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Yemen Saudi update 8/21/2016..U.S. remains defiant in its support for the Saudi campaign in Yemen

Sunday, August 21, 2016 17:10
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(Before It's News)

UNSC can’t stop Saudi aggression against Yemen: Iranian official

US withdraws its advisors from KSA

US Support for Saudi Coalition Remains Steadfast, Despite Growing Outcry

The U.S. remains defiant in its support for the Saudi campaign in Yemen, even as its backing for the ongoing and indiscriminate assault comes under increasing scrutiny. Following a week that saw the Saudi-led coalition kill significant numbers of Yemeni civilians, including in an attack on a school and the bombing of a Doctors Without Borders facility—which led the charity to announce it was pulling its staff from the northern part of the country — Reuters reported exclusively on Friday that the Pentagon in June withdrew military personnel who were involved in planning the campaign from Saudi Arabia. “Fewer than five U.S. service people are now assigned full-time to the ‘Joint Combined Planning Cell,’ which was established last year to coordinate U.S. support, including air-to-air refueling of coalition jets and limited intelligence-sharing,” according to the news service, which cited Lieutenant Ian McConnaughey, a U.S. Navy spokesman in Bahrain. That’s down from a peak of 45, he said.

However, Reuters continued: U.S. officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the reduced staffing was not due to the growing international outcry over civilian casualties in the 16-month civil war that has killed more than 6,500 people in Yemen, about half of them civilians. And a spokesman for the Saudi-led coalition, Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asseri, said: “The U.S. may move its assets, but that doesn’t have any impact on the bilateral relationship between the countries.” Indeed, the “average of two refueling sorties every day” and provision of “limited intelligence support” to the coalition will continue, Pentagon officials confirmed to Reuters.

That’s “on top of more than $100 billion in arms deals with Saudi Arabia between 2010 and 2015, and recent deals made explicitly to “replenish” stockpiles spent in Yemen,” Samuel Oakford wrote at the New York Times on Friday. In a piece charging the U.S. with “looking the other way” as Saudi Arabia kills civilians with impunity, Oakford continued:

Many in Washington see support for the Saudi-led coalition as necessary for maintaining American-Saudi relations after the nuclear deal with Iran last year. Saudi Arabia has used this leeway to carry out its Yemen campaign with abandon. Each fatal strike and subsequent implausible Saudi denial should test the limits of the Obama administration’s support. Instead, a spokesman for United States Central Command, which oversees American operations in the Middle East including support for the coalition, told me last week that the United States is not conducting a single investigation into civilian casualties in Yemen. The recent uptick in airstrikes and fighting across Yemen follows the collapse of United Nations-brokered peace talks that were being held in Kuwait. The possibility of a resumption of full-scale war and all the suffering that accompanies it could have been an opportunity for the Obama administration to reflect on its axiomatic support for the Saudi coalition. But even after last week’s string of outrageous bombings, the White House has still not done that.

Yemen’s Ansarullah, Pro-Hadi Forces Swap 30 Prisoners

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and militiamen loyal to fugitive resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi exchanged nearly three dozen prisoners captured during clashes between the two sides. Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Ansarullah had released 15 men in exchange for as many inmates freed by Hadi loyalists in the al-Maton district of the northern al-Jawf Province, located approximately 110 kilometers north of Sana’a, al-Masirah reported reported. More than two months ago, Ansarullah announced the release of 276 prisoners loyal to the Saudi-backed resigned president in a gesture of goodwill. Ansarullah officials said in June that 200 of the prisoners had been set free in Rada’a city in the southwestern Province of al-Bayda, and the rest in the nearby Dhamar Province. The prisoners were released only a day after Ansarullah and forces loyal to Hadi conducted another prisoner swap. Hadi loyalists released 118 prisoners, while Ansarullah freed 76 detainees, who had been captured during the battle for the southern city of Ta’izz.

Yemen’s Ansarullah movement and militiamen loyal to fugitive resigned president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi exchanged nearly three dozen prisoners captured during clashes between the two sides.

