full report:

Südjemen: Hadi-Streitkräfte / Southern Jemen: Hadi forces

20.12.2015 – Emirates 24 7

UAE to train Yemeni resistance men for army

350 fighters are already training in Al Ain

The UAE will train 500 Yemeni resistance fighters at military camps in the country to quality them for joining Yemen’s legitimate army.

Yemen’s news website Masdar Online said the Yemeni army has agreed to integrate nearly 3,500 national resistance men within plans to bolster the armed forces and control liberated areas in the conflict-battered Arab nation.

Quoting military sources in Aden, the network said resistance men seeking to join the Yemeni army have to register with a joint command grouping Yemen’s military and the UAE command on behalf of the Arab coalition in Yemen.

It said hundreds of those accepted in the army have been transferred to training camps in Yemen and to a military base in Eritrea.

“The sources said 500 of the fighters who are physically fit for training will be flown to the UAE for military training to quality them as soldiers,” the network said.

It quoted the sources as saying 350 resistance men have recently arrived at a military camp in the eastern UAE oasis town of Al Ain for training.

“This batch will be receiving training for six months…the graduates will join the Yemen presidential guards,” the report said.

Comment: I heard from a journalist in Yemen that these men are selected according to their political viewpoint - they will come from groups like Islah and Sunni militias mostly from the South. As I explained in my blog, this will intensify and fuel the civil war as most of the Yemen army has sided with the Houthis, so Yemen will have two presidents, two armies, and two governments with different political, geographic and religious perspectives.

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

21.12.2015 – Bloomberg

The Saudi Town on the Frontline of Yemen's War

Najran, few kilometers from frontier, regularly hit by shells

Saudis defy budget squeeze to build border reinforcements

In Najran, the thump of artillery reverberates all day across a valley ringed by desert mountains along Saudi Arabia’s southern frontier with Yemen.

The city’s airport is closed, forcing residents to travel almost 300 kilometers (186 miles) to the nearest alternative. Schools open then shut again, depending on the fighting. Once-busy markets are empty. Across the border, swaths of Yemen have been heavily bombed, leaving thousands of civilian casualties and refugees.

The coalition is spending $200 million a day on air, ground and sea operations in Yemen, David Ottaway, a senior scholar at the Wilson Center in Washington, estimated this month. Outside observers suspect the Saudis pick up the lion’s share.

On the highway between Najran and Abha, to the northwest, war spending is evident. Information Ministry employees point to dozens of new army encampments, built to stop the Houthis from attacking border posts. Trucks pulling military vehicles crawl up the steep passes, as forces rotate along the frontier area.

Across the border in Yemen, local resident Mohammed Ismail says the Saudis are shelling almost every hour.

“The Houthis are responding with mortars,” he said by phone. “They sometimes carry out attacks inside Saudi territory but withdraw under heavy shelling and airstrikes.”

Najran is only a few kilometers from the border, and the other side is held by Houthi rebels and tribes loyal to them. Skirmishes have occurred since the war began in March and are now routine.

Rockets fired by the rebels regularly land in Najran’s center – by Glen Carey

21.12.2015 – Washington Post

For those wounded in Yemen’s war, a feeling of abandonment in Saudi capital

In the context of Yemen’s meltdown, there are far greater hardships that those faced by the scores of former Yemeni soldiers and militiamen who have managed to reach Riyadh. But it offers a small window into a misery that will continue when the Yemen conflict eventually ebbs: the broken lives from the battlefield that are the legacy of all warfare.

Meanwhile, the wounded men — and other fighters injured in Yemen’s war — live far across Riyadh in a no-frills apartment building as they try to find medical help, rely on free meals and sink deeper into anger over feeling cast aside.

More than 100 injured Yemeni soldiers and militiamen managed to reach Riyadh for sometimes life-saving hospital care. Once they are discharged, however, help is hard to come by, they say.

A Saudi charity pays the rent for their apartments, but the kingdom’s aid only goes so far. The former fighters now look for castoff clothes from among the huge community of Yemeni workers in Saudi Arabia. Meals come from Yemeni restaurants that let them eat free.

They appeal for Yemen to return them to the military payroll in respect for their injuries.

The wounded men claimed that they have been denied follow-up care in Saudi Arabia, such as surgeries to remove embedded fragments or physical therapy. They estimated that there are hundreds similar cases of Yemeni fighters brought to Saudi Arabia for emergency care and then left without follow-up.

