Mohammed Bin Salman Is Making Muslims Boycott Mecca

By Ahmed Twaij, Foreign Policy

Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has attempted to cast Saudi Arabia in a more positive light and mask the country’s more aggressive internal and foreign policies by undertaking so-called liberal reforms. But it has not been enough to silence those who continue to draw attention to his government’s human rights abuses.

The rising death toll of civilians killed by Saudi bombs in Yemen, the horrific slaughter of Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, and Riyadh’s aggressive approach to Iran have led some of Saudi Arabia’s Sunni allies to reconsider their unwavering support for the kingdom.

In late April, Libya’s most prominent Muslim Sunni cleric, Grand Mufti Sadiq al-Ghariani, called for all Muslims to boycott the hajj – the obligatory pilgrimage of Muslims to Mecca.

He went so far as to claim that anyone who embarked on a second pilgrimage was conducting “an act of sin rather than a good deed.” The reasoning behind the boycott is the suggestion that boosting Saudi Arabia’s economy through pilgrimage continues to fuel arms purchases and direct attacks on Yemen – and indirectly Syria, Libya, Tunisia, Sudan, and Algeria. Ghariani added that investment in the hajj would “help Saudi rulers to carry out crimes against our fellow Muslims.”

Ghariani is not the first prominent Muslim scholar to support a ban on the hajj. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, also a Sunni cleric and vocal critic of Saudi Arabia, announced a fatwa in August last year banning the pilgrimage, instead stating, “Seeing Muslims feeding the hungry, treating the sick, and sheltering the homeless are better viewed by Allah than spending money on the hajj.”

Saudi Arabia’s influence is not merely linked to its political and military capacity but also to its historical ties to Islam. As the home of both Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites and the location of the Kaaba and burial place of Prophet Muhammad respectively, Saudi Arabia’s influence extends far beyond its Arab neighbors but to the Muslim world in general. More than 2.3 million Muslims from all sects flock to Mecca during the annual hajj pilgrimage and many more throughout the year, making visiting Saudi Arabia an aspiration for many Muslims around the world.

This relationship with Islam has instinctively led many from the Sunni Arab world to look to the kingdom for daily guidance on religious issues. In response to Iran’s 1979 Islamic Revolution and fear of it cascading throughout the region, Saudi Arabia has spent millions of dollars exporting its brand of Islam through the funding of mosques around the world, many of which have been linked to … extremism in the West, as it claims to be leader of the Muslim world.

For years, Saudi Arabia has been working toward becoming a regional hegemon in the Middle East, whose claim to power, in recent years, is threatened only by Iran. As one of the world’s largest oil exporters with close ties to the United States, Saudi Arabia found itself basking in the steadfast support of many of its neighboring states for decades.

Despite mounting evidence of the royal family’s role in the “premeditated execution” of Khashoggi, the Trump administration hastily discredited any indication of Saudi involvement in the killing, with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo recently neglecting to mention the topic when meeting with Saudi King Salman. The White House and US State Department might be willing to turn a blind eye, but fellow Muslims have not been as forgiving.

Throughout the Middle East and in other Muslim-majority nations, there has been growing concern over the slaying of Khashoggi, as well as the rising death toll in Yemen, which is expected to reach 230,000 by 2020 through the often indiscriminate airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition –which has bombed hospitals, funerals, children’s school buses, and weddings – in what has been described as the “worst man-made humanitarian crisis of our time” by UN officials. Saudi Arabia’s truculent approach to the Yemen war has isolated itself within its own coalition; even the Emirati government has shown some discomfort toward the Saudi approach.

Saudi Arabia’s atrocities have provoked persistent global condemnation, with calls for banning weapons trade with the country. Both the US House of Representatives and Senate have recently pushed back on President Donald Trump’s arms deal with Saudi Arabia, and Germany has banned such trade with the country since last October. Adding to the list, Switzerland and Italy have also moved toward banning arms trade with Saudi Arabia, and a British court recently ruled that arms deals with Saudi Arabia may have been unlawful. Ghariani has gone one step further in calling for a boycott of the country from its largest annual contingent of tourists during the hajj.

Unlike past attempts to boycott Saudi Arabia, the current effort has crossed the sectarian divide.

