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As truce ends, Yemen warns oil companies to leave Saudi Arabia, UAE

Press TV – October 2, 2022

Yemen’s Armed Forces have put oil companies operating in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on notice, warning that they could be targeted as long as Riyadh and its allies fail to commit to a proper ceasefire.

Tweeting on Sunday, the Armed Forces’ spokesman Brigadier General Yahya Saree said Yemeni troops were providing the oil companies with a window of opportunity to leave the Saudi and Emirati soils “fast.”

The Saudi kingdom and its allies, most notably the United Arab Emirates, have been waging a war against Yemen since March 2015, trying, in vain, to restore Yemen’s power to its former Riyadh-friendly officials. The military campaign, which has been enjoying unstinting arms, logistical, and political support from the United States, has killed hundreds of thousands of people, and turned the entire Yemen into the scene of the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

A temporary United Nations-mediated ceasefire took effect between the warring sides in April and has been renewed twice ever since. The truce, however, expired on Sunday amid the invading coalition’s constant violations of the agreement and its refusal to properly lift a siege that it has been enforcing against Yemen simultaneously with the war.

“The warning,” Saree said, “stands as long as the countries that make up the invading American-Saudi coalition refuse to adhere to a ceasefire that allows the Yemeni people to exploit their oil wealth….”

Also on Sunday, Hans Grundberg, the United Nations’ special envoy for Yemen, confirmed failure of efforts aimed at extending the truce.

“The UN special envoy regrets that an agreement has not been reached today, as an extended and expanded truce would provide additional critical benefits to the population,” a statement said.

“I urge [the warring parties] to fulfill their obligation to the Yemeni people to pursue every avenue for peace,” the Swedish diplomat was quoted as saying.

October 3, 2022 Posted by | Economics, War Crimes | , , | 1 Comment

108 civilians killed by mines and cluster bombs in Yemen since April: Report

The Cradle | September 18, 2022

The Executive Center for Mine Action (YEMAC) in Sanaa has confirmed that 324 civilians have been killed and injured since the truce took effect on 2 April as a result of mines and cluster bombs used by the Saudi-led coalition.

In a statement, the Center said that since the beginning of the UN-brokered truce, 108 civilians had been killed and 216 injured through landmines, cluster bomb explosions, and other remnants of the 8-year-long war.

The YEMAC renewed the call to provide field supplies and equipment to demine the battlefields in Yemen from cluster bombs, unexploded shells, and mines. Despite the agreement to do so, efforts remain constrained by the Saudi-led coalition.

According to the reports, cluster bombs used by the Saudi-led coalition have caused the most damage, killing 18 civilians and wounding 57 others.

Another report published by the Entesaf Organization, which focuses on the rights of women and children, Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen has killed and injured over 13,000 Yemeni civilians since 2015.

On 29 August, Abdul Karim al-Safiani, deputy director of Yemen’s Water Resource Organization, stated that he discovered high radioactive substances and toxic metals in freshwater resources in Hodeidah province.

According to Yemeni sources, Saudi Arabia and its partners are also responsible for the looting of vast quantities of oil from detained tankers.

Earlier this month, the spokesman for the Yemeni Petroleum Company (YPC) in Sanaa, Issam al-Mutawakel, said the total number of fuel ships seized by the coalition reached 12 ships.

Sanaa accused the Saudi-led coalition on 28 August of destroying 2,995 water facilities since the beginning of the war in 2015, including dams, barriers, pumps, tanks, irrigation channels, and irrigation networks, fueling the humanitarian crisis in the country.

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR), more than 23.4 are in desperate need of humanitarian assistance in Yemen, the worst human-made humanitarian crisis in the world.

Meanwhile, the Saudi-led coalition is blocking the country’s access to assistance and necessary resources by controlling access via sea, air, and land. Half of the country’s health facilities are also out of service and lack energy and supplies for the adequate treatment of its patients.

September 18, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | , | 1 Comment

The West is poised to throw Yemen under the bus again to fuel its economic war on Russia

By Robert Inlakesh | Samizdat | September 11, 2022

Strained by the consequences of the ongoing conflict between NATO and Russia over Ukraine, France may be destroying all prospects for peace in Yemen, in a bid to secure energy resource from the United Arab Emirates.

