Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 75

Yemen Press Reader 75: Hintergrundberichte zu Saudi-Arabien: Saudische Findschaft gegen Schiiten, Saudi-Arabiens wirtschaftliche, politische, militärische Probleme Krieg im Jemen geht weiter

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Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Am wichtigsten / Most important

Allgemein / General

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation


Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

Großbritannien / Great Britain





Flüchtlinge / Refugees

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Am wichtigsten / Most important

24.12.2015 – Yemen News Today

Wahhabism, anti-Shia ideology, and the fate of Yemen’s Zaidi population. Update 24.12.15

As Da’esh and Al Qaeda proliferate in Yemen with evidence that they have cooperated with the Saudi-led coalition in its war there, Saudi Arabia has announced that it has formed an alliance against ‘terrorism’. Rosemary Higgins states: “Terrorism is a term without legal significance. It is merely a convenient way of alluding to activities…in which either the methods used are unlawful, or the targets unlawful, or both.” Another international legal expert, Richard Baxter, states “…the term (terrorism) is imprecise…ambiguous, and above all, serves no legal purpose”.

Many have been critical of KSA’s anti-terror initiative, which they claim is supported by 34 Muslim states. Turkish analyst Fehim Tastekin states: “For Saudi Arabia, the main terrorists are Shiites. At the same time, the large number of groups with Wahhabi ideology are not considered terrorists by the Saudis.” British journalist Robert Fisk points out “…what kind of relationship do the Saudis envision with the Iranians who are fighting in both Iraq and Syria against the same Isis “terror” which (Prince Mohammed bin Salman) identifies as part of the “disease”? Neither Shia Iran nor Shia Iraq, needless to say, is part of the new international Muslim army.” Nor is Shia-led Syria, which it could be argued is the only state that is making inroads against Islamic State.

Saudi Arabia follows the Wahhabi sect of Islam, which is Sunni and conservative; one of the characteristics of Wahhabism is a negative attitude to Shia. The leader of the congregation at the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Adel Al Kalbani, stated on BBC Arabic Television in May 2009 that all Shia Muslims were apostate, unbelievers, and as such should be hunted down and killed. Other fatwas include that by Saudi cleric Nasser Al Omar who called for conversion or slaughter of Shia men, sexual violation of Shia women and forced conversion of Shia children. Shia Rights Watch claims that every month 402 Shia are killed and 497 injured in sectarian violence.

Saudi Arabia has been strongly linked with the Sunni extremist militias fighting in the Middle East. US Vice President Joe Biden stated that the Saudi regime, along with others from the Middle East had “poured hundreds of millions of dollars and tens, thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight Assad,” naming Al-Nusra and Al Qaeda as beneficiaries. Other observers have pointed to the similarities in the methods of rule of Saudi and the ‘Islamic State’, in crime and justice issues, and also in its anti-Shia rhetoric. This has led some academics to speculate about growing future links between Saudi Arabia and IS. […]

Although in early decades, KSA used ‘soft power’ to spread its interests – such as the selective use of humanitarian aid and building Wahhabi madrassas – in recent years its policies have involved military interventions; linked to destruction of Shia communities or denying their political rights. For example, in 2011 one thousand troops from Saudi Arabia helped to crush the peaceful Arab spring protests in Bahrain, which was largely a Shia movement. It has not offered protection for Sunni Muslims who have been oppressed by other than Shia Muslims, such as the Palestinians and Darfurians. KSA was reported as appreciative of the massacre of Zaria Shia in Nigeria on 17th December 2015 – expressing outright support for Sunni President Bulhari of Nigeria for his fight against ‘terrorism’.

In announcing the new Islamic military alliance against terrorism this month, Saudi Prince Mohammed Bin Salman named Yemen as one of its targets. The reality inside Yemen is that the conflict is a fight for power between two unpopular men, Shia Ali Abdullah Saleh a President deposed in 2012, and Sunni Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi who was elected as Interim President for two years in 2012, whose term has expired.

The Houthi militias, who are largely Zaidi Shia, sided with Saleh, who has the support of most of the Yemen army, who are a mix of Sunni and Shia, but mostly from the old North Yemen. Hadi, a Sunni Muslim, was supported by a Saudi-led international coalition, and from Yemen a small religiously conservative section of the Yemen army and numerous militias that are mainly Sunnis, such as Al Qaeda, Daesh, Islah (Muslim Brotherhood), other Salafist militias, and Al Hirak (southern secessionists).

The Bakil tribe from whom the Houthi movement originated are Zaidi Shia whose homeland is the governate of Saada, just south of the Saudi-Yemen border. In 1992 a Believing Youth Zaidi revivalist movement began, in response to the Wahhabi schools that Saudi had funded in Yemen. The then President Saleh attacked the Bakil tribe in 2004 with the blessing of Saudi Arabia, killing the militia leader Hussein Houthi, giving the movement its name. Yahya al-Houthi said that Saudi Arabia had put pressure on Saleh to fight the rebels in Saada. He alleged that the Saudi authorities had supported the government campaign with US $ 25 billion, although this was denied by Yemeni authorities. Six wars took place in Saada, with Saudi Arabia crossing the border to join in the affray after 2009. Many homes were destroyed; thousands of people were displaced and forced to live in camps.

The Bakil tribe helped to oust President Saleh in 2012; they became active members in political dialogue in Yemen, although disappointed with the outcomes, they continued to negotiate. At the same time, the Houthi militias built alliances with other tribes, eventually taking over much of the north and the capital, Sanaa, without opposition. As the UN negotiations continued President Hadi, who was very unpopular, moved to Aden and then Saudi Arabia, asking his neighbour to start attacking Yemen, which they did. The Houthis followed Hadi to Aden, where they met strong resistance from local secessionists and Islah militias. Saudi Arabia started aerial bombardment on 26th March 2015. Many of the targets from the outset were Shia, for example, a displaced persons’ camp in northern Yemen was hit on March 30, 2015, killing at least 29 civilians with 41 wounded.

Despite this and other serious violations of international law, the UN Security Council met on 14th April 2015, and produced a one-sided UNSC resolution, that supported President Hadi and did not take into account that his presidency was a contested issue within Yemen.

Human Rights Watch reported that on May 8, a coalition spokesman announced that the entire city of Saada was a military target. This not only violated the laws-of-war prohibition against placing civilians at particular risk by treating a number of separate and distinct military objectives as a single military target, but possibly also the prohibition against making threats of violence whose purpose is to instill terror in the civilian population.

As well as the aerial bombardment, Saudi Arabian navy, with the assistance of US, UK and France, imposed a blockade on Yemen which has dire consequences in a country that normally imports 90% of its goods, including diesel used for pumping ALL of Yemen’s water. By May 26th Oxfam put out a statement that two thirds of Yemenis had no access to clean drinking water, creating a high risk of water-borne disease. This has resulted in diarrhoeal illnesses, untreatable as so many medical facilities have closed down, or are without medical supplies – causing severe malnutrition in children and death. […]

On 18th August he Saudi-led coalition also attacked Hodeida, the only port which aid agencies were using to supply aid to north Yemen; some organisations called this a war crime. The White House expressed “deep concerns” over the Saudi action. “”We are deeply concerned by the attack on critical infrastructure at the port of Hodeida in Yemen,” said a National Security Council spokesperson. “The port is a crucial lifeline used to provide medicine, food and fuel to Yemen’s population.

The aerial bombardment of Saada governate has not ceased; it has been attacked every day and night for ten months, with reports of 42,500 bombs in the first 250 days of war. An MSF radio report stated that food trucks on the way to Saada had been destroyed, as were bridges, houses, hospitals, schools, mosques, factories including those producing water and food, market places, petrol stations, and ancient monuments. Protests and appeals have been put out by a number of agencies; UNICEF, Oxfam, Save the Children, ICRC, WHO, Amnesty, and Human Rights Watch, amongst others but the world seems to be unable or unwilling to act in relieving war crimes and mass starvation, especially in North Yemen.

