Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 96

Yemen Press Reader 96: Hintergrundartikel zu Huthis und südl. Separatisten - Gallup-Umfrage - Reise nach Saada - Wassermangel - Bettelnde Kinder - Waffenhandel - Moderne Bomben - Luftangriffe

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Schwerpunkte / Key aspects

Klassifizierung / Classification

Am wichtigsten / Most important

Allgemein / General

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

Kulturerbe / Cultural heritage

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

Spanien / Spain



Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Flüchtlinge / Refugees

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

Am wichtigsten / Most important

29.1.2016 – Gallup (** B H)

Yemenis Divided Politically, United in Misery

Suffering jumps from 27% to 41% in one year

45% have lost their main source of household income

41% finding it very difficult to get by on their present income

The percentage of Yemenis rating their lives poorly enough to be considered "suffering" has always been at least twice the global average every year. But in 2015, suffering jumped 14 percentage points to 41%, both a high for Yemen and one of the highest rates in the world last year.

The percentage of Yemenis finding it either very difficult or difficult to get by on their present household income levels also leaped in 2015. The desperation is most obvious in the increase in the number who are finding it very difficult to get by, which jumped from 24% to 41% in the same period.

This situation has made Yemenis increasingly reliant on one another and support from outside their country. Yemenis who say that their household received financial help from within or outside Yemen, or both, is up from 20% in 2014 to 30% in 2015. About one in 10 Yemenis say that they have had to rely on another outside household for food and other basic goods, and a similar percentage say the financial help they used to get before the war has been cut off.

The conflict also has driven many Yemenis from their homes and left them with nothing to go back to. Gallup selected all areas of the country for this survey initially at random, without prior knowledge of whether an area was accessible for research. Once in the field, Gallup had to replace 29% of the initially selected areas because they were either inaccessible or mostly destroyed. Even in the areas where interviewers could work, 11% of adults reported that the civil war had damaged or destroyed their homes. The full extent of the displacement is difficult to discern, but 17% of Yemenis reported that the war had displaced them from one part of the country to another – by Jihad Fakhreddine

28.1.2016 – UNICEF (** B H K)

My journey to Yemen’s battle zones

As a UNICEF Immunization Specialist in Yemen, I was recently sent to Sa’ada, an area (or Governorate) already devastated by internal wars since 2004, further deteriorated by the ongoing conflict since March 2015 – the worst recorded in the region’s history. Government offices, religious institutions, residences and schools have all been indiscriminately targeted by the warring groups. I was one of a very few who got an opportunity see the war and its ruins up close and in critical detail. The sights I have seen are not bedtime stories and have left me in deep anguish.

Day 3
0830: We started early for the Al Jamhori hospital, only to find a sea of humanity rushing in and out of the main gate. We were told that this was one of the best referral hospitals in Sa’ada. Clearly this was true. It was heart-breaking to see so many malnourished children in one place. It appeared at first glance that almost every child in Sa’ada was malnourished. Most of them had not received vaccinations yet. For some, I could tell, it might be too late.

1015: We all had to brace and find cover as sounds of an explosion struck very near the hospital. Soon ambulances started bringing in patients injured in the airstrikes. In seconds, every bed in the emergency ward was filled with battered and injured people. The sights that greeted me in the next half hour are indescribable. Panic had gripped the relatives of those injured. There were blood-soaked faces everywhere.

Day 4 |
0830: We left early for Haydan in a UNHCR vehicle. A mountainous stretch and then we passed through the best and most expensive orchards of Khat, in Yemen.

1030: At Haydan, the locals were so afraid of becoming airstrike targets that they requested we hide the vehicle. The Director of the hospital welcomed us and we toured some of the hospital. Emergency and immunization services were only operational in some bigger hospitals. We met 2 midwives who informed us that women had stopped coming for delivery, fearing an airstrike.

1200: The staff showed us underground areas covered with sand which they had built to protect themselves during attacks. These were part bunker/part tunnel from which they conducted deliveries to parts of the hospital. Children were being vaccinated, but not to all necessary standards.

1255: On our way back to our hidden vehicles, we were shown a house which had been hit by an air strike yesterday, killing 2 adults and 10 children, with 2 more seriously injured children in the hospital. Haydan was leaving me with an eerie sensation of déjà vu. One hospital, with too many victims, too little aid and no clear resolution in sight.

Day 6

0900: Due to the increased fighting, our security officer ensured that we left safely at 0900 hours.

As we passed the final checkpoint of Sa’ana, my thoughts lingered on the desperate situation of the IDPs and the children we had found lining the hospital hallways at Haydan yesterday, and many like them with even worse fates.

Today, only 5-7 percent of pregnant and women in need of medical attention have received vaccination against tetanus. Malnutrition is rampant and severe in most of the areas along my journey. Since March 2015, international staff movement in and out of Sa’ada has been completely stopped. On this return to Sa’ada I was keen to get a grasp on the reality of the new situation. My task was cut out for me. Sa’ada’s infrastructure is crippled, coupled with a shortage of human resources, no electricity with a strong dependence on fuel and a lack of access to basic health services, especially vaccination for infants, have simply multiplied the problems for its inhabitants.

Out of 143 health facilities, only 55 (38 percent) are functional. Safe access to quality health services has been completely paralysed. Schools in the entire area remain closed. Hundreds of thousands are displaced from their homes. Even as I returned to Sana’a, I was sent very disturbing news that Haydan rural hospital had been badly damaged in an air strike following our visit. It had been the last standing and functional edifice providing much needed psychological and medical care facilities to women and children in the area. It was almost as if this news had pulled down the curtains on the last glimmer of hope for all those who had a chance for vaccinations and health care in Sa’ada.

It may already be too late for many a malnourished child here, but I am hopeful that UNICEF will find resources and networks to rebuild a mobile health care centre in the area for the survival of children and mothers in the coming days of conflict – by Bilal Ahmed

2014 – Islamopedia (** B C K P)

The Houthis

The Houthis remain a group difficult to definitively characterize as military, religious, or political in nature, especially since the 2011 revolution and subsequent peace talks. The Houthis as a political entity can be traced to a Zaydi cultural advocacy group called the Faithful Youth (al-Shabab al-Mu’min) that came to prominence in the early 1990s in the aftermath of Yemen’s unification (Freeman, 2009). They took the name “Houthi” after the 2004 assassination of their first leader,Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi, whose brother Abdul Malik al-Houthi leads the group today. These two prominent al-Houthis are the sons of Sheikh Badr al-Din al-Houthi, the Houthi spiritual leader and prominent Zaydi1 cleric who helped found and then shunned Hizb al-Haqq, the mainstream Zaydi political party of the newly-united Yemen in the 1990s, in dissatisfaction with its policies of cooperation with the GPC regime and compromise on Zaydi principles (Haykel, 1999, p. 199).

Seven phases of armed conflict between the Houthis and the central government took place between 2004 and a 2010 ceasefire, resulting in some 299,000 internally displaced persons in the north, including 7,000 living in the UNHCR Mazriq camp near Sa’ada. These clashes, known collectively as the Sa’ada Wars, were originally sparked by a governmental attempt to arrest Hussein Badr al-Din al-Houthi, although other factors, such as regional underdevelopment and anger at government policies on the domestic and international level, contributed to bringing the conflict to the point of violence. Since then, the Houthi motivation behind armed conflict boiled down to simple dissatisfaction with and defense against the centralized Saleh government (Boucek, 2010, p. 4). Government officials, however, maintain that the conflicts are rooted in class conflict and a struggle between modern Zaydis (like Saleh) and their more traditional counterparts as exemplified by the Houthi family. As mercenaries from other tribes were introduced as pro-government forces in 2007, the conflict took on an inter-tribal character as well (Clark, 2010, p. 247, 251). In 2009, the Yemeni government embarked upon what they termed Operation Scorched Earth, an offensive which was meant by Saleh to crush the Houthis for good, but which instead incurred high levels of collateral damage and drew allegations of American and Saudi involvement in combat (Boucek, 2010, p. 9). The latter accusation was later supported by cables made public in the Wikileaks scandal.

Comment: Very long and fine article. Please read in full at original site.

Comment: This is a great article about the Houthis in Yemen; it was written before the current war, and is well worth a read if people want to know more about this movement - it's one of the best articles on the Houthi movement that I have read.

2014 – Islamopedia (** B C P)

The Hirak Movement

The Southern Mobility Movement, known more simply as al-Hirak (“the Movement”), advocates for a return of the independence of south Yemen, although the movement lacks a cohesive vision of what such a return might look like. Rooted in the complexities and disappointments of unity in 1990 and the aftermath of the civil war of 1994, Hirak took its current form in 2007 through the protest movement of retired army officers and civilian workers who sought restitution for their service and/or to be reinstated to their former positions. This movement broadened into a general nonviolent call for reform by the northern-based government, centering around demands for local autonomy, equal access to resources, and equal treatment under the law (Alley, p. 78).

Although the Yemeni government and media often feature Hirak supporters as violent secessionists, Hirak has held to its nonviolent principles with remarkable persistence. The early ex-military protests in 2007 manifested in rallies and sit-ins. Later in the same year, hundreds of thousands of southerners showed their support for the movement by marching in the funerary parade for four men killed by government security forces and, by 2009, peaceful protests and marches took place on a regular basis, often featuring the pre-unity southern flag (Terrill, p. 28).

However, government forces responded to the southern dissent with no such restraint, answering peaceful protests and chants with live ammunition, arbitrary detention, and even denial of medical care to the wounded, as documented at length by Human Rights Watch. More recently, mounting frustration since 2009 and the reintroduction of leaders formerly in exile has led to a hardening of the Hirak position and the possibility of the use of violence by the supporters of southern independence. In a July 2012 interview, returned leader Ali Muhammad Ahmed asserted that nonviolence continued to be the best and chosen strategy of Hirak, but that other avenues might be pursued if nonviolence were to be found unfeasible. Ahmed also outlined the possibility of “ally[ing] with the devil to achieve our independence” if nonviolence proves a dead end.

In February 2012, Hirak opposition to participation in the one-party election of Abd Rabbo Mansur Hadi manifested in violence in voting centers throughout the southern provinces.

Sentiment in the south is divided over the question of federalism, as hundreds of protestors associated with Hirak marched in June 2012 rejecting the option and calling for complete separation. Because of Hirak’s boycotting of the national dialogue process, especially that of its secessionist elements, conference organizers have attempted to compensate by inviting other southern representatives and emphasizing Pres. Mansour Hadi’s southern roots (Sharqieh, p. 19).

Comment: Very long and fine article. Please read in full at original site.

Allgemein / General

Siehe auch “Am wichtigsten" / See also “Most important”

1.2.2016 – Matthew M. Aid (B K)

Civil War in Yemen Now Stuck in a Stalemate But Bloodbath Continues

Iran is suffering a rare defeat in Yemen but the Saudi led coalition is unable to achieve a complete victory. The problem is that the Shia rebels are too effective as fighters, especially in the northern mountains they come from, for the Saudis to win at an acceptable (in terms of their own casualties) cost. Whenever or however this war ends there will be some unpleasant side-effects. For one thing the Saudis will still have a needy (of Arab oil state charity) southern neighbor. Then there is the Islamic terrorist terrorist sanctuary angle. The chaos since 2011 has made Yemen a suitable hideout for a growing number of Islamic terrorists.

Iran understands that Yemen is far more important to the Gulf Arabs than to Iran. Moreover the Yemeni Shia have never been dependent on Iran like those in Lebanon (Hezbollah), Iraq (Shia Arabs are a majority) or Syria (the Assad government).

This complex web of opportunities and capabilities means Yemen is basically a sideshow where winning is not the highest priority for Iran or Arabs. Both the Arabs and Iran have an interest in shutting down the Sunni Islamic terrorists in Yemen because these cutthroats see both Arab rulers and Shia in general as prime candidates for elimination. But the Iran/Arab animosity also makes it difficult to even meet for peace talks.

