Saudi Crown Prince Wants to End Yemen War: Leaks

Local Editor

Newly-leaked emails written by two former top US officials show that Saudi crown prince and defense minister Mohammed bin Salman “wants out” of the war he started in Yemen.

 

Mohammed bin Salman


Email correspondence from April of this year between Martin Indyk, the former US ambassador to the Zionist entity and Yousef Otaiba, the UAE’s ambassador to the US, was obtained by Middle East Eye, in which the two discussed their dealings with Prince bin Salman.

Indyk said bin Salman had been “clear” in meetings with himself and former national security advisor Stephen Hadley that he “wants out of Yemen” and is “OK with the US engaging with Iran,” despite his publicly aggressive stance on both the Yemeni crisis and Tehran.

Otaiba, however, did not reply to requests for comment, while Hadley told MEE: “I cannot comment on what was a private conversation.”

The then 29-year-old Mohammed bin Salman attracted criticism internationally for plunging Saudi Arabia into a bloody intervention in Yemen in March 2015.

The Saudi-led bombing campaign and air and sea blockade has left 70 per cent of Yemen’s 27-million strong population reliant on some form of humanitarian aid, 7.3 million on the brink of famine and caused the worst cholera outbreak in modern history.

The idea that Saudi Arabia is trying to exit its expensive war next door is not a new one, however, co-founder of the Sanaa Centre and non-resident fellow at the Middle East Institute in Washington DC told The Independent.

The UN estimates $2.1bn is needed to stop Yemen turning into a completely failed state, but donor governments only pledged half that amount at an aid conference in Geneva in April.

Western governments have also faced criticism for their role in the conflict: arms sold to Saudi Arabia are destined for use in the Yemeni war, rights groups indicate.

Source: The Independent, Edited by website team

15-08-2017 | 09:59
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The US Is Complicit in the Destruction of Yemen

Jonah Shepp

The United States has had a dismal track record managing conflicts in the Middle East in recent years, but in Yemen, it is currently abetting a humanitarian disaster that could ultimately rival Syria and Iraq in its destabilizing impact on the region and the world.

War in Yemen


More than 10,000 people have been killed in the intractable war over the past three years…

Over the weekend, international aid agencies warned that some 20 million people were imminently at risk of dying of starvation or poverty-related diseases in Yemen and a number of African countries, all of which are facing critical food shortages.

In Yemen alone, Save the Children counts 20.7 million people, half of them children, in dire need of aid. Meanwhile, a cholera epidemic is raging through the parts of Yemen hit hardest by the war, with at least 360,000 suspected cases and perhaps as many as 425,000. Some 2,000 people have already died in the epidemic, and the number of cases is rising by some 7,000 a day.

The famine in Yemen is not a consequence of drought or crop failure… Rather, the famine is the intentional result of a two-year blockade imposed on the country by Saudi Arabia, with the help of its allies, including the US, in a deliberate effort to starve Yemeni areas into submission. The ruthless siege tactics of the Saudi-led coalition are also directly to blame for the cholera outbreak. Saudi Arabia has targeted civilian areas with its bombs, destroying vital infrastructure like hospitals and water systems. Dr. Homer Venters, director of programs at Physicians for Human Rights, says we are witnessing the “weaponization of disease” in Yemen, as well as in Syria.

The US cannot sidestep its own complicity in this carnage. After belatedly realizing that the Saudis were bombing Yemeni civilians with American-made weapons, the Obama administration blocked sales of cluster bombs and precision munitions to Riyadh last year. The Trump administration, however, sought to resume precision weapons sales back in March, and the Senate signed off on a new $500 million deal by a narrow margin in June. Since March, the administration has been considering expanding US involvement in the Yemen conflict – which the Saudis surely encouraged during Trump’s visit there in May.

Meanwhile, the general US foreign policy is: As long as the Saudis buy their guns and bombs from us, we’re not too concerned about how they end up using them, whether it’s to besiege Yemen, threaten Qatar, brutally suppress protests in Bahrain, or intimidate their own citizens into quiescence. Given Trump’s single-minded obsession with making deals and goosing US manufacturing jobs, as well as his susceptibility to Saudi flattery, his administration is unlikely to stand up to our most troublesome ally anytime soon.

Part of what allows the United States to be an accessory to these atrocities is the fact that though Yemen bleeds, it doesn’t lead. Coverage of Yemen in the Western media, where it exists at all, tends to be one-dimensional “parachute journalism,” produced by non-expert reporters and focusing solely on the Sunni-Shiite war dimension of the conflict.

