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Yemen - Civil War

Khafee

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Outrage as Houthis Revealed to Have Collected Donations for Lebanon’s Hezbollah
07 July 2019

View attachment 9169
Yemen's Houthi militias collect donations to Lebanon's Hezbollah party. (AFP)

Sanaa - Asharq Al-Awsat

A radio station run by the Iran-backed Houthi militias announced that it had managed to garner millions of riyals in donations to the Lebanese Hezbollah party.

The Iran-backed party has seen its income diminish due to American sanctions on Tehran.

Sam FM announced that it collected 73 million riyals (around $132,000) from Houthi members and followers over a ten-day campaign for Hezbollah, which is blacklisted by various countries.

The news sparked outrage among residents of Houthi-held Sanaa. Many expressed their disgust to Asharq Al-Awsat over how the militias are keener on Hezbollah’s interests than on the people and on easing their suffering.

Sanaa-based Yemeni activist Saeed al-Kholani told Asharq Al-Awsat: “We are not surprised that the militias would support their allies in the region, but we question how such a donation campaign could be organized at a time when the majority of Yemenis in regions under their control are starving.”

He also noted that the Yemenis are starving in regions where Houthi rulers boast massive wealth from looting state resources and imposing additional taxes on merchants.

“Sam FM was better off collecting donations to the thousands of families that lost their sources of income or employees of the government, whose salaries have been halted by the Houthis for the third straight year,” he remarked.

Relief worker Samir Yehya told Asharq Al-Awsat: “The amount the militias managed to collect may be small, but it reveals the extent to which they are disconnected from the problems of Yemeni society and just how keen they are on serving Iran’s sectarian and regional agenda.”

One Sanaa resident expressed his shock at the Houthi donation campaign, saying: “If only they would allow us to collect donations for the poor.”

“If only they would cease meddling in charitable work and harming humanitarian agencies that are keen on providing relief to the Yemenis,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat. “They do not care for the suffering of the people because they are nothing more than a sectarian gang. They can never rise up to the responsibility.”

A local official in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the Houthis’ “bewildering” behavior stems from their hatred towards the Yemenis and their fear that Hezbollah’s diminishing income would negatively impact them.

Partisan sources in Sanaa told Asharq Al-Awsat that the donation campaign “was merely symbolic and instead sought to underline the ties that bind Iran’s proxies in the region.”

He noted that senior Houthi officials still receive their monthly salaries, which are provided by Hezbollah.

Sources said that the Yemeni people were more entitled than any other party to obtain humanitarian relief. Hezbollah needs nothing given its massive sources of income, whether from Iran, its major investments or its money-laundering and drug trade.

American reports had previously revealed that Hezbollah derives its income from Iran’s supreme leader, charitable (zakat) donations from its supporters and various institutions and financial networks. The reports estimated that Hezbollah has an annual budget of some $700 million, eight percent of which is provided by Iran, meaning the American sanctions on Iranian oil will negatively affect this support.

Yemeni observers believe that the Houthis sought from their donation campaign to prove their loyalty to Hezbollah and garner its support to keep dozens of its experts in Yemen where they provide combat training to Houthi members.

 

Khafee

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Arab coalition thwarts Houthi attack on commercial ship in Red Sea
Arab News
July 08, 2019

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Arab Coalition Spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki speaks at a press conference in Riyadh. (File photo/AFP)

RIYADH: The Arab military coalition thwarted an attempt by Houthi militants to attack a commercial ship off the coast of Yemen.

Naval forces intercepted and destroyed a “booby-trapped boat,” laden with explosives in the southern Red Sea on Monday morning, coalition spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said.

There were no details of the targeted ship.

The coalition, which is fighting alongside forces loyal to Yemen’s internationally recognized government against the Iran-backed Houthis, has repeatedly warned of the danger posed by the militants to international shipping.

In July 2018, the Houthis attacked a Saudi-owned oil tanker as it travelled through the Red Sea. Iran has also been blamed for a number of attacks on ships in recent months in waters off the Arabian Peninsula.

“The threat to navigation and international trade by the Iran-backed Houthi militia is a serious terrorist act,” Al-Maliki said.

He said the coalition forces are continuing to “neutralize all the militia’s hostile terrorist capabilities.”

Earlier, Al-Maliki accused the Houthis of reinforcing terrorist organizations operating in Yemen.

The accusation came after Saudi and Yemeni special forces captured the leader of Daesh in Yemen last month.

Abu Osama Al-Muhajir, a Yemeni who went by several other names, also fought for Daesh in Syria, Al-Maliki said.

Al-Maliki said that the Iran-backed Houthis continue to target civilians in the conflict, which started in 2014 when the militia seized the capital Sanaa,

He described the coalitions continued efforts to help aid deliveries, with more than 600 permits issued over the last two weeks.


