Yemen - Civil War

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Houthis' threats to attack UAE and Saudi Arabia 'come from Iran'
Rebel leader's threats another attempt by Tehran to destabilise region, Yemeni government official says

The head of the revolutionary committee of Yemen's Houthi rebels, Mohammed Ali Al Houthi, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday Mar. 19, 2019.AP
The head of the revolutionary committee of Yemen's Houthi rebels, Mohammed Ali Al Houthi, in Sanaa, Yemen, Tuesday Mar. 19, 2019.AP

The Yemeni government said threats repeated by the leader of the Iran-backed Houthi rebels to attack Abu Dhabi and Riyadh were part of Tehran’s response to the US cutting waivers for countries importing oil from Iran.

“Our missiles are capable of reaching Riyadh and beyond Riyadh, to Dubai and Abu Dhabi,” Abdulmalik Al Houthi told the rebel-run Masirah TV.

He said the attacks would be launched if there was any escalation in fighting in the port city of Hodeidah, in which the rebels have breached a UN-led agreement for a ceasefire hundreds of times.

But Hamza Al Kamaly, Yemen’s deputy minister of youth, told The National on Tuesday that the threats came from Tehran, which was again trying to destabilise the region.

“This is an Iranian threat that is projected through the Houthis,” Mr Al Kamaly said. “The US and the international community needs to take this very seriously because Iran is attempting to retaliate to Washington’s cancellation of Iran’s sanction waivers.”

Iran has been interfering in Arab states in an attempt to “destablise and terrorise” the region, Mr Al Kamaly said.

The rebels regularly fire missiles into southern Saudi Arabia and occasionally aim at its capital or assets of the state oil company, Saudi Aramco.

Most of the missiles are intercepted by the Saudi Arabian military.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE intervened in Yemen at the request of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi to fight the Houthis after they seized control of the Yemeni capital Sanaa in 2014.

The UN is struggling to implement a pact agreed to at talks last December in Sweden that would result in a ceasefire and troops withdrawal from the three ports of Hodeidah.

It was the first major breakthrough in peace efforts to end the war that has killed tens of thousands and pushed Yemen to the brink of famine.

The deal was a trust-building step aimed at avoiding an assault on Hodeidah by the Arab Coalition trying to restore the internationally recognised government of Mr Hadi, and paving the way for political talks to set up a transitional government.

Last week, the UN Security Council urged the warring parties to withdraw forces from Hodeidah "as soon as possible".

Meanwhile, the Houthis' Interior Minister, Abdulhakim Al Maori, died at the age of 60 on Monday.

Al Maori was receiving treatment for a chronic disease in a Lebanese hospital.

Lebanon is the home of the Iran-backed militia group Hezbollah, whose members are fighting alongside the Houthis.

Updated: April 24, 2019 12:09 AM

 

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Yemeni Army Restores Torsah Area, West of Azareq District
Saturday, 27 April, 2019


Yemeni army via EPA

Yemeni army units and the Yemeni popular resistance have restored Torsah area, west of Al-Azareq District after fighting with the Iranian-backed coup Houthi militia, according to the September Net website of the Yemeni Armed Forces.

The Yemeni army forces and the popular resistance have sent military reinforcements backed by the Coalition to Restore Legitimacy in Yemen to Al-Azareq District, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

Aslo, a number of terrorist Houthi militias elements were killed and wounded in air strikes conducted by Arab coalition aircraft in the Taiz Governorate.

According to the September Net, the coalition's aircraft targeted reinforcements of Houthis in the city which resulted in killing and injuring a number of the Iranian-backed militants and destroying a number of military vehicles.

 

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KSRelief Delivers Aid to Yemen’s Ailed Education Sector
Saturday, 27 April, 2019

Saudi KSRelief aid trucks enter Yemeni territory last Thursday (SPA)

Riyadh – Asharq Al-Awsat

Thirty five trucks stacked with humanitarian aid pertaining to education provided by the Saudi King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) have safely passed through the Yemeni al-Wadea border crossing shared.

The aid package is intended to help alleviate some of the suffering endured by Yemenis across the war-torn country.

KSRelief, in a statement, said that the educational aid was sent under the initiative entitled “Together for Education in Yemen.”

The delivered convoy included 8,750 school seats-- 5,500 of which were sent for Abyan governorate and 1,250 seats for Marib governorate.