The recent peace talks in Geneva agreed to send aid to Taiz in the south, but made no mention of Saada governate where the civilian population is dying from aerial bombardment, but more especially of the effects of the Saudi-led blockade. One mother told a BBC reporter that hunger was the worst; she was hoping that she and her family would be killed together in a bomb attack, because otherwise, they would have to suffer seeing each other die slowly from starvation. An attempt by the Netherlands to get an independent investigation into the human right abuses in Yemen was blocked by Saudi Arabia, who has since been elected on to the Human Rights Council at the UN.

Many of the people of South Yemen, Aden and Taiz that I communicate with often use the meaningless definition of ‘terrorism’ when referring to Houthi aggression; this term is often used by those with huge arsenals to describe the resistance of those with few military resources. This is not to excuse the Houthi acts of aggression in Yemen, but to put them into context. Many in Taiz and Aden also describe the deaths at the hands of the Houthi militias as genocide; my assessment is that the Houthis are killing to maintain control of Yemen which they believe is necessary for their survival, and civilian deaths due to ground warfare are a result of a ferocious war inflicted on the community by fighting militias, of which the Houthis are only one.

It is in the Houthi Zaidi homeland that the word genocide could be used more appropriately; Martin Shaw believes that it is far more than killing, but is understood as destroying groups’ social power in economic, political and cultural senses. Saada, old and new, has been purposefully and almost completely destroyed. “Genocide involves mass killing, but…is much more than mass killing.” Deaths in the northwest from aerial bombardment are difficult to count, and from examining evidence, I believe they are seriously under-counted. 58% of the population of Yemen have no access to medical services, yet the only deaths in UN statistics that are counted in this war are those from conflict that are counted in hospitals; it is reasonable to assume that less than half of the deaths due to conflict are actually registered. The casualties from this war do not include the deaths caused by the blockade, and it is realistic to assume that more are dying from the effect of lack of clean water, lack of food, lack of shelter, and lack of medical assistance than from the conflict itself, and that amongst these deaths there will be a high proportion of the very young. The UN and the world appear to be ignoring the plight of Yemen’s Zaidi Shia population, whilst assisting their oppressors to continue their war unabated – by Judith Brown

Comment: The anti-Shia ideology that dominates the Wahhabi movement began in Saudi Arabia and puts the lives and wellbeing of many Shia Muslims at risk worldwide - yet to date, the UN and world powers seem unable to recognise the extreme dangers this presents. Human rights abuses and war crimes associated with this phenomena mostly go without censure by a world that is content to laud the oppressor rather than defending the oppressed. Yemen was one of the few countries where Zaidi Shia and Sunni have for centuries shared a peaceful existence, usually not knowing the religion of their neighbour, and even worshipping in the same mosques. The current war has broken that admirable Yemeni tolerance, and the Shia community of Yemen is being bombed from the air and starved, it seems with genocidal intent, whilst the world looks the other way.

Allgemein / General

24.12.2015 – Zafar Abbas Minhas

Yemen A forgotten place

Yemen is under the seige and fire from last ten months . Almost 7000 people are dead and 25000 injured in damaged hospitals of Yemen . Hospitals are in severe shortages of medicines and surgical equipments . The infrastructure of all the walk of life is broken but the determination of Yemeni is still young . Every Yemeni is fighting to defend their country from Saudis occupation . Now the war is on ground and popular committee , yemeni army is defending the freedom of old Yemen .
A latest report revealed the incompetence of saudia-led collation that 90% of air strikes were on civilian sites . Yesterday UN has presented a report to security council about the killings of innocent population in Yemen . But still UN is not ready to condemn the barbarian action of saudia . Saudia has purchased 20 billion dollars fresh weapons to test on ill Yemen .
My question is to all Muslim world , are you deaf and dumb ?
Your ears can't hear the cries and sufferings of poor , innocent childrens of Yemen ?
Yemen is in the shameful list of top ten poor countries of world and now there is no food , medicine and electricity.
What is the real role of UN ? To protect the powerful saudia and give the umbrella of blood ?
People around the globe are loosing the hope on UN .
Its time to play your positive role for the poors and less privileged in Yemen . why no body is interested in Yemen occupation war ?
There is no financial interest of international media in yemen war ?
Media means money ?
Where are the NGO,s always shouting for humans ?
Don't forget the Yemeni blood , its red like yours .
Listen the loud cries of poor hungry innocent children of yemen war .
Why international media , UN and so called Muslim world is silent on this brutal war organized by al saud ? The power of riyals is keeping all quite and calm ? – by Zafar Abbas Minhas

24.12.2015 – Press TV Iran

US, Saudi Arabia seek way out of Yemen: Analyst

Press TV has interviewed Navid Nasr, a political analyst, to discuss the remarks made by a senior member of Yemen’s Ansarullah movement that Saudi Arabia will not end its bloody war on Yemen unless Yemeni forces intensify their retaliatory attacks.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

Press TV: How do you feel about the importance of the Yemeni resistance in the face of this Saudi-led aggression on their country?

Nasr: Well, its importance… I mean what other choice is there? The other choice is to give way, to surrender. The fact of the matter is that the war has taken a devastating toll on the infrastructure of Yemen, on civilian life in Yemen. Medecins Sans Frontieres has released a report talking about how daily life, the conditions of daily life in Sana’a and in some of the bigger cities in Yemen have become really for a while intolerable.

This compounds a lot of things; geopolitically for the US, this is not good; it is not good for the countries that are worried about massive influx of refugees; it is not good for the Saudi state itself even though it has been able to…, I mean not really an accomplishment, it has been able to destroy the civilian infrastructure of Yemen but has not been able to win a victory of any kind, a decisive victory in its war particularly on the ground. And in fact the Yemeni resistance forces, the Ansarullah, the Yemeni army, the Popular Committees have been able to inflict pretty devastating losses on the Saudi military and on the mercenaries that they have employed.

And again I do not know how much comfort it gives to Saudis to be able to kill civilians and destroy infrastructure at will – they are doing great at that – but the flip side of the coin to that also is it is proving to become a PR nightmare now for the US and they are having to answer questions even in the UN Security Council in terms of what they are doing, where the money that they are giving to the Saudis is going to, what kinds of weapons they are giving them. Questions that they do not really want to answer in a body that is supposed to…, I mean let’s be honest, from its inception, the UN was supposed to be a fig leaf to give cover to US foreign policy and the US should not be – in its own eyes, at least in the eyes of the US government – should not have to answer those kinds of questions before the UN, so it is quite embarrassing.

Press TV: So I am wondering, another Ansarullah member said that essentially the Saudis are looking for a respectable out now because as you said this war has failed. Will they get that out through these discussions?

Nasr: They would like to. Whether they will or not is up for debate but I think both the US and the Saudis want to sort of gingerly inch away from where they are right now with regards to Yemen and sort of pretend that the whole thing did not happen, that kind of thing. And they could do it. It could happen again. The bodies that we are talking about – the international bodies – are favorable to that kind of outcome but they have sown the seeds for a lot of things that are eventually going to come back to them. =

24.12.2015 –BBC

Torn in two: Yemen divided

Yemen is broken. The country once dubbed by the Romans as "Arabia Felix" - "Fortunate Arabia" - because of its lush valleys and rich agriculture has been torn apart by war

Yemen now effectively has two capitals - Sanaa and Aden - and the Saudi-led coalition is bogged down in an indecisive war where neither side is emerging as a clear winner.

