Yemen

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“An Israeli Blitzkrieg” Signs Point to Imminent Israeli Military Action in Yemen

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 05/01/2021 - 4:43am in

ADEN, YEMEN —  Saudi Arabia has rung in the new year in a familiar way, with an airstrike targeting a large gathering of civilians at a wedding ceremony in Yemen. On new year’s night, at least five civilians were killed when Saudi-backed militants launched artillery rounds at a wedding ceremony in the populated al-Hawk area in the strategic port city of Hodeida.

Developments taking place across the Middle East are driving the reality home in Yemen that 2021 is unlikely to bring about an end to Saudi Arabia’s nearly six-year-long war on their country. Signs of escalation are beginning to surface gradually in the Yemeni interior and along the Red Sea in the wake of the wave of normalization between the Gulf states and Tel Aviv.

After nearly six years of war, Yemen remains home to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Millions are hungry and destitute and at least 80% of the population requires humanitarian assistance or protection. Some 13.5 million people face severe food shortages and that number could rise to 16.2 million in 2021, according to International Relief Bodies. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) raised the alarm about millions of Yemenis risking falling into worsening levels of hunger by mid-2021. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) also described the crisis in Yemen as “the world’s worst.”

The Saudi blockade on what was already one of the poorest countries on earth has entailed tight control over all aspects of life in Yemen since 2015, however, there are no indications that the Saudi blockade of Sana’a International Airport and Hodeida port will be lifted, the most important air and land ports in the country, and the cause of more Yemeni deaths than Saudi airstrikes, especially in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

An Israeli blitzkrieg

On the ground, signs of escalation are expected to intensify during 2021 as an open military confrontation between Yemen and Israel seems closer than ever in the wake of recent Israel statements, including the statement of the spokesman for the Israeli military, Brigadier General Hidai Zilberman, who revealed to a Saudi website on Saturday the intention of his forces to launch a blitzkrieg in Yemen, confirming that Israel has been monitoring the situation in Yemen and Iraq. The Yemeni people fear that they will pay the price for tensions between Iran and the United States, according to many Yemenis who spoke to MintPress.

Zilberman said in an interview with Saudi news website Elaph that the regime in Tel Aviv expects that an Iranian attack could come from Yemen and Iraq. He referred to Yemen as “Iran`s second circle after Lebanon and Syria.” The recent remarks came after a similar statement made in October by Benjamin Netanyahu. The Israeli Prime Minister claimed that Iran sought to strike Israel from Yemen using surgical missile strikes.

According to information obtained by MIntPress and confirmed by Yemeni government officials in Sana’a, arrangements, and coordination have been underway between Israel and the Gulf states to escalate the situation in Yemen and justify it as a reaction to an expected Iranian retaliation for the assassination of Iranian scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh and the commander of Iran’s Quds Force, Qassem Soleimani, who is revered as a heroic warrior across Yemen. Soleimani was assassinated on January 2020 in a U.S. airstrike at Baghdad’s international airport.

This information has been confirmed by Jalal Al-Ruwaishan, Deputy Prime Minister for Security and Defense Affairs in the Sana’a government when he told local media that Israel began moving military equipment into the region after the recent normalization with Gulf states, including countries participating in the coalition,” referring to the UAE and Bahrain. He added, “what they failed to accomplish within six years, they will not be able to accomplish in a month, even in Biden era.”

Major General Abdullah Al-Hakim, the head of Military Intelligence in Sana’a, said in a statement that the Yemeni Army based in Sana’a is “monitoring the actions and provocations [of Israel] and its planned hostile actions.” Our eyes are not oblivious to the actions of the Zionist enemy in the region,” he said, “and they must understand the seriousness of our warning that any temerity or reckless actions will have dire consequences on Tel Aviv.”

 

The threat of all-out war

A high-ranking official in the Sana’a-based Yemeni Foreign Ministry told MintPress that any Israel attacks or war against Yemen would spark an all-out war in the Middle East and that Israel would be the first to suffer, adding that Israel interests and those of its allies in the Red Sea region would become a legitimate target within the framework of the right of self-defense guaranteed by all international conventions and agreements.

Any Israeli military action in Yemen would undoubtedly lead to an escalation in the region. In the wake of the announcement of Israeli intentions, statements issued by Yemen’s leaders warned of retaliatory attacks on Israel, in the Red Sea, and anywhere else in the region. Given the tone of officials in Sana’a when speaking to MintPress and the fact that the Houthis have not shied away from following through with retaliatory missile and drone attacks on targets in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in addition to the volume of field preparations being made for an open and painful confrontation with Israel, the prospect of Houthi missiles raining down on Israel is very real.

Even to those living in areas under the total control of the Saudi-led Coalition, 2021is not likely to ferry in an end to their suffering, as wealthy Gulf monarchies live up to their storied reputations, wreaking havoc and instability, according to residents of those areas who spoke to MintPress in the wake of the violent explosions that struck recently Aden International airport and Al-Maasheeq Presidential Palace.

Yemen Aden airport

A damaged portion of the airport in the southern city of Aden after an explosion on Dec. 30, 2020, Majid Saleh | AP

Last Wednesday, a large explosion struck the airport in the southern Yemeni city of Aden, run by forces affiliated with the UAE-backed militant group, the Southern Transitional Council (STC), shortly after a plane carrying “the Yemeni government,” which had been newly formed in Ryadh, landed there. At least 25 people, including officials, were killed and 110 were wounded in the blast. Moments after the attack on the Aden International Airport, blasts struck Aden’s Al-Ma’asheeq district, where just moments earlier the newly-formed government was transferred.

Although Saudi Arabia’s allies accused the Houthis of the attacks, and the Houthis categorically rejected the accusation. The attacks came after factions affiliated with the Southern Movement loyal to the UAE pledged to thwart the self-proclaimed cabinet after they returned to Aden from Ryadh where they were mostly working under enforced detention.

 

Under Biden, the bombs will keep coming

Most in Yemen are condemned to a gloomy future, not only due to the developments on the ground but also because of the flurry of approvals given by the United States to both the Saudi-led Coalitions and Israel. Approvals for arms sales have been given to Saudi Arabia and the UAE. countries with an appalling record of human rights abuses who are still launching a war against the poorest country in the Middle East.

These approvals, which will likely go ignored by Congress despite a growing revolt to the sales from the U.S. public, include $290 million worth of bombs, a final gift by President Donald Trump’s administration. On Tuesday, the State Department’s defense security cooperation agency approved the sale of GBU-39 small-diameter bombs to Saudi Arabia. The approvals also include the proposed $65.6 million sale of advanced drones and F-35 fighter jets to the UAE, a reward for that country’s normalization of ties with Israel.

Incoming president Joe Biden has expressed some opposition to Saudi Arabia’s malign actions in Yemen, but most Yemenis see little chance that 2021 will bring positive changes by Biden given the current geopolitical reality in the Middle East. That reality includes the sanctity of the U.S. relationship with Israel, Saudi funds, and fever of normalization between Arab countries and Israel sweeping across the Middle East and perhaps most importantly, the ongoing obsession from concurrent U.S. administrations and from Riyadh and Abu Dhabi with trying to contain so-called “Iranian influence” in the Middle East and linking the war in Yemen with that effort.

Regardless of who was behind actually the recent explosions in Aden, there are obvious signs of escalation, meaning that war in Yemen will likely continue to escalate in 2021 and that more Yemenis will lose their lives, more people will become internally displaced, the spread of epidemics will continue unabated, more cities, hospitals, and schools will be destroyed, and millions of helpless families will be left with no means of sustenance.

Though there are international calls to end the war on Yemen as well as indirect talks between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia, few are holding out hope that they can bring an end to the bitter Yemeni war in 2021. Indeed, Saudi warplanes still regularly launch airstrikes across the northern regions of Yemen. On Thursday, at least 15 airstrikes hit populated areas in Sana’a, including the Sana`a International Airport, the Rima Hamid of Sanhan District, and Wadi Rajam in the Bani Hushaish District, east Sana’a. In retaliation for the ongoing war and blockade, the Houthi-allied Yemen Army, which possesses in its arsenal advanced military watercraft, threatened Saudi oil tankers on the Red Sea in the context of a military campaign that it launched two months ago in a bid to pressure the Kingdom to end its devastating war.

Feature photo | A worker stands on the wreckage of a tire store hit by Saudi air strikes in Sanaa, Yemen, December 02, 2020. Photo | Reuters

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

The post “An Israeli Blitzkrieg” Signs Point to Imminent Israeli Military Action in Yemen appeared first on MintPress News.

Mass Starvation Looms as Yemen’s Currency Nears Historic Freefall

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 19/12/2020 - 6:33am in

TAIZ, YEMEN- – Both Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates seem to be doing everything in their power to prevent an end to the suffering in Yemen. Even those living in areas under the total control of the wealthy Gulf monarchies are facing levels of devastation that harken back to the total destruction of European cities during World War II.

With no functioning government to provide residents with even basic assistance and facing a collapsed economy amid a famine that could soon beset all of Yemen according to the United Nations, the collapse of Yemen’s rial, particularly in Saudi-coalition-controlled areas, is proving to be the coup de grâce that will assure the country faces an apocalyptic level of destruction for years to come.