 

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Saudi-led coalition forces stop another Houthi drone
Updated 11 sec ago
Arab News
July 09, 2019

View attachment 9276
A picture taken on June 19, 2018 shows debris of Iranian-made Ababil drones displayed Abu Dhabi, which the Emirati armed forces say were used by Houthi rebels in Yemen in battles against the coalition forces led by the UAE and Saudi Arabia. (AFP file photo)

  • The Iran-backed Houthis had stepped up attacks toward civilian targets in Saudi Arabia in the past weeks
JEDDAH: Coalition forces supporting Yemen's legitimate government shot down another explosives-packed drone launched by Houthi terrorists toward Saudi Arabia late on Monday, the alliance's spokesman said.

Colonel Turki al-Maliki said in a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) that the drone, like the previous ones, was aimed at a civil target. No details were made available.

"The Houthi terrorist criminals continue to launch drones to carry out hostile and terrorist acts by targeting civilians and civilian installations, and that none of their targets have been achieved. They have been destroyed and shot down," he said.

Al-Maliki said the coalition continues to carry out "deterrent measures against these terrorist militias and the neutralization of Houthi capabilities with all rigor and in accordance with international humanitarian law and its customary rules."

The Iran-backed Houthis had stepped up attacks toward civilian targets in Saudi Arabia in the past weeks, including at least three this month.
An attack on the airport in Abha on July 2 left nine civilians wounded.

Saudi defense forces shot down a set of drones launched toward Jazan in southern Saudi Arabia on July 5. Drones launched from Sanaa in Yemen on July 6 were also stopped before they could hit targets.

 

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U.A.E. Pulls Most Forces From Yemen in Blow to Saudi War Effort

"For four years, the United Arab Emirates have been the military linchpin of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, providing weapons, money and thousands of ground troops to a campaign to drive out Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Emirati forces led almost every major advance the coalition made. Now they have decided they can go no further.

The Emiratis are withdrawing their forces at a scale and speed that all but rules out further ground advances, a belated recognition that a grinding war that has killed thousands of civilians and turned Yemen into a humanitarian disaster is no longer winnable.

Emirati officials have been saying for several weeks that they have begun a phased and partial withdrawal of forces estimated at 5,000 troops a few years ago. But Western and Arab diplomats briefed on the drawdown say a significant reduction has already occurred, and that the Emiratis are driven mostly by their desire to exit a war whose cost has become too high, even if it means angering their Saudi allies.

In the past month, the Emiratis have cut their deployment around Hudaydah, the Red Sea port that was the war’s main battleground last year, by 80 percent to fewer than 150 men, according to four people briefed on the drawdown. They have pulled out their attack helicopters and heavy guns, effectively precluding a military advance on the city.

Mike Hindmarsh, a retired Australian major general who commands the Emirati presidential guard, recently told Western visitors that Yemen had become a quagmire where the Houthis were the “Yemeni Viet Cong.”

The drawdown “is going to expose the Saudis to the reality that this war is a failure,”
said Michael Stephens of the Royal United Services Institute, a research group in London. “It tells us the two main protagonists on the coalition side, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, don’t have the same idea of what success looks like.”

Diplomats said the Saudis were deeply disappointed by the Emirati decision. Top officials with the royal court personally intervened with the Emirati leaders to try to dissuade them from the drawdown, said a Western diplomat familiar with the matter. Several people briefed by the Emiratis said that they have avoided announcing their decision publicly in part to minimize the unhappiness of the Saudis.

“The only thing stopping the Houthis from taking over Yemen was the U.A.E. armed forces,” said Michael Knights, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute. “Now the glue that was holding Yemen together is being withdrawn.” The drawdown could prompt the Houthis to take advantage of the vacuum and launch new attempts to capture ground they lost to the Emirati-led battle group last year. Fighting has already surged in several strategic towns on the plains south of Hudaydah, threatening supply lines to Saudi-led forces positioned around the city."

 

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U.A.E. Pulls Most Forces From Yemen in Blow to Saudi War Effort

"For four years, the United Arab Emirates have been the military linchpin of the Saudi-led war in Yemen, providing weapons, money and thousands of ground troops to a campaign to drive out Yemen’s Houthi rebels. Emirati forces led almost every major advance the coalition made. Now they have decided they can go no further.

The Emiratis are withdrawing their forces at a scale and speed that all but rules out further ground advances, a belated recognition that a grinding war that has killed thousands of civilians and turned Yemen into a humanitarian disaster is no longer winnable.

Emirati officials have been saying for several weeks that they have begun a phased and partial withdrawal of forces estimated at 5,000 troops a few years ago. But Western and Arab diplomats briefed on the drawdown say a significant reduction has already occurred, and that the Emiratis are driven mostly by their desire to exit a war whose cost has become too high, even if it means angering their Saudi allies.

In the past month, the Emiratis have cut their deployment around Hudaydah, the Red Sea port that was the war’s main battleground last year, by 80 percent to fewer than 150 men, according to four people briefed on the drawdown. They have pulled out their attack helicopters and heavy guns, effectively precluding a military advance on the city.

