Posts Tagged ‘cholera’

Pro-Islamic State media outlet calls for Biological Attacks in the West, posters depict San Francisco

August 5, 2018

This too will be ignored by the complicit, sharia-compliant Western press. A biological attack is the intentional release of a pathogen (disease causing agent) or biotoxin (poisonous substance produced by a living organism) against humans, plants, or animals. An attack against people could be used to cause illness, death, fear, societal disruption, and economic damage.

EXCLUSIVE: Pro-ISIS Media Outlet Publishes Posters Calling For Biological Attacks In The West, One Of Which Depicts San Francisco

Over the past week, a pro-Islamic State (ISIS) media group has published a series of posters encouraging biological attacks on Western targets.

Excerpt from the transcript (MEMRI):


This transcript was prepared from the original English subtitles of the video

Narrator: “While the world is watching silently! The European governments are developing satanic chemical attack systems to be brutally tested on the cities and peoples, which refused humiliation and humiliation so the Muslim countries in Africa and Khorsan turned into testing fields of phosphorus bombs and toxic gas. The crusader alliance continues bombing Mosul, Raqqa, Al-Anbar and others… with various types of chemical bombs and incendiary gases. And similar to the enemies of God! We invite you, oh Muwahid [monotheist] who lives between the Mushrikeen [idolaters] that you clean the dust of humiliation and to renew the fatal nightmare in the land of the devil worshipers with a silent destructive weapon. It can not be detected or tracked it can not be escaped or avoided with simple equipment, extract the most harmful viruses and infection bacteria then release them safely by following these simple steps: First, try to find the most severe epidemics to treat.”

On Screen: “Hantavirus, derived from the feces and droppings of rats that carry the plague of the most serious plague at the moment. The Cholera virus is extracted from the patient’s waste. Typhoid bacteria, found in human and animal wastes in general and frequent in the dirty areas.”

Narrator: “Second, spread the bacteria extracted by type as follows.”

On Screen: “Sprinkle the liquid substances or the basics of bacteria with drinking water to take effect automatically. Sprinkle the crushed material on exposed fruit and public foods or scatter them in the air in crowded places – with caution.”

Narrator: “Third, try to be safe and avoid any danger that may affect you during the preparation of harmful substances.”

On Screen: “Work in a room with natural and industrial ventilation. Wear gloves and blouses during work. Put the goggles and goggles – according to chemical process requirements. Do not touch or inhale the materials. Isolating the workplace from the rest of the house. Wash your hands with sterile soap and water after each test.”

Off-Screen Voice: “To our brothers in Aqidah [creed] and Iman [faith] in Europe, America, Russia, Australia, and elsewhere, your brothers in your lands have absolved themselves of blame so leap onto their tracks and take an example from their actions and know that Jannah [paradise] is beneath the shadows of swords.”


Saudi airstrikes in Yemen hit facilities providing water to hundreds of thousands facing cholera epidemic

July 30, 2018

The UN said Hodeida is “one airstrike away from an unstoppable” cholera epidemic. The port city through which most food and supplies enter Yemen is under attack by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels.

Jemen Krieg l Stadt Hodeidah (Reuters/K. Abdullah)

Airstrikes carried out in recent days by the Saudi-led coalition fighting Houthi rebels in Yemen struck facilities providing most of the water to the crucial port city of Hodeida, the UN said Sunday.

Backed by Saudi airpower, in recent weeks Emirati forces, government troops and irregular militia have been battling Houthi rebels in control of the Red Sea port city, home to 600,000 people.

Read more: Cholera epidemic in Yemen now affects 1 million people

The port is the main entry point for food, fuel and humanitarian supplies in Yemen, where 22 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and more than 8 million face starvation.

Since earlier this year, Hodeida has been under a near total coalition blockade over what it says is the port’s use as a gateway for Iranian weaponry to the Houthis.  Iran and the Houthis deny this.