Both Iran and the Arabs are accusing each other of deliberately hurting civilians. All these accusations are correct. The Arabs control the air and bomb anything they suspect is a military target regardless of how many civilians might be hurt. The Shia rebels do the same on the ground with gunfire, grenades, artillery and rockets. Both sides deliberately block food supplies for civilians who support the other side. All this nasty behavior are actually ancient military practices that never seem to go away – by Matthew M. Aid

Comment: Some good thoughts in this article, which – as many – overstresses the role of Iran in Yemen. Thus, already the first sentence is wrong: That could not be Iran who is defeated in Yemen. There are Yemenis fighting against the Saudi coalition, no Iranians. – A Saudi victory is far from reach up to now. – The Assad government in Syria is not Shia at all, but Alawite.

1.2.2016 – Buzzfeed (* A K)

A Boy In Yemen Was Handed A Camera And The Results Will Break Your Heart

Yemen recently provided a camera to a 12-year-old boy named Abdullah to document what the war has done to his city and his friends. The results, provided exclusively to BuzzFeed News, capture the devastation wrought on the country (Photos)

1.2.2016 – London School of Economics Blog (* B P)

Yemen’s Shifting Alliances: The Triumph of Pragmatism

In Yemen, alliances are primarily driven by pragmatic interests of power politics, rather than ideological convergences: the enduring multi-layered conflict has enhanced this trend.

Since January 2015, two factions have been fighting for power in Yemen: the army, predominantly supported by Sunni tribes and the Houthis, backed by segments of the army still loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh. In March 2015 on, the Arab Sunni coalition led by Saudi Arabia started its military intervention to ‘restore legitimate institutions’ (starting airstrikes, followed by ground forces too). Iran is the main external sponsor of the Houthis, seeking to empower local insurgency along Saudi’s borders.

The General People’s Congress (GPC), Saleh’s political umbrella, and Ansarullah, the Houthis’ political and military movement, are now strange allies. Between 2004 and 2010, Saleh fought six battles against the Zaydi Shi’a revivalists in their northern fiefdom of Saada,

Notwithstanding past animosity, the ‘marriage of convenience’ between the GPC and Ansarullah is now taking place: both aim to undermine the transitional balance of power headed by interim president Abd Rabu Mansour Hadi (former Vice President) and the Islah party, which encompasses local Muslim Brothers and Salafis. The GPC opposed Hadi’s attempts of security sector reform and Ansarullah has always rejected the suggested federal reform.

Because of the GPC-Ansarullah alignment, the former President has now become Saudi Arabia’s enemy: Riyadh sustains transitional institutions, labelling the Houthis as Iranian proxies.

Due to the Houthis’ showdown, Saudi Arabia has recalibrated its Yemeni alliances: under King Salman’s rule, the first foreign policy objective has become the indirect confrontation with Tehran on a regional basis, as the execution of the Saudi Shi’a cleric Nimr Al-Nimr has reaffirmed. This is why Riyadh recomposed in 2014-15 the intra-Sunni rift with Qatar to fully support the Islah party and its powerful Muslim Brothers’ wing, which enjoys wide support within Sunni tribes. This helped Saudi-led military intervention to counterbalance the Houthis’ southern penetration, even though the stalemate on the ground continues. The tactical shift risks to open a future political gap with the United Arab Emirates, very committed in the Yemeni war.

Informal alignments are predominantly against ‘someone’ or ‘something’: Hadi’s front (as the Shi’a faction) doesn’t have a shared project on what the future Yemen should look like. The current president and the Islah party would keep the power and continue with the transition process. The Southern Movement and many local tribes, such as the Hadhrami, seek autonomy and/or secession from Sana’a, while Jihadi militias reject the secular vision envisaged by many southern secessionists. As a result, this anti-Huthi galaxy is not able to rule together, as confirmed by Aden’s rising security vacuum. Only Saudis and Iranians can now try to solve a conflict initially generated by domestic grievances: this is the main paradox of the Yemeni war – by Eleonora Ardemagni =

Comment: The Iranian support for the Houthis is often overstressed (also here), as it is little more than political. At a few occasions, the Iranians were able to send weapons to the Houthis – let us imagine 0,05 % of the weapons Saudi Arabia received in the same period. I also doubt whether – as suggested here – the larger part of the Yemeni army is fighting on the side of “president” Hadi. A great part of his labeled Yemeni “army” are tribal and Islah party fighters relabeled as “Yemeni army”.

1.2.2016 – Critical Threats (A K T)

2016 Yemen Crisis Situation Report: February 1

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) now controls the territory it held in 2011 and territory it seized in early 2015. It also is enforcing shari'a in al Mukalla, Hadramawt. Meanwhile, the Islamic State in Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in Yemen may be looking to reassert itself after two months of limited activity.

AQAP is reconstituting control over the cities within the “emirate” it held in 2011-2012. AQAP militants seized control of Azzan city in Shabwah on February 1 after the withdrawal of local tribal militias. Militants set up checkpoints controlling access to the city and occupied the local government buildings.

AQAP continues to enforce extreme shari'a in al Mukalla, Hadramawt, conducting a second stoning as punishment. AQAP publicly stoned a man to death for adultery in al Mukalla on February 1.

ISIS resumed its anti-coalition campaign in Aden and may also be recruiting foreign fighters to support activity in Yemen. ISIS deployed a suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (SVBIED) against the Aden presidential palace on January 28.

A unit loyal to Ali Abdullah Saleh may have defected in Sana'a governorate. An al Houthi Republican Guard detachment of approximately 50 reportedly defected to the coalition-supported popular resistance in Nihm district, Sana’a. The Republican Guard, disbanded during security sector restructuring in Yemen after 2011, is composed of Saleh loyalists and is stationed in and around Sana’a city.

The Saudi-led coalition is doubling down on contesting the al Houthis and securing Aden. The coalition will continue to prioritize efforts against the al Houthi-Saleh movement over countering AQAP to advance the coalition’s objective of establishing a friendly government in Sana’a.

AQAP will continue to consolidate control and expand into new areas in Yemen without resistance from the coalition or the al Houthi-Saleh movement. ISIS maintains a footprint in Yemen and its attacks in Aden will further destabilize the situation – by James Towey

1.2.2016 – Human Rights Watch (* C K P)

Yemen: Events of 2015

[Overview on what happened in 2015]

7.1.2016 – Global Research (* B K P)

Yemen: A US-Orchestrated Holocaust

A new UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (UNHCR) report downplayed the ongoing catastrophe, undercounting civilian casualties since conflict began last March.

It’s likely in the tens of thousands from Saudi terror-bombing heavily populated areas and absence of vital essentials to life. Claiming it’s only 2,800, another 5,200 wounded mocks the unbearable suffering of millions of Yemenis, victims of US imperialism.

The world community remains largely indifferent, ignoring an entire population at risk. Millions may perish before conflict ends. Nothing is being done to prevent it.

Fighting shows no signs of abating. Obama’s orchestrated war complicit with Riyadh is another high crime on his rap sheet, major media scoundrels giving it short shrift.

Famine stalks Yemen, around 20 million at risk, children, the ill and elderly most vulnerable. War without mercy continues.

Secure sources of food, potable water, fuel, electricity and medical care are absent or in too short supply in most of the country – impossible conditions to survive for many.

Malnutrition is rampant, near-starvation commonplace. So are preventable diseases claiming unknown numbers of lives for lack of treatment. Body counts exclude nonviolent deaths.

A phantom mid-December ceasefire ended in the new year. Saudis escalated terror-bombing US selected targets, including densely populated residential areas, hospitals, refugee camps, vital infrastructure and other non-military sites.

A blockade remains in force, preventing vital to life essentials from getting to people in need in amounts enough to matter.

Washington and Riyadh want war, not peace. Ceasefire was more illusion than reality – Houthis irresponsibly blamed for imperial crimes. Yemenis continue suffering horrifically.

Their country is being systematically ravaged and destroyed – increasingly looking like Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria.

US imperialism bears full responsibility, destroying life on earth one country at a time, making things unbearable for survivors – by Stephen Lendman

Comment: Lendman is right; but I think it is not fitting to inflationary reuse the word “holocaust” which is unique in its horror of organized mass killing.

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

2.2.2016 – UNCHR (A H)

Yemen Situation Emergency Response (January - December 2016) Supplementary Appeal 2016 - February 2016

A total of USD 172.2 million in financial requirements for the Yemen Situation, including USD 115.5 million in additional requirements, for the period January - December 2016

The situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate since fighting and violence intensified in late March 2015. Virtually the entire country is affected by the ongoing conflict and humanitarian needs have increased exponentially, resulting in 80 per cent of the population being in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. More than 2.5 million people – around 10 per cent of the total population – are internally displaced as of 30 November 2015.

Prior to the crisis, Yemen was hosting more than 263,900 refugees, the majority from Somalia, who require continued protection and assistance. Notwithstanding the ongoing conflict in Yemen, refugees, asylum-seekers and vulnerable migrants, the majority from Ethiopia and Somalia, have continued to arrive in Yemen in search of protection or to transit onwards to the Arabian Peninsula. In 2015 alone, 92,446 new arrivals reached Yemeni shores.

Alongside internal displacement, people are fleeing the country in considerable numbers. By the end of 2015, more than 99,000 persons of concern from Yemen had been reported in countries in the East and Horn of Africa, mainly in Djibouti, Ethiopia, Somalia, and Sudan, as well as in the Gulf region. As the situation in Yemen continues to deteriorate, and based on recent trends, it is anticipated that movements to the East and Horn of Africa, the Gulf States, and beyond will continue at similar rates in 2016. = and in full =

2.2.2016 – Care (* A H)

Yemen emergency: Finding water amidst the conflict

Nearly a year of intense conflict and bombing has destroyed water pipes, storage tanks and water pumping facilities across Yemen, making it even harder for ordinary people to get enough water each day. According to the United Nations, nearly 20 million of Yemen’s people are now in need of water and sanitation assistance.

CARE is rehabilitating water sources and providing water tanks so women and children do not have to travel long distances to collect water. CARE is also providing hygiene kits and hygiene promotion. These pictures are from Amran, a region just north of the capital Sana’a which has seen fierce fighting during the conflict (with photos)

Comment: The water shortages are quite staggering throughout Yemen. It is so expensive now and the costs prohibitive - I understand that the only way many poor people get water is when Yemeni businessmen join together to provide tankers delivering water for free in the impoverished areas - but they only get the minimum amount to manage.

2.2.2016 – Aljazeera (* A H)

Newborns dying amid siege on Yemeni city

Camel caravans are being used to smuggle medical necessities, including oxygen cylinders, into besieged Taiz.

As the war in Yemen continues to rage, 37 of the 40 hospitals and medical institutions in Taiz, Yemen's second city, have closed. Only the Republican and al-Hikma hospitals have incubators, but because both hospitals usually lack oxygen supplies, the incubators do not work regularly.

"Around 20 oxygen cylinders arrived at the hospital in the last two weeks," Dr Rania Mohammed, the supervisor of the incubators department at the Republican Hospital, told Al Jazeera. "But these cylinders are not enough, as some of the children need to stay in the incubators for several weeks and sometimes for two months, and these cylinders only last for a few days."

Mohammed added that power cuts further complicate the use of the incubators: "The fathers of the newborn children have to bring generators to the hospital to turn the incubators on."

That was the case for Ridhwan al-Ashari, whose wife gave birth at the Republican Hospital on January 13. The child was in dire need of oxygen, and although there were oxygen cylinders in the hospital, there was no fuel for the generator powering the incubator.

"I brought my own generator from my house and I turned the incubator on. But after two days, the oxygen cylinders ran out, and my child needed to stay in the incubator for two months. So after all these efforts I made, my child died," Ashari told Al Jazeera.

Abdul Hakeem al-Ameen, a doctor on the medical committee in Taiz that is responsible for distributing medicine to hospitals, said that 25 people died last month because of the lack of oxygen cylinders in the city, including 13 children. An additional 30 people died in December, he said, most of whom were children.

"There are around 600 patients waiting for surgical operations, and they cannot do them because of the lack of oxygen. So some of those patients may die if they do not do the operation," Ameen told Al Jazeera.

