Tag Archive | "Yemen War"

Yemen: 3 children, woman killed in Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition raid


By: John Phoenix

SANAA, YEMEN – MAY 16: Wrecked vehicles are seen after an airstrike carried out by a Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led military coalition in Sanaa, Yemen on May 16, 2019. At least 4 died, 48 injured in the airstrike. ( Mohammed Hamoud – Anadolu Agency ).

Three children and a woman were killed yesterday while others were wounded in a Saudi Zio-Wahhabi led coalition air strike that was targeting the Yemeni district of Abes in Sanaa’s northern province of Hajjah.

“The Arab alliance fighter jets have targeted a house in Abes’ Al-Jar neighbourhood, killing three children and a woman, and injuring another woman,” Al-Masirah said.

The press office of the alliance’s fifth military told Russia Today (RT) that its air strikes had destroyed “a rocket launcher belonging to the Houthi militias in Abes,” adding that the coalition aircrafts had also destroyed “a vehicle loaded with mines and explosive devices in Abes’ northern area of Bani Hassan as well as two military vehicles in the Mstba district.”

In March 2015, Saudi Zio-Wahhabi regime  and its Zionist puppet Arab allies launched a massive air campaign aimed at reversing Houthi gains and shoring up Yemen’s embattled Zio-Wahhabi regime.

According to UN officials, more than 50,000 people have been killed in the war, while more than 11 per cent of the country’s population has been displaced.

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French-Made Weapons Reportedly Used in Yemen War, More Arms to Be Delivered


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Journalists claim to have uncovered the “massive use” of French-made weapons in war-torn Yemen through a leak of secret military documents.

Radio France and investigative reporters from the NGO Disclose say they have obtained a classified 2018 report about French arms sold to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both of which form part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi militiamen in Yemen since 2015.

The paper was allegedly compiled last September by France’s military agency DRM and handed over to President Emmanuel Macron and other cabinet-level officials. It apparently contains a list of all French weapons deployed in Yemen by the two Arab monarchies.

“These include Leclerc battle tanks, long-rod penetrator ammunition, Mirage 2000-9 fighter jets, COBRA counter-battery radar systems, Aravis armoured troop-carrying vehicles, Cougar and Dauphin helicopters, CAESAR truck-mounted howitzers,” reads a statement on Disclose’s website.

The journalists went on to claim that some of the French-made weapons are being used in combat operations in Yemen, including in civilian zones. Specifically, two French-made warships — a missile-launching corvette and a warfare frigate — are said to be taking part in the naval blockade of Yemen, as per the report.

The leaked report appears to include a map titled “Population under threat of bombs”, which indicates the deployment of 48 CAESAR guns near the Saudi-Yemeni border.

“Put more simply, the guns are used to bombard Yemeni territory to open up a path for the tanks and armoured vehicles invading the country,” the journalists argue. The population living within the range of potential artillery fire is estimated at being over 436,000.

According to the report, at least 129 CAESAR howitzers are due to be delivered to Saudi Arabia between by 2023.

French authorities are yet to comment on the matter.

French Minister of Armed Forces Florence Parly said in a radio interview in February that the military had “recently sold no weapons that can be used in the Yemeni conflict”.

Last October, she rejected claims that domestically made weapons were targeting civilian population. “To my knowledge, the weapons we have sold recently have not been used against civilians,” she told reporters.

The minister also described France’s weapons exports to Saudis as “relatively modest”, saying they were subject to tight restrictions. “We don’t sell weapons like they’re baguettes,” she added.

Disclose and Radio France note, meanwhile, that the French parliament has been “deliberately kept apart” from this information by the government, which has so far given only “fragmentary answers or even falsehoods”.

