US-Backed Forces Claim to “Liberate” Yemenis, Instead Rape Detainees in Secret Prisons

US-Backed Forces Claim to “Liberate” Yemenis, Instead Rape Detainees in Secret Prisons

Source: Mint Press

The so-called “liberators” in Yemen are sexually and physically torturing detainees at secret prisons. Survivors recall disturbing stories laden with gruesome interrogation tactics for extracting false confessions. Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen attempts to portray themselves as the bearers of freedom and reason.

As an ally of the United States’ “counter-terrorism” operation in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates established 18 prisons throughout territory under their control. An ongoing investigation from the Associated Press has so far identified instances of deranged sexual torture at five of these facilities. The Emirati headquarters in Yemen houses one of such facilities where witnesses have seen American soldiers.

The United States provides the United Arab Emirates with billions in weapons, and military equipment through the Saudi-led coalition and counter-terror operations in Yemen. Washington also has ground troops in Yemen assisting and training Emirati forces.

Americans use Emiratis as gloves to do their dirty work,” at a prison in Mukallah told the Associated Press.

Two additional prison security officials said Americans were at all locations.

Witnesses say Emirati soldiers, mercenaries, and paid Blackwater mercenaries frequently raped detainees while others filmed the act. Other sexual torture includes electrocuting or hanging rocks from detainees’ testicles and sodomy with wooden or steel poles. The goal is to extract confessions.

They strip you naked, then tie your hands to a steel pole from the right and the left so you are spread open in front of them. Then the sodomizing starts,”  said one man, a father of four.

Survivors told reporters about a mass torture event on March 10 at the Beir Ahmed prison in UAE-occupied Aden. Soldiers pulled hundreds of prisoners out of their cells, ordered them to disrobe, and searched their anal cavity looking for cell phones or contraband. One witness proclaimed, “Do you believe this! How could anyone hide a phone in there?” If anyone did not follow through with orders, soldiers threatened them with vicious dogs.

The detainee who drew the photos in the Tweet below spent time in at least three different prison centers.

They tortured me without even accusing me of anything. Sometimes I wish they would give me a charge so I can confess and end this pain,” he said. “The worst thing about it is that I wish for death every day and I can’t find it,” he said.

Unbelievable Hypocrisy

The Saudi-led coalition includes about 34 different countries from around the world. Many people don’t realize the scope of the war against Yemen. Even nations that tend to stay out of other major conflicts like Morocco, Sudan, Eritrea, and Croatia provide the Saudi coalition with military or logistic support.

The United States, United Kingdom, France, and Canada provide the bulk of the Saudi-coalition’s military support.

Considering that the available evidence linking Iran to Yemen’s resistance, Ansarullah (the “Houthis”), remains inconclusive, this is clearly a world war against Yemenis. Saudi Arabia launched this war in March of 2015 to reinstate their puppet government of Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi who had already resigned from protests.

Throughout the course of this war, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States have championed themselves as “liberators.” If anyone was fooled into believing a ragtag gang of head choppers and child killers were the “good guys” in this scenario, these torture prisons filled with rape should help change that perception.

Also throughout the course of this war, the Saudi coalition has peddled nonstop — and in most cases false — anti-Ansarullah (Houthi) propaganda about detaining journalists and activists. Of course, the stories about Ansarullah granting amnesty to political prisoners don’t fit the official Saudi narrative so they tend to not make headlines.

This story about rape at the secret prisons broke just as the United Arab Emirates launched their operation to take Hodeidah port from Ansarullah (indigenous Yemeni) forces. France sent special forces to assist the Saudi-UAE coalition. At this point, despite all the military might in the world behind them, coalition efforts to occupy Hodeidah remain unsuccessful.

The Saudi coalition that Ansarullah uses Hodeidah port to import Iranian weapons and military equipment under the front of aid. However, all ships entering the port must first dock at Djibouti or a neighboring port for inspection from the coalition themselves.

Experts say anywhere from 250,000 to 600,000 could die in operation “Golden Victory” to take Hodeidah port. Rough estimates put the casualty toll in Yemen at over 36,000 between killed and injured. Tens of thousands more have died from the Saudi-imposed and U.S.-enforced blockade which restricts land, sea, and air imports exports and the flow of movement.

The blockade has put between 18 and 22 million on the brink of famine and triggered a cholera epidemic completely unprecedented in modern times.