The Houthi rebel group prevents the import of basic commodities, as well as medicine, propane, and oxygen cylinders, to besieged areas of Taiz.

According to Mohammed, the only way oxygen cylinders can be brought in is by smugglers, who carry goods on the backs of camels on a road cutting through the mountains.

But Abdul Kareem Shamsan, the head of the Taiz-based Humanitarian Aid Coalition, a local coalition of aid organisations, said that the oxygen cylinders smuggled into Taiz "only cover less than 15 percent of the total need, and the casualties because of the lack of oxygen cylinders are increasing every day" – by Nasser Al-Sakkaf

31.1.2016 – Human Rights Watch (* A H)

Yemen: Houthis Block Vital Goods into Taizz

Food, Medical Supplies Confiscated from Civilians

Houthi forces have for months restricted food and medical supplies for civilians in Taizz, Yemen’s third-largest city. Confiscating goods necessary for the survival of the civilian population and blocking humanitarian aid are serious violations of international humanitarian law.

Seven Taizz residents described to Human Rights Watch 16 incidents between December 13, 2015 and January 9, 2016, in which Houthi guards at checkpoints prevented civilians from bringing items into the city, including fruit, vegetables, cooking gas, vaccination doses, dialysis treatment packets, and oxygen cylinders, and confiscated some of these items.

“The Houthis are denying necessities to residents of Taizz because they happen to be living in areas that opposition forces control,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East director. “Seizing property from civilians is already unlawful, but taking their food and medical supplies is simply cruel.”

Since at least September, Houthi guards at checkpoints have confiscated water, food, and cooking gas that Taizz residents tried to bring into the neighborhoods controlled by the forces opposed to the Houthis.

International agencies and humanitarian organizations have also had difficulty bringing in food and medicine for the civilian population. In October 2015, Houthi forces confiscated drugs intended for hospitals in central Taizz from three trucks sent by the World Health Organization. The Houthis did not give the Health Ministry offices in Sanaa and Taizz the authorization to provide hospitals and clinics in non-Houthi-controlled areas with additional medical support.

Comment: All sides in this war have been using deprivation of goods essential for life in this dreadful war. There are many areas in Yemen - not just Taiz - where people are starving and deprived of medical care because of the Saudi led blockade, made worse by the destruction of internal food sources and hospitals by the Saudi led coalition. It is ordinary people including women and children who suffer, the militias and fighting forces have the first pick of any food available. Saudi Arabia said it had air dropped 40 tons of humanitarian But food aid into Taiz recently (my question is, why did they not do that before, they were dropping weapons) and FAO said they had delivered food direct to Taiz, and before that food was delivered to a nearby town and the people of Taiz trekked across mountains to fetch it - but at least they got it. And MSF announced that medical goods had also been delivered into Taiz.

1.2.2016 – WAM (A H)

ERC distributes more food aid in Yemen

The Emirates Red Crescent (ERC) has intensified its response to the critical humanitarian conditions in Yemen through provision of more food aid to the victims of the unfolding developments in Yemen.

In a press statement, the ERC said that the assistance is part of the authority's continued efforts to provide basic humanitarian needs and enhance food security in the most affected areas by the current crises.

Comment: Nothing will reach the regions in the North. Stopping the blockade and the bombing would be much more effective.

21.1.2016 – Almasdar News (A K PH)

Saudi Coalition Forces loot humanitarian aid convoys in southern Yemen

On Tuesday, the Saudi-led Coalition forces reportedly looted the humanitarian relief convoy that was on its way to the exhausted families in the Muqbena Directorate of the Ta’iz Governorate. According to several reports from local sources, the Saudi-led Coalition forces intercepted the transport vehicles that were filled humanitarian relief and looted the supplies that were found on-board. The convoy was said to be passing through the village of Alukia in the Ta’iz Governorate before it was stopped.

In addition to the attack on Alukia, another contingent from the Saudi-led Coalition forces looted a humanitarian relief convoy on the way to the village of Al-Afirah in the Muqbena Directorate. The Coalition forces reportedly stole 450 wheat bags that were destined for the Al-Seddiq School in the area of Ajaf.

18.11.2015 – Arab Journalists for Investigative Journalism (** B H)

Sana’a child beggar mafias

Lack of legislation and coordination among authorities combating poverty in Yemen have turned begging into a profitable profession, mostly at the hands of gangs who lure children into the business before they are arrested and released again onto the streets.
Wearing ramshackle clothes, Maha (alias name), a young begger, said: “Please give me ten riyals to feed myself or I’ll die of hunger”. She added: “Have pity on me so I can pay rent…God protect you.”
Hunger too has forced Mohammad, 14, to beg for nearly 11 hours a day. “I’m trying to feed my mother and six sisters, pay rent, and pay for my sick sister’s medicine. This is why I beg. Sometimes I work if I find it”.
Maha and Mohammed are two of nearly 7,000 child beggars in Sana’a and 30,000 across Yemen, according to a study published in 2011.

However, field experts running an anti-beggary program, have put the actual number of child beggars in Sana’a – below 18 years of age- at double the figure mentioned in the above study.

Psychologist Dr. Abir Mohammed Ibrahim called for a radical solution to the exploitation of children in begging and labor after looking at results of the field study.
Dr. Ibrahim said the results are catastrophic in terms of educational trends and stressed that laws to protect children as well as signed international treaties are being broken.
In the absence of government oversight and in light of weak coordination among government agencies, these forgotten street children are left to be exploited and their innocence is sold on the streets of Sana’a in the name of destitution. This highlights the need for reforming and developing legislative and social systems to end the phenomenon of regular begging, which for some has become a career – by Mohammed al-Kawmani

Kulturgüter / Cultural heritage

3.2.2016 – AP (A K)

Rebel shelling destroys museum in Yemen

Shelling by Yemen’s Shiite Houthi rebels in the heavily contested western city of Taiz struck a museum housing rare manuscripts and the possessions of a deceased ruler, activists said Wednesday.

Activist Reham al-Badr, who inspected the National Museum in Taiz, told The Associated Press that Shiite rebels have routinely shelled the district where it is located, which is defended by local fighters.

She said the museum was struck Sunday.

The interior walls of the building were torched black and the museum was filled with rubble and twisted metal.

Al-Badr, who visited the museum earlier Wednesday, said it housed a collection of watches, guns, swords, gifts from foreign visitors and manuscripts belonging to Imam Ahmed, who ruled until the 1960s – by Ahmed Al-Haj = with photos of the important Taiz National Museum destroyed by a Saudi coalition airstrike

Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi government

2.2.2016 – Global Risk Insights (* B C P)

Yemen’s civil war risks southern secession

Yemen’s ongoing civil war is often represented as being purely about control over the country. However, due to historical grievances, much of the South would prefer outright secession. As the war drags on, these secessionists are likely to gain influence, and could cause a return to the pre-1990 world of two Yemens.

Viewing Yemen as a single, indivisible entity overlooks the fact that modern-day Yemen is a very recent creation, and not an extremely popular creation at that. As the civil war continues to destroy the national infrastructure, a return to the pre-1990 world of two Yemens becomes increasingly likely.

A brief history

An unhappy union?

The Southern Movement and the current conflict

With the collapse of much of the Yemeni army, and defection of much of the remainder due to former President Saleh’s declaration of support for the Houthis, Southern Movement fighters have become a key part of President Hadi’s Aden-based coalition. Inspired by the destruction which occurred during the fight over Aden in early 2015, thousands have joined anti-Houthi militias which now play an important role in controlling the port city.

Both Hadi – himself an Aden native – and his supporters in the Saudi coalition have insisted that Yemen should remain country. However, due to the South’s previous experience with union, it is unlikely that many Southerners will accept this. Further, there is no guarantee that Hadi or his foreign backers will actually have a say in peace negotiations. The Houthis’ goals of better governance and accountability are not inherently opposed to the Southern Movement’s goal of freedom from the North. The primary obstacle preventing these two sides from partitioning the country between them is the Southern Movement’s lack of organization.

The secession of the South from the North is no panacea which will fix either states’ many problems. Modern Yemen is a state with many endemic issues; secession would only address one long-standing grievance. Both states would thus face a variety of problems and opportunities.

An independent South Yemen would be far less cohesive, as it lacks the same level of governmental presence and faces current armed rebellion by Al-Qaeda-linked militants in the East. However, it should be noted that this sort of political fragmentation is not especially different from what has happened in this region in the recent past, and it is unlikely that a united Yemen would fare significantly better against these challenges – by Jacob Purcell

Comment: This story which is well understood in Yemen itself is rarely reported outside Yemen. The old North (actually geographically west) and the old South (geographically East) were united into one country in 1990, but it was a hurried merger and the south felt that they had a bad deal almost immediately. They had high hopes for winning the election of 1994 to remedy matters but the rise of Islah (Muslim brotherhood) in Taiz area meant the southern parties did not win seats and the south went to war, aided by Saudi Arabia, to win independence - and lost. Since then many in the south felt they lived 'under occupation' and distrust between the two increased over the passing years. The secessionist movement has been very active since 2007 and their successful campaign to oust the Houthis last year was in effect to rid themselves of northern control. The secessionist movement has gained strength during and since the war. Many ordinary people in the north don't mind if the south becomes independent, but for leaders of Yemen the most productive of the Yemen oil fields are in the South - though these are dwindling - but there are rumours within Arabia - so far unfounded by evidence - of bigger oil reserves under Yemen. That means the northern leaders want to keep the south under their control.


2.2.2016 – The American Conservative (* B P)

The U.S. Should Halt Its Support for the War on Yemen

Emma Ashford once again urges the Obama administration to halt its support for the war on Yemen.

Ashford is absolutely right. I couldn’t agree more that Obama should withdraw the support he’s provided to the Saudis and their allies. The intervention has had predictably disastrous results, and there is growing evidence that the Saudis and their allies are likely guilty of committing crimes against humanity in Yemen. The U.S. should have never had any part in this conflict, and it should stop its involvement immediately. Unfortunately, there is no sign that the administration is interested in doing this.

As Ashford pointed out at our conference last fall, U.S. support for the war on Yemen is one of Washington’s latest misguided attempts to “reassure” the Gulf clients that the U.S. is on their side. U.S. officials keep recommitting the U.S. to this path with their effusive praise of the clients that are inflicting death and devastation on their poorer neighbor. When Secretary Kerry boasts just last month that “we have made it clear that we stand with our friends in Saudi Arabia,” that doesn’t leave any ambiguity about what the U.S. position on this war will continue to be.

Sen. Murphy described this position a bit more in his important speech last week.

As Murphy goes on to say, it is a serious mistake to “blindly back” the Saudis, especially when it means supporting their most destructive behavior. The problem is that Murphy is virtually alone in Congress in his willingness to say so publicly. Halting support for the Saudi-led war is a “no-brainer.” Regrettably, most members of Congress would rather have the U.S. back a failed intervention that is displacing millions and causing near-famine conditions for millions more than risk offending the Saudis and the other Gulf states fighting there. Because of a foolish desire to placate despotic clients, the U.S. has put itself in the absurd position of catering to their whims and subordinating our interests to theirs. That needs to stop, but I fear Obama has no intention of stopping it – by Daniel Larison

1.2.2016 – Progress ME (**B P)

Rethinking Americas Role in Yemen

Yemen is somehow ignored.

I submit that the issue is a racial one, as the ongoing civil war in Yemen does not directly impact white lives as much as it does in countries that are more often discussed. Iraq became a major concern to Americans when the Bush administration managed to convince them that Saddam Hussein al-Tikriti’s regime threatened the West. The American media began to focus on Syria only after the civil war began to seriously affect European countries. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has captured American attention for longer, possibly because Americans tend to think of Jews as white.

American involvement in Yemen, on the other hand, is primarily through funding and drone warfare, and the many other countries and actors that are involved are Arab (or, in Iran’s case, Persian), and not European. There is a reason that the Paris attacks generated global outcry, whereas Boko Haram’s Baga attacks were treated with silence. Discrimination against people of color in the American media is a longstanding and widespread problem — one that impacts not only Americans, but also the victims of American operations all over the world.