Saudi Arabia insists it only attacks carefully chosen military targets but there have been numerous accounts from Yemenis on the ground saying residential areas have been attacked, far from any Houthi positions.

Human rights groups have called for a boycott of Western arms sales to Saudi Arabia since its air force uses US and UK-made planes and missiles, while US tankers resupply those aircraft and US intelligence advisers work alongside the Saudis in their operations centre.

The Houthi rebels are accused of shelling indiscriminately into residential areas, of laying unmarked mines and of imprisoning members of the population without charge. Food distribution has been hampered by the fighting and by a partial blockade of Yemen's ports and aid agencies warn of the growing risk of malnutrition and disease if the war continues much longer.

The Saudis are feeling a certain paranoia, fearing a "Shia crescent" that extends all the way from Afghanistan westwards to the Mediterranean. The prospect, in their eyes, of Yemen forming part of this Shia sphere of influence was simply too much for them, hence their commitment to a Yemen war with no apparent end in sight.

The new, aggressive and adventurist stance of the Saudi ruling clique has surprised many people. Despite the billions of petrodollars they have spent on arms purchases over the years, the Saudis have not been a martial nation since the country's tribes united back in 1932.

Any deal that leaves the Houthi rebels in control of Sanaa and the surrounding area will be perceived as a failure for the Saudis and their coalition, something that could have negative consequences for the young defence minister – by Frank Gardner

Comment: The BBC can produce some really outstanding articles on Yemen - but only does it so sporadically. Frank Gardiner is the security correspondent for the BBC who was shot and left for dead by extremist militias in Saudi Arabia, and is disabled in consequence. He studied at the Institute of Arab and Islamic Studies at Exeter University, like me. We want more good insights, BBC - on your everyday news channel please.

23.12.2015 – Jo Menschenfreund

Saudi Arabien und die Zerstörung des Jemens

Das eigentliche Ziel der Saudis war natürlich nicht, die Houthis zu schlagen, sondern den Iran zu demütigen, den sie als geheimen Kopf des Aufstandes, gegen ihre regionale Hegemonie, ansahen. Und sie wollten den USA zeigen, dass das Königreich in der Lage war, sich selbst zu behaupten.

Aber nichts von beiden gelang. Weder konnte der Iran wesentlich getroffen werden, noch konnte Saudi Arabien seine militärische Stärke beweisen, und je länger die Houthis widerstehen, desto klarer wird, dass die Saudis nicht einmal in der Lage sind, in ihrem eigenen Hinterhof, gegen barfüßige Kämpfer, anzukommen, die mit Waffen kämpfen, die teilweise noch aus dem Korea- oder Vietnamkrieg stammen.

Vier Wochen nach dem Angriff auf den Jemen hatte Riad verkündet, dass "die Mission erfolgreich war", indem die Bedrohung der Sicherheit von Saudi Arabien und anderer Staaten beseitigt worden wäre, in dem die schweren Waffen und ballistischen Raketen der Houthis zerstört worden wären. Aber einige dieser Raketen müssen wohl übersehen worden sein, denn nur wenige Tage später ging der Luftkrieg wieder los.

Deutschland macht sich mitschuldig, hier teilnahmslos zuzuschauen, wie ein hochgerüstetes, diktatorisch, mit mittelalterlichen Regeln agierendes Land, sein Nachbarland zerbombt, zerstört, die Menschen in die Flucht oder den Hunger bombt.

Zuerst hat man Saudi Arabien hochgerüstet, das Land als Stabilitätsfaktor der Region bezeichnet, viel Geld damit in gewissen Kreisen verdient. Jetzt fürchtet man, dass diese Waffen, sollte das Königshaus stürzen, in die Hände radikaler Islamisten fallen könnte

Dabei übersieht man, dass ebendiese, auch wenn sie jetzt drohen, auch gegen Riad zu marschieren, von Saudi Arabien unterstützt werden, so wie nun die Terroristen im Jemen im Vormarsch sind, weil die Houthis sie wegen der Angriffe aus Saudi Arabien nicht mehr wie vorher bekämpfen können.

Und so nimmt Deutschland den vorherigen Fehler, Waffen und Unterstützung geliefert zu haben gegen Öl-Dollars, als Grund, nun den neuen Fehler zu begehen, einem Vernichtungskrieg tatenlos zuzusehen, und eine der schlimmsten Diktaturen der Welt zu stützen.

Saudi Arabien hatte im März ein drakonisches "Anti-Terrorismus"-Gesetz erlassen, das alles verbietet, von Atheismus bis "Zwietracht in der Gesellschaft zu verbreiten". Was von Analysten als Anzeichen gesehen wird, dass jede Liberalisierung im Keim erstickt werden soll, denn das Königshaus hat furchtbare Angst, sonst dem Schicksal der Sowjetunion zu folgen. Deshalb wird man auch weiter die Zügel immer stärker anziehen, noch brutaler, noch unkontrollierbarer gegen das eigene Volk, und Feinde in der Nachbarschaft, vorgehen. Der blutige Überlebenskampf einer mittelalterlichen Gesellschaftsordnung, unterstützt mit deutschen High-Tech-Waffen.


24.12.2015 – Iran German Radio

Ansarollah-Führer: Die USA stecken hinter der Krise im Jemen

Der Führer der jemenitischen Ansarollah-Bewegung Abdel Malek al-Huthi hat die USA als den wahren Aggressor gegen den Jemen bezeichnet.

In einer Rede anlässlich des Geburstages des Propheten Mohammad (s.a)sagte Malek al-Huthi am Mittwoch in Sanaa vor tausenden Jeminiten: Saudi-Arabien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate sind Handlanger der USA und realisieren nur das, was ihnen Washington diktiert. Trotz der von Saudi-Arabien angeführten Angriffe ist es den Ansarollah-Kämpfern gelungen, die Aggressionen erfolgreich zurückzuschlagen.

Er sah die schlechte aktuelle Situation in der islamischen Umma (Glaubensgemeinde) als Ergebnis der Ablenkung von den islamischen Werte an, woraufhin sich manche Muslime den Feinden angeschlossen haben.

Saudi-Arabien, die USA und die Arabischen Emirate bezeichnete al-Huthi als Ignoranten gegenüber dem Unrecht und dem Leid, das sie mit ihren zerstörerischen und mörderischen Angriffen anrichten.

23.12.2015 – Middle East Eye

Houthi leader vows to continue fight despite 'setbacks' in north

Abdul-Malik al-Houthi says his forces will be victorious even after losing territory in Mareb and Jawf provinces

The leader of the rebel Houthi movement in Yemen on Wednesday defiantly said that he would continue fighting against military operations carried out by government forces and the Saudi-led coalition despite suffering setbacks in some northern provinces, including Sanaa.

"I call upon all free people from all walks of life to go on with their serious and responsible moves to confront the invaders and aggressors, incite people to back the strategic choices and liberate each occupied inch of the country,” said Abdul-Malik al-Houthi in a message aired to a huge gathering in the capital to celebrate the Prophet Mohammed's birthday.

He admitted that his forces had lost control over some areas in the provinces of Mareb and Jawf in northern Yemen.

"There are some setbacks in Jawf and Mareb due to slackness and the buying off loyalties, but I would like to assure all the free people that the inevitable result will be victory,” al-Houthi said.

He also criticised the recent UN-brokered talks in Geneva, urging his followers to turn their backs on any UN efforts and continue fighting. He accused the UN of being dictated by the United States.

“The UN is carrying out its role and duty in accordance with the US policies. Even during the latest talks, the US ambassador called the UN envoy [Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed] to ask him to halt the talks. So he ended the talks.”