Top Photo | A convoy of UAE military vehicles and personnel travels from Al Hamra Military Base to Zayed Military City, marking the return of the first batch of UAE Armed Forces military personnel from Yemen, in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. (WAM via AP)

Randi Nord is a journalist and co-founder of Geopolitics Alert. She covers U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East with a special focus on Yemen.


Geopolitcs Alert is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 International License.



South Front


Houthis Launch Salvo Of Ballistic Missiles At Saudi Capital

On June 24, the Yemeni Missiles Force [loyal to the Houthis] announced that it had launched a salvo of Burkan-2H ballistic missiles at the information center of the Defense Ministry of Saudi Arabia and other military positions in the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

The Burkan-2H is a is a mobile short-range ballistic missile with a range of over 800km. According to experts, the missile is a member of the Soviet Scud family, and shares design features with the Iranian Qiam-1 missile. The Houthis unveiled the Burkan-2H for the first time on July 22 of 2017 when it was launched at Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, the UAE-based al-Arabiya TV reported that the Royal Saudi Air Defense Force (RSAF) intercepted a ballistic missile with its Patriot surface-to-air missile systems over Riyadh. Saudi activities released videos confirming the interception of at least one missile.

This missile strike is likely a response to the recent attacks of the Saudi-led coalition and its Yemeni proxies on the city of al-Hudaydah in western Yemen. Since the beginning of June, the coalition launched two attacks and failed to capture the city.

Usually, the Saudi-led coalition responds to such missile strikes by carrying out a series of airstrikes on the northern Yemeni province of Saada, the heartland of the Houthis.

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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.



Ansarullah Revolutionaries Still Controlling Al-Hudaydah Airport

Ansarullah Revolutionaries Still Controlling Al-Hudaydah Airport
Local Editor

Yemeni officials affirmed Thursday that the airport in the strategic port city of Al-Hudaydah is still under the control of the Ansarullah revolutionaries.
They further rejected reports that the facility had fallen to the hands of Saudi-backed forces.
Yemen’s army spokesman Brigadier General Sharaf Luqman dismissed claims that the invaders had gained ground in Al-Hudaydah as he showed photos of enemy armored vehicles blown up in the city.
He also hailed the Yemeni fighters’ achievements in the country’s western coast as a “miracle.”
The Yemeni fighters, Luqman said, have been fighting against Daesh [Arabic Acronym for the terrorist “ISIS/”ISiL”]and al-Qaeda terrorists in Al-Hudaydah’s al-Durayhimi district, and have surrounded all Saudi-backed forces and mercenaries in the al-Jah neighborhood.
“The mercenaries have two choices, either to surrender or die,” he pointed out.

Saudi-backed Yemeni forces, loyal to ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, claim that they have seized the Al-Hudaydah airport from the Houthi fighters.

Ansarullah spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam stressed that the aggressors had been defeated in Yemen’s western coast despite possessing numerous weapons and enjoying financial and media support.
He further described the invaders’ battle as “a mass suicide,” saying the offensive is aimed at killing Yemenis and end their sovereignty.
The Yemeni people will not give in to any pressure, Abdulsalam said, emphasizing that Ansarullah revolutionaries had foiled the enemies’ “foolish” plots with a swift attack.
Separately, Mohammad Al-Bukhaiti, a top figure in the Ansarullah Supreme Political Council, released a video from Al-Hudaydah airport that purportedly showed claims of the Saudi-backed forces’ presence there were false.
The enemies have suffered heavy blows and been forced to retreat eight kilometers off the airport, he added.
In the al-Duraihimi district, Bukhaiti said, 20 armored vehicles belonging to the Saudi-backed forces had been destroyed and 10 more seized. Yemeni drones had also destroyed six armored vehicles.
Al-Hudaydah airport lies just eight kilometers from the city’s port, through which three-quarters of Yemen’s imports pass, providing a lifeline for millions of people.
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team
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US Remains Complicit in ‘Ghastly’ Sexual Torture at Secret Prisons in Yemen


Last June, an Associated Press investigation revealed that US armed forces were involved in torturing detainees held in secret United Arab Emirates-run prisons in Yemen. Now, it’s been corroborated and confirmed by a leading human rights organization.

