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davidbfpo
12-30-2015, 07:33 PM
A new thread for 2016-2017. The current thread which started in 2011 has had 47k views and 222 posts:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=12784

Time for a new thread, as this war is very unlikely to end soon.

OUTLAW 09
01-03-2016, 12:52 PM
Want to understand how sectarianism fits into the conflict in #Yemen? This by @almuslimi is a great place to start. http://carnegieendowment.org/syriaincrisis/?fa=62375 …

How war, Gulf tension & identity politics are poisoning formerly live-&-let-live #Yemen with sectarianism

The new wave of sectarian rhetoric in #Yemen draws on many sources, but there has been a fascinating historical interplay between the rise of Sunni-chauvinist salafism in northern Yemen, pioneered by the #Saudi-trained salafi Muqbil Wadei, which fuelled the simultaneous rise of an #Iran-influenced counter-movement that "Shiafied" Zaydism—the Houthis. All of this took place among tribes that had fought plenty but never bothered much with otherizing people on religious grounds. Familiar story: fringe radicals weaponize sectarian shibboleths to increase polarization, gaining support while tearing the country apart.. Societies are brittle things

CrowBat
01-03-2016, 10:41 PM
...here what I find a very interesting (if not outright 'ultimately important') feature on coming-into-being of one of most important legends about the ongoing Yemen War:

How False Stories of Iran Arming the Houthis Were Used to Justify War in Yemen (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34240-how-false-stories-of-iran-arming-the-houthis-were-used-to-justify-war-in-yemen#st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/hxwgUuFFbd)

Diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks reveal that the story of the arms onboard the ship had been concocted by the government.

...
The government of the Republic of Yemen, then dominated by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, claimed that it had seized a vessel named Mahan 1 in Yemeni territorial waters on October 25, 2009, with a crew of five Iranians, and that it had found weapons onboard the ship. The UN expert panel report repeated the official story that authorities had confiscated the weapons and that the First Instance Court of Sana'a had convicted the crew of the Mahan 1 of smuggling arms from Iran to Yemen.

But diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Yemen released by WikiLeaks in 2010 reveal that, although the ship and crew were indeed Iranian, the story of the arms onboard the ship had been concocted by the government. On October 27, 2009, the US Embassy sent a cable (https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09SANAA1965_a.html) to the State Department noting that the Embassy of Yemen in Washington had issued a press statement announcing the seizure of a "foreign vessel carrying a quantity of arms and other goods...." But another cable (https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09SANAA2052_a.html) dated November 11, 2009, reported that the government had "failed to substantiate its extravagant public claims that an Iranian ship seized off its coast on October 25 was carrying military trainers, weapons and explosives destined for the Houthis."
...

A follow-up Embassy (https://wikileaks.org/plusd/cables/09SANAA2070_a.html) cable five days later reported that the government had already begun to revise its story in light of the US knowledge that no arms had been found on board. "The ship was apparently empty when it was seized," according to the cable. "However, echoing a claim by Yemen Ambassador al-Hajj, FM [Foreign Minister] Qaairbi told Pol Chief [chief of the US Embassy's political section] on 11/15 the fact that the ship was empty indicated the arms had already been delivered."
...

Unlike the government's story of the Mahan 1 and its phantom weapons, the official claim that a ship called the Jihan 1, seized on January 23, 2013, had arms onboard was true. But the totality of the evidence shows that the story of an Iranian arms shipment to the Houthis was false.

The ship was stopped in Yemeni waters by a joint patrol of the Yemeni Coast Guard and the US Navy, and an inspection found a cache of weapons and ammunition. The cargo including man-portable surface-to-air missiles, 122-millimeter rockets, rocket-propelled grenade launchers, C-4 plastic explosive blocks and equipment for improvised explosive devices.

Some weeks later, the UN expert panel inspected the weaponry said to have been found on board the Jihan 1 and found labels stuck on ammunition boxes with the legend "Ministry of Sepah" - the former name of the Iranian military logistics ministry. The panel report said the panel had determined that "all available information placed the Islamic Republic of Iran at the centre of the Jihan operation."

But except for those labels, which could have been affixed to the boxes after the government had taken possession of the arms, nothing about the ship or the weapons actually pointed to Iran. All of the crew and the businessmen said to have arranged the shipment were Yemenis, according to the report. And the expert panel cited no evidence that the ship was Iranian or that the weapons were manufactured in Iran.
...

davidbfpo
01-29-2016, 12:54 PM
An overview of the small war by a SME, Helen Lackner (who has resided in country for many years) and the sub-title helps:
Those deciding for war in March 2015 gave little thought to Yemeni realities, military, logistic, topographic, social or political, human cost, or an exit strategy. But questions are being raised.
Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/helen-lackner/can-saudi-led-coalition-win-war-in-yemen

davidbfpo
02-01-2016, 11:24 PM
Following a Twitter alert a Western MSM (Reuters) report on the war inside Saudi Arabia and here is the relevant text (half of the report):
Mortars and rockets fired at Saudi Arabian towns and villages have killed 375 civilians, including 63 children, since the start of the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen in late March, Riyadh said on Monday....the Houthi militia and army forces loyal to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh had fired more than 40,000 projectiles across the border since the war began. In a measure of how fierce the fighting on the frontier continues to be, nearly 130 mortars and 15 missiles were fired by the Houthis and Saleh's forces at Saudi border positions on Monday alone...
Link:http://mobile.reuters.com/article/idUSKCN0VA36T

davidbfpo
02-09-2016, 10:40 PM
A curious twist to the scene:
One of Australia's most decorated military soldiers, who is now serving as a senior advisor for the United Arab Emirates forces, is facing questions about his knowledge of civilian attacks in Yemen....The UAE Presidential Guard, the unit that General Hindmarsh is listed as commanding, is reported to be operating on the ground in Yemen.
Link:http://www.abc.net.au/news/2016-02-08/yemen-civil-war-questions-role-australian-soldier-mike-hindmarsh/7141638

davidbfpo
02-12-2016, 12:18 PM
A former UK diplomat, Noel Brehony, an Arabist and expert on the Yemen has a long review of the situation, almost a briefing document:https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/noel-brehony/current-situation-in-yemen-causes-and-consequences?utm_source=Daily+Newsletter&utm_campaign=4a7ce41b7e-DAILY_NEWSLETTER_MAILCHIMP&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_717bc5d86d-4a7ce41b7e-407365113

The sub-title:
The conflict will not lead to a clear victory: there will need to be some difficult compromises. Meanwhile, the destruction continues and al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and Islamic State terrorists are exploiting the situation.

davidbfpo
02-18-2016, 10:03 PM
A first-hand report from Aden:http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2016/feb/18/the-city-where-war-best-employer-life-liberated-aden-yemen-al-qaida-jihadis

davidbfpo
02-19-2016, 04:18 PM
From the latest Soufan Group briefing on the Yemen, well actually Aden and these two events are of note:
On February 17, 2016, a suicide bomber from the so-called Islamic State struck an anti-Houthi coalition training camp in Aden, killing at least 13 Yemeni troops. The day before, on February 16, suspected gunmen from AQAP attacked a convoy carrying the governor and the security director of the Yemeni city of Aden. For both men, the attack marked the second assassination attempt since the beginning of the year........The Islamic State assassinated the governor of Aden in December 2015, and attempted to assassinate his replacement a month later. In late January, the group even targeted the residence of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi.
Link:http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-capitalizing-on-chaos-in-yemen/

CrowBat
02-20-2016, 05:31 PM
I read such reports too, and then articles like this one by RUSI (https://rusi.org/publication/rusi-defence-systems/potential-impact-saudi-air-force-over-syria?), trying to discuss potential RSAF role in Syria (quite vainly, then although providing quite a 'nice list' of RSAF-hardware, its author still missed some of most important pieces and capabilities in question), should it be deployed there.

Something is just not adding up here.

Firstly, while MSM is babbling a lot about 'AQAP in Aden this' and AQAP in Mukhalla that' - next to nobody reported not only an entire spate of anti-AQAP ops by this newly-established 'Yemen National Army' (a pro-Hadi force, recruited and paid for by KSA and UAE). Indeed, next to nobody reported the first major Saudi anti-AQAP operation.

Question is: why?

My standpoint is: 'credit (or critique) where credit (or critique) is due.

Therefore...

Since January, the AQAP launched a number of assassination attempts on various officials of Hadi's 'government' (I admit having a problem calling them that way; in essence, Hadi and his 'ministers' remain Saudi puppets) - primarily in Aden area. On 9 January, they killed a senior security official in the city; on 17 January they nearly killed another (that is: they killed four of his bodyguards, while the official in question survived the second attempt on his life) etc. Meanwhile, the AQAP consolidated its control of Zinjibar and established a number of checkpoints along the road from Aden to Abyan; sabotaged two pipelines connecting oil storage facilities to a refinery in Buraiqah (Aden); attacked a YNA checkpoint in Wadi Ser; and then took away all the heavy armament from a number of ex-YA bases they have overrun in this part of Yemen since March last year. By 5 February, even Daesh's Wilayat Hadramawt began publishing videos about wonderful life in Daesh-controlled parts of Yemen and similar PRBS...

USA, a party supposedly ah so very much concerned because - between others - it declared the AQAP for 'most dangerous single terrorist entity', reacted with a few of typical UCAV strikes: murderously precise but hopelessly ineffective. Yup, they assassinate 'three AQAP there' and 'four AQAP here', but otherwise US military is still not moving against the AQAP.

Things began to change on 19 January, when several USN warships imposed a de-facto blockade of the port of Mukhalla, AQAP's major stronghold in Yemen - and apparently a major source of income (then, at least according to Saudi reports, AQAP meanwhile became involved in very intensive - and lucrative - business of trafficking fuel, arms and supplies via Mukhalla to the Houthis in Sana'a).

Then, on 10 February, Saudi Marines - supported by RSGF Apaches and UAEAF Mirage 2000s - de-facto invaded Mukhalla and then heavily raided the local port, killing or arresting dozens of AQAP in the process. With them, the Saudis brought first units of the YNA and even some units of newly-established Yemeni police (first official police units present in this part of Yemen since nearly a year). ***See correction 23/3 on Post 18***

There are indications that a similar operation was meanwhile launched agaist the AQAP inside Aden too - and has already yielded first successes. Sure, Daesh suicide-bombed one of YNA's training camps there, three days ago. BUT, since that day (17 February) Saudi-led coalition is said to have flown about 50 highly effective air strikes on AQAP in Lahij and Abyan too.

Make no mistake: except some 'indication of movements in this direction' from Asharq al-Awsat (http://english.aawsat.com/2016/02/article55347574/arabian-led-intervention-sends-special-operations-forces-to-free-al-mukalla-al-hudaydah-mokha) (which is clearly 'in Saudi service'), I've found no beep in the MSM about any kind of Saudi-run anti-AQAP ops.

Somehow, I doubt this is so 'only' because most of that is pre-occuppied discussing US strikes on Libya or the situation in Syria. On the contrary: much of the MSM should have been bought by Saudis. So, why don't they do what they are supposed to do...?

davidbfpo
03-05-2016, 09:10 PM
From a previously unknown website, via Twitter, on the gains made in parts of the Yemen by AQAP and it's newly named local affiliates: https://elijahjm.wordpress.com/2016/03/04/the-rich-al-qaeda-is-winning-the-hearts-and-the-minds-in-yemen-introducing-new-names/

CrowBat
03-06-2016, 07:25 AM
Elijah J Mangier is another major PR-tool of the Assadist regime in Syria - of similar 'quality' like 'al-Masdar News'.

His blog is at least 2, perhaps more years 'old', and sometimes posting Iranian PRBS about Yemen.

In the case of the 'article' you linked above, David, he's babbling about 'Saudi-led Op Decisive Storm helping al-Qaida'.

To make few things clear here: yes, this is one of results of the Op Decisive Storm, but was never intended. What happened is that the advance during that operation was so quick, that the total of about 40,000 involved Saudi, Emirati, Bahraini etc. troops de-facto created a 'power vacuum' behind them: because of total collapse of Yemeni Army and police, there was nobody left behind them to control the 'liberated' areas.

This is what the AQAP exploited in order to establish itself in control of a number of places, foremost in Mukalla area. As mentioned above, Saudis are already neck-deep in fighting them.

Anyway, crucial result of the Op Decisive Storm was to stop such 'blitz' operations. Instead, Saudis and their intergalactic allies decided to spend the next 6-8 months with building a new Yemeni National Army (YNA), and new police. That's why no other major operation was undertaken ever since, i.e. why this war appears to be 'stagnating/going nowhere' ever since September last year. That's also why there were so many reports about graduation of new YNA units etc., the last two months or so.

This period is meanwhile nearly over, the YNA has a strenght of about 20,000; there is a new police too.

Obviously, the AQAP wasn't sitting iddle either, and thus it's not as easy to kick them out of Mukalla now. On the contrary, they are active in Aden too, and there is hardly a day without report about another assassination of some of Hadi's officials.

Mangier's babbling about 'nervousnes reaching its peak' in regards of that video showing a Hezbollah/Lebanon advisor talking to a group of Houthis is nonsense.

Actually it is so that Saudi special forces run a minor op in Sa'ada Governorate, back in early February, and smashed one of Houthi HQs there, capturing loads of documentation in the process - including that video. The video in question - see here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NmLhAzRj8o - is very important, because it's the first-ever 'firm' evidence for Hezbollah presence on Houthi side in Yemen (i.e. it began convincing 'even' such cynical and sarcastic thugs like me that Saudis might be right after all, especially if combined with a review of how many of Yemenis that originally sided with Houthis have meanwhile turned against them).

Means: that video is surely no reason for Saudis to get 'nervous'. Rather something that made them very happy. And that's a good indication for 'quality' of the rest of Mangier's 'literature'...

CrowBat
03-06-2016, 08:15 AM
...and 'BTW': another indication that Saudi (and allied) reporting about what are they intending to do and/or doing in such places like Yemen remains diletantic - and this despite them bribing dozens and hundreds of media-platforms and journalists - is their complete failure to report about developments on the ground.

For example, almost completely ignored by the media is the fact that after days long air strikes (https://twitter.com/E_abd_Alqader/status/701137305256509441), Saudi, Emirati and YNA troops have captured the Camp Arqoob (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IxE9Lw-Kr1Y) - a major military base in southern outskirts of Sana'a - early the last week.

Since last weekend, they are battling Houthis and YA in Bani Faraj, which is an eastern suburb of Sana'a.

What is also unknown is that one of first reactions of YA troops inside the city (a concentration of about 15 different brigades) was for an entire brigade of the Presidential Guard (exact designation unknown yet, but apparently the T-80-equipped 3rd Armoured) - to defect to the Saudi-led side.

Although enjoying something like 10:1 quantitative advantage over Saudi/Emirati-led ground troops, all the Houthis/YA were able to do 'against' this was to fire a single SS-21 at Marib, on 3 March.

...all of which means that the 'Battle of Sana'a' is already in full swing, and very few people outside the Middle East know about this.

CrowBat
03-11-2016, 11:52 PM
The YNA - apparently in cooperation with Saudi, Emirati, Bahraini and Sudanese troops - has broken the siege of Ta'iz, yesterday.

After losing the 'Base 35' (apparently the main base of the former 35th Armoured Brigade YA), Houthis and YA have retreated into north-eastern part of Ta'iz, and are still controlling the local airport plus parts of theuniversity. The latter is besieged though, with Houthis entrenched inside the Medical Faculty and in the Deanship Building, while the Engineering School and Main Building have already been secured.

Today, the YNA captured as-Saleh Parks and is advancing into the ad-Dhabab Valley.

Saudi-led intergalactic coalition heavily bombed all the roads connecting the city with Sana'a and other Houthi-controlled areas, effectively preventing any reinforcements from reaching the area.

CrowBat
03-16-2016, 09:16 AM
Two days ago, Saudis & CO launched a major offensive on AQAP in Mansoura District of Aden. This was supported by at least 30 air strikes.

AQAP appears to have been completely destroyed there: the place is reported as 'secured' even by southern Yemeni separatists.

While returning from related operations, an UAEAF Mirage 2000 two-seater crashed into a mountain, killing a crew of two. Exact reasons remain unknown (as usually).

CrowBat
03-20-2016, 07:15 AM
The loss of that UAEAF Mirage 2000 was not in vain: reports from Aden indicate that the Saudis and allies have completely destroyed the AQAP in Mansoura district, and this is now secure.

Indeed, and to make things 'better' I guess: Al-Qaeda militants battle each other in Zinjibar (http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Feb-08/336247-al-qaeda-militants-battle-each-other-in-southern-yemen.ashx?utm_source=Magnet&utm_medium=Recommended%20Articles%20widget&utm_campaign=Magnet%20tools)...

...The clashes broke out in the southern city of Zinjibar late Sunday, leaving at least seven militants dead and another nine wounded, according to Yemeni officials. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief the media.

The rival factions are led by local commander known as Abu Anas al-Sanani and another known as Ossan Baliedy, the brother of Jalal Baliedy, the leader who was killed along with three others in a drone strike on Thursday.

The late Baliedy headed al-Qaeda in Abyan province, of which Zinjibar is the capital, and was known for brutality, including the beheading of 16 soldiers in August 2014. He was believed to be ideologically closer to ISIS, which is locked in a bitter rivalry with al-Qaeda and has a branch in Yemen.
...

...but, on the other side... sigh... Airstrikes on Yemen market killed 41 civilians and wounded 75: senior health official (http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Mar-15/342353-airstrikes-on-yemen-market-killed-41-civilians-and-wounded-75-senior-health-official.ashx)

...Saudi-led warplanes on Tuesday launched two airstrikes on a busy market in a northern Yemeni region controlled by Houthi rebels, killing and wounding dozens of people, witnesses and medics said.

The state-run news agency SABA, which is controlled by the Houthis, said at least 65 people were killed and 55 wounded.

But Dr. Ayman Mathkour, the director of the Haja health department, told Reuters that the airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen's Haja province killed 41 civilians and wounded 75 others.

Relatives gathered the bodies and transported the wounded to Abs hospital and Mustaba District Hospital in Haja city.

Three witnesses described a scene of carnage, with dozens wounded or killed, but had no precise figures.

The market in the city of Mastaba, in Haja province, serves tens of thousands of people and was struck during a busy time. Witnesses said there were no military targets nearby. A Saudi-led coalition has been battling the Houthis on behalf of the internationally recognized government for a year now.

Doctors Without Borders spokeswoman Malak Shaher told The Associated Press that at least 40 of the wounded were transferred to a nearby hospital, three of whom were in critical condition.

The Houthis' TV network al-Masirah showed graphic footage of dead children and charred bodies next to sacks of flour and twisted metal. Witnesses said houses, shops and restaurants were also damaged, while cars caught on fire.

"The scene was terrifying," Showei Hamoud told The Associated Press by phone from Mastaba. "Blood and body parts everywhere." Many of the dead are children who work stalls or carry goods in return for tips, he said.

"People collected the torn limbs in bags and blankets," he said, adding that he could count up to 40 motionless bodies.

A second witness, Mazahem Khedr, said "dozens were killed" and that he saw wounded people screaming for help. Mohammed Mustafa said people were afraid to help the wounded, fearing a third airstrike.

Haja is northwest of the capital, Sanaa, which fell to the Houthis in September 2014.
...
Let me guess: Saudis are going to 'investigate and publish all results'...

Ever since that air strike on Mostaba in northern Hajjah Province from 15 March is 'news of the day' about Yemen in all of the Western MSM. Now, one of ironic things about this tragedy is that the Western media can't stop increasing the number of fatalities, from over 100 (http://news.trust.org/item/20160317174015-xlpwa/?source=fiOtherNews2), perhaps as many as 119 (http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-4f08-Saudi-blitz-toll-hits-119) - of whom up to 22 (http://www.telesurtv.net/english/news/22-Children-Among-119-Civilians-Killed-in-Saudi-Led-Airstrikes-20160317-0034.html) should have been children.

As usually, Saudis are reacting in idiotic fashion: Saudis say it might not be them (http://edition.cnn.com/2016/03/16/middleeast/yemen-airstrike/index.html)... enough said...

However, some of local sources - or at least Western MSM citing local sources - are indicating that this strike actually did target Houthis or YA/Salleh forces - but went wrong (with undeniably tragic consequences): Saudi-led Yemen market strike killed 33 rebels: tribal chief (http://m.france24.com/en/20160316-saudi-led-yemen-market-strike-killed-33-rebels-tribal-chief). Interestingly, such sources are usually citing much lower casualty figures too:

A Yemeni tribal chief said Wednesday that 33 of the 41 people killed in a Saudi-led air strike on a market in a northern province were rebel fighters, not civilians as first reported.

Medics and tribal sources said that the Tuesday strike in the rebel-held Hajja province killed 41 people and wounded 35.

A health official in Hajja said the dead were civilians.

But on Wednesday a tribal chief close to Yemen's Iran-backed Huthi rebels said that 33 of those were "fighters".

"The fighters were riding in three vehicles at a military camp that was hit by three air raids," the chief told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He added that Saudi-led warplanes then hit the market when the Huthis arrived there.

An official at a hospital run by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) said on Tuesday the facility had received the bodies of 41 people killed in the raids.

But the charity disputed the claim on Wednesday.

"MSF's hospital in the region received 44 people wounded in the incident, two of whom died," the group's Yemen project coordinator Juan Prieto said.

The rebel-run sabanews.net website said on Tuesday that the coalition carried out two raids targeting the market and a restaurant in the area and gave a toll of 65 civilians dead and 55 wounded.
....

CrowBat
03-20-2016, 07:26 AM
Meanwhile, in reaction to international uproar over that strike on market in Mostaba Saudis have announced a draw-down of their air strikes in Yemen. What do they mean with a 'drawdown' is unclear though, then air strikes continue: on 17 March, Saudi-led coalition bombed al-Hafa military base outside Sana'a (closest air strikes to Sana'a since 10 March), while Saudi and/or Emirati AH-64s destroyed an entire AQAP convoy underway between Aden and Zinjibar. Last night (i.e. this morning) they flew seven air strikes against targets in Sana'a area.

In Ta'iz... After shelling Ta'iz (http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/at-least-six-civilians-killed-as-yemen-rebels-shell-taez-city) for nearly a full day yesterday (and killing at least six civilians), Houthis and YA have launched a counteroffensive there. It seems they are attempting to re-take the western side of the city.

Saudi-led coalition launched about a dozen of air strikes yesterday afternoon, and is continuing air strikes this morning. According to Saudi sources, air strikes are now largely guided by YNA FACs, but I have my doubts about this: although the YNA should now have two brigades in the city (the 22nd and an unknown one), there are still Saudi and Emirati FACs with them.

That said, no major Saudi, Emirati or 'allied' unit is involved in this battle: most of fighting is done by the YNA, local 'Popular Resistance Committees' - and the AQAP.

Ironically... there is an equivalent of some 4-5 brigades of the latter sitting in Aden and doing nothing. Reason: they are Southern Separatists that fought against Houthis when that city was besieged, and who insist to get paid for that, but refuse to continue fighting against Houthis in Ta'iz and similar places now. Instead, they are causing plenty of trouble for Hadi and his foreign allies.

Ah yes, and AQAP keeps on spreading. On 15 March they have captured Raydah in Hadramawt governorate, and clashed with YNA units near al-Anad AB.

Overall, I expect the AQAP to continue causing ever more problems. Namely, Saudis and allies are going to continue their withdrawal and hand over ever more of frontlines to the YNA: they're not only not curious to involve more of their ground forces, but now also under increasing international pressure. But, the YNA is still much too small but to bring all of 'liberated' Yemen under control...

CrowBat
03-23-2016, 06:20 AM
Plenty of things happening in Yemen the last two days - all at once.

As first, Israel flew in 19 Yemeni Jews, ending immigration mission (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-israel-idUSKCN0WN0YP). Between others, one of Rabbis flown out took with him a 500-years old Torah scroll.

According to Israelis, with this, they have evacuated all the Jews from Yemen, bringing related airlift operations 'to conclusion'. That said, about 50 Yemeni Jews decided to stay (40 of them are living in a compound near the US embassy in Sana'a).

'Best' of all is: Yemeni social media is full of reports about this operation being run in cooperation between Israelis and Houthis, i.e. there being a secret deal (http://www.jpost.com/Middle-East/Israeli-Houthi-secret-deal-to-airlift-Yemenite-Jews-arouses-furor-in-Yemen-448788). With other words, Houthis are now defamed as 'traitors' and 'Israeli agents':

..."Not only did the agents of the Zionist occupation collaborate with Israel and the United States in the covert operation to airlift Yemenite Jews to Israel, they also allowed these Jews to steal our heritage," a Yemenite activist wrote on his Twitter page, referring to the ancient Torah scroll the Rabbi brought with him.

"After Houthis ignited war in different provinces in Yemen under the slogan "Death to Israel," the truth about them is revealed," read another popular remark regarding the ostensible "Israel-Houthi collaboration."

The official Twitter account of one of the well-known Yemenite daily newspapers, Yemen Now, went even further, claiming that "Houthis stipulated their collaboration with Israel on its support for them in international forums."
...**************

In Ta'iz area, the Houthis/YA have brought in the 11th Brigade, the last intact major unit of the YA left. This launched a counterattack on the YNA's positions at Jabal Han and Maqahwiyah, and overrun these, thus putting the city under siege again. Meanwhile, they should have captured the central prison too.

This is obviously a major setback for Hadi, who clearly failed to deploy reinforcements to Ta'iz: locals are complaining they feel 'abandoned by the government'. That said, plenty of such complaints are based on typical lack of patience: in essence, the locals expected everything would get better 'instantly' - which is impossible, of course. On the contrary, alone the situation with thousands of mines left behind by Houthis/YA (http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/taiz-siege-broken-new-threats-appear-1726915840) is terrible: dozens of civilians were killed by these the last few days - foremost various merchants that rushed to Ta'iz in attempt to sell food to people there, but also at least two kids.

Of course, this is no good news for the Saudi-led coalition either: their heavy bombardment of the 11th Brigade as this advanced for Ta'iz appears to have been ineffective. Reasons are unknown, but possibly related to feint movement of several other YA units. Guess, without them deploying their ground troops to this area too, not much is going to change.

***************

I have to correct one of my earlier reports: namely, sometimes in late February I reported a Saudi attack on Mukhalla, a port in southern Yemen controlled by the AQAP. It turned out this was a 'mere' raid. That is: Saudi Marines landed east of this town, destroyed a major ammo depot there, and then withdrew. They also landed inside the port, destroyed several depots there (probably related to ammo), and then withdrew too.

Means: Mukhalla remains under AQAP control (i.e. their branch calling itself 'Sonst of Hadramawt').

Sorry for this: was my misunderstanding of related reports.
**Moderator has added correction pointer to Post 10**.

*****************

Talking about AQAP: the US flew a major air strike on AQAP (http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2016/Mar-22/343568-dozens-dead-or-wounded-in-coalition-raids-on-al-qaeda-in-yemen.ashx) training camp outside Mukhalla, and there are claims about dozens of KIA:

...Tribal sources in the area told AFP that a series of airstrikes hit the camp and that wounded militants were taken to a hospital in Mukalla.

Witnesses there reported seeing around nine vehicles carrying casualties from the area.

Dozens of Al-Qaeda militants were meanwhile seen rushing to the hospital to donate blood, according to residents.
...The Pentagon claims (http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/22/us-airstrike-yemen-dozens-dead-al-qaida-terrorism-training-camp) up to '200 KIA in two air strikes'.

CrowBat
03-26-2016, 08:27 AM
Finally a sane analysis of military aspects of this war - by Michael Knights from WINEP:

Gulf Coalition Operations in Yemen (Part 1): The Ground War (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/gulf-coalition-operations-in-yemen-part-1-the-ground-war#.VvWBx5eWtew.twitter)

Gulf Coalition Operations in Yemen (Part 2): The Air War (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/gulf-coalition-operations-in-yemen-part-2-the-air-war)

Gulf Coalition Operations in Yemen (Part 3): Maritime and Aerial Blockade (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/gulf-coalition-operations-in-yemen-part-3-maritime-and-aerial-blockade)

Disclaimer: any relations to certain posters of this forum are fully intentional.

CrowBat
03-27-2016, 09:51 PM
Plenty of news from Yemen today.

Firstly, it turns out the AQAP learned what to do with that strange stick of long, green, heavy tubes they've captured from the 190th Air Defense Brigade (Yemen Air Force) at Riyan AB (outsie Mukhalla), on 25 April 2015:
Yemen conflict: Al-Qaeda ‘used surface-to-air missile’ to bring down Emirati fighter jet (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-conflict-al-qaeda-used-surface-to-air-missile-to-bring-down-emirati-fighter-jet-a6954671.html)

...A French-made Mirage jet, flying in the air force of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), crashed into a mountain side just outside the southern port city of Aden on 14 March. Authorities claimed that the crash was “the result of a technical malfunction”, but sources dispute this, claiming that the jet was shot down with Russian munitions.
...

Two pilots flying the jet were killed in the crash and locals reported seeing Apache helicopters and the jet engaged in an attack on AQAP forces dug into a district to the west of Aden. Security sources have estimated that some 300 jihadist fighters were under attack at the time the jet came down.

A source in Yemen told The Independent that the surface-to-air missile was a Russian-manufactured SA-7 or “Strela”. The SA-7 is a shoulder held heat-seeking missile. It has a “kill zone” range of between 15 and 1,500 metres in altitude, suggesting that the Mirage was flying low in a strafing run on the AQAP positions when it was hit.
...

A second source, who has close links with the Saudi intelligence service, said that the missile which brought down the Emirati jet this month was acquired by AQAP in raids on military bases that have occurred over the past year.

“Al Qaeda has confiscated huge amounts of weapons from bases in Yemen,” he said. He cited two such bases, one at al-Aryan along the southern coast east of Aden and another at Ataq, the capital of the southern governorate of Shabwah.
...
...and I was already wondering, how would Emiratis and Saudis know it was 'technical malfunction' - just minutes after that poor Mirage crashed.

Though, if they call every MANPAD-hit on their fighter-bombers a 'technical malfunction' (which, hand on heart, is the case: things that blow up when hitting combat aircraft tend to cause multiple technical malfunctions), then now we at least know what happened to that Moroccan F-16, and that Bahraini F-16, and those Saudi and Emirati AH-64s...

Ah, I'm drifting away... This is interesting too:
Yemeni forces make key gains in Jawf (http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/yemen/yemeni-forces-make-key-gains-in-jawf-1.1698223)

...Yemen army forces and allied tribesmen in the northern province of Jawf said on Saturday they had taken complete control of the district of Al Metoun after Iran-backed Al Houthi militants pulled out of their positions.

“Al Houthis preferred to withdraw ahead of (the) arrival of a large (number of) troops on the edges of the district,” Abdullah Al Ashraf, a spokesperson for resistance militants in the province, told Gulf News on Saturday.

Unlike other front lines where government forces are struggling to break Al Houthis’ military lines, Yemeni forces have seized large swathes of land from the militants including the province’s capital, Hazem, since late last year.
...

Al Ashraf, who also returned to his house in the same city, said: “People came back home when Al Houthis left the city without fighting.”
...

After clearing militants out of Al Metoun and recently the district of Al Masloub, Al Ashraf said that only two districts are still under Al Houthis’ control in the province.

“If we manage to (take) control (of) these districts, we would be on the border with Saada.” Saada is an Al Houthi stronghold in the northwest of the country.

Military analysts say that the government forces are pushing their advance into the remaining regions in the province as to surround the militants in Saada.

In the province of Sana’a, Yemeni forces said on Friday they had seized some mountainous areas outside the capital after fierce fighting with Al Houthis and army units loyal to ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Abdullah Al Shandagi, Sana’a resistance spokesperson, said on Friday that the government forces pushed Al Houthis out of the mountain of Sulta and a small village called Al Houl.
...

A year after the beginning of the military operation against Al Houthis, government forces are now less than 30km from the Yemeni capital.
...

Local media reports recently said that Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar, the deputy chief commander of armed forces, met with the leaders of some of these tribes in the central province of Marib where they assured him their support to the advancing government forces in Sana’a province.
Hm... Houthis running away without giving a battle? That's news...

Even better news from battles against the AQAP. One of Hadi's officials is very happy to announce (http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/yemen-president-says-door-to-peace-still-open):

...“This morning, airstrikes targeted a stronghold of the terrorist group on the outskirts of Aden province, in Al Fyoush area," a source in Aden’s interior ministry told The National, without providing details of casualties.

“Raids also struck a crowd of terrorists in Abyan province’s Ja’ar district, close to a factory."
...

Well, Abyan was actually hit by a US UAV strike (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-drones-idUSKCN0WT090)

Air raids killed 14 men suspected of belonging to al Qaeda in southern Yemen on Sunday, medics and local residents said, in one of the largest U.S.-led assaults on the group since a civil war broke out a year ago.
...

Residents in southern Yemen said an aircraft bombed buildings used by al Qaeda in the southern coastal Abyan province and destroyed a government intelligence headquarters in the provincial capital Zinjibar that the militants had captured and were using as a base. Medics said six people were killed.

Earlier on Sunday a suspected U.S. drone attack killed eight militants gathered in courtyards in the villages of al-Hudhn and Naqeel al-Hayala in Abyan, residents told Reuters by phone.
...


...while the Saudis (or their allies) then bombed Zinjibar too (https://news.yahoo.com/five-qaeda-suspects-yemen-killed-saudi-led-strikes-185529705.html):

Saudi-led coalition warplanes carried out a series of raids in southern Yemen on Sunday targeting Al-Qaeda positions that killed five suspected militants, a Yemeni military official said.
...

The official, who requested anonymity, said the jihadists were killed in air strikes that targeted buildings in the city of Zinjibar, including an intelligence and special forces headquarters occupied by the militants.

Several people were also wounded and taken to a hospital in the nearby town of Jaar, the official said.

An abandoned army weapons factory in Jaar which the jihadists had taken over was also hit, the official added, but was unable to say if there were any casualties.

Other raids carried out by the Saudi-led coalition struck suspected Al-Qaeda positions in second city Aden at dawn, according to the same official.
...
Hm... interesting to hear there's still AQAP in Aden area: the last report cited something like 'all destroyed'. But then, nobody said that a massive improvement in combat effectiveness and -performance of several major Arab militaries must mean that the PR-skills of their governments experienced a similar improvement...

davidbfpo
03-28-2016, 08:04 PM
Orla Guerin, BBC, has a short column, which ends with:
For most Yemenis there is no hope of escape, but more peace talks are planned for next month, to be accompanied by a ceasefire. Whatever the outcome, UN officials fear that one year of war has set the Arab world's poorest country back decades.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-35901321

CrowBat
03-29-2016, 04:10 PM
The Saudi-led coalition appears to have re-directed its air power and is now unleashing it against the AQAP in Yemen. Confirming my standpoint that the talking-heads in Riyad remain dilletants in regards of dealing with the media, this is almost completely ignored by the Western media, of course.

Anyway, last night it was turn on the AQAP in Mukalla again. Except for brief 'mention in disptaches' by Reuters (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-swap-idUSKCN0WU0BX), not a beep about this anywhere else.

Bombed are primarily the port of Mukalla, but also the main base of the former 2nd Military Region, in al-Mihdar. The compound in question used to include not only the HQ of that MR, but was also the main base of the former 190th Air Defense Brigade (overrun and disarmed by the AQAP on 25 April last year).

There are rumours that these air strikes have killed one of AQAP's top 'emirs', Qasim ar-Raymi, but there's no confirmation so far.

Surely enough, air strikes in question have caused the AQAP to call for public protests. When that didn't work, this morning they went to the local schools and kicked the kids out to the streets so these could 'protest against air strikes'.

CrowBat
03-31-2016, 09:42 AM
After nearly two weeks of bitter fighting, the YNA has captured the Camp as-Safra'a (http://www.ajelpress.net/sources/45713-2016-03-30-17-29-08), east/north-east of Sana'a.

This was a military base held by Houthis (since 2011) at a dominant position (http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=15.994913&lon=44.818854&z=17&m=b) above the highway connecting al-Jawf and Ma'arib. Safra'a served as a staging point for Houthi offensive on Ma'arib, just for example: controlling it means that the YNA now has a staging point for an offensive on Sana'a or on Amran.

Mopping up of the AQAP out of Aden continues too. The YNA (https://news.yahoo.com/yemen-govt-forces-push-qaeda-back-aden-105227957.html) captured the central prison and secured all the major roads in the Mansoura district, the last three days.

CrowBat
04-03-2016, 08:33 AM
Surprisingly enough, latest example of misguided Western attempts at 'informing the public' about what's up in Yemen was delivered by (usually reliable) France 24 (http://www.france24.com/en/20160331-yemen-rebels-deadly-counterattack-red-sea-coast), few days ago.

Namely, after some search around, it turned out this is a near word-by-word translation of a report by al-Maseera TV, which is a Houthi-run TV channel.

What actually happened is that the YNA (Hadi-loyal 'new' Yemen National Army, recruited, trained, and paid for by Saudis and Emiratis) concluded its offensive in Midi area by kicking Houthis out of the south-eastern part of that town, and then re-opening the road connecting that town with Hardadh.

Contrary to Houthi reports about ambush and collossal 'government' losses, the Houthis - again - just run away. Local medical sources report exactly two YNA's WIA being delivered to the Samtah Hospital (facility taking care about all of YNA's casualties in that area) during this battle.

On 1 April, the YNA launched a pursuit of withdrawing opponents in direction of A'abs and Haradh.

davidbfpo
04-07-2016, 12:44 PM
A VICE investigation into the historical UK-US-Yemeni cooperation to combat terrorism; a mix of human sources, SOF, technical surveillance and drone strikes:https://news.vice.com/article/britains-covert-war-in-yemen-a-vice-news-investigation

CrowBat
04-18-2016, 01:55 PM
Four days ago, on 14 April 2016, Saudis and Houthis agreed a sort of a cease-fire, and this is holding.... well, in most of the country.

Reasons are nicely summarized here What the Yemen ceasefire means for the Gulf, the anti-ISIS campaign, and U.S. security (http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/markaz/posts/2016/04/12-yemen-ceasefire-us-security-riedel)

The fourth attempt in a year at a durable ceasefire and a political process in Yemen should get strong support from President Barack Obama when he visits Saudi Arabia later this month. The war has been a humanitarian catastrophe and a boon to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It's in our interest to end it.

The latest attempt at a ceasefire was arranged by direct negotiations between Saudi Arabia and the Zaydi Shiite Houthi rebels meeting in Riyadh with U.N. support. Political negotiations are scheduled to begin in Kuwait on April 18. If the truce fails, the Saudis are threatening their coalition will mount a major offensive to take Sanaa from the rebels.

