Krieg im Jemen: Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 97

Yemen Press Reader 97: Hintergrund: Jemen und der Westen; Was wir vom Jemen nicht wissen; Jemens Imageproblem; Die echten Kosten des Krieges - Kulturerbe bedroht - Thronfolge - US-Medien
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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

UNO / UN

Saudi-Arabien und Iran / Saudi Arabia and Iran

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

USA

Großbritannien / Great Britain

Deutschland / Germany

Spanien / Spain

Flüchtlinge / Refugees

Terrorismus / Terrorism

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

4.2.2016 – Sott Net (***B P K)

Monolithic and Ruthless Conspiracy: The West's Obliteration of Yemen by Covert Means

[…]

Whose war is this anyway? In the Western media narrative, the House of Saud and Gulf monarchs are intervening to [hold your nose] 'uphold the legitimate and democratically-elected leader of Yemen' against an unconstitutional coup that was directed, or at least facilitated, by the Iranian regime. In this context, Saudi bombing of civilians targets are 'mistakes'. In reality, however, the picture is somewhat different.

Yemen in Geopolitical Context

Yemen is essentially a country that has never escaped the shackles of colonialism, first under British rule, and now under proxy rule by Riyadh (on behalf of Washington). With a population similar in size to Saudi Arabia, but also the poorest country in MENA (Middle East and North Africa), the government in 'independent' Yemen has always been heavily influenced by Saudi money and its right-wing Wahhabi interpretation of Islam.

Saudi Arabia is feeling the hounds of hell on its trail as it watches Iran break free from Wall Street sanctions and re-enter the global energy trade. Iran has three times the population of Saudi Arabia, nearly as much oil and gas, and a budding security and trade alliance with Russia and China. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is as dependent on the US and UK as they are on it, so the only way 'forward' is by doing their bidding.

Where the interests of the House of Saud and the Houses of Wall Street, London and Paris merge is in the energy trade, and more specifically, the control of global shipping arteries. For all the hi-tech gadgetry used today, some very old technology still dominates our lives: ships and boats - 90% of all world trade is carried over water. And so, as the British (and other sea-faring Europeans before them discovered); whoever rules the waves, rules the world.

Clearly on a fast-track to modernizing its infrastructure, it's only a matter of time before Iran takes its rightful place as the dominant player in the Middle East. Iran is thus exerting its influence over the world's busiest oil shipping route, which passes through the major choke point of the Strait of Hormuz. Iran knows that American warships won't be patroling those waters forever, and that without American 'protection', the House of Saud and the Gulf states will have no choice but to embrace Iran's entry into the markets, and on its own terms.

Riyadh is determined to prevent a new, independent regime from forming in Yemen because this would mean losing influence over the region's other crucial shipping choke point: the Mandeb Strait between Yemen and Djibouti, where the Red Sea meets the Gulf of Aden. This why it sees Iran's hand behind the Houthi rebellion: the Saudis are projecting their own Machiavellian schemes onto the Iranians. If they were in Iran's place, they would whip up a rebellion of their co-religionists. Indeed, this is precisely the strategy Saudi Arabia has followed to extend its influence across the Muslim world over the last half century.

[…]

Nations all along this route are expressing interest in partnership, and even Big Business in the West is excited by the potential bucks to be made. The problem is that the 'Masters of the Universe' in certain Western capitals would sooner set the world on fire than lose monopoly control of the seas (and thus world trade and banking). And thus, the utter chaos and anarchy we see spreading like cancer today, not least in both countries either side of the Gulf of Aden, Somalia and Yemen. These two countries ought to be thriving gatekeepers of the great Europe-China maritime route. Instead they're human wastelands, the by-product of Washington's insane quest for total world hegemony

Yemen Uprising

The 'coup-plotters' in Yemen are in fact Houthi tribesmen leading a popular revolution. Although predominantly Shia, and thus co-religionists with the majority Islamic sect in Iran, the Houthis have received ever-growing national, cross-community and inter-religious support since the movement's emergence in the 1990s. With an agenda that seeks democratic reform and social justice for all, the Houthis have been compared with Hezbollah in Lebanon. Their connections with Tehran end there, however: there is zero evidence of Iranian military support for their cause. Iran's involvement is limited to moral support for the revolution and efforts to deliver humanitarian aid to the besieged country.

The House of Saud previously attacked the Houthis in 2009, at the behest of its long-time ally, Yemen's president Abdullah Saleh, who generally placated Riyadh since coming to power in 1994. Saleh and Saudi Arabia's joint attempt to suppress Yemenis' democratic demands by eradicating the Houthis was dubbed 'Operation Scorched Earth', a move that even US diplomats described at the time as "dangerous and delusional."

Never shy of behaving in a ruthless and delusional manner, the US nevertheless, under newly-elected president Barack Obama, participated in 'Scorched Earth' by carrying out 80 targeted operations - from drones, bombers and warships - in northern Yemen, and killing at least 473 people, according to Human Rights Watch. The justification for doing so was that a new terror organization named 'Al-Qaeda-in-the-Arabian-Peninsula' had suddenly sprung up in Yemen, from where it was somehow inducing the teenage sons of rich Nigerians to pack explosives into their underwear and board airplanes bound for the Land of the Free. Yes indeed, the 'underwear bomber' farce was actually about suppressing democracy in Yemen.

Westerners rarely heard about Houthi rebels that time around, but the 2011 uprising in Yemen (one of the 'Arab Spring' revolutions that was not supposed to happen) changed all that. To satisfy protesters' demands, the Saudis replaced Saleh with his long-time number 2, Abd Rabbuh Mansur al-Hadi, a weak leader whose efforts to form a unity government could not placate the nationwide groundswell for real change. With constitutional reforms still not forthcoming, the Houthis took power in the capital Sana'a in January 2015. Al-Hadi and his government resigned and fled to Saudi Arabia.

For an all-too-brief moment, it looked like the people of Yemen had finally shaken off the curse of colonialism to begin charting their own course. But the House of Saud had other plans. Having run to Riyadh, the former President Al-Hadi then rescinded his resignation and declared his overthrow an 'unconstitutional coup'. The UN Security Council passed Resolution 2201, which petitioned the Houthis to immediately withdraw from government institutions, and for all parties to agree on a time frame for 1.) drafting constitutional reform, 2.) holding a referendum to ratify the new constitution, and 3.) conducting elections under the new electoral law.

One wonders what was going through the Russian delegation's mind as it abstained during this UN vote, considering the US position vis a vis the 'legitimacy' of presidents Assad and Yanukovich. When justifying the violent coup d'état in Ukraine in 2014, US spokeswoman Jen Psaki claimed that Yanukovich had lost all legitimacy because he "abdicated his responsibilities by fleeing Kiev during a political crisis." He didn't; he was running for his life, unlike al-Hadi, who was under house arrest but not under threat of facing a Houthi firing squad.

'Shock and Awe', Obama-style

In any event, the next thing we know, the Saudi ambassador to the US is announcing - at a press conference in Washington, DC - that his country's air force has commenced airstrikes in 'Operation Decisive Storm' against Houthi targets. Nine countries had been enlisted to provide military support and troops to Saudi Arabia - Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain. Somali airspace was also 'made available' to the coalition, a remarkable feat of international diplomacy given that Somalia is a failed state with no central government.

The Saudi ambassador's press conference had barely ended before the US government issued a statement saying it would be providing "logistical and intelligence support" to the Saudi campaign, as well as establishing a "joint planning cell" with Saudi Arabia to co-ordinate the airstrikes. The British government recently acknowledged that its 'specialists' are present inside Saudi command centers, where their invaluable 'expertise' - gleaned from decimating Iraq, Libya and Syria - assists the Wahhabist regime's military in selecting targets. The whole thing had obviously been pre-arranged by the US government, and behind closed doors, with no UN mandate or basis in international law required.

What is actually happening in Yemen is pretty much the scenario the US claims is playing out in Syria; a popular uprising being brutally suppressed. Except, in this case, the US, through its royalist puppets in the region, is playing the role of 'brutal dictator deliberately killing civilians'. Again we see that the truth does not just radically differ from the Western narrative; it's completely inverted. While posturing over the 'democratic legitimacy' of Al-Hadi, Saudi Arabia, a country that wouldn't recognize democracy if it smashed into it in the form of a fiery comet, has used every dirty trick in the book to topple the Syrian government

And so Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, using recently-purchased British and American weapons, and guided by British and American 'advisers', suddenly and violently intervened in Yemen. Not only that, their military is staffed by officers from the UK and elsewhere. Qatar, for example, only recently began training its own pilots; it's air force is almost entirely a NATO outfit - French bombers, American bombs, British pilots and technicians.

Just as European countries were pushed out in front for the obliteration of Libya in 2011, Operation Decisive Storm is the US 'leading from behind', part of the Obama-era 'liberal' re-formulation of the empire's aggressive post-9/11 foreign policy. It's the same 'shock and awe' conducted by the Bush regime, except that it's delivered covertly via the military structures of its vassals, enabling the US government to pull the strings behind Saudi Arabia's blatant violation of Yemen's sovereignty.

Saudi-Western War Crimes

So what targets are the British and Americans telling the Saudis to strike? Well, the airstrikes are clearly not just aimed at the rebels, but at large sections of the Yemeni population. We can only conclude from this that their purpose is to destabilize the whole nation. Schools, hospitals, mosques, homes, refugee camps, daycare centres, markets, factories, power plants, food storage warehouses, and entire neighborhoods have been pulverized. The airport in Sana'a, the port in Hudaydah, roads, embassies and weddings have also been targeted. On July 24th last year, the Saudis destroyed a power plant and surrounding homes in the port city of Mokha, killing at least 120 civilians. […]

What can we conclude form this but that Saudis are [even] proposing and exploiting ceasefires in order to gain 'military advantage', namely to terrorize the civilian population into relinquishing their support for the rebels.

A UN panel investigating the terror-bombing in Yemen announced last week that the Saudi-led coalition is conducting "widespread and systematic" attacks on civilians and civilian-related targets. Coming under pressure to cease sending billions' worth of weapons to the Saudis, the British government responded in the only way it knows how: by having its Minister for the Middle East, Tobias Ellwood, tell the UK parliament that the UN panel's report was based on 'lies' spread by the Houthis.

Obviously well-trained by the Masters of Terror, Saudi coalition jets have also been conducting double-tap airstrikes (where an initial, smaller bombing tempts rescuers, family members and neighbours to approach the site and search through wreckage for survivors, only for everyone in the vicinity to be wiped out by a second, larger bomb). While US-made bombs rain down from UK-made jets, foreign ISIS/al-Qaeda operatives (which are basically operating as Saudi and Qatari ground forces) ensure there is no refuge for civilians by blowing up the mosques where they take shelter, and committing targeted assassinations of local leaders who support the Houthi revolution.

A combination of cowardice, inexperience, and 'affluenza' means the Saudis have little stomach for engaging in any of the dirty work of direct military engagement with the determined rebels. So the Kingdom has subcontracted 'boots on the ground' to private armies like Blackwater (aka Xe, Academi, and now Constellis). Completely unreported in the West are the deaths of British, American, French, South African, Australian and Colombian nationals in Yemen in recent months, all of them foreign mercenaries brought in to suppress the rebellion.

The bloodthirsty Saudis can expect to enjoy another year of military support from Egypt, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, more fighter jets from the US, UK and Israel, and cluster bombs from the US. In a period of nine months, Saudi Arabia spent over $60 billion on this campaign. In the absence of Russian-Iranian intervention or some other miracle, respite for the people of Yemen may come in the fact that the 70% oil price collapse has hammered the Kingdom's budget, which could soon see it default on its debts. The IMF is warning that - at the rate it is currently hemorrhaging money - Saudi Arabia will be coming to it, cap-in-hand, for loans by 2020.

Manufacturing Refugees

Westerners have been oblivious to Yemenis' screams in part because they're focused on what is immediately visible: 'the refugee crisis' - specifically the 'Syrian refugee crisis'. That particular refugee stream has been politicized to advance the Western agenda of forcing regime change in Syria - and possibly that country's dismemberment. And yes, the case can be made that European leaders were essentially given orders last year to 'stand down' and suddenly let in - against standard practice - unusually large numbers of people fleeing from Daesh in Syria.

But the purpose of this was not to enable 'Muslim hordes' to take over and institute 'Sharia law in Europe' or to 'destroy Western civilization'. The purpose was to advance the longer-term post-9/11 agenda of fomenting a 'clash of civilizations' that justifies the imposition of police state measures everywhere. Whether you self-identify as a Muslim, Christian, European, libertarian, socialist, traditionalist, atheist, or whatever, as far as the global elite are concerned, we're all 'hordes' that 'destroy civilization' and must therefore be terrorized, hystericized, and anaesthetized into ever finer orders of control.

In the meantime, Europe is left to pick up the pieces from wars that are primarily Washington's doing - the results of which are increasing chaos in the cities refugees are migrating to, and a toxic atmosphere that is thick with hysteria and outrage, some of it justified, but much of it rich with the scent of fascism.

In the midst of this 'rude awakening', however, it seems to have become lost on Westerners that those refugees 'coming over here to tarnish our White European Values' are the result of precisely such Western corporate joint ventures as the ongoing obliteration of Yemen. There is a real danger of all that anger generated against the political class over the last decade - after they bailed out the banksters and made the people pay for it - being 'transmuted' into rage at the refugees.

The UNHCR estimates the attack on Yemen has generated 140,000 refugees within Yemen thus far - a number it expects will reach 250,000 by the end of 2016. Then we must factor in the 246,000 registered refugees in Yemen prior to the Saudi-led intervention, 95 per cent of whom are Somalis which Yemenis sheltered after Western proxy intervention in Somalia in the early 2000s. That's another half a million people. Saudi Arabia and the rich Gulf states won't let them in, so where do you think they're ultimately going to begin migrating to?

[…]

The present is hell for Yemen, and the future doesn't look any better. It's one more killing field in a world pock-marked with them, slaughtered on the altar of NATO-stan hegemony.

If there's anything we can do, it is to at least be aware of the situation and to realize that Western governments are causing, supporting and encouraging the mass murder of thousands upon thousands of innocent civilians. It's especially incumbent on us to recognize their hypocrisy and lies when they say they want to 'protect' us from chaos and anarchy while delivering precisely that. Other ways we can contribute is by sharing information on what happens in Yemen on social media, and to boycott products made in Saudi Arabia. We shouldn't look away like most in the 'free world' do when such war crimes occur, whether it's close to home or in a land far away – by Bahar Azizi and Niall Bradley

http://www.sott.net/article/311578-Monolithic-and-Ruthless-Conspiracy-The-Wests-Obliteration-of-Yemen-by-Covert-Means = http://winstonclose.me/2016/02/07/monolithic-and-ruthless-conspiracy-the-wests-obliteration-of-yemen-by-covert-means-written-by-bahar-azizi-and-niali-bradley/

Comment: A superb article, hear in nearly full length according to the “Fair Use” notice as stated at Sott.net.