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How Bombs Built by Raytheon in Tucson Killed 31 Civilians in Yemen


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In a historic vote, the US Senate passed a resolution on Thursday calling for an end to US military and financial support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. This represents the first time in US history the Senate has voted to withdraw military forces from an unauthorized war using the War Powers Resolution. The Saudi-led war in Yemen has created what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 14 million of Yemen’s 28 million people on the brink of famine. A remarkable piece in this week’s New York Times Magazine traces how bombs built by Raytheon in Tucson, Arizona, made its way into the Saudi arsenal and then were dropped on Yemeni villages. The article centers on what happened in the remote village of Arhab when US-backed Saudi warplanes carried out a series of bombings on September 10, 2016. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 31 civilians were killed, three of them children; 42 people were injured. We speak to journalist Jeffrey Stern.


AMY GOODMAN: In a historic vote, the US Senate passed a resolution Thursday calling for an end to US military and financial support for the Saudi-led war on Yemen. This represents the first time in US history the Senate has voted to withdraw military forces from an unauthorized war using the War Powers Act. The vote, 56 to 41. But the bill is not expected to pass the House, at least this year. The vote came as peace talks in Sweden resulted in a ceasefire in the strategic port city of Hodeidah that’s scheduled to go into effect at midnight. The Saudi-led war on Yemen has created what the UN calls the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with more than half of Yemen’s 28 million people on the brink of famine. A recent report by Save the Children estimates 85,000 children under the age of 5 have died from acute malnutrition brought on by the war.

We end today’s show looking at a remarkable piece in this week’s New York Times Magazine. It’s headlined “From Arizona to Yemen: The Journey of an American Bomb: When a bomb like this explodes, it doesn’t just kill people; it rearranges them.” The article traces how bombs built by Raytheon in Tucson, Arizona, made its way into the Saudi arsenal and then were dropped on Yemeni villages. The article centers on what happened in the remote village of Arhab when US-backed Saudi warplanes carried out a series of bombings September 10th, 2016 — two months before the 2016 election, Barack Obama still president. According to Human Rights Watch, at least 31 civilians were killed, three of them children, 42 people injured. Remnants of the US-made bombs were found at the site of the attack.

We’re joined now by the journalist who wrote the piece, Jeffrey Stern. He wrote this in partnership with the Pulitzer Center; author of several books, including The Last Thousand: One School’s Promise in a Nation at War.

Jeffrey Stern, welcome to Democracy Now! Lay out what you found. Tell us where this community in Yemen is and what happened to them on that fateful day in September of 2016.

JEFFREY STERN: Hi. Well, it’s good to be with you. Yeah, so this was a district with a few villages. People had come together to build a well for themselves. This was a little bit into the blockade. It was a little bit into the food shortage. And frankly, they needed more water, and they needed their crops to grow more. It’s a very dry area. It’s a volcanic area in northern Yemen. And so people had pooled their resources to try to dig a well. And that’s pretty expensive. These are mostly subsistence farmers, so it was not easy to come up with this kind of capital, but they pulled their resources, and they built a well.

And on the day that the — actually, on the day that the well — that the drill struck water, the planes came. And first it was early in the morning, and a bomb fell and killed about six people and injured more. And then, about five or six hours later, once people had gathered to look for loved ones, to help, to just see what was going on, the planes came back, and they stayed for several hours chasing people down and dropping bombs on them.

AMY GOODMAN: And explain who they were. I mean, this is a beautifully written piece, as well. You actually, Jeff, went there. You went to Yemen, and you went to this community and met the survivors. Tell us who some of them are. Who died? Who survived?

JEFFREY STERN: Yeah, I mean, there was a man who owned a small — he was a small business owner, really. He owned a drill rig. And he was known as a pretty charitable man who would often forgive debts because often people couldn’t afford to pay for a well. And you could dig and not find anything, and it still costs tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars. He was killed. There was a judge, a young judge, who had been working in traffic court, actually, who was essentially burned alive.