Considered to be home to the worst humanitarian crisis in modern history, according to the United Nations, earlier this year, its people saw glimmers of hope towards ending its seven-year long war. A ceasefire truce, which has largely held since April, has been viewed as the first step towards reaching a UN-mediated solution for peace between the Ansarallah government in Sanaa and the Saudi-led coalition forces which claim to represent the internationally backed Yemeni government in exile.

According to UN estimates, the total number of people killed in Yemen’s war already reached 377,000 by the beginning of 2022. The civilian death rate is said to have doubled, according to the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), since the controversial withdrawal of UN human rights monitors last October.

Although Saudi coalition forces and Ansarallah, popularly referred to in Western media as the “Iran-backed Houthi rebels,” have managed to keep fighting to a minimum during the past months, another major player in the south of Yemen has recently decided to go on the offensive. The Southern Transitional Council (STC), often called Yemen’s southern separatists, are backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and declared the start of a new military operation in the Abyan province “to cleanse it of terrorist organisations.” This follows territorial gains by the STC, in neighboring Shawba province, against the Muslim Brotherhood aligned Islah Party and others. The offensives launched by the UAE-backed STC have been regarded as a major challenge to UN efforts to end the conflict in Yemen, as well as having imperiled the Saudi initiative, which it calls the ‘Yemen Presidential Council,’ aimed at solidifying the legitimacy of the alternative Yemeni leadership in exile.

Where France Comes In

Although its role is little known to the Western public, Paris is the third largest arms supplier to the UAE and Saudi Arabia for their war efforts in Yemen, ranking just behind the US and UK. In fact, Germany, Spain and Italy have also sold weapons that have been used in the devastating war. Despite criticism, from human rights groups, of French weapons being used by Abu Dhabi and Riyadh to commit war crimes, the sale of weapons has continued from France.

April 15, 2019, French investigative magazine, Disclosepublished an expose on Paris’s role in Yemen’s war. The information presented was based on a leaked French Military Intelligence (DRM) report dating back to September, 2018, clearly proving that the country had sold offensive weapons that were used in civilian areas, a charge that the French government has denied. As far back as June, 2018, credible reports began to emerge that French special forces units were operating on the ground in Yemen, alongside forces belonging to the UAE. Last December, Paris decided to further tighten its relationship with Abu Dhabi, signing its largest ever weapons sale to the UAE, worth 19.23 billion US dollars according to a report from Reuters.

France first turned to the US

France is now desperately in need of alternative energy suppliers to Russia, in order to meet its required needs, fearing that as the winter hits, Moscow may strategically cut off its natural gas completely. As part of NATO, Paris is backing a US-led initiative which seeks to make Russia pay an economic and military price for its offensive in Ukraine, however, this strategy has majorly backfired economically.

US President Joe Biden made two major foreign policy pledges when running for office in 2020, which are relevant to the current French predicament. The first being to revive the Obama-era Iran nuclear deal and the second being to find a diplomatic solution to the war in Yemen. Due to the ongoing NATO-Russia conflict, seeking a revival of the Iran nuclear deal has re-emerged on the political agenda of his administration in a major way. Iran, free from sanctions, could become an alternative source to fill the energy needs of Europe in the future, yet it could take some time for this to actually happen.

On the issue of the war in Yemen, Joe Biden pledged as part of his first speech on his government’s foreign policy goals, that he would hold Saudi Arabia to account and seek to find a solution to the crisis in Yemen. However, the war in Ukraine clearly changed his approach to Riyadh, so much so that Washington signaled in the review a decision to not sell offensive weapons to the Saudi government. The US President was heavily criticized by Human Rights Watch for traveling to Saudi Arabia in July.

Despite US attempts to have Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states increase their oil production, none have yet complied in the manner that Washington had hoped for. Specifically in the cases of the UAE and Saudi Arabia, it is clear that both are seeking to fast track their journey to diversify their economies. That has meant them hanging onto their strategic reserves of oil and gas, during a global energy crisis, which has made fiscal sense for them. In the cases of Venezuela and Iran, despite the US having seemingly reached out to both, neither seem to be a real replacement to Russia in the near future.