4.2.2016 – Atlantic Council (** B P)

Three Things We Do Not Know About Yemen

Beyond knowing of Yemeni suffering, we know little about how they view the war—other than they want it to end. Social media and what limited reporting exists convey anecdotal stories of anger toward all sides. But do any groups enjoy popular support beyond their immediate numbers? Houthis seem to have little support in the south, but how strong is their support in the north? Hadi is described as having little support inside of Yemen, but how low is “little”? What political parties or groups retain any real basis of support? Even more than asking “how much” support, what does support or loyalty mean? That is, under what conditions might we expect it to erode or sustain?

What about Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) and the Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL)? How was AQAP able to take over much of the Hadramawt valley and the Mukullah port?

Who are the Zaydis politically? History clearly tells us that conflicts in Yemen have included as much Zaydi-Zaydi fighting as they have Zaydis fighting Muslim of other sects. Few in Yemen viewed these contests as primarily sectarian because the disputes were based in other power struggles.

The war in Yemen did not begin as a Sunni-Shia sectarian contest. The Gulf states may see it as such, but recall that the transition period broke down because Hadi had begun to stack powerful committees exclusively with allies, not because of sectarian strife. By insisting that Yemen’s domestic conflicts are sectarian-based, the Gulf states are acting as identity entrepreneurs. AQAP and ISIS, while hardly Gulf allies, also advance narratives of Sunni-Shia hatred. With Iran now the only friend the Houthis have, it is unsurprising to see their relationship deepening. Most tragic is the impact of this new sectarianism on the Yemeni people. As the ongoing violence is framed as Sunni versus Shia, those identities seem to be becoming more solidified.

Sectarianism is becoming real, but it may not be too entrenched to take a different path. We simply do not know where the broader Zaydi community and other centers of power stand in the conflict and whether they are latching hold to sectarian understandings of the war.

If Yemeni tribal groups possess some 60 million arms outside of government control, who controls them now? Some tribes have clearly chosen sides, but we do not know where others stand. Even for those actively fighting, we do not know whether those alliances will endure over time.

Yemen’s many armed tribes have always functioned as competing centers of power to the central government and they have been proud of their autonomy.

During the uprisings, tribes adopted a wide range of positions. We simply do not know where every tribe stands in the war, nor do we have reason to believe that wartime alliances will remain stable when the fighting subsides.

Even more, it is not clear what “tribe” means anymore. Some tribal elites have fled to urban areas like Sana’a, creating the phenomena of city sheikhs. Having left their constituencies behind, these tribal leaders may be losing the loyalty of their support base, particularly the younger members. Unable to provide employment and security, or to resolve local conflicts, they appear to be losing the moral authority that undergirded their power. While tribes in Yemen never functioned in a singular or unitary manner, the strength of tribal affiliations is no longer even clear. But the arms remain and tribal groups will certain endure as powerful actors in postwar Yemen – by Jillian Schwedler

28.1.2016 – Atlantic Council (*** B P)

Yemen’s Image Problem and the Ongoing Conflict

Hadi enjoys little popular support inside Yemen and Bahah’s recent praise of Saudi Arabia’s role in Yemen has led many to conclude that he may not be as different from Hadi as many had hoped. Few see the government’s return as a turning point in the war, particularly as the bombings continue.

The situation in Yemen understandably feels hopeless to many Yemenis, who have suffered through nearly a year of war.

The talk in Washington and the media has largely framed the war as a proxy struggle between Iran (supporting the Houthis) and Saudi Arabia (supporting Hadi), a battleground for the new Cold War in the Middle East and the latest frontline in Muslim sectarianism. But this view obscures the legitimate concerns of many Yemenis over their exclusion from a transition process that was promised to be inclusive. Talk of Iranian-Saudi rivalry also treats the plight of the Yemeni people as a secondary issue: Yemen is seen as important only because of its role in larger problems—be that the Iranian-Saudi rivalry or the spread of Islamist extremism. The Yemeni people figure only peripherally in such perspectives.

How can the international community reconcile the concern for millions in Syria and Iraq while paying minimal attention to the lives of 26 million Yemenis? Part of the problem relates to relatively little coverage of the war in Yemen. Journalists face enormous difficulty in traveling to the country and few have any extended experience there. Still, many online voices from Yemen offer a full spectrum of political perspectives.

A larger reason behind such disregard stems from Yemen’s image problem. In much of the Arab world, Yemenis are treated as embarrassing, dumb relatives. Their clothing, tribal daggers, high illiteracy, and extreme poverty contribute to an Orientalist image of a land and people untouched by time. Tribal groups and jihadists frequently kidnap foreigners to use as bargaining chips, releasing them after obtaining funds or services from a central government that often denies that such negotiations took place. The spectacular architecture and ancient sites, combined with more than 60 million weapons in civilian control, suggest to outsiders that Yemen is the Wild West of the Arabian Peninsula: exciting and exotic, but also dangerous and lawless.

While Yemen is celebrated as a world cultural heritage site, Yemenis are not celebrated for having both built and maintained them under near-impossible circumstances. Instead, they treated as backward or retarded (in Arabic, mutakhallafin).

The separation of celebrated Yemeni heritage sites from the actual Yemeni people has a corollary in the policy view of Yemen as a rogue or failed state.

These two perceptions—that the Yemeni people are backward and that the Yemeni state is weak—create the justifications for assuming that Yemen cannot resolve its problems on its own. At the very least, according to this formulation, its people and thus its problems must be contained.

Real political solutions are possible, but they demand a lens that rejects the image of a Yemeni Wild West for one in which Yemenis are given a central role in shaping their future. This can only happen when all parties accept that the conflict stems from legitimate concerns expressed by numerous political groups in Yemen. The return of Bahah and his cabinet to Aden will not mark a turning point for the country until the broader political field is directly and adequately represented, as they were in the Transitional Council. Unfortunately, Saudi Arabia seems little interested in a solution that does not result in a Hadi-led government. The Houthis and deposed president Ali Abdullah Salih, for their part, have little to gain by ending the conflict. Under these conditions, the unfortunate images of Yemen as a failed state and of Yemenis as unable to govern themselves will likely continue – by Jillian Schwedler

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/menasource/yemen-s-image-problem-and-the-ongoing-conflict

Comment: Wow this is a brilliant article. In many Arab countries Yemen has been described to me as 'uncultured' and 'backward' which was exactly the opposite of my view after living in Yemen - but it was different, with to me a refreshing philosophy on life that I enjoyed and benefited from. And in the Western world it was hardly mentioned and if it was, it was associated with 'terror' and Al Qaeda - neither of which featured highly in my life in Yemen where I always felt safe and valued. What is culture if it isn't living your own way rather than in the ways of the powerful West, keeping to your own valued traditions and practices? Those values included acceptance of 'the Other', mutual respect, pride in their country, hospitality and generosity. Yes Yemen was poor - desperately poor - and yes education was not given priority. But that didn't make it uncultured - or weak.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096321070520383

3.2.2016 – Middle East Monitor (*** B P)

The real cost of Middle East wars

Each new weapon competes to cause greater killing and devastation. Success in the arms race is measured in the amount of innocent blood spilled. The reward for the winners is international praise and money to commit new slaughter. New weapons introduced by one side leads the other bloc to develop an even better one. While money is spent on developing a weapon, billions of dollars are also diverted to develop defence systems to counter it. The world’s resources are more than adequate to feed, house and provide pleasant lives for its 7 billion inhabitants, yet these countries spend their wealth, not on keeping people alive, but on the means to kill them.

The money spent on arms represents only a very small part of the total cost of wars. Several think-tanks have calculated the cost to the US economy of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan at $6 trillion. A large part of the cost represents expenditure not on the battlefield but on indirect costs. In addition to the $2 trillion it has already spent, the US will spend another $4 trillion over the next 30 years in loan interest, new arms purchases and lifetime health costs for injured veterans. One week before the start of the Iraq War, the then US Vice President Dick Cheney said that it would last only 2 years and would cost around $100 billion. However, the conflicts have never ended, and the cost has been at least 40-50 times higher.

The world is becoming an ever more dangerous place, with the side-effects of wars that cannot be measured in money. Billions of dollars are being spent on security alone. Instead of our old world fighting hunger, poverty and disease, huge efforts are being made to protect against threats from unknown directions.

In its peace report for 2014, the Institute for Economics and Peace revealed that 81 countries have gradually become more dangerous places, including Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Libya, Israel and Lebanon. The annual cost of the climate of violence in these six countries alone is $300 billion. The annual cost to the world due to violence is estimated at $10 trillion. Of that, $3 trillion represents the costs of obtaining arms, $3 trillion is related to crime and personal violence (murders, acts of violence in society, sex crimes and prison expenditure), $2.2 trillion for domestic security and $1.2 trillion for the cost of regional or global conflicts. Instead of this money being spent on preventing hunger, poverty and the deaths of homeless children, and raising prosperity across the world, it is being wasted on a dead-end from which there can be no winners.

It would be wrong to measure the costs of war in monetary terms alone, though. The climate of conflict that peaked with the “War on Terror” programme has cost some 3 million lives. It is impossible to put a financial valuation on the right to life of innocent men, women, children and the elderly. This process has, to date, devastated eight countries. Hundreds of cities and tens of thousands of towns have to be rebuilt. Four million people have had to flee their countries, while another 8 million are displaced within them. Turkey alone is housing more than 2 million Syrian refugees. Hundreds of thousands are clamouring at the border of the EU, many of whom drown before they ever get there.

Another major effect of the wars in the Middle East that will persist for many long years is the way that they have distanced the peoples of the East and West from one another. Islam is equated with war and terror in many Western homes, while in the East, millions regard the people of the West as invaders and warmongers.

The greatest cost of these wars is the way that all sides lose their humanity. Official news agencies carry reports of how many bombs have been produced and how many targets have been struck every day, and portray their own countries as heroic. Yet it is unclear who is targeted or hit in these operations. Military spokespersons describe “successful” operations as things to be proud of, even though all such terminology in fact means more corpses, more destruction and more poverty. The material and psychological costs of this sort of scenario will grow even more terrible so long as mankind tries to solve disputes through war, instead of peace. The goal should be to act outside of this mindset and bring peace to the world. More war will never be the way to do this – by Harun Yayha

https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/articles/middle-east/23703-the-real-cost-of-middle-east-wars

Allgemein / General

5.2.2016 – Critical Threats (A K T)

2016 Yemen Crisis Situation Report: February 5

A U.S. airstrike killed a senior al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) military official, which will probably disrupt operations in the coming weeks, but is unlikely to roll back AQAP's gains in southern Yemen.

A U.S. airstrike killed veteran AQAP military commander Jalal al Bal’idi al Marqishi, according to reports.

AQAP is consolidating control along a primary road that runs from Abyan through Shabwah and into Hadramawt. AQAP militants took control of two towns along the road: Habban, in Shabwah, on February 3 and al Mahfad, in northeast Abyan, on February 4. AQAP is likely treating this road as a primary ground line of communication to move personnel and resources across the Yemeni battlefield, as indicated by the two airstrikes targeting militants. AQAP also erectedcheckpoints in al Hawta in Lahij on February 4, further consolidating control over the city.

The Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham (ISIS) in Yemen’s Wilayat Hadramawt released a video of executions and operations in Hadramawt.

Coalition-backed forces remain concentrated along the anti-al Houthi-Saleh frontlines.

AQAP will continue to expand away from Yemen’s frontlines in the absence of ground operations to counter it. ISIS in Yemen will probably continue expanding its footprint in Yemen and may be able to shift the trajectory of the conflict rapidly through asymmetrical attacks – by James Towey

http://www.criticalthreats.org/yemen/yemen-crisis-situation-reports-february-5-2016

5.2.2016 – Before its News

Films: Yemen Update 2/5/2016

http://beforeitsnews.com/politics/2016/02/yemen-update-252016-as-yemen-bleeds-2776560.html

4.2.2016 – Before it’s News (A K P)

Films: Yemen update 2/4/2016. US has ordered fugitive former Yemeni president Hadi to immediately attack Sana’a

http://syria-personally.beforeitsnews.com/politics/2016/02/yemen-update-242016-us-has-ordered-fugitive-former-yemeni-president-hadi-to-immediately-attack-sanaa-2776272.html

4.2.2016 – Fars News (A K P)

US Orders Fugitive President to Attack Sana’a

A senior Omani official disclosed on Thursday that the US administration has ordered to fugitive former Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi to immediately attack Sana’a.

Speaking on the condition of anonymity, the Omani official told FNA that in a telephone conversation the US administration urged Hadi to take matters into his own hands to, what they called, “liberate Sana’a”.

According to the Omani official, the White House spoke to Hadi without first consulting Riyadh, urging him to come up with some kind of media or psychological warfare and victory.

“This clearly shows Washington is in deep trouble in the ongoing war on Yemen,” he told FNA.

The Omanai official went on to warn that if all fails the US might even decide to take matters into its own hands, sidestep the Saudis, and get involved directly in the war under the pretext of trying to reduce the rising civilian death toll.

http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13941115000841

Comment: Fact or fiction?

4.2.2016 – Rachy Colley (B K)

Via Rachy Colley , who says: When the CBU-52B/Bs are used, the shell — known in the arms trade as a dispenser, which makes it sound like it squirts hand soap rather than raining down deadly explosives — separates in mid-air, dropping 220 bomblets at a time on an area roughly the size of a football field.

Sheba Rights Coalition (SRC) has over 56 airdropped cluster bombs on residential by Saudi-led, and according to Stephen Goose, Human Rights Watch arms director “The coalition’s repeated use of cluster bombs in the middle of a crowded city suggests an intent to harm civilians, which is a war crime,” said. “These outrageous attacks show that the coalition seems less concerned than ever about sparing civilians from war’s horrors.”
These attacks were documented as follows:

• Sanaa (1 strike),
• Saada (34 strikes),
• Aden (1 strike),
• Hajjah (11 strikes),
• Taiz (6 strikes),
• Lahj (1 strike),
• Ibb (1 strike), and
• Marib (3 strikes).

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1095990960553394

4.2.2016 – Yemen News Today (A K)

WARNING SOME GRAPHIC IMAGES AND MANY UPSETTING IMAGES. PLEASE WATCH AND SHARE. Upcoming UN Human Rights Summit in Geneva. The attending Yemen team will be presenting: Yemen: The Forgotten War.