Possibly the best known, although still little discussed, way in which the United States is involved in Yemeni affairs is through drone strikes.

Morally, Americans should be outraged at their government’s participation in what has become a massacre.

The United States is instrumental in making Saudi war crimes possible, both through America’s material and financial support for the coalition (most rockets and bombs used in these raids are American), and through intelligence support, on which the coalition is very much dependent. The United States gives the Saudi military feeds from its spy satellites and reconnaissance drones, intelligence that Saudi Arabia then uses to hit civilians. If Saudi Arabia identifies a target with American intelligence and obliterates it with an American bomb, that blood is on American hands as well as Saudi. Incidents of that nature should certainly be of concern to Americans.

Strategically, also, this policy of blind support for the Saudi-led coalition should be reevaluated.

Continued American support for Saudi Arabia in this war sends a message to the new King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud as he tests the waters for a more militaristic, more expansionist foreign policy than that of his predecessor.

American support for the Saudi-led coalition and its war crimes is not only an immoral policy, but also an ineffective one, damaging America’s reputation among Yemenis and emboldening the Saudi government to ignore American interest – by Ben Gladstone


Comment: I like this article but I would add one point about the culpability of the start of hostilities mentioned at the end. Just like everything else in this war it is complex and the culpability depends on where you put 'the beginning'. Certainly the Bakil tribe and Houthi militias had been attacked in their homeland many times which had brutalised them and also made them want to have more say in governing Yemen. Hadi was elected in 2012 as interim President for a two year term, extended by the NDC for one year which had also expired early in 2015. So his claims to legitimacy are tenuous and as he was unpopular in Yemen he knew he would not be re-elected. It was him that would not accept the UN plan accepted by the Houthi representatives for a five man ruling team headed by Hadi until elections could be called, and it was him who fled to Aden - to my mind it was to force the Houthis out of their comfort zone and he knew they would meet with Southern resistance. So to my mind it was a trap that the Houthis fell in to. Benomar resigned his post as UN envoy in protest at Hadi's decision to call in KSA to start bombing his OWN PEOPLE. And the federal plan produced at the end of the NDC was unfair in its allocation to the Houthis, as it was to the south, the two areas with most genuine grievances. I am not excusing Houthi violence but I would add ALL the militias and armies are acting without regard for Yemen and Yemenis in this brutal conflict. As are those who send air to ground missiles into Yemen.

Großbritannien / Great Britain

3.2.2016 – The Guardian (* A P)

MPs call for immediate halt of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia

Kingdom’s military campaign in Yemen also prompts all-party group to urge government to back international inquiry

An all-party group of MPs has called for an immediate suspension of UK arms sales to Saudi Arabia and an international independent inquiry into the kingdom’s military campaign in Yemen.

The call from the international development select committee follows evidence from aid agencies to MPs warning that Saudi Arabia was involved in indiscriminate bombing of its neighbour.

The committee said it was astonished to hear the extent to which the government had watered down calls for an independent inquiry proposed by the Netherlands last September at the UN.

“It is a longstanding principle of the rule of law that inquiries should be independent of those being investigated. Furthermore given the severity of the allegations that the Saudi-backed coalition has targeted civilians in Yemen, it is really unthinkable that any investigation led by coalition actors would come to the conclusion that the allegations were accurate,” the letter said.

It said it was shocked that the UK government could claim there had been no breaches of humanitarian law and had significantly increased arms sales to the Saudis since the start of its intervention in Yemen.

“We received evidence that close to £3bn worth of arms licences have been granted for exports to Saudi in the last six months. This includes £1bn worth of bombs rockets and missiles for the three-month period from July to September last year – up from only £9m in the previous three months,” the MPs said.

The committee said it had heard reliable evidence from humanitarian organisations including the head of Unicef Yemen that the Saudi-led coalition was involved in actions that risked civilian deaths and breached humanitarian law.

“We need an independent, international fact-finding mission to uncover the truth. Until then we should cease selling arms to Saudi Arabia,” said the committee chairman, Stephen Twigg – by Patrick Wintour

On Parliament website:

2.2.2016 – Commons Select Committee (A P)

Call for UK to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia

The Committee is urging the Government to:

Withdraw UK opposition to calls for an independent international inquiry into alleged abuses of international humanitarian law in Yemen. Ministers should do all they can to ensure the creation of such an inquiry.

Suspend all sales of arms to Saudi Arabia until evidence can be provided that the risk of such arms being used in serious violations of international humanitarian law has subsided.

Apply pressure to all parties to the conflict and other international actors to comply with their obligations under international law and to take all possible measures to protect civilians. Humanitarian agencies must be given a safe space in which to operate.

Chair's comments

“There is a clear paradox in the Government’s actions on Yemen. While DFID recently announced another £10million for the humanitarian crisis in the region, the UK is a major supplier of arms to Saudi Arabia.

“The Committee heard concerning evidence from international humanitarian organisations on the ground in Yemen. Last week, a leaked report for the United Nations uncovered ‘widespread and systematic’ attacks which represent violations of international humanitarian law.

“We need to be able to separate these issues. We need an independent, international fact-finding mission to uncover the truth. Until then we should cease selling arms to Saudi Arabia. All parties to this conflict should review their obligations under international law and undertake to put civilians and humanitarian work above other interests.”

Letter of Stephen Twigg here:

3.2.2016 – The Independent (** A P)

Is the Government providing cover for our arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

The Saudi intervention in Yemen’s civil war must prompt us to ask ourselves searching questions about our arms industry

Namely, should the government be promoting, subsidising and providing political cover for the arms industry?

Through the UK Trade and Investment Defence & Security Organisation (UTI-DSO), part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, we pay 160 civil servants to promote British arms across the world. Since 2012, companies have also received assistance from the MoD's Defence Export Support Group. Last November's Strategic Defence and Security Review promised extra support for arms exports. The promotion of arms is also on the agenda of much of the diplomatic outreach work undertaken by the Foreign Office and the Ministry of Defence.

In 2011, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute found that £699m was spent on UK arms subsidies in 2011, through both the DSO and grants to university departments that train weapons engineers. When Labour councils last year backed policies to boycott UK arms sales to Israel, the conservative government proposed laws banning such divestment. Conservative Communities Minister Greg Clarkeven equated such grass roots activism to an apartheid state, adding that it would cost British jobs and “poison”community relations.

Transparency International has calculated that 40 per cent global corruption occurred in the arms trade. Despite David Cameron’s pledge to “break the taboo on talking about corruption”, when British alleged corruption is investigated, the government steps in, quashing investigations to save blushes in both London and Riyadh.

The government routinely claims that Britain has “one of the most robust arms export control regimes in the world” but this has been shown to be manifestly untrue. If the UN, rights groups and the international media are reporting of Saudi Arabian war crimes in Yemen, why has the UK denied only eight out of well over 100 Saudi requests for UK arms? The answer is sadly clear for all: we are making a killing – by Diane Abbott =

27.1.2016 – House of Commons, International Development Committee (A P)

Oral evidence: Crisis in Yemen, HC 532. Questions 1-62

Wednesday 27 January 2016

Members present: Stephen Twigg (Chair); Fiona Bruce; Dr Lisa Cameron; Mrs Helen Grant; Wendy Morton; Albert Owen

Witnesses: Julien Harneis, Head of UNICEF Yemen, Josephine Hutton, Regional Programme Manager, Middle East, Oxfam, Grant Pritchard, Director of Advocacy, Media and Communications on Yemen, Save the Children, and Roy Isbister, Head of Arms Unit, Saferworld, gave evidence. and watch the session:

Deutschland / Germany

3.2.2016 – Spiegel Online (A P)

Nahostreise des Außenministers: Linke kritisiert Steinmeiers Reise in "saudische Kopf-ab-Diktatur"

Außenminister Steinmeier reist von Iran nach Saudi-Arabien weiter und besucht dort auch ein Kulturfest. Die Grünen kritisieren "fröhliche Feste mit Kabinettsmitgliedern". Linken-Fraktionschefin Wagenknecht wird noch deutlicher.

Die Opposition hat den anstehenden Besuch von Außenminister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (SPD) bei einem Kulturfestival in Saudi-Arabien scharf kritisiert. Die Linken-Fraktionschefin Sahra Wagenknecht sprach von einer "moralischen Bankrotterklärung". Steinmeier legitimiere damit die "saudische Kopf-ab-Diktatur".

Die Grünen-Fraktionschefin Katrin Göring-Eckardt sagte, angesichts von Hinrichtungen, massiven Menschenrechtsverletzungen und destruktiver Politik sei Diplomatie zwar wichtig, "fröhliche Feste mit Kabinettsmitgliedern" seien aber nicht angebracht. Steinmeier suggeriere damit eine Normalität im Verhältnis zu Saudi-Arabien, wo es keine Normalität geben könne.

Steinmeier reist am Mittwoch in die saudi-arabische Hauptstadt Riad, wo er an der Eröffnung des Janadriyah-Festivals teilnimmt. Bei dem Kultur- und Folklore-Fest präsentieren sich die 13 Regionen Saudi-Arabiens. Deutschland ist in diesem Jahr als Gastland mit einem Pavillon vertreten.

2.2.2016 – Deutsche Welle (A P)

Steinmeier's Iran-Saudi double-header, a difficult diplomatic drive

Germany's foreign minister is visiting leaders in Iran and Saudi Arabia, but can he achieve or change anything? If nothing else, the opposition hopes Steinmeier will use both stops to raise rights concerns.

Writing for the Welt am Sonntag weekly, Steinmeier had rebutted criticism of his trip to two of the world's more notorious rights abusers and regional rivals, saying that all foreign policy required a degree of tolerance and realism. In Rome, however, he told fellow ministers that he would broach uncomfortable issues on the visit.

"We understand national interests, but there is a national responsibility that goes beyond this, a responsibility for the Middle East region," he said in Rome.

Omid Nouripour, foreign policy spokesman for the Greens in Germany's parliament, told DW in a statement that for Steinmeier to act as an honest broker between the two sides, "equidistance" would be required. "That would include stopping all arms deliveries and loudly addressing rights concerns in both countries," Nouripour said.

Saudi Arabia is a prolific purchaser of German military equipment, while prior to the longstanding international sanctions, which are now being rolled back, Germany was also Iran's largest trading partner.

In Riyadh, Steinmeier will visit the Jeandrivah Heritage and Cultural Festival, with Germany this year's partner country. As if to remind him of the diplomatic difficulties of the moment, the festival includes a display about the civil war in Yemen, in which a Saudi-led coalition intervened in 2015.

"The enhancement of the festival provided by the foreign minister's presence is a false symbol of normalcy, " said Nouripour of the planned appearance, while his colleague in parliament's foreign policy committee, Liebich, stressed that "we're not forgetting Yemen."

Italien / Italy

31.1.2016 – La Famiglia Cristiana (* A P)

Bombe italiane a Riad, esposto dei pacifisti

Presentato alle Procure di Verona, Brescia, Cagliari, Roma e Pisa per chiedere alle autorità di verificare l’eventuale violazione della legge 185 del 1990 che vieta esportazione e transito di armi verso i Paesi in guerra. Secondo l'accusa, con i nostri ordigni l'Arabia Saudita bombarda lo Yemen senza alcun mandato Onu, seminando morte

Armi italiane vengono vendute all’Arabia Saudita che sta bombardando lo Yemen, senza alcun mandato da parte delle Nazioni unite.

