Archive | April 8th, 2015

SYRIA: ZIO-WAHHABI EATS DUST IN LATAKIA’S NORTH

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AS SYRIAN ARMY LIBERATES MORE STRATEGIC POINTS

image: http://albaathmedia.sy/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/%D8%B4139.jpg

بالفيديو..تفاصيل عملية الجيش السوري الواسعة بريف اللاذقيةLATAKIA:  To attack Idlib with the 10,000+ Zio-Wahhabi force Nusra/Alqaeda deployed, they had to pull hundreds of rats from the front in North Latakia, Hama and various parts of Idlib, not to mention Turkey’s Hatay Province.  This left Latakia’s north relatively unmolested.  The situation was ideally suited for a courageous thrust by the SAA up to several strategic high points such as Pinnacles 767 and 803 where they are now in complete control.

A skeletal force of Zio-Wahhabi syphilis-ridden hyenas was left behind to reap the wrath of our soldiers.  All 39 rodent-vermin were killed.  All were foreigners from Turkey, Chechnya and some Arab countries.  I will have their names in a few days.

Ghammaam:  An assault by Zio-Wahhabi Nusra/Alqaeda at 2 military strongpoints were repulsed by the SAA at Kafrayyaa and Watiyy Al-Khaan.

Fighting reported here: Al-Kabeer Village, Al-Rubay’ah, Al-Furunluq Tree Reservation, Bayt Ibliq

image: http://www.sana.sy/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/sana.1234-620×330.jpg

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Zio-Wahhabi (ISIS) planning terrorist attack in Spain

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Eleven Zio-Wahhabi were arrested in Catalonia early today in a raid against a jihadist cell that is believed to have been planning an attack in the northeastern region.

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The suspects are 10 men and a woman all aged between 17 and 45. Five of them are Spanish citizens, five hail from Morocco and one is from Paraguay.

Besides recruiting new combatants for Zio-Wahhabi (IS) in Syria and Iraq, the group constituted “an operative cell that was intending to carry out attacks in Catalonia,” said the Catalan chief of internal affairs, Ramon Espadaler, in a press conference. The number of arrests could rise as the day progresses, said Espadaler.

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All three were Catalonia residents, and the police investigation discovered evidence that a new group of Zio-Wahhabi terrorists was not only trying to send more youths to Syria, but also planning an attack on Spanish soil. Catalonia is one of the Spanish regions that has seen the most police operations against Zio-Wahhabi jihadism.

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So far this year, 29 arrests have been made, without counting today’s detentions.

According to ministry figures, of the 1,264 mosques in Spain, around 100 follow the most radical current of Zio-Wahhabi, Salafism. Of these, half are located in Catalonia

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THE MOST MORAL NAZI IN THE WORLD

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by Sabba

 

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Ed-note (Sabba) – Ali Safi, 17, was shot in the chest last week, by the most moral army in the world. Let’s be honest: what else could the idf do but shot this kid dead, in self defense, as he was throwing stones? This teen-age boy might well have been the sacrifice made to yahweh, as a thank you for Bibi’s unexpected victory. May you rest in Peace dear Ali.

“A Palestinian teenager died on Wednesday of a gunshot wound sustained a week ago during a confrontation with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, hospital officials said.

The officials at Ramallah Hospital said Ali Safi, 17, had been shot through the chest. Witnesses said soldiers had responded to stone-throwing at a protest against a barrier going up between a Jewish settlement and a refugee camp near Ramallah.

The Israeli military had no immediate comment.

The incident came amid rising tensions in the West Bank after Israel froze the transfer of funds to the Palestinians in a diplomatic dispute and also following this month’s reelection of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israel’s withholding of tax revenues it collects for the Palestinians has crippled the Palestinian economy since January.

Israel said it halted the funds in protest over the Palestinian Authority joining the International Criminal Court. When its membership takes effect on April 1, it can file war crimes charges against Israel.”

Source: Haartez

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The Najdi bedouins’ aggression in Yemen

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By Zafar Bangash 

Has the Bani Saud made one mistake too many by attacking Yemen? If the conflict drags on, it is likely to bring down the Najdi Bedouins’ sand castles.

It is easy to start a war but difficult to determine its direction, outcome or how to end it. Ask any general and he would confirm that the best prepared plans are made redundant as soon as the first shots are fired. The “Saudi” regime has just made a strategic blunder by attacking dirt-poor Yemen. In fact, the war is launched against the Houthi militia that has made impressive gains in recent weeks and months in the war-torn country. And true to form, the bedouins from Najd, calling themselves “Saudis,” have mobilized a so-called “coalition of the willing” that includes such great warriors as the Kuwaitis, Qataris, Bahrainis, and Emiratis. The Yemenis must be trembling in their sandals. In their quest to act as regional cop, the “Saudis” have also obtained the services of such basket cases as Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Pakistan.

The “Saudi” war on Yemen is both illegal and immoral. It is naked aggression against another country launched on false pretence. The “Saudi” regime has never fired a single shot against the Zionist occupiers of Palestine, for instance, but it has always been quick to attack Muslims. The “Saudi” regime is hiding behind the excuse that the “legitimate government” in Yemen asked for help. The Najdi bedouins do not have legitimacy in the Arabian Peninsula so how can they claim to be supporting a “legitimate government” elsewhere? The supposed head of that so-called legitimate government — Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi — had already fled the country before the “Saudis” launched their air strikes killing scores of innocent civilians. These constitute war crimes and the “Saudi” rulers could be hauled before a court of law for their criminal conduct.

Beyond legality lie other unpleasant truths. The “Saudi” army is made up of amateurs. They have seldom if ever participated in any real battle. The regime has traditionally relied on creating sectarian fitnah — its principal mode of operation — and hiring mercenaries from other countries. The sectarian fitnah may not work in Yemen as successfully as it has in some other places because there are many Sunni groups fighting against the illegitimate regime of Hadi, in addition to the Houthis, the main revolutionary force in Yemen, who just happen to be Zaydi Shi‘is. How would the “Saudis” justify their sectarian charge against Ali Abdullah Saleh, the former president, who is “Sunni”? He was forced to resign in February 2012 under pressure from then King Abdullah of “Saudi” Arabia. Besides, the Houthis are now seen by most Yemenis as champions of the country’s independence, defending it against foreign aggression.

There appear to be two factors at work in the Najdi bedouins’ decision to attack Yemen. First, they are in panic mode given their failures on multiple fronts — Syria, Iraq, etc., where they have unleashed the takfiri beheaders and liver-eaters. While these monsters have caused immense suffering and even occupied some territory, they have failed in their primary objective of overthrowing the government in either. Second, the younger members of the ruling dynasty — Muhammad bin Nayef and Muhammad bin Salman — want to prove their macho credentials. The former was appointed Deputy Crown Prince after the death of King Abdullah in January. He was already the country’s interior minister, essentially Mr. Security for the Kingdom, and has earned notoriety for his brutal ways. The latter was appointed defence minister by his father when he became king following Abdullah’s death. Perhaps the two young “royals” have become intoxicated by the shiny American-made weapons their forces possess. What they have failed to realize is that it is not the gun but the man behind the gun that matters. The “Saudis” may be notorious for cruelty but they have no valour.

Many examples of the folly of relying on weapons are available. The US conduct of war in different locales offers sobering lessons. Who would have thought that despite their sophisticated weaponry, the Americans would suffer such an ignominious defeat in Afghanistan? The Hindu Kush mountains have once again proved to be the graveyard of empires. For nearly 40 years, the Afghans have known nothing but war and parts of the country are so poor that the Stone Age would feel like modernity. Yet, these so-called primitive people have not only endured more than a decade of American military aggression — the self-proclaimed superpower — but also 40 of its allies. Each and every one of America’s allies has slunk out of the country not daring to look back. The Americans, too, are about to slink out. Nor have the Americans given any better account in Iraq, or indeed in Vietnam five decades ago. While we may deride the Americans’ lack of valour, the “Saudis” lag far behind.

Beyond their fighting skills, or lack thereof, there are other factors that are equally revealing. The “Saudis” have made no secret that they attacked Yemen to protect “Arab” interests. Their mask of Islamicity is off by their own words and deeds. Committed Muslims have never had any illusions about the true nature of this regime whose entire record is one of treachery and betrayal of Islam. Those Muslims in their innocence or ignorance who fell for the Najdi bedouins’ propaganda that the ruler of the Kingdom is “Khadim al-Haramayn” (caretaker of the Two Holy Masjids) and serving the cause of Islam should now disabuse their minds of this myth because they are Khadim al-Mufsidayn (America and Israel).