Yemen is the forgotten war, the forgotten siege, the forgotten genocide. With the full complicity of the US and NATO, the Saudi led coalition has been bombarding the blockaded nation for 10 months with no respite for Yemen's civilians. Targets have been predominantly densely Upcoming UN Human Rights Summit in Geneva. The attending Yemen team will be presenting: Yemen: The Forgotten War.
Yemen is the forgotten war, the forgotten siege, the forgotten genocide. With the full complicity of the US and NATO, the Saudi led coalition has been bombarding the blockaded nation for 10 months with no respite for Yemen's civilians. Targets have been predominantly densely populated civilian areas, essential infrastructure, hospitals, schools, wedding venues, mosques and homes across Yemen. Over 7,500 have been massacred since March 2015. Yemeni people are battered, bloodied and starving and the world is silent. The use of cluster bombs in densely populated civilian areas has ensured a devastation on a terrifying scale. Smart bombs supplied by the UK, mercenaries imported by Saudi Arabia via companies such as Blackwater have increased the pressure on this civilian population.
The UN has done nothing, even allowing the withdrawal of the investigation into Saudi crimes against Humanity in Yemen, appointing Saudi delegates to head up the UN Human Rights Panel. While the blood of the Yemeni people runs in rivers in their own land, punished for standing in defiance against Saudi oppression, corruption and brutality, the world looks the other way. This must end. The world must act. The UN must fulfill its purpose. On the 28th February 2016 a team of Yemeni delegates and supporters will go to Geneva to present a case for the illegal use of Cluster Bombs and the deteriorating Humanitarian situation in Yemen. Please support them.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096003030552187

3.2.2016 – Lobelog (* B P)

Have the Saudis Given Up Hope of Restoring Hadi as Yemen’s President?

Far from being a “Decisive Storm,” the intervention into Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition is foundering.

The Saudis have many good reasons for wanting to withdraw. The Saudi-led coalition is spending an estimated $200 million a day on Operation Restore Hope (with the Saudis probably paying the bulk of it). At $6 billion a month, this expenditure equals about 1% of the country’s estimated foreign reserves.

Two relevant news reports came out of the recent meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. The first report—citing “OIC Secretary General Iyad Madani, a Saudi”—described a call “for a de-escalation of tensions between regional rivals Saudi Arabia and Iran.” This reports suggests that a faction within Saudi Arabia was trying to save face by using the OIC as an impartial Islamic arbiter, suspending combat in Yemen at the OIC‘s “request.” The second, entitled “World Islamic body backs Saudi stance in Iran spat,” indicated that a more hard-line Saudi view had prevailed. At the same time, however, the Gulf Cooperation Council Secretary General stated that the GCC is looking to restart the political process in Yemen and also floated the idea of an international donors’ conference to discuss reconstructing the country, both of which suggest that the GCC is preparing for a post-kinetic phase, both operationally and for public relations purposes.

There have been signs of military preparation for a compromise and coalition withdrawal, too. Although bombastic announcements of imminent assaults have continued, other reports suggest something different.

Politically, members of the Saudi-backed Yemeni side have been making statements that hint at a more realistic, Yemeni compromise coming to the fore, clearly with an eye to the future.

As with the Multi-National Corps in Iraq, the Saudi-led coalition needs to recast its original aims so as to declare them achieved and then withdraw swiftly before the security bubble around Aden collapses. (Establishing this latter may be the aim of the recent troop reinforcement in Aden.) Hadi is probably a liability. His support within the Yemeni polity, never strong, is now negligible. And restoring him to Sana’a by force is an unlikely scenario. It would not be surprising if Hadi were to die tragically—possibly in a Suicide Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device attack—since this would force a revisiting of the provisions of the maximalist UN Security Council Resolution 2216 and the establishment of a more realistic desired end state.

Bahah is clearly positioning himself as a candidate for president. Yet Salih has a long history of casting himself as the alternative to chaos. Although his return to the presidency would be unacceptable to virtually everyone inside and outside the country, he may be trying to install his eldest son Ahmad in the presidency, something the Emiratis at least may countenance.

A genuine compromise that represents all legitimate interests would make it more likely that Yemenis would reconcile—as they did after the last foreign Arab intervention in the 1960s—and work together to rebuild their nation and defend it against Salafi terrorists. Without such a genuine compromise, Yemen is likely to collapse into more civil war. If this proves to be the case, then the current two-sided conflict is likely to descend into a vicious multi-faction conflict. Existing tensions within both blocs would then break out into the open, fueled by advanced weapons imported by the Saudi-led coalition. To prevent such an outcome, the international community must be ready to step in to guarantee the peace and rehabilitate the country as soon as possible – by James Spencer

https://lobelog.com/have-the-saudis-given-up-hope-of-restoring-hadi-as-yemens-president/

Comment: I hope so!!! No-one wants Hadi back. Seriously, this is not a bad article, obviously by someone who knows Yemen's politics and has followed the war closely, although I haven't read anything by him before. Worth a read.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096012097217947

Comment: I fear Spencer is somewhat too optimistic. For instance, Hadi preferred to be silent no more and again bubbled in a totally hard-line way. The Saudis still do not show any sign of reducing the intensity of war, on the contrary, they are intensifying war.

1.2.2.106 – Mint Press News (B K)

US, British Advisers To Assist Saudi Arabia With Target Acquisition For Yemen Airstrikes

Western officials are becoming more involved in Saudi Arabia's bloody airstrikes that have claimed thousands of lives.

Of course, the US has been involved in the Saudi war from the start, and has repeatedly been reported to be involved in targeting advice throughout.

http://www.mintpressnews.com/us-british-advisers-to-assist-saudi-arabia-with-targets-for-airstrikes-in-yemen/213261/

Comment: I guess this means they are planning to sell them some more military hardware. It seems to me that they are great at targeting - they regularly do double taps and hit the target again with pinpoint accuracy. What they aren't good at is hiding their cruel competence.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096323197186837

Comment: That exactly is the point: By their many double-tap strikes, exactly hitting the same target twice, the Saudis (and their American and British advisors in the Control room) definitely show that they are able to target absolutely exactly – that means that what they hit they had targeted precisely. And that means: They precisely target at hospitals, mosques, residential houses, factories, farms, schools, historical sites, harbours, airports, trucks, bridges, … and they hit them as they want.

Humanitäre Lage / Humanitarian situation

5.2.2016 – CARE (* B H)

JEMEN: ÜBER 80 PROZENT DER BEVÖLKERUNG AUF HUMANITÄRE HILFE ANGEWIESEN

Nach einem Jahr Bürgerkrieg im Jemen droht eine humanitäre Katastrophe gewaltigen Ausmaßes.

CARE fordert uneingeschränkten Zugang für humanitäre Helfer und eine politische Lösung des Konflikts.

Geht es um den Jemen, wird oft von einem „vergessenen“ Krieg gesprochen. Zu klein das Land und zu groß die Anzahl der Konflikte, die in der Region schwelen. Dabei ist der humanitäre Bedarf des ohnehin ärmsten Landes des Nahen Ostens größer als der jeder anderen Krise der Welt, größer als der in Syrien und dem Südsudan zusammen. Mehr als 80 Prozent der Bevölkerung sind laut dem Flüchtlingshilfswerk der Vereinten Nationen auf Hilfslieferungen angewiesen, darunter auch über 2,5 Millionen Menschen, die innerhalb ihres Landes vertrieben sind. Die Zivilbevölkerung leidet stark unter der andauernden Krise und der mit ihr verbundenen Gewalt, rund 6.000 Menschen haben seit Ausbruch des Konflikts im März 2015 ihr Leben verloren.

Das Ausmaß der humanitären Katastophe ist gewaltig. Über 14 Millionen Menschen sind von Nahrungsunsicherheit bedroht, eine Folge von steigenden Lebensmittelpreisen und Versorgungsengpässen. Einer Umfrage von OCHA (Organisation for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs) zufolge steht jeder zweite Mensch im Jemen täglich vor der Frage, wie er seinen Hunger stillen kann. Zerstörerische Bombenangriffe und Probleme bei der Energieversorgung führen außerdem dazu, dass immer weniger Menschen Zugang zu Gesundheitsdiensten und Schulbildung haben.

CARE fordert die internationale Gemeinschaft auf, Druck auf sämtliche Konfliktparteien auszuüben, damit eine politische Lösung des Konflikts gefunden werden kann. Nur so kann in dem krisengebeutelten Land wieder Frieden und Sicherheit einkehren und eine weitere humanitäre Katastrophe im Ausmaß der Syrienkrise verhindert werden. Auch im Hinblick auf die aktuelle Flüchtlingskrise muss eine weitere Destabiliserung der Region verhindert werden. „Der Jemen muss politisch wieder stabil werden. Gleichzeitig muss die Finanzierung von humanitärer Hilfe und Entwicklungsprojekten fortgesetzt werden. Wenn sich die politische Stabilität des Landes weiter verschlechtert und es keine weitere Unterstützung gibt, wird es immer schwieriger werden, die Menschen im Jemen mit dringend benötigter Hilfe zu erreichen“, so Daw Mohammed, CARE-Länderdirektor im Jemen. Bis dahin muss sichergestellt werden, dass Notleidende Zugang zu lebensnotwendiger Hilfe in Form von Nahrungsmitteln, sauberem Wasser und Gesundheitsversorgung erhalten. Der Schutz der Zivilbevölkerung muss Priorität haben.

Trotz anhaltender politischer und humanitärer Herausforderungen und der unsicheren Lage im Land setzen CARE und seine Partner ihre Hilfe vor Ort fort und leisten in mehreren Regionen des Landes dringend benötigte Unterstützung. Die Arbeit von CARE konzentriert sich vor allem auf die Stärkung von Frauen und Zivilbevölkerung, die Vorbeugung von sexualisierter Gewalt, Wasserressourcenmanagement und die humanitäre Hilfe für Flüchtlinge und Menschen, die besonders stark vom Konflikt betroffen sind.

Jetzt helfen mit Ihrer Spende!

http://www.care.de/meldungen/meldung/News/detail/jemen-ueber-80-prozent-der-bevoelkerung-auf-humanitaere-hilfe-angewiesen/

5.2.2016 – Bellingcat (** B H K)

Yemen’s Bombed Water Infrastructure: An OSINT Investigation

This open source intelligence (OSINT) investigation looks into the latest attack (allegedly January 8, 2016) on a water facility, the seawater desalinisation plant north of Mocha, 2016, and places this attack in a wider context of attacks on illegitimate targets, specifically water infrastructure.

In the second week of January 2016, photos started circulating on Facebook and Twitter of what allegedly showed the destruction by an Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a seawater desalination plant near Mocha (Arabic: المخا‎ al-Mukhā) on the coast of the Taʿizz Governorate.

This article tries to confirm the validity of the images by confirming there is a desalination plant, and that it is near Mocha, Yemen. Furthermore, it investigates whether or not the plant was functioning before it was attacked and places the attack in the wider perspective of Yemen’s troubled water situation.

The images and footage also suggest at least tanks 02 and 04 were nearly completely full of liquid just before the attack.

It seems likely that the plant was being used up until it was destroyed. It is alleged several people were at the facility, possibly collecting water, when it was struck and at least two of the seven tanks were full of water.

However there is no hard evidence that Saudi jets or any other member of the Saudi-led coalition responsible for the attacks.

An alternate perpetrator might be among the wide variety of groups currently fighting the Houthis for control Salafist of Taʿizz city. For example, a videoreleased in early January 2016 claims to show Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) fighters in Taʿizz engaging with Houthi forces. The footage shows AQAP have truck-mounted recoilless rifles which could possibly have caused the damage to the plant.

Unfortunately, the attack on the Mocha desalinisation plant is not an isolated in Yemen’s civil war. This a non-exhaustive list of attacks on water infrastructure that occurred in 2015. We have tried to use OSINT to find and verify as much as possible, but we have not been able to verify all of them.

At present, it is evident that the Mocha sea water desalination plant was attacked, most likely on January 8, 2016. However, we are not able to prove who destroyed the plant. Whoever did it has committed a grievous crime. Taʿizz is water starved and the plant was supposed to be able to supply its population with clean water. Now it is badly damaged if not totally destroyed. This would be terrible in peace time but it is catastrophic given the conditions the citizens of Taʿizz are living under.

The images circulating online show the aftermath of an attack on the YCD desalination plant north of Mocha. This OSINT investigation has shown that this attack likely took place on January 8, 2016. The plant was probably still functioning when it was attacked, or at the very least had liquid in it – most probably water the citizens of Taʿizz and Mocha could have used – by Brendan Clifford* and Christiaan Triebert

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/02/05/yemens-bombed-water-infrastructure/

Comment by Judith Brown: An important article on the attacks on Yemen's water infrastructure, considering who might have caused the attacks. Whoever did it, it is this dreadful war which accelerated when the Saudi led coalition started bombing Yemen.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096543740498116

5.2.2016 - Oxfam (A H)

Hunger haunts millions across Yemen and Syria

Conflict in the Middle East has driven countless families from their homes. Now, many face futures of grave uncertainty.

After months of fighting, millions of people in Yemen are now staggering down the slow road to starvation, and they are not the only Middle Easterners on that crowded way.

Across the country, an estimated three million children are now malnourished and about 20 million people cannot safely get clean water.

Oxfam is working to rehabilitate the damaged water infrastructure in the besieged districts of Al Madafer, Al Qahira, and elsewhere in Al Hawban, Salah, and Maouiah districts in Taiz city. With generators, water tanks, pipes, and other equipment, our goal is to ensure that more than 200,000 people trapped by fighting can get clean water at regular intervals. The supply is essential to ensure the health of families and to stave off diarrhea, which is particularly dangerous when people are already weakened by lack of food.

Elsewhere in southern Yemen, Oxfam is providing a local water authority in Aden governate with the equipment needed to pump clean water to 800,000 residents. And in the northern governates of Amran, Hajjah, and Al Hodeidah, Oxfam is providing clean water to nearly 350,000 people affected by the conflict.

http://www.oxfamamerica.org/explore/stories/hunger-haunts-millions-across-yemen-and-syria/

5.2.2016 - SA People (A H)

Animal Agency Tries to Save 20 Starving Lions in War-Torn Yemen

http://www.sapeople.com/2016/02/05/lions-in-war-torn-yemen-could-be-saved/

Comment: What about saving starving children?

5.2.2016 – Yemen News Today (A H)

So, it's true. The Lion of ‪#‎Taiz did not make it.
There was not enough food. The guardian tried to share the little food he had with the lion but it was not enough.
Though we appreciate everyone's concern and empathy and sympathy, we would like to remind you that the entire YEMEN is under siege, that the entire country has no food, no water, no fuel or medicines and that every single day the country is bombed from the sky, the sea and suicide bombers.
That Taiz, in specific, has witnessed heavy fighting between rival forces, that the same way this lion has passed away because of lack of food and medicines is what the entire population is experiencing. That Yemen represents the worst humanitarian crises of the moment and that 14 million (half of the entire population) is food insicure.
If you really want to help, activate yourself and help us stopping this war. Write to your politicians, demonstrate, oppose.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096529370499553

5.2.2016 – UNCHR (* A H)

Help is a phone call away for displaced Yemenis

Tawasul – which means "dialogue" in Arabic – is a partnership between UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, and non-profit AMIDEAST. Set up in December, it provides a much-needed bridge between millions of people of concern across war-ravaged Yemen, and a range of humanitarian agencies.

