Yemen — A child has been killed or maimed every four hours in the year since Saudi-led airstrikes began in Yemen — a sevenfold increase over the previous year. Though this is likely a tragic underestimation of the true number, nearly one-third of all civilian casualties are children.
The issue of arms sales to Saudi Arabia by Western countries has always been a contentious topic in some circles.
At the conceptual level, something seems inherently wrong with selling advanced weapons to a government that promotes an ultra puritanical form of Islam that sanctions gruesome executions and treats women as second class citizens. Throw in the fact that Riyadh actively seeks to export this very same poisonous ideology and there’s a moral case to be made for not signing arms deals with what amounts to a terror state where the only claim to legitimacy is oil wealth. Continue reading »
“So let’s see if we’ve got this straight. Over the course of 119 discrete sorties, Saudi Arabi bombed refugee camps, weddings, civilian cars, buses, people’s homes, hospitals, schools, mosques, residential neighborhoods, an Oxfam warehouse, treated “entire cities as military targets,” and chased after fleeing civilians with attack helicopters.”
In March, Saudi Arabia’s air campaign in Yemen will enter its second year.
Riyadh began flying combat missions last year in an effort to rollback the Iran-backed militiamen who drove Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi into exile. The results of the strikes have been mixed. The Houthis were driven from Aden but the fight for Sana’a is far from over. Continue reading »
Saada, Yemen — In the latest of a mounting number of similar cases, a Saudi airstrike killed at least eighteen people on Thursday — including a Doctors Without Borders/Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF)-affiliated ambulance that had just arrived on the scene to aid victims from a previous strike.
It should be noted the Saudi-led coalition has been accused multiple times, including less than two weeks ago, of employing U.S.-made weapons — including internationally-banned cluster bombs — to attack civilians. The U.S., itself, has been waging a heavy drone campaign in the war-ravaged nation — two people were killed on Tuesday by a U.S. drone — and a report in September proved U.S. drones have been responsible for more civilian deaths than even al-Qaeda.
(MiddleEastEye) A missile strike on a Doctors Without Borders clinic in Yemen killed at least four people on Sunday, the group said, condemning what it called a “worrying pattern” of such attacks. The raid was the third of its kind in four months in the war-ravaged country, where a Saudi-led coalition has been battling Houthis who have seized territory from the internationally-recognised government.
It also follows a US strike in Afghanistan on a facility run by the Paris-based medical humanitarian organisation, known by its French acronym MSF, which killed 42 people in October. Continue reading »
Cluster munitions sold to Saudi Arabia by the US were used in attacks on residential neighborhoods in Yemen’s capital of Sanaa, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said, calling for an international inquiry into the alleged war crime.
Saudi-led coalition forces seriously violated the laws of war by airdropping the “indiscriminate weapon” on populated areas in the Yemeni capital on January 6, HRW said in a report published on Thursday.
“The coalition’s repeated use of cluster bombs in the middle of a crowded city suggests an intent to harm civilians, which is a war crime,” HRW arms director Steve Goose said, adding that these attacks are “outrageous.” Continue reading »
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.