Al-Houthi also repeated his claims about the role of Israel and the US in the war in Yemen, saying that the recent rocket attack in Bab al-Mandab region that killed two senior military officers from the Saudi-led coalition also killed some Israelis and foreign mercenaries – by Saeed Al-Batati

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

24.12.2015 – Katehon


udi Arabia’s recent announcement that it somehow managed to bring together a coalition of 34 Muslim states was strange enough as it was, let alone adding to the fact that it’s under the guise of purported “anti-terrorist” efforts. While most of the world certainly got a few chuckles out of what certainly looks to be a poor geopolitical joke, the disturbing reality is that there are actually concrete reasons to take Riyadh’s announcement very seriously. To the trained analyst, Saudi Arabia’s decision reveals a lot about its leadership’s global vision and the tactical aspects in which it hopes to achieve it, and observers stand to gain much insight about the future trajectory of the Kingdom’s foreign policy if they take the time to soberly interpret the messages that it’s sending.

Buying Friends

The Saudi elite have grown progressively more suspicious of the previously unquestionable American commitment to their regional military ambitions, despite having formerly gone along with Washington’s Lead From Behind War on Yemen. The Saudis were cognizant of the US’ self-imposed constraints in directly involving itself in the conflict (notwithstanding the substantial back-end support that they provide), but they felt confident enough in their own military abilities and that of their contracted allies to be able to win what was supposed to have been a very brief campaign.

As fate would have it, the purportedly weeks-long operation is now stretching into its ninth month and Riyadh has been unable to fulfill any of its on-the-ground military objectives aside from seizing Aden. In effect, the campaign proved to the world that the Saudi military is one of the world’s most expensive paper tigers, capable of launching multimillion-dollar munitions against civilian targets but woefully unable to handle anything else of significance. It’s thus been compelled to defer to contracted armies such as the GCC and Latin American mercenaries, but these soldiers of fortune have no personal stake in the conflict and are reluctant to throw their full potential into someone else’s war.

Faced with such a predicament of uncommitted contractors and a hesitant formal ally, yet stubbornly unwilling to give up the War on Yemen, the Saudis have endeavored to boost the internationalization of the conflict by framing it as part of a subsect in a larger “War on Terror”, with the inference being that the Ansarallah are “terrorists” on equal par with ISIL and Boko Haram. It’s clear by the terminology that was used during the announcement that the Saudis are trying to replicate the American and Russian trends of anti-terrorist coalition building, though of course following the US template of being “anti-terrorist” in name only. What Riyadh is aiming for is to recruit a fresh batch of ‘coalition members’ that would sign up and support it in Yemen (be it through mercenary or other means) and other theaters in exchange for vague reciprocal support (most likely money) against their own subjectively defined “terrorist” groups that will be explained more in-depth later. There’s also the issue of ‘positive’ image-building as well, and that brings the research along to the next section.

The “Big Shot”

Saudi Arabia self-assuredly believes that it has more normative clout than any other Muslim state in the world due to its custodianship over the Two Holy Mosques in Mecca and Medina. Imbued with the overconfidence that this position gives it, the Saudis have strived to capitalize upon their religious responsibilities by forming the core of a Muslim-led “anti-terrorist” coalition in order to deepen their influence over all 34 of the states that have joined it. For Riyadh, the semi-integrated grouping is nothing more than an unprecedented power grab from the Atlantic to the Pacific through which it aspires to become the ‘civilizational leader’ for all Muslims. Saudi Arabia is thus subtly intimating that neither Russia nor the US have the ‘moral’ or ‘religious’ right to fight against Islamic terrorism and that the only ‘legitimate’ actors that can do this are other Muslims, albeit a specifically curated group of pro-Saudi governments that conspicuously leans towards Sunni sectarianism.

As the Muslim “big shot” (or so it fancies itself), Saudi Arabia is infused with the belief that its ultra-radical misinterpretation of Islam known as Wahhabism is the only true form of the religion and that it has a ‘God-given’ right to militantly evangelize its ideological perversions all throughout the world. The Saudis believe that all non-Wahhabi Sunnis are susceptible to conversion and that their governments’ closer ties with Riyadh under the aegis of the “anti-terrorist” coalition will help bring this about with time. Along a similar strand of ideological radicalism, Saudi Arabia believes that all non-Sunni sects such as Shiites and Alawites are apostates that must be killed in as brutal of a manner as possible, ergo the omission of Iran, Iraq, and Syria in the alliance (though none of them would have joined a Saudi-led military organization even if offered the ‘opportunity’ to do so).

The inclusion of Shiite-majority Bahrain and Shiite-influential Lebanon are nothing more than smokescreens to deflect Western criticism about the Sunni-majority nature of the group and any fears about its ethnic cleansing and genocidal ambitions. Bahrain is ruled by a Sunni monarch that regretfully ascribes to the sectarian principles of his Saudi patrons, while Lebanon is politically dysfunctional and Saudi dual-citizen and former (and perhaps once again future) Prime Minister Saad Hariri still holds sizeable decision-making clout there. Interestingly, however, considering the earlier forecast that the Saudis will support their new allies’ subjectively defined “Wars on Terror” and the obvious sectarian hatred that the Wahhabi Monarchy espouses, it’s quite possible that Shiite anti-government protests in Bahrain and maybe even Hezbollah could eventually be seen as “terrorist threats” by this alliance that require Saudi and other Sunni-sectarian support to eliminate. The possibility of the coalition’s governments resorting to politically ‘convenient’ and subjectively defined “terrorist” labels in pursuit of multilateral support for their self-interested agendas will be described later on in the research, but for now, it’s worthwhile to map the broad geographic extent of the Saudi-led alliance.

From Sea To Sea

Riyadh’s “anti-terrorist” coalition spans the breath of three separate oceans, with respective membership outposts on the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific coasts. There are 34 countries that have signed up for the alliance, with Indonesia being partially shaded to represent the second thoughts that its government is now having about joining (and which will be expanded upon further when discussing that country):

Following State by State, many are in Africa. Quite interesting still this:

Southeast Asia:

Officially speaking, Malaysia is the only Southeast Asia country that has agreed to join the Saudis’ military bloc. Indonesia expressed confusion about the group’s stated objectives and said that it hadn’t agreed to any military organization, but rather was under the impression that the initiative would be a “centre to coordinate against extremism and terrorism”. For these reasons, it has yet to formally throw its weight behind the endeavor and might remain on the sidelines. Be that as it may, Riyadh’s outreaches to Southeast Asia weren’t incidental and are based on certain geostrategic interests. Both of these ASEAN-member states are Muslim-majority nations (Indonesia is the world’s largest) that boast vibrant economies with rich natural non-energy resources. The Saudis are looking to diversify their agricultural investments in East Africa by geographically balancing with Southeast Asia as a production counterweight, so there are practical reasons to explain their outreach to the Malaysia and Indonesia.

From a cynical perspective, however, there are also more tangibly convincing reasons as well, and these stem from the threat that ISIL and other Wahhabist groups pose to Southeast Asia. Only lately has this emerged as a newsworthy topic, but it was earlier discussed in expert circles such as the Shanri-La Dialogue back in May when the participants spoke about the potential for the “Mindanao-Sulawesi Arc” to be exploited by the group. Basically, the fear is that the tristate insular convergence area between poverty-stricken and Muslim-majority Mindanao in the southern Philippines, Sabah in Malaysia, and Sulawesi in Indonesia could present a ‘black hole’ of security vulnerabilities that might turn into the next terrorist hotspot. Hundreds of terrorists invaded Sabah from Mindanao in spring 2013 in a failed attempt to set up a base of operations, but the event proved the susceptibility that this ‘forgotten corner’ of ASEAN has to being used as a hideout and operational planning center, especially in the era of ISIL.

