Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 94

Yemen Press Reader 94: Die Saudis und der Krieg - USA: Kritik von Senator - Großbritannien: Kontroverse um Rüstungsexporte - 2. Selbstmordanschlag in Aden -Tote bei saudischen Luftschlägen

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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 / Saudi Arabia


Großbritannien / Great Britain

Deutschland / Germany

Italien / Italy


Söldner / Mercenaries

Flüchtlinge / Refugees


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

Am wichtigsten / Most important

28.1.2016 – Open democracy (*** B K)

Can the Saudi-led coalition win the war in Yemen?

In 1934 the newly established Kingdom of Saudi Arabia went to war against Imamate Yemen, resulting in the Saudis taking control of the provinces of Aseer, Jizan and Najran. King Abdul Aziz withdrew his forces as soon as he had achieved his basic goal.

When challenged about his prompt withdrawal at a time when his forces were clearly in the ascendant, his reply was “You know nothing about Yemen; it is mountainous and tribal. No one can control it. Throughout history all those who tried to control it, failed. The Ottoman state was the last of the failed invaders. I don’t want to embroil myself or my people in Yemen.”

Ten months into the current Saudi-led war in Yemen, it is clear that this advice has not penetrated the consciousness of Mohammed bin Salman, current Defence Minister, Deputy Crown Prince and grandson of Abdul Aziz or of his father, the current King.

A bit of background

Among the many questions which deserve to be examined is the rationale for Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the current Yemeni conflict. The 2011 uprisings resulted in the election of a new President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, chosen in February 2012 to replace Ali Abdullah Saleh who had ruled the country since 1978. The Agreement[1] sponsored by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and the international community included a 2 year transition during which a National Dialogue Conference and military restructuring would lead to a new regime which many hoped would reflect the aspirations of the hundreds of thousand Yemeni men and women who had determinedly and peacefully demonstrated throughout 2011 and beyond.

This did not happen. The internal situation in Yemen deteriorated rapidly after the completion of the National Dialogue Conference (NDC) in January 2014 as it failed to solve the main political issues of the time, including the number and borders of the regions in the proposed federal state and the distribution of power between the contending political forces, most of which participated in the NDC: Saleh and his General People’s Congress, the Huthi’s Ansar Allah, the part-Islamist Islah and the multiple Southern separatist factions.The democratic youth movement and women were marginalised.

As a result, 2014 was marked by the gradual takeover by the Huthis of the northern parts of the country including Sana’a, culminating in the resignation of the ‘legitimate’ transitional government in January 2015, promptly followed by a military move southwards by what is now usually described as the Huthi/Saleh alliance.

As usual, it is worth reminding readers that none of the factional leaders have, for a single moment, given any thought or consideration to the impact of their actions on ordinary Yemenis or the worsening living conditions brought about by their self-serving pursuits. Thus, in early 2015, Saudi Arabia and other GCC members and their western allies were faced with the prospect of complete defeat of the transitional mechanism they had put in place, and the consequent victory of an alliance between the Zaydi revivalist Huthi movement [Zaydis are a branch of Shi’a Islam, rather close to Sunnis] and the ousted previous ruler Ali Abdullah Saleh, a former ally who had by then become enemy number one.

A new regime in Riyadh

This, at a time when yet another elderly king had just inherited the throne in Riyadh.

Unlike his cautious predecessors, Salman promptly overturned the previously agreed order of succession and installed his favourite young son [about 30 years old] as Minister of Defence and Deputy Crown Prince. He even dumped the crown prince selected by his deceased brother in favour of the son of another member of the ‘Sudairy seven’.

To sustain this new order of succession and, indeed, possibly to enable his own son to become crown prince, new assertive international policies seemed like a good idea, creating popular support at home by demonstrating military capability and independence from the US and other western allies. It would also address increased Saudi concern at what they saw as US dereliction of duty. For decades, the unwritten agreement was that Saudi Arabia would say little or nothing about Israel, provided the US supported its dominance elsewhere in the Arab world. In 2015, not only was the US failing to support the Islamist Syrian opposition factions favoured by the Saudis, but it was about to reach agreement with Iran, Saudi Arabia’s main rival, not to say enemy, in the region.

These, unlike internal economic policy, are issues on which the views of the regime and the people coincide. Careless or deliberately provocative statements by some factions in Iran strengthened widespread fear and concern throughout the Peninsula: one such was the Iranian claim to control four Arab capitals, once the Huthis had taken over Sana’a in September 2014.

So the new Saudi leadership decided on a show of force, and Yemen seemed the perfect opportunity to achieve all these objectives with apparently minimal risk. The regime it supported was about to be ousted by what could be described as an alliance between a Shi’a faction and an ex-president who had been internationally sanctioned by the UN. They challenged an agreement sponsored by the GCC, the United Nations and the major powers. Although the latest United Nations Security Council Resolution [2216] did not formally condone military intervention, it did not forbid it.

A coalition was promptly put together and air strikes were launched on 26 March 2015, with the stated intention of restoring the legitimate authority to power and ousting the rebels. It is likely that those who took that decision gave little thought to Yemeni realities, whether military, logistic, topographic, social or political, let alone the human cost of their actions.

The war

Ten months later, air strikes are continuing on a daily basis throughout the country. There are ground troops in Yemen from many of the coalition states: a few Saudis, Emiratis [including Colombian and other South American special forces, led by an Australian who may or may not be on site], Sudanese, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, supported by Moroccan and Senegalese troops on the Saudi side of the border and Egyptian naval forces. The overall military situation has reached stalemate. The official death toll had risen to 6000 by end 2015 with over 28,000 wounded. The humanitarian situation is at UN emergency level, with 21.2 million of the 26 million population in need and only 8.8 million reached in 2015 with the UN humanitarian appeal having been funded at 56% for the year.

Since the liberation of Aden in August 2015, the city has remained completely unsafe with daily attack by a range of factions: different southern separatist groups, Aggressive Armed Islamists under a variety of names, including Al Qaeda, Daesh, and other Salafi groups, as well as simple ordinary thieves and bandits attacking banks, institutional payrolls, security and other officers; they managed to kill the Governor less than two months after his appointment. Aden was named temporary capital in March 2015, and President Hadi who returned there in November 2015 lives in his mountain stronghold palace and only ventures out on short helicopter sorties. On 25 January 2016, Vice President and Prime Minister Baha arrived for the third time since its liberation, claiming that this is his definitive return; his previous visits were short-lived. Many ministers are still based in Sana’a.


The military stalemate shows no immediate sign of ending. Claims of liberation of various areas are challenged by regular ongoing airstrikes in the same areas: Midi and Haradh on the Red Sea coast near the Saudi border, around Mareb east of Sana’a, and in Shabwa, al Baidha and Dhala’ governorates. For the past 6 months, the main and most intense fighting has taken place in and around Taiz, the country’s third city where the balance of land forces is fairly even and where the most obnoxious tactics are being used.

Taiz city has now been under siege for months, with the Huthi/Saleh forces controlling the main roads and preventing the arrival of any supplies, water, food, medical equipment and consumables and all basic necessities. The city itself is divided between the majority who are just trying to keep alive and the forces loyal to one or the other side.

Half or more of the population have left when they could, and current estimates of the remaining population range from 200,000 to 600,000. Those remaining have to search for water and food while under fire from the Saleh/Huthi group on the one hand and the aerial bombardment from the Saudi led coalition on the other.

The lack of progress of either side in Taiz does raise questions: the main military force in support of the legitimate authority is led by an Islahi commander, hence assumed to be a Muslim Brother. Given the hostility of the UAE towards this organisation (though Saudi Arabia has reconciled itself with the Islah), is the coalition failing to support his forces adequately? Why have the main Islahi military leaders been in Aden for over a month? Why have the coalition forces air dropped so little military material to their allies, let alone food and medical supplies for all? Is there a strategy to exhaust the Saleh/Huthi forces by a long struggle in an area where they have less popular support than in the Sana’ani highlands?

Peace negotiations

The negotiations which took place in Geneva in December fulfilled everyone’s expectation of achieving nothing. Since then the UN Special Envoy Ismail Ould al Shaikh has been trying to get some basic agreements for a second round of talks, which were due to start mid-January. These have been indefinitely postponed. Only the least significant of the agreed so-called ‘confidence-building measures’ have taken place: the three senior prisoners kept by the Huthis/Saleh have not been released and there are considerable doubts about a fourth, Islah leader Mohammed Qahtan, who may well have been killed. Internationally, it is clear that the efforts to resolve the Syrian situation have relegated the Yemen crisis far down the list of priorities.