Kathy Kelly, co-coordinator of Voices for Creative Non-Violence, told Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Wednesday that the secret torture prisons in Yemen, as well as the Saudi-led offensive to seize the Yemeni port of al-Hudaydah from the rebel Houthi movement, should be condemned by the US. Instead, the US is playing a role in the torturing of people by being complicit.

​”Amnesty International corroborated a report with AP that came out in June 2017 and in that report, they talked about ghastly punishments being used against detainees in Yemen. It doesn’t come as a surprise, but it’s a terrible disappointment in terms of basic beliefs and that the human spirit could perform such sexually abusing torture,” Kelly told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker.

Human Rights Watch described the expose in a 2017 report. “The details are grotesque: prisoners in these centers were ‘crammed into shipping containers smeared with feces and blindfolded for weeks,’ beaten, and trussed up on a ‘grill’ — a spit like a roast to which the victim is tied and spun in a circle of fire.” The report also noted that detainees “were also sexually assaulted, among other forms of abuse.”

The investigation found 18 “clandestine lockups” in southern Yemen operated by the UAE or Yemeni security forces following an extensive investigation that included talking to former prisoners, the families of people in detention, attorneys and Yemeni defense officials.

The torture practices go way beyond waterboarding. “Grilling” involves tying individuals to skewers and twirling them over fires, according to the report. Detainees are shuttled to black sites located within airports, military outposts and even inside nightclubs. The Yemen probe may reveal only part of the secret operations. Select detainees have also been sent to an Emirati base in Eritrea, Yemen Interior Minister Hussein Arab said last year. 

In addition, on March 10, 2018, seven eyewitnesses told AP that they saw 15 detainees at the Beir Ahmed prison in the southern city of Aden being ordered to undress and lie down by officers. The detainees’ anal cavities were then searched.

The Emiratis have rejected the notion that the black sites actually exist. “There are no secret detention centers,” the UAE government said in response to the AP report last June, adding, “no torture is done during interrogation.”

The Pentagon also denied any involvement in human rights violations. “We always adhere to the highest standards of personal and professional conduct,” Pentagon spokesperson Dana White said at the time. “We would not turn a blind eye [to torture practices].”

However, US defense officials confirmed that US forces were involved in the interrogation of detainees captured in Yemen last year, but denied having knowledge about potential humans rights abuses. The Americans would feed the Emiratis questions, then the Emiratis would provide video files or electronic transcripts of the questioning sessions, according to Yemeni Brig. Gen. Farag al-Bahsani.

“It would be a stretch to believe the US did not know or could not have known that there was a real risk of torture,” Amnesty International’s Lynn Maalouf said in June 2017.

“It certainly is a gruesome experience,” Kelly told Radio Sputnik.

“Even the US Congress put through a measure that was approved, which says that the US will not provide weapons to the Saudis and Emiratis until this issue had been investigated. But, I don’t believe the Senate put through a comparison mandate. So, it will have to be the public which rises up to say that this type of behavior is unacceptable,” Kelly noted, referring to a May 2018 measure by California Democratic Reps. Ro Khanna and Barbara Lee requiring that the US Department of Defense investigate whether US allies in Yemen played a role in torturing detainees.

Yemen has been engulfed in an armed conflict between the government, headed by Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and the Houthi movement in the north of the country, since 2015. A Saudi-led coalition, composed mostly of Arab nations, has been carrying out airstrikes against the Houthis upon Hadi’s request since March 2015. The US has supported the Saudis by refueling Saudi and UAE aircraft and by providing aerial targeting assistance and intelligence sharing services, Sputnik reported.

“We must also acknowledge that in Yemen, alone, 8 million people are on the brink of starvation and the US has not effectively stopped the attack on the port of Hudaydah. This is something that ought to be condemned,” Kelly added.

Last week, Yemen, backed by the Saudi-led coalition, launched an offensive to seize al-Hudaydah from the rebel Houthi movement after the latter failed to respond to the government’s offer to withdraw from the port city. Various international organizations and rights groups have called on the warring Yemeni parties to exercise restraint amid increasing hostilities in the city.

“We stand with our UN partners to call on all parties to the conflict to protect the port and allow its uninterrupted functioning. We also call on all parties to protect health workers and their facilities from harm, as well as to ensure unimpeded access for medical teams seeking to treat the wounded,” World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said last weekend.