All Bets On Yemen

France is now looking for alternatives on its own. In June, the European Union announced that it had signed an agreement with Israel and Egypt. Under the deal, Israel will send gas through pipelines to Egypt, where it will then be transported to Europe. Although this may work, Tel Aviv does not have the capacity to replace Moscow as Europe’s main supplier of gas. Israel seeks to double its gas output, but in doing so is already running into potential problems over its maritime border dispute with Lebanon and its planned extraction of gas from the ‘Karish field’ in September, considered to be located in a disputed area. Lebanese Hezbollah has even threatened to strike all of Israel’s gas facilities in the event that Beirut is not given a fair deal to access its own resources.

French President, Emmanuel Macron, has attempted to persuade resource rich Algeria to become part of the EU’s solution, also going on a three-day trip to Algiers in order to mend ties. Algeria, which maintains close relations with Moscow, withdrew its ambassador from Paris for three months last year, during a diplomatic row. Macron had accused the Algerian President Abdelmadjid Tebboune’s government of “exploiting memory” and “rewriting history” of the colonial era and even questioned the legitimacy of Algeria as a State prior to French settler-colonial rule there. Around 1.5 million Algerians were killed in the battle for independence from France, which its resistance eventually managed to win in 1962. The tone of the French president has now dramatically changed from that of last year, with Macron remarking that both nations “have a complex, painful common past. And it has at times prevented us from looking at the future.”

The other major alternative path that France seems to be now seeking, is through its close alliance with the UAE. As mentioned above, it has been clear for some time that Paris has been involved in supplying weapons, logistical support and even boots on the ground to its allies in Abu Dhabi and Riyadh, aiding their fight in Yemen. However, it is also clear that the UAE has not been interested in cutting into its strategic oil reserves to meet the demands of Europe.

In July, as President Macron hosted the Emirati President, Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, in Paris, the French ministry of economy announced a new strategic energy agreement between the UAE and France. An aide to the French president noted that France was eager to secure diesel fuel from the UAE, hinting that the cooperation agreement involving France’s ‘Total Energies’ and the UAE’s ‘ADNOC’ may be linked. Although it is unknown as to what the specifics of the “strategic agreement” are, it has been speculated that the deal could potentially be worth billions.

Then, in August, the UAE-backed STC suddenly began new offensive operations in both the Shabwa and Abyan provinces. It just so happens that the STC forces decided to take over the energy sites in the Shabwa province too. Leading human rights NGOs had urged Paris to keep in mind Abu Dhabi’s human rights abuses in the advent of the signing of the strategic energy agreement, calls clearly not heeded. On August 21st, when UAE-backed forces seized the oil facilities in Yemen’s south, it may have been with the French deal in mind. Yemen’s former foreign minister, Dr. Abu Bakr al-Qirbi stated on Twitter that “preparations are being made to export gas from the Balhaf facility in light of increased international gas prices.” This was then followed by an announcement from the parliament of the Sana’a-based National Salvation Government, warning of suspicious movement from both US and French forces.

The key Balhaf facility, in Yemen’s Shabwa province, has reportedly been turned into a base for forces belonging to the UAE, with allegations suggesting that Paris could “provide protection for the facility through the French Foreign Legion.” There are also countless reports of the UAE looting resources from Yemen, which would seem to support the idea that they could be attempting to extract them to send to France. The latest reported looting of Yemen’s resources, from June, quotes Yemeni officials as having alleged that a Gulf Aetos tanker, carrying 400,000 barrels of Yemeni crude oil, had departed from Rudum port and was being operated by the UAE.

What these offensive moves by the STC also mean, is that the Saudi-backed forces in Yemen and Ansarallah will likely also get involved in the combat too. This could mean the dissolution of the ceasefire truce between the two sides, the renewal of the Ansarallah offensive to take the oil rich Marib province from the Saudi-backed forces and the death of any potential peace initiative to end the war.

It is unlikely that Ansarallah will stay silent, if the STC are aiding in the theft of Yemen’s resources for the sake of France. One of the major reasons behind the dramatic escalation of violence last year, was the Ansarallah offensive, launched with the aim of taking out the last northern stronghold of the Saudi-led coalition, Marib. The purpose of taking the resource rich area would be to stop the looting of Yemen’s resources, which according to reports is amounting to the theft of millions of barrels per year. Some sources claim that an unofficial agreement is in place between the US and Saudi governments, to purposefully keep the resources of Yemen away from its people and instead, divert the profits to Saudi banks.