The UN and aid agencies have warned that a coalition assault on the city could exacerbate what is already “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

Yemen (picture-alliance/AP Photo)Twenty-five percent of children in Hodeida suffer from acute malnutrition, according to the UN

Read more: Assault on Yemen’s Hodeida will bring ‘famine’ and ‘devastation’

Sanitation and water facilities targeted

After a brief lull in fighting this month to allow the UN to mediate over Hodeida, the coalition relaunched an offensive in and around the port earlier this week.

The United Arab Emirates reportedly turned down a Houthi offer to hand over operation of the port to the UN, demanding instead that rebel fighters completely leave the city.

The UN humanitarian coordinator said that Saudi airstrikes carried out in the renewed offensive struck near health centers in Hodeida and “hit and damaged” a sanitation and water station in Zabid, south of the city.

The water station “supplies the majority of the water” to Hodeida, Lise Grande said Sunday in as statement.

Hodeida city and governorate are one of the epicenters of a cholera outbreak that spread across the country last year, leading to more than one million suspected cases of the deadly water-borne disease.

“Damage to sanitation, water and health facilities jeopardizes everything that we are trying to do…We could be one airstrike away from an unstoppable epidemic,” Grande said.

Intentionally striking health or water facilities is considered a war crime under international law. The United States controversially provides Saudi jets air refueling, targeted guidance support and intelligence, as well as precision guided munitions and other weaponry.

Human rights groups have repeatedly accused the Houthis and Saudi-led coalition of war crimes during the war, which has killed more than 10,000 people.

Read more: US bids to revive ‘Arab NATO’ alliance as part of measures against Iran

Static frontlines, regional escalation

The Houthis seized the capital Sanaa and large swaths of the country including Hodeida in 2014, sending the internationally recognized government of President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi into exile.

A Saudi-led coalition of Sunni Muslim states intervened in 2015 to restore Hadi, retaking the southern city of Aden and some other areas.

However, the frontlines of the conflict have since largely stalled.

Meanwhile, Houthis have increasingly sought to challenge the coalition by launching ballistic missiles at Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, nearly all of which have been shot down by missile defense systems.

In another escalation this month, Saudi Arabia announced it had temporarily suspended oil shipments through the Bab al-Mandab Strait after a Houthi missile attack on an Aramco oil vessel.

On Sunday, the coalitions said it had conducted numerous airstrikes against ballistic missile launch sites in Saada, the northern Yemeni heartland of the Shiite Houthis.

The conflict in Yemen is viewed as largely a proxy war between Sunni Gulf Arab states and their rival Shiite Iran, which has provided support to the Shiite Houthis.

However, the conflict between the Houthis as a religious-political movement and Yemeni central government dates back to the 1990s.

cw/bw (AFP, AP, Reuters)

British surgeon in Syria believes hacking of his computer led to a hospital being bombed by suspected Russian warplanes

March 21, 2018

The Telegraph


British surgeon who helped carry out operations in Aleppo fears that the hacking of his computer led to a hospital being bombed by suspected Russian warplanes.

In a world first, renowned consultant David Nott gave remote instructions via Skype and WhatsApp which allowed doctors to carry out surgery in an underground hospital.

But, after footage was broadcast by the BBC, Mr Nott believes his computer was targeted, allowing hackers to gain the coordinates of the M10 hospital.

Weeks later a “bunker buster” bomb destroyed the M10 when warplanes, believed to be Russian, delivered a direct hit to the operating theatre, killing two patients and permanently closing the hospital.

Mr Nott believes that the timing of the attack and the precise nature of the target could only have been gleaned from the coordinates on his computer.

David Nott
Consultant surgeon David Nott during his time in Aleppo in 2014  CREDIT: ANDREW CROWLEY 

Mr Nott, who has carried out dozens of operations in Syria but only one via his computer from the UK, said that following advice from those working on the ground he will not work in this way any more.

Now the International Committee of the Red Cross is to hold a meeting with staff to warn about the dangers of hacking, using Mr Nott’s fears as an example, it is understood.