Her black eyes virtually absent and speaking in a muted voice that is difficult to pick up, Umm Abdu does her best to recount her story to MintPress. She was hiding a bony face and emaciated body in a voluminous black abaya robe and hijab. “I am starving myself to feed my children. It is very difficult to reach for this piece,” the Illiterate mother of six muttered as she held a piece of Roti bread. Umm Abdu lives in a poor neighborhood in Taiz, a city in western Yemen under the control of some of the richest countries in the world.

Yemen famine

Severely malnourished infant Zahra is bathed by her mother in a washtub. Hammadi Issa | AP

After nearly six years of war, Yemen remains home to the world’s largest humanitarian crisis. Millions are hungry and destitute and at least 80% of the population requires humanitarian assistance or protection. Some 13.5 million people face severe food shortages and that number could rise to 16.2 million in 2021, according to International Relief Bodies.

The economy has already collapsed for virtually every Yemeni living in the south, except for the few who managed to profit by working with Saudi Arabia or the UAE. Savings accounts have long been exhausted and by end of November, the rial depreciated to an all-time low of 850 YR to a single U.S. dollar, leaving most of the population unable to afford even the most basic essentials. Like Umm Abdu, people are reducing portion sizes and skipping meals as a kind of “coping strategy index,” one of many tools used to measure food insecurity. Fruit, fish, and meat have become a rare commodity that most can only dream of.

“Even though there is food in the markets, I can’t afford it. Not because we don’t have money, but because of the crazy prices. So we decide to reduce food to keep our children alive,” one shopper told MintPress. However, that strategy may not be enough as food prices are near double where they were in the wake of the recent currency collapse.

According to International organizations, Yemen, particularly areas under the control of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, will return to alarming levels of food insecurity by mid-2020, and a catastrophic food security crisis is looming. They reported that by December 2020, the population facing high levels of acute food insecurity (what they termed IPC Phase 3 and above) would increase from 2 million to 3.2 million people.

An Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) report from October 2020 covering southern Yemen highlighted how acute malnutrition rates among children under five are now the highest ever recorded in some districts. The analysis reveals a near 10 percent increase in cases of acute malnutrition this year. The greatest increase is in cases of young children suffering from severe acute malnutrition which has increased by 15.5 percent, leaving at least 98,000 children under age five at high risk of dying without urgent treatment.

Situation Report Yemen 11 Nov 2020 pdf editedSource: IPC Acute malnutrition analysis (Oct 2020)

A stream of statements from leading aid organization officials reflects how dire the situation has become, including a warning from UN Secretary-General António Guterres that “Yemen is now in imminent danger of the worst famine the world has seen for decades. ”We’ve been warning since July that Yemen is on the brink of a catastrophic food security crisis. If the war doesn’t end now, we are nearing an irreversible situation and risk losing an entire generation of Yemen’s young children,” said Lisa Grande last month,” the Humanitarian Coordinator for Yemen. “The data we are releasing today confirms that acute malnutrition among children is hitting the highest levels we have seen since the war started,” she added.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) raised the alarm about millions of Yemenis risking falling into worsening levels of hunger by mid-2021. The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) also described the crisis in Yemen as “the world’s worst.” The WFP said in a tweet that millions are trapped in a cycle of conflict and hunger. “Everyday life in Yemen gets harder for millions as the window to prevent famine narrows. We must act now.”

Although a mass famine event may be unlikely in the immediate future, officials in Taiz warned that many areas could soon start to see deaths from famine. Many children already have signs of severe acute malnutrition, the most dire stage of hunger where legs and feet begin to swell. “We all sleep hungry, there is not enough food even for our children,“ Umm Abdu told us.

For Umm Abdu and her husband, 37-year-old Saeed, the rial’s collapse has meant skipping meals. Saeed was educated as an English teacher and had a job as a tour guide at a local travel agency before the war. Since he lost his job after the war began, he’s been making money selling qat – a mild stimulant that many Yemenis chew in the afternoon. However, that money is not nearly enough to cover rent, let alone basic needs. Now, their situation is getting worse as the availability of Qat has decreased dramatically after the weather turned cold three months ago when winter began. After the recent collapse of the rial, the ability to bring home food has become nearly impossible.

Umm Abdu and Saeed are now considering extreme options. Over the past six years, they have seen Yemen’s steady dissolution from a nation hoping to transition to democracy post-Arab Spring, to a nation fragmented and a land of warring statelets, mass suffering, and despair.  Many of their neighbors have resorted to stealing, human trafficking, and selling their organs to make ends meet, or even marrying off their daughters because they are unable to feed them.

 

A tale of two cities

Officials in Aden, the de facto center of Saudi-Coalition power in Yemen, blame the collapse of currency on the fact that foreign reserves have dried up. According to them, remittances from Yemenis abroad, the largest source of foreign exchange, dropped by up to 70% as a result of the Covid-induced global downturn. But to Omer, a former fighter in “al-Muqawamah” in Aden who was wounded while fighting with Coalition Forces against the Houthis in 2016, these arguments are grossly inaccurate.

Omer believes that Saudi Arabia has a plan to destroy the national currency in order to intentionally accelerate famine.  “Why is there no collapse of the currency in Houthi areas even though they live in conditions worse than us?” The exchange rate divergence between Houthi-controlled Sana’a and coalition-controlled Aden is indeed stark, with the Yemeni rial worth 35% less in Aden than it is in Sana’a.

Omer was one of the thousands of Yemenis that took the streets in Taiz and other areas this week in a mass protest against the continuing deterioration of the economic situation, denouncing the Saudi-led coalition states and demanding they leave the country. The demonstrators accused coalition countries and ousted Yemeni president Abdul Mansour al-Hadi of practicing a policy of starvation to achieve their personal objectives. They chanted slogans against Saudi Arabia and UAE with phrases like “our revolution is a hungry revolution,” “take your aid, and leave us our oil,” “take your donations, and leave us our ports,” and “take your trust fund and leave us our wealth.”

 

A gloomy future

According to local economists who spoke to MintPress, the reasons behind the collapse of Yemen’s economy and its currency are many and varied but the expansionary monetary policy that has been taken by Saudi Arabia is one of the key drivers of the Yemeni rial’s devaluation.

Local authorities supported by Saudi Arabia have regularly printed new banknotes in order to meet expenses compounded by the purchase of foreign currencies flowing into markets by foreign organizations.

By the end of 2019, the total rial liquidity in circulation in the country was more than three trillion, according to a source in the Aden-based central bank. As of the beginning of 2020, the bank has printed around 300 billion rials in order to address the budget deficit. The government of ousted president Hadi has largely relied on the central bank’s overdraft financing instrument to cover his spending abroad, including rent, travel, and entertainment.

Recently, Saudi’s proxies in southern Yemen have been selling large quantities of newly-printed banknotes in order to purchase foreign currency from the market and replenish their own foreign currency holdings. This has increased downward pressure on the rial’s value and helped drive inflation.

Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called on countries to provide financial assistance to resolve the severe economic crisis in Yemen, saying in a statement issued via his spokesperson Stephane Dujarric on the second anniversary of the Stockholm Agreement, “I call on all member states to help address the severe economic crisis in the country.”

Umm Abdu has a gloomy future. She has no faith in the UN or the Saudi proxies in the south, who she described as “drenched in treason.” Nonetheless, she places hope in God and in her fellow Yemenis that her country will be freed. “Where else on Earth can you find a nation that has gone through what has happened in Yemen, occupied by foreigners, destroyed, with famine and epidemics, and yet somehow, we still managed to survive.”

Feature photo | Yemeni women display paper currency after receiving cash support from UNICEF. Hani Mohammed | AP

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

The post Mass Starvation Looms as Yemen’s Currency Nears Historic Freefall appeared first on MintPress News.

We Are The Terrorists

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Fri, 04/12/2020 - 3:07pm in

The Trump administration is reportedly close to moving the Houthi rebels in Yemen onto its official list of designated terrorist organizations with the goal of choking them off from money and resources. The head of the UN’s World Food Program along with many other experts caution that this designation will prolong the horrific war which has claimed over a quarter million lives and create an impenetrable barrier of red tape stopping humanitarian aid from getting to the Yemeni people.

The United Nations conservatively estimates that some 233,000 Yemenis have been killed in the war between the Houthis and the US-backed Saudi-led coalition, mostly from what it calls “indirect causes”. Those indirect causes would be disease and starvation resulting from what UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres calls “the worst famine the world has seen for decades”.

When people hear the word “famine” they usually think of mass hunger caused by droughts or other naturally occurring phenomena, but in reality the starvation deaths we are seeing in Yemen (a huge percentage of which are children under the age of five) are caused by something that is no more natural than the starvation deaths you’d see in a medieval siege. They are the result of the Saudi coalition’s use of blockades and its deliberate targeting of farms, fishing boats, marketplaces, food storage sites, and cholera treatment centers with airstrikes aimed at making the Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen so weak and miserable that they break.