Trained, Arabic-speaking operators at the centre in Sana'a take down details from callers and note their needs, and then advise them how, when and where they can access the services.

"Tawasul is the first of its kind in Yemen and goes a step further in firmly anchoring the protection obligation of the humanitarian community to the people of Yemen," said Johannes van der Klaauw, UNHCR's representative in the country.

Since war broke out in Yemen last March, more than 2.5 million people have become internally displaced. Many have lost their livelihoods and are seeking shelter with relatives and friends in schools, public and abandoned buildings, makeshift shelters or in the open with little to no protection.

In a bid to help vulnerable displaced people find the help they need, UNHCR and AMIDEAST have invited numerous other humanitarian agencies at work in Yemen to use Tawasul to disseminate information concerning their programmes and services.

Despite severely restricted humanitarian access and security constraints, UNHCR reached over 280,000 internally displaced Yemenis with essential household items such as bedding, kitchen utensils and shelter material in 2015.

The UN Refugee Agency has continued to provide protection services such as psychosocial support, together with legal and cash assistance through outreach to communities with large concentrations of displaced persons.

So as to ensure high standards of accountability, Tawasul operators also gather complaints and other feedback to be referred to the relevant agency for subsequent follow up.

http://www.unhcr.org/56b476fa6.html

11.12.2015 – Amnesty International (* A K)

Film: Yemen: Bombing of schools by Saudi Arabia-led coalition

Saudi Arabia-led coalition forces have carried out a series of air strikes targeting schools that were still in use, in violation of international humanitarian law, and hampering access to education for thousands of Yemen’s children, said Amnesty International in a new briefing published today. The coalition forces are armed by states including the USA and UK.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxPuYkekJKc

Comment: Since this report, more schools have been targeted by the Saudi-led coalition. Millions of children are currently not studying because the sanctity of schools have not been spared by the relentless bombing.

https://www.facebook.com/yemen.crisis/posts/560208074145433

Kulturerbe / Cultural Heritage

5.2.2016 – The Art Newspaper (** B H)

Yemen battles to save ancient heritage from destruction

Museum in Taiz latest casualty of conflict in which more than 40 sites caught in the crossfire of Saudi-led bombing campaign and fundamentalist attacks

Air strikes by a Saudi Arabia-led coalition and attacks by fundamentalist groups linked to Al Qaeda and Isil have caused widespread destruction to Yemen’s heritage, losses that have been under-reported compared with the destruction wreaked by extremists in Syria and northern Iraq.

The latest casualty is the National Museum in the city of Taiz, which was badly damaged when shelled by Houthis militants on Sunday, the Associated Press reports.

The coalition’s bombing campaign, which began last March, together with iconoclasm by Islamist extremists, has resulted in damage and destruction to 47 sites in Yemen during the crisis, according to the country’s General Organisation of Antiquities, Museums and Manuscripts (Goamm). They include three Unesco World Heritage Sites: Sanaa, Zadib (the capital of Yemen from the 13th to the 15th century) and Shibam (nicknamed “Manhattan in the desert” because of its towers, built in the 16th century). Meanwhile, an Isil suicide bombing in June caused major damage to the Qubat al Mahdi mosque in the capital Sanaa.

The reasons for the West’s relative indifference to the destruction in Yemen? “Yemeni heritage does not recall classical antiquity, as does Palmyra [in Syria],” says Samir Abdulac, who is chairman of the International Council on Monuments and Sites’ working group for safeguarding cultural heritage in Syria, Iraq and neighbouring countries.

Politics is another reason for the silence. […]

“[The Saudi Arabian-led coalition] has been informed since the beginning of the war about sites to avoid, with the co-ordinates provided to them by Unesco,” says Anna Paolini, the director of the Unesco office in Doha, Qatar, representing the Arab states in the Gulf and Yemen. Some heritage sites could have a strategic military interest for the Houthis—sites such as the Medieval fortress of Al Qahera in Taiz, in the southwest of the country, which was destroyed last June.

Other destroyed sites could have been collateral damage, rather than direct targets­—for example, the ancient site of Baraqish and its recently restored temple and murals. “The coalition had targeted a camp of archaeologists—luckily without anyone inside. Undoubtedly, it imagined it was housing weapons,” Paolini says. “Even in this war context, Saudi Arabia hasn’t justified its hits.”

Some experts suspect that Saudi Arabia is directly targeting Yemeni heritage. The archaeologist Lamya Khalidi gives the example of the ancient Marib Dam, which was badly damaged last May. She says: “It’s located in a desert zone. Those who know Yemen, as I do, know that it could not have had any strategic interest, and that no one could hide anything there. Saudi Arabia had the co-ordinates of the site, which could not have been hit by accident.”

Also in May, the Dhamar Regional Museum was pulverised. Around 700 objects were retrieved from the rubble. The attack was justified on the grounds that weapons could have been hidden in the building. “The personnel of Goamm, with whom I have worked for a long time, controlled access to the museum,” Khalidi says. “They had a guard 24 hours a day. How could arms have been deposited there?” – by Marie Zawisza

http://theartnewspaper.com/news/news/yemen-battles-to-save-ancient-heritage-from-destruction/

5.2.2016 – Aljazeera (A H)

Saving Yemen's heritage, 'heart and soul of classical Islamic tradition'

Professor hopes to digitize 'the collective memory of a people' in manuscripts — before bombs pound them to dust

http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2016/2/5/american-professor-in-race-to-save-yemens-cultural-heritage.html

3.2.2016 – Middle East Eye (* A K)

Taiz national museum reduced to ash by fighting

Priceless historical artefacts have been destroyed by the Houthis, residents say

Heavy Houthi shelling in recent days has sparked a fire in Taiz’s national museum, burning the building and the vast majority of its historical treasures to the ground.

Manuscripts, an ornate turban said to belong to an unknown but ancient king, old Qurans dating back more than 1,000 years, and private pistols of Imam Ahmed Hamid Al-Deen - the last Yemeni Imam (national religious leader) before Arab nationalists seized power in 1962 - have all been destroyed, local Popular Resistance fighters who oppose the Houthis told MEE.

A day after the flames had subsided, MEE was able to visit the site. Small silver objects could be seen peeking out from amidst the layers of thick ash. The charred remains of manuscripts with blackened edges lay sprinkled above the now totally unrecognisable remains of relics.

"On 30 January, the Houthis targeted the museum from Al-Salal hill, east of Taiz city, and after heavy shelling by more than five rockets the museum burnt down," Moaath al-Yaseri, a leader of the Popular Resistance in Taiz, told MEE.

Yaseri accused the Houthis of trying to destroy the historical places and artefacts of Yemen’s long and colourful history, saying that the Houthis did not know about the cultural significance of these things.

Taiz was Yemen’s capital from 1175 until falling to Ottoman armies in 1516. Sanaa would only be declared the capital in 1962.

The museum was built by Imam Ahmed and acted as his palace before the nationalist revolution of 1962. It was then converted to a museum and contained almost all the historical pieces of Taiz province.

"When I entered the museum, I found the old manuscripts and the historical pieces reduced to ash,” Yaseri said, confirming that the Houthis were still targeting the museum even after it had burnt down.

While the Popular Resistance in Taiz accused the Houthis of burning the national museum, the Houthis said that the resistance had been using the museum as a military base from which to shell them.

"AnsarAllah [the Houthis] do not have any interest in burning the museum, but the resistance is responsible for burning the museum as the fighters of the resistance targeted the Houthis from the museum," a Houthi leader originally from Taiz city told MEE on condition of anonymity.

"Most of the Houthi fighters are originally from Taiz province, and the history of Taiz is their history, and no one wants to destroy his history himself."

Regardless of who is to blame though, the reality is that Yemen’s historical sites are being ravaged by the fighting –by Nasser Al-Sakkaf

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/taiz-s-national-museum-reduced-ash-fighting-1745248594 see also this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/wires/ap/article-3430337/Rebel-shelling-destroys-museum-Yemen.html where photos from the National Museum of Taiz are dated Jan. 2.

Nordjemen und Huthis / Northern Yemen and Houthis

5.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A P)

Yemeni tribes call for mobilization against Saudi Arabia

Yemeni tribes from across the country have called for mobilization against Saudi Arabia’s deadly war on the Arab world’s poorest nation, Press TV reports.

Men of Hamdan, one of Yemen’s most powerful tribes, rallied to the north of the capital, Sana’a, vowing to provide support in the form of potential mobilization for the country’s fighters resisting the Saudi aggression.

Hundreds of tribesmen from the southern parts of the country held a gathering in the capital. The participants pledged union against what they described as a US-Israeli initiative targeting the country, which was being implemented by Saudi Arabia.

“Yemenis from the north and the south are united against such US-Saudi project,” said a keynote speaker at the event.

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/05/448750/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-Hamdan-Aden

2.2.2016 – International Federation of Journalists (A P)

Yemen: new reports of torture against kidnapped journalists

Three Yemeni journalists, who are held captive by the Houthis since last June, are reported to have been tortured on 30 January, according to the Yemen Journalists’ Syndicate (YJS), an IFJ affiliate. The International Federation of Journalist (IFJ), which represents more than 600,000 journalists in the world, condemns the torturing and the bad treatment of the detained journalists and renews its call to immediately release them.

According to their families, journalists Toufic Al Mansoury, AbdelKhaleek Omran and Akram Al Waleedi, who are held in al Thawra prison in the capital Sana’a, were isolated in individual cells last Saturday night and then tortured and beaten by rifles and other equipment until they bled.

The three reporters were kidnapped, together with other 6 colleagues, at the Dream Land Hotel in the capital, Sana’a, on 9 June 2015. The YJS said that they were all working from the hotel which they considered a safer place with a regular power connection. The Houthi rebels took all of them to the Red section of the Al‐Hasba district and then to the anti‐ terrorism unit in Al Adel Street. They were later transferred to an unknown location towards the end of Ramadan and are currently held in the capital’s prison. A lawyers’ group which was allowed to visit them in the prison last September told the YJS that the reporters had been repeatedly tortured since their abduction

http://www.ifj.org/nc/news-single-view/backpid/50/article/yemen-new-reports-of-torture-against-kidnapped-journalists/

6.2.2016 – Haykal (B P)

Yemen: Constitutional Decree of 6 February 2015

These are the terms of the Constitutional Decree which was announced on 6 February 2015 in Yemen capital Sanaa.

http://blog.haykal.sg/the-yemen/63-yemen-constitutional-decree-of-6-february-2015

Article 1

The provisions of the Constitution shall remain in force insofar as it does not expressly contradict or be in conflicts with this decree.

Article 2

The terms of this decree set out the rules of governance within the transitional stage.

Article 3

General rights and freedoms are guaranteed and the state is committed to protecting these rights.

Article 4

The foreign policy of the state shall be conducted on the basis of good neighborly relations and non-interference in the internal affairs of the state and shall adopt peaceful means to resolve conflicts in order to preserve the independence of the homeland and its sovereignty.

Article 5

The Supreme Revolutionary Committee (SRC) heads the Revolution and from it branches the Revolutionary Committees in the governorates and districts.

Article 6

The SRC decrees that there shall be a Transitional National Council (TNC) of 551 members to replace the Parliament which is hereby dissolved, including components which are not a part of it, and the SRC shall have the right to include whomsoever it wishes.

Article 7

Regulations shall specify the rights and duties of the TNC members in the performance of their work.

Article 8

The Presidency shall consist of a Presidential Council of 5 members to be elected by the TNC, subject to ratification by the SRC.

Article 9

Internal regulations shall specify the rights and duties of the members of the Presidential Council in the performance of their work.

Article 10

Transitional government : The Presidential Council shall establish a competent transitional national government, whether from the members of the TNC or without.

Article 11

The SRC shall take all necessary steps and measures to protect national sovereignty, to maintain the state's security and independence and to guarantee the rights and freedoms of citizens.

Article 12

The mandate and terms of reference for the TNC, the Presidential Council and the transitional government shall be issued by the SRC.

Article 13

The transitional state authorities shall within a period of 2 years ensure the implementation of the National Dialogue recommendations and the terms of the Peace and National Partnership Accord, including a review of the draft constitution, the enactment of laws and the holding of a constitutional referendum.

Article 14

All ordinary legislation shall remain in force unless inconsistent with the terms of this decree.

Comment: Showing how the Houthis organized the provisional government of Yemen after the deposal of president Hadi. Thus, what mostly just is “forgotten” in western media, the Houthi for the part of Yemen controlled by them, constituted a provisional government. Labelling them as “rebels” then sounds quite strange and must be seen as a main part of a propagandistic agenda, which only recognizes the Hadi government, not even mentioning the claim of the other side having constituted a government as well. What I am missing is any indication of the body which had given this decree.

Südjemen und Hadi-Regierung / Southern Yemen and Hadi government

4.2.2016 – Al Araby (A T)

Yemen: Lahj police chief injured in suicide bomb attack

Lahj provincial police chief Colonel Adel al-Halemi was lightly wounded in a suicide bomb attack on his convoy in the port city of Aden late on Wednesday.

A source close to Halemi told The New Arab that the bombing targeted one of the vehicles in the colonel's convoy after he was on his way back to his house in the eastern part of al-Mimdara, an area in the Sheikh Othman district of Aden.

A number of other people were killed or hurt, according to a security official, who did not give more details on the casualties.

The explosion, which shook the city, was followed by gun fire.

Colonel Halemi had previously received death threats from Al-Qaeda in al-Houta city in Lahj after he visited the city and promised that the police will return to the city to maintain security there last week.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/2/4/yemen-lahj-police-chief-injured-in-suicide-bomb-attack and by Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-attack-idUSKCN0VC2MZ

Comments: In this case, the blames on the Houthi/Saleh alliance are mere propaganda.

3.2.2016 – Anadolu (A P T)

ADEN, Yemen

The northern city of Aden, which houses the headquarters of Yemen's internationally recognized government, was rocked by a spate of suicide bombings and assassinations in January, making it one of the deadliest months in the seaport city's history.

"Bombings and assassinations in Aden and other liberated areas are part of an ongoing dirty war," Yemeni lawmaker Aydarus al-Naqib told Anadolu Agency.

Last week, seven people were killed in a suicide bombing that targeted a police checkpoint in Aden.