The delivery is part of a total 50,000 school seats pledged for the country’s ailed education sector.

KSRelief pointed out that the aid is part and parcel of Saudi efforts to support the educational sector in Yemen and would allow schools open doors for student enrollment.

“Together for Education in Yemen” was launched last week in Riyadh, in the presence of both the Yemeni and Saudi education ministers.

Yemeni Education Minister Abdullah Salem Lemmles revealed that the war launched by Iran-backed Houthi militiamen has destroyed more than 2,600 schools across the country, and that Saudi Arabia has contributed significantly to overcoming the difficulties exacted on the Yemeni people.

“The educational process in Yemen faces three main challenges, two of which have been addressed. These challenges are the shortages in school book, school seats, and buildings,” Lemmles explained.

KSRelief General Supervisor Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah confirmed that the "Together for Education in Yemen" initiative was launched upon directives by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Education Minister Hamad bin Mohammed Al Al-Sheikh said that Saudi Arabia is also giving away 1,240 study grants, stipends and scholarships annually to prospective Yemeni university students.

He pointed out that the total number of Yemeni students who received university scholarships since 2011 amounted to 10,150.

 

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Houthis accused of killing 12 civilians in south Yemen attacks
April 28, 2019
Rebel rocket strike in Taez and shelling in Al Dhalea blamed for dozen deaths in two families

A Yemeni boy searches a street in Taez city for bullet casings to sell as scrap metal, on April 27, 2019. AFP
A Yemeni boy searches a street in Taez city for bullet casings to sell as scrap metal, on April 27, 2019. AFP

Attacks by Houthi rebels in southern Yemen have killed 12 civilians over two days, government officials said on Sunday.

A mother and four children were killed by a rebel rocket in the government-controlled Jebel Habashi area of Taez province on Sunday, a local official told AFP.

"The rebels targeted the village of Musharraf between the districts of Maafer and Jebel Habashi near to besieged city of Taez, killing the five family members," local media reported.

The official said the Katyusha rocket completely destroyed the family's home about 35 kilometres west of Taez city, which is controlled by pro-government forces but surrounded by the rebels. Yemen's third-largest city has been at the centre of the country's devastating four year civil war.

On Saturday, seven members of a family, including two women, were killed in Houthi shelling in Qataba district of Al Dhalea province, officials said.


The attack was carried out in area of the province where government forces are fighting to recapture territory seized by the Houthis earlier this month.

Yemen has been embroiled in a civil war pitting the Iran-backed Houthis against the government of President Abdrabu Mansur Hadi since March 2015.

The government is supported by a Saudi-led military coalition that has carried out air strikes against the rebels and provided equipment and training for government forces.

On Saturday, coalition strikes killed and wounded a number of rebel fighters in Taez and destroyed their military vehicles, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

The war has devastated Yemen, already the poorest Arab nation, and created what the UN says is the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, with millions of people dependent on aid to survive.

The United Nations is trying to broker a political compromise to end the war but a UN-brokered deal to stop fighting in the vital port city of Hodeidah last December has yet to be implemented.

The warring sides had agreed to a ceasefire and a troop withdrawal from Hodeidah, seen as confidence-building measures to pave the way for talks on forming a transitional government.




 

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Yemen: vital public hospital in Dhalea faces possible closure
Medical centre has 200 new patients a day, many hurt as Houthis shell residential areas
April 29, 2019

[IMG]

In April, the Al-Naser public hospital, the only public medical facility in the Dhalea province in southern Yemen, had approximately 1,000 cholera patients, many of them women and children. EPA

Al Naser Hospital, the only public medical centre in the Dhalea province in southern Yemen, is under threat of closure with a severe shortage of medical equipment and an outdated building.

The hospital provides care for thousands of civilians caught in the bloody civil war that has killed more than 70,000 people and put much of the country into famine.

The National visited the hospital in the centre of Dhalea city and met its vice manager and other staff, who work around the clock to provide care for many civilians.

The staff also tend to thousands of patients, mostly women and children, infected by an outbreak of cholera in the country.

“The situation in the hospital is getting worse and we are facing many problems,” said Dr Mohammed Mohsen, the vice manager.

"The infrastructure of the hospital is in a poor condition. The functioning rooms are old and don’t match the increasing need for new beds.

