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Yemen’s dangerous war

Yemen has been engulfed in civil, and regional, war since September 2014; in the West it is often called a hidden or forgotten war, being so far from the minds of the major powers and media. The war has led to a severe humanitarian crisis, with the biggest ever cholera epidemic (nearly a million suspected cases since March 2017 according to the Red Cross) and a famine that threatens 70% of Yemen’s 30 million people.

All this seems barely to touch our consciences. The heavy human toll — now higher than the 10,000 victims, half of them thought to be civilians, estimated by the UN in January 2017 — has failed to put enough pressure on the belligerents to halt the fighting, in a war driven by regional actors (1). The coalition led by Saudi Arabia, supported by often Salafist local militias, militants from Yemen’s Southern Movement and supporters of President Abdu Rabu Mansur Hadi (who is recognised by most foreign governments), is fighting an alliance of Houthi rebels and supporters of Hadi’s predecessor, Ali Abdullah Saleh. Since hostilities began (see Yemen timeline), neither side has respected international conventions, civilian life, infrastructure or historical heritage; and both sides have prevented journalists and humanitarian organisations from working in the country.

https://mondediplo.com/2017/12/02yemen

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Posted by on December 1, 2017 in Middle East

 

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In a Devastated Country, One City Is Thriving

“Cholera? No, cholera isn’t the worst problem here,” says the hospital director. The fatal epidemic spreading across Yemen in the last eight months, which has infected around 800,000 people and claimed over 2,000 lives, “is only the third or fourth most common cause of death here in Marib,” says Dr. Mohammed al-Qubati. “Most deaths are caused by landmines.”

Marib’s desert valley, located 172 kilometers (107 miles) east of the capital Sanaa, served for months as the frontline of some of the civil war’s fiercest fighting. Starting in 2015, the attacking Houthi militants began laying tens of thousands of land mines on roads, in fields and in gardens. Today, the front line runs 35 to 100 kilometers outside the town. But the mines are still there, still killing soldiers and civilians alike. “We only have 120 beds,” says the doctor. “They’re always occupied. Go and see for yourself, second floor!”

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-city-of-marib-is-flourishing-while-yemen-falls-apart-a-1177800.html

 
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Posted by on November 23, 2017 in Middle East

 

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I’m all for war crimes trials in The Hague – so long as we agree to prosecute every possible war criminal

I like the idea of war crimes trials. Make an example of the monsters, is what I say. “Collar the lot,” as Churchill demanded in a somewhat different context. And if Nuremberg was victors’ justice, I’d prefer the imperfect trials they did hold than the version we would have got if Hitler had won and Roland Freisler, State Secretary of the Reich Ministry of Justice, was still running the Nazi People’s Court.

Right now, it’s becoming quite the thing to demand war crimes indictments all over the place. In the past week, we’ve had TRIAL International demanding that the Swiss judicial authorities act against Rifaat al-Assad for massacres at Palmyra prison in 1980 and at Hama in 1982. Rifaat is the brother of the late Hafez and uncle of Bashar, against whom Amnesty and the UN Commission on Syria would also like to level war crimes charges (according to Carla del Ponte, at least). And now the UN Security Council has unanimously adopted a resolution to collect evidence against Isis for “acts that may amount to genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity”.

https://www.independent.co.uk/voices/war-crimes-the-hague-isis-iran-bashar-al-assad-syria-rifaat-criminals-saddam-hussein-a7971666.html

 
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Posted by on September 29, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Yemen, a nation destroyed by bin Salman’s aggression

Mohammed bin Salman’s rise to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince may have a devastating impact on Yemen, as the war he masterminded drags on, analysts say.As deputy crown prince, bin Salman was responsible for leading Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen, which has descended into total collapse as Yemenis suffer destruction of basic services, famine and a deadly outbreak of cholera.

Source: ANALYSIS: Yemen, a nation destroyed by bin Salman’s aggression | Middle East Eye

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Will Donald Trump Escalate the Devastating War—and Worsen the Resulting Food Shortage—in Yemen?

This week marks the beginning of year three of the Saudi-led military intervention in the civil war in Yemen, an intervention that has resulted in an epic tragedy of destruction and starvation. Tens of thousands of Yemenis marked the occasion by pouring into the streets of the capital, Sanna, to call for an end to the Saudi airstrikes that have been supported by the United States military. But instead of pushing to jump-start stalemated negotiations to end the conflict, the Trump administration seems anxious to get more deeply involved in the war by supporting an attack on the key port of Hodeidah and resuming halted weapons sales.

https://www.truthdig.com/report/item/will_donald_trump_escalate_the_devastating_war_and_hunger_in_yemen_20170327

 
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Posted by on March 28, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

By Amy Goodman and Denis MoynihanDemocracy NowThe world is facing the most serious humanitarian catastrophe since the end of World War II. Twenty million people are at risk of starving to death in Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria and South Sudan.