There were also a lot of people who survived. And one of the things that we were able to do, the magazine was able to make space for, is to describe what it’s like to try to get treatment for these incredibly traumatic injuries in an incredibly poor country that also is suffering from a blockade. So, fairly basic medical supplies are just unavailable. So, you know, even the people that survived had incredibly tough roads to recovery. And frankly, some of them will never recover. Even those who will remain alive now can’t farm. They can’t use their bodies. It’s hard to get — it’s hard to get prosthetics. It’s hard to get treatment. So, the effect of these bombs, that are designed to create massive — to create casualties in as wide an area as possible, on people who are really unable to get fairly basic medical care, it’s really devastating.

AMY GOODMAN: If you could talk about the connection of this bombing, a Saudi air attack that dropped a US bomb on Yemen back two years ago, to the cholera epidemic, the worst in the world?

JEFFREY STERN: Right. Well, so — and that’s one of the reasons why we chose to focus on this strike. Now, of course, taking one water well offline doesn’t create a cholera epidemic, but the aggregate effect of hitting so much critical infrastructure, including water wells, including water treatment facilities.

The other thing that I think is really critical, that is a little bit overlooked and that I actually hadn’t even thought of until someone mentioned this when I was there, was that if you pool your resources and do something for your community, like dig a well or build a water treatment facility, and this is what happens, you kind of learn your lesson. I mean, you learn that to build a water well for yourself, to build a water sanitation treatment for your community, to build a factory, you’re inviting the planes to come. You’re inviting this kind of, you know, incredible devastation on yourself. And people were terrified and traumatized and, frankly, basically stopped doing this kind of thing, stopped building wells.

So, in the aggregate, what happened is the number of people in acute need of water spiked right around that time. About three weeks after this well was hit, the first cases of cholera were reported. And, of course, within a year, there were a million suspected cases, and it was one of the worst cases of — one of the worst outbreaks of cholera in recorded history.

AMY GOODMAN: And the US military saying — give us their explanation for what they did and why they would strike a community that was trying to put in a well.

JEFFREY STERN: Well, so, the US military is not doing the bombing. The US military has stopped refueling. For a while they were doing aerial refueling for the Saudi military, for the Saudi-backed coalition, which is important because that allows for something called dynamic targeting, which is when the planes go up and they look for things to hit, essentially. They don’t have to necessarily depend on intelligence and plan strikes in advance. So, when you’re able to loiter, you can look for things to hit. And at the time, the US was providing the refueling, which we have since stopped.

The explanation that the Saudi-backed coalition — they have something called a joint incident — a JIAT, which ostensibly investigates some of these strikes and recommends action. They eventually investigated this, came out with a very brief statement that said, in essence, that the water digger looked like it could be a ballistic missile launcher. The explanation, you know, kind of strange credulity — they just — they don’t look that much alike, a water drill and a ballistic missile launcher. There are also — if you hit a ballistic missile launcher, there would be secondary explosions. There’s fuel. And the planes came back and chased people down for several hours.

AMY GOODMAN: A double tap, as you put it, one hit after another, so people who are concerned in the community coming to save those who have been hit the first time, then they get killed.

JEFFREY STERN: Exactly, and especially children. I mean, this is a place where not a lot happens, and kids were curious. And, you know, people ran out of their houses once the sun came up, and started to gather there.

And also, you know, in this case, double tap doesn’t quite do it justice. Human Rights Watch — Priyanka Motaparthy, a researcher for Human Rights Watch, showed up within several weeks of this attack, and she found 12 craters. The people said there was — it felt like more than 20 bombs had fallen. Of course, we don’t know that. We know that at least 12 fell. So, it’s a double tap, kind of, but really it’s one explosion that drew people out and then at least 12 more.

AMY GOODMAN: And then, talk about the bomb. Talk about going to Tucson. Talk about the company that made the bomb.

JEFFREY STERN: So, that was a sort of interesting and kind of a heart-wrenching aspect of this, even after being in Yemen, is that some of the people I talked to at Raytheon really are building — they take pride in what they do. Now, this is not scientific. I did not poll thousands of workers. I talked to two, who we kept anonymous. But they are building not bombs, but the precision guidance systems that are attached to bombs. So, what they are doing, what they believe they’re doing, is taking something that would create a lot of collateral damage and allowing it to create minimal collateral damage. And theoretically — right? — that’s true. I mean, if used correctly, then, supposedly, I mean, you would use a bomb like this, and you could hit what you want to hit and avoid hitting what you don’t want to hit.