Part of the reason why there was a Yemeni revolution in 2011, then a seizure of power in 2015 by Ansarallah in conjunction with the country’s military, was the popular belief that the past two Presidents of Yemen, Ali Abdullah Saleh and Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi, were corrupt. The people of Yemen were fed up with Saleh for a multitude of reasons, primarily that he mismanaged resources, had sold out to the United States and was corrupt. President Hadi was later to be seen as a stooge, controlled completely by the Saudis.

Perhaps the biggest problem here however, is not just that Yemen is a resource rich country, with a starving population, being torn apart by foreign powers, but also that nobody even knows what their governments are involved in. On August 25, then British prime minister, Boris Johnson, stated, about rising energy bills, that “While people are paying energy bills, people in Ukraine are paying with blood”. Yet, it may turn out that for Europe to keep the lights on, the people of Yemen will pay with their blood. Except in this case, the UK, US and France can’t blame that bloodshed on Moscow, this is their own doing.

Robert Inlakesh is a political analyst, journalist and documentary filmmaker currently based in London, UK. He has reported from and lived in the occupied Palestinian territories and currently works with Quds News.

September 11, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

Israeli naval delegation deployed to Yemen’s Socotra Island

The Cradle | September 2, 2022

Yemeni media reported on 2 September that a delegation of Israeli military experts has been deployed to the UAE-controlled Yemeni island of Socotra, located in the Gulf of Aden.

According to the report, the Israeli team has been on the island for the past few days, and is accompanied by several Emirati intelligence officers.

The report adds that the delegation, who belong to Tel Aviv’s navy, have been carrying out search operations and excavations across Socotra Island.

The island, inhabited by around 60,000 people, overlooks the Strait of Bab Al-Mandab, a major shipping corridor that links the Red Sea to both the Gulf of Aden and the Arabian Sea. Over the past year, Israel has reportedly been working with its Gulf partner to establish a presence on Socotra.

According to a Yemeni media report from March, the UAE is involved in the development of a construction project to build facilities on the island for the purpose of hosting Israeli soldiers, officers, and other military experts and personnel.

This is allegedly part of a plan to turn the Yemeni island into a center for regional espionage, as well as to increase military control over maritime routes.

Last year, Israel signed an agreement with the UAE, allowing it to establish an intelligence center at the island’s Hadibu Airport.

Israel is also interested in the strategic Yemeni island because it serves as a potential flashpoint for a confrontation with Iran. In 2020, the Washington Institute published an analysis examining how Israeli submarines could potentially strike the Islamic Republic from positions near Yemen.

In January of this year, Socotra Island made headlines due to controversial photos of Israeli tourists who had visited the island under a UAE-issued visa.

In June of 2020, the UAE established control of the island by bribing its tribal authorities.

Former Yemeni President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi described the UAE’s takeover of the island as “a full-fledged coup,” however.

Since the start of the war on Yemen in 2015, the UAE has been an integral part of the Saudi-led coalition, backing mercenary groups across the country and taking part in indiscriminate bombing campaigns.

The Saudi-led coalition, which continues to violate the UN-brokered ceasefire agreement, receives logistical and military support from the US, the UK, France, and most notably Israel.

September 2, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation | , , , | 3 Comments

Study Exposes Misinformation Campaign Pushing Pro-American Narratives on Twitter, Facebook

By Kyle Anzalone | The Libertarian Institute | August 24, 2022

Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory released a study showing a “series of covert campaigns over a period of almost five years” that pushed pro-Western misinformation on Twitter, Facebook and five other social media platforms. The operations targeted people living in Central Asia and the Middle East.

An investigation was launched after Twitter and Merta turned over the data on two overlapping accounts to Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory. The accounts were removed in July and August for violating teams of services, including “platform manipulation” and “inauthentic behavior.” The fake accounts deployed misinformation to set narratives supporting Western geopolitical goals.

According to the executive summary, “Our joint investigation found an interconnected web of accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and five other social media platforms that used deceptive tactics to promote pro-Western narratives in the Middle East and Central Asia.” It continues, “The platforms’ datasets appear to cover a series of covert campaigns over a period of almost five years rather than one homogeneous operation.”