Alongside the competing disasters in Syria and elsewhere, the lack of spectacular events on the ground has limited media coverage. The only ‘positive’ development has been the increasing concern emerging about British and US advisors providing technical support to the coalition’s targeting of air strikes, as well as the continued supply of weapons and ammunition to their forces.

At long last, these are being questioned in the legislature, by legal experts[2]and in civil society, focusing on respect for humanitarian law, as well as the Arms Trade Treaty which has come into force in Britain in 2014, though the US has only signed and not ratified it.

As for the quality of British and US technical targeting, observers are left to wonder about their competence or real influence given that four Médecins Sans Frontières medical facilities have been bombed in recent months, in addition to over 60 other medical facilities seriously damaged or destroyed, let alone other cases of ‘friendly fire’.

The latest report from the UN Sanctions Committee blames the coalition for violating international humanitarian law by ‘targeting civilians and civilian objects… 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.”[3]

This has raised the profile of the issue significantly, with the Labour Party demanding an independent inquiry in UK’s arms exports policy to Saudi Arabia and the ‘advisory’ role of British personnel. The same day Downing street reported a telephone conversation between Cameron and King Salman during which, with respect to the situation in Yemen “the Prime Minister and King agreed on both the need for a political solution and for international humanitarian law to be respected at all times.”

What next?

So with stalemate on the ground, no military victory in sight, and the absence of any noticeable progress in negotiations, what are the prospects for the Saudi-led coalition? Most of its members do as little as they can without jeopardising the financial support they get from the GCC states, Saudi Arabia in particular.

There are political differences between the United Arab Emirates who consider anything remotely resembling a Muslim Brother as little more than the devil incarnate, and Saudi Arabia which supported the Muslim Brothers for a long time, had a temporary falling out around the Arab spring period and, in the case of Yemen at least, are now reconciled to working with Islah, its local incarnation. The dramatic drop in oil prices has forced the Saudi regime into deficit budgeting for the first time in decades. The USD 200 million a month it spends on the war is a significant contributory factor.

The easy and decisive military victory anticipated last March is further away than ever, thus affecting both the new Saudi leaders and their plans for domestic dominance as well as increasing the likelihood of challenges not only within the Saud family but beyond, among the many Saudis whose living conditions are affected by the reduced subsidies and new taxation.

Whoever has read recent history will notice what happened to the thousands of Egyptians sent to support the republican regime in the 1960s, a major reason why Egypt has been reluctant to send its own troops.

Mohammed bin Salman and his colleagues would be well advised to recall the advice of his grandfather and seek a way out, ideally one which would establish a just and equitable regime in Sana’a. Meanwhile they should show some respect for international humanitarian law and put an end to the airstrikes which are killing and maiming civilian men, women and children, as well as destroying medical and other civilian facilities throughout the country. Their allies and supporters in the UK and the US should demonstrate that they are not simple tools and agents of the Saudi regime – by Helen Lachner

[1] See earlier OD pieces on the NDC, the transition and other aspects of the situation


[3] The Guardian, 27 January 2016

This article is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence =

Comment: PLEASE READ. This is an article by the wonderful Helen Lackner, a long time member of the British-Yemeni society like myself, and someone who's views have coincided almost entirely with my own views throughout this despicable war. She concludes EXACTLY the same as I do - the Saudis badly miscalculated when they started bombarding Yemen, UNSCR 2216 did not address the real Yemen issues NOR give the green light to Saudi military actions although it didn't forbid them either, the negotiators aren't prepared to negotiate and the UN envoy is trying hard but getting nowhere, neither side can win militarily and most of Yemen is NOT controlled by Hadi and his government, Hadi is holed up in a stronghold in Aden - that is itself a security disaster, the KSA economy is faltering due to the cost of war, Iran was not in the picture in Yemen before the war but now it is more involved, and there is no end in sight to suffering in Yemen.

Comment: Just today Helen Lackner posted an article where she described Hadi as living in a stronghold in Aden with only occasional trips out by helicopter. There was apparently an attack on this hideout, and sadly several people were killed. Aden is a real mess - it is less than 18 months since I was there and it was stable though with a high military presence. It is only a matter of time till the unpopular Hadi is forced to leave Yemen altogether. So much for the claims that the government is back in control of 80% of Yemen - it can't even control the security around the president's home.

29.1.2016 – Sputnik News (** B P)

Saudi Arabia's Defeat in Yemen: The Stakes Could Not Be Higher

The most dangerous crisis in the world today is not the confrontation in the South China Sea, the war in Syria, the crisis in Ukraine or the North Korean nuclear test.

All these crises have their share of irrational actors, and there is a risk any one of them might spiral out of control.

However the main parties in these quarrels — the US, China, Russia and Germany — have long histories of squaring off against each other. They have worked out rules with each other about how to handle such conflicts, which for the moment are just about working.

The most dangerous crisis in the world, the one where the potential risks are greatest and where the actions of the players are least predictable, is the war in Yemen.

Last year Saudi Arabia backed by a coalition of conservative Sunni Arab states intervened militarily in Yemen, which has been in a state of prolonged political crisis since 2011.

Saudi Arabia’s declared reason for doing so was to restore the country’s legitimate President. Its actual reason was to prevent the takeover of the country by political and militia groups it believes are aligned with Iran.

As is always the case with anything involving Saudi Arabia, it is very difficult to say how its intervention in Yemen is going. Such reports as there are however suggest it is going badly.

Despite heavy bombing and the deployment of large numbers of Saudi troops the opposition in Yemen appears to be undefeated.

More alarming still, the Yemeni opposition appears to be going onto the offensive, launching attacks on Saudi territory, capturing Saudi towns and settlements along the border.

That is an astonishing development which must be causing growing alarm within the Saudi government.

The fact foreign forces have captured Saudi territory despite all the Saudis have thrown at them must be causing alarm about the competence of the Saudi army and its ability to win the war.

Worse, it may be jeopardising the stability of the Saudi state itself.

Saudi Arabia competes with North Korea in its success in keeping its internal political situation secret.

For example, it nows seems that in the 2000s Saudi Arabia had to fight on its own territory an al-Qaeda led jihadi insurgency. Though it was defeated, outside Saudi Arabia hardly anyone knows about it.

That there are people in Saudi Arabia who oppose the government is hardly disputed, though their number, militancy and state of organisation is unknown.

How these people will react to the Saudi army’s defeats in Yemen is anyone’s guess.

There must however be at least a possibility that like the revolutionaries in Russia in 1905 and 1917 they will use the impression of weakness created by the defeats to step up their opposition to the Saudi government.

As for the Saudi government, I have little doubt the war in Yemen is by far its biggest worry, eclipsing concern about oil prices.

It is probably nervousness about the effect of the defeats in Yemen on Saudi Arabia’s internal situation which explains the recent wave of executions — including that of a Shia cleric — as the Saudi government tries to intimidate its enemies and put on a show of strength.

Saudi Arabia is the world’s leading oil producer and geographic heart of Islam. It lies on an extraordinary multiplicity of geopolitical, economic and religious fault-lines. A crisis that risked the survival of the Saudi monarchy would throw the entire international system into chaos.

It would be the biggest and most dangerous crisis the world has seen since the end of the Second World War.

That however could be what we might be looking at before long – by Alexander Mercouris

Comment: An interesting view on the greater implications of the Yemen war.

29.1.2016 – Telesur (**A K)

Meet Yemeni Teen Who Died Filming a Criminal Saudi Airstrike

Watch Hashim al-Homran’s, 17, chilling video of when Saudi jets targeted an ambulance and civilian rescuers. He died of Saudi airstrike injuries.

"The ambulance was hit as it arrived at the site of an earlier bombing. When people gathered to assist the victims, the same site was hit again. The driver and the ambulance were then hit in a third strike," Doctors without Borders, or MSF, said in a statement .

The footage of the attack was taken Jan. 22 by a dying teen identified as Hashim al-Homran and took place in the town of Dhahian, in the northern Syrian province of Saada. At least 18 people were killed, including the dozen civilian rescuers and ambulance driver.