A battle for Sanaa would make a bad situation even worse. The U.N. has said that 21 million Yemenis need immediate relief, of which seven million are "severely food insecure." The situation is particularly acute in Taiz where the Houthis have been besieging the city for months, as well as in Sa'ada (the Houthis’ home city in the north), which has been bombed repeatedly by the Royal Saudi Air Force.
...

The biggest beneficiary of the war has been AQAP, which now controls some six hundred kilometers of the southern coastline—from just outside Aden to Mukalla, the fifth largest city in Yemen and the capital of Hadramaut province. When AQAP seized the Mukalla at the start of the war, they looted $100 million from its banks. They are now earning at least $2 million and perhaps as much as $5 million a day in smuggling oil. The group is stronger today than ever before.

The Saudi coalition largely left AQAP alone until recently. The Royal Saudi Air Force has now mounted a few missions against it but they remain firmly in control of much of the south. AQAP regularly attacks coalition forces in Aden.
...



Emiratis instantly began pushing for a new offensive - though this time against the AQAP, and Washington seems to like this idea (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-usa-yemen-exclusive-idUSKCN0XC19A).

...The U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the UAE was preparing for a campaign against AQAP, but declined to offer details, citing operational security. The UAE is playing a key role in the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen that are loosely allied with Iran.

The White House and the Pentagon declined to comment. Government officials in the UAE did not respond to request for comment.
...

Michael Knights, an expert on Yemen's conflict at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, said he and a colleague estimated the UAE's presence in Yemen peaked at about 5,500 troops in July-October of last year and now is as low as 2,500 personnel.

Knights said the UAE played a critical role in efforts by the Saudi-led alliance to push back the Houthis, employing a mix of capabilities, including mechanized infantry columns, that proved decisive.

"The UAE has been the real central player in the ground war," he said.

In contrast, Saudi-led air strikes drew sharp condemnation from the United Nation's top human rights official last month, who said the coalition may be responsible for "international crimes."

In a nod to its capabilities, some U.S. military officials have nicknamed UAE "Little Sparta" after the ancient city-state known for its fighting prowess. Analysts note that the small Gulf state has also played an outsized role in other conflicts, from Libya to Afghanistan.

Frederic Wehry, a Middle East expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and a U.S. Air Force veteran, said the UAE's ability to combat AQAP would rest partly on its ability to navigate Yemen's complex web of tribal allegiances.

UAE forces currently are concentrated mostly around the southern port of Aden where the embattled Yemeni government has found safe haven. But since retaking the city in mid-2015, they and local forces have struggled to impose order, opening the way for al Qaeda and Islamic State militants to operate there.

AQAP is estimated to now control 600 km (373 miles) of Yemeni coastline and the southeastern port city of Mukalla, home to 500,000 people.

The fight against AQAP is of greater importance to the United States than the battle against the Houthis, which until now has been a higher priority for America's Gulf allies. The Gulf states see the fight against the Houthis through the lens of a regional rivalry with Shi'ite Iran.

One particular U.S. concern is Qassim al-Raymi, who last year succeeded Nasser al-Wuhayshi as AQAP's military commander after a U.S. drone strike killed Wuhayshi.

One U.S official, speaking to Reuters on condition of anonymity, said al-Raymi "appears to us to have intent as well as operatives with capability to be able to do external plots."

The United States thinks there are dozens of AQAP operatives deemed to be "true threats" capable of mounting external attacks, the official added.

Washington also has long sought Ibrahim Hassan al-Asiri, considered the most formidable extremist bomb designer. He is accused of a creating hard-to-detect bombs, including one used in a failed bombing of a U.S.-bound airliner in 2009.
...

Otherwise, the Saudis and Emiratis keep on pounding the AQAP down the southern Yemeni coast: on 14 April, it was turn on Koud, in Abyan province (http://abcnews.go.com/International/wireStory/saudi-led-coalition-targets-al-qaida-stronghold-south-38367653), where 10 Jihadists were killed.

Two days later, and following extensive negotiations, Houthis conceded return of Yemeni government to capital (http://m.gulfnews.com/news/gulf/yemen/al-houthis-concede-return-of-yemeni-government-to-capital-1.1713756)

...Houthi militants have agreed to allow Yemen’s legitimate government back to operate in the Yemeni capital Sana’a.

They have also agreed to hand over heavy arms to the state, Al Houthi spokesman Mohammad Abdul Salam told Kuwait’s daily Al Rai on Friday.

The comments come ahead of Monday’s talks in Kuwait that bring Yemen’s rival parties back to the negotiating table.

Abdul Salam said the militant group would also allow Yemen’s current vice president Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar, and influential oil and telecom tycoon, Hamad Al Ahmar, back into Sana’a.

The promised concessions by Al Houthis herald a major shift in their policy, analysts say
...

“Our demand is consensual authority for a scheduled transitional period,” Abdul Salam said.

The transitional authority would decide on thorny issues like the number of regions for a new proposed federal state, disarmament of militant groups and secessionist demands in the south and grievances of Saada residents in the north.

In the interview, Abdul Salam denied widely held suspicions that the group was a pawn of Iran.

“We are not tools in the hands of anyone,” he said.
...

...which means something like: the entire Yemen War - lasting more than a year - was actually 'all for nothing'.

But at least Emiratis have got their opportunity to go kicking AQAP's backsides around Lahj Province (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-qaeda-idUSKCN0XC0RH)

Yemeni forces backed by Apache helicopters from a Saudi-led coalition wrested the city of Houta from al Qaeda fighters after a gun battle on Friday morning, a local military official said.
...

The recapture of Houta, regional capital of southern Lahj province which has been held by the militants since last summer, is one of the embattled Yemeni government's most important inroads yet against al Qaeda forces who have taken advantage of more than a year of war to seize territory.

Government troops began their attack at daybreak and succeeded after several hours of air strikes and heavy combat, the military official told Reuters.

"The campaign to control Houta has been completed and it has been cleansed of al Qaeda and extremist elements," he said. Several people were killed and injured on both sides and 48 militants were captured, he added.
...

CrowBat
04-24-2016, 06:16 AM
Following a relatively quick build-up, Emiratis have launched an amphibious landing in Mukalla - and this time it's serious (and confirmed by locals).

Hadramawt Tribes Confederation is involved in this operation too (it's strictly anti-AQAP meanwhile - and not to be confused with the Hadhrami Domestic Council, which is in alliance with the AQAP in Mukalla).

So, in total: Emiratis are entering the port from the south, HTC (i.e. now HC, because they reformed themselves as the 'Hadramawt Confederation') from north, west and east.

More news as they stream in.

CrowBat
04-24-2016, 06:21 AM
Emirati and YNA's offensive on Zinjibar is successful too: their troops are meanwhile inside the town, and holding most of governmental buildings. Major General Ahmad Sayef Al Yafae, commander of the Aden-based 4th Military Region, told Gulf News that as many as 35 Al Qaida fighters were killed and 60 others were injured in the first hours of the fighting and his forces had regained control of the city of Kawd and many other small scattered regions in the province.

Notable is that the YNA is supported by few of ex-YAF Mi-8/17s too (see the photo below). This comes as a confirmation for Emirati-supported effort to build-up a new air force (initially reported as equipped with those Emirati-assembled IOMAX light strikers).

CrowBat
04-24-2016, 06:29 AM
Below the most accurate map of the situation in Yemen I was able to find recently.

Note: I modified it to show approx YNA's advance on Abbs and Hajjah, in NW Yemen, and YNA/Emirati advance on Zinjibar too.

CrowBat
04-24-2016, 06:40 AM
Twitter reports on multiple air strikes on Mukhalla (https://twitter.com/nasser01842639/status/724040992756764672), air strikes on traffic management (https://twitter.com/Abohraid007/status/724040931402502144), and more (and bigger) air strikes (https://twitter.com/Sultan_Qathami/status/724109655279067136).

CrowBat
04-25-2016, 08:07 AM
This is something like official: Yemeni Troops, Backed by United Arab Emirates, Take City From Al Qaeda (http://www.thenational.ae/world/middle-east/yemeni-forces-drive-al-qaeda-out-of-stronghold-in-mukalla)

..."Groups of Al Qaeda fighters fled the city in cars. I think they escaped towards mountains far from Al Mukalla after about 20 Aqap fighters were killed," Salem told The National.

Local tribes are believed to have convinced the militants to leave, he said.

“We entered the city centre and were met by no resistance from Al Qaeda militants who withdrew west" towards the vast desert in Hadramawt and Shabwa provinces, a military officer told Agence France-Presse.
...
Locals report the AQAP tried to give a fight, but then suffered heavy casualties to Emirati (probably Saudi too) fire-power, bow and fled the battlefield.

Bottom line: Mukhalla is now in Emirati and YNA's hands.

CrowBat
04-25-2016, 08:13 AM
BTW, the amphibious assault on Mukhalla was actually led by RSN's SEALs, followed by Saudi Marines. But, these are not mentioned by anybody with even a single word.

If any foreign forces are cited, then 'Emiratis only'.

CrowBat
04-25-2016, 08:30 AM
Twitter reports from Mukhalla area are indicating that the AQAP not only suffered severe losses there, but de-facto collapsed and run away.

Locals are reporting that the 'Army' (https://twitter.com/saadtalib/status/724256131854422016) (guess they mean the YNA) has entered Buwaish - the next town east of Mukhalla, this morning.

CrowBat
04-25-2016, 03:07 PM
One correction in regards of my post with the map attached (see above), in regards of the situation in Hajjah province (NW Yemen, on Saudi border and the coast of the Red Sea): the YNA didn't drive all the way from Harad to Abs after all.

Namely, after capturing the upper part of Harad, the YNA stopped its advance on Abs and tried to outflank the Houth/YA positions in lower Harad by advancing down the coast. The YNA captured most of the farms in this area, and secured all the hills, in turn securing the road from Midi to Hara too.

But, now comes the best part: while mopping up the area west of Harad, YNA discovered a big system of tunnels. Reportedly, this is extending for nearly 30km and connecting the area around Harad with the Saudi border.

Now, no doubt: this sounds fantastic. But, keep in mind: Houthis are controlling this area since at least five years, without interruption. Plus, existence of such tunnels would in turn explain the ability of the Houthi/YA/Saleh forces to 'suddenly appear behind' Saudi outposts on the border, back in autumn last year (mind all the 'spectacular' videos of knocked out M1s, M2/3s etc.).

The capture of this tunnel system is also an explanation for why this offensive was launched (and the last-before-last cease-fire breached) and why the Houthis/YA are not launching any forays into Saudi Arabia, this year. Indeed, these tunnels might be an explanation why Houthis asked for negotiations almost immediately after the YNA secured the area (and tunnels).

CrowBat
04-25-2016, 08:38 PM
Further - and quick - advance of the YNA and coalition today: locals report (https://mobile.twitter.com/binshafloot/status/724325293293494276) that they've liberated the town of ash-Shahar, 60km east from Mukhalla 'up' the coast.

The AQAP just run away.

If this is truth, it could be one of new records in history of mechanized warfare..

CrowBat
04-26-2016, 05:31 AM
In their drive east of Mukhalla, Saudis, Emiratis and YNA have seized Riyan AB and the nearby base of the 23rd Brigade YA (de-funct, i.e. overrun, disarmed and disbanded by the AQAP) yesterday.

Further east, the AQAP VBIED an army convoy that was in the process of entering Zinjibar - yup, the place so eagerly besieged by Jihadists back in 2011, and lately produly held by them again, but recaptured by Emiratis, Saudis and YNA on Saturday (23 April). Then they quickly reached Azzan too, as the AQAP fled.

So much for professional military operations.

Allmighty superiors of the Saudi-led coalition in Riyad though, continued their PR-campaign in a particularly dilettantic fashion. Between others, Asiri claimed 800 AQAP killed in Mukhala area so far.

Of course, he's got all the MSM (even those of its outlets bought by Saudis (https://archive.is/CBNCN)) - but also various think-tanks etc. jumping all over him now: how dare Asiri becoming so desperate to issue such claims in attempt to improve the negative image of the Saudi-led coalition?

The 'pearl' of the day was delivered by this Houthi journo (https://twitter.com/senanyemen/status/724010540549476352) (rather surprising to see Houthis have left any journalist within their reach free to roam the world, actually): he said that Saudis are bad when they attack the AQAP.

After all, the areas that were liberated by the Saudi-led coalition the last few days are now 100% certainly going to be handed over to the Daesh (i.e. IS's Wilayat Hadramawt), while AQAP was lately so humanitarian, it 'shun vioence' and this offensive is 'pushing it back to brutality'...

Bottom line, if:

- Saudis & allies don't fight AQAP = 'bad Saudis, supporting and cooperating with the AQAP'

- Saudis & allies fight AQAP = 'bad Saudis, fighting AQAP that became ah so peaceful'...

Simply amazing how fast is everybody learning from Sputnik, RT and Putler... just Saudis not.

CrowBat
04-27-2016, 03:08 PM
With AQAP on the run in south-eastern Yemen, it seems its leaders are easier to track too - and that's resulting in a notable up-tick of US UCAV strikes.

This one should've scored 'big points': U.S. drone strike kills local Qaeda leader in South Yemen (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-drone-idUSKCN0XN1ZD)

A suspected U.S. drone strike killed a local leader in Al Qaeda and five of his aides in southern Yemen on Tuesday, residents said, as Yemeni and Emirati troops pressed their offensive against the militant group.

Abu Sameh al-Zinjibari and other men died when a missile struck their moving car in Amoudiya, a village near the Qaeda-controlled towns of Jaar and Zinjibar.
...

That said: Zinjibar is not 'AQAP-controlled' since at least two days.

CrowBat
05-06-2016, 10:01 AM
A 'quick and dirty' review of (important) news from Yemen, of the last few days:

Another 'turn-over' in this war might be in the making: Are Saudis prepared to drop Hadi to make peace in Yemen? (http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/yemen-peace-talks-kuwait-1-999874964)

...Although the current talks in Kuwait began over two weeks ago, there has been little progress. They had started with a wobble: the Houthi/Saleh delegation arrived three days late in protest at the fact the ceasefire nominally in place was not being respected by the other side. From the outset of the negotiations, they had always wanted a complete ceasefire, not a mere "cessation of hostilities". Once their delegates arrived in Kuwait, they spent the first two days arguing precisely this point.

Kuwait’s foreign affairs minister, who was desperate to secure a home-soil diplomatic coup for his country, immediately travelled to Riyadh for talks with the Saudis and, in the days since, despite reports of coalition jets patrolling Yemeni airspace, there have been relatively few air strikes since; a positive outcome already.

For many, this apparent shift in Saudi policy shows the urgency of reaching a settlement on their part. However, whilst there are mounting indications Riyadh desperately wants out of this conflict, several foreign diplomats I’ve spoken to insist that the Saudis are not willing to seek an exit at any cost; many are still expecting, or hoping for, some sort of victory.

Despite that initial three-day delay in Kuwait, direct talks between the Houthis and Saudi Arabia had been under way for weeks, already a major breakthrough. So far, these discussions have produced several confidence-building measures, including prisoner exchanges, and a ceasefire at the border. They have also delivered a cessation of hostilities – both of Houthi cross-border attacks and coalition bombings in North Yemen – that has held since.

“Riyadh is where the talks are really happening,” a senior diplomat told me. What about President Hadi and his government? I asked. “At some point, they will have to accept that they have to go,” he replied. I was reminded of recent reports from Yemen suggesting many of Hadi’s ministers have been busy selling their properties and assets in the country. I wanted to tell him they had seemingly come to terms with their fate, and are merely buying time now.
...
But if the Houthis and the Saudis cut a deal, I asked the diplomat, what would happen to the forces on the ground fighting for Hadi, such as the militias in Taiz and Aden? “I think we have known for a while now that they aren’t under Hadi’s control, and they most certainly are not fighting for him,” he responded.

This was something I had considered, and written about, before but had always refused to believe. To hear it stated so bluntly by a senior diplomat was shocking. The notion that the dozens of armed militias currently operating across the country were under nobody’s control was too frightening to contemplate, and confirms fears that even if a peace deal is struck Yemen might not see peace for years, possibly decades to come.
...

Al-Qaida withdrawing from 2 cities east of Yemen's Aden port (http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/M/ML_YEMEN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-05-05-07-03-46)

...Al-Qaida militants in Yemen are pulling out of two coastal cities east of the key southern port of Aden following tribal-led negotiations, security officials and witnesses said on Thursday.

The pullout from Zinjibar and Jaar is which is expected to take less than a week, they said. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters while the witnesses did so out of safety concerns.
...

Meanwhile, Aden's civilian airport reopened on Thursday after months of closure due to security concerns, said Tarek Abdu Ali, the chief of the airport. The first passenger plane, coming from Jordan, landed around midday, he said.

...

The FNA reports (http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13950216000493) several 'Saudi' air strikes on targets in Sana'a area, the last two days:

...The Saudi Air Force has launched several air raids over the capital city of Sana'a in the last two days, causing damage in a number of residential areas, several sources said on Thursday.

"In addition to bombing Sana'a, the Saudi Air Force also targeted the Ansarullah-controlled Anad Camp and a number of districts in Ma'rib province, killing a number of civilians and fighters," the sources added.
...

The Yemen Post (https://twitter.com/YemenPostNews/status/727495887291879424) reported five air strikes already on 3 May, and clashes in four different regions - including Hajjah and Ta'iz. Especially the latter should be heavily shelled by Houthis and YA.

Finally, UAE-trained Yemenis land on Socotra island (http://www.janes.com/article/60039/uae-trained-yemenis-land-on-socotra-island)

A contingent of Yemeni soldiers that has been trained in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has landed on Socotra (Suqutra) island in the Arabian Sea, Yemeni media channels reported on 2 May.

The reports were supported by photographs showing soldiers at a location that could be identified as Soctra Airport. They were wearing a type of tricolour desert uniform that has been used by the UAE armed forces in the past. A Boeing C-17 Globemaster III - a heavy transport aircraft used by the UAE's air force - could be seen in the background.
...

With other words: the cease-fire in Yemen is about to collapse.

*************

Earlier reports (https://twitter.com/TBowmanNPR/status/726107259038736384) cited arrival of a 'US Special Forces team' in Mukalla, and meanwhile the Yemen Post (https://twitter.com/YemenPostNews/status/728149764894679040) is reporting arrival of no less but '100 (US Army) Rangers in southern Yemen.

Also, the US military (http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-military-supporting-yemen-fight-al-qaida-38913311) is getting more-intensively involved against the AQAP in general:

... The U.S. military is helping Yemeni, Emirati and Arab Coalition forces that are battling al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, and were recently able to retake the port city of Mukalla from AQAP control.

A senior U.S. official said that American special operations forces are advising the Yemeni and Emirati forces in the region, and that they are working at the headquarters level and are not near the conflict. The official was not authorized to discuss the issue publicly so spoke on condition of anonymity.

Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman, said the U.S. is providing "limited support" to the Arab Coalition and Yemeni operations in and around Mukalla. He said that includes planning, airborne surveillance, intelligence gathering, medical support, refueling and maritime interdiction.

Davis declined to discuss whether or not special operations forces were in the country. But he said the U.S. has sent a number of ships to the region including the USS Boxer amphibious ready group and the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is embarked with the group. The USS Gravely and USS Gonzalez, both Navy destroyers, are also in the area.

"Trained and supported by an Arab Coalition led by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Yemeni government forces and resistance fighters have retaken Mukalla and continue their offensive against AQAP in eastern Yemen," said Davis. "AQAP remains a significant security threat to the United States and to our regional partners and we welcome this effort to specifically remove AQAP from Mukalla and to degrade, disrupt and destroy AQAP in Yemen."
...

CrowBat
05-08-2016, 07:38 AM
While Yemeni peace-talks were suspended (again) (http://www.france24.com/en/20160507-yemen-direct-peace-talks-suspended-again-government), it's meanwhile 'official': US sends troops to Yemen, steps up anti-Al Qaeda strikes (http://jordantimes.com/news/region/us-sends-troops-yemen-steps-anti-al-qaeda-strikes)

The Pentagon acknowledged for the first time on Friday it has deployed US troops to Yemen since the country's collapse last year to bolster government and Arab coalition forces battling Al Qaeda.

Spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said the US military has also stepped up air strikes against fighters with Yemen-based Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

A "very small number" of American military personnel has been working from a "fixed location" with Yemeni and Arab coalition forces — especially the Emiratis — in recent weeks around Mukalla, a port city seized by AQAP a year ago, Davis said.

"This is of great interest to us. It does not serve our interests to have a terrorist organisation in charge of a port city, and so we are assisting in that," the spokesman added.

He said the troops were helping the Emiratis with "intelligence support", but declined to say if they are special operations forces.
...

The Pentagon announced it has carried out a string of strikes on Al Qaeda in recent weeks, outside of Mukalla.

“We have conducted four counterterrorism strikes against AQAP since April 23, killing 10 Al Qaeda operatives and injuring another,” Davis said.
...

Meanwhile, various other sources announce at least a 'moderate' - and certainly 'growing' US military presence in Yemen: US deploy over 200 soldiers in S Yemen, stations assault ship (http://en.apa.az/-_243320.html)

The United States military has deployed more than 200 US Marines in the port city of Mukalla in the central province of Hadramout, Yemeni media say, APA reports quoting Press TV.

The forces were deployed in the important seaport and oil terminal on Saturday, Yemen's Arabic-language al-Masirah news website reported. The amphibious assault ship USS Boxer with more than 1,200 sailors and Marines as well as a group of vessels aboard were also stationed offshore in the Gulf of Aden.
...

Finally, only now, more than a year after the start of the Saudi-led military intervention, are serious points in the USA starting to criticise the entire adventure: Former U.S. Diplomats Decry the U.S.-Backed Saudi War in Yemen (https://theintercept.com/2016/05/06/former-u-s-diplomats-decry-the-u-s-backed-saudi-war-in-yemen/)

...“I don’t think you can restore a government, especially an unpopular one, from the air, and I don’t think the use of force in this matter does anything but create long-term enmity,” said Chas Freeman, who served as the ambassador to Saudi Arabia between 1989 and 1992. He noted that former President Hadi’s unpopularity was partly due to his deep ties to Saudi Arabia and the United States. Freeman is currently a senior fellow at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs at Brown University.

Barbara Bodine, who served as ambassador to Yemen between 1997 and 2001, directed us to recent remarks she made on the Zogby Show about the impact of the bombings on Yemen’s social fabric.

“It’s just been pushed over the edge,” she told host James Zogby. “It’s been declared a level 3 humanitarian crisis, there’s only four of those in the world. … The devastation of the physical damage, infrastructure damage, … the water system to the extent it has existed has been completely destroyed.” Bodine is currently a professor of diplomacy at Georgetown University.
...

All of the diplomats pointed out that, contrary to administration statements that the Saudi war is serving counterterrorism objectives, the war has actually undermined U.S. national security interests. In particular, they noted that the campaign against the Houthis has allowed one of its enemies – al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) – to seize more territory.
Grappo220

“No question about that, no question whatsoever, that the war has turned everyone’s attention away from what concerns us most, and that’s violent extremism and terrorist groups,” said Gary Grappo, a former deputy chief of mission to Saudi Arabia. “Al Qaeda has grown in strength, and in numbers, and in resources, and that’s directly related to the turning of attention to the internal instability and ultimately the war in Yemen.” Grappo is currently CEO & founder of Equilibrium International Consulting.
...

“I would argue that the Houthis were not in the Iranian camp until they were driven into it by necessity,” Freeman said. “When they were attacked by the Saudis – or counter-attacked, depending on how you see it – they needed support from somewhere, and they got it from Tehran. So the Saudi effort to punish the Iranians [for the nuclear deal] by punishing the Houthis ironically cemented the relationship between Iran and the Houthis that otherwise probably would not have existed.”

Khoury also described the Houthi-Iranian relationship as having been advanced by the Saudi-led bombing campaign. “Once the Houthis got there, they thought … they are [also] against the Saudis so they must be good friends to Iran, so they started [cooperating],” he said.


Of course, nobody is commenting about this operation probably being a 'bargain' between Oblala and Salman: 'go to Yemen, leave Syria to Iranians'. Connecting dots was never an accepted way of thinking in the DC.

CrowBat
05-10-2016, 08:57 AM
Here we go again:

- Saudi-led intergalactic coalition re-launched its air strikes on Houthis. One of primary targets was the Umaliqah Military Camp in northern Amran (south of Sa'ada). Up to 60 were flown in the last 48 hours. al-Bawaba (http://www.albawaba.com/news/yemen-targets-saudi-base-missile-attack-838560) reports 13 KIA there, including 5 para-medics, and 15 WIA.

- Houthis responded by at least one SSM fired at Khamis Mushayt in Saudi Arabia, during the night form Sunday to Monday (8-9 May); Saudis claim (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/middle-east/2016/05/09/Saudis-intercept-ballistic-missile-fired-from-Yemen-.html) to have shoot down the same.

By now, the Royal Saudi Air Defence Force must be the most experienced military service around the world - at least in deploying PAC-2s and PAC-3s for defence from Scuds and Tochkas.

To make things really sarcastic: Saudi intercepts missile from Yemen but truce holds (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-saudi-idUSKCN0Y021U)

Saudi Arabia intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen on Monday, but a Saudi-led military coalition said it would maintain a shaky truce despite the "serious escalation" by the Houthi militia and its allies, state news agency SPA said.
...

Sounds like both sides are rapidly learning - from Assadist and (especially) Russian behaviour.

CrowBat
05-10-2016, 09:15 AM
Also of interest: Tip-offs helped accelerate Al Mukalla liberation (http://gulfnews.com/news/gulf/yemen/tip-offs-helped-accelerate-al-mukalla-liberation-1.1821207)

...Since government forces booted Al Qaida out of major port cities in the province of Hadramout on April 24, the governor of Hadramout, Major General Ahmad Bin Bourek, has come under the spotlight apparently for playing a role along with many generals in engineering the plan that pushed out Al Qaida at stunning speed. General Bin Bourek talked to Gulf News about the operation and post-Al Qaida Mukalla, the capital of Hadramout.

What is your general assessment of the situation in the recently liberated areas in Hadramout?

The situation is improving quickly. Today is better than yesterday and yesterday was better than the day before. We are working day and night to bring about security and stability in the city of Mukalla and other regions. The most important [achievement] is putting an end to theft and pillage gangs. The security situation in Mukalla would improve much more when we deploy policemen and army soldiers in their uniform at checkpoints in order for the people to see the features of a standing army that represents the state. Also, armed police officers in uniform would be deployed on streets and in police stations. We seek to present the liberated Mukalla’s culture and civilisation as a model.

You are talking about your efforts to bring peace and security to the city of Mukalla. How about other liberated cities like Ghayel Bawazer and Sheher?

We have sent army troops to the two cities to replace local resistance committees who took charge of security after liberation. We are determined to entrench the state’s symbolism in these two cities through the presence of the army and security services. The army sappers are removing mines planted by Al Qaida in Sheher, and along roads between these two cities and interior localities.

The liberated areas, especially Mukalla, are weirdly peaceful. Many people thought that Al Qaida would retaliate for defeat by mounting deadly suicide attacks. But nothing has happened since liberation. Why?

The forces that were designated to liberate Mukalla were professionally trained in raids and clashes. During our stay outside Yemen, we prepared our plan based on intelligent information from inside Mukalla. We knew their locations and numbers. [Shortly before the operation] we were informed that Al Qaida’s professional fighters had departed the city to Hajjar valley [in Hadramout], Shabwa, Abyan and Marib. The accurate air strikes and their inability to fight off our forces prompted them into exiting.
...

How about the UAE military’s support?

The Emirati brothers had played a vital role by providing air and logistical support that helped Hadrami forces during battles. They trained the elite forces for a year, paid their salaries, armed them and would continue helping us until we stand on our own feet and make sure that the Hadrami leaders would take Hadramout to safety.

Let’s talk about Mukalla liberation plan. How did you prepare it? Who helped you?

Before Al Qaida captured Mukalla in April 2015, we had intelligence that Al Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula was gathering in Hadramout and their leaders were flocking to training and recruiting camps. They were trained in making bombs. The militants were not only from Yemen but of many nationalities including Egyptian, Syrian, American, Australian, French, British and from GCC states. Some militants who plotted the blowing up of US airlines were trained in Hadramout. Our intelligence information showed that the armed men who attacked the French magazine Charlie Hebdo and some who plotted attacks in Belgium were trained in Hadramout and got their plans from here.

Practically, Hadramout has been classified as a central breeding ground for producing and financing terrorism worldwide. Their capture of Mukalla in April last year supported the overall impression about Al Qaida. So it was imperative to create a plan to purge Hadramout of them. But we lacked abilities and training.

So how did you set up this plan?

When Decisive Storm operation began, the coalition, mainly Saudi Arabia and the UAE, backed our plan. The first step was mobilising military forces from Hadramout as the people here would not welcome foreign forces. At the same time, we gathered information about them from our agents who penetrated them.

A month before the beginning of the liberation process, a group of people, who were misled by Al Qaida’s religious banners, contacted us and said they would part ways with Al Qaida if and only if we protected them. They tipped us off about Al Qaida car bombs and training camps. We managed to get rid of Al Qaida in 20 hours as the operation came within a series of military operations by the coalition in other provinces like Lahj, Abyan and Aden. The operations weakened them to a great extent and crippled their abilities for manoeuvring.

We succeeded because all walks of Hadrami society including tribes and Salafis regardless to their religious and political affiliations took part in liberation. We succeeded in record time because Al Qaida realised that no one would fight for or cover them. They found themselves exposed. A night before marching towards Mukalla, we landed some armed Salafis from the sea who controlled the seaport and airport.

Is it true that Al Qaida planted mines inside vital facilities in Mukalla?

They planted a huge number of mines because they felt that no one would stand by them. We are in need of help from brotherly and friendly countries to help us defuse them. They planted them inside police stations, government buildings, parks, the airport and Dhabah oil terminal. The UAE sappers would not be able to completely clear them before six months.

Some media reports say that militants retreated after mediation by local tribal and religious leaders. Can you confirm?

They pushed some forces into mediating with us. After realising that they cannot fight our forces, they demanded that they should be allowed to depart to one area. We refused, as per the directives from the president that there should not be any talks with the terrorists.

Hm... sounds like 'typical Arab-style warfare': short battle, then negotiate (or the other way around).

CrowBat
05-12-2016, 09:07 PM
WINEP's Dr. Michael Knights goes on with a particularly interesting piece, discussing actual Saudi strategy against the AQAP: Gulf Coalition Targeting AQAP in Yemen (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/gulf-coalition-operations-against-aqap-in-yemen#.VzLP__KTch4.twitter)

Centrepiece:

... Preparations for the current anti-AQAP campaign began as early as April 2015 with the opening of quiet negotiations between the Gulf coalition and key tribes in southern and eastern Yemen. By February 2016, the coalition was engaged in a major military effort to clear AQAP from al-Mukalla and the Lahij-Abyan coastal corridor.

To facilitate the campaign, units from the United Arab Emirates have brought to bear many of the lessons learned during deployments in Somalia, Afghanistan, and Libya. In Aden, the coalition developed six 100-man units of local resistance fighters bolstered by UAE special forces, while Gulf intelligence agencies worked with locals to create an AQAP and Islamic State target list. In early March, coalition airstrikes hit AQAP's leadership in Burayqah and in northern neighborhoods such as Salahuddin, Sheikh Othman, and Mansoura; on March 14, a UAE Mirage 2000 jet crashed in Burayqah during a low pass over Aden, reportedly downed by an AQAP 9K32 Strela man-portable air-defense system (MANPADS). On March 20, 600 Yemeni personnel mounted in UAE-supplied Nimr tactical vehicles launched ground operations against AQAP. With support from UAE Apache helicopters, they cleared the Mansoura district and dislodged AQAP fighters from their stronghold in the Mansoura central prison, killing an estimated 120 of them.

To the east, the coalition undertook a similar project in al-Mukalla, but on a far greater scale. A year ago, it began patiently developing a 10,000-strong force to recapture the city, including around 4,500 Yemeni army troops of the 2nd MRC, around 1,500 tribal fighters from the Hadramawt Tribal Confederation (HTC), and around 4,000 anti-AQAP rebels from within al-Mukalla itself. As in Aden, these forces eventually helped the coalition create a granular target list of AQAP operating locations, which were then hit by airstrikes and naval gunfire beginning on April 18, 2016. On April 20, army troops of the 1st MRC supported by UAE Apaches recaptured the PetroMasila oil facilities 190 kilometers north of al-Mukalla. And on April 23, the coalition launched ground operations to recapture the city itself and its nearby port and military bases. In two days of heavy fighting, AQAP tried to block the 2nd MRC and HTC forces from sweeping south into al-Mukalla, employing defensive positions on the three approach roads about 50 kilometers north. These blocking positions were defeated, allowing relief forces to link up with the anti-AQAP resistance inside the city on April 25, while UAE marines made ancillary landings along the coast to the east. An estimated 450 AQAP fighters were killed in these operations.

The campaigns in al-Mukalla and Aden have been complemented by follow-on efforts to prevent AQAP re-infiltration. Pursuit operations have spread east of Aden and west of al-Mukalla to break the group's hold on coastal towns and roads, and internal resistance forces are being retained as local police, with salaries paid by the coalition for now. In addition, even before liberating certain neighborhoods, coalition forces covertly surveyed the essential services needed by local communities, enabling them to immediately distribute food from warehouses and dispatch reconstruction teams in AQAP's wake to replace or improve on services the group and its tribal allies were providing.
...
Curiously, the final chapter - 'Implications for US Policy' - falls rather short. It is not addressing the issue of negative repercussions for the US (and UK's) politics towards the KSA, allies and Yemen, in the light of what is de-facto a 'defeat' on the PR-plan.

Namely, while it now turns out there was a carefully orchestrated strategy for launching an offensive against the AQAP, run already since April 2015, nothing was done to prevent creation of impression that 'Saudis are not the least keen to fight AQAP', which came into being in the last 15 months.

Even less so to explain cases (especially in such places like Ta'iz) where there is no doubt that US-supported actions by Saudi-led coalitions resulted in support of the local branch of the AQAP too.

My conclusion is that part of reason for this situation is that militaries like those of the Saudis, Emiratis etc. remain 'public shy'. Essentially, for them everything military-related is de-facto OPSEC. However, their brass should either know better, or at least learn that nowadays it's not enough to spend a few billions to buy critical or potentially critical media: one has to take care for the actual message to reach the public too. In the case of this war, there was clearly a failure in this regards.

Correspondingly, a missing lesson from this campaign is that while specific 'Arab' militaries came of their age and are 'finally functioning', their and PR-skills and -relations of their political masters remain a major problem, exactly like in the last 70+ years.

davidbfpo
05-13-2016, 09:06 PM
Thanks to a "lurker" for the pointer to this Canadian article, which aims to:
...despite the assumptions of many in the West, Yemen is not too small or too remote to matter. Here are five reasons why:
Link:https://www.opencanada.org/features/five-reasons-why-yemen-matters-now-more-ever/

CrowBat
05-14-2016, 06:29 AM
Ballistic missile launched from Yemen into Jizan (https://twitter.com/khabaragency/status/731223279864811520) - supposedly in respose to Saudi violation of cease-fire....

CrowBat
05-25-2016, 05:49 PM
Don't worry, folks: the war in Yemen is going on regardless of continued negotiations in Kuwait. More about its 'Houthi/Saleh vs Hadi' part at some other opportunity.

Meanwhile, here an interesting read with rare info on Emirati 'COIN ops' in Yemen: The U.A.E. Approach to Counterinsurgency in Yemen (http://warontherocks.com/2016/05/the-u-a-e-approach-to-counterinsurgency-in-yemen/)

Most interesting excerpt:

The Gulf coalition has noted AQAP’s focus on winning over the locals through well-publicized (but not necessarily widespread) jobs, social services, and financial inducements. This is one of the many areas in which the United Arab Emirates can draw on its operational experiences in Lebanon, Somalia, Kosovo, Libya, Sinai, and Afghanistan (where a U.A.E. task force operated for over twelve years). Since the summer of 2015, the Emiratis have been preparing the ground for civil-military operations in areas liberated from AQAP, most notably in Mukalla. According to my contacts, U.A.E. special operators and civilians have been used to covertly survey gaps in stocks of food and medicine in local warehouses and hospitals. This has allowed the coalition to immediately begin meeting local needs in terms of food security, medical and teaching support, and replacements for damaged infrastructure.

In Aden, this allowed the coalition to support the reopening of numerous schools in time for the autumn 2015 term, with school furniture and uniforms sourced locally from Yemeni manufacturers to maximize the local economic impact of aid provision. Civil-military operations teams quickly got to work on installing diesel generators and maintaining water pumps and sewage facilities. In Mukalla, the coalition prepositioned humanitarian support onshore and aboard the U.A.E. naval flotilla off the coast, and new supplies are now being flown in. Food, medicines and water purification materials were surged ashore. The Emirates also followed up the liberation of Mukalla by deploying military bridges into the city. If they follow patterns set in other conflict areas, road-building will likely follow, using local contractors. U.A.E. telecommunication companies may throw up new cellphone towers as they did in Afghanistan. The Gulf states will probably support development of local schools, clinics and mosques, and may also invest more broadly in boosting the local economy as a strategic investor, as the Emirates did in Khost province in Afghanistan.
...

davidbfpo
06-20-2016, 01:33 PM
Crowbat,

Thanks for the pointer to the WoTR article on UAE's COIN approach; which make very interesting reading. I note the importance of having historical "kith & kin" between southern Yemen and the UAE.

The article ends with an optimistic slant:
AQAP is used to being the smartest player around with the deepest local ties, but a partnership between the Gulf coalition, Yemen, and the United States could present Al-Qaeda and the emergent Islamic State in Yemen with a much tougher set of opponents.So I note today in Foreign Policy's e-briefing this:
American special operators are back in Yemen, and it doesn’t look like they’re going to leave any time soon. A group of about a dozen U.S. commandos sent to the country in April are going to stick around, U.S. defense officials say, and will help troops from the United Arab Emirates hunt down fighters from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

That sounds like a priority shift for Emirati troops, who have been fighting Houthi rebels for the past year. But Yousef al-Otaiba, the U.A.E.’s ambassador in Washington, told the Washington Post that said his country’s fight against AQAP “will go on for a long period of time...the military priorities have shifted from fighting the Iranian-backed Houthis to being more focused on AQAP".One must wonder will the UAE have learnt enough to avoid the mistakes the USA and on a smaller scale others encountered in their Yemeni dealings.

CrowBat
06-21-2016, 01:10 PM
IMHO, it's the other way around: there is meanwhile nothing the Emiratis can learn from Americans in this regards any more; only Americans can learn from Emiratis.

Namely, we do not get to hear much about this topic, but Emiratis were actually fighting a low-level COIN war against their own MBs since years, and have de-facto squashed these.

