Archive | Yemen

Yemen: Expensive Weapons of Mass Destruction

NOVANEWS
As Saudi and Allies Bombard Yemen, US Clocks up $33 Billion Arms Sales in Eleven Months
 
saudi isil cartoon

Sometimes even to the most towering cynic, American hypocrisy is more than breathtaking.

As they lambast their latest “despot”, Syria’s President Assad – a man so popular in his country and the region that the US Embassy in Damascus had, by the end of 2006, devised a plan to oust him (1) arms sales to countries where human rights are not even a glimmer on the horizon have for the US (and UK) become an eye watering bonanza.

The latest jaw dropper, as Saudi Arabia continues to bombard Yemen with US and UK armaments, dropped by US and UK-made aircraft, is sales worth $33 Billion in just eleven months to the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) according to Defense News. (2)

The GCC, a political and economic alliance of six Middle East countries, comprises of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman. It was established in the Saudi Capital, Riyadh, in May 1981.

Weapons sold to the alliance since May 2015 have included:

“… ballistic missile defense capabilities, attack helicopters, advanced frigates and anti-armor missiles, according to David McKeeby, a spokesman the State Department’s Bureau of Political-Military Affairs.”

“In addition, the U.S. government and industry also delivered 4,500 precision-guided munitions to the GCC countries in 2015, including 1,500 taken directly from U.S. military stocks – a significant action given our military’s own needs,” he added, stressing:

“that the US government would like to continue to strengthen partnerships with Kuwait and Qatar through defense sales and other security cooperation activities.”

A metaphor for our times that “partnerships” are “strengthened” with lethal weapons, not in trade of goods, foods, medical, educational or intellectual exchanges.

A fly or two in the oil of the wheels of the US arms trade is the two year delay in approval of sales 40 F/A-18 Super Hornets to Kuwait and Qatar and also 72 F-15 Silent Eagles to Qatar.

Suspicion has been voiced that this has something to do with a pending US-Israel military financing deal, a suggestion emphatically denied by Washington.

In the meantime as Yemen continues to be blitzed, with the UN stating that eighty percent of the population are in need of humanitarian assistance. 2-4 million are displaced and approaching four thousand dead.

It seems Saudi and its allies have more than enough ordinance to continue the slaughter and more than enough US and UK military advisors to help them in the decimation.

 Notes:

  1. http://www.globalresearch.ca/syria-and-conspiracy-theories-it-is-a-conspiracy/29596
  2. http://www.defensenews.com/story/defense/policy-budget/budget/2016/03/25/state-33-billion-gcc-weapon-sales-11-months/82255660/

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VIDEO: Yemen’s Forgotten People in a Forgotten War

NOVANEWS
Bystanders look on at the carnage following a suicide car bombing in the Yemeni city of Aden (AFP)

Featured image:  Bystanders look on at the carnage following a suicide car bombing in the Yemeni city of Aden (AFP)

As the Syrian Army and its Russian partners gradually regain control of the disaster created by Washington and its NATO and GCC allies in Syria, the western media is slowly coming around to realize 12 months late (but better late than never) that Saudi Arabia has been pounding its neighbor Yemen, and killing and maiming many innocent people in the process.

Why the silence? The answer is simple: business. More specifically, the arms and ‘defense’ (what an oxymoronic term this has become) business. As we reported yesterday, as Saudi Arabia continues to drop its US and UK-made bombs down on the people of Yemen, the US and UK have cashed-in on sales to the GCC worth at least $33 Billion – in just eleven months according to Defense News.

War is a racket, and for some, no matter how many people are murdered and how much damage it causes – war is simply good for business.

Watch this stunning ITV News report detailing the human cost of war in Yemen, as the UK is investigated for selling arms to Saudi Arabia, which is behind the bombings…

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Yemen Peace Talks Bear Fruit: Idea of Unity Government Agreed

NOVANEWS

Image result for YEMEN WAR PHOTO

Parties to the Yemeni military conflict agreed to hold a new round of peace talks in Kuwait and expressed their readiness to create a national unity government during a meeting in Sanaa, UN Special Envoy for Yemen Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed said Monday.

“Fruitful meetings in Sana, and agreement that Kuwait is a place of upcoming Yemeni negotiations…[Parties] agree on political solution and formation of a national unity government,” the special envoy wrote on his official Facebook page.

The date for a new round of intra-Yemeni talks has not yet been announced.

The first round of talks between Yemeni government representatives and Houthi rebels took place in Geneva in December 2015.