Last night Mr Nott said: “The thing that gets me is that we now cannot help doctors in war zones, if somebody is watching what we are doing and blows up the hospital then that is a war crime.

“It is a crime against humanity that you can’t even help a doctor in another country carry out an operation. It is a travesty.”

Whitehall sources told the Telegraph that technical experts believe that pinpointing a location by carrying out such a hack is plausible.

A residential area of Aleppo is bombed CREDIT: ANADOLU AGENCY

Aid workers and international watch groups have warned that hospitals have become a target in Syria, with some estimates suggesting that there have been 450 attacks since 2011.

Priti Patel, the Tory MP and former Cabinet minister who sits on the Commons foreign affairs select committee, said: “It’s a huge, huge issue. We should all pay an enormous tribute to David Nott. He is an amazing individual who in the most difficult circumstances has been saving lives in Syria while the bombs of Assad have been falling down.

“It would hardly be surprising if Russian interference was behind the bombing of this hospital. It speaks of the appalling regime and the lack of respect for human life. We need to put pressure on Russia and ask what has happened here.”

An operation at the hospital in Aleppo CREDIT: BBC

Mr Nott has been dubbed the “Indiana Jones of Surgery” for his work in war zones. He has trained surgeons in Syria and has been given an OBE for his efforts.

His claims come at a time of heightened tensions between Russia and No 10 after the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury, Wilts.

Vladimir Putin’s government has long been at loggerheads with the West over his support for Bashar al-Assad’s forces.

Experts believe that the sophistication of the bomb – dubbed a “bunker buster” because of its ability to hit underground targets – used to target the M10 suggests that it was dropped by Russian jets.

The operation was the only time co-ordinates came out of that operating theatre

The operation carried out by Mr Nott was first broadcast by BBC Newsnight on Sept 13 2016, just days after it took place with Mr Nott watching the surgeons’ every move on WhatsApp and Skype from his London office.

A selfie stick was used to allow Mr Nott to watch closely as his former students carried out jaw reconstruction surgery on Mohammed, a father of three, and a shopkeeper alleged to have been hit by a Russian bomb in Aleppo.

On Oct 3 the hospital was bombed, hitting the operating theatre first. Two patients were killed and several medical staff injured and the hospital could not be rebuilt.

The hospital had been bombed at least 17 times, but Mr Nott believes that the only way that they could have got the precise co-ordinates of the operating theatre was through his method of directing the operation.

Mr Nott said: “The operation was the only time co-ordinates came out of that operating theatre.”

It is unclear when the hacking took place, but Mr Nott believes that somebody may have watched the programme, which was also uploaded to Newsnight’s YouTube channel, and then targeted his computer rather than hack him during the operation.

The consultant, who has received an OBE for his work in war zones, has changed his computer and his phone since, but does not feel it is safe to link up to operating theatres remotely.

He would not speculate on who had targeted his computer, or dropped the bomb.

Prof Alan Woodward, from the Surrey Centre for Cyber Security, said Mr Nott’s computer or phone could have been hacked during the operation, but it would have been far easier to gain access at a later date to find out who he had been talking to.

It is a method that has been used by governments and law enforcement agencies for a number of years, he said, adding: “It is a fairly classic way of getting information. You don’t need to do it at the time, you can break in at your leisure.”

There have long been fears over the security of online video messaging forums such as Skype, which has been hit by a number of hacks including those that allow accounts to be taken over remotely

Zaher Sahloul, who at the time of the bombing was the president of the Syrian American Medical Society, which was running the hospital, said that they were careful with the information that they published as they know hospitals and doctors are watched so that they can be attacked.

He said: “Hospitals are targeted so that people cannot live in that area as there is no health care, it is a tactic that the regime and Russia have been using since the beginning.

“The bunker-busting missile is so advanced that it is believed that the Syrian regime would not have them, that is why many people believe that it was the Russians who dropped that bomb.”