Ops in question included 'regular' (at least 'a few every night') helicopter patrols along their shores, a number of which resulted in discovery and - usually - sinking of boats smuggling militants, arms, etc.

So, they 'arrived in Yemen' already 'blooded', well-experienced, and well-connected.

And ever since... well, their ties to the local population are always going to be several magnitudes better than those of any US troops deployed there.

davidbfpo
06-29-2016, 09:55 PM
Last week London's Fontline Club held a meeting on the Yemen, as the war entered a second year; with Iona Craig (who still visits), a yemeni expat who works for Oxfam (one of the sharper UK charities), a regional HRW speaker and an independent UK reporter in the chair (who has reported from the Yemen):http://www.frontlineclub.com/crisis-in-yemen-the-forgotten-war/

There is a 90 min podcast, which I expect includes the Q&A. Yet to be listened to.

OUTLAW 09
07-04-2016, 05:29 PM
http://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/uae-shows-the-way-to-deal-with-regional-crises

UAE shows the way to deal with regional crises
Hassan Hassan

July 3, 2016


Since late 2013, two main regional blocs have competed over how to deal with the rise of extremist forces in Syria. The policy in Syria today seems to have finally settled in favour of one of the arguments.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE, on one hand, favoured a twin policy of fighting extremist factions at the same time as battling the regime of Bashar Al Assad. Turkey and Qatar, on the other hand, pushed for toppling Mr Al Assad first. They argued that it would be easier to build a local, regional and international consensus to fight extremists after the downfall of the regime. With varying success, the two sides competed to advance their visions on the ground in Syria and in policy circles outside it.

Around this time in 2013, Jabhat Al Nusra had already revealed its links to Al Qaeda after two years of acting as a local Syrian group with a jihadist bent. ISIL began to establish a foothold for itself in much of Syria, mostly focusing on policing rebel-held areas. Syrian Islamist groups then began discussions to form a unified front. By the end of the year, Islamist and jihadist forces became the main players in rebel-held Syria.

At the beginning of 2014, clashes erupted between the rebel forces and ISIL. This continued until the summer, when the latter took over #Mosul and returned to Syria with a vengeance – eventually controlling about half of the country.

Two summers later, it should be clear that the twin policy of fighting the regime and extremists would have a better chance of working. Today, the two superpowers involved in the Syrian conflict are getting closer to working together to defeat ISIL and Jabhat Al Nusra, after American president Barack Obama reportedly proposed a partnership with Moscow against the Al Qaeda affiliate. Turkey’s policy in Syria was also widely criticised after last Tuesday’s terror attacks inside Istanbul’s Ataturk airport, with many saying that the attacks were payback for neglecting the growing presence of extremists in Syria.

The lesson that must be drawn from how the situation developed in Syria is that the twin policy is more effective. But there is an inherent issue with counterterrorism efforts in the region, often because they have been largely led by the United States, or because operations show little regard for local sensitivities or aspirations. Shifting politics in Washington may also undermine ongoing efforts and therefore perpetuate or exacerbate the problem. So, the apparent solution is for regional countries to take on the task.

This is where the UAE comes in. On Tuesday, Reuters published a detailed account of the Emirati special forces’ counterterrorism mission in southern Yemen – an operation that turned out to be more extensive and impressive than initially made out in media. An Emirati eight-person special forces team landed in Yemen in April 2015 and began to train Yemeni soldiers. The UAE teams trained a 2,000-strong force that drove the Houthi rebels from Aden last July, and further 4,000 forces to run the newly captured city. The UAE special forces then began to prepare for the Mukalla operation which culminated with driving out Al Qaeda.

A US official told the agency that some in Washington had doubted the UAE’s sincerity in attacking Al Qaeda in the port city of Al Mukalla. But the Pentagon deployed a small number of military personnel to help in the fight after an evacuation in early 2015, according to Reuters, in a possible sign of increasing US willingness to re-engage on the ground.

“Whether there’s secession or not, the south is in the hands of its sons and that was made possible by the coalition countries," Mahmoud Al Salmi, a professor at Aden University, said.

What makes the UAE’s mission particularly significant is that the effort is conducted by local forces and led by a regional country with a long-term commitment to the neighbourhood’s stability. This aspect is critical for any counterterrorism effort. While locals who want to expel extremist forces from their areas often seek support from the US, long-term commitment weighs heavily in their calculation. This dynamic is felt in Iraq, Syria and other countries where extremists dominate.

Local tribes or insurgents would rather strike temporary alliances with extremists, even though they could defeat them with some help from the US, because they know the US commitment is often fickle but extremists always come back. That is a lesson many have learnt from the Iraq war, when the people of Anbar joined forces with the American troops to expel the predecessor of ISIL from their areas between 2005 and 2010. The US withdrew from Iraq and left them to deal with an increasingly sectarian government in Baghdad and a growing jihadist force in their midst.

Today, many seek US support but they also want a regional guarantor of long-term commitment. The UAE offers an example of what that commitment looks like.

BUT WAIT the Obama\Rhodes WH policy in fighting IS was what again????......not doing any "stupid ####".....

davidbfpo
07-05-2016, 05:54 PM
At a recent conference @ Oxford University, hosted by Pembroke College, entitled 'The Lure of Jihad: Propaganda & the Construction of Jihadist Identities' amidst the presentations was one talk that fits here: Keeping the Lure Alive: The evolution of AQAP's Propaganda Strategy & What we can Learn from it' by Dr Elisabeth Kendall. Her research has taken to the eastern provinces, most recently in November 2015.

Due to the Saudi-led blockade AQAP is making US$2m per day taxing imports, especially of fuel;
There is no appetite in the eastern provinces for the Caliphate;
Polling using locally recruited staff to conduct interviews found that 21% state an Iman's role is to advise on all matters; 10% want a 'single, strong leader' definitely not a distant man;
Each family can have up to twenty children and child mortality is high and death is accepted. Alongside having more guns than books in each home - makes them a hardened audience and it is hard to terrorise people like that;
The ability of AQAP to get local "buy in" depends on local, tribal factors and it is clear there is mutual toleration of each other as business is pursued;
When shown an IS 2015 video, showing a local Yemeni IS group, it was widely ridiculed and caused bewilderment;
AQAP have adapted their approach, it is now more nuanced, but there is a contradiction between business and war. No longer are the punishments and stoning seen in 2011-2012 used. They now aim to get popular support by proving they can govern and so help the people. Then they radicalise;
AQAP does not portray graphic violence against non-Muslims;
It is almost a "Robin Hood" method, fighting for justice and righting wrongs. The jihad today is a continuation of the fight against the British (who left in 1967) and AQAP have used stills of British soldiers being buried in Aden in that conflict;
AQAP's tweets (I do wonder how many locals use Twitter) when examined are by issue: 57% development, 18% law, 13% celebrations & parties and 3% Sharia;
There has been considerable population movement to the eastern provinces, notably Al-Mukalla, from the north following the damage caused by the war.

Dr Kendall has written widely, her last article readily found was in WaPo in May 2016:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/monkey-cage/wp/2016/05/03/how-can-al-qaeda-in-the-arabian-peninsula-be-defeated/

SWJ Blog
07-15-2016, 05:40 PM
Assessing U.S. Special Operations in Yemen (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/assessing-us-special-operations-in-yemen)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
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This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

davidbfpo
08-10-2016, 06:00 PM
In June 2016 Professor Clive Jones, Durham University, gave a seminar paper which combines history, the wider aspects of drones and contemporary events in the Yemen; the full title being 'Drones as Air Proscription? The case of South Arabia and Yemen in comparative perspective'.

There is a summary and a podcast (90 minutes) of the seminar, plus the Q&A:http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/schools/government-society/centres/iccs/news/2016/06/p-drones-as-air-proscription.aspx

davidbfpo
09-08-2016, 05:22 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for this article on the UAE or U.A.E. or Emirates and the expansion of it's military power:http://warontherocks.com/2016/09/west-of-suez-for-the-united-arab-emirates/

There are several articles in this thread on the UAE's role in this war, so it fits here!

I had not spotted:
But Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had an on-hand replacement: neighboring Eritrea, Djibouti’s regional rival, which boasts rudimentary ports on the Red Sea just 150 kilometers further north. On April 29, the very day that Djibouti evicted Gulf troops, Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki met with Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdel Aziz and concluded a security and military partnership agreement (https://www.africaintelligence.com/ION/politics-power/2015/05/15/clash-with-abu-dhabi-remodels-regional-alliances,108073591-EVE) with the Gulf states offering basing rights in Eritrea.Other sections of this article have been added to the Eritrea thread.

davidbfpo
09-10-2016, 12:09 PM
Peter Oborne, a UK journalist, has been to Houthi & others controlled Yemen, with two short film clips - with the caveat Houthi minders were with them. He denounces the UK stance on supporting the Saudi role, principally aerial bombing of civilian targets.
Link:http://www.middleeasteye.net/columns/boris-johnson-british-foreign-policy-yemen-saudi-arabia-peter-oborne-855615638

davidbfpo
10-01-2016, 09:57 PM
Via twitter by Alex Mello just:
1) UAE HSV-2 Swift making runs between Assab and Aden hit with Houthi anti-ship missile off Mokha; 2) And looks like Houthi dudes in a dhow or speedboat tracked the Swift and filmed the missile strike. Big fail for UAE opsec...; 3) Keep in mind Before UAE HSV was hit by Houthi missile Unconfirmed news about an attack on Assab base



YouTube film clip (3.35mins):https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XaMSb_7_3cM&app=desktop

The vessel is a former USN vessel, Swift by class and disposed of to the private sector in 2013 and now operated UAE company. IRRC it was used earlier in the Yemen conflict to move UAE heavy kit to Aden and presumably was ferrying supplies from Assab, Eritrea to the Yemen.

Wiki has:
The UAE leased Swift was reportedly sunk off the Yemeni coast on the 1st of October, 2016 by an anti-ship missile from the brigade 17 tunnel-bunker network in Dhubab (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dhubab) [8] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSV-2_Swift#cite_note-8), the UAE officials reported that the ship was carrying aid when targeted by the anti-ship missile [9] (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSV-2_Swift#cite_note-9)
Link:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HSV-2_Swift

CrowBat
10-04-2016, 05:43 AM
Rather amazingly, contrary to all the possible rumours about Swift sinking etc., Emiratis report there were no casualties, and the ship was eventually saved.

Guess, we'll have to wait for a definite confirmation.

davidbfpo
10-05-2016, 08:35 PM
Via Twitter three photos of the ship after being hit by a anti-ship missile(allegedly C-802):

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CuBa_hvUsAAXkCv.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CuBbhH9UAAAc8SB.jpg

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CuBep78XgAAX3Ve.jpg

CrowBat
10-07-2016, 06:54 AM
Rumor has it, several members of the Royal Saudi family were on board, and either killed or heavily injured. But then, that family meanwhile has about 100,000 members...

US officials are talking (http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/10/03/us-warships-sent-to-area-where-iran-backed-rebels-attacked-saudi-led-coalition-ship.html) about 'four shoulder-launched rockets, provided by Iran:

The U.S. Navy dispatched three warships near the southern coast of Yemen after four rockets hit and nearly sank a United Arab Emirates auxiliary ship Saturday, two U.S. defense officials told Fox News.

Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen claimed responsibility for the attack. There were no reported injuries to the Emerati crew. Al Jazeera reported on video of the attack.

Iran supplied the Houthis with the “shoulder-fired rockets” that nearly destroyed the UAE ship, according to two U.S. officials. It was not immediately clear what type of rocket the rebels may have fired.

The ship was formerly contracted to the U.S., two defense officials confirmed, and at one time an American company owned the vessel.
...

...but photos are clearly showing only one 'entry hole' - with possibility of there being another one, on the port side of the ship.

What's making no sense to me: a radar-guided weapon like C.701 or C.802 would go for either the centre of the ship, or the point with highest RCS, while Swift was hit at the bow.

Another 'problem' is that Swift was made of aluminium, and aluminium is relatively easy to set on fire (burning point at 650°C). So, except for that hole on the staboard side of the bow, most of visible damage was actually caused by fierce fire that burned the entire bridge (and collapsed its flour), and most... well, actually: all of the bow.

davidbfpo
10-07-2016, 10:57 AM
This WINEP article appeared via Twitter last night; it has a somewhat odd viewpoint IMHO, but is convinced the ship was hit by a SSM:http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/houthi-antishipping-attacks-in-the-bab-al-mandab-strait

Dishonesty
10-07-2016, 09:42 PM
Interestingly Swift lack of explosive hull damage.
C-802 is Chinese copy Exocet-ASM with a very unreliable fuse-Sheffield,Atlantic Conveyor and Stark all unexploded!!!
Really perfect copy.
add RCS Centric seeker-In every angle is different RCS

OUTLAW 09
10-09-2016, 03:21 PM
Sanaa: No women or children were killed by KSA airstrikes in #Sanaa yesterday. All footage shows killed #Houthi-militias or #Saleh-soldiers.

Even the US seems to have not thoroughly checked the open source video footages in the public domain before they openly take KSA to task publicly.....

Social media was already saying there were no children and or women being seen in the videos....

Sanaa: War criminal #Saleh calling on his militias to attack #Saudi_Arabia. Airstrikes hit his fighters yesterday.

Yemen Saleh: All of our sons & fighters must head immediately to take revenge by escalating armed attacks in the borders with #Saudi

OUTLAW 09
10-09-2016, 03:25 PM
Updated analysis of attack on Swift off - still C802 missile via Iran. #Yemen
http://www.hisutton.com/HVS-2%20Swift%20hit.html#

OUTLAW 09
10-10-2016, 08:05 AM
Sanaa: No women or children were killed by KSA airstrikes in #Sanaa yesterday. All footage shows killed #Houthi-militias or #Saleh-soldiers.

Even the US seems to have not thoroughly checked the open source video footages in the public domain before they openly take KSA to task publicly.....

Social media was already saying there were no children and or women being seen in the videos....

Sanaa: War criminal #Saleh calling on his militias to attack #Saudi_Arabia. Airstrikes hit his fighters yesterday.

Yemen Saleh: All of our sons & fighters must head immediately to take revenge by escalating armed attacks in the borders with #Saudi

NOTICE...several days after this so called horrific air strike which the Iranians, Saleh, and Yemeni's Shia are complain in about AND after the massive verbal push back of the US against KSA.....NOTICE still not a single photo of a killed woman and or child....ALL military aged men were the targets...

Sanaa: List of high-ranking pro-#Houthi and pro-#Saleh forces, killed or injured by airstrikes on #Sanaa on October 8th, 2016.

IF one is to analyze this strike carefully it appears to have the markings of a "surgical strike" against high ranking Houthi and Saleh forces......

IF one looks at the list of killed and or wounded....the initial list BTW.....18 Generals and 6 COLs are on it.....appears to me to have been a very well thought out "surgical strike"...catching just about the entire senior leadership of the Houthi and Saleh forces....

THEN the KSA has learned from the Russians in Syria....."it ain't us".....

CORE question would be WHY is the Obama/Rhodes/Kerry WH so upset with KSA for trying to end the Shia coup attempt .....

OUTLAW 09
10-10-2016, 08:10 AM
ACTUALLY is one takes the time to analyze the strike and the US did not and it succumbed to media pressure when they reacted...REMEMBER the Obama WH in it's 20,000 word interview comments ......would like nothing more than to ditch the KSA....

BUT in a similar situation WHERE the US jumped the gun and did admit that they had bombed so called Assad forces....AND where they offered to pay compensation to the families NOT A SINGLE name has been submitted by the Assad/Putin regime.

REMEMBER Obama and Kerry jumped the gun in order to not "offend the Russians" who they thought were negotiating in good faith...which they were not......

OUTLAW 09
10-10-2016, 09:06 AM
A U.S. destroyer off the coast of #Yemen was targeted with two missiles tonight by the #Iran-backed Houthis.

OUTLAW 09
10-10-2016, 09:07 AM
A U.S. destroyer off the coast of #Yemen was targeted with two missiles tonight by the #Iran-backed Houthis.

OUTLAW 09
10-10-2016, 03:06 PM
Aerial footage shows that the funeral hall in #Yemen was hit with two accurate strikes - @HussainBukhaiti

NOTICE the actual strikes were bombs not cluster munitions as the Houthi and Saleh people first reported....

OUTLAW 09
10-10-2016, 06:11 PM
Yemen: #Saudi special forces & warplanes have killed 50+ #Houthi militias & destroyed several heavy artillery in #Yemen's mountains today.

CrowBat
10-10-2016, 11:01 PM
C-802 is Chinese copy Exocet-ASM...Minor correction here: it's the C.701 that was a direct copy of the Exocet.

The C.802 is turbojet powered, and has quite a few other enhancements.

The article by H I Sutton posted above is quite good in this regards - and showing too, that the Houthi/Saleh military conglomerate needs no 'Iranian arms supplies' for such stuff.

CrowBat
10-11-2016, 06:29 AM
IF one is to analyze this strike carefully it appears to have the markings of a "surgical strike" against high ranking Houthi and Saleh forces......
It was nothing else than exactly that: a surgical strike on a big group of top ranking officers and officials of the Ansar Allah and Saleh-loyal elements of the military.

The number of those confirmed KIA is meanwhile at 62 military personnl - all of them high or at least mid-ranking officers, including 29 generals. Below an updated list.

55 bodies remain unidentified.

With other words (and while I 'insist' on not attempting to 'defend' Saudis for what they've done elsewhere in Yemen) comparing this attack with anything that's going on in Syria is either hysterical BS, or Assadist/Putler/IRGC nonsense.

Dishonesty
10-12-2016, 05:41 PM
ASM Coutermeasure USS Mason:
2 missiles Standard SM-2
1 missile ESSM
1 Nulka-expandable active RF jammer
ASM probably not shot down


https://news.usni.org/2016/10/11/uss-mason-fired-3-missiles-to-defend-from-yemen-cruise-missiles-attack

Looks like a beautiful place

Dishonesty
10-12-2016, 09:15 PM
Houthi rebels fired two more cruise missiles at the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87) on Wednesday and Pentagon officials are pledging a response.

https://news.usni.org/2016/10/12/pentagon-respond-appropriate-manner-new-missile-attack-uss-mason-yemen


It sound good.But who is in command?
Pentagon? CNO? CinC CENT?
No,it is POTUS.

OUTLAW 09
10-13-2016, 04:10 AM
BREAKING: U.S. launches strikes in Yemen after missiles aimed at American ships twice this week
http://nbcnews.to/2dNJhRn

Missiles were at onshore radar stations that were involved in the missiles being fired at the US destroyer.

Again back to the recent KSA attack on a funeral.....STILL no photos of civilians ie women and children normally associated to a Muslim funeral....ALL killed and or wounded were military aged men and almost all were military either from Saleh and or the Houthi's....

NOTICE after a sharp rebuke by the US of KSA for the air strike the US has gone extremely silent in their comments when the depth of the number of Generals and COLs....killed or wounded became known....

This was not your "normal funeral".....

CrowBat
10-13-2016, 09:41 AM
The WIB (I know, most do not consider that blog a 'particularly authoritative source'), released my short introduction/summary about the Yemen War, yesterday, under the title:

Much of What You Think You Know About the Yemen War#… Is#Wrong (https://warisboring.com/much-of-what-you-think-you-know-about-the-yemen-war-is-wrong-fe178ffbc973#.a2z765ieq)

With the latest spate of air strikes, civilian massacres and ballistic-missile attacks on Saudi Arabia and a U.S. Navy warship, the seemingly endless war in Yemen has worked its way back into the headlines.

Many foreign observers, however, remain frankly befuddled by the conflict. And for good reason. It’s#… complicated. And misinformation abounds.

The truth is that Yemen’s government lacks popular support. Its military has largely sided with the insurgents. Iran probably plays very little role. And the terrorists in Yemen are, at best, a side show to the main fighting.
...

CrowBat
10-13-2016, 10:52 AM
Houthi rebels fired two more cruise missiles at the guided-missile destroyer USS Mason (DDG-87) on Wednesday and Pentagon officials are pledging a response.

https://news.usni.org/2016/10/12/pentagon-respond-appropriate-manner-new-missile-attack-uss-mason-yemen


It sound good.But who is in command?
Pentagon? CNO? CinC CENT?
No,it is POTUS.
From my POV, this is a complete madness - but then perfectly in line with all the idiotic foreign policy decisions of the POTUS and the Pentagon in recent years.

In essence, they're behaving like small kids, playing with (billion-dollar) toys - and the situation can easily escalate.

Namely, the US military MUST KNOW what's going on in Yemen. It had its troops present there until March last year, and its intel services are following the situation ever since. If they don't know exactly who-is-who there, they should all get fired at the spot (and court-martialled too).

They know the Houthi/Saleh alliance very much has a strong central military authority. They know this alliance has its own Minister of Defence, its own commanders of Military Regions. Most of brigade-commanders that sided with Houthis/Ansar Allah are still in command (as far as not KIA meanwhile, of course). They (the US intel) knows the Houthi/Saleh alliance took over 60% of the Yemen Army, nearly 95% of the Yemen Air Force, 100% of the Special Forces Command, 100% of the Missile Forces Command, 100% of the Presidential Protection Force, about 70% of the Yemen Navy as these were as of March 2015. They know these have taken over the command and control of all of these too. Considering they are successfully resisting the onslaught of the Saudi-led military alliance since 18 months means that they (Houthi/Saleh alliance) have a (very much!) functioning chain of command.

Furthermore, they must know that the Houthi ideology is including a strong anti-US, anti-Israel, and anti-Saudi stance. Saleh's ideology is similar: back in 1990, he was supportive of Iraq, and very much anti-US. This didn't change that much until he was removed in 2011. Lately, he has repeatedly requested help from his old ally - Moscow. So, no surprise if - in essence - they all (Houthi/Saleh) see themselves at war with some sort of US-supported, 'Saudi-Zionist' invasion (just citing their own statements). This means that from their POV, the USA was 'always involved in aggression on Yemen' (i.e. on the side of the Saudi-led alliance bombing 'Hothis'), regardless if directly or indirectly. And, hand at heart, this is correct too - although the USA have so far never fired at 'Hothis' as such.

This means that on strategic plan, attacks on USN warships are nothing that could be assigned to some sort of 'weak central military authority' or 'regional commanders seeking martial prowess'. However, the US intel and military MUST know too, that these attacks can take place only within a limited zone along the western coast of Yemen (the part of that coast in the Red Sea): they are anything but 'endangering international shipping in the Bad al-Mandeb Strait'.

Another aspect is rather 'tactical' by nature: coast-based surface-search radars used by the Houthi/Saleh alliance are not the best available. And even if, they have no means of positively identifying what are they trying to attack with anti-ship missiles. In essence: they are targeting 'radar blips' on their displays, whatever these are.

If the blip on the other side turns out to be a USN warship... well, it's not the Houthi/Saleh to blame.

And versa-vice: the USN very much knows what is on the other side. Thanks to far superior means of intelligence gathering and insight into who-is-who on the other side, it has far superior situational awareness. It knows what the Saudi-led alliance is actually doing in Saudi Arabia, too. And it is still sending its ships into the harm's way.

Bottom line: a 'blip' enters the range of surface search radars operated by Houthi/Saleh coalition; their local commanders are authorised to open fire; they fire. That's all.

So, why then send USN warships there and steer in the literal 'hornet's next'? What's the purpose of such an action?

...except with the purpose of a provocation?

This is idiotic foreign policy 1st class, nothing else, and the only idiot responsible for it is Oblabla: he has ordered USN warships into the combat zone, and it is him who is as stupid as to oversee that what he has ordered could easily turn into another Tonking Gulf Incident.

SWJ Blog
10-13-2016, 11:49 AM
U.S. Strikes Yemen Sites in Retaliation for Missile Launches (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/us-strikes-yemen-sites-in-retaliation-for-missile-launches)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
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davidbfpo
10-13-2016, 01:39 PM
I have merged the small thread on a UAE ship hit by a Houthi SSM, which had 1321 views, into the main thread. Accordingly those posts are no longer in sequence, but it is clear what they are:)

The consequences of the SSM strike are now being played out way beyond that piece of sea and rock.

davidbfpo
10-13-2016, 01:49 PM
The BBC report cruise missiles fired from USN ship(s) at land targets, radar stations:
It marks the first time the US has fired at rebel targets since the start of the Yemen conflict in March 2015.
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37639565

The Soufan Group have a longer commentary:http://soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-the-u-s-strikes-back-in-yemen/

I do wonder if the Houthi's and allies knew the radar blips were USN ships, knowing firing at USN ships surely would be unwise.

CrowBat
10-13-2016, 09:03 PM
I do wonder if the Houthi's and allies knew the radar blips were USN ships, knowing firing at USN ships surely would be unwise.
Let's clearly define one thing: 'Houthis' is used for the group that's naming itself the 'Ansar Allah'. A Zaidi Shi'a religious militant group of about 20,000, coming from north-western Yemen.

Their 'hard core' is meanwhile quite well-organized (into two 'battalions', that are including some armour and heavy weapons), but has absolutely no clue about such things like 'radars' and even less so about 'guided missiles'.

Units operating anti-ship missiles used for these strikes are those of the Yemeni Navy, about 50% of which sided with Houthis. That's so because officers and sailors in question are predominantly Zaidi Shi'a too, or loyalists to former president Saleh (himself a Zaidi Shi'a, and confirmed two times through free elections in that position, contrary to certain 'internationally recognized' president Hadi).

So, the Yemeni Navy people in question have taken C.801s 'left over' from Chinese-supplied Type-021 fast missile craft, and adapted them for operations from the coast.

I've got no clue what kind of radar are they using for obtaining targeting intelligence, but I doubt it's any kind of a type with an integrated IFF-system. Which means that they have no clue what are they shooting at: they're shooting at 'blips' on their radar displays.

When considering this, one should keep in mind that the Yemeni coast is under a sea blockade declared by the Saudi-led coalition since March 2015. Everybody knows this, and this means: nobody is as crazy as to move any kind of bigger vessels close to that coast - except Saudis and their allies. So much about Yemeni 'IFF' (validity of which is confirmed alone by the fact that so far they did not launch a single attack on any kind of '3rd party', 'neutral' vessels, especially none of so many merchants passing by).

OUTLAW 09
10-14-2016, 06:11 AM
Sounds familiar? This is #Yemen, not #Donbas. The "#Houthi rebels" now have anti-ship cruise missiles & "radar sites". All from hunting shop located just around the corner......

JUST as the "miners and truck drivers" in Donbas suddenly were producing 700 Russian tanks of the T72/80 variety, drove over 1200 IFVs and were able to man over 1000 pieces of artillery and MLRSs......

OUTLAW 09
10-14-2016, 06:43 AM
Yemen is just another facet in the Iranian/KSA conflict or better stated Sunni/Shia hegemony of the Muslim global community which started under Khomeini and continues under Khamenei......while there is no common Shia/Sunni border in Syria to KSA...THERE is one between Yemen and KSA....
AND there has been continuous Iranian attempts to rile up the Shia minority inside KSA....along with IS which has Iranian backing as well...

Map of #Saudi, #UAE, & insurgent spheres of influence inside #Yemen, via @nytimes & @AEIfdp:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/14/world/middleeast/yemen-united-states-missiles-radar.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur&_r=0#

CrowBat
10-14-2016, 04:07 PM
Sounds familiar? This is #Yemen, not #Donbas. The "#Houthi rebels" now have anti-ship cruise missiles & "radar sites". All from hunting shop located just around the corner......

JUST as the "miners and truck drivers" in Donbas suddenly were producing 700 Russian tanks of the T72/80 variety, drove over 1200 IFVs and were able to man over 1000 pieces of artillery and MLRSs......
But that's the particularly absurd part of this conflict: namely, the never-ending report about 'Iran-supported Houthis', and 'Iranian arms deliveries to Houthis'.

What support? What arms?

The USN, Saudis, Emiratis, Egyptians etc. are running a de-facto sea blockade of Yemen since SEVEN YEARS. Yes, seven years - and not only since March 2015.

In this time - and I cross-checked this only this very morning - they have intercepted exactly THREE (in digits: 3) dhows carrying 'illicit arms', means small ships carrying AK-47s, RPGs, some C-4, and few MANPADs and ATGMs etc. for which they say were underway from Iran with destination 'Ansar Allah', aka 'Houthis'.

Now comes the best part: please read the report here - How False Stories of Iran Arming the Houthis Were Used to Justify War in Yemen (http://www.truth-out.org/news/item/34240-how-false-stories-of-iran-arming-the-houthis-were-used-to-justify-war-in-yemen#st_refDomain=t.co&st_refQuery=/hxwgUuFFbd) - check the links it contains, see the evidence.

It seems that the first two dhows in question (the third, intercepted in March of this year was not included in that report) were Yemeni, crewed by Yemenis, and carrying arms bound for Somalia.

...and when I think back of the first Houthi-Saudi clash, that in 2009-2010, and how many Yemeni arms traders Saleh's authorities (which were fighting Houthis at the time) have arrested because they were selling shiploads of arms to Houthis...

Come on: Yemen is stuffed full of arms already since 1970s. Houthis need none. On the contrary, they repeatedly called, i.e. 'warned' Tehran to stay out of this conflict, and not to meddle.

Bob's World
10-14-2016, 04:15 PM
What the Navy and Air Force call the rise of "Anti-Access, Area Denial" (A2AD) is more accurately the decline of the era of American impunity.

Frankly, the sooner it ends the better, as it will force us to once again adopt a reasonable, interest-based foreign policy that is more tolerant of the self-determination of others.

Yemen is in the midst of revolution, and reasonably so. Saudi revolutionaries take sanctuary within Yemen as well. Many of those are also member of AQ (who's primary purpose has always been revolutionary and focused on the al Saud family). Playing out as well is the larger state on state dynamic that Outlaw describes as Iran and the KSA compete for regional preeminence. Then there are the outside players like the US and Russia both jockeying for position on an even larger scale. Where there is insurgency, the exploiter will gather.

By applying a CT rationale to al Qaeda we have conflated nationalist revolutionaries, UW operatives and foreign fighters (typically revolutionaries at home) all under one big "AQAA" targeting banner and fired at the center of mass. OF COURSE these guys are shooting back at us. We need to put a finer point on our understanding of UW and the insurgencies supported and connected by the UW activities of AQ, ISIL and Iran.

If we applied a more appropriate Counter-UW logic we would quickly see that all of the revolutionary individuals and organizations need to come off of our il-conceived terrorist lists. We too should be conducting UW with those groups and competing for influence with the other state and non-state actors seeking to leverage the energy of these movements to advance their respective ends. Instead we find ourselves protecting regimes that are far out of step with their own populations, and being easily duped into killing their revolutionary populations for them in the name of "CT"!

We have mischaracterized this conflict from inception, and the poor strategic results we are attaining are not only predictable, but have been predicted and ignored. To escalate now does not make us look tougher or smarter. It is a weak and ignorant play.

davidbfpo
10-15-2016, 10:44 AM
Just up on the BBC News:
The Saudi-led coalition bombing Houthi rebels in Yemen says it attacked a funeral hall in the capital, Sanaa, based on "bad information".At least 140 people were killed, most of them civilians, in the attack on 8 October - one of the single worst death tolls in the two-year conflict.
A Saudi inquiry blames "non-compliance with coalition rules of engagement" and "the issuing of incorrect information".
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37666698


Yes, the BBC repeats most of those killed were civilians. If you look back through posts here the only acknowledged dead were all military.

CrowBat
10-15-2016, 01:25 PM
Quite a 'dramatic turn of events', considering several 1st hand sources - including people that almost went there to participate in that funeral - remain insistent: most of those that were killed were high military officials of the Houthi/Saleh coalition.

But then, I think that's the very essence of the problem, i.e. the very reason for most of such attacks with 'massive collateral damage' flown by the Saudi-led coalition in this war so far.

'Somebody there' provides 'reliable intelligence' on presence of some Houthi (or Saleh) minister, or top officer, or whatever else. The 'somebody there' must not even be a fan of Hadi (quite on the contrary: most of them tend to ask, 'What Hadi should be our president? Oh, that Hadi? Why him?!?') - nor even an outspoken opponent of Houthis (most of these are languishing in different jails meanwhile, anyway).

All the character in question needs to have is some sort of 'open score' with somebody else who might be present 'there' at the given point in time, or not at all. And a cell phone.

And if some over-eager officer on duty back in the HQ in Riyad happens not to cross-check the backgrounds of the source in question... 'boom'.

*******

Here a short (and much softened) summary of 'Houthi' anti-shipping ops along the coast of the Red Sea: To Threaten Ships, the Houthis Improvised a Missile Strike#Force (https://warisboring.com/to-threaten-ships-the-houthis-improvised-a-missile-strike-force-2eb08b0b0d96#.ryulw3r0z) - with observation that the detail on 'Iranian-backed' was inserted by the editor:


At 7:00 in the evening local time on Oct. 9, 2016, a missile fired from Houthi-controlled territory around the port of Hodeida — on the Red Sea coast in northwestern Yemen — crashed into the water several miles away from U.S. Navy guided-missile destroyer USS Mason, underway in international waters near the Bab Al Mandab Strait.

Mason and the destroyer USS Nitze were escorting Ponce, an amphibious assault ship that supports minesweeping helicopters. Another missile struck the sea in the same area around an hour later.

Mason launched two SM-2 surface-to-air missiles and a single Evolved Sea Sparrow in self-defense — and also deployed a Nulka decoy. It’s unclear whether any of countermeasures were effective. It’s possible the missiles crashed into the sea on their own. The Navy said it would investigate.

But the more important question is where the Houthis — an Iranian-backed Shia rebel movement that controls much of Yemen — got anti-ship missiles in the first place.
...

OUTLAW 09
10-15-2016, 04:41 PM
Just up on the BBC News:
Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-37666698


Yes, the BBC repeats most of those killed were civilians. If you look back through posts here the only acknowledged dead were all military.

Sorry again BBC is just flat wrong as they have been a number of recents times and that is strange for BBC....actual video footage shot right after the attack show not a single civilian...man, woman, child was killed and or injured point one and the released loses statement by Saleh indicate clearly military aged men were hit.....

The KSA is simply doing a "am sorry" to make the US happy...but do not think for a moment KSA is sorry for killing 29 Generals in a "mistaken attack".

REMEMBER the so called US air strike on claimed Assad troops...the US offered to pay compensation BUT the Assad regime has failed to produce a single request for payment....AND it was IS who actually first claimed the US was correct...they had been the one's hit...a rarity for IS/US cooperation is it not?????

REMEBER the very first SANA reporting was that the air strike was a cluster munitions strike and it was social media that posted the photos of the two guided bomb strikes NOT SANA, BBC or anyone else....

OUTLAW 09
10-15-2016, 04:42 PM
This graphic shows the ratcheting up of the ongoing missile war in Yemen
http://read.bi/2eeKQCA

BUT WAIT...BBC has not reported on this yet has it???

CrowBat
10-15-2016, 04:48 PM
The KSA is simply doing a "am sorry" to make the US happy...but do not think for a moment KSA is sorry for killing 29 Generals in a "mistaken attack".Tend to agree here.

Much of what the Saudis are doing in regards of their PR-statements is based on consulting worth US$ million, and run by various US and British think-tanks.

In this case, somebody... apparently somebody from a certain island where everybody is driving on the wrong side of the road, consulted them to say, 'we're ah so very sorry', regardless of (or without a trace of clue about) what Yemeni sources in situ report.

Then the entire story was rushed to the BBC, and now plenty of parliamentaries at the House of Commons can finally sleep well (which they couldn't that much lately, because of all the criticism of British sales of arms to the KSA).

OUTLAW 09
10-16-2016, 06:01 AM
Third attempt by the Houthi's firing missiles to hit USS Mason.....she dodged them with countermeasures...all missed......

OUTLAW 09
10-16-2016, 06:36 AM
Third attempt by the Houthi's firing missiles to hit USS Mason.....she dodged them with countermeasures...all missed......

US admiral says multiple cruise missiles have been fired again at American warship near Yemen.
http://apne.ws/2eaMea3

NOT saying the Obama/Rhodes/Kerry WH AND DoD are trying to cover up anything but this initial PR sure walks, talks and smells like a cover up....

Pentagon now reviewing USS Mason incident data from today. Not clear if fired on again by Yemen rebels or a ship radar anomaly.

IF in fact a radar "anomaly" then the billions spent on defense contractors for missile defense systems WAS literally a waste of money...I have been inside a major missile defense war game in the ME where radars play a big role and inside that war game radar anomalies were accounted for and accepted as "REAL".....because one only has seconds to decide and fire or place deflection measures in place....

OUTLAW 09
10-16-2016, 08:46 AM
Astounding. @StateDept briefing on the Houthi threat to our Navy & only one response that includes Iran. One dodge. http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/10/263158.htm#…

This is an anti-Saudi briefing more than anything. Reminiscent of how they briefed vs them when Iran burned down their embassy + consulate.

OUTLAW 09
10-16-2016, 03:59 PM
Third attempt by the Houthi's firing missiles to hit USS Mason.....she dodged them with countermeasures...all missed......

US admiral says multiple cruise missiles have been fired again at American warship near Yemen.
http://apne.ws/2eaMea3

NOT saying the Obama/Rhodes/Kerry WH AND DoD are trying to cover up anything but this initial PR sure walks, talks and smells like a cover up....

Pentagon now reviewing USS Mason incident data from today. Not clear if fired on again by Yemen rebels or a ship radar anomaly.

IF in fact a radar "anomaly" then the billions spent on defense contractors for missile defense systems WAS literally a waste of money...I have been inside a major missile defense war game in the ME where radars play a big role and inside that war game radar anomalies were accounted for and accepted as "REAL".....because one only has seconds to decide and fire or place deflection measures in place....

DEFCONWarningSystem @DEFCONWS
Multiple surface-to-surface missiles fired at @USNavy ships. Missiles were fired at the other two ships in squadron
https://twitter.com/jseldin/status/787449368282537984#

CrowBat
10-16-2016, 10:28 PM
This is just getting better and better:

Yemen's Houthi rebels 'receiving Egyptian military hardware' (https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2016/10/16/yemens-houthi-rebels-receiving-egyptian-military-hardware)

Houthi rebels have received a dozen advanced military boats and other supplies from Egypt, a senior Yemeni official has told The New Arab.

The official who works directly with the Houthis and their allies on Yemen's western coast alleges that the Egyptian navy delivered the hardware to the rebels in the past two months.

The anonymous official said that the boats were supplied by the Egyptian navy and to the commander of a military base in western Hodeida province#through an associate of#former president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The transaction took place on an island off the coast of al-Luhayyah, in northern Hodeida province, the official told The New Arab.
...
The official claims that despite Egypt's government having close ties with Saudi Arabia, Cairo also established good relations with the Yemeni rebels after the start of the Saudi-led military intervention in the country.

Egypt is officially part of the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen, but has been severely criticised by its Gulf Arab allies for failing to commit ground troops to the operation.

