Showing posts with label Yemen. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yemen. Show all posts

Sunday, April 09, 2023

The President of the Political Council of Sanaa Government meets the delegations of Saudi Arabia and Oman in Sana'a

    Sunday, April 09, 2023   No comments

 The head of the Supreme Political Council in Yemen, Mahdi Al-Mashat, met with the delegations of Oman and Saudi Arabia in the capital, Sanaa, according to Yemeni media.

During the meeting, Al-Mashat stressed his country's firm position on a just and honorable peace, which the Yemeni people seek and achieve their aspirations for freedom and independence.

He also expressed the gratitude of the Yemeni people for the mediation efforts undertaken by the Sultanate of Oman, its positive role in bringing points of view closer, and its efforts to achieve peace.

For his part, the head of the Saudi delegation expressed his thanks to the Sultanate of Oman for their important role and great efforts in the framework of bringing peace to Yemen, and their keenness to support peace and stability in Yemen.

The meeting was also attended by the head of the national delegation, Muhammad Abdel Salam, the deputy head of the national delegation, Lieutenant General Jalal Al-Ruwaishan, the head of the Security and Intelligence Service, Major General Abdul Hakim Al-Khaiwani, the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hussein Al-Ezzi, the member of the national delegation, Abdul-Malik Al-Ajri, and the head of the Military and Security Committee, Major General Abdullah. Yahya Al-Razami.

Yesterday, Saturday, the Omani and Saudi delegation arrived in the Yemeni capital, in order to complete the talks to extend the armistice, after expanding its terms and conditions.

For his part, the head of the Sana'a negotiating delegation, Muhammad Abd al-Salam, announced Sana'a's demands represented in "stopping the aggression, lifting the blockade completely, and disbursing salaries from oil and gas revenues." In addition to these demands, "the exit of foreign forces from Yemen, compensation and reconstruction."

As for the member of the Political Bureau of the Ansar Allah movement, Muhammad Al-Bukhaiti, he revealed, in an interview with Al-Mayadeen, that "there is an understanding with Saudi Arabia," without going into details.

Earlier, a member of the political bureau of the "Ansar Allah" movement, Abd al-Wahhab al-Mahbashi, confirmed that "the Iranian-Saudi agreement is positive, and it will have an impact on the Yemeni file."

A few days ago, Iran welcomed the relative openness resulting from the ceasefire on April 2, 2022, and the limited peace that Yemen witnessed after a long war launched by the United States, whose direct and indirect consequences affected civilians, women, and innocent people.

A sudden meeting between Saudi and Iranian officials in Muscat to discuss important files, on top of which are relations and developments in the region

Today, Sunday, the Saudi ambassador to the Sultanate of Oman, Abdullah bin Saud Al-Anzi, met with his Iranian counterpart, Ali Al-Najafi, in Muscat.

And the Iranian Student Agency, ISNA, reported that “at this meeting, they discussed bilateral relations, developments in the region, and the latest developments in the return of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.”

Last Thursday, the foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia signed a joint statement, at the end of their talks in the Chinese capital, Beijing, which stipulated the start of arrangements to reopen embassies and consulates and expand bilateral relations and cooperation.

According to the statement, Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdullahian agreed with his Saudi counterpart, Prince Faisal bin Farhan Al Saud, to resume the exchange of visits by officials and private sector delegations.

Friday, March 10, 2023

Media Review: The New York Times: The Tehran-Riyadh agreement in Beijing is a great loss for Washington's interests

    Friday, March 10, 2023   No comments

 A report in the American New York Times spoke about the issue of the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement, which came after Chinese mediation, on the basis of which the first meeting between the two parties was held in Beijing today, Friday.

And the American report considered that "the restoration of Iranian-Saudi relations, as a result of Chinese mediation, is a great loss and doubles the interests of the United States."

The New York Times report added, "The announcement by Iran and Saudi Arabia to restore diplomatic relations between them could lead to a major restoration of order in the Middle East."

It also considered that this rapprochement "represents a geopolitical challenge to the United States and a victory for China, which mediated the talks between the two historical rivals."

The newspaper stated, "It was not immediately clear how the breach announced today, Friday, would affect Saudi Arabia's participation in Israeli and American efforts to confront Iran," but it pointed out that "the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two regional powers represents at least a partial melting of the ice of the Cold War." that shaped the Middle East for a long time.

News of the deal, particularly Beijing's role in mediating it, worried foreign policy hawks in Washington, the report confirms, as Mark Dubowitz, CEO of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said, "The renewal of Iranian-Saudi relations as a result of Chinese mediation is a loss, loss, and loss for American interests."

He said it showed that Saudi Arabia "lacks confidence in Washington" and that Iran could isolate US allies "to ease its isolation." It also indicated that China "has become the main sponsor of power politics in the Middle East."

The report concludes that this rapprochement in relations is supposed to affect Yemen, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon mainly, and these are the files that witnessed a major conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia regarding the political approach towards them.

Several Arab parties, most notably Egypt, the UAE and Qatar, welcomed the Iranian-Saudi rapprochement, stressing that it would contribute to creating a positive climate in the region and contribute to its stability and security.