Source: Amy Goodman and Denis Moynihan: Facing Famine, 20 Million People Need Food, Not Bombs

 
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Posted by on March 21, 2017 in Africa, Middle East

 

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EXCLUSIVE: Pakistan sends combat troops to southern Saudi border 

The Pakistan army is sending a brigade of combat troops to shore up Saudi Arabia’s vulnerable southern border from reprisal attacks mounted by the Houthis in Yemen, according to senior security sources.

The brigade will be based in the south of the Kingdom, but will only be deployed inside its border, the sources told Middle East Eye. “It will not be used beyond Saudi borders,” one said.

It is the latest twist in a brutal and devastating two-year war, which has killed more than 10,000 people in Yemen, injured over 40,000 and brought the impoverished nation to the verge of famine.

http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-pakistan-sends-combat-troops-saudi-southern-border-248886071

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2017 in Asia, Middle East

 

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Yemen is a complicated and unwinnable war. Donald Trump should stay out of it

The Trump administration is making its first radical policy change in the Middle East by escalating American involvement in the civil war in Yemen. Wrecked by years of conflict, the unfortunate country will supposedly be the place where the US will start to confront and roll back Iranian influence in the region as a whole.

To this end, the US is to increase military support for Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and local Yemeni allies in a bid to overthrow the Houthis – a militarised Shia movement strong in northern Yemen – fighting alongside much of the Yemeni army, which remains loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/yemen-war-donald-trump-us-military-iran-middle-east-isis-counter-terror-operation-william-owens-seal-a7622471.html?amp

 
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Posted by on March 15, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Les civils paient au prix fort la guerre yéménite 

Le conflit yéménite va entrer à la fin du mois de mars dans sa troisième année. Alors que le pays était déjà considéré comme le plus pauvre de la péninsule Arabique avant d’être ravagé par la guerre, la situation humanitaire est aujourd’hui alarmante. Un rapport d’experts onusiens rendu public fin février confirme que le Yémen est aux portes de la famine. L’ONU considère que 1,7 milliard de dollars seraient nécessaires pour contrer ce fléau, tout en soulignant que « la réponse humanitaire ne sera pas suffisante ».

L’approvisionnement est rendu de plus en plus difficile par l’extension des combats dans les zones portuaires, comme à Hodeidah par lequel transitent 70 % des denrées alimentaires. Les rebelles houthis, alliés à l’ex-président Ali Abdallah Saleh, s’opposent aux troupes loyalistes soutenus par la coalition arabe, notamment le long des côtes de la mer rouge. Près de 50 000 personnes ont déjà été déplacées à la suite de ces combats, selon l’ONU.

https://www.lorientlejour.com/article/1038841/les-civils-paient-au-prix-fort-la-guerre-yemenite.html

 
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Posted by on March 12, 2017 in Middle East

 

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Women and Children in Yemeni Village Recall Horror of Trump’s “Highly Successful” SEAL Raid

On January 29, 5-year-old Sinan al Ameri was asleep with his mother, his aunt, and 12 other children in a one-room stone hut typical of poor rural villages in the highlands of Yemen. A little after 1 a.m., the women and children awoke to the sound of a gunfight erupting a few hundred feet away. Roughly 30 members of Navy SEAL Team 6 were storming the eastern hillside of the remote settlement.According to residents of the village of al Ghayil, in Yemen’s al Bayda province, the first to die in the assault was 13-year-old Nasser al Dhahab. The house of his uncle, Sheikh Abdulraouf al Dhahab, and the building behind it, the home of 65-year-old Abdallah al Ameri and his son Mohammed al Ameri, 38, appeared to be the targets of the U.S. forces, who called in air support as they were pinned down in a nearly hourlong firefight.With the SEALs taking heavy fire on the lower slopes, attack helicopters swept over the hillside hamlet above. In what seemed to be blind panic, the gunships bombarded the entire village, striking more than a dozen buildings, razing stone dwellings where families slept, and wiping out more than 120 goats, sheep, and donkeys.Three projectiles tore through the straw and timber roof of the home where Sinan slept. Cowering in a corner, Sinan’s mother, 30-year-old Fatim Saleh Mohsen, decided to flee the bombardment. Grabbing her 18-month-old son and ushering her terrified children into the narrow outdoor passageway between the tightly packed dwellings, she headed into the open. Over a week later, Sinan’s aunt Nadr al Ameri wept as she stood in the same room and recalled watching her sister run out the door into the darkness.

Source: Women and Children in Yemeni Village Recall Horror of Trump’s “Highly Successful” SEAL Raid

 
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Posted by on March 10, 2017 in Middle East

 

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