In 2011, Riyadh violently repressed Bahrain’s popular uprising at the request of the Bahraini government. The protests were led by Shiite Muslims, who are a majority in the Sunni-ruled country, and Iraqi activists reacted by calling for a boycott of all Saudi products. Protests across Iraq were organized and attended by Shiite clerics, academics, and politicians alike. At the time, then-Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that if the Saudi-led violence were to continue, “the region may be drawn into a sectarian war.”

Today, calls for boycotting the kingdom have spiraled and they aren’t just coming from Shiites. The hashtag #boycotthajj has been trending on Twitter, amassing nearly 16,000 tweets. Sunni clerics around the world have also called for a boycott. The Tunisian Union of Imams said in June that

“the money [from the hajj] that goes to Saudi authorities is not used to help poor Muslims around the world. Instead it is used to kill and displace people as is the case currently in Yemen.”

Given that the hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, prescribed as obligatory for all Muslims, the call for a boycott indicates the genuine, acerbic concern toward Saudi behavior. Should this trend continue, Saudi Arabia’s claim to being the spiritual home of Islam would be at risk – and it could take an economic hit, too.

Pilgrimage is vital to the Saudi economy and worth $12 billion annually, amounting to 20 percent of non-oil GDP, and is expected to rise to $150 billion by 2022, given the investment in luxury hotels by the Saudi government. Such investment has caused profits to skyrocket, pricing many poorer Muslims out of trips to the kingdom.

The calls for boycotting the hajj are not the first time the religious pilgrimage has been politicized. Saudi Arabia itself has in recent years banned both Qatari and Iranian nationals from partaking due to growing political differences between the states. Saudi officials have also abused the sanctity of the city of Mecca to promote their political ideology.

During one prayer sermon in October last year, Sheikh Abdul-Rahman al-Sudais, the imam of the Great Mosque in Mecca, stated:

“The path of reform and modernization in this blessed land … through the care and attention from its young, ambitious, divinely inspired reformer crown prince, continues to blaze forward guided by his vision of innovation and insightful modernism, despite all the failed pressures and threats,”

implying that no Muslim should be questioning the Saudi political elite.

In an effort to flex its political might, and inevitably draw attention away from the Khashoggi killing and the country’s continued leading role in the war in Yemen, Saudi Arabia organized an emergency summit in late May in Mecca to put the focus back on Iran. During the summit, which brought together in separate meetings Arab leaders, the Gulf Cooperation Council, and the Islamic world, Saudis called for support from Arab countries to deal with the Iran crisis by “using all means to stop the Iranian regime from interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, harboring global and regional terrorist entities, and threatening international waterways.”

In defiance, and highlighting Saudi Arabia’s waning status as the regional power, Iraq fully opposed the closing statement, which was to denounce Iran, and instead pledged a message of support toward Iran and called on other countries to help stabilize the country. At the summit in Mecca, Iraqi President Barham Salih stated: “Honestly, the security and stability of a neighboring Islamic country is in the interest of Muslim and Arab states,” referring to Iran. Similarly, during the summit, Saudi Arabia failed in getting the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – an international organization with headquarters in Jeddah – to isolate and condemn Iran.

As the death toll in Yemen rises, countries around the world are now calling for an economic, religious, and political boycott of Saudi Arabia – not just the banning of arms trade. Riyadh is running out of friends in the West, and, now, its relationships with regional allies are starting to show cracks. Should the Trump administration fail to secure a second term, Saudi Arabia may be left with few international friends and its claim to leadership of the Muslim and Arab world will be severely damaged.


Yemen’s Armed Forces Put New Missile System in Service, Set Bank of Strategic Targets

By Staff, Al-Masirah

Spokesman of Yemen’s Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, stated that a new missile system has been put into service by the Yemeni Army, noting that it will be announced during the opening of the exhibition of Martyr President Saleh Al-Sammad for Yemeni military industries.

“The Bank of the targets of our forces includes vital targets that may outweigh the enemy’s strategic importance in Oil facilities and pipelines,” he said at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Our forces are capable of targeting a number of targets simultaneously and with different weapons,” General Saree said. “We are monitoring mobile and non-mobile targets that can become a priority in direct and qualitative targeting.”

“You are fighting a free people that can not in any way give up their freedom and our people have offered convoys of martyrs during the battles of historic liberation,” he stressed.

Saree said that the Yemeni people will not hesitate to offer more sacrifices until Yemen becomes as it should be.