Brokered by Chinese diplomacy, National Security Apparatuses in Iran and Saudi Arabia greenlight the resumption of diplomatic relations between the two countries

    Friday, March 10, 2023   No comments

China’s quiet diplomacy in the Middle East turned a low-level conflict with Iran into a consequential development that could change the trajectory of region.

For months and years, Iraq and Oman have been working hard to bring the two regional powers to a point where they will be able to talk to each other directly. Nothing happened. Within weeks, and since the Chinese president’s visit to Saudi Arabia, China relied on its excellent relations with Iran and exploited Saudi Arabia’s interest in an Asia pivot to bring these countries together. 

Direct and meaningful talks between Iran and Saudi Arabia will have secondary effects on the ongoing conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, and Afghanistan.


Following Iranian President Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi's visit to Beijing last February, Admiral Shamkhani began intensive talks with his Saudi counterpart on Monday, in order to finally resolve issues between Tehran and Riyadh.

And he announced in a joint statement that Iran and Saudi Arabia agreed to resume bilateral relations. As it was stated at the conclusion of the completed talks between the two countries, that the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and representations within two months.

At the conclusion of these talks, a tripartite statement was issued today, Friday, in Beijing, signed by Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council, Musaed bin Muhammad Al-Aiban, the Saudi Minister of State, Advisor to the Council of Ministers and National Security Adviser, and Fang Yi, a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and Chairman. Office of the CPC Central Committee on Foreign Affairs and member of the Government Council of the People's China.

The statement said, in response to the worthy initiative of Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People's Republic of China, to support the strengthening of relations between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and based on the principle of good neighborliness and in view of his agreement with the presidents of the two countries to host and support dialogue between the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as well as the desire the two countries sought to resolve differences through dialogue and diplomacy based on fraternal ties, and affirming the two countries' adherence to the principles and objectives of the United Nations Charter, the Charter of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, and international principles and procedures. Musaed bin Mohammed Al-Aiban, Minister of State, Cabinet Member and National Security Adviser, in Beijing, from March 6-10, 2023.

He added, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia express their gratitude to the Republic of Iraq and the Sultanate of Oman for hosting the talks between the two sides in the years (2021 to 2022) and the leadership and government of the People's Republic of China for hosting and supporting the talks that took place in this country and the efforts made to make them a success.

He continued, as a result of the completed talks, the Islamic Republic of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia agreed to resume diplomatic relations and reopen embassies and representations within two months.

The statement said that the foreign ministers of the two countries will meet to implement this decision and make the necessary arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors.

The two countries affirmed respect for sovereignty and non-interference in each other's internal affairs, within the framework of implementing the security cooperation agreement signed on 4/17/2001 as well as the general economic, trade and investment agreement and technical, scientific, cultural, sports and youth cooperation signed on 5/27/1998.

The statement indicated that the three countries declare their firm determination to employ all efforts to promote peace and security at the regional and international levels.

These developments came just days from the breaking news of a visit by Iran's national security chief to a foreign country. The cryptic news bulletin did not mention the country or offer any other context. It mere stated that:

News sources reported that Admiral Ali Shamkhani held very important talks in a foreign country during the past few days.

And Tasnim International News Agency reported that the Secretary of Iran's Supreme National Security Council held very important talks in a foreign country over the past few days.

According to news sources, the imminent announcement of the results of these talks will cause important developments.

Then came the major announcement:

An Iranian-Saudi agreement to resume diplomatic relations and open embassies

In a joint statement, Iran and Saudi Arabia announced the agreement to resume dialogue and diplomatic relations, and to reopen embassies in the two countries within two months.

According to the joint statement, "the resumption of dialogue between Tehran and Riyadh comes in response to the Chinese president's initiative," during Iranian-Saudi meetings and negotiations that took place between March 6 and 10 in Beijing.

The two countries expressed their appreciation for China's hosting and support for the recent talks, and their gratitude to Iraq and the Sultanate of Oman for hosting the talks between the two sides during the years 2021 and 2022.

According to the statement, Tehran and Riyadh affirmed the principle of respect for sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of the two countries, and the implementation of the security cooperation agreement signed in 2001.

Iran, Saudi Arabia and China announced their intention to use all diplomatic efforts to promote regional and international peace and security.

And Ali Shamkhani, Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, stated that he had conducted intensive negotiations with his Saudi counterpart to resolve the outstanding issues between the two countries once and for all.

Shamkhani added that Iranian President Ibrahim Raisi's visit to China led to "new and very serious" negotiations between the delegations of Iran and Saudi Arabia.

He stressed that removing misunderstandings and looking towards the future in relations between Riyadh and Tehran "will certainly lead to strengthening regional security," expressing his appreciation for China's constructive role in supporting the development of relations between countries to enhance the level of international cooperation.

Shamkhani pointed out that the five rounds of negotiations that took place in Iraq and Oman were influential in reaching the final agreement in Beijing, appreciating the efforts of the two countries.

The foreign ministers of Iran and Saudi Arabia will meet to implement this agreement and make the necessary arrangements for the exchange of ambassadors soon.


