Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 93

Yemen Press Reader 93: UN-Bericht über Jemenkrieg: Schwere Vorwürfe gegen saudischen Luftkrieg, aber auch gegen Huthis - Regierungen der USA und der Briten wegen Bündnis mit Saudis in Kritik
Bei diesem Beitrag handelt es sich um ein Blog aus der Freitag-Community

Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

Am wichtigsten / Most important

Allgemein / General

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

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

Saudi-Arabien und Iran / Saudi Arabia and Iran

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia


Großbritannien / Great Britain


Terrorismus / Terrorism

Journalismus / Journalism


Saudische Luftangriffe / Saudi air raids

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

Klassifizierung / Classification




(Kein Stern / No star)

A = Aktuell / Current news

B = Hintergrund / Background

C = Chronik / Chronicle

D = Details

E = Wirtschaft / Economy

H = Humanitäre Fragen / Humanitarian questions

K = Krieg / War

P = Politik / Politics

PH = Pro-Houthi

PS = Pro-Saudi

T = Terrorismus / Terrorism

Vorbemerkung / Preliminary Note (in German)

Diesmal unter „Am wichtigsten“ eine ganze Reihe von Artikeln zur Lage im Jemen sowie zu den saudisch-amerikanischen Beziehungen. Aktuell im Bereich Politik sicher am wichtigsten der Bericht des UN-Ausschusses, der den saudischen Luftkrieg so kritisch beurteilt, wie das bisher von Seiten der UNO noch nicht passiert ist. Dieser Bericht hat politisch einiges an Unruhe ausgelöst. Im Grunde enthält er freilich nichts tatsächlich wirklich Neues. Wer sehen wollte, konnte das alles längst sehen, seit fast 10 Monaten jetzt schon. Der Bericht ist insoweit wichtig, als es jetzt den politischen Akteuren schwieriger gemacht wird, vor den saudischen Kriegsverbrechen im Jemen die Augen zu verschließen.

Gerade Amerikaner und Briten hatten es darin zu einer grotesken Meisterschaft gebracht. In Großbritannien war die Kritik an der Unterstützung der konservativen Regierung für die Saudis in letzter Zeit deutlich angewachsen, für die Regierung kommt dieser Bericht jetzt reichlich ungelegen. So schafft es Jemen in Großbritannien z. T. jetzt sogar auf die erste Seite der Zeitungen (so beim Guardian).

In Deutschland bzw. bei deutschsprachigen Medien auffällig: Ich habe keinen einzigen Bericht oder auch nur kurze Meldung über diesen UN-Bericht auf Deutsch gefunden (Stand 28.1., 13.00 Uhr). Außer einer schlechten automatischen Übersetzung aus dem Russischen, was ja wohl nicht repräsentativ für die deutschen Medien sein kann. Was ist da los?? Der UN-Bericht lässt Amerikaner und Briten als eifrige Helfer der Saudis ganz schön schlecht aussehen. Ist unsere Presse „transatlantischer“ (d. h. an den geopolitischen Interessen der USA orientiert) als die Medien in den USA und Großbritannien? Warum auch jenseits der sog. Mainstreammedien schlichtweg nichts?? Am Abend dann als einziges "Anti War", ja nicht gerade ein Mainstream-Medium, der deutsche Ableger einer amerikanischen Seite und eine Übersetzung von der Originalseite. Deutsche Medien - wie erbärmlich sind sie denn?

Am wichtigsten / Most important

Der neue Bericht des UN-Gremiums über Menschenrechtsverletzungen im Jemen siehe unter „UNO“

The new report on human rights violations in Yemen by the UN panel see at “UN”

26.1.2016 – Yemen News Today (*** B H K)

Destroying food of the starving in Yemen

Since the Saudi-led coalition started their aerial assaults on Yemen on 26th March 2015, there has been an effective blockade of most goods entering Yemen, the rationale being a weapons blockade against the Houthi-Saleh alliance. As in all blockades, the people who suffer are not those fighting because they have most control of resources and take first pick. Instead the civilian population is vulnerable, especially women, the young, old and sick. Before the war, Yemen relied on 90% of its necessary goods as imports, so the Saudi-led blockade rapidly turned the conflict into a matter of survival for all civilians, whether in a conflict zone or not. With only 1% of Yemen’s oil needs being allowed to enter Yemen almost immediately water became a serious issue as virtually all water in Yemen is pumped from deep wells. Additionally, this severe shortage of oil and diesel has meant that in most parts of Yemen there has been no electricity for many months, except in Eastern Yemen which is under Al Qaeda control and receives its oil from Mukalla port; and since July 2015 when parts of the southwest were recaptured from the Houthi-Saleh alliance, Aden has been allowed to import oil. However, even in these areas electricity supply is sporadic. Hence there has also been no means of storing perishable food, and costs of moving food and other essential items across Yemen has caused food prices to increase dramatically. Producing food internally has become expensive as diesel is needed for water irrigation purposes, and for many farms this cost has been prohibitive and production has ceased. Additionally most companies in Yemen have been forced to close down due to insecurity or lack of resources, resulting in widespread unemployment within Yemen, making food unaffordable for many families.

Additionally, food producers, suppliers, transporters and retailers have not been spared from aerial assaults. According to the Legal Center for Rights and Development in Sana’a, in the first 300 days of war, ten ports, fourteen airports, and 512 roads and bridges were struck by the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrikes making it more difficult to import and transport goods to where they are needed. This is severely aggravated by the destruction of 238 fuel stations, 175 fuel tankers and 409 food trucks. Direct food retailers have also been targeted including 353 markets and malls, and 546 food stores. Domestic, commercial and agricultural water supplies have been challenged by 164 hits on reservoirs and water networks, and many of the 190 factories that were destroyed by the Saudi-led coalition were producing food and drinks, such as a Yoghurt factory in Hodeida, a snack factory in Sana’a, a Coca Cola plant in Sana’a, a fruit juice factory in Hodeida, and a water bottling factory in Amran. Farms have also been targeted with 125 poultry farms hit, and an agricultural research centre in Wadi Sardol near Hodeida destroyed. 7 grain silos have been obliterated, and other food warehouses destroyed. At least one dairy/beef herd has also been targeted. Fishermen in the Red Sea have been targeted several times. Each of these aerial assaults has a cost, for example, Mohammed Derham owned a fruit juice and soft drinks factory in Hodeida that was destroyed by air to ground missiles, sustaining damage worth twenty million US dollars, and forcing 1,500 employees to lose their jobs. Some of these food producers and processors had been struggling to function under very severe conditions out of humanitarian concern for their employees and Yemeni civilians; others were closed due to the impossibilities of obtaining resources for production but had expected to restart when the situation improved. There has also been a human cost; for example, in the destruction of a water bottling plant in Abs in the northwest, 13 workers lost their lives and in one strike on two islands in the Red Sea, 40 fishermen were killed. This loss of plant and equipment for food production is a serious issue for the duration of the war and after hostilities end.

In certain areas this has been aggravated by local siege by the Houthi-Saleh militias who like Saudi Arabia have used deprivation as a weapon of war; in Aden at the beginning of the hostilities until July 2015, and in Taiz from June 2015 until January 2016. The Aden ordeal was ended when the Saudi-led coalition ground forces drove out the Houthi-Saleh alliance, and allowed delivery of humanitarian aid; the only Yemeni port where Saudi Arabia is not restricting imports. The Taiz siege was helped by food deliveries to a nearby town after an agreement between the warring parties, but this required the locals from the city of Taiz to walk through mountain passes carrying food packages back to their homes; fortunately recent reports say that food has now been delivered into Taiz itself. Although they had the means to do so, the Saudi led coalition did not air drop food directly into Taiz until mid-January when they stated that they had dropped 40 tons of humanitarian supplies; however, some parties dispute this.

An additional problem is the acute shortage of cooking fuel. In some families the only source of cooking fuel available since the start of hostilities is wood, but Yemen is not a densely-wooded land and this will have environmental repercussions; the supply is limited and cannot continue indefinitely. Cooking gas, produced locally, is in reduced supply and expensive. The shortages of cooking fuel means that unclean water cannot be sterilised by boiling, leading to more water borne diseases and diarrhoea and increasing the impact of nutritional deficiencies particularly relevant in small children.

What further impacts the nutritional deficiencies is the lack of available medical care. 58% of Yemenis (14 million people) had very limited or no access to health care facilities by January 2016, either because they had been destroyed (238 units including 69 hospitals), or because of the shortage of fuel, water, and medical supplies (600 units), or because of the lack of staff. The World Health Organisation describes the Yemen healthcare system as in a state of collapse. After numerous medical facilities had been targeted, the charity MSF stated that people and staff were frightened to attend hospitals except in cases of extreme emergency. MSF claim that they had provided the Saudi led coalition with all of the coordinates of their hospitals, but despite this three of their health facilities were destroyed in as many months.

The effect on the population has been devastating. In a BBC documentary, a family in the northwest of Yemen stated that they now only had grass to eat. They feared dying of starvation more than dying by bombs, because at least in a bombing raid they would all die together. According to the Famine Early Warning System Network, elevated prices for staples and reduced income opportunities are driving major assistance needs in Yemen. In the quarter October-December 2015, all of Yemen was Acutely Food Insecure, either level 3 or 4; level 5 is famine. This had worsened since July-September, when Eastern Yemen was only at level 2, but decreased incomes, inflated prices, virtual standstill of exports, and two severe cyclones having taken their toll on the East, which although controlled by extremist militias has so far been relatively free of conflict and not so affected by the blockade. The only area that has improved from a nutritional viewpoint is Aden which has received significant quantities of humanitarian aid since the port reopened in autumn 2015, with water supplies much improved, although the unstable security there is threatening this improvement.

In January 2016 a representative of UNICEF in Sanaa told me that 300,000 children under five years of age are estimated to suffer from Severe Acute Malnutrition and a further one million suffer from Moderate Acute Malnutrition; made worse as 192 nutrition centres are no longer operating in Yemen. In some areas parents are treating children with nutritional problems at home – or worse, in their temporary shelters – including intravenous fluid replacement therapy, which has inherent dangers when inexperienced people infuse fluids into small children.

From time to time international organisations have made occasional appeals on behalf of Yemen, but I can find no significant press releases from any organisation since October 2015 except in the case of Taiz, thanks to a concerted campaign by activists inside Taiz and Saudi Arabian spokespersons who support the Islah militias in Taiz. Although the situation is dire in Taiz because of a ferocious ground war and undoubtedly there have been serious deprivations, ironically the humanitarian situation may be worse in other areas that have had no international spokespersons speaking on their behalf.