The other thing is, they talked about how much pride they take in helping the American war fighter and keeping the American war fighter safe, and actually in keeping themselves safer. Raytheon is a leader in workplace safety, I guess, somewhat ironically.

In this case, though, in the case of foreign sales, you know, we are providing these weapons sometimes to allies that are using them not as they’re designed to be used and perhaps in exactly the opposite way of how they were designed to use. So the idea of using a very precise weapon to minimize civilian casualties only works if you’re trying to minimize civilian casualties.

And, you know, I won’t go as far as saying that the Saudi-backed coalition are deliberately causing a humanitarian catastrophe. I don’t think that’s something that certainly I can know. But at the very least, they’ve been extraordinarily careless. And using these weapons to hit things like water wells, whether they believe it’s a water well or not, has created the world’s worst humanitarian catastrophe.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, Saudi Arabia going to the State Department through Foreign Military Sales, FMS? We have just 15 seconds.

JEFFREY STERN: Yeah, I mean, we do this with a lot of different countries. The Pentagon works as sort of a broker and helps the foreign countries get what they need. And, you know, often those countries are serving our interest, or at least we believe they do. The State Department rigorously investigates, provides oversight, I should say, to these sales. But we are facilitating this. I mean, we are taking weapons from private contractors and putting them in the hands of the Saudi-backed coalition, which is bombing civilians.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeffrey Stern, I want to thank you very much for being with us. Jeffrey Stern’s latest piece for The New York Times, we will link to, “From Arizona to Yemen: The Journey of an American Bomb.” I’m Amy Goodman. Thanks so much for joining us.

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Yemen: Houthis Urge Transitional Gov’t With All Parties

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The Houthi’s main negotiator, Mohammed Abdusalam, said Saturday that any political solution to the Saudi-led war on Yemen should start with outlining a transitional period with an exact timeframe that should include all political parties.

Abdusalam also said the city of Hodeidah should be declared a “neutral zone” and that the United Nations could play a role in managing the Sanaa airport. His comments were made in the context of U.N.-sponsored peace talks that seek to put an end to almost four years of conflict.

The Houthis control major population centers in Yemen, including the capital Sanaa and the Red Sea port of Hodeidah, a lifeline for millions of people. The Saudi coalition’s siege on the port this year has caused food and medicine shortages, leading to widespread cases of starvation.

“It (Hodeidah) should be a neutral zone apart from the conflict, and the military brigades that came from outside Hodeidah province should leave,” Abdusalam told Reuters.

Asked if Houthi forces would then withdraw from Hodeidah, Abdusalam said: “There will be no need for military presence there if battles stop … Hodeidah is an economic hub and it should stay that way for the sake of all Yemenis.”

“We have proposed to the U.N. to oversee the port and supervise its logistics… inspections, revenues, and all the technical issues,” he said.

It is unclear who will control the city if both forces leave but Yemen’s internationally-recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi is sticking to its position that Hodeidah should be under its control.

On the issue of reopening the Sanaa airport, Abdusalam said the Houthis were open to the possibility of a U.N. role at the airport to secure an agreement to reopen it. The Houthis hold control of the airport, but Saudi-led forces have secured control of the airspace and have bombed the facility several times.

Yemen’s Saudi-backed government has proposed reopening the Houthi-held airport in the capital Sanaa on condition planes are inspected in the airports of Aden or Sayun which are under its control, two government officials said Friday.

The Houthi delegation rejected the proposal but insist they are open to a U.N. role.

Many Yemeni factions are involved in the war that pits the Houthis against a Saudi-led coalition that intervened in Yemen in 2015 to restore the government of Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.

Yemen’s war and the ensuing economic collapse has left 15.9 million people, 53 percent of the population, facing “severe acute food insecurity.” According to a recently-published study by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), the armed conflict has claimed the lives of over 50,000 people.