The attack came a few days after another suicide attack killed at least eight people, including soldiers and civilians, outside the presidential palace in Aden.

Last month also saw a spate of targeted assassinations of several government officials, police officers and religious leaders.

Naqib, the head of the parliamentary bloc of the Yemeni Socialist Party, believes that such attacks are aimed at sparking fear and panic in Aden and other government-ruled areas.

"It's also an attempt to prove that officials in liberated areas are not fit enough to provide security or services and are unable to keep the people safe," he said. "This all is meant to elicit desperation among the people and make them crave for the old days of the former regime."

Local councilor Abdel-Maguid al-Salahi criticized the government for failing to prevent attacks in areas under its control.

http://aa.com.tr/en/politics/yemens-aden-sees-more-bloodshed-in-january/514566

Comment: This once vibrant hub of the Yemen economy is in ruins with militias and criminals in charge of the city. Laughingly those who 'liberated' Aden say that it is under control of Hadi's government - a joke as Hadi isn't even in control of his own life and has to rely on non Yemeni bodyguards to keep him safe in his hilltop fortress in Aden.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096114640541026

UNO / UN

5.2.2016 – The Guardian / South China Morning Post (* A P)

‘Yemen is in flames’: UN chief Ban Ki-moon urges Britain to stop selling weapons used by Saudi Arabia against civilians

A special UN panel report, leaked a fortnight ago, accused Saudi Arabia of making numerous breaches of international humanitarian law by conducting an indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen.

Speaking in London, Ban Ki-moon said: “Yemen is in flames and coalition air strikes in particular continue to strike schools, hospitals, mosques and civilian infrastructure.”

He claimed that Yemen “was awash with weapons”, adding: “We need states that are party to [the] arms trade treaty to set an example in fulfilling one of the treaty’s main purposes – controlling arms flows to actors that may use them in ways that breach international humanitarian law”.

Ban said permanent members of the UN Security Council, including the UK, had a special responsibility to secure peace in intractable conflicts.

The normally mild-mannered Ban made his pointed remarks in a speech in which he bemoaned the failure of major powers to live up to their promises to prevent massacres and human rights abuses on the scale of Syria, Rwanda, Srebrenica, Cambodia and Yemen. The promises of “never again”, he said, have become more muted.

A special UN panel report, leaked a fortnight ago, accused Saudi Arabia of making numerous breaches of international humanitarian law by conducting an indiscriminate bombing campaign in Yemen.

It is the first time that Ban has commented on the scale of the alleged atrocities in Yemen.

The secretary general was speaking at a Chatham House event at Central Hall in Westminster, where the UN first met 70 years ago. He was in London as the UN was acting as the co-sponsor of the international fundraising conference that generated nearly US $10 billion for Syrian refugees over the next few years - by Patrick Wintour

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/feb/05/ban-ki-moon-yemen-war-uk-arms-sales-saudi-arabia = http://www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1909998/yemen-flames-un-chief-ban-ki-moon-urges-britain-stop-selling-weapons-used and see also http://www.una.org.uk/news/16/02/ban-ki-moon-delivers-powerful-speech-packed-central-hall-westminster

Comment: The only solution is not to 'pressure'. Is to stop the bombing. A resolution, immediate.

Saudi-Arabien und Iran / Saudi Arabia and Iran

7.1.2016 – The World Weekly (* B P)

As relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran reach a new low, their cold war threatens to rip apart the Middle East

Saudi Arabia this week cut off diplomatic ties with regional rival Iran after protesters stormed the kingdom’s embassy in Tehran. Will this jeopardise peace efforts in Syria and Yemen?

Both countries are locked into a geopolitical rivalry spanning several decades, which certainly have also seen episodes of cooperation. Saudi Arabia fears its regional influence is waning as Iran pushes to end its international isolation and shore up support for its regional partners. As Mr. Ignatius argues, the Arab uprisings, especially the fact that the US let Saudi ally Hosni Mubarak be ousted in Egypt, has led to greater assertiveness and risk-taking by Riyadh. This has increased since the ascendancy of King Salman to the throne.

It will be crucial to see how successful regional and international mediation efforts will be. A more permanent rise in tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran is certain to negatively impact peace efforts in the Middle East – by Manuel Langendorf

http://www.theworldweekly.com/reader/view/magazine/2016-01-07/after-years-of-conflict-the-central-african-republic-is-holding-its-first-elections-since-the-peace-deal/6223

Saudi-Arabien / Saudi Arabia

5.2.2016 – RT (A P)

Saudi-Arabien erklärt sich bereit für Bodeninvasion in Syrien - USA unterstützen Vorhaben

Saudi-Arabien hat seine Bereitschaft signalisiert, Bodentruppen nach Syrien zu entsenden, wenn die US-geführte Anti-IS-Koalition solche nachfragen sollte. Das teilte ein Berater des saudischen Verteidigungsministeriums mit. Riad gehört zu den größten regionalen Gegnern der al-Assad-Regierung in Damaskus. US-Verteidigungsminister Carter reagierte auf die saudische Initiative mit den Worten: "Diese Art von Neuigkeit ist uns sehr willkommen".

https://deutsch.rt.com/der-nahe-osten/36650-us-verteidigungsministerium-will-uber-mogliche/

5.2.2016 – Spiegel Online (** A P)

Bodenoffensive gegen IS: Der saudische Scheinriese

Ahmed al-Asiri verkündete es ganz offiziell: "Ich möchte heute über den Kanal al-Arabiya bekanntgeben, dass Saudi-Arabien bereit ist, an allen Bodenoperationen gegen den IS in Syrien teilzunehmen, wenn sich die Führung der Koalition darauf einigt", sagte der Sprecher des saudi-arabischen Militärs am Donnerstagabend.

Die Reaktion aus den USA ließ nicht lange auf sich warten: "Diese Nachricht ist hochwillkommen", sagte Verteidigungsminister Ashton Carter. Saudi-Arabien zeige seine Bereitschaft, die Führungsrolle der islamischen Länder im Kampf gegen die Terrororganisation Islamischer Staat (IS) zu übernehmen.

Doch wie könnten diese Führungsrolle und eine von Saudi-Arabien geführte Bodenoffensive gegen den IS überhaupt aussehen?

"Wir haben jetzt im Jemen Erfahrungen gesammelt", erläuterte Asiri seine Ankündigung.

Der Krieg im Jemen hat das saudi-arabische Militär als Scheinriesen entlarvt. 150.000 Soldaten stünden für eine Bodenoffensive bereit, hatte das Königshaus zu Beginn des Kriegs verkündet. Eine Invasion stehe unmittelbar bevor, hieß es im März 2015. Passiert ist seither wenig. Wenige tausend saudi-arabische Soldaten sind derzeit in den Städten Aden und Tais stationiert.

Inzwischen sind Riad und seine Verbündeten dazu übergegangen, den Kampf gegen die Huthi-Rebellen an Söldner auszulagern. Mehrere Hundert Ex-Soldaten aus Kolumbien kämpfen mittlerweile an der Seite Saudi-Arabiens im Jemen.

Doch eine Bodenoffensive gegen den IS wäre für Saudi-Arabien nicht nur militärisch riskant. Sie würde das Land auch vor eine ideologische Zerreißprobe stellen. Geht es nach dem Gesellschaftsbild, liegen Saudi-Arabien und der IS nämlich gar nicht so weit auseinander. Sowohl in Saudi-Arabien als auch beim IS wird Recht auf Grundlage einer fundamentalistischen Auslegung der Scharia gesprochen. Beide Regime propagieren eine strenge Geschlechtertrennung und betrachten nicht-sunnitische Muslime als Ungläubige oder Abtrünnige.

Die Tageszeitung "al-Hayat" führte im August 2014 eine Umfrage in Saudi-Arabiendurch. Demnach waren 92 Prozent der Befragten der Ansicht, dass der IS mit den Werten des Islams und der Scharia übereinstimme. Tausende Saudi-Araber haben sich den Dschihadisten in Syrien und im Irak angeschlossen, sie stellen damit eine der größten Gruppen unter den ausländischen IS-Kämpfern. Eine Bodenoffensive hätte damit zur Folge, dass Saudi-Araber gegen Saudi-Araber kämpfen würden - für einen Staat, in dem Familien- und Stammesbeziehungen eine entscheidende Rolle spielen, ist das bislang eine ungeheuerliche Vorstellung.

Und selbst wenn Saudi-Arabiens Truppen den IS schlagen sollten: Unter ihrer Aufsicht würde kaum ein neuer syrischer Staat entstehen, der auf demokratischen Werten basiert und in dem Minderheiten gleiche Rechte genießen – von Christoph Sydow

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/ausland/islamischer-staat-saudi-arabiens-bodenoffensive-ist-eine-scheindrohung-a-1075869.html

5.2.2016 – Telepolis (* A P)

Syrien: Saudi-Arabien bringt eigene Bodentruppen ins Spiel

Worum es Saudi-Arabien in erster Linie mit der Ankündigung - "Wir würden Bodentruppen schicken, wenn.." - geht, ist eine Solidaritätserklärung mit den sunnitischen, salafistischen Proxytruppen in Syrien, den Sunniten in der Region, die den Krieg in Syrien in erster Linie als Kampf zwischen Schiiten und Sunniten lesen, und mit der Türkei. Die Gegenmächte zu Russland und Syrien zeigen Zähne, im Hintergrund wird sich die amerikanische Regierung freuen. Auch das ist eine Sponsorstaat-Ebene.

Praktisch wird der saudische Trompetenstoß höchstwahrscheinlich so umgesetzt, dass die Unterstützung für Ahrar al-Sham, Jaish al-Islam und andere Gruppierungen, die Riad und befreundete Zirkel fördern, weiter verstärkt, womit der Krieg weiter angeheizt wird.

Das ist auch im Interesse der USA, die keine offene Auseinandersetzung mit Russland in Syrien riskieren, wohl aber verdeckt daran arbeiten, dass Russland und die syrische Regierung einen möglichst hohen Preis für ihr Unterfangen der Wiedereroberung der Macht über Syrien zahlen. Ein eindeutiges, unangefochtenes Machtübergewicht der Regierung Baschar ist nicht im Interesse der USA und auch nicht Israels Interesse. Allerdings ist auch eine Salafisten/Dschihadisten-Regierung in Damaskus in Washington und Jerusalem unerwünscht. Es gilt aber auch: Russland darf keinen unbehelligten, uneingeschränkten Sieg davon tragen – von Thomas Pany

http://www.heise.de/tp/artikel/47/47321/1.html

3.2.2016 – Sputnik News (** A P)

Battle Royal: The Prospects of a Palace Coup in Saudi Arabia
With rumors circulating in Riyadh over whether 80-year-old Saudi King Salman is planning to abdicate in favor of his son, which would effectively constitute a palace coup, Middle East expert Alexander Orlov provides his own take on the impact such a move would have on the Saudi dynasty, the region and the world.
Last month, reports emerged suggesting that Saudi Arabia's King Salman may be planning to abdicate the throne in favor of his 30-year-old son, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Salman, 30, currently serves as the country's defense minister, and is considered to be responsible for some of the Kingdom's most brazen behavior, including the ill-fated military operation in Yemen and the execution of Saudi Shia cleric and rights activist Nimr al-Nimr.

Analyzing the possibility of a power struggle brewing in the secretive kingdom in a recent article for the foreign policy journal New Eastern Outlook, Orlov, a political scientist specializing in the Middle East, explained that for starters, any overt attempt by Salman to position his son to succeed him would violate the country's succession laws, and hence effectively amount to a palace coup.

Abdication in favor of Prince Salman, Orlov writes, would "bypass Crown Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the country's internal affairs minister, and thus violate all [the Kingdom's] traditions of succession. After all, King Salman's son is the deputy crown prince, and his turn for the leadership should hypothetically come after Crown Prince Nayef becomes king, at which point he, Salman, will become crown prince."

Meanwhile, the country's powerful Succession Council is rumored to be split, with "its members, the elderly princes and the King's closest relatives, too conservative in their views to agree on a new system of succession to the throne, although some of them did agree with the idea 'for the good of the cause'."

Of course," the political scientist notes, "the costs of such an option are clear and undesirable for the Saudi dynasty, but the alternative could be the beginning of the disintegration of the Kingdom, which is again facing unrest from the Shiite minority, and no money is to be found in the treasury due to a long run of low oil prices."

In a battle between Deputy Crown Prince Salman and Crown Prince Nayef, things would look good for the young prince, the analyst notes. "Standing behind him are the armed forces and the National Guard, while Crown Prince Nayef has only the ministry of internal affairs and the police at his disposal."

As for the government, the analyst suggests that "among the country's ministers, the majority are also on Salman's side.

With most of the cards looking to be in the hands of King Salman and his son, the young prince, one fact which shouldn't be discounted, according to Orlov, is the position of the leaders of the country's tribal groups and clans, "on which the situation 'on the ground' [ultimately] depends." These groups, he recalls, "are lying low in anticipation of what happens in Riyadh. But one thing is clear: the policy of reducing oil prices has hit them where it hurts — their pockets, since they too have their quota on the proceeds of oil exports, and they are extremely dissatisfied with Salman and his family."

In the final analysis, Orlov notes, "we will not have to wait long for the endgame." The main goal for Saudi authorities, he explains, "will be to prevent the disintegration of the Kingdom following the change of power," since this would "immediately affect the situation in the entire region, where Iraq is already literally falling apart, while Bahrein is on the verge of Shia revolution."

"And all this occurs against the backdrop of the war in Syria, Yemen and the growing conflict between Riyadh and Tehran, which is gaining momentum, and is fully capable of creating a Shiite crescent –the nightmare of Saudi rulers, as well as the monarchs of Qatar, the UAE and Kuwait."

http://sputniknews.com/middleeast/20160202/1034088377/saudi-palace-coup-analysis.html

Comment: More on the fate of the Saudi monarchy, and especially the possibility of the young and senseless Mohammed bin Salman being the new king. God forbid.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096010830551407

2.2.2016 – American Tribune (* A P)

The semantics of Wahhabi hatred - What motivates Terror’s ideology?

Over the past days Wahhabism, the dogma enacted by the likes of Daesh (aka ISIL), Boko Haram, al-Qaeda, al-Nusra and so other infamous acronyms claimed new horrors in both the Middle East and Africa – adding to an already long list of atrocities, all in the name of a religious cleansing which perversity appears to know no bound.

Against all schools of thoughts and jurisprudence, against the teachings of the Quran and the oral tradition of the Prophet, against common sense and logic, Wahhabis came to legislate over what the Quran declares most holy.
Still Wahhabism claims itself of Islam. How many tenets of Islam will radicals need to break, trample over and desecrate for the public to admit to its irreligiosity?