In other words, the US and its allies have been helping Saudi Arabia deliberately kill children and other civilians on mass scale in order to achieve a political goal. Which would of course be a perfect example of any standard definition of terrorism.

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We are the terrorists. Saudi Arabia, the US, the UK, Australia, Canada, France and every other nation which has facilitated the horrific mass atrocity in Yemen — this tight globe-spanning power alliance is a terrorist organization the likes of which the world has never seen before. The unfathomably savage and bloodthirsty US empire designating the Houthis as a terrorist organization is the least funny joke that has ever been told.

We are the terrorists. I say “we” instead of our governments because if we are honest with ourselves, we as a civilian population are complicit in this slaughter. The horrors in Yemen are without question the worst thing that is happening in the world right now, yet they comprise barely a blip in our social consciousness. The overwhelming majority of us have seen the pictures and videos of starving Yemeni children, thought something along the lines of “Oh a famine, that’s so sad” and gone back to thinking about sports or whatever other insipid nonsense occupies most of our attention.

We are the terrorists. Yes it is true that we have been propagandized into our complicity with this terrorism and if the news media were doing its purported job Yemen would be front and center in our attention, but we are still complicit. We are still participating in it, still living in a society that is woven of the fabric of slaughter and brutality without rising up and using the power of our numbers to force a change. Just because you are unaware that you sleep on a bed of butchered children doesn’t mean you’re not lying in it.

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We are the terrorists. But we don’t need to be.

We can begin waking up together. Waking up our friends and neighbors, spreading consciousness of what’s going on, raising awareness of the horrors our governments are perpetrating in Yemen and in other nations in the name of imperialist domination, helping each other see through the veils of propaganda to how much life and how many resources are being spent on inflicting unspeakable acts of terror upon our world instead of benefiting humanity.

The US government could force an end to the horrors in Yemen almost immediately if it really wanted to. If maintaining unipolar hegemony were suddenly advanced by giving the Houthis victory in Yemen instead of fighting to ensure Washington-aligned rule, the Saudis would withdraw and the war would be over within days. We could make this happen if we could spread enough awareness of the reality of what’s happening in Yemen.

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Break the silence on Yemen. Pressure Biden to fulfil his campaign pledge to end the war which was initiated under the Obama-Biden administration. Oppose US imperialism. Weaken public trust in the mass media which refuse to give us a clear picture of what’s going on in the world. Help people realize that their perception of reality is being continually warped and distorted by the powerful.

We end our role in the terrorism of the empire by awakening the citizens of that empire to its acts of terror.

________________________

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Yemen: Trump is Showering Saudi Arabia with Last-Minute Gifts

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/12/2020 - 3:57am in

SANA’A -YEMEN — While the administration of Donald Trump readies its exit from the White House and the Middle East, Saudi Arabia’s use of American diplomatic cover and weapons alike has taken on a fevered pace as the Kingdom deepens the tragedy it has afflicted upon Yemen, where millions of forgotten people are struggling against a cold winter, starvation, epidemics, and the worst blockade in the modern era.

Since November 3, 2020, when the fifty-ninth quadrennial presidential election began followed by the widespread controversy, lawsuits, and recounts across several states, the oil-riched Kingdom has waged a scorched-earth campaign against the Yemeni districts of Marib and Al-Jawf, as well as border areas in Sana’a, Sadaa, Hajjah, Amran, and Hodeida.

On Friday, Saudi warplanes struck populated neighborhoods in Sana’a with at least 20 airstrikes One person was killed and dozens were injured and a number of purebred Arabian horses were killed in strikes that hit a military college near Suq Al-Rwada. Seven airstrikes hit government buildings located near water pumps.

Thousands of tons of western weapons, particularly from the United States, were also dropped on multiple directorates across the provinces of Sadaa, Marib, and al-Jawf as well as districts and provinces across the country.

The unjustified escalation, which came on the back of a brief period of hope that briefly preceded the U.S. pre-election, was not only a last-minute gift to Saudi Arabia from the Trump administration before he leaves the White House in January, but also served to prevent the advance of the Yemeni army supported by Ansar Allah (Houthis) and tribal fighters in the oil-rich province of Marib.

On the Yemen-Saudi border, an intense Saudi bombing campaign aims to force the remaining residents in the area to flee. Saudi Arabia seeks to establish buffer zones on the border inside Yemeni territory in anticipation of any developments made by the incoming U.S. administration after Riyadh failed to achieve that goal through indirect negotiations with Sana’a, sources told MintPress.

 

Yemen strikes back

In retaliation for Saudi escalation, the Yemeni army, and Ansar Allah targeted Saudi Arabia’s vital oil sector, striking an oil facility in the Kingdom’s Red Sea city of Jeddah. The facility was targeted by the high precision Quds-2 winged missile, a new generation of locally-made winged missiles that recently entered service after successful tests. In the wake attack, videos circulated on social media show a column of smoke rising from burning flames at the facility as sirens of emergency vehicles can be heard in the background.

The move just days before news was leaked that the British government secretly sent British soldiers to protect Saudi oil facilities in the wake of a similar attack in 2009 and occurred the day after the kingdom hosted a virtual summit of G20 nations.

The spokesman for Yemen’s Armed Forces, Brigadier General Yahya Saree, said in a statement in the wake of the attack that the Saudi oil facility was targeted in response to ongoing Saudi military operations and blockade. He warned foreign companies operating in Saudi Arabia “to avoid vital installations” which could be involved in ongoing operations.

The strike was meant to send a signal to both Saudi Arabia and Israel, according to officials in Sana’a. The strike against the Aramco facility, located more than 390 miles from Yemen’s border, underscores Yemen’s increasing ability to hit targets deeper inside Saudi Arabia with cruise and ballistic missiles, as well as drones. A high-ranking source in Sana’a told MintPress that “the consequences of any insane recklessness by Saudi Arabia, Israel, or the current U.S. administration in the lost time of Trump’s term will be dire to Riyadh, Tel Aviv, and the interests of their allies in the region.” When pressed, he gave no additional details.

“An explosion took place as a result of a terrorist attack by a projectile, causing a fire in a fuel tank at the petroleum products distribution terminal in the north of Jeddah,” the Saudi energy ministry said in a statement. On Tuesday, Abdullah al-Ghamdi, the manager of the North Jeddah Bulk Plant, told reporters during a tour of the facility that one of the 13 tanks used for diesel oil, gasoline, and jet fuel at the facility had been damaged and was out of service, adding “ the attack had been “similar to what happened at Khurais and Abqaiq.”

As the kingdom’s policy since 2015, when its war began, Saudi Arabia sold the attack to the world as targeting international interests. The Kingdom went further and accused Ansar Allah of attacking an oil tanker in the Red Sea. A Maltese-flagged oil tanker managed by Greece was damaged due to an explosion near Shuqaiq in southwestern Saudi Arabia but Ansar Allah has not yet claimed responsibility for the incident. Prior to that, the Saudi-led coalition claimed on Tuesday that it had removed and destroyed five naval mines in the southern Red Sea.

On Sunday, 15 Saudi troops, including officers, were killed or injured in another retaliatory attack, this one marketing the Saudi-led coalition’s Tadawain Camp in Ma’rib, 20 kilometers east Sana’a, according to Brigadier Yahya Saree, the spokesman of the Yemeni Army. Saree said in a statement on Sunday that missile forces hit the Joint Operations Room of a coalition camp in Marib, killing eight Saudi troops and injuring seven. He added that Yemeni forces are observing enemy movements, and will target them wherever they are. In the wake of Saree’s announcement, Saudi state media announced that Saudi troops were killed in battle with no mention of where or when they were killed.

For his part, Muhammad Abd al-Salam, a spokesman for Ansar Allah, said that Saudi wailing following every painful retaliation is what is required. He added, “the international community has to pressure Saudi Arabia to stop the aggression and [the] blockade because the Yemeni people deserve to voice their suffering too.”

Yemen suffers from the world’s worst humanitarian sparked by five years of Saudi bombing and blockade. The humanitarian crisis has worsened this year as international donations have dried up and the Trump administration has suspended aid to the north of Yemen where most of the country’s population lives. The U.N. The Secretary-General warned last week that Yemen faces the worst famine in decades, saying that the country is in imminent danger and that without immediate action, millions of lives may be lost.

 

Trump’s parting gift

As the Trump administration gets ready to depart the White House, the Saudi-led Coalition is scrambling to get the last-moment boon by pushing the U.S. to designate Yemen’s most powerful resistance force, Ansar Allah, as a terrorist organization in a move that would not harm the “Houthis,” but would punish millions of innocent Yemenis already suffering from widespread malnutrition, starvation, and disease. ِ

According to media reports, the Trump administration is preparing to designate the Houthis as a terrorist organization before leaving office in January. U.S. policy in Yemen has been a disgrace for the past five years, drawing ire on U.S. soil and from abroad, and few Yemenis were surprised that the Trump administration would enact such a policy on its way out the door after having already suspended aid to 80% of the population residing in the north of the country.