“The operational budget provided by the Ministry of Public Health is very small and we are suffering a lack in medical equipment and a shortage in medicine.

“The situation in the hospital has been worsened since Medicins sans Frontieres left Dhalea in October 2018.

"The MSF was supporting the hospital by providing free medical care for the community alongside with the Emirates Red Crescent, which used to provide us with medicine and equipment."

Dr Mohsen called on international organisations to urgently provide medical aid to Dhalea, which has been under Houthi shelling for over a month.

He said the hospital receives 200 new patients a day from battle zones such as Mureis, Al Awd and Al Azarik.

Dr Mohsen said the Houthis were deliberately targeting civilians in Dhalea.

Because of a lack of space, staff had to set up the cholera quarantine outside, with beds in tents and makeshift operating theatres set up.

“We are suffering a lot and the patients suffer much more,” said Dr Sameeh Hizam, head of the cholera quarantine. "We have no capacity in the hospital compound and we receive massive numbers of cholera patients.

"In April we received 1,000 patients with cholera, mostly from areas caught by war, so we had to set up the cholera quarantine out in the open.

“We urgently need help to set up a new quarantine in a good environment because the current one is exposed to wind and rain, and it is a shelter for mosquitoes."

https://www.thenational.ae/world/me...tal-in-dhalea-faces-possible-closure-1.854821
 

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AMF, World Bank Group to Hold Seminar to Enhance Yemen's Central Bank Abilities
Monday, 29 April, 2019
Abu Dhabi - Asharq al-Awsat


The Arab Monetary Fund (AMF), in cooperation with the World Bank Group, will hold a seminar in Abu Dhabi, UAE, focusing on capability-building of employees of Yemen’s Central Bank in payment systems.

The course discusses the concepts of modern payment systems, the link between these systems to achieve financial stability and enhance financial coverage, and provides the latest developments in this regard.

The seminar will also address the requirements for building the legislative and institutional framework of payment and settlement systems in Yemen, in which employees will be introduced to the tasks and their responsibilities and roles, based on best practices and international experiences.

In addition, the seminar will discuss managing payment systems, especially the Real-time gross Settlement (RTGS) system, and identifying the requirements for developing such a system. It will also discuss how to use and supervise electronic payments for government services.

The course program will provide practical training for the Bank staff in the areas of interest to the infrastructure of payment systems, which will result in accurately assessing the Bank’s needs, as a first step towards prioritizing the technical support in the construction of the national payments system in Yemen.

AMF Chairman Abdulrahman al-Humaidi explained that the seminar comes in a timely manner in light of the establishment of a new department specialized in payment systems at Yemen’s Central Bank.

Through seminar, Humaidi explained, the Fund was keen to provide a vision of the structure of the department and the responsibilities and roles assigned to its members, based on best practices and international experiences.

The course will also discuss how to manage payment systems, especially the RTGS system and the requirements for developing such a system, as well as discussing how to use electronic payments in government services, thereby enhancing transparency and efficiency, he concluded.

 

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Pompeo: Iran is instructing Yemen’s Houthis to reject political process
Updated: April 30, 2019 01:02 AM

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday accused Iran of directing Yemen's Houthi rebels to renege on commitments they made in Stockholm last December and continue fighting.

The Houthis "continue to refuse to comply with the agreements that they signed up for in Stockholm, Sweden, they refuse to withdraw from the port of Hodeidah ... this is because Iran has chosen to direct them to do that”, Mr Pompeo said at an event in Washington hosted by The Hill newspaper.

He said Iran's guidelines to the Houthis were also seen “with the missile system, the hardware, the military capability” that they had acquired.

“These are not Houthi indigenous weapons systems. They have been smuggled into Yemen from Iran,” Mr Pompeo said.

He defended Washington’s roles in Yemen, fighting Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula supporting Saudi Arabia in countering the missile threat from the Houthis.

"The Saudis have had missiles fly that could have hit you [US citizens] at King Khalid airport," Mr Pompeo said.

"The support we are providing to the Saudis is in America’s best interest."

He said the people happiest to hear asked about the recent Congress resolution to end America’s role in Yemen, which was vetoed by President Donald Trump, were Iran's Qassem Suleimani, head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, and supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Mr Pompeo also defended the decision to end sanctions waivers granted to eight countries that import oil from Iran.

“We are convinced we can make sure the markets are adequately supplied,” he said.

