Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

The new improved Yemeni regime attacks the Life March

Filed under: Dhamar, Donors, UN, Ibb, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, War Crimes, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:38 am on Saturday, December 24, 2011

Thousands of bare foot, bare chested Yemeni youth terrify the barbaric Sana’a regime and the international community with their bleeding feet: Livestream.

The Life March from Taiz was attacked by Central Security forces in Sanaa with live fire and tear gas. Nine wounded marchers were transported to the field hospital in Sana’a Change Square. One fatality has been reported, Abeer AlFaten, murdered for walking. As is standard practice for a decade, security forces are preventing ambulances from reaching the wounded pedestrians. NYR

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. By re-branding the Sana’a dictatorship and shoving down the citizenry’s throat. the UN, US, EU and SA are publicly treating the entire Yemeni population like petulant children who don’t know what good for them.

The UN SC statement fails to acknowledge, much less take into account, the demand for political empowerment by both the revolutionaries and the southerners. Ironically, while the international community seeks to secure its own goals, these nations are in fact damaging their own mid-term security and national interests, at a time of opportunity, in facilitating the continued imprisonment of a millions determined for freedom.

From my article: The Obama administration’s insistence in retaining elements of the Saleh administration and security forces has thwarted the regime change demanded by millions and allowed al Qaeda to flourish in southern towns. Although US counter-terror efforts have had more latitude to operate since protests began, the Saleh regime and al Qaeda have long had a symbiotic relationship.

Read Noon’s article at Global Voices here: “These GCC states are not at all competent to deal with popular requests for liberty and freedom, not to mention democratic government, because they themselves are mostly despotic regimes,” observed Yemen’s Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change (CCYRC). “They themselves would never welcome such requests from their own people, let alone be ready to accommodate such demands by people in neighboring states.”

Message from Yemeni women in Dhamar to the American people

Filed under: Dhamar, Yemen, photos/gifs, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 4:07 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

dtd 9/19, prior to the last unleashing of the Saleh regime’s fury

Military build up in Dhamar

Filed under: Dhamar, Military, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Thursday, August 25, 2011

Several reports indicate the scud missiles, shipped to Yemen in 2002, are in Dhamar. Reports of major troop and equipment re-deployments in Yemen began to show up in the Yemeni press days before the Libyan rebels took Tripoli, so the moves were not entirely in response to a heightened threat level to the regime.

The National

SANAA // Thousands of troops were deployed on to the streets of Yemen’s capital and other cities yesterday as Libyan rebels consolidated their hold on the Tripoli thousands of miles away. (Read on …)

Yemen Wed June 8, updates: Proxy War in Abyan

Late update: Saleh: late night in Sanaa and Taiz, over two hours of heavy gunfire so far from pro-Saleh forces shooting in air at news of his return or good health. Simultaneous in Dhamar, Hadramout. In Aden, govt cars seen shooting live rounds (more celebration?) Over 20 wounded in Sanaa arrive at the field hospital. According to friends in Saudi Arabia, theres no report airing about Saleh’s good health and return, and Mareb Press just retracted the report that Saleh wanted to return in 24 hours. However “celebratory” gunfire continuing for hours already. The RG is going to be cranky tomorrow.

Sanaa: Ali Mohsen meets US, EU ambassadors; forces intercept two attacks on Acting President Hadi’s compound. Reports also disbursed protesters demanding a transition council, near Hadis compound, dozens injured. Vid, al Khaiwani arguing with Askar Zoail, Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager who incited soldiers with sermons on jihad against the Houthis at a mosque in the fifth Saada war. Al Khaiwani was later nearly kidnapped. Later video indicates Zoali’s forces shooting into the air. See below for Mohsen’s role in Abyan fighting.

JMP: did not meet with Hadi, expect to meet within two days; seek Hadi’s formal declaration that Saleh’s reign is over, threaten to unilaterally create transitional council with protesters.

Protesters: demand transitional council immediately in mass demo, “In Sana’a, a spokesman for the youth-led protesters in the change square outside Sana’a University said, after thousands of people marched Street 60th, they had given a 24-hour deadline for the concerned political parties to form a transitional council otherwise the revolutionaries will do that.”

Taiz: still tense, sporadic clashes on the outskirts of town. The Al Qaeda district is the name of the suburb, not a AQAP hideout. Three killed Maweah and Thikra

Ibb : YP: Government forces clashed with armed tribesmen in Qaeda district, Ibb province, 30 miles off Taiz province. According to the tribesmen, the goal of the tribes is to get rid of all government forces attacking the people. “Security forces are now using this lawless time in the country to loot and attack civilians. We will not allow our people to be attacked and will ensure that they are safe from any attacks from pro govt thugs,” said a tribal fighter.

Hodiedah: roads leading in blocked by pro-Saleh thugs.