Designating Ansar Allah as a terrorist organization will make an already catastrophic humanitarian crisis even worse and impede the work of the many NGOs providing lifesaving assistance in the country. Almost certainly, the unexpected designation would prevent the critical delivery of food, medical supplies, and other items necessary to combat both COVID-19 and famine, according to international organizations.

“The lives of millions of vulnerable children in Yemen are already at risk—this policy will only deepen their suffering by further restricting humanitarian access to vulnerable communities. Recent evidence continues to point to a worsening malnutrition crisis for children,” said Janti Soeripto, the president and CEO of Save the Children. “Even if a humanitarian exemption is permitted, this designation will likely make reaching children and families more difficult and could also heighten security risks for our staff and hinder the fragile peace process.”

The designation will not only make it more difficult to reach a negotiated settlement to end the war but will put the whole region, particularly in the Red Sea, on the edge. For their part, Ansar Allah will not remain idle by while, as a number of Ansar Allah decision-makers told MintPress, “they see their relatives dying of starvation at a time when others, those who made the country to the worst place on the earth, are blessed with oil and freedom of navigation at sea.” That message, it seems, was delivered to Jeddah on the back of Ansar Allah’s newly minted Quds-2.

Feature photo | A Saudi man holds the daily Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper fronted by a picture of President Donald Trump, at a coffee shop in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, Jan. 29, 2020. Amr Nabil | AP

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

The post Yemen: Trump is Showering Saudi Arabia with Last-Minute Gifts appeared first on MintPress News.

How Joe Biden Plans to Make The American Empire Great Again

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 21/11/2020 - 8:47am in

Throughout his campaign, Joe Biden railed against Donald Trump’s ‘America First’ foreign policy, claiming it weakened the United States and left the world in disarray.

He pledged to reverse this decline and recover the damage Trump did to America’s reputation. While Donald Trump called to make America Great Again, Biden seeks to Make the American Empire Great Again.

Among the president-elect’s pledges is to end the so-called forever wars – the decades-long imperial projects in Afghanistan and Iraq that began under the Bush administration.

Yet Biden – a fervent supporter of those wars – will task ending them to the most neoconservative elements of the Democratic party and ideologues of permanent war.

Michele Flournoy and Tony Blinken sit atop Biden’s thousands-strong foreign policy brain trust and have played central roles in every U.S. war going back to the Clinton administration.

In the Trump era, they’ve cashed in, founding Westexec Advisors – a corporate consulting firm that has become home for Obama administration officials awaiting a return to government.

Flournoy is Biden’s leading pick for secretary of defense and Blinken is expected to be national security advisor.

 

Biden’s foxes guard the henhouse

Since the 1990s, Flournoy and Blinken have steadily risen through the ranks of the military-industrial complex, shuffling back and forth between the Pentagon and hawkish think-tanks funded by the U.S. government, weapons companies, and oil giants.

Under Bill Clinton, Flournoy was the principal author of the 1996 Quadrinellial Defense Review, the document that outlined the U.S. military’s doctrine of permanent war – what it called “full spectrum dominance.”

Flournoy called for “unilateral use of military power” to ensure “uninhibited access to key markets, energy supplies, and strategic resources.”

As Bush administration officials lied to the world about Saddam Hussein’s supposed WMD’s, Flournoy remarked that “In some cases, preemptive strikes against an adversary’s [weapons of mass destruction] capabilities may be the best or only option we have to avert a catastrophic attack against the United States.”

Tony Blinken was a top advisor to then-Senate foreign relations committee chair Joe Biden, who played a key role in shoring up support among the Democrat-controlled Senate for Bush’s illegal invasion of Iraq.

As Iraq was plunged into chaos and bloodshed, Flournoy was among the authors of a paper titled “Progressive Internationalism” that called for a “smarter and better” style of permanent war. The paper chastised the anti-war left and stated that  “Democrats will maintain the world’s most capable and technologically advanced military, and we will not flinch from using it to defend our interests anywhere in the world.”

With Bush winning a second term, Flournoy advocated for more troop deployments from the sidelines.

In 2005, Flournoy signed onto a letter from the neoconservative think tank Project for a New American Century, asking Congress to “increase substantially the size of the active duty Army and Marine Corps (by) at least 25,000 troops each year over the next several years.”

In 2007, she leveraged her Pentagon experience and contacts to found what would become one of the premier Washington think tanks advocating endless war across the globe: the Center for a New American Security (CNAS).

CNAS is funded by the U.S. government, arms manufacturers, oil giants, Silicon Valley tech giants, billionaire-funded foundations, and big banks.

Flournoy joined the Obama administration and was appointed as under secretary of defense for policy, the position considered the “brains” of the Pentagon.

She was keenly aware that the public was wary of more quagmires. In the 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review, she crafted a new concept of warfare that would expand the permanent war state while giving the appearance of a drawdown.

Flournoy wrote that “unmanned systems hold great promise” – a reference to the CIA’s drone assassination program.

This was the Obama-era military doctrine of hybrid war. It called for the U.S. to be able to simultaneously wage war on numerous fronts through secret warfare, clandestine weapons transfers to proxies, drone strikes, and cyber-attacks – all buttressed with propaganda campaigns targeting the American public through the internet and corporate news media.

 

Architects of America’s Hybrid wars

Flournoy continued to champion the endless wars that began in the Bush-era and was a key architect of Obama’s disastrous troop surge in Afghanistan. As U.S. soldiers returned in body bags and insurgent attacks and suicide bombings increased some 65% from 2009 and 2010, she deceived the Senate Armed Services Committee, claiming that the U.S. was beginning to turn the tide against the Taliban.

Even with her lie that the U.S. and Afghan government were starting to beat the Taliban back, Flournoy assured the senate that the U.S. would have to remain in Afghanistan long into the future.

Ten years later – as the Afghan death toll passed 150,000 – Flournoy continued to argue against a U.S. withdrawal.

That’s the person Joe Biden has tasked with ending the forever war in Afghanistan. But in Biden’s own words, he’ll “bring the vast majority of our troops home from Afghanistan” implying some number of American troops will remain, and the forever war will be just that. Michele Flournoy explained that even if a political settlement were reached, the U.S. would maintain a presence.

In 2011, the Obama-era doctrine of smart and sophisticated warfare was unveiled in the NATO regime-change war on Libya.

Moammar Gaddafi – the former adversary who sought warm relations with the U.S. and had given up his nuclear weapons program  – was deposed and sodomized with a bayonet.

Flournoy, Hillary Clinton’s State Department, and corporate media were in lockstep as they waged an extensive propaganda campaign to deceive the U.S. public that Gadaffi’s soldiers were on a Viagra-fueled rape and murder spree that demanded a U.S. intervention.

All of this was based on a report from Al Jazeera – the media outlet owned by the Qatari monarchy that was arming extremist militias to overthrow the government.

Yet an investigation by the United Nations called the rape claims “hysteria.” Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch found no credible evidence of even a single rape.

Even after Libya was descended into strife and the deception of Gadaffi’s forces committing rape was debunked, Michele Flournoy stood by her support for the war.

Tony Blinken, then Obama’s deputy national security advisor, also pushed for regime change in Libya. He became Obama’s point man on Syria, pushed to arm the so-called “moderate rebels” that fought alongside al-Qaeda and ISIS, and designed the red line strategy to trigger a full-on U.S. intervention. Syria, he told the public, wasn’t anything like the other wars the U.S. had waging for more than a decade.

Despite Blinken’s promises that it would be a short affair, the war on Syria is now in its ninth year. An estimated half a million people have been killed as a result and the country is facing famine,

Largely thanks to the policy of using “wheat to apply pressure” – a recommendation of Flournoy and Blinken’s CNAS think tank.

 
When the Trump administration launched airstrikes on Syria based on mere accusations of a chemical attack, Tony Blinken praised the bombing, claiming Assad had used the weapon of mass destruction sarin. Yet there was no evidence for this claim, something even then-secretary of Defense James Mattis admitted.

While jihadist mercenaries armed with U..S-supplied weapons took over large swaths of Syria, Tony Blinken played a central role in a coup d’etat in Ukraine that saw a pro-Russia government overthrown in a U.S.-orchestrated color revolution with neo-fascist elements agitating on the ground.

At the time, he was ambivalent about sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, instead opting for economic pressure.

Since then, fascist militias have been incorporated into Ukraine’s armed forces. And Tony Blinken urged Trump to send them deadly weapons – something Obama had declined to do.

Trump obliged.

 

The Third Offset

While the U.S. fuelled wars in Syria and Ukraine, the Pentagon announced a major shift called the Third Offset strategy – a reference to the cold war era strategies the U.S. used to maintain its military supremacy over the Soviet Union.

The Third Offset strategy shifted the focus from counterinsurgency and the war on terror to great power competition against China and Russia, seeking to ensure that the U.S. could win a war against China in Asia. It called for a technological revolution in warfighting capabilities, development of futuristic and autonomous weapons, swarms of undersea and airborne drones, hypersonic weapons, cyber warfare, machine-enhanced soldiers, and artificial intelligence making unimaginably complex battlefield decisions at speeds incomprehensible to the human mind. All of this would be predicated on the Pentagon deepening its relationship with Silicon Valley giants that it birthed decades before: Google and Facebook.