Yemen is in the grip of a civil war; fundamentally a contest for power between the divisive and deposed ex-President Saleh, and the unpopular Interim President Hadi, whose fixed term presidency had expired. The International community headed by Saudi Arabia states its determination to re-impose Hadi on Yemen as the ‘legitimate’ President, and have taken on destruction of Yemen and starvation of its population in pursuit of that unpopular objective. The generous and hospitable people of Yemen did not want war, and did nothing to deserve what happened to them; the first most Yemenis knew that they were at war was when terrifying bombs were unexpectedly dropped on them one night by a foreign power; in many areas this has continued on a daily basis ever since. But the blockade has probably resulted in more deaths than the violence, and these are unrecorded and not publicised. Yemeni people have suffered immensely, and have shown amazing powers of resourcefulness and community mindedness to support each other through this hell that is Yemen today. Unlike Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan, they are trapped inside war, borders are fenced and tightly controlled, and no countries will allow them to travel without a visa – and there are very few embassies left in Yemen to apply for one. I heard a story today of a landlord who found a widow and her two children dead from starvation inside a room they had rented from him. How many more will have to die like this before the world opens its eyes and realises this collective punishment is being imposed on the Yemeni civilian population, about half of whom are less than 18 years old – by Judith Brown

26.1.2016 – Muftah (** B P)

Sub-State Actors Ascendant in Fractured Yemen

Arrayed on the battlefield against the Houthi-Saleh alliance and alongside supporters of exiled Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi is a loose alliance of Islamists. These include Islah, a big-tent political party that includes a strong Muslim Brotherhood faction, radicals linked with or part of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), as well as armed tribal militias and southerners agitating for the restoration of an independent South Yemen.

Often misleadingly labeled as Hadi “loyalists,” members of this group have competing and conflicting agendas. The perishable political glue that holds them together is opposition to the Houthi-Saleh rebels. They have neither a common, shared vision for Yemen’s political future nor loyalty to the president.

In light of this superficial support and his own increasingly widespread unpopularity, it is unclear whether Hadi’s presidency will endure beyond the end of hostilities. To stand a chance of surviving, President Hadi will need to carefully address the local grievances and demands of his allies, lest they emerge as spoilers in a future political transition further down the road. These include calls for greater self-determination and a larger share of oil extraction profits from tribesmen in Marib province, who have long complained of marginalization by the central government and the underdevelopment of local infrastructure and social services, including health and education, in the province.

Should he emerge victorious, Hadi’s greatest challenge will likely be reconciling the ambitions of the Southern Popular Committees, which are pushing for an independent south, with his other allies, including the Islamists who staunchly back a federal and unified Yemen.

Most of Yemen’s sub-state actors are heavily armed. In the post-conflict period, they will likely use their military capabilities to drive a hard bargain and obtain concessions from the Hadi administration.

This will present long-term challenges for the central Yemeni government, making it even more difficult than before to project and enforce its authority.

Additionally, Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Islamic State have exploited the security vacuum and strengthened and drastically expanded their footholds in Yemen, particularly in the south and east.

Although the Saudi-led coalition has achieved some battlefield successes, recapturing swathes of territory in the south in recent months, a military victory for either side looks increasingly unlikely.

In light of these challenges, a diplomatic and inclusive political solution is the only viable option for ending the conflict.

In particular, the Houthis are a deeply embedded part of Yemen’s social fabric and must be politically engaged. There are far more important domestic drivers of the conflict, which must be appreciated before the situation escalates further and becomes truly intractable. Reducing what is essentially a domestic conflict between domestic actors into a regional power struggle between two mutually antagonistic rivals severely complicates efforts to bring about a Yemeni-owned, Yemeni-led peaceful political transition that is responsive to local needs – by Richard Wallace.

Comment: A very good article worth to be read in full!!

26.1.2016 – ICAN (International Civil Society Action Network (** B H K P)

New “What the Women Say” Policy Brief – Yemen

“We Will Survive: Women’s Rights and Civic Activism in Yemen’s Endless War”

ICAN proudly presents our most recent What the Women Say policy brief, “We Will Survive: Women’s Rights and Civic Activism in Yemen’s Endless War.” Reflecting on the experiences of women during the uprising, the transitional period, and the national dialogue, this report provides a brief snapshot of the deteriorating humanitarian and socio-economic conditions, the security concerns, the thwarted constitutional process, the evolving political landscape, and the implications for women. It highlights key recommendations to international and domestic actors with regard to peace, security, and equality for Yemenis in the future.

“By day and night, Saudi warplanes drop missiles and bombs on cities and countryside, its roads, ports, and airports, its homes and its people. On the ground, Houthi militias continue their ground assaults and sieges. ISIS and Al Qaeda bye for power…”

If the war is absent from mainstream media, it is ever-present on social media. On Twitter Yemeni citizens give regular heartbreaking updates to remind the world that they still exist. Their courage and humanity, humor and stoicism are often captured in 140 characters. Activists, writers, journalists, bloggers, and ordinary citizens post daily on Facebook and Twitter about their experiences (#KefayaWar, #YemenCrisis, #YemenChildren).

Many Yemenis are eager to connect internationally and discuss what is happening in their communities. Internationally based blogs such as “Woman from Yemen,” “Yemen Peace Project,” “NoonArabia,” “Yemen-iaty,” and others contributed to the steady flow of information in 2015. Women’s rights activist, Bushra Al-Fusail posted photographs and reports on her activism. She saw the lack of gasoline supplies as an opportunity to teach women how to ride bikes to get around. They and others report on bombings in real-time and keep daily track of the lack of medicine and the rising cost of scarce produce.

But with the situation unravelling and a new UN Envoy who has failed to include women’s voices, women may again be silenced. Since December 2014, no women have participated in any major negotiations regarding the coup. Reflecting on the experiences of Yemeni women during the uprising, the transitional period and the national dialogue, this report provides a brief snapshot of the deteriorating humanitarian and socioeconomic conditions, the security concerns, the thwarted constitutional process and evolving political landscape and its implication for women. It highlights key recommendations to international and domestic actors with regard to peace, security and equality for Yemenis in the future.

[At the end:] Recommandations: The last five years have given a new generation of female activists the tools and the confidence to demand their rightful place in the next phase of Yemeni democracy. Women’s involvement in the youth revolution of 2011 opened new possibilities to become political actors in the country, challenging the popular assumption in Yemen that women are incapable of political work. Women’s participation in the NDC process further illustrated that ability and willingness. As Yemen puts into place new legal and governance institutions, it is critical that women’s rights and opportunities receive full support. Although the war has devastated the country and social institutions, Yemen has a vibrant political landscape and an appetite for grassroots change.

Retaining that vibrancy – and channeling it into an effective civil society—should be a key objective of any international involvement in Yemen. Yemenis need support to translate their political energy into real change on the ground. The playing field for women’s and human rights will remain extremely fragile in Yemen, and further progress on the rightsfront will be achieved only with commitment and great difficulty. The international community should be watching for signs of protection for the fragile democratic advances made after 2011 and for inclusion of women in all peace and post-conflict processes. and in full

27.1.2016 – Salon (*** B P)

What John Kerry won’t ever acknowledge: The U.S. relationship with Saudi Arabia is self-destructive — and even crazy

Secretary Kerry says U.S. friendship is as strong "as we ever had," but Saudi fuels, supports and exports extremism

The United States’ close relationship with Saudi Arabia is as self-destructive as it has always been — self-destructive, and what some might even call crazy.

But the problem with calling it “crazy” is it implies the U.S. is unaware of the implications of its decision to cozy up to the world’s leading supporter and exporter of Islamic extremism. On the contrary, America most certainly understands the consequences of its foreign alliances.

Washington is fully aware the actions of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf regimes actively defy its purported noble goals.

This relationship exposes more than any other the hollowness behind America’s pledge to combat extremism and spread democracy.

It is precisely for this reason that the U.S.-Saudi relationship is so self-destructive — not to mention hypocritical.

The actions Saudi Arabia is taking in the region, along with some other Gulf regimes, directly defy the well-being of not just the vast majority of the people in the Middle East, but also of the people in the U.S.

“We agreed yesterday to work hard on Yemen,” Kerry said. “We have new ideas about how we may be able to try to work to accelerate the effort to bring peace to Yemen.”

There is actually a pretty simple way to bring peace to Yemen analysts might suggest to Kerry: Tell Saudi Arabia to stop bombing it. And stop arming the Saudi-led coalition that is brutally bombing Yemen. And stop coordinating with the Saudi military. Stop training Saudi bombers. Stop putting U.S. military officials in the rooms where the Saudi military is deciding which targets to bomb.

Yet, just two months before making these remarks, Kerry in fact applauded the authoritarian U.S.-allied monarchy in the UAE for invading and helping Saudi Arabia to bomb Yemen, insisting the actions were “helping “accomplish significant progress.”

On Syria, Kerry’s rhetoric was even more unbelievable — and the hypocrisy of the U.S.-Saudi relationship became even more evident.

“Saudi Arabia is committed to work with us in the effort to try to stabilize Syria and calm down this hyped-up, exploited division between Sunni and Shia,” Kerry insisted. “Nobody wants it.”

If nobody wants it, why is the Saudi monarchy so actively encouraging and fostering it? Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading sponsor and exporter of Sunni extremism. In Syria, it is supporting violently sectarian Sunni extremist groups like al-Qaeda affiliate al-Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham.

“Fifteen years ago, 10 years ago, nobody was spending their time defining people by, ‘You’re Shia,’ or, ‘You’re Sunni.’ That didn’t happen,” the secretary of state remarked. “And it’s happening because there are some extremists who want to exploit it, and drive a wedge between people.”

Kerry is right. There are some extremists who are exploiting is as a wedge — he is talking to them. The Saudi regime is, in fact, the progenitor of this religious sectarianism

“In Yemen, we face the Houthi insurgency and the ongoing threat that is posed by al-Qaida, threats to the territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” Kerry said, detailing the issues discussed in a meeting with the Gulf Cooperation Council.

“We have made it clear that we stand with our friends in Saudi Arabia,” he added.

But Kerry’s friends in Saudi Arabia are largely responsible for the threat posed by al-Qaida in Yemen.

These overt double standards and blatant contradictions expose the fault lines that lie under the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Why does the contradiction-filled relationship continue? Why does Kerry reassure an extremist theocratic regime that the U.S.’s friendship is as strong “as we ever had.”

It is about oil, of course. But not oil in the sense of buying oil.

In a recent interview, prominent scholar Vijay Prashad referred to Saudi Arabia as the U.S.’s “gas station.” He explained that it is not just the Gulf’s enormous oil reserves, but also Saudi Arabia’s ability to control oil prices and its status as the leader of OPEC that makes it such an important ally.

This is in conjunction with the Saudi regime’s role as a loyal customer for American weapons. In the past five years, the Saudi monarchy has bought more than $100 billion in arms from the U.S.

In short, the U.S.-Saudi relationship rests on oil and weapons sales and, ultimately, on the preservation of America empire – by Ben Norton

Comment: The author hits the spot with his clear words. Great article, very worth reading in full at the original site!

24.1.2016 – Free Thought Project (*** A P)

Investigation Exposes How Saudi Arabia has Been Tasking and Directly Funding CIA Black Ops

After decades of accepting bribes from the Saudi government, the CIA is currently funneling guns and money to Syrian rebels and terrorists.

While publicly condemning a scant portion of the human rights violations routinely committed by the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the U.S. government has secretly been colluding with the brutal regime, which is currently funding the CIA’s covert operations in Syria. Instead of answering to the American people, the CIA has become the Saudi government’s obedient lapdog after accepting massive bribes for over three decades with total impunity.