The deliberate targeting of hospitals, doctors and even aid workers has become a major concern for global health security and is not confined to Syria.

The Save the Children compound in Kabul was attacked earlier this year by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and aid workers delivering vaccines have been killed in Nigeria and Pakistan.

Such attacks aim to degrade essential local health infrastructure or prevent it from being established and can lead to disease epidemics.

In Nigeria, for instance, the chaos sown by the terror group Boko Haram has contributed to a major epidemic of Lassa fever, and in Yeman, where health infrastructure has been destroyed, there is a major cholera epidemic.

Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Find out more

40,000 displaced Yemenis stranded without aid in Aden: UN

January 31, 2018

A Yemeni child looks out of a window as food aid is distributed by a local charity at a camp for the displaced, in the northern province of Hajjah on Dec. 23, 2017. (AFP)
ADEN: The UN expressed concern on Wednesday for more than 40,000 displaced Yemenis who had sought refuge in second city Aden, only to find themselves caught in deadly fighting between troops and separatist militia.
The UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said it had been unable to distribute aid since the southern separatists overran most of the city at the weekend opening up a new front in Yemen’s devastating three-year civil war.
“UNHCR emergency aid distributions and humanitarian assessments planned this week for vulnerable, displaced Yemenis have now been postponed and UNHCR humanitarian cargo remains at Aden port unable to be released,” the agency said on Twitter.
“We are also particularly concerned for those newly displaced in Aden who have fled other areas in Yemen. More than 40,000 people fled to Aden and nearby governorates since December and we anticipate more displacement as people continue to flee from hostilities in the west coast.”
The separatists, who had been in an uneasy alliance with the beleaguered government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi, launched their assault in Aden on Sunday and swiftly overran his troops, laying siege to the presidential palace.
Aden has been the headquarters of Hadi’s ministers since 2015, when Shiite rebels overran the capital Sanaa and much of the north.
International charity Save the Children said on Tuesday that it too had been forced to suspend its work in Aden out of fear for the safety of its staff.
Even before the latest fighting, Yemen already faced the world’s most serious humanitarian crisis, with some 8.4 million of its 22.2 million population at risk of famine, according to the UN.

Yemen separatists surround Aden presidential palace

January 30, 2018


© AFP | Yemeni separatists are seen in the southern city of Aden on January 28, 2018

ADEN (AFP) – Separatists in war-ravaged Yemen have surrounded the presidential palace in the government’s de facto capital Aden, moving closer Tuesday to taking full control of the southern city.The government has accused the separatists of attempting a coup in Aden, where more than 36 people have been killed in clashes that opened yet another front in the country’s devastating conflict.

The southern port city has served as the government’s base since 2014 after the Iran-backed Huthi rebels — who hail from northern Yemen — took control of the capital Sanaa in their fight against the state.

While President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi now resides in Riyadh, two military officials said Prime Minister Ahmed bin Dagher and a number of senior government figures were holed up in the Aden presidential palace.

“The separatists have surrounded the palace and now control the main gate. Those inside are unofficially under house arrest at this point,” said a high-ranking officer with the Yemeni army.

For three years, Hadi’s Saudi-backed administration was allied with the separatists, driving the Huthi rebels out of the south and back into their strongholds in the north.

But tension between the allies began to surface in April when Hadi dismissed a cabinet minister and the Aden governor in a move that was widely seen as reflecting divisions among his supporters.

Tensions boiled over into armed clashes between the separatists and pro-government forces on Sunday, fuelling chaos in the impoverished Arabian Peninsula country where a civil war has already left thousands dead and millions on the brink of starvation.

– Demand for self-rule –

Under the self-proclaimed Southern Transitional Council (STC), the separatists have gained traction since April in their push for self-rule, demanding the reinstatement of South Yemen as an independent entity.

The STC this month called on Hadi to make changes in his government, accusing him of corruption and mismanagement.