A member of the Yemeni political entourage in Riyadh, Mervat Mojali, insisted the Yemeni exiles in Riyadh don’t have the influence to demand extensive Saudi-funded care for its fighters.

“This is a Saudi issue,” she said. “They are the ones to help. These men fought on the Saudi side. They should be treated just like Saudi soldiers.” – by Brian Murphy =

Comment: This is truly shocking - those who have given their health to fight for Saudi Arabia in this disgusting Yemen war are left in poverty in Riyadh. What thanks. I read another article a few months ago where a Yemeni car mechanic had a successful business in Saudi Arabia but he answered the cal to fight and was disabled and unable to return to his former occupation and he and his family were left in poverty - no war pension or any means of earning a living. And these people are on the UN human rights council.

Kommentar: Für Saudis sind Menschen aus dem Ausland nur Wegwerfware, die man benutzt, so lange es geht, – ob das “Gastarbeiter” und Hausmädchen aus anderen armen Ländern sind, ob Pilger, die in Mekka zu Tode kommen, oder eben Soldaten und Kämpfer.

29.10.2015 – Breaking Israel News

Saudi Arabia and Israel Must Form “United Front” Against Iran, Says Saudi Prince

Saudi Arabian prince and media mogul al-Waleed bin Talal has said that his state must consider forging a “defense pact” with Tel Aviv in order to stop Iran from getting involved in the unfolding Middle East crisis, according to Kuwaiti Al Qabas Daily.

Prince al-Waleed was quoted as saying, “The whole Middle East dispute is tantamount to matter of life and death for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia from my vantage point, and I know that Iranians seek to unseat the Saudi regime by playing the Palestinian card. Hence, to foil their plots, Saudi Arabia and Israel must bolster their relations and form a united front to stymie Tehran’s ambitious agenda.”

The Saudi media tycoon asserted that Iran seeks to support Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime, thereby bolstering its own presence and influence in the region.

He went on to say that in the case of another Palestinian uprising, he would stand with Israel for the sake of stopping Iran.

Prince al-Waleed made the remarks on a regional tour of other Gulf Arab states, including Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman, as he attempted to muster regional support for Saudi-backed Islamist rebels in Syria – by Abra Forman

Großbritannien / Great Britain

21.12.2015 – The Week

What is Britain's role in Yemen?

British forces in Saudi-led coalition coming under increasing scrutiny following civilian deaths

As the civil war in Yemen continues, Britain's role in the conflict is a source of growing concern.

According to The Independent "British-supplied planes and British-made missiles have been part of near-daily air raids in Yemen carried out by a nine-country, Saudi Arabian-led coalition."

Responding to the revelations that 94 members of the UK armed forces are carrying out duties for unknown forces, believed to be the Saudi-led coalition, Jennifer Gibson, a staff attorney at the charity Reprieve, said in a statement: "This is a long way from real transparency. It is impossible to tell what operations or even what countries these personnel are active in, making this information almost worthless."

Gibson said the UK is entitled to use military force, but that "parliament and the public deserve to know at the very least which wars we are sending our troops into and under whose command."

With its close ties to the Saudi government through military contracts and arms deals, Britain has supplied many of the aircraft and missiles that have been used against the Houthi rebels.

Last week, a group of prominent lawyers said British arms sales to Saudi Arabia were unlawful and called for an immediate halt.

Lawyers for the Foreign Office, meanwhile, have warned that Britain could be prosecuted for war crimes if it emerges that its missiles have been used against civilians.

The government has repeatedly trumpeted the £98m in overseas aid it has sent Yemen in the current financial year, yet this pales in comparison to the estimated £1.7bn-worth of UK export licences to Saudi Arabia in the first six months of 2015.

Comment: On this subject, see many of the earlier “Yemen Press Readers”.

Waffenhandel / Arms trade

21.12.2015 – SOFREP

The Conscience of an Arms Dealer: How a Bombed Airport in Yemen and My Year With Rand Paul Made Me Quit the Pentagon

It was the summer of 2010, during a lull in the violence between the latest Houthi war and what was to become the Arab Spring. I was tasked with helping to develop and manage a military aid program to Yemen that had increased dramatically in response to the rise of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

This evidence elicited the typical two-step Congressional response: “do something” and “here’s money.” Having just left the State Department for the Pentagon, I was eager to get on the ground with my new portfolio. Little did I understand that I would be unwittingly contributing to the further militarization of U.S. foreign policy in the process.