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Selling Arms to The Saudis Was Always Immoral. Now It Is Unlawful, Too


By Andrew Smith, The Guardian

For four years, the people of Yemen have endured a Saudi Arabian-led bombing campaign. Tens of thousands of people have been killed in the bombardment, with many more injured or displaced. The assault has created the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, with more than 50,000 children dying of preventable causes. A recent UN report warned that if things continue as they are then by the end of this year 250,000 people will have died as a result of the war.

This is a war that has been armed and supported every step of the way by the UK government, which has licensed over £5bn of military aircraft and bomb sales to Saudi Arabia since the war began. In a damning court of appeal verdict this morning, which followed a case brought by Campaign Against Arms Trade, the master of the rolls, Sir Terence Etherton, Lord Justice Irwin and Lord Justice Singh concluded that the export licensing decisions were “irrational and therefore unlawful”.

Successive British governments have been far more interested in arms export promotion and industry profits than in the rights and lives of Yemeni people. No matter how desperate and appalling the situation has become, the daily atrocities have done nothing to stop the drive for ever-greater arms sales.

On the fourth anniversary of the war, the foreign secretary, and Tory leadership hopeful, Jeremy Hunt, claimed it would be “morally bankrupt” to stop selling arms to the Saudi regime. That same day, Saudi-led forces bombed a hospital killing eight people. Hunt’s wording was particularly crass, but he was following the same disgraceful policies as his predecessor, and Tory rival, Boris Johnson, who in 2016 signed off on new bomb sales only two days after Saudi forces destroyed a food factory, killing 12 people.

The assault on the factory was not an isolated event. Since the war began, weddings, funerals and school bus trips have all been turned into massacres. Schools, hospitals, homes and even a refugee camp have been bombed. The EU and national arms export licensing criteria, which govern UK arms exports, are very clear in saying that if there is a “clear risk” that a weapon “might” be used in a serious breach of international humanitarian law [IHL] then an arms sale should not go ahead. Despite repeated reports from reputable sources that Saudi-led forces have been responsible for consistent and serious IHL breaches, the government continued to offer its uncritical political and military support for the war.

Many of the killings have been painstakingly documented by organizations such as Mwatana for Human Rights, a Yemeni organization that this year published an exceptionally detailed report that linked UK-made bombs to specific attacks on civilian targets. The evidence of war crimes has been overwhelming, but the government has refused to listen.

This morning’s result is unprecedented, and will have international repercussions, but it is a case that should never have needed to be brought. It should not take a legal case brought by campaigners to force the government to follow its own rules. What must happen now is an immediate revocation of all arms sales to Saudi-led forces for use in Yemen, and an end to UK support for the war in Yemen. The human cost of this war is abhorrent, and it has been made immeasurably worse by decisions made by the UK government. Saudi-led forces have carried out the bombing, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the complicity and support of arms-dealing governments such as Britain’s.

This case proves that the government’s priority is arms export promotion, not arms export control. How can a government violate its own laws and arm one of the most brutal dictatorships in the world while it inflicts a catastrophic humanitarian crisis on another state? There has always been a moral imperative to end arms sales to Saudi Arabia, now there is a legal imperative as well. The court has done its job, now it’s time for the government to do the same.

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US Senators Look to Force 22 Votes Blocking Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia

By Staff- NYT

A group of senators will try to force nearly two dozen votes rebuking the Trump administration’s decision to declare a national emergency to circumvent Congress and sell billions of dollars of munitions to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The legislation, led by Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, and Senator Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a Trump ally and once a staunch defender of the kingdom, underscores lawmakers’ fury at the administration’s support for the Saudis after the killing of the dissident Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. And it could grind business in the Senate to a crawl while allowing rare public criticism of Trump’s administration from members of his own party.

Trump circumvented Congress late last month by declaring an emergency over Iran and moving forward with arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan that had been blocked by Congress since last year, a decision that immediately drew criticism from lawmakers, who are also furious over the civilian death toll from the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen.

“We will not stand idly by and allow the president or the secretary of state to further erode congressional review and oversight of arm sales,” Menendez said in a statement. Referring to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he added: “Regrettably, Secretary Pompeo’s abuse of this emergency authority has broken the arms sales process. The best thing the secretary of state can do right now is withdraw his emergency certification, immediately submit these sales for the normal congressional review and engage with senators to address our concerns.”

