Posts tagged ‘Houthi’

August 27, 2019

The Sandal that Slapped the Tank

by mkleit

In December 2018, the fighting Yemeni parties have conducted peace negotiations to pave the way to an end of the brutal war that has torn the country apart, especially with the military intervention of a Saudi-led coalition in favor of one of the parties. The negotiations did some change on the ground, yet in the art of war, the side that imposes its conditions must be the one that has the upper hand, and so far, that’s not the zone the Coalition is in.

The Yemeni military forces have targeted on the 17th of August ARAMCO’s Shaibah oil field and refineries, near the Saudi – Emirati borders, with 10 military drones, which makes it the second time the Yemenis target the strategic depth of the Saudis in the war that has started mid-March 2015.

Yemeni military spokesman, Yehya al Saree’, who goes by the command of the Yemeni government in Sanaa, said that on the morning of the 17th of August, the Yemeni aerial forces have launched its largest attack on Saudi Arabia since the start of the Saudi-led Coalition war on Yemen by targeting Shaibah oil field and refineries with 10 military drones. He promised “bigger and wider military operations on their (Saudis) vital facilities… the coming operations will be more hurtful for the enemy.”

 

Yemeni military spokesman, Yehya al Saree, announcing major attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil refinery in Shaibah

 

This peculiar development isn’t the first of its kind, if we’re speaking of an attack on Saudi Arabia’s vital oil facilities, where the Yemenis have targeted main oil pumps in central Saudi Arabia last May. It has caused some surges in oil prices as well as a change in the tone of Saudi officials and their allies inside Yemen – mainly in southern regions – towards the nature of the war they’re fighting against a Yemeni government located in Sanaa.

The Emirates, the Saudi’s most prominent regional allies in this war, has committed to withdraw its forces from Yemen after a series of attacks on its interests such as oil tankers in Dubai port, military drone operations on Abu Dhabi airport, and its military presence in Aden, south of Yemen. In addition to the international pressure from some governments and rights groups because of alleged war crimes committed against civilians in southern areas, such AP’s report on secret prisons where rape and torture is being practiced on opposers to the Emirati presence in the capitol of the Yemeni south, Aden, supervised by Emirati generals.

Report of Yemeni Army air force targeting Abu Dhabi Airport

 

The Emirati decision has indirectly led to sporadic clashes in Aden between Emirati-supported Southern Transition Council and the pro-Yemeni President Abed Rabbu Mansour Hadi forces, supported by the Saudis. This tension between both sides has shaken the trust among the members of the Coalition, especially with the different goals each party has from the war. For the Saudis, it’s about political control over the Yemenis, and the Emiratis are in it for the ports, especially Aden, Socotra, and Houdeidah, which would act as a vital replacement for the strategic Dubai port considering recent developments in the Persian Gulf and the potential big rivalry that the Chinese-funder Pakistani Gwadar port would create. As for the Hadi government, it’s acting basically as the Saudi’s political puppet to enforce the latter’s control over the country that has always been directly related to the national security of kingdom; while the Transition Council is looking for independence and separation from the Northern part of Yemen, taking he country back to a time before the unification in 1990.

This turbulence, alongside that in the Northern front, would mostly lead the Saudis to one of two options:

  • Conduct direct peace talks with the Sanaa government, especially the Houthis, alongside the revival of the agreements signed in Decemeber’s talks in Stockholm. This would pave the road to an end to the entire war and the sufferings of the millions of Yemenis whom are either displaced, suffering from famine, diseases, malnutrition, and injuries.

Even though the warring parties have signed several agreements that would be a starter in lasting peace process, yet, due to the direct and indirect intervention of many global players in the war, the agreements weren’t fully applied on ground, with the exception of the Houdeidah agreement where the clashes were halted and UN peace-keepers supervised the peace treaty there, in which lies the only port that’s an access for humanitarian aid to more than half of the country’s population.