[He travels to Yemen]

Day broke and we made our way to the embassy to meet with the ambassador and brief our agenda. Congress had just authorized over $150 million of assistance through section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) that year. This program, unlike traditional military aid that is handed to other nations for them to spend, is completely administered by the U.S. government. It was an expiring authority, meaning that the funds had to be obligated within a year or they were gone. It was intended to speed up what has traditionally been (and still is) a sluggish foreign military sales (FMS) process. Customers and Congress have complained for years about the slow pace of arms sales from the United States. One of many ironies in this story is that the delays in the process are a direct result of Congress tacking on more laws and White House higher-ups tacking on more regulations in a vain attempt to put a clean veneer on what is invariably a dirty business.

Our first stop was the Yemeni Ministry of Defense headquarters. […] We found ourselves batting away increasingly outlandish requests for advanced equipment. It was as if the defense industry had been their previous meeting and left them product brochures (and in fact, that turned out to be the case). You see, the Yemenis (and the defense industry) were not stupid. They saw the Uncle Sam gravy train coming and wanted to see what they could get. After all, these generals headed fiefdoms, and fiefdoms stay loyal via “bakshish” or bribes. Everyone needed their piece to satisfy their constituencies. It was even hinted, not unreasonably, that strongman President Ali Abdullah Saleh was playing up the threat so as to garner more largesse from the United States.

The problem with this approach was that what Yemen wanted did not marry up with what the U.S. government thought they needed to prosecute a counterterrorism campaign. It was obvious to anyone that had spent a little time in-country that the Yemenis were not concerned about al-Qaeda as much as they were about the Shia rebel Houthis, Iranian influence, and Saudi meddling. A widely dispersed group of terrorists who were focused abroad had no particular animus toward the Saleh regime, and by virtue of its very existence, brought free American arms—not necessarily a bad thing.

As I took meetings with top Yemeni officials and visited their military installations, I saw an almost comical concoction of “solutions” that only Washington could conjure up. The United States had provided trucks that were of limited use because they were too big to traverse narrow mountain roads, and there were almost no Yemenis trained in proper maintenance. Poorly maintained aircraft were piloted by men who could not read the cockpit displays written in English. Military units, on a good day, would have only about half of their troops muster for duty. Coast Guard personnel couldn’t swim, yet we were working to provide advanced patrol boats (which were later almost sunk during initial training).

All of these signs pointed to a Yemeni military that was incapable of absorbing or employing what we were giving them. Providing first-rate gear to a third-world military, coupled with Yemen’s tepid desire to go after AQAP struck me as a tremendous waste of taxpayer dollars. Back in Washington, I reported what I had found to my superiors, but to no avail. Congress and the higher echelons of the Obama administration did not care. After all, the White House could continue to state how tough it was on terrorism and further propagate the illusion of control in a region that is perpetually out of control.

And because this aid program was administered almost entirely within the U.S. government with no recipient nation input, Congress theoretically had more ability to influence the process, i.e., press for platforms that were conveniently produced in their districts, without pesky interference from those for whom it was meant. The defense industry and the Yemenis weren’t going to complain; they were getting free money and free stuff. All anybody wanted to see was a memo that platform A went to unit B and they were capably using it to fight the bad guys.

For two years, I did this dance. Requests would come from the country for helicopters, cargo aircraft, vehicles, weapons, boats, ammunition, bombs, spare parts, and we would put together what we thought we could sell to Congress. It would go into a black hole that was the upper echelons of the Pentagon, State, and the White House, and disappear. For months, bigger bureaucrats than I would re-prioritize aid packages based on the crisis du jour as reported by our 24-hour news networks. Operational paralysis eventually gave way to aid packages that seldom resembled what we had initially submitted, frustrating the U.S personnel in the host country and the rest of us inside the beltway that actually had to execute the programs.

Rand Paul, Hillary Clinton, and Libya

It was in late 2012 that, in an attempt to break up the Sisyphean monotony of delivering what the country team didn’t want to a customer that couldn’t maintain or employ it, I applied for and was accepted to a fellowship that placed me on Capitol Hill for a year. I landed with Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky. He had recently been assigned to the Foreign Relations Committee and my skill set was a perfect fit.

During my tenure in Senator Paul’s office, there were two major developments in the Middle East that would highlight the hypocrisy of this administration and further justify my eventual decision to leave government: the coup in Egypt and the push for military action in Syria. In July 2013, the disastrous rule of the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood (MB) came to an end as General Abdel Fatah al-Sissi wrested power from Mohamed Morsi. The Obama administration was now forced to deal with the real-world ramifications of hashtag diplomacy.