The clashes have sparked fears of a repeat of the 1986 South Yemen civil war, a failed socialist coup which killed thousands in just six days and helped pave the way for the 1991 unification of South and North Yemen.

The separatists, who enjoy popular support and are backed by some military troops, have rapidly gained control over all but one district in Aden since Sunday.

More than 36 people have been killed and 186 wounded in Aden in two days, according to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

Brigadier Saleh al-Sayyed, who heads troops that have fought alongside the separatists since Sunday, announced his forces had seized control of the Fourth Brigade, the presidential guard in Aden.

Yemen’s president has urged Saudi Arabia and its allies to intervene in the government’s defence.

The coalition said it would take “all necessary steps to restore security” but has not announced any new operation to help the government in Aden since Sunday.

– Ceasefire plea –

More than 9,200 Yemenis have been killed since the coalition intervened in the war in 2015, triggering what the UN has called the world’s largest humanitarian disaster.

Nearly 2,200 more have died of cholera amid deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions, the World Health Organization says.

The United Arab Emirates is a key member of the military alliance, but also has close ties to one of the leaders of the STC — Hani bin Breik, the cabinet minister sacked by Hadi in April.

The UAE has trained a special operations force in the Yemeni army, dubbed the “security belt”, stationed in southern Yemen.

The force supports the STC. Some troops in the Yemeni army are also loyal to the separatists.

Both the coalition and the Hadi government have called for an immediate ceasefire in Yemen, and the interior ministry has publicly called on state troops to stop fighting.

The coalition on Monday called on the separatists to exercise restraint while urging the Yemeni government to “take into consideration the demands of the social and political movement” in the south.

Saudi Arabia fifth relief campaign to Yemen’s Al-Fasht and Balkan islanders

January 27, 2018

The islands are located near Midi port in the Hajjah province. It was fifth relief campaign carried out for the two islands, and it reached 43 families comprising 205 individuals. (Saudi Press Agency)
RIYADH: The King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief) supplied food to Yemen’s Al-Fasht and Balkan islanders on Thursday who are trapped by Houthi-laid mines, an official from the organization told Arab News on Friday.
He said that it was fifth relief campaign carried out for the two islands, and it reached 43 families comprising 205 individuals.
The islands are located near Midi port in the Hajjah province.
The mines are a threat to inhabitants of the isolated islands as the population depends solely depend on donated food.
Each family was given a basket of dates and others rations for their daily needs.
The project was started by the organization last June and supplies are delivered as and when required by the islanders.
During this week, the center distributed 3.5 tons (500 cartons) of dates in the Al-Hazm district of Al-Jawf governorate of Yemen. This project is being carried out as part of its extensive humanitarian efforts which include 175 projects throughout the country.
Last week, KSRelief announced it had 85 percent completed a project to build 300 high-quality dwellings for Yemeni refugees living at the Obock camp in Northern Djibouti.
The project provides air-conditioned housing units, health care and schools for 2,000 Yemenis. The priority is to protect camp residents from the difficult weather conditions, particularly during the hot summer months.
KSRelief has also implemented other projects for Yemeni refugees in Djibouti such as supplying food baskets and safe drinking water, and establishing health care facilities for use by both Yemeni refugees and Djiboutians.


UAE-backed group vows to ‘overthrow’ Yemen’s government

January 25, 2018

Al Jazeera

Aidarous al-Zubaidi held a meeting in Aden on the future of South Yemen [Courtesy of Southern Transitional Council]
Aidarous al-Zubaidi held a meeting in Aden on the future of South Yemen [Courtesy of Southern Transitional Council]

A group of separatists in southern Yemen, backed by the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has declared a state of emergency in the port city of Aden and vowed to overthrow the country’s internationally recognised government within the next week.

Aidarous al-Zubaidi, the leader of the Southern Transitional Council (STC), said Yemen’s parliament would be barred from convening in Aden or anywhere else in southern Yemen unless President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi replaced Prime Minister Ahmed bin Daghr and his entire cabinet.

