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Old 02-14-2017   #161
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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 (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.

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Old 02-15-2017   #162
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Here comes the next hype: no, there are no 'Houthi air defences', and they didn't shot down a Saudi jet over Ma'rib.

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 (though I wouldn't call that even a 'Iran's Small Finger in Yemen'):

Quote:
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.
...
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Old 02-16-2017   #163
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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...
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Old 02-16-2017   #164
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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.

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...
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Old 03-04-2017   #165
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Default Hitting AQAP

From The Soufan Report, citing one part of BLUF and a taut sentence later:
Quote:
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-intel...ions-in-yemen/
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Old 03-08-2017   #166
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Default Yemen in 2016-2017: an intractable war?

The Adaptive Transformation of Yemen’s 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".

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-08-2017 at 06:27 AM. Reason: Copied and two lines added. 51,718v 700 views in three days
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Old 03-08-2017   #167
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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.
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Old 03-14-2017   #168
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Default The risks of forgetting yemen’s southern secessionist movement

By Brian M. Perkins...

https://warontherocks.com/2017/03/th...nist-movement/

Quote:
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...

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-14-2017 at 07:21 AM. Reason: fix quote
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Old 03-14-2017   #169
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^^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.
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Old 03-14-2017   #170
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CrowBat View Post
^^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?
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Old 03-14-2017   #171
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Yup, he did.

He didn't get everything in my requests for 'further reading', though: especially the part about 'various other Salafist groups'. ;-)
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Old 03-18-2017   #172
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Default Who did this then?

From the BBC:
Quote:
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
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Old 03-20-2017   #173
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Saudi coalition intercepting ballistic missile over Mocha

Last edited by davidbfpo; 03-20-2017 at 09:55 AM. Reason: Copied from Syria thread, but no source alas
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Old 03-23-2017   #174
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Need proof that Iran and the Houthis are one and the same?
https://watchjerusalem.co.il/2017/03...his-in-yemen/#
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Old 03-23-2017   #175
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Default Iran and the Houthis: biblically foretold?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
Need proof that Iran and the Houthis are one and the same?
https://watchjerusalem.co.il/2017/03...his-in-yemen/#
Outlaw 09,

Not a source I would cite.

On the linked article within the author refers to:
Quote:
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...e-middle-east/


Their About section explains a little more:https://watchjerusalem.co.il/about/
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Old 03-23-2017   #176
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davidbfpo View Post
Outlaw 09,

Not a source I would cite.

On the linked article within the author refers to:
Link:https://watchjerusalem.co.il/2015/04...e-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....

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:
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg photo5.jpg (60.5 KB, 14 views)
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Old 03-27-2017   #177
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Thousands rally in support of Yemen's Iran-backed Houthi movement on war's anniversary
http://read.bi/2oqcv8J
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Old 03-29-2017   #178
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The charade continues: Houthi military unveil the 'domestically developed' Qaher-M2 missile, which in reality is an Iranian Tondar-69 SRBM.
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Old 03-29-2017   #179
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Default Deeper into the quagmire

The Soufan Report comments on a possible change of US policy and ends with:
Quote:
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-intel...role-in-yemen/

There is a WaPo report and three comments on this:http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/tru...t-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.
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Old 03-30-2017   #180
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OUTLAW 09 View Post
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'. ;-)
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