More recently, Egypt broke ranks with its Gulf allies when it#voted#in favour of a Russian-drafted UN Security Council resolution on Syria strongly opposed by Riyadh.

....
Now lean back, take a deep breath, and think about this: EAF F-16s are flying air strikes over Yemen as part of the Saudi-coalition, which depends on ground troops considering of Salafists and even some Wahhabists - and are fighting Houthi/Saleh coalition equipped with Egyptian-delivered boats and other stuff.

Somebody please remind me: in what kind of 'higher national interests' is that...?

OUTLAW 09
10-17-2016, 05:09 PM
Syria #Hama Rebels still in Maardas but regime seized mills & Iskandarīyah south of it

THIS is interesting as it flips the US/UK attempts at a ceasefire in Yemen...means the Houthi's must hold to it.....if they violate it then the war is on again..and violate it they will and the Saudi's know that....so it is easy for them to say yes with caveats....

Saudis prepared to agree to a ceasefire in #Yemen if the #Iran-backed Houthis would abide by it.

Rumors are the US/UK rammed through this ceasefire proposal before informing the KSA...

Dishonesty
10-17-2016, 08:57 PM
One remarkable aspect "Missiles alley" is ALL Missile detect DDG-87 Mason but not DDG-94 Nitze.
They are both DDG-51 class Flight IIA
Is here is any difference between the ships?

Yes and very BIG!

USS Mason have AEGIS Radar SPY-1D,old variant for Blue Water warfare.

But USS Nitze have already Radar SPY-1D(V),new variant with GREATLY Improved LITTORAL Capabilities-Improved Clutter rejection,additional MTI Waveform and increase transmitter power etc.

Think about it.

davidbfpo
10-19-2016, 01:18 PM
Not sure of this video's accuracy, but it has been used by The Daily Telegraph today and alleges the funeral in Sanaa was "double tapped":http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/10/19/saudi-coalition-bombing-of-yemen-funeral-was-a-deliberate-error/?playlist=structure%3Anews

I did notice the footage does not show any casualties, let alone uniformed guests.

OUTLAW 09
10-20-2016, 12:56 PM
Iran smuggling weapons to Houthis on land route through Oman-Yemen border to bypass GCC naval blockade and CTF-150 patrols:http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-iran-idUSKCN12K0CX? (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-iran-idUSKCN12K0CX?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social)

Reuters Top News
Verified account
‏@Reuters
Exclusive: Iran steps up weapons supply to Yemen's Houthis via Oman - officials

Azor
10-21-2016, 07:45 PM
By: Cmdr. Daniel Dolan, USN (Retired)
October 20, 2016 9:58 PM

The recent spate of Yemeni Houthi rebel anti-ship missile attacks in the strategically important littorals near the Bab el-Mandeb strait, have drawn America’s attention to Yemen’s bitter civil war.

Like seemingly everything else in the current American news cycle, these incidents in the Red Sea have been shaded by the current political atmosphere. The incidents included a successful 1 October missile attack on the UAE leased ship HSV Swift, and two or three similar unsuccessful attacks against the USS Mason (DDG-87) in the days that followed. On Oct. 13, USS Nitze (DDG-94) launched a retaliatory strike against the Houthi’s coastal surveillance radar sites that CENTCOM believes were used to provide the missile targeting. Apparently these retaliatory strikes were not enough to prevent or deter a possible third attack on the Mason on Saturday.

Early analysis indicates that the anti-ship missiles used were likely Chinese-designed C-802, or the Iranian-manufactured Noor version of the missile. While there is highly probable that the missiles used were supplied to the Houthi’s by Iran or an Iranian proxy (e.g. Hezbollah is known to possess the C-802), the suggestion by some that these incidents may be inferentially connected to the lifting of sanctions on Iran, or a weakened US foreign policy, are harder cases to make. An examination of the historical context of Yemen’s latest civil war, and some recent examples of Iran’s troublemaking in the region suggests that these missile shots would have likely occurred with, or without, any benefits Iran might have received from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) nuclear agreement or a different U.S. foreign policy.

First, a brief examination of Yemen’s history shows that on its best days in the past 100 years, Yemen was a nation simmering just below the boiling point. The area of the Arabian Peninsula, referred today as the nation state of Yemen is a region that has been as violent, unstable, and divided as Europe’s former Yugoslavia. In the post-WWII era, Yemen has been divided along sectarian religious and tribal lines more often than it has been a unified nation. It is this inherent weakness in the cultural fabric of Yemen that led to the overthrow of President Saleh’s government in 2011.
With that in mind, those who suggest that the Houthi’s were somehow enabled by an enriched post-nuclear deal Iran, and/or a weakened U.S. foreign policy are overlooking the fact that this latest Yemeni civil war between Zaidi Shia backed Houthi and Sunni backed Yemeni government forces began in August of 2009. The capital of Sana’a fell to the Houthi’s in March of 2015, and the nuclear deal with Iran was agreed upon in July (four months later). The chronology of the conflict and the history of the recent civil strife in Yemen clearly shows that any link to the nuclear deal is a flawed point of comparison. This disconnect between the timing of the Iran deal and the Houthi rebellion leads to the second point.

While it is a fact that the chronology of events does not show any conjectural link between the nuclear deal and Iranian backed proxies gaining ground in Yemen, what it does show is that Iran was still determined to support its historic allies and proxies in the region even while Iran was living with the implied threat of being branded as part of the “axis of evil,” and while bearing the full weight of international sanctions. For example, in July of 2006 Iranian-backed Hezbollah forces fired two probable C-802 missiles from a location in coastal Lebanon. The first missile struck and sank an Egyptian cargo ship, and the second missile hit the Israeli navy ship INS Hanit. Israel was unaware, until the Hanit incident, that Hezbollah possessed such weapons. Many defense analysts were similarly surprised this month when the Houthi’s managed to get at least seven anti-ship missiles off the rails in a ten-day period.

For the sake of this narrow debate on whether or not the Iran nuclear deal, or claims of weak US foreign policy, has anything to do with the recent attacks, the example of the 2006 attack on the INS Hanit shows that Iran was able to supply its proxy forces with sufficiently capable tactical weapons. Hezbollah received C-802 missiles and many other weapons, even when sanctions were in place, US foreign policy was clearly hostile towards Iran, and the U.S. military presence was at peak strength in the region. Despite these conditions and restrictions Iran was not deterred.

The JCPOA deals with one specific problem—it prevents Iran from building a nuclear device for 10-15 years. It does not set conditions for a geopolitical re-orientation of Iran. Proponents of the deal hope that over time Iran will reform its often troublesome behavior at home and abroad. The effectiveness of the deal in achieving its stated objectives can, and should be debated, but to try and link every incident and accident in the region with the Iran deal for expedient political points at home is misguided. It is misguided because it potentially makes the region even more unstable and overlooks the many merits of the JCPOA.

Few, if any, proponents of the JCPOA ever expected immediate progress in Iranian human rights abuses, and its support of groups such as Hezbollah and Hamas. Rather, a gradual improvement was the most realistic expectation, and there are some encouraging signs that this is happening. For example, there is a growing demand for improved social programs and infrastructure by the Iranian people, and the consistent election of the most moderate candidates allowed to run for office. These trends show the existence of a strong undercurrent in Iranian society that desires reform.

The creation and marketing of the idea that the Iran nuclear deal would suddenly cause Iran to alter every long term relationship and alliance, as unpleasant as many of them are to the West, is a straw-man argument crafted by opponents for the sole purpose of derailing the deal. Iran has been supporting its allies since 1979, when they stopped being our principal ally and had to begin fending for themselves.

Iran’s economy has indeed benefited from the end of sanctions and while that could lead to increased support for its proxies and allies the only honest answer right now is—perhaps. After all, Iran was causing problems for Israel during the 2006 invasion of Lebanon, it was supplying Bagdad’s al Sadr’s Mahdi Army in Iraq while US forces were there, and it has been supporting their Shia kin in Yemen for decades. These are separate and distinct problems that exist and each requires a different solution. Fortunately, because of the JCPOA, these smaller scale conventional problems are taking place without the threat of nuclear escalation.

https://news.usni.org/2016/10/20/opinion-danger-connecting-iran-nuclear-deal-attacks-u-s-warships

CrowBat
10-24-2016, 10:49 PM
By all respect due for Cdr. Dolan (ret.), reading his article convinced me only that he's got no trace of clue about what's going on in Yemen.

Anyway... 'Additional evidence' for his (and so many other, I guess) thesis on 'Iranian arms deliveries for Houthis' - and then especially those of C.802s, Zelzals etc.: Brazil’s Merchants of Death (http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/24/opinion/brazils-merchants-of-death.html?_r=0)

...The details of Taurus’s misdeeds read like a spy novel. Brazilian prosecutors allege that Fares Mohammed Hassan Mana’a, a widely known arms smuggler and former governor in Yemen, diverted a consignment of 8,000 handguns from Djibouti across the Bab el-Mandeb Strait to Yemen. Mr. Mana’a is believed to have been supporting Houthi rebels in their fight against a Saudi- and United States-backed government.
...

The two Taurus executives were accused of negotiating a second sale of 11,000 weapons in 2015 when Brazil’s Federal Police moved in.


... and since this business is so lucrative, hell, why not deliver to both sides of the same conflict?


...
This is not the first time Brazilian weapons have turned up in the Yemeni conflict. Late last year, researchers discovered unexploded ordnance and cluster bombs in Yemen that are believed to have been purchased from Avibras Indústria Aeroespacial, a São José dos Campos-based company that manufactures cluster rockets and the Astros multiple-launch rocket system. More than 100 countries have banned the manufacture, stockpiling and use of these weapons because of their potential to cause indiscriminate damage to civilian populations and infrastructure. Brazil is not one of them.
Why should Brazil do so, you ask?

Well, because....

...
Brazil routinely authorizes weapons sales to countries with poor human rights records. The country has signed major deals not only with Saudi Arabia, but also with Egypt, Libya, Iran, Iraq, the United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe and dozens of countries across the Middle East and Africa since the 1980s. Brazilian companies have also ramped up sales of “nonlethal” arms such as tear gas, pepper spray and concussion and smoke grenades. Some of these have surfaced in Bahrain, Turkey and Egypt, often in the wake of bloody police-led efforts to crush pro-democracy demonstrations.

Many of Brazil’s arms manufacturers have been heavily subsidized by the Brazilian Development Bank, or BNDES. Freedom of information requests reveal that Taurus received $16.7 million in low-interest loans between 2008 and 2015. In 2013 alone, the year Taurus reportedly sold the 8,000 handguns to Mr. Mana’a, the company benefited from $10 million in loans from BNDES. The Brazilian Cartridge Company, one of the world’s largest producers of ammunition (and majority shareholder of Taurus), received $2.9 million in loans over this same eight-year period. Brazil’s defense sector, excepting aeronautics, received $70.5 million in BNDES loans from 2008 to 2015. BNDES is now implicated in Brazil’s largest corruption scandal.

One reason Brazilian arms exports are expanding at breakneck speed is because Brazil’s Congress passed a law to promote innovation and competition in a flagging defense sector. The legislation also grants designated companies significant tax exemptions. Brazil is now the fourth largest supplier of small arms and ammunition in the world and second in the Western Hemisphere, after only the United States.
...

That all said, nobody should be particularly concerned, then rumour has it there are lots of complaints about quality control in Brazilian arms industry.

Example? How about Brazilian hand-guns that are firing on their own?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9_YWNo1f-o

**********

Anyway, Yemen War is back in full swing. Word is the Houthi/Saleh coalition fired several SSMs during the night from 23 to 24 October. One might have hit the Royal Saudi Border Guards barracks in Najran; another is said to have hit some kind of (in vocabulary of Iranian PR-machinery) 'site belonging to the Saudi mercenaries' outside Jizan.

Air strikes by Saudi-led coalition reportedly hit Nihm, Naqim and Hafa Districts of Sana'a, and a water-storage facility in Hodeida. According to China NA (http://www.china.org.cn/world/2016-10/23/content_39550643.htm), Houthis say that a number of 'bunker busters' hit a military base in the al-Hafa mountains, plus Mt Noqum, while the rest of air strikes pounded ad-Daylami AB.


The airstrikes triggered an earthquake-like shake, causing huge damage to hundreds of residential houses, public and private properties, said the residents, adding that the fighter jets continued intensely flying over Sanaa.

Further north, Saudi-led coalition targeted some place in Baqim District of Sa'ada Governorate, reportedly killing a family of six - and further south: Ta'iz and Hajjah.

Talking about Ta'aiz... a brief chat with few Yemenis there resulted in following impressions:

1.) The city is meanwhile full of gunmen from at least a dozen of various gangs. Nobody really knows who's in charge and just going out to buy bread can be dangerous. At least the city is not entirely cut off from the outside world any more: a 14-hour treck over one of mountain passes due south results in people getting out - or, often loaded with food and other necessity, getting in.

2.) Some of locals say the Houthi/Saleh is pounding the city 'as revenge' - for its revolt agianst Saleh in 2011, and for revolts against Houthis, in February-March last year.

3.) Few factories and four (out of 39) hospitals are still operational - but all are in parts of the city controlled by Houthi/Saleh.

4.) While disliking Houthi/Saleh, locals are at least as much belittling Hadi and Saudis: in their opinion, these did absolutely nothing to end their plight.

Sigh... if no innocent civilians would be suffering, this would be almost fun to report about.

OUTLAW 09
10-25-2016, 04:47 PM
Head of pro Iran Yemeni group: distribution of Khamenei's book in Yemen changed people minds. It's as good as Quran.
http://www.tasnimnews.com/fa/news/1395/07/17/1207330/%D8%AA%D9%88%D8%B2%DB%8C%D8%B9-%DA%A9%D8%AA%D8%A7%D8%A8-%D8%A2%DB%8C%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%84%D9%87-%D8%AE%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%86%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C-%D8%AF%D8%B1-%DB%8C%D9%85%D9%86-%D9%86%DA%AF%D8%A7%D9%87-%D9%87%D8%A7-%D8%B1%D8%A7-%D8%AA%D8%BA%DB%8C%DB%8C%D8%B1-%D8%AF%D8%A7%D8%AF-%D9%85%D8%A7-%D9%85%D8%B1%D8%AF-%D9%82%DB%8C%D8%A7%D9%85-%D9%88-%D9%85%D8%A8%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%B2%D9%87-%D8%A7%DB%8C%D9%85#…

Wow...Khomeini's Revolutionary Islam is catching hold.....

Azor
12-01-2016, 08:12 PM
https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2016/12/01/update-bombed-water-desalination-plant-al-mocha-yemen/


Earlier this year, we examined attacks on Yemen’s water infrastructure by several parties to the conflict. An attack in January 2016 on the water desalination plant (Wikimapia) north of Al-Mocha was central to that open source survey. Earlier this month, new reports emerged that the water desalination plant was targeted once again by alleged airstrikes by the Saudi-led Coalition. This article reviews the situation at the plant in light of those new allegations.

Background information

The desalination plant is located north of Al-Mocha (Arabic: المخا) on the coast of the Taʿizz Governorate, and privately owned by the Yemen Company for Desalination (Arabic: الشركة اليمنية للتحلية). The plant was seemingly targeted on January 8, 2016. While the attack was not caught on tape, the damage done the plant was visible on several photos and video posted on social media. These photos could indeed be located to the location of the desalination plant. A full open source survey of that attack can be found here.

New allegations

In the first week of October 2016, claims were made on Twitter [archived] that a Saudi-led Coalition airstrike had targeted the desalination plant, destroying it completely. According to a correspondent of Yemen Today TV, the plant was targeted by seven airstrikes. A few days later, photos were published on social media which allegedly showed the destruction by these airstrikes [archived]. One of the photos appears to show the storage rooms next to the water tanks on the premises of the desalination plant. The first tweet that refers to the incident appears to have been sent into the world on October 1, 2016.

Over a month later, on November 3, the Taiz Military Council tweeted [archived] that the Coalition had struck “weapons storage” near the desalination plant. This Military Council was formed in January this year “to reinforce the efforts of resistance fighters against Houthi rebels”, according to Dubai Eye.

The attack was also reported by Yemen Today TV, Al Masirah, and Fajattan on November 3, as well as the the Syrian Arab News Agency on November 4. Three persons were killed and another nine wounded, according to these reports. Some mentioned “martyrs” and injuries due to the airstrikes. Photos of alleged victims of the airstrikes were also posted on Facebook [archived]. Two people died and sixteen people were wounded, eight of which in critical condition, according to Sahafah Yemen.

An Al-Montasaf news bulletin, starting at 2:54, published on November 7, also focused on the alleged airstrike on the desalination plant. It reportedly shows both the exterior of the desalination plant and the interior of one or more of the warehouses.

Assessing the claims

It can be established with certainty that the footage shows the Al-Mocha water desalination plant in the Taʿizz Governorate. This specific compound as well as the surrounding territory is held by Houthi forces and groups aligned to the former Yemeni government. High resolution satellite imagery from TerraServer of October 28 and October 29 confirms significant damage at the plant. The water tanks appear to be intact, while the surrounding warehouses have been destroyed.

Unfortunately, the earliest satellite imagery available before the attack is from November 2013, and the above mentioned imagery is the most recent avaialble imagery. Thus, the visible damage could be from the January 8 alleged attack as well as the October 1 alleged attack. Given the damage seen at the warehouses, it is likely that this is imagery shows damage sustained from to the October 1 attack.

The exterior footage shown in the news bulletin from Al-Montasaf can indeed be geolocated to the compound of the desalination plant. The footage of the interior of one or more of the warehouses on the premises could not be corroborated due to lack of pre-airstrike footage.

Context

Yemen has suffered a devastating war that has raged for over a year now, since Houthi rebels ousted the government from Sana’a. Since then, Saudi Arabian forces have come to the aid of this government, forming a coalition with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, Pakistan, and Sudan. Saudi officials have stated they aim to restore the Yemeni government, said to be an ally of the United States (US) in the fight against Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) as well as the so-called Islamic State (IS). The Saudi-led Coalition started bombing Yemen since March 2015, and has come under fierce critique for lack of discrimination and proportionality in conducting their airstrikes. Houthi rebels have also been accused of war crimes.

Conclusion

Satellite imagery of October 28, 2016, confirms significant damage to structures on the premises of the Al-Mocha water desalination plant. It cannot be established with certainty that this damage is due to the reported airstrike(s) of January 2016, or of the reported airstrikes on October 1, 2016. The latter has been reported by opposing factions in Yemen’s war, though one claimed the warehouses were used as weapons storage instead of water-related purposes. This cannot be confirmed nor denied. Footage of another (set of) airstrike(s) on November 4 can be geolocated to the Al-Mocha desalination plant. It is not clear to what extent the water tanks have been damaged. In January this year, cracks were visible, but neither the October 1 nor the November 4 footage gives a clear view of the desalination plant.

Unfortunately, the alleged attack on the Mocha desalinisation plant is not an isolated in Yemen’s civil war. Earlier, we published a non-exhaustive list of attacks on water infrastructure that occurred in 2015. Water plays a vital role in war-torn Yemen. A staggering 13 million citizens — around half of Yemen’s population —struggle daily to find or buy enough clean water to drink or grow food, The Guardian reported in 2015. Bellingcat will keep on monitoring the Al-Mocha water desalination plant and will update accordingly if new incidents are reported or changes can be noticed through open sources.

Azor
12-01-2016, 08:18 PM
By all respect due for Cdr. Dolan (ret.), reading his article convinced me only that he's got no trace of clue about what's going on in Yemen.

Anyway... 'Additional evidence' for his (and so many other, I guess) thesis on 'Iranian arms deliveries for Houthis' - and then especially those of C.802s, Zelzals etc.:

... and since this business is so lucrative, hell, why not deliver to both sides of the same conflict?


Why should Brazil do so, you ask?

Well, because....


That all said, nobody should be particularly concerned, then rumour has it there are lots of complaints about quality control in Brazilian arms industry.

Well, you would agree with Dolan that the Houthis are more than capable of prosecuting the war by themselves and of taking independent action against US warships, correct? They seem less of an Iranian catspaw than other Iranian allies or proxies, and Yemen was unstable long before Khomeini's ascension.

Interesting to see what the "friendly" Brazilians are up to. Especially so, since any blowback from the Middle East would be difficult to counter as Brazilian police and paramilitaries have a hard enough time quelling the favelas and resisting the urge to summarily execute arrestees...

davidbfpo
12-01-2016, 10:53 PM
The Oxford Research Group has published a 24pg report on the Yemen, one author Ginny Hill has been cited before:http://remotecontrolproject.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/GINNY-HILL-FINAL-YEMEN-REPORT.pdf

There is a podcast too from debate (80 mins):http://richmedia.lse.ac.uk/middleeastcentre/20161109_1800_YemenABattleForTheFuture.mp3

I have yet to read or listen to them.

davidbfpo
12-16-2016, 05:45 PM
An overview of the war in and for Yemen via Defence-in-Depth blog (part of Kings War Studies) that concentrates on the GCC intervention:https://defenceindepth.co/2016/12/16/the-war-in-yemen/

A key passage:
....widespread critiques of the ultimate military power of the GCC states that is frequently seen as deeply lacking despite many obvious advantages. The Saudi and UAE-led intervention in Yemen, which started in 2015, offers an interesting case study that both confirms and challenges parts of such long-held assumptions.

In the conclusion:
Thus, while this intervention has ushered in a new era of Gulf-led interventionism, the difficulties that they have faced are stark. Many of the core goals of the campaign remain unrealised; the Saudis still cannot really control their own border, and they have struggled to translate obvious technical and materiel superiority into military power and into victory.

CrowBat
12-17-2016, 05:21 PM
I must be naive; perhaps I'm dumb too. But, one thing I do not understand in about 99% of articles about Yemen War is the complete lack of analysis. In essence, everybody is just repeating the same exercise, over and over again.

Since WINEP (arguably: one of less-neutral observers around) published its 3-part analysis titled Gulf Coalition Operations in Yemen (Part 1) (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/gulf-coalition-operations-in-yemen-part-1-the-ground-war), half a year ago, nobody at least attempted anything similar.

Why are all the other researchers and authors - no matter from where - (apparently) unable to do study the situation more closely, and explain what exactly went wrong? (For example: precisely what kind of a mistake Saudis and their allies did when starting this war?)

Particularly striking about this is: they obviously all still have plenty of customers buying their products - i.e. advice.

davidbfpo
12-17-2016, 09:46 PM
Cited in part:
I must be naive; perhaps I'm dumb too. But, one thing I do not understand in about 99% of articles about Yemen War is the complete lack of analysis. In essence, everybody is just repeating the same exercise, over and over again.

Why are all the other researchers and authors - no matter from where - (apparently) unable to do study the situation more closely, and explain what exactly went wrong? (For example: precisely what kind of a mistake Saudis and their allies did when starting this war?)

Particularly striking about this is: they obviously all still have plenty of customers buying their products - i.e. advice.

When one looks at the author of the Defence-in-Depth article I posted there are clues:
Dr David Roberts joined the Defence Studies Department in October 2013.
Prior to moving to King’s, Dr Roberts was the Director of the Qatar office of the Royal United Services Institute for Defence and Security Studies (RUSI Qatar).
Link:http://www.kcl.ac.uk/sspp/departments/dsd/people/dsd-a-to-z/roberts.aspx

His publications also give a clue:https://kclpure.kcl.ac.uk/portal/en/persons/david-roberts(d7e01bb7-8ca7-421c-8e34-000e73d89bda)/publications.html

RUSI receives research funding from UAE, Qatar and BAe Systems amongst others. See:https://rusi.org/inside-rusi/rusi-funding/supporters

Quite simply few in such UK defence policy circles would challenge the policies followed by such friends and allies. RUSI has an ethics policy, which states:
RUSI rejects funding that is incompatible with its independence or honesty

Azor
12-18-2016, 12:30 AM
I must be naive; perhaps I'm dumb too. But, one thing I do not understand in about 99% of articles about Yemen War is the complete lack of analysis. In essence, everybody is just repeating the same exercise, over and over again.

Since WINEP (arguably: one of less-neutral observers around) published its 3-part analysis titled Gulf Coalition Operations in Yemen (Part 1) (http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/gulf-coalition-operations-in-yemen-part-1-the-ground-war), half a year ago, nobody at least attempted anything similar.

Why are all the other researchers and authors - no matter from where - (apparently) unable to do study the situation more closely, and explain what exactly went wrong? (For example: precisely what kind of a mistake Saudis and their allies did when starting this war?)

Particularly striking about this is: they obviously all still have plenty of customers buying their products - i.e. advice.

At present, the Saudi-led coalition has lost roughly 830 soldiers and killed 2,280 civilians in Yemen. The reported Houthi fighter death tolls seem small, but it does seem that the coalition is killing more civilians than fighters, and its performance does seem more reminiscent of the Russians in Chechnya, than their Western allies...

CrowBat
12-18-2016, 11:27 AM
I'm offering my apology in advance for asking the following (because usually I'm never asking for sources), but: what is the source for the number of Saudi and allied casualties, what for the number of Houthi+Saleh casualties, and what for 'coalition is killing more civilians than fighters'?

Namely, I'm orientating on reports by Yemen Post (https://twitter.com/YemenPostNews/status/797812756246212608). Sure, that's 'another one man' outlet, but it appears actually fairly neutral, even slightly 'anti-Houthi' to me.

In regards of casualty-figures, it's orienting on Houthi-officials, i.e. how many death certificates these are issuing. The latest figure they cited (see the link above) is at about 10,700.

(BTW, Yemen Post's earlier figures in this regards are much more precise.)

Don't recall what was the latest figure published by the UN, but Yemen Post is usually reporting a figure about 2000-3000 higher than that of the UN.

Thus, I'm simply surprised by the figures you're citing, Azor.

CrowBat
12-18-2016, 11:30 AM
RUSI receives research funding from UAE, Qatar and BAe Systems amongst others. See:https://rusi.org/inside-rusi/rusi-funding/supporters

Quite simply few in such UK defence policy circles would challenge the policies followed by such friends and allies. RUSI has an ethics policy, which states:
Do I understand you correctly...i.e. attempting to 'translate' what you mean: we can't expect serious analysis from sources that were probably involved in advising Saudis in regards of their actions in Yemen - and then cashed deftly for that, too...?

...why is this causing that sick feeling in my stomach...

davidbfpo
12-18-2016, 04:12 PM
Do I understand you correctly...i.e. attempting to 'translate' what you mean: we can't expect serious analysis from sources that were probably involved in advising Saudis in regards of their actions in Yemen - and then cashed deftly for that, too...?

...why is this causing that sick feeling in my stomach...

Crowbat,

As you may have detected of late I am now very wary of some UK media reporting, let alone what passes for analysis - like the recent BBC commentary on the Syrian War.

The Defence-in-Depth commentary needs to be read in the knowledge of the author's background - as sketched in - and the distinct possibility it is not independent. I shall leave aside the blog itself is by Kings War Studies working at the UK Staff College.

So it is IMHO a serious, biased comment and avoids a proper analysis of what has happened, let alone what could happen.

Back to the Yemen though. In the last week on BBC World there have been good reports from within Yemen, first by Fergal Keane and yesterday an Arab lady reporter - which have provided some insight into the bombing, especially local footage of double and triple tap bombings. the lady reported on an October mosque bombing, where a funeral was underway; which I suspect is the one where posts exist on the significant number of "rebel" officers being present. Not a word on that aspect; perhaps another mosque bombing?

Azor
12-20-2016, 07:11 PM
I'm offering my apology in advance for asking the following (because usually I'm never asking for sources), but: what is the source for the number of Saudi and allied casualties, what for the number of Houthi+Saleh casualties, and what for 'coalition is killing more civilians than fighters'?

Namely, I'm orientating on reports by Yemen Post (https://twitter.com/YemenPostNews/status/797812756246212608). Sure, that's 'another one man' outlet, but it appears actually fairly neutral, even slightly 'anti-Houthi' to me.

In regards of casualty-figures, it's orienting on Houthi-officials, i.e. how many death certificates these are issuing. The latest figure they cited (see the link above) is at about 10,700.

(BTW, Yemen Post's earlier figures in this regards are much more precise.)

Don't recall what was the latest figure published by the UN, but Yemen Post is usually reporting a figure about 2000-3000 higher than that of the UN.

Thus, I'm simply surprised by the figures you're citing, Azor.

It is difficult to come by accurate casualty statistics for the war in Yemen, especially of combatants.

According to the UN’s OHCHR, some 3,792 documented civilian fatalities had occurred by August 2016, of which 60% were inflicted by the Saudi-led coalition (primarily airstrikes) and 24% by the Houthis.

The UN’s OHCA had reported over 6,700 total deaths in Yemen to March 2016, and there are estimates of 10,000 total dead to August 2016, however, it is unknown if these are unverified estimates of civilians or if they include combatants. Assuming they include both, a 0.38:1 civilian-to-combatant fatality ratio would not be the worst record to be sure, although it would be in line with the Bosnian War.

As for coalition deaths, those are sourced from a variety of news reports (Yemen Post, AP, Reuters, BBC, etc.) and 830, including mercenaries, makes sense to me given the losses of Saudi AFVs and MBTs in Yemen.

I am curious as to the following:


How many coalition troops are in Yemen?
How many aircraft are participating in the airstrikes?
What is the Houthi strength?
What are the Houthi casualties?

CrowBat
12-20-2016, 08:33 PM
I see, thanks.

To clear any uncertainities: 10,700 cited by Yemen Post is the number of death certificates that should've been issued for civilian deaths - and then by 'Houthi authorities' only.

Re. your questions:

How many coalition troops are in Yemen?

Right now: no clue. I've heard that at the height of their deployment (that was in September-November 2015), they might have totalled about 45,000.

It should be much less now, because the YNA alone (the 'National Yemen Army' established for Hadi by Saudis and Emiratis) should be back to about 30,000.

How many aircraft are participating in the airstrikes?

Depends on intensity of fighting and how are various non-Saudi contingents rotated in and out. They're usually holding anything between 8 and 48 strikers 'stacked' in holding patterns above different part of Yemen, plus a few interceptors (usually F-15Cs). Add the 'usual suspects' like E-3As, tankers, UAVs (which are used ever more massively, foremost by Saudis and Emiratis), and you've got the picture.

Of their allies: Egyptians (F-16C/Ds) have meanwhile withdrawn; Sudanese (i.e. their Su-24Ms) seem to have completed their second 'tour of duty' in theatre; there are no news about Moroccans... Kuwaitis and Bahrainis probably have up to 12-16 aircraft deployed in KSA at any time. Emiratis are nowadays largely operating out of their new base near Masawa (Eritrea).


What is the Houthi strength?

'Houthis' as such, perhaps 20,000. It's the Yemen army units (i.e. those that sided with the Houthi-Saleh coalition) that are making most of forces there. Given the Yemeni military had up to 400,000 before the war, and up to 60% of it sided with that coalition... well, guess, you've got the 'picture'.

What are the Houthi casualties?

I do not know any source clearly citing these. But wouldn't be surprised if they are around 10,000 meanwhile. Alone two of Houthi battalions and elements of three YA brigades that assaulted Aden were decimated (though not so much by fighting as much as by the Deng fever, lack of food, water, medical facilities etc.). Then they suffered significant losses during the battle for Anab AB (September 2015), and then in Ma'rib. Not to talk about the Emirati/Bahraini/Kuwaiti ops in Bab al-Mandeb area (Houthis/Saleh would've never withdrawn from there without being really beaten), or this bitter and protracted battle for Ta'iz (which seems to have 'gulped' several 'brigades' on both sides).

Even some of ex-Republican Guards/ex-Presidential Guards units have been seriously hit by coalition air in Ma'rib (gauging by all the knocked out M60s, BMP-2s, and similar stuff seen on various photos).

Azor
12-22-2016, 01:42 AM
I see, thanks.

To clear any uncertainities: 10,700 cited by Yemen Post is the number of death certificates that should've been issued for civilian deaths - and then by 'Houthi authorities' only.

Re. your questions:

How many coalition troops are in Yemen?

Right now: no clue. I've heard that at the height of their deployment (that was in September-November 2015), they might have totalled about 45,000.

It should be much less now, because the YNA alone (the 'National Yemen Army' established for Hadi by Saudis and Emiratis) should be back to about 30,000.

How many aircraft are participating in the airstrikes?

Depends on intensity of fighting and how are various non-Saudi contingents rotated in and out. They're usually holding anything between 8 and 48 strikers 'stacked' in holding patterns above different part of Yemen, plus a few interceptors (usually F-15Cs). Add the 'usual suspects' like E-3As, tankers, UAVs (which are used ever more massively, foremost by Saudis and Emiratis), and you've got the picture.

Of their allies: Egyptians (F-16C/Ds) have meanwhile withdrawn; Sudanese (i.e. their Su-24Ms) seem to have completed their second 'tour of duty' in theatre; there are no news about Moroccans... Kuwaitis and Bahrainis probably have up to 12-16 aircraft deployed in KSA at any time. Emiratis are nowadays largely operating out of their new base near Masawa (Eritrea).


What is the Houthi strength?

'Houthis' as such, perhaps 20,000. It's the Yemen army units (i.e. those that sided with the Houthi-Saleh coalition) that are making most of forces there. Given the Yemeni military had up to 400,000 before the war, and up to 60% of it sided with that coalition... well, guess, you've got the 'picture'.

What are the Houthi casualties?

I do not know any source clearly citing these. But wouldn't be surprised if they are around 10,000 meanwhile. Alone two of Houthi battalions and elements of three YA brigades that assaulted Aden were decimated (though not so much by fighting as much as by the Deng fever, lack of food, water, medical facilities etc.). Then they suffered significant losses during the battle for Anab AB (September 2015), and then in Ma'rib. Not to talk about the Emirati/Bahraini/Kuwaiti ops in Bab al-Mandeb area (Houthis/Saleh would've never withdrawn from there without being really beaten), or this bitter and protracted battle for Ta'iz (which seems to have 'gulped' several 'brigades' on both sides).

Even some of ex-Republican Guards/ex-Presidential Guards units have been seriously hit by coalition air in Ma'rib (gauging by all the knocked out M60s, BMP-2s, and similar stuff seen on various photos).

Thanks.

So it seems that the Saudi-led coalition is doing better than the media and think tanks would have it...

The Saudi military is certainly gaining much-needed experience in Yemen, especially given the increasing confrontation with Iran. In comparison, Iran's adventure in Syria seems more of a waste of resources. IRGC veterans and foreign militias are being ground down and may not be available if Israel has a go at Iranian nuclear facilities...

CrowBat
12-22-2016, 10:26 AM
So it seems that the Saudi-led coalition is doing better than the media and think tanks would have it...
Let me say it this way: when Dr. Knights of WINEP was working on that three-part article on Yemen War, I told him (in essence, can't recall that statement word-by-word any more): Saudi military is actually functioning great in this war, but people like Asiri (Saudi military spokesperson), and all those advising and ordering him and that military, should get fired on the spot.

I know, I tend to be undiplomatic and drastic in my statements and demands, but that's the shortest description possible.

Namely, it was already during the 2009-2010 Saudi 'involvement' (or 'intervention'), that the Saudi military organized a Joint Command for all the branches of its military and security, went to great extension to provide (almost literally) every single of its grunt with timely intel and CAS etc. It didn't work that well back then because it turned out there were too many princes and whatever other sort of opportunists in the military, back then. But that was 'solved' through court-martialing and inprisoning up to 5,000 of such characters and then a complete reform of the military.

Result is that the Saudi military as it went into the Yemen War of March 2015 was probably in its best and most effective condition ever.

Sure, PRBS like videos showing 'a gang of rag-tag militiamen named Houthis' (read: Yemen Army special forces units that sided with Houthi-Saleh coalition) attacking various Saudi border-posts, smashing M1s and whatever other hardware there, showing Saudi troops fleeing, captured uniforms of Saudi generals etc. are all indicating a 'typical failure'.

...especially to people who have never taken a look at the map of the Saudi-Yemeni border.

Namely, even if the entire Saudi military would deploy to that border, Saudis would still not have enough troops to effectively guard all of it. That's why they relay on a number of actually very isolated and small strongpoints. It's easy to attack these. But, Saudis fail to explain this in the public. Guess, their advisors - whether at home or in the UK and USA - told them making such admissions in the public would be a sign of weakness....

Similarly, it would be (to use a favourite British term for such situations) 'rather inconvenient and unfortunate' - no doubt about this - when they would admit that sometimes the same 'Houthis' (read: Yemen Army special forces units that sided with Houthi-Saleh coalition) not only by-pass their border posts, but drive up to 35km deep into Saudi Arabia. Indeed, that these are sometimes 'blocking' sizeable swats of Saudi territory for various periods of time (unless the Saudi military reacts with all of its fire-power).

But foremost, it would be 'rather inconvenient' for Saudis to admit that their royals screwed up when they bought the idea that all of the Yemeni Army wouldn't move its small finger if they would launch this war with intention of returning Hadi to power in Sana'a.

But it would be not the least 'inconvenient' - though a big admission of own failures - to say it clear: 'f..k, our 20K troops, third of our navy, and about a quarter of our air force regularly involved there are up against hundreds of thousands of Yemenis'.

Which means: the entire affair it's a political-, intelligence- and a PR-failure, but military-wise there is very little the Saudis and allies could do any better - nor could anybody else do anything better if in their position.

One of very few exceptions would be: better cross-examination of targeting intel provided by various informants within areas controlled by Houthi/Saleh coalition. That would reduce tragic civilian casualties.


In comparison, Iran's adventure in Syria seems more of a waste of resources. IRGC veterans and foreign militias are being ground down and may not be available if Israel has a go at Iranian nuclear facilities...
The issue of the IRGC in Syria and then a possible confrontation between Iran and Israel are actually two different pairs of shoes.

Even after spending something like US$120 billion in the last five years to help Assad survive, the IRGC in Syria considers its involvement there a 'very economic' enterprise (and mind: this is based on chats with about a dozen of active IRGC officers, so it's really a 'first hand' information). Yes, they pay a lot to Assad so he can pay his thugs and remain in power; yes, some of them despise Assad more than Syrian insurgents, actually. But, on the other hand, they have established themselves in power over all of the Middle East from Beirut to Tehran. Nobody - not even Israel - can ignore this any more.

And Israel? Right now: perhaps 'sometimes in the future', but right now absolutely no factor in all of this.

Israelis are meanwhile so busy with self-confirmation of their own arrogance and prejudice (precisely in same fashion like everybody in the DC...and this to such a degree that I wonder how much of the latter is actually caused by Israel), that they completely fail to understand what a fundamental change took place in Syria (and Iraq), and what a brilliant opportunity they've missed in that country.

But then, considering traditional 'highest national interests' of Israel, this is not even 'little surprising': more likely, somebody there decided ignoring what the IRGC is doing there is of 'highest highest national interests'...

