Saudi Arabia, the recently crowned head of a UN human rights panel and close U.S. government ally, has now bombed two wedding parties in Yemen in just over a week. Yes, you read that right.
SANA, Yemen — Airstrikes by a military coalition led by Saudi Arabia hit a house south of the capital on Wednesday, killing at least 23 people who were attending a wedding party, said witnesses and a local medical worker.
The attack was the second airstrike on a wedding in Yemen in a little over a week, and it added to growing criticism over the coalition’s air campaign, which has killed more than 1,100 civilians over the past six months, according to the United Nations. Continue reading »
The following would be funny, if it weren’t so incredibly sad. The United Nations’ spiral into clownish insignificance continues unabated.
From the New York Times:
GENEVA — In a U-turn at the United Nations Human Rights Council, Western governments dropped plans Wednesday for an international inquiry into human rights violations by all parties in the war in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians in the last six months. Continue reading »
With Syria making national headlines on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget about the Middle East’s other proxy war raging in Yemen.
For months, a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Iran-backed militants for control of the country which was effectively wrested from Mansour Hadi earlier this year when the Sauid-backed President was forced to flee to Riyadh as the Houthis advanced on Aden. Continue reading »
According to a U.N. report published last week, U.S. drone strikes have killed roughly 40 Yemeni civilians in the past year. The figure is 60% greater than the number of civilians killed by al Qaeda in that same period. al Qaeda is reportedly responsible for 24 civilian deaths.
The government’s ongoing drone strikes in Yemen are little-known to the general American public. Many Americans still believe the U.S. military is only involved in Iraq and Afghanistan. In reality, the military is running offensive operations in Libya, Somalia, Pakistan, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and other countries in the region. Continue reading »
The violence in two of the world’s conflict hot spots escalated materially over the weekend after a Houthi rocket attack in Marib killed 45 UAE soldiers, prompting the delpoyment of an additional 1,000 Qatari troops and triggering stepped up Saudi airstrikes. Meanwhile, in Turkey, roadside bombings blamed on the PKK mean Ankara will look to plunge the country deeper into civil war ahead of elections in November.
– Powder Kegs Exploding: Violence Escalates In Turkey, Yemen As Mid-East Tips Towards Chaos (ZeroHedge, Sep 7, 2015)
– Dramatic Footage Of Saudi Tanks Invading Yemen (ZeroHedge, Aug 4, 2015):
There are competing accounts as to exactly what happened at the Al Anad airbase in Yemen on Monday, where Saudi-backed forces loyal to President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi reportedly routed Houthi rebels, marking the latest in a series of setbacks for the Iran-backed group which forced Hadi to flee to Riyadh earlier this year, plunging Yemen into a bloody civil war.
According to the Houthis, coalition forces were “crushed” and their vehicles destroyed, but a spokesman for the Popular Resistance said most of the base was in coalition hands. Here’s WSJ:
Forces fighting for a Saudi-led military coalition in Yemen have defeated the country’s Houthi rebels at a strategic southern air base, the Yemeni defense ministry said Tuesday. Continue reading »
– In Major Escalation, Yemen Rebels Fire Scud Missile Into Saudi Arabia (ZeroHedge, June 6, 2015):
On Saturday, Riyadh claimed Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthis, in concert with forces loyal to former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, for the first time fired a scud missile at Saudi Arabia.
Probably the new generation of “smart, civilian protecting, residential area approved, precision strike cluster bombs“.
– S. Arabia bombs Yemen with US-supplied cluster bombs – HRW (RT, May 3, 2015):
The Saudi Arabia-led coalition is using US-supplied cluster munitions in its airstrikes on Houthi forces in Yemen, Human Rights Watch reported. Targets include those close to villages, posing a threat from undetonated submunitions to civilians.
In recent weeks the coalition has used cluster bombs in Yemen’s northern Saada governorate, a region bordering Saudi Ararbia, which is historically controlled by the rebels,HRW said.