Arming Syrian rebels

I returned to the Pentagon in the spring of 2014 and took up none other than the Jordan and Syria portfolios. […]

Soon after, interagency discussions began on arming “moderate” Syrian rebels, but this was a farce. A combination of intelligence reports, regional experience, and common sense made it evident that there was no way to reliably vet the folks we would be sending weapons to, nor keep track of what was sent. Further, the items that were being suggested would have limited battlefield utility against Assad’s superior forces. […]

Upon my return to the states, I was dejected, and my desire to continue my job was fast waning. The last straw came early this year when my colleague, who had taken over the Yemen program upon my departure to Capitol Hill at the end of 2012, showed me some pictures of an airport hangar that had been bombed by the Saudi Air Force during the opening stages of their intervention against the Houthis who had taken over the country. In it were the charred remnants of a brand new cargo aircraft and helicopters that I had worked diligently to acquire for Yemen via the 1206 program from a few years back. The Saudis wanted to prevent them from falling into Houthi hands. They had not been in-country very long, and their usage had been limited, but there they were. A burnt end to a fool’s errand bought and paid for by you, the U.S. taxpayer. I quit a couple weeks later – by Greg Archetto who is a former State Department and Defense Department official who specializes in security cooperation issues in the Middle East.

Comment: Very interesting article by an insider on the way the US delivers weapons to the Middle East and thus firing wars everywhere, worth to be read in full on the original site

21.12.2015 – Balkan Insight

War Gains: Bulgarian Arms Add Fuel to Middle East Conflicts

Saudi Arabia, the UAE and the US have bought millions of dollars of Bulgarian weaponry, much of it likely destined for the war in Syria, a BIRN investigation reveals.

See more at “Most important”.

Comment: That is a heavy story. Really worth to be read in full. There is also a “Turkish connection”. And there is one more EU state selling weapons to Saudi Arabia and allies…

In short you find the subject here:

21.12.2015 – Novite

Bulgaria 'Sold Millions Worth of Arms' Used in Syria, Yemen Conflicts'Sold+Millions+Worth+of+Arms'+Used+in+Syria,+Yemen+Conflicts


21.12.2015 – British Foreign Office

Tobias Ellwood has welcomed the progress of peace talks for Yemen

Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, has welcomed the progress of UN facilitated peace talks for Yemen and the intention of President Hadi’s government to extend a ceasefire until 28 December. The talks were facilitated by the UN Special Envoy of the Secretary General for Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, and started on 15 December.

Mr Ellwood said:

It is encouraging that positive progress has been made in the peace talks.

I spoke to President Hadi on Saturday and welcomed the intention of his government to extend the ceasefire until 28 December. I encourage all parties to the conflict to respect the ceasefire in order to improve access to urgent medical and humanitarian aid. The UK will continue our support for the UN-led political process and we are the fourth largest donor of aid, more than doubling our assistance to £75million over the last year.

Comment: Those who wonder why this statement is ranked as “propaganda” should read this: and this:

Kriegsereignisse, Theater of War

21.12.2015 – Almasdar News

Houthis attack oil refinery and take town in Saudi Arabia

The Yemeni Shi’ite militia group known as the Houthi’s and Saleh loyalists are in control of Al-Khoubah town. This is a Saudi town near the Yemeni border in Jizan province.

Meanwhile, Pro-Hadi and Saudi supported forces have claimed to have entered Nahem directorate in Sanaa province and are clashing with the Houthis and Saleh loyalists.

A Yemeni army ballistic missile has hit an Aramco oil refinery in Jizan province. This was followed after an attack yesterday that hit Jizan airport destroying large portions of it.

Saudi media has passed off these missile attacks as just projectiles – by Paul Antonopoulos

A Yemeni army ballistic missile has hit an Aramco oil refinery in Jizan province. This was followed after an attack yesterday that hit Jizan airport destroying large portions of it.

Saudi media has passed off these missile attacks as just projectiles.

21.12.2015 – Albawaba

Seven killed, 12 injured by Saudi airstrike in Yemen

At least seven people have been killed and 12 others wounded in an airstrike carried out by Saudi Arabia in Yemen’s western region despite a fragile truce.

Yemen’s al-Masirah television reported on Monday that the Saudi airstrike targeted the Haya al-Shuhada district of the city of al-Hudaydah.

Late Sunday, at least 25 Saudi soldiers were killed in a retaliatory missile attack by Houthi fighters and allied army units against the al-Tawal border crossing, which links Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah to Jizan.