Since Xi's visit, observers became interested in China's role in the region asking if Will Beijing succeed in playing the role of mediator between Tehran and the Gulf states?

They noted that it is in China's interest to ease tensions between Iran and the Gulf states to ensure energy security and the success of the "Belt and Road" initiative, but it is not easy to succeed in that, as the United States of America will not allow the success of the Chinese initiative to improve relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia.


Before Raisi's visit to China, they noted that the Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi will visit China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping from February 14 to 16, and will meet his Chinese counterpart, in their second meeting after their first meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Organization summit in Uzbekistan last September. . This will be the first visit of an Iranian president to China since his election in 2021, and he will also be the first head of state to visit China in the Chinese New Year.

The Kuwaiti newspaper "Al-Jarida" had published several days ago an article in which it stated that preparations were underway for an upcoming visit by the Iranian president to Beijing. The day after the news was published, Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani revealed President Raisi's upcoming visit to China.

The visit of the Iranian president to China comes after the statement of the Chinese-Gulf summit, which dealt with the disputed islands between Iran and the United Arab Emirates and the Iranian nuclear agreement, displeased Tehran, which summoned the Chinese ambassador there, and expressed its deep disturbance at what was stated in the summit statement.

In turn, the Chinese ambassador stressed his country's respect for Iran's territorial integrity, and considered that the goal of the Chinese president's visit to Riyadh is to balance relations, support peace and stability in the region, and use dialogue as a tool to solve problems.

To ease Tehran's anger, Beijing sent Chinese Vice Premier Hu Chunhua to Iran, who, during his meeting with the Iranian president, stressed China's determination to develop its comprehensive strategic partnership with Iran.

And during the month in which the Chinese president visited Saudi Arabia, a Chinese consulate was opened in the Bandar Abbas region, and it voted against removing Iran from the United Nations Women's Committee.

"The resumption of diplomatic relations between Saudi Arabia and Iran is a 'victory' for dialogue and peace," Chinese Foreign Minister Chen Wangyi said on Friday.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry quoted Wang as saying at the conclusion of the dialogue between Saudi Arabia and Iran that the resumption of relations is "great good news" in the current turbulent world.

Wang added that China will continue to play a constructive role in dealing with thorny issues in the world today and will show its "responsibility" as a major country.

Saudi Foreign Minister on the agreement with Iran: Our countries share one destiny and common denominators

Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan said, "The resumption of relations between Riyadh and Tehran stems from our vision based on favoring political solutions."

Bin Farhan added that the countries of the region "are united by one destiny and common denominators, which make it necessary for us to participate together in building a model of prosperity and stability."

For his part, Musaed Al-Aiban, Saudi National Security Adviser, said that Saudi Arabia welcomes the Chinese president's initiative to develop relations between the Kingdom and Iran.

Al-Aiban pointed out that "the Saudi-Iranian agreement is the culmination of the discussions that took place during the current week," stressing that Riyadh was keen to make the agreement with Iran within the framework of fraternal ties, and was also keen to open a new page and adhere to international covenants.

According to the Saudi National Security Adviser, "The Saudi-Iranian agreement is a pillar in the development of relations between countries and the promotion of stability in the region."

As for the Iranian side, the Secretary of the Iranian Supreme National Security Council, Ali Shamkhani, said that the recent visit of the Iranian President, Ebrahim Raisi, to China provided the basis for the formation of new and serious negotiations between the delegations of Iran and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Shamkhani added that the talks between the two countries were frank, transparent, comprehensive and constructive, indicating that removing misunderstandings and looking to the future in relations between Tehran and Riyadh will lead to the development of regional stability and security, and increase cooperation between the Gulf states and the Islamic world regarding managing existing challenges.

The visit also comes at a time of raging conflict between China and the United States of America, and the US Secretary of State postponing his visit to Beijing after the balloon crisis and the subjection of Iranian and Chinese companies to US sanctions.

US official reaction:

Reacting to the news,  a White House spokesman confirms that Washington is aware of reports about the resumption of diplomatic relations between Iran and Saudi Arabia, and the communications coordinator in the US National Security Council, John Kirby, said: We welcome any efforts that help end the war in Yemen and reduce tension in the Middle East.

As for the American media, the Wall Street Journal considered that the agreement between the two countries represents a "diplomatic victory for Beijing, in a region where the United States has long dominated geopolitics."

Reactions from the region:

The former occupation prime minister, Naftali Bennett, attacked the current prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, against the background of the Iran-Saudi agreement, noting that it was "a resounding failure, stemming from the combination of political neglect, general weakness, and an internal conflict in the state."

Bennett pointed out that "the resumption of relations is a dangerous and dangerous development for Israel, and represents a political victory for Iran."

On the official Arab level, the Sultanate of Oman said: "We hope that the resumption of Saudi-Iranian relations will contribute to strengthening the pillars of security and stability in the region and consolidating positive and constructive cooperation that benefits all peoples of the region and the world."

The Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs welcomed the agreement reached between the two countries.