Russia, Turkey and China have indicated that they might work around the sanctions after the waivers end on Wednesday.

“Sovereign nations make their own choices, individual businesses do their own choices," Mr Pompeo said. "What we can do is prepare a sanctions machine that makes it incredibly costly” for those breaching them.

He said that the Trump administration was not seeking regime change in Tehran.

“We are hoping that the regime makes a set of decisions that are very different from the ones that they are making today,” Mr Pompeo said.

He repeated his 12 demands to Tehran, including an end to its support for terrorism and proxy groups.

“We are simply asking Iran to behave like a normal country," Mr Pompeo said. "Simple things such as don’t kill people in Europe, you shouldn’t support Shia militias in Iraq trying to destabilise the Iraqi government, and not to continue to sow strife in Lebanon by underwriting Hezbollah.

“If Iran and its leaders can find a way to do that, we are happy to engage them and bring them to the community of nations.”

He said the US investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was continuing.

The US is "determined to hold every person we think is materially responsible accountable”, Mr Pompeo said.


 

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KSRelief clears 2,321 mines planted by Iranian-backed Houthis


24 anti-personnel mines, 1,018 anti-tank mines were cleared. (SPA)

29 April 2019
SPA

  • Steps up humanitarian activities in region, elsewhere
RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) has stepped up a number of initiatives in Yemen and Sudan ahead of the holy month of Ramadan, removing mines and providing aid packages to displaced and impoverished families.

MASAM, KSRelief’s mine removal project in Yemen, successfully cleared 24 anti-personnel mines, 1,018 anti-tank mines, 197 improvised explosive devices and an additional 1,082 pieces of unexploded ordinance during the fourth week of April. Since its launch, the project has removed 63,719 mines and spare munitions planted by Iranian-backed Houthi militias.

Meanwhile, during the same period, over 1,500 food baskets were also distributed in the towns of Heran and Abbs in the province of Hijja, benefiting 9,096 people. The center also released statistics on its medical campaigns in Yemen for the first quarter of 2019. In the port city of Hodeidah, more than 1,000 cholera cases were reported to KSRelief clinics by the beginning of April.

KSRelief has implemented 330 projects worth $1.99 billion in Yemen in partnership with 80 UN agencies and international and local NGOs. These included the MASAM mine clearance project, a project for rehabilitating thousands of children recruited by Houthi militias, and the establishment of artificial limb centers in Marib and Aden.

 

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Houthis detain 10 journalists in Yemen on ‘trumped-up spy charges’
Updated 02 May 2019

The Houthi militants took over Sanaa in 2014. (AFP/File)

  • The journalists have been detained since the summer of 2015
  • They were treated badly, deprived of medical care and suffered torture
DUBAI: Iran-backed Houthi militias in Yemen have detained and tortured 10 journalists for nearly four years on trumped-up charges of spying, the human-rights group Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

The 10 are accused of working on behalf of the Saudi-led military coalition fighting on behalf of the internationally recognized government of Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Amnesty said the 10 men had been held since the summer of 2015 and that they were formally charged in December 2018 with a series of offenses, including spying and aiding the coalition, by a special court that handles terrorism-related cases.

“It is completely outrageous that these men could face the death penalty simply for doing their jobs,” said Rasha Mohamed, Amnesty’s Yemen researcher.

“These men are being punished for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression. The charges against them are false and should be dropped immediately.”


Some of the journalists worked for online news outlets affiliated with the Islah party, which is part of Hadi’s government, Amnesty said. Nine of them were arrested in a raid on a hotel in Sanaa and one man was detained at home by Houthi forces.

“Over the course of their detention the men have been forcibly disappeared, held in intermittent incommunicado detention, been deprived of access to medical care and suffered torture and other ill-treatment,” Amnesty said.

The accusations are the latest charges of human-rights abuses leveled against the Houthis. They have also been accused of abducting children and using them as child soldiers in the conflict, and of illegally deploying mines in civilian areas.

The Houthis denied on Wednesday that they had detained the 10 journalists. The head of the group’s “supreme revolutionary committee,” Mohammed Ali Al-Houthi, said: “There is no truth to what some are claiming. Let them provide proof that these people are present and that they are journalists.”