It’s worth noting that there has been huge international pressure on Saudi Arabia and the UAE to stop the war from governments and International NGOs, and recently there has been a notable statement on the 20th of July by the Saudi Ambassador to the UN, Abdullah al-Muallimi, where he said that “we do not want war with Iran in Yemen or elsewhere… it is high time that the war in Yemen should end and the Houthis should accept UN resolution 2216 by ending their illegitimate occupation of power in Yemen.” This statement could serve as a beacon of light to end this catastrophic war.

 

Heads of both Yemeni delegations, Khaled al-Yamani (left) and Mohamad Abdul-Salam (right), shaking hands, with the presence of UN secretary general Antonion Guterres (center) at the closing of the Yemen peace talks in Stockholm (December 2018)

 

  • The second option would be getting the upper hand in the war over the Sanaa forces and the Houthis, yet it’s easier said than done considering the recent balance-tipping developments, whether it be in Dale’ governorate in the south, just north of Aden, the capitol of the Saudis’ Yemeni allies; as well as, and most notably, the losses the Kingdom is suffering from at the border fronts, where the Saudis have lost several towns and around three cities, clashes going on near other cities, air fields like Abha and Khamis Mousheyt are being constantly hit by military drones and ballistic missiles, and border outposts are being taken over by a few men wearing nothing but slippers and a traditional Yemeni outfit, unlike the Saudi-led coalition which is fully equipped with body armor, night vision scopes, state of the art machine guns, and protected by formidable air and ground forces.

History has taught us that one the hardest battles that any army would fight is against a group that has no fear of death nor does it have anything to lose. The Yemenis have fought 6 wars in the past 30 years, unlike the Saudis, who have entered their first actual war.

In addition to that, the problem that lies in this expectation is that several of the key allies of the Saudis are taking a step back from supporting them, such as the US, France, and UK, after reports on war crimes and human rights abuses by Saudi-led coalition forces. Yet that doesn’t mean that these three elite nations aren’t getting paid in billions in return for weapons for the Saudis and Emiratis. Human rights aside, money still has the higher ground in the case of Yemen.

Nevertheless, the Houthis and their allies in Sanaa are still producing and improving their military arsenal to repel the Coalition’s attacks in the north, which has been a surprise to the Saudis and a heavy punch that they’re trying to cope with.

 

 

Sanaa-supported Yemen military generals standing in front of newly developed missiles’ replicas

 

In conclusion, the most reliable option here is a total cease-fire in all of Yemen, though it’s hard to practically impose on the warring sides due to the lack of trust between them, yet it will open a door for serious negotiations to put an end to the war, or, to say the least, apply the agreements that have been signed between them in Stockholm last December.

August 28, 2018

Ansar Allah Spokesman: Saudi Arabia wants a submissive entity not a free Yemen

by mkleit

 

Yemen’s Ansarullah spokesman Mohamed Abdel Salam said the political solution in Yemen is represented by the presence of consensual authority adding that the upcoming consultations on September 6 in Geneva must ensure a political solution presented by the presidency, the government and security arrangements as principles.

“Our vision for a political solution is to have a political authority that is consensual, such as presidency, by establishing a presidential council or finding a consensual personal, forming a government of national unity with all parties involved, and then arranging security and military matters,” he said in an exclusive interview with Unews Press Agency.

Abdel Salam further added that the other side only looks at the arms of the Yemeni Army and the Popular Committees ignoring other arms and stressed that there must be a political umbrella of the state’s authority, confirming that all heavy weapons must be at the state camps.

The spokesman pointed out that this is followed by humanitarian and economic arrangements, such as the treatment war remnants including reconstruction and compensation due to the war and the imposed siege that have caused disasters for the Yemeni people.

Abdel Salam denied the existence of any trust between the Yemeni forces and the Saudi-Led Coalition, stressing that Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi is not presented as a consensual person because he is “part of the problem in Yemen.”

“There is no trust between us and the Saudi-Led Coalition, so there must be a signed agreement and this was the problem with the Kuwait negotiations. They wanted an agreement signed by us, where as they only provide us with verbal promises.”