The Foreign Ministry indicated that "the efforts made by the Iraqi government in this context, through Baghdad hosting the dialogue rounds between the two sides, and the solid base it established for the dialogues that followed through the Sultanate of Oman and the People's Republic of China, leading to the moment of agreement, which will be reflected in the integration of relations between the two sides, and give A qualitative impetus in the cooperation of the countries of the region, with the aim of a framework that fulfills the aspirations of all parties and heralds the launch of a new phase.


Friday, February 03, 2023

Media Review: The National Interest says Washington is obstructing a political solution in Yemen

    Friday, February 03, 2023   No comments

Chad Kunkle wrote an article in the American magazine "The National Interest" in which he said that during the past month, the "War Powers Resolution in Yemen" was withdrawn from voting in the US Senate, and that if the resolution had been approved, it would have ended the direct US military intervention in the Saudi war in Yemen. The bill was withdrawn by its sponsor, Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders.

According to the article, "This step came after President Joe Biden and his administration promised to veto the resolution if it passed, and urged other senators to vote against the bill." This is what the magazine considered "another major setback in efforts to end US involvement in a conflict that has resulted in one of the most devastating and least discussed humanitarian crises of our time."

This war has caused enormous suffering to the Yemeni people, as it has caused civilian casualties, diseases, internal displacement and famine in the population.

Ending US involvement in this conflict has garnered bipartisan support in Congress over the years despite many failed attempts to pass forms of the Yemen War Powers Resolution (YWPR). The move hit many roadblocks, such as a veto of legislation by President Donald Trump, but it also saw some recent successes, as Biden reversed some of the policies pursued by his predecessors, vowing to stop supporting offensive Saudi military operations and remove the Houthis from the terrorist designation list.

However, these transitions have largely failed to address the key issues that have kept this conflict and all the atrocities associated with it running. The United States has remained the main supplier of weapons to Saudi Arabia, and many US-made aircraft and weapons used in offensive operations by the (Saudi) coalition receive maintenance and support from the US military and US contractors long after Biden pledged to end this support. The Biden administration justified its decision to press against the current iteration of the draft "Yemen war power resolution" by claiming that the situation on the ground had changed, with a UN truce managing to reduce violence for most of 2022 and keeping Saudi airstrikes at bay — even after the truce. The armistice ended in October. The US administration fears that passing the draft resolution will harm the peace process by weakening Saudi Arabia's position at the negotiating table, while critics of the move argue that this leaves the door open for Saudi Arabia to launch a new bombing campaign with the help of the United States.

This decision also appears to be a dangerous reversal on the part of Biden and many key foreign policy officials. Senior Biden associates, such as US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, have signed letters to Trump (perhaps he means Biden) supporting past iterations of the "Yemen War Powers Resolution," and Biden's promise to make Saudi Arabia a pariah in his presidential campaign. The move to block the Yemen War Powers Resolution appears to be the latest example of a major shift in the administration's attitude toward the Saudis, which has garnered considerable attention since Biden's visit to the kingdom last July, which was marked by Biden's failure to secure increased oil production by the Saudis. And the rest of OPEC Plus.

Thus, it seems that the US administration is blocking the decision in another attempt to appease the Saudis, preceded by a recommendation from the administration to grant Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman immunity in a lawsuit filed against him by Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée, in addition to continuing arms sales to the kingdom. Meanwhile, Mohammed bin Salman recently hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping and signed several investment deals with Beijing. This was the final step to increase ties between Saudi Arabia and China. It is clear that this evolving relationship, compared to the marked deterioration in US-Saudi relations, is causing concern in Washington.

The author of the article added that while such developments may cause major changes in US policy in the Middle East, the potential results do not justify a worrisome response that includes appeasement, facilitating disasters such as the war in Yemen. The United States has the ability to invest in alternative energy sources, including domestic oil production. A Saudi shift toward China would also incentivize the United States to define its relationship more clearly with Saudi Arabia, disengaging itself from the frustrating and often contradictory status of quasi-alliance that constrains the flexibility of US policy in the region.

He continued: Attempts to distance countries from their natural interests rarely lead to success, and it is reasonable to assert that the world's largest oil exporter seeks closer relations with its largest buyer is a natural development, especially since the Saudi economy is almost entirely dependent on oil exports. In addition, China's emerging interest in Saudi Arabia will be complicated by Beijing's long-standing attachment to Iran.

The writer concludes by saying that the war in Yemen has been a disaster, and the desperate and unnecessary attempts to prevent Saudi Arabia from pursuing alternative relations to America are no reason for the United States to continue aiding destruction by providing direct military assistance. The decision to seek to rein in that potential is worth the potential disruption of long-term policy, especially when that policy is not feasible to US interests and more beneficial alternatives exist.

It is noteworthy that the Saudi Foreign Minister discussed the Yemeni file in Switzerland with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, and stated that the war in Yemen must end through negotiation.

It is noteworthy that, last October, Sanaa announced that negotiations to extend the UN armistice in Yemen had reached a dead end, after Saudi Arabia refused to pay the salaries of public servants from the revenues of oil and gas produced from the Yemeni governorates, to stop the war and lift the blockade on the country.