Sei le spedizioni documentate, con video e fotografie. La prima risale al 2 maggio 2015, quando sono state esportate armi e munizioni per un valore di oltre 21 milioni di euro e per un peso di circa 16.900 chili. Altri invii sono avvenuti lo scorso 29 ottobre, il 18 e poi il 21 novembre, l’11 dicembre. La spedizione più recente è avvenuta il 16 gennaio. Le bombe sono prodotte dalla Rwm Italia, azienda tedesca del gruppo Rheinmetall con sede legale a Ghedi, in provincia di Brescia, e stabilimento a Domusnovas, in provincia di Carbonia-Iglesias. E proprio in Sardegna, spesso durante la notte, si sono svolte le operazioni di carico e poi di trasporto, via aerea o via mare, verso l’Arabia – da Paola Arosio

Spanien / Spain

2.2.2016 – La Marea (* A K P)

Las armas que Arabia Saudí usa contra civiles en Yemen tienen sello español

Amnistía Internacional asegura que “aviones, municiones, bombas, torpedos y misiles exportados por España” están siendo usados por Arabia Saudí y la coalición que lidera.

España batió en 2015 un nuevo récord de exportaciones militares a Arabia Saudí a pesar de que este país comete crímenes de guerra “de forma sistemática e indiscriminada en Yemen”, tal y como denuncia un informe de Naciones Unidas filtrado por el rotativo británico The Guardian. Según datos de la Secretaría de Estado de Comercio, en la primera mitad de 2015 el Gobierno español autorizó ventas militares al reino saudí por valor de 448 millones de euros, una cifra superior a la de cualquier otro año y que establece un nuevo récord, convirtiendo a Arabia Saudí en el principal destino de las exportaciones de armamento español –25% del total-.

Los torpedos, bombas, misiles, aviones militares y sistemas de dirección de tiro fabricados en España y enviados al reino saudí estarían violando el Tratado sobre Comercio de Armas, así como de la Posición Común de la Unión Europea, la regulación de la OSCE para la venta de armas convencionales y la Ley 53/2007 sobre control del comercio exterior de material de defensa y de doble uso, tal y como denuncian Amnistía Internacional, FundiPau, Oxfam Intermón y Greenpeace en una carta abierta dirigida al gobierno en funciones y a Navantia, que en las próximas semanas espera cerrar un acuerdo de 2.000 millones de euros para suministrar al régimen saudí cinco fragatas militares.

Estas organizaciones señalan que Arabia Saudí y sus socios emplean armamento fabricado en España, Reino Unido y otros países europeos para bombardear sistemáticamente objetivos civiles en Yemen

“Aviones, municiones, bombas, torpedos y misiles exportados por España (…) están siendo utilizadas por las fuerzas armadas saudíes y del resto de países de la coalición encabezada por Arabia Saudí en los ataques aéreos en Yemen”, explica Amnistía Internacional España en su página web. Otras organizaciones advierten de que la venta de cinco fragatas de Navantia a la monarquía saudí podría reforzar el bloqueo de los puertos de Yemen, agravando la crisis humanitaria que vive el país – por José Bautista

Comment: I long waited for that: Spain as well among the European Community countries selling arms to Saudi Arabia for use in the Yemen war. Astonished? No.


1.2.2016 – The Global and Mail (A P)

Ottawa defends arms sales to Kuwait amid UN scrutiny

The Canadian government is defending selling military goods to Kuwait even as a coalition of Arab states is accused in a United Nations report of indiscriminately bombing civilians in Yemen, saying Ottawa values “our close relationship” with the Mideast country.

The Trudeau Liberals are facing pressure to bring public scrutiny to foreign weapons sales as questions grow about military exports to Mideast countries, including a $15-billion sale of combat vehicles to Saudi Arabia and military sales to the Kuwait air force, which supports the Saudi-led coalition bombing Yemen.

Foreign Affairs Minister Stéphane Dion’s department said it has not read a UN report leaked to the media last week that criticized the Saudi-led coalition of Arab states for “widespread and systematic” bombing of civilians in Yemen.

Montreal-based CAE recently built a military flight simulator for the Kuwait Air Force that trains pilots on the KC-130J tanker aircraft, a plane that refuels fighter jets in mid-air. On the same day last week that the UN report on civilian carnage in Yemen made headlines, Canadian officials visited the CAE-built facility at Al Mubarak air base near Kuwait International Airport to talk up defence sales to Kuwait.

Flight simulators for military use are regulated goods under Canada’s arms export control regime.

Asked how it can promote defence sales to Kuwait right now, department of Global Affairs spokeswoman Rachna Mishra said, “Kuwait has been a strategic partner for Canada in the Middle East for over 50 years, and we value our close relationship with them.” – by Stephen Chase

Comment: Britain, Italy,Spain, Canada… The same things everywhere. Don’t touch our holy arm sales! And a minister who confesses making decisions without having read the most important evidence certainly is the wrong man in his place.

31.1.2016 – Press TV Iran (A P)

Canada arms sales to Saudi Arabia outrageous: Activist

Press TV has interviewed Ken Stone, with the Hamilton Coalition to Stop the War from Ontario, on Canada’s weapons sales to Saudi Arabia amid mounting global opposition to the abuse of human rights by the kingdom.

The following is a rough transcription of the interview.

We in the peace movement are outraged by the fact that Canada, the new government of Canada, the Trudeau government, is continuing with this enormous 15 billion dollar arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

In view of the fact that the Canadian government’s own studies have shown that Saudi Arabia has a terrible, abysmal human rights record and is likely to use the weapons that are sold from Canada in illegal operations against other countries and against its own civilians.

These weapons are mostly not Jeeps, that’s how the government tried to get a way selling this to the Canadian people before. These are armored carriers. These are heavily armored and mounted with heavy duty weapons, they are not Jeeps.

And these weapons have already been used by Saudi Arabia to put down the uprising in neighboring Bahrain about three years ago or four years ago during the so-called Arab Spring when the people of Bahrain rose up against the monarch who has ruled the country with an iron fist for a long time.

It seems to us in general in our coalition that this attack by Saudi Arabia on Yemen is a NATO operation that behind the Saudis are the Americans and the British. It’s a function of hypocrisy in the West that Saudi Arabia gets a path for attacking its neighbors and for abusing the rights of its own citizens.

Comment: Ken Stone is right, but it is somewhat funny to read of objections against Saudi Arabia because of its violations of Human Rights on an Iranian website, as in Iran it is not much better at all.


3.2.2016 – European Parliament (A P)

Joint Motion for a Resolution

A. whereas the current crisis in Yemen is the result of a failure by successive governments to meet the legitimate aspirations of the Yemeni people for democracy, economic and social development, stability and security; whereas this failure has created the conditions for an outbreak of violent conflict by failing to establish an inclusive government and fair power‑sharing, and systematically ignoring the country’s many tribal tensions, widespread insecurity and economic paralysis;

B. whereas the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, including the use of internationally banned cluster bombs, has led to a disastrous humanitarian situation that affects the population across the country, has serious implications for the region and constitutes a threat to international peace and security; whereas members of Yemen’s civilian population, already affected by dire living conditions, are the first victims of the current military escalation;

C. whereas Houthi rebels have laid siege to the town of Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, obstructing the delivery of humanitarian aid; whereas, according to Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, some 200 000 civilians trapped there were in dire need of drinking water, food, medical treatment and other life-saving assistance and protection;

G. whereas there are multiple reports that airstrikes by the Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen have hit civilian targets, including hospitals, schools, markets, grain warehouses, ports and a camp for displaced persons, severely damaging essential infrastructure for the delivery of aid and contributing to the severe food and fuel shortages in the country; whereas a hospital in northern Yemen supported by Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) (MSF) was bombed on 10 January 2016, resulting in at least six people being killed, a dozen being injured, including MSF staff, and severe damage to medical facilities; whereas this is the latest in a series of attacks on health facilities; whereas many historic monuments and archaeological sites have also been irreparably damaged or destroyed, including parts of the Old City of Sana’a, a UNESCO World Heritage site;

H. whereas, owing to reduced port capacity and the congestion resulting from damaged infrastructure and facilities, only 15 % of the pre-crisis volume of fuel imports is getting through to the country; whereas, according to the Food and Agriculture Organisation Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC), eight governorates are currently classified at emergency level for food security, namely Sa’ada, Hajjah, Hodeida, Taiz, Al‑Dhale, Lahj, Abyan and Hadramaut;

I. whereas, according to Save the Children, hospitals in at least 18 of the country’s 22 governorates have been closed as a result of, or severely affected by, the fighting or the lack of fuel; whereas, in particular, 153 health centres that previously supplied nutrition to more than 450 000 at-risk children have closed down, together with 158 outpatient clinics responsible for providing basic healthcare to nearly half a million children under the age of five;

N. whereas some EU Member States have continued to authorise transfers of weapons and related items to Saudi Arabia since the war started; whereas such transfers are in violation of Common Position 2008/944/CFSP on arms export control, which explicitly rules out the authorising of arms licences by Member States if there is a clear risk that the military technology or equipment to be exported might be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law and to undermine regional peace, security and stability;

1. Expresses grave concern at the alarming deterioration of the humanitarian situation in Yemen, which is characterised by widespread food insecurity and severe malnutrition, indiscriminate attacks against civilians and medical and aid workers, the destruction of civilian and medical infrastructure as a result of the pre-existing domestic conflict, the intensification of airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition, ground fighting and shelling, despite repeated calls for a renewed cessation of hostilities; deeply regrets the loss of life caused by the conflict and the suffering of those caught up in the fighting, and expresses its condolences to the families of the victims; reaffirms its commitment to continuing to support Yemen and the Yemeni people;

2. Expresses grave concern at the airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition and the naval blockade it has imposed on Yemen, which have led to thousands of deaths, have further destabilised Yemen, are destroying the country’s physical infrastructure, have created instability which has been exploited by terrorist and extremist organisations such as ISIS/Daesh and AQAP, and have exacerbated an already critical humanitarian situation; strongly condemns, also, the destabilising and violent actions taken by the Houthis, including the siege of the city of Taiz, which has also had disastrous humanitarian consequences for its inhabitants;

Waffenhandel / Arms trade

Siehe hierüber: Italien, Spanien, Kanada / See above: Italy, Spain, Canada

2.2.2016 – Die Welt (** B P)

So viel Geld gibt Amerika für seine Bomben aus

Die USA veröffentlichen ihre Verkaufsliste – und preisen sie mit befremdlichem Stolz.

So wurde beispielsweise Mitte November eine Lieferung über 1,29 Milliarden Dollar für Luft-Boden-Munition an Saudi-Arabien verkündet. Geliefert werden fast 30.000 Bomben verschiedener Gewichtsklassen und unterschiedlicher Technik. Grob gerechnet sind das im Durchschnitt 40.000 Dollar pro Bombe.

Hinter den Milliardensummen für die tödliche und zerstörerische Fracht aus der Luft steht auch ein technischer Wandel zu immer mehr Elektronik und Steuertechnik der Sprengkörper.

Erst die Entwicklung der Markierung eines Ziels per Laserstrahl oder einer Positionsbestimmung der anfliegenden Bombe durch Navigationssatelliten wie GPS, sorgten für eine große Nachfrage bei den Militärs. Mehr Technik bedeutet aber auch höhere Kosten.

Die Treffgenauigkeit liegt inzwischen bei rund einem Meter, heißt es in der Branche. Es sind Angriffe auch bei Nacht möglich und die Bomben fallen nicht plump ins Ziel. Neue Bombengenerationen haben sogar ein programmierbares Flugprofil und werden im gewünschten Einschlagwinkel ins Ziel gelenkt.

Dazu wird der Sprengkörper mit einem Zielsuchkopf an der Spitze, viel Elektronik und Steuerflügeln ausgerüstet. Für den Angriff wird das Ziel etwa zehn Sekunden vor dem Einschlag durch für das menschliche Auge nicht sichtbare Laserstrahlen entweder vom Flugzeug oder durch Verbündete am Boden markiert und beleuchtet. An der Reflexion der Laserstrahlen orientiert sich die Lenkbombe.

Der Preis einer modernen High-Tech-Bombe samt Lenktechnikkit kann über 200.000 Dollar betragen.

Zu den führenden westlichen Herstellern gehören vor allem US-Firmen, wie der in der Öffentlichkeit für seine Zivilflugzeuge bekannte Boeing-Konzern sowie Lockheed Martin oder Raytheon.