Hashim died the following day of injuries sustained in the strike, Middle East Eye reported.

The true dimension of the tragedy can be seen in the five-minute video by Hashim, which opens with shots of people, who appear to be civilians searching for survivors of an airstrike.

Video; Graphic, 18 +!

Allgemein / General

30.1.2016 – International Policy Digest (* B P)

The Saudis, International Law and Yemen

The Saudi authorities deny the accusation that they hold political prisoners, but according to the unofficial accounts of advocacy organizations, there are as many as 30,000 political prisoners in the Saudi jails.

An Australian university professor and author says Saudi Arabia has been able to “get away with a good deal of bad behavior especially to its dissidents” and countries prefer not to risk their profitable trade with the monarchy by criticizing its human rights transgressions.

The Australian academic however censures what he deems to be the inconsistent attitude of the major powers towards the notion of human rights, saying that the “Sunni states have Western backing, however atrocious their own human rights records might be, and Iran, the deemed enemy, does not.”

Prof. Binoy Kampmark is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies at the RMIT University in Melbourne. He writes on international politics, human rights and Middle East current affairs.

I interviewed Prof. Binoy Kampmark about the recent regional turmoil provoked by the Saudi Arabia’s execution of a prominent Shiite cleric and anti-government critic, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr and the international reactions to the deteriorating developments in the Arabian Peninsula.

Saudi Arabia was described by the Washington Post as one of the world’s worst human rights offenders. However, in June 2015 it was named the chair of a key UN Human Rights Council. The decision infuriated many nations and Amnesty International. Why has Saudi Arabia been assigned such a major role and does this discredit the United Nations?

The position of the UN Human Rights Council has been traditionally laughed at by critics, notably in the US, Canada, Australia and Europe. It has been seen as a position where jockeying takes place on the issue of how best to portray a state and its human rights record, while also being involved in drafting conventions and mechanisms to protect human rights. Getting on it has been deemed important to that end, a sort of public relations fiesta.

It is not surprising then, that a position on the UNHRC is seen so cynically and separate from the actual human rights realities that afflict the state in question. This can be gathered by the British role behind backing Riyadh in getting a position.

According to the United Nations, around 5,800 Yemenis have been killed so far in the Saudi-led airstrikes on Yemen. Are they doing this to quell the rise of Shiites and do their actions violate the principles of international law?

The Saudi-backed mission in Yemen violates international law – its attacks on medical centers, for instance, and has further reduced the country to a state of desperation. There is little doubt that this is part of Riyadh’s efforts to prevent a “Shiite crescent” from gaining influence in the region. Should the Houthi rebels succeed, this will count as a blow against the Sunni regimes keeping a close watch on developments. Saudi Arabia, as the main Sunni backer and state, stands to lose most.

Are the Saudi officials going to relax the restrictions on the women’s rights, free speech, social media, the Shiite minority and unorthodox political activists due to international pressure? Will the major world powers and Saudi allies in the West demand that Riyadh enact reforms?

The short answer to all these inquiries is no. Certainly not in the immediate future. There is little doubt that progress is being made in some circles on the human rights front, but these are domestically driven rather than externally mandates. The foreign ministry and house of al-Saud remain committed to a clandestine, authoritarian form of control that suspects human rights as a mechanism that undermines, rather than furthers governance. While assignations by the West will, and have been made in part, this is much for show. Actual change will only happen within, and slowly – by Kourosh Ziabari

30.1.2016 – Channel 4 News (*A K)

A leaked investigation for the United Nations has accused the Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen of 'systematic' attacks on civilians.

Human rights groups say the findings raise yet more concerns over British arms exports to Saudi Arabia.

Warning: distressing images

Comment: The films just telling how it is. The really distressing images even are not shown.

29.1.2016 – Salon (* A H)

“A forgotten crisis”: Mass starvation in Yemen as U.S.-backed Saudi war & blockade push millions to brink of famine

14 million Yemenis — over half the population — face hunger, the U.N. warns, saying "the numbers are staggering"

Mass starvation is ongoing in Yemen, the United Nations warns, calling it a “forgotten crisis.” The poorest country in the Middle East may be on the brink of famine, while it faces bombing and a blockade from a Saudi-led coalition, backed by the U.S. and the U.K.

Approximately 14.4 million Yemenis — more than half of the population of the country — are food insecure, according to a new report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, also known as the FAO.

Hunger is growing. In the seven months since June 2015, the number of food insecure Yemenis has grown by 12 percent. Since late 2014, the number has grown by 36 percent.

“The numbers are staggering,” remarked Etienne Peterschmitt, FAO deputy representative and emergency response team leader in Yemen.

Peterschmitt called the mass starvation “a forgotten crisis, with millions of people in urgent need across the country.”

The FAO says “ongoing conflict and import restrictions have reduced the availability of essential foods and sent prices soaring.”

What the FAO does not mention in its report, however, is that these import restrictions are a result of the Saudi blockade on Yemen. Since the war broke out in March, with the backing of the U.S. and U.K., Saudi Arabia has imposed a naval, land and air blockade on Yemen — which imports more than 90 percent of its staple foods.

Because of the Saudi-led blockade and war, for more than six months, humanitarian organizations have warned that 80 percent of the Yemeni population, 21 million people, desperately need food, water, medical supplies and fuel. The U.N. has insisted for over half a year that Yemenis are enduring a “humanitarian catastrophe.”

Salon sent the FAO multiple requests for comment, inquiring as to why the agency did not directly acknowledge the Saudi blockade, yet did not receive a response.

The U.S. media and government have devoted very little attention to the Saudi blockade, and the U.N. has not mentioned it much in its reports on Yemen.

Journalist Sharif Abdel Kouddous has warned that “Yemen is now the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

In December, the U.N. indicated Yemen may be facing an impending famine. The World Food Program noted that food insecurity is at “emergency” levels, just one step below famine, in almost half of the country – by Ben Norton

29.1.2016 – George Galloway (** A B P K)

Film: Comment - Why can no one stop US-backed Saudi carnage in Yemen?

The United States has come under heavy criticism for supporting Saudi Arabia in its war on Yemen despite being aware that the bombing campaign amounts to human rights violations – George Galloway, Member of British Parliament, on TV

Comment: Well, George Galloway is brilliant. But it is quite odd that he has to go to an Iranian TV channel. When blaming Saudi Arabia for beheadings, Iran executing even more people than Saudi Arabia is concerned as well. They will send it because any blame against their enemy seems to be advantageous for them. (This objection off course does not devaluate what Galloway has to say).

29.1.2016 – Shafaqna (* B P)

Political posing? International community reacts to Riyadh’s crimes in Yemen

Better late than never” said the wise man … “better late than never” indeed! In Yemen’s case “late” came 10 months into a punishing Saudi-led military campaign waged in the name of political legitimacy and hegemonic superiority.

Yemen has suffered and cracked under the weight of a war which has systematically pursued annihilation, to better rise the house of Saud the imperial master over Southern Arabia. And while Yemen’s war was sold to the media as a grand battle against the despotism of the Houthis – this one tribal group labelled a dissident faction for it dared imagine it could champion popular will against that of a self-appointed, Saudi-sponsored oligarchy; it is evident this struggle pitting Oil mighty Saudi Arabia, against impoverished Yemen was always indeed one of control, and feudality.

Yemen today stands the new Spartacus against the Empire.

While this report [the new UN report] Worse still, if not for the United Nations’ quite submission to al-Saud’ financial blackmail in regards to aid donations to its agencies, Yemen would never have been put under a humanitarian blockade – its people would not have been made to starve the way they have been if not for such criminal complicity.

Vice News reported in June 2015 that Saudi officials leaned on UN officials to sabotage aid deliveries, threatening to close the kingdom’s checkbook should UN agencies deny Riyadh’s requests.

When it comes to Yemen, few powers can claim the moral high ground, as most, actively participated in the killing of a people – all in the name of profit, political scoring and geopolitical hegemony.

But again, no surprise there. I doubt anyone still entertains any such political naivety – world leaders’ propensity to commit abominable crimes in the name of an increasingly elusive “democratic ideal” should have long wiped out such childish complacency.

Rather than ask ourselves how Riyadh will be held accountable, let us instead translate what such political shift implies in the long term – in other words: why is the international community suddenly pointing the fingers at al-Saud? Why now, and to server which agenda since knowledge was never a hindrance?