Humanitarian groups say peace is the only way of ending the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. The areas hit with extreme hunger are also the areas where there is active fighting.

No peace talks have been held since 2016, and the last attempt in Geneva in September failed when the Houthis did not attend [*]. These peace talks are due to last until Dec. 13.

Saudi-backed delegates leave Yemen peace talks

Press TV – September 8, 2018

A delegation from Yemen’s former government has left UN-brokered talks in Geneva after representatives of the Houthi movement were prevented by Saudi Arabia from attending the negotiations.

“The government delegation is leaving today,” said an official from the Saudi-backed team on Saturday, referring to the former Yemeni administration. “There are no expectations the Houthis are coming,” he added.

UN envoy to Yemen Martin Griffiths told a news conference that the Houthis were “keen” to get to Geneva.

“They would have liked to get here. We didn’t make conditions sufficiently correct to get them here,” he said.

Ansarullah accused the Saudis of planning to strand the delegation in Djibouti, where their plane was to make a stop en route to Geneva.

The Saudis were “still refusing to give permission to an Omani plane” to land at the Yemeni capital Sana’a and take the delegation to Geneva, the movement said.

It posted a statement, saying the Houthis needed to “ensure the safety of the delegation” and require a guarantee that they would be allowed to return “smoothly” to Sana’a airport. … Full article

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Presence of Foreign Forces in Yemen Unjustifiable


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Spokesman for Yemen’s revolutionary Ansarullah movement Mohammad Abdulsalam, who heads a delegation in the ongoing peace talks in Sweden, said the presence of foreign forces in the Arabian Peninsula country cannot be justified.

Speaking to the Arabic-language al-Masirah TV on Tuesday night, Abdulsalam said the foreign troops’ presence in Yemen is contrary to the country’s constitution and UN Security Council resolutions.

“The presence of foreign forces in Yemen is not justified as long as our approach is political settlement (of the crisis),” he said.

Yemen’s occupied areas are now controlled by foreigners such as British, Saudi and Emirati forces, not a group that calls itself “legitimate”, he added, referring to the Yemeni exiled government which claims legitimacy.

The Ansarullah spokesman went on to say that no party could demand the presence of foreign forces in Yemen.

Abdulsalam further said that in the UN-brokered peace talks in Stockholm, Sweden, the two sides have reached some agreements on ceasefire in some areas.

The talks opened Thursday on an upbeat note, with the warring sides agreeing to a broad prisoner swap, boosting hopes that the talks would not deteriorate into further violence as in the past.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under brutal aggression by Saudi-led Coalition, in a bid to restore control to fugitive president Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi who is Riyadh’s ally.

Tens of thousands of people have been killed and injured in the strikes launched by the coalition, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

The coalition, which includes in addition to Saudi Arabia and UAE: Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco, Jordan, Sudan and Kuwait, has been also imposing a harsh blockade against Yemenis.

Some 8.4 million Yemenis are facing starvation as a result of the Saudi-led aggression, although the United Nations has warned that will probably rise to 14 million.

Three-quarters of impoverished Yemen’s population, or 22 million people, require aid.

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Murder of Saudi Journalist Builds Opposition to Yemen War


Mid-term elections could reverse Trump policies

The Arab Spring spread through Saudi Arabia and continued for years in the mostly Shia Muslim, eastern part of the country. When the current Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman came to power, he escalated the war in Yemen and cracked down on dissent at home. (Photo by Reese Erlich)

The Arab Spring spread through Saudi Arabia and continued for years in the mostly Shia Muslim, eastern part of the country. When the current Crown Prince Muhammed bin Salman came to power, he escalated the war in Yemen and cracked down on dissent at home. (Photo by Reese Erlich)

The murder of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has backfired on the Saudi royal family by focusing new attention on its vicious war on Yemen.