The author of the Third Offset, former undersecretary of defense Robert Work, is a partner of Flournoy and Blinken’s at WestExec Advisors. And Flournoy has been a leading proponent of this dangerous new escalation.

In June, Flournoy published a lengthy commentary laying out her strategy called “Sharpening the U.S. Military’s Edge: Critical Steps for the Next Administration”.

She warned that the United States is losing its military technological advantage and reversing that must be the Pentagon’s priority. Without it, Flournoy warned that the U.S. might not be able to defeat China in Asia.

While Flournoy has called for ramping up U.S. military presence and exercises with allied forces in the region, she went so far as to call for the U.S. to increase its destructive capabilities so much that it could launch a blitzkrieg style-attack that would wipe out the entire Chinese navy and all civilian merchant ships in the South China Sea. Not only a blatant war crime but a direct attack on a nuclear power that would spell the third world war.

At the same time, Biden has announced he’ll take an even more aggressive and confrontational stance against Russia, a position Flournoy shares.

As for ending the forever wars, Tony Blinken says not so fast.

 

The end of forever wars?

So Biden will end the forever wars, but not really end them. Secret wars that the public doesn’t even know the U.S. is involved in – those are here to stay.

In fact, leaving teams of special forces in place throughout the Middle East is part and parcel of the Pentagon’s shift away from counterinsurgency and towards great power competition.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy explains that “Long-term strategic competitions with China and Russia are the principal priorities” and the U.S. will “consolidate gains in Iraq and Afghanistan while moving to a more resource-sustainable approach.”

As for the catastrophic war on Yemen, Biden has said he’ll end U.S. support, but in 2019, Michele Flournoy argued against ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Biden pledged he will rejoin the Iran deal as a starting point for new negotiations. However, Trump’s withdrawal from the deal discredited the Iranian reformists who seek engagement with the west and empowered the principlists who see the JCPOA as a deal with the devil.

In Latin America, Biden will revive the so-called anti-corruption campaigns that were used as a cover to oust the popular social democrat Brazilian president Lula da Silva.

His Venezuela policy will be almost identical to Trump’s – sanctions and regime change.

In Central America, Biden has proposed a 4 billion dollar package to support corrupt right-wing governments and neoliberal privatization projects that create even more destabilization and send vulnerable masses fleeing north to the United States.

Behind their rhetoric, Biden, Flournoy, and Blinken will seek nothing less than global supremacy, escalating a new and even more dangerous arms race that risks the destruction of humanity. That’s what Joe Biden calls “decency” and “normalcy.”

Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera for MintPress News

Dan Cohen is a journalist and filmmaker. He has produced widely distributed video reports and print dispatches from across Israel-Palestine. Dan is a correspondent at RT America and tweets at @DanCohen3000.

The post How Joe Biden Plans to Make The American Empire Great Again appeared first on MintPress News.

Shocking New Figures Show How Just Much the US is Fueling the Violence in Yemen

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 21/11/2020 - 2:21am in

Despite presenting itself as a force for good and peace in the Middle East, the United States sells at least five times as much weaponry to Saudi Arabia than aid it donates to Yemen. The State Department constantly portrays itself as a humanitarian superpower with the welfare of the Yemeni people as its highest priority, yet figures released from the United Nations and the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) show that since the war in Yemen began, the U.S. government has given $2.56 billion in aid to the country, but sold over $13 billion in high-tech weapons to Saudi Arabia, the leader of the coalition prosecuting a relentless onslaught against the country.

Figures like these are always debatable. What constitutes legitimate “aid” is a question everyone would answer differently. Furthermore, the $13 billion figure does not include the enormous weapons deal Saudi Arabia signed with Donald Trump in 2017, which will reportedly see the Kingdom purchase $350 billion over ten years.

SIPRI is skeptical of the size of these numbers, but if they prove to be correct, once the orders begin arriving, they will make the paltry aid donations seem like small change by comparison. Sales include all manner of military equipment, from radar and transport systems to F-15 fighter jets, TOW missiles, Abrams tanks, and Paladin howitzers.

While the Saudis pay in petrodollars, Yemenis pay in blood. Four years ago, the Saudi Air Force bombed a well-attended funeral in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa. It was a bright, clear day. The Saudis used a “double tap” airstrike to ensure maximum carnage. 240 people were killed, and like with the 2018 Saudi attack on a school bus that killed 40 children, the bombs that did the damage were 500-pound (227 kilogram) MK 82’s, built and supplied by Lockheed Martin, America’s largest weapons contractor.

“Making billions from arms exports which fuel the conflict while providing a small fraction of that in aid to Yemen is both immoral and incoherent. The world’s wealthiest nations cannot continue to put profits above the Yemeni people,” said Muhsin Siddiquey, Oxfam’s Yemen Country Director.

Already the region’s poorest nation, Yemen has been utterly devastated by the six-year conflict. The United Nations estimates that 14 million people — over half the country’s population — are at risk of famine, and 20.5 million need help accessing drinkable water. 80% of the population, it calculates, needs some form of humanitarian assistance. The Saudi-led coalition, which includes the UAE, Qatar, and Bahrain, has deliberately attacked soft targets like hospitals and water facilities, carrying out the equivalent of one strike against such buildings every ten days since the fighting began.

“The fact that the United Nations, faced with such enormous human, environmental and migration devastation around the world, has said for several years now that Yemen is the worst humanitarian crisis in the world, that says it all. This war has devastated what was already the poorest country in the Arab world. Not only the direct bombing — of funerals, of weddings — but the blockading and bombing of the ports. Yemen is a country very dependent on imported food, basic medicines, everything. So when the ports are closed down, people move close to starvation very quickly,” Phyllis Bennis, Director of the New Internationalism Project at the Institute for Policy Studies and an expert on the Middle East, told MintPress.

Yemen malnourished

A malnourished girl receives treatment at a feeding center at Al-Sabeen hospital in Sanaa, Yemen. Nov. 3, 2020. Hani Mohammed | AP

In addition to supplying the weapons, the U.S. (and many of its European allies) train Saudi forces, have provided critical military infrastructure and logistical support, and even refueled Saudi bombers in the air and provided targeting guidance to help Saudi forces find their marks more efficiently. On top of that, the U.S. has shielded Riyadh from international censure by defending it at bodies like the United Nations. In essence, the U.S. is involved in every area of the Yemen conflict, doing everything up to pulling the trigger itself.

“The U.S. must end its support for Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and instead prioritize the people across Yemen fighting to survive,” Scott Paul, Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead told MintPress in a statement.

The U.S. has paused much of its aid to the most vulnerable Yemenis, while it continues to provide weapons that fuel the deadly conflict. Congress and the American people have made it clear that they do not want any part in this. We continue to call for the U.S., the international community and all parties to the conflict to push for peace, and we will hold the incoming Biden administration to its pledge to do its part.”

The United States has a long history of mistreating Yemen. In 1990, the administration of George H.W. Bush wanted a unanimous United Nations agreement to rubber-stamp its attack on Iraq. Yemen, newly appointed to the Security Council, refused to go along with the resolution (as did Cuba). Just minutes after it voted against the U.S. plan, a senior American diplomat told the Yemeni representative, on a hot mic, “That was the most expensive ‘no’ vote you ever cast.” Within hours, all U.S. aid (a $70 million program) to the country was stopped. 800,000 Yemeni workers were expelled from Saudi Arabia, and the country had difficulties securing loans with international financial institutions. Thus, as Bennis said, “The U.S. refusal to take Yemen and Yemenis seriously goes back a very long way.”

Saudi Arabia has proven to be one of the United States’ most loyal allies in the region over the past 50 years — and its enforcer. In return for keeping the oil money flowing into the United States, Washington has been willing to defend the country’s abysmal human rights record, and even to overlook the assassination of journalists like the Washington Post’s Jamal Khashoggi. Andrew Feinstein, an arms industry expert and author of “The Shadow World: Inside the Global Arms Trade,” explained to MintPress that,

The U.S. has allied itself with Saudi Arabia, despite it being one of the world’s most corrupt countries and worst human rights abusers, at home and abroad, for two primary reasons: oil and the U.S. right’s desire for regime change in Iran. This is despite the reality that Saudi is the primary ideological supporter of, financier and, weaponizer of the most extreme Islamist groups.”

Saudi Arabia Yemen Cluster Bomb

A Houthi man inspects an unexploded US-made cluster bomb in Sanaa, Yemen, 2016. Hani Mohammed | AP

Under Trump, the United States has sharply increased its military support to Saudi Arabia, signing a number of weapons deals that put the lie to any idea that he was an anti-war president. Overall, SIPRI calculates that the U.S. accounted for 36% of global weapons sales between 2015 and 2019, a large increase over the previous five years. Saudi Arabia is by far America’s best customer, and America is the Kingdom’s most important supplier, accounting for three-quarters of all purchases. In 2019, this included 59,000 guided bombs, most of which were destined to be dropped on soft targets in Yemen. As Bennis noted, “The Saudis buy more arms from the U.S. than any other country in the world, so it is embedded in the very fabric of the military industrial complex here.” Furthermore, many of Washington’s other best customers are also Middle Eastern dictatorships also bombing Yemen.

