Al-Jazeerah: Cross-Cultural Understanding
Opinion Editorials, September 2015
Saudi Air Strikes, Fighting Continue in Yemen, Egypt and Morocco to Join War in Saudi Side
Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, September 14, 2015
Monday, 10-August-2015 Almotamar.net -
Three women and a child were killed and two children injured on Sunday in a Saudi bombing on citizens' houses on Harf Sufyan in Amran province, a local source said. The source added that the Saudi-led collation is still launching raids on infrastructure and citizens' houses in Amran.
Friday, 28-August-2015 Almotamar.net -
Around five people were killed and two others injured in a Saudi-led coalition attack on a number of densely populated areas in Razih district in Sa'ada province. A local source said the Saudi-led coalition launched hundreds of air raids during the past few days on various parts of Sa'ada, including Razih, Ghamer, Shatha, al-Dhaher, Haidan and Ketaf. Several people were killed and others wounded, including women and children, in those raids, the source added.
Sunday, 02-August-2015 Almotamar.net -
The Saudi continued on Sunday to launch airstrikes on several governorates in the country. A security source said Saudi war jets launched a number of raids on different parts of Hajjah governorate, destroying the building of the Roads and Bridges Authority in Haradh town in addition to many air raids carried out by drones in the town.
The Saudi warplanes also launched many raids on al-Hamara area of Lahj governorate, which led to numerous fatalities, including women and children. More than 16 sorties were carried out against areas of Muthalath al-Anad, al-Anad Air Base, Abain and Karesh, the source said. In Dhamar governorate, the Saudi warplanes launched an airstrike targeted the Yemeni Economic Corporation building in Ma'abar city. Sa'ada governorate was also a target of dozens of air raids.
Four airstrikes launched against Qam'a area in Kitaf district. Earlier, a Saudi helicopter carried out 5 raids on the same area, the source said, adding that at least 10 raids were launched on areas of al-Ghail, al-Far'a, al-Saoh and Wadi Abu Jabara in the district. Moreover, al-Zaher district was struck by more than 30 rockets. He said two raids were launched on al-Hesamh area and one more on Bani Siah area. The border area came under intense shelling of heavy and medium weapons, the source said.
Saturday, 01-August-2015 Almotamar.net -
The Saudi-American aggression implemented on Saturday 6 sorties against Old Mareb and the surrounding areas. Local sources said that the Old Mareb was attacked by six sorties extending to Al-Ashraf area to the west of the city. Meanwhile, the army and popular committees foiled on Friday an attempt by terror elements to infiltrate into Al-Makhdara area in Mareb, causing them losses in lives and equipment.
Egypt, Morocco To Send Ground Troops To Battle Houthi Rebels With Saudi Arabia
Thu, 09/10/2015 - 03:13
For the first time since Saudi Arabia formed a 10-country coalition in March to battle the Yemeni Houthi rebels, Egypt and Qatar have expanded their involvement -- previously limited to airstrikes -- by sending hundreds of ground troops to Yemen this week. Nine coalition members are expected to have forces fighting on the ground alongside Saudi troops before the end of the week, according to Yemen local news.
Egypt, which has one of the strongest armies in the Arab world, sent 800 troops armed with tanks and military transport vehicles into the war-torn country Tuesday night. The day before, Qatar sent 1,000 troops into Yemen. Morocco, Sudan, Jordan and Kuwait are expected to follow suit and join the thousands of troops already on the ground from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates. Some reports claim that many of the countries listed had already sent troops into Yemen as of Wednesday.
"We have sent these forces as part of Egypt's prominent role in this alliance. ... The alliance fights for the sake of our brotherly Arab states, and the death of any Egyptian soldier would be an honour and considered martyrdom for the sake of innocent people," a senior Egyptian military source told Reuters.
This influx came after the Houthis reportedly launched a Russian-made missile into a coalition-controlled base Friday, killing at least 45 Emirati troops, five Bahrainis and 10 Saudis.