Azor
12-22-2016, 08:27 PM
So basically, you have noticed a major improvement in the Saudi armed forces in Operation Decisive Storm compared to Operation Scorched Earth in 2009-2010.

However, in 2009 the Saudis had the support of Saleh and most of the Yemeni military, whereas now they don’t. If I am reading you correctly, the Saudis are going to have to have a “come to Jesus” moment and negotiate with Saleh. Yet Saleh is divisive and excels more at playing spoiler and rendering Yemen ungovernable without his imprimatur, than he does at governing without unrest. But Riyadh will have to make hard choices and prioritize. Is confronting Saleh’s coup d’état worth Iran gaining a foothold on the Saudi-Yemeni border?

What would make Iran find the intervention in Syria costly? Obviously Johnson’s idea of cost differed from Minh’s in the 1960s…

As for Israel, I think it is satisfied that the Sunnis and Shias are killing each other and not fighting the Jewish State.

CrowBat
12-23-2016, 10:10 AM
Re. 2009 and 'support from Saleh': I wouldn't describe it that way. I would describe it as 'Saudi university of warfare'. They something like 'went through a high school' back in 1991, learned some lessons but that wasn't enough - yet. They continued buying equipment, but weren't training well enough, didn't care about plenty of things. In 2009-2010 they learned how to organize on their own, how to train, how to fight, what equipment works and what not etc.

What happened during that war was that Saleh launched that Operation 'Scorched Earth' - and had the backsides of his military returned to him by Houthis on a silver plate. The 'Sa'ada Axis' (de-facto a corps-sized unit of some 8-9 brigades) was largely smashed, with some of its best units either overrun or at least besieged by insurgents.

Then the Houthis made a mistake and - I still don't know why - 'invaded' Saudi Arabia. That is: they attacked some border post, and captured a few peaks. What happened next was not related to Saleh's war against Houthis - no matter how much the Saudis declared it as such.

Saudis thought they are so good, that 'rag-tag gang of terrorists' would fold and run away on sight. They rushed a hodgepodge of various units that were nearby - supported by one of para/commando battalions and another of marines. These eagerly assaulted - only to get smashed by insurgents fighting from well-concealed positions (Saudis suffered over 200 KIA in the first few days of that war).

That taught the Saudis to plan their ops, to organize etc. They set up a joint HQ for all branches, deployed all of their means of intelligence gathering, carefully reconnoitred the area and then began smashing Houthis, bit by bit. That took much more time (and was particularly expensive in terms of PGMs), but after a few months of experiencing a sort of an onslaught Houthis never experienced before, they agreed to give up. From their POV, there was no point in continuing to expose themselves to Saudi pounding, if their actual opponent was in Sana'a...

In 2015, Saudi military was better prepared than ever before. But, their political masters fell for Hadi's 'promise' that the Yemeni military would do nothing (especially not side with Houthis) - supposedly because Houthi re-formed that military and purged all the Saleh-loyalists - and that Houthis could be defeated in similar fashion like back in 2010.

That was not a 'bad' but 'stupid' idea. Actually, it's so that there is no way Saudis can force anybody in Yemen to accept their terms any more.


If I am reading you correctly, the Saudis are going to have to have a “come to Jesus” moment and negotiate with Saleh. Yet Saleh is divisive and excels more at playing spoiler and rendering Yemen ungovernable without his imprimatur, than he does at governing without unrest. But Riyadh will have to make hard choices and prioritize.Yes and no.

One of things I think one should consider about this war is that various 'assessments' and 'estimates' about the composition of the local population usually published in the West (or at least in English language) are simply BS. Somebody there is implanting entirely wrong data in this regards.

Namely... sure, there's no doubt that Saleh is a master in political intrigue and maintaining himself either in power or in a position of influence. And, there's no doubt that over the time he cooperated with nearly every political entity there can be in Yemen (including AQAP, Islah, all sorts of tribes and whoever else). But, that's still no explanation how comes that he - as a Zaidi - won two ('quite fair', even if 'not perfect') elections by quite a wide margin. I don't think this would be possible if Zaidis make 'only' about 30-40% of the Yemeni population, as usually explained.

Now comes the particularly 'problematic to explain' part. Namely, Saleh managed to win elections 'although' he was at odds with Houthis, who are Zaidis too. And although the Houthis have destroyed large parts of various tribal federations - including several of particularly powerful and famous ones - over the last 6-8 years.

That's why I do not find the usual explanations about 'secret of his success' being something like Saleh's ability to convince various Shafi (Sunni) tribes and the Islah Party to cooperate with him, and why I'm not convinced usual publications about the composition of Yemeni population are correct.

Anyway... the Saudi-led military intervention had an additional effect of turning additional parts of Yemeni population against Saudis (and allies, including the USA). Sure, you'll not get to hear a lot about this in English-language. Reason is that English is spoken and social media used by those Yemenis that can afford such luxury. Most of these are (relatively wealthy) businessmen, who were against Houthis and Saleh all the time. But, they are few in numbers - especially in comparison to masses of impoverished Yemenis, most of whom are meanwhile on the side of Houthi/Saleh.

All of which means: even if Houthis would withdraw from Sana'a literally within the next 5 minutes - which is the core demand of Hadi, Saudis & Co KG GesmbH AG SPA - there is absolutely no guarantee anybody could install a new Hadi government there again (indeed: I wouldn't bet 5 bucks on Hadi surviving his 'return' to Sana'a, just for the start).


Is confronting Saleh’s coup d’état worth Iran gaining a foothold on the Saudi-Yemeni border?There was no 'coup' as such by Saleh. He simply sided with Houthis, and this resulted in about 60% of the military following in fashion.

Iran had absolutely nothing to do with this. In total context of this war, the few IRGC/Hezbollah advisors that did train something like two battalions of Ansar Allah - and thus any kind of 'Iranian involvement' - are actually not worth mentioning. Despite all sorts of Saudi and IRGC's PRBS, Houthis are anything but 'Iranian proxies'. I really recommend dropping that thought completely to anybody who wants to understand this war.


What would make Iran find the intervention in Syria costly? Obviously Johnson’s idea of cost differed from Minh’s in the 1960s…I do not really like to compare different conflicts, but I might make an exception in this case. If there is any experience from the Iran-Iraq War, then the one that the IRGC has no problem with 'endless wars'. Although anything but suicidal - as often, and entirely wrongly described - the IRGC can't care less about losses (on the contrary: the more martyrs the better; it does not care the least about such issues like costs, economic or material damage; it does not care about enemy's superiority in arms and firepower etc. Means, one can't defeat it in classic sense, like through a war of attrition etc. Only though a synergy of multiple effects, a combination of all of them.

That means: one would not only have to defeat it on the battlefield; not only have to cause devastating losses in order to demoralize it; but this would have to be combined with a complete isolation of the country on the international plan, severe damage to the Iranian economy (like through air or missile strikes), and demoralization 'at home', in Iran.


As for Israel, I think it is satisfied that the Sunnis and Shias are killing each other and not fighting the Jewish State.Sure. But a very short-sighted policy too.

CrowBat
01-03-2017, 10:33 AM
Here some 'educated gueswork' if you like, about how the Houthi-Saleh coalition got its Burkan-1 SSMs (or 'Extended Range Scuds'): How Did the Houthis Manage to Lob a Ballistic Missile at#Mecca? Let's do some educated Gueswork (https://warisboring.com/how-did-the-houthis-manage-to-lob-a-ballistic-missile-at-mecca-dfb568cb8242#.jj0dbvfby)

One thing that didn't get through the editing-phase of work on that article is that the attack with which this article was opened, was actually the third deployment of Burak-1 so far:

First launch, aimed at Taif AB, 1-2 September 2016;
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLNLQHvgrXI

Second launch (http://english.almanar.com.lb/59145), again at Taif AB, 10 October 2016;

Third launch, aimed at Mecca (http://shoebat.com/2016/10/27/breaking-iran-backed-muslim-rebels-just-launched-a-major-ballistic-missile-attack-directed-at-mecca/), 27-28 October 2016.

Video showing three Burkan-1s - as officially presented by Houthi-Saleh authorities:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j1uCgZjgmBM

Since... well, let's say I 'guess' they've got only 3 Burkan-1s, 'that's it'. I.e. I do not expect them fire any further ones.

davidbfpo
01-11-2017, 11:59 AM
A curious NYT report that starts with, with my emphasis:
Photographs recently released by the Australian government show that light anti-armor weapons seized from a smuggling vessel near Yemen’s coast appear to have been manufactured in Iran, further suggesting that Tehran has had a hand in a high-seas gunrunning operation to the Horn of Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
(Then later) The consultancy also documented weapons manufactured by China, Russia, Romania, Bulgaria and perhaps in North Korea in seizures from the dhows.The consultancy also did not suggest that the evidence indicated a direct handoff of weapons from the dhows to Houthi forces. Rather, it said, the weapons appear to be offloaded in Somalia and transferred to smaller vessels for smuggling into southern Yemen.The report is based on a TECHINT report:http://armamentresearch.com/iranian-pg-7-at-nader-rpg-7-projectiles-in-yemen/ which then was followed up in:http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/salw/blog-events/talking-target-164.html

Link:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/world/middleeast/yemen-iran-weapons-houthis.html? (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/world/middleeast/yemen-iran-weapons-houthis.html?emc=edit_ee_20170111&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=67232673&_r=0)

(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/world/middleeast/yemen-iran-weapons-houthis.html?emc=edit_ee_20170111&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=67232673&_r=0)

CrowBat
01-12-2017, 09:37 AM
A curious NYT report that starts with, with my emphasis:The report is based on a TECHINT report:http://armamentresearch.com/iranian-pg-7-at-nader-rpg-7-projectiles-in-yemen/ which then was followed up in:http://www.smallarmssurvey.org/salw/blog-events/talking-target-164.html

Link:https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/world/middleeast/yemen-iran-weapons-houthis.html? (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/world/middleeast/yemen-iran-weapons-houthis.html?emc=edit_ee_20170111&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=67232673&_r=0)

(https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/10/world/middleeast/yemen-iran-weapons-houthis.html?emc=edit_ee_20170111&nl=todaysheadlines-europe&nlid=67232673&_r=0)
So, in essence: nobody really knows where are these arms from nor where are they heading, 'but they must be from Iran and bound for Houthis' - because Saudis & Co KG GesmbH AG are paying our bills, of course... :D

CrowBat
01-28-2017, 12:28 AM
Yemen War is heating up again: the YNA - after establishing few additional brigades - is on advance again. Biggest win: they captured the port of Mocha (http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-world/yemen/2017/01/24/%D8%A8%D8%B9%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D8%B3%D8%AA%D8%B9%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%AE%D8%A7-%D9%87%D8%A7%D8%AF%D9%8A-%D9%8A%D8%AA%D8%B9%D9%87%D8%AF-%D8%A8%D9%85%D8%AD%D9%88-%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%84%D9%8A%D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7%D8%AA-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%82%D8%AA%D9%84.html) from the Houthi/Saleh coalition, and that with full support of the Emiratis (see: LeClerc MBTs, Mirages based in Eritrea, plus AH-64s operating from either Anad AB or Bab al-Mandeb).

That is a major loss for the Houthi/Saleh coalition, even more so because today they (the YNA) claimed to have beaten back a Houthi/Saleh counterattack (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/01/27/Yemen-army-clashes-with-Houthis-in-Mokha.html), east of Mocha.

Though, finding details about what exactly is going on there is meanwhile next to impossible...

Anyway, in other news from Yemen today:

- A U.S. Airstrike killed AQAP Militants In Shabwah;
- AQAP Militants attacked Houthis In Central Yemen;
- Houthis/Saleh fired a ballistic missile at southern Saudi Arabia (and Saudis say they intercepted it (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/01/27/Saudi-intercepts-ballistic-missile-launched-form-Yemen.html));
- and there is a new battle between Hadi and Houthi/Saleh forces along the Ta'izz-Lahij border...

With other words, 'another, routine business day in Yemen'...

AdamG
01-29-2017, 07:53 PM
WASHINGTON — One American commando was killed and three others were injured in a fierce firefight overnight with Qaeda militants in central Yemen, the military said Sunday morning. The raid was the first counterterrorism operation approved by President Trump since he took office nine days ago.

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/29/world/middleeast/american-commando-killed-in-yemen-in-trumps-first-counterterror-operation.html?_r=0

CrowBat
01-30-2017, 05:57 AM
Looks like it was a big-scale op:

- officially: U.S. Forces Kill 14 Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula Terrorists in Yemen (https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1063593/us-forces-kill-14-al-qaida-in-the-arabian-peninsula-terrorists-in-yemen?source=GovDelivery).

- unofficially: US Special Operations air and ground assault takes out al Qaeda compound in Yemen (http://www.limacharlienews.com/mena/assault-takes-out-alqaeda-compound-yemen/) - and Trump doesn't care about 'collateral damage'.


Large scale US Special Operations assault in Yemen leaves 1 US Navy SEAL dead, 3 Special Operations members wounded, upwards of 45 al Qaeda members dead, and 16 civilians killed. (Graffic images!!!)

Not sure Yemenis are going to take this lightly (and they are the way to go when dealing with the AQAP in Yemen). AQAP, of course, even less so, especially since Awlaki's daughter was killed too (apparently by a bullet...): Commando dies in U.S. raid in Yemen, first military op OK'd by Trump (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-yemen-qaeda-idUSKBN15D08J)

Eight-year old Anwar al-Awlaki [sic] - the daughter of U.S.-born Yemeni preacher and al Qaeda ideologue Anwar al-Awlaki, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in 2011 - was among the children who died in the raid, according to her grandfather.
"She was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours. Why kill children? This is the new administration - it's very sad, a big crime," Nasser al-Awlaki told Reuters.

To make sure: I'm anything but a 'fan' of Awlaki... but executing children by head-shots... well, is at least likely to have insta-created about 50-100 new terrorists.

CrowBat
01-31-2017, 06:34 AM
Houthis have attacked a Saudi frigate of al-Madinnah class (also known as Type 2000 class) off the coast of Hodeida, with three suicide boats or something of that kind, yesterday.

The ship turned away but was hit by one of 'means' in question, and damaged. According to Saudis (http://spa.gov.sa/1587372), two crewmembers were killed, three injured, and the ship managed to limp back for repairs.

Here a video of the attack in question:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BKWHgbpLD7g

What we can see first is the ship moving towards our right side. Then there's a cut, the ship turns left and yes, is hit in the stern.

Means, the skipper probably recognized the danger and tried to turn away from it. If so, then no surprise if casualties were kept to the minimum.

BTW, contrary to much commentary on the internet, this was no missile attack.

OUTLAW 09
01-31-2017, 05:53 PM
Looks like it was a big-scale op:

- officially: U.S. Forces Kill 14 Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula Terrorists in Yemen (https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1063593/us-forces-kill-14-al-qaida-in-the-arabian-peninsula-terrorists-in-yemen?source=GovDelivery).

- unofficially: US Special Operations air and ground assault takes out al Qaeda compound in Yemen (http://www.limacharlienews.com/mena/assault-takes-out-alqaeda-compound-yemen/) - and Trump doesn't care about 'collateral damage'.

(Graffic images!!!)

Not sure Yemenis are going to take this lightly (and they are the way to go when dealing with the AQAP in Yemen). AQAP, of course, even less so, especially since Awlaki's daughter was killed too (apparently by a bullet...): Commando dies in U.S. raid in Yemen, first military op OK'd by Trump (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-yemen-qaeda-idUSKBN15D08J)


To make sure: I'm anything but a 'fan' of Awlaki... but executing children by head-shots... well, is at least likely to have insta-created about 50-100 new terrorists.

FIRST true failure of the Flynn/Trump/Bannon NSC...that led to a US SOF individual getting killed....AND then blaming the Obama WH for it....as they attempted to push this major failure away from them....

REMEMBER Flynn is this so called great JSOC intel type who says he can get things done....AND he wanted only members of his NSC to have looked down the barrel of a rifle.......THEN he..BANNON and Miller both white nationalists reorg the NSC kicking out the ODNI and JCoS which was A MAJOR mistake....

THERE is a saying in just not the military..."IF YOU SCREW UP---OWN IT"

WHAT THE HELL did Flynn and his merry band do for this planning which went extremely SOUTH....

Military official: "Almost everything went wrong" in raid that left SEAL, 8-year-old American girl, others dead.

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/seal-american-girl-die-first-trump-era...

WOAH: "Contrary to earlier reporting... the raid was Trump's 1st clandestine strike — not a holdover mission approved by President Obama"

Folks, this allegation is huge. Trump pulled the trigger on a most disastrous mission. US ####ed up, bigly. So how did it happen?

IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER THESE POINTS

Trump's team led everyone to believe the Yemen op was planned before he got there. That happens. Now we're learning that's not true

If true it means Trump rushed the op on what looks like terrible intel, getting our soldiers shot up, a heli wrecked, a little girl dead

So what was the intel, what was the target, what did we know? A reckless op is bad for business, but it could also be a war crime

We're going to lose a lot more soldiers if this is how things are going. And a lot more little girls. and a lot more helicopters

Ops go bad, even well planned ops. If Obama planned it & Trump pulled the trigger that's a big problem. But if Trump planned it in a week?

We have a public that is ok with special forces & drones b/c it's not going to end like Iraq.

Do we have a president who is so cavalier?

IMPORTANT...FIRST MAJOR FAILURE in a very long time for ST6....
This was the famous Seal Team 6. We don't value their lives? We don't value who they might kill in the process?

My big point here - in war, #### happens. Presidents try to minimize this. IF this was planned in a week, that's no longer the case

VERY IMPORTANT

US Spec Ops Goals: get the job done, don't get killed, no unnecessary damage or death in the process. NONE of those goals met here

WAS ST6 ORDERED TO KILL CIVILIANS???...THIS is in fact a potential war crime if they were in fact ordered to deliberately kill anyone and that included children.....

IF SO ORDERED...WHO changed the ROE??????

I do NOT believe that US troops would deliberately kill a little girl. The orders were bad. So how did it happen?

BUT WAIT...Trump did in fact state a number of times he would order the killing of the families of terrorists...did he not?

BUT WAIT.....

He did say that. And the military said it would not execute illegal orders. And now he's president so now we have ROEs that are potentially war crimes....

REMEMBER...the Army has the right to refuse unlawful orders if those order violate the Geneva Convention and the Rules of Land Warfare....

BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY...there is a little unknown Army regulation that states AFTER the My Lai massacre that clearly states that any Army member can refuse a lawful order if it is illegal and involves the killing of civilians.....

HAS NOW ST6 well known as trigger pullers BASICALLY gone rouge.....?????

OR did they in fact have direct orders from the CinC to violate the GC and international law and the LoLW....and in the face of My Lai.....

OUTLAW 09
01-31-2017, 06:09 PM
BTW..REFERENCE those graphic photos of the killed eight year old WHICH clearly indicate a targeted head shot....

IMHO and one who has fired shots in anger in a war where civilians were constantly in the line of fire....they can in fact walk at anytime unannounced and unexpected into a fire fight.....but then the civilian usually has a number of wounds then...and actually they very rarely hit the head.....

A single shot to the head is a hallmark of SOF especially highly trained units such as ST6....

IF this is in fact true and under the existing ROE for both Iraq and AFG...THIS IS A WAR CRIME.....

UNLESS the ROE was changed...AND IF SO BY WHOM....??? If the US President and then seconded by the SecDef ...THEN MATTIS had a serious problem on his hands.....as does the current President....

As the targeted killing of civilians is a direct violation of the GC...Rule of Land Warfare.....AND ESPECIALLY since the SVN massacre at My Lai..by US troops.......WHICH ST6 apparently has forgotten their way the way after over 14 years of continuous war........

EXAMPLES of my personal combat experience as a SF soldier in VN..and who is highly decorated and wounded a number of times in that combat....as a lowly SGT.....

1. I had a complete Regular NVA company walk into my ambush and I could have completely wiped them out but in the beginning of their movement formation were approximately 30 civilians being largely forced to carry logistics supplies....we recognized them from a nearby village....withheld fire and allowed the NVA unit to move through...and never did we regret not firing....

2. In another ambush I triggered the ambush on two 13-14 year old boys in school uniforms...WHY both were carrying one each.45 in their pants and the older of the two a M1 carbine.

Under the GC both were considered enemy combatants...meaning carrying openly a weapon...having a uniform ...common school uniform but worn deep in the bamboo jungle not in a city/town or village and carrying valid VC IDs identifying them as scouts/couriers...

Did my hear ache for it...yes but the ROE and the GC were strictly held to....in both cases.....one case it saved lives in the other it cost lives....

War is never an equal opportunity event....BUT a common solider is required as much as he or she can do..to minimize the lost of civilian life....in order to in the end save one's own morals.....and then live with the results for the rest of your as no one else can help you in the end....

OUTLAW 09
01-31-2017, 08:29 PM
We all need to fully understand that the eight year old girl killed by ST6 was in fact a US citizen.....

So did the Bannon/Rump NSC authorize the actual killing of a US citizen....?

CrowBat
01-31-2017, 10:56 PM
I have no trace of clue how relevant this might be, but that 'itch in my guts' if you like, tells me something like this: the new US president is a cold-blooded businessman, first and foremost. Not that I would have something against them or whatever, but it's the way they think - and thus bring their decisions.

At least I wouldn't be surprised if that thinking goes this way: 'OK, so, members of forces like ST6 are pros; they joined knowing very well what are they facing, and what kind of things they might be ordered to do; they swore a very clear oath, too; so, let's put our tax-payer's bucks to some use - and use the ST6 for what it exists for. Nothing personal, it's just business.'

OUTLAW 09
02-01-2017, 05:18 AM
I have no trace of clue how relevant this might be, but that 'itch in my guts' if you like, tells me something like this: the new US president is a cold-blooded businessman, first and foremost. Not that I would have something against them or whatever, but it's the way they think - and thus bring their decisions.

At least I wouldn't be surprised if that thinking goes this way: 'OK, so, members of forces like ST6 are pros; they joined knowing very well what are they facing, and what kind of things they might be ordered to do; they swore a very clear oath, too; so, let's put our tax-payer's bucks to some use - and use the ST6 for what it exists for. Nothing personal, it's just business.'


Crowbat..here is the problem now for Trump....if an actual targeted killing of a US citizen occurred....then since Obama strict federal law now dictates a process similar t the FISA Court that evidence must be presented that the individual is a "clear and present danger to the US"......

It will be extremely hard for Trump to argue that an eight year old "is a clear and present danger"......

MY concern is the use of ST6 now as a killing machine for civilians ..we have seen this already with Russian air force personnel in their bombing of civilians with total disregard....and the West says and said nothing....

Regardless of what Trump thinks in his view of an authoritarian US...there are limits to Presidential rule...

BTW...did Trump personally write the condolence letter to the family of the killed ST6 soldier...highly doubt it...not his style....Obama wrote every single letter as he stated it reminded him of the cost of his decisions...

Trump talks about the great military BUT dodged the draft FOUR times for VN..simple does not care.

OUTLAW 09
02-01-2017, 07:26 AM
Looks like it was a big-scale op:

- officially: U.S. Forces Kill 14 Al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula Terrorists in Yemen (https://www.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1063593/us-forces-kill-14-al-qaida-in-the-arabian-peninsula-terrorists-in-yemen?source=GovDelivery).

- unofficially: US Special Operations air and ground assault takes out al Qaeda compound in Yemen (http://www.limacharlienews.com/mena/assault-takes-out-alqaeda-compound-yemen/) - and Trump doesn't care about 'collateral damage'.

(Graffic images!!!)

Not sure Yemenis are going to take this lightly (and they are the way to go when dealing with the AQAP in Yemen). AQAP, of course, even less so, especially since Awlaki's daughter was killed too (apparently by a bullet...): Commando dies in U.S. raid in Yemen, first military op OK'd by Trump (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-yemen-qaeda-idUSKBN15D08J)


To make sure: I'm anything but a 'fan' of Awlaki... but executing children by head-shots... well, is at least likely to have insta-created about 50-100 new terrorists.

There is an interesting development within the Bannon/Flynn NSC driven FIRST Trump AQ raid that if successful he would have clearly boasted about......

BUT WAIT....did we hear out of this Bannon/Flynn NSC anything concerning the raid...nothing until it was leaked via MSM.....

AND did Trump even recognize in personal comments the death of a ST6 member and the injuries of other ST6 members....IT took the SecDef to honor them....

Notice not a single tweet to honor the SEAL....

IF one takes the Yemen number of killed civilians it is in excess of 50...granted we could say who trusts Yemen numbers BUT lately when the US airstrikes in Syria against IS actually kill large numbers of civilians what we get from the DoD is..."we will investigate" and then let everything drop unless social media investigative source confirm those numbers THEN DoD gets active again....

So until DoD can confirm the opposite 50 civilians were in fact killed...AN unusually large number.....

Has the ROE been changed and if so by WHOM?

SO now during resulting failure period of this Yemen raid what did we get from the Trump and Bannon WH.....a total series of FUBARs all designed to distract from the ST6 raid....Muslim ban......bashing Democrats....firing the Acting AG.....Marshall Service disobeying a Federal court order....and now the decision for the SC pulled forward several days earlier than planned......

BUT anything about the raid coming out of the Trump/Bannon

WH.....absolutely totally nothing....

WHY distraction from the Bannon/Flynn NSC...because this raid was a total and complete failure.....

CrowBat
02-02-2017, 10:08 AM
AND did Trump even recognize in personal comments the death of a ST6 member and the injuries of other ST6 members....IT took the SecDef to honor them....This is something one can't expect from Trump - for reasons I mentioned above. 'It's business, nothing personal'.

BTW, as expected: Oblabla didn't aprove this raid, but Trump did. See here: U.S. military probing more possible civilian deaths in Yemen raid (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-commando-idUSKBN15G5RX?feedType=RSS&feedName=topNews&utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=Social)

...The U.S. officials said the extremists’ base had been identified as a target before the Obama administration left office on Jan. 20, but then-President Barack Obama held off approving a raid ahead of his departure.
...


Reason:

...“The decision was made ... to leave it to the incoming administration, partly in the hope that more and better intelligence could be collected,” that official said.
...

I would say that it's perfectly clear: with Trump in power, we can expect more of the same.

AdamG
02-02-2017, 04:50 PM
The death of Chief Petty Officer William Owens came after a chain of mishaps and misjudgments that plunged the elite commandos into a ferocious 50-minute firefight that also left three others wounded and a $75 million aircraft deliberately destroyed. There are allegations — which the Pentagon acknowledged on Wednesday night are most likely correct — that the mission also killed several civilians, including some children. The dead include, by the account of Al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen, the 8-year-old daughter of Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born Qaeda leader who was killed in a targeted drone strike in 2011.
Mr. Trump on Sunday hailed his first counterterrorism operation as a success, claiming the commandos captured “important intelligence that will assist the U.S. in preventing terrorism against its citizens and people around the world.” A statement by the military’s Central Command on Wednesday night that acknowledged the likelihood of civilian casualties also said that the recovered materials had provided some initial information helpful to counterterrorism analysts. The statement did not provide details.
But the mission’s casualties raise doubts about the months of detailed planning that went into the operation during the Obama administration and whether the right questions were raised before its approval. Typically, the president’s advisers lay out the risks, but Pentagon officials declined to characterize any discussions with Mr. Trump.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/01/world/middleeast/donald-trump-yemen-commando-raid-questions.html?_r=0

OUTLAW 09
02-02-2017, 05:51 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/01/world/middleeast/donald-trump-yemen-commando-raid-questions.html?_r=0

Open source survey of @realDonaldTrump's first special forces raid in Yemen

https://www.bellingcat.com/news/mena/2017/02/02/open-source-survey-of-the-us-raid-in-yemen/#

davidbfpo
02-02-2017, 09:23 PM
From an IISS Strategic Comment on the Yemeni Civil War and from the conclusion, cited in part:
The Saudi government’s military campaign is believed to be costing it US$200 million per day, and Riyadh has yet to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But the campaign is popular at home, which to a degree offsets scepticism about the broad domestic economic restructuring set in motion by Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Emiratis, for their part, can sustain their effort without much difficulty, and have relatively extensive combat experience from their participation in coalition operations in Afghanistan and Libya. The Houthis do not appear inclined to de-escalate the conflict.Link (mainly behind a pay wall):http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/strategic%20comments/sections/2017-6df9/yemen-war-ce22

Plus an overview (contemporary and historical) from Hamid Hussein, our occasional correspondent, on the attachment.

SWJ Blog
02-03-2017, 01:18 AM
Misplaced Blame on Trump for Yemen Raid Ignores Deeper Problems (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/misplaced-blame-on-trump-for-yemen-raid-ignores-deeper-problems)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/misplaced-blame-on-trump-for-yemen-raid-ignores-deeper-problems) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

CrowBat
02-03-2017, 07:54 AM
From an IISS Strategic Comment on the Yemeni Civil War and from the conclusion, cited in part:Link (mainly behind a pay wall):http://www.iiss.org/en/publications/strategic%20comments/sections/2017-6df9/yemen-war-ce22Some nitpicking here:


...In the 1960s, the Saudis fought a brutal war against a 70,000-strong Egyptian expeditionary force deployed by Egyptian President Gamal Abdel Nasser, with Soviet support, to overthrow the royalist Mutawakkilite government in Yemen and replace it with the left-wing rulers of the Yemen Arab Republic. With overt support from Jordan and covert help from the United Kingdom, the Saudis ultimately repelled the Egyptians...
This is simply nonsense.

For most of that war, the Egyptians had about 40,000 troops deployed in Yemen. It was only for a short while in 1964 they deployed more, and then their logistics system proved barely able of supporting as many. As anybody writing assessments of this kind should know: keeping 70,000 combat troops supplied in a country where there is very little water to find and even less food to buy, and most of roads are under constant insurgent attacks, is anything but easy.

Perhaps more importantly:
- Jordanian 'support' for Saudi 'effort' in Yemen collapsed already in October 1962 - due to defection of 8 pilots (together with one Dove transport and four Hawker Hunter fighter-bombers) to Egypt (for detailed reference see Hawker Hunters at War (https://www.amazon.com/Hawker-Hunters-At-War-1958-1967/dp/1911096257)); while

- actual 'Saudi' effort through most of the war was run by the British, and only financed by the Saudis (for detailed reference see The War that Never Was (https://www.amazon.com/War-That-Never-Was/dp/0099553295/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1486108177&sr=1-1&keywords=the+war+that+never+was+hart+davis)), and

- a lot of that effort saw Israeli and Rhodesian involvement (in form of provision of transport aircraft that were para-dropping supplies for Royalists inside Yemen).

Whatever, crucial point is: in military sense, Egyptians were not defeated. For them, the war ended with a 'disengagement' similar to that of the USA from Vietnam, in September-October 1967.

Certainly enough, Immediately afterwards, the Royalists launched an offensive on Sana'a, which resulted in a 70-days-long siege. However, during that siege, the Soviets launched their first military intervention in the Middle East ever (that as in November 19679. They delivered MiG-17s, Il-28s and plenty of other arms to the Republicans, helped them lift that siege and push the Royalists away from the capital.

Eventually, the war ended with a cease-fire in 1970 - and with these 'leftist Republicans' in power in Sana'a. I.e. the party fought by the Royalists, supported by the British and financed by the Saudis, was in power. Indeed, for most of the early 1970s, that Republican government was receiving support from the USSR (although, Soviets subsequently began to prefer cooperation with Marxists from Southern Yemen). Therefore, and for all practical purposes, the Saudis lost that war. Worse yet: the British lost it too - and that not only because they were forced to leave Aden/Federation of South Arabia, in 1967, but even more so because:

- The Federation of South Arabia subsequently transformed into the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen (i.e. South Yemen, which was a Yemeni variant of North Korea), a staunch Soviet ally until 1990;

- which in turn prompted Saudis to start financing local Islamic fundamentalists, with far-reaching repercussions that should be known to everybody nowadays. With other words, hailing Saudi (i.e. British) effort there is a typically short-sighted way of commenting that war (Yemen Civil War of 1962-1970).

Sigh... and that was just the introduction-paragraph... makes me wonder what other kind of sound conclusions can be expected in the rest of that file...

EDIT: ah, it's a 'pay-to-read' file. Sorry, I strongly doubt it's worth even 5 bucks.

CrowBat
02-03-2017, 08:56 AM
Plus an overview (contemporary and historical) from Hamid Hussein, our occasional correspondent, on the attachment.
A review of this one:

Contrary to what Mr. Hamid wrote, the Yemeni crisis did not emerge when 'Shi'a backed Houthi rebels took control of large swaths of the territory' (i.e. in 2014-2015): it began already back in 2004.

The story began in 1990, when Saudis expulsed about 1 million of Yemeni guest-workers because of what they (and the USA) perceived as Saleh's support for Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Now, these 1 million of Yemenis came back home around the same time few other things happened, too. Between others,

- a) several thousands of Yemenis that fought in Afghanistan came back home;

- b) the first Zaidi generation grew up in a country that was no Imamate/Mutawakkilite Kingdom, and

- c) a number of Zaidi scholars returned from religious studies in Sudan and the UAE (not from Iran, as usually explained).

Put together: there was suddenly plenty of youngsters around, who realized they can read and write, can travel, can see that other countries were coming forward at a much faster pace than Yemen, and that something is badly wrong with their own state (until 1994 this was North Yemen, and under the control of President Saleh already since 1978). The same youngsters also realized that plenty of stuff taught to them about Islam by tribal leaders and preachers were simply wrong.

A combined result of all of this was that traditional tribal organization of the Zaidi society began falling apart (that of the Sunnis, i.e. the 'Shafi' as the Sunnis are called in Yemen was already in complete disorder since earlier times): instead of tribes, ideologically-motivated groups began to dominate. That's how 'Houthis' - a family that was entirely unimportant at earlier times - became something like 'important'.

Now, Zaidis happen to live in the part of Yemen where trade with arms is a part of everyday life - just like trade with groceries, wheat, cattle etc. But, when Saleh learned about Houthis 'buying weapons', he flipped out (primarily out of concern about a possible 'armed uprising', and although there was never a trace of Houthis preparing something of that kind) and did a major mistake: he launched a military attack on Houthis, in 2004.

Sure, this attack was successful in so far that it bagged the first Houthi leader. However, it broke all the fundamental rules of the traditional Yemeni conflict, foremost between which is extensive use of fierce semantics prior to the armed conflict, in order to actually prevent an armed conflict. That's what Yemenis used to consider as 'civilised' and 'diplomatic' behaviour. With other words: Yemenis used to threaten, insult etc. each other, much more than they used to kill each other.

However, through such an action, Saleh presented himself as a 'wild barbarian' to most of youngster Houthis - and this in addition to already presenting himself as 'ruling with support from Saudis and corrupt merchants'. Even then, the Houthis didn't give up trying: in 2005, their new leader spent two months in Sana'a, trying to meet Saleh. Without success: Saleh ignored him completely - and thus definitely created an impression of himself as somebody with whom there can be no negotiations. That is what not only prompted Houthis to really launch an armed uprising, but also drove thousands of other Zaidis into their group, and then resulted in so-called 'Six Sa'ada Wars'. Fought 2004-2010, all of these resulted in severe defeats of the government. Eventually, Saleh was left with little other choice but to depend on the militia of the Moslem-Brotherhood-connected Islah Party to keep the Houthis from marching on Sana'a.

Then came 2011, and Saleh was forced (primarily by the Saudis, and primarily through defection of Islah-Party-dominated parts of the military) to resign. In his place, the Saudis installed their puppet Hadi, who had absolutely no political base, nor widespread support (indeed: Hadi was unknown to majority of the Yemeni population). Nevertheless, Hadi then completely reorganized the military, ripping it apart in the process. So much so that his decisions caused a series of mutinies (nearly a half of the Yemeni Army was on the streets through most of 2012 and early 2013). Ignoring all the criticism, and against better advice, he then also embarked on reorganizing Yemen into a federation of six Provinces.

Just as the latter decision caused the next political crisis, in mid-2014, Saudis also stopped supporting the Moslem Brotherhood, i.e. declared it a terrorist organization. Now, Saudis did so for reasons related to developments in Egypt. However, their decision resulted in cancellation of all the support for Yemeni MBs too - although these, through the Islah Party - were something like the sole (even if reluctant) supporters of the Hadi's government.

Unsurprisingly, the Saudi decision back-fired: left without money, the Islah Party militia couldn't keep the Houthis in check any more, while the military was already in a state of chaos, plus deeply split between the Islah- and Saleh-supporters. With other words: it didn't fight either. Houthis thus found their way into Sana'a wide open.

This was anything but a 'disastrous move' by the Houthis (equalling them with the 'Zaidi Shia' minority is, sorry, dilletantic; there are still at least as many Zaidis fighting against Houthis, as those that joined them): it was perfectly logical. After all, Houthis had their own designs, one of which was to remove that incompetent, Saudi-supported corrupt gang ruling from Sana'a. With their primary enemies out of the way and in a state of chaos, why not take over de-facto without a fight? Who wouldn't do what they did?

Author's insistence on use of expressions like 'Zaidi Shi'a minority' and/or 'Shi'a rebel movement' is entirely wrong in place. Not only are there still at least as many Zaidis fighting against Houthis (i.e. it is wrong to equal Houthis to all of Zaidis), but there are also plenty of Shafis (Sunnis) fighting for Houthis, or at least for those Saleh-loyal army units that sided with Houthis.

With other words, it's entirely wrong to consider this war a purely sectarian conflict between Zaidis and everybody else; it is also wrong to call it a 'proxy war' between 'Iran-supported Shi'a' and 'Saudi-supported elements of Yemeni society', too: large segments of the Yemeni-parts of the coalition fighting against Houthi/Saleh are Salafists, Marxists, Southern Separatists, tribes that lost ground due to Houthi attacks etc., etc., etc. - simply 'plenty of people' who are not the least eager to fight 'for Saudis' or even 'for Hadi', but are fighting for their own designs.

And if anybody made a 'disastrous move', then the Saudis. Not one of their 'moves' regarding Yemen since 1962 was a sound decision, and their decision to launch a military intervention in 2015 was no exception from that rule: all were short-sighted, and only destabilizing Yemen ever more. Now they've managed to throw the country into such a chaos that it's unlikely to recover for another 15-20 years.

This is the crucial point, and something that should finally be mentioned by somebody in the public. Without realizing, accepting and admitting this mistake, Saudis can pay another dozen of billions to various of their advisers around the world, and still nothing is going to change.