Saudi Arabia will be hosting the G20 summit this weekend, a meeting of the 20 most powerful nations in the world. Remarkably, for a country where women cannot travel or get married without permission from a man, the Saudi government has chosen “female empowerment” as the theme of this year’s meeting. And while the G20 is being urged to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for its role in Yemen, that possibility seems doubtful, seeing as G20 arms exports to Riyadh are three times what they give to Yemen in aid.

With an impending change of administration in the White House, there is some talk that a Biden administration will reverse direction on Yemen. Bennis, however, was skeptical of how profound a change Biden will implement:

There may be a rather abrupt change. The question, for me, is how deep it will be. Biden has made a commitment on his statement of intention on foreign affairs to end U.S. involvement in the Saudi War on Yemen. How that gets defined is the question. There will be some symbolic moves very quickly after he is inaugurated, hopefully in the first days or weeks of the new administration. The big question is will he actually stop the massive arms sales of basics- the F-15s and F-16s, the bombers and bombs, the drones, the ammunition and equipment that is responsible for so much death and destruction in Yemen. Is he prepared to do that? I’m hopeful but not terribly optimistic.”

This is the view echoed by Yemenis on the ground who spoke to MintPress. Ibrahim Abdulkareem, who lost his infant child when a Saudi warplane dropped a U.S.-made bomb on his home in Sanaa in 2015, said that Biden’s statement of intention on foreign affairs was not good enough: ”I am not optimistic that Biden will stop supplying [Saudi leader Mohammed] Bin Salman with bombs like the ones that killed my daughter,” he stated. In international affairs, money talks. And the U.S. is making a lot of it from this war.

Feature photo | Graphic by Antonio Cabrera for MintPress News

Alan MacLeod is a Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent. He has also contributed to Fairness and Accuracy in ReportingThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin MagazineCommon Dreams the American Herald Tribune and The Canary.

The post Shocking New Figures Show How Just Much the US is Fueling the Violence in Yemen appeared first on MintPress News.

Biden Signals a Desire To End the Yemen War. Here’s Why Yemenis Aren’t Buying It

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 14/11/2020 - 7:15am in

As news broke that Joe Biden almost certainly won the U.S. presidential election, some Americans became hopeful that the new administration could hearken in an era of calm in the Middle East. In Yemen, however, that sentiment was not shared.

Most Yemenis have little hope that the new White House will end the blockade and the devastating war in their country, which is now nearing the end of its sixth year. Nor are they hopeful that the announcement that U.S. support for the Saudi military intervention in Yemen could end during Biden’s presidential term will materialize into action after he is sworn into office on January 20, 2021.

Ibrahim Abdulkareem, who lost his 11-month-old daughter, Zainab when a Saudi warplane dropped an American-made bomb on his home in Sana`a in 2015, told MintPress that Biden’s statement is not good news to him, ”I am not optimistic that Biden will stop supplying Bin Salman with bombs like the ones that killed my daughter,” he said. Like Ibrahim, Yemeni civilians are losing their loved ones, homes, and infrastructure to American weapons supplied to the Saudi Coalition in droves, and there is little hope that president-elect Biden will end support, including the supply of weapons and military equipment, to Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

 

The Iranian boogeyman

In fact, officials in both Sana’a and Aden – the respective seats of power for the opposing sides in Yemen’s war – see little chance that Biden will take action to end the conflict given the current geopolitical reality in the Middle East. That reality includes the fever of normalization with Israel sweeping across Arab governments, Riyadh and Abu Dhabi are no exception. Closely related is the ongoing obsession from concurrent U.S. administrations with trying to contain so-called “Iranian influence” in the Middle East and linking the war in Yemen with that effort.

Yemeni politicians have called on Biden to change how the White House views the conflict and to stop treating it as a proxy war with Iran over influence. Unfortunately, it has been reduced down to that binary argument, with U.S. officials on both sides of the aisle blaming the entire affair on Iran, reductively claiming that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy, and framing the entire conflict in an Iran-centric geopolitical context – and not the true context of foreign aggression and a battle to control the strategic areas and some of the region’s most lucrative untapped oil and gas reserves.

 

American support

Most Yemenis view American support for the Saudi-led coalition not only as fueling the fighting but also view the American government as a party to serious war crimes in their country, directly at fault for the devastating humanitarian crisis they now face. Yemen is on the verge of yet another countdown to catastrophe as it faces a devastating famine within a few short months according to a recent report by the UN issued on Wednesday. That famine, in large part, stems not only from the Saud-led war and blockade, but from drastic cuts to humanitarian food and aid programs implemented by President Trump.

Since March 2015, when the war began, rather than halting weapons sales or pressuring Saudi Arabia diplomatically, the White House instead opted to ignore calls from the international community to address the suffering of Yemeni civilians. Worse yet, Saudi Arabia and the UAE have been given carte blanche to carry out the most brazen and egregious violations of international law and collective murder in modern history without so much as a scolding from the United States.

The Saudi-led war has killed more than 100,000 people since January 2016, according to a report by the Armed Conflict and Location Event Data Project (ACLED). That figure does not include those who have died in the humanitarian disasters sparked by the conflict, particularly famine and the thousands of tons of weapons, most often supplied by the United States, that have been dropped on hospitals, schools, markets, mosques, farms, factories, bridges, and power and water treatment plants.

 

Thirsty for peace

If Biden is serious about reaching a diplomatic end to the war, he has a real chance to add ending one of the twenty-first century’s most violent conflicts to his presidential legacy. Yemen is thirsty for peace. Both the resistance forces led by Ansar Allah and the Saudi-backed militant groups’ that oppose them have signaled a desire to reach a political settlement, a sentiment, of course, not readily reflected by the governments of Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Those governments, however, do face increasingly dwindling support among the same forces in Yemen that allegedly invited them to intervene in their country under the auspices of returning ousted president Abdul Mansour Hadi to power. Now, even among the coalition’s staunchest allies, Saudi Arabia’s actions are increasingly seen as little more than an effort to balkanize the nation into regions and factions that can more easily be managed.

Among the Houthis (Ansar Allah), the most stalwart of forces opposed to a foreign presence in Yemen, an attitude of reconciliation pervades. Throughout the conflict, the group has proven its propensity for diplomatic rapprochement and a desire to work within the structures of international mediators to negotiate an end to the war. According to high-ranking officials in Sana’a, preparations for negotiations are being made in case the Biden administration is serious about ending the war.

However, the group’s leadership is taking Biden’s statement with a grain of salt. A wait and see approach persists among decision-makers in Sana’a, and rumors are flying that Biden may work with Yemen’s Brotherhood, a Saudi Arabia ally.

 

Untangling the quagmire

Trump’s own legacy in the Middle East is another factor that Biden will have to maneuver if he wishes to untangle the complex quagmire that is Yemen. The Trump administration recently notified Congress that it approved the sale of more than $23bn in advanced weapons systems, including F-35 fighter jets and armed drones, to the UAE, Saudi Arabia’s most prominent partner in its war on Yemen.  The Houthis have played down the announcement, saying that consent is one thing, but delivery is another entirely and if the Biden administration does go through with the sale, they will consider it a crime against Yemen.

High-ranking Houthi officials told MintPress that while they do not expect the president-elect to recognize their right to sovereignty, they are hopeful that the situation in Yemen will be re-assessed by the incoming administration and that the Houthis will no longer be seen as a threat to Washington or their allies in the region, and there is some evidence to substantiate that idea.

Every Houthi attack on Saudi Arabia and the UAE has been retaliatory, not preemptive, in nature. Even the attack on the Saudi Aramco facility on September 14,  2019, came in response to ongoing Saudi Coalition military maneuvers inside Yemen. Prior to the 2015 Saudi-led Coalition war on their country, the Houthis did not show animus towards the Kingdom, nor a desire to target it militarily. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia a major exporter of the same kind of jihadist ideology that drives groups like al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and ISIS, groups that the Kingdom has used to try to undermine Houthi power, making the Houthis a natural ally to any force working to contain those organizations.

Saudi Arabia launched its war on Yemen in March of 2015 under the leadership of Saudi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman. Salman claimed his objective in launching the war was to roll back the Houthis and reinstate ousted former Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, who fled the country to Saudi Arabia following popular protests during the Arab Spring. From the moment the highly unpopular war began, Saudi officials have worked hard to frame it as a necessary step in liberating the Arab country from Iran, repeating the still unfounded claim that the Houthis are an Iranian proxy.

Continued pressure on Yemen will inevitably force the Houthis to lean more heavily into their relationships with Iran, Russia, and China, all perceived enemies of the United States, as they indeed have done under the Trump presidency. Iran’s newly appointed ambassador to Yemen arrived in Sana’a last month, and prior to that, the Houthis sent an ambassador to Tehran. Syria and Qatar are expected to follow and reopen their embassies in Sana’a according to Houthi officials, and if the staggering human cost of the war is not enough, that should give Biden an incentive not to allow the protracted conflict to carry on..