A human rights report was issued late last month and documented "the crimes of the US-Saudi aggression during the year 2022", and indicated that the number of victims reached 3,083 deaths and wounded civilians (643 deaths and 2,440 wounded).

It is noteworthy that Saudi Foreign Minister Faisal bin Farhan discussed the Yemeni file in Switzerland with the Special Envoy of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Yemen, Hans Grundberg, and stated that the war in Yemen must end through negotiation.

It is noteworthy that, last October, Sanaa announced that negotiations to extend the UN armistice in Yemen had reached a dead end, after Saudi Arabia refused to pay the salaries of public servants from the revenues of oil and gas produced from the Yemeni governorates, to stop the war and lift the blockade on the country.

A human rights report was issued late last month and documented "the crimes of the US-Saudi aggression during the year 2022", and indicated that the number of victims reached 3,083 martyrs and wounded civilians (643 martyrs and 2,440 wounded).

Monday, August 08, 2022

A Saudi prince claims Western bias, comparing the wars in Ukraine and Gaza

    Monday, August 08, 2022   No comments

A Saudi prince responded to the sympathy of the Ukrainian ambassador in Israel: The hypocrisy of the West and its double standards have exceeded all limits.. People in Ukraine in the eyes of the West are not like people in Palestine

The Saudi prince, Abd al-Rahman bin Musaed, said, "The hypocrisy of the West and its double standards have exceeded all limits... People in Ukraine in the eyes of the West are not like people in Palestine."

The Ukrainian ambassador to Israel, Yevgeny Kornichuk, expressed his “great” sympathy with the Israelis, which a prominent Saudi prince considered “hypocrisy.”

In a tweet published by the Ukrainian embassy in Israel, Cornicheuk said: “As a Ukrainian whose country is under a long-term brutal attack by its closest neighbor, I feel great sympathy for the Israeli people.”

Cornichuk added, “Terrorism and attacks against civilians have become a daily routine for Israelis and Ukrainians. We have to put an end to this. We pray for peace and hope for an end to the escalation soon,” before the shooting stops between Israel and the “Islamic Jihad.”

It is a good sign that even the Saudi ruling family is moved by the plight of vulnerable peoples and outraged by the disproportionate use of force. But it is not clear if the Saudi ruling family would have the same sympathy and concern for civilians living in Yemen, a country that has been under Saudi armed attack, sanctions, and isolation killing thousands of children and pushing poverty in that country to record levels.

Thursday, April 28, 2022

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres walks in war zone characterizes the war in Ukraine as “absurd”, could see his own “grandchildren running in terror.”

    Thursday, April 28, 2022   No comments

ISR Comment:

To Mr. Guterres: There is another absurd war that is also absurd and was allowed to go on for seven years: The war in Yemen. But perhaps the children of Yemen do not look like your grandchildren, so that is why you cannot relate, you cannot imagine them to be your children; so you don’t visit Yemen’s destroyed cities and watch the children dying of hunger and lack of basis medicine because of the suffocating embargo by a regime that threatened to cut off aid to UN organizations if its crimes against children was reported by any UN agency. Perhaps, if the UN and many Western states spoke forcefully against the many wars in Muslim communities initiated or enabled by the West, the world will be more united and successful in preventing this war. Consistency is an element of justice. The bigotry and discrimination against communities of the Global South will haunt those complicit in all human rights crimes and will destroy the reputation of the UN organization for its failure to support for the poor and vulnerable.

The News:

Guterres - who is on his first visit to Ukraine since the start of the Russian war on the country on February 24 - said in front of destroyed buildings accompanied by soldiers and local officials, "I imagine my family in one of these houses, I see my grandchildren running in terror, the war is absurd in the 21st century, any war that is not acceptable in the 21st century.”

While touring damaged towns outside Kyiv, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres urged Russia to cooperate with war crimes probes. Meanwhile, German lawmakers approved sending heavy weapons to Ukraine. DW has the latest.

Biden proposes using seized Russian oligarch assets to compensate Ukraine

The White House proposed using assets confiscated from Russian oligarchs to compensate Ukraine for damage caused by Russia's invasion of the country.

This would enable "transfer of the proceeds of forfeited kleptocratic property to Ukraine to remediate harms of Russian aggression," the White House said in a statement.

To date, European Union allies have frozen more than $30 billion (€ 28,6 billion) in Russian assets, including almost $7 billion in luxury goods belonging to oligarchs, including yachts, art, real estate and helicopters, the White House said.

The United States has "sanctioned and blocked vessels and aircraft worth over $1 billion (€950 million), as well as frozen hundreds of millions of dollars of assets belonging to Russian elites in US accounts."



Monday, April 18, 2022

Wall Street Journal: Saudi Arabia pushed the Yemeni president to step down, and he was detained at his home in Riyadh and his contacts were restricted

    Monday, April 18, 2022   No comments

The Wall Street Journal reported Sunday that Saudi Arabia pushed Yemeni President Abd Rabbu Mansour Hadi to step down earlier this month and that officials detained him at his Riyadh home and restricted his communications.