Saudi Arabia, “Yemen’s neighbor and the biggest GCC country, said after a June 6 Cabinet meeting chaired by King Abdullah that the proposal is still viable, and called on Saleh to accept it. Saudi Arabia, the world’s biggest crude exporter, will also send Yemen 3 million barrels of oil to alleviate fuel shortages, Yemen’s state news agency Saba reported yesterday.” ( SFgate)

Saada: Mass protests in favor of the end of the regime and against all plots on the rev.

UNICEF: Yemen facing humanitarian disaster.

State Department briefing; must read

AQAP: a decent analysis at Foreign Affairs of relation between tribes and AQAP and prospect in the post-rev phase.

Zinjibar: reduced to “hell” with fighting among unclear sides: < <"There is a cat-and-mouse game going on in the streets now between the army and armed men. I can't tell who's who among them any more,"... The fighting has reduced Zinjibar, once home to more than 50,000 people, to a ghost town without power or running water.>> Most residents of Zinjibar fled to Aden where many are sheltering in public buildings. The Central Security forces of Yahya are attacking the refugees as they flee.

The armed parties appear to be the national military, local tribesmen, local militants (both Saleh’s and Mohsen’s) and the defected army but I’m checking. Update: Gah!!! Armed members of the southern movement also maintaining security on some roads, and for sure they would be described by the regime as al Qaeda. If this is true, southerners carrying arms and creating their own security checkpoints outside local villages in various governorates, its new. (I deleted the areas where they are deployed or the regime will start bombing them.) It needs to be double checked. But being rebuffed after asking to coordinate security with the international community leaves few options. However as security fails, its likely the Southern Movement will reject new deployments by either Saleh’s forces or Mohsen’s forces. The only possibility is Aliwi who has a better reputation in the south than Hadi (as unlike Hadi he didnt attack civilians in the 1986 civil war, according to local lore.) And Mohsen is Mohsen.

Abyan: Local direct reports indicate military airplanes dropped two bombs today recently. Vid here of warplanes that bombed Abyan City, per local sources.

Another says the attack was on tribesmen who took up arms in the face of military assaults. “Ms. Novak – Greetings – I would like to clarify what is happening today in the province of pilgrimage in southern Yemen as a witness elders – the army is firing different weapons on the housing Almutnyen and Batalli tribes touched by the bombing respond and of these forces and drops dead from both sides.” Still no names on the militants leaders, but likely remnants of the localized jihaddist group AAIA operating under another new name. Upon asking, it seems that most discussions on southern forums regarding Zinjibar are operating on the assumption (as am I) that Khaledabul Nabi* is leading the jihaddists in Abyan but no eye witness confirmation. Ja’ar and Zinjibar are close enough. In 2009, Nabi was fighting on the side of Saleh in the battle of Ja’ar, another jihaddist proxy war.

Update, Southern Yemen: Ali Mohsen’s forces are in Abyan, see YT article Rebel soldiers engage militants, but are described below as “gunmen” so these could be the jihaddists as well. Majority of Mohsen’s soldiers are either graduates of Iman Univ or loyal to Zindani, per local buzz. The defected military issued a statement though that they were going to intervene in Abyan as military, and that may be what is triggering an armed (defensive) response by the southern movement if there is indeed an armed response. When the article below talks about forces loyal to Islah, it sounds like they mean armed militants loyal to Mohsen and Zindani. Maybe this is what Nuba meant by an invasion of Zindanis forces.

So Abyan could be a proxy war between Saleh and Mohsen with both sides using militants and military men and equipment. and the southerners who take defensive positions attacked by both. Now I really have a headache. Saada source comments, “That’s exactly whats happening with al Jawf,” and likely why the Houthis are fighting there, as a defensive measure.

Al Jawf/ Marib: Battles reported and continue over last months between Houthis and “Islahis” in conjunction with Mohsen’s forces, with back up from pro-Saleh forces according to news and local sources. Explains positioning of large amounts of troops there. Both the Mohsen forces and Saleh forces, militants and military, are fighting the Houthis in rotation. These developments bring into question both Mohsen’s alleged reformation and his commitment to the youth rev goals. Maybe he is just out to finally wipe out the Houthis and the Southerners. Clarification: There’s no troops on the al jawf/Saada border. Troops and militias of both Saleh (Republican Guards and militias) and Mohsen’s army and militias are on the border of Aljawf/Mareb and also inside both Aljawf and Mareb. There’s quite a number of troops in Saada but they are non-combative.