Speaking at a meeting on Sunday, al-Zubaidi accused Hadi’s government of “rampant corruption” and of “waging a misinformation campaign against the southern leaders using state funds”.

“The Southern Resistance Forces (SRF) declare a state of emergency in Aden and announce that it has begun the process of overthrowing the legitimate government and replacing it with a cabinet of technocrats,” a statement issued by the STC said.

The SRF, an armed group that has clashed with forces loyal to Hadi for control of strategic areas including Aden airport, will “become the core of a new force that will rebuild South Yemen’s security and military institutions,” the statement added.

Several commanders from security forces set up by the UAE attended the meeting and declared their support for the announcement.

The statement, however, did not give details on how it intended to topple Hadi’s government, only that he had a week to comply.

Different agendas?

The announcement underscores rising tensions between Hadi’s government, which is supported by Saudi Arabia, and the southern separatists, who are backed by the UAE.

The UAE entered Yemen’s war in March 2015 as part of a Saudi-led coalition after Houthi rebels, traditionally based in the northwest of the country, overran much of the country, including the capital Sanaa, in 2014.

Nearly three years on, Saudi Arabia has said it “wants out” of the war, but the UAE has become more involved in the conflict, indicating a divide in the two countries’ agendas.

The UAE has been financing and training armed groups in the south of the country who answer to al-Zubaidi, a 50-year-old militia leader who emerged from relative obscurity in late 2015 after helping purge the Houthis from Aden.

Al-Zubaidi was initially rewarded and made governor of Aden by Hadi, but soon fell out of favour after reports emerged he was receiving patronage from the UAE to campaign for secession.

The Middle East Eye news website, quoting sources, reported that Hadi was incensed with the UAE, accusing Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed of acting as an occupying force, as opposed to a liberation force.

Hadi’s weakening has gone hand-in-hand with the UAE’s growing power in southern Yemen.

The Gulf nation has financed a network of militias that only answer to it, set up prisons, and created a security establishment parallel to Hadi’s government, according to Human Rights Watch.

The Arab coalition has so far failed to achieve its stated aims as Houthi rebels continue to hold the capital Sanaa and much of the north.

The war has taken a huge toll on the country with more than 60,000 people killed and wounded by fighting, and millions of Yemenis at risk of famine amid a massive cholera outbreak.


Saudi Arabia’s life or death mission in Yemen war

December 28, 2017

By Khalid Al-Karimi

Image may contain: car and outdoor

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the coalition’s intervention [Getty]

Missiles fired by Yemen’s Houthis keep targeting Saudi cities, and Saudi airstrikes carry on tirelessly pounding diverse locations across Yemen. Three years of war have neither subdued the Houthis nor brought an overall victory to Saudi Arabia. As the conflict rages on, the kingdom firmly deems the Yemen war a matter of life and death.

Last week, the Saudi-led coalition intercepted a ballistic missile over Riyadh. The Houthis claimed responsibility for the attack, saying the missile targeted the Yamama Palace in Riyadh. The range of such a Houthi missile has been further a shocking eye-opener for Saudis. Previously, a ballistic missile was intercepted near a vital international airport in Riyadh on November 4.

On December 4, the Houthis killed former president Ali Saleh after he said he was willing to open a new page with the Saudi-led coalition. His death has dashed the hope that diplomacy could work to resolve Yemen conflict.

Amidst these escalations, the three-year war has brought the kingdom to the point of no return. Given this bitter scenario, it would not be plausible or feasible for Saudi Arabia to withdraw from Yemen war or just leave this country alone.

Amidst these escalations, the three-year war has brought the kingdom to the point of no return. Given this bitter scenario, it would not be plausible or feasible for Saudi Arabia to withdraw from Yemen war or just leave this country alone

The kingdom began its military intervention in Yemen in 2015, seeking to encounter the growing expansion of the Houthi movement, an armed movement allied with Iran.

Today, the battle is unstoppable and the two opponents are resolute that they will not give up.