The coalition of senators is hoping to leverage a provision in the Arms Export Control Act that allows lawmakers to introduce what is known as a privileged joint resolution of disapproval against a proposed sale of arms, in essence forcing a debate and a vote. Their plan is to introduce 22 such resolutions, one for each proposed arms sale. A simple majority of lawmakers would need to vote to allow the debate to proceed — and if the measures advanced, the group of senators could monopolize hours of floor time as soon as mid-June.

Winning such support from Republican lawmakers is not out of the question. Members of Congress from both parties were livid early this year when the White House missed a congressional deadline to submit a report detailing whether the administration found Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally responsible for Khashoggi’s death.

And the Senate voted 54 to 46 in March to end American military assistance for the kingdom’s war in Yemen and to curtail presidential war powers, with seven Republican senators breaking ranks to join the resolution and the Democratic conference united in support.

To actually block the arms sales, however, backers of the resolutions would almost certainly need a veto-proof majority, and whether the measures could muster that is another question.

Five other lawmakers joined Menendez in his drive, including three Republicans: Senator Todd Young of Indiana, Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky and Graham. Graham said in a statement that he expected “strong bipartisan support” for the resolutions.

“While I understand that Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, the behavior of Mohammed bin Salman cannot be ignored. Now is not the time to do business as usual with Saudi Arabia,” Graham said. “I am also very concerned about the precedent these arms sales would set by having the administration go around legitimate concerns of the Congress.”

Senator Christopher S. Murphy, Democrat of Connecticut, who first warned of the arms sales and is a sponsor of the legislation, said that “the US-Saudi relationship needs to change, and it’s clear that only Congress can make that happen.”

New outrage emerged Tuesday, when Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia, a Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, disclosed that the Energy Department had approved nuclear technology transfers to the kingdom on two occasions after Khashoggi’s killing in October in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul — including one approved two weeks after his death.

Lawmakers had repeatedly pressed cabinet officials on whether the administration had approved transfers of nuclear expertise from American companies to Saudi Arabia, but it took months for them to receive an answer.

“The alarming realization that the Trump administration signed off on sharing our nuclear know-how with the Saudi regime after it brutally murdered an American resident adds to a disturbing pattern of behavior,” Kaine said in a statement. “President Trump’s eagerness to give the Saudis anything they want, over bipartisan congressional objection, harms American national security interests.”


أنصار الله القوة الإقليمية الصاعدة

مايو 17, 2019

ناصر قنديل

قدّمت تجربة أنصار الله من الصمود والذكاء الاستراتيجي والإبداع التكتيكي ما يجعلها ظاهرة تستحق الدراسة، وها هي تتقدم إلى مصاف القوة الصانعة للسياسة والتوازنات الجديدة في منطقة الخليج، لتتقدّم كقوة إقليمية صاعدة في زمن التقهقر للقوى التقليدية في الخليج، بصورة تشبه ما صنعه حزب الله في منطقة المشرق، وبدرجة تقارب وتضاهي في إنشاء موازين ردع بوجه السعودية كما أنشأ حزب الله الموازين الرادعة بوجه «إسرائيل». وتأتي عمليات أنصار الله في التأثير على أسواق النفط العالمية لتمنحهم صفة القوة الإقليمية التي لا يمكن الحد من تأثيرها بغير التفاهمات السياسية معها، لأن إثبات القدرة كان كافياً للقول إن الذهاب إلى المواجهة مع أنصار الله، بعد الفشل في تحجيم ما أظهرته قوتهم في مواجهة حرب عالمية استهدفتهم في اليمن، إنما يعني تعريض سوق النفط العالمية لأضرار لا يحتملها العالم، دون ضمان بلوغ النتائج المرجوة بإضعاف انصار الله أو تحجيم تأثيرهم على مفاصل حساسة في سوق النفط، أظهروا إتقان التعامل معها في الزمان والمكان والإعلان وعدم الإعلان.