Großer europäischer Mitspieler beim Bau von Bomben und Lenkwaffen ist der MBDA-Konzern, mit Standorten in Frankreich, Großbritannien, Italien, Deutschland und Spanien.

In Deutschland spielen auch Firmen aus der Diehl-Gruppe, wie Diehl BGT oder Junghans Microtec sowie Rheinmetall über seine Tochter RWM Italia im Bomben- und Zündergeschäft mit.

Ein Bombentyp hat damit nicht immer die gleiche Sprengkraft. Dies hilft nach Angaben von TDW "Kollateralschäden" zu verringern, wie in der Militärsprache zivile Opfer und unbeabsichtigte Zerstörung bezeichnet werden – von Gerhard Hegmann

Kommentar: Sehr interessanter Artikel, gerade auch im Hinblick auf den Jemen! 40.000 Dollar für eine der von den Saudis verwendeten Bomben – wieviele Essenspakete könnte man stattdessen über dem hungernden Land abwerfen?? – Ja, Deutschland ist direkt am Mord(s)geschäft beteiligt: Die Bomben, die in Italien auf Sardinien gebaut und an die Saudis geliefert werden, werden dort in der genannten Tochterfirma von Rheinmetall hergestellt. Und über MDBA sind wir auch direkt mit dabei. – Und „faszinierend“, wie genau sich mit den modernen Bomben zielen und „Kollateralschaden“ vermeiden lässt. Seltsam nur, was dann im Jemen passiert. Hier werden ganz überwiegend zivile Ziele getroffen. Dafür gibt es dann nur ein paar Erklärungen:

1.) Die angeblichen Präzisionsbomben sind keineswegs so genau wie behauptet, die Rüstungsfirmen binden ihren Kunden damit einen Bären auf. 2.) Die Saudis greifen gezielt lauter zivile Ziele an, auch wenn sie das Gegenteil behaupten 3.) Nein, weder 1. noch 2. trifft zu: Dann sind die Saudis die schlimmsten militärischen Stümper, die man sich nur vorstellen kann. Sie wollen mit Präzisionswaffen eigentlich nur militärische Ziele angreifen und treffen ständig etwas anderes. Wie soll man dann aber die Rolle der amerikanischen und britischen Militärberater im saudischen Kommandozentrum erklären, die über alle Ziele der saudischen Luftangriffe informiert sind?

Denen müsste ja irgendwann (spätestens nach zehn Tagen Luftkrieg, also etwa ab dem 6. April 2015) gedämmert haben, dass hier etwas gerade nicht stimmen kann und entsetzlich schief geht, und sie müssten ihre Regierungen entsprechend informiert haben – mit den darauf folgenden zu erwartenden Konsequenzen seitens der Amerikaner und Briten. Es gab keinerlei Konsequenzen? Also billigen es die Amerikaner und die Briten, ja unterstützen es weiterhin, dass entweder Erklärung 1, 2 oder 3 zutreffen müssen und dass das als Konsequenz zur Zerstörung eines Landes mit Tausenden an Toten führt.

Diesen Kommentar hatte ich bei der „Welt“ unter dem Artikel eingestellt – er wurde nicht freigeschaltet. Was hier wohl nicht gepasst hat?

1.2.2016 – Sozialismus Aktuell (** B P)

Geschäft mit dem Tod

Auf Terroranschläge wie dem vom 11. September 2001 in New York und dem vom 13. November 2015 in Paris folgt der »Krieg gegen Terror« – so war es in Afghanistan, im Irak und in Syrien. Die Bundeswehr ist dabei – und soll mit einem neuen Aufrüstungsprogramm, das bis zum Jahr 2030 reicht, auch tatsächlich global einsatztauglich gemacht werden.

Den Rüstungsunternehmen verspricht das lukrative Geschäfte. Die Spirale »Terror – Krieg – Terror« lässt deren Aktienkurse nach oben schnellen. Die Rüstungsbranche gehört nicht erst, aber insbesondere seit der Jahrtausendwende zu den großen Gewinnern. »Der Krieg ist ein besseres Geschäft als der Friede. Ich habe noch niemand gekannt, der sich zur Stillung seiner Geldgier auf Erhalt und Förderung des Friedens geworfen hätte«, schrieb Carl von Ossietzky 1931 in der Weltbühne.

Das Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) kommt in seinem jüngsten Bericht[2] zu dem Ergebnis, dass die Gesamtumsätze der 100 größten Rüstungskonzerne in Höhe von 401 Mrd. US-$ »um 43% über dem des Jahres 2002« liegen, so Sam Perlo-Freeman, der Direktor des Militärausgaben- und Waffenproduktionsprogramms bei SIPRI. Bei den Rüstungsexporten liegen die USA (2010-2014) mit einem Weltmarktanteil von 31% vor Russland mit 27%. Weit davon abgesetzt folgen China, Deutschland, Frankreich (jeweils 5%) und Großbritannien (4%). Bei den Rüstungsimporten liegt Indien (15%) mit Abstand vor Saudi Arabien und China (jeweils 5%).[3]

Insgesamt behaupten die US-amerikanischen und westeuropäischen Waffenschmieden ihre globale Vorherrschaft. Die Liste der Top 100 Rüstungsunternehmen wird von 38 Firmen aus den USA dominiert – auf sie fallen deutlich mehr als die Hälfte der Top 100-Umsätze, gefolgt von Großbritannien und Russland mit über zehn Prozent (siehe Abb. 1).

Die Rüstungsausgaben stiegen von 800 Mrd. $ zur Jahrtausendwende auf mehr als das Doppelte im vergangenen Jahr. Nach Paris können die Rüstungskonzerne mit weiteren milliardenschweren Aufträgen rechnen. So verkündete der französische Ministerpräsident Manuel Valls, dass für den »Kampf gegen den Terror« die entsprechenden Budgetausgaben deutlich erhöht werden müssten. Großbritannien plant laut Citygroup in den nächsten zehn Jahren eine siebenprozentige Erhöhung seiner Verteidigungsausgaben.

Auch in Deutschlands gehören Rüstungsdeals mit Saudi-Arabien zu den profitabelsten Geschäften. Den jährlichen Rüstungsexportberichten der Bundesregierung zufolge erhielt der Golfstaat auf der arabischen Halbinsel von 2001 bis 2014 Waffen im Gesamtwert von knapp 2,6 Mrd. Euro – darunter Kriegsschiffe, Panzer und gepanzerte Fahrzeuge, Feuerleiteinrichtungen, Gewehre und andere Kleinwaffen sowie Munition.

Deutschland ist nach den USA wichtigster Waffenlieferant für das Königreich. Allein im vergangenen Jahr wurden Rüstungsexporte in Höhe von 268 Mio. Euro an die Herrscher in Riad genehmigt. Das ist eine Steigerung der Lieferungen um 28% gegenüber 2014 an ein Land mit katastrophaler Menschenrechtslage.

Auch daran lässt sich verdienen: Rüstungsunternehmen mehren ihren Profit nicht nur mit Waffenlieferungen, sondern auch mit dem Geschäftsfeld »Überwachung« wie beispielsweise Grenzschutzsysteme, die Airbus weltweit anbietet. Dabei geht es nicht um Zäune und Stacheldraht, sondern um hochmoderne Technik wie Radaranlagen und Sensoren zur Bodenüberwachung – von Otto König/Richard Detje

Kommentar: Wenn man sich die Umsatzanteile der größten Rüstungsunternehmen, nach Ländern verteilt anschaut: Russland mit 10 % ist mir bisher noch nicht als Lieferant für die Saudis aufgefallen; scheint mir auch eher unwahrscheinlich zu sein (man weiß natürlich nie). Jetzt warte ich noch auf Indien, Japan und Südkorea! – Letzter Absatz: Auch hier sind deutsche Unternehmen dabei und es geht um Geschäfte mit den Saudis: Die Grenze zum Jemen wird Hightech-gesichert – nicht nur gegen Huthi-Kämpfer, sondern vor allem gegen Flüchtlinge, die dem Krieg entfliegen wollen. Ein Milliardenauftrag.

Flüchtlinge / Refugees

2.2.2016 – IRIN (* B H)

Somalia offers Yemenis a safer home

Somalia is the new home for 30,560 peoplewho have fled the fighting in Yemen and are trying to adjust to life in a country that – while no longer written off as a “failed state” – certainly has its challenges.

Many who once left Somalia, fleeing war, are now returning, fleeing a different war.The majority of those who have landed by boat in the autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland since March last year are Somalis, embarking from Yemen’s southern ports. They had either earlier crossed the Gulf of Aden to escape Somalia’s long-standing conflict, looking to transit north to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, or were part of an old Somali community that had settled in Yemen as traders.

But at least 4,360 of the new arrivals are Yemenis who paid the roughly $150 boat fare to escape the violence and resultant humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where 21.1 million people – 80 percent of the population – require some form of humanitarian protection or assistance.

Somalia is the new home for 30,560 peoplewho have fled the fighting in Yemen and are trying to adjust to life in a country that – while no longer written off as a “failed state” – certainly has its challenges.

Many who once left Somalia, fleeing war, are now returning, fleeing a different war.The majority of those who have landed by boat in the autonomous regions of Puntland and Somaliland since March last year are Somalis, embarking from Yemen’s southern ports. They had either earlier crossed the Gulf of Aden to escape Somalia’s long-standing conflict, looking to transit north to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf, or were part of an old Somali community that had settled in Yemen as traders. But at least 4,360 of the new arrivals are Yemenis who paid the roughly $150 boat fare to escape the violence and resultant humanitarian crisis in Yemen, where 21.1 million people – 80 percent of the population – require some form of humanitarian protection or assistance – by Mohamed Omar Mulla

Terrorismus / Terrorism

3.2.2016 - Heavy News (A T)

New Isis video shows beheding of 4 men

In a new video purportedly released by the Islamic State, ISIS militants are shown training before attacking either a Houthi or al-Qaeda outpost in Hadramaut, Yemen. They behead the prisoners. The video was released on February 3, 2016 and was shared by various ISIS-affiliated Twitter accounts.

3.2.2016 – Long War Journal (** B T)

AQAP provides social services, implements sharia while advancing in southern Yemen

The Islamic State’s propaganda regularly highlights the “caliphate’s” brutal implementation of sharia law, including amputations and other harsh punishments. AQAP has taken a different approach. AQAP’s leaders have consistently argued that sharia laws should be gradually implemented, because the Muslim populace is not accustomed to the jihadists’ ways. And al Qaeda does not typically disseminate graphic images of the punishments its fighters give out on others. (These punishments are often the same as those mandated in the areas under the Islamic State’s rule.)

Still, AQAP is implementing sharia-style governance in at least some of the areas under its control in Yemen. And newly launched social media sites are intended to highlight these efforts, as well as the organization’s other social services.

On Jan. 23, a Twitter feed for Al Ather “news” agency began publishing photos and videos of Ansar al Sharia’s supposed good works. (Some of the images from Al Ather can be seen at the end of this article.) The first photos showed food baskets that were handed out to the “needy” in Mukallah, the port city that fell to AQAP last year.

A second set of images tweeted on Jan. 26 documented a project intended to improve the residents’ access to electricity, a crew of workers paving streets, and garbage trucks hauling away trash in the Hadramout province. In a separate series, packages allegedly containing narcotics taken from residents in the Abyan province were displayed.

Two photos tweeted on Jan. 27 are intended to reassure readers, as the captions put it, that life has returned to “normal” in the city of Zinjibar now that it is under Ansar al Sharia’s control.

Several additional images released on Jan. 28 purportedly show “toxic chemicals” confiscated in “Waqar,” which is what AQAP calls the town of Jaar.

The Al Ather news agency touted Ansar al Sharia’s destruction of a “polytheistic” shrine or tomb, as well as its provision of “medical services,” in subsequent images released from Hadramout.

Consistent with AQAP’s (and Ansar al Sharia’s) approach to imposing sharia, Al Ather does not give readers an close look at the victims who are punished under the draconian laws. […] It is likely that al Qaeda wants Muslims (including the large crowd that attended the execution) to know that it is imposing sharia’s punishments, but was reticent about widely publicizing the results of the gruesome death sentence.