The war ‘justified’

Sanaa fell to the Houthis in September of 2014. The neighbouring kingdom kept watching the drama unfold in Yemen at the time. Matters spiralled out of the Saudi control when the legitimate government fled the country on the heels of the wake of the Houthi tightening grip of state institutions after their seizure of the capital and their rapid accumulation of power.  

Following six months of watching Yemen’s alarming political unrest late 2014 and early 2015, Saudi Arabia embarked on what it is known as the Operation Decisive Storm on March 26 of 2015. The objective was pronounced: incapacitating the Houthis and restoring the legitimate government of Yemen.   

The Saudi war in Yemen began out of fear: Saudi leadership sees Iran as the engine of the Houthis in Yemen.

Consequently, the kingdom opted for war. Today, the Saudi-led coalition deems it impossible to lose to the Houthi group, bearing in mind that its loss in Yemen will consolidate the Iranian clout in the region.

The Saudi war in Yemen began out of fear: Saudi leadership sees Iran as the engine of the Houthis in Yemen

In 2015, the Houthi group launched a manoeuvre in Yemen’s Saada near the Saudi border, hammering a message of power and ambition. That happened after their seizure of several Yemeni provinces including the capital. The Houthi group conveyed the signs of their preparedness for war, but Saudi Arabia was readying for it stealthily.

In a previous interview this year, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman expressed what he does not want to happen in Yemen and why.

He said: “We’re pursuing until we can be sure that nothing will happen there like Hizballah again, because Yemen is more dangerous than Lebanon.”

Saudi Arabia believes it is waging a war in Yemen to prevent the multiplying of another Hizballah on its border. Yet the Houthis state they fight to defend Yemen, its dignity and sovereignty.

In his latest speech this month, Houthis’ chief Abdulmalek Al-Houthi said: “If the free and honoured men decided to surrender, it would be a wrong decision in every sense of the word. It would a disgraceful and humiliating decision and a an everlasting stigma.”

While the Iranian arming of the Houthis remains a contentious topic, it is evident that the Houthi movement has developed a strong militant force, trained fighters and tribal alliances.

They seized the state institutions and military camps particularly in the northern Yemen, paving the way for their military expansion and tight control. This reality has worried the Saudi leadership, goading them into stepping in militarily.

Saudi Arabia believes it is waging a war in Yemen to prevent the multiplying of another Hizballah on its border

After three years of Saudi aerial bombardment and ground fighting, the Houthi group continues to be in control of many provinces including the capital Sanaa.

More than 10,000 people have been killed in the conflict since the coalition’s intervention in the impoverished country, where more than 2,000 people have also died of cholera this year.

It is true that the war has left heavy losses on the group and Yemen in entirety, but the coalition has not achieved thus far what it believed to be accomplishable within a brief time span.

The war in Yemen does not appear to approach an end soon. Political and media terms such as “negotiating table, dialogue and consensus” have vanished when speaking about this quagmire. Instead, the military prowess is the alternative which the warring sides hinge on now.

Certain ingredients make the end of the conflict very hard to happen. These ingredients can be simply explained.

Anti-Saudi Yemeni fighters deeply believe that they combat to defend their nation, integrity, freedom and beliefs. Thus, these combatants will not be crushed overnight. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia and allies in Yemen believe that they fight to keep the Iranian leverage at bay.

They want an Arab Yemen, not a Persian Yemen. On top of that, Saudi Arabia’s military campaign receives staunch support from world powers including the US and UK, and this adds to the Saudi confidence in their life-or death Yemen war.

Khalid Al-Karimi is a freelance reporter and translator. He is a staff member of the Sanaa-based Yemeni Media Center and previously worked as a full-time editor and reporter for the Yemen Times newspaper.