Their Islamic credentials were always suspect. Further, few in the Muslim world adhere to the narrow literalist interpretations of Wahhabism. The regime has used its huge wealth to buy loyalty — according to one estimate, nearly $100 billion have been spent since 1975 to rope in individuals, groups and organizations to its side. While they may not have become Wahhabis, such people are coerced into silence about Saudi misdemeanours. Who would like to see their bakhshish stopped when life for most in the Muslim world is so difficult?

While the Najdi clowns cannot defeat the Houthis by bombardment from the air, should they make the mistake of sending in their ground troops, they would probably seal their fate. The Houthis would make minced meat of “Saudi” soldiers or any other mercenary forces from equally repressive Arabian regimes, be they Egyptian or Jordanian. Perhaps, revolutionary Muslims should pray that the Najdi bedouins make the mistake of blundering into launching a ground invasion of Yemen. That would perhaps hasten the end of this decrepit regime that has been the bane of Muslims for decades. The bedouins from Najd may have dug their own grave.

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Zio-Nazi Forces Target Journalists In West Bank

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The rising trend of I$raHel security forces using live ammunition against Palestinian protesters has expanded to include journalists as well.
Israeli commander who blocked the writer’s entrance to the village of Kafr Qaddoum – as clashes were taking place – for over two hours. Credit: Mel Frykberg/IPS
Nazi commander who blocked the writer’s entrance to the village of Kafr Qaddoum – as clashes were taking place – for over two hours. Credit: Mel Frykberg/IPS

KAFR QADDOUM, West Bank – It is becoming increasingly risky to cover clashes and protests between Israeli security forces and Palestinian protesters in the West Bank as the number of journalists injured, in what appears to be deliberate targeting by Israeli security forces, continues to rise.

During the last 12 months, Israel’s Foreign Press Association (FPA) has issued numerous protests at the manhandling, harassment and shooting of both members of the foreign media and Palestinian journalists.

“The Foreign Press calls on the Israeli border police (a paramilitary unit) to put an immediate end to a wave of attacks on journalists. In just over a week, border police officers have carried out at least four attacks on journalists working for international media organisations, injuring reporters and damaging expensive equipment. These attacks all appear to have been unprovoked,” was one of many statements released by the FPA last year.

“A change in policy appears to be the reason for unprecedented aggressive behaviour by the authorities against journalists covering demonstrations in Jerusalem,” read another FPA statement.

The assaults have included shooting rubber-coated metal bullets directly at journalists on a regular basis.

Tear gas canisters, which under Israeli law are meant to be shot from a safe distance in an upward arch so as not to endanger life, have also been shot directly at journalists from close range even when the journalists were out of the line of fire.

The rising trend of Israeli security forces using live ammunition against Palestinian protesters has expanded to include journalists as well.

Palestinian journalists and cameramen working for foreign agencies and local media appear to be bearing the brunt of these attacks, because assaulting and abusing Palestinians, males in particular, is an integral part of Israel’s occupation of Palestinian land.

A colleague of IPS, a cameraman from Palestine TV, was shot in the leg several months ago with a 0.22 inch calibre bullet fired from a Ruger rifle by an Israeli sniper as he filmed a clash in the northern West Bank village of Kafr Qaddoum.

On a previous occasion, as he left the village, Israeli soldiers pulled his vehicle over, dragged him out and assaulted him.

Another IPS colleague, a cameraman from Reuters, was shot twice in both legs with a metal bullet with a 0.5 mm rubber coating at one Friday protest. The previous week he had been targeted directly with a tear gas canister.

“We are very concerned about the marked increase in the number of Palestinian journalists being deliberately targeted by the Israeli security forces,” said Reporters Without Borders in a statement  on the increase in violence by Israeli security forces against Palestinian journalists released last year.

“We reiterate our call to the Israeli authorities, especially the military, to respect the physical integrity of journalists covering demonstrations and we remind them that the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution on 28 March recognising the importance of media coverage of protests and condemning any attacks or violence against the journalists covering them.”

The situation was even worse during the Gaza war from July to August last year, when 17 Palestinian journalists were killed by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) even when they were not in the proximity of the fighting.

IPS has witnessed numerous attacks on journalists over the years and has also been harassed by Israeli soldiers when trying to cover clashes.

Last Friday, I was held up for over two hours in the sun by Israeli soldiers as I tried to enter Kafr Qaddoum where major clashes were taking place.

During this time other members of the media, ambulances and other protesters were refused entrance.

With Israeli government press accreditation, an accreditation denied to most Palestinian journalists, I was able to contact the IDF spokesman who coordinated my entrance, but only after several hours of standing in the sun.

I was neither assaulted nor was any of my equipment confiscated from me, another privilege of being white and Western.

Another Palestinian colleague and cameraman came in for very different treatment a month ago when he had had his camera confiscated by an Israeli soldier outside the Jelazon refugee camp, near Ramallah.

When he tried to retrieve his expensive piece of equipment he was warned to back off and knew better than to pursue the issue.

However, when I took the matter up with the commanding officer the camera was returned to its owner after the officer had taken me aside on a charm offensive while ordering the Palestinian journalists to stand back.

On another occasion, I was accompanying a Palestinian ambulance which was trying to reach Jelazon camp to help Palestinian youths injured during clashes with the IDF.

Several military jeeps blocked the roads leading to the camp and refused to move when asked by the ambulance driver.

After I got out and spoke to the soldiers, showing them my credentials yet again, the jeep moved to the side and allowed the ambulance to continue.

The Israelis still appear to be sensitive to a certain degree to how they are portrayed in the Western media.

This has become apparent to me when covering violent clashes. As soon as it has been established that I am Australian, white and a woman, the aggression of the Israeli soldiers has abated and they have tried to get me on side by asking me if I am alright and warning me to take care,

However, I know that I too could easily fall prey to Israeli ammunition if I am not exceedingly careful so, on this basis, I choose to stay well away from the frontlines of clashes.

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CIA Officials Knew Rendition Victim Was ‘The Wrong Guy,’ Kiriakou Reveals

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In an interview at his Virginia home, torture whistleblower says CIA insiders objected to the arrest and torture of Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar.
Rendition and torture victim Maher Arar. (Photo: Huffington Post)
Rendition and torture victim Maher Arar. (Photo: Huffington Post)

CIA insiders objected to the arrest, rendition, and torture of Syrian-born Canadian Maher Arar, but high-ranking officials ignored concerns that they were punishing an innocent man, according to former spy and whistleblower John Kiriakou in an interview with the Canadian Press.

After serving two years behind bars, Kiriakou—the only government official to be punished in connection with the U.S. torture program—was released from Loretto Prison in Pennsylvania in February, under orders to finish the remainder of his 30-month sentence at home.

The interview with journalist Alexander Panetta took place in the former CIA official’s house in Virginia.

Kiriakou talked specifically about Maher Arar’s case (pdf), which galvanized international human rights groups and highlighted the disturbing practice of rendition.

Arar was detained during a layover at New York’s JFK Airport in September 2002 on his way home to his family in Canada. He was held in solitary confinement for nearly two weeks, interrogated, and denied meaningful access to a lawyer, according to the Center for Constitutional Rights, which represented Arar in the federal lawsuit Arar v. Ashcroft.

The Bush administration labeled him a member of Al Qaeda, and rendered him not to Canada—his home and country of citizenship—but to Syrian intelligence authorities renowned for torture.

In Syria, Arar said he was interrogated and tortured without charge, and forced to falsely confess attending a training camp in Afghanistan. After nearly a year of confinement, Syrian authorities released Arar, publicly stating that they had found no connection to any criminal or terrorist organization or activity.

Reporting on his interview with Kiriakou, who was a branch chief within the CIA’s Counterterrorism Center at the time of the Arar episode, Panetta writes:

Kiriakou expressed disgust with his country’s role in sending the engineer to be tortured in his native Syria, and with its continuing failure to issue an apology like Canada has.

He described a dynamic within the agency in which one mid-to-high-level officer ignored repeated objections from her subordinates, and insisted on pushing ahead.

“I can tell you that a lot of people inside the CIA objected to this,” Kiriakou said.

“(They said), ‘This is the wrong guy. He hasn’t done anything’.” Arar was grabbed during a New York airport layover and flown to a notorious Syrian prison. He has described a year-long ordeal that included being beaten and stuffed into a body-sized slot in a windowless dungeon. Arar likened it to being buried alive.

Arar’s U.S. lawyer, CCR’s Maria LaHood, told the Canadian Press that she hoped Kiriakou’s revelations would bring about long-overdue atonement.

“He’s never received an apology from the United States… His name continues to be smeared,” LaHood said. “As far as we know, he’s still on a watch list. It’s not too late for accountability here.”

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Zio-Wahhabi Airstrike In Yemen Kills Family of Nine

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Zio-Wahhabi Airstrike In Yemen Kills Family of Nine – Including Six Children

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Nine people were killed in Sahar district in Sa’ada province in a raid of the Zio-Wahhabi-led aggression airstrikes on Yemen, a military source said.