One operation by the covert accounts was directed at Central Asia. A narrative the fake accounts tried to spread was painting Russia as the looming enemy. “Assets in the group consistently portrayed Russia as a threat to Central Asia. A recurring narrative claimed that Russia is abusing Russian-Central Asian partnerships, namely the CSTO, to extract one-sided benefits…The assets also said Central Asian countries must leave these organizations if they wish to retake their full sovereignty from Russia.”

The Central Asia operations also sought to portray Russia as a villain and support the Ukrainian war effort. On several occasions, the accounts attempted to generate hashtag campaigns supporting Kiev.

The covert accounts campaigns against Iran linked to articles from fake media outlets to spread misinformation. The report says, “Several suspended accounts were linked to two sham media outlets operating in Persian.” However, not all the posts are linked to phony media outlets. The accounts frequently linked to stories from US government-funded sources like Voice of America.

A different operation attempted to set the discourse on the war in Yemen. “These accounts shared content critical of Iranian and Houthi rebel activity in Yemen. Posts accused Houthi rebel leaders of blocking humanitarian aid deliveries, acting as proxies for Iran and Hezbollah,” the report authors wrote.

While Graphika and the Stanford Internet Observatory do not name a culprit for the misinformation campaigns, they say the accounts were likely ineffective at spreading misinformation. “The data also shows the limitations of using inauthentic tactics to generate engagement and build influence online. The vast majority of posts and tweets we reviewed received no more than a handful of likes or retweets.”

August 25, 2022 Posted by | Aletho News | , , , , | Leave a comment

Saudi coalition seizes another Yemen-bound fuel tanker

Press TV – July 20, 2022

Yemen’s Petroleum Company (YPC) says the Saudi-led coalition has seized yet another Yemen-bound fuel ship in blatant violation of a UN-brokered ceasefire.

In a statement released on Wednesday, the YPC said the seizure has “brought the number of confiscated Yemen-bound fuel ships to three” in recent days. The Lady Sarah fuel vessel was inspected and cleared by the UN, it added.

Reacting to the seizure, Mohammed Abdulsalam, the chief negotiator of Yemen’s National Salvation Government, said the coalition has constantly violated the truce and is “killing time, which is not accepted by our nation.”

Saudi-led coalition forces committed thousands of violations of the ceasefire agreement within a month of its entry into force on April 2. The agreement was extended under the auspices of the UN on June 2 and is set to expire next month.

Over the past year, the coalition has been consistently looting and selling large quantities of Yemeni gas and crude oil.

Yemeni authorities accuse the Saudi-led coalition of carrying out a systematic campaign aimed at depleting the country’s natural resources.

Earlier this month, Mohammad Tahir Anam, an adviser to the Yemeni Supreme Political Council, warned Riyadh and its allies that companies and ships involved in the looting of Yemeni oil will be targeted by the Ansarullah resistance movement if the theft persists.

On July 3, Yemeni Prime Minister Abdulaziz Saleh bin Habtoor said the looting of Yemen’s oil by the Saudi-led coalition is carried out under directives from the White house.

Yemen’s Minister of Oil and Minerals Ahmad Abdullah Dares has warned that the Saudi seizure of ships carrying petroleum products to Yemen could lead to the suspension of the service sectors and cause “a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Yemeni media reports said participants at a massive protest in the capital on Wednesday denounced the seizure of fuel tankers heading to the port of Hudaydah by Saudi-led forces.

The protest was organized in front of the United Nations office in Sana’a.

Saudi Arabia and a number of its regional allies — including the United Arab Emirates (UAE) — launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015. The war was meant to eliminate Yemen’s popular Houthi Ansarullah movement and reinstall a former regime. The conflict, accompanied by a tight siege, has failed to reach its goals, but has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemeni people.

The Yemeni army and popular committees have intensified their retaliatory attacks against targets deep inside Saudi Arabia and the UAE in response to the Saudi siege.

July 21, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , | Leave a comment

17 killed, injured in Saudi attack on Yemen’s Sa’ada Province

Press TV – July 11, 2022

The Saudi-led coalition has once again broken the terms of a United Nations-mediated truce, killing and injuring as many as 17 people in a cross-border attack on the impoverished country.

The casualties were caused on Sunday after Saudi forces opened fire on a border area in Yemen’s Sa’ada Province, which lies to Yemen’s extreme northwest, a security source told Yemen’s official Saba Net news agency.