Taiz Mercenaries’ supply line blocked 21 8 2016

0:00 / 0:28
Taiz Tens of mercenaries killed

Aggression warplanes kill more civilians

Saudi jets strike Yemen’s capital during 100,000 strong rally in support of Houthis (VIDEO)

Fighter jets from the Saudi-led coalition hit the Yemeni capital of Sanaa during a massive rally that attracted some 100,000 pro-Houthi rebels and sympathizers of ex-President Abdullah Saleh. Tens of thousands of people rallied in Sanaa’s central square on Saturday in a powerful display of support for the Shiite Houthi rebels and Saleh. Demonstrators cheered a recently established Supreme Political Council that includes representatives of the Houthi movement, as well as supporters of Saleh. The huge gathering also denounced Saleh’s successor, Mansur Hadi, who fled the country last year and is seeking reinstatement with military backing from Saudi Arabia.

During the demonstration, fighter jets bombed Yemen’s capital, including the area around the Presidential palace, according to AP. The bombardment resulted in an “unknown number of casualties,” the agency reports, quoting local officials. People on Twitter said that at least three civilians were killed and a number were wounded. “Suddenly, they started bombing and the crowd started running. I basically bolted out of the area. People started screaming… Because everybody’s very well armed, they started shooting their AK-47s and their machine guns into the sky,” Hisham al-Omeisy said, as quoted by the BBC. For its part, Saudi Arabia claimed earlier that a rocket had been launched at Narjan, a Saudi city, from Yemen, killing one person and injuring six others, ArabNews reports.

Yemeni fighters during break into Saudi posts in Shurfah, Najran

Nagran Ballistic missile hits Saudi air defense camp

Jizan Ballistic missile hit mercenaries’ gathering

Commander: Yemeni Army Close to Winning Back Entire Dhale Province

Yemen’s Dhale province is on the verge of being fully liberated as the pro-Saudi forces have sustained heavy losses and casualties in Ma’rib and al-Jawf provinces, a senior Yemeni military commander announced. “The Yemeni army backed by popular forces purged terrorists from a large number of villages in the Southern and Western parts of Dhale province,” Yemeni Army Commander Brigadier General Abdollah al-Setri told FNA on Sunday. The Yemeni commander reiterated that seizing back of Dhale province will be a heavy blow to the Saudi-led coalition.

Brigadier General al-Setri, meantime, noted that the Yemeni army and popular forces have inflicted heavy losses on the Saudi forces in Ma’rib and al-Jawf provinces. He also said that the army and popular forces have purged terrorists from 245 square kilometers of areas in Southern Sana’a.

Yemen Offers Russia Use Of Its Airports And Ports In “Fight Against Terrorism”

While Obama was golfing in the midst of another Louisiana natural disaster, and is set to end his vacation so he can do what is truly important, support Hillary Clinton in the presidential race, Putin has been busy making new friends: first he did the seemingly impossible, having rekindled relations with Turkey to the point where Ankara itself is warning it may quit NATO to seek “military cooperation” with Russia, followed quickly by strengthening relations with Iran so that Moscow can now use an Iranian airbase to strike ISIS, much to the angry dismay of the US and the United Nations, the latest stunning pivot toward Russia comes from yet another civil war-torn nation, Yemen, whose former president, Abdullah Saleh, said its newly-formed governing council could work with Russia to “fight terrorism” by allowing Moscow use of the war-torn country’s military bases.

What makes the announcement even more striking is that Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen’s ex-president who was toppled by mass protests in 2011 as part of the Arab Spring launched by none other than the US when it “intervened” in Libya and Egypt, was a former staunch counter-terrorism ally of the US; it is this former US ally who told state-owned channel Russia 24 that Yemen was ready to grant Moscow access to air and naval bases.

“In the fight against terrorism we reach out and offer all facilities. Our airports, our ports… We are ready to provide this to the Russian Federation,” Saleh said in an interview in Sanaa.


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