Here is one theory: Saudi Arabia is becoming too much of a political liability, notwithstanding new Royals’ habits of overstepping political boundaries by acting the rebellious child against their Western guardians. Riyadh’s rising lobby in the US for example did not escape officials – prompting much unease. If al-Saud’s billions bought certain political licences, Western powers are not exactly keen on becoming Riyadh’s handmaiden.

Another point to carefully weigh in is Iran’s return to the international fold. A superpower in the making, Iran is also an answer to one very American oil conundrum: oil dependency – or rather, Saudi oil dependency.

If the US, and most Western capitals stand trapped by their thirst for Saudi oil, forcing them to put up with Riyadh’s political tantrums, Iran’s vast oil and gas reserves offer the promise of emancipation.

offers little by way of surprise – Western officials can hardly argue they did not know when it is in fact, their weapons, their intelligence, and their experts which enabled the Kingdom against impoverished Yemen, the mover implies a dramatic change of political strategy vis a vis Wahhabi Saudi Arabia.

No longer the untouchable darling of western capitals, Riyadh was told this January that its immunity no longer stands impenetrable.

Let me be clear here – it is extremely unlikely, if not down-right impossible, the UNSC will issue more than a symbolic slap on al-Saud’s hands, regardless of the horrors its military committed in Yemen. Let us remember that a full acknowledgement of guilt would entail throwing the likes of Britain and the United States under the judiciary bus. Both London and Washington have provided military assistance to Riyadh – to such an extent actually that much of the blood which has flowed under the Kingdom’s impetus, also reflects on UK PM David Cameron and US President Barack Obama’s hands.

Saudi Arabia remains the biggest UK and US arm buyers after all, and if Riyadh was able to drop cluster bombs on unsuspecting civilians it is only because the US fulfilled its demands.

If UN experts’ sudden awakening in Yemen offers little more than political posing, the message their statement carries against Riyadh’s despotic rule cannot be ignored.

I would argue that this shift should be credited to Yemen’s resilience before imperialism. If not for the Resistance stubborn determination in the face of aggravated pressure, the world would never have been forced to acknowledge the brutality of al-Saud theocratic absolutism.

Should Yemen had cowered before the Saudi military coalition, time would not have allowed for another political and economic path to be forged – by Catherine Shakdam

28.1.2016 – Shadow Proof (* B K)


The civil war in Yemen continues to get more brutal by the day as Saudi Arabia launches merciless attacks on civilian areas with American-made weapons.

Last year, Human Rights Watch warned that one of the weapons being used by the Saudis is the CBU-105 Sensor Fuzed Weapon from Textron Systems of Wilmington, Massachusetts.

Despite 116 countries signing on to the international agreement banning cluster bombs known as theConvention On Cluster Munitions (CCM), the U.S. has continued to sell the CBU-105. Some of the major buyers of the widely-banned bomb are Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who, like the U.S., are not party to the CCM.

Each cluster bomb weapon costs $360,000 and the Saudis have spent millions to create a considerable inventory.

Now the Saudis are using the CBU-105 and other weapons in Yemen, leading to horrific civilian casualties. Whether done deliberately or as the consequence of apathy, the Saudis’ attacks are mostly hitting people who are not in the fight. In September, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and British charity Action on Armed Violence estimated that 93% of deaths and injuries in the Yemen civil war are of civilians.

As if the attacks themselves were not bad enough, the U.S.-made CBU-105 also has a propensity to malfunction and not completely detonate all its bombs, leaving unexploded ordinance scattered around the bomb site. Given the metal content of the bombs, scavengers, often children, end up being maimed or killed well after bomb attacks when they inadvertently set off the weapon looking for metal to trade to survive.

The use of these weapons by Saudi Arabia has put the U.S. in a precarious position given the Obama Administration’s claimed commitment to human rights. In December, U.N. Ambassador Samantha Power told reporters that the U.S., when speaking with the Saudis on Yemen, has “urged full compliance with international humanitarian law.”

That’s clearly not working. So will the U.S. even consider stopping the sale of the CBU-105 to Saudi Arabia given that the U.S. weapon is clearly being used for war crimes? – by Dan Wright

28.1.2016 – Before its news (A K P)

Yemen update 1/28/2016..Ansarullah accuses US of fueling war in Yemen

[Compilation of films]

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

30.1.2016 – Shafaqna (A H)

Mothers have been forced to watch their children slowly disappear to the cruelty and torture which is hunger.

Those mothers whose hands were always open in an eternal act of offering to their kin, have now been closed in anguish.

Mothers’ hands are all but empty, mothers’ hands … those hands which once wiped away tears and consoled their little ones stand idle, barren … like, the land which now witnesses a people’s sorrow.

When not even mothers’ hands can bring comfort and hope, what left is there?

The Mona Relief Organization is fighting to keep hope alive – but this one organization cannot possibly do it alone, its volunteers cannot possibly defy injustice and defeat poverty by themselves.

30.1.2016 – Famine Early Warning System Network (A H)

Yemen Food Security Outlook Update January 2016

Improving food and fuel import levels from international markets have contributed to declining prices during the past two months at some markets. For example, in the city of Sana’a, December retail wheat prices declined 27 percent compared to November levels and were relatively similar to March 2015, pre-conflict levels. However, despite these declining food prices, household purchasing power, particularly amongst the poor and IDP populations, remains limited due to below-average household incomes.

Fuel imports and prices remain volatile due to the ongoing conflict. Although black market fuel prices fell by rough half in December 2015 compared to the previous month’s levels, they still remain well above pre-crisis levels. This is driving high transportation costs and food prices in rural areas of the country.

Between August and October, UNICEF and the Yemen Ministry of Public Health conducted SMART surveys in Aden, Al-Hodeidah, Hajjah, Lahji, and Al-Bayda. Although the prevalences of global acute malnutrition (GAM) amongst children 6-59 months of age, measured by a weight-for-height z-score <-2 and/or the presence of edema, were found to be similar to previous years’ levels, they still exceeded the WHO’s critical threshold (>15 percent) in Aden (19.2 percent), Al-Hodeidah (31.0 percent in lowland areas), Hajjah (20.9 percent in lowland areas), and Lahji (20.5 percent in lowland areas). To save lives, assistance to treat and prevent acute malnutrition is urgently needed in these areas.

Amongst those trapped in active conflict areas of Ta’izz Governorate, Emergency (IPC Phase 4) food security outcomes are occurring at this time. In the city of Ta’izz, the humanitarian situation remains serious as the siege continues to hamper full humanitarian access, restrict physical/financial access to food on local markets, and disrupt household livelihoods. Despite some assistance provided during the past three months, food consumption gaps are expected to continue in Ta’izz in the absence of improved access and an expanded humanitarian response.

30.1.2016 – KUNA (A H)

Kuwait Red Crescent distributes humanitarian aid in Taiz

29.1.2016 – TIME (* B H)

Hospitals Are Under Fire in Yemen’s War

Civilians and doctors are no longer safe in the places they need the most

As Yemen’s bloody conflictcontinues, medical facilities and personnel are repeatedly comingunder fire, which drastically reduces the country’s access to desperately needed emergency medical care. As the wreckage of hospitals and clinics indicate, the war launched by a Saudi-led coalition against Houthi militants is being fought with utterdisregard for international humanitarian law

MSF maintains constant dialogue with both the Saudi-led coalition and the Houthi-led militias, providing GPS coordinates of medical projects and calling on them to fulfill their obligations to preserve access to medical services. But between March and November of last year, bombs were dropped on or near medical facilities nearly 100 times, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross. The three MSF-supported medical structures hit were known and clearly marked.

Such is the nature of this war.

The Saudi-led coalition is waging a military campaign that treats civilians and civilian structures as legitimate military targets; in May, for example, it declared that the entire Sadaa governorate was a military zone. Coalition fighter jets and artillery have repeatedly hit homes, roads, bridges, schools, gas stations, markets, medical sites, ambulances, supply trucks and displacement camps, killing upwards of 2,800 civilians, according to the United Nations, and wounding many more.

Houthi forces have also repeatedly shelled civilian areas and medical facilities, and they have blocked shipments of medical supplies as well

The U.N. Security Council, through Resolution 2216—authored by Jordan, co-sponsored by the U.S., the U.K., and France, and passed last April—provided diplomatic cover for what we’re seeing today.