He explained that the solution is represented by a comprehensive agreement signed by all the parties with an international presence as well as public announcement and commitment by all.

Abdel Salam pointed out that “in the closed rooms, they ask (the government of the outgoing President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi) only for what matters to them, but in media they say that we do not commit and we are not looking for a solution.”

Speaking about the outgoing Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, Abdel Salam said that he became part of the problem and it is not logical to give him the confidence again to be president.

Abdel Salam said the weapon is a matter of strength for them and noted that the Saudi-Led Coalition will not allow them to have any political presence, adding that Saudi Arabia does not want a strong state in Yemen, but an entity of its own.

“The problem in Yemen is not in its weapons, because the Saudi-Led Coalition is entering arms into Yemen,”

He stressed that they believe that weapons must be in the hands of the state, wondering “who is this state?”

Abdel Salam pointed out that there are groups in the south that do not recognize the legitimacy of Mansur Hadi and do not accept him, and pointed out that there are weapons in the hands of ISIS, Al-Qaeda and other groups, stressing that they do not accept that the issue of weapons to be limited only to them.

Speaking about the Saudi-Led Coalition, Abdel Salam said that “if we had been with the Saudi-Led Coalition alongside a state in Yemen that belongs to the House of Saud that has no arms and no force, they would have given us the best types of weapons, the issue is not in the arms, but in the cause you adhere to and weapons are used to achieve it.”

Abdel Salam stressed that the United Nations has a very limited role in Yemen because of the American-British political pressure, Saudi and the Emirati money, condemning the lack of accountability of the Saudi-Led Coalition for massacres against Yemenis.

“Saudi Arabia is arrogant and because it failed in the war, it has become reckless and is fleeing … The Saudi regime committed a massacre against children in a school bus in Dahyan market and said it was consistent with international law,”

He added that “Saudi Arabia’s political support protected it, as well as that of America and Britain, as in Syria, Trump announced a strike against Syria after accusing the latter of the alleged chemical strike case, a dubious issue. Chemical weapons were smuggled across the border, but Syria was bombed. ”

The spokesman further pointed that in Yemen, the massacre has been collectively condemned by the international community, but they were not been able to pass a commission of inquiry because the perpetrator is known.

“Saudi Arabia is carrying out its operations with American planes, ammunition and intelligence. It is only carrying out what it is being ordered to do, and America will not accept any investigation condemning it… Saudi Arabia, the UAE, the United States and Britain are working to protect Israel’s interests,” he said.

Speaking about the role of the United Nations, Abdel Salam said that the UN is playing a minor role, stressing that it will not diverge from the US and British positions as well as the Saudi and Emirati money.

August 27, 2018

المتحدث باسم أنصار الله: التحالف السعودي مع دولة في اليمن تابعة لآل سعود دون أن يكون فيها سلاح وقوة

by mkleit

 

نفى المتحدث باسم أنصار الله، محمد عبدالسلام، وجود أي ثقة بين القوى اليمنية والتحالف السعودي، وأكد على أن اسم عبدربه منصور هادي غير مطروح كشخصية توافقية لأنه “جزء من المشكلة في اليمن.”

وفي مقابلة خاصة مع وكالة يونيوز للأخبار، قال عبدالسلام أن “الثقة معدومة بيننا وبين التحالف السعودي، لذلك يجب ان يكون هناك اتفاق موقع، وهذه المشكلة التي كانت في مفاوضات الكويت، هو أنهم أرادوا اتفاق موقع من طرفنا ولكن هم يعطوننا فقط وعود شفهية.”

وأوضح أن “الحل هو أن يكون هناك اتفاق شامل يوقع عليه جميع الاطراف بحضور دولي وإشهار معلن ويلتزم به الجميع.”

وأشار إلى أنه “في الغرف المغلقة، يطلبون (حكومة الرئيس المنتهية ولايته عبدربه منصور هادي) فقط ما يخصهم، أما في الاعلام يقولون أننا لا نلتزم ولا نريد الحل.”

