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Yemen - Civil War

ali razza

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Yemen's warring parties agree to their largest prisoner swap as U.N. seeks ceasefire

September 27, 2020 / 5 hours ago
By Stephanie Nebehay

View attachment 16571
GLION, Switzerland (Reuters) - The U.N. Special Envoy for Yemen wants to build on Sunday’s announcement of the largest prisoner exchange agreement in the five-year conflict to pave the way for a national ceasefire and a political solution to end the war, he said.

Yemen’s warring parties agreed to exchange 1,081 prisoners, including 15 Saudis, as part of trust-building steps aimed at reviving a stalled peace process, the United Nations said.

“I was told that it’s very rare to have prisoner releases of this scale during the conflict, that they mostly happen after a conflict,” U.N. envoy Martin Griffiths told Reuters in the Swiss village of Glion where the deal was announced.

The timing, sequence and logistics of the exchange were still being finalised by the International Committee of the Red Cross, which will organise the transfers, he said.

Griffiths is trying to restart political negotiations to end the war, which has killed tens of thousands of people and caused what the United Nations describes as the world’s largest humanitarian crisis with millions on the brink of famine.

The Yemeni government, backed by a Saudi-led military coalition, and the Iran-aligned Houthi movement they have been battling for over five years signed a deal in late 2018 to swap some 15,000 detainees split between both sides but the pact has been slowly and only partially implemented.

“Our overall aim at the moment is to bring an agreement on what we call a joint declaration which is a national ceasefire to end the war in Yemen,” Griffiths said, adding it would be accompanied by measures to open up ports, airports and roads.

“This achievement here I think will undoubtedly have a bounce effect for that, that it will encourage the parties to go the extra mile to resolve final differences,” he said.

Heads of the delegations hugged after closing their discussions, with Griffiths saying: “Well done, well done.”

“BUILDING TRUST”
Saudi Arabia welcomed the agreement as a step towards a comprehensive political solution and called on the Houthis not to undermine Griffiths’ efforts.

“The aim behind this agreement is purely humanitarian. It will also establish a solid base for dialogue and for reaching a comprehensive political solution,” said Colonel Turki al-Malki, spokesman for the military coalition.

During a news conference in Riyadh, Malki said the first phase of the agreement would release 400 people, including 15 Saudi soldiers and four Sudanese, while the coalition would free 681 Houthi fighters in the largest swap since the peace talks in Stockholm in December 2018.

Abdulkader al-Murtada, of the Houthi prisoner exchange committee Abdulkader al-Murtada, gave the same figures to reporters in Glion, saying: “Of course this file is considered to be one of building trust between the parties and if there has been any positive movement in the prisoners’ file, without a doubt it will influence the other files.”

ICRC Middle East director Fabrizio Carboni called for “security and logistical guarantees” for swift releases.

Yemen has been mired in conflict since the Houthis ousted the internationally recognised government in the capital, Sanaa, in late 2014, prompting the Western-backed coalition to intervene in March 2015.

The conflict, seen in the region as a proxy war between Saudi Arabia and Iran, has been in military stalemate for years with the Houthis holding Sanaa and most big urban centres.

The Saudi-led coalition said on Sunday it had intercepted a drone over Yemen that the Houthis had fired towards southern Saudi Arabia.

Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay, Mohammed Ghobari, Aziz El Yaakoubi, Mohammed Mokhashaf, Cecile Mantovani, Tarek Fahmy, Hadeel Al Sayegh and Marwa Rashad; Writing by Ghaida Ghantous and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by William Mallard, Nick Macfie and Alison Williams
ceasefire happening?
 

Scorpion

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That is Obama's plan back again on the table. During his two terms in office, his admin funded terrorist jihadists in Syria under Timber Sycamore which was ended by Trumps admin back in 2017. Terrorists groups that became relatively docile in the later years of Trump's admin due to maximum pressure policy are now on the raise thanks to the return of funds from Qatar and subsequently Iran. And now removing the designation of Houthis as a terrorist group, under the guise of citing the need to mitigate one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters in which was actually caused by the Houthis themselves blocking aid from reaching affected area under the eyes on the UN envoy to Yemen. To make things worse, Biden announced last week he is ending U.S support for the offensive operations in Yemen (The US is not involved in by the way) where they should be thankful to the Saudi Special operation for taking out AlQaeda members in Yemen and providing the US with intel information as well as suppressing another anti-US Iran backed organization that was about to raise . So far Biden's polices emboldened terrorist groups in the region, Hezbollah executed the Lebanese journalist Luqman Saleem sending a message of return to the status quo in Lebanon. Obviously, his blood is not as precious as Khashogge's blood. Tunisian MB government is brutally cracking down on protesters, Qatar is back into openly funding Hamas again. Let's see how Saudi Arabia deals with all of this.
 