What really makes the war in Yemen frightening is that the country was already in a fragile state: The poorest country in the Arab region, overpopulated and heavily dependent on imports, the country’s biggest problem is that it is drying up. A population boom and the rise of a cash crop economy has led to overexploitation of scarce resources, exacerbated by the effects of climate change, and Yemen is now one of the most water-stressed countries in the world. Some experts believe Sanaa could become the world’s first capital city to run out of water entirely – not decades from now, but by 2025 – and what little water the city has left is now contaminated with cholera.

If nothing is done to alleviate Yemen’s water crisis, and especially if war continues to degrade infrastructure and make repairs impossible, Yemen is a strong candidate for the world’s first major climate refugee crisis. Between war, famine, disease, climate change, and the indifference of the world, the land known to the Greeks and Romans as “Happy Arabia” is well on its way to becoming ungovernable, if not uninhabitable.

Source: New York Magazine, Edited by website team

09-08-2017 | 15:35

HOUTHIS ATTACK PRO-HADI FORCES IN SANA’A AND AL-JAWF

South Front

Houthis Attack Pro-Hadi Forces In Sana'a and Al-Jawf

Newly recruited Houthi fighters ride on the back of a pick-up truck as they parade before heading to the frontline to fight against government forces, in Sanaa, Yemen January 12, 2017. REUTERS/Khaled Abdullah – RTX2YMO3

Several fighters loyal to the Saudi-backed Mansur Hadi government were killed and wounded in two attacks of -the Houthis in Sana’a and Al-Jawf provinces, according to Yemeni sources.

The Houthis repotedly attacked Al-Safina position southwest of Nahm in Sana’a province and Al-Sallan camp in Al-Maslob in Al-Jawf province. Furthermore, Houthi fighters damaged two vehicles of pro-Hadi forces in Sorouh in Marib, according to the Houthi media wing.

Meanwhile, the Houthi artillery targeted gatherings of Saudi soldiers in Al-Makhroq al-Kabir, Al-Shabaka and Tabbat al-Khashba in Najran at the Yemeni-Saudi border. Yemeni sources also claimed that Houthi snipers killed a Saudi soldier in Slatah in Najran, and another soldier at Qais position in Jizan near the Yemeni-Saudi border.

In another development, the Ministry of Transport and the General Authority for Aviation declared at a news conference that the continued closure of the Sana’a International Airport without any justification is a violation of the international treaties and humanitarian laws.

The Ministry of Transport revealed that 95 thousand patients need to travel abroad for treatment, and also revealed that 13194 Yemenis died due to the inability to transfer them for proper treatment abroad. It’s worth to mention that the Saudi Alliance has imposed a No-Fly zone over the Yemeni capital Sana’a since the start of its military intervention in 2015, although the Yemeni Air Force has been destroyed since the first month of the war.

Houthi forces inflict heavy losses on Gulf-led forces in western Yemen

BEIRUT, LEBANON (8:25 P.M.) – The Houthi forces were relentless on Wednesday, carrying out a large number of attacks against the Gulf-led forces in the Ta’iz Governorate of Yemen.

According to the official media wing of the Houthi forces, their fighters scored several direct hits on the units of the UAE-backed Southern Resistance, killing and wounding many combatants in the process.

The Houthi forces primarily concentrated their attack on the Yakhtal area of Ta’iz, where they share a front-line with the Gulf-backed forces.

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Ansarullah Warns Against Support for Saudi Crimes

Local Editor

As the death toll from the Saudi-led war on the impoverished country increases by the day, the Yemeni Ansarullah movement cautioned the international community against providing a cover for Saudi Arabia’s atrocities in Yemen.

Ansarullah spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam

Ansarullah spokesman Mohammad Abdulsalam wrote on his Facebook page on Friday that more Saudi crimes would only lead to greater steadfastness on the part of the Yemenis in support of their dignity and the sovereignty of their homeland.

Abdulsalam further called on the Popular Committees and allied army soldiers to step up their operations against the Saudi military and mercenaries.

The remarks came hours after three women and six children from the same family were killed and three others injured in a Saudi-led airstrike on the Mahda district of northwestern Yemeni city of Saada.

Abdel-Ilah al-Azzi, the head of the local health department, said, “We are recording all the crimes of the enemy and we will not forget them. All the criminals will be put on trial soon, God willing.”

The deadly air raid took place at dawn on Friday while the family was asleep.

Saudi Arabia has been leading a brutal military campaign against Yemen for more than two years to reinstall a Riyadh-friendly former president. The Saudi military campaign, however, has failed to achieve its goal.