It’s not known at this time whether that scenario was held as a Damocles’ sword over the heads of the Malaysian and/or Indonesian leaders or not, but given the close ties between Gulf financiers and international foot soldier jihadis in all corners of the world including Southeast Asia, it can’t at all be dismissed that the Mindanao-Sulaweis Arc will one day be (if it isn’t already) an instrument of geopolitical blackmail against these two states and the Philippines – by Andrew Korybko

23.12.2015 – Inspire to Change World

Is Saudi Monarchy ‘Coming Apart at the Seams’?

King Salman and the House of Saud have had to deal with “an unprecedented avalanche” of issues, including ailing economy, low oil prices as well as the blowback from the military adventure in Yemen and support for Syrian radicals. This could prove to be too much of a burden for the oil kingdom, US journalist Daniel Lazare wrote for Consortiumnews (see below).

Lazare attributed the fault for some of these troubles to King Salman’s son Mohammad bin Salman.The US journalist described the deputy crown prince, who serves as the kingdom’s defense chief, as “a product of a closed and narrow educational system that emphasizes the Qur’an and Hadiths over science and analysis and imbues students with hostility toward Christians, Jews, Shi’ites and foreigners in general.”

Comment: This article doesn't mention the internal dissent within the Royal family in KSA, who are protesting against the rule of Salman, nor does it mention King Salman's dementia; the Saudi leadership is split between his two 'crown princes' one of which seems to be reckless and unable to listen to reason.

22.12.2015 – Consortium News

The Coming Saudi Crack-up?

President Obama, like generations of Western leaders, has coddled the oil-rich Saudi monarchy by tolerating its reactionary politics, its financing of radical Islam and its military support for Sunni jihadist terrorism. But the spoiled Saudi leaders may finally be going too far, as Daniel Lazare describes.

Is the Saudi monarchy coming apart at the seams? Scholars and journalists have long predicted the kingdom’s demise, but this time the forecasts may finally prove correct.

The reason is an unprecedented avalanche of problems pouring down on Saudi Arabia since 79-year-old Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud assumed the throne last January. A hardliner in contrast to his vaguely reformist predecessor Abdullah, Salman lost no time in letting the world know that a new sheriff was in town. He upped the number of public executions, which, at 151, are now running at nearly double last year’s rate.

After meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he promised to intensify efforts to topple Syrian President Bashar al-Assad by increasing aid to Al Nusra, Al Qaeda’s official Syrian affiliate. A few weeks later, he assembled a coalition of nine Sunni Arab states to launch nightly bombing raids on Yemen, quickly reducing one of the poorest countries in the Middle East to ruin.

People certainly took notice. But if Salman thought such actions would win him respect, he was wrong. Instead, the result has been a steady drum beat of negative publicity as the world awakes to the fact that, with its public beheadings and barbaric treatment of women, the Islamic state headed by the House of Saud is little different from the Islamic State headed by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in northern Syria and Iraq.

Topping the kingdom’s list of woes is the economy. With its stubbornly high unemployment rate and growing wealth gap between the rich and poor, Saudi Arabia has long been the sick man of the Persian Gulf. Even though planners have been talking about economic diversification since the 1970s, the kingdom was actually more dependent on oil as of 2013 than 40 years earlier.


Given this combination of oil dependence and joblessness, a two-thirds drop in the price of crude since mid-2014 couldn’t be more painful. But what makes it even more frightening is the growing realization that, with softening demand due to the global slowdown and growing over-supply due to the fracking revolution, low prices will be a fact of life for years to come. […]

The news on the political front is almost as dire. […]

Then there is the military front – or fronts – in Yemen, Iraq and Syria, where the situation grows worse by the day. Like all wars of aggression, the Saudi-led air assault on Shi‘ite Houthi rebels in Yemen was supposed to be short and sweet.

Indeed, four weeks after the campaign began last March, Riyadh issued a “Mission Accomplished” message declaring that it had “successfully eliminated the threat to the security of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries” by destroying Shi‘ite Houthi rebels’ heavy weaponry and ballistic missiles. But some of those missiles must still have remained in place since the coalition resumed bombing just a few days later.

Yet with the war turning into a classic quagmire, no end is in sight. Poorly trained Saudi troops have “proven to be no match for the battle-hardened Houthis.” While they’ve succeeded in clearing Houthi fighters out of the southern port city of Aden, the rebels still control the northern part of the country, including the capital of Sana’a, and are besieging Taiz, located roughly midway in between.

The Saudi-led coalition is meanwhile breaking apart. David Ottoway, the Washington Post’s longtime Middle East correspondent, notes that the Saudis have quarreled with their United Arab Emirate allies over whether to support the local branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. As a consequence, the UAE has halved its troop strength to 2,000 and has sent in hundreds of Colombian mercenaries in their place.

Much of this is the fault of Muhammad bin Salman, the king’s favorite son by his third wife, whom he named chief of court and minister of defense immediately after taking office. Officially 35, Muhammad may actually be as young as 29, which, if true, would make him the youngest defense minister in the world. A graduate of King Saud University in Riyadh, he is entirely a product of a closed and narrow educational system that emphasizes the Qur’an and Hadiths over science and analysis and imbues students with hostility toward Christians, Jews, Shi‘ites and foreigners in general.

All of which is all too evident in Bin Salman’s handling of the war. Since Vietnam, one military conflict after another has demonstrated that air power rarely works without ground forces doing the hard work of rooting out the enemy. But not only is Saudi Arabia short of “grunts” willing to sacrifice their lives in behalf of a greedy and over-sized royal family, it was understandably reluctant to send troops into a rugged terrain that highly motivated Houthi fighters know like the back of their hand.

Hence Saudi Arabia resisted putting “boots on the ground” for months, thereby allowing the Houthis to dig in all the more securely. Although the’ ostensible goal was to prevent the Houthis from taking power, the Saudis’ real aim was to humiliate Iran, which they see as the mastermind behind the uprising, and show the U.S. that the kingdom was capable of stepping out on its own.

But instead the Saudis have done neither. Not only does Iran remain unscathed, but the longer the Houthis hold out, the clearer it becomes that the Saudis are unable to prevail in their own backyard. It’s as if the U.S. had gotten hopelessly bogged down after invading Mexico.

The proxy war in northern Syria and Iraq is at the same time not going much better. The Saudis thought they had Assad on the run after channeling U.S.-made TOW missiles to the rebels last spring, but Russian intervention is altering the equation. […]

Given such incompetence, it was startling to see Muhammad bin Salman behaving yet again like a bull in a china shop last week when he announced that the Saudis had assembled a 34-nation coalition to fight terrorism. After two supposed members – Pakistan and Malaysia – announced that this was the first they had heard of it, questions began raining down.

Since Shi‘ite-majority Iran and Iraq were conspicuously absent from the list, was the real purpose to fight terrorism or to push a Sunni sectarian agenda? Considering the draconian “anti-terrorism” law that Salman pushed through last March banning everything from atheism to “sowing discord in society,” was the real goal to fight groups like ISIS and Al Qaeda or to ban dissent against the monarch in general?

It’s not hard to see why the Saudi defense chief is now known as “Muhammad the reckless” and why rumblings of a palace coup are beginning to be heard. All too aware of the role that the 1980s oil collapse played in tipping the Soviet Union over the edge, the Saudis, according to one foreign analyst, are determined to avoid anything smacking of perestroika and glasnost:

“The Saudis are obsessed with it, that if they liberalize a little, the whole thing will come apart,” the analyst said. Rather than loosening, they are determined to tighten up all the more even if it means pushing the contradictions to the breaking point.