BATMAN

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That is Obama's plan back again on the table. During his two terms in office, his admin funded terrorist jihadists in Syria under Timber Sycamore which was ended by Trumps admin back in 2017. Terrorists groups that became relatively docile in the later years of Trump's admin due to maximum pressure policy are now on the raise thanks to the return of funds from Qatar and subsequently Iran. And now removing the designation of Houthis as a terrorist group, under the guise of citing the need to mitigate one of the world's worst humanitarian disasters in which was actually caused by the Houthis themselves blocking aid from reaching affected area under the eyes on the UN envoy to Yemen. To make things worse, Biden announced last week he is ending U.S support for the offensive operations in Yemen (The US is not involved in by the way) where they should be thankful to the Saudi Special operation for taking out AlQaeda members in Yemen and providing the US with intel information as well as suppressing another anti-US Iran backed organization that was about to raise . So far Biden's polices emboldened terrorist groups in the region, Hezbollah executed the Lebanese journalist Luqman Saleem sending a message of return to the status quo in Lebanon. Obviously, his blood is not as precious as Khashogge's blood. Tunisian MB government is brutally cracking down on protesters, Qatar is back into openly funding Hamas again. Let's see how Saudi Arabia deals with all of this.

Yemenis living world wide, should protest to US.
 

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Exclusive: U.N. team finds Houthis launched Aden airport attack that killed 22 - diplomats

March 30, 2021
Updated 9 hours ago
By Jonathan Landay, Ghaida Ghantous, Mahmoud Mourad


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An investigation by a U.N. team of experts found Yemen’s Houthis were responsible for a Dec. 30 attack on Aden airport that killed at least 22 people as members of the country’s internationally recognized government arrived, two diplomats familiar with the matter said on Monday.

The experts presented their report to the U.N committee that oversees Yemen-related sanctions during closed consultations on Friday, but Russia blocked its wider release, the diplomats said. They asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The Iran-aligned Houthis denied responsibility for the attack when it took place.

The diplomats did not elaborate on why Russia blocked the release of the findings. The Russian mission to the United Nations did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

The report comes at a sensitive time for new U.S. President Joe Biden as his administration and the United Nations press the Houthis to accept a peace initiative that includes a ceasefire.

Saudi Arabia and the Yemeni government have endorsed the initiative but the Houthis say it does not go far enough.

The Houthi movement, which controls most of Yemen’s north, has been fighting forces loyal to President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi’s internationally recognized government and a Saudi-led coalition in what is widely seen as a proxy war between Tehran and Riyadh.

The U.N. expert panel determined that the Houthis launched missiles at Aden airport from two locations that were under the movement’s control at the time, the airport in Taiz and a police station in Dhamar, the diplomats said.

The experts found that the missiles were the same kind as those used previously by the Houthis, they said.

The missiles landed as members of Hadi’s government arrived at the airport to join separatists who control the southern port city in a new cabinet as part of a Saudi effort to end feuding between its Yemeni allies.

At least 22 people died and dozens more were injured in the attack.

No Cabinet minister was killed, but the dead included government officials and three International Committee of the Red Cross staff members.

During Friday’s briefing to the sanctions committee, the diplomats said, the experts said the missile launches from the two Houthi-controlled locations were coordinated.

When asked if any other party could have been responsible, they replied that all evidence indicated that no other Yemeni faction had the ability or the technology to stage such an attack, the diplomats said.

The war in Yemen has claimed thousands of lives and created the world’s worst humanitarian disaster – exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic - with the United Nations estimating that 80 percent of the population needs assistance.

Reporting by Jonathan Landay in Washington, Ghaida Ghantous in Dubai and Mahmoud Mourad in Cairo; Editing by Mary Milliken and Sonya Hepinstall
 

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US couple arrested after boarding Yemen-bound ship to join ISIS: Justice Department

02 April, 2021



An American man and his wife have been arrested after boarding a ship headed to Yemen to join ISIS, the US Justice Department announced Thursday.

James Bradley and his wife Arwa Muthana “are ISIS supporters who attempted to travel to the Middle East to join and fight for ISIS,” the Justice Department said.

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Bradley, 20, was being monitored by US law enforcement agencies since at least 2019. An undercover officer was in contact with Bradley, who said he was planning to attack the US Military Academy at West Point if he and his wife could not travel abroad.

“But in an alleged attempt to evade the watchful eye of law enforcement, the two ultimately planned to travel to Yemen by cargo ship to fulfill their wish to fight with the terrorist organization,” the Justice Department said.