AQAP has long documented the jihadists’ war against the Houthis and others. Ansar al Sharia has maintained social media accounts responsible for reporting on the group’s military operations against the Houthis and others. Al Ather “news” is part of al Qaeda’s attempt to market Ansar al Sharia’s other activities, including those intended to woo more Yemenis to its cause. – by Thomas Joscelyn

1.2.2016 – Center for Security Policy (A T)

Yemeni Civil War Provides Perfect Cover For AQAP Expansion

AQAP has been able to maintain control of entire Yemeni provinces due to the current civil war.

With the Saudi coalition and Yemeni government forces focusing on the Houthis, AQAP has been able to capture territory with minimal resistance. This lack of resistance has also allowed AQAP to set up their own forms of government, and imposing sharia law on their controlled territory.

While AQAP has seen little resistance from the government, they have begun to feel pressure from a growing Islamic State (IS) presence. In early 2015, the two groups engaged each other in Yemen’s eastern provinces over contested territory. Aside from these early engagements, the two groups have remained focused on fighting the Shiite Houthis. Katherine Zimmerman from the American Enterprise Institute believes that if IS begins to dominate the fight against the Houthis, it may drive AQAP to “attack Western targets or increase funding to anti-Houthi militias.”

Even prior to the civil war and AQAP’s most recent advances, the U.S campaign to target AQAP faced substantial challenges. The group has been targeting the Yemeni government for years, and has been largely undaunted by targeted killings directed at their leadership.

The Obama Administration’s new relationship with Iran and subsequent falling out with the Saudi kingdom has limited U.S. influence over the Saudi aggressive air campaign. The withdrawal of U.S. military and intelligence operations from Yemen following the Houthi take over has hampered the U.S. effort to target AQAP. Without forces of their own, and with the Saudi government focused on the Iranian threat, the U.S. has limited options as AQAP continues to strengthen itself and plot for future attacks – by Kevin Samolsky

Journalismus /Journalism

2.2.2016 – Hispan TV (* A P)

YouTube cierra canal iraní Al-Alam por presiones de Riad

La página Web de compartir vídeos ‘YouTube’, en una clara violación de la libre circulación de información cerró el canal de televisión iraní en lengua árabe Al-Alam, debido a las presiones de Riad.

YouTube anunció que la decisión para desactivar la cuenta de Al-Alam se tomó tras una denuncia que recibió por parte del Servicio de Difusión planificado del Reino de Arabia Saudí (BSKSA, por sus siglas en inglés), contra la cadena iraní, informó el lunes la página Web de Al-Alam.

YouTube anunció que la decisión para desactivar la cuenta de Al-Alam se tomó tras una denuncia que recibió por parte del Servicio de Difusión planificado del Reino de Arabia Saudí (BSKSA, por sus siglas en inglés), contra la cadena iraní, informó la página Web de Al-Alam.

La medida de YouTube que se llevó a cabo sin incluso una advertencia o aviso previo a los directores de Al-Alam, contradice las normas y protocolos burocráticos y técnicos.

Al-Alam, una de las principales fuentes de información alternativas en la región, que ha tenido mucho éxito sobre todo en los últimos años por transmitir las realidades de la zona, incluido las verdades sobre la agresión saudí contra Yemen, ha sido blanco de presiones y ataques por parte de la monarquía saudí.

Documentos filtrados por Wikileaks revelaron en junio de 2015 que el fallecido rey saudí Abdolá bin Abdulaziz Al Saud ordenó (en enero de 2010) al Ministerio saudí de Comunicaciones y Tecnología Informática que impidiera la transmisión de la cadena iraní Al-Alam.

La interrupción de la emisión del canal iraní, como dijo el documento revelado por Wikileaks, era impedir la difusión de datos que pudieran dañar la imagen del Consejo de Cooperación del Golfo (CCG-integrado por países árabes ribereños al Golfo Pérsico), y su influencia negativa en las relaciones de estos países con otros países del mundo.

Las presiones de las autoridades saudíes sobre el proveedor de satélite Arabsat, con sede en Riad, la capital saudí, y la compañía egipcia de satélites Nilesat, habían resultado fructíferas anteriormente, y habían podido sacar del aire al canal iraní Al-Alam.

El reino saudí, blanco de fuertes críticas a nivel internacional por la represión que ejerce contra la libertad de expresión, también ha filtrado las cuentas de Al-Alam en las redes sociales.

Al-Alam no es el único medio de comunicación en la región del Oriente Medio que sufre repetidos ataques por transmitir los crímenes que ha cometido la coalición liderada por Riad en más de 10 meses de embestidas contra el empobrecido país de Yemen.

El pasado jueves Nilesat suspendió la transmisión de programas de la cadena yemení Al-Masirah, algo que había hecho anteriormente con el canal Lualuatve, perteneciente a la oposición bareiní.

Comment: The same happened to Houthi-related Al Masirah TV, which showed many films on the consequences of Saudi air raids. These documents so are wiped out for the international public. It is scandalous that the Saudis do have such a great influence on Google that they can impose a censorship not only in their own country, but abroad as well, and thus to fix what we in the whole world might see and what not. Google thus is supporting those who are committing war crimes, bombing and killing.

4.11.2015 – Hispan TV (A P)

Arabia Saudí presiona a El Líbano suspender la transmisión de Al-Myadeen

El proveedor de satélite Arabsat, con sede en Riad, la capital saudí, está presionando al Gobierno de El Líbano para que suspenda la transmisión de la cadena televisiva libanesa Al-Mayadeen.

2.2.2016 – The Intercept (* A K P)


On January 17, Yemeni journalist Almigdad Mojalli was killed in a Saudi-led airstrike while reporting on civilian casualties in Jaref, a resort about 32 miles south of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. Mojalli was on assignment for Voice of America. Bahir Hameed, a photojournalist who accompanied Mojalli that day, was injured in the attack. The following is Hameed’s account of what happened, as told to Mohammed Ali Kalfood, a journalist in Sana’a.

We were visiting the resort several days after it had been bombed by airstrikes; we were on assignment for the Voice of America to report on civilians deaths there.

We needed first to shoot the scene, the resort itself, where at least 21 civilians had been killed days earlier. It was really quiet; no one was there except the three of us. About 20 minutes after I started recording the scene, a warplane was heard roaring overhead. Everyone freaked out. I was so scared, looking into the sky and wondering whether it was really going to strike. The warplane was flying low. Migdad shouted, “Let’s spread out!”

We tried, but the missile was faster to hit the resort, just a few meters away from where we were standing. The explosion knocked me off my feet; I was flying before I rolled over a slope and landed a few meters away. I lay there for a couple of minutes; I was trembling with shock. Then I heard Migdad shouting for help. I was hardly able to stand up, feeling slight wounds in one of my legs and one arm.

I saw Migdad covered in blood, asking me to bandage his injuries; there were wounds in his chest and his face; he was grimacing and saying, “Wrap me up, bandage me quickly!” – by Mohammed Ali Kalfood

2.2.2016 – Committee to Protect Journalists (A K)

CPJ urges full, independent investigation into killing of journalists in Yemen

Investigations into the killing in Yemen of journalists and other civilians in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition should be thorough and impartial, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, spokesman for the coalition, on Sunday announced the formation of "a high-level independent team in the field of weapons and humanitarian international law to evaluate the military targeting mechanisms and incidents taking place in civil[ian] locations," the official Saudi Press Agency (SPA) reported.

"Investigations into the deaths of journalists and other civilians in the conflict in Yemen must be truly independent if they are to be credible. They must assess how better to afford protection without whitewashing previous violations," Sherif Mansour, CPJ's Middle East and North Africa program coordinator, said. "We expect all parties to the conflict in Yemen to uphold international law and preserve the lives of journalists and other civilians."

The announcement also comes two weeks after the most recent killing of a journalist who was reporting on the aftermath of Saudi-led airstrikes [see above]

On January 21, 17-year-old cameraman Hashim al-Hamran was seriously injured in a coalition airstrike in the town of Dahyan [see Yemen Pres Reader 95]

At least five other journalists have been killed in airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition


3.2.2016 – Saudi Arabia News and others (A P)

Yemen praises Arab Coalition for backing country

Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has praised the Arab Coalition, namely Saudi Arabia and the UAE, for supporting Yemen and showing "a shared destiny and pan-Arab national unity and cohesion".

Hadi said: "Our closed ranks, common goal and shared destiny constitute our effective weapon that made our heroes on various fronts even more resolved to defeat these rebel gangs that hijacked the state and abused its great capabilities and gains." =

Comment: What a stupid wording: “Yemen praises”: Yemen what? More of Hadis idle chatter: Shared destiny… national unity… rebel gangs… hijacked…

3.2.2016 – WAM (A P)

Yemeni President vows continuous military operations until capital Sanaa is liberated

Yemeni President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi has vowed that the national army and pro-government Yemeni National Resistance, backed by the Saudi-led Arab Coalition, will not stop their current military offensives until the capital Sanaa is completely liberated from the rebels.

He was speaking over the phone with the governor of Sanaa, Abdul Qawi Sharif, about the field developments in the governorate where the army is closing in on Yemen's capital city.

Hadi praised the "unprecedented courage" of the national army and Resistance fighters and stressed that "the republican regime will win, no matter how big our sacrifices may be, and defeat the remnants of the backward clerical imamate regime that came out of the caves of history."

"The battle for Yemen is a crucial one and there will be no retreat", President Hadi further stressed.

He added that defeating the rebel Houthi militia and forces loyal to now-ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh in many parts of Sanaa governorate is the most crucial step before liberating the capital and reinstating the state institutions and the legitimate government.[Arab]/1395291081550.html

Comment by Judith Brown: Instead of all this fighting Mr Hadi why don't you just stop your friends in Saudi from killing people and organise an election? If people what you have have been doing then they will vote for you. This is a UAE perspective on the conflict.

Comment: Well, in elections Hadi would perish in all parts of the countries. His words, what an idle chatter: liberate, unprecedented courage, no retreat, legitimate government…

2.2.2016 – Janes (A P)

Saudi Arabia admits bombing hospital in Yemen

The spokesman for the Arab coalition trying to restore Yemen's ousted president has admitted it accidently bombed a hospital in October 2015, and said the multinational force is supporting an "independent" investigation into civilian casualties.

Comment: Janes the defence magazine reports Saudi agreed it bombed a Yemen hospital - but only ONE Janes and KSA? I think there are some 69 destroyed by aerial bombardment and you are your coalition control the skies - no one else is raining missiles down on health establishments - nearly 300 health care associated buildings have been destroyed in total

2.2.2016 – Al Riyadh (A P)

Islamic Affairs Minister inaugurates Office of Program for Communication with Yemen's Scholars

The [Saudi Arabian] Minister of Islamic Affairs, Endowments, Call and Guidance Sheikh Saleh bin Abdulaziz Al Al-Sheikh inaugurated here yesterday evening the Office of Program for Communication with Yemen's Scholars in the presence of a number of officials, scholars and sheikhs from the two countries.

The Office aims to achieve an effective and continuous contact with Yemeni scholars and preachers to strengthen their efforts in the performance of their religious duties and exploit all available capabilities to activate the communication between Yemeni and Saudi scholars to serve the interests of the two countries.

Comment: Hmmm. Sounds like more Wahhabi indoctination planned for Yemen soon.

2.2.2016 – Asharq Al-Awsat (A P)

Opinion: Breaking the Silence in Yemen

Ten months may not seem long in the age of wars but it is enough to conclude that Yemen will not be left to the Iranians to impose its Houthi proxy and the personal wishes of Saleh to take control of the authority. In practice, the war changed the map of power on the ground enough to understand the future and may force the exhausted rebel forces to raise the white flag soon.

There is no doubt that the war in Yemen and the pain that it has caused prevented the rebellious bilateral Houthi – Saleh alliance from taking control of power. If they had succeeded, Yemen would have turned into an arena of revenge and sectarian and tribal conflicts. Perhaps if the Gulf countries had not intervened in Yemen, it would have ended up exactly like Somalia which was left to civil wars and famine and where a civil war has been going on for about 20 years.