Feature photo | U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, left, offers his condolences on the death of the late Saudi Crown Prince Sultan bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud to Saudi Foreign minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal on his arrival to Riyadh airbase in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 27, 2011. Hassan Ammar | AP

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

The post Biden Signals a Desire To End the Yemen War. Here’s Why Yemenis Aren’t Buying It appeared first on MintPress News.

There Are No War Heroes, Only War Victims: Notes From The Edge Of The Narrative Matrix

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 12/11/2020 - 2:27pm in

Tags 

Yemen, News, War, Politics

My new book Poems For Rebels has a bunch of new book distributors for folks who don’t want to go through Amazon.

~ Caitlin

It’s still really, really weird that we don’t all talk about Yemen all the time. It’s like there’s someone in the room being tortured with a blowtorch and we’re all just chatting about politics at the dinner table without noticing.

I’m sorry your election results are being disputed as fraudulent, America. Have you tried not having the single worst electoral system in the western world?

“The media do not decide who’s president!”

Uhh, yeah they kinda do. They spent two years sabotaging progressive primary candidates and spent this year manufacturing consent for Biden. They manipulate the thoughts people think about power, and they can install whomever they wish.

Republicans spent years calling a fake Russia narrative that posed no risk of removing Trump a “coup”. Now Democrats are calling a glorified temper tantrum a “coup”. The government that stages the most coups around the world has no idea what they are.

They’re not scaring you about a Trump “coup” because there is any possibility of that ever happening, they’re doing it because it’s their last chance to use Trump to psychologically abuse you for clicks.

Biden is a hollowed out husk of a man whose insides have been entirely filled with corporate logos.

FYI anyone who is already defending Biden and saying you’re being too hard on him will be completely useless for the next four to eight years.

Liberals are gonna hate me so much more than they already do. They’re gonna get sentimental about the old Caitlin.

You can get rid of Trump, but people who say the mass media are crooks and liars will keep getting traction and attention with that message. Because it is true, and people know it is true.

Liberal pundits have loved to promote the narrative that Trump is uniquely cozy with dictators because it lets them both (A) attack him for being insufficiently hawkish toward nations like Russia and North Korea and (B) pretend their favorite presidents haven’t been extremely cozy with dictators.

Liberal punditry assured us that if Trump was elected in 2016 there’d be millions of deportations, Muslims in concentration camps and alt-right militias driving minorities out of the country. Instead we got another shitty Reagan Republican, total amnesia for Bush and Obama’s crimes, and a bunch of psychologically traumatized liberals who just lived through the Holocaust in their minds.

It is literally impossible to say Trump is uniquely evil among presidents without rehabilitating George W Bush. It can’t be done, because nothing Trump did is as bad as an invasion which killed over a million people, destabilized the Middle East and ushered in an unprecedented era of military expansionism which displaced tens of millions of people.

That’s always been the most destructive element of Trump hysteria: not that it’s unfair to Trump, but that it necessarily erases the crimes of his predecessors and of future presidents. It blurs out the criminal nature of the US empire as an institution by making it about one guy.

One party wants to roll back most of the environmental measures. The other party that wants to implement vastly insufficient environmental measures which accomplish nothing but allowing liberals feel like they’re doing something for a few years. These two parties are not meaningfully different from each other on environmental issues.

I want a system where corporations are fined for any litter they produce that winds up on the street or in the ocean. We need to reverse the burden and make it in their financial interest to create packaging and recycling systems that are closed loops.

You could have collectors whose job it is to find trash and tally up the fines. A buck a cup or whatever. It wouldn’t even have to be the government doing it; it could easily be done by the private sector because there is a fiscal motivation for finding trash.

In the old days whole empires were built up around religions and their theocratic institutions, who used their doctrines to shape society in service of the powerful. Nowadays the same thing happens, but the religion is called “capitalism”.

The plutocrat-owned western political/media class has built up a collective doctrine that you cannot simply end overseas wars and bring the troops home, and that anyone who says you can is a lunatic. That’s all it is though: fact-free religious doctrine, espoused on blind faith.

When it comes to large-scale governing and international matters, the mainstream perspective is only mainstream because extremely wealthy people poured vast fortunes into making it mainstream. There’s no collective wisdom or truth in it, it’s just what power wants us to believe about what’s going on.

Leftists: I want socialism, an end to imperialism, and revolutionary change.

Liberals: I want capitalism, endless war, and the status quo. Also I have pink hair.

Rightists: These are the same to me.

As long as the powerful are propagandizing the people, the people aren’t truly operating with free will. Anyone who’s escaped a relationship with a manipulative abuser understands that you’re not really operating with much free agency while you’re being psychologically dominated.

There are no war heroes, only war victims.

________________________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my new book Poems For Rebels or my old book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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Real Journalists Would Grill Biden On Yemen At Every Opportunity

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Mon, 09/11/2020 - 12:58am in

Tags 

War, Yemen, journalism

During this whole stupid US presidential race I heard very few arguments in favor of a Biden vote that struck me as anything more than the product of ignorance, propaganda distortion and partisan hackery. He’ll probably be worse than Trump on war. His climate proposals are as much a band-aid on a sucking chest wound as his plans for economic justice. There’ll still be racism in America. The fact that Trump ended up deporting far fewer undocumented immigrants than Obama means Biden’s presidency probably won’t even help things on that front.

As far as real changes that affect normal people, the coming Biden presidency doesn’t offer many things to be especially hopeful about.

But there was one item on the Democratic Party’s platform this election season that especially conscious people sometimes point to which I absolutely could respect as a good reason to vote for Biden. It reads as follows:

“Democrats will end support for the Saudi-led war in Yemen and help bring the war to an end. This war is responsible for the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, and it amplifies threats to the region and to our interests. Democrats believe that the United States should support diplomatic efforts — not block them.”

“Vice Pres­i­dent Biden believes it is past time to end U.S. sup­port for the war in Yemen and can­cel the blank check the Trump admin­is­tra­tion has giv­en Sau­di Ara­bia for its con­duct of that war,” Biden cam­paign spokesper­son Andrew Bates told the Wash­ing­ton Post last year.

Now, you can believe them or not; it doesn’t matter. The important point is that, while Trump vetoed congressional attempts to save Yemen (arguably the single most evil act of his entire administration), Biden campaigned on ending the war. He should therefore be pushed on that issue constantly, every time the opportunity presents itself.

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The mass atrocity that is the Yemen war is without a doubt the single worst thing that is happening in our world right now. People don’t like to look at it, they don’t like to think about it, but it is. And it is entirely, and deliberately, man-made.

A coalition led by the US-aligned Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates has been hammering the poorest country in the Middle East with unbelievable savagery since 2015 — armed and assisted by the US, UK, France, Australia, and Canada — in order to overturn a Houthi-led rebellion which ousted the previous US-backed central government. It’s an extremely uneven assault by an extremely powerful cluster of allies, and Washington sits at the head of that power alliance.

Tens of thousands have been killed by the endless rain of western-manufactured explosives dropped from the sky by the Saudi coalition, and hundreds of thousands more have died from starvation and disease due to Saudi Arabia’s inhuman blockades on imports and its deliberate targeting of farms, fishing boats, marketplaces, food storage sites and cholera treatment centers with airstrikes. The goal is to make Houthi forces so miserable and hungry that they give up, no matter how many civilians they need to kill in the process.

It’s hard to get accurate figures from an information ecosystem with so little interest in the matter — for years the mass media kept reporting that only 10,000 had died despite that statistical stasis being an obvious impossibility in an ongoing war. An analysis of United Nations data found that 85,000 children under five have died of extreme hunger and disease since the start of the war, but that was two years ago. Another UN report estimated nearly a quarter million people have died in the war, but that was a year and a half ago. Both numbers are necessarily much larger by now.

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In an article titled “Joe Biden Said He’s Against the Yemen War. He Needs To End It on Day One.”, Sarah Lazare of In These Times argues that Biden is fully capable of ending the war in Yemen immediately upon taking office, and due to his role in the Obama administration when the war began, he has a special responsibility to do so. Lazare cites the analysis of two experts, Has­san El-Tayyab, lead Mid­dle East pol­i­cy lob­by­ist for the progressive organization Friends Com­mit­tee on Nation­al Leg­is­la­tion, and Erik Sper­ling, exec­u­tive direc­tor of Just For­eign Pol­i­cy.

“By exec­u­tive order, Biden could get the Pen­ta­gon to end intel­li­gence shar­ing for the Sau­di coali­tion airstrikes, end logis­ti­cal sup­port, and end spare parts trans­fers that keep Sau­di war­planes in the air,” El-Tayyab told In These Times. ​“He could restore human­i­tar­i­an assis­tance to north­ern Yemen. He could use his pow­er as pres­i­dent to put pres­sure on oth­er nations that are sup­port­ing the Sau­di coali­tion — like France, the Unit­ed King­dom and Cana­da — and get them to fol­low suit. He could have the State Depart­ment put a stop on all arms sales to Sau­di Ara­bia unless they meet cer­tain benchmarks.”

“With­out the moral cov­er from the Unit­ed States, they would be dis­in­cen­tivized to con­tin­ue the war,” adds El-Tayyab.