The protracted war had already martyred over 12,000 Yemenis, with the US and the UK providing the bulk of weapons used by Saudi forces and giving coordinates for the airstrikes, which have killed many civilians.

The Saudi-led offensive has also taken a heavy toll on Yemen’s infrastructure and led to a humanitarian crisis and a cholera epidemic.

The number of suspected cholera cases in Yemen has exceeded 419,800 while almost 2,000 people have died since the outbreak of the epidemic in April, according to the latest figures provided by the World Health Organization [WHO].

Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team

05-08-2017 | 13:31

In pictures: Saudi Army offensive takes disastrous turn in northern Yemen

DAMASCUS, SYRIA (9:20 P.M.) – On Sunday, the Saudi Arabian Army and aligned forces began attacking Houthi-held positions around the Anbarah Mountain in Al-Jouf province after which heavy clashes broke out between the warring parties.

With clashes raging on throughout the day, the Houthi-led Popular Committees finally managed to repel the assault, leaving many dead Saudi troops dead in the wake of the brief offensive.

Houthi soldier also captured ammunition and light weaponry following the failed attack which the Sanaa-based government claimed to be a carefully planned ambush.

Anbarah Mountain overlooks much of Saudi border and is regularly used as a launching pad to strike behind enemy lines in Saudi Arabia. As such, the hill top is frequently attacked although it remains under Yemeni control for now.
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One million Yemeni children risk dying from Cholera amid Saudi aggression, blockade

One million Yemeni children risk dying from Cholera amid Saudi aggression, blockade

Over one million Yemeni children are at risk of dying from cholera due to a Saudi-led aggression and blockade against the impoverished Arab state.

According to Save the Children charity group, since the outbreak began three months ago, there have been 1,900 deaths and 440,000 cases – a number that exceeds the global record of more than 340,000 cases in Haiti for the whole of 2011.

The cholera infection rate is rising due to the advent of the rainy season. Oxfam predicts the the number of victims could reach 600,000 while the World Health Organisation says cholera cases have spread to 21 of the country’s 23 provinces.

In a report, Save the Children said: “Malnourished children have substantially reduced immune systems and are at least three times more likely to die if they contract cholera.”

The disease, spread by sewage contaminated water, causes severe diarrhea, vomiting and dehydration, which can be treated if victims are quickly rehydrated orally and intravenously.

Saudi bombardments destroyed Yemen’s health system

During the 28 months of the Saudi Arabia-led bombing aggression against Yemen, most of Yemen’s health system has been destroyed, and Save the Children said that “health workers have not been paid for nearly a year”.

Oxfam insists urgent measures must be taken to counter and treat the disease. “We need a massive, well-coordinated effort to get clean water, decent sanitation and simple things like soap to people to keep them safe from disease. We need . . . entry of supplies and people so we can get on with the job.”

Saudi regime blocks aid delivery

However, the Saudi-imposed blockade is obstructing deliveries of food and medical supplies through Yemen’s ports and preventing supplies from reaching the capital Sanaa, where the medical emergency is critical.

Auke Lootsma, UN development program country director, said: “We have difficulties obtaining permission from the coalition and the government of Yemen to transport jet fuel to Sanaa to facilitate these flights.”

UN children’s agency (UNICEF) director Anthony Lake said: “In the areas where we are working effectively, both the number of [cholera] cases and the fatality rate are going down. So it’s a race between us and the rains and the continuing destruction and the fighting.”

27 Million Yemenis need urgent aid

Raging cholera is only one aspect of the disaster, according to UN figures. Two-thirds of the 27.6 million Yemenis require emergency aid; 4.5 million children and pregnant and lactating women are malnourished; 14 million have no healthcare.

A Saudi-led coalition started an illegal aggression on Yemen in March 2015 to oust the popular Ansarullah movement and restore to power fugitive Abdul Rabbuh Mansour Hadi who resigned as president and fled to Riyadh. The Saudis have failed to achieve their stated objective and are now stuck in the Yemen quagmire while indiscriminately bombarding the impoverished stated on an almost daily basis.

The Saudi war on Yemen, one of the world’s most impoverished countries, has killed nearly 14,000 people and left tens of thousands wounded while displacing millions.

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross, more than three million people have fled their homes since the onset of the conflict, and more than 20 million throughout the country are in need of humanitarian assistance.

The Saudi-led coalition has imposed a sea and air blockade in many areas controlled by Ansarullah movement including the capital Sanaa, allowing in only limited UN-supervised deliveries of basic goods.