According to a recent New York Times investigation, President Obama covertly authorized the CIA to begin arming the Syrian rebels in 2013, with funding and weapons from Saudi Arabia and a few other countries. Code-named Timber Sycamore, the clandestine operation initially authorized the CIA to provide nonlethal assistance and training to the rebels but not weapons. A few months later, the president amended the parameters by allowing the CIA to arm the rebels and deliver lethal assistance while receiving funding and weapons from Saudi Arabia’s intelligence agency, the General Intelligence Directorate, including TOW anti-tank missiles and AK-47 assault rifles.

Besides Saudi Arabia, the CIA has also received covert financing from Qatar, Turkey, and Jordan in an effort to support the Syrian rebels. While financing the enemies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, the U.S. government has provided funding and weapons to al Qaeda-linked fighters and foreign jihadists invading Syria. Although the CIA refuses to disclose how much money the Saudis have contributed toward arming and supporting the Syrian rebels, estimates from intelligence sources place the cost at several billion dollars.

During the 1980s, the Saudis began bribing the CIA by helping to finance covert operations in Angola, spending millions of dollars to arm mujahedeen rebels fighting the Soviets in Afghanistan, and donating $32 million, paid through a Cayman Islands bank account, to fund contra rebels in Nicaragua during the Iran-Contra affair. In the 1990s, current CIA Director John Brennan was the agency’s station chief in Riyadh. Former colleagues assert Brennan remains close friends with Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi interior minister tasked with arming the Syrian rebels.

On September 30, 2011, two Predator drones launched from a secret CIA base in Saudi Arabia, crossed the border into northern Yemen, and fired Hellfire missiles at a vehicle containing Anwar al-Aulaqi, commonly misspelled as “al-Awlaki,” of New Mexico. The government would later learn one of the passengers in Anwar’s vehicle had been another U.S. citizen, Samir Khan. On the evening of October 14, 2011, Anwar’s innocent 16-year-old son, Abdulrahman, attended a barbeque with his friends and cousins when a CIA drone butchered everyone in the vicinity.

According to a 2013 NSA memo exposed by whistleblower Edward Snowden, relations between the U.S. and Saudi intelligence communities became strained after the first Gulf War in 1991. The NSA experienced years of stagnation while attempting to work with the Saudi Ministry of Defense, Radio Reconnaissance Department. But in December 2012, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper authorized sharing signals intelligence (SIGINT) with the Saudi Ministry of Interior’s Technical Affairs Directorate. By providing technical assistance and decryption tools to the MOI, Clapper gave the Saudi government the ability to improve their surveillance systems and spyware against political dissidents, bloggers, and human rights activists.

Each year, the U.S. State Department reports that the Saudi government was once again responsible for arbitrary arrests, denial of due process, detaining political prisoners, human trafficking, torturing prisoners to death, and a myriad of other abuses. A Saudi human rights lawyer and activist named Waleed Abu al-Khair received 15 years in prison for undermining the state and insulting the judiciary. Mukhlif Shammari received 5 years for writing about the mistreatment of Saudi women. While in prison, a human rights activist named Mekhlef bin Daham al-Shammary was hospitalized after government officials poured antiseptic cleaning liquid down his throat.

Last month, the U.S. government disclosed that the Saudi king had given President Obama and his family approximately $1.35 million in gifts throughout 2014. Before his passing last year, King Abdullah reportedly spent over $9.8 million on U.S. lobbyists between 2012 and 2013.

Although prostitution has become a job requirement for our politicians and lobbyists, the CIA has decided to ally itself with an abusive regime known for public beheadings and crucifixion of political dissidents. After decades of accepting Saudi bribes, the CIA became culpable in funding terrorist organizations in Syria while attempting to support our allies. Despite the fact that the State Department routinely chastises the Saudi government for numerous human rights violations, the Obama administration did not publicly condemn the recent public beheading of dissident Shiite cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.

23.1.2016 – New York Times (*** A P)

U.S. Relies Heavily on Saudi Money to Support Syrian Rebels

When President Obama secretly authorized the Central Intelligence Agency to begin arming Syria’s embattled rebels in 2013, the spy agency knew it would have a willing partner to help pay for the covert operation. It was the same partner the C.I.A. has relied on for decades for money and discretion in far-off conflicts: the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Since then, the C.I.A. and its Saudi counterpart have maintained an unusual arrangement for the rebel-training mission, which the Americans have code-named Timber Sycamore. Under the deal, current and former administration officials said, the Saudis contribute both weapons and large sums of money, and the C.I.A takes the lead in training the rebels on AK-47 assault rifles and tank-destroying missiles –by Mark Mazzetti and Matt Apuzzo

Allgemein / General

27.1.2016 – The Guardian (* A K)

Yemen airstrikes: 'there are no sirens, you just hear the boom'

People on the ground say the aerial campaign remains relentless, often hitting residential areas, and the ground war is growing more desperate

“Of course it makes you feel helpless and powerless,” said Omeisy, a political analyst. “The most terrifying moment is when a jet is circling around, you go to the basement and basically hug your kids and pray. You know you’re completely helpless if a bomb should drop on your home – there is no way you could protect them. The building will just collapse on your head. At that kind of desperate moment, you curse everything. There are no safe havens.”

For residents in Sana’a, where there are no bomb shelters, the only refuge is the basement. “There are no sirens, you just hear the boom, or the jets start circling before bombing, and that’s your cue to go down to the basement or the lower levels,” he said. The air campaign has altered almost every facet of daily life. There is little traffic on the streets, save to secure some necessities. Residents say the bombings do not have a regular routine – they continued during the holy month of Ramadan, the Eid feast and even during prayer times.

The sound of jets is so common that sometimes people don’t bother to run downstairs and hide, and instead crowdsource on social media the locations of the latest airstrikes, trying to guess what will be hit next. “As a civilian, the main issue you are facing every day is that you can die at any moment,” said Radhya Mutwakel, the head of Mowatana, a Sana’a-based human rights watchdog. “Nothing is protecting you from danger from the ground or the sky.”

Mutwakel said the targeting parameters appeared to have been relaxed in the course of the war, but she said the Houthis were also guilty of human rights violations, having launched what she described as an unprecedented campaign of arbitrary arrests, detentions and forced disappearances against political opponents – by Kareem Shaheen

27.1.2016 – The Guardian (* B K)

Yemen: the devastation of a nation, largely ignored

Britain’s international development committee (IDC) had invited representatives of the Yemeni diaspora to contribute to our inquiry into the crisis in Yemen.

It has not only been the war that has had such a damaging effect on Yemen’s people. As the diaspora told the committee, the blockade on ports has been devastating, particularly for a country that imports 70% of its fuel, 90% of its food and all its medical supplies (pdf).

In September, fuel imports fell to 1% of the monthly requirements (pdf). As a result, hospitals are closing at an alarming rate and industry has come to a standstill. We heard from Yemeni businessmen that huge numbers of businesses have shut down, leading to high unemployment. The black market is inflating prices, especially for fuel which costs 286% more than it did before the war, according to the UN World Food Programme. Prices are skyrocketing at the same time as people are losing their incomes – by Stephen Twigg

Comment: An overview. All this was known since a long time, for all those who wanted to look.

26.1.2016 – Sputnik News (* A B K P)

US Rolling in Profits While 'Aiding and Abetting' Saudi War Crimes in Yemen

Both the United States and Saudi Arabia are signatories of the Geneva Convention, which prohibits the willful causing of great suffering during war time, and explicitly forbids the targeting of civilians. But despite this understanding, both nations are responsible for the deaths of thousands of civilians in only ten months of Riyadh’s military intervention in Yemen.

Comment: Just an overview. Well, that is how it is.

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

28.1.2016 – ORF (AH)

Jemen droht Hungerkrise

Mehr als die Hälfte der Bevölkerung in dem Bürgerkriegsland Jemen ist von Hunger bedroht. 14,4 Millionen Menschen litten derzeit unter Nahrungsmittelunsicherheit, teilte die Ernährungs- und Landwirtschaftsorganisation der Vereinten Nationen (FAO) heute mit. Die Zahl der Betroffenen sei allein seit Juni vergangenen Jahres um zwölf Prozent gestiegen.

Nach FAO-Angaben leben momentan 2,3 Millionen Menschen als Vertriebene im eigenen Land. Lebensmittelunsicherheit und Mangelernährung hätten einen kritischen Punkt erreicht. „Die Zahlen sind erschreckend“, erklärte FAO-Expertin Etienne Peterschmitt. Der Konflikt sei „eine vergessene Krise“, Millionen Menschen brauchten im ganzen Land dringend Hilfe.

28.1.2016 – FAO (* B H)

FAO warns of rapidly deteriorating food security in Yemen

More than 14 million people food insecure, in need of urgent livelihood support

More than half of the total population of Yemen — some 14.4 million people — are food insecure, as ongoing conflict and import restrictions have reduced the availability of essential foods and sent prices soaring, FAO said today.

The number of food insecure people has grown by 12 percent since June 2015 (36 percent since late 2014), according to the UN agency.

"Food insecurity and malnutrition are becoming highly critical," said Salah Elhajj Hassan, FAO Representative in Yemen, calling for urgent support to assist families in growing food and protect their livestock as well as measures to facilitate much-needed food and fuel imports.

"The numbers are staggering," added Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO Deputy Representative and Emergency Response Team Leader in Yemen, who called the situation "a forgotten crisis, with millions of people in urgent need across the country."

"Under these critical conditions, it's more important than ever to help families produce their own food and reduce their dependence on increasingly scarce and costly food imports," he added.

Fuel shortages and restrictions on imports — which Yemen relies on for more than 90 percent of its staple foods — have reduced the availability of essential food commodities and caused food and fuel prices to soar since conflict escalated in March 2015.

Yemen is heavily dependent on these imports, as only 4 percent of the country's land is arable and only a fraction of that land is currently used for food production.

Crop production, livestock rearing and fisheries employ 50 percent of Yemen's workforce and are the main sources of livelihoods for two-thirds of the country.

But a shortage of critical inputs like seeds and fertilizers have severely reduced crop production, with estimates suggesting the recent conflict has caused dramatic losses to the agriculture sector.

Diminishing income opportunities and disrupted markets are exacerbating the immense needs already present in Yemen prior to the current conflict.

Livelihoods support is critical for rural population who are often out of reach from humanitarian assistance.

Adding to the dire situation, Yemen was hit by two cyclones in November 2015, which heavily disrupted fishers' livelihoods along the country's coast lines. see also

Comment: Now we finally have some reports about the starvation of Yemeni citizens. This is not just the poor and uneducated. I had a man with a Master's in engineering in a previous high position, his job lost because of the war tell me that he had run out of savings and if he and his family did not leave Yemen he feared they would starve to death. This is the hell of Yemen today - daily bombs, schools closed, and little food.

27.1.2016 – Doctors Without Borders (* B K)

Yemen: “I’d never before seen the level of casualties I saw in Saada. The scale of wounded was extreme.”

“I’ve worked in war zones for the past 11 to 12 years, in some of the worst conflicts like Syria, but I have never seen such destruction conducted in such a short period as in Yemen. I was based in Saada, in the north, in a Houthi-controlled area that was experiencing almost daily attacks from Coalition air forces. These air strikes were often close to our facilities and we clearly felt their effects.

I’d never before seen the level of casualties I saw in Saada. The scale of wounded was extreme in two respects – firstly there was a large number of wounded coming through the hospital, but second the severity of wounds was also often extreme.