وفي معرض حديثه عن الرئيس اليمني المنتهية ولايته، عبد ربه منصور هادي، قال عبد السلام أنه “أصبح جزء من المشكلة، فهل من المنطقي أن يكون هذا الشخص الذي قاتل اليمنيين وجلب لهم هذا الشر والويلات أن نعطيه مجدداً هذه الثقة ان يكون رئيساً؟ نحن بحاجة أن نوجد شخص على قبول من كافة الاطراف وهم موجودون، أما أن تأتي السعودية لتفرض عليها عبد ربه منصور هادي فهذا لن يحصل.”

وشدد على أن “منصور هادي لن يستطيع ان يقدم لك الحقوق الذي كان جزء من انتهاكها.”

كما أكد المتحدث باسم أنصار الله، محمد عبدالسلام، أن “السلاح هو موضوع قوة لنا ولن يسمحوا (التحالف السعودي) لنا بأي حضور سياسي”، موضحاً أن السعودية لا تريد دولة قوية في اليمن، بل كيان تابع لها.

واوضح أن “المشكلة في اليمن ليست بالسلاح، لأن التحالف السعودي يدخل السلاح الى اليمن بشكل كبير.”

وقال أن أنصار الله “نؤمن ان السلاح يجب أن يكون بيد الدولة، ولكن من هي هذه الدولة؟ هل الدولة هي التي كانت تقاتلك لأربع سنوات وأدخلت المرتزقة والاجانب لاحتلال البلد؟ هذه ليست دولة.”

وتساءل المسؤول في أنصار الله: “هل قدموا نموذج إيجابي في الجنوب للدولة؟ هناك مجموعات في الجنوب لا تعترف بشرعية منصور هادي ولا تقبله وهناك سلاح بيد داعش والقاعدة وجماعات أخرى، فلا نقبل أن يُختزل موضوع السلاح فينا فقط.”

وشدد عبدالسلام على أن “السلاح هو موضوع قوة لنا ولن يسمحوا لنا بأي حضور سياسي،” مطالباً الطرف الآخر بـ”ناقش أسباب حصول العدوان وانتشار السلاح، ثم قم بإلغاء هذه الأسباب.”

وفي حديثه عن التحالف السعودي، قال عبدالسلام أن “التحالف السعودي مع دولة في اليمن تابعة لآل سعود، دون أن يكون فيها سلاح وقوة (…) لو كنا معهم، لأعطونا أفضل أنواع الأسلحة، فالمسألة ليست في السلاح، بل في القضية التي تتمسك بها والسلاح وسيلة لتحقيقها.”

وأكد المتحدث باسم أنصار الله أن الحل السياسي في اليمن يتمثل بوجودة سلطة توافقية وأن المشاورات القادمة في السادس من أيلول/ سبتمبر في جنيف “يجب ان تضمن حل سياسي يتمثل بالرئاسة والحكومة وبالترتيبات الامنية كمبادئ”.

وفي مقابلة خاصة مع وكالة يونيوز للأخبار، قال عبدالسلام أن “رؤيتنا للحل السياسي هو ان يكون هناك سلطة سياسية متوافق عليها كمؤسسة الرئاسة عبر إنشاء مجلس رئاسي او إيجاد شخصية توافقية، ثم تشكيل حكومة وحدة وطنية تشارك فيها كل الاطراف، ثم ترتيبات امور أمنية وعسكرية بعد انتشار السلاح بيد الجماعات الارهابية المختلفة.”

كما أضاف أن “الطرف الآخر لا ينظر الا لسلاح الجيش اليمني واللجان الشعبية، دون أن ينظر الى سلاح الآخرين، ويجب ان تكون هناك مظلة سياسية تحت سلطة الدولة. كل الاسلحة الثقيلة يجب ان تذهب الى معسكرات الدولة.”