Yemen has been engulfed in a military conflict between the government headed by Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and Shiite Houthi rebels, who have been supported by army units loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since late March 2015, a Saudi-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against Houthi positions at Hadi’s request.

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Toll from Saudi Zio-Wahhabi raids on Yemen market hits 119

NOVANEWS

Image result for SAUDI KING SALMAN CARTOON

 

A senior UN official says the death toll from recent Saudi Zio-Wahhabi air strikes on a crowded market in the Yemeni province of Hajjah has risen to nearly 120.

Meritxell Relano, deputy representative for the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) in Yemen, on Thursday put the number of people killed in the Tuesday’s air attacks on the northern province at 119.

The strikes took place in the northwest of the Yemeni capital Sana’a after two Saudi Zio-Wahhabi air strikes hit al-Khamees market in the district of Mustaba on March 15.

The UN sources say the victims include at least 20 children. Many other Yemenis were injured in the deadly aerial raids in the troubled region.

The UN children’s agency in a statement strongly denounced the deadly airstrikes.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon also on Wednesday described the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi  aerial raids as “one of the deadliest “ since Zio-Wahhabi family launched a military campaign against the impoverished Arab country in March last year. The UN chief also demanded a probe into the deadly incident.

The world body has already warned of a “human catastrophe unfolding in Yemen.”

Meanwhile, General Ahmed al-Asiri, a Saudi Zio-Wahhabi military spokesman, said on Thursday that Zio-Wahhabi family will scale down combat operations in Yemen in an apparent bid to divert mounting criticism of the military aggression.

However, al-Asiri stressed that the kingdom will continue to provide air support to Yemen’s former regime loyalists battling Houthi Ansarullah fighters and allied army units on the ground.

Riyadh has been under fire by international organizations and rights groups over the rising number of civilian casualties in Yemen.

The Saudi Zio-Wahhabi military strikes were launched in a failed effort to undermine the popular Ansarullah movement and bring the former fugitive president back to power.

At least 8,400 people, among them 2,236 children, have been killed so far and 16,015 others have sustained injuries.

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Serious Systematic Human Rights Violations Against the People of Yemen

NOVANEWS
Global Research
05-12-2015OldCity_Yemen

IDO, together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, and Arabian Rights Watch Association, express our utmost concern over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and its Coalition’s (the “Saudi-led Coalition’s”)

a) ongoing serious and systematic violations of rights in Yemen, including political, economic, human, and humanitarian rights.  These ongoing and systematic violations come in the form of:

i) airstrikes on civilian targets that include the use of internationally banned cluster munitions and

ii) a comprehensive indiscriminate land, air, and sea blockade. We also express our deep concern with the Saudi-led Coalition’s

b) continued lack of cooperation with the United Nations (UN).  The Saudi-led Coalition, along with Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi’s Yemeni government in exile, does not cooperate with the UN. This has been observed in their: i) designation of the OHCHR representative as persona non grata;

ii) non-observance and non-implementation of recommendations made in the Universal Periodic Review (UPR);

and iii) the inability of Hadi’s exiled government’s national commission to investigate the violations of the laws of war by any party to the war on Yemen.

We bring to your attention that political negotiations were ongoing in Yemen and would have led to a power-sharing government inclusive of all Yemeni parties and factions but for the Saudi-led war, which interfered with that political dialogue and, in effect, the rights of the Yemeni people to self determination. We continue to warn that as a consequence of the Saudi-led Coalition’s war, al-Qaeda was able to reclaim territory it had previously lost to the Yemeni army and popular committees. Prior to the war’s outbreak, al-Qaeda controlled only one small desert city, Mukalla.  However, due to the war, al-Qaeda now operates freely in many southern areas, where it commits systematic human rights violations, such as in the port city of Aden and recently in Lahj.

a)  Ongoing Violations of the Laws of War, Human Rights Law, Humanitarian Law

i) Airstrikes on civilian targets that include the use of internationally banned cluster munitions

In the first 300 days of the war, a total of 8,143 civilians were documented to have been killed by Saudi-led Coalition airstrikes.  4,628 were men (56%), 1,519 were women (19%), and 1,996 were children (25%).  The total number of civilians wounded due to the indiscriminate airstrikes exceeds 15,000. 512 bridges were destroyed along with 125 power plants, 164 water stations, 167 telecom stations, 14 airports, 10 sea ports, 325,000 residential homes, 238 hospitals and clinics, 39 colleges and universities, 569 schools and causing 3,750 others to close down.