MSF was running the emergency department, operating theatre, inpatient and maternity ward in what grew to become a 93-bed hospital in Saada City. We were receiving a lot of patients with severe injuries, including traumatic amputations – people would come in missing feet, hands and with severe abdominal and head trauma. Many of the wounded had travelled from four to five hours away, given that it was the only hospital with emergency surgical capacity in the province, in fact in most of northern Yemen. There were lots of patients: we were seeing over 2,000 emergency cases a month and more than 100 surgeries a week. If you combine that with the security situation keeping people awake, it was quite challenging, especially for our medical staff many of whom were on call 24-hours a day due to staff shortages across the country.

Despite the volatility of the conflict, life goes on, and as always pregnant women need somewhere safe to deliver their babies. The maternity ward, supported by MSF, delivered over 100 babies a week in the hospital. This was a source of pride for them but also reassuring for the wider population to know that while lives were being lost new life was being created.

One patient whose story was particularly moving was a three-year-old boy with severe burns who came in to the emergency department in Saada with his uncle and father – by Michael Seawright

27.1.2016 – Huffington Post (* B H)

Millions of Children in Yemen Are Trapped in a War They Cannot Escape

But far more risk dying from disease, than from bullets. The destruction of health services, the implosion of the economy, spiraling food and fuel costs and the lack of clean water means that children are at risk from what would normally have been easily preventable and relatively harmless diseases. 2.5 million children risk suffering from diarrhoea and another 2.6 million children could well miss vaccination against measles. 1.3 million children are at risk of becoming acutely malnourished, of whom 320,000 will suffer from severe acute malnutrition over the next year if the situation does not improve drastically. Unicef estimates that 10,000 more children, under the age of five, will die than if there had not been this war.

The health system is on the brink of collapse, but somehow in most of the country it just about hangs together thanks to the bravery of its staff, the determined work of aid organisations and the support of donors. Crucially the warring parties have, so far, tacitly agreed not to drag the social services into their struggle. Government health workers, at great personal risk, work across the battle lines to vaccinate children and cure them of malnutrition. Where it works, where funds from donors like the UK provide therapeutic food, fuel to run generators to keep lifesaving equipment working, and vaccines cool, the impact of the conflict has been lessened – by Julien Harneis, UNICEF Yemen

27.1.2016 – World Food Programme (A H)

Yemen Situation Update (27 January 2016)

Situation Overview

The Ras Issa fuel terminal, located approximately 60 Km northwest of Hodeidah port, was bombed on 21 January. The fuel export facilities inside the port have been damaged as a result of the airstrikes. The fuel storage facilities at the terminal were not damaged.

Access constraints

The latest Access Constraint map as of 19 January is published at:


Road from Hodeidah to Harad is not accessible;

Road from Amran to Harad is accessible.


Aden port is the only port in Yemen currently able to facilitate container vessels. All five ports are operating, with 5 vessels at berth and 13 at anchorage.

Hodeidah port is operating with the exception of the container terminal, which can discharge limited numbers of containers using a shore crane. There are 5 vessels, at berths, 15 at anchorage.

Ras Issa fuel terminal has been severely damaged in airstrikes on 21 January.

In Saleef, no cranes are available within the port. The port is currently operating with 2 vessel at berth and 4 at anchorage.

Mukalla port is operating with 3 vessel at berth and 10 at anchorage.

Mokha port is closed since 15 August.

Djibouti port is operating but is congested with 13 vessels at berth and 26 vessels at anchorage waiting to enter the port.

01.2016 – Minority Rights (** B H)

‘Even war discriminates’: Yemen’s minorities, exiled at home

This briefing provides background information on Yemen and focuses mainly on the situation of some of the most marginalized minorities in the present conflict. Further research in Yemen’s conflict zones is necessary, with attention given to other minorities as well, as the focus of this briefing was partly based on the accessibility of information. The briefing is divided into two main parts, one focusing on religious minorities in Yemen, and the second focusing on the situation of the Muhamasheen.

It draws on extensive field and desk research from various sources, including public documentation, such as human rights updates and humanitarian situation reports, as well as various articles and pieces focusing specifically on minorities. The report is also based on focus groups organized in Yemen and on 20 primary interviews, remotely and in person, with activists and members of minorities inside and outside Yemen, as well as human rights representatives, aid workers and analysts. Field research and visits were made possible through partners on the ground.

While much of the research was conducted before or in the early months of the conflict, most of the interviews and more recent information was collected between July and December 2015. Some names and identifying characteristics of interviewees have been changed for security reasons.

In the context of rising religious extremism, the threat of targeted violence between Sunni and Zaidi Shi’a Muslims has also increased. The discourse of various armed groups and parties to the conflict, including the Saudi-led coalition, has only deepened the fault lines of a conflict that, though rooted in economic, social and political grievances, risks becoming defined in sectarian terms – a development with troubling implications for Yemeni society, including its forgotten minorities.

Yemen’s Muslim and non-Muslim minorities have been targeted by acts of violence which, although sporadic so far, could put their future survival in doubt. Insecurity, lack of effective governance and the impact of the coalition’s blockade on the import of food, medicine, fuel and humanitarian assistance for months since the conflict started have all contributed to the onset of a ‘Level 3 Emergency’ in Yemen, a classification reserved by the UN for the most severe humanitarian crises and the largest in scale. Despite the urgency of the situation, few humanitarian agencies have actually returned or expanded their operations adequately to meet people’s needs.

Millions of civilians are displaced, without adequate food supplies and in urgent need of assistance, with minorities such as the Muhamasheen – a group that suffers from caste-based discrimination – left particularly vulnerable. The Muhamasheen lack proper documentation, equal access to available resources, and are often made even more vulnerable by being displaced to the edges of cities or frontlines. The impact of war in Yemen has been compounded by silence in the media and among the international community, and inaction at the level of regional and international bodies such as the UN Security Council and even the UN Human Rights Council. Unless an immediate cessation of hostilities takes place, civilians will continue to bear the heaviest burden in the conflict. Without effective protection, some of Yemen’s minorities may well struggle for their survival – by Rania El Rajji

01.2016 – Saferworld (A H)

Public Health Scenarios in Yemen

In autumn 2015, a consultation process was launched by the Yemen Health Network to gather views on likely forward trajectories for the health system in Yemen and to discuss ways of supporting health system rehabilitation there after conflict. As part of this, a workshop convened in London in November 2015, part of Medact’s Health through Peace conference, to discuss possible trajectories for the health system in Yemen under various different scenarios to 2020. Participants also began to identify some priority actions to support health system rehabilitation under each scenario.

This report summarises key findings from the consultation process to date, and outlines next steps in an ongoing project on health system rehabilitation and reconstruction in Yemen.

25.1.2016 – The Guardian (* B H)

Stories from a war hospital in Jordan: 'Bombs are falling all over the Arab world'

Mowasah hospital, run by Médecins sans Frontières, treats people wounded in conflicts across the region. Here, four patients describe their experiences

Wael Samir – Yemen

Scarcely an inch on Wael Samir’s face is free of burns: 70% of his body was scorched one night in 2011 when he and his friends were sleeping in makeshift tents in Change Square in Taiz, part of an uprising against three decades of rule by the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

At 2am, said Samir, they awoke to the sound of shelling and fighting in the camp, only to walk into raging fires after government troops set the tents ablaze. “A lot of people died,” he said. “It was only a few of my friends who lived.”

Walking straight to a nearby mosque, he poured water on his burns, which only worsened them, before a doctor took him to hospital. Samir spent two years at a medical centre in Sana’a, the capital, before moving to the MSF facility, where he has now spent a year and a half and gone through some 20 operations.

Still, he smiles. He would like to return to Yemen, marry and reopen the family shop in Taiz – by Kareem Shaheen

16.12.2015 – World at School (B H)

Living in hell as Yemen’s schools are bombed

Yemeni children are struggling to study and to get their rights like other children. Will you stand with them? They need your support – by Amani Abdulrahman

Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

27.1.2016 – Popular Campaign (* A P)

An infographic specifies #HouthiMilitias abduction history

5.10.2015 – Tony Blair Foundation (* B C P)

What is the Houthi Movement?

Analysis of the group's origins, ideology and ambitions

Südjemen und Haidi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi government

28.1.2016 – The National AE (A K)

Coalition reinforcements arrive in Aden amid rising security concerns

A fresh wave of Saudi-led coalition forces arrived in the southern Yemeni city of Aden on Wednesday morning, bringing with them dozens of armoured military vehicles amid rising concerns over security in the temporary capital.

“I saw dozens of troops and a hundred armoured military vehicles arrive at the port this morning and most of them seem to be Emirati,” one of the guards in Aden’s Al Boraiqa port told The National. “I think that these forces will help boost security in Aden.”

The director of Aden’s Al Boraiqa district, Hani Al Yazidi, confirmed the arrival of armoured military vehicles and additional coalition forces, but did not give any more details.

28.1.2016 – Spiegel Online (A T)

Jemen: Holländer sprengt sich vor Präsidentenpalast in Aden in die Luft

Ein Attentäter hat vor dem Präsidentenpalast im jemenitischen Aden ein mit Sprengstoff bestücktes Fahrzeug zur Explosion gebracht. Nach offiziellen Angaben wurden bei dem Anschlag sieben Menschen getötet und zehn weitere verletzt. Die meisten Opfer waren Zivilisten. Präsident Hadi habe sich zum Zeitpunkt des Anschlags in der Residenz aufgehalten, blieb aber unverletzt, hieß es.

Zu der Tat bekannte sich die Terrororganisation "Islamischer Staat" (IS). Ein niederländischer Dschihadist mit dem Kampfnamen Abu Hanifa al-Hollandi habe das Selbstmordattentat verübt. Die Detonation am Donnerstag beschädigte mehrere Gebäude im Umfeld der Residenz und war laut Zeugen im ganzen Stadtgebiet zu hören.

Der Präsidentenpalast in Aden wird von Sicherheitskräften aus Saudi-Arabien und den Vereinigten Arabischen Emiraten (VAE) bewacht.

28.1.2016 – Reuters (A T)

IS-Miliz bekennt sich zu Anschlag auf Präsidentenpalast im Jemen

In der jemenitischen Hafenstadt Aden sind bei einem Selbstmordanschlag auf den Präsidentenpalast sieben Menschen getötet worden.

Zehn weitere Personen seien verletzt worden, teilten die Behörden mit. Der Attentäter habe ein mit Sprengstoff bestücktes Auto auf einen rund 500 Meter von der Residenz von Präsident Abd-Rabbu Mansur Hadi entfernten Kontrollposten gesteuert. Zu der Tat bekannte sich die radikal-islamische IS-Miliz, die in dem vom Krieg zwischen schiitischen Huthi-Rebellen und Regierungstruppen zerrissenen Land Fuß gefasst hat. Die meisten Opfer seien Zivilisten, erklärten die Behörden. Präsident Hadi habe sich zum Zeitpunkt des Anschlages in dem Palast aufgehalten. Er sei aber unverletzt.