The Director General of WHO stressed that the port of al-Hudaydah was the essential lifeline for the country, through which up to 70 percent of food and basic medicines pass.

“With the intensification of fighting around Hudaydah, I am deeply concerned about the impact it will have on the lives, health and welfare of the 1.6 million people living in the city and its environs, and on the people of Yemen more broadly,” the WHO chief added.

israel Lost in Syria, But It’s Ready With Another War Crime: Yemen


Ryan Forst

“Iran is too formidable a foe to move against just yet and especially after the humiliating defeat in Syria.”

For those of you unfamiliar with the Greater Israel project (Oded-Yinon plan), it aims to extend Israel’s borders from Egypt to Iran. How? By waging war? No, it is far more insidious.

Take a look at the last 25 years and the wars that the USA has fought to “bring democracy” or “regime change”, and a simple pattern emerges.

The ruling party, if against Israel, is making progress in a country free from the influence of Jewish central banks. Israel convinces the US and it’s gullible allies that this prospering country is ruled by an evil government hell-bent on manufacturing chemical or nuclear weapons etc. Sanctions follow, after which the government of the targeted country agrees to destroy its defensive capabilities based on assurances that sanctions will be lifted and the government will be treated fairly.

You can see where this is going… once the weapons are destroyed, Israel convinces its allies using Jewish owned media in the West, that the regime that trusted them is cruel and needs to be changed on “humanitarian grounds”, thus an internal civil war is sparked or a false flag is staged attacking the US or its allies, orchestrated by Israel and blamed as the scapegoat of the day.

Does this sound unbelievable? Let’s take a look at the regimes that have been changed under this pretext, Egypt, Libya, Iraq. 

All of them had a few things in common: the means to defend themselves against Israel, freedom from Jewish-owned banking, and stable governments making progress in their countries.

All of them were disarmed with promises of support, after which they were overthrown by instigating and funding civil war, and where civil war was impossible, simply attacked.

Those who trusted the US and its allies were deposed and sometimes executed in public (e.g. Moammar Gaddafi, who was making Libya an advanced state with free healthcare, education and warned of the current “refugee crisis” if Libya was destabilized).

Once the government was disarmed and then deposed and it’s leaders executed, a Jewish controlled central bank was quickly established and the gold reserves flown out of them. Case in point, the Ukrainian civil war: the moment they got control of part of Ukraine that Russia did not reclaim, they established a central bank and flew out the gold reserves under cover of darkness (a quick google search will verify this).

Now, if you look at the map of the Middle East you see the influence and borders of Israel growing, always following this same plan, Syria was the next target, demonize Assad, instigate civil war, frame it as a “humanitarian emergency” and fund the breakup of a stable country to strengthen Israel.

BUT! never do it directly but through funding and arming “freedom fighters” and making your allies defend “the poor children” etc etc. 

Russia finally stepped in after seeing the debacle and brazen stupidity and repeat of the Iraq, Egypt strategy in Libya. With president Trump reluctant to fight Israeli wars, finally Israel had to (gasp!) come to the forefront and attack Syria under the guise of attacking Iran. At the time of writing this article Israel has bombed Syria 100+ times just in 2017. Next up is Iran.

But their insidious warfare plans have been thwarted by a smart Russia. Itself having suffered under Jewish torture and extermination of some 50 million Christians by the Bolsheviks in the Holodomor.

Now Israel is seething and planning all kinds of false flags to get the US and the UK and France to be good little lapdogs and save the “poor Syrians” while quietly exporting most of the internal Syrian terrorists to Sweden and Europe.

But wait! there’s more! Just because Israel lost Syria doesn’t mean they’ll back off. Israelis and Jews are not that simple.

Israel has been funding a proxy war in Yemen as well. The typical Israeli strategy is straight out of the Communist Manifesto, constant war, forever, fought by others. 

So now in Yemen they have an image issue. The Yemeni government is fully under Israeli control and the “rebels” are the nationalists trying to take their nation back. In Syria, Israel argued that the rebels were good people totally not financed by Israel, the US and Mossad-Pentagon. The Syria debacle ended up costing the US about $1 trillion.

No problem, says the think tank in Tel Aviv. We’ll just frame the Houthi rebel’s as “terrorists” and the Yemen government as under siege. No one will notice this flip-flop. Don’t believe it? Just go to google and type Yemen and see how they have framed this conflict.