How long before Muslims’ cries of terror against Wahhabism are translated into a mass denunciation of its Islamic characteristics?

Islam is not a grand religious buffet where individuals can cherry pick their traditions and interpret the Scriptures as they see fit.

Wahhabis have done exactly that – powered by the lunacy one of pseudo-scholar: Muhammad ibn Abdel-Wahhab, who himself rooted his ideology on the ranting of another religious sociopath: Ibn Taymiyyah, generations of bigots have been raised on bloodshed and tyranny.

If books have been written on Muhammad ibn Abdel-Wahhab, few know of the true origin of his religious intolerance. To understand the horror which is Wahhabism, one needs to turn to Ibn Taymiyyah.

A scholar of the 13th century, Ibn Taymiyyah was a reformer – a man whose ambition was to “cleanse” Islam and bring its practice back to what he believed was a purer, and more traditional practice of Islam, as envisioned by the last Prophet of God.

Incapable of understanding that worshippers do not in fact pray to the shrines, but instead call onto religious figures to intercede in their favour, as the Prophet would do himself for his ummah [community] on the last day, Wahhabis have worked to cut off Muslims from a vital spiritual link, denying them their religious right and duty.

By all religious standards, and according to all criteria, Wahhabism is in fact a heresy.

If we are ever to defeat this furious terror we might do well to learn of its origins and beliefs, before appointing blame onto those who most of all have suffered under its unforgiving hands: Muslims – by Catherine Shakdam

http://ahtribune.com/religion/448-the-semantics-of-wahhabi-hatred.html

Comment: Wahabism analysed from an inner Muslim point of view.

Comment: Catherine Shakdam is becoming an important writer on the anti-Wahhabi scene. She is polemic and passionate in her views but she argues her case well and here she presents evidence that Wahhabism underlies groups like Al Qaeda, Daesh, and Boko Harem, and it also is fuelling anti-Shia discourses. I am convinced that more scholars - from Muslim sources and elsewhere - need to investigate along these lines and reveal more links between Wahhabism and the growth of extremist Sunni militias, current Saudi Arabian politics, persecution of Shia and the possibility of genocidal motives underlying some of the conflicts in the Muslim world today.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096316047187552

2.3.2015 – International Business Times (B P)

Isis: Saudi Arabia awards top prize to cleric Zakir Naik who condones sex with female slaves

A controversial Indian cleric who believes it is permissible for terror groups such as Islamic State (Isis) to have sex with their female slaves has been awarded the Saudi Arabia's King Faisal international prize for his contribution to promote Islam.

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/isis-saudi-arabia-awards-top-prize-cleric-zakir-naik-who-supports-sex-female-slaves-1490108

USA

5.2.2016 - Al Arabiya (A P)

Kerry: Russia must stop bombing women, children in Syria

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged Russia Friday to implement a ceasefire in Syria, saying its bombing campaign was killing women and children in large numbers and “has to stop.”

Kerry accused the Russian military of using “dumb bombs.”

“They are not precision bombs, and there are civilians, including women and children, being killed in large numbers as a consequence,” he said, during a joint news conference with Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos.
Russian planes are also targeting hospitals and returning to bomb people rescuing those wounded in earlier air strikes, he added.

“This has to stop”, Kerry said.

http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/02/06/Kerry-Russia-must-stop-bombing-women-children-in-Syria.html

Comment: He is not wrong. But: Many reports of victims of Russian bombing in Syria are more than doubtful, are mere statements by islamists without any proof. And well, Mr. Kerry: Where there is bombing there always also civilians are affected. You certainly know that. There are Americans and their allies bombing in Syria as well. And they have killed civilians as "collateral damage" as well. That should not be any news for you. And you never cried for stopping this. And what about Yemen bombing? You never accused the Saudis of bombing civilians and demanded to stop this. On the contrary, the US themselvs furnish air plans, bombs and other weapons, have their advisers in the Saudi control room, help with intelligence, help tanking the Saudi air planes in the air, give political support to Saudis Yemen war. Who just a little time ago went to Riad to trumpet of "eternal friendship" and such stuff? You accuse the Russians of using "dump bombs" killing civilians in Syria. Well, what about the American "precision bombs" killing thousands of civilians in Yemen? Are these bombs "dumb bombs" as well or do your Saudi allies and your American staff in Riad "precisely" target these civilians? Dear god, how it is possible to plug such a lot of hypocrisy into one single man? And, not less crazy: It's Saudi Arabias Al Arabiya where you can read Kerry crying to stop bombing civilians.

5.2.2016 – Huffington Post (* A P)

Senate Democrat Says It's Time To Cut Off Support For Saudi Arabia's War In Yemen

America shouldn't "just back our friends' play," Chris Murphy argues.

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) called for the U.S. to cease military involvement in the Saudi-led war in Yemen, doubling down on his critique last week of America's relationship with Saudi Arabia.

Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told HuffPost's Friday podcast of "So That Happened" that he hasn't yet heard a legitimate defense of the Obama administration's policy of providing military assistance to the Saudis in their aerial war in Yemen. That war has killed thousands of civilians and deteriorated conditions in an already unstable country.

"We're sort of still grounded in this world in which we just back our friends' play, no matter the consequences to the United States. The Saudis are in a fight, then we're going to be in a fight with them," said Murphy of what seems to be the prevailing logic behind U.S. support.

As Murphy sees it, the consequences of backing Saudi Arabia in this particular fight are devastating: collateral damage and chaos that has allowed extremist groups to expand their presence in Yemen.

"I just don't see any evidence right now that the Saudis are conducting that military exercise in a way that's responsible. It's just feeding the humanitarian crisis inside Yemen," the senator said.

He argued that Congress should block future sales to Saudi Arabia of weapons that likely would be used offensively in Yemen – by Jessica Schulberg

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/chris-murphy-saudi-arabia-yemen_us_56b3d010e4b04f9b57d9073c

See also Murphys speech on Yemen at Yemen Press Reader 96.

3.2.2016 – The Russophile (** B P)

Russia's Not the Enemy, the US Media Is

Washington's warmongers consistantly get away with it because they are protected by the mainstream media

How can this possibly be the case when, just in 1973, America was forced to withdraw its troops from Vietnam precisely because the American public was sick and tired of war. Why aren’t they protesting today, as their government stirs up a perpetual state of conflict in the Middle East?

The reason is simple — the government’s control over the media.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Americans were bombarded with images of the Vietnam War’s horrors. Public opinion was finally swayed and for U.S. lawmakers supporting the war became political suicide.

Thirty years later, American journalists’ ability to show the gruesome realities of war to the people was crippled when President Bush issued an executive order that prohibited them from showing images to the public before they had been approved by the State Department. As a result, instead of seeing images of dead civilians in Iraq, bodybags of U.S. soldiers, and cities and towns razed to the ground, Americans saw statues of Saddam Hussein being torn down, smart-bombs destroying “terrorist” bases and soldiers feeding displaced civilians.

The government and the media had struck a new deal.

And this pattern of censorship continues.

Today, Americans aren’t told that U.S. drones over Pakistan and Afghanistan have killed 147 children during Obama's presidency. But they are inundated with news about an “evil Assad” and Europe’s refugee crisis — which fail to mention that American adventurism is to blame.

Americans are tricked and confused by government disinformation that is bent on keeping them in a state of ignorance and fear, making them apathetic bystanders to America’s violent actions on the international stage. At the end of the day, most Americans return home, dead-weary from work, numbly hang up their jackets and sit down to dinner, watching the latest sitcom as the TV drowns out their family talk. Meanwhile, in some corner of the world, U.S. missiles continue to pound the earth, as elderly statesmen in Washington whisper of their next reckless crusade. – by Jeff Monson

http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/russias-not-enemy-us-media/ri12623 = http://www.therussophile.org/russias-not-the-enemy-the-us-media-is.html/

Comment: This negative opinion of US mainstream media is certainly true. Anyway, the European media are not any better. And, not to forget, the Russian ones certainly also will not. – Yemen is not mentioned in this article, but we get a lot of explanation here for the way US (and other western) Mainstream media are dealing with the Yemen war as well.

Großbritannien / Great Britain

4.2.2016 – Global Research (** A P)

As Yemen Bleeds, British Profits from Weapons Sales “Bury Human Rights”

The fact that Saudi Arabia executed – including beheadings – forty seven people in one day last month, displaying their bodies from gibbets, failed to deter him from having British military experts to work with their Saudi counterparts, advising on which targets – and which people, it seems – to bomb in Yemen. Parliament has not been consulted, thus, without a chance to debate and vote, democracy too has been suspended.

The fact that in May 2013 Saudi also beheaded five Yemenis, then used cranes to display their headless bodies against the skyline (Al-Akhbar, 21st May 2013) also did not trouble him. Neither did that by 10thNovember 2015, the year’s total of executions had already reached one hundred and fifty one, the highest for twenty years, in what Amnesty International called “a bloody executions spree.”

But why care about human rights or outright savagery when there are arms to be sold? As written previously, in one three month period last year UK arms sales to Saudi soared by 11,000%.

Cameron’s government treats such barbarism with astonishing sanguinity. For instance it has come to light that in 2011 the UK drew up a list of thirty: “ ‘priority countries’ where British diplomats would be ‘encouraged’ to ‘proactively drive forward’ and make progress towards abolishing the death penalty over five years.’ “

Saudi Arabia was not on the list, an omission which Amnesty International’s Head of Policy, Alan Hogarth called “astonishing.”

What an irony as David Cameron is currently moving heaven and earth to halt legal action against British soldiers accused of acts of extreme human rights abuses in Iraq.

Worse, the British government is considering taking action against one of the law firms dealing with some of the cases, Leigh Day, with another, Public Interest Lawyers, in their sights. When it comes to hypocrisy, David Cameron is hard to beat.

Worth noting is that in the UK government’s own list of “countries of humanitarian concern”, according to the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT), the UK has sold weapons to twenty four out of twenty seven of them, with Saudi Arabia in a deal to purchase seventy two Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft in a deal worth an eventual £4.5 Billion.

“Aside from the purchase of the Typhoon jets, major deals between Saudi Arabia and British companies include a £1.6bn agreement for Hawk fighter jets and bulk sales of machine guns, bombs and tear gas.

“In fact, Saudi Arabia have access to twice as many British-made warplanes as the RAF does, while bombs originally stockpiled by Britain’s Armed Forces are being sent to Saudi Arabia” – to currently decimate Yemen.

“The overriding message is that human rights are playing second fiddle to company profits,” said CAAT spokesperson Andrew Smith, adding: “The Government and local authorities up and down the country are profiting directly from the bombing of Yemen. Challenging them to divest from Saudi Arabia … is something people can do directly.”

David Mepham, UK Director of Human Rights Watch commented: “For almost a year, (Foreign Secretary Philip) Hammond has made the false and misleading claim that there is no evidence of laws of war violations by the UK’s Saudi ally and other members of the coalition.”

The UK Ministry of Defence, declining to say how many UK military advisers were in Saudi Command and Control Centres, said that the UK was: “ … offering Saudi Arabia advice and training on best practice targeting techniques to help ensure continued compliance with International Humanitarian Law.” (Guardian, 27th January 2016.) Yet another quote from the ‘You could not make this up’ files.

It has to be wondered whether the Ministry’s “best practice targeting techniques” includes the near one hundred attacks on medical facilities between March and October 2015, a practice which compelled the International Committee of the Red Cross, in November, to declare the organization: “appalled by the continuing attacks on health care facilities in Yemen …”

An earlier attempt to have the UN Human rights Council to establish an Inquiry failed due to objections from Saudi Arabia, who, with help from Britain, currently Chairs an influential panel on the same Human Rights Council. Farce is alive and well in the corridors of the UN.

However, in spite of the horrors under which Yemenis suffering and dying, and Saudi’s appalling human rights deficit, UK Foreign Office Minister Tobias Ellwood, an American-born former soldier, in a visit to Saudi Arabia last month was quoted in the country’s Al Watan newspaper as revealing: “ the ignorance of the British to the notable progress in Saudi Arabia in the field of human rights, confirming throughout the visit of a British FCO delegation… that he had expressed his opinion regarding the human rights situation in Saudi Arabia before the British Parliament, and that the notable progress in this area has been obscured.” (See 6: “Saudi Arabia urged to make more of its human rights successes by Foreign Office minister Tobias Ellwood.”)

The Foreign Office strongly denied that Ellwood had expressed such a view.

The Saudi led, British advised and US ”intelligence” provided coalition is reported to have formed “an independent team of experts” to assess “incidents” (which should be described as outrages and war crimes) in order to reach “conclusions, lessons learned …” etc. Thus, as ever, the arsonist is to investigate the cause of the fire. – by Felix Arbuthnot

http://www.globalresearch.ca/as-yemen-bleeds-british-profits-from-weapons-sales-bury-human-rights/5505461

Comment: The most damning report I've seen of Cameron's human rights record by the hard hitting Felicity Arbuthnot. A MUST READ.

4.2.2016 – House of Commons (A P)

Thursday 4 February 2016 Meeting started at 9.33am, ended 5.31pm (Yemen being one point)

http://parliamentlive.tv/event/index/92c8f051-bfb5-4459-9464-0bb1185d0fc6?in=15:05:22&out=17:00:09

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096126813873142

4.2.2016 – They Work For You (A P)

Questions of MPs to members of the government

Stephen Twigg, Chair, International Development Committee

That additional aid is welcome, but at the same time we are supplying arms to one side in the conflict. Is it time that this country supported an international, independent inquiry into concerns about the abuses of international humanitarian law, and in the meantime suspended all arms sales to Saudi Arabia?

Desmond Twayne, The Minister of State, Department for International Development

We have the supported the UN Human Rights Council resolution that requires the Government of Yemen to investigate those matters, with the support of the UN.

Diane Abbott, Shadow Secretary of State for International Development

The Minister will be aware that Saferworld, Oxfam, UNICEF, and Save the Children take the position that DFID’s work in Yemen is being undermined by UK arms sales. How can the Minister continue to insist that a UK-replenished Saudi arsenal being dropped on Yemen is not an impediment to development?

Desmond Twayne, The Minister of State, Department for International Development

As I said to my hon. Friend Mrs Grant, the undermining of our ability to deliver aid is a consequence of warfare. That warfare arises because of the violent removal of the lawful Government of Yemen, not because we have sold arms to the Saudis.

http://www.theyworkforyou.com/debates/?id=2016-02-03a.906.6&p=10577

Comment: It is remarkable how this minister is argueing here. He dares to say that it will be a normal thing that one party by itself examines its own war crimes. – The British arms sales to Saudi Arabia do not matter, but they are the most important influence Britain has in this war.