“These weapons should never be used under any circumstances. Saudi Arabia and other coalition members – and the supplier, the US – are flouting the global standard that rejects cluster munitions because of their long-term threat to civilians,” said Steve Goose, arms director at Human Rights Watch. Continue reading »
– ‘We’ve arrived’: ISIS wing in Yemen releases first video, threatens Houthis (RT, April 25, 2015):
The Islamic State has declared its official presence in war-torn Yemen as the jihadists posted a video online, threating to “cut the throats” of Shiite Houthi rebels.
Like most Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) videos, the 9-minute-long clip was professionally shot and edited – with CGs and catchy background music.
It showed around two dozen IS fighters in full military gear training in the desert area, which is claimed to be located near the Yemeni capital, Sanaa. Continue reading »
– S Arabia bombs food, fuel depots in Yemen: Russian source (PressTV, April 26, 2015):
Saudi Arabia has targeted “all food and fuel depots” during its month-long deadly aerial assaults against Yemen, a Russian diplomatic source says.
“They (Saudis) used to bomb all the arms, food and fuel depots they had information on, as well as military camps” in Yemen, RIA Novosti news agency quoted the anonymous source at the Russian Embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sana’a, as saying on Sunday. Continue reading »
– State Dept tries to steal show over US citizens’ evacuation from Yemen (RT, April 24, 2015):
The US State Department says it has been issuing guidelines for US citizens stuck in Yemen on how to leave the war-torn country, but the 20 Americans evacuated by Russian planes say they haven’t heard a word.
“Well, we have been collaborating for many, many weeks now,”said US State Department spokesperson, Marie Harf.
According to Harf, the US has been “talking to other countries, other organizations…who may have ways of getting American citizens out.” Continue reading »
– Saudi prince promises Bentleys to pilots bombing Yemen, deletes tweet (RT, April 23, 2015):
Saudi Arabia’s billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal tweeted an unexpected message for the 100 fighter pilots involved in airstrikes against Yemen – each would be awarded a Bentley. The tweet, which was later deleted, sparked anger online.
“I congratulate our wise leaders on the victory of Operation Decisive Storm and the beginning of Operation Restoring Hope,” bin Talal appeared to tweet on Tuesday. It followed an announcement of a new phase in the Saudi-led campaign in Yemen.
“To recognize the one hundred participating Saudi pilots I am pleased to present them with 100 Bentley cars,” he said, according to screenshots of the message.
But the fighter pilots couldn’t allow themselves to get too excited, because the tweet was later deleted without explanation. Some Saudi Arabian reports suggest the prince’s account was hacked, though this has not been confirmed. Continue reading »
– Oil Tumbles After Saudis Declare End To Yemen Aerial Bombing Campaign (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2015):
Saudi Arabia said its campaign of airstrikes in Yemen have succeeded in removing threats to the kingdom and other regional countries, bringing to an end Operation “Decisive Storm.” As Bloomberg reports, the Saudi Defense Ministry said a coalition of mostly Sunni Muslim nations has “successfully eliminated the threat to the security of Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries,” by destroying the heavy weaponry and ballistic missiles held by the Shiite Houthi rebels. This comes one day after Gulf envoys told The United Nations that Yemen strikes won’t end soon. Saudi Arabia hopes to restart a Yemeni political process and will begin “Operation New Hope,” which appears to mean Saudi National Guard ground troops.
– Saudi Arabia Orders Its National Guard To Enter Yemen War (ZeroHedge, April 21, 2015):
Over the better part of the past month, the only entities actively involved in the proxy war in Yemen against the local Houthi rebel force have been air force units, mostly under Saudi command as part of Operation “Decisive Storm.” Which probably explains why there has been little if any progress to note in pushing back said rebellion which, armed heavily thanks to the US government, has successfully managed to push the current president into an indefinite exile. That changed hours ago, when Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered the Saudi Arabian National Guard, widely regarded as the kingdom’s best equipped military ground force, to take part in Riyadh’s campaign against Iran-allied Houthi rebels in Yemen.