The West is afraid to push too hard for the same reason. All too aware that the Saudi opposition to the monarchy is dominated by hard-line Islamists rather than nice house-broken liberals, the West’s greatest nightmare is of a failed oil giant sitting on top of 20 percent of the world’s proven reserves as Al Qaeda and ISIS run riot in the streets.

“Get rid of the House of Saud,” observed a senior UK diplomat, “and you will be screaming for them to come back within six months.” After years of feeding the Saudi monster, Western leaders are afraid to stop for fear of making things even worse – by Daniel Lazare =

Comment: The comments at Consortium News also are worth reading.

Großbritannien / Great Britain

22.12.2015 – The Independent

UK Government attempting to keep details of secret security pact with Saudi Arabia hidden from public

Theresa May agreed to ‘memorandum of understanding’ with Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef last year

The British Government signed a secret security pact with Saudi Arabia and is now attempting to prevent details of the deal from being made public.

The Home Secretary Theresa May agreed to the so-called ‘memorandum of understanding’ with her Saudi counter-part Crown Prince Muhammad bin Nayef during a visit to the Kingdom last year.

The Home Office released no details of her trip at the time or announced that the deal had been signed. The only public acknowledgement was a year later in a Foreign Office report which obliquely referenced an agreement to “modernise the Ministry of the Interior”.

But now following a Freedom of Information request from the Liberal Democrats, who were in Government at the time, it has emerged that the agreement is far wider than has been acknowledged.

In its grounds for refusing to publish details of the memorandum the Home Office has admitted it “contains information relating to the UK’s security co-operation with Saudi Arabia”.

Releasing the document it says “would damage the UK’s bilateral relationship” with the Kingdom and potentially damage Britain’s national security .

Human rights groups have expressed alarm at the secretive nature of the deal with a regime which has been condemned for its human rights record – by Oliver Wright

Comment: The more I hear about this arrogant government's relationship with the Saudi despots the more certain I am that Jeremy Corbyn would make a far superior leader.


23.12.2015 – Sudan Tribune

Sudan reiterates readiness to dispatch more troops to Yemen

Sudan is ready to send more troops to Yemen, announced defence minister Awad Mohamed Ibn Ouf, Tuesday.

Speaking during a talk show on the Abu Dhabi TV Channel, Ibn Ouf said Sudan has now an infantry brigade fighting in Yemen, and expressed his country readiness to send more troops if asked to do so by the Saudi-led alliance.

He said his country’s forces had fought wars on foreign soil in the past and that the Sudanese troops fighting in Yemen now "are participating effectively and performing their duties efficiently.’’

"Sudan’s participation in the “Operation Decisive Storm” and Operation Restoring Hope in Yemen is out of deep conviction and in response to the call of the Arab nation,’’ he added.

The minister said the objective of the allied forces of reinstating the legitimate government will, God willing, be realized and after the return of stability to Yemen, Sudan will participate in the reconstruction of Yemen’’ as it had contributed to education in Yemen in the past.’’

Ibn Ouf stated that the forces of the Saudi led coalition were advancing on all fronts in Yemen "despite the tough terrain and despite the fact that the allied forces are forced to fight in populated areas, a matter that obliges them to be keen about the lives of civilians.’’

In reply to another question he said his forces are ready to carry out all the duties assigned to them within the newly declared Islamic alliance against terror.

Kommentar: Es kämpfen schon seit längerem Sudanesen auf saudischer Seite im Jemen. Die Saudis haben dafür reichlich an den Sudan gezahlt.


24.12.2015 –

The great silence masking a growing tragedy

Three civilians, including two Indian citizens, were killed when a stray missile fired from Yemen struck a Saudi Arabian border city. India's Consul General in Jeddah B.S. Mubarak confirmed the deaths in the attack near a museum on the edge of Najran. Another Indian was killed in shelling in the border region around half a year back.

While it highlights the impotence of great powers, including India to save their own citizens in the most devastating but least talked of all ongoing wars of the Arab Spring, it also highlights the "do nothing" attitude of the West, and hypocrisy regarding human rights violations. This can be termed as impotence and lack of influence at best, or deliberate compliance at worst.

A recent Amnesty International report highlighted that U.K. dealings with the Saudi government violate dozens of national, European Union, and International laws, as the Saudis continue to kill civilians in Yemen in its regional conflict against Shia Houthi rebels allegedly backed by Iran.

A similar disregard for human rights is noticeable in Turkey, while the West sits silent. The latest video doing the rounds on the Internet shows the murder of Dilek Dogan at her home by Turkish security forces, just because she was a Kurd who was protesting against the current government in Turkey – by Sumantra Maitra

Comment: An article showing the Chinese point of view on the Yemen war.


24.12.2015 – Bernama

Malaysia Calls For Cooperation To End Yemen Conflict

Malaysia has urged all parties to extend their full cooperation in the peace process and demonstrate their sincerity in ending the nine-month war in Yemen.

The country's Permanent Representative to the United Nations Datuk Ramlan Ibrahim said Malaysia urged all parties to follow the relevant Security Council resolutions, the Gulf Cooperation Council Initiative and its Implementing Mechanism, and the National Dialogue outcomes.

"We regret the lack of commitment by the conflicting parties to engage in good faith and to adhere to the ceasefire agreed on prior to the talks," he said at the UN Security Council Meeting on the Situation in the Middle East (Yemen) in New York on Tuesday. The text of his speech was made available to Bernama Thursday.

Ramlan reiterated Malaysia's stand that a political solution remained the only legitimate path towards a democratic, stable and inclusive Yemen.

Ramlan reaffirmed the country's strong support for the efforts by UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed to identify and implement confidence-building measures towards achieving a durable ceasefire and comprehensive settlement

Malaysia also urged all related parties to respect international humanitarian and human rights law to ensure smooth humanitarian access and minimise harm against civilians as well as refrain from damaging civilian infrastructure in Yemen, he said.

He said a total of 10 million children in Yemen were in urgent need of humanitarian assistance and over half a million children below five were at risk of severe acute malnutrition.

"We wish to see an independent investigation into various incidents that seriously violated international humanitarian and human rights law, including targeted attacks on civilians, school and medical facilities," said Ramlan.


25.12.2015 – RT

‘Power can’t be taken by force’: Yemen lawlessness must be put to an end, FM Mekhlafi tells RT

A national peace dialogue can’t be held between a legitimate political party and an armed group aiming to take power by force, Yemeni foreign minister Abdulmalik Mekhlafi told RT Arabic, calling for an end to lawlessness via by abiding the UNSC resolution.

The legitimacy of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who came to power after the overthrow of the previous president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, but was later himself expelled from the country by the Houthis and Saleh’s supporters, is out of question FM Mekhlafi says.

“There’s nothing to talk about. I think the coupists should not discuss [the] legitimacy of the elected president. They have never observed the law,” the foreign minister said.

Hadi was forced to leave the country because the rebels military advances posed risk to his life, Mekhlafi explained. After that Hadi requested the “friendly countries’ support” to help him to restore the law in a state that suffered from a military coup, and had every right to do so, Mekhlafi said.

“You can’t take power by force. The only means of power transition – a peaceful one via coordinated mechanisms,” the foreign minister added. “Some illusions brought us to this war. Houthis’ illusions that they can take power by force and remove others. Ali Abdullah Saleh and his family’s illusions, which resulted in a popular peaceful revolution… he thought he could get back to power with his family.”

It is impossible to launch a fruitful national peace dialogue while the country is controlled by militant groups, Mekhlafi said, urging the rebels to surrender weapons and withdraw from cities under their control.

“The dialogue should be held between political parties, not political and armed ones,” Mekhlafi said. Our primary goal is to put an end to this lawlessness.”