نمت تجربة أنصار الله في ظروف جغرافية تشبه تلك التي تعيشها غزة في ظل الحصار الإسرائيلي براً وبحراً وجواً، حيث تمسك السعودية بكل ما يحيط باليمن، وتمكّن أنصار الله رغم ذلك من بناء قدرات صاروخية متقدمة تميّزت بالتطويرات التقنية المذهلة، وتميّزوا بإتقان أشد تأثيراً وفاعلية في سلاح الطائرات المسيرة، فصارت طائراتهم بدون طيار سلاح جو حقيقياً، يعبر أجواء المنطقة ويضرب حيث يشاء مثبتاً القدرة على التملص من وسائل الدفاع الجوي والرادارات المنتشرة في اليمن والخليج، تحت إدارة الخبراء الأميركيين مباشرة، وأظهروا قدرة على التقاط اللحظة الاستراتيجية بطريقة تحاكي ما فعلته قوى ودول وحركات مقاومة متمرسة بقوانين الحرب وخوض غمارها، فدخولهم على خط القلق العالمي تجاه أسواق النفط أثناء تصاعد الاشتباك الأميركي الإيراني، واستهدافهم للمنشآت النفطية للدول المتورطة في العدوان على اليمن، جعلهم شريكاً حكمياً في أي تسوية جزئية أو كلية تطال هذا النزاع، أو تسعى لتحييده عن أسواق النفط على الأقل، وتمهيدهم لذلك ببراعة تكتيكية تمثلت بمبادرة في ميناء الحديدة قدّموها بالتنسيق مع الجهات الأممية دون التشاور مع قوى العدوان، مثل قمة المهارة في إمساك خطوط وخيوط لعبة الحرب والسلم والمناورة.

السلفة الاستراتيجية التي قدّمها أنصار الله لإيران في المواجهة، لم تتمّ على حساب وطنيتهم اليمنية التي تنزف تحت ظلم وجرائم العدوان اليومي السعودي الإماراتي المدعوم بوضوح لا لبس فيه وشراكة لا تحتمل الاشتباه لإدارة الرئيس الأميركي دونالد ترامب، فقدّموا دون إعلان استثماراً مشتركاً يجعلهم شركاء في التسويات في معادلة دولية كبرى من جهة، ويمنح الحليف الإيراني موقع قوة في التفاوض من جهة أخرى، وبذلك ترجموا فهماً عميقاً وذكياً ناضجاً لمفهوم التحالفات، يشبه ما فعله حزب الله في استثماره في حرب تموز 2006 وحربه الدفاعية عن سورية، استثمار لا يبتعد عن مقتضيات الهوية الوطنية، بل يلبي حاجاتها المباشرة، لكنه لا يتردّد في دخول المسرح الإقليمي والدولي بتعزيز مكانة الحلفاء، والتقدّم بشجاعة إلى المسرح المباشر للصراعات الكبرى، ومن خلفها المفاوضات الكبرى، التي ترسم توازنات الإقليم والعالم.

يقول أحد قادة المقاومة، لقد أدهشنا أنصار الله اليمنيون دائماً، وكوادر المقاومة الذين كانوا على احتكاك مع التجربة اليمنية يحملون آثارها في أدوارهم اللاحقة ويتخذونها مثالاً في مخاطبة المتدربين والمحيطين، ويتحدثون بانبهار وإعجاب عن ميزات كالصبر والثقة بالنصر والمثابرة والتحمّل، واليقين بأن الوقت الصعب سيمرّ، وأن زمناً ليس بعيداً سيحمل التغيير الكبير، والأهم أنهم لا يتوقفون عن إضافة الجديد والمبتكر، سواء في مجال التقنيات أو التكتيكات القتالية أو الحرب النفسية، وهم ربما يكونون مثالاً يُحتذى في مجال الانضباط والتنظيم، رغم قسوة الحرب والظروف وقلة الموارد.

أيها الحوثيون، يا أنصار الله ورجاله، أنتم فخر أمتنا، تُرفع لكم القبعة، مبارك لكم أنكم في الطليعة تصنعون معادلات جديدة لشعبكم وأمتكم، وتدركون أن صفقة القرن التي تستهدف فلسطين تسقط من باب المندب ومياه بحر عمان وخط أنابيب ينبع – الدمام، كما تسقط بالمسيرات المليونية التي تتقدّم في شرق غزة والصواريخ التي تسقط قرب تل أبيب، لأن الصفقة تحتاج قوة الحليفين في تل أبيب والرياض، وتسقط بتمريغ خرافة قوتهما بوحول مجبولة بدماء الأبطال المقاومين، وليس غريباً أنكم كنتم دائماً تتسببون بالحرج لكل عربي حر صادق مع فلسطين بحجم حضوركم السخي في الساحات تحت قصف الطيران لتهتفوا لفلسطين في كل مناسبة تخصّها، فتكونون الأوائل، وهكذا أنتم اليوم، يمنيّون يدافعون بشراسة عن اليمن، وعرب أقحاح يلتزمون فلسطين بوصلة وميثاقاً، ومقاومون في الخطوط الأمامية لمحور يتكامل فعلاً وقولاً من أقصى الشمال إلى أقصى الجنوب ومن شرق الشرق إلى حيث الغرب.