 

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Houthi militia intensifies civilian suffering for political purposes
May 02, 2019

Newly recruited Houthi militants chant slogans as they ride a military vehicle during a gathering in the capital Sanaa. (File/AFP)

Arab News

  • The Houthis continue to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in a desperate attempt to sway the international community by blocking food supplies to the capital Sanaa and neighboring provinces
  • With the approach of the holy month of Ramadan, the Houthis had stepped up their attacks on supply lines of these provinces in an effort to disrupt the arrival of food and intensify the humanitarian tragedy
DUBAI: The Houthis have intensified civilian suffering in a number of Yemen's regions, Saudi state-news agency SPA reported on Thursday.

According to a recent report issued by the Higher Relief Committee, the Houthis continue to exacerbate the humanitarian crisis in a desperate attempt to sway the international community by blocking food supplies to the capital Sanaa and neighboring provinces.

The report, published by the official Yemeni news agency, said that with the approach of the holy month of Ramadan, the Houthis had stepped up their attacks on supply lines of these provinces in an effort to disrupt the arrival of food and intensify the humanitarian tragedy.

 

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Houthi commander killed as Yemen troops halt militia advances
01 May 2019
Arab News

The Yemeni army freed some areas in Saada province. (AFP/File)
  • The Arab Coalition destroyed some Houthi rocket launchers
  • The army freed an oasis in Saada
DUBAI: The Yemeni army stopped Houthi militants from advancing in Al-Bayda province, killing a commander and a number of other fighters on Tuesday, Saudi state agency reported.

Meanwhile, Arab Coalition jets targeted Houthi rocket launchers in Taiz province, in southern Yemen.

Elsewhere Yemeni troops, backed by the Arab Coalition, made advances in Saada province in the north of the country.

The army freed Sahama oasis, killing a number of militants.

 

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Houthis Snatch 200 Wheat-loaded Aid Trucks
Thursday, 02 May, 2019
Riyadh, Jeddah - Saeed Al Abyad, Abdelhadi Habtour
[IMG]

Followers of the Houthi group raise their weapons as they demonstrate against an arms embargo imposed by the U.N. Security Council on the group in Sanaa April 16, 2015. REUTERS/Mohamed al-Sayaghi.

Houthi militias, backed by Iran, have seized more than 200 food aid convoys en route to Sanaa in Ibb governorate. The humanitarian relief is destined for ailing Yemenis in the Houthi-held capital.

According to government officials, the capture is part of Houthi oppressive strategies for bringing civilians to their knees and solicit total compliance. For Yemenis in Sanaa, this serves a painful blow, especially that the Islamic fasting season, Ramadan, being a few days away.

“Houthi militias have stopped humanitarian relief trucks loaded with wheat from crossing into Sanaa, adding another human rights violation to the terror group’s record of abuses,” government spokesman Rajih Badi told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Badi demanded that the United Nations mobilizes swiftly to intervene and hold the militias accountable to the piling human rights crimes they’ve committed.

It is the international community’s silence that has tacitly made Houthis act under the impression that they will go unpunished, the official stressed.

"This is yet another crime against humanity by Houthi militias, and is aimed at starving the Yemeni people, exploiting the human suffering of Yemenis as a political trump card," he explained.

Speaking on the Houthis maximum-suffering policy, Badi said: “Whoever does not die by Houthi arms is otherwise starved to death.”

“We hope that the UN will not stand idle on Houthi behavior again…these militias are acting this way because of the UN’s relaxed position on their ongoing crimes,” he remarked.

In parallel, a senior Yemeni official revealed that Houthis have recently implemented a large-scale reassignment and deployment plan for their fighters based in Hodeidah. The move meant the group deploying some of its forces to the Ad Dali' Governorate, where they carried out military offensives.

With their combat capability slashed almost entirely, Houthi militias sought to hire foreign mercenary fighters to expand their battle scope.

Taking developments into consideration, Houthis are actively working to sabotage an UN-brokered truce deal they signed with the freely-elected government headed by President Abdrabbuh Mansur Hadi last December.


Houthis Snatch 200 Wheat-loaded Aid Trucks
 

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Ramadan Loses its Holy Luster as Houthis Pile on Misery in Sanaa
Monday, 29 April, 2019

People walk through the main gate of the Old City of Sanaa. (Reuters)

Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat

The residents of Sanaa continue to suffer under the rule of the Iran-backed Houthi militias, with little respite even as the holy fasting month of Ramadan approaches. Normally meant to be a month of spirituality and joy, this year’s month will be met with misery and dread as the Houthis continue their starvation tactics against the people.