“Speaking about confidence-building measures, we are complying with the ceasefire. There are obviously violations [of the ceasefire]. We say that it is not us who violate the truce. They say that it is not them,” Mekhlafi said.

The foreign minister also spoke about the rise of jihadism in Yemen, but called the ISIS and Al-Qaeda scares a convenient excuse for the Houthis to justify seizure of Yemeni cities and provinces.

“Rise of Al-Qaeda is a direct consequence of the Houthi policy of seizing territories, overthrowing legitimate government and state institutions,” Mekhlafi said, stating that Al-Qaeda existed and was used as a scarecrow under Saleh’s rule as well. “Battle with Al-Qaeda is a task for the government and society as a whole, not just one side like Houthis who use this cause to keep weapons.”

Mekhlafi also said that the Houthi rebels consider everybody who does not agree with their views as IS supporters using the problem of terrorism for their own political purposes.

“We are trying to end the political struggle through reaching national consent with possibly broadest international partnership to establish a rule-of-law state which, in its term, will continue to fight terrorism and extremism which is its direct goal and responsibility,”the foreign minister said.

Mekhlafi positively assessed the objective role of Russia in the Yemeni conflict denying the myth that Russia supports the Houthis.

“The Russian position is always objective – it has always supported the legitimate government in Yemen. Russia can play a positive role exerting pressure on the rebels to push them back to law and to make them stick to the Resolution 2216 of the UN Security Council,” he said, referring to the resolution which prohibited arms shipments to the Houthis and called the latter to withdraw troops from Sana’a.

The minister also said that Iran can also play a positive role in the Yemeni conflict if it leaves Yemen alone and stops intervening in the country supporting one of the parties to the conflict.

“If Iran continues to support the rebels its role in this conflict remains negative,” Mekhlafi said.

Kommentar: Es ist das alte Lied der Propaganda der Hadi-Regierung: Wir sind legal, die anderen sind illegal und müssen verschwinden. Auf einer solchen Basis kann man aber nun einmal keine Friedensgespräche führen und zu einer politischen Lösung kommen. Das will man offensichtlich seitens der Hadi-Regierung (wie auch der die Fäden ziehenden Saudis) auch gar nicht. Hier eindeutig die Aussage: “There’s nothing to talk about. I think the coupists should not discuss [the] legitimacy of the elected president.” Also: Gebt auf und verschwindet. Die Amtszeit des “legitimen” Präsidenten ist übrigens im Februar 2015 abgelaufen – auch ganz ohne Houthis, erzwungenen Rücktritt und dergleichen. Es gibt keinen legitimen Präsidenten in diesem failed state mehr. Ein schlechter Witz ist ja wohl auch die Aussage, die die Houthis delegitimieren soll: ‘Power can’t be taken by force’. Was treiben denn jetzt eben die Hadi-Regierung und die Saudi-Koalition so? Eben genau „taking power by force“, und das mit einer solch großen Gewalt, wie es das Land noch nie gesehen hat. Nicht minder witzig auch die Aussage: It is impossible to launch a fruitful national peace dialogue while the country is controlled by militant groups. Nun, die Hadi-Regierung hat selbst das Land mit allen möglichen “militant groups” überschwemmt, die von den ihr wohl gesonnenen Quellen als “legalists” o. ä. bezeichnet werden. Die Huthis für den Aufstieg von Al Kaida und IS im Jemen verantwortlich zu machen, ist auch nicht neu. Lassen wir es damit gut sein.

24.12.2015 – Asharq Al Awsat

King Salman: Saudi’s Policy is Firm, Calls for Political Solution in Yemen

King Salman stated that Saudi Arabia has seen, since its inception, a national cohesion witnessed by all and added that the process of development and growth has continued in a rising pace, despite the international economic fluctuations. [...]
The Saudi King proceeded in his statement that the country’s foreign policy was focused on protecting the Islamic and Arab world, implementing anti-terrorism measures, achieving safety and stability in the world, and seeking to unite the ranks to confront the risks and challenges surrounding Arab and Islamic nations.
The king said regarding the Saudi debts that higher oil prices in the past years have allowed Saudi Arabia to grow its foreign reserves and keep its debt levels low. The kingdom would “maintain stability and balance between revenue and spending on big development projects in all sectors,” he said.
The king also blamed the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for the rise of militant groups in the region, saying terrorist organizations would not find fertile ground without the Syrian government’s policies.

Within the framework of the Kingdom’s keenness to perform its duties towards the brotherly countries and support them, the ‘Determination Storm’ was launched with the participation of a number of Arab and Islamic countries at the request of the Yemeni legitimate government to save Yemen from a coup against its legitimacy, security and stability. This group sought to dominate and sow discord in the region, threaten the security of the neighboring states, including the Kingdom, and strictly carry out regional plots seeking to interfere in the internal affairs of the Arab countries through turning Yemen into a hotbed of sectarian and doctrinal conflicts. That triggered the coalition countries to deal with this threat encircling the security and people of Yemen and the entire Arab security, to restore the Yemeni legitimacy and stability, to ward off the threats posed by this group and its regional supporters and to secure the region’s stability and territorial integrity.

Kommentar: Nur so viel: Es waren die Saudis und niemand sonst, der den Jemen in einen "sectarian conflict", also einen religiösen Konflikt zwischen verschiedenen Konfessionen, gestürzt hat - und damit hatten die Saudis schon in den 1980er Jahren begonnen durch massive Missionierung des Jemen im Sinn ihres sunnitisch-wahabitischen Islam. Vorher kamen Sunniten und schiitische Zaiditen im Jemen überwiegend problemlos miteinander aus. Nach saudisher Lesart schürt offenbar jeder, der sich der Dampfwalze ihrer wahabitischen Missionierung wiedersetzt, religiöse Konflikte. Nur sie natürlich nicht.

Flüchtlinge / Refugees

24.12.2015 – International Organization for Migration, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Yemen Situation: Population movement from and to Yemen (as of 1 December 2015)

21.12.2015 – Doctors Without Borders


On the Greek / Macedonian Border

Following a decision by Balkan authorities to limit the entrance to their territory to asylum seekers from Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, the number of people blocked in the Greek village of Idomeni, on the border to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), had swelled to over 3000 by the beginning of December.


With little information on what would be happening, the futures of thousands of men, women and children stranded hung in the balance. Some protested peacefully, others shouted and threw stones, others sat quietly and continued to wait. Here are their stories (from Somalia, Pakistan, South Sudan, and Yemen)


20 year old Walid

‘I have been here for 12 days. I want to leave now and cross the border. I would go anywhere in Europe but I would love to go to England as I have relatives there. In Yemen I studied English and International Management I would like to continue my studies at Oxford or Cambridge Universities. I left as there is war in Yemen, they take young guys to fight and if you don‘t go with them they will kill you. I want to live in peace and be a good guy. I don‘t like fighting with anyone‘.

20 year old Adnan

Shows a picture of his destroyed home on his mobile phone. ‘I have been in Idomeni for 12 days, it is cold here and I am very hungry. We only have perhaps 1 or 2 sandwiches per day. In Yemen I studied engineering, so I want to continue my studies in Germany. I decided to leave Yemen after a plane bombed my house killing five of my cousins, I thank God that I was not also killed. Sport is my favourite thing. In Yemen I played football, I support Arsenal and my favourite player is Mesut Ozil‘

On the 9th of December all those not from Iraq, Syria or Afghanistan were placed on buses to Athens and were later moved into stadiums originally built for the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. In Idomeni, MSF and other humanitarian organisations are now facing more and more difficulties to provide adequate assistance, even to those that are allowed to cross.