Hadi announced his resignation on April 7 and handed over his powers to a new leadership council as Yemen entered into a truce seen as a rare glimmer of hope in the conflict that has riven the poorest countries on the Arabian Peninsula.

The newspaper quoted unnamed Saudi and Yemeni officials as saying that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman gave Hadi a written decree delegating his powers to the council, which consists of eight representatives from different Yemeni groups.

According to these sources, some Saudi officials threatened to publish what they said was evidence of Hadi's corruption as part of their efforts to persuade him to step down, the newspaper wrote.

A Saudi official told the newspaper that Hadi has been detained since leaving his post inside his home in Riyadh and has been denied access to any phones.

This reported action, if true, is the second instance of Saudi rulers placing heads of government of foreign countries under limited access and forcing them to take specific action.
In 2017, Lebanese prime minister, Sa`d Hariri was detained and forced to resign; his release was later secured by France, and upon returning to Lebanon, he resended his resignation. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Saudi Arabia announces the cessation of military operations in Yemen

    Tuesday, March 29, 2022   No comments

The Saudi coalition announced, on Tuesday evening, the cessation of military operations in Yemen, starting from 6 am tomorrow, Wednesday.

In the details, Saudi media reported that "the coalition announced the cessation of military operations inside Yemen in response to the invitation of the Secretary-General of the Gulf Cooperation Council."

The Gulf Cooperation Council called on the leadership of the "Saudi coalition" and all Yemeni parties to "stop the military operations that have been going on for nearly seven years in Yemen."

According to a statement by the council, its president, Nayef Falah Mubarak Al-Hajraf, issued an appeal "calling on the leadership of the Saudi coalition in Yemen and all Yemeni parties to stop military operations inside Yemen."

On March 26, the head of Yemen's Supreme Political Council, Mahdi al-Mashat, announced unilaterally, "the suspension of missile and drone strikes and all military actions towards Saudi Arabia, by land, sea and air, for a period of 3 days."

Al-Mashat affirmed, "Sana'a's readiness to turn this declaration into a final and firm commitment, if Saudi Arabia commits to end the siege and stop its raids on Yemen, once and for all."

The initiative announced by Al-Mashat went into effect last Sunday, at six o'clock in the evening, Sana'a time.

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Sanaa Government Likely to impose and end to the war with its imminent control over the richest province in Yemen

    Saturday, October 16, 2021   No comments

 Oct. 15, 2021

The government of the outgoing president, Abd Rabbo Mansour Hadi, lost the 12th district of the Marib governorate, after the latter fell yesterday, to the Yemeni army and the "People's Committees", following bloody battles that lasted for several days, and the failure of air support by the Saudi-Emirati coalition. in resolving it in the interest of his allies. This development came in the wake of the coalition's refusal to respond to the tribal mediation that intervened to prevent bloodshed in the district, bearing in mind that Abdiya had symbolically fallen since late last month, with the army and "committees" closing in on it from all directions, and giving them an opportunity for Hadi forces' fighters to get out safely. with their own weapons.

 Tribal sources confirmed to Al-Akhbar newspaper that the district fell completely yesterday, in a military operation by the army and the “committees” in which the Abdiya tribes cooperated, after Hadi’s forces and the Islah party militias refused to respond to the 22-day deadline, to withdraw. The sources pointed out that hundreds of members of those forces and militias were forced to surrender recently, despite the "coalition" threatening them, last week, with bombing, in the event of handing over the Directorate, following their demand from Saudi Arabia to intervene to lift the siege on them, so the response came from the operations room of the joint forces in Riyadh. Promising to carry out an airdrop within days. However, Saudi Arabia broke its promise, leaving more than 2,000 Hadi forces and allied tribal fighters victims of a losing war in Abdiya. The sources indicated that the "Coalition" warplanes launched a series of intensive raids during the past two days, which failed to impede the progress of the army and the "committees" and caused the death of a number of Hadi's forces with mistaken raids.

For his part, a military source in Sanaa confirmed to Al-Akhbar that the army and the “committees” had taken control of the entire Al-Abdiyyah district with “an active contribution from the tribes,” pointing out that the areas near the Jabal Murad district are currently being combed, searching for “dozens of terrorists.” Al-Qaeda and ISIS elements fleeing the district. Al-Qaeda, which admitted its active participation alongside Hadi forces in the Abdiya front two weeks ago, mourned one of its most prominent military leaders, Yasser Al-Omari, nicknamed "Abu Tariq Al-Omari", who fell on the aforementioned front Tuesday. The organization indicated, in a statement, that Al-Omari had “a long march of fighting in the ranks of the organization, starting from Afghanistan through Iraq and the Levant,” adding that the dead man “was among the wanted by the American intelligence services, and he was arrested in Saudi Arabia and placed in the prisons of the House of Saud for several years.” , before the authorities released him and sent him five years ago to fight in Yemen. Also, a number of leaders of the "156th Brigade" of Hadi's forces were killed during the confrontations of the past weeks, led by the commander of the Abdiya Front, Brigadier General Nasser al-Saidi, in the Bani Abd area, which represented the first line of defense for the Abdiya district over the past weeks.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

UN report on yemen humanitarian crisis: “Either stop the war or fund the crisis. Option three is, do both of them”

    Tuesday, September 05, 2017   No comments

WFP’s Executive Director David Beasley: “Saudi Arabia should fund 100 percent of the needs of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen... Either stop the war or fund the crisis. Option three is, do both of them.”
The United Nations human rights chief has called for an independent, international investigation into the allegations of serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian law in Yemen, in a new report published today.