The resolution made pro-forma calls to end violence in Yemen and imposed an arms embargo and travel restrictions on the Houthis, but it made no mention of the Saudi-led coalition’s aerial attacks and demanded nothing of the coalition in general. In effect, it provided a license to bomb at will and enforce a widespread blockade of goods entering the country. This set an “anything goes” tone that all sides have embraced.

The warring parties pay little heed to the Geneva Conventions, and their backers say nothing. The U.S., the U.K. and France actively support and supply weapons to the Saudi military.

MSF’s effort to treat the sick and wounded in Yemen will continue. And Yemeni medical personnel are doing their best under the circumstances. But if more medical facilities are destroyed, there may not be anyone left to provide the care that Yemenis will doubtlessly need in the days ahead – by Jason Cone, executive director of Doctors Without Borders in USA

Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

30.1.2016 – Reuters (A P)

Yemen's Houthis detain journalist, activists in Sanaa

Gunmen from Yemen's Houthi movement detained a local journalist and five activists after a raid on an apartment in the capital Sanaa on Saturday, activists said, the latest detention of a reporter in the war-ravaged country.

The gunmen stormed the apartment at dawn and took journalist Nabil al-Sharabi and the activists to an unknown location. The Houthis had fired guns when the men attempted to escape, activists said.

Sharabi, the detained journalist, had worked for local daily Akhbar al-Youm, which the Houthis closed down after taking control of Sanaa in 2014.

The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate says the Houthis have been holding 12 other journalists for several months after accusing them of acting against the movement and of supporting Hadi's government.

(Reporting by Mohammed Ghobari, Writing by Sylvia Westall)

29.1.2016 – Press TV Iran (A P)

Ansarullah slams Yemeni broadcaster removal from air

Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement condemned Friday a decision by Egyptian-based communication regulator Nilesat for taking the al-Masirah TV off air.

A spokesman for Ansarullah said the removal of the Yemeni TV from Nilesat’s schedule, which came a day earlier, showed that the enemies of Yemen are worried about the disclosure of facts about Saudi Arabia’s deadly aggression against Yemen.

Muhammad Abdussalam said those enemies, who enjoy extensive media power, could not tolerate al-Maisrah, which used to overtly reveal the “sufferings and pains of the Yemeni people” as a result of Riyadh’s campaign, which started on March 26, 2015.

He said they piled up immense pressure on the Nilesat to take al-Masirah off air after repeated attempts to silence the voice of the broadcaster and stop it from disclosing the crimes of the Saudi regime in Yemen.

The Houthi official said, however, that al-Masirah, which advocates Ansarullah and allies, will continue to perform its media mission on reporting the facts and realities of the war on Yemen.

Comment: Certainly, there is Saudi influence on Egypt behind it. This incident coincident with Google on youtube terminating the Al Masirah account and thus removing all the videos showing Saudi war crimes in Yemen, what happened just a few days earlier on Jan., 24.

Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi government

29.1.2016 – Die Zeit (A T)

Sieben Tote bei Selbstmordanschlag im Jemen

Bei einem Selbstmordanschlag in der Stadt Aden im Süden des Jemen sind am Freitagabend sieben Menschen getötet worden. Sieben weitere Menschen seien verletzt worden, hieß es in Sicherheitskreisen sowie seitens der Rettungskräfte. Der Autobombenanschlag richtete sich demnach gegen einen Kontrollposten der Polizei und ereignete sich nicht weit entfernt vom Palast von Präsident Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi.

30.1.2016 – The Guardian from AFP (A T)

Second suicide bombing in two days in Yemen's Aden kills seven

Bombing targets police checkpoint not far from site of suicide attack on Thursday that killed eight people, outside presidential palace in Aden

A suicide bombing killed seven people and wounded seven others on Friday night in Aden – the second deadly attack in as many days in Yemen’s second city, medics and security sources said.

The bombing targeted a police checkpoint not far from the site of a suicide attack on Thursday that killed eight people, including soldiers and civilians, outside the presidential palace in the city, the sources said.

A hospital spokesman confirmed that seven people were killed in Friday’s bombing.

There was no immediate claim of responsiblity for the attack but the Islamic State group said it was responsible for Thursday’s bombing.

29.1.2016 – Yeni Safak (A T)

Motorcycle driving banned in Yemen

Riding motorcycles temporarily prohibited in Hadhramaut Governorate of Yemen

An official ban on the use of motorcycles went into effect in the Yemeni town of Hadhramaut for 1 months in order to prevent attacks against security guards.

The governor Ahmad bin Barik said the decision was taken following a spate of assassinations in which the perpetrators used motorcycles.

He stated that the ban will be applied starting tonight, and will last for a month. Barik also added that security forces will have the right to open fire on anyone who violates the ban.

Comment: Hadramaut is a province, not a town. A rather helpless method to defeat Al Qaida violence. The greatest part of the province is ruled by Al Qaida and this governor would not be happy if going there.


29.1.2016 – Yemen News Today (A P)

The UN has been completely discredited in this war. They have let down all sides. There are some good individuals - I support the UN envoy but he has absolutely no power - and I think UNICEF in Yemen has been working tirelessly. But the UN has been a failure in protecting civilians and infrastructure including protected architectural sites. But look at the wording of the original posting - it shows the polarisation of Yemen. There are many in Taiz who simply will not believe that other parts of Yemen suffer as they do - as indeed, there are many in the north who deny Taiz has problems. And note the photo - the Taiz children here look clean, well dressed and well fed. Of course there has been suffering and deprivation in Taiz, but as you can see for yourself, the children of Taiz are no worse off than those in the rest of Yemen - and better off than some - although there is a ferocious ground war going on that is causing so much suffering.

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

28.1.2016 – Eurasian review (* B P)

Saudi Arabia Stoking Sectarian Conflict As Battle To Succeed King Salman Intensifies – OpEd

Saudi Arabia, one year after King Salman acceded to the throne and nine months after appointing his favourite – young and inexperienced – son, Mohammed bin Salman Deputy Crown Prince (DCP), is grappling with not merely an increasingly relentless power struggle, compounded by an unprecedented devastating plunge in oil prices, but far more ominously the ruinous implications of a highly aggressive foreign policy that has ultimately led to a full-blown costly yet futile war against the Houthi-rebels in Yemen, and has increasingly fuelled proxy sectarian wars in Syria, Iraq and Lebanon.

The Saudi regime has made no secret that the overarching goal of its newly adopted muscular foreign policy, which is aggressively spearheaded by Mohammed bin Salman, is to counter what it perceives as Iran’s growing yet highly perilous influence.

The Saudi regime’s highly unusual step of executing a prominent religious leader like Al-Nimr was deliberately intended to spark spontaneous outrage and thereby provoke an uncalculated retaliation, from above all Iran.

Riyadh’s decision to push the sectarian tension to boiling point was internally intended to: First, stave off an internal uprising in the Sunni heartland by trumpeting the patently deceitful myth that Saudi Arabia is still the guardian of Sunni Islam and above all, is heavily engaged in combating an existential threat posed by the Shia, namely Iran.

Second, with tumbling oil prices and an unimaginable budget deficit, compelling Riyadh to raise taxes and also to compensate for its inability to rely heavily – as both King Abdullah during the Arab Spring and King Salman when acceding to the throne – on its most potent weapon to head off and curb popular dissent: vast oil revenue. Third, lending credence to its claims of facing an immensely serious national security threat, enabling Salman and MbS to call into question the very patriotism of those challenging their authority and therefore severely undermine the growing campaign, spearheaded by senior members of the younger generation of the royal family, to replace Salman with his full Sudairi brother, 73-years-old Ahmed.