Die IS-Miliz teilte im Internet mit, bei dem Anschlag seien rund zehn Angehörige der Palastwache getötet und zwanzig weitere Personen verletzt worden. Den Kampfnamen des Attentäters gaben die Extremisten mit Abu Hanifa al-Hollandi an, was nahelegen würde, dass er Niederländer war.

28.1.2016 – AP (A T)

Yemen suicide bomber said to be Dutch IS fighter

The Islamic State affiliate in Yemen has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing on Thursday that killed seven people and targeted the presidential palace in Aden, where the internationally-recognized president and his cabinet are based.

In an online statement posted on Twitter by the group's supporters, IS identified the attacker as Abu Hanifa al-Hollandi, an Arabic nom de guerre that suggests he was Dutch. The last name in militants' pseudonyms usually indicates their nationality or place of origin. His real name was not immediately known.

It was not possible to verify the claim – by Ahmed Al-Haj

28.1.2016 Reuters (A T)

Islamic State claims Aden suicide car bombing that kills six

Islamic State militants claimed responsibility for a suicide car bombing outside Yemeni President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi's residence in the southern city of Aden on Thursday that killed at least six people.

Officials said Hadi was inside his residence at the Maashiq Palace at the time of the attack but was unharmed.

Hadi's office, in a statement carried by the government-run Saba news agency, said that 11 other people were also injured in the attack, in which a car tried to crash through a security checkpoint guarding the palace.

"A booby-trapped car was confronted while trying to break through the outer security ... and (security) prevented it from getting through by opening fire at it and detonating it," the statement said.

It said that six people were killed, five of them members of the palace security detail and one civilian.

Local officials and witnesses earlier reported that seven people had died and 10 were injured, and that the majority of the casualties were civilians. and Washington Post


28.1.2016 – Antiwar (** A P)

UNO-Bericht findet ‘systematische’ Übergriffe der Saudis auf jemenitische Zivilbevölkerung

Weist darauf hin, dass Angriffe als Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit betrachtet werden könnten

Ein durchgesickerter Bericht einer Expertengruppe der UNO fordert eine formelle Untersuchung von saudiarabischen Menschenrechtsverletzungen, indem er sagt, dass das Land in seinem Krieg jemenitische Zivilisten „absichtlich aushungert,” und dass Angriffe auf Zivilisten im Rahmen von Luftangriffen in einer „weitverbreiteten und systematischen Art und Weise“ erfolgen.

Der Bericht fuhr dann fort mit der Dokumentation von 119 Attacken gegen Zivilisten, die wahrscheinlich Verletzungen des Internationalen Rechts darstellten, und sagte, dass es sich bei einigen der Attacken um „Verbrechen gegen die Menschlichkeit“ handeln könnte. Es wurde auch darauf hingewiesen, dass die Saudis keinen der vereinbarten Waffenstillstände eingehalten haben.

Dieser Bericht kommt zusätzlich zu Aufrufen von Menschenrechtsgruppen an Länder des Westens, mit dem Verkauf von Waffen an die Saudis aufzuhören, sowie damit aufzuhören, die Bemühungen zu blockieren, eine offizielle internationale Untersuchung der Verstöße durchzuführen. In der UNO-Generalversammlung endete ein Versuch, eine Untersuchung von Kriegsverbrechen im Jemen in die Wege zu leiten, mit einer Beschwerde der Saudis, und man einigte sich darauf, dass die Saudis die Untersuchung selbst durchführen können.

Bisher haben sich die Saudis zu der Angelegenheit nicht geäußert, und das Außenministerium der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika weigerte sich, über den Bericht zu diskutieren, weil dieser nicht öffentlich sein sollte, und sagte nur, dass man besorgt sei über „Beschuldigungen wegen Missständen.“ – von Jason Ditz

26.1.2016 – The Guardian (** A P)

UN report into Saudi-led strikes in Yemen raises questions over UK role

Evidence that Saudi-led coalition conducted widespread airstrikes against civilian targets in violation of international law

United Nations panel investigating the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen has uncovered widespread attacks on civilian targets in violation of international humanitarian law, raising questions over UK arms exports to Saudi Arabia and the role of British military advisers.

The 51-page report by a panel of experts on Yemen, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, has not yet been published. A copy was sent to the UN security council last week.

In one of the key findings, the report says: “The panel documented that the coalition had conducted airstrikes targeting civilians and civilian objects, in violation of international humanitarian law, including camps for internally displaced persons and refugees; civilian gatherings, including weddings; civilian vehicles, including buses; civilian residential areas; medical facilities; schools; mosques; markets, factories and food storage warehouses; and other essential civilian infrastructure, such as the airport in Sana’a, the port in Hudaydah and domestic transit routes.”

It adds: “The panel documented 119 coalition sorties relating to violations of international humanitarian law.”

The UN panel findings will increase the pressure on David Cameron to suspend sales to the Saudis. In a ministerial statement in March 2014, the UK government said explicitly that it “will … not grant a licence if there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law”.

The report, after stating directly that the airstrikes are in violation of international humanitarian law, says: “Many attacks involved multiple airstrikes on multiple civilian objects. Of the 119 sorties, the panel identified 146 targeted objects. The panel also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters.”

One of the panel’s main recommendations is the establishment of an investigation into its findings, “with a view to ensuring that those responsible are held accountable”.

The panel could not obtain entry to Yemen but used satellite imagery to look at areas before and after bombings. “The imagery revealed extensive damage to residential areas and civilian objects as a result of internal fighting and coalition airstrikes,” the report says.

t adds: “Alongside ground-led obstructions to humanitarian distribution, the panel documented 10 coalition airstrikes on transportation routes (both sea and air routes), four road supply routes and five storage facilities for holding food aid (including two vehicles carrying aid and three warehouses and facilities storing food), along with airstrikes on an Oxfam warehouse storing equipment for a water project funded by the European Union in Sana’a. The panel also documented three coalition attacks on local food and agricultural production sites.”

Referring to the UN panel report, Cameron said: “I will look at this report as I look at all other reports but our arms exports are carefully controlled and we are backing the legitimate government of Yemen.”

He said terror acts launched in Yemen were a threat to the UK, adding: “I refuse to run a foreign policy by press release, I want a foreign policy in the interests of the British.” – by Ewen MacAskill and from BBC:

Comment: Cameron as always: What is “a foreign policy in the interests of the British??” For him, selling many british arms abroad to make much money.

26.1.2016 – AP (** A P)

UN panel on Yemen: Consider creating commission of inquiry

The United Nations Security Council should consider creating an international commission of inquiry to investigate alleged human rights abuses by all sides in Yemen's conflict, a panel of U.N. experts says.

The Associated Press on Tuesday obtained a copy of the panel's annual report, which has not been released publicly. The panel monitors U.N. sanctions.

The report also says civilians in the Arab world's poorest country are suffering under tactics in the conflict that "constitute the prohibited use of starvation as a method of warfare."

Dutch diplomats last year abandoned a proposal in the U.N. Human Rights Council calling for an international fact-finding mission in Yemen, under reported pressure from Saudi Arabia, Yemen's powerful neighbor.

The new report says that in certain cases, it has found the coalition's targeting of civilians with airstrikes "to have been conducted in a widespread and systematic manner."

The panel says it has documented 119 coalition sorties "relating to violations of international humanitarian law," with many involving multiple strikes on civilian objects.

"The panel also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters,' the report says. Since the panel has not been allowed to visit Yemen, it has relied on satellite imagery and other sources – by Cara Anna

27.1.2016 – AFP (**A P)

UN panel calls for international inquiry in Yemen

The Saudi-led coalition waging an air war in Yemen has carried out 119 sorties that violated humanitarian law, a UN panel of experts said in a report calling for an international commission of inquiry.

The UN Security Council should consider setting up the inquiry to "investigate reports of violations of international humanitarian law and human rights law in Yemen by all parties and to identify the perpetrators of such violations," said the report obtained by AFP on Tuesday.

The panel said it had documented coalition strikes on civilian targets including refugee camps, weddings, buses, residential areas, medical facilities, schools, mosques, markets, factories, food warehouses and airports.

"Many attacks involved multiple air strikes on multiple civilian objects," it said.

The experts documented at least three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters.

While the panel was unable to travel to Yemen, they studied satellite imagery of cities before and after attacks, that showed "extensive damage to residential areas and civilian objects".

27.1.2016 – Reuters (A P)

Saudi strikes on Yemen civilians may be crimes against humanity: U.N.

[This article is repeating the main facts].

The U.N. experts recommended the 15-member Security Council consider establishing a Commission of Inquiry to investigate violations of international law.

The Saudi U.N. mission was not immediately available for comment.

British Prime Minister David Cameron told parliament on Wednesday that he would look at the U.N. report but that Britain followed "the strictest rules for arms exports of almost any country anywhere in the world."

State Department spokesman Mark Toner, declined to comment on the substance of the U.N. report as it had not yet been publicly released, but he said the United States was also concerned about serious allegations of abuse.

He called on all sides to abide by international humanitarian law, "including the obligation that they distinguish between military objectives and civilian objects, and to take all feasible actions to minimize harm to civilians." – by Michelle Nichols

Comment: Look at the headline: “May be crimes”, wherefore this “may be”?. Targeting civilians and civilian structures distinctly ARE, not “maybe”. Well, this ARE” clearly would blame the “West” even more, that’s the point.

27.1.2016 – Sky News (A P)

Video: West Criticised Over Yemen Bombs

Sam Kiley explains why western powers are under pressure over arms contracts supplying weapons to Saudi Arabia.

27.1.2016 – Vice News (** A K)

Saudi-led Bombing in Yemen Targets Civilians as Houthis Use Migrants as Human Shields

[parts of UN panel as in the above articles; more:]

In reviewing the conflict, investigators also documented a litany of violations against civilian populations that were committed by the Houthis and units loyal to Saleh.

Their combined military has routinely and indiscriminately launched rockets and shells in residential areas. In Aden and Taiz — Yemen's second largest city where more than 200,000 people remain under siege — Houthi-Saleh forces were documented attacking "medical facilities, schools and other civilian infrastructure, and using snipers positioned atop buildings to target people seeking safety, medical care or food."

In Aden, the combined forces were cited for firing at boats carrying civilians, using "poorly aimed surface-to-air missiles," and laying land mines as they retreated from the city in a "grave violation of international humanitarian law."

In one particularly heinous illustration of the gravity of their crimes, the panel cited three UN and international humanitarian workers who claimed that "Houthi-Saleh forces had more than once housed African migrants and refugees as human shields in unused buildings in Aden previously targeted by airstrikes, or where weapons caches were claimed to be stored."

The panel said that both Houthi-Saleh forces and resistance fighters targeted displaced Yemenis and forcibly recruited migrants from the Horn of Africa.

"Armed groups have forcibly recruited [and] trafficked third-country nationals, many of whom are young people or minors sold by trafficking networks," wrote investigators. "Migrants and refugees have accordingly been viewed as fighters or potential fighters, irrespective of their civilian status or vulnerable status as trafficking victims, and come under attack."

The Houthi-Saleh alliance, which the panel described as a "a new hybrid armed group," has been largely financed by seized state assets, taxes on produce like the mild stimulant khat, extortion, and the accumulated wealth of Saleh and his family.