“An international investigation would go a long way in putting on notice the parties to the conflict that the international community is watching and determined to hold to account perpetrators of violations and abuses,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein in a news release on the report.

“I appeal to all the parties to the conflict, those supporting them and those with influence over them to have mercy on the people of Yemen, and to take immediate measures to ensure humanitarian relief for civilians and justice for the victims of violations,” he added.

According to the report, which records violations and abuses of human rights and international humanitarian law since September 2014, such acts continue unabated in Yemen, with civilians suffering deeply the consequences of an “entirely man-made catastrophe.”

Between March 2015, when the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) began reporting on civilian casualties, and 30 August, at least 5,144 civilians have been documented as killed and more than 8,749 injured.

Children accounted for 1,184 of those who were killed and 1,592 of those injured. Coalition airstrikes continued to be the leading cause of child casualties as well as overall civilian casualties. Some 3,233 of the civilians killed were reportedly killed by Coalition forces.

The report states that the past year witnessed airstrikes against funeral gatherings and small civilian boats, in addition to markets, hospitals, schools, residential areas, and other public and private infrastructure.

The Popular Committees affiliated with the Houthis and the army units loyal to former President Abdullah Saleh (the Houthi/Saleh forces) were responsible for some 67 per cent of the 1,702 cases of recruitment of children for use in hostilities.

The report stresses that “the minimal efforts towards accountability in the past year are wholly insufficient to respond to the gravity of violations and abuses continuing every day in Yemen,” adding that the National Commission established to investigate human rights violations in Yemen is not perceived to be impartial.

The report also found that the governorates most affected by the conflict were Aden, Al-Hudaydah, Sana'a and Taizz.

The humanitarian crisis – with nearly 18.8 million people in need of humanitarian aid and 7.3 million on the brink of famine – is a direct result of the behaviour of parties to the conflict, including indiscriminate attacks, attacks against civilians and protected objects, sieges, blockades and restrictions on movement, the report states.

“In many cases, information obtained…suggested that civilians may have been directly targeted, or that operations were conducted heedless of their impact on civilians without regard to the principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions in attack. In some cases, information suggested that no actions were taken to mitigate the impact of operations on civilians,” the report states. Source

Monday, April 03, 2017

Scotland Yard is looking into allegations of war crimes against Saudi Arabia, committed in Yemen

    Monday, April 03, 2017   No comments
A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: "On Thursday, 30 March 2017 the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) received a referral of an allegation of war crimes, made against Saudi Arabia committed in Yemen.

"Following receipt of the referral, the MPS war crimes team (part of the Counter Terrorism Command) began a scoping exercise and contacted those making the allegations.

"There is no investigation at this time, and the scoping exercise continues."

Britain's potential role in the ongoing conflict in Yemen has been controversial, with the British government being urged to stop exporting arms to Saudi Arabia.

News outlets, activists, and NGOs have pointed to evidence that British-made bombs and weapons are being used against civilians in Yemen, in what would constitute a war crime.

This is a charge that Saudi Arabia vehemently denies, saying the weapons seen in these reports are older, and that the cluster bombs were in fact dropped in 2009.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

British activist Sam Walton‏, @SamWalton, attempted to citizen's-arrest the Saudi Major General, Ahmed Asiri, accusing him of war crimes in Yemen.

    Thursday, March 30, 2017   No comments
British activist  Sam Walton‏, @SamWalton, attempted to citizen's-arrest the Saudi Major General, Ahmed Asiri, accusing him of war crimes in Yemen.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

US will not sell weapons to Saudi Arabia

    Tuesday, December 13, 2016   No comments
ISR comment: This is one of those instances where late is better than never. In September, when Saudi Arabia committed another war crime while continuing its brutal war on Yemen, killing many civilians and pushing millions to starvation, the US Senate cleared way for $1.15 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia. Today, it was announced that sale of arms will be halted. This is a very small and rare victory for the poorest Arab country, Yemen, which has been bombarded for nearly two years by the richest Arab country. It is hoped that EU governments will do follow and ban the sales of arms to Saudi Arabia until its rulers, especially their teenage-minded war minister and son of King Salman, stop using these tools of killing and destruction as toys.

US halts arms sale to Saudi Arabia over civilian casualties in Yemen

The US has cancelled a planned weapons sale to Saudi Arabia and will limit military support for the Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen over widespread civilian deaths, a US official revealed on Tuesday.

More than 10,000 people have been killed during the 20-month-old civil war in Yemen, and the impoverished country is gripped by food shortages and other humanitarian crises.