As ISIL dramatically broadens its strategy, from being a regional to an increasingly international threat, targeting U.S. and European citizens around the world, it is high time for the American people to cast their decisive vote on whether the best way of promoting U.S.’s interests is by covering up Saudi Arabia’s abhorrent record of escalating human rights violations, of exporting its extremist Wahhabi Salafi ideology and bloodthirsty jihadists, of promoting radical preachers of death giving religious legitimacy to grotesque atrocities against Shias, Christians, Jews and moderate Sunnis, of arming and funding ISIS, JN, and Taliban and of spreading tyranny and dictatorship in the Middle East – by Zayd Alisa

Comment: Well, it seems to me that discourses critical of KSA and particularly MbS are coming fast and think - here is another in the Eurasia review. This seems to me to tie in with my theory that maybe the West was hoping Saudi would over extend with this Yemen war, weaken itself, and become more vulnerable to Western power. So the destruction of Yemen and the murder of innocent Yemeni civilians had a real purpose after all. And whereas the critics not KSA were silenced initially, they are now fast moving towards the front page. The fly in the ointment as far as U.S. is concerned is that KSA owns a lot of its monstrous debt and if KSA economy falters badly so will USA's - and as far as UK's devious leader Cameron is concerned, he will be left looking like the ogre's assistant paid in Yemen's blood.


30.1.2016 – (B K)

Hunter Killer book extract: Inside the lethal world of drone warfare

This is an extract from the book Hunter Killer: Inside the Lethal World of Drone Warfare

by Lieutenant Colonel T Mark McCurley with Kevin Maurer. Published by Allen & Unwin. RRP$32.99.

29.1.2016 – Huffington Post (** B P)

Senator Wonders How Much Longer U.S. Will Blindly Support Saudi Arabia

Sen. Chris Murphy describes how the kingdom has helped ISIS grow and made Yemen suffer.

Friday in a speech by influential progressive Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.)

"No one has a particularly credible long term strategy [for the Middle East] because it would involve facing some very uncomfortable truths -- about the nature of the fight ahead of us, and imperfections of one of our most important allies in the Middle East,” Murphy said in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York

The carefully worded address pointed to Saudi Arabia's backing of extremist Islamic ideology and its reckless military intervention in Yemen as evidence of the need to question unwavering U.S. support for the kingdom.

"For all the positive aspects of our alliance with Saudi Arabia, there is another side to Saudi Arabia" that America doesn't often see, Murphy said. "And it is a side that we can no longer afford to ignore as our fight against Islamic extremism becomes more focused and more complicated."

Murphy's frank and measured critique is one of the most high-profile of its kind, evidence in itself that questioning the relationship between Washington and Riyadh is becoming less of a political heresy.

Initially rooted in a shared interest in protecting the kingdom’s vast oil reserves, the U.S.-Saudi partnership has evolved into a broad, shadowy military relationship that is difficult to fully detail.

To Murphy, this relationship and the general assumption that it cannot be questioned has been risky and occasionally self-defeating.

It has required the U.S. to largely ignore the Saudis' decadeslong funding for fundamentalist thinking in the Muslim world

The costs of aligning with Saudi Arabia are especially clear now because that friendship has led the White House to join the controversial Saudi campaign in Yemen.

"In the wake of the Iran nuclear agreement, there are many in Congress who would have the United States double down in our support for the Saudi side of this fight in places like Yemen and Syria, simply because Saudi Arabia is our named friend, and Iran is our named enemy,” Murphy said Friday.

Advocates for the U.S. relationship with the kingdom, like Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Foreign Relations Committee Chair Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), continue to tout its importance.

“Saudi Arabia is one of America's closest and oldest partners and deserves our continued support," McCain said in a statement after the kingdom executed 47 prisoners earlier this month.

Veteran politicians are urging current U.S. leaders to stay loyal to this thinking -- especially at times when it is challenged.

The January execution of the Shiite cleric sparked protests across the Muslim world. But most political outcry in Washington was directed not at the kingdom but at the Iranian government, which failed to prevent protesters in the capital from attacking the Saudi Embassy there.

To Murphy, defending the Saudis as a knee-jerk reaction rather than as a deliberate strategy is unsustainable.

Though the U.S.'s friendship with Saudi Arabia is unlikely to erode anytime soon, for a long list of strategic reasons, Murphy's questioning suggests that in some months, or years, that relationship could come with more conditions – by Jessica Schulberg and Akbar Shahid Ahmed and shorter article at

And here the speech in full:

Großbritannien / Great Britain

29.1.2016 – They work for you (A P)

Members of Parliament ask the government

Hilary Benn, Shadow Foreign Secretary

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether he has made an assessment of who is responsible for reported airstrikes that have (a) targeted and (b) hit as collateral damage (i) cultural heritage monuments, (ii) ancient heritage sites and (iii) museums in Yemen.

Philip Hammond, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

We remain concerned about the damage to cultural property in Yemen during the current conflict in Yemen. We do not routinely make assessments of responsibility for damage to cultural property in Yemen. Yemen and many members of the Saudi-led coalition are parties to the 1954 Hague Convention on the Protection of Cultural Property in the event of Armed Conflict and to the 1972 World Heritage Convention. We have raised our concerns regarding protection of cultural property with both the government of Yemen and theSaudi Arabian government. A political solution is the best way to achieve long-term stability in Yemen and we remain fully and actively supportive of the UN’s efforts to bring an end to the conflict.

Comment: This answer by a minister supporting arm sales to Saudi Arabia is rather ridiculous. “We remain concerned” and “We have raised our concerns” says absolutely nothing. Whether states have signed any convention or not, is absolutely of no interest when they are hitting cultural heritage in a war. “A political solution is the best way”, well, who will contradict. But you again only just are nebulizing: Until that will happen, your government furtheron contributes to more bombing – which makes a political solution more and more difficult. – You as a reader can vote whether this answer hits the above question – guess what I voted for.

29.1.2016 – The Independent (B P)

The British Government lost £1.1m on its commercial venture to run parts of the Saudi Arabian prison system

Just Solutions International spent a quarter of a million pounds on consultants

Amnesty International UK’s Government and Political Relations Manager Lucy Wake said: “On top of the apparent waste of money, there are a still a host of unanswered questions about this ill-fated project.

“It was never clear what human rights safeguards or training were ever going to be built into this murky deal - for example would UK contractors have been actively trying to challenge and prevent human rights violations in countries with notoriously abusive justice systems, not least in Saudi Arabia?

“The last thing the UK should ever have been doing was trying to make money out of overseas justice systems that tolerate secret detention, torture, corporal punishment and executions.” – by Jon Stone

29.1.2016 – The Guardian (B P)

The Guardian view on the Gulf arms trade: not a good deal after all

In the Yemen conflict, the UK is reaping what it has sown over decades in the arms trade with Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states

For many years Britain sold arms to Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states in the confident expectation that they would never be used. It seemed a perfect scheme. Britain sold the weapons, making large profits and sustaining its arms industries at a time when the orders that the UK’s own forces were able to place had become too small to keep those industries viable. The Americans and the French did the same. The beauty was that there was virtually no political cost, because the customers essentially treated this expensive kit as toys for their largely decorative armies. They didn’t go to war, except on a couple of occasions when they were brought into western-led coalitions against Iraq.

But all good things – if this was a good thing – come to an end. This week’s controversy over the British and US roles in the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen illustrates that the time when the Gulf arms trade could be conducted without thought of any consequences is over.

Finally, it is also true that there is no strong evidence that Britain or the United States are backing the Saudi Arabian push in Yemen in any full-hearted way.

The indications instead are that both countries think that Yemen is a complicated mess, that Iran’s meddling was not that serious, and that the Gulf states would have been wise to avoid military entanglement. They have probably also concluded that, having nevertheless gone in, the Gulf states are running their campaign in a way that is both brutal and counterproductive.

But this doesn’t alter the fact that Britain seems to be stuck with a supporting role in a bad war.

Comment: As a critique of British politics, this article is much too soft. This article nevertheless states the British-Saudi relations at much too harmless, at least in the past. There are no “good old days” of a better Saudi Arabia. Furtheron, the US and British involvement in the Yemen war is downgraded quite a lot by this article – too much anyway; the US and British engagement for this war is essential. This also is clearly stated in the comments.

29.1.2016 – The Guardian (B P)

UK arms are fuelling Saudi Arabia’s war. Letters to Owen Jones’ article “Britain is at war”

28.1.2016 – The Mirror (* A P)

Ministers block Saudi arms ban despite reports UK weapons are being used in Yemen war

Shadow Foreign Secretary Hilary Benn called for the suspension of sales after the UN said a range of civilian targets had been hit in bombing raids Ministers rejected calls for a ban on arms sales to Saudi Arabia despite reports British weapons were being used to kill innocent women and children in Yemen.