Most of the wounded, who have been transferred to a hospital in the city of Razih in the western part of the province, are in a life-threatening condition, the source said.

Elsewhere in the province, the coalition targeted the Shada’a District, killing one person and injuring seven others.

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistical support from the United States and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of former president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush Yemen’s Ansarullah popular resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

The UN-brokered truce between the coalition and Ansarullah, which came into effect in April, was extended for another two months on June 2.

As part of the ceasefire, commercial flights have resumed from Sana’a International Airport to Amman and Cairo, while oil tankers have been able to dock at the port city of al-Hudaydah.

The elusive truce has provided a rare let-up in the Saudi-led coalition’s attacks on the Arab country, even though the coalition has been accused of a series of ceasefire violations.

Also on Sunday, the Yemeni National Salvation Government’s health ministry said a total of 31 people had been killed and 356 others injured as a result of the invaders’ violations of the make-or-break ceasefire.

July 11, 2022 Posted by | Militarism, War Crimes | , , | Leave a comment

UAE forces are displacing Yemenis from Abd Al-Kuri Island

MEMO | June 29, 2022

Emirati forces have been accused of displacing local residents from Yemen’s Socotra archipelago in preparation to establish a military base on the island of Abd Al-Kuri.

Yesterday they continued to forcibly evict dozens of families from their homes at gunpoint, reported the Yemen Press Agency, citing local sources. The sources added that the recent displacement came after construction work began to build the base, which is speculated to host joint UAE and Israeli forces stationed in the archipelago.

In April, it was reported that UAE forces have been expelling dozens of families from their villages on Abd Al-Kuri Island, the second largest in the archipelago.

The displacements come amid increased cooperation between the UAE and Israel – who normalised ties in 2020, to set up a military and spy base on the strategically-located islands. This is in line with Israel’s ambitions to gain a foothold in the Bab El-Mandeb Strait.

Despite the UAE’s withdrawal in 2019 from the southern port city of Aden on Yemen’s mainland, it has steadily been increasing and consolidating its influence elsewhere in the southern provinces, including in Socotra. Its actions are seen by many locals as an occupation.

June 29, 2022 Posted by | Ethnic Cleansing, Racism, Zionism, Illegal Occupation, War Crimes | , , , | Leave a comment

State Dept. Not Investigating Saudi Use of US Weapons in Alleged War Crimes: GAO

Samizdat | June 16, 2022

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) published a scathing report Monday which found that the Department of Defense and the Department of State “have not fully determined the extent to which U.S. military support has contributed to civilian harm in Yemen.” The news comes on the heels of the announcement that US President Joe Biden will be paying a visit next month to Saudi Arabia, a country which in 2019 he pledged to turn into a “pariah.”

“Despite several reports that airstrikes and other attacks by Saudi Arabia and UAE have caused extensive civilian harm in Yemen, [the Department of Defense] has not reported and [the State Department] could not provide evidence that it investigated any incidents of potential unauthorized use of equipment transferred to Saudi Arabia or UAE,” the GAO report concluded.

In February 2021, US President Joe Biden declared he was ending “all American support for offensive operations” in the Saudi war on Yemen. GAO monitors pointed out that while US Military Training Mission staff claimed that “all of the equipment the US sells… to Saudi Arabia must be for defensive purposes,” the “officials could not provide a definition for equipment that is defensive in nature when asked how they distinguish between equipment used for defensive purposes and equipment used for offensive purposes.”

Instead, the report’s authors noted, State Department officials “told us they have no specific definitions for what constitutes ‘offensive weapons’ and ‘defensive weapons’ to direct the sale of weapons to Saudi Arabia.”

The report also found that from fiscal year 2015 to 2021, the “Department of Defense administered at least $54.6 billion of military support to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, of which over a third, or $18.3 billion, came in the form of missiles. The remaining military aid was reportedly spent as follows: $7.6 billion on equipment maintenance, $6.2 billion on aircraft, $4.9 billion on “special activities,” $4.6 billion on communication, detection, and coherent radiation equipment, $3.3 billion on ships, $2.8 billion on training, $1.4 billion on construction, $1.2 billion on ammunition, $1.1 billion on support equipment, $900 million on weapons, and $1.8 billion on other expenditures like combat, tactical, and support vehicles, as well as research and development.