A family of nine — consisting of two men, one woman, and six children — were killed by Zio-Wahhabi led airstrikes on Friday night according to the Yemen news agency SABA.

Five others were injured in the Zio-Wahhabi bombing campaign which transpired in Okash, a village near the Yemeni capital city of Sanaa.

Zio-Wahhabi , along with other CIA puppet Arab regimes nations, launched military action in Yemen on March 25th to combat Houthis rebels.

45-year-old Jamal al-Labani was also killed in war-torn Yemen last week by a mortar strike. Al-Labani, who resided in Hayward, California, was in Yemen to retrieve his pregnant wife and 2-year-daughter and bring them back to the United States. The gas station owner is believed to be the first US citizen to be killed in the fighting.

Along with effectively blockading Yemen, the offensive has also heightened the carnage of the country’s on-going civil war.

Zio-Wahhabi led air-attacks have been responsible for hundreds of deaths since the campaign began less than two weeks ago.

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Zio-Nazi Regime Considering Military Action Against Iran

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Nazi also wants Iran “to come clean” about its past efforts on developing nuclear weapons, stronger assurances on how its stockpile of enriched uranium will be removed, and wants clarity on when sanctions on Iran will be lifted and how quickly they could be re-imposed.

A senior Nazi government minister on Monday warned that taking military action against Iran’s nuclear program is still an option — despite last week’s framework deal between world powers and the Islamic Republic.

The comments by Yuval Steinitz, Nazi minister for strategic affairs, reflected the alarm in I$raHell over last week’s deal, which offers Iran relief from economic sanctions in exchange for scaling back its suspect nuclear program. Nazi leaders believe the framework leaves too much of Iran’s nuclear infrastructure intact and could still allow it to develop the means to produce a nuclear weapon.

Steinitz, a confidant of Benjamin Naziyahu’s, said the government would spend the coming months lobbying the world powers negotiating with Iran to strengthen the language in the deal as they hammer out a final agreement. While stressing that I$raHell prefers a diplomatic solution, he said the “military option” still exists.

“It was on the table. It’s still on the table. It’s going to remain on the table,” Steinitz told reporters. “Israel should be able to defend itself, by itself, against any threat. And it’s our right and duty to decide how to defend ourselves, especially if our national security and even very existence is under threat.”

Nazi regime considers a nuclear-armed Iran to be a threat to its survival, pointing to years of Iranian calls for I$raHell’s destruction, its support for anti-I$raHell militant groups and its development of long-range ballistic missiles that could be armed with nuclear warheads. I$raHell — which is widely believed to be a nuclear power — says a nuclear-armed Iran would set off an arms race in the world’s most volatile region.

The framework agreement was announced last Thursday in Switzerland after years of negotiations between Iran and world powers.

The deal aims to cut significantly into Iran’s bomb-making technology while giving Tehran relief from international sanctions. The commitments, if implemented, would substantially pare down Iranian nuclear assets for a decade and restrict others for an additional five years. Iran would also be subject to intrusive international inspections.

Naziyahu believes the deal leaves intact too much of Iran’s suspect nuclear program, including research facilities and advanced centrifuges capable of enriching uranium, a key ingredient in a bomb. He also says the deal fails to address Iran’s support for militant groups across the Middle East.

Since the deal was announced, Washington has tried to calm I$raHell nerves and on Monday, White House official Ben Rhoads gave a pair of televised interviews promising continued U.S. support for I$raHell security.

Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser, told Channel 2 TV that sanctions will be “snapped back into place if the Iranians don’t comply.”

“There are significant limitations on the nuclear program and with inspections if they break the deal we will know very quickly and then we will be able to make decisions about what to do,” he said.

When asked if a military strike was still an option during the implementation stage of the agreement, Rhodes said: “We believe its best frankly if we don’t have to exercise that option and Iran complies with this type of good comprehensive deal, but certainly if there was a violation we would have all options to consider in response to a violation.”

Steinitz said Monday that I$raHell has drawn up a list of 10 issues I$raHell wants addressed in the final agreement.

The list includes a halt to “research and development” with advanced centrifuges, a reduction in the number of earlier-generation centrifuges that will be allowed to operate, and the complete closure of the underground Fordo nuclear research site.

Under the outlines in Switzerland, Iran has agreed to halt enrichment activities there but the site will be allowed to continue research, and some centrifuges will remain.

Nazi regime also wants Iran “to come clean” about its past efforts on developing nuclear weapons, stronger assurances on how its stockpile of enriched uranium will be removed, and wants clarity on when sanctions on Iran will be lifted and how quickly they could be re-imposed.

Steinitz said I$raHell will lobby the world powers — the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany — to amend the final version of the deal ahead of a June 30 deadline. He said I$raHell still hopes the final deal can be improved.

“It might become a much better deal and a more comprehensive and trusted deal than it is today. This is a bad deal,” Steinitz said.

Naziyahu has warned of the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran for years, but after the Switzerland announcement, it remains unclear how much of an impact he could have on the final negotiations.

Reminding the world of the military option is one way to gain some leverage — many in I$raHell believe that I$raHell threats to strike Iran’s nuclear installations several years ago helped trigger international sanctions and the dialogue that led to last Thursday’s framework deal.

Questions also remain on I$raHell military option. A long-range aerial mission would be dangerous and could trigger retaliation from Iran or its various proxies across the region. It also remains unclear how much damage it could inflict on a program that is spread out and in some cases, hidden underground.

President Barack Obama has said any military attack would only set back Iran by a few years.

Ronen Bergman, an I$raHell military-affairs commentator, said I$raHell would have to produce clear intelligence showing that Iran has resumed a military nuclear program before striking.

“If Israel decides to attack — that evidence will be what will probably save it from international isolation,” Bergman wrote in the Yediot Ahronot daily.

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Chronicling Yemen: A Day-By-Day Look At A Crisis Unfolding

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From Houthi leaders to Yemenis living through the Zio-Wahhabi-led bombings, MintPress is compiling a timeline of events starting from March 25, the day the bombings started.
Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, April 4, 2015.
Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Zio-Wahhabi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, April 4, 2015.

LONDON — Since the Arab Spring lit up the streets of Yemen in 2011, the impoverished country on the tip of the Arabian Peninsula has crumbled under the weight of political instability, insecurity, abject poverty and the threat posed by radicalism.

Once hailed by the Obama administration as a positive model for the region, Yemen is now straining under a torrent of bombings being carried out by a Saudi-led coalition with broad backing from countries throughout the Arab world and even the United States.

The Saudi-led campaign is reportedly aimed at restoring Yemen’s “rightful” government by defeating the Iran-backed Houthi movement.

MintPress News is watching the situation closely and providing updates from a number of sources, including eyewitnesses, government officials and Houthi leaders.

March 25, 2015

At 7:00 p.m. EDT, Saudi Arabia and a coalition of Arab powers launch a large-scale air attack on Yemen. Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Qatar, Morocco and Jordan confirm that they are backing Saudi Arabia’s campaign against the Houthis, a group which took control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa about six months ago.

The Associated Press reports: “In an unusual tableau, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States announced the rare military operation by his country at a Washington news conference about a half-hour after the bombing began.”

Ambassador Adel AL-Jubeir justifies Riyadh’s decision by telling the press that Saudi airstrikes are designed “to prevent Yemen from falling into the hands of the Houthis.”

It is unacceptable, Al-Jubeir says, for a “militia,” as he called the Houthis, to have air power, along with “ballistic missiles, heavy weapons as well as military bases and ports.”

As the Houthi leadership slams the kingdom for unilaterally declaring war on Yemen without so much as a legal mandate — neither from the U.N. Security Council nor the Arab League — Abdel-Malik al-Houthi labels the military intervention an illegal and illegitimate act of war against the people of Yemen.

Ali al-Amad, a Houthi leader and spokesman, tells MintPress News that Saudi warplanes are targeting Yemen’s military interests in northern Yemen. “Al Dulaimi base in Sanaa was hit by warplanes. We responded by firing our anti-aircraft guns,” he said.

“We will match whatever aggression Saudi Arabia launches at us with equal measure,” al-Amad warned.

March 25, 2015 in Aden. (Image: Hakim Al Masmari)
Aden, March 25, 2015. (Image: Hakim Al Masmari)

Zio-Wahhabi puppet Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, Yemen’s former president, who resigned in January, leaves the seaport city of Aden for an undisclosed location as Houthi fighters seize control of the city’s international airport.

Dr. Abdel-Alem Kulaib in Aden tells MintPress that several small Houthi units entered several districts of Aden ahead of a broader military deployment. “We heard sporadic gunfire and faraway explosions,” he said. “People are leaving the city over fears of heavy fighting in the coming hours.”