In light of the crimes perpetrated by all sides, the Panel of Experts recommended that the Security Council consider establishing an international commission of inquiry to investigate violations of international law, and identify perpetrators.

Such an international mechanism was proposed in September of last year by UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein. That month, the Netherlands floated a resolution at the Human Rights Council in Geneva to create a human rights mission in the country. Faced with extensive opposition from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries — and silence from the US — the Dutch wilted and an Arab text that included no stipulation for international investigators was passed instead – by Samuel Oakford

Saudi-Arabien und Iran / Saudi Arabia and Iran

27.1.2016 –Foreign Policy Blog ( B P)

Saudi Arabia-Iran: Tensions and Intertwined Futures

In the past few years, Saudi Arabia has not managed to make a single foreign policy decision that makes logical sense to anyone outside the Saudi royal family.

Some have come to speculate that the Saudi-Iran crisis has been engineered toward preventing Iran from releasing a further 500,000 barrels per day on the market over the next month as the sanctions are lifted. Further, some speculate that an all-out war between oil producing nations will finally cause long anticipated hikes in the oil price. High prices are essential to the proper functioning of the Gulf country finances if they are to maintain autocratic regimes supported by massive social transfers to their population. In that case, some parties do have an incentive to find ways to prevent Iran’s increased oil supply.

Iran strikes an uneasy balance between democratic institutions and its theocratic nature. A plethora of different factions are represented in its ruling elite. Developments in the Middle East will depend heavily on how Iran and Saudi Arabia react to each other’s actions – by Thilina Panduwawala

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

28.1.2016 – Der Standard (B P)

König Salmans rasantes erstes Jahr

27.1.2016 – RT (A P)

Malaysias Premier: „600 Millionen Dollar auf mein Privatkonto sind ein Geschenk der Saudis“

Auf dem Privatkonto von Najib Razak waren 681 Millionen US-Dollar eingegangen. Nach Meinung der Staatsanwaltschaft handelt es sich dabei um ein „persönliches Geschenk“ der saudischen Herrscherfamilie. Auch die Ermittlungen wegen des Vorwurfs, dass der Premierminister Mittel aus der hochverschuldeten staatlichen Entwicklungsgesellschaft '1Malaysia Development Berhad' (1MDB) veruntreut habe, sind damit beendet.

Die Beteiligung der saudischen Königsfamilie stellte eine überraschende Wendung im Skandal um 1MDB dar. Die malaysische Behörde für Korruptionsbekämpfung (MACC) hatte zuvor erklärt, dass auf den privaten Konten des Präsidenten eine politische Spende von einem nicht identifizierten Wohltäter aus dem Nahen Osten aufgetaucht sei.

Allerdings wurde der größte Teil der Summe, nämlich 620 Millionen US-Dollar, im August 2013 an den Spender zurücküberwiesen. Das Geld war fünf Monate nach seinem Eingang nicht in Anspruch genommen worden. Allerdings ließ sich nicht klären, was mit den verbleibenden 61 Millionen Dollar passierte, die nicht zurückgegeben wurden.

Kommentar: Ministerpräsident, nicht Präsident. Manche sind eben teurer als andere, die Saudis schaffen es mit ihrem Geld immer, es ist nicht eine Frage des ob, sondern nur des wieviel. Für Hillary Clinton haben die Saudis mit 10 Millionen Dollar für ihre Clinton Foundation für die Saudis deutlich weniger aufgewendet. Zu Najib Razak vielleicht in diesem Zusammenhang von Interesse, dass es in Malaysia Debatten um die Rolle des Wahabismus im Land gibt und Gesetzesvorhaben der Regierung Razak, die die Schiiten wie die Christen einschränken.

27.1.2016 – The Guardian (* A P)

Saudi Arabia sees Yemen intervention as defence of 'backyard'

Conservative kingdom blames Iran for backing Houthi rebellion on its southern neighbour’s territory

Saudi Arabia defends its military intervention in Yemen as being based on a UN resolution authorising the restoration of the internationally recognised government in Sana’a. It also insists that the intervention is necessary to defend its own security.

The Saudi government made no official comment on Wednesday on the leaked UN panel report highlighting civilian casualties and breaches of international humanitarian law. But a Saudi analyst said the report documented allegations that were “largely based on hearsay”.

The conservative kingdom sees its neighbour, the Arab world’s poorest country, as its backyard, and blames its strategic rival, Iran, for backing Houthi rebels – from the country’s Zaydi minority – who are fighting alongside the former Yemeni president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The US and Britain supported UN security council resolution 2216, issued in response to an appeal by the Yemeni president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Of the council’s five permanent members, only Russia abstained. The resolution placed the onus on the Houthis to withdraw in favour of the “legitimate government”. It also reaffirmed the need for all parties to ensure the safety of civilians.

“Any accusation that civilians are being intentionally targeted by the coalition is simply propaganda being disseminated by those who are using Yemen as a staging ground for their violent, revolutionary agenda,” the Saudi ambassador to Britain said last October.

Saudi analyst Mohammed Alyahya said the UN report “was prepared far away from Yemen and used satellite imagery to document allegations of human rights violations. It is not an investigation. The report itself is calling on the United Nations to investigate these allegations.

“The Yemeni government’s investigations into human rights violations is currently underway. No report can be taken seriously if its authors weren’t even in Yemen to conduct investigations.” The UN team was not given permission to enter the country – by Ian Black

Comment: From this article, you can see some main features of Saudi reasoning (or better: propaganda) on behalf of international objections to their aerial war (“from hearsay”: There is a lot of evidence every day, that is much more than “from hearsay”¸UN report was “prepared far away from Yemen and used satellite imagery”, there is even much better evidence every day from the Yemenis on the spot, “The Yemeni government’s investigations into human rights violations” is simple bullshit as this government just denies that there are any Saudi air raids hitting civilians, this “government” more or less having shrinked just to a propaganda department of the Saudi kingdom)

26.1.2016 – Jerusalem Post (C P)

New documentary on Saudi royal family centers on sex, drugs and murder

“The Weaknesses of King Fahd” tells the story of Janen Harb, who married Fahd in secret at the end of her teenage years and moved to the Saudi royal palace in Riyadh in the late 1960's see also from RT


Siehe unter “Am wichtigsten” / See at “Most important”

28.1.2016 - Middle East Eye ** (B P)

Viewing Yemen and Syria through the anti-terrorism prism

Middle Eastern leaders understood how to use terrorism as a tool to legitimise their rule, but the US mustn't see the region's people as a threat

Relationships with nations cannot be built on the possibility of them being a potential threat.

Across the Middle East and North Africa, people protested against long-standing dictatorial regimes, which benefited those at the top instead of society as a whole.

A study published by Chatham House in September 2013 clearly stated: "A small elite forms Yemen's political economy: around 10 key families and business groups with close ties to the president control more than 80 per cent of imports, manufacturing, processing, banking, telecommunications and the transport of goods."

This patronage phenomenon is a common factor in all the countries that witnessed the revolutions known as the Arab Spring.

The counter-terrorism agenda has become the US’s driving policy towards countries in the Middle East. The US does not see Middle Eastern nations as possible partners, but rather as potential threats.

In the years that followed 2011, Yemen witnessed a significant increase in the number of drone strikes. The year 2012 witnessed the highest number of drone strikes in Yemen’s history and the years 2013 and 2014 showed no let up. Drones provided a short term solution of keeping al-Qaeda on the run. However, in the long term, drones created more chaos, extremism and anger towards the US - and the Yemeni government.

The US also failed to reconcile with the bereaved communities affected by the drone strikes.No apology would be given – because the US had no plans to end the drone programme.

The nature of the drone programme means it has an indefinite end, with no clear targets and no time limit. In that, it is a reflection of the "war on terror".

Seeing how the US dealt with Syria, I felt there is allot of commonality.

Both Assad and Saleh understood how to use terrorism as a tool to legitimise their rule. With the current approach by the United States, these people will continue to have a role in the future of the region.

The US needs to invest in better understanding the demands of the people in the Middle East. They need to open clear and honest discussions on the concerns they have with the people in this region, they need to start engaging productively. They need to work with these nations as partners, not as potential threats – by Baraa Shiban

27.1.2016 – The American Conservative (A P)

Yemen and Crimes Against Humanity

The U.N. has been investigating war crimes in the war on Yemen, and their monitors have confirmed what critics of the bombing campaign feared.

It should go without saying that the U.S. should have no part in this appalling and unnecessary war, and the findings of this report should prompt the administration to cut off all support that it has been providing to the Saudis and their allies. Unfortunately, we know that the administration isn’t going to do this, and so the U.S. will continue to enable an atrocious war that appears to include the commission of crimes against humanity – by Daniel Larison

26.1.2016 – Junge Welt (** A P)

Mittel der Kriegführung

Die syrische Regierung setzt Fassbomben gegen die Zivilbevölkerung ein, heißt es allenthalben. Belege dafür gibt es kaum. Die tausendfache Wiederholung der Behauptung begründet aber für den Westen die Notwendigkeit des Sturzes Assads

Selbstverständlich bedeutet die Parteilichkeit der Recherchen nicht, dass alle Berichte über Luftangriffe, die zivile Ziele trafen und zivile Opfer forderten, erfunden sind. Wahrscheinlich setzten und setzen syrische Streitkräfte in der Tat die Luftwaffe auch in Fällen ein, wo das Risiko für Unbeteiligte unangemessen hoch ist.

Das gilt aber ebenfalls – und in weit größerem Ausmaß – für Angriffe der USA und anderer ­NATO-Staaten in ähnlichen Kriegssituationen: sowohl in Afghanistan als auch im besetzten Irak, wo die Luftwaffe Angriffe gegen gegnerische Stellungen in den Städten flog, sowie im NATO-Krieg gegen Libyen 2011. Die modernen Waffen der NATO-Staaten sind zwar treffsicherer, aber aufgrund ihrer größeren Wirkung ebenfalls nicht auf militärische Ziele einzugrenzen, insbesondere nicht bei der sogenannten Luftunterstützung von Truppen im Straßenkampf. Vor allem die häufig verwendeten Streu- oder Clusterbomben töteten mehr Menschen als jede »Fassbombe«. Clusterbomben sind speziell für den Einsatz gegen sogenannte weiche Ziele, also gegen Menschen, konzipiert. Die nicht explodierende Submunition, sogenannte Bomblets, verminen das betroffene Gelände für Jahre. Die Nutzung von Präzisionswaffen bedeutet zudem keineswegs, dass jede Bombe und jede Rakete das anvisierte Ziel trifft, und noch weniger, dass die tödliche Wirkung sich auf dieses beschränkt.

Weder AI noch HRW haben diese systematisch untersucht und in vergleichbarer Weise skandalisiert wie das Vorgehen der syrischen und mittlerweile auch der russischen Luftwaffe in Syrien. Offensichtlich gibt es einen Zusammenhang zwischen den außenpolitischen Zielen der USA und deren europäischen Verbündeten und den Kampagnen von AI und HRW. Letztere wurde schon häufig wegen ihrer großen Nähe zum Weißen Haus und dem State Department kritisiert, besonders deutlich im Juli 2014 in einem offenen Brief von Nobelpreisträgern und ehemaligen UN-Funktionären. Dieser richtete sich vor allem dagegen, dass häufig einflussreiche Stellen bei HRW mit Personen besetzt werden, die kurz zuvor noch hochrangige Ämter in der Regierung, im Militär oder der CIA bekleideten und führende HRW-Funktionäre wiederum direkt auf Regierungsposten wechseln können – die Kritiker sprechen von einem regelrechten Drehtürmechanismus.