Asmaa, a teacher and mother of three, smiles ruefully when replying to whether she was looking forward to Ramadan: “The children and I have been forced to fast for a year now since we have sought refuge in Sanaa from Taiz.”

She speaks to Asharq Al-Awsat about the lack of food and water in Sanaa, saying that the majority of the locals live on a one meal a day. She also complained about skyrocketing prices, which were already high, but crept even higher as Ramadan quickly approaches.

Asmaa has not received her salary in years and is living off charities.

Another local approached by Asharq Al-Awsat sighed wearily when asked if he was looking forward to Ramadan, wondering: “Is it too much to ask for us to be allowed to live in peace and security?”

“Don’t ask me how I will spend Ramadan,” he said, revealing that he has four children who were growing thinner by the day due to lack of food.

The skyrocketing prices of food have left many people unable to afford them, which has in turn affected shop-owners.

One owner said that his shop has witnessed a 75 percent drop in sales compared to previous years. Another owner said that people can no longer afford to buy their daily food needs.

He revealed that a five-kilogram bag of rice used to cost 1,500 rials before the Houthi coup and it now stands at 4,500. A 20 kg bag of wheat used to cost 6,000 rials and is now sold at double the price. Even the prices of dairy products and vegetables have doubled and tripled (1 dollar is equivalent to 500 rials).

A report on Yemen’s economy for March revealed that the cost of basic goods in the war-torn country have risen by 2 percent despite an improvement in the rial exchange rate against the dollar. The report, a copy of which was obtained by Asharq Al-Awsat, showed that Sanaa was the most expensive city in the country, followed by the Hodeidah province.

The people’s misery at the hands of the Houthis is not just limited to their basic food needs, but has also reached their spiritual and religious practices. The advent of Ramadan will only highlight this misery.

Since their coup four years ago, the Houthis have sought to eliminate the Yemenis’ religious customs during the holy month and replaced them with their own alien ones.

A Sanaa mosque imam and preacher said that the holy meanings of Ramadan are lost to the Houthis. The month is supposed to preach tolerance and compassion with the poor, but with the militias, this message has been turned into one that advocates death, starvation and sectarianism, he lamented.

Ramadan has not been celebrated in the city for years and this year will be no different, he told Asharq Al-Awsat on condition of anonymity.

Moreover, he said that Sanaa will not hear the chants of the “tarawih” prayers that are practiced during Ramadan, but they will be replaced by Houthi curses and calls for death and incitement through mosque loudspeakers.

 

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Saudi-led coalition attacks air base adjoining Sanaa’s airport
Reuters
Thursday 02 May 2019


The raids targeted drone maintenance sites, a communications system and locations of drone experts and operators, a Saudi official said

The Saudi-led military coalition fighting in Yemen raided an air base adjoining Sanaa’s airport, Saudi news agency SPA said on late on Wednesday.

The raids targeted drone maintenance sites, a communications system and locations of drone experts and operators, SPA quoted coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki as saying.

“The terrorist, Iran-backed Houthi militia have transformed Sanaa airport into a military barracks and a place to launch drones to carry out terrorist attacks that threaten regional and international security”, al-Maliki said.

Al Maliki added that the targets were legitimate and that the operation is consistent with international humanitarian law.

Earlier, Houthi-controlled Al-Masirah TV said 13 air strikes targeted al-Dulaimi Air Base in Sanaa.

A resident of the capital told Reuters violent explosions rocked the north of the city where Sanaa airport and the military base are located.
Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Sunni Muslim allies have been fighting since March 2015 against the Houthis, who drove the country’s internationally recognised government into exile in 2014.

The Houthis control much of north Yemen, including the capital Sanaa.

The war has devastated the country’s infrastructure and driven much of its population to the brink of famine.

https://gulfbusiness.com/saudi-led-coalition-attacks-air-base-adjoining-sanaas-airport/?utm_campaign=GB_Daily_Newsletter_02_05_2019&utm_medium=email&utm_source=Eloqua
 

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Senate fails to override Trump veto on Yemen military assistance
02.May.2019
By: Joe Gould
55 minutes ago

WASHINGTON — U.S. military support for Saudi Arabia’s war in Yemen survived a critical vote in the Senate on Thursday as Democrats failed to override President Donald Trump’s veto, shifting the fight to the nascent defense policy and appropriations bills.