March 26, 2015

Residents in Sanaa awake to destruction. Despite the overnight air raids, Yasmin Kulaib in Hadda, a neighborhood in south Sanaa, tells MintPress that life is “somewhat normal.”

People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes Thursday targeting military installations in Yemen held by Shiite rebels who were taking over a key port city in the country's south and had driven the embattled president to flee by sea, security officials said.
People search for survivors under the rubble of houses destroyed by Zio-Wahhabi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015.

”Most people went to stock up on food and water. This is not our first rodeo,” Kulaib said. “Sadly, we know exactly what war means for us. The streets are quiet this morning, but people are still out and about. The shops are open.”

Demonstrators in Sanaa take to the streets to denounce the airstrikes. Tens of thousands of men and women express their anger and condemnation of Saudi Arabia’s actions against Yemen.

Yemenis gather to protest against Saudi-led airstrikes, during a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015.
Yemenis gather to protest against Zio-Wahhabi-led airstrikes, during a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015.

Meanwhile, the first civilian casualties start arriving at hospitals.

People carry the body of a woman covered with a blanket from under the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, Thursday, March 26, 2015. Saudi Arabia launched airstrikes Thursday targeting military installations in Yemen held by Shiite rebels who were taking over a key port city in the country's south and had driven the embattled president to flee by sea, security officials said. (AP Photo/Hani Mohammed)
People carry the body of a woman covered with a blanket from under the rubble of houses destroyed by Zio-Wahhabi  airstrikes near Sanaa Airport, Yemen, March 26, 2015.

In Aden, the former southern capital of South Yemen, fighting intensifies as Houthi armed militants backed by the 33rd Brigades and other units under the once-dissolved Republican Guards, now under the control of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, push against Hadi loyalists.

Intense fighting is reported at the Aden airport as factions vie for power.

Street fights break out as civilians take up arms in support of the political faction with which they are aligned.

Ahmed al-Shami, a member of the Houthis’ political bureau, tells MintPress that the Houthi leadership is determined to prevent Aden from falling to the Saudi-led coalition, which would cost the Houthis critical access to the sea.

“Where is the international community now?” al-Shami asked. “Where are Western leaders’ condemnations over a clear violation of Yemen’s territorial sovereignty?”

Bodies begin to pile up at local clinics and hospitals as violence continues to escalate. Dr. Abdel-Mageed al-Sharjabi in Aden warns that supplies could soon run low unless aid is provided to medical workers.

“We are already stretched as it is. I doubt we will be able to meet people’s needs if fighting goes on for much longer. Most hospitals rely on diesel-fuelled generators to provide electricity and if this runs out then we are facing a terrible crisis,” al-Sharjabi told MintPress.

Abdel-Malik al-Houthi delivers an impassioned televised speech, calling Saudi Arabia a criminal regime and accusing the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out an “unjustified” attack on his Iran-backed forces.

Egypt announces that it is prepared to send troops if Saudi Arabia calls for a ground offensive against the Houthis in Yemen.

“Egypt has declared its political and military support,” Egyptian foreign minister Sameh Shoukry says at a meeting of foreign ministers in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, ahead of the Arab League summit, “as well as its participation with the coalition with an aerial and naval Egyptian force, as well as a ground force if necessary, in light of Egypt’s historic and unshakeable responsibility towards Arab and Gulf national security.”

Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir declares support for the Saudi let attack on Yemen in Sharm el Sheik, South Sinai, Egypt, Saturday, March 28, 2015.
Sudanese CIA puppet Omar al-Bashir declares support for the Zio-Wahhabi let attack on Yemen in Sharm el Sheik, South Sinai, Egypt, Saturday, March 28, 2015.

Sudan also confirms that it is entering the Saudi-led coalition against the Houthis in Yemen. Sudan’s participation is potentially problematic for the U.S., which is backing the Saudi-led coalition and includes Sudan on the State Department’s list of State Sponsors of Terrorism.

March 27, 2015

The first images of the destruction in Sanaa come through, showing that the outskirts of the capital have been hit particularly hard.

The northern outskirts of Sana'a, March 27, 2015.
The northern outskirts of Sana’a, March 27, 2015.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest says the U.S. counterterrorism strategy in Yemen cannot be assessed against Sanaa’s failure to achieve political stability.

“The strategy that the [Obama] administration has pursued in Yemen is not a nation-building strategy, it’s a counterterrorism strategy,” Earnest said at a daily press briefing. “[I]f you evaluate that strategy over the last several years, you will see that because of the strategy that we have pursued we have succeeded.”

The Houthi leadership confirms that the Saudi-led coalition has targeted the northern province of Saada, the militant group’s main stronghold.

 

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The Houthis announce that they have released Yemen’s former defense minister. Sputnik reports: “Yemen’s former defense minister Mahmoud Subaihi and Brigadier Faisal Rajab of the 119th brigade were released by an order of the Houthis leader Abdul-Malik.”

March 28, 2015

Hodaida airport on fire following Saudi strike

explosion

Houses in Sanaa fall under Zio-Wahhabi bombing

Houses in Sanaa fall under Saudi bombing. (Hakim Al Masmari), March 28, 2015 - Sana'a
Houses in Sanaa fall under Saudi bombing. (Hakim Al Masmari), March 28, 2015 – Sana’a
Hakim Al Masmari - Sana'a hospital March 28, 2015
Staff in hospitals throughout Sanaa are reportedly overwhelmed by the number of casualties arriving.  Sana’a hospital March 28, 2015. (Photo: Hakim Al Masmari)

The Houthis deploy fighters across the capital and its outskirts in a desperate attempt to protect the city.

The Houthis claim to have downed a Saudi plane in al-Hatarish, a district near Sanaa. Saudi officials refuse to comment.

As talk of a potential ground invasion involving Egypt and Pakistan intensifies, Yemenis across the political spectrum begin to rally behind the Houthi leadership. Effigies of Hadi, the former president, who resigned in January, are burned in the capital and several towns across northern Yemen.

A Houthi artillery position on the outskirts of Sana'a. March 28, 2015.  (Photo: Mohammed Al Bukhaiti)

A Houthi artillery position on the outskirts of Sana’a. March 28, 2015. (Photo: Mohammed Al Bukhaiti)

Houthi fighters move more artillery and men north, in view of opposing Saudi Arabia at its southern borders. Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, a spokesman for the Houthis, who moves between Sanaa and Saada, tells MintPress that more fighters will be dispatched to the Saudi border.

The United Nations evacuates staff from Sanaa, and 86 Arab and Western diplomats are evacuated from the seaport city of Aden by the Saudi navy.

Russian President Vladimir Putin calls on the international community to end the violence.

“We support Arab nations in their effort to ensure a safe future and urge them to resolve all emerging challenges peacefully without any foreign involvement,” Putin said in his message to Arab League nations attending a summit in Sharm al-Sheikh, Egypt.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon echoes Putin, saying, “It is my fervent hope that at this Arab League Summit, leaders will lay down clear guidelines to peacefully resolve the crisis in Yemen.”

March 29, 2015

Scenes of destruction at Hodaida airport

 Hodeida airport - March 29, 2015.  (Photo: Hakim Al Masmari)
Hodeida airport – March 29, 2015.  (Photo: Hakim Al Masmari)

As Yemenis wake up to more devastation and misery, Yemen’s exiled foreign minister, Riyad Yassin, confirms that Hadi will stay in one of the Arab capitals until conditions in Yemen allow him to return.

“The president [Hadi] has no plans to return to the south [Yemen] until it is possible [to do so],” Yassin said, as quoted by Bahraini news outlet Al-Wasat, an Arabic daily based in Bahrain.

Sanaa International Airport is under heavy fire. Civilians living near the airport describe scenes of complete and utter destruction. Fatma Saleh, whose home is less than a mile from the airport, says dozens of warplanes came from all directions to strike the airport.

“The sky was black with planes. We fled in the fields to escape … There is nowhere to run anymore. The children most of all are living in fear of the planes … The sound they make is terrifying,” Saleh told MintPress.

Yassin stresses the importance of an immediate launch of a ground operation in Yemen, stating that it can be started within few days.

Chinese warships arrive in Aden to begin the process of evacuating Chinese diplomats and nationals.

Ma Zhiqiang(R) pose with his family members in front of the missile frigate after they arrived in Djibouti, March 31, 2015. More than 500 Chinese evacuees from conflict-ridden Yemen have arrived at the Djibouti port as the situation continues to deteriorate in Yemen. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)
Ma Zhiqiang(R) pose with his family members in front of the missile frigate after they arrived in Djibouti, March 31, 2015. More than 500 Chinese evacuees from conflict-ridden Yemen have arrived at the Djibouti port as the situation continues to deteriorate in Yemen. (Xinhua/Pan Siwei)

March 30, 2015

The International Criminal Court announces that it will investigate the Saudi-led attacks on Yemen in response to a complaint filed by Yemen’s legal team.