The attack marked "the largest loss of life” for the UAE military since 1971, “making the day the deadliest one so far for the coalition,” according to a report from the Soufan Group.
Troops were reportedly deployed to Yemen’s oil-rich Marib province, where Sunni tribesmen and militants loyal to al Qaeda have also been fighting the Houthi rebels. The complex web of allegiances on the ground in Yemen’s tribal-dominated areas will likely be an obstacle for the coalition’s new ground war strategy.
“There is no geopolitical strategy or even a battle plan that can survive long on the ground in Yemen,” according to a report from the Soufan Group. “Success in one part of the rugged country yields to losses in another.”
Saudi Arabia launched a coalition to battle the Iran-backed Houthi rebel groups in March after the rebels seized the capital Sanaa and forced U.S.- and Saudi-backed Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi to resign. In addition to the nine countries involved in ground operations, Somalia is also a member of the coalition. The U.S. is providing logistical support and intelligence to Saudi Arabia, but it is not militarily engaged.
Airstrikes and fighting have turned Yemen into a “humanitarian crisis,” according to the United Nations. More than 4,500 people have been killed in the conflict. Nearly 2,000 of them were civilians, 400 of which were children. That is an average of eight children killed or injured every day, according to Unicef.
The Guardian view on Yemen: remember the forgotten war
The Guardain, September 13, 2015
Diplomatic balancing acts should not prevent western nations telling the truth about war crimes and atrocities being committed in the Middle East’s less high-profile conflicts
While so much international attention is again focused on Syria because of the refugee crisis in Europe, another less noticed war, less commented on, yet equally vicious, especially for the civilians who bear its brunt, continues to tear at the Middle East. Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe shows no sign of relenting. Yet it generates only a fraction of the attention focused on Syria.
The Yemen war is a conflict in which a Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Arab states has, since March, launched an all-out air campaign against the Iranian-backed Houthi armed groups who seized the capital Sana’a a year ago. Saudi Arabia’s stated objective is to roll back the Shia Houthis and reinstate Yemen’s president, Abdu Mansour Hadi, who fled last year as the insurgency gained ground. Saudi methods have been dismally indifferent to the plight of civilians. The indiscriminate targeting of populated areas has become routine. Bombs and shells have been fired at hospitals, schools, factories and refugee camps. The death toll has reached 4,500 in six months. According to the United Nations, 80% of Yemen’s 25 million population is on the brink of famine.
Nor are there signs of improvement. Indeed the indications are that things could soon get worse, as the Sunni coalition and Hadi loyalists are preparing a ground offensive on Sana’a. This is certain to be a disaster for a population that already faces food and medicine shortages, as well as drastic water cuts. Diplomatic efforts again falteredon Sunday when the possibility of peace talks, tentatively set for this week, suddenly collapsed after factions loyal to Mr Hadi announced they would not take part until the Houthi side recognised a UN resolution in support of the deposed leader.
Yemen’s history has always been marked by tribal and religious tensions, and the Houthi insurgency has been going on for some years. However, the heart of the current chaos and misery is the larger reality that Saudi Arabia and Iran have both made Yemen a testing ground for their regional strategic rivalry, against a backdrop in which the United States, the major supplier of arms to the Saudis, is simultaneously attempting a significant thaw in relations with Iran. All the Gulf states except Oman have joined the Sunni military coalition in recent months, yet the US has largely turned a blind eye to the war crimes being committed. Its priority is to allay Sunni fears that the old alliances could be compromised after the nuclear deal was reached with Iran.
Yet America’s balancing act may fail. The security vacuum created in Yemen, and the radicalisation that the conflict has accentuated, have opened up more space for al-Qaida-affiliated groups. Recent US drone strikes underline that what is happening in Yemen is military escalation, not stabilisation. A negotiated settlement is long overdue, but it will only happen if strong international pressure, including from the US, is exerted on the Saudis. If even more instability is to be prevented on the Arabian peninsula, there must be a preparedness to name, shame and restrain those who are conducting atrocities against civilians in Yemen. Current western complacency and silence will only bring more chaos and strife.***
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