Yes, there is a Saudi-Iranian war in Yemen but the justifications for it are different. Iran provides for the Houthis and it is in its interests to create chaos which will make Yemen a platform for destruction aimed at Yemeni groups and Saudi Arabia.

As for Saudi Arabia and the other GCC countries, their only interest is achieving stability for their Yemeni neighbour because this guarantees stability for them. This is a fact that the ousted president Saleh could not comprehend a year ago. He thought that toppling the government would lead to Gulf countries closing their embassies in Sana’a, packing their bags and leaving for their home countries. This is why Saleh risked all of his looted money and material to lead a rebellion against the legitimate government in alliance with Iranian militias. He was surprised that the Saudi government took action to support the legitimate government and launched a large war against him. As for the Houthis, as a militia affiliated to Iran, they were given a difficult task and if it was not for Saleh’s forces, they would not have reached further than the city of Omran.

The war has changed concepts as well as the map and the rebels have realised that the coalition possesses the determination and the ammunition to continue fighting at a time when Saleh’s situation has taken a turn for the worse. This will force him and his leaders to occupy cellars after living in his castle – by Abdulrahman Al-Rashed

Saudischer Luftkrieg / Saudi aerial war

3.2.2016 – Sputnik News (A K)

Saudi-Led Coalition Cement Plant Airstrike in Yemen’s Sanaa Kills 15

At least 15 people have been killed and another 38 have been injured in the Saudi-led coalition’s airstrike that hit a cement plant in the north of Yemeni capital Sanaa, a local source told Sputnik on Wednesday.

"An airstrike hit one of the entrances to the plant from the road, when dozens of employees were receiving their salaries. Fifteen bodies and 14 injured were transported to a hospital. Another 24 victims were taken to a hospital 50 kilometers [31 miles] away from the capital," the source said.

Passers-by and shop owners in the vicinity of the plant were among the victims, he specified.

3.2.2016 – (A K)

15 workers killed as Saudi-led airstrikes hit cement factory in Yemen

t least 15 workers were killed and over 20 others wounded when a Saudi-led airstrikes struck their cement factory in Yemen's northern province of Amran on Wednesday, officials and witnesses said.

They said the airstrike hit the main gate of the factory while workers were queue near the factory's gate to receive their monthly salary.

"So far, 15 workers were killed after the airstrike hit the scene while more than 20 others were critically hurt and brought to the hospital," a medic in Amran hospital told Xinhua.

The cement factory in rebel-held Amran province, about 60 km north of the capital Sanaa, has been targeted by a series of airstrikes and the factory had stopped operating.

Tribal sources and residents said nearly 40 villagers were killed or injured when three airstrikes hit the village of Al-Jubara tribe in Kutaf region on Wednesday.

Elsewhere in the outskirts of the capital Sanaa, tribesmen and local council officials said a family of nine members traveling on a car to flee the ongoing intensified ground battles in Nihm district were all killed in an airstrike Wednesday afternoon.

2.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Nine killed in fresh Saudi airstrikes across Yemen

On Tuesday, Riyadh’s warplanes bombed the al-Sha’ab area in Harad district of Yemen’s northwestern province of Hajjah, killing eight people and injuring 11 others.

According to Yemen’s al-Masirah television network, a child was also killed and several other people were injured in another air raid on Nihm district of the capital, Sana’a.

Additionally, the Saudi jets pounded the Yemeni provinces of Sa’ada, Dhamar and Ma’rib.

Another Yemeni was killed and seven others injured in the aerial assaults on the Jabal al-Sharq district of Dhamar Province.

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

3.2.2016 – Fars News (A K PH)

Another Saudi Spy Drone Downed by Yemen

The Yemeni forces targeted a remote-controlled unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) as it was flying over a strategic district in Harad region in Hajjah province, which lies about 130 kilometers Northwest of the capital, Sana'a on Wednesday.

3.2.2016 – Gulf News (A K PS)

Most of Naham from Al Houthi-Saleh rebels

Army and resistance forces comb liberated areas and pursue remnants of Al Houthi-Saleh rebels

The Yemeni army and pro-government Yemeni National Resistance forces on Tuesday liberated most of the districts in mountainous region of Naham, north-east of Sana’a, from the rebel Al Houthi militia and forces loyal to now-ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a senior security official said.

The army and resistance forces are combing the liberated areas and pursuing remnants of the Al Houthi-Saleh rebels, the state Yemeni news agency quoted the chief of security of Sana’a Governorate as saying.

He noted that the rebels destroyed the bridges along the road to Furdat Naham in a bid to stop the advance of pro-government army and Resistance fighters.

Tens of rebels were killed, injured and captured and their military equipment were destroyed in the battles, the official added.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Yemeni army and Resistance fighters regained control of a number of military posts in Naham after defeating the rebel Al Houthi-Saleh militants and advanced closer to the strategic Furdat Naham military base.

Comment by Judith Brown: This is a region near to Sanaa. This is the Emirati perspective on the current state of war. It is clear that the Saudi led coalition are having a big push at the moment with horrendous air raids plus ground battles.

3.2.2016 – Aljazeera (A K)

Dozens killed in Yemen as army moves towards Sanaa

Saudi-led coalition air strikes back pro-government forces' advance towards the capital with 40 Houthi fighters killed.

Battles intensified on Wednesday northeast of Yemen's capital as forces loyal to the president backed by Saudi-led coalition air strikes killed more than 40 Houthi fighters.

Days of clashes continued as the Houthi rebels and their allies who control Sanaa were on the defensive about 60km from the capital in the Fardhat Nehim area, pro-government sources told Al Jazeera.

Fardhat Nehim is a strategic region leading to the Sanaa, and government forces continue to capture villages after making territorial gains since last week.

Dozens of rebels and six government forces were killed in fighting overnight on Wednesday. Yemen's army also captured 30 Houthis in Fardhat Nehim, where the rebels have a base, and troops were surrounding the fighters' camp.

Five civilians were also killed when artillery shells hit residential areas, the Associated Press news agency quoted tribal elders as saying.

2.2.2016 – AP (A K)


Fighting has intensified outside the Yemeni capital, killing at least 30 people in two days, Yemeni security officials and tribal elders said Tuesday.

Some 25 fighters from both sides were killed in clashes between government forces and Shiite rebels and their allies some 65 kilometers (40 miles) east of Sanaa, they said, adding that five civilians were also killed when artillery shells hit residential areas – by Ahmed Al-Haj

2.2.2016 – Antiwar (A K)

30 Killed in Fighting East of Yemen Capital

Five Civilians Reported Slain in Stray Shelling

Fighting has picked up in n area 40 miles east of the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa, where pro-Saudi forces pushed into an area held by the Shi’ite Houthis, engaging in a fight that left at least 30 people dead and an unknown number of others wounded.

Among the slain, 25 were identified as fighters, with five others civilian bystanders who were killed when shelling aimed at the fighters strayed into residential areas, hitting homes. There was no indication the fighting has ended conclusively.

That’s been a recurring issue in the Yemen War, with the pro-Saudi forces launching major offensives against Houthi targets, only to see those fights stalemate, and attention moves to some other target.

Pro-Saudi officials made much of the recent push into the area this close to Sanaa, though in reality it was just the latest in a series of pushes trying to get them a shot at the capital city, and so far the signs are that it’s just another front in a growing, far-from-resolved war.

3.2.2016 – Islamic Invitation Turkey (A K PH)

Yemeni Forces Attack Saudi Base, Demolish 11 Tanks, Armored Vehicles

The Yemeni army backed by popular forces raided Saudi Arabia’s military bases and military positions in the Southern part of the kingdom and destroyed their military equipment and hardware, FNA reported.

Informed military sources in the Northern parts of Yemen confirmed on Tuesday that the Yemeni Army alongside the popular forces raided Saudi Arabia’s military bases and positions near the borders with Yemen, and destroyed 11 Saudi tanks and armored vehicles.

The Saudi bases were attacked in Najran, Asir and Jizan provinces over the past 24 hours.

The Yemeni forces annihilated five Abrams tanks and 6 Bradley armored vehicles during the raids on Saudi positions in the Southern part of the Kingdom.

3.2.2016 – Saudi Gazette (A K PS)

63 children among 375 killed in firing from Yemen

Mortars and rockets fired at Saudi Arabian towns and villages have killed 375 civilians, including 63 children, since the start of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen in late March, Brig. Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, spokesman of the coalition forces and advisor at the office of the minister of defense, told Reuters.

He said that the Houthi militia and forces loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh had fired more than 40,000 projectiles across the border since the war began.

“Now our rules of engagement are: you are close to the border, you are killed,” he said.

In a measure of how fierce the fighting on the frontier continues to be, nearly 130 mortars and 15 missiles were fired by the Houthis and Saleh’s forces at Saudi border positions on Monday alone, Assiri said in an interview in Riyadh.

The civilians killed in Saudi Arabia included both Saudis and expatriates, Assiri said.

Along the Saudi-Yemen border, the constant attacks by the Houthis and Saleh’s forces have forced the Saudi authorities to evacuate a dozen villages and over 7,000 people from frontier districts, closing over 500 schools, Assiri said.

He said the coalition had taken “hundreds” of Yemeni prisoners in fighting along the border.

Comment: That is horrible, off course. The figures of those killed by Saudi coalition air strikes in Yemen are much higher anyway, and the shelling of Saudi settlements by the Houthi-Saleh forces is a reaction to these air raids. There seems to be a change in Saudi press politics, that means in Saudi propaganda: Up to now, there was nearly no mention of Houthi-Saleh successes on Saudi territory, that is hits and losses by Houthi-Saleh shelling and the Houthis-Saleh forces occupying Saudi territory. Now, the Saudi propaganda prefers to deploy the own losses, to show how rude the Houthi-Saleh forces are. Anyway, also by this way the Saudis throw a bad light on themselves. Their army is not able to protect the own territory and population, even though Saudi Arabia is among the top countries in the world in importing and piling arms. And these own figure clearly show: Targeting towns and settlements is killing lots of civilians, what the Saudis deny for their own campaigns. One more point: The Saudis themselves ruthlessly have conducted air raids against a town of their own, Rabua in Asir province, which had been occupied by the Houthis.

2.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Several mercenaries of Riyadh killed in Yemen's Ta'izz

Several pro-Saudi militants loyal to Yemen’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi were killed Tuesday in two separate attacks carried out by Yemeni forces in the country’s southwestern province of Ta’izz.

The mercenaries were killed in an operation conducted by the Yemeni forces backed by fighters from Popular Committees in the al-Shaqab district of the province, Arabic-language al-Masirah satellite television network reported.

Several other militants were killed in the al-Misrakh district of the same province, when the explosion of a land mine struck them.

2.2.2016 – Alalam and Albawaba (B K PH)

We Are Stuck in ‘Static War’: Saudi General Asiri

Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen has ground into a no-win one, says the kingdom’s military which has been pounding the Arab world’s poorest nation for almost a year.

Brigadier General Ahmed Asiri, the military spokesman, said on Monday that the kingdom was now stuck in a “static war” against its southern neighbor.

He said US and British military experts were advising Saudi forces on how to improve aerial targeting.

“Experts from the United States...(will) work on extensive reports and develop operating mechanisms, together with the British side.”

Asiri said Saudi Arabia has been forced to evacuate a dozen villages and displace over 7,000 people in the face of operations by the Yemeni army and allied Ansarullah fighters.

Yemeni forces have struck back in the face of daily Saudi attacks, seizing some areas inside the kingdom.

Asiri said projectiles fired from Yemen had had killed 375 people inside the kingdom since March but claimed they were civilians. =

Comment: Some more aspects of Asiris press conference referred to at Yemen Press Reader 95.

Comment: So Saudi Arabia is stuck in a 'static war'. So why not talk peace? It will save lives property AND save your economy stupid.

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-95: / Yemen Press Reader 1-95: 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

Dietrich Klose

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