ترامب ينتظر اتصالاً إيرانياً على رقم هاتف ساخن خاص وضعه لهذا الغرض وراح ينتظر، ومستشاروه اليوم ينصحونه بالسعي للحصول على رقم هاتف يخصّ أنصار الله لضمان استقرار أسواق النفط، التي لا تجدي فيها قواته وحشوده ولا حكومات يتوزع قادتها الألقاب الفخمة، والأموال الطائلة، والأسلحة المكدّسة، لكنهم لا يملكون بعضاً يسيراً من الروح التي تملكون، فتنتصرون بأرواحكم على كل ما بين أيديهم، وقد هزمت فيهم الروح، فتثبتون أن صناعة التاريخ والحرب تبدأ، كالنصر والهزيمة، بالروح وبالروح فقط. مبارك صيامكم وقيامكم، وتتبعكم المذهل لكلمات سيد مقاومتكم السيد عبد الملك الحوثي، الذي أدهش العالم بما قدم مع شباب وكهول صنعوا أحد النماذج الفريدة للمقاومة والفكر والنصر.

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Entire Yemeni Family Martyred in Saudi Airstrike on their Home in Sana’a

By Staff, Agencies

All members of a Yemeni family were martyred as a Saudi warplane raided their home in al-Raqas neighborhood in central Sana’a.

Witnesses reported the death of a whole family, composed of six members including four children, following an airstrike by the Saudi-led coalition targeting a house in the residential neighborhood of al-Raqas.

Meanwhile, Yemeni Health Ministry announced that more than 30 people were martyred and injured as the coalition targeted residential neighborhood.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched the devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015.

According to a report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project [ACLED], the Saudi-led war has so far claimed the lives of about 56,000 Yemenis.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN has already said that a record 22.2 million Yemenis are in dire need of food, including 8.4 million threatened by severe hunger. According to the world body, Yemen is suffering from the most severe famine in more than 100 years.

New Saudi Airstrikes Claim Yemenis’ Lives in the Month of Fasting

By Staff, Agencies

Regardless that people are fasting as the month of Ramadan has not ended yet, at least six civilians, including children, were martyred and dozens of others wounded in multiple airstrikes by a Saudi-led coalition on various neighborhoods of Yemen’s capital, Sana’a.

According to Yemen’s Arabic-language al-Masirah television network, Saudi-led warplanes pounded various parts of the capital on Thursday, killing at least six civilians, four of whom were children from one family, and wounding dozens more.

Medical officials said the death toll could rise due to the intensity of the strikes and the number of those who have been seriously injured. They added that there could be other civilians, dead or wounded, under the rubble.

Most of the strikes targeted residential areas in Sana’a, the officials said.

Warplanes also struck a building of Yemen’s Ministry of Information, al-Masirah added. There were no immediate reports about possible casualties or the extent of the damage caused.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of ex-president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power.

According to a December 2018 report by the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project [ACLED], a nonprofit conflict-research organization, the Saudi-led war has claimed the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.

The war has also taken a heavy toll on the country’s infrastructure, destroying hospitals, schools, and factories. The UN said in a report in December 2018 that over 24 million Yemenis were in dire need of humanitarian aid, including 10 million suffering from extreme levels of hunger.


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Dozens of Saudi-led Mercenaries Ambushed, Killed by Yemeni Forces off Najran

May 1, 2019

Yemeni army and popular committees

Dozens of Saudi-led mercenaries were killed or injured in an airtight ambush in Al-Ajasher desert off Najran city, according to Yemeni sources.

The sources added that over 10 vehicles were destroyed by the Yemeni army and popular committees in the ambush.

Yemen has been since March 2015 under a brutal aggression by Saudi-led coalition. Tens of thousands of Yemenis have been injured and martyred in Saudi-led strikes, with the vast majority of them are civilians.

The coalition has been also imposing a blockade on the impoverished country’s ports and airports as a part of his aggression which is aimed at restoring power to fugitive former president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi.

However, the allied forces of the army and the committees have been heroically confronting the aggression with all means.

Source: Al-Manar English Website


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