“يتبع ذلك ترتيبات انسانية واقتصادية، متمثلة بمعالجة مخلفات الحرب كالاعمار والتعويضات لأن الحرب تسببت بكوارث بحق الشعب اليمني نتيجة الحصار الذي استمر سنوات،” كما قال عبدالسلام، مشدداً على أن “الحل السياسي يجب ان يضمن هذه الترتيبات.”

وفيما يخص المشاورات المزمع عقدها في السادس من أيلول/ سبتمبر القادم في مبنى الامم المتحدة في جنيف السويسرية، قال المتحدث باسم أنصار الله أن “مشاورات جنيف يجب ان تضمن حل سياسي يتمثل بالرئاسة والحكومة وبالترتيبات الامنية كمبادئ، لأن الامم المتحدة تقول أن التفاصيل يجب أن تذهب الى الحوار السياسي، فنحن لا نمانع ذلك شرط أن لا تُختزل كما حصل في مباحثات الكويت التي كانت شروطها امنية وعسكرية فقط دون أن تكون سياسية كتسليم السلاح والانسحاب دون أن يكون هناك غطاء للدولة.”

كما أشار إلى أنه سيكون هناك وفد وطني موحّد للذهاب الى تلك المشاورات، موضحاً أنه “ربما سيكون هناك بعد المشاورات جلسات للمفاوضات تؤدي الى التزامات مثل وقف التصعيد وفتح مطار صنعاء.”

وعلى صعيد متصل، قال المتحدث باسم أنصار الله، محمد عبدالسلام، أن الأمم المتحدة دورها محدود جداً في اليمن بسبب “الضغط السياسي الامريكي – البريطاني والمال السعودي والاماراتي”، مندداً بغياب محاسبة التحالف السعودي على المجازر التي يرتكبها بحق اليمنيين.

وفي مقابلة خاصة مع وكالة يونيوز للأخبار، أشار عبدالسلام إلى أن “السعودية متغطرسة ولأنها فشلت في الحرب أصبحت متهورة وتهرب الى الامام (…) فارتكب النظام السعودي مجزرة بحق أطفال في حافلة مدرسة في سوق ضحيان وقال أنها متوافقة مع القانون الدولي.”

وأضاف أن “الدعم السياسي للسعودية حماها، كذلك القادم من امريكا وبريطانيا. كما الحال ما حصل في سوريا، قام ترامب ليعلن ضربة ضد سوريا بعد اتهام الاخيرة بقضية الضربة الكيميائية المزعومة، وهي قضية ملتبسة. سوريا نكرت الموضوع واعتبرتها مؤامرة، وأكدت أن جماعات مسلحة لديها اسلحة كيميائية تم تهريبها عبر الحدود، ومع ذلك تم قصف سوريا.”

“اما في اليمن، تمت إدانة المجزرة بشكل جماعي في المجتمع الدولي، ولكن لم يتمكنوا من تمرير لجنة تحقيق لأنه معروف من هو الفاعل،” قال المسؤول في أنصار الله.

وفي حديثه عن المجازر التي ارتكبها التحالف السعودي في اليمن، ومن ضمنها مجزرة الصالة الكبرى وغيرها من مجازر، قال عبدالسلام أنه “لم يتم تشكيل أي لجنة تحقيق دولي، وهي مجازر قامت بها طائرات التحالف بدعم سياسي امريكي.”

وأضاف أن “السعودية تقوم بعملياتها بطائرات وذخائر واستخبارات امريكية، وهي تنفذ فقط ما تُأمر به، ولن تقبل أمريكا بأي تحقيق يدينها (…) كما أن السعودية والامارات وامريكا وبريطانيا يعملون على حماية مصالح اسرائيل.”

وفي معرض حديثه عن دور الامم المتحدة، قال عبدالسلام أن المنظمة الأممية “تلعب بهامش ضيق ولن تخرج من الموقفين الامريكي والبريطاني، والمال السعودي والاماراتي.”

