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Old 03-30-2017   #181
OUTLAW 09
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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
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Old 03-31-2017   #182
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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.
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Old 03-31-2017   #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?
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Old 04-01-2017   #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#
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Old 04-04-2017   #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:
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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:
Quote:
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.
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Old 04-10-2017   #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:
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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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Old 04-15-2017   #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/
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Old 04-16-2017   #188
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Default AQAP agreement with tribal leaders not to attack the West

Via a Norwegian newspaper and sub-titled:
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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:
Quote:
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.
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Old 04-17-2017   #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.....
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Old 04-19-2017   #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.

Quote:
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.
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Old 04-27-2017   #191
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Houthi Rebels Use Another Unmanned Boat Bomb Against the Saudis
http://www.nbcnews.com/card/houthi-r...tion%20Report#
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Old 05-01-2017   #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
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Old 06-01-2017   #193
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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...
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Old 06-04-2017   #194
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Default Houthi supplies via Oman?

I too have read the cited WoTR article and was very puzzled at this passage:
Quote:
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?
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