Although “the United Nations has characterized the conflict in Yemen as one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises,” the report’s authors explain that the US has “long-standing security relationships with Saudi Arabia and UAE—two primary actors in the conflict—and has continued to provide them military support, including for operations in Yemen since 2015.”

In April, 32 US Congress members urged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to commit to a “recalibration of the US-Saudi partnership,” noting that the US’ “continued unqualified support for the Saudi monarchy, which systematically, ruthlessly represses its own citizens, targets critics all over the world, carries out a brutal war in Yemen, and bolsters authoritarian regimes throughout the Middle East and North Africa, runs counter to US national interests and damages the credibility of the United States to uphold our values.”

But with Biden’s announcement that he’ll be flying to Riyadh next month for what the Saudi embassy described as “official talks” between Joe Biden and Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the odds of such an adjustment taking place–and of US agencies taking a more proactive approach towards American involvement in alleged Saudi war crimes–are growing ever-slimmer.

June 16, 2022 Posted by | Deception, Progressive Hypocrite, War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

Three French weapons makers complicit in war crimes in conflict-hit Yemen, three rights groups say

Press TV – June 2, 2022

Three human rights groups have filed a complaint against three top French weapons manufacturers for their complicity in gross war crimes after selling various types of ammunition to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates as the major members of the Saudi-led coalition of aggression.

The complaint was lodged by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR), the Mwatana for Human Rights as well as Sherpa International at a Paris court on Thursday.

The non-governmental organizations targeted French aerospace company Dassault Aviation, Thales Group and MBDA France, hoping that the legal action will further enlighten the world public opinion about the acts of aggression by the Saudi-led coalition at a time when the United States and its Western allies are seeking to improve ties with the Riyadh regime.

“The [Saudi-led] coalition’s airstrikes have caused terrible destruction in Yemen. Weapons produced and exported by European countries, and in particular France, have enabled these crimes,” Abdulrasheed al-Faqih, Executive Director of Yemeni organization Mwatana for Human Rights, said.

“Seven years into this war, the countless Yemeni victims deserve credible investigations into all perpetrators of crimes, including those potentially complicit,” he added.

Rights groups in France have repeatedly argued that the Paris government’s tacit support for the Saudi-led coalition has prolonged and worsened the Yemen conflict.

French prosecutors are already studying similar complaints filed against UAE President Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the French customs authority.

The complaint filed by rights groups against French arms makers comes as the United Nations announced that a truce between warring Yemeni sides had been extended for two months.

The initial two-month truce started at the beginning of the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan on April 2, and was set to expire on Thursday.

“I would like to announce that the parties to the conflict have agreed to the United Nations’ proposal to renew the current truce in Yemen for two additional months,” UN Special Envoy for Yemen Hans Grundberg said.

Grundberg added that the truce extension would come into effect “when the current truce period expires, today June 2, 2022 at 19:00 Yemen time (1600 GMT)”.

The Norwegian Refugee Council’s (NRC) Yemen Country Director, Erin Hutchinson, said in a statement after Grundberg’s announcement, “The announcement of the truce extension today shows a serious commitment from all parties to end the senseless suffering of millions of Yemenis.”

She added, “The last two months have shown that peaceful solutions to the conflict are a real option.”

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

June 2, 2022 Posted by | War Crimes | , , , | 1 Comment

US setting up military bases in eastern Yemen cashing in on UN-brokered truce: Ansarullah

Press TV – May 20, 2022

The leader of Yemen’s popular Ansarullah resistance movement says the United States, with the help of its allied Takfiri militant groups, is building several military bases in the country’s eastern provinces of Hadhramaut and al-Mahrah as well as on the Red Sea coast.

Addressing a delegation of tribal leaders from the western Yemeni province of Ibb on Thursday evening, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi said Washington is setting up military installations in eastern Yemen and the country’s southern coastal city of Aden.

He asserted that the Yemeni nation cannot accept Washington’s diktats, warning that the enemies are hell-bent on sowing the seeds of discord and division among people by hook or by crook.

“We must work for security and social stability in Ibb province through compromise and cooperation among local authorities,” the top Yemeni resistance leader told the delegation.

He said the “enemies” have begun to mobilize military reinforcements by taking advantage of the UN-brokered ceasefire, which clearly shows their orientation towards the next stage of the war, and bears testimony to their failure in the previous phase.