وأعطى مثالا عن المبعوث الدولي السابق لليمن، اسماعيل ولد الشيخ أحمد، حيث وصفه بأنه “كان تابعا للنفوذ السعودي بشكل صريح، وكان يحركه سفير سعودي، وعندما انتهت ولايته أصبح وزيراً للخارجية لنظام يُحرك من قبل السعودية.”

وأكد على أن أنصار الله “لا نراهن على الامم المتحدة لأنها تتحرك فقط عندما يحصل احراج لها من الرأي العام الدولي”، وأعطى مثالا على ذلك قائلا: “لم تستطع الامم المتحدة أن تعطينا رحلة عودة الى صنعاء بعد أن حوصرنا في مسقط لثلاثة أشهر عقب انتهاء مفاوضات الكويت، وتمت إعادتنا بصفقة تبادل مع معتقلين للتحالف.”

April 4, 2015

Who’s more dangerous, ISIL or Houthis?

by mkleit

 Telegraph

Iraqi soldier in the markets of Karbala https://www.flickr.com/photos/98070911@N05/16446372336/

Iraqi soldier in the markets of Karbala
https://www.flickr.com/photos/98070911@N05/16446372336/

“We neither need sympathy nor denunciations; we need better weapons and more ammunition!” – Haidar, an Iraqi soldier keeping an eagle’s eye on a busy market in Kadimiya, a district located northern Baghdad, while replying to the merchants’ salutations as he walks by their small colorful shops, which covered the atmosphere with the scent of spices and Arabian musk. “We are strong, but we’re exhausted as well (..) it takes one day to assemble forces and launch an attack on terrorism”, implying to the fact that none of the Arab nations have come to aid Iraqis against the threat of the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant “ISIL”, unlike what is happening nowadays in Yemen

A Saudi-led aerial assault hit Yemeni capital, Sanaa, alongside other Houthi-controlled areas, after Yemeni president Abed Rabbu Mansour’s request to “protect Yemen from Houthis”; but why haven’t the 10 participating Arab and Asian nations did the same thing when ISIL conquered much of Western Iraq and North-Eastern Syria?

Probably the answer lies in the Bab el Mandeb, the world’s most strategic and profitable strait, found in the southwest of the Arabian Peninsula. Almost 3,300,000 oil barrels pass daily through that very strait, which is equivalent to 4% of global demand, as well as 21,000 trade vessels annually, which is 10% of global trade shipment movements. Once Houthis have reached the provinces surrounding Bab el Mandeb, Saudis have declared war against Houthis and stated that it is a case of “national security and interests”, without giving any sort of hard evidence proving so, probably because Saudis would not want another strait controlled by “the enemy”, such the Iranian-controlled Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf

Moreover, Houthis have sufficed for solely rejecting Saudi interference in Yemeni affairs; ISIL leaders have recently stated that Saudi Arabia is a target-country, urging its followers in the kingdom to target economical institutes and social gatherings. Even before that, assassinated al-Qaeda leader in Yemen Anwar al-Awlaki has repeatedly called for attacks against Saudi Arabia for the latter’s cooperation with “the imperialist powers against the Islamic Umma”

Another answer might be found in the oil wells of Iraq and Syria.  So far, ISIL has been indirectly serving the Saudi oil monopoly and trade – Saudi Arabia has 18% of petroleum reserves and prominent petroleum exporter worldwide – in face of other regional rivals, especially Iraq, which has the fifth largest oil reserves, yet the terrorist group controls a big portion of the oil wells

The third answer is in the ideological and religious closeness of ISIL and Saudi Arabia’s religious authority. Unlike Houthis, whom are Yazdi-Shiites of the Islamic religion, ISIL and Saudi Arabia’s religious authority share many methods of internal governance, such rule of Wahhabist law, forcing women to wear burqa’, imprisoning activists for charges of defamation of royalty or religious figures; though they slightly differ in political goals – each wants a pan-Islamic governance for itself.

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