* * *
– US Navy Sends Aircraft Carrier, Warships To Intercept Iranian Weapons Shipments In Yemeni Waters (ZeroHedge, April 20, 2015):
Update: Because the report from AP does not play well with “Everyday Americans”, US CentCom is denying:
- *U.S. DENIES REPORT SHIP SENT TO INTERCEPT IRAN VESSEL
- *U.S. SAYS SHIP SENT TO KEEP SHIPPING LANES IN REGION OPEN
The ‘proxy’ war is escalating very rapidly. As AP reports, Navy officials confirm that the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is headed to Yemeni waters to intercept an Iranian weapons shipments. Just as we warned 10 days ago, the probability of a major escalation over the latest proxy Middle Eastern civil war escalated substantially when Iran parked two warships off the Yemeni coast.
As AP details,
U.S. Navy officials say the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is steaming toward the waters off Yemen and will join other American ships prepared to intercept any Iranian vessels carrying weapons to the Houthi (HOO’-thee) rebels fighting in Yemen. Continue reading »
– ISIS’ Strategy Leak Reveals Syrian Takeover Plot, US “Created A Group Of Very Intelligent Enemies” (ZeroHedge, April 19, 2015):
While western propaganda would like ISIS to appear to be run by religious fanaticism, it instead, as RT reports, has been functioning more like a secret intelligence service, calculating every operation and drafting plans of a covert Syrian takeover for years. According to detailed organization chart and strategy blueprints seen by Der Spiegel, it has been revealed that the former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defense force(among many ex-Saddam officers who now make up the leadership of ISIS) was secretly pulling the strings at ISIS for years. From recruitment and training to PsyOps tactics and overall strategy, ISIS mastermind Haji Bakr rose to power after he became “bitter and unemployed,” when the US suddenly dissolved the Iraqi army after the 2003 invasion.
When Haji Bakr was shot and killed after a brief firefight in the town of Tal Rifaat on a January morning in 2014, not even those on the mission knew the true identity of the tall man in his late fifties. Samir Abd Muhammad al-Khlifawi was the real name of the Iraqi, and as Der Spiegel reports, the former colonel in the intelligence service of Saddam Hussein’s air defense force had been secretly pulling the strings at ISIS for years.
But when the architect of the Islamic State died, he left something behind that he had intended to keep strictly confidential: the blueprint for this state. It is a folder full of handwritten organizational charts, lists and schedules, which describe how a country can be gradually subjugated. Der Spiegel has gained exclusive access to the 31 pages, some consisting of several pages pasted together. Continue reading »
– Yemen: Another Failed U.S. Military Intervention (Huffington Post, Aprl 13, 2015):
In addition to Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, yet another U.S. military intervention is in shambles: the U.S. drone war against al Qaeda’s most potent regional affiliate — al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Heretofore, despite the rise of the perhaps even more brutal Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), mainly a threat to the Middle East region, the U.S. government has continued to regard AQAP in Yemen as the most severe terrorist threat to the United States. Although the group hasn’t been very active recently, it was involved in the Paris attacks a while back and in foiled bomb plots against U.S.-bound aircraft, including the underwear bombing, even further back.
After the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush expanded his “War on Terror” from the Afghanistan/Pakistan region and started attacking Islamist militants in Yemen from the air. In 2006, AQAP was born after 23 militants escaped from prison in Yemen. Journalists, both locally in Yemen and from the West, have documented that the U.S. drone war under Bush and now Obama has actually increased the numbers of AQAP fighters. Continue reading »
– US, UK thank Russia for evacuation of their citizens from Yemen (RT, April 13, 2015):
The British Foreign Office, as well as the US Secretary of State, have thanked Moscow for the evacuation of their citizens from war-torn Yemen, as Russian planes and ships take hundreds of Russian and foreign nationals from the conflict zone.
In a phone conversation with Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, US Secretary of State John Kerry “expressed gratitude for assistance in evacuation of American citizens” from Yemen, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement on Monday. Continue reading »
– ‘Nobody will help us evacuate:’ Americans urge Washington to help flee Yemen war (RT, April 11, 2015):
As the Saudi-led airstrikes in Yemen continue and the fighting on the ground intensifies, US citizens stuck in Yemen have lashed out at Washington for ignoring their pleas for help as they try to leave the war-torn country.
Aerial bombardment and street battles have become a daily reality for people in Yemen. “We hear a few bombings a day. It’s very scary right now,” Arwa Al-Iraine, a US citizen trapped in Yemen told RT.