Horrific footage showing the aftermath from the Saudi massacre in northern Yemen

BEIRUT, LEBANON (5:30 P.M.) – People were seen rummaging through the rubble of a Saudi-led airstrike, in Saada, on Friday.

The strike reportedly killed nine members of the same family, at least three women and six children, local officials reported.

BEIRUT, LEBANON (7:00 P.M.) – The Houthi forces launched a powerful assault in the JIzan Region of Saudi Arabia on Friday night, following the Saudi-led Coalition’s massacre of civilians in Yemen’s Sa’ada Governorate.

Using their plethora of ATGMs, the Houthi forces rained missiles on several Saudi military posts in the Jizan Region, scoring a multitude of direct hits in the process.

In response to the Houthi attack, the Saudi-led Coalition launched several airstrikes over the Jizan Region and northern Yemen, targeting any potential threat near the border.

The Saudi Coalition began the day by carrying out a massacre in the Sa’ada Governorate of Yemen, killing at least nine civilians, including six children and three women.

The official media wing of the Houthi forces has issued a statement condemning the Coalition’s massacre.

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How US Policy Helps Al Qaeda in Yemen

How US Policy Helps Al Qaeda in Yemen

Exclusive: President Trump – like President Obama – is working at cross purposes in supposedly fighting Al Qaeda in Yemen while helping Saudi Arabia kill Al Qaeda’s chief Yemeni enemies, as Jonathan Marshall explains.

By Jonathan Marshall

In a world of bad actors, one of the “baddest” of all is the Yemen-based al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), which the CIA once branded “the most dangerous regional node in the global jihad.” It masterminded the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000; nearly blew up a U.S. passenger jet flying into Detroit on Christmas Day, 2009; brought down a UPS cargo plane in 2010; and sponsored the 2015 attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo magazine in Paris, killing 11 and wounding another 11.

President Donald Trump touches lighted globe with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and Saudi King Salman and Donald Trump at the opening of Saudi Arabia’s Global Center for Combating Extremist Ideology on May 21, 2017. (Photo from Saudi TV)

All of which raises an embarrassing question: Why is the United States supporting AQAP’s main ally in Yemen, Saudi Arabia?

The respected news publication Middle East Eye reports that Abdulmajid al-Zindani, a Yemeni cleric, “veteran al-Qaeda supporter,” and “former spiritual adviser to Osama bin Laden,” has been operating freely in Saudi Arabia, even posting YouTube videos lauding the Saudi war in his home country.

Apparently no one in Riyadh cares that he’s been on the U.S. Treasury’s Specially Designated Global Terrorist List since 2004, identified as a recruiter for terrorist training camps and a key purchaser of weapons for al-Qaeda and other extremist groups. Indeed, Zindani “has been warmly received by senior clerics and officials,” including one adviser to the Royal Court, according to Middle East Eye.

The publication’s sources further allege that “at least five Yemenis designated as terrorists by the U.S. Treasury have advised and coordinated Saudi operations in Yemen with allied forces on the ground.” One senior al-Qaeda supporter in Yemen, Nayif al-Qaysi, has been repeatedly interviewed in Saudi Arabia by fawning television stations. He served as governor of the Yemeni city of Bayda until late July.

Most bizarre of all, one notorious al-Qaeda fundraiser, who has lived in Saudi Arabia for nearly three years, turned up on a list of terrorists whom Saudi Arabia accused Qatar of harboring. Saudi Arabia and four other Arab states broke diplomatic and economic ties with Qatar in early June, in part over allegations that Doha supports extremists.

The Devastation of Yemen

Since March 2015, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates (UAE), and other Arab allies have been laying waste to Yemen with logistic support from the United States. They are fighting to wrest control of the country from Houthi militants and their ally, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. Riyadh aims to reinstate Saleh’s rival, President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi, whose legal mandate ended in January 2015.

Saudi King Salman bids farewell to President Barack Obama at Erga Palace after a state visit to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 27, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Tens of thousands of Yemenis have died from the fighting, historic cities have been pulverized by criminal Saudi bombing raids, and more than 400,000 people have contracted deadly cholera. Almost two million children and millions more adults suffer from malnutrition owing to war-related disruptions of food supplies and a Saudi blockade of Yemen’s ports.

Suffering and chaos provide ideal breeding grounds for AQAP, which took control of a provincial capital and one of Yemen’s largest ports for many months. A special report last year by Reuters concluded that “the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen, . . . backed by the United States, has helped Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to become stronger than at any time since it first emerged almost 20 years ago.”