The vote was 53-45, short of the two-thirds majority that would have been required.

“This is the first time in 45 years the War Powers Act was used successfully to try to stop U.S. intervention in an unauthorized war,” Sanders, a co-sponsor of the legislation and one of many Democratic presidential candidates, said during the vote. “No one should think this is the end of that process. This is the beginning of that process. What you’re seeing now is Congress finally having the courage to reassert its constitutional [war-making] responsibility.”

The dispute over whether the U.S. should continue military support for the Emirati and Saudi-led coalition fighting Iran-backed rebels in Yemen may next be fought in the drafting of the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act or defense spending legislation. Both are considered must-pass pieces of legislation, which, if they reach the president’s desk with Yemen language he opposes, would test his resolve.

Though the legislation has yet to be drafted, Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., and the sponsor of the Yemen resolution in the House, said he would be seek language akin to the war powers resolution in the annual defense policy bill.

“The NDAA will be the next big step, and it will keep the pressure on the Saudis,” said Khanna. Khanna is a member of the House Armed Services Committee, which drafts and negotiates the bill with its Senate counterpart.

One of the Senate measure’s co-sponsors and an appropriator, Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said he likewise expects a bid to defund U.S. military assistance in Yemen in the 2020 defense spending bill.

Sen. Jack Reed, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a senior appropriator, was favorable. “The measure passed here on a very strong bipartisan basis and that could generate the appropriate support in the appropriations bill or NDAA,” he said, acknowledging such a move would invite partisan resistance.

The Republican Senate Appropriations Committee chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., and SASC Military Personnel Subcommittee Sen. Thom Tillis, were among Republicans opposed to such a strategy, as it might impede the progress of the bills.

“That, to me, is more of a stunt,” Tillis said. “The NDAA is more about Department of Defense authorities, readiness, capabilities. This is more of a policy discussion that falls outside of that. I can see this as a tactic, but I don’t think it’s appropriate, and that’s why I don’t think it would prevail.”


In April, Congress sent Trump a bipartisan, never-before-used war powers resolution that sought to invoke Congress’s constitutional authorities, but Trump used the second veto of his presidency to strike it down. Since the administration of President Barack Obama, U.S. military support included intelligence sharing, logistics and, until late last year, aerial refueling.

Many of the Democratic candidates for president are now opposed to U.S. military support in the Yemen war.

Obama’s former vice president, Joe Biden, aligned himself this week with the Senate Democratic caucus — which includes presidential candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Michael Bennett Kirsten Gillibran, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar. In the House, candidates Tulsi Gabbard, Eric Swallwell and Seth Moulton voted for the measure to remove the military from the Yemen war, while Tim Ryan did not vote.

Lawmakers have grown concerned about the thousands of civilians killed in coalition airstrikes since the conflict began in 2014, and they have criticized the president for not condemning Saudi Arabia for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi who lived in the U.S. and had written critically about the kingdom.

In the floor debate ahead of the vote, Democrats said that invoking the 1973 War Powers Resolution was an important step in Congress reclaiming its long-atrophied war making authorities, while Republicans argued the law was being misapplied and would, if successful, empower Iran.

“As some of my colleagues and the president have repeated, we do indeed have important security and military partnerships with the countries comprising the coalition,” said Sen. Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “but these partnerships are not a blank check for weapons and direct support for a campaign that is decidedly working against U.S. interests in the region.”

Seven Republicans broke ranks to vote with Democrats on Thursday in attempting to overturn Trump’s veto, but they represented too small of a minority as most GOP lawmakers stood with the president.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that halting U.S. training, intelligence sharing and other non-combat support would weaken U.S. influence and pressure on allies to find a diplomatic end to the war.

“I share many of my colleagues’ serious concerns about aspects of Saudi Arabia’s behavior, but the best way for us to encourage better behavior from our partners is to remain involved with Saudi Arabia and the U.A.E. and not push them into the arms of Russia and China,” McConnell said.

Trump, with the second veto of his presidency, argued not only that the Yemen measure’s passage would weaken efforts to fight al-Qaida and Islamic State affiliates but also that Congress was overstepping its authority and impinging on the president’s constitutional powers as commander in chief.

 

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