In addition to the indiscriminate use of air power to attack civilian populations, the Saudi-led coalition has also been documented to have used internationally banned cluster munitions in violation of the principles of distinction, proportionality, and military necessity.

Cluster Munitions

The Saudi-led Coalition’s repeated use of internationally banned cluster munitions in civilian areas may indicate a degree of intent to harm civilians, a threshold that, when passed, amounts to war crimes. Throughout the last year, 5 different types of cluster munitions have been documented to have been used by the Saudi-led Coalition in civilian areas. Between April and July 2015 the Saudi-led coalition forces used cluster munitions in at least seven attacks in Yemen’s northwestern Hajja governorate, killing and wounding dozens of civilians.  More recently, in the early morning of January 6, 2016, the Saudi-led coalition dropped cluster bombs in heavily populated residential neighborhoods of Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, including Madbah, Sawad Hanash, Al-Sunaina, Hayel Street, Al-Rabat Street, Al-Ziraa zone, Kuwait Street, Tunis Street, the university zone, and Bir Al-Shaif.

The cluster bombs killed at least one child, injured ten others, and damaged residential property and cars in the vicinity.  A school for girls was also partially damaged.  The areas the Saudi-led Coalition bombed are densely populated with civilians living in close proximity to schools, hospitals, and markets.  They have no military protection.

ii) Imposition of a comprehensive indiscriminate land, air and sea blockade by the Saudi-led Coalition

The Saudi-led Coalition has abused the UN Security Council’s (UNSC) Resolution 2216 to justify its blockade of Yemen.  UNSC Resolution 2216 is an arms embargo on named individuals.  It does not sanction the withholding of food, medical, and fuel supplies from Yemen by a warring party who has committed, and continues to commit, serious and gross violations of the laws of war, human rights, and humanitarian law.  Given the UNSC’s mandate to maintain peace, stability, and security among nation-states, the UN should extend the embargo to the member states of the Saudi-led Coalition.

The Saudi-led Coalition’s abuse of Resolution 2216 has played an integral role in the food insecurity of an estimated 14.4 million Yemenis, 7.4 million of whom are severely food insecure. Moreover, hundreds of hospitals and clinics have shut down due to the Saudi-led Coalition’s airstrikes and blockade.  The blocking of critical fuel and medical supplies is causing an estimated 15 million Yemeni people to be without adequate access to basic healthcare needs.

b)       Lack of Cooperation With UN

i) Lack of cooperation with OHCHR Representative

We bring to your attention our continued concern with the Hadi government in exile’s lack of cooperation with George Abu al-Zulof, the OHCHR representative in Yemen, by recently designating him as persona non grata due to his documentation of human rights violations in Yemen.  It is concerning that the High Commissioner for Human Rights had to emphatically remind Hadi and the Saudi-led Coalition that the UN’s job “is not to highlight violations committed by one side and ignore those committed by the other.”  The UN Human Rights Council tasked the same person who deemed the OHCHR representative persona non grata with implementing a resolution adopted by consensus that calls for the National Commission to investigate the crimes being committed by all parties to the war in Yemen.  Despite Hadi’s subsequent retraction, his status as part of the Saudi-led Coalition, coupled with his statements and actions, makes him unfit for the position as a neutral arbiter with respect to the crimes being committed.

ii) Non-observance or implementation of the UPR recommendations

We express our concern with Hadi’s inability to implement the UPR recommendations, namely the ratification of the Rome Statute by Parliament.  The Rome Statute is critical to seeking redress for the crimes in the International Criminal Court’s jurisdiction that were, and continue to be, committed against civilians in Yemen.  Because there is no functioning government on the ground, Hadi will not be able to complete the ratification process nor would it be in his interest to do so if he actually had a functioning government since he is an integral accomplice to the commission of crimes in Yemen and cannot be reasonably expected to prosecute himself nor the Coalition he is a part of.

iii) Inability of Hadi’s national commission to investigate the crimes being committed in Yemen

We express our deep regret and sincere disappointment with the decision to withdraw the draft resolution tabled by the Netherlands in the 30th Session.  Our reservations with the Resolution tabled by Saudi Arabia and that was adopted by consensus (A/HRC/30/L.1/Rev.2) include, but are not limited to, the acknowledgement of Hadi’s Presidential Decree No. 13, which calls for the establishment of a National Commission that will not meet international standards.  Moreover, there are no legal grounds for the establishment of a National Commission by a government in exile.  The legislature, the judiciary, and the executive, should facilitate the implementation of these obligations.   Given that the Hadi government is not functioning in Yemen, it cannot carry out its duty of investigations in Yemen. In addition, the National Commission is biased.  This is demonstrated by the decree itself, the purpose of which is to investigate and prosecute crimes committed by local parties without reference to the crimes being committed by the Coalition led by Saudi Arabia.