OUTLAW 09
02-03-2017, 06:01 PM
Is now CENTCOM attempting to protect the WH NSC who announced their planned raid into Yemen was a great success generating intelligence that was important....NOT the utter failure that many are pointing to.....
U.S. Central Command

@CENTCOM
#alQaeda bomb making video captured in Jan. 28 raid on #AQAP operations/logistics hub in #Arabian Peninsula

http://www.centcom.mil/MEDIA/PRESS-RELEASES/Press-Release-View/Article/1070450/us-central-command-releases-video-retrieved-during-weekend-raid-in-yemen/#

BUT WAIT...from 2003 until 2010 QJBR...then AQI..then IS and the other mainline Iraqi Sunni insurgent groups....IAI....AAS...to al Duri's Naqshbandi Sufi Order PUBLISHED literally tens of such IED bomb making videos and pamphlets in pdf format....AND no one seemed to have minded....TO INCLUDE videos on how to make explosives......

NOW a single video makes headlines..why is that?????

CrowBat
02-03-2017, 09:50 PM
Why? Because author of that release knows nothing about earlier cases.

***********

But wait: the pah-ty only just began...

Yemeni officials say warships shell al Qaeda positions, U.S. denies involvement (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-shelling-idUSKBN15H26I)

...
The naval attacks appear to be part of an intensifying campaign against one of the most active branches of the Islamist militant network.
"Ships fired several missiles towards the al-Maraqisha mountains, where al Qaeda elements are based. The ships are widely believed to be Americans," said one official, who asked not to be identified because of the sensitivity of the matter.

"We have received no information on the outcome of the shelling."
...

The al-Maraqisha mountains are a key al Qaeda stronghold in southern Yemen. Militants took refuge there last year after Yemeni government forces, backed by Arab coalition aircraft, drove them from the cities of Zinjibar and Jaar.
...

U.S. Warships Target al-Qaeda Stronghold in Abyan (http://english.aawsat.com/2017/02/article55366817/u-s-warships-target-al-qaeda-stronghold-abyan)

An al-Qaeda stronghold in Yemen’s Abyan province was targeted on Thursday most likely by U.S. warships, four days after a U.S. operation against the organization in central Yemen, tribal sources said.
...

al-Qaeda spreads again in three towns of Abyan province (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/02/03/Yemen-al-Qaeda-spreads-again-in-three-towns-of-Abyan-province.html)

A Yemeni official and tribal sources said that fighters of al-Qaeda fighters have taken control again in three towns in the Abyan province south of the country.
The security official said that the withdrawal of the security forces from these areas was a protest following the delayed payment of salaries, which facilitated the entry of fighters into Lauder, Shukrah and Aked areas in Abyan.
The official added that the security forces are suffering from a shortage of resources, especially weapons, to confront the enemies. Sources said that al-Qaeda fighters set up checkpoints on the streets in Lauder and blew up two security buildings using explosives.

This comes as warships, believed to be American, bombed strongholds of al-Qaeda in the mountainous area south of the country.
The source confirmed that the ships fired several missiles towards al-Marakichah mountain where al-Qaeda elements are stationed.
...

At the same time, seems this UAE-YNA operation in Mocha is continuing in direction of Hodeida. At least Hadi is promising there will be no ceasefire before that crucial port is captured (and... cough & sigh... 'last venue of'...cough...'Iranian arms smuggling for Houthis is cut off'... sorry, always suffering bronchitis and asthma attacks at that point...).

CrowBat
02-03-2017, 09:54 PM
Damn coughing... missed this one because of it:

US sends Navy destroyer to Yemen (http://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/02/03/US-sends-Navy-destroyer-to-Yemen-amid-Iran-tensions.html)

...The United States has placed a Navy destroyer off the coast of Yemen to protect waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran, two US officials said on Friday, amid heightened tension between Washington and Tehran.

The USS Cole arrived in the vicinity of the Bab al-Mandab Strait off southwestern Yemen where it will carry out patrols including escorting vessels, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.
...

Remember USS Cole...? Yup, that's how the part of the AQ story in the conscience of most of the public began, back in 2001.

Though, if Cole is really there 'to protect waterways from Houthi militia aligned with Iran', then the US should better fire 90% of personnel of something like 17 different intelligence agencies (and about 50 different associated private intelligence companies working for these). Pronto. Namely, in such case the US intel does not know that the Houthi/Saleh coalition fired all of its stocks of C.801s dry.

SWJ Blog
02-04-2017, 10:20 AM
Pentagon Argues Value of Yemen Raid Using Old Evidence (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/pentagon-argues-value-of-yemen-raid-using-old-evidence)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/pentagon-argues-value-of-yemen-raid-using-old-evidence) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

SWJ Blog
02-04-2017, 05:05 PM
Don't Politicize the Failed Yemen Raid (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/dont-politicize-the-failed-yemen-raid)

Entry Excerpt:



--------
Read the full post (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/dont-politicize-the-failed-yemen-raid) and make any comments at the SWJ Blog (http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog).
This forum is a feed only and is closed to user comments.

davidbfpo
02-04-2017, 08:33 PM
Citing Post 135 in part
Some nitpicking here:
This is simply nonsense.

For most of that war, the Egyptians had about 40,000 troops deployed in Yemen. It was only for a short while in 1964 they deployed more, and then their logistics system proved barely able of supporting as many. As anybody writing assessments of this kind should know: keeping 70,000 combat troops supplied in a country where there is very little water to find and even less food to buy, and most of roads are under constant insurgent attacks, is anything but easy.

Whatever, crucial point is: in military sense, Egyptians were not defeated. For them, the war ended with a 'disengagement' similar to that of the USA from Vietnam, in September-October 1967.

Readers may find an old, closed thread in the Historians arena useful: 'The Egyptian-Yemen War', where there are more references and a SME chimes in:http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=2567

CrowBat
02-05-2017, 07:57 AM
Oh, that list contains a few 'would be nice to have' publications...

Here a few additional sources of reference:

- ANDERSSON, L., Svenskarna I Jemen (De Tog Flyget Till Medeltiden: Svenskarna i Jemen), (Uppsala, Z-frlaget, 2008)
ISBN 978-91-633-1930-3

- COOPER, T. & Nicolle, D., Arab MiGs, Volume 3 (Houston, Harpia Publishing LLC, 2012)
ISBN 978-0-9825539-9-2

- COOPER, T., Nicolle, D., & Nordeen, L., Arab MiGs, Volume 4 (Houston, Harpia Publishing LLC, 2013)
ISBN 978-0-985455415

- DRESCH, P., A History of Modern Yemen (Cambridge University Press, 2010)
ISBN 0-521-79482X

- FAWZY, Major-General M., The Three-Years War (in Arabic), (Beirut: Dar Mustakbal al-Arabi, 1998)

- FERRIS, J., Soviet Support for Egypts Intervention in Yemen, 1962-1963, Journal of Cold War Studies, Volume 10, Number 4, Fall 2008, pp5-36 (Article)

- FLINTHAM, V., Air Wars and Aircraft: A Detailed Record of Air Combat, 1945 to the Present (London: Arms and Armour Press, 1989)
ISBN 0-85368-779-X

- GINDY, F. el-, Egyptian Eagles over the Golan (in Arabic), (Cairo, al-Hayah al-Misriyah al-Ammah lil-Kitab, 1992)

- GREEN, W., and FRICKER, J., The Air Forces of the World (London, MacDonald, 1958)

- HART-DAVIS, D., The War That Never Was: The True Story of the Men Who Fought Britain's Most Secret Battle, (London, Century, 2011)
ISBN 9781846058257

- LARON, G., Stepping Back from the Third World, Soviet Policy toward the United Arab Republic, 1965-1967, Journal of Cold War Studies, Volume 12, Number 4, Fall 2010, pp99-118 (Article)

- MENAHIM, Major General K. al-, Egyptian Wars in Modern History (in Arabic), (Beirut: Dar Mustakbal al-Arabi, 1990)

- NICOLLE, D., 'Arabian Texans: T-6s, Harvards etc. With Middle East Air Arms', AirEnthusiast Magazine, No.97, January/February 2002

- NORDEEN, L., and Nicolle, D., Phoenix over the Nile (Washington, Smithsonian, 1996)
ISBN 1-56098-826-3

- OKASHA, Maj-Gen M., Conflict in the Sky: the Egyptian-Israeli Wars, 1948-1967, (Cairo: Ministry of Defence, 1976)

- PIVKA, O. v., Armies of the Middle East (Leicester, Blackfriars Press Ltd., 1979)

- PUCIK, M., Vvoz zbran a pecilnej techniky do zujmovch krajn bvalej ČSSR v sedemdesiatych rokoch, Apolgia magazine (exact volume unknown)

- SCHMIDT, D. A., Yemen: The Unknown War (London, The Bodley Head Ltd. 1968)
SBN 370-00411-6

- STAFRACE, C., Arab Air Forces (Carrollton, Squadron/Signal Publications Inc.)
ISBN 0-89747-326-4

- VYHLIDAL, M., Československ pomoc při vstavbě vojenskho kolstv v arabskm světě v letech 1948 1989 (in Czech), (Brno, Filozoficka fakulta Masarykovy University, 2010. 100 s. Magisterska diplomova prace/thesis, 2010)

- ZDEK, P. and Sieber, K, Československo a Blzk vchod v letech 19481989, stav mezinrodnch vztahů, (Prague, 2009)
ISBN 978-80-86506-76-0

http://www.radfanhunters.co.uk/

Following developments in Yemen since, say, 2004, is a little bit harder - or at least I found it that way: found no serious studies of military developments, only plenty of usual MSM articles.

Namely, I'm currently working on a volume covering aerial warfare - and then primarily operational deployment history of (in chronological order) Egyptian, Saudi, North Yemeni, South Yemeni, and then the united Yemeni air forces - in Yemen between 1962 and 2015. To a significant level based on interviews with Egyptian, Yemeni and Saudi participants, this is to be published by Helion, later this year.

AdamG
02-05-2017, 10:16 PM
What happened the night a U.S. commando was killed in combat, the first such death of Trump's presidency
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/what-happened-the-night-a-us-commando-was-killed-in-combat-the-first-such-death-of-trumps-presidency/ar-AAmCY4B?ocid=spartandhp

OUTLAW 09
02-06-2017, 09:01 AM
What happened the night a U.S. commando was killed in combat, the first such death of Trump's presidency
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/what-happened-the-night-a-us-commando-was-killed-in-combat-the-first-such-death-of-trumps-presidency/ar-AAmCY4B?ocid=spartandhp

Again just more confirmation that this raid was driven by Trump...Bannon and Flynn AND strangely supported by the SecDef trying for a "quick win" for the news cycle in order to depict Trump and hard at work fighting IS/AQ.....

NOTICE that even after the first reports of this raid failure Trump trumpeted "it was highly successful"...since then silence on his part as well as Bannon and Flynn....

I was one of the first pointing out that I had an exact copy of the video from Iraq 2006/2007 and it was just plain old open source materials....

QUOTE
Trump dined the next day with an expanded team, including Mattis, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford and various military and administration officials, among them Vice President Mike Pence, chief strategist Steve Bannon, National Security Advisor Michael Flynn and CIA Director Mike Pompeo.

CENTCOM and the new SecDef urgently need to understand just how they failed and WHY....

OUTLAW 09
02-06-2017, 11:01 AM
CrowBat...any confirmation of this attack....from Russian sources.....


Russian media citing Arabic media reports of Scud missile attack on Riyadh, emanating from Yemen. Any confirmation?
http://www.vedomosti.ru/politics/news/2017/02/06/676334-raketnom-udare-er-riyadu#

CrowBat
02-06-2017, 01:56 PM
Seems Houthi/Saleh reporting about this war is increasingly turning into a lame copy of Russian reporting about Syria.

According to the spokesman (https://twitter.com/Ali_Kourani/status/828384780991463424) for the (Houthi/Saleh) Missile Forces, the last night they should've targeted a military base in al-Mazamiyyah, outside Riyadh.

That's about 1,200km away from Yemen.

But, local sources (https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/2/6/riyadh-military-base-hit-by-houthi-rebel-missile-strike) deny to have at least heard some kind of an explosion, and there is simply no kind of confirmation for Houthis/Saleh really firing any kind of a missile at Saudi Arabia.

Thus, I doubt there was any.

Certainly enough, Houthis/Saleh have assembled three Burkan-1s from several old Scuds, and all three were spent back in October. These had a range of about 600 kilometres, and - as could be expected from such an improvisation like they were - proved anything but 'reliable'.

A fourth Burkan-1 was assembled in January this year and fired on the 31st. But, while Houthis/Saleh claimed this 'killed 80 mercenaries' on Zuqar Island in the Red Sea, the other side didn't find that attack even worth mentioning.

Of course, there is always a chance of the Missile Force assembling another - and even longer-ranged - example from bits and pieces of various other Scuds left from earlier times; perhaps even examples partially destroyed during earlier Saudi-led air strikes on Camp Bild ar-Rus (former major base of the Missile Batteries Group). But, that's unlikely to result in a particularly effective piece of military machinery (especially not one capable of reaching 1,200km away).

Overall, the momentum is clearly against Houthi/Saleh and it's certain they are desperate for any kind of success. That's the reason for ever more fantastic claims: first that with 'missile strike that destroyed a Saudi warship' - which then turned out to have been an attack by a remote-controlled or a suicide boat - that barely damaged the ship in question.

(Here that attack as captured on the video system of the warship in question:
https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/2017/02/06/%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88-%D9%8A%D8%A4%D9%83%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%B1%D 9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B7%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-.html. Attached is a photo of the frigate, taken two days ago as she was returning to the port of Jeddah for repairs.)

Actually, the Houthi/Saleh coalition is running out of money to pay their combatants, there are rumours about infighting between the Houthis and the Saleh-loyalists. Houthis have also imposed a strict ban on all sorts of cell-phones, digital cameras etc., in order to prevent any kind of reporting about what's going on on different battlefields, meanwhile.

They know they are losing this war, and there's no way they can win it any more.

OUTLAW 09
02-06-2017, 05:54 PM
The "Yemeni Missile Forces" reveal their "Vulcano 2" ballistic missile that they say struck a military base outside Riyadh on Sunday.

Announced by #Yemen Defence Ministry : New ballistic missile called [ Burkan-2 ] (Volcano-2). One hit #Saudi capital Riyadh : 5 more ready.

OUTLAW 09
02-06-2017, 06:20 PM
VIDEO: New footage emerges of suicide boat hitting Saudi naval ship.....

https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/2017/02/06/%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88-%D9%8A%D8%A4%D9%83%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%B1%D 9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B7%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-.html

Not a #Yemen "suicide boat" on #Saudi navy frigate : Remote-controlled drone torpedo craft with explosives from a 2,000kg Russian sea mine.

OUTLAW 09
02-06-2017, 06:52 PM
All commercial ships reminded to keep AIS & other civilian beacons on at all times in transit Gulf of Aden & Red Sea off #Yemen.

OUTLAW 09
02-06-2017, 07:15 PM
Yemen is the first battleground in Trump's confrontation with Iran
http://read.bi/2jURZiM

Azor
02-06-2017, 08:53 PM
Overall, the momentum is clearly against Houthi/Saleh and it's certain they are desperate for any kind of success. That's the reason for ever more fantastic claims: first that with 'missile strike that destroyed a Saudi warship' - which then turned out to have been an attack by a remote-controlled or a suicide boat - that barely damaged the ship in question.

(Here that attack as captured on the video system of the warship in question:
https://www.alarabiya.net/ar/2017/02/06/%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88-%D9%8A%D8%A4%D9%83%D8%AF-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%87%D8%AC%D9%88%D9%85-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A7%D9%86%D8%AA%D8%AD%D8%A7%D8%B1%D 9%8A-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%81%D8%B1%D9%82%D8%A7%D8%B7%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B3%D8%B9%D9%88%D8%AF%D9%8A%D8%A9-.html. Attached is a photo of the frigate, taken two days ago as she was returning to the port of Jeddah for repairs.)

They know they are losing this war, and there's no way they can win it any more.

That's an outstanding video clip, Tom. I saw the Houthi/Saleh video and it was hard to tell what hit the ship, but your clip from onboard the frigate indicates that it was some sort of UUV, and a relatively unguided one at that. I would imagine that torpedoes would produce less of a wake...

CrowBat
02-07-2017, 09:37 AM
What's almost 'amazing' is that the vehicle in question didn't change course: it went straight in. The Saudi skipper appears to have accelerated away, thus evading a direct hit: I would say the vehicle actually detonated in the wake.

*************

BTW, here another of beautiful examples at how when it comes to Yemen, our decision-makers are fed a diet consisting of mix of truths and literal 'no-information': after having cashed at least €50,000 for its 'work' (and perhaps two times as much), the European Union Institute for Security Studies issued the 4-page paper Whatever happened to Yemen's Army (http://www.iss.europa.eu/uploads/media/Brief_9_Yemen.pdf).

The first two pages are excellent (well, down to such details like that the Republican Guards eventually consisted of 22 brigades, not of 9, as stated in that paper). Especially the diagram on page 2 is really useful for everybody's orientation. It explains the reasons for rifts that ripped the Yemeni military apart in period 2011-2015.

However, the rest is shockingly useless. For a paper issued in April 2015, it can only be described as a blissful failure to analyse precisely the topic it's discussing: what happened with Yemen's Army.

Namely, had the ladies and gentlemen of the EUISS paid attention, they would have discovered that 60% of that military has sided with the Houthis - which in turn is the primary reason why the Saudi-led military intervention failed to dislodge 'the Houthis' from so much of Yemen until this very day.

In turn, the EUISS could've issued a timely warning of a prolonged war - and thus for all the problems specific EU governments are meanwhile facing due to their arms sales to the Saudis & Co.

davidbfpo
02-07-2017, 01:50 PM
Via an e-briefing from MSF a first-hand report on the humanitarian situation:https://www.msf.org.uk/article/yemen-going-warzone-no-adventure? (https://www.msf.org.uk/article/yemen-going-warzone-no-adventure?utm_source=Feb+e-newsletter+2017&utm_medium=Email&utm_content=Yemenbtn&utm_campaign=5224426)

Azor
02-07-2017, 07:03 PM
What's almost 'amazing' is that the vehicle in question didn't change course: it went straight in.

Sounds like me on hip-hop night :cool:

OUTLAW 09
02-08-2017, 12:03 PM
Yemen #Houthis lost port town al-Mukha
http://wikimapia.org/#lang=de&lat=13.325485&lon=43.255920&z=13&m=b#

OUTLAW 09
02-08-2017, 06:35 PM
The war in Yemen: 40 photos of the conflict pitting Iran-allied Houthis against a Saudi-led Sunni Arab coalition
http://reut.rs/2ks3QUe

CrowBat
02-12-2017, 07:04 AM
Sorry but can't hear nor see this with 'Iranian-backed Houthis', 'Iranian proxies' etc. any more. Really, that's just plain nonsense.

It was already back in April 2015 (http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/4/17/us-generals-think-saudi-strikes-in-yemen-a-bad-idea.html) that US SOCOM officers that used to serve in Yemen, have declared the entire Saudi-led operation for a 'bad idea', and clearly stated:


"These constant reports that the Houthis are working for the Iranians are nonsense, but the view is right out of the neocon playbook,” he said. “The Israelis have been touting this line that we lost Yemen to Iran. That’s absurd. The Houthis don’t need Iranian weapons. They have plenty of their own. And they don’t require military training. They’ve been fighting Al-Qaeda since at least 2012, and they’ve been winning. Why are we fighting a movement that’s fighting Al-Qaeda?”

Instead, Trump's and his odballs are now babbling about a 'major confrontation with Iran in Yemen' and 'defence against terrorism' and whatever else - and this at the time that 'Vice President' and 'Deputy Supreme Commander' of Hadi's 'Yemen government' - namely Major-General Ali Mohsen - is well-known for having close ties to jihadists and Moslem Brotherhood already since late 1980s, and direct links to the AQAP since this was established (in 2009).

Perhaps they could first show some evidence for at least one IRGC thug in Yemen: eight years since such claims were published for the first time (by Saudis and by Israelis), it would be about the time to do so.

CrowBat
02-13-2017, 06:34 AM
And another Emirati base is about to emerge on the Horn of Africa, this time in Somaliland (http://www.dailystar.com.lb/News/Middle-East/2017/Feb-12/393315-somaliland-agrees-to-uae-military-base-in-northern-port.ashx):

Somalia's breakaway northern territory of Somaliland has said the United Arab Emirates can establish a military base in its territory.

The Emirati government in January submitted a formal application seeking permission from the Somaliland government to open a military base in the port town of Berbera.

The parliament of Somaliland on Sunday approved the UAE plan. The plan is controversial and the neighboring countries of Ethiopia and Djibouti are opposed to it, according to local reports.

In Sunday's vote 144 lawmakers were in favor of the military base, two voted against and two abstained. Nine others opposed to the base shouted against President Ahmed Silanyo and were led out of the chamber by soldiers. Silanyo had spoken in favor of the base, saying it would create jobs in Somaliland.

The UAE government is planning to establish a naval base with warships that would be used to attack Shia Houthi fighters fighting the government in Yemen, according to a Somaliland official who insisted on anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the press.

Speaking at the parliament session, Somaliland's president said that the military base would benefit Somaliland most and help create jobs.

The plan follows a multimillion dollar, 30-year contract for UAE's international ports operator, DP World, to manage Somaliland's largest port, Berbera.
...What DailyStar missed is that the purpose of the same will be for the Emiratis to fight the AQAP in Yemen, though.

CrowBat
02-13-2017, 03:51 PM
...before somebody starts to scream about 'total war between Saudi Arabia and Emirates in Yemen'...

Yesteday, a group of disgruntled members of the al-Hizam al-Amni - an UAE-set-up security service for Hadi, primarily responsible for defence from AQAP - opened fire at an UAEAF AH-64 Apache helicopter underway near the Aden IAP.

Media then reported that the 'Saudis opened fire at Emiratis' - which is pure BS.

Actually, the crew of the Apache in question returned fire and knocked out one of HA's vehicles. Perhaps killed three of dummies that fired at it (that's unclear). Those responsible for opening fire (including the head of the HA in Aden) were then arrested and Hadi meanwhile ordered the HA to be integrated into the Ministry of Interior.

It appears the entire affair was provoked by usual practices of such Yemeni 'generals' like Hadi, Ali Mohsen and others - though introduced and then happily spread by nobody less but Saleh, already back in early 1980s - along which commanders are pocketing pays of their troops. They do this so that they report their units at 100% of their authorised strength, while actually keeping them at anything between 50 and 70%. Thus they can pocket pays for between 30 and 50% of troops that are not there (so-called 'phantom troops'). Whenever one of thugs considers his cut for not enough then he goes further and out of, say, 12 monthly vages he should pay his their troops, he usually pays only 10.

BTW, all of this is why nobody really knows the actual troop strength of all the Yemeni military branches, parties etc.

...some lovely allies there, Trump wants to fight for...

CrowBat
02-14-2017, 12:07 PM
Here a short report about what has the potential of becoming quite an interesting issue. Namely, according to article a Shi'a Syrian-Iraqi militia, backed by Iran, threatened U.S. ships in the Red Sea in response to Trumps travel ban in a speech aired on an al Houthi news outlet from Hezbollah territory in Beirut (https://www.qasioun.net/ar/news/show/51262/%D8%B2%D8%B9%D9%8A%D9%85_%D9%85%D9%8A%D9%84%D9%8A% D8%B4%D9%8A%D8%A7_%D8%A3%D8%A8%D9%88_%D8%A7%D9%84% D9%81%D8%B6%D9%84_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%B9%D8%A8%D8%A7%D 8%B3_%D9%8A%D9%87%D8%AF%D8%AF_%D8%A8%D8%B6%D8%B1%D 8%A8_%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A8%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%B1%D8%AC_%D 8%A7%D9%84%D8%A3%D9%85%D8%B1%D9%8A%D9%83%D9%8A%D8% A9_%D9%81%D9%8A%D8%AF%D9%8A%D9%88) (in Arabic), the Iraqi-Syrian Shi'a militia Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas (aka 'LAFA') intends to 'expand' to... well, at least the Red Sea, if not outright to Yemen.

This is not only surprising, but might point in direction of a major escalation.

Namely, the group in question is the Abu al-Fadl al-Abbas militia ('LAFA'). This was something like the 'core' of what subsequently developed into the Hezbollah/Syria and an entire myriad of additional Shi'a militias in Syria. Unlike Hezbollah and Harakat an-Nujba, they are allied but not subordinated to the IRGC. But, they are supported by the IRGC.

LAFA's militia was greatly expanded the last two years (from one into at least three brigades; majority of staff is meanwhile of Syrian origin, while about 700 remain Iraqi citizens).

So far, the primary difference between the LAFA and the IRGC/Hezbollah conglomerate is that the LAFA doesn't espouse the Khomeinist ideology of Wilayat al-Faqih, i.e. 'Guardianship of the Jurist'. If they are now 'represented' in Lebanon, and then issuing such threats, and if they now want to expand their activities even further, and then to Yemen... well, Trump might get his 'Iranians' he's looking for in that country.

CrowBat
02-15-2017, 02:32 PM
Here comes the next hype: no, there are no 'Houthi air defences', and they didn't shot down a Saudi jet over Ma'rib (https://twitter.com/MIG29_/status/831608307911626752).

Saudi (or, more likely: Emirati) air defences have shot down a Houthi/Saleh ballistic missile over Ma'rib.

And finally, thanks whomever, a sane assessment in following regards: Iran’s Small Hand in Yemen (http://carnegieendowment.org/sada/67988) (though I wouldn't call that even a 'Iran's Small Finger in Yemen'):


Claims of Iran’s influence over the Houthis have been overblown. While the Houthis do receive some support from Iran, it is mostly political, with minimal financial and military assistance. However, since the Houthis took control of Sanaa, the group has increasingly been portrayed as “Iran-backed” or “Shia,” often suggesting a sectarian relationship with the Islamic Republic. Yet until after the 2011 upheavals, the term “Shia” was not used in the Yemeni public to refer to any Yemeni groups or individuals. The Houthis do not follow the Twelver Shia tradition predominant in Iran, but adhere to the Zaidiya, which in practice is closer to Sunni Islam, and had expressed no solidarity with other Shia communities.

Although Iran sees cooperation with non-state actors as an integral part of its foreign policy to protect and expand its influence in the region, its support for the Houthis has been marginal.
...

OUTLAW 09
02-16-2017, 08:30 AM
Finally now confirmed as the Trump WH had trumpeted the great highly successful Yemen raid dismissing anyone who critiqued it as being basically "unAmerican" and aiding IS......

BUT WAIT.....

"Pro-government tribal leader among dead in #US raid in #Yemen"
https://apnews.com/d927fc2962f44a6d8edf6a790b556bbc#

Yemen had initially indicated his killing BUT the Trump WH glossed over it by basically ignoring his killing by ST6....

Complicates even more Yemen...

CrowBat
02-16-2017, 09:03 AM
Well, one can't really expect Trump & Co KG GesmbH to understand fine nuances of all the possible 'supporters of legitimacy'. On the contrary: it's unAmerican to behave that way. :D

Namely, imagine how brazen these Yemenis are: they have several big groups of Salafists - yes, SALAFISTS - fighting the AQAP!

Take that Dar al-Hadith network as example: these thugs consist of some five groups expelled by Houthis from their historical centre in Dammaj, back in early 2014. One of groups in question is calling itself the 'Islam Guard': that's both clearly making them terrorists, isn't it?

Anyway...They run away to Ta'izz, and played a dominant role in fighting the Houthis/YA during the siege. So, they are fighting the AQAP and the Houthis. Clearly, that's making them double and tripple terrorists, just for the sake of all the confusion such positions like theirs are causing.

And to make matters even worse: in the course of that battle they closely cooperated with various local groups (so-called 'Popular Resistance') including various Islah Party/Moslem Brotherhood groups - and this entirely without support from Hadi's 'government'. Nah, they dared entering direct cooperation with Saudis instead. Satisfied by their effectiveness, the Saudis then re-deployed one of groups to northern Yemen, and unleashed them upon the Sa'adah Province, where they secured the al-Buqa border crossing and the area...

Ah yes: and Emiratis took away another group, and are using it to fight the AQAP in Abyan, together with a number of other local tribes, nearly all of which are anti-AQAP (as should be known at least since the Battle of Zinjibar, back in 2011). And that's how comes a 'Hadi allies' tribal chief got killed in the US raid.

Complex, isn't it? All because these damn Yemenis don't want to agree that they are all terrorists... :rolleyes:

davidbfpo
03-04-2017, 10:45 AM
From The Soufan Report, citing one part of BLUF and a taut sentence later:
BLUF On March 2, the U.S. conducted 25 manned and unmanned airstrikes in Yemen targeting al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

Conducting counterterrorism operations in the midst of a civil war requires combat within combat—an exceedingly difficult and dangerous task. The increase in U.S. operations in Yemen indicates the serious concern in Washington over the threat posed by AQAP.Link:http://www.soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-the-u-s-ramps-up-operations-in-yemen/

SWJ Blog
03-08-2017, 04:01 AM
The Adaptive Transformation of Yemen’s Republican Guard (http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/the-adaptive-transformation-of-yemen%E2%80%99s-republican-guard)

An interesting Journal article, notably on how adaptive a formation can be, although the term 'brigade' does not seem to fit when so many soldiers are "ghosts".

CrowBat
03-08-2017, 02:43 PM
Some of unit-designations are off (for example: author is using designations of ballistic missile brigades as introduced following Hadi's reform of 2012), and author seems not to know about Saleh's contacts to local businessmen and smugglers (who were the ones that brought him to power), but generally: a very good piece.

Azor
03-14-2017, 04:58 AM
By Brian M. Perkins...

https://warontherocks.com/2017/03/the-risks-of-forgetting-yemens-southern-secessionist-movement/


The botched special operations raid in al-Bayda that resulted in the death of William “Ryan” Owens and several Yemeni civilians on January 29 brought renewed attention to al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and the Houthis’ war in Yemen. However, the media has all but forgotten about the Southern secessionists, Hirak, a movement that will be essential to establishing lasting peace in Yemen whenever hostilities finally end. Hirak, now frequently referred to as the Southern Resistance, is a movement comprised of several ideologically and politically fragmented factions that share a common desire for Southern independence, either through the creation of a southern federal region or outright secession. The movement shares some of the same grievances as those that led the Houthis to seize Sanaa in 2014, but the civil war that has raged since then has only stoked their desire for independence from the North.

Civil wars create unusual alliances. Hirak has been a quiet force behind the Yemeni government and Saudi coalition’s military successes in the south, but the group’s military alliance with exiled President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi and Saudi Arabia does not presage a smooth transition when the war ends. Saudi Arabia, emboldened by signs of support from the #Trump administration, appears keen on securing a military victory rather than pursuing a political solution with the Houthis. However, there will eventually come a time when the Houthis, Hadi, and Saudi Arabia return to the table to end hostilities and establish the terms of a transitional Yemeni government. When that time does come, the pressures holding the Hirak-Hadi alliance together will dissipate as pre-conflict fractures reemerge. The United States, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Gulf Cooperation Council# must involve Hirak in the process to avoid repeating the same mistakes made in the flawed agreement and National Dialogue Conference that followed Yemen’s Arab Spring uprising in 2011.

Shared Grievances, Different Approaches

Southern military and political leaders in Aden formed Hirak in 2007. The peaceful protest movement aimed to call attention to the exclusionary policies of northern elites who captured many key government and military positions following Yemen’s unification in 1990 and the civil war in 1994. After attempts to secede during the civil war, the movement spread east from Aden to al-Mahra and began addressing broader grievances such as the appropriation of southern land and resources. This helped build secessionist sentiment across the south. However, secessionist sentiment is still most popular in Aden and southwestern cities, where residents hold fond memories of the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen’s socialist past. Southerners from more tribal southwestern governorates such as Hadramawt are skeptical of their counterpart’s socialist leanings and the idea of secession, but they share a common desire of greater independence from the north.

The Houthis and southerners were both politically and economically marginalized in their respective areas of the country by former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who sought to limit the power of those who might pose a threat to the ruling General People’s Congress. Saleh cracked down on the Houthis due to their advocacy for maintaining Zaydi religious traditions and outspoken criticism of the relationship between Yemen and the United States. Hirak was marginalized because of Saleh’s distrust of southern military officials and the region’s abundant resources, which were exploited to line the regime’s coffers. Both faced violent military crackdowns, but Hirak’s confrontations with the military pale in comparison to the six Saada Wars fought between Houthis and the Yemeni military between 2004 and 2009 .# Although Hirak’s grievances are tied to local political realities, the group’s disdain for the ruling elite led them to find common cause with the Houthis during the Arab Spring and while participating in the National Dialogue Conference.

Among the most important and elusive goals of the conference was the establishment of a new state structure that would reconcile tensions with the Houthis in Saada and satiate Hirak’s desire for southern independence. The “8+8 committee,” comprised of eight representatives from the north and eight from the south agreed to transform Yemen into a federal entity in December 2013 but did not agree on the boundaries or number of federal regions. Without consulting the 8+8 committee, a different committee appointed by Hadi created six new federal regions – Saba, Azal, al-Janad, Tihama, Aden, and Hadramawt – and sent the proposal to the Constitution Drafting Committee for acceptance in the conference outcomes.

Thus, although the National Dialogue Conference gave greater representation to Yemen’s youth and women, it still clearly favored the interests of the United States and the Gulf monarchies because it ensured that Yemen would be governed by a well-known, predictable political figure willing to support U.S. operations against al-Qaeda and mantain an amicable relationship with the Gulf Cooperation Council. As a result, it was viewed by many Yemenis, not least the Houthis and Hirak, as an elite pact that sought to demobilize groups that participated in the Arab Spring uprisings. The entrenched political and bureaucratic structures that Yemenis fought so hard to dismantle were intentionally left intact by the Saudi-sponsored agreement, which favored maintaining the status quo over social justice and the creation of a progressive democracy.

Hirak and the Houthis immediately rejected the outcome. #While Hirak staged demonstrations across Southern Yemen, the Houthis were making their march toward Sanaa, where they seized control of the government. In September 2014, the Houthis signed the Peace and National Partnership Agreement with President Hadi. This called for the implementation of the National Dialogue Conference plan, provided that the state’s structure was revisited, and the formation of an inclusive government with Houthi and Hirak representatives serving as presidential advisors. Hirak supported the agreement and southern representatives engaged favorably in the short-lived process.

However, Hirak’s relationship with the Houthis soured when the latter’s forces began laying siege to southern towns in pursuit of Hadi, who resigned on January 22, 2015 before fleeing to Aden in February . The Houthi’s plundering of southern territory was too reminiscent of previous northern hostilities for Hirak to support the Houthis, pushing them into an uneasy relationship with Hadi and the Saudi coalition...

CrowBat
03-14-2017, 07:25 PM
^^Nearly fell of my chair when reading the article linked above^^: hard to believe, but this is one of perhaps a handful of similarly-sized pieces about Yemen I can completely agree with.

Really, 'well done'.

I already wrote to the author, adding I would be curious to read similar pieces on such topics like:

- status of diverse Yemeni tribal confederations;

- reality about supposed 'sectarian' war (propagated by Saudis, while, actually, there are plenty of Shafis fighting on the side of the Houthi-Saleh coalition, while at least as many Zaidis are fighting against that coalition - as for it); and then

- something about 'minute differences' (often of crucial importance) 'even' between different of local Salafist movements (which, in turn, are not to be mixed with AQAP or the Daesh).

I guess, especially the latter would be a true 'eye-opener' for many.

Azor
03-14-2017, 09:18 PM
^^Nearly fell of my chair when reading the article linked above^^: hard to believe, but this is one of perhaps a handful of similarly-sized pieces about Yemen I can completely agree with.

Really, 'well done'.

I already wrote to the author, adding I would be curious to read similar pieces on such topics like:

- status of diverse Yemeni tribal confederations;

- reality about supposed 'sectarian' war (propagated by Saudis, while, actually, there are plenty of Shafis fighting on the side of the Houthi-Saleh coalition, while at least as many Zaidis are fighting against that coalition - as for it); and then

- something about 'minute differences' (often of crucial importance) 'even' between different of local Salafist movements (which, in turn, are not to be mixed with AQAP or the Daesh).

I guess, especially the latter would be a true 'eye-opener' for many.

He did seem to "get it", didn't he?

CrowBat
03-14-2017, 10:28 PM
Yup, he did.

He didn't get everything in my requests for 'further reading', though: especially the part about 'various other Salafist groups'. ;-)

davidbfpo
03-18-2017, 11:33 AM
From the BBC:
Forty-two people have been killed when a boat carrying Somali refugees off the coast of Yemen was fired at from a helicopter, the International Organisation for Migration says.
A Yemeni trafficker who survived the attack told the Associated Press that the boat was fired at by a helicopter gunship and a military vessel.Saudi Arabia, which is leading a US-backed coalition in the war in Yemen, has US-built Apache helicopter gunships. The coalition, which in general controls Yemen's airspace, has not commented on the incident.Link:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-39302560

OUTLAW 09
03-20-2017, 08:51 AM
Saudi coalition intercepting ballistic missile over Mocha

OUTLAW 09
03-23-2017, 02:05 PM
Need proof that Iran and the Houthis are one and the same?
https://watchjerusalem.co.il/2017/03/23/reuters-iran-increasing-support-for-houthis-in-yemen/#

davidbfpo
03-23-2017, 04:34 PM
Need proof that Iran and the Houthis are one and the same?
https://watchjerusalem.co.il/2017/03/23/reuters-iran-increasing-support-for-houthis-in-yemen/#

Outlaw 09,

Not a source I would cite.:rolleyes:

On the linked article within the author refers to:
It was a part of a deliberate and calculated Iranian strategy to conquer the Red Sea. This strategy is revealed in a powerful prophecy in the biblical book of Daniel. As astounding as it may sound, the Prophet Daniel foretold what just happened in Yemen! He even mentions names of individual nations along the Red Sea corridor that will be aligned with Iran.
Link:https://watchjerusalem.co.il/2015/04/28/iran-gets-a-stranglehold-on-the-middle-east/


Their About section explains a little more:https://watchjerusalem.co.il/about/

OUTLAW 09
03-23-2017, 06:42 PM
Outlaw 09,

Not a source I would cite.:rolleyes:

On the linked article within the author refers to:
Link:https://watchjerusalem.co.il/2015/04/28/iran-gets-a-stranglehold-on-the-middle-east/


Their About section explains a little more:https://watchjerusalem.co.il/about/

Understand the source but then this does tie Iran to Yemen....:D

One of the ways they linked the Qasef-1 drone being used in Yemen to Iran's Ababil-II variant UAVs is by its vertical gyroscope, here.....