And, notice another thing, Israel is not in the picture, it’s making Saudi Arabia fight this war.

If you want to see where the next flashpoint is, after Syria, look to Yemen. Iran is too formidable a foe to move against just yet and especially after the humiliating defeat in Syria.

A million more words could be written about this, but this is just a primer to make you realize how Israel sets up its own empire not directly but by attacking its friends, blaming the attack on the countries Israel wants to destroy, making their friends fight Israeli wars and then helping things by instigating civil war inside these nations.

Once you understand this simple formula, the next time you see a headline shrieking about “humanitarian crisis in anti-Israel-land” you will know exactly what is going on, who is funding it and most importantly, the question that answers all…cui bono? 


South Front

 Written by Ahmed Abdulkareem; Originally appeared on Mint Press

Yemen’s Navy, loyal to the Houthi government, captured a French naval vessel, the M/Y Jehol ll, off of the coast of Hodeidah on Saturday, according to statements made by senior military officials to MintPress News. The vessel, which was carrying foreign fighters, was engaged in a military landing operation near the port, according to Houthi officials, who gave no further details.

Mohammed al-Houthi, leader of the Houthi movement, tweeted:

“Thanks to the Yemeni Coast Guard in Hodeida, a French or American boat was seized.”

He confirmed in a later tweet that a French naval vessel named the M/Y Jehol ll was captured by Yemen’s Coast Guard near Hodeidah.

محمد علي الحوثي@Moh_Alhouthi

شكرا رجال خفر السواحل اليمنية بالحديدة
تم القبض على زورق فرنسي او أمريكي المهم اجنبي
بفضل الله

محمد علي الحوثي@Moh_Alhouthi

العملية التي قام بها خفر السواحل اليمنية بالحديدة
وتم القبض فيها على الزورق الاجنبي
بفضل الله
كان يحمل اسم (M/Y_jehol_ll)

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam accused France and Britain of being involved in the recent attack on Hodeidah. Abdulsalam told a local television station on Saturday that

“British and French warships are on standby on Yemen’s western coast to launch missile and aerial attacks.”

The French newspaper Le Figaro confirmed that France’s Special Forces are present on the ground in Yemen supporting the ongoing Saudi-led military campaign on Hodeidah. A French military source later confirmed to Reuters that French special forces are operating in Yemen.

On Friday, the French defense ministry said France was studying the possibility of carrying out a mine-sweeping operation to provide access to Hodeidah once Saudi Arabia and the UAE wrap up their military operations

A Houthi military source said in a statement to MintPress that Yemeni forces would target French, or any other foreign military vessel participating in the attack on Hodeidah, adding that

“Yemen’s forces can handle any challenge posed by invading forces.”

Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, is visiting Sana’a to attempt to negotiate a Houthi transfer of the port of Hodeidah to the Saudi-UAE Coalition, a high-ranking government official told MintPress.

Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abdulsalam noted,

“the UN envoy’s measures are only meant to cover up the continuation of the Saudi-led war on Yemen.”

Abdulsalam, who has served as the lead negotiator to Kuwait and Geneva over the past two years, stressed that if Griffiths follows his predecessor’s lead, he would fail to find a settlement to the conflict. UN envoys to Yemen have been criticized for having a heavily pro-Saudi bias. In 2017, then-UN Envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, tried to convince the Houthis to cede control of Hodeidah, their only source of imported goods – including food — in exchange for paid salaries.

Despite warnings over the potentially devastating humanitarian consequences, the Saudi-led coalition is trying to capture the port city in what is shaping up to be the biggest battle of the now-three-year-old war, causing an acute shortage of vital supplies and putting millions of Yemenis at risk.

On Saturday, World Food Programme (WFP) director for Yemen, Stephen Anderson, called for a free food flow of goods through the port city, saying “the basic needs of Hodeidah’s civilians are not being satisfied.”

Approximately 500 households have been displaced from their homes in Hodeidahsince June 1, according to the UN, and at least 36 displaced families have lost their livelihoods as their farms were damaged in airstrikes by Saudi-led coalition earlier this month.

Top Photo | A Houthi fighter walks through the Red Sea port of Hodeidah on May 10, 2017. Abdul Jabbar Zeyad | Reuters

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

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