Officials in Sanaa confirm that a refugee camp in northern Yemen was hit by a Saudi warplane. “45 people were killed and another 65 injured in an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition at a refugee camp in Houthi-controlled northern Yemen on Monday,” RT reports, citing a report from the International Organization for Migration.

A statement from Yemen’s defense ministry read:

“Saudi warplanes targeted one of four refugee camps in the Harad district, which led to the death and injury of several of its residents. The airstrike targeted camp 1 in the Mazraq region, which houses around 4,000 refugees, leaving over 40 people dead – including women and children – and over 250 others injured.”

Speaking on developments in Yemen and the mounting civilian casualties, Joe Stork, deputy director for Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa Division, told RT: “It’s really hard to see what good can possibly come out of this campaign. I think, frankly, this is a political question, not a human rights question, but it’s really difficult to see how the government of Hadi could possibly be restored under this circumstances.”

Clashes between pro-Houthi civilian fighters and pro-Hadi forces backed by the Saudi coalition intensifies yet again in Aden as Houthis resort to shelling the city.

Civilians are seen fleeing several districts as mortar shells hit buildings and military positions.

Video Player

As night falls airstrikes intensify over Sanaa

Fire is seen at a military site after it was hit by an air strike on the Faj Attan mountain of Sanaa March 30, 2015.Fire is seen at a military site after it was hit by an air strike on the Faj Attan mountain of Sanaa March 30, 2015.

Destruction at Sanaa International Airport.  - Sana'a airport, March 30, 2015. (Photo: Mohammed Al Bukhaiti)
Destruction at Sanaa International Airport, March 30, 2015. (Photo: Mohammed Al Bukhait

March 31, 2015

Yemenis are stranded in Egypt with no means of returning home. Dozens have decided to camp in front of Yemen’s embassy in Cairo, to express their anger and frustration.

Yemenis across the world remain stuck in transit, cut off from their families and unable to reach home.

Speaking to MintPress, Baraa Shiban and Sara Jamal, both human rights activists in Yemen, denounce what they describe as “world powers’ conspiracy against Yemen and the Yemeni people.”

Mona Alwakeel, a Yemeni national stranded in Lebanon, told MintPress, “I was meant to go back to Yemen days ago, but now because of the no-fly zone I cannot. There are dozens, maybe hundreds of people like me. Not only our country is being attacked by foreign powers, now we cannot even go home. We are a people without a country.”

Aden breaks under a barrage of mortar shells and heavy gunfire as pro-Houthi civilian fighters  and Houthi fighters dig their heels into the city, slowly securing some advances against Hadi forces, confirmed civilians.

Houthi militias backed by the 17th Armored Division enter a military base overlooking Bab al-Mandeb, on the Red Sea coast, in the Dabab district of the southern province of Taiz.

Saudi-led coalition warplanes immediately bomb the area.

Salem al-Hamadi, a retired general in the 3rd Brigade in Sanaa, tells MintPress that several tribal leaders in Hadramawt, Ibb and Dhamar have already defected from Hadi in favor of the Houthis as fear mount that foreign troops could be deployed on the ground.

“Yemenis consider any intervention on their land an absolute affront. Comments made by Hadi calling for more bombings when civilians are dying has enraged many tribesmen,” al-Hamadi said. “If troops come, regardless of our differences we will fight alongside the Houthis.”

Humanitarian groups call on the international community to allow aid into Yemen.

“There are casualties across the country. There have been air strikes in the north, west and south, and clashes between opposing Yemeni armed groups in the center and south, that are putting immense strain on already weak medical services,” said Cedric Schweizer, the leader of an International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) team of 300 people in Yemen.

 

April 1, 2015

Overnight airstrikes destroy a milk and yogurt factory in the southern Yemeni province of Lahj. Local officials put the number of dead at 29, but doctors warn that the death toll could rise throughout the day as workers might succumb to their injuries.

Deceased factory workers following a Saudi airstrike on on a yogurt factory.
Deceased factory workers following Zio-Wahhabi airstrike on on a yogurt factory. (image blurred)

Yemenis overwhelmingly condemn the overnight attack, slamming Saudi Arabia for war crimes as warplanes continue to strike civilian targets across the country.

Saudi Arabia denies conducting the strike, saying the Houthis are to blame.

Houthis protest against Saudi-led airstrikes, during a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, April 1, 2015.
Houthis protest against Zio-Wahhabi-led airstrikes, during a rally in Sanaa, Yemen, Wednesday, April 1, 2015.

Thousands of armed, pro-Houthi protesters take to the streets of Sanaa to call on Abdel-Malik al-Houthi to authorize a direct ground attack against Saudi Arabia.

Medical officials in Aden confirm that 26 people were killed in intense overnight fighting in Khor Maksar, a popular district of the seaport city.

Reuters reports: “Iran-allied Houthi militiamen along with allied army units are pushing on the outskirts of the city, the last bastion of Yemeni President Abdo Rabbo Mansour Hadi, despite six days of Saudi-led air strikes meant to stem their advance.”

Mohammed al-Bukhaiti, the Houthi spokesman, tells MintPress that he expects Aden to fall to the Houthis within hours.

“Saudi Arabia might have war technology on its side, but we have men on the ground trained in street warfare. What we don’t have in heavy weapons we make up for in determination. Our push towards Aden is strategic, we need to create a humanitarian corridor to offer Yemenis aid relief, and since the Kingdom is running a blockade against Yemen, we need to puncture through,” al-Bukhaiti explained.

U.N. Yemen Humanitarian Coordinator Johannes Van Der Klaauw issues the following statement on Yemen:

“Amman, 1 April 2015.

I am appalled to learn of the killing of a volunteer with the Yemen Red Crescent Society (YRCS) in Al Dhale’e in southern Yemen, on Monday, 30 March 2015. This incident has been confirmed by the Ministry of Health and humanitarian partners working in the health sector. Humanitarian workers are putting their lives at risk every day in Yemen to provide critical, life-saving assistance to millions of Yemenis. Their courage and dedication are unsurpassed.

I am appealing to all parties to the conflict to ensure freedom of movement and access for humanitarian workers to carry out their work in safety, as well as unfettered access to those in need. This includes allowing the free and safe movement of humanitarian aid supplies into and within Yemen. Our work in the humanitarian community depends on our ability to bring staff and supplies into the country without restrictions.

I am also deeply concerned by reports of mounting civilian casualties and continued destruction and damage to civilian infrastructure. All parties to conflict in Yemen must observe their obligations under international humanitarian law to protect civilians and the means to provide them with health care, water and sanitation, access to food and livelihoods and other vital services.

I reiterate my call to the parties to find a negotiated solution to the conflict in Yemen, as failure to do so will put the entire population in Yemen at risk.”

News emerges from Aden that the pro-Hadi Aden TV Channel had been shut down by the Houthis as they seize control of Aden.

Reuters confirms reports out of Aden that the Houthis have pushed back pro-Hadi forces.

April 2, 2015

As the Houthis tighten their grip over the seaport city of Aden, Ali al-Amad, a Houthi leader, confirms that the militant group will likely be forced to engage Saudi Arabia on the ground and bring the fight to the kingdom.

Another Houthi official, Fadel Mutag, tells Russia’s RIA Novosti, “Right now we control up to 90 percent of the Aden territory. Fights are taking place near one of the city’s churches.”

Amid mounting violence in Aden, al-Qaida stages a prison break in the country’s southeast. The Guardian reports: “Khalid Batarfi, a senior al-Qaida figure who had been held for more than four years, was among more than 300 prisoners who escaped from the jail in Hadramawt province, the official said on Thursday. Two prison guards and five inmates were killed in the clashes.”

Speaking on condition of anonymity, security officials tell MintPress that earlier today al-Qaida militants also targeted the central bank, police headquarters, checkpoints and a local government office in Mukalla.

“Al-Qaida is clearly using chaos to its advantage. Some in the province have argued that the Saudis are using Al Qaida to destabilize Yemen and open a new front for the Houthis to fight,” one security official said.

Although such allegations could not be independently verified, the Guardian confirmed through its own reporting that al-Qaida had carried out additional attacks in the province.

Conflicting reports emerge from Aden as pro-Hadi officials in the city claim foreign fighters have been deployed there from Egyptian and Saudi warships. In 1962, the last time the Saudis and Egyptians sent troops to fight in Yemen, tens of thousands of people were killed.

Eyewitnesses in Aden tell MintPress that “the foreign troops” were, in fact, Chinese soldiers trying to secure the evacuation of their nationals after their vessel came under Saudi fire.

Reuters reports: “A Yemeni official denied that ground troops had landed in Aden and a port official said they were armed guards who had disembarked from a Chinese ship trying to bring aid or evacuate civilians.”

Saudi officials insist their decision to military intervene in Yemen aims to restore “legitimate government in Yemen.”