Hilary Benn called for an immediate suspension of arms sales in the light of the United Nations report.

The Shadow Foreign Secretary said the UN panel had found evidence that Saudi bombing raids had targeted “weddings, residential areas, schools, mosques, markets and factories.”

But Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood refused to confirm the report, even though he had a copy, as it was leaked – by Jason Bettie

28.1.2016 – Sputnik News (A P)

Großbritannien: Ärger um Spionagegeräte für Saudi-Arabien

Die britische Regierung stellt britischen Firmen Genehmigungen zum Verkauf von Überwachungsgeräten in mehrere Länder aus, darunter auch Saudi-Arabien und Ägypten, berichtet die Zeitung „The Independent“ unter Berufung auf eine Liste von Exportlizenzen der Behörde.

Die erhaltenen Informationen zeigen, dass Großbritannien Geräte und Software verschickt, die zum Abhören von Telefonaten sowie zum Hacken von Anlagen genutzt werden können. Die Zeitung schreibt, dass die britischen Behörden die Lizenz für den Export „von Software für Eingriffe“ ausstellen, mit der die Benutzer in die elektronischen Geräte „hineinschauen“ und sie kontrollieren können.

Wie „The Independent“ betont, können die Vorrichtungen für die Datenerfassung aus Großbritannien in Ländern verwendet werden, die London wegen Menschenrechtsverletzungen verurteilt.

27.1.2016 – The Independent (A P)

Government has been allowing UK firms to sell invasive spying equipment to countries including Saudi Arabia, records show

The licenses include tools that can listen in on an entire country's internet network, and others that can pinpoint and tune into phone calls

The Government is licensing the sale of invasive surveillance equipment from the UK to repressive and dangerous states, The Independent can reveal.

New records show that the UK is sending equipment to countries including Saudi Arabia and Egypt. The tools can be used to intercept private phone messages and hack into devices – and appear to be being used in countries that the UK has condemned for human rights abuses.

29.1.2016 – Mint Press News ( B P)

Profits Over Rights As UK Sells Spy Gear To Repressive Regimes

'What’s needed is that human rights considerations take precedence over financial incentives and security relationships.'

27.1.2015 – The Independent (A P)

Cameron refuses to launch inquiry into arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Speaking at PMQs, David Cameron said: 'We have the strictest rules for arms exports [of] almost any country anywhere in the world

David Cameron has refused to launch an inquiry into British arms sales to Saudi Arabia, saying arms exports are "carefully controlled".

Speaking at Prime Minister's Questions, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the Prime Minister to launch an inquiry into arms exports to Saudi Arabia in light of the report's conclusions, and to suspend arms sales until the review had concluded.

Mr Cameron replied: "As the Right Honourable gentleman knows, we have the strictest rules for arms exports [of] almost any country anywhere in the world.

"And let me remind him we are not a member of the Saudi-led coalition, we are not directly involved in the Saudi-led coalition's operations. British personnel are not involved in carrying out strikes.

Promising to look into the report, he added: "But our arms exports are carefully controlled and we are backing the legitimate government of the Yemen, not least because terrorist attacks planned in the Yemen would have a direct affect on people in our country.

"I refuse to run a foreign policy by press release, which is what he wants, I want a foreign policy which is in the interests of the British people." – by Samuel Osborne

24.1.2016 – Herald Scotland (A P)

SNP demand end to UK arms sales helping Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen

THE SNP has demanded a halt to the sale of UK weapons to Saudi Arabia amid growing concern they are killing thousands of civilians in the war-torn gulf state of Yemen.

Deutschland / Germany

30.1.2016 – DPA (A P)

Steinmeier will im Iran und in Saudi-Arabien für Vertrauen werben

Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) will sich auf seiner am Dienstag beginnenden Reise in den Mittleren Osten um Entspannung im Konflikt zwischen dem Iran und Saudi-Arabien bemühen. Jede neue Eskalation zwischen Teheran und Riad mache die Suche nach Lösungen noch schwieriger, erklärte der SPD-Politiker vor seiner Reise in den Iran und nach Saudi-Arabien.

Überall in der Region des Nahen und Mittleren Ostens seien Krisen und blutige Konflikte untrennbar verknüpft mit der tiefen Kluft zwischen Schiiten und Sunniten, sagte der Minister. Er bezog sich auf das Ringen um Vorherrschaft in der Region zwischen dem sunnitischen Saudi-Arabien und dem schiitischen Iran.

Italien / Italy

28.1.2016 – La Repubblica (A P)

Bombe italiane verso l'Arabia Saudita: un esposto alle Procure per fare chiarezza

Rete Disarmo presenta un esposto in diverse Procure d'Italia per chiedere di indagare sulle spedizioni di bombe dall'Italia all'Arabia, bombe utilizzate nell’attuale, sanguinoso e illecito confitto in Yemen

Nel documento presentato da Rete Disarmo vengono ricostruite le sei spedizioni avvenute nell'arco di pochi mesi e le conseguenti reazioni di politica e società civile, elencando inoltre iniziative legali condotte.

Dall’Italia partono bombe: un ingente carico è partito due settimane fa dall’aeroporto di Cagliari, con destinazione la base dell’aeronautica militare saudita di Taif, non lontano dalla Mecca. A partire dall’ottobre scorso due spedizioni sono avvenute via aereo cargo e altre due sono state effettuate imbarcando le bombe ai porti di Olbia e Cagliari. Gli ordigni sono prodotti dalla RWM Italia, azienda tedesca del gruppo Rheinmetall, con sede legale a Ghedi (Brescia) e stabilimento a Domunovas (Carbonia-Iglesias) in Sardegna.

In Italia, una legge c’è e, in questo come in altri casi, sulla carta è perfetta, ma non viene rispettata. La Legge 185 del 1990 vieta l’esportazione, il transito, il trasferimento intracomunitario e l’intermediazione di materiali di armamento “verso paesi in stato di conflitto armato, in contrasto con i principi dell’articolo 51 della Carta delle Nazioni Unite, fatto salvo il rispetto degli obblighi internazionali dell’Italia o le diverse deliberazioni del Consiglio dei Ministri, da adottare previo parere delle Camere”. (art. 1.c 6a) e “verso paesi la cui politica contrasti con i principi dell’articolo 11 della Costituzione” (art.1.c 6b).


28.1.2016 – Globe and Mail (A P)

Liberals committed to Saudi arms deal even after concerning UN report, Dion says

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion said the Liberal government remains committed to a contract to sell $15-billion in weaponized armored vehicles to Saudi Arabia even in the face of a new UN report documenting human-rights violations by a Saudi-led bombing campaign in Yemen.

Mr. Dion said the Liberal policy on the sale of weaponized armoured vehicles remains unchanged. Ottawa brokered this deal and is the prime contractor to supply Saudi Arabia’s national guard.

“We respect the contract,” he told reporters Thursday morning after a speech in Ottawa.

For the export permits, the minister of foreign affairs will look at if these [light armored vehicles] are well used,” the cabinet minister said.

Mr. Dion appears to be saying that if there’s no risk the Saudis will use the combat vehicles in Yemen, then the findings of Riyadh’s conduct there are of no interest to him.

But Canada’s export control regime imposes other obligations as well. It also requires Ottawa to regulate the flow of arms to countries “that are involved in, or under imminent threat of hostilities.”

Söldner / Mercenaries

29.1.2016 – War Policy Catalogue (* B K)

Mercenaries of the Saudi-led Yemen intervention

The Gulf states are known for having plenty of money to throw into expensive equipment, but don’t have personnel of the same caliber. As an armies competency begins with leadership, we will start there. A key group within the coalitions ground forces have been the United Arab Emirate's Presidential Guard, who've seen action on the ground since the 4th of May 2015. At the head of the UAE's Presidential Guard sits Mike Hindmarsh, an Australian citizen who previously commanded various elite units of the Australian Army. Favouring a bigger pay cheque and the tax free haven of Abu Dhabi, Hindmarsh gave up his position in the Australian Army to command one of several forces currently engaged in the Yemen Civil War. It is also believed many other foreign former military personnel hold mentoring positions within the Presidential Guard. While it is not known exactly how many are Australian, it is believed they make up a significant portion. Only several weeks ago, it was reported an Australian advisor was killed alongside the troops under his command in Yemen.