“Biden has com­mit­ted to end U.S. par­tic­i­pa­tion in the war on Yemen as pres­i­dent,” Sperling told In These Times. “But he must make clear that it will include any kind of assis­tance — as Oba­ma offi­cials Rice, Pow­er, Rhodes and oth­ers have urged — includ­ing intel­li­gence shar­ing, logis­tics sup­port and spare parts for war­planes.”

“He should pub­licly and pri­vate­ly tell the Saud­is that he will do this on day one,” Sperling added. “This will pres­sure them into nego­ti­a­tions and may end the war before he even enters the White House.”

“President Biden doesn’t need a Senate majority to end the genocide in Yemen,” tweeted journalist Walker Bragman, who has reported on the conflict extensively. “He could end U.S. military involvement in Yemen and support for the Saudi-led coalition on day one. He pledged he would end arms sales during the campaign, but given who Biden is, gotta start making noise now. Yemen needs medical supplies, food, clean water, and humanitarian aid.”

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If the United States had a real free press, this subject would come up every single interview and every single press conference that Biden does. If journalism actually existed in mainstream media, he would be grilled on this issue any time he’s near a camera. What’s the plan for ending the war? What steps has he taken to enact that plan? Has he called the Saudis yet? How about the other US allies who are backing the slaughter? What specifically is happening, and when?

There is no legitimate reason this should not happen. Yemen is the single most pressing issue in the world, Biden bears responsibility for it, and he said that he would end it. If there were an actual free press in America holding power to account and asking the important questions of their leaders, Biden would be interrogated on this subject with unrelenting urgency every time an opportunity presented itself.

And of course we know this will not happen. We know the United States of America does not actually have a free press holding power to account and asking the important questions of their leaders; it has plutocrat-owned royal court stenographers who cultivate warm relationships with power and regurgitate back to their gullible audiences whatever lines they’ve been fed. We know they’ll give the nice old man who they aggressively protected from scrutiny during the election as much comfortable space as he needs and let him say whatever he wants to say on his own terms when he feels ready.

But it should happen. And the most powerful government on earth should have a free press holding power to account. And the butchery in Yemen should be ended. Immediately.

_____________________________

Thanks for reading! The best way to get around the internet censors and make sure you see the stuff I publish is to subscribe to the mailing list for at my website or on Substack, which will get you an email notification for everything I publish. My work is entirely reader-supported, so if you enjoyed this piece please consider sharing it around, liking me on Facebook, following my antics on Twitter, throwing some money into my tip jar on Patreon or Paypal, purchasing some of my sweet merchandise, buying my books Rogue Nation: Psychonautical Adventures With Caitlin Johnstone and Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers. For more info on who I am, where I stand, and what I’m trying to do with this platform, click here. Everyone, racist platforms excluded, has my permission to republish, use or translate any part of this work (or anything else I’ve written) in any way they like free of charge.

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War-Weary Yemenis See Threat in Israel’s Increasingly Public Role in Their Country

Published by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 31/10/2020 - 4:20am in

Israeli battleships now sit side by side with Emirati corvettes ominously docked in Hodeida’s territorial waters in a blatant sign of Israel’s increasingly visibly role in the Saudi-led Coalition’s half a decade long war in Yemen. The ships also represent something else to residents in Western Yemen, where a Houthi-led commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s birthday on Thursday turned into railed a demonstration against what many see as an imminent threat to the very identity and soul of Islam, their autonomy, security, and to their brethren in Palestine.

Despite an ongoing fuel crisis, the threat of COVID-19, and one of the bloodiest wars currently raging anywhere on the planet, massive rallies took place across most of Yemen’s provinces. Protesters shouted slogans against French President Emmanuel Macron, whose public defense of cartoons mocking Islam’s holiest figure, Prophet Muhammad, under the guise of free speech is seen as hypocritical coming from a country where questioning details of the Holocaust can land someone in jail. Demonstrators, and indeed many Muslims across the region, see the events in France as hiding a more nefarious goal of dehumanizing Muslims and gutting the identity of its adherents from within.

Demonstrators carried green flags, a symbol of the Prophet Muhammad, and banners emblazoned with slogans against Macron, the Saudi coalition, and its new Israeli partners. In Yemen’s capital city of Sana’a, where the largest demonstrations took place, hundreds of thousands gathered in the southern district of Al-Sabaean. Expats from 20 countries, including Sudan, Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and Bangladesh took part in the protest. A delegation from the southern Saudi province of Najran even joined.

The events were organized primarily by the Houthis and Houthi leader Abdulmalik Al-Houthi took to the podium to give a televised address to a massive audience in which he warned that western intelligence agencies in both the United States and France were involved in supporting the same extremist Salafi interpretation of Islam that is the widely practiced in Saudi Arabia, in part to tarnish the image of the religion and to justify wars in Muslim countries.

Al-Houthi also warned that distortion and misinterpretation of Islamic teachings had created a deep rift among Muslims. “Western [countries] have used such deviation to insult the Holy Qur’an and Islam. There is no mercy or sympathy whatsoever in Western civilization. They trample on human societies, deprive people of their freedom, plunder their wealth and occupy their lands, and then lecture others on human rights,” he said.

The massive demonstrations came despite threats of violence from the very same elements that Al-Houthi warned of. In the weeks leading up to Thursday’s rallies, police implemented special measures to ensure security during proceedings, including the banning of large trucks from central Sana’a and the establishment of additional checkpoints in the Yemeni capital and other provinces.

Yemen Protest

An aerial shot shows massive crowds at Thursday’s rally in Sana’a, Oct. 29, 2020. Hani Mohammed | AP

Despite the additional security measures, Hassan Zaid, the Houthi Minister for Youth and Sports, was assassinated on Tuesday as he drove his car through Sana’a. His 11-year-old daughter was seriously injured in the attack. Zaid was one of the most influential political opponents to Saudi Arabia and was wanted by the Kingdom, which offered a $10 million bounty for information leading to his capture. Houthi security forces said that they had also thwarted dozens of other planned attacks on Thursday’s demonstration.

 

Israeli settlements in Yemen?

The sheer scale of this week’s demonstrations dwarfed similar rallies that have taken place in previous years, not only due to Macron’s comments in France but because of fierce opposition to Israel’s new partnership with the UAE and other wealthy Gulf states, and its increasingly active presence in Yemen.

Yemenis fear that Israel not only seeks control of the strategic Bab-el-Mandeb strait, efforts that MintPress has covered in previous months, but also that it seeks a permanent footprint inside of Yemen and hopes to replace the original inhabitants of the islands and other coastal cities with Israeli settlers in a move reminiscent of the land grabs that led to the eventual annexation of land in what is now Israel.

In October, Houthi spokesman Yahya Saree warned that Israel was planning to naturalize tens of thousands of Yemeni-born Jews, emphasizing that such a scenario posed a grave threat to Yemen’s national security. Saree presented a number of National Security Agency documents that were seized when the Houthis took control from the government of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who ruled Yemen for 33 years.

Those documents detailed visits by Israeli officials to Yemen, facilitated by the UAE, in which a number of economic, cultural, and agricultural agreements were brokered alongside an agreement to open Yemeni airspace to Israeli aircraft. The most dangerous documents, according to Saree, relate to “the modernization of the Yemeni military forces.”

According to the documents, Israeli diplomat Bruce Kashdan arrived in Sana’a on an unannounced visit on July 14 of 2007, which lasted 48 hours. During that trip, Kashdan met with Yemeni military and security top brass who are relatives of Saleh. The Israeli official left Sana’a International Airport on July 16, 2007. The visit had been arranged by Yemeni officials in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates. Kashdan, who was also serving as a coordinator of relations between Tel Aviv and Dubai at that time, had also visited Yemen on February 2, 2005.

A delegation from the Israeli Knesset also visited Sana’a in March 1996 and received remarkable hospitality given the Yemeni government’s official stance towards Israel at the time. Knesset members met with several senior security and civilian officials headed by former president Saleh. Many Israeli delegations visited Yemen between 1995 and 2000 under the cover of tourism, commerce, and investment, according to the National Security Agency documents.

Saree accused the UAE and Israel of reviving a project that granted Israeli citizenship to more than 60,000 Yemenis. According to a memorandum to the UAE’s foreign minister in 2004 by Hamad Saeed Al-Zaabi, the Emirati ambassador in Sana’a, an Israeli delegation visited the Yemeni capital as part of normalization efforts and presented demands to build a museum celebrating Yemeni Jews in Sana’a among other moves that included naturalizing 45,000 Yemeni Jews as Israeli citizens. The Emirati ambassador described the move as part of a broader effort being pushed by the United States.

Feature photo | A Yemeni man holds a green flag with Arabic writing that reads, “at your order, oh messenger of Allah,” during a celebration of Mawlid al-Nabi, the birth of Islam’s prophet Muhammad in Sana’a, Yemen, Oct. 29, 2020. Hani Mohammed | AP

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

The post War-Weary Yemenis See Threat in Israel’s Increasingly Public Role in Their Country appeared first on MintPress News.

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