“Enemies, having become fairly frustrated with attempts to impose their diktats through ousted Yemeni president Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi, have decided to remove him in a humiliating matter,” Houthi said.

“They brought a bunch of criminals, traitors, and thieves to power, and declared them as the leaders of the Yemeni nation. They are actually the picks of outsiders, not Yemenis.”

The leader of the Ansarullah movement further asserted that the Yemeni nation will never accept being under the ominous specter of the United States.

“It is the traitors and mercenaries who would like to prove their servitude to Saudi or Emirati officers,” he said, calling for an immediate end to foreign domination of the Arab country.

Normalization deals with Israel

In other remarks, Houthi pointed to the controversial normalization agreements between the Israeli regime and some Arab countries, describing the process as an opening for the Tel Aviv regime to flex its clout in the Middle East region.

“The parties displaying animosity and military aggression against our nation are the ones that are pushing for the normalization of ties with the Israeli enemy. The enemies’ main goal is to shatter the Yemeni nation’s unity and solidarity, and easily dominate it,” the Ansarullah leader said.

“Yemeni people will continue to tread the path of independence and freedom, and will prevent foreigners from interfering in their domestic affairs.”

Saudi Arabia launched the devastating war on Yemen in March 2015 in collaboration with its Arab allies and with arms and logistics support from the US and other Western states.

The objective was to reinstall the Riyadh-friendly regime of Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi and crush the Ansarullah resistance movement, which has been running state affairs in the absence of a functional government in Yemen.

While the Saudi-led coalition has failed to meet any of its objectives, the war has killed hundreds of thousands of Yemenis and spawned the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.

May 20, 2022 Posted by | Illegal Occupation, Militarism, Wars for Israel | , , , , | 1 Comment

US Claims Russia to Blame for Yemen Food Shortages, Praises Saudi Role

By Kyle Anzalone and Will Porter | The Libertarian Institute | April 14, 2022

A senior US official has accused Russia of driving food shortages in Yemen and around the world, suggesting Moscow is to blame for rapidly rising prices. The Kremlin rejected the charge, instead citing American sanctions as a leading cause of starvation.

In an address at the United Nations headquarters in New York on Thursday, US Ambassador to the UN Linda Thomas-Greenfield attempted to tie Russia’s attack on Ukraine to Yemen’s dire hunger crisis.

“The World Food Program’s March report identified Yemen as one of the countries most affected by wheat price increases and lack of imports from Ukraine. This is just another grim example of the ripple effect Russia’s unprovoked, unjust, unconscionable war is having on the world’s most vulnerable,” she said.

The diplomat went on to praise Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates for their humanitarian assistance to Yemen, failing to mention Riyahd’s ongoing bombing campaign that has deliberately targeted food production sites and vital civilian infrastructure for more than seven years.

Though international monitors have pulled out of the country, as of late 2021, nearly 400,000 Yemenis were estimated killed throughout the war from direct and indirect causes, while January “shattered” monthly civilian casualty records, according to the UN.

Russia responded to the charges from Linda Thomas-Greenfield during the UN session, claiming it was American sanctions harming the supply chain and causing global food shortages.

“The main factor for instability and the source of the problem today is not the Russian special military operation in Ukraine, but sanctions measures imposed on our country seeking to cut off any supplies from Russia and the supply chain, apart from those supplies that those countries in the West need, in other words energy,” said Deputy UN Ambassador Dmitry Polyansky.

He added: “If you really want to help the world avoid a food crisis you should lift the sanctions that you yourselves imposed, your sanctions of choice indeed, and poor countries will immediately feel the difference.”

Yemen is widely regarded by aid groups as the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with 16 million Yemenis estimated to be food insecure in 2022. In addition to consistent military support from Washington, the United States has also helped to enforce Saudi Arabia’s blockade on the country’s ports and helped Riyadh avoid responsibility for alleged war crimes before international bodies like the UN.

Earlier this month, Yemen’s Houthis and the Saudi-led coalition agreed to a two-month ceasefire following major escalations in the war. UN mediators have voiced hopes the truce will be extended further, though after similar efforts in the past it remains to be seen whether the lull in fighting will endure.

April 16, 2022 Posted by | Progressive Hypocrite | , , | 3 Comments