“Nobody will help us evacuate. The reply [of the US government] was an automated message that they do not have any evacuation plans. Basically we are left on our own.” Continue reading »
From the article:
“Thus, Riyadh is trying to bomb one of the poorest Arab states into accepting an authoritarian regime of ousted Yemeni president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a loyal vassal of Saudi Arabia and the US.“
– Arabian Game of Thrones: House of Saud Playing Dirty in Yemen (Sputnik, April 11, 2015):
The US-backed House of Saud has long been playing different Yemeni governments, the Houthis, the Muslims Brotherhood, and al-Qaeda all against one another in a real life version of “Game of Thrones,” Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya noted.
While Yemen is currently being bombed into accepting the US-Saudi authoritarian order, one could hardly imagine that the House of Saud has previously worked with the Houthis, supporting the idea of Zaidi imamate and exploiting the sectarian group as a counterbalance against the Muslim Brotherhood’s influence in Yemen, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, an author and geopolitical analyst noted. Continue reading »
H/t reader squodgy:
“The Mainstream Media have actually achieved their goal…….total apathy.”
– No one bothers to lie anymore (The Ugly Truth, April 11, 2015):
When Bush invaded Iraq, he lied about WMDs. When Obama destroyed Libya, he first got UN approval for a “no fly zone.” When Obama wanted to start bombing Syria, he lied about Syrian government nerve gas, and he invented the “ISIS” group.
Today no one bothers to lie any more.
No one bothers to use euphemisms and double-talk. No one bothers to create fairy tales about terrorist groups. No one bothers to claim that the targeted victims are a threat to the homeland. No one bothers with false flags and mass propaganda. Continue reading »
The US government has been sued over abandoning its citizens in Yemen, where up to 4,000 Americans are feared stranded. Pentagon officials claim an evacuation would be too dangerous for military personnel to carry out.
Three Arab and Muslim human rights groups united in preparing a lawsuit bringing dozens of cases of American citizens denied evacuation from Yemen to the attention of the Obama administration. Some of the families stranded in Yemen have small children, maintains a lawsuit filed on Thursday, McClatchy DC reports.
– China Made Military History Three Times Last Week (Zerohedge, April 10, 2015):
Last week, a group of initially unidentified foreign troops disembarked in the Yemeni port city of Aden which is currently under siege by Iran-backed Rebels seeking to capture one of the last remaining major holdouts still controlled by fighters loyal to President Hadi. When the mystery soldiers arrived, the media made the somewhat logical assumption that a Saudi-led ground incursion had indeed begun. Surprisingly, the soldiers turned out to be Chinese and were in Yemen to ensure the safety of more than 200 civilians evacuating the city in an “unprecedented” move that at least according to one Chinese professor, makes China “look really good.”
“We won’t evacuate some folks.”
– As US Citizens Pay their Taxes, Obama Announces Won’t Evacuate Americans from his Yemen War-Zone (Washington’s Blog, April 9, 2015):
McClatchy headlines: “US Reiterates it Won’t Evacuate Americans from Yemen as UN Slams Saudi Attacks”
– Iran Enters Hornets Nest: Parks Two Warships Off Yemen Coast Immediately Next To Two US Aircraft Carriers (ZeroHedge, April 8, 2015):
The probability of a major escalation over the latest proxy Middle Eastern civil war just escalated substantially.
While it has been widely reported that the United States has been accelerating its weapons supply to the Saudi-led coalition striking rebels in Yemen as a sign of how foreign powers are deepening their involvement in the conflict, the biggest regional backer of the Houthi rebels, the state of Iran, had been mostly inert. Until this morning, when as AP reports, Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another vessel Wednesday to waters near Yemen. Continue reading »
– Al-Qaeda Seizes Mukalla Army Base, Securing Foothold in SE Yemen (Antiwar, April 3, 2015):
Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), traditionally centered around the southwest of Yemen, has today captured a major army base in Mukalla, along the country’s southeast coast, securing them a large weapons stockpile and a foothold in that region.
AQAP began attacking Mukalla yesterday, with an eye on a major prison break, in which they freed over 300 prisoners. Since then, they’ve apparently decided to take the city and the base as well. Continue reading »