Sanaa-based rights activist and political analyst, Hisham Al Omeisy takes to Twitter, voicing his concerns over humanitarian situation in Aden.

April 2, 2015

Islah — a Sunni radical party that serves as an umbrella for the Muslim Brotherhood, Sunni tribal factions, and Salafi and Wahhabi militants — announces its official support of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.

At around 6 a.m. local time, large explosions are heard in Aden’s Crater district. Heavy gunfire erupts as pro-Hadi forces allied with Haraki elements — Southern Secessionists — and Islahis attempt to push back Houthis and pro-Saleh troops.

aden
Residential buildings in Kraytor, Aden continues (@HasanSari7)

By 7:30 a.m., the presidential palace is overrun by the Houthis.

Ahmed al-Shami, a Houthi fighter in Aden, tells MintPress that pro-Hadi militants have been joined by factions within Harak and Islah.

“Al-Islah is trying to turn this fight into a sectarian war,” al-Shami said. “They don’t care how many civilians gets killed in the process, it’s all about money and power for them. We need to free Yemen and let the people decide what they want their future to be.”

Meanwhile, CNN reports that al-Qaida staged a prison break in Mukalla, a major seaport in southeast Yemen:

“Al Qaeda fighters attacked a prison in the coastal Yemeni city of Al Mukallah early Thursday, freeing at least 270 prisoners, a third of whom have al Qaeda links, a senior Defense Ministry official has told CNN. Khaled Batarfi, a senior al Qaeda figure, was among the escapees, officials said.”

Haytham al-Neharee, a local activist, who formerly served as the head of the Socialist Party in Aden, tells MintPress that he had received reports warning that al-Qaida elements had infiltrated pro-Hadi ranks, looking to use the confrontations and chaos as a platform to consolidate power in Yemen.

“Al-Qaida had sleeping cells all over Aden. I was told those cells have been activated and that militants have joined pro-Hadi forces. Don’t be fooled here: this is a tactical move,” al-Neharee explained. “Al-Qaida wants to get a better footing in Aden, and having the city engaged in a bitter civil war is a perfect breeding ground, especially since Riyadh is pushing the sectarian narrative onto people.”

“No one seems to realize how very dangerous those factions are. In Mukalla 300 al-Qaida were freed,” he continued. “Do you know what that means for the south, for Yemen? Never mind the Houthis, we stand to become trap under the boots of al-Qaida. Al-Qaida is the real threat. … And yet the Saudis and this coalition are arming them.”

Houthis near a damaged car after a bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015.
Houthis near a damaged car after a bomb attack in Sanaa, Yemen, Friday, March 20, 2015.

Sara Ahmed Jamal, a Yemeni rights activist and co-founder of SupportYemen, tells MintPress how dire the situation has become on the ground. “Yemenis are quite literally seeing the country go up in flame,” Jamal said. “The situation is terrible. Food is fast running out, water supplies are running low and civilians are desperate for a cease fire.”

The British Red Cross releases a situation report warning of unfolding humanitarian crisis in Yemen. It states:

“More than 10 million people are also in need of food and hundreds of thousands have been forced to flee their homes.

‘The situation is catastrophic and looks set to get worse,’ said the British Red Cross’s Middle East manager Ted Tuthill.

‘The number of people who are in need is staggering and this recent crisis has left food and medicine running dangerously low and houses destroyed or abandoned.’

The British Red Cross is sending £240,000 to towards the immediate relief effort which will fund items such as vital medical supplies and war-wound treatment kits as the number of injuries continues to rise.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is one of the few aid agencies continuing to operate in Yemen and is urging all parties to the conflict to allow aid workers to operate safely following the death of the a Yemen Red Crescent worker this week. It is also calling for the safe passage of supplies into the country.

It currently has more than 300 staff on the ground and is working with the Yemen Red Crescent to provide ambulances, emergency health care, help with evacuations and body retrieval.”

In a report for the Huffington Post, Morgan Meaker writes on Yemen’s unfolding food crisis, stating, “Today, although food is available, prices are unaffordable. As a result, many Yemenis no longer have a nutritious diet.”

She continues, quoting William Picart of the Yemen Peace Project, who says: “there are no jobs available, and many Yemenis who do have jobs — including those employed by the state — aren’t getting paid regularly. So a lot of them just can’t afford the food that’s in the markets.”

“Hospitals are expensive. But 13 million Yemenis have no choice but to drink unsafe water so it’s not unusual for people to need medical attention,” Meaker reports. “Robin Lodge of the World Food Programme (WFP) says: ‘This is having a devastating impact on Yemen’s poor, catching them in a vicious cycle of drinking unsafe water, getting sick and falling into debilitating debt from medical expenses.’ Families are also buying food on credit, further escalating debts.”

In northern Yemen, skirmishes intensify at the Saudi-Yemeni border. The Houthi leadership claim one Saudi military commander is dead.

Zio-Wahhabi border troops kill a family of eight in northern Saada in Razeh district, bringing the death toll to 242, according to Fars News Agency. Local tribesmen call for revenge and retaliation against Saudi Arabia.

 

April 3, 2015

Borrekha, a district in Aden located near the government-owned oil refinery, which has been seized by the Muslim Brotherhood, remains under the control of Sunni radical groups. Traditionally a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood, the district sees a strong influx of armed supporters as pro-Hadi supporters flee Houthi-controlled areas in Aden.

Witnesses on the ground tell MintPress that Saudi-parachuted military equipment has landed in and around Aden. Ahmed al-Dalaimi, an English teacher, says he’s worried that these weapons and ammunition will end up in al-Qaida’s hands.

“Aden is crawling with al-Qaida militants. I have seen them with them headbands,” al-Dalaimi told MintPress. “Everyone knows they’re here, and Hadi is acting as if those guys are on Yemen’s side all of the sudden.”

“I want South Yemen to be independent again, but I never thought I’d see the day when Harakis gang up with Islahis to fight the Houthis. Al Harak has an understanding with the Houthis. We all suffered under the former regime, and now Al Harak is siding with the very people who bombed us and killed us in 1994! Is this for real?”

Speaking to MintPress, Ali Abu Salem, a former coast guard posted in Mukalla, is concerned that al-Qaida will be able to ferry men and weapons from Africa into Yemen now it has an opening onto the sea. “The situation is getting worse every day. Weapons are given to militants without any oversight,” he said. “This is a catastrophe in the making. Al-Qaida is feeding from the chaos.

He continued, “I have no love for Sanaa, but on this one I am with the Houthis. They want what we want, which is the destruction of al-Qaida — everything else we can negotiate. This war is Al Saud’s war not Yemen’s.”

Meanwhile, fierce fighting continues in Crater, a residential area of Aden.

Azeeza Kulaib, a teacher in Crater, tells Mintpress that she had to leave her apartment because she feared it would be shelled. “We are being targeted from every angle. We don’t even know who is shooting at us anymore. We have no electricity anymore and we’re running low on water. We have a generator, but with no fuel there’s just no point,” she said.

“Aden is burning. Everywhere you see destruction, buildings burning. The smell of smoke and death is in the air. I worry about an outbreak of cholera,” Kulaib said. “The dead are left to fester under the burning sun. My husband is a doctor and he said that without proper burial and sanitation Aden is open for a calamity.”

“We worry food supplies will run out, and medicine, too. This is a real problem for us. This war is tearing Yemen apart.”

Mohammed al-Khawlani, a leading member of Ansarallah, the Houthis’ political arm, tells MintPress that all Islah members have been labelled as traitors and will therefore face the full force of the law.

“They are traitors to the nation. They have sided with the enemy, Al Saud, against the people of Yemen,” he said. “We will take all appropriate actions against them.”

There is no official confirmation of reports that medical staff are being shot at indiscriminately in Aden. Pro-Houthis allegedly organize death squads patrol territories under their control to search for members of Islah and other detractors. Several journalists and politicians are reportedly kidnapped.

(MintPress could not independently verify these claims.)

Iona Craig a journalist an award-winning independent journalist who was based in Sanaa until December 2014 reports Houthi militias are targeting journalists.

Al-Qaida seizes control of a military base in south Yemen. RT reports: “Suspected Al-Qaeda fighters have seized a major army base in the southeastern city of Mukalla, a military official said. The city is now almost entirely under the jihadists’ control.”

“It is a golden opportunity for Al-Qaeda to take advantage of the anarchy spreading in the whole country now,” Abdel Bari Atwan, the former editor-in-chief of Al Quds, told RT. “I believe that Al-Qaida will be the greatest beneficiary from this kind of anarchy.”

Meanwhile, the United States government confirms that it is not planning to evacuate U.S. citizens from Yemen..

“There are not [any plans],” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said on Friday, as reported by Sputnik, when asked if the U.S. has any plans to take a more proactive role in evacuating U.S. citizens who are still on the ground in Yemen.