Abducted Yemenis kept in chains in Houthi jails

December 25, 2017


Yemeni tribesmen from the Popular Resistance Committees, loyal to Yemen’s Saudi-backed President, disembark from a pickup truck carrying an anti-aircraft gun as they park on a desert road in Beihan, in the Shabwa province, on December 18, 2017. / AFP / ABDULLAH AL-QADRY

JEDDAH: Iran-backed Houthi militias are keeping abducted Yemeni civilians imprisoned in chains, and forcing them to wear thin prison clothing in sub-zero temperatures.

Yemenis illegally detained in the Houthis’ “political security” jail in Sanaa have been denied family visits, and relatives are banned from bringing them food, water, medicines and clothes, or to check on their well-being, the Mothers’ Association of the Kidnapped Yemenis said on Sunday.
“Despite the fact that these are the coldest days of winter, the prison supervisors have tortured our sons physically and psychologically, tied their legs with chains and withdrawn all their clothes,” the organization said. Sanaa is currently enduring temperatures of five degrees below zero for the first time in 29 years.
Abducted Yemenis in Houthi prisons have also been tortured, and are suffering from serious illnesses because they are denied access to daylight and their health is being deliberately neglected, the mothers’ group said.
They called on the UN special envoy to Yemen, Ismail Ould Cheikh Ahmed, to fulfill his humanitarian commitment to the abducted Yemenis, and appealed to the Red Crescent to visit them.
The group also urged the UNHRC and other human rights groups to exert pressure on the Houthi militias to release the prisoners unconditionally.
Houthi prisons, both official and clandestine, hold thousands of innocent Yemenis who opposed the militias’ 2014 coup.
The campaign of kidnappings and abductions intensified after popular uprisings against the Houthis by Yemenis loyal to the late former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who was murdered by the militias on Dec. 4.
The Houthi militias have also recruited child soldiers to fight for them, and Saudi Arabia is leading efforts to rehabilitate these traumatized children. The King Salman Centre for Relief and Humanitarian Aid (KSRelief) concluded the second phase of one such project on Saturday, along with the Withaq Foundation, the local company that implements it.
The project helped 40 children under 15 from Taiz Governorate in south-western Yemen and Imran Governorate in the north.
Over a month, the children were rehabilitated psychologically, socially and culturally to reintegrate them into the community. There were also awareness and entertainment trips and lectures for the children’s carers.
The scheme will eventually rehabilitate about 2,000 children from throughout Yemen who have been recruited by the Houthis as child soldiers and human shields.

Suspected cholera cases reach one million in Yemen

December 21, 2017


© AFP/File | A Yemeni child suspected of being infected with cholera cries at a hospital in the coastal city of Hodeida on November 5, 2017

SANAA (AFP) – The number of suspected cholera cases in war-torn Yemen has reached one million, the International Committee of the Red Cross said on Thursday.”Yemen suspected cholera cases has reached the threshold of one million, amplifying the suffering of the country caught up in a brutal war,” the ICRC said on its Yemen Twitter account.

The WHO warned last month that some 2,200 people have already died from the waterborne disease, which has propagated rapidly due to deteriorating hygiene and sanitation conditions.

Yemen is in the midst of a bloody war between pro-government forces and Huthi rebels who control the capital.

Saudi Arabia and its Arab allies intervened in the conflict on the side of the government in 2015 with air strikes and a far-reaching blockade on its neighbour’s air and sea ports.

In early November, the coalition tightened that blockade in response to a missile fired by the Shiite Huthis that was intercepted near Riyadh airport.

At the time, the UN aid chief warned the move would exacerbate an already dire humanitarian situation.

The blockade was partially lifted three weeks later under massive international pressure, namely over the closure of Hodeida port — key to humanitarian and commercial deliveries.

The Iran-backed Huthis on Tuesday conducted another failed missile strike against Riyadh to mark the 1,000th day since the Saudi-led intervention.

The coalition said in a statement Wednesday that it would not resort to closing Hodeida in the wake of the attack.

More than 8,750 people have been killed since Saudi Arabia and its allies joined the government’s fight against the rebels, triggering what the UN has called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.