Leadership roles are not the only positions available to mercenaries within the Saudi-led coalition. Five years ago Erik Prince, founder of the infamous group formerly known as Blackwater, kicked off the UAE's 'Reflex Responses Force', a program dedicated to developing a mercenary ground force. The soldiers of this private army consist of Latino men, primarily Colombians, tired of sub par weapons and sub par pay back in their home countries, opting for better conditions and the much better pay the UAE can offer them. Why Colombians? Most likely because of their invaluable experience fighting FARC rebels back home and their willingness to fight on a lower salary than Western PMC's(Private Military Contractors). Numbers are sketchy, but reports indicate approximately 450 South Americans have been sent to the Yemen front lines so far – by Mark Lewek

28.1.2016 – AH Tribune (* B K)

The ‘Academi’ in Yemen: 400 Blackwater persons fighting with Saudi-Led forces

In the Persian Gulf impoverished country that has been struck by a Saudi-led war since March 2015, around 400 Blackwater persons have joined the lines of the Saudi-led forces, reported sources.

[Overview to a fact already often referred to here]

Flüchtlinge / Refugees

1.1.2016 – International Organization for Migration, UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Yemen Situation: Regional Refugee and Migrant Response - Population movements out of Yemen | As of 01 January 2016 (Map)


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

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, who are fighting the Yemeni government in the brutal civil war. “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.”

Comment: A quite ridiculous “new theory” on Yemen. Oddcourse, Houthis had done a lot of artillery shelling, at places they fought and tried to take, like Aden and Taiz. But at Saada? At Sanaa? At Hajji? At Mokha? At remote mountain villages?? And, and? For shooting some photos and putting a 2 min. film on Youtube that will be looked by 300 people within a month? How crazy this minister really is? And: “We are aware” of that. What does he want to express by “aware”? There is no “aware”, just a minister who begins to get crazy when there is more evidence that his politics is criminal.

28.1.2016 – BBC Newsnight

Were civilians targeted in Yemen? @Kirstywark asks Saudi UN ambassador Abdallah al-Mouallimi

Saudischer Luftkrieg / Saudi aerial war

31.1.2016 – The Daily Observer (A K)

32 killed in Yemeni coalition airstrikes

Airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition targeting Yemen's Shiite rebels killed over 32 people overnight including at least eight civilians in the capital, Sanaa, officials said on Saturday.

The airstrikes appeared to target a rebel camp and factories producing food and plastic in northern and western Sanaa, the security and medical officials said.

30.1.2016 – Albawaba (A K PH)

Airstrikes demolish community college in Yemen

On Friday, the Saudi-led coalition warplanes destroyed the community college in Bani Hoshish district of Sanaa provinceThe hostile war jets waged eight raids on the college in Saref area, which led to destroying it completely, a security official explained to Saba.

The community college started operation in 2001, to provide Yemenis with technical and vocational training, according to their website.

29.1.2016 – Saba News (A K PH)

Saudi airstrikes kill 14 people in Sa'ada

At least 14 people were killed in Saudi bombings on a citizen's house in al-Malih village in Haidan district of Sa'ada province.

A local official explained that the aggression targeted Mohamed Hasan Awshan's house in Dhuwaib area in the province, killing 14 people and destroying the house. and another strike:

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

30.1.2015 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

25 pro-Saudi mercenaries killed in Yemen’s Ma'rib

Fighters of Yemen’s Houthi Ansarullah movement and military units have killed more than two dozen mercenaries fighting for Saudi Arabia in Yemen.

Yemen’s al-Masirah TV said on its twitter account on Saturday that at least 25 mercenaries were killed after the allied Yemeni forces launched an offensive on their positions in Jad’an region of the northern province of Ma’rib.

Masirah said the mercenaries were killed while advancing along a road to the northern province of Jawf, adding that Saudi Arabian warplanes conducted more than 100 airstrikes in the area to facilitate the advance of the ground forces.

The Houthis and allies also continued to carry out attacks against military positions south of Saudi Arabia, with reports saying that gatherings of Saudi soldiers were targeted east of the city of al-Rabuah in the province of Asir. There was no immediate claim by Yemenis of inflicting casualties on the Saudis during the operation.

Attacks were also launched on Saudi positions in Jizan where a number of soldiers were reportedly killed in al-Qawiyah and al-Dokhan regions.

The Yemeni forces also targeted Saudi bases in Alib and Haras al-Hodud regions in Najran Province, Masirah said.

30.1.2016 – Alalam (A K PH)

Saudi Arabian Mercenary Commander Killed in Ma’rib in Yemen + VIDEO

Yemeni army soldiers, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have thwarted an offensive by Saudi-backed militiamen on Yemen’s central province of Ma’rib, killing and injuring several of the extremists, including a commander.

A military source, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said militiamen loyal to fugitive former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi carried out an attack on the Jad’an district of the province, located 250 kilometers (150 miles) east of the capital, Sana’a, on Saturday, Yemen’s official Saba Net news agency reported.

Yemeni soldiers and allied forces, however, repelled the assault, leaving an unspecified number of the Saudi mercenaries dead or injured.

The source said that a militia commander, identified as Ahmed al-Doudhi, sustained injuries during the heavy fighting and later died.

30.1.2016 – The National AE (A K PS)

Fighting rages in Taez province amid major offensive to drive out 30,000 rebels

Fighting raged across Taez province on Friday, a day after Yemeni pro-government soldiers and resistance fighters launched a major offensive to drive out tens of thousands of Houthi rebels and allied fighters.

Resistance leader Hamoud Al Mikhlafi, who is leading the offensive, toldThe National that the first aim of the campaign was to break the rebels’ siege on parts of Taez city, the provincial capital.

“I call on [pro-government fighters] to target the Houthis fiercely on all fronts in the province” to prevent the rebels from sending all of their fighters to uphold the siege on Taez city, he said.

This plan involves breaking the siege from one entrance point to the city, he said, declining to provide further details for security reasons.

Mr Al Mikhlafi said pro-government forces taking part in the Taez offensive numbered between 10,000 and 15,000 in addition to hundreds of fighters who only graduated from training at Al Anad airbase in Lahj province on Thursday.

Pro-government ground forces are being backed by coalition air strikes.

Houthi rebels and allied fighters in Taez province currently number more than 30,000, Mr Al Mikhlafi said. Thousands have arrived from other provinces in recent months as reinforcement – by Mohammed Al Qalisi

29.1.2016 – Sudan Times (A K PS)

First Sudanese soldier dies in Yemen

29.1.2016 – Almasdar News (A K PH)

Houthis seize over 100 Saudi-led Coalition missiles in western Yemen

On Thursday morning, the Houthis raided a weapons warehouse inside the city of Beit Al-Faqih that belonged to the Saudi-led Coalition forces, seizing over 100 over-the-should missiles and a large stockpile of automatic rifles. According to the footage released by the Houthis, the weapons warehouse was stocked with several missiles of different varieties that belonged to the enemy forces operating along the vast Mocha Coast of Yemen. The city of Beit Al-Faqih is located along the Mocha Coast of western Yemen; it is known for its rich history and large quantity of coffee that is traded from its ports – by Leith Fadel

29.1.2016 – Saudi Gazette (A K PS)

Four injured in Samta in cross-border shelling from Yemen

The Civil Defense received two reports on shells fired from Yemeni territories landing in Samta governorate on Thursday morning, injuring four people – one Saudi and four expatriates.

29.1.2016 – Almasdar (A K PH)

Saudi Army suffers humiliating defeat to Yemeni Forces in Jizan Province

The Saudi Royal Army suffered a humiliating defeat inside their own country at the hands of the Yemeni Army’s Republican Guard and the Houthis on Thursday, as the latter captured the strategic mountains of Jabal Al-Dood in southern Saudi Arabia. According to Al-Masdar’s Yemen War correspondent Tony Toh (@TonyTohcy), the Yemeni forces imposed full control over Jabal Al-Dood during a large-scale military operation in the Jizan Province of southern Saudi Arabia, marking another major defeat for the Saudi-led Coalition. In addition to losing Jabal Al-Dood on Thursday, the Saudi-led Coalition forces also surrendered dozens of military personnel and a large cache of weapons to the Yemeni Army and the Houthis. – by Leith Fadel

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-93: / Yemen Press Reader 1-93: oder / or

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

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