The State Department spokeswoman stressed that the U.S. has been warning citizens against traveling to Yemen for a decade. “If they do, the United States can provide only limited assistance especially now given that the embassy is closed,” she added.

Harf explained that because the situation in Yemen is “dangerous and unpredictable,” doing something like sending in military assets even for an evacuation could put U.S. citizens’ lives at greater risk.

“We are continuing to evaluate the security situation and we are continuing to look at what the options are, but at this point no change in plans,” she said.

Russia calls for humanitarian intervention in Yemen. Alexey Zaytsev, the spokesman for Russia’s Permanent Mission to the U.N., announces that Russia will convene “an extraordinary meeting of the UN Security Council to discuss the humanitarian situation in Yemen” on Saturday.

“Russia convenes U.N. Security Council consultations to discuss the establishment of a regular and mandatory ‘humanitarian pause’ amid ongoing coalition airstrikes on Yemen,” Zaytsev told RIA Novosti.

 

April 4, 2015

Yemenis wake up to scenes of utter devastation in Sanaa and several towns and villages nearby.

Yemenis stand amid the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen.

Yemenis stand amid the rubble of houses destroyed by Zio-Wahhabi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen.

Following Russia’s call for an immediate cease fire in Yemen to allow aid to reach civilians, Yemen’s foreign minister in exile, Riyad Yassin, urges the international community to reject this call, arguing this will only benefit Ansarallah fighters.

Yemenis react badly to report that Yemen FM in exile is rejecting calls for a ceasefire.

Speaking to Sputnik, Yassin calls on Russia to exert pressure on both the Houthis and Saleh, blaming the escalation in violence on them.

“[Russia should] exert pressure on Houthis and Saleh’s supporters to make them ceasefire, violence against civilians, as well as stop attacks on Aden and other cities,” Sputnik quoted the foreign minister as saying.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) urges an immediate 24-hour humanitarian pause in Yemen to allow help to be provided to people in the conflict-torn country.

“We urgently need an immediate halt to the fighting, to allow families in the worst affected areas, such as Aden, to venture out to get food and water, or to seek medical care,” the head of the ICRC operations in the Near and Middle East, Robert Mardini, is quoted as saying on the organization’s website.

Mardini insists that ICRC relief supplies and surgical personnel be allowed into Yemen to safely reach the areas that have been most affected by hostilities in the country. “Otherwise, put starkly, many more people will die. For the wounded, their chances of survival depend on action within hours, not days,” Mardini said.

The ICRC says hospitals in Yemen are in need of life-saving medicines and equipment, and people are also suffering from fuel and water shortages and rapidly depleting food supplies.

According to ICRC, more than 48 tons of medicines and surgical kits are ready to be transferred to Yemen on ships and planes. The prepared cargo pending clearance will be enough to treat an estimated 2,000 to 3,000 people.

Meanwhile, Britain continues to support the Saudi-led military operation amid the ongoing escalation in Yemen that it blames on the Houthi insurgency, the U.K.’s deputy permanent representative to the United Nations says ahead of a U.N. Security Council session. “We continue to support the Saudi-led action in Yemen that’s in response to the legitimate request from President Hadi,” Peter Wilson, the deputy ambassador, tells reporters.

As fighting rages in Yemen, especially in Aden and Sanaa, where bombings have intensified in both frequency and severity, the Security Council says it hopes to achieve results on the Gulf Cooperation Council’s planned draft resolution on the situation in Yemen by Monday. “We have arranged for meeting on the side between a few members of the Council and the GCC, we are working on that all day today. We hope that by Monday we can come up with something,” Dina Kawar, April’s Security Council president, tells reporters.

 

April 5, 2015

Al Hafa Military Compound in south Sanaa is hit by four Coalition airstrikes at 6:30 a.m. local time.

Al Hafa Military Compound in Sanaa - April 5, 2015 - Nawal Al Khawlani

Al Hafa Military Compound in Sanaa – April 5, 2015. (Photo: Nawal Al Khawlani)

Residents in Sanaa confirm that supermarkets are out of flour. Electricity is reportedly available for about two hours per day or less.

Reuters reports:

“Warplanes from a Saudi-led coalition bombed Yemen’s capital Sanaa overnight, residents said, on the eleventh day of a campaign against Iran-allied Houthi forces opposed to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

The raids came despite calls by Russia and the Red Cross on Saturday for a pause to allow urgent humanitarian aid deliveries and evacuation of civilians.

Residents reported explosions at bases housing army units loyal to the Houthis, while air strikes also hit areas along Yemen’s border with Saudi Arabia.

In the eastern port town of Mukalla, local tribesmen clashed with army troops and killed two soldiers, residents said. Armed tribesmen entered the city on Saturday to combat al Qaeda militants who overran parts of it two days earlier.”

Audio Player

Sarah Ahmed reports on the ground from Aden on the current situation.

Witnesses in the southern city of Taiz confirm to MintPress that a Saudi coalition-led warplane targeted an aid convoy on Sunday.

Saudi/US led air strike has targeted wheat trucks killing 4 & injuring 5. This shipment was going to Taiz, Yemen.
Zio-Wahh/US led air strike has targeted wheat trucks killing 4 & injuring 5. This shipment was going to Taiz, Yemen.

Posted in USA, Saudi ArabiaComments Off on Chronicling Yemen: A Day-By-Day Look At A Crisis Unfolding

Judith Miller’s Blame-Shifting Memoir

NOVANEWS

U.S. intelligence veterans recall the real story of how New York Times reporter Judith Miller disgraced herself and her profession by helping to mislead Americans into the disastrous war in Iraq. They challenge the slick, self-aggrandizing rewrite of history in her new memoir.

 

MEMORANDUM FOR: Americans Malnourished on the Truth About Iraq

FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

SUBJECT: A New “Miller’s Tale” (with apologies to Geoffrey Chaucer)

On April 3, former New York Times journalist Judith Miller published an article in the Wall Street Journal entitled “The Iraq War and Stubborn Myths: Officials Didn’t Lie, and I Wasn’t Fed a Line.” If this sounds a bit defensive, Miller has tons to be defensive about.

Former New York Times reporter Judith Miller.

In the article, Miller claims, “false narratives [about what she did as a New York Times reporter] deserve, at last, to be retired.” The article appears to be the initial salvo in a major attempt at self-rehabilitation and, coincidentally, comes just as her new book, The Story: A Reporter’s Journey, is to be published today.

In reviewing Miller’s book, her “mainstream media” friends are not likely to mention the stunning conclusion reached recently by the Nobel Prize-winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War and other respected groups that the Iraq War, for which she was lead drum majorette, killed one million people. One might think that, in such circumstances – and with bedlam reigning in Iraq and the wider neighborhood – a decent respect for the opinions of mankind, so to speak, might prompt Miller to keep her head down for a while more.

In all candor, after more than a dozen years, we are tired of exposing the lies spread by Judith Miller and had thought we were finished. We have not seen her new book, but we cannot in good conscience leave her WSJ article without comment from those of us who have closely followed U.S. policy and actions in Iraq.

Miller’s Tale in the WSJ begins with a vintage Miller-style reductio ad absurdum: “I took America to war in Iraq. It was all me.” Since one of us, former UN inspector Scott Ritter, has historical experience and technical expertise that just won’t quit, we asked him to draft a few paragraphs keyed to Miller’s latest tale. He shared the following critique:

Miller’s Revisionist History

“Judith Miller did not take America to war in Iraq. Even a journalist with an ego the size of Ms. Miller’s cannot presume to usurp the war power authorities of the President of the United States, or even the now-dormant Constitutional prerogatives of Congress. What she is guilty of, however, is being a bad journalist.

“She can try to hide this fact by wrapping herself in a collective Pulitzer Prize, or citing past achievements like authoring best-selling books. But this is like former Secretary of State Colin Powell trying to remind people about his past as the National Security Advisor for President Reagan or Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton.

“At the end of the day Mr. Powell will be judged not on his previous achievements, but rather on his biggest failure – his appearance before the United Nations Security Council touting an illusory Iraqi weapons-of-mass-destruction threat as being worthy of war. In this same vein, Judith Miller will be judged by her authoring stories for the ‘newspaper of record’ that were questionably sourced and very often misleading. One needs only to examine Ms. Miller’s role while embedded in U.S. Army Mobile Exploitation Team Alpha, hunting for weapons of mass destruction during the 2003 invasion, for this point to be illustrated.

“Miller may not have singlehandedly taken America and the world to war, but she certainly played a pivotal role in building the public case for the attack on Iraq based upon shoddy reporting that even her editor at the New York Times has since discredited – including over reliance on a single-source of easy virtue and questionable credibility – Ahmed Chalabi of the Iraqi National Congress. The fact that she chose to keep this ‘source’ anonymous underscores the journalistic malfeasance at play in her reporting.