At least five women were also killed in a Saudi airstrike against Yemen’s northwestern Sa’ada Province.

The Saudi attacks come despite a seven-day ceasefire deal that had been put in place on December 15, when the talks in Switzerland began.

21.12.2015 – Die Zeit / Kleine Zeitung von AFP

Saudi-Arabien fängt aus dem Jemen abgeschossene Rakete ab

Saudi-Arabien hat nach eigenen Angaben eine von den Rebellen im Jemen abgeschossene Rakete abgefangen. Das Geschoss sei in der Nacht zu Montag in Richtung der Grenzstadt Dschasan abgefeuert worden, berichtete die amtliche Nachrichtenagentur SPA. Daraufhin habe die saudiarabische Luftwaffe die Basis im Jemen zerstört, von der die Rakete abgeschossen worden war. =

21.12.2015 –– AP

Saudi air defense intercepts rocket fired from Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen says Saudi air defense units have intercepted a rocket fired from inside Yemen in the southwest border city of Jazan.

A statement by the coalition said the rocket, which was fired early Monday, did not cause injuries or material damage and that the Saudi Air Force reacted immediately and destroyed the launching pad inside Yemen.

20.12.2015 – Press TV Iran

Yemeni forces kill 25 Saudi troops in missile attack in Jizan

At least 25 Saudi troops have been killed in a missile attack launched by Yemen’s Ansarullah fighters and allied army units in the monarchy's southwestern province of Jizan.

The retaliatory attack was carried out on Sunday night against the al-Tawal border crossing, which links Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah to Jizan, the Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported, citing a military source.

Meanwhile, Yemeni forces managed to destroy two Saudi military boats in another missile attack near the port city of Mocha, located in the Yemen’s southwestern province of Taiz, on the Red Sea coast.

Yemenis also hit a Saudi military base in Yemen’s northern Jawf province with a ballistic missile. There were no immediate reports of possible casualties and the extent of damage caused in the attack.

Yemen carries out these attacks in retaliation for Saudi strikes.

In a fresh wave of bombardment, Saudi warplanes conducted an aerial aggression against a residential area in the western province of Hudaydah on Sunday, killing at least six civilians, including children, and wounded dozens more. Four houses were completely destroyed in the assault and several others sustained damage.

Saudi fighter jets also conducted strikes on Harard district of the Yemen’s Hajjah province and on al-Teyal district of Sana'a province. No report of the sorties’ possible casualties has so far been released.

Separately, Saudi war jets killed at least five women in strikes targeting a house in the Kitaf district in Yemen’s northwestern Sa'ada province.

20.12.2015 – Fars News

Yemen Strikes Saudi Coalition with More Ballistic Missiles, Several Apache Helicopters, Drones Destroyed

The Yemeni army and popular forces destroyed the Saudi military positions in the province of Ma'rib with their new Qaher-I ballistic missiles, killing tens of the kingdom's forces.

The first Qaher-I missile hit Al-Tawwal border crossing in Saudi Arabia and the second missile targeted the Saudi-led special forces' military base, destroying several Apache helicopters and spying drones in Safer region of Ma'rib province.

The Saudi-led forces' drone control unit and several armored vehicles were destroyed during the Yemeni missile attack.

On Saturday, the Saudi-led Coalition Forces and pro-Hadi militias suffered another devastating blow when a Tochka ballistic missile hit their camp in Ma'rib province, and killed over 180 troops, including Saudi and UAE officers.

An ammunition depot and two Apache helicopters of the pro-Saudi aggressors were also destroyed in the Yemeni ballistic missile strikes in Southern Yemen.

At least 180 Saudi and UAE military men as well as forces loyal to the former fugitive president Mansour Hadi were killed in the attack on Saudi-led forces' military camp in the Ma'rib province.

Also on Friday, the Yemeni army and popular forces conducted several retaliatory missile attacks against Saudi Arabia's Key military bases and positions in Jizan province, inflicting heavy losses on the kingdom's forces.

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

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

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.

Kommentar: Die Erfolge (oder z. T. auch nur angeblichen) der Huthi und der mit ihnen verbündeten Einheiten auf saudischem Gebiet werden hier aufgeführt. Die herben Verluste auf eigenem Gebiet werden nicht erwähnt.

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-72: / Yemen Press reader 1-72: oder / or

Fotos von saudischen Luftangriffen / Photos of Saudi air attacks

(18 +, Nichts für Sensible; Graphic!) (14. Dez.) (20. Dez.)

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

Dietrich Klose

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