That vertical gyroscope has been seen in Iran's Ababil-3 UAV. A few weeks ago, ISIS showed off a captured Ababil-3 in Iraq. Screenshots:

OUTLAW 09
03-27-2017, 04:40 PM
Thousands rally in support of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi movement on war's anniversary
http://read.bi/2oqcv8J

OUTLAW 09
03-29-2017, 10:15 AM
The charade continues: Houthi military unveil the 'domestically developed' Qaher-M2 missile, which in reality is an Iranian Tondar-69 SRBM.

davidbfpo
03-29-2017, 12:20 PM
The Soufan Report comments on a possible change of US policy and ends with:
While the civil war in Yemen is highly complex, U.S. involvement since the beginning of the conflict in March 2015 has consistently lacked an overarching objective and a coherent strategy to achieve it. Initial U.S. support to the anti-Houthi coalition under the Obama administration was neither able to shift the military dynamic of the conflict, nor minimize civilian casualties from Saudi airstrikes. Initial U.S. support likewise did nothing to stop the expansion of al-Qaeda and the Islamic State in Yemen. Given the static dynamics of the conflict, there is no reason to believe that renewed U.S. support for the Saudi-led coalition would now achieve any of these goals. Furthermore, while the U.S. has a clear interest in combating international terror groups in Yemen, claiming a stake in the Yemeni civil war risks repeating the same mistakes the U.S. made in Syria and Iraq, where U.S. support was viewed as an attempt to underwrite the agenda of one regional sectarian power at the expense of another.Link:http://www.soufangroup.com/tsg-intelbrief-trump-eyes-expanding-role-in-yemen/

There is a WaPo report and three comments on this:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/trump-administration-weighs-deeper-involvement-in-yemen-war

For a moment stand back and ponder how the imagery of millions of starving Yemenis will play out globally.

Yes, I know Yemeni civil society is a "jungle" and Yemenis are currently fighting each other and the coalition - a task that comes first for the armed groups.

No guesses who is most likely to gain from an increased US role and who is most likely to feed the Yemeni people.

CrowBat
03-30-2017, 05:30 AM
The charade continues: Houthi military unveil the 'domestically developed' Qaher-M2 missile, which in reality is an Iranian Tondar-69 SRBM.
...rather something that was already around when Gary Powers was shot down over Sverdlovsk: a Soviet-made 'SA-2 Guideline'. ;-)

OUTLAW 09
03-30-2017, 09:05 AM
Ship of Interest:

Danish flag vessel Marianne Danica transits Bosphorus en route to Jeddah carrying weapons & ammo from Burgas to #Yemen

CrowBat
03-31-2017, 02:48 AM
The ammo Saudis are buying in countries like Bulgaria is underway for Syria: Saudi military in Yemen needs nothing of East European origin.

OUTLAW 09
03-31-2017, 03:53 AM
The ammo Saudis are buying in countries like Bulgaria is underway for Syria: Saudi military in Yemen needs nothing of East European origin.

CrowBat...just then a question ...is the given end destination incorrect?

As that would be a long haul back to Syria? Or is it the actual rat run?

OUTLAW 09
04-01-2017, 05:36 AM
If you've never heard of the "Yemen-Somalia Agent Information Exchange Conference" you may want to read this
http://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/8851/america-is-expanding-its-secretive-war-in-somalia#

davidbfpo
04-04-2017, 11:37 AM
Helen Lackner (who has been cited before as SME) via Open Democracy has a grim assessment of the Yemen as it enters the third year of a war. Near the end - as a sample - she concludes:
In conclusion, as we enter the third year of this awful war, the only new feature is the impending famine which is likely to kill thousands, possibly hundreds of thousands. Yemenis are not starving, they are actively being starved first by their own warmonger leaders, and second by the foreign states which feed this war with weapons and ammunition and allow the blockade of food and fuel. Prospects for peace are nowhere in sight. No serious pressure is being put on the internationally recognised government and its coalition partners to compromise while the other side has enough military capacity to continue indefinitely.Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/arab-awakening/helen-lackner/war-in-yemen-two-years-old-and-maturing?

Pretty damming is this passage:
Since the conflict began, the US and UK have together transferred more than US$5 billion worth of arms to Saudi Arabia, more than 10 times the US$450 million that the US State Department and the UK’s Department for International Development have spent or budgeted for aid to Yemen.

davidbfpo
04-10-2017, 05:25 PM
Hat tip to WoTR for this commentary by two former Dept. of State staff on US policy towards the Yemen and they end with:
Ratcheting up U.S. military support for the quixotic, inhumane, and dangerous pursuit of Saudi Arabia’s anti-Iranian agenda in Yemen, in the words of Talleyrand, “would be worse than a crime, it would be a mistake.”

Link: https://warontherocks.com/2017/04/doubling-down-on-americas-misadventure-in-yemen/

OUTLAW 09
04-15-2017, 08:41 AM
What's Really at Stake for America in Yemen's Conflict

As the Trump administration navigates the risks of escalation, there’s a real danger it will get the calculus wrong.

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/04/yemen-trump-aqap/522957/

davidbfpo
04-16-2017, 09:28 PM
Via a Norwegian newspaper and sub-titled:
In an interview, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) explains that it is halting international operations and tells why the group currently do not welcome foreign fighters.In detail, not a precise quotation:
During the exchange with VG, AQAP provides the following reasons for this:
• Due to the extreme ideas of the Islamic State (IS), foreigners/non-Yemenis have forgotten al-Qaida’s message and their outlook has become contaminated. As a result, they are no longer coming and/or are no longer welcome.
• Foreigners walk out into the streets and are difficult for AQAP to control. As a result of this, they become a target, and for this reason they are not welcome.
• In order to control areas of Yemen, AQAP has entered into an agreement with local tribal and religious leaders. This agreement entails an understanding that the group will not carry out international operations for as long as it remains in place. Implicit to this agreement is the notion that the group currently has no need for foreigners who are able to return to the West in order to carry out terrorist activities, including those such as Dale from Norway.Link:http://www.vg.no/nyheter/utenriks/krim/yemen-s-al-qaida-entered-agreement-with-tribal-leaders-not-to-attack-the-west/a/23974002/

Elisabeth Kendall, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, who I have cited before as a SME adds her analysis.

OUTLAW 09
04-17-2017, 07:28 PM
Saudi military spokesman says in @AlArabiya interview that President El-Sisi offered 30,000-40,000 Egyptian troops to fight in #Yemen War

From yesterday.....

CrowBat
04-19-2017, 11:45 AM
CrowBat...just then a question ...is the given end destination incorrect?Sort of, yes.

The reporter thinks the Saudis are going to use these arms in Yemen - while they're going to forward them to insurgents in Syria.


As that would be a long haul back to Syria? Or is it the actual rat run?The ship must not be unloaded in Saudi Arabia, i.e. bound for that country: it can stop and unload the cargo anyway underway too - so also in Turkey or in Jordan (Aqaba, for example).

And even if it unloads in Saudi Arabia: keep in mind all the 'intermediaries' involved in such deals. There are certainly at lest 2-3 of them, and they all have to cash... their relatives running transportation businesses too, etc., etc., etc.

OUTLAW 09
04-27-2017, 04:32 PM
Houthi Rebels Use Another Unmanned Boat Bomb Against the Saudis
http://www.nbcnews.com/card/houthi-rebels-use-another-unmanned-boat-bomb-against-saudis-n751651?utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=New%20Campaign&utm_term=%2ASituation%20Report#

davidbfpo
05-01-2017, 11:49 AM
Not exactly a new ploy in the Yemen, but read on:https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/al-qaeda-s-down-but-not-out-in-yemen-fv5p3s3pc?shareToken=d15bcdcc8153d7a7980ff4ed27ab4 565

Azor
06-01-2017, 04:15 PM
By Joshua Koontz at War On The Rocks: https://warontherocks.com/2017/06/irans-growing-casualty-count-in-yemen/

On March 21 of this year, “Sandstorm Madar,” a massive dust storm pushed by wild winds and saturated with thunderstorms shrouded Saudi Arabia and angled towards the Kingdom’s southwest border with Yemen. Debris-laden gusts blocked the sky, closed schools, reduced ground visibility to less than a meter, and obscured satellite coverage. Against the Madar’s cloaking headwinds, an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) officer, known by his nom de guerre “Abu Ali,” led a 52-man Houthi armored assault convoy armed with Katyusha missile launchers out of the northern Yemeni governorate of Sa’ada, and into Saudi Arabia’s Asir border province. Their aim was to conduct a series of early morning raids.

Using their missiles for suppressive fire, the Houthi forces attacked the Saudi border village of Dharan al-Janub before veering south to seize the Saudi al-Alab border station. After taking control of the al-Alab command center, Houthi combat engineers laced the compound with explosives and leveled it. A Saudi quick reaction force, accompanied by F-15 “Eagle Fighters,” responded to the raid. In the resultant onslaught, the IRGC officer along with 40 Houthi fighters were killed, 12 others were wounded, and their vehicles and missile launchers were destroyed.

The slain IRGC commander, “Abu Ali,” was known for leading prior Houthi raids against Saudi Arabia and providing training and operational supervision for the Hussein Brigades, an elite Houthi ground unit in northern and central Yemen.

Iran’s support for the Houthi insurgency has exacerbated the Yemen conflict and triggered an explosive reaction from the Gulf States and especially Saudi Arabia.

The Saudi-led coalition’s muscular response has been widely examined and criticized, but one aspect of this war has received scant coverage: the steep and increasing casualty count of IRGC and Hizballah operatives in Yemen. The Houthi raid and its aftermath exemplify Iran’s growing casualty rate and increasing costs in Yemen. Forty-four IRGC and Hizballah operatives have been killed or captured in Yemen’s civil war, based upon an analysis of Yemeni and Gulf Arabic news reports on killed, captured, and wounded advisers in Yemen over the last two years. Outside of a few vague statements, Iran and Hizballah have not publicly commented about their military operations or losses in Yemen. This is a notable contrast to their litany of martyrdom press releases arising from battlefield losses in Iraq and Syria.

https://2k8r3p1401as2e1q7k14dguu-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/Koontz-Casualty-Chart-1024x394.jpg

The results of Iran’s adventurism can be understood through an analysis of its strategy, missile attacks, military training programs, logistics and supply, and maritime operations throughout Yemen’s two-year civil war.

Iran’s Strategic Raison d’Etre in Yemen

Iranian support for the Houthis is part of Iran’s encirclement strategy for the Arabian Peninsula in which it utilizes covert support for disenfranchised Shia communities to seed rebellions that could replace Sunni regimes with pro-Tehran regimes. The resulting instability also diverts the attention of Gulf and Western countries away from directly addressing Iran. Over the past two years, Iran has provided training and support for terrorist cells whose goal is to assassinate government officials and damage key infrastructure in Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Arrests of Iranian-backed cells in Bahrain are surging as well.

In Yemen, the Houthis have traditionally been a low-end investment that has yielded high-end returns for Iran – but that calculation appears to be inverting. At the start of Yemen’s civil war, Iranian and Hizballah advisers avoided direct engagements and focused on train-and-equip programs for the Houthis. Joint IRGC-Hizballah training camps, generally located far from the frontlines, allowed both groups to maintain a small footprint and minimize battlefield losses in Yemen while maximizing force commitments in the Syria and Iraq conflicts.

Following the sudden collapse of the Yemeni military in September 2014, al-Qaeda exploited the security vacuum to form political and military alliances with Sunni tribal militias in the northern, central, and eastern governorates. Al-Qaeda and Sunni tribal fighters defended these territories and inflicted Hizballah’s first losses in the months leading up to the Saudi coalition’s intervention in Yemen in March 2015.

On March 8, 2015, a Hizballah commander announced that eight of its fighters had died while fighting in Yemen. Three weeks later, anti-Houthi tribal militias captured three IRGC officers and one Hizballah adviser fighting alongside Houthi forces in the southern and eastern governorates of Aden and Shabwah. Iranian and Hizballah military advisers for the Houthis are now being killed and captured in expanding numbers in Yemen. They recently lost 15 advisers and officers in a series of airstrikes and base seizures. While the totals pale in comparison with their respective losses in Syria and Iraq, the rising death toll demonstrates an increasing expenditure of Iranian and Hizballah blood and treasure in the Arabian Peninsula.

The IRGC’s Missile and Military Training Programs

The IRGC’s death toll in Yemen is already more than double this year than what it was last year. In February, Saudi coalition airstrikes took out five IRGC advisers and one IRGC missile officer, known as “the Afghan,” in the northern governorate of Sa’ada. In March, Iran recruited additional Afghan advisers from IRGC-backed Afghan Shi’a militias in Syria and deployed them to provide military support for the Houthis in Yemen.

The northern governorate of Sa’ada has served as a base of operations for Houthi missile and artillery attacks targeting Saudi Arabia as well as Hadi government forces since May 2015. It has also served as a target rich environment for the Saudi coalition. The Sa’ada governorate is the epicenter of the Houthi movement. In February 2017, Sa’ada governor Hadi Tarshan al-Waili announced that the number of IRGC advisers in his governorate had doubled. These Sa’ada-based IRGC advisers oversee the design, maintenance, and implementation of ballistic missile systems for Houthi missile brigades, according to debriefings with captured Houthi field commanders. They also teach targeting, map reading, and land orientation courses in IRGC and Hizballah training programs in Sa’ada.

Saudi and Yemeni forces are increasingly finding Iranian equipment in the battle kit of captured Houthi fighters in northern Yemen. On December 8, 2016, the Yemeni military captured Abu Zahra, a Houthi commander, in the northwestern governorate of Hajja. During his pat down, Yemeni forces discovered a Farsi-language pocket guide for calibrating military pre-programmed electronic compasses from Iran’s Defense Ministry. During his videotaped interrogation, Zahra disclosed that the Farsi-language, pocket-guide was issued to Houthis who attended land navigation and map reading courses at an Iranian training camp in Sana’a. The discovery of the Farsi-language military pocket-guide comes at a time when the construction of new Persian schools and Iranian cultural centers in northern Yemen are surging...

davidbfpo
06-04-2017, 09:25 PM
I too have read the cited WoTR article and was very puzzled at this passage:
Yemeni and Saudi coalition forces are crimping Iran’s land-based smuggling routes in eastern Yemen. Iran operates (http://www.un.org/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=S/2017/81) a supply network between Oman and the eastern Yemeni governorate of Mahrah (http://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-iran-idUSKCN12K0CX), with one route meandering northwest between Mahrah and the northern governorate of Ma’rib and the other snaking southwest between Mahrah and the eastern governorate of Shabwah.

Oman needless to say denies this activity and looking at the cited UN report it has very little evidence in support. Leaving aside that any smuggling is through territory for hundreds of miles not controlled by the Houthi and allies, perhaps it is a purely financial transaction?

CrowBat
09-17-2017, 02:11 PM
Have you checked the details of reports in question?

Namely, all the babbling about 'smuggling routes' over Oman is entirely unsupported. Indeed, of all the 'Iranian-made anti-tank weapons' the 'UN Experts' say should have reached Houthis, they can cite exactly this:

RPG-7 variant rocket launcher 2

(Note: Two were positively confirmed as being of Iranian manufacture. All 100 were reported to be of the same type.)

So, say: 100 Iranian-made RPG-7s... in 2,5 years of war. And that's 'modern anti-tank missiles manufactured by Iran...'?!?


Oman needless to say denies this activity...What else shall Omanis do? Such allegations are as absurd as they are bizarre. Take a look at the map of Yemen and see for yourself: this would mean the 'Iranian-made' arms in question were not only smuggled through Oman - but then also for nearly 800 kilometres through the areas controlled by the Hadramawt Confederation (which meanwhile includes Southern Separatists), AQAP, Daesh, various of quasi and true Hadi-loyalists, countless local tribes and then three times through the frontlines of the Saudi-led coalition...?

That's science fiction of the finest (or at least: had Riyadh claimed the Iranains are beaming their arms to the Houthis, that would be more realistic). Whoever came to such ideas should go and apply for a job in one of scenarios-writing bureaus in Hollywood.

...or as 'Yemen Expert' at the UN.

AdamG
11-09-2017, 12:20 PM
Oh, yay.


DUBAI (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia's crown prince said Iran's supply of rockets to militias in Yemen is an act of "direct military aggression" that could be an act of war, state media reported on Tuesday.
Prince Mohammed bin Salman's comments were published after Saudi air defense forces intercepted a ballistic missile that Saudi Arabia said was fired toward Riyadh on Saturday by the Iran-allied Houthi militia, which controls large parts of neighboring Yemen.
Saudi-led forces, which back the internationally-recognized government, have been targeting the Houthis in a war which has killed more than 10,000 people and triggered a humanitarian disaster in one of the region's poorest countries.
The supply of rockets to the Houthi movement could "constitute an act of war against the kingdom," state news agency SPA on Tuesday quoted Prince Salman as saying in a call with British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson.
Iran has denied it was behind the missile launch, rejecting the Saudi and U.S. statements condemning Tehran as "destructive and provocative" and "slanders".
In reaction to the missile, the Saudi-led military coalition said on Monday it would close all air, land and sea ports to the Arabian Peninsula country.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/saudi-crown-prince-says-iran-supply-rockets-military-074800458.html

AdamG
11-14-2017, 04:12 PM
In a rare exercise of its war-making role, the House of Representatives on Monday overwhelmingly passed a resolution explicitly stating that U.S. military assistance to Saudi Arabia in its war in Yemen is not authorized under legislation passed by Congress to fight terrorism or invade Iraq.

https://www.politico.com/story/2017/11/13/house-yemen-civil-war-authorization-244868

davidbfpo
11-14-2017, 05:05 PM
From The Soufan Group's latest briefing:
Bottom Line Up Front
• On November 13, a Saudi-led coalition said it would end a blockade of air and sea ports controlled by the government of Yemen but leave all other ports closed.
• Had it continued, the blockade threatened millions of starving Yemenis with famine and death.
• Starvation and cholera continue to spread in Yemen, both a direct result of the U.S.-supported war.
• Yemen is a perfect storm of failed goals: Iran’s influence in the country has increased; al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is expanding; and increased air strikes continue to cause massive civilian death and suffering, while making no gains on the ground.
Link:http://thesoufancenter.org/blockade-and-starvation-in-yemen/


I doubt the House of Representatives vote is influenced by the humanitarian situation in the Yemen.


Saudi Arabia seems determined to make Yemenis hate them even more, each bombing adds to this.

davidbfpo
11-18-2017, 11:48 AM
Helen Lackner is an independent SME writes on the current situation. This is the sub-title:
While it is worth discussing whether the missile in the November 4 attack came from Iran in the first place, the outcome is unarguable. It has dramatically worsened an already abysmal situation.Near the end:
So the only conclusion that can be reached is that, in its proxy war against Iran, Saudi authorities have decided to accelerate the death of millions of Yemenis. Not content with having blockaded the country and helping it to achieve two horrific world records, it is now trying to ensure that Yemen achieves a third: the highest death toll from famine.Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/North-africa-west-asia/helen-lackner/famine-in-yemen-finally-reaches-western-headlines?

CrowBat
11-28-2017, 10:23 PM
From The Soufan Group's latest briefing:
Link:http://thesoufancenter.org/blockade-and-starvation-in-yemen/


I doubt the House of Representatives vote is influenced by the humanitarian situation in the Yemen.


Saudi Arabia seems determined to make Yemenis hate them even more, each bombing adds to this.
You're all here also falling for the story on famine...?

Northern Yemen - the very part still controlled by Houthi/Saleh coalition - is the most fertile part of the Arabian Peninsula, and renowned for exporting food (including Coffee; term Mocha comes from the port on the Red Sea coast of Yemen) of since thousands of years. There might have been a reason old Romans called this area the 'Felix Arabica' (Happy Arabia)... or that the RAND's study of the Six Sa'ada Wars (https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2010/RAND_MG962.pdf) (fought between Saleh's government and the Houthis, in period 2004-2010) cited extensive exports of wheat, fruits and cattle to Saudi Arabia...

But now, and all of a sudden, there should be no food..?

Or there is, but the problem is of different nature - like explained here, for example: Yemen: Finding near-famine - and lots of food (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42023625?intlink_from_url=&link_location=live-reporting-story)...

...or here: Yemen and the Business of War (https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/yemen-and-business-war)

Pay attention:

...
Several businessmen questioned for this article estimate that the cost of paying ‘tax’ at checkpoints and revenue posts established by Yemen’s rival governments increases the cost of goods by about 10-15 per cent. Wealthier Yemenis are able to absorb the costs, and clearly there is still some money left in the country: as The Economist has reported, while a cholera epidemic rages in the midst of one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises, the Sana’a branch of Baskin-Robbins remains plentifully stocked with ice cream transported to the capital in refrigerated lorries.
The fact that goods still crisscross the country is broadly good news. But there is a darker side to Yemen’s war economy. A businessman, who asks not to be named, says he can get ‘pretty much anything’ from Jebel Ali port in Dubai to Sana’a within 48 hours, 72 if there is fighting along the way. Other goods are being shipped in to ports in Oman, which sits between the United Arab Emirates and Yemen, and from southern and western Yemeni ports, and receive even less scrutiny, as long as the right palms are greased.
...
There is a bigger problem though: despite the humanitarian crisis, the current set-up seems to suit most parties, to the extent that they would appear to be quietly cooperating with one another. Fuel imported to Mukalla is transported knowingly to Sana’a. Guns provided to anti-Houthi-Saleh fighters on the ground are sold to the other side.

In Mareb Province, the main highway is cut by a front line, as you might expect in a war zone. But on another, less well maintained road to the south, lorries drive through pro and anti-Houthi checkpoints a mountain pass apart. The war economy has evolved into a system that, for those with guns, is sustainable as long as the status quo is maintained.
...
‘The Houthis will survive and the Yemenis will starve,’ the Yemeni analyst says ruefully.

Azor
11-28-2017, 11:22 PM
You're all here also falling for the story on famine...?

Northern Yemen - the very part still controlled by Houthi/Saleh coalition - is the most fertile part of the Arabian Peninsula, and renowned for exporting food (including Coffee; term Mocha comes from the port on the Red Sea coast of Yemen) of since thousands of years. There might have been a reason old Romans called this area the 'Felix Arabica' (Happy Arabia)... or that the RAND's study of the Six Sa'ada Wars (https://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/monographs/2010/RAND_MG962.pdf) (fought between Saleh's government and the Houthis, in period 2004-2010) cited extensive exports of wheat, fruits and cattle to Saudi Arabia...

But now, and all of a sudden, there should be no food..?

Or there is, but the problem is of different nature - like explained here, for example: Yemen: Finding near-famine - and lots of food (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42023625?intlink_from_url=&link_location=live-reporting-story)...

...or here: Yemen and the Business of War (https://www.chathamhouse.org/publications/twt/yemen-and-business-war)

Pay attention:

Thanks for this clarification. It reminds me of the 1980s famine in Ethiopia, which was inextricable from Communist rule and civil war.

Azor
12-02-2017, 10:41 PM
Yemen's former President #Saleh demands armed Yemeni forces refrain from taking any orders from Houthi militia, and calls for "opening a new page with neighboring countries"

https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/12/02/Yemen-s-Saleh-slams-Houthis-amid-violent-battle-for-Sanaa.html


After a brief loll amid mediation, fighting between Houthi and Saleh loyalists just resumed in multiple fronts in capital Sana'a, Yemen, according to eyewitnesses in capital. Arms being used are automatic guns, anti aircraft, and RPG.https://twitter.com/Shuaibalmosawa/status/936711769262829570

Added:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-42212398

Azor
12-04-2017, 04:41 PM
His body was paraded by Houthi fighters and his family compounds seized. More to follow...

Azor
12-04-2017, 06:11 PM
From AP: https://www.apnews.com/37db63791e084c24816e329f32c0b2a4/Rebels-kill-Yemen's-strongman-Saleh-as-alliance-collapses


SANAA, Yemen (AP) — Yemeni rebels killed their erstwhile ally Ali Abdullah Saleh, the country’s former president and strongman, as their forces battled for control of the capital, Sanaa, officials said. The collapse of their alliance throws Yemen’s nearly 3-year-old civil war into unpredictable new chaos.

The circumstances of Saleh’s death were unclear but Houthi officials said their forces caught up with him as he tried to flee Sanaa.

A video circulating online purported to show Saleh’s body, his eyes open but glassy, motionless with a gaping head wound, as he was being carried in a blanket by rebel fighters chanting “God is great” who then dump him into a pickup truck. Blood stained his shirt under a dark suit...

Saleh’s death was announced by the rebels, known as Houthis, who have been fighting Saleh’s forces for the past week. Two of Saleh’s associates have confirmed and a third official from the government of Yemen’s internationally recongnized president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, has also confirmed.

“The leader of treason has been killed,” Houthis’ TV network al-Masriah said.

Saleh allied with the Houthis, and the support of his loyalist military units was key to helping the Houthis overrun the capital, Sanaa, in 2014, driving out Hadi’s government. But in recent months, the alliance frayed amid Houthi suspicions Saleh was leaning toward the Saudi-led coalition backing Hadi.

Hadi’s forces, trying to take advantage of the collapse of the alliance, announced they would march on Sanaa.

But even without Saleh’s loyalists, the rebels remain a powerful force and it is unclear how much the break with Saleh weakens them. Over the past year, the Houthis had steadily undermined Saleh and reduced their need for him, winning military commanders over to their side and boosting their own forces.

A major question now will be whether Saleh’s loyalists — and tribes that support him — can rally to fight the Houthis after his death.

Several Houthi military officials said Saleh was killed as he headed along with top party leaders from Sanaa to his hometown of Sanhan, nearby. Houthi fighters followed him in 20 armored vehicles, attacked and killed him and almost all those with him, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the press. A Houthi media official, Abdel-Rahman al-Ahnomi told the Associated Press that Houthi fighters killed Saleh as he tried to flee to Saudi Arabia though the province of Marib, to the east of the capital.

The Saudi-led coalition had hoped that Saleh’s break with the Houthis would be a turning point, isolating the rebels. Over the past days, fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition pounded Houthis positions, throwing support behind Saleh and fueling divisions with Houthis. Hadi’s government had expressed willingness to turn “a new page” with whoever stands against the rebels.

The fighting left Sanaa divided. The Houthis dominate the northern part of the city, while Saleh’s forces hold the southern part, with much of the current fighting concentrated around the Political District, home to ministries and foreign embassies. The Houthis appeared to be targeting the homes of Saleh’s family, political allies and commanders...

During his more than 30 years in power, Saleh was known as the man who “dances on the heads of snakes” for his mastery of shifting alliances, playing both sides or flipping sides in the multiple conflicts tearing apart Yemen.

In the 2000s, he was a key ally of the U.S. in the fight against al-Qaida, taking millions of dollars in American aid to hunt down the group’s branch — even as he was accused of striking alliances with the militants and using them against his own enemies. During his rule, he fought multiple wars against the Houthis in northern Yemen, only to side with them against his own former vice president-turned-successor, Hadi, after he lost power.

davidbfpo
12-05-2017, 12:54 PM
Thanks to a "lurker" a recommendation for a new book 'Yemen in Crisis: Neo-Liberalism and Disintegration of the State' by a SME, Helen Lackner, and a short comment:
Lackner combines elegant writing with incisive and lucid analysis … This is an indispensable guide to understanding
Yemen’s profound and tragic problems.
Link:http://www.alsaqibookshop.com/shopexd.asp?id=46910

Link to author's bio:http://b-ys.org.uk/directory-of-expertise

Well after recent events, as the author stated yesterday President Saleh was in power for thirty-three years and without him the problems look no nearer resolution.

davidbfpo
12-08-2017, 09:11 PM
London-based Yemeni watcher @ Kings College ICSR ponders what next, notably:
There are important questions about what will happen to the troops loyal to Saleh, and the considerable weaponry and resources they hold.
(Near the end) In Yemen right now- and for the foreseeable future — the only certainty is that there is no certainty.Link:https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/yemen-in-flux-the-only-certainty-is-there-is-no-certainty-1.681694

CrowBat
12-14-2017, 04:43 PM
The Emiratis and the Hirak (or Southern Resistance) are pushing along the Red Sea coast from Khukha towards north, in direction of Hodeida.

While this is coming forward quite well, there's the usual problem with the lack of 'high quality' troops to secure areas that were already taken. With Emiratis up front, the Hirak seems to be given the task for securing the flanks, perhaps corsetting less reliable troops - like those of Saleh or the Islah Militia.

After nearly three years of this war, the Houthis have learned their lessons about the Emirati firepower. Thus, they're using hills and mountains on the eastern side of the coastal plain to launch counterattacks into the flank of this advance; furthermore, they've heavily mined all the roads towards north, and are constantly ambushing the advance.

The last few days, they also launched several bigger counterattacks in the area of Hays. Rumour has it, the Saleh- and Islah-forces run away from there, leaving the Hirak on their own.

While Emirati armour is harder to crack (seems, the Houthis run their and ex-YA's stocks of ATGMs quite dry), Hirak is primarily using soft-skin vehicles, and relatively few MRAPs. Unsurprisingly, there are reports about the Hirak losing 'hundreds of fighters and 70 vehicles (https://twitter.com/YemeniObserv/status/940976286750658566)', since 8 December.

It's going to be interesting to see if the Emiratis might stop their advance until they can clear the Houthis on their flank (or at least weaken them sufficiently to pre-empt most of further counterattacks).

**************

Related to all of this is the following, OSINT-based assessment about the performance of the AMX-66 LeClerc MBT in combat. It's nearly a year old and in French, but a very interesting read: Lessons from the commitment of the tanks of the Leclerc in the Yemen (http://ultimaratio-blog.org/archives/8148).

CrowBat
12-15-2017, 12:32 PM
No news from the Red Sea coast, but it seems, the Emiratis are not that easy to impress. In Shabwa, they and the Hirak have crushed one of the local Houthi defence lines (killing 19 and capturing 32 in the process), and then captured al-Alia, the last southern town under the Houthi control (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3zGkvfET5o&feature=youtu.be).

Next target in that area: Beyhan.

CrowBat
12-15-2017, 12:41 PM
Ah yes, and regarding the 'revelation' of Nikki Haley's prop... erm... press-conference about 'Iranian weapons for Houthis', yesterday, here the photos:
https://www.dvidshub.net/feature/iranianviolations

Summary: one spare part from Shahid Bagheri Industries (no surprise: much of Yemeni missile stock was damaged during early air strikes by the Saudi-led coalition), few tactical UAVs, and some advice. But, and that's 100% sure, no deliveries of entire weapons.

CrowBat
12-16-2017, 07:28 AM
Latest news from the Red Sea coast is that another Houthi counterattack - one launched from Najiba - should've reached the area of Yakhtul. The latter is a minor port on the Red Sea. Because of this, the Houthis claim that they've cut off the supply routes of the Emirati/Hirak advance in direction of Hodeia, i.e. all the troops further north (in the Khukha area). The Hirak should've lost some 20 KIA and one of its colonels injured.

Now, I'm not entirely buying this: the Houthis are foremost excelling at propaganda. But, some of their social media was publishing photos where one can see the sea, 'far in the distance'. Thus it's possible that they're at least threatening the coastal road.

*******************

In Beyhan, the Hirak and the YNA have captured al-Ulya and an-Naqub today - amit what appears to have been quite a 'manoeuvring' battle, which ended with most of the Houthis enveloped.

Map below shows:

- Red: Hirak
- Blue: YNA
- Green: Houthis

*****************

Ah yes and: on 18 April 2017, the Emirati Pantsyr SAMs should've shot down a RSLF UH-60 Black Hawk (https://twitter.com/YemeniObserv/status/941788500051005451), in the Marib area, killing 12 crewmembers and troops on board, including two colonels.

CrowBat
12-16-2017, 05:37 PM
This might be more of evidence for at least Hezbollah involvement in Yemen, than all the Trump admin and the Saudis have provided so far: it turned out some Jordanian volunteer (https://twitter.com/Agerhuss/status/941348120583131136), named Nasser Ali Ismail Tawfiq Ayad, from Madaba Governorate, was killed on 12 December 2017.

Rumour has it, he was with Hezbollah in Yemen.

This is the first known 'foreign volunteer' KIA on the Houthi side in this war.

CrowBat
12-17-2017, 07:41 AM
The Saudi-led coalition is back to pounding Houthi positions all over northern Yemen with full force (and, at least along all the reports from such 'highly-dependable' and 'independent' sources like various news-agencies in Iran, Cuba, Hizbollah in Lebanon and Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen: killing scores of civilians).

That, of course, it not flashy enough to catch attention of our glorious MSM, and thus remains largely unreported in English - although eagerly exploited for pro-Houthi propaganda.

The 'story of the day' thus remains the discussion over 'Iranian supplied missiles', based on Haley's press-conference from three days ago. Meanwhile, the Houthis slam US charges that Iran is arming them (https://www.alaraby.co.uk/english/news/2017/12/17/houthis-slam-us-charges-that-iran-is-arming-them). They are some very proud people, and have repeatedly - and clearly - said that all the missiles in question are locally manufactured (http://en.nthnews.net/2017/12/02/the-yemeni-rockets-change-the-capacity-balance-in-yemen-and-the-region/). Thus, they expect the amateurs (like Trump & Co KG GesmbH certainly are, at least in comparison to the Houthis), and people in need of some fresh air (see: the Pentagon) to stop denying their achievements.

Now, as far as I can say, the Houthis are really right. The last big missile fired at Saudi Arabia - the Burkan-2H that hit the Riyadh IAP after it was missed by four PAC-3s - had fins:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKFE1f1lu6s

http://www.acig.info/forum/download/file.php?id=25463&mode=view

Plus, the UN said it had a skin made of aluminium - instead of steel, like in the case of North Korean and Iranian missiles.

From my POV, the situation is like this: the Burkan-2H that hit Riyadh IAP was the last - or one of the last - intact 'chassis' of some Hwasong-6 damaged early during the war. Or at last the last one they were able to repair - by now. The Missile Force repaired and stretched the chassis, then lightened it by using aluminium plates for skin - all of this on advice (probably: written instructions) smuggled in from Iran. That plus a smaller warhead enabled its longer range. The advice resulted in specific markings (not all of which are identic with those on Qiams, contrary to US claims), and the new shape of the front section.

Under given circumstances (foremost the blockade of the Houthi-controlled parts of Yemen), that makes far more sense to me than any stories about 'missile smuggled to Sana'a in pieces'. The Scud/Hwasong/Qiam is simply too large to be 'disassembled and smuggled' via Oman just like that.

But, spare parts, and written instruction are small enough.

That would also explain why the Houthis didn't fire any further Burkan-2s ever since: all the time during the second half of 2015, and for most of 2016, they were firing several such missiles a week. But now they fire perhaps one a month. Reason? They're out of such missiles (or at least down to the few last examples). Like in the case of Qaher-2s, they're running their stocks dry. On the contrary, if they could smuggle entire missiles from Iran, then they would bring in more of the same - i.e. fire additional ones at Saudi Arabia - like they did while they still had missiles.

...and like they do with the few remaining Qaher-2Ms (V-755s from the S-75M/SA-2 system). For example, according to Col Aziz Rashid (spokesperson of the Missile Force) the last night the Houthis fired a Qaher-2 (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news481823.htm) at the 'Southern Command Centre' in Jizan, in Saudi Arabia.

That said, the video of the Kh-55/Soumar was probably smuggled in from Iran (too).

CrowBat
12-19-2017, 06:05 AM
Quite strange actually, to read reports like this one in the wake of Haley's 'Iranian missiles show': Coalition forces destroy ballistic missile workshops in Yemen (https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2017/12/16/VIDEO-Coalition-forces-destroy-ballistic-missile-workshops-in-Yemen.html)

Namely, that report cites attempted firing of another Qaher-2M, on 16 December:


...from the desert of the Midi district, northeast of Hajjah province towards Saudi territory at dawn on Saturday (December 16, 2017). Sources said it fell in a desert area of the Directorate without any material or human damage.

Returning to the original legend, the reporter then says:

Military sources in the fifth military zone, confirmed that the missile launched by the Houthis at dawn was a Russian-made Volga air defense missile, with Iranian modifications, dubbed by the Houthis “The Destroyer”, according to what was published by the ‘Scene of Yemen’ website.

So, the missile is the V-755, but 'with Iranian modifications'... :roll:

...this must be the most mis-managed PR-campaign in the history of modern warfare: at least I can't stop wondering, why to hell is Riyadh paying billions to all the possible think-tanks in the USA and the UK...?

****************

Anyway, the war goes on at a higher pace than for most of the last two months. If my quick count of all the reported air strikes for yesterday is correct, some 60 were flown, including 19 (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news482069.htm) against Hardadh and Midi in Hajjah, at least three on Sa'ada (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news482072.htm), 4 on Nihm (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news482061.htm), and more on Hodeida area. The Houthis 'responded' by a single Zelzal DIY-rocket (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news482068.htm) fired in Jawf. Heaven only knows if this even worked...

Air strikes on the port of Khukha (see my summary from two days ago) turned out to be my misunderstanding of Sputnik's mixing of reports about attacks on the port of Hodeida (and destruction of 'cranes used for delivering food') with reports about 1-2 air strikes on a village outside Khukha. I.e. it turned out there was no Houthi counterattack there as such: rather a raiding party ambushing whatever vehicles were moving in the area. This was then tracked down and repeatedly hit by UAEAF fighter-bombers and helicopters - in response to which the Houthis insta-claimed civilian casualties (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news482059.htm).

Of course, the Houthis and Iranians claim 'dozens of Saudi-paid mercenaries' killed in every single engagement, and 'US-Saudi air strikes killing civilians'. Indeed, one of most absurd of their ideas published in this war so far, was that it was the US Ambassador to Yemen that 'incited' the Houthis to kill Saleh (https://twitter.com/BaFana3/status/942526051950956545).

I mean... really... :roll:

CrowBat
12-19-2017, 12:48 PM
Another 'Iranian missile' - i.e. Burkan-2H - fired in direction of Riyad: Yemen rebel ballistic missile 'intercepted over Riyadh' (http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-42412729)

The Saudi-led coalition battling Yemen's Houthi rebels says it has intercepted a ballistic missile near Riyadh, Saudi state media report.

Witnesses in the Saudi capital posted videos on social media showing a cloud of smoke in the air and there were no immediate reports of any damage.

The Houthi movement's al-Masirah TV said rebel fighters had fired a Burkan-2 missile at the Yamama Palace.
...

Yemen's Houthis say missile targeted meeting of Saudi leaders (https://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-saudi-blast-meeting/yemens-houthis-say-missile-targeted-meeting-of-saudi-leaders-idUKKBN1ED1CB?rpc=401&), at the Royal Palace.

Guess, Trump Admin and the Saudis are now convinced that the IRGC is teleporting these from Tehran straight to Sa'ada - probably in a conspiracy with the crew of USS Enterprise (NCC-1701)... :rolleyes:

BTW, the Houthis fired another Qaher-2M (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news482097.htm) in direction of Saudi and YNA positions in the Jawf province, too.

CrowBat
12-19-2017, 01:07 PM
...and here the video of the interception of the newest Burkan-2H (https://twitter.com/naizaktv/status/943085738073128961).