“Chalabi had been discredited by the State Department and CIA as a reliable source of information on Iraq long before Judith Miller started using him to underpin her front-page ‘scoops’ for the New York Times. She knew this, and yet chose to use him nonetheless, knowing that then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was fully as eager to don the swindlers’ magic suit of clothes, as was the king in Hans Christian Anderson’s fairy tale. In Ms. Miller’s tale, the fairy-tale clothes came with a WMD label and no washing instructions.

“Ms. Miller’s self-described ‘newsworthy claims’ of pre-war weapons of mass destruction stories often were – as we now know (and many of us knew at the time) – handouts from the hawks in the Bush administration and fundamentally wrong.

“Like her early reporting on Iraq, Ms. Miller’s re-working of history to disguise her malfeasance/misfeasance as a reporter does not bear close scrutiny. Her errors of integrity are hers and hers alone, and will forever mar her reputation as a journalist, no matter how hard she tries to spin the facts and revise a history that is highly inconvenient to her. Of course, worst of all, her flaws were consequential – almost 4,500 U.S. troops and 1,000,000 Iraqis dead.”

Relying on the Mistakes of Others

In her WSJ article, Miller protests that “relying on the mistakes of others and errors of judgment are not the same as lying.” It is almost as though she is saying that if Ahmed Chalabi told her that, in Iraq, the sun rises in the west, and she duly reported it, that would not be “the same as lying.”

Miller appears to have worked out some kind of an accommodation with George W. Bush and others who planned and conducted what the post-World War II Nuremburg Tribunal called the “supreme international crime,” a war of aggression. She takes strong issue with what she calls “the enduring, pernicious accusation that the Bush administration fabricated WMD intelligence to take the country to war.”

Does she not know, even now, that there is abundant proof that this is exactly what took place? Has she not read the Downing Street Memorandum based on what CIA Director George Tenet told the head of British Intelligence at CIA headquarters on July 20, 2002; i. e., that “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” of making war for “regime change” in Iraq?

Does she not know, even at this late date, that the “intelligence” served up to “justify” attacking Iraq was NOT “mistaken,” but outright fraud, in which Bush had the full cooperation of Tenet and his deputy John McLaughlin? Is she unaware that the Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence at the time, Carl Ford, has said, on the record, that Tenet and McLaughlin were “not just wrong, they lied … they should have been shot” for their lies about WMD? (See Hubris: The Inside Story of Spin, Scandal, and the Selling of the Iraq War by Michael Isikoff and David Corn.)

Blame Blix

Miller’s tale about Hans Blix in her WSJ article shows she has lost none of her edge for disingenuousness: “One could argue … that Hans Blix, the former chief of the international inspectors, bears some responsibility,” writes Miller. She cherry-picks what Blix said in January 2003 about “many proscribed weapons and items,” including 1,000 tons of chemical agent, were still “not accounted for.”

Yes, Blix said that on Jan. 27, 2003. But Blix also included this that same day in his written report to his UN superiors, something the New York Times, for some reason, did not include in its report:

“Iraq has on the whole cooperated rather well so far with UNMOVIC in this field. The most important point to make is that access has been provided to all sites we have wanted to inspect and with one exception it has been prompt. We have further had great help in building up the infrastructure of our office in Baghdad and the field office in Mosul. Arrangements and services for our plane and our helicopters have been good. The environment has been workable.

“Our inspections have included universities, military bases, presidential sites and private residences. Inspections have also taken place on Fridays, the Muslim day of rest, on Christmas day and New Years day. These inspections have been conducted in the same manner as all other inspections.” [See “Steve M.” writing (appropriately) for “Crooks and Liars” as he corrected the record.]

Yes, there was some resistance by Iraq up to that point. Blix said so. However, on Jan. 30, 2003, Blix made it abundantly clear, in an interview published in The New York Times, that nothing he’d seen at the time justified war. (The byline was Judith Miller and Julia Preston.)

The Miller-Preston report said: “Mr. Blix said he continued to endorse disarmament through peaceful means. ‘I think it would be terrible if this comes to an end by armed force, and I wish for this process of disarmament through the peaceful avenue of inspections,’ he said. …

“Mr. Blix took issue with what he said were Secretary of State Colin L. Powell’s claims that the inspectors had found that Iraqi officials were hiding and moving illicit materials within and outside of Iraq to prevent their discovery. He said that the inspectors had reported no such incidents. …

“He further disputed the Bush administration’s allegations that his inspection agency might have been penetrated by Iraqi agents, and that sensitive information might have been leaked to Baghdad, compromising the inspections. Finally, he said, he had seen no persuasive indications of Iraqi ties to Al Qaeda, which Mr. Bush also mentioned in his speech. ‘There are other states where there appear to be stronger links,’ such as Afghanistan, Mr. Blix said, noting that he had no intelligence reports on this issue.”

Although she co-authored that New York Times report of Jan. 30, 2003, Judith Miller remembers what seems convenient to remember. Her acumen at cherry picking may be an occupational hazard occasioned by spending too much time with Chalabi, Rumsfeld and other professional Pentagon pickers.

Moreover, Blix’s February 2003 report showed that, for the most part, Iraq was cooperating and the process was working well:

“Since we arrived in Iraq, we have conducted more than 400 inspections covering more than 300 sites. All inspections were performed without notice, and access was almost always provided promptly. In no case have we seen convincing evidence that the Iraqi side knew in advance that the inspectors were coming. …

“The inspections have taken place throughout Iraq at industrial sites, ammunition depots, research centres, universities, presidential sites, mobile laboratories, private houses, missile production facilities, military camps and agricultural sites. …

“In my 27 January update to the Council, I said that it seemed from our experience that Iraq had decided in principle to provide cooperation on process, most importantly prompt access to all sites and assistance to UNMOVIC in the establishment of the necessary infrastructure. This impression remains, and we note that access to sites has so far been without problems, including those that had never been declared or inspected, as well as to Presidential sites and private residences. …

“The presentation of intelligence information by the US Secretary of State suggested that Iraq had prepared for inspections by cleaning up sites and removing evidence of proscribed weapons programmes.

“I would like to comment only on one case, which we are familiar with, namely, the trucks identified by analysts as being for chemical decontamination at a munitions depot. This was a declared site, and it was certainly one of the sites Iraq would have expected us to inspect.

“We have noted that the two satellite images of the site were taken several weeks apart. The reported movement of munitions at the site could just as easily have been a routine activity as a movement of proscribed munitions in anticipation of imminent inspection.”

Blix made it clear that he needed more time, but the Bush administration had other plans. In other words, the war wasn’t Blix’s fault, as Judy Miller suggests. The fault lay elsewhere.

When Blix retired at the end of June 2004, he politely suggested to the “prestigious” Council on Foreign Relations in New York the possibility that Baghdad had actually destroyed its weapons of mass destruction after the first Gulf War in 1991 (as Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law, Hussein Kamel, who had been in charge of the WMD and rocket programs assured his debriefers when he defected in 1995). Blix then allowed himself an undiplomatic jibe:

“It is sort of fascinating that you can have 100 per cent certainty about weapons of mass destruction and zero certainty of about where they are.”

For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)

William Binney, former Technical Director, National Security Agency (ret.)

Thomas Drake, former Senior Executive, NSA

Daniel Ellsberg, former State and Defense Department official, associate VIPS

Frank Grevil, former Maj., Army Intelligence, Denmark, associate VIPS

Katharine Gun, former analyst, GCHQ (the NSA equivalent in the UK), associate VIPS

Matthew Hoh, former Capt., USMC, Iraq & Foreign Service Officer, Afghanistan, associate VIPS

Brady Kiesling, former Political Counseler, U.S. Embassy, Athens, resigned in protest before the attack on Iraq, associate VIPS.

Karen Kwiatkowski, former Lt. Col., US Air Force (ret.), at Office of Secretary of Defense watching the manufacture of lies on Iraq, 2001-2003.

Annie Machon, former officer, MI5 (the CIA equivalent in the UK), associate VIPS

David MacMichael, former Capt., USMC & senior analyst, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Ray McGovern, former Capt., Army Infantry/Intelligence & CIA presidential briefer (ret.)

Elizabeth Murray, former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East, National Intelligence Council (ret.)

Todd E. Pierce, Maj., former U.S. Army Judge Advocate (ret.)

Scott Ritter, former Maj., USMC, former UN Weapon Inspector, Iraq

Coleen Rowley, Division Council & Special Agent, FBI (ret.)

Greg Thielmann, former Office Director for Strategic, Proliferation, and Military Affairs in the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research

Peter Van Buren, former diplomat, Department of State, associate VIPS

Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret.) & US diplomat (resigned in March, 2003 in opposition to the war on Iraq)

 

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