The last few weeks have seen startling new reports on civilian atrocities and growing support for a House of Representative resolution invoking the War Powers Act to stop the war. Rep. Ro Khanna (D-San Jose) now has 73 cosponsors for a resolution that would stop US participation in the Yemen slaughter.

The Khashoggi murder has fundamentally shifted opinions on Capitol Hill about US-Saudi relations, Rep. Khanna told me in a phone interview. He likened it to one partner in a marriage having an affair.

“The marriage may last but it will never be the same,” he said. “It’s opened people’s eyes.”

Murder expressly in the Orient

On October 2, the Saudi regime, headed by Mohammad bin Salman, murdered opposition journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. Saudi officials had a premeditated plan to kill Khashoggi, dress a Saudi operative in his clothes and then have him walk around the city to leave the impression he was still alive.

In reality, Khashoggi was brutally murdered and dismembered with a bone saw, according to Turkish government sources. While tens of thousands of Yemenis have died as a result of the Saudi invasion of Yemen, it took the death of one man to focus world attention on Saudi atrocities.

Partially in response to the Khashoggi scandal, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis called for all sides in the Yemen War to begin UN-sponsored peace talks within 30 days. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo demanded that the Houthi movement, which is fighting Saudi Arabia, begin the ceasefire first. Past United States calls for ceasefires and peace talks went nowhere because the Trump administration is determined not to disrupt relations with Saudi Arabia.

The Trump administration provides intelligence to the Saudi military fighting in Yemen and helps refuel its fighter jets. The United States currently has dozens of soldiers deployed in Yemen, ostensibly to combat terrorism. Earlier this year the New York Timesrevealed that about a dozen Green Beret commandos were stationed in Saudi Arabia along the Yemen border to train the Saudi military in interdicting Houthi missile attacks.

As I’ve reported previously, the Trump administration could end the war within days. US technicians fuel and maintain Saudi fighter planes manufactured by Boeing. Trump could order the technicians to stop work, as provided in the Boeing contract.

“If the United States stopped fueling the planes, the war would end,” noted Khanna.

Who’s fighting and why?

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) invaded Yemen in 2015 claiming to support the legitimate government of Yemen’s Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi. In reality, Hadi was installed by the United States after an Arab Spring uprising and today acts as a Saudi puppet. He lives in Saudi Arabia, not Yemen.

The Houthis, a conservative political Islamic movement, control the northern part of Yemen. Iran supports but does not control the Houthis. The Houthis havekilled civilians by firing artillery indiscriminately into Yemeni cities and launching rockets into southern Saudi Arabia, according to Human Rights Watch.

But the Saudi/UAE coalition is responsible for far more death and destruction. In an online interview from the Yemeni capital Sanaa, radio reporter Ali Shahari told me coalition planes have destroyed massive amounts of infrastructure and caused the deaths of tens of thousands. The two occupying powers have blocked access to the country’s ports, which stops even humanitarian aid such as food and medicine.

“The people here are suffering from malnutrition due to the imposed blockade,” Shahari said. “This is a catastrophe.”

The United States, UK and France provide the deadly munitions responsible for civilian deaths. Lockheed-Martin sold the guided missiles to Saudi Arabia that caused the deaths of 40 children and 11 adults in the infamous August attack on a school bus.

Most of the mainstream media say some 10,000 Yemenis have died in the war, but that figure comes from a two-year-old UN estimate. The Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project(ACLED), a research institution funded in part by the US State Department, indicates that from 2016 to the present, some 56,000 Yemeni civilians and combatants have died. The total since the beginning of the war will likely be 70-80,000, according to a ACLED spokesperson.

A new report by the World Peace Foundation shows that the Royal Saudi Air Force intentionally attacks food storage facilities. Report author and Tufts Professor Martha Mundy explained, “There is strong evidence that Coalition strategy has aimed to destroy food production and distribution in the areas under the control of Sanaa.”

Bump from Trump

Obama and now Trump have supported the Yemen occupation to defend US so-called national interests, part of the larger fight against Iran. The United States accuses Iran of seeking to militarily dominate the region from Lebanon, through Syria, Iraq, Bahrain and Yemen.