Recommendation

At the 31st Session of the Human Rights Council, IDO together with Americans for Democracy & Human Rights in Bahrain, and Arabian Rights Watch Association, urge UN Member States to renew their calls to:

  • Set up an independent international commission of inquiry into the crimes being committed by any party to the war on Yemen.
  • Call for the imposition of an arms embargo on the Saudi-led Coalition.
  • Call for an end to the war on Yemen both the airstrikes and the blockade and full withdrawal of all foreign forces from the territory of Yemen.
  • Facilitate humanitarian access to impoverished areas.
  • Provide support to Yemen in its struggle against violent extremist forces.
  • Facilitate Yemeni-Yemeni dialogue without foreign intervention.
Arabian Rights Watch Association (ARWA) is a nonprofit, nongovernmental human rights organization based in the District of Columbia and is comprised of global members including human rights activists, lawyers, professionals and academics of diverse backgrounds and nationalities.

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Saudi Led Destruction of Yemen’s heritage

NOVANEWS

Image result for YEMEN WAR CARTOON

This short video was a part of our presentation to the UNHRC made by team www.arwarights.org. It shows a tiny part of the destruction and devastation of ancient cultural sites and heritage by a Saudi coalition hell bent on massacre and obliteration of history in Yemen. Thank you to Yousra Alharazi and Carson Germignani for their moving and heartfelt presentation of this crime against humanity and our universal heritage.

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Discussions underway to end Yemen war

NOVANEWS
Image result for Yemen war CARTOON 

A Yemeni delegation is apparently in Saudi Arabia at the moment, participating in talks with the Saudis to end the war against Yemen. This appears to be the most serious effort made so far in order to reach a ceasefire, following the talks that took place in Oman, and later in Switzerland.

The talks apparently coincide with a lull in the fighting on the border between the two countries, and in Saudi Zio-Wahhabi air strikes on the embargoed Yemen.

The Yemeni delegation in Saudi Arabia is headed by Mohammad Abdel Salam, who also happens to be Ansarullah’s main spokesman and senior advisor to the leader of Ansarullah, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi. Abdel Salam previously also led the Yemeni delegation that took part in the Oman talks, which paved the way for the U.N. sponsored talks on Yemen in Switzerland.

Moreover, the invitation is said to be at the invitation of the Saudis, who have yet to comment on the matter, and neither has the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi foreign ministry. The development is somewhat surprising, as the Saudis previously indicated that they are unwilling to negotiate until the Yemeni capital Sanaa falls in the hands of its allies.

So far, this war has seen more than 6,000 civilians killed, thousands more injured, and hundreds of thousands displaced as homes, hospitals, schools, and other civilian buildings targeted in Yemen in a heavy bombing campaign in which Saudi Zio-Wahhabi has been accused of a number of war crimes and massacres.

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime war against Yemen, one of the Arab world’s poorest countries, began in March 2015. Its goals were to destroy the Ansarullah movement and restore C.I.A puppet Abed Rabbuh Mansour Hadi as president (keeping in mind that he had resigned from this position on January 21st, 2015), the two of which Saudi Zio-Wahhabi  has failed to achieve a year into their heavy bombing campaign.

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DynCorp mercenaries to replace Blackwater in Yemen

NOVANEWS
Image result for BLACK WATER LOGO
m the private US military firm DynCorp has arrived in the Yemeni city of Aden to replace paid militants from another American company.

Under a USD-3-billion contract between the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and DynCorp, mercenaries from the company are to be deployed to Yemen, where UAE forces are fighting against the Yemeni army and Popular Committees on Saudi Zio-Wahhabi orders, Khabar News Agency quoted an official with Yemeni Defense Ministry as saying.

The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the first group of the mercenaries recently arrived in the port city of Aden to replace those of Blackwater, a notorious American group now renamed Academi.

He added that the new militants included special naval forces, who entered the port of Ras Omran southwest of Aden.

DynCorp is a rival of Blackwater, which hires mercenaries and sends them to fight in foreign countries on paid missions.

Blackwater had decided to withdraw from Bab-el-Mandeb region after the Yemeni forces inflicted heavy losses on them. The UAE was forced to bring in the new mercenaries from DynCorp for the same reason.