According to a UN estimate, about 60 per cent of the 4,000 or more civilian deaths have resulted from Saudi-led air strikes. Source

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Saudi Arabia said it bombed funeral hall because it received "incorrect information"

    Saturday, October 15, 2016   No comments
ISR comment: Saudi Arabia said it bombed the funeral hall, killing and injuring about 800 civilians, because it received "incorrect information." Yes everyone knows that: Saleh and Houthi were not in attendance! Killing the two leaders of the Yemeni resistance to Saudi control over Yemen would have been the knock out punch that could  have ended the war quickly. After nearly a year and a half, the Saudis are now realizing that they cannot win by decision, to continue using the boxing metaphor. It turned out that they received the wrong information and they are now loosing the propaganda war. Their other option will be to ask their Western friends, perhaps the UK, to introduce a UNSC resolution that might save them.

The Saudi-led coalition fighting the Iran-backed Houthi movement in Yemen attacked a funeral there after receiving incorrect information from Yemeni military figures that armed Houthi leaders were in the area, an investigative body set up by the coalition said on Saturday.

The Saudi-led campaign in Yemen has come under severe criticism since last Saturday's air strike on the funeral gathering in the Yemeni capital Sanaa, killing 140 people according to one U.N. estimate, and 82 according to the Houthis.

Mourners who died in the attack included some of Yemen's top political and security officials, potentially galvanizing powerful tribes to join the Houthis in opposing a Saudi-backed exiled government.

"A party affiliated to the Yemeni Presidency of the General Chief of Staff wrongly passed information that there was a gathering of armed Houthi leaders in a known location in Sanaa, and insisted that the location be targeted immediately," the investigators concluded, according to a statement. source

Monday, October 10, 2016

Under international law, U.S. might be liable for crimes committed by Saudi Arabia in #Yemen

    Monday, October 10, 2016   No comments

ISR  comment: U.S. administration already admitted that it provided weapons, selection of targets, and refueling assistance to Saudi forces engaged in a war on Yemen. Saudi attack on civilians in a funeral hall is a war crime. The question, then, is U.S. responsible for Saudi actions that result in committing war crimes. Reuters unveiled documents that night help answer that question.

Warning: Some content is graphic and may not be suitable to all viewers and readers. 

The Obama administration went ahead with a $1.3 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia last year despite warnings from some officials that the United States could be implicated in war crimes for supporting a Saudi-led air campaign in Yemen that has killed thousands of civilians, according to government documents and the accounts of current and former officials.

State Department officials also were privately skeptical of the Saudi military's ability to target Houthi militants without killing civilians and destroying "critical infrastructure" needed for Yemen to recover, according to the emails and other records obtained by Reuters and interviews with nearly a dozen officials with knowledge of those discussions.

U.S. government lawyers ultimately did not reach a conclusion on whether U.S. support for the campaign would make the United States a "co-belligerent" in the war under international law, four current and former officials said. That finding would have obligated Washington to investigate allegations of war crimes in Yemen and would have raised a legal risk that U.S. military personnel could be subject to prosecution, at least in theory.

For instance, one of the emails made a specific reference to a 2013 ruling from the war crimes trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor that significantly widened the international legal definition of aiding and abetting such crimes.

The ruling found that "practical assistance, encouragement or moral support" is sufficient to determine liability for war crimes. Prosecutors do not have to prove a defendant participated in a specific crime, the U.N.-backed court found.

Ironically, the U.S. government already had submitted the Taylor ruling to a military commission at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to bolster its case that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and other al Qaeda detainees were complicit in the Sept 11, 2001 attacks.

The previously undisclosed material sheds light on the closed-door debate that shaped U.S. President Barack Obama’s response to what officials described as an agonizing foreign policy dilemma: how to allay Saudi concerns over a nuclear deal with Iran - Riyadh's arch-rival - without exacerbating a conflict in Yemen that has killed thousands.

The documents, obtained by Reuters under the Freedom of Information Act, date from mid-May 2015 to February 2016, a period during which State Department officials reviewed and approved the sale of precision munitions to Saudi Arabia to replenish bombs dropped in Yemen. The documents were heavily redacted to withhold classified information and some details of meetings and discussion.

An air strike on a wake in Yemen on Saturday that killed more than 140 people renewed focus on the heavy civilian toll of the conflict. The Saudi-led coalition denied responsibility, but the attack drew the strongest rebuke yet from Washington, which said it would review its support for the campaign to "better align with U.S. principles, values and interests." Source

Warning: Some content is graphic and may not be suitable to all viewers and readers. 


Saturday, October 08, 2016

Saudi Arabia bombed hall packed with mourners killing and injuring hundreds of people in Sanaa, Yemen

    Saturday, October 08, 2016   No comments
Saudi Arabia struck hall packed with mourners killing and injuring hundreds of people in Yemen, Saturday, October 8.
A senior health official in Yemen says an airstrike by a Saudi-led coalition that targeted a funeral hall packed with mourners has killed at least 82 people.
Nasser al-Argaly, the Health Ministry’s undersecretary, says Saturday’s strike also left 534 people wounded.
Al-Argaly, addressing a news conference, says the casualty figures are not final.



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