My — how the kettle calls the pot black. The United States has dominated the Middle East in the post-World-War II era and seeks to maintain its power in an alliance with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Israel. It has massive military bases in Bahrain and Qatar

The US Navy keeps the sea lanes open for US and allied oil corporations. And, by sheer coincidence, oil and munitions companies make billions of dollars in profits.

Funny how “national interests” are of great interest to the rich but not to the nation.

The Saudis had predicted a quick victory in Yemen but are now bogged down in a never-ending war that costs at least $5-6 billion a month. Fallout from the Khashoggi murder has made the war even more problematic.

Neither Obama nor Trump ever formally declared war in Yemen, and the fighting there has nothing to do with combating terrorism. Even the Republican-dominated House in November 2017 voted by a whopping 366-30 margin to stop United States participation in the Yemen war. In March a similar measure failed in the Senate by a vote of only 55-44.

If the Democrats win the House, and particularly the Senate, they could put tremendous pressure on Trump to reverse his disastrous Mideast policies.

Rep. Khanna emphasized that his War Powers Act measure has significance beyond the Yemen war. “The bill is a reassertion of Congress’s role in foreign policy,” he said. “It’s a reorientation of US policy away from interventionism.”

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Yemen: Scathing UN Report Underscores Need for Arms Embargo, Tougher Scrutiny


For Immediate Release

Organization Profile:

Mariya Parodi, media@aiusa.org

WASHINGTON – Responding to a scathing report published today by the United Nations Group of Eminent Experts on Yemen (GEE) which concludes that all parties to the conflict may be guilty of war crimes, Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East research director, said:

“The GEE, in its first report, confirms what we have known for the past three years, namely that all parties to the conflict in Yemen have acted with utter disregard for civilian lives. The Saudi Arabia-led coalition and allied forces, Huthi and Yemeni government aligned forces have consistently carried out unlawful attacks, restricted access to humanitarian aid, carried out widespread arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, child recruitment and other serious violations that have and continue to inflict unimaginable suffering on Yemen’s civilian population.

“Scrutiny and strong action from the international community are more crucial than ever. The USA, UK and other states should do everything in their power to prevent further violations and address the catastrophic humanitarian crisis. They should start by immediately stopping the flow of arms to the country and end the Coalition’s arbitrary restrictions on humanitarian assistance and essential imports.

“The armed conflict is still ongoing, and the GEE’s mandate should be renewed ahead of the 39thsession of the Human Rights Council next month. It is imperative that it can investigate new violations and abuses, and identify those responsible, with the same depth and rigour.”


On September 2017, the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) passed a resolution (number 36/31) to establish a Group of Eminent Experts (GEE) on Yemen involving international and regional experts with knowledge of human rights law and the context of Yemen for one year, renewable as authorized.

On December 2017, three independent experts were appointed and the GEE began its work in February 2018.

The GEE was mandated to investigate violations and abuses committed by all parties to the conflict in Yemen between September 2014 and June 2018, and to identify, where possible, those responsible. It carried out six investigative missions to Yemen between March and May 2018, visiting the governorates of Hodeidah, Sa’da, Sana’a and Aden. It also reported having shared information linking specific violations or abuses with purported perpetrators with the UN High Commissioner confidentially.

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Yemen Offers Peace Initiative to Saudi Arabia, as Houthi Leader Announces Ceasefire


Mohammed Ali al-Houthi

Mohammed Ali al-Houthi (center), who heads the Houthi movement’s Supreme Revolutionary Committee, attends a rally marking al-Quds (Jerusalem) Day in Yemen’s capital Sanaa July 10, 2015. Khaled Abdullah | Reuters

An official with Yemen’s Ministry of Defense confirmed to MintPress that naval operations would be halted for two weeks starting at midnight on August 1, saying “we welcome any initiative to spare bloodshed and stop the aggression against Yemen.”