For those who might wonder, 'why so many Patriots'?

Contrary to what all the possible experts, Riyad and the White House are claiming, Burkans are no 'Iranian-made Qiams'.

They're de-facto 'DIY-Scuds': most are malfunctioning shortly after the start (the first detonated directly above Sa'ada, shortly after launch, just for example). At least as many are failing on re-entry, tumbling upside down, falling apart etc. Their wreckage is confusing fire-control systems of PAC-2/3s, and that's why then so many interceptors are fired in return: each one or two for 'one big chunk of the wreckage'.

AdamG
12-19-2017, 01:23 PM
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/Upt7ZTvcriY/hqdefault.jpg

CrowBat
12-19-2017, 04:05 PM
Pity Scuds were not as famous at the times Willy Coyote was still drawn. :D

CrowBat
12-20-2017, 06:49 AM
Here a video of the Burkan-2H (supposedly) (https://twitter.com/aldin_ww/status/943185617432862720) fired yesterday by the Houthis at Riyadh (in the case of Houthi-released videos, one can never be 100% sure).

The missile has got small fins (hard to see on most of the video, but visible when one makes stills) and its usual front part - which is shorter and stubbier than that of the Qiam.

davidbfpo
12-21-2017, 06:18 PM
A report by Chatham House and explained as:
Yemen has become a ‘chaos state’ – a nominal entity that exists largely as lines on a map and as a concept in newspaper reports and policymaker briefings.
Link:https://www.chathamhouse.org/publication/yemen-national-chaos-local-order

Having skimmed the summary it is so similar to Somalia for one, except the aerial bombing is far less.

CrowBat
12-22-2017, 09:48 AM
How truth (and sad)...

BTW, gauging by their performance in the last 24 or so months, it's something like 'accident' that the Criticalthreats.org is publishing something as interesting, and information-stuffed as this 'situation report' (https://www.criticalthreats.org/briefs/yemen-situation-report/2017-yemen-crisis-situation-report-december-21).

They do remain faithful to insisting on the legend that most of the forces in question are kind of 'fighting for Hadi' (actually: hardly anybody is left in Yemen doing that):


...The incorporation of forces affiliated with the Islah (Reform) party and the resumption of efforts led by Yemeni Vice President Field Marshal Ali Mohsen al Ahmar have pressured al Houthi positions on the eastern front line. The UAE shifted its position on the Islah party, which includes members of the Muslim Brotherhood, on December 13, to pull Islah into the anti-al Houthi alliance. Islahis had been meeting with al Houthi officials during the fall likely because of the anti-Islah position the Emiratis held. Islah-affiliated troops, along with the 19th infantry, 21st mechanized, and 26th infantry brigades and southern militias, helped coalition-backed forces seize a strategic road linking eastern and northern Yemen in Bayhan district in Shabwah governorate. Ali Mohsen’s forces seized the primary road connecting Sa’ada and al Jawf governorates, northern Yemen in early December and are continuing an offensive to establish a foothold in northern Sa’ada . Ali Mohsen pledged to advance his forces toward Sana’a after Saleh defected from the al Houthi movement but has yet to make any significant gains.

Emirati-backed Yemeni forces, supported by Yemeni military units previously commanded by Ahmed Saleh, are advancing north along the Red Sea coastline toward al Hudaydah port. Former Republican Guard units joined Emirati and Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi government-aligned forces to help break a nearly yearlong stalemate on Yemen’s western coast. The new offensive aims to seize al Hudaydah port, a critical supply hub for the al Houthis, in order to isolate the al Houthi positions in Yemen. Ahmed Saleh, whom Hadi had appointed ambassador to the UAE, has been in talks with the Emiratis since the crisis began. The Emiratis may see Ahmed Saleh as his father’s successor and could be positioning him to assume the leadership of his father’s party, the General People’s Congress (GPC). The UAE has been involved in internal GPC talks after Ali Abdullah Saleh’s death.
...

Ah well... at least they've added a very good map with an ORBAT: this saves one a lots of digging.

CrowBat
12-22-2017, 09:52 AM
Ah yes: before there are further questions...

Yes, contrary to the Trump Admin, the gov in Riyadh, and all sorts of Messiahs on the FB, Twitter and similar platforms, I am convinced that such ballistic missiles like Burkan-2H fired by the Houthis on Saudi Arabia are of something like 'local origin'.

Yemen bought significant numbers of R-17E/SS-1 Scuds from Soviet Union in the late 1970s and 1980s, and then a number (certainly more than 50) of Hwasong-6s from North Korea, in late 1990s and early 2000s.

Now, when the Houthi-Saleh coalition came into being, in period September 2014 - March 2015 - up to 60% of the Yemeni military followed Saleh and joined the Houthis.

With other words: the Houthi-Saleh coalition has got the know-how and the tools to operate such missiles.

The Saudi-led coalition then launched its intervention and - between others - repeatedly targeted bases of the three former brigades of the 'Missile Brigades Group' of the Yemeni Army, in April 2015. Many of ballistic missiles were damaged during these air strikes; some destroyed.

After discussing related issues with some of local sources, plus an Iraqi expert (an engineer involved in the al-Hussein project), my conclusion is that the Burkan-2s are repaired Hwasong-6s. Some were rebuilt with help of various spares smuggled in from Iran.

For further details, see the coming book 'Hot Skies over Yemen, Volume 2: Aerial Warfare over Southern Arabian Peninsula, 1994-2017', and the collection of links here: https://medium.com/@x_TomCooper_x/my-yemen-war-coverage-on-warisboring-com-1c77f37ab1cd

The illustration below shows (from top towards bottom): Hwasong-6, Burkan-1, Burkan-2. (Haven't drawn any Burkan-2Hs yet, though). The crest in the upper left corner is that of the 'Missile Force' operated by the coalition of the Houthi- and ex-YA-forces that sided with them.

davidbfpo
12-23-2017, 01:34 PM
An unusual article and worth reading. I cannot judge the content whether it is accurate. This passage is the shortest explanation why:
Many in Yemen think that for the Houthis, this current war is about reclaiming their God-given right to rule that was taken away from the Sayyids in 1962. For many other Yemenis, the war is about fighting for the republican system that ended the Sayyid dynasty's monopoly over power.
Link:http://www.aljazeera.com/indepth/opinion/houthis-endgame-yemen-171221082107181.html

CrowBat
12-23-2017, 11:19 PM
This statement is something like 1000% correct:


The Houthis do not represent all Zaydis in Yemen.

That said, the thing with 'Saleh' and 'enemy of the Houthis' is one I'm not entirely sure about.

Back during the six Sa'ada Wars (fought 2004-2010), he was threatening them a lot, and sent the military to fight them, no doubt about this.

But, the question is what units of the military did he send to fight the Houthis?

Most of these were units affiliated with Maj Gen Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, and the Islah Party. I.e. he was playing two competing groups against each other, in turn trying to weaken every of them.

This went so far that the Saudis were forced to realize that the most of the targeting intel provided by Saleh's intel services during the Sixth Sa'ada War (2009-2010), were actually positions of Ali Mohsen's units, and especially his HQs ('good' about this was that the Saudis realized this quite early during their involvement, and thus caused next to no damage).

With other words: Saleh used that conflict to have the Saudis kill his competition.

CrowBat
12-24-2017, 07:38 AM
Ah yes, I forgot to add yesterday: because of the 'constellation' described above, it was actually so that Hussein Badr ad-Din al-Houthi was executed by the CO of the 312 Brigade - one of Ali Mohsen's units.

Thus, the Houthis didn't blame Saleh for this: they blamed Saleh for not negotiating with them 'while there was still time', which was back in 2004-2006.

But, when they overrun the HQ of the 312 Brigade in the course of their advance on Sana'a, back in September 2014, they caught the CO of that unit - and shot him on the spot.

Thus, I doubt 'the Houthis executed Saleh to avenge killing of their founder' - as cited in that article. They avenged that death three years ago.

AdamG
01-03-2018, 04:42 PM
OSLO (Reuters) - Norway has suspended exports of weapons and ammunition to the United Arab Emirates over concerns they could be used in the war in Yemen, the Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday.


In 2016, Norwegian exports of weapons and ammunition to the UAE rose to 79 million Norwegian crowns ($9.7 million) from 41 million in 2015, Statistics Norway data showed.
Human rights groups and several members of Norway’s parliament have for months campaigned for a halt in arms exports to the UAE.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-yemen-security-norway-emirates/norway-suspends-arms-sales-to-uae-over-yemen-war-idUSKBN1ES0HG?il=0


Norwegian arms exports – little known outside the country – are booming. Although amounting to 0.1 per cent of world arms exports, Norway's weapons sales have tripled since 2000, reaching £336m worth in 2007. Norwegian arms were used by the US and Britain during the invasion of Iraq while a lack of controls in Oslo have allowed high explosives sold to the US to be re-exported to Israel for use in the occupied territories.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/cif-green/2009/sep/24/norway-ethical-oil-environment-arms

Wondered what they were cranking out - munitions, mostly https://www.ssb.no/en/utenriksokonomi/artikler-og-publikasjoner/exports-of-arms-rose-in-2015

AdamG
01-06-2018, 11:04 PM
Riyadh (AFP) - Saudi Arabia on Friday intercepted a ballistic missile fired from Yemen into the kingdom's south, as Riyadh and its allies said the attack "proved" Iran's support for Yemen's Huthi rebels.
The Riyadh-led military coalition fighting the rebels in Yemen in a statement said Saudi air defences intercepted the missile at around 0500 GMT, but reported no casualties.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/m/a3f7722f-fea3-307e-a5b0-ab7606b35c44/ss_north-korea-can%27t-destroy.html

CrowBat
01-07-2018, 07:33 AM
Two Qaher-2Ms were fired in direction of Najran: one was intercepted, other fell in an unprotected area. These were missiles Nos. 86 and 87 fired at Saudi Arabia so far.

The army (the author means the Saudi-led coalition) is gaining the upper hand in Yemen’s civil war (https://www.economist.com/news/middle-east-and-africa/21734028-still-no-end-near-army-gaining-upper-hand-yemens-civil-war)

TAHER ALI AL-AUQAILI, the chief of staff of Yemen’s army, has a spring in his step. After a year of stalemate, his five fronts are moving again.
...

A string of events has led to the advance. In December the Houthis killed their erstwhile ally, Ali Abdullah Saleh, who had been Yemen’s president from 1978 to 2012, so the Houthis now fight alone. Arrests, killings and houses demolished by tank shells in the capital have stoked resentment against the rebels. Thousands of Mr Saleh’s people have fled.

Tales of rebel atrocities have spurred on the government’s forces. Fleeing Yemeni journalists say the Houthis killed over 30 colleagues, including some who worked for Mr Saleh’s media outlets. They say the rebels extorted money from relatives wanting to recover tortured bodies for burial. The Houthis, who claimed to champion the mathlumeen, or oppressed masses, may be turning into their oppressors.
...

Mr Saleh’s death has also prompted the rancorous regional coalition assembled against the Houthis to bridge its differences. Muhammad bin Zayed, the de facto leader of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), had long distrusted Yemen’s army. Many of its soldiers support Islah, which has ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, an Islamist movement that the UAE abhors. Prince Muhammad had hoped that Mr Saleh would switch sides and boot the Houthis from power.

But since Mr Saleh’s death Prince Muhammad has reconciled with Islah. He has given army units loyal to the Islamists air support. Government forces are on the verge of breaking out of Taiz, Yemen’s third-largest city, besieged by the Houthis for almost three years. They hope to recapture all of the coastal plain, where the Houthis have little support.
...

By contrast, General Auqaili complains that his pleas for heavier weapons to match the Houthis go unanswered. The morale of his men is sapped because they are nine months behind with their pay. Some get by, selling weapons or information to the Houthis or al-Qaeda. So flush are arms bazaars that prices are 20% lower than before the war began in 2014.

Perhaps the biggest reason for the stalemate, however, is that many Yemenis benefit from it. Warlords and soldiers at checkpoints cream off humanitarian aid. Cities like Marib bask in the oil wealth and duties on electricity and imports that previously enriched the capital. Once notorious as a hotspot for kidnappings on behalf of al-Qaeda, it may now be Yemen’s safest city. Banks and schools function. Wages are paid on time. An oft-cited Yemeni adage holds that one people’s misfortune is another’s gain.


Senior Houthi and his fighters surrender to army in Hodeidah (https://www.thenational.ae/world/mena/yemen-war-senior-houthi-and-his-fighters-surrender-to-army-in-hodeidah-1.693134)

The surrender came after Ebrahim Adabu and his fighters were besieged by army troops in Hyais district, Aseel Al Sakladi, a journalist on the ground there, told The National.
...

Some of the Houthis who surrendered were children, Al Sakladi said, adding that they had been taken to the government-held city of Aden for psychological assessments.

"The rebels are [breathing] their last breath" in Hodeidah, said Al Sakladi. "They are suffering huge cracks because they lost [control of the] main roads used to get fuel and food supplies from Ibb and Taez provinces."
...

Razaz confirmed to The National on Saturday that Brig Gen Al Aqeeli had been injured in a mine explosion, saying that five other military commanders had also been injured, including the governor of Al Jouf province, Ameen Al Okaimi. None of the men were seriously injured, he said.

"The chief of staff (Brig Gen Al Aqeeli) was ferried to Saudi Arabia to be treated for his injuries, while his other comrades received necessary medical treatment in a local hospital in Marib province," said Razaz.
...

CrowBat
01-08-2018, 11:11 AM
The RSAF lost a Tornado IDS over northern Yemen, on 6 January 2018.

The crew of two was recovered (https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/01/07/Coalition-fighter-crashes-in-Saada-pilots-survive.html) (Photos of the two crewmembers (https://twitter.com/oldaviation)).

Houthis claimed the fighter-bomber as 'shot down'.

That all said, alone the fact the Houthis are now down to reporting every single SAM they fire (https://www.sabanews.net/en/news484105.htm), is speaking volumes about the condition of their frontlines...

CrowBat
01-08-2018, 10:59 PM
The Houthis... erm... sorry: the ex-Army and Air Force troops that sided with the Houthis, are now officially into the business of producing some spectacular videos of various ex-YAF's AAMs in use as SAMs.

Today they claimed to have shot down an RSAF F-15S over Sana'a - and supported this claim by this video (https://www.liveleak.com/view?i=b87_1515439478).

Another video is showing the actual aftermath:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R32oNrD5VJs

But, this affair remains interesting.

Firstly, the Saudi pilot botched up by engaging afterburner at the same time he (or his WSO) began deploying flares. Obviously, that's counterproductive.

The Houthis... erm... (sorry: me again)... ex-YAF officers that joined the Houthis, seem to be using FLIR 8500s (http://www.flir.com/surveillance/display/?id=64176&_ga=2.82711766.133298046.1515440760-1694066082.1515440760) provided by the USA to the ex-YAF as part of 'support in the war on terror', back in 2012-2014...

...and Soviet/Russian-made R-73s as SAMs.

Overall, seems the SAM hit the third flare, probably damaged that F-15S too. Though nothing was shot down.

Azor
01-08-2018, 11:04 PM
The RSAF lost a Tornado IDS over northern Yemen, on 6 January 2018.

The crew of two was recovered (https://english.alarabiya.net/en/News/gulf/2018/01/07/Coalition-fighter-crashes-in-Saada-pilots-survive.html) (Photos of the two crewmembers (https://twitter.com/oldaviation)).

Houthis claimed the fighter-bomber as 'shot down'.

That all said, alone the fact the Houthis are now down to reporting every single SAM they fire (https://www.sabanews.net/en/news484105.htm), is speaking volumes about the condition of their frontlines...

So the video (https://twitter.com/JosephHDempsey/status/950472262402166784) featuring a Flir Ultra 8500 is correct? But people are reporting the downed aircraft as a F-15...

CrowBat
01-09-2018, 12:28 AM
People are mixing two different claims:

- 6 January, northern Sa'ada: RSAF Tornado IDS was either shot down or crashed; crew of two recovered;

- 8 January (or 7 January, along that video), Sana'a area: RSAF F-15S targeted by an R-73, and probably damaged.

The Flir Ultra 8500 was shown on a video related to the second claim.

Azor
01-09-2018, 12:41 AM
People are mixing two different claims:

- 6 January, northern Sa'ada: RSAF Tornado IDS was either shot down or crashed; crew of two recovered;

- 8 January (or 7 January, along that video), Sana'a area: RSAF F-15S targeted by an R-73, and probably damaged.

The Flir Ultra 8500 was shown on a video related to the second claim.

Thanks. Isn't this quite a big deal? After all, the R-73 was jury-rigged as a SAM, when it is an AAM...

CrowBat
01-09-2018, 07:38 AM
Not really.

DIY SAMs made of R-60s and R-73s were first deployed by Serbs during the NATO intervention in 1999; then again - though for 'surface-to-surface' purposes - during the Libyan uprising of 2011, etc.

The Yemenis are deploying them, plus SAMs made of R-27Ts (IR-homing variant of the AA-10 Alamo), since something like 4-5 months and have already fired dozens - without any kind of success.

The part that is 'a little bit of a deal' is that seeker-heads of such weapons require a supply of coolant liquid once they are activated (while still on the launch rail). Uninstalling elements of the the same - at least from wreckage of one of MiG-29SMs destroyed at Daylami AB - is no big deal at all. It's the provision of power and the coolant liquid necessary for the resulting 'system' to remain operational for 30-50 seconds prior to launch (acquisition, tracking and the firing sequences), that are.

Windows97
01-10-2018, 11:30 AM
Trump and the Yemen War: Misrepresenting the Houthis as Iranian proxies

http://sanaacenter.org/publications/analysis/5201



Regardless of the involvement of foreign actors on all sides of the war, Yemen’s conflict remains fundamentally tied to internal dynamics. This is particularly true of the Houthis and their actions; despite their ties with and backing from Iran, Houthi leaders’ fundamental consideration is local power dynamics.33 Casting the Houthis as Iranian pawns and framing them solely in regional sectarian terms, with little identity otherwise, ignores the factors motivating Houthi supporters and elides the group’s ideology and decision-making process.

Whether the US administration intends to pursue war or peace, failing to understand the motivations, actions and nature of the Houthis — and instead treating them as puppets of a foreign power — lays the groundwork for flawed decision making; one cannot expect to effectively counter an adversary without understanding how and why they fight. The Trump administration’s erroneous framing of the conflict thus represents a significant danger: for instance, the failure to understand the Houthis, their motivations and how they consolidated their power in northern Yemen renders it all the more difficult to exert political, diplomatic or even military pressure on the group.

Proper foreign policy regarding the Houthis requires a deeper understanding of how the group functions. For instance, the Houthis have been able to continue prosecuting the conflict not because of Iranian support, but rather through their ability to capitalize on tribal networks under their control, their knowledge of the terrain, their control over key military installations and, increasingly, conflict-enabled revenue streams. Indeed, rather than being beholden to Tehran, numerous western diplomats having stated that when the Houthis entered Sana’a in September 2014 they did so against the advice of Iranian officials.34 Then in March 2016, the Houthis engaged in direct talks with Saudi officials that led to a de facto ceasefire along the Saudi-Yemeni border. The border ceasefire largely held until the breakdown of UN-sponsored peace talks in Kuwait in August 2016. Recent events surrounding Saleh’s death undoubtedly complicate peace efforts – among other things adding to the distrust between the Houthis and Saudi-led coalition members. Nonetheless, both the Houthis and Saudi Arabia are surely aware that any eventual sustainable peace agreement it will require the other’s buy in.

Thus, overemphasizing the Houthis’ foreign ties while ignoring local factors and the means of weakening or pressuring the Houthis is ultimately likely to breed policies that are ineffectual at best, and counterproductive at worst. This is particularly true with regards to the risk that the “pawn of Iran” framing becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy – that is, creating circumstances that prompt or even oblige the Houthis to further strengthen ties with Iran, or vice versa. In some regards, this has already been seen since the Saudi-led coalition launched its military intervention in Yemen in March 2015, under the name Operation Decisive Storm. According to a variety of western and Yemeni officials, following the coalition’s intervention Iranian support to and coordination with the Houthis expanded. Indeed, the Houthi reliance on this support increased as international isolation left them with few other potential partners.

US policy that casts the Houthis as an extension of Iranian interest will likely only lend momentum to this Houthi drift toward the Iranian sphere of influence. First, it would further isolate the Houthis internationally and continue to weaken incentives against greater cooperation with Iran. Second — and perhaps most importantly — it would increase Tehran’s incentives to expand its activities in Yemen.

davidbfpo
01-10-2018, 07:30 PM
Even Popular Mechanics weighs in, on the plane(s) that fell down and ends with:
It’s war in the age of the Internet, and the truth takes some time to untangle
Link:http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/aviation/a14929167/yemen-rebels-shot-down-f15-tornado/

CrowBat
01-12-2018, 08:44 AM
From first-hand, even if unofficial sources:

- The Tornado suffered an explosion of the oxygen system; this caused a fire inside the cockpit, leaving the crew little alternative but to eject.

They were picked up in a CSAR op run by No. 99 Squadron RSAF (flying AS.532 Cougars), supported by 8 F-15S' and 3 AH-64s.

- The F-15SA (yes: the brand-new variant) suffered minor damage to the fins.

CrowBat
01-13-2018, 07:22 AM
Scratch another (at least fifth in total) TEL for ballistic missiles operated by the Houthi-controlled Missile Force (see the photo below).

Now, while most of Yemenis say 'TEL for Burkan'. I say: 'TEL for Qaher-2s'.

...can't go into more details about 'how comes', but observe: word is that a combo of TPQ-37 Firefinder and CH-4 Wing Loong is 'simply deadly'.

(Arguably, some would deny it's the TPQ-37, at least because of its - relatively - short range; the same say 'actually its Chinese copy, the SLC-2'... but, if so, then the same might want to provide some proof of related deliveries to Saudi Arabia: so far, only the sale of TPQ-37 was definitely confirmed...)

CrowBat
01-18-2018, 09:33 PM
Yemen fires third ballistic missile on Saudi military target within 60 hours (http://www.yemenpress.org/yemen/yemen-fires-third-ballistic-missile-on-saudi-military-target-within-60-hours.html)

Yemen’s rocket unit has fired a short range ballistic missile today’s morning. The short range ballistic missile successfully hit Saudi air defense system in Jizan, according to military sources.

The military source confirmed for “YP” that the missile was successful hit its target. The source point out that this is the third missile launched within past 50 hours.
...

Earlier, Yemen’s air defense said in a statement a short range ballistic also fired on Wednesday evening hit Al-khadra crowsing border with “Qahir-M2” which completely destroyed the base.
...
....i.e. a third Qaher-2M within 50-60 hours.

First two were claimed as shot down. No reports about the third one (so far).

**************

Ah yes... and that moment when CNN stands in front of a real Burkan-2H (don't worry: it's wreckage only), and can't provide evidence this is actually Iranian: https://twitter.com/CNNConnect/status/953709893126467584

....and thus goes off topic. :D

CrowBat
01-24-2018, 07:25 AM
Just 'some statistics'...

While updating the manuscript for the book 'Hot Skies over Yemen, Volume 2', I counted all the data on SSM-firings collected so far.

Along what I was able to find, I've got a total of 110 recorded SSM firings (of which 88 at Saudi Arabia). Of these:

- 22 were reported as 'Scud' or even 'Hwasong' (i.e. Hwasong-6);

- 11 as OTR-21 (i.e. Tochka, or SS-21)

- 8 were reported as 'Burkan' or 'Burkan-1' or 'Zelzal-2' (there's a problem here in so far, that it turned out 'Zelzal-2' is actually a surface-launched R-24; how anybody thinks any of these should've reached Najran is beyond my imagination)

- 4 were reported as 'Burkan-2H' (two of these failed upon launch)

Rest were Qaher-1, Qaher-2, and Qaher-2Ms, and about a dozen of unknowns (i.e. V-755 missiles from the SA-2 Guideline SAM-system).

How many were intercepted is harder to gauge: I've recorded a total of 37 claims for 'confirmed interception'. Visual confirmation (in form of videos and/or photos) is available for about a dozen. Further 4-5 are known to have hit something, i.e. were 100% not intercepted.

Obviously, this is far from 'all', then there are reports that the Ma'rib area alone was targeted by up to 60 missiles; the Bab al-Mandeb area by another 40 so far (and that most of these were intercepted). Problem is, however, that it's only since November 2017 that the Houthis are actually reporting really every single missile they've fired.

That said, my data on missile strikes on Saudi Arabia is quite complete.

CrowBat
01-26-2018, 08:33 AM
The Emirati-led attack along the Red Sea coast was meanwhile resumed. Since they've breached the densely-mined area, sometimes about 15th this month, they are steam-rolling the Houthis and allies: at least two towns and 30 different villages were taken yesterday alone. This in addition to two towns taken in the last week.

In Ta'iz, the Houthis (since they killed Saleh, all of the combatants fighting on their side can be considered as 'the Houthis') lost an entire neighbourhood yesterday. They are launching a counteroffensive today, but the situation is not looking good for them.

Foremost: in Sa'ada, the YNA is meanwhile only 4 kilometres outside the centre of Kitaf.

With other words - and as expected - all the undated videos and claims lately published by the Houthis, Hezbollah, and Iran seems to be a big pile of PRBS.

CrowBat
01-27-2018, 07:01 AM
Simply funny to monitor the PRBS-battle around this war.

While some people are still falling for Houthi nonsense of this kind - Yemen’s Houthis control 100 miles of Saudi Arabia’s territory (https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180126-yemens-houthis-control-100-miles-of-saudi-arabias-territory/) (if that would be truth, there would be no end of corresponding reports by the Houthis) - and while the IRGC's PR-machinery is still declaring S-24s for 'ballistic missiles' (https://www.tasnimnews.com/en/news/2018/01/26/1638779/yemen-army-targets-saudi-mercenaries-with-homegrown-missile), others do better, even though things are still quite PR-coloured: Legitimate Army Advances in Saada, Considers Taiz a Priority (https://aawsat.com/english/home/article/1153221/yemen-legitimate-army-advances-saada-considers-taiz-priority).

Namely, the Houthis have meanwhile been kicked completely out of Ta'iz.

The issue is now to kick them outside the artillery range to that city. Thus, while the Houthi PR-machinery is claiming BS of the kind US-Saudi air strikes are killing civilians in Ta'iz (http://www.sabanews.net/en/news485922.htm), the Saudi-led coalition does not need bombing the city. On the contrary, it's actually the Houthi artillery that's shelling the city and causing dozens of civilian casualties, every single day, and already since more than one year...

...in similar fashion, while all the possible media has forwarded reports like Houthi capture strategic Marcusa mount in Nata district, Bayda (https://twitter.com/YemeniObserv/status/956607835353370624) - everybody is ignoring the fact they've lost it to a YNA counterattack before being able to shot more than 2-3 photos.

Proof? Hard to get in English; and, certainly enough, Houthi-fans are not going to report it. But, other Yemenis do so, though in Arabic only:
https://mobile.twitter.com/amerAlhamiqaniu/status/956102866917380096
https://mobile.twitter.com/amerAlhamiqaniu/status/956096627135123456
https://mobile.twitter.com/amerAlhamiqaniu/status/956101175497121793

CrowBat
02-01-2018, 07:49 AM
Some commentary on what's going on in Yemen - and especially in Aden - of the last few days...

The official Saudi aim of the military intervention in Yemen is 'halting Iranian expansionism' and 'bringing leaders of the Houthi/Saleh coalition to the negotiating table'. For this purpose, the Saudi-led coalition insists on 'supporting the legitimate government' - that of president/former president Hadi.

Indirect aim of related efforts is the re-establishment of the Saudi position of influence in Sana'a.

Now, what caused the ongoing civil war in Yemen are major rifts that emerged within the Yemeni military, and thus the entire Yemeni state, in the wake of reforms introduced by Hadi in period 2012-2014. He dissolved the Republican Guards (always loyal to Saleh, only) and purged the military of Saleh's relatives and allies, thus they opposed him. But, he also tried to purge the military of those affiliated with the Islah Party - the de-facto Yemeni version of the Moslem Brotherhood - like Major-General Ali Mohsen. Thus, they opposed him too, and so on.

Over the time, multiple power blocks crystalised, with 50-60% of the military siding with Saleh and thus with the Houthis, 4-5 brigades with Hadi, up to 15 with Ahmar and thus the Islah etc. The rest of the military either declared neutrality, or sided with the Southern Separatists (i.e. Hirak and the Hadramawt Confederation) or was overrun by the AQAP.

However, Hadi has no wider political support inside Yemen. He's actually supported only by a small number of allied generals and a few (4-5 at most) of Yemen National Army's brigades.

Thus, the Saudis and Hadi were increasingly dependable on the support of the Islah Party - which is de-facto the Yemeni version of the Moslem Brotherhood (MB).

However, back in 2014, Saudi Arabia declared the MBs for terrorists and stopped supporting them. Thus, this party lost badly. Indeed, it could be said that this enabled the Houthis to take over in Sana'a.

But then... well, when the Saudis and allies invaded southern Yemen, in July-August 2015, they advanced so rapidly, a true power vacuum developed in their backs. This was so because the Houthi/Saleh alliance completely destroyed the governmental system, police, and the military in all parts of southern Yemen they've held until then. The AQAP jumped in and brought much of the country under its control.

This was something nobody could tolerate.

Thus, the Saudis and allies had to de-facto stop their advance on Sana'a (in turn offering Houthis/Saleh plenty of time to heavily mine all the ways into northern Yemen), and start building-up new government and new security forces.

In the course of that process, Saudi and Emirati ways of pursuing the re-establishment of the government went each their own way. Since Hadi still has no political support in the country, he and Saudis were left with little choice but to ally with the Islah Party. Unsurprisingly, Riyadh removed the MBs from the list of terrorist organisations, and Ali Ahmar was appointed Hadi's new Minister of Defence. This secured Hadi (and Saudis) the support of everybody affiliated with the Islah.

However, in the meantime the Emiratis have pursued their own politics. They are not only anti-AQAP, but also anti-MBs. And, they are primarily cooperating with the Hirak (Southern Separatists) and the Hadramawt Confederation. They also work with Quietists (Yemeni Salafists fighting against the AQAP and the Houthis). The Emiratis spent most of the Year 2017 securing the Aden area, constructing another forward base (including an airfield) at Perim (or Mayun) Island, and running COIN operations against the AQAP in the Mukalla area. Their alliances with the Hirak, the Hadramawt Confederation, the Quietists, and establishment of the Security Belt Forces resulted in creation of powerful proxies that are controlling de-facto all of southern Yemen. There's next to no place there - except the area few quarters of Aden and most of the area around the Bab al-Mandeb - where the Islah still has the say.

With other words, it's the Emiratis who are now in de-facto control over those parts of Yemen 'liberated' from the Houthis, not the Saudis. Unsurprisingly, the Emirati-supported National Transitional Council now wants to destroy whatever was left of the Hadi's government.

If I'm to ask, this was a great opportunity for the Saudis to get rid of Hadi. There's simply no point in continuing to support him, because political and military realities in Yemen of 2018 are entirely different than they used to be as of September 2014 (not to talk about March 2015). Question is, if they can afford doing so: after all, they all the time insisted that he's the only legitimate president of Yemen.

It appears they - and even the Emiratis - have concluded they can not send Hadi into retirement. Thus, the NTC/STC is already announcing it recognizes Hadi as legitimate president.

I.e. expect the things to get back to where they were before this coup. Only difference will be that Hadi-loyalists will now really have nothing to say.

...and then the net result will be something like Somaliland: an independent South Yemen not recognized by anybody from the outside.

(Note: an alternative would've been a split of the country into two, as originally demanded by the NTC. Something like Northern Yemen, say, ruled by somebody like Saleh's son Ahmed with support of the Islah and the Houthis; and Southern Yemen, ruled by the NTC.)

CrowBat
02-02-2018, 11:16 PM
...all of that summarised - perhaps as a 'basic guide' for all the new-comers into related affairs - and by your very own:

A New State Is Emerging in Yemen (https://warisboring.com/a-new-state-is-emerging-in-yemen/)

A new country is beginning to form in the chaos and confusion of Yemen’s civil war. A coup in Aden in late January 2018 has hastened the process.

The new Yemen has its roots in the period 1990 to 1994, when the Saudi-supported North Yemen and the Cuban/Soviet-supported South were forcibly united. The united Yemen was dominated by a clique surrounding North Yemen president Abdullah Saleh.

Although he eventually appointed a southerner – Soviet-trained Maj. Gen. Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi as his vice president, Saleh ruled the country like a family enterprise. He appointed his son, nephews and other members of his family and tribe to all important positions of the military and the state.

All the power, and most of development, were concentrated in Sana’a, and the Saleh clique had the final word in every single state affair.

Saleh and his clique tended to disparage the southerners as “Eritreans” and “Indians,” because Aden was predominantly populated by people who came the region as laborers during the British colonial period.

Saleh and his clique likewise discriminated against many northerners, describing those of Zaidi origin as “backward.”
...

davidbfpo
02-03-2018, 09:23 AM
Tom,

Thank you for being so informative on the situation in the whole of the Yemen.

This sentence reminded me of a couple of factors:
On the contrary, the Emiratis intensified their cooperation with the southerners, foremost the separatists and the Hadramawt Confederation.

There is a "kith & kin" link between the Gulf states that dates back a long time, I understand it was based on commercial and trading links. This was reinforced in 1967 when the UK left Aden and "up country", many of the traditional leaders in the Hadramawt and elsewhere fled to the Gulf. At least one senior UAE official is from the Hadramawt.

I do wonder if these leaders ever returned, either when the Communist regime ended or later.

Dr Elisabeth Kendall @ Pembroke College, Oxford University is a regular visitor to the Yemen, including long term access to the Hadramawt. To see her publications dip into:https://oxford.academia.edu/ElisabethKendall and her slim bio:

In she wrote a 14 pgs. paper 'Iran’s Fingerprints in Yemen' in October 2017 for the Atlantic Council and concluded:
a conflict that began essentially as a politically and tribally motivated dispute over territory, resources and power may yet over time turn into a long-term cycle of bloody sectarian violence. In this respect, the Saudi-led intervention in Yemen is – to some extent – helping to exacerbate the very problem it claimed to be designed to solve.
Link:http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/images/Irans_Fingerprints_in_Yemen_web_1019.pdf

Would a semi-independent South Yemen, following the Somaliland model, really be that bad for the people? It might suit the diplomats and outsiders, but on reflection have they really helped the people that much for many years?

CrowBat
02-05-2018, 03:37 PM
AFAIK, they never returned. They are still in the UAE.... which is why the UAE has it as easy to deal with them: there is lots of mutual sympathy.


Would a semi-independent South Yemen, following the Somaliland model, really be that bad for the people?It would be a realistic solution, apparently conform to what most of the people living in that part of Yemen want - too.

But, well: try convincing governments of various countries that have 'problems with separatists' to accept a secession of South Yemen. That's also the reality, and why Somaliland is still not internationally recognized.

davidbfpo
02-06-2018, 10:49 AM
A slightly long article and the sub-title gives a clue why:
The commonly held view that the conflicts in Yemen – and elsewhere in the region – are a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia must be revised.Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/omar-sabbour/how-saudi-arabia-and-iran-shared-rise-and-fall-of-ali-abdullah-s?

The more you read, the more Byzantine the Yemen seems. President Saleh was:
Despite also being a member of the Houthis’ Zaidi sect, he had little regard for sectarian loyalty; in the pursuit of power he allied with Sunni Salafists against Zaidi Houthis, and later with the Houthis against everyone else.

davidbfpo
02-07-2018, 09:02 PM
A short paper (44 pgs) by a British academic who has spent years in the Yemen and published by a US think tank (POMED) on a fascinating aspect of the multiple conflicts in the Yemen.

A "taster" from the summary:
Some Western observers (along with many Yemeni government authorities) contend that a key reason for AQAP’s staying-power is that some tribes are aligned with the terrorist group and provide it with safe havens, fighters, and other support. To be sure, AQAP has a presence in some tribal areas, and some tribal members (along with other Yemenis, and some foreigners) have joined the group. But in doing so, they have acted independently, against the wishes of their tribes. Yemeni tribes as collective entities —as opposed to individual tribesmen—have not allied with AQAP or agreed to give its fighters sanctuary. Tribes reject the group’s radical and violent ideology and tend to see AQAP as a serious challenge to their authority.

Because of tribal pushback, AQAP has only been able to seize territory and make other gains in parts of Yemen where the tribal structure is relatively weak. The failure of the Yemeni ruling elite to seriously confront the AQAP problem, and the civil war instigated by that same ruling elite, have been more significant factors in the group’s spread than any tribal action.
Link:http://pomed.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Dawsari_FINAL_180201.pdf

CrowBat
02-08-2018, 08:04 AM
A slightly long article and the sub-title gives a clue why:Link:https://www.opendemocracy.net/north-africa-west-asia/omar-sabbour/how-saudi-arabia-and-iran-shared-rise-and-fall-of-ali-abdullah-s?

The more you read, the more Byzantine the Yemen seems. President Saleh was:
Rather tragically, such articles come much too late: nearly three years since everybody with a good insight there was warning about US decision-makers having no clue what are they doing in Yemen.

I really do not understand why do the USA always must do everything wrong in cases like this one?

Worst of all: why this insistence on specific ideas and turning these into dogmas?

At earlier times (say: Vietnam), the 'moment of realisation' - the 15th or 16th time the US hit the wall with the forehead - would've been enough to prompt a major change in the politics. In the cases like Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Syria and Yemen, not even this is happening any more...

davidbfpo
02-17-2018, 11:29 AM
A short review of a book published in October '17:
"Tribes and Politics in Yemen” fills this gap; it gives an understanding of how a religious movement focused on spirituality evolved into one of the major opposition armed groups in Yemen with plans for statehood.
Link:https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20180216-tribes-and-politics-in-yemen-a-history-of-the-houthi-conflict/#.WoewLrcIXOE.twitter

davidbfpo
03-12-2018, 12:50 PM
Saudi-Yemen relations take a new twist:
As a result of reforms to Saudi labour laws designed to tackle the country’s high levels of unemployment, hundreds of thousands of illegal migrant workers have been deported from the Kingdom since November last year. Saudi Arabia’s economic overhaul is desperately needed, but could be having a dangerous unforeseen effect. Forced back to a country in the grip of a humanitarian crisis and with no economic prospects, it is feared thousands of deported Yemenis could be picking up guns to join the Houthis or al-Qaeda, who see the influx of jobless young men as a prime recruitment opportunity. According to statistics from the Saudi interior ministry, 65 per cent of those deported recently are Yemeni – which means a total of 100,000 have already been sent home, and 130,000 more await a similar fate.
Link:http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/yemen-civil-war-saudi-arabia-houthi-yemeni-workers-expel-deport-fighters-recruitment-al-qaeda-a8248506.html