Even the UAE newspaper The National conceded last month: “In the absence of a political resolution that addresses local grievances and builds and empowers a central state that can provide jobs and services, Al Qaeda has filled vacuums and its fighters have found a role, while a sectarian narrative that is promoted by the group has increasing traction.”

This matters not only because of AQAP’s potential threat to U.S. security, but because the only possible legal rationale for continued U.S. military involvement in Yemen is the 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force Against Terrorists, which approves operations against al-Qaeda, not in support of its allies. Members of Congress are growing restive about such legal issues as U.S. tax dollars fund the ongoing humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, with no end in sight.

Getting Stronger

AQAP has gained traction by taking advantage of growing local resentment toward U.S. and UAE counterterrorism operations that result in the murder or torture of suspects.

In a weird twist, typical of the war’s endlessly shifting alliances, AQAP has also joined pro-Saudi forces in bloody offensives to retake the southern city of Taiz from Houthi rebels.

“We fight along all Muslims in Yemen, together with different Islamic groups,” against the Houthis, said Qasim al-Rimi, the senior military commander of AQAP, this spring.

Although the United States put a $5 million price on al-Rimi’s head, Associated Press reported that his forces “regularly receive funds and weapons from the U.S.-backed Saudi led coalition.”

Ironically, just hours before U.S. commandos killed another prominent AQAP-linked tribal leader in late January (along with several children), that leader had arranged for the Saudi-backed coalition of President Hadi to pay his tribal fighters $60,000 to join in the fight against Houthi rebels.

No wonder the International Crisis Group recently reported that “The Yemeni branch of al-Qaeda is stronger than it has ever been,” and that AQAP “is thriving in an environment of state collapse, growing sectarianism, shifting alliances, security vacuums and a burgeoning war economy.” AQAP, it added, has “emerged arguably as the biggest winners of the failed political transition and civil war that followed.”

Targeting Islamist tribal leaders with more bombs, drones, and military raids — as the Trump administration seems inclined to do — will simply aggravate civilian suffering and strengthen AQAP’s political base. There’s only one way to dry up its support: the international community must demand a cease-fire, send foreign armies packing, promote a political settlement among all Yemeni stakeholders, and send food and medical aid to alleviate the population’s extraordinary suffering.

Jonathan Marshall is a regular contributor to Consortiumnews.com.

WHO Cancels Shipment of 500,000 Cholera Vaccines to Yemen

With at least 320,000 cases of cholera in the country, the outbreak is caused by widespread damage to infrastructure during the Saudi-led war, U.N. officials said.

Global Research, July 15, 2017
teleSUR 13 July 2017

While the latest figures confirmed over 320,000 cases of cholera in Yemen, the World Health Organization announced that it would be canceling the planned shipment of nearly one million cholera vaccines to the country torn apart by a Saudi Arabia-led bombing campaign, citing security and logistical concerns in the decision to cancel the shipment.

An initial shipment of 500,000 doses are currently in Djibouti, ready to be shipped, however WHO spokesperson Christian Lindmeier told reporters that the doses might be rerouted to several countries in Africa instead.

WHO’s latest figures indicate that there have been around 320,000 cases of cholera, a disease that causes uncontrollable diarrhea and severe dehydration that can be deadly without treatment. The conditions in Yemen in the midst of a Saudi-led, U.S.-sponsored war have led to a spread of the disease on an epidemic scale. Lack of access to clean water, famine, and destruction of health-infrastructure resulting from the war have been the primary drivers of the outbreak.

United Nations officials placed blame for the crisis squarely on those parties involved in perpetuating the conflict.

“This cholera scandal is entirely man-made by the conflicting parties and those beyond Yemen’s borders who are leading, supplying, fighting and perpetuating the fear and the fighting,” U.N. aid chief Stephen O’Brien told the U.N. Security Council Wednesday.

He called for greater international pressure to end the conflict.

“Yemen is facing critical stoppages of hospitals and a lack of doctors and nurses. The health system has essentially collapsed, with an estimated 55 percent of facilities closed due to damage, destruction or lack of funds. Some 30,000 health care workers have not been paid in nearly a year and no funding has been provided to keep basic infrastructure such as hospitals, water pumping and sanitation stations operating,” O’Brien continued.

A Saudi Arabia-led coalition began a bombing and blockading campaign against Yemen in 2015 in an effort to back the government ousted by Houthi rebels. In addition to targeting civilian buildings, such as hospitals, the Saudi coalition has also nearly entirely closed off Yemen’s air and seaports.

The Saudi-led coalition is heavily backed by material and financial support from the United States and the United Kingdom.

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