Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Pres Hadi on US drones: more precise than the Yemeni Air Force

Filed under: Counter-terror, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:04 pm on Saturday, September 29, 2012

Drone strikes are an improvement from aging and imprecise Soviet aircraft in the Yemeni air force, said Hadi, and that’s indisputable. (Why Saleh poured millions on the decrepit MIGs is another story.) Hadi, like Obama, personally approves all strikes in advance.

President Hadi was the only foreign leader that Obama actually had a meeting with, and the US considers him much more reliable than Saleh, not a high threshold to beat. Hadi said there are more controls that should reduce or hopefully eliminate errors and civilian casualties which are the primary concern among Yemenis and others. With 33 airstrikes this year, and 10 last year, the ratio of the death of innocents has dropped substantially, if we use the US metric that every male over 16 killed in a drone strike is assumed a terrorist and legitimate target.

Those in Yemen like HOOD who continually decry a loss of Yemeni sovereignty over its airspace should be reassured, but probably won’t be, by Hadi’s comments that he retains control. Those who see the air strikes as the harbinger of an impending US invasion are disconnected from reality and/or engaging in incitement and wouldn’t be swayed by any facts or adjustments to the program. The Houthis consider the Youtube trailer for the 2002 movie Rules of Engagement to be an CIA blueprint of some sort, really. Its a phrase to be avoided.

NYT: President Abdu Rabbu Mansour Hadi, elected in a one-candidate election in February, said at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars that the precision afforded by drones gave them a marked advantage over the aging Soviet aircraft in the Yemeni Air Force.

“They pinpoint the target and have zero margin of error, if you know what target you’re aiming at,” said Mr. Hadi, a former army officer and the successor to Ali Abdullah Saleh, who stepped down after protests against his three-decade rule.

The United States “helped with their drones because the Yemeni Air Force cannot carry out missions at night,” he said. “The electronic brain’s precision is unmatched by the human brain.” —

On Tuesday, President Obama underscored America’s gratitude to Mr. Hadi by dropping by as the Yemeni president met in New York with John O. Brennan, Mr. Obama’s counterterrorism adviser. While Mr. Obama spoke briefly with several heads of state at a reception during the United Nations General Assembly meeting, Mr. Hadi was the only one singled out for a meeting.

CT center in Sanaa includes Oman, SA, US and Yemeni reps

WAPO: Yemen’s president said Saturday that he personally approves every U.S. drone strike in his country and described the remotely piloted aircraft as a technical marvel that has helped reverse al-Qaeda’s gains.

President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi also provided new details about the monitoring of counterterrorism missions from a joint operations center in Yemen that he said is staffed by military and intelligence personnel from the United States, Saudi Arabia and Oman…

Hadi’s comments mark the first time he has publicly acknowledged his direct role in a campaign of strikes by U.S. drones and conventional aircraft targeting an al-Qaeda franchise that is seen as the most potent terrorist threat to the United States.

“Every operation, before taking place, they take permission from the president,” Hadi said in an interview with reporters and editors from The Washington Post. Praising the accuracy of the remotely operated aircraft, he added, “The drone technologically is more advanced than the human brain.”

Hadi’s enthusiasm helps to explain how, since taking office in February after a popular revolt ended President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year rule, he has come to be regarded by Obama administration officials as one of the United States’ staunchest counterterrorism allies.

In a sign of Hadi’s standing, he was greeted by President Obama during meetings at the United Nations in New York last week and has met with a parade of top administration officials in Washington, including Vice President Biden, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.

The pace of U.S. drone strikes in Yemen has surged during the past year, as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula gained territory in the southern part of the country and continued to mount attacks against the United States, according to U.S. officials who said they disrupted an airline bomb plot earlier this year that originated in Yemen.

The U.S. Joint Special Operations Command and the CIA have carried out 33 airstrikes in Yemen this year, compared to 10 in 2011, according to the Long War Journal Web site, which tracks drone attacks.

In the interview, Hadi alluded to civilian casualties and errant strikes earlier in the campaign, which began in December 2009, but he said that the United States and Yemen have taken “multiple measures to avoid mistakes of the past.”

He also described a joint operations facility near Sanaa, the capital, that serves as an intelligence nerve center for operations against AQAP, as the terrorist group’s Yemeni affiliate is known. “You go to the operations center and see operations taking place step by step,” Hadi said.

U.S. Special Operations drones patrol Yemen from a base in Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. The CIA aircraft are flown from a separate facility on the Arabian Peninsula whose location has not been publicly disclosed.