3.2.2016 – The Independent (A P)

Ministers wined and dined by arms trade hours after MPs demand ban on selling weapons to Saudi Arabia

Tickets to the arms trade banquet cost as much as £450 a head

Ministers met leading figures from the arms trade at a £450-a-head banquet on Tuesday night - just hours after MPs called for a halt to weapons sales to the Saudi Arabia regime that has been accused of widespread human rights abuses in Yemen.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ministers-wined-and-dined-by-arms-trade-hours-after-mps-demand-ban-on-selling-weapons-to-saudi-a6850751.html

Comment: That shows what are the real preferences of these politicians.

3.2.2016 – BBC (A P)

Yemen crisis: UK 'should halt arms sales to Saudi Arabia'

The government should stop arms sales to Saudi Arabia amid claims civilians are being killed with UK weapons in the Yemen conflict, says a group of MPs.

The International Development Committee says evidence is "overwhelming" the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels has violated humanitarian law.

The committee called for the UK to support an international inquiry into the alleged abuses.

In a letter to International Development Secretary Justine Greening, the committee said the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia had risen "significantly" during the conflict.

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-35484097?SThisFB

3.2.2016 – Golden Active (A P)

Saudi-Arabien, ein Dilemma

Wie geht man mit Dokumenten um, die zwar de facto, aber nicht offiziell existieren? Mit dieser Frage schlug sich in der vergangenen Woche der Staatssekretär im britischen Außenministerium, Tobias Ellwood, herum.

In den Händen hielt er ein solches Dokument, nämlich einen britischen Parlaments-Abgeordneten zugespielten UN-Bericht über Menschenrechtsverletzungen im Jemen-Krieg.

Auseinandersetzen musste sich Ellwood mit zweierlei. Zunächst mit den in dem UN-Bericht erwähnten Menschenrechtsverletzungen. Insgesamt 119 Mal habe die Koalition gegen internationales Recht verstoßen, steht dort zu lesen. Flugzeuge hätten auch von Zivilisten bewohnte Gebiete beschossen.

Vor allem aber musste Ellwood dem Parlament erklären, warum Großbritannien in großem Stil Waffen an Saudi-Arabien verkauft – und zwar auch solche, die sich in einem Angriffskrieg einsetzen lassen. Allein in den vergangenen Monaten waren aus Großbritannien Waffen im Wert von drei Milliarden Pfund nach Saudi-Arabien gekommen. “Darunter auch Bomben und Raketen für eine Million Pfund in der Zeit von Juli bis September 2015″, heißt es in der entsprechenden Anfrage der britischen Parlamentsmitglieder.

Man nehme den Bericht sehr ernst, versicherte Staatssekretär Ellwood den Abgeordneten. Mehr könne er zu dem Report allerdings kaum sagen, erklärte er. “Wir haben den Text offiziell noch nicht erhalten”, erklärte er. “Ja, ich habe ihn bekommen, aber ich habe ihn noch nicht erhalten,” erklärte er – und lieferte damit das, was die Zeitung “The Guardian” dann “eine Farce” nannte.

http://www.goldenactive.de/?p=15508

26.11.2015 – Armament Research (* B K P)

United Arab Emirates employ British Hakim A series precision guided munitions in Yemen

Recent reports from advocacy organisations have drawn public attention to the presence of UK-manufactured munitions employed by UAE forces during an airstrike in Matnah, south-west of Sana’a City, Yemen, on 23 September 2015. ARES has received permission to post a lightly redacted copy of a Conflict Damage Assessment (CDA) examining this incident, originally produced on behalf of a confidential client.

The CDA, available in full here, evaluates damage, munition remnants, known operators and systems in the region, and other contextual information in order to identify the most likely munition employed in the strike. The Hakim A series precision guided munition (PGM) manufactured by GEC-Marconi Dynamics was identified by ARES as the munition in question, employed by United Arab Emirates Air Force (UAEAF) multirole fighter aircraft.

Included below are some extracts from the full conflict damage assessment:

According to a local activist organisation based in Sana’a, Yemen, the Ceramica Radfan factory complex, located in Matnah, south-west of Sana’a city, was struck by one or more munitions on the morning of Wednesday 23 September 2015. According to Yemeni sources, one or more jet aircraft launched either three or four munitions which hit the factory complex during the strike.

http://armamentresearch.com/united-arab-emirates-employ-british-hakim-a-series-precision-guided-munitions-in-yemen/

Deutschland / Germany

4.2.2016 – Telepolis (A P)

Deutscher Außenminister besucht zwei "Kopf ab-Diktaturen"

Steinmeiers Visite in Saudi-Arabien und Iran provoziert Kritik

Heftige Kritik äußerte die Linkspartei-Politikern Sahra Wagenkecht an der aktuellen Reise des Bundesaußenministers. Steinmeiner legitimiere eine "Kopf-ab-Diktatur", kommentierte sie die Stippvisite des Politikers in Saudi-Arabien. Die gemeinsame Eröffnung des Kulturfestivals in einem Land, das berüchtigt ist für Hinrichtungen, Menschenrechtsverletzungen und seine Unterstützung des IS, wurde von Wagenknecht mit Recht hinterfragt. Doch warum nur der Besuch in Saudi Arabien? Hat Steinmeier nicht eigentlich zwei "Kopf-ab-Diktaturen" besucht? Schließlich ist die Zahl der Hinrichtungen in Iran pro Kopf der Bevölkerung sogar noch höher als Saudi-Arabien – von Peter Noweak

http://www.heise.de/tp/news/Deutscher-Aussenminister-besucht-zwei-Kopf-ab-Diktaturen-3093669.html

Spanien / Spain

26.1.2016 – El Pais (* B K P)

España vende munición a Arabia Saudí en plena guerra de Yemen

El Gobierno autorizó suministros de proyectiles de artillería, bombas o granadas por 24,2 millones en 2015

El Gobierno español autorizó el suministro de municiones y bombas a Arabia Saudí por 24,2 millones de euros en el primer semestre de 2015, coincidiendo con el inicio de su intervención militar en la guerra civil de Yemen, que ha costado la vida a casi 6.000 peronas, según la ONU. Así se refleja de el informe sobre exportación de material de Defensa y doble uso de la Secretaría de Estado de Comercio. Arabia Saudí es ya el mayor cliente de la industria militar española con 447,6 millones, más del 25% del total en dicho periodo (1.727,2 millones).

La cifra récord alcanzada por las ventas a Arabia Saudí entre enero y junio del año pasado se explica por la entrega en esos meses de dos de los cinco aviones de reabastecimiento en vuelo MRTT de Airbus comprados por Riad a partir de 2008. Solo estos dos aparatos suponen 447,3 millones, de los que España recibe algo más del 50%, ya que el resto corresponde al coste de los Airbus 330-200 fabricados en Francia y transformados a su versión militar en la planta de Getafe (Madrid) – por Miguel Gonzales

http://politica.elpais.com/politica/2016/01/25/actualidad/1453749240_047338.html

Flüchtlinge / Refugees

5.2.2016 – UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Somalia Task Force on Yemen Situation: Inter-Agency Update #2 (19 January – 01 February 2016)

During the reporting period, there were a total of 168 new arrivals from Yemen recorded in Somalia: 53 individuals in Berbera, Somaliland, and 115 in Bossaso, Puntland. Out of this total number of new arrivals, 149 were registered by UNHCR in collaboration with local authorities and partners in the Berbera and Bossaso Reception Centers.

KEY FIGURES

30,728
Arrivals from Yemen since 27 March at the early onset of the crisis

4,424
Yemeni prima facie refugees registered in Somalia since 27 March (including Somalis with dual Somali-Yemeni citizenship)

19,042
Arrivals registered at Reception Centers in Berbera, Bossaso and Mogadishu since 27 March

53%
Registered arrivals expressing intention to return to Mogadishu

9,881
Somali returnees provided with onward transportation assistance since 27 March

http://reliefweb.int/report/somalia/somalia-task-force-yemen-situation-inter-agency-update-2-19-january-01-february-2016 and in full http://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/%232Somaliainter-agencyupdate19January-01February2016.pdf

Terrorismus / Terrorism

6.2.2016 - Conflict Antiquities (* A T)

Destruction of tombs in Yemen by Ansar al-Sharia

The video, which is dated to the 4th of January 2015, but which was (re)posted(?) on the 7th of January 2016, featured first the wrecking of a tomb by hand (with a hammer), then the ruination of mausoleums by more industrial means, whether they were bombs or bulldozers (from 00h07m36s).

https://conflictantiquities.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/yemen-destruction-tombs-ansar-al-sharia/

Comment: That is what the Saudis also did since more than 200 years - not special at all for Al Kaida and Isis. That are the Saudis and Wahabism who have teached them to do so.

5.2.2016 - Conflict Antiquities (* A T)

Film, Photos: destruction of a ‘polytheistic’ shrine in Hadhramaut, Yemen, by Ansar al-Sharia, by 30th January 2016

https://conflictantiquities.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/yemen-hadhramaut-destruction-shrine-ansar-al-sharia/

4.2.2016 – Daily Mail (A T)

Shocking new ISIS propaganda video shows gunmen executing men and women in a market and beheading four prisoners

ISIS-affiliate in Yemen propaganda video shows them beheading four men

Terrorists attack a village and blow up buildings after capturing weapons

They also shoot two men in a market for being 'murtad' by rejecting Islam

The 21-minute video was reportedly filmed in Hadramaut, western Yemen

ISIS affiliates in Yemen have beheaded four prisoners before opening fire in a busy market killing at least two men.

The horrific violence was shown in a 21-minute long propaganda video reportedly filmed in Hadramaut, western Yemen.

Labelled as 'soldiers of the apostate', four men are forced to kneel as they are beheaded by masked knifemen.

Earlier in the video, wearing desert camouflage shalwar khameez. the militants are shown planning attacks before making a night assault on what has been reported as a Houthi or Al-Qaeda outpost.

As dawn breaks, the gunmen go building by building and take ammunition, weapons and what looks like a suicide belt.

Once clear, they blow up the building.

In a later segment, they are shown driving into a market place and walking up to a young man, who the labelled as a 'murtad', in the Arabic subtitles.

The horrific execution is filmed from the point of view of the gunman, and was the camera shows the market again, it is empty – by Isabel Hunter (with photos and film; 18 +, Graphic!)

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3432433/Shocking-new-ISIS-propaganda-video-shows-gunmen-executing-men-women-market-beheading-four-prisoners.html

4.2.2016 – Center for Security Policy (* A T)

Death of Senior Commander Unlikely to Have Effect on AQAP Progress

One of Baleedi’s strengths has been his ability to persuade others regarding Al Qaeda’s positions. This is in part because Baleedi is well-known around Yemen, including in his time serving as an imam. He appeared regularly in recruitment and field operation videos, and he also sat down for interviews with Yemeni reporters.

The U.S. State Department placed a $5 million reward on Baleedi after he was suspected of planning attacks on Western diplomats in 2013.

Baleedi’s death, if confirmed, will affect AQAP in the region, but although the death of a senior field commander may slow their push west, it likely won’t be enough to stop their recent successes.

With the Saudi coalition and Yemeni security forces engaged primarily in fighting the Iranian backed Houthis, it’s unclear if there is a force willing or able to capitalize on Baleedi’s death with movement on the ground. As a result the U.S.’s ability to kill high-level AQAP leadership continues to have a limited strategic impact on AQAP’s efforts.

http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/2016/02/04/death-of-senior-commander-unlikely-to-have-effect-on-aqap-progress/

4.2.2016 – Iran German Radio (A T)

Jemen: Al-Kaida-Kämpfer erobern ZindschibarDie Terrororganisation Al-Kaida hat die jemenitische Stadt Zindschibar im Süden des Landes eingenommen.

Wie am Donnerstag aus einheimischen Informationskreisen verlautete, haben die Al-Kaida-Terroristen sofort nach dem Tot ihres Führers Jalal Baleedi im jemenitischen Gouvernement Abyan, deren Hauptstadt Zindschibar eingenommen, Kontrollpunkte errichtet, Regierungsgebäuden unter ihre Kontrolle gebracht und neue Regeln in der Stadt ausgerufen.

http://german.irib.ir/nachrichten/nahost/item/296691-jemen-al-kaida-k%C3%A4mpfer-erobern-zindschibar

4.2.2016 – International Business Times (A T)

Jalal Baleedi: US drone strikes kill leader of Islamic State in Yemen and 11 other Jihadi militants

The leader of the Yemen's Islamic State franchise, Jalal Baleedi, has been reported killed – along with 11 other Daesh militants– following two separate US drone strikes in southern Yemen.

The strike which targeted Baleedi killed the Daesh leader and five of his associates as they travelled by car between the towns of Zinjibar and Shaqra, Reuters reported.

Baleedi, had previously operated as a senior field commander for al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) before pledging allegiance to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria – by Callum Paton

http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/jalal-baleedi-leader-islamic-state-yemen-killed-drone-strike-1541871

For Jalal Baleedi as Anti-Houthi-fighter, see: http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/strange-bedfellows-al-qaeda-and-anti-houthi-fighters-1385431067

4.2.2016 – Der Standard (A T)

Wichtiger Al-Kaida-Kommandeur im Jemen getötet

Bei einem US-Drohnenangriff im Süden des Jemen ist ein wichtiger Al-Kaida-Kommandant nach Angaben seiner Familie getötet worden. Ein Angehöriger sagte am Donnerstag, Jalal Belaidi, alias Abu Hamza, sei bei dem Angriff in der Gegend von Maraqesha in der Provinz Abyane zusammen mit zwei seiner Leibwächter getötet worden. Belaidi war ein wichtiger Kommandant von Al-Kaida auf der Arabischen Halbinsel (Aqap).

Bei einem zweiten US-Drohnenangriff in der Provinz Shabwa am Mittwochabend wurden sechs Al-Kaida-Kämpfer getötet, wie ein Vertreter der Sicherheitskräfte bekannt gab. Demnach feuerte das unbemannte Flugzeug eine Rakete auf ein Fahrzeug in der Gegend von Rodhum ab. Die US-Streitkräfte sind die einzigen, die in der Region über Drohnen verfügen.

http://derstandard.at/2000030355591/Wichtiger-Al-Kaida-Kommandeur-im-Jemen-getoetet

Kommentar: Belaidi wird in den Meldungen z.T. als Al Qaida und z. T. als ISIS-Kommandant bezeichnet. Beides ist korrekt. Bis vor kurzem gehörte er zu Al Qaida, jüngst solle er sich dann für den IS erklärt haben.

http://in.reuters.com/article/yemen-security-strike-idINKCN0VD0IE

4.2.2016 – Al Araby (A T)

Al-Qaeda chief in Yemen killed by US drone strike

A prominent leader of al-Qaeda's branch in war-torn Yemen has been killed in what is believed to have been an airstrike carried out by a US drone, a family member has revealed.