Zu den wichtigsten Geldgebern von HRW zählen Stiftungen von US-Konzernen. Der wohl wichtigste Sponsor ist der Milliardär George Soros. Allein im Jahr 2010 ließ seine »Open Society Foundation« der Organisation mehr als 100 Millionen Dollar zukommen.

Auch bei AI kann man immer wieder eine gewisse Nähe zu außenpolitischen Positionen der westlichen Staaten beobachten. Ihr Fokus liegt ebenfalls häufig auf den Ländern, die von den USA und den EU-Staaten ins Visier genommen werden und die einflussreiche US-Sektion ist ebenfalls nicht frei vom Drehtürmechanismus – von Joachim Guilliard

Großbritannien / Great Britain

28.1.2016 – The Independent (A P)

Minister says he's not received UN report on Saudi Arabia despite holding copy of UN report on Saudi Arabia

A Foreign Office minister has raised eyebrows after claiming he had not received a UN report about Saudi Arabia's invasion of Yemen - whilst holding a copy of the report.

Tobias Ellwood, a Conservative, said he had not officially been sent the report but had obtained a copy of it through other means.

"Yes of course I've got it, but I haven't received it," Mr Ellwood told MPs in the House of Commons, to howls of derision.

Comment: This man is crazy - well, he is a Tory. He waves a copy of the UN report on Yemen, which he says is not a report but a leaked report, saying that he has not yet received a copy of the report. What a way to avoid questions - they are getting desperate as there is no defence on the British position.

28.1.2016 - The Independent (* A P)

Saudi Arabia: Evidence of attacks on Yemen civilians may have been fabricated by rebels, says UK minister

Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood suggests ‘media savvy’ Houthi rebels may have skewed evidence in UN report

Evidence of attacks on civilians by Saudi Arabia during its military campaign in Yemen may have been fabricated by “media savvy” Houthi rebels, a government minister has said.

Tobias Ellwood, the Minister for the Middle East, made the claim in the House of Commons as he answered questions about a leaked UN report which suggests the Saudi-led bombing campaign has specifically targeted civilians.

Mr Ellwood said he took the report’s allegations “very seriously”, but pointed out that the authors had not visited Yemen in person and suggested that the evidence of possible attacks on civilians was largely based on “hearsay” and satellite photographs. He then claimed that some of the devastation might have been caused by Houthi rebels.

“We are aware that the Houthis, who are very media-savvy in such a situation, are using their own artillery pieces deliberately, targeting individual areas where the people are not loyal to them, to give the impression that there have been air attacks,” he said. “That is not to exonerate Saudi Arabia from any of the mistakes it might have made, but it is why it is so important to have a thorough process to investigate absolutely every single incident.” - by Chris Green

Comment: What is Tobias Ellwood CRAZY...well...probably yes. He seems to have a severe memory problem - anything that seems to demonstrate that in his role as the despot's assistant he has killed ordinary Yemeni people and destroyed their lives seems to pass right through his mind immediately. He can't even remember that he has received a UN report on the matter even when he holds it in his hand at the dispatch box.

Comment: That is an absolute folly that the Houthis could bomb their own territory just to produce faked evidence of Saudi air strikes for the media. For the international media that do not care at all since the beginning of the war. For some photos shared in Twitter or Facebook, or a film of Almasirah TV at youtube klicked 200 times within a month? How stupid a person really can be to tell such things? The same ludicrous objection also was made against the separatists in Eastern Ukraine in 2014, when the Ukrainian army and militia bombed towns and villages to ruins. In that case, at least the Russian media looked at the events, what did not make such a story better anyway. Now here for Yemen again; I even did not read such nonsense from the Saudis, that is a British minister to tell that...

28.1.2016 - Middle East Eye (* AP)

UK minister dismisses UN report on human rights violations in Yemen

Tobias Ellwood said he had not read damning report, but that politicians were basing criticism of Saudi Arabia on 'hearsay and photographs'

The UK's Middle East minister has accused politicians of basing their criticism of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia on “hearsay and photographs” during a heated debate in the House of Commons on Thursday.

Tobias Ellwood, a member of the ruling Conservative Party, was responding to an urgent question over the use of UK-made weapons in the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, which has left thousands dead and millions displaced.

Ellwood was questioned by Labour MP Hilary Benn on Thursday, a day after the UN called for an international inquiry to investigate the months-long campaign to push back the Houthis, who swept through the country in 2014 and are also accused of committing grave human rights violations, including using food as a weapon of war.

The leaked 51-page report, prepared by a UN panel of experts on Yemen and sent to the Security Council last week, found that 119 sorties carried out by the Saudi-led coalition violated international humanitarian law.

Ellwood confirmed that the UK government is aware that UK-made equipment is being used in the Yemen campaign, and said there were “many sorties which there are questions over”.

However, he insisted that these be placed in the context of “thousands” of sorties that have been carried out since the bombing began in March 2015.

Asked whether he was aware of reports documenting violations of international law in Yemen, Ellwood said that while he had received a copy of the UN report, he has not had time to read it.

He also said that although he had a copy of the report in his possession, it had not been “officially received” by his office as it was leaked.

“Yes, of course I’ve got it,” Ellwood said. “But I haven’t received it… The actual people who wrote this report didn’t visit Yemen. They are basing this on satellite technology.

“I commit myself to sit down with the Saudi Arabians to make sure they go through this with a fine-tooth comb,” he said, calling on the kingdom to conduct the “necessary investigations” to confirm whether their aircraft were involved in violations.

28.1.2016 – Reuters (A P)

Britain says will take U.N. Yemen report 'extremely seriously'

Britain said on Thursday it would take "extremely seriously" the findings of a United Nations report which says British military ally Saudi Arabia could have committed crimes against humanity in Yemen.

The report has put political pressure on the British government which provides training to the Saudi military and has approved billions of pounds worth of military exports to the country.

British foreign office minister Tobias Ellwood said he had not yet received the report officially from the UN but that he had seen some of its contents.

"I will take the report extremely seriously, this absolutely must be the case, and I commit to sit down with the Saudi Arabians at a very senior level ... and discuss the allegations," Ellwood said.

Ellwood said the evidence in the report would need to be closely examined, stressing that it had been compiled by a panel that had not visited Yemen and had based its findings on satellite photographs.

"We must do this in a methodic way which is based on evidence," he said.

Comment: This is a rather odd statement. “I commit to sit down with the Saudi Arabians at a very senior level”, would that be a sound answer to these war crimes?? And, interesting: Mr. Ellwood already adopts the Saudi propaganda argumentation to weaken the report by “stressing that it had been compiled by a panel that had not visited Yemen” – well, Mr. Ellwood and his government since 10 month are most keen in looking away from all evidence coming from those being in Yemen.

28.1.2016 – Morning Star (A P)

Cameron tries to hide Brit role in Yemen slaughter

[Short overview on the behavior of the British government, more in the articles cited below)

Comment: Oh this is so true. I have been writing to the PM and to my MP but with such pathetic responses. Cameron deserves to be in a court of human rights to answer charges and I will personally vouch as a witness that I have told him of this slaughter since the start of hostilities.

28.1.2016 – The Guardian ( ** B P)

Britain is at war with Yemen. So why does nobody know about it?

Saudi Arabia has British military advisers and continues to bomb Yemeni civilians with British weapons. Yet our government is strangely quiet about it.

Britain is arming and aiding a fundamentalist dictatorship that’s bombing and killing civilians. This is an incontestable fact. The Saudi tyranny – gay-hating women-oppressors who kicked off the year with ~a mass beheading – has been waging war in Yemen for 10 months.

If the 26 million Yemenis were being besieged and bombed by an official enemy of the west, we might expect emotive calls to “do something” and militarily intervene. Well, we are intervening: not simply by supplying weapons but even by providing the Saudi-led coalition of Arab dictators with British military advisers. As the SNP’s Angus Robertson put it to the prime minister’s face, Britain is “effectively at war” – and yet few Britons know anything about it – by Owen Jones

Comment: Clear words, just telling the truth, not more and not less.

27.1.2016 – The Independent (** B K P)

Saudi Arabia deserves its appalling international reputation and no amount of PR skill will change that

We should be holding this wretched regime to account – not offering it a patronising pat on the head

Britain’s policy towards Saudi Arabia is a disgrace. It makes a mockery of our claims to have an ethical approach to bilateral relations with other countries, and it betrays a lickspittle way of dealing with autocratic regimes, which should be a source of embarrassment to people of any political persuasion.

But while the Saudi regime is indeed increasingly dangerous, rather than disarming it we continue plying it with arms as fast as we can.

They are being actively used in one of the ugliest of the many wars currently disfiguring our planet. This is the war that is raging in Yemen, where the Saudis head a coalition which has reduced that beautiful country – once upon a time known as Arabia Felix, “Happy Arabia” – to desolation and despair.

It is a war in which Britain is deeply complicit, as a result of which we are able to say nothing critical about it. Instead, we heap patronising and undeserved praise on this brutal regime for its “progress”.

Everyone knows why Britain is so cosy with the Saudis: we buy their oil and sell them our arms.

Saudi Arabia is the most explosive element in the increasingly ferocious sectarian war between Sunni and Shia Islam, in which Yemen is just one bloody theatre. With the return of Shia Iran to the international community, that war risks becoming far more vicious, and the willingness of the Saudis to use violent jihadis as their proxy shock troops is likely to become unrestrained. The execution of Iran’s Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr on 2 January was a provocative statement of intent.

The Saudis do not deserve our patronising pat on the head – Editorial

27.1.2015 – The Independent (* B P)

Saudi Arabia urged to make more of its human rights successes by Foreign Office minster Tobias Ellwood

Exclusive: Human rights groups say remarks from minister for the Middle East in wake of mass execution are 'astonishing'

A government minister has urged Saudi Arabia to do a “better job” of trumpeting its human rights successes during an official visit to the country, less than a month after it carried out the mass execution of 47 people.

Tobias Ellwood, the Foreign Office minister for the Middle East, made the comments on Monday as he and other British delegates addressed Saudi Arabia’s National Society for Human Rights in the capital Riyadh, The Independent understands.

Leading human rights organisations described Mr Ellwood’s remarks as “astonishing”, pointing out that Saudi Arabia was currently presiding over a surge in executions and engaging in a brutal military campaign in Yemen that may be breaking international laws.

Accounts of the meeting that appeared in three Saudi media outlets claimed that Mr Ellwood went even further, saying that people in Britain were unaware of the “notable progress” made on human rights by the Saudi regime.

27.1.2016 – RT (A P)

UN exposes ‘widespread’ Saudi strikes on civilian targets in Yemen, UK arms exports questioned

Britain’s role in exporting arms and providing military advisers for the Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign in Yemen is under scrutiny following a UN report revealing widespread attacks on civilian targets.

The report, which was obtained by The Guardian and has not yet been published, found that Saudi airstrikes are breaching international law by hitting civilian targets, including refugee camps, civilian weddings, vehicles, medical facilities and schools.