Yaf3press: Lapin: genocide and the destruction of cities, “Zanzibar and Jaar .. and forces loyal to the Reform Party (ed-Islah) and Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar involved in control of southern Yemen. (Read on …)

Republican Guard Military Base in Dhamar is with the Yemeni Rev

Filed under: Dhamar, Security Forces, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 5:20 pm on Friday, May 27, 2011

Another Republican Guard base falls-ie, voluntarily joins the rev, so maybe stands is a better word. The RG and Central Security in Dhamar, central Yemen, joined in celebrations today. The primary supports of the regime and the butcher, Ali Abdullah Saleh are crumbling. The RG, headed by Saleh’s son, Ahmed, was thought to be the inseparable from Saleh, but officers, commanders and posts are peeling away, some voluntarily and some by force. Update: 26 Sept denies and says, “Commander of the brigade, Brigadier Ibrahim al-Gaefi said on Saturday that the personnel of the 9 th Republican Guards Brigade will remain loyal and faithful to the homeland and the political and military leadership led by His Excellency President Ali Abdullah Saleh, the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces.” Wish I had that vid of the RG celebrating handy, they looked so happy. Faithful to the homeland is different from faithful to Saleh. Update 2: its new officers and personnel quickly tasked to the 9th Infantry Brigade of the RG that pledged loyalty according to local reports.

Early reports indicate the three helicopters (one crashed and two captured) taken in Nehm are a Russian type (could be Ukrainian) not US. Update; this is the vid from Nehm, looks Russian to those who know these things.

Fighting resumes in al Hasaba, Sanaa. A short lived cease fire indeed. Five explosions near Sheikh alAhmar’s compound, artillery toward the airport. Earlier in Rawda near Yahya Saleh’s home. Gunfire and shelling now, 2 am Sanaa time. Several reports say its an attack on the 1st Armored (Ali Mohsen) and the al Ahmar home.

The state media lies about Nehm, nothing new there, broadcasting from the presidential palace.

Massive march in Saada “confirms the meaning of national cohesion”

Yemen Revolution edges closer to victory as tribes overrun major military compound

Filed under: Dhamar, Sana'a, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:19 pm on Friday, May 27, 2011

Yemen Revolution edges closer to victory as tribes overrun major military compound, Saleh plays al Qaeda card in Abyan

These are your headlines today folks.

Tribal loyalties over ride GPC and military identities.The defection yesterday of the Republican Guard commander was significant, as was the tribes disowning any loyalty to Saleh. There wasn’t even a pro-Saleh protest today. The Nehm tribe is Bakil, the al Ahmars are Hashid- ie, Saleh unified all the tribes against him. The protesters are dedicated to non-violence and closer to winning. That’s what is happening. Not an impending civil war, despite all the fear mongering.

In Abyan, the state abandoned Zanzibar government buildings and state militants are driving around chanting. The residents are furious. The JMP said Saleh handed over the city to the militants to put more pressure on the international community to accept him staying longer in power. There are some clashes, but it is not like Ja’ar was in 2009. It might get there, especially in the vacuum created by prolonged US support of Saleh.

A clear statement from Def Sec Gates might help end things a little quicker, with less civilian casualties, by demoralizing the remaining Saleh forces. Something like, “The US now has done post-Saleh planning,” and hopefully we have. If not, they can borrow mine. Certainly it must be distressing to watch millions of dollars and months of effort in standing up the Yemeni CT forces go down the drain or worse yet be used against unarmed civilians. But it is time to cut losses and move on to the next step.

Alhadda tribe sends cakes and supplies to student protesters in Sanaa, Updated w/ Sheik’s denial

Filed under: Dhamar, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:21 pm on Saturday, March 5, 2011

Update: Sheik Bukhaiti of the al Hadda tribe denied the News Yemen report of sending cakes to the protesters via the state media, probably was an initiative by some Hadda tribesmen in Sana’a.

The Alhada tribe is located 31 kilometers east in Dhamar governrate; this tribe is scattered on a large piece of land in many villages.

cakes from the tribes Alhaddae for the youth of the change in Sanaa, 05/03/2011
Arrived yesterday and brought to the change in Sana’a convoy of food and money for the youth arena change from the sons and tribes Alhaddae. (Read on …)

Two Europeans Arrested Weapons Training in Dhamar

Filed under: Dammaj, Dhamar, Dharmar, Local gov, TI: External — by Jane Novak at 11:27 am on Wednesday, March 31, 2010

could be anything… Later reports say they are French. Random Dhamar factoids:Yahay Al-Amri, the former Governor of Sa’ada, described as a “pro-Salafi active advocate” is Governor of Dhamar (a predominantly Zeidi stronghold and learning center). Complaints have been reported by residents there of forced takeovers of Zeidi Mosques by Salafi preachers (as occurred in Sa’ada). Also the second largest Dar al-Hadith Institute is in Maber, Dhamar headed by Sheik Mohammed al-Imam al-Reimi, a former student of Sheik al-Wadi. Armed guards protect the institute which has a capacity of 1500-2000 students.

26 September Net: Police in Yemen’s central Dhamar province have arrested two Europeans while training in marksmanship. Two rifles were seized with the foreigners who were arrested at Naqil al-Mashana in Jahran district, the Interior Ministry reported on Sunday. They were both 24 years old and one with an Arab name. An investigation is underway. saba


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