Jalal Belaidi, a senior commander of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), was killed along with two guards in the Maraqesha area of Abyan province, the relative said.

The United States is the only country known to operate armed drones over Yemen, home to AQAP, considered by Washington as al-Qaeda's most dangerous franchise.

A tribal source confirmed the death of Belaidi, also known as Abu Hamza [not to be confused with the formerly UK-based "radical cleric" of the same name], following contact with AQAP militants in the area.

Belaidi served in the past as the local leader of al-Qaeda in Zinjibar, the capital of his home province, Abyan, but is said to have climbed the ranks of the jihadist group to became a top military commander.

https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/2/4/al-qaeda-chief-in-yemen-killed-by-us-drone-strike see also http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/al-qaeda-leader-in-yemen-jalal-baleedi-killed-in-drone-strike-a6852636.html and http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/drone-strike-kills-senior-al-qaeda-leader-yemen-160204093208065.html

Comment: Just a little time ago Belaidi is told to have changed to ISIS, thus in the articles you will find him as AQAP as well as a ISIS commander.

Saudischer Luftkrieg / Saudi aerial war

5.2.2016 – Yemen News Today

This is such a horrible ongoing story. I am sorry to bombard you, I wish it wasn't happening, it is more of the same day after day and it's not news any more it just routine life in Yemen; if there is a day with no killing and destruction I will weep with joy. As it is - here is your daily ration of death and destruction in Yemeni.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096537857165371

4.2.2016 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Aggression destroys bridge in Hajjah

The Saudi aggression warplanes waged on Thursday an air raid on Alhaqof bridge between Hiran and Mastaba districts in Hajjah province. The hostile war jets deliberately targeted the Alhaqof bridge because it is a vital bridge linking between the two districts, an official at the joint

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news418238.htm

3.2.2016 – Anti War (A K)

15 Civilians Killed as Saudi Warplanes Attack Yemen Cement Factory

Attack Hit Workers Waiting in Line to Get Salaries

At least 15 civilians were killed and over 20 others wounded today when Saudi warplanes carried out an airstrike against a cement factory in Amran Province, north of the capital city of Sanaa. The attack hit the front gate of the complex.

According to reports, the workers killed in the strike were lined up at the gate waiting to collect their monthly salaries. Some were also slain in the parking lot. Saudi officials have yet to comment on this most recent attack, which is expected to render the factory inoperable for some time.

It’s particularly ill-timed, however, coming just days after Saudi officials admitted they had a problem with large civilian death tolls in their air war, and claimed US and British experts had been brought in to help with targeting to prevent exactly this sort of situation – by Jason Ditz

http://news.antiwar.com/2016/02/03/15-civilians-killed-as-saudi-warplanes-attack-yemen-cement-factory/

2.4.2016 – New York Times (A K)

Airstrike at Yemen Cement Factory Said to Kill at Least 15

An airstrike by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia hit a cement factory north of Sana, Yemen’s capital, on Wednesday evening, killing at least 15 people, including civilian workers in nearby businesses, according to local security and medical officials.

The bombing of the factory, in Amran Province, came days after Saudi officials pledged to form a high-level committee to investigate strikes in Yemen’s civil war that have killed civilians, and to improve their military’s aerial targeting with advice from American and British experts.

The cement factory had been idle since it was hit by airstrikes earlier in the war, according to a security official in Amran. The deaths from the latest bombing, at the factory gate, included two military guards, but also “people inside parked cars, grocery store owners, pharmacists and shoppers,” he said – by Shuaib Almosawa and Kareem Fahim

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/04/world/middleeast/yemen-bombing-coalition-civilians.html?_r=0

31.1.2016 – News of Yemen (A K PH)

In pics, Total destruction in #Saudi town of Al Raboah

In new footage released by Houthis, it shows the destruction caused mainly by Saudi daily air strike on the southern Saudi town of Al Raboah. The town is located south of Asir province. It was seized by houthis months ago. Saudi army has been trying to retake it but all its attempts have failed so far. The town have been under heavy Saudi led coalition Airstrikes.

http://newsofyemen.net/2016/01/in-pics-total-destruction-in-saudi-town-of-al-raboah/

Comment: Look how ruthless the Saudis are to bomb their own town in such a way after it had been occupied by the enemy!

Comment: No this is not a town in Syria or Yemen - it is a town in Saudi Arabia. Since KSA started its assault on Yemen, the Yemeni army loyal to Saleh and Houthi militias have moved into the southwest of KSA - until 1932 this was part of Yemen but in 2000 Saleh made a peace deal with Saudi and conceded it to them. Well now they are intent on taking it back. Remember that from 1932 until 2015 the Yemenis have tolerated this stealing of what they see as 'their' land without violent reaction, except a small incursion in the 2009 war in retaliation for the incursion of Saudi Arabia into Saada province. Please look at this and work out for yourself the problems KSA is bringing on itself by the brutal attacks on Yemen.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096340140518476

Kriegsereignisse / Theater of War

5.2.2016 – Heinz Report (A K)

US-Drohne im Jemen abgeschossen – “Wen jagen die Vereinigten Staaten dort wirklich?”

Eine US-amerikanische Aufklärungsdrohne ist in der zentralen Provinz Marib im Jemen am Montag zum Absturz gebracht worden. Marib ist Schauplatz heftiger Zusammenstöße zwischen den pro-iranischen Huthi-Milizen sowie Hadi-treuen Rebellen, saudischen Invasionstruppen und der al-Kaida. Der US-Drohnenkrieg im Jemen zeigt sich sehr widersprüchlich. Offiziell gilt als primäres Ziel die Bekämpfung von al-Kaida, die aber wiederum mit dem US-Verbündeten Saudi-Arabien gegen die als proiranisch geltenden Huthi-Rebellen vorgehen.

https://heinzreport.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/us-drohne-im-jemen-abgeschossen-wen-jagen-die-vereinigten-staaten-dort-wirklich/

Kommentar: Gute Frage: In dem genannten Gebiet ist Al Kaida nicht aktiv.

5.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Yemeni snipers kill 11 Saudi soldiers in western border regions

Yemeni army forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have killed 11 Saudi soldiers in retaliation for the Arab kingdom's deadly aggression against their country.

Yemen's Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported that Yemeni snipers on Friday slew nine Saudi soldiers in Yemen’s Midi region, located in the northwestern province of Hajjah, and in the west of Tawwal border crossing in the kingdom’s southwestern Jizan province. They also killed two other Saudi soldiers in Math’an region in Jizan.

The Yemeni forces also bombarded a number of Saudi military sites, including al-Dhaba'a, Tewela and al-Hajlah, in Jizan, Najran, and Asir provinces, respectively. There were no immediate reports on the possible casualties.

Saudi Arabia, however, continued its unabated deadly airstrikes on Friday and its warplanes carried out an aerial aggression on a fuel station in the western port city of Hodeidah, which led to heavy material loss in the station and damage to nearby houses. Several people sustained injuries in the incident

http://www.presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/05/448865/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-Jizan-Tawwal-Hodeidah-Ansarullah-Hadi-Hajjah

5.2.2016 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Army, committees bombard several Saudi sites

The army and popular committees pounded on Friday a number of Saudi military sites in Jizan, Najran and Asir.

The army and popular committees targeted al-Dhaba'a, Tewela and al-Hajlah sites in Najran, killing and injuring a number of Saudi soldiers, a military official said.

The official pointed out that the army and popular committees pounded Saudi military sites in Malhama area and Ghafir checkpoint in Jizan.

A gathering of Saudi soldiers in the northern city of Rabuah in Asir province was hit by the army and popular committees with many artillery shells, he added.

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news418312.htm

5.2.2016 – Saba Net (A K PH)

Tens of hirelings arrested in Baidha

Around 30 mercenaries were arrested in Baidha province by the Security services and popular committees.

The hirelings were captured in al-Malajem district of Baidha, a security official said Thursday.

http://www.sabanews.net/en/news418309.htm

4.2.2016 – Aljazeera (A H K)

Civilians trapped in battle for Yemen's Taiz

Dozens of deaths reported in fighting in country's third largest city between rebels and forces loyal to the government.

Dozens of civilians in Yemen have been killed in fighting in the besieged city of Taiz between Houthi rebels and forces loyal to the government.

Taiz, Yemen's third largest city, has been besieged by Houthi fighters for months. Hospitals are fast running out of medical supplies. The relentless fighting has killed hundreds of civilians and created a dire humanitarian situation.

As in many other parts of Yemen, basic services have been suspended in Taiz.

People fear outbreaks of disease due to the unsanitary conditions and fumes from explosives being used by all sides.

Pro-government fighters were not able to close in from Taiz after they faced stiff resistance there.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/civilians-trapped-battle-yemen-taiz-160204161746959.html

4.2.2016 – Press TV Iran (A K PH)

Yemeni forces destroy 4 Saudi military boats

Yemeni army forces, backed by fighters from allied Popular Committees, have destroyed four Saudi military boats in the country’s southwestern waters in retaliation to the relentless Saudi bombardment of the impoverished nation.

Yemen's Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported that Yemeni forces targeted the vessels with surface-to-surface missiles in the early hours of Thursday, when the boats were approaching the port city of Mocha, located in the country’s southwestern province of Tai'z.

Saudi Arabia has deployed its vessels around the coasts of Yemen in an attempt to support its airstrikes and to maintain a crippling blockade on the poorest nation of the Arabian Peninsula.

http://presstv.ir/Detail/2016/02/04/448622/Yemen-Saudi-Arabia-Mocha-Taiz-Hajjah-Amran-Hadi and at Almasdar News: http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/4-saudi-boats-destroyed-by-yemens-armed-forces/

5.2.2016 – Asharq Al – Awsat (A K PS)

Yemen Army Takes Control of the Eastern Gate of Sana’a

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Asiri, Arab Coalition Spokesman and Consultant at the Saudi Defense Ministry, announced that the presence of pro-government forces in Sana’a is now an irrevocable reality. Brig. Asiri confirmed that Houthi militias are resorting to mine fields to hurdle the resistance and the Yemen’s army advance in Sana’a.

Asiri’s announcement came after both national Army and resistance forces, on Friday, took control over the Al-Farda Nahim camp believed to be the insurgents’ “platoon312”, east of Sana’a.

The camp was confiscated after 24 hours of a broad attack launched by pro- government forces for freeing the eastern door of the capital city from Houthi militia.

Sources told Asharq Al-Awsat that Houthi militia and supporters of the ousted Ali Abdullah Saleh have fled their camps in large numbers, after the attach by the Army forces and the resistance, leaving behind artillery and many wounded. The Arab coalition air-force pounded the zone during the past 48 hours. Anti- government forces were barricaded by pro-Yemen forces for two days before the launched attack.

http://english.aawsat.com/2016/02/article55347289/yemen-army-takes-control-of-the-eastern-gate-of-sanaa and a film by Al Arabiya: http://english.alarabiya.net/en/webtv/reports/2016/02/05/Yemen-army-takes-control-of-many-sites-near-Sanaa.html

Comment: Sanaa here: Province of Sanaa, ca. 60 km east of Sanaa city. “Yemen army” in Saudi wording: Hadi government troups.

Comment by Judith Brown: Is this true - or not? This war includes so much propaganda that sometimes it is difficult to assess who is where even when you follow it every day. This is a Saudi newspaper so it might be rather over optimistic. Look At the wording again - I must call your attention to it once more - this is the new army of Yemeni recruits paid by KSA. most of the original Yemen army is fighting with the Houthis. Oh dear, why do they not make this clear instead of making things even more difficult to understand.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1096539297165227

For this, see the following. In the wording of a pro-Houthi source, “Yemen army” is the pro-Houthi part of Yemen army:

4.2.2016 – AMN (A K PH)

Yemeni Army, committees keep control over Nahm in Sanaa

The Yemeni army and popular committees managed on Wednesday to keep their control over the Nahm Governorate in Sanaa after clashing with Hadi’s loyalists, according to Al-Manar reporter. The reporter added that the Saudi warplanes raided the area in order to support the militants of the fugitive president Mansour Hadi.

http://www.almasdarnews.com/article/yemeni-army-committees-keep-control-nahm-sanaa/

2.2.2016 – News of Yemen (A K PH)

Journalists trip to 312 Armoured brigade in Nehim east #Sanaa #Yemen denies #Saudi claims controlling it

In a trip by a group of journalist and the reporters ,to Nehim area,east the Yemeni capital Sanaa. The group has visited the area to check reports of Saudi backed forces controlling that area in the past 48 hours.
According to Saudi media, the so called “legitimacy” forces have controlled Nehim road including the 312 armoured brigade base in that area.

The visit by the journalist has shown the destruction caused by Saudi led coalition constant air raid on that area. Roads, bridges, homes and the 312 armoured brigade HQ were destroyed or badly damaged by coalition strikes and there was no sign on any Saudi backed forces in that areas.

The Saudi backed forces have claimed several times before to advance and seize the 312 brigade army base in Nehim area (with photos)

http://newsofyemen.net/2016/02/journalists-trip-to-312-armoured-brigade-in-nehim-east-sanaa-denies-saudi-claims-to-control-it/

Comment: This is an area that the pro-saudi coalition claimed was under its control yesterday. These journalists said they went there and refute this claim. Oh dear propaganda is out of control in this war.

https://www.facebook.com/yemennewstodayenglish/posts/1095994693886354

4.2.2016 – Khaleej Times (A K PS)

Yemen army frees most of Naham area from Houthis

The Yemeni army and pro-government Yemeni National Resistance forces on Wednesday liberated most of the districts in mountainous region of Naham, north-east of Sanaa, from the Houthi militia and forces loyal to president Ali Abdullah Saleh, a senior security official has said.

The army is chasing remnants of the Houthi-Saleh militants, the state Yemeni news agency quoted the chief of security of Sanaa governorate as saying.

He said 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, the Yemeni army and Resistance fighters regained control of a number of military posts in Naham after defeating the Houthi militants and advanced closer to the strategic Furdat Naham military base.

Meanwhile, President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi has promised that the Yemeni forces will not stop military offensives until the capital Sanaa is liberated from the rebels.

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/region/mena/yemen-army-frees-most-of-naham-area-from-houthis

3.2.2016 – Aljazeera (A K)

Dozens killed in Yemen as army moves towards Sanaa

Arab 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 Arab 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.

http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/dozens-killed-yemen-army-moves-sanaa-160203073416555.html

Neue Artikel zum Nachlesen 1-96: / Yemen Press Reader 1-96:

https://www.freitag.de/autoren/dklose oder / or

http://poorworld.net/YemenWar.htm

08:07 06.02.2016
Dieser Beitrag gibt die Meinung des Autors wieder, nicht notwendigerweise die der Redaktion des Freitag.
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Dietrich Klose

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

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