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Yemen War: Iranian Navy Dispatches Warships to Gulf of Aden


On June 21, the Iranian Navy dispatched two warships to the Gulf of Aden, where a fierce battle is ongoing between the Ansar Allah movement (also known as the Houthis) and the Saudi-led coalition for the port city of al-Hudaydah.

According to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, Iran sent a helicopter-carrier and a naval destroyer. The deployment of Iranian warships in the area will likely further complicate relations between Riyadh and Teheran. However, two warships will not be enough to lift a naval blockade from al-Hudaydah.

Meanwhile, the Houthis repelled another attempt by the Saudi-led coalition and its proxies to capture the al-Hudaydah airport in western Yemen recapturing most of the positions, which they had lost previously.

A few dozens of Houthi fighters were killed or injured as result of attacks by the coalition and strikes by its air power. The coalition and its proxies lost at least 6 vehicles.

The Houthis are currently building fortifications south and east of al-Hudaydah. In turn, pro-Saudi and pro-UAE sources claim that the coalition is posed to capture the port city by any means. Massive strikes of the Saudi Air Force on targets inside the city signs that these claims are true.

Clashes also continued far south of al-Hudaydah, along supply lines of the coalition heading from southern Yemen. The Houthis carried out at least 5 hit and run attacks on the coalition’s supply lines over the past two days.

So far, the Houthis have been able to counter the coalition’s efforts to capture the al-Hudaydah airport and to isolate the city. However, they suffer from a lack military equipment and supplies. The situation remains tense.

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Yemen: Peace on the Horizon?

Featured image: Ali Naser Mohamad

The Houthis and the former President of South Yemen introduced somewhat similar peace proposals for ending the War on Yemen.

The first move in this direction was made during last week’s Valdai Conference on Russia’s role in the Mideast, when Ali Naser Mohamad, who presided over the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen from 1980-1986, issued an 8-point plan for resolving the conflict in which his most unique suggestion was to “initiate a dialogue between all the political forces on the establishment of a two-region federal state.” This was clearly in reference to the Southern Transitional Council’s (STC) seizure of Aden, their former capital, from Hadi’s government at the end of January after the internationally recognized leader refused to reform his Cabinet and reportedly ordered that force be used against the protesting Southerners.

Federalization has long been thought of as a “compromise” between wartime allies Saudi Arabia and the UAE, the first of which began the war in order to reinstall Hadi as Yemen’s President while the latter is thought of having a favorable approach towards the Southern separatists.

As for the Houthis’ proposal, it interestingly mirrored most of what the former South Yemeni leader proposed, albeit with its own nuances. Both sides want an end to the war, new elections, and UNSC support, though they seem to differ over some technicalities. Whereas the South wants a federal solution, the Houthis importantly suggest that all contested issues be decided by a referendum, with the implication being that it would be a nationwide one where the more populous North would have the electoral power to reject any regional-centric proposal put forth by the South. The issues of South Yemen’s autonomy and the country’s corresponding constitutional reform to legalize this desired status seem to be the primary difference between each party’s peace proposals.

In the stalemated military situation that defines the present day, neither side is able to enforce their will on the other, but the most important observation is that the political will for peace invariably exists in the territories that used to comprise the independent countries of North and South Yemen.

Extrapolating from this, it can be deduced that each of their populations are completely exasperated by this war, especially the majority of the country that resides in the North and has been forced to endure the insufferable humanitarian consequences of the coalition’s war against the Houthis for over the past three years now. Likewise, presuming that the former South Yemeni President was speaking in a semi-official capacity and “testing the waters” at Valdai, the conclusion can be reached that the STC is “moderating” its independence aspirations and willing to settle for federalization, at least at this stage, which of course appeals to the Saudis and the Houthis for different reasons and makes it easier to begin a dialogue on ending the war.

In the coming future, all sides will likely readjust their positions somewhat as they politically jockey with one another in preparing for inevitable peace talks, and it’s here where Russia could play a strategic role in facilitating this by mediating or possibly even hosting this dialogue whenever it ultimately happens.

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