Bradley and 29-year-old Muthana got married in January. The pair had discussed before and after the marriage plans to travel abroad to join and fight with ISIS.

In March, Bradley visited Muthana in Alabama, and from there, they headed to New York. During Bradley’s conversations with the undercover officer, he planned to board a cargo ship headed for Yemen.

“In a subsequent meeting with [a second undercover officer], Bradley provided [him] $1,000 in cash as travel costs for Bradley and Muthana to take a cargo ship to Yemen. Bradley also told [the officer] that he had a dream that he had given ‘bay’ah,’ an Arabic term meaning the oath of allegiance, to Abu Ibrahim al-hashimi al-Qurashi, the current leader of ISIS,” according to the Justice Department.

As they were boarding the ship on Wednesday, Bradley and Muthana were arrested.

Muthana admitted that she wanted to fight and kill Americans “if it was for Allah.”

“The threat of terrorism at home and abroad remains,” Assistant Attorney General John Demers said.

For his part, Assistant Director Jill Sanborn of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division said that “anyone who chooses to turn their backs on the United States of America in support of ISIS and its violent agenda will be held accountable.”

This comes after the US warned that ISIS was a continuous threat outside of just Iraq and Syria.

“I think as you all know since the defeat of ISIS’ fraudulent territorial caliphate in 2019, ISIS has intensified its focus on the activities of its branches and networks,” Acting Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS John Godfrey previously said.
 

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Booby-trapped Houthi boats destroyed by Saudi Arabian forces in Red Sea

Iran-backed Houthi militias have on a number of occasions deployed explosive 'kamikaze boats'
April 3, 2021


Saudi Arabia has destroyed two remote-controlled Houthi explosive-laden boats, according to government media.

The terror operation was reportedly thwarted in the south of the Red Sea, near the coastal region of As Salif.

It is the latest near in a string of daily attacks carried out by Houthi rebels in Yemen.

The US, UN and other international partners have called for a halt in the cross-border attacks and Washington has said it will look at ways to boost Saudi air defences.

In recent weeks, rockets have been launched at civilian airports in the southern city of Abha, damaging a plane, and at Riyadh. Rocket debris landed on civilian homes in one incident and in another property and vehicles were damaged.

The UAE on Saturday strongly condemned and denounced systemic targeting of civilians in Khamis Mushit in Saudi Arabia after two explosive-laden drones were intercepted by the Saudi-led Coalition in a separate attack.

The UAE said the continuous terrorist attacks by the Houthi militia reflect its blatant disregard for the international community and all international laws and norms.

"The security of the United Arab Emirates and the kingdom of Saudi Arabia is indivisible, and any threat facing the kingdom is considered a threat to the UAE's security and stability," the ministry said.

Saudi Arabia leads the Arab coalition that intervened at the request of the internationally recognised government after a coup by Iran-backed Houthi rebels in 2015.
 

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Support for Saudi Arabia as Abha airport attack sparks global condemnation

Updated 01 September 2021
  • Saudi forces intercepted two weaponized drones targeting Abha airport
  • Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised Saudi air defense forces’ efficiency

RIYADH: The US mission to Saudi Arabia has strongly condemned a Houthi drone attack on Abha International Airport that wounded eight people.

On Tuesday, the Arab coalition announced that Saudi forces intercepted two weaponized drones targeting Abha airport and a ballistic missile targeting the city of Najran, both launched by Houthi militias.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken strongly condemned the attack against Saudi Arabia.
“We again call on the Houthis to uphold a ceasefire and engage in negotiations under UN auspices,” he said.
Echoing Blinken’s message, the US mission urged the militia to cease their attacks against civilians, and wished the casualties a “speedy and full recovery.”

A similar attack earlier this year, which left a passenger plane on fire, sparked a flurry of condemnations against the Houthi violation, particularly among the Kingdom’s gulf allies.

On Tuesday, Bahrain also condemned the attack and described the Houthi action as “a clear violation of international humanitarian law and all international norms.”

The Bahraini Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised the efficiency of the Saudi air defense forces and said Bahrain supported the Kingdom in all measures that preserved its security.

The UAE denounced the Houthis for targeting civilians and in a systematic and deliberate manner.

The UAE’s foreign ministry said the “cowardly” act threatened the lives of civilians and passengers, and amounted to a war crime.
Gulf-neighbor Qatar also strongly denounced the attack against the airport, calling the Houthi action against civilian installations an “act of sabotage that violates all international norms and laws.”

Kuwait condemned in the strongest possible terms Tuesday’s attack and called on the international community to act “promptly and decisively” against the perpetrators.

Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan also denounced the attack and reaffirmed their solidarity with the Kingdom against these aggressive acts.
 

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