Yemen has been under military attacks by Saudi Arabia since late March last year. At least 8,400 people have been killed so far in the aggression and 16,015 others sustained injuries. The strikes have also taken a heavy toll on the impoverished country’s facilities and infrastructure, destroying many hospitals, schools, and factories.

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Terrorist Saudis Zio-Wahhabi Rat’s Boast about Crimes in Yemen

NOVANEWS
Saudi drillsArmed forces from 20 countries have begun maneuvers in northeastern Saudi Arabia that the official Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family Press described as “one of the world’s biggest military exercises.”

Troops from Pakistan, Malaysia, Turkey, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan and Sudan are among those participating in the “Thunder of the North” exercise, which began on Saturday and involves ground, air and naval forces, SPA reported.

Forces from the other five Persian Gulf Arab Zionist regime are also taking part in “one of the world’s most important military exercises based on the number of forces participating and the area of territory used,”.

Zio-Wahhabi terrorist family said a major goal of the exercise was to improve training in responding to the threat posed by “terrorist groups.”

Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family has allegedly carried out air strikes against the so-called ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’ (ISIL) takfriri group, the same terrorist organisation that it is funding and training according to confidential reports posted by reliable western media.

Last December, it also formed a new 35-member alliance to fight “terrorism” in Islamic countries.

Since last March, it has been leading a brutal and devastating military aggression on its southern neighbor Yemen, leaving thousands of civilians killed and vital infrastructure demolished.

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UN ‘conservative estimates’ show 700 children among 6,000 Yemen fatalities

NOVANEWS
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The UN will launch a humanitarian drive to raise some $1.8 billion required to save millions of people from humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, where over 6,000 people have been killed since the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition intervention in March 2015.

In a briefing to the 15-nation United Nations Security Council, Stephen O’Brien, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, announced that on Thursday the Yemen Humanitarian Response Plan will be launched in Geneva.

The plan aims to raise $1.8 billion to cover the “most critical and prioritized needs” that includes food for nearly nine million people. The money will also be used for water and sanitation for some 7.4 million people and medical treatment for 10.6 million people.

Highlighting the urgent need for the Security Council to take greater measures to protect civilians, O’Brien said that the UN should insure that people have a chance to survive.

“Some 2.7 million people have had to flee their homes. At least 7.6 million people are severely food insecure. Some two million acutely malnourished children and pregnant or lactating women need urgent treatment,” he told the UNSC.

He noted that since the escalation of the conflict in March 2015 which has involved Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led bombings, over 6, 000 people have been killed.

“More than 35,000 casualties, including over 6,000 deaths, have been reported by health facilities across the country,” since last March, O’Brien said, adding that UN has confirmed that out of that number, 2,997 were civilians deaths, in addition to 5,659 that were injured as the result of the hostilities.

Of great concern to the UN is the fate of the children in the conflict. O’Brien said that “conservative estimates” suggest that over 700 children have been killed and over 1,000 more injured. He also noted that as many as 720 children have been documented as having been forcibly recruited as child soldiers by the warring parties. The diplomat also noted that some 1,170 schools have been closed leaving some 3.4 million minors out of education.

The destruction or closure of health facilities, which totals some 600 since March, has also left some 14 million Yeminis in desperate need of medical attention.

Noting that on Sunday Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition air strike struck a building 200 meters away from UN and diplomatic personnel facility, he urged all parties in Yemen to protect civilians.

“The parties to the conflict have a duty of care in the conduct of military operations to protect all civilian persons and objects, including humanitarian and health care workers and facilities, against attack,” Mr. O’Brien said, reminding all parties of their obligations under international humanitarian law to “facilitate humanitarian access to all areas of Yemen,” he said.

At the same time, O’Brien noted that for the past two weeks Saudi Zio-Wahhabi family has continued to impede the work of UN staff in the country, “causing delays to important missions.”  The diplomat said that Riyadh is also blocking sea access to Yemen’s ports, and is preventing aid from traveling around the country,

“Access to northern Governorates where needs are among the most severe in the country also continue to be challenging due to relentless conflict, including airstrikes – in particular to communities along the border with Saudi Arabia where conflict is intense,”  O’Brien noted.

Tensions in Yemen escalated after President Saleh was deposed in 2012 and Houthi supporters seized the capital city Sana’a last year. Houthi forces then advanced from Sana’a towards the south, seizing large parts of Yemen, and sending the current C.I.A puppet Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.

In late March, a Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition responded with air strikes in order to stop Houthi advances and reinstate Hadi back in power. By late summer, the Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led forces had started a ground operation, which so far is stuck in a stalemate.

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