The UN panel of experts on Yemen used satellite imagery to look at areas before and after bombings, which also targeted an Oxfam warehouse storing equipment for a water project funded by the EU.

Speaking at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday, David Cameron defended arms sales to Saudi Arabia insisting the UK has the “strictest” arms controls of any country in the world. It is not known whether Cameron was aware of the UN report at the time.

27.1.2016 – Sky (*A P)

'Civilian Strikes' Add Pressure To UK Yemen Role (with Video)

Wedding parties and refugee camps have reportedly been attacked - despite UK experts helping the Saudis avoid civilian casualties.

Britain's role in supplying expertise and arms to the Saudi-led coalition fighting rebels in Yemen has again been questioned after the leak of a UN report suggesting 60% of the dead and wounded have been hit from the air – by bombs supplied from the West.

This makes it yet harder for the British Government to continue to claim that civilians are not being deliberately targeted.

Ministers will continue to support the Saudi cause as the Kingdom is seen as a key ally, a major arms export destination and a vital source of intelligence on violent Islamic groups – many of whom have been inspired by the very Wahhabi interpretation of Islam that underpins the Saudi way of life.

But they can also be expected to continue to be cross questioned by critics who will quote from the UN report passages that give no cause for comfort: "The Panel", for example, "also documented three alleged cases of civilians fleeing residential bombings and being chased and shot at by helicopters" – by Sam Kiley

27.1.2016 – Going Underground RT (* A P)

Who Voted to Bomb Yemen? Asks Angus Robertson SNP

Afshin Rattansi goes underground on British backed airstrikes in Yemen with leader of the SNP in Westminster Angus Robertson. We talk about the UK military support for the Saudi-led coalition and what’s in store for Scottish Independence. =

Comment: This man talks sense and seems to have a much better understanding of the situation in Yemen that the PM or the foreign secretary - or the twat who stood up in Parliament to say he hasn't received a UN report that he is holding in his hand.

27.1.2016 – Human Rights Watch (A P)

Dispatches: New Evidence Demolishes UK Claims on Saudi’s Yemen War

For months now, United Kingdom Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has denied that violations of the laws of war are being committed by the UK’s ally, Saudi Arabia, through the Saudi-led coalition’s bombing campaign against the Houthis in Yemen. And he’s repeated these claims despite documentation from international human rights organizations - shared with the UK Foreign Office – detailing multiple cases of such violations. For example, Human Rights Watch has identified 36 unlawful airstrikes carried out by the coalition, and has gathered the names of least 500 civilians killed in those strikes.

But our research is now powerfully reinforced by a United Nations Panel of Experts report on Yemen, the most comprehensive assessment so far of the conduct of the warring parties. (see above at “UN”). The report flatly contradicts British ministers’ claims.

Faced with this new, substantial and damning body of evidence, the UK government can no longer deny Saudi Arabia’s serious abuses in Yemen. A major shift in approach is needed – by David Mepham, UK director

25.1.2016 – They Work For You (A P)

MPs asking members of government

Helen Goodman Labour, Bishop Auckland: To ask the Secretary of State for Defence, what assistance British service personnel are providing to Saudi Arabian forces in Yemen.

Penny Mordaunt Minister of State (Ministry of Defence) (Minister for the Armed Forces)

The UK and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have a long history of defence cooperation. As part of this long standing relationship, the RAF provides training and shares best practice to the Royal Saudi Air Force, including training on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) compliant targeting.

In addition we have provided guidance and advice to the Saudis on their processes to ensure continued compliance with IHL.

Finally the UK has deployed a small number of military personnel serving as Liaison Officers in Saudi headquarters. Their role is to build our relationship and provide insight into Saudi operations. Liaison Officers are not involved in directing or conducting operations in Yemen or selecting targets and are not involved in the Saudi targeting decision-making process.

Comment: You (the user!) also can vote: “Does this answer the above question?”. I did and voted “No” because there is nothing really new compared to that what already is known. A bad joke: “training on International Humanitarian Law (IHL) compliant targeting”. What the hell is that??? If such a training really exists, would Mrs. Mordaunt even think it was a success – when looking at what the Saudis have affected in Yemen killing mostly civilians, destroying residential houses, factories, mosques, schools, hospitals, farms and so on??


25.1.2016 – Jamestown Foundation (* B P)

In a Fortnight: Xi Jinping’s Middle East Diplomacy

In mid-January, Chinese President Xi Jinping embarked upon a high-visibility series of visits to Middle Eastern countries, with stops in Iran, Egypt and Saudi Arabia—three centers of power in the region. This marks the culmination of a long-term strategy to build Chinese national power in the Middle East.

Having played a constructive role in the Iran nuclear talks, China now seeks a more permanent place as a broker of peace and stability in the region. Chinese Foreign Minister described the visits as “reaching a new height of relations” with countries in the region (Xinhua, January 24).

Xi’s visits have two hallmarks: that China offers a neutral, “win-win” partnership to build stability, and economic rewards. Speaking at the Arab League headquarters in Cairo, Xi noted that “the international community should respect local actors and not seek to force a solution from without (CNTV, January 21). As the secretary of the Arab League later pointed out in an interview, China is respected as a neutral actor and a supporter of the Palestinian cause (Xinhua, January 19).

Despite talk of “people to people” connections, national security and economic interests remain China’s primary reason for engagement in the Middle East. China will remain reliant on Middle Eastern oil for much of its energy. Its other economic interests in the region, though small compared to the trade for oil, are also growing and diversifying. Though China has committed itself toward building a strong relationship with Iran, the numbers seem to indicate a much deeper relationship with Saudi-aligned nations – by Peter Wood[tt_news]=45021&no_cache=1#.Vqi8jFKSn3E

Terrorismus / Terrorism

27.1.2016 – Critical Threats (A T)

2016 Yemen Crisis Situation Report: January 27

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) may be expanding the areas under its control into Lahij governorate, north of Aden. The coalition may attempt to limit AQAP’s growth, but is unlikely to challenge AQAP’s safe havens while remaining entrenched in the anti-al Houthi fight.

Islamist militants possibly linked to AQAP seized control of a city within kilometers of key coalition sites. The militants took control of government buildings and other areas in Lahij’s regional capital al Hawta on January 25, blowing up a police station and establishing roadside checkpoints in the process.

Continued reporting indicates the Saudi-led coalition may be wary of AQAP’s expansion. There are reports that a coalition helicopter flew over Bir Ali port in Shabwah on January 19, possibly surveilling the port. This sortie accompanies a new but sustained naval blockade of the port in al Mukalla, Hadramawt, AQAP’s chief stronghold and a key transit point for smuggling.

AQAP appears to be winning the propaganda war against ISIS in Yemen. A January 15 AQAP video featured a defected Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in Yemen “leader” apologizing to al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri and rejecting ISIS’s brand of Islam..

Security challenges in Aden continue to damage the Hadi government’s legitimacy. A string of assassination attempts continued in Aden, following weeks of killings by local militant groups.

AQAP will continue to strengthen as the Yemen conflict protracts, though there are indicators that the coalition may be seeking to prevent additional gains. An entrenched AQAP poses existential threats to a future Yemeni state and provides the al Qaeda network with a strategic base, threatening long term U.S. security – by James Towey

Journalismus / Journalism

28.1.2016 - Aljazeera (A T)

Al Jazeera crew in Yemen released by kidnappers

Hamdi al-Bokari, Abdulaziz al-Sabri, and Moneer al-Sabai disappeared 10 days ago in the besieged city of Taiz.

The identity of the kidnappers was still not clear, but Hamdi's Facebook posts after his release suggested they could have been Houthi rebels.

28.1.2016 – Reuters ( A T)

Kidnapped Al Jazeera journalists freed in Yemen

Two journalists and a driver working for the Qatari-owned Al Jazeera Arabic TV channel were freed in Yemen on Thursday, the network said, ten days after they were abducted by gunmen in the war-torn southwestern city of Taiz.

The Doha-based channel said in a news report on its website that correspondent Hamdi Al-Bokari, cameraman Abdulaziz Al-Sabri and driver Moneer Al-Sabai were released by their captors, whose identity remains unclear.

According to The National UAE, they had been abducted by the Houthis:


27.1.2016 – Noozz (A P)

Yemen’s VP applauds UAE role

Yemeni Vice President Khalid Bahah has lauded the great support that the UAE gave to his country and thanked the Saudi-led Arab Coalition countries for their efforts.

This came during a meeting Bahah had on Tuesday with the UAE’s special envoy to Yemen, Ali Muslih Al Ahbabi.

The meeting discussed developments in Yemen, especially in the areas liberated from the coup militias, as well as planned operations in the fields of humanitarian relief, security and re-construction.

Bahah expressed appreciation for the efforts made by the Emirates Red Crescent authority and the Khalifa Foundation in several Yemeni provinces.

He renewed his government’s resolve to regain control of all provinces in Yemen through peaceful means to end the suffering of the Yemeni people, caused by the Houthi militias and their rebellious allies.

Saudischer Luftkrieg / Saudi aerial war

26.1.2016 – Yemen News Today (A K)

This Court House in Sanaa was attacked and destroyed yesterday; and a judge who was collecting evidence was also killed - I posted details of this yesterday. If the Saudi led coalition are not fearful of enquiries, why have they destroyed this evidence and also refused to allow an independent enquiry into the effects of the aerial bombardment on Yemen? I think this action more than anything else demonstrates their concern at the possibility of negative findings emerging from any investigation into their war activities in Yemen.

Comment: For the airstrikes at the house of the judge who headed the court dealing against president Hadi see Yemen Press Reader 92. This is the court building – what even makers more clear that these Saudi strikes just were made for political reasons to stop this trial, to kill the main person involved and to destroy evidence.

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

27.1.2016 – Gulf News (A K PS)

Saudi soldier dies in border shelling from Yemen

He died on Tuesday in a strike on a border guards’ observation post in the Harth district of Jazan

27.1.2016 – Fars News (A K PH)

Yemeni Forces Destroy Saudi-Led Coalition's Arms Depot in Ta'iz Province

"The Saudi forces' logistical and arms depot was destroyed in the Yemeni forces' missile attacks in Al-Ahyouq region in Ta'iz province," a Yemeni military official told FNA on Wednesday.

He said that a large column of smoke could be seen after the Yemeni missiles hit the Saudi arms depot.

Meantime, a Yemeni military source disclosed that the Saudi troops failed to take back Malhama military site in Al-Khuba region in Jizan province in Southern Saudi Arabia.

In a relevant development on Tuesday, the Yemeni army and popular forces continued their special operations in Al-Khuba city and seized back strategic military positions.

The Yemeni forces took full control of Al-Shabaka military center after cutting their supply lines in the Northern part of Al-Khuba region.

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

28.1.2016 – SputnikNews (A K)

Yemen's Houthi Rebels Say Downed Saudi-Led Coalition's Plane

The Yemeni Houthi rebels and the military forces loyal to them announced that they managed to down a reconnaissance aircraft of the Saudi-led coalition which fights against the militants, a military source told Sputnik on Thursday.

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-92: / Yemen Press Reader 1-92: oder / or

22:53 28.01.2016
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