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Thread: Yemen in 2016-2018: an intractable war?

  1. #181
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    Ship of Interest:

    Danish flag vessel Marianne Danica transits Bosphorus en route to Jeddah carrying weapons & ammo from Burgas to #Yemen
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #182
    Council Member CrowBat's Avatar
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    The ammo Saudis are buying in countries like Bulgaria is underway for Syria: Saudi military in Yemen needs nothing of East European origin.

  3. #183
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
    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?

  4. #184
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    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...ar-in-somalia#

  5. #185
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    Default The war in Yemen: two years old and maturing?

    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-a...-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.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-04-2017 at 11:39 AM. Reason: 57,192v
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  6. #186
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    Default US support for KSA: worse than a crime, it would be a mistake

    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/do...ture-in-yemen/
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  7. #187
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    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/internat...p-aqap/522957/

  8. #188
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default AQAP agreement with tribal leaders not to attack the West

    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/kr...st/a/23974002/

    Elisabeth Kendall, Senior Research Fellow at Pembroke College, University of Oxford, who I have cited before as a SME adds her analysis.
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-16-2017 at 09:29 PM. Reason: 60,081v nearly 3k up in a week
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  9. #189
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    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.....

  10. #190
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    Quote Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
    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.

  11. #191
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    Houthi Rebels Use Another Unmanned Boat Bomb Against the Saudis
    http://www.nbcnews.com/card/houthi-r...tion%20Report#

  12. #192
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    Default UAE allies with AQ, then kills them

    Not exactly a new ploy in the Yemen, but read on:https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/a...0ff4ed27ab4565
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 05-01-2017 at 11:59 AM. Reason: 62,889v
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    Default Iran's Growing Casualty Count in Yemen

    By Joshua Koontz at War On The Rocks: https://warontherocks.com/2017/06/ir...ount-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.



    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...

  14. #194
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Houthi supplies via Oman?

    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 a supply network between Oman and the eastern Yemeni governorate of Mahrah, 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?
    davidbfpo

  15. #195
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    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.

  16. #196
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    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-cro...074800458.html
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  17. #197
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    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/...ization-244868
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  18. #198
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    Default Starving and bombing

    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-...tion-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.
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  19. #199
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    Default With some UK & US help KSA starves the Yemen

    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-...ern-headlines?
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 11-18-2017 at 11:49 AM. Reason: 90,485v 30k up since April '17
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  20. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
    From The Soufan Group's latest briefing:
    Link:http://thesoufancenter.org/blockade-...tion-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 (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...

    ...or here: Yemen and the Business of 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.

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