Mike Hindmarsh, a retired Australian major general who commands the Emirati presidential guard, recently told Western visitors that Yemen had become a quagmire where the Houthis were the “Yemeni Viet Cong.”

The drawdown “is going to expose the Saudis to the reality that this war is a failure,”
said Michael Stephens of the Royal United Services Institute, a research group in London. “It tells us the two main protagonists on the coalition side, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, don’t have the same idea of what success looks like.”

Diplomats said the Saudis were deeply disappointed by the Emirati decision. Top officials with the royal court personally intervened with the Emirati leaders to try to dissuade them from the drawdown, said a Western diplomat familiar with the matter. Several people briefed by the Emiratis said that they have avoided announcing their decision publicly in part to minimize the unhappiness of the Saudis.

“The only thing stopping the Houthis from taking over Yemen was the U.A.E. armed forces,” said Michael Knights, a senior fellow at the Washington Institute. “Now the glue that was holding Yemen together is being withdrawn.” The drawdown could prompt the Houthis to take advantage of the vacuum and launch new attempts to capture ground they lost to the Emirati-led battle group last year. Fighting has already surged in several strategic towns on the plains south of Hudaydah, threatening supply lines to Saudi-led forces positioned around the city."

Not correct. UAE is doing redeployment only. Any reduction in troops will be a bilateral decision.
 

Khafee

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Arab Coalition Downs 3 Houthi Drones Flown towards Saudi Arabia
Wednesday, 17 July, 2019
[IMG]

Arab coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki. (AFP)

Asharq Al-Awsat

The Saudi-led Arab coalition to restore legitimacy in Yemen intercepted and downed on Tuesday three drones that were flown towards Saudi Arabia by the Iran-backed Houthi militias.

Coalition spokesman Colonel Turki al-Maliki said the drones were launched from Amran in Yemen towards civilian targets in Jazan and Abha in Saudi Arabia.

He condemned the terrorist act, saying it coincided with United Nations envoy Martin Griffiths’ visit to Sanaa.

The Houthis are persistent in attempting to target civilian airports in Abha, Jazan and Najran, “proving their criminality and extremist ideology against the Yemeni people and neighboring countries,” he added.

The coalition will take “necessary measures to target the Houthis’ hostile terrorist military infrastructure,” Maliki vowed.

https://aawsat.com/english/home/art...ns-3-houthi-drones-flown-towards-saudi-arabia
 

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The vital areas have been populated with SHORAD. We might see an increased number of aerial strikes against Houthis in the next few days.
 

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The United Arab Emirates is reducing its forces in Yemen, but remains the most powerful actor in the south.

Recently, the UAE unified all military forces in western Yemen, including those in the port city of Hodeidah, under Tareq Saleh. It apparently sought greater control over forces in the area to prevent any military escalation. Indeed, a source close to the Houthis noted that the Houthis and the UAE had reached an understanding to avoid any intensification of the fighting in western Yemen, otherwise the Houthis would target the UAE’s ports and airports in the same way that they have Saudi Arabia’s. Until now the UAE has not been attacked by the Houthis, even as pro-Houthi sources have alleged that the group has developed unmanned aerial vehicles with a range of 2,000 kilometers, putting the UAE within range.

The UAE’s behavior in western Yemen underlines that it is primarily focused on southern Yemen and the coast, with little interest in what happens in the country’s north. Given that the Houthis, in turn, have no strategic interest in southern Yemen, this has created room for the Houthis and Emiratis to find compromises. For the UAE, it no longer makes sense to involve itself in fighting over areas it regards as marginal to broader Emirati interests.

Emirati pragmatism has also been visible in the growing crisis between the United States and Iran. The UAE has been careful to avoid any escalation with Tehran. This was particularly visible when Iran or pro-Iran groups targeted four oil tankers near Fujairah last May. While the UAE and others later concluded that a “state actor” had likely been behind the attacks, the UAE was careful not to accuse Iran directly of having done so.

The drawdown of forces will also serve another purpose. It may improve the UAE’s image at a time when international humanitarian organizations have accused it of perpetrating human rights violations in Yemen. The international outcry over the humanitarian situation is rising, with even the U.S. Congress seeking to block arms sales to the Persian Gulf nations. Therefore, the UAE is almost certainly calculating that by reducing its presence on the ground, it will be held less accountable for the catastrophe that Yemen has become.

 

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Houthis today announced they launched a ballistic missile at a military target in Dammam, 1200km away.

If true, this would be the longest range attack by the Houthis against KSA and longest range attack by a Houthi BM ever.

Houthis hinted they had the capability to strike beyond Riyadh for a while now.

Dammam is quite well defended with PAC-2s.

Will update if/when more information becomes available.
 

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Also another Houthi targeted attack on a Yemeni military parade in Aden this morning.

Believed missiles and drones were used.

Video of the aftermath is quite graphic and shows a significant amount of casualties (I won't post it but it's easily available on Twitter).

Houthis report over 30 dead/injured.

EDIT: 32 confirmed dead and rumoured 40+.
 
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