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

24.12.2015 – South Front

YEMEN MAP OF WAR – DEC. 24, 2015

This article gives an overview over the last weeks and lists the fights and attacks day by day

Written by Akram Abu Abs exclusively for SouthFront

December 16, violent clashes broke out on Wednesday between Abida tribes and Saudi coalition troops in Ma’rib province. Abida tribesmen forced al-Ahmar mercenaries out of Khashm al-Aswad site in Abida valley, captured many armored vehicles and weapons and left many killed and wounded fighters from both sides.

December 18, Saudi coalition warplanes struck a residential neighborhood in al-Kitaf district, Sa’ada province, leaving 23 people dead. Two people were injured when Saudi cluster bombs were dropped on the Maran district of Sa’ada. Meanwhile, mercenaries, trained and equipped in Saudi Arabia took control of the Harad district, Hajjah province. Saudi coalition warplanes and missiles also targeted the Baqim and Zahir districts, Sa’ada Province, with no immediate reports of casualties or damage.

December 18, the Houthi alliance fired a Qaher-1 (Conqueror-1) ballistic missile at a military base in Saudi Arabia’s Najran province. They also launched an OTR-21 Tochka ballistic missile at the Tadawil military camp in Ma’rib province. Two Saudi soldiers were killed and a M1 Abrams battle tank was also destroyed.

December 18, four members of the US Blackwater/Academi mercenaries were killed in the province of Ta’izz. They were reportedly of Italian, South African, Rwandan and Pakistani nationalities. Saudi coalition militants have captured the capital al Hazm, al Jawf province, taking advantage of the UN-backed ceasefire. The Houth alliance said the group had conveyed its official complaint to the UN over the ceasefire violations and that the priority and focus of the talks should be a cessation of fighting.

December 18, several missile attacks targeted Saudi Arabia’s key military bases and positions in Jizan province, inflicting heavy losses on the kingdom’s forces. Tochka ballistic missiles hit the Saudi army’s gathering centers in Jizan province and a Qaher-I missile at Saudi forces’ bases in Najran. Saudi governmental buildings in al-Rabou’a, Asir province, were also hit. The Houthi alliance also fired 52 rockets at the border regions of Alab, al-Sheibani, al-Hazar and al-Thurein in Asir province.

December 19, a Tochka ballistic missile hit the Saudi-led coalition’s 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.

December 20, first Qaher-I ballistic missiles targeted Khalid bin Abdulaziz air base in Asir province. Second Qaher-I ballistic missile hit the Saudi coalition’s command headquarters in Sha’ab al-Jen region near Bab al-Mandeb, Ta’izz province. Over 150 soldiers, including 23 Saudi troops, 9 UAE officers and soldiers, seven Moroccan officers and 42 Blackwater/Academi mercenaries were killed.

December 20, more than 85 Saudi coalition mercenaries were killed in a third Qaher-I ballistic missile attack on the al-Safer military base in Ma’rib province. A number of military vehicles and a special drone unit at the base were destroyed.

December 20, Houthi alliance missiles destroyed two more Saudi military boats near the port city of Mocha, Taiz province, on the Red Sea coast.

December 20, Saudi coalition warplanes targeted a residential area in Hudaydah province, killing at least six civilians, including children, and wounded dozens more. Four houses were completely destroyed and several others damaged. They also conducted strikes on Harard district, Hajjah province and on al-Teyal district, Sana’a province. Separately, at least five women were killed in strikes targeting a house in the Kitaf district, Sa’ada province.

December 20, a huge offensive launched by the Houthi alliance inside Saudi Arabia. They stormed Saudi position and captured Al-Khubah town as Saudi coalition forces retreated. Saudi coalition also lost control of a military base and in full retreat with some laying down their weapons and surrendering. The Houthi alliance is in full control of Shabakat and Mustahdath villages in the Jizan region of Saudi-Arabia.

December 20, the Saudi coalition fired 40 rockets on the regions of Al-Zaher and Shada, Sa’ada province and also pounded Ta’iz province and western parts of the city of Sana’a and took control of two mountains in the Nihm district which is about 60 km northeast of the capital Sana’a.

December 21, at least seven people were killed and 12 others wounded in an airstrike targeting the Haya al-Shuhada district of al-Hudaydah in breach of the ceasefire.

December 21, the Houthi alliance destroyed an 11th Saudi military boat off the coast of Mocha city in Ta’izz province, as it was trying to get closer to the Mocha’s coast. They said they will continue to strongly repulse any violations committed by the Saudi coalition in Yemen’s territorial waters as a right guaranteed by all international charters and laws.

December 22, the Houthi alliance bombed Qulal al-Shaibani sites in Jizan area, killing and wounding a number of Saudi soldiers and destroying a military vehicle. The al-Mehdhar military site and Saudi coalition troop gatherings behind the governmental complex in Rabuah, Asir province, were also shelled.

December 22, a Qaher-I ballistic missile hit facilities belonging to Saudi Arabia’s state oil giant Aramco in the country’s southwest.

December 22, at least seven civilians lost their lives and a couple of others sustained injuries when Saudi coalition aerial bombardment struck a house in Safra district, Sa’ada province. Another air raid targeted a house in Kitaf district, leaving several casualties. Two other civilians were also killed in Saudi airstrikes on a fuel station in the Beyhan district, Shabwah province. – by Akram Abu Abs

24.12.2015 – Islamic Invitation Turkey

Eight civilians killed in fresh Saudi strikes in Yemen amid so-called truce

At least eight Yemeni civilians have lost their lives when Saudi warplanes launched a string of airstrikes against various areas across the country.

Saudi jets attacked a popular market in the port city of Mokha on Wednesday evening, leaving four people dead and eleven others injured, the al-Yawm daily newspaper reported.

Yemeni army troops retaliated by firing an OTR-21 Tochka missile at the strategic al-Anad Air Base housing Saudi-led forces in Yemen’s Lahij province. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

Yemen’s army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman said the missile was launched following a tip-off that pro-Saudi troops inside the base were planning an attack on Ta’izz.

24.12.2015 – Saba Net

Tochka rocket hits invaders' gathering in Anad base

The army and popular committees fired on Thursday a Tochka missile at Anad Air Base in Lahj province, targeting a gathering of invaders in the base.

In a statement to Saba, the Armed Forces’ spokesman Brig. Gen. Ghalib Luqman said that targeting Anad base came after monitoring a process of gathering gear and planning for an imminent attack planned by the invasion force to advance towards Taiz province.
The Tochka missile hit its target with high accuracy, Luqman added.
He pointed out that the missile forces of the army bombed with Katyusha missiles several military locations of the enemy and its hirelings in the al-Hadhaba al-Sufla area in Jawf province.

24.12.2015 – Alalam

VIDEO: Yemeni Army Troops Target Saudi Mercenaries in Ta’iz

The Yemeni army backed by popular forces and Ansarullah killed several other Saudi-hired Blackwater militias in an attack on a military base in the province of Ta’iz.

A sum of 4 Blackwater mercenaries, including two British, an American and a South African paramilitary troops, were killed in an attack on their military base in Zobab region in Ta'iz province, the Arabic-language media outlets reported.

"The Yemeni attack killed former British navy commander George William Castle, former British special forces officer Mark Judd Hart, American national Eshaq Bikark and South African national Alfred Banoushka," the Arabic-language Al-Masira news channel quoted an unnamed military source as saying on Wednesday.

The town of Zobab is located 40 kilometers to the North of Bab al-Mandeb and is of strategic importance.

Many more Blackwater mercenaries have been killed in the Yemeni attacks in recent weeks.

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-74: / Yemen Press reader 1-74: oder / or

Fotos von saudischem Luftangriff am 23. Dez. / Photos of Saudi air attack on Dec. 23

(18 +, Nichts für Sensible; Graphic!)

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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