HRW: “The (Yemeni) Central Security Forces’ failure to stop the shooting suggests either gross negligence or complicity with the gunmen”

Filed under: Mahweet, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, political violence — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is a thorough summary of the March 18, 2011 massacre in Yemen including the literal firewall that kept protesters in the square after the snipers opened fire and the role of Yahya Saleh, head of one of the US supported CT units. The US desire to retain Yahya and Ahmed Ali in their roles as heads of the CT forces is one of the main obstacles to a peaceful transition of power so maybe Obama should sanction himself.

The March 18 massacre was so egregious and barbaric that half the corrupted regime defected to the side of the protesters. The US however withheld from calling for Saleh’s removal. In fact, US Def Sec Gates announced days later that the US had done no post-Saleh planning and, “We’ve had a good working relationship with President Saleh. He’s been an important ally in the counter-terrorism arena.”

BTW the son of the governor of Mahweet from post, Yemen: Son of governor escapes justice after massacre:

mahweetgovson.jpg

And yes, the US/SA/UN granted immunity for the Saleh regime does tend to complicate matters.

Yemen: Massacre Investigation Badly Flawed
Conduct New Probe Into 2011 Killings of 45 Protesters

(Sanaa, September 27, 2012) – The previous Yemeni government’s investigation into the so-called Friday of Dignity massacre on March 18, 2011, in Yemen’s capital is marred throughout by flaws and political interference, Human Rights Watch said today.

The Yemeni authorities should order a new inquiry into the attack, the deadliest by pro-government gunmen on protesters during the 2011 uprising, Human Rights Watch said. The attack in Sanaa killed 45 people and wounded up to 200 others, and became a symbol of resistance to then-president Ali Abdullah Saleh. The criminal trial of 78 defendants in the case is scheduled to begin on September 29, 2012.

“The previous government’s investigation of the Friday of Dignity killings was deeply flawed and may have been a brazen attempt to shield government officials from prosecution,” said Letta Tayler, senior Yemen researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Yemen’s new government should demonstrate its commitment to justice for serious rights abuses by carrying out a new inquiry.” (Read on …)

Protests in Sanaa against terrorism, demand prosecution of former president Saleh

Filed under: Sana'a, Transition, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:51 pm on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Yemen Fox: Hundreds of thousands of protesters took to the streets of the capital Sana’a on Tuesday in a mass march called “Millionaire for trial” to call on Former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides to be stripped of immunity.
Protesters raised Yemeni flags and banners which confirms their determination to continue calling for reorganizing army, releasing detainees, and stripping former regime figures of immunity and to be prosecuted.
The march went off from Zubery street amid Capital Sana’a, reached Kentaki roundabout and finally returned to change square near Sana’a university.
Eyewitnesses told Yemen Fox that former president Ali Abdullah Saleh brought dozens of loyal gunmen who sounded all streets leading to his house, which pushed protesters to change their direction to avoid confrontations with Saleh’s armed men.
General People’s Congress (GPC) has warned, hours before the march, of the protest which demanded stripping Saleh form immunity granted to him in accordance with the GCC Initiative and its operational mechanism.

Google translated, but you can get the idea (photos here)

Elaph: SANAA: Tens of thousands of people in Sanaa on Wednesday against “terrorism” and to demand the lifting of the immunity of former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh, whom they accuse of supporting al-Qaeda.

The demonstration came a day after a similar demonstration witnessed Sanaa, and in the wake of a failed attempt to assassinate Defence Minister traveled killed 12 people. (Read on …)

Hadi appoints new head of National Security following assassination attempt on Defense Minister

Filed under: Biographies, Counter-terror, Oil, Presidency, Sana'a, al Jawf, al-Bayda, assassination, security timeline, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 8:08 am on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Ali al Ansi finally deposed, thats a good move, full list new appts below:

Hadi Fires Senior Security Chiefs, Picks New Governors, Presidency Officials

Yemen’s President Abdrabu Mansour Hadi sacked senior security chiefs and picked new governors and presidency officials on Tuesday night after the defense minister escaped a car bombing at the cabinet HQ in downtown the capital Sanaa.
Among the fired chiefs were heads of the national security system and intelligence systems who have been seen as very close to the former president Saleh.
Previous governor of Shabwa, Ali Al-Ahmadi, became the new chief of the national security and ,Hassan Al-Yafe, a former defense ministry officer, the new chief of the intelligence system.
Hadi also named new ministers for oil and higher education and five new governors for Sanaa, Jawf, Amran, Shabwa and Baidha.
Furthermore, he appointed Nasr Taha Mustafa, the former head of Saba agency, the new manager for the president’s office and ,Mansour bin Safaa, as the secretary general at the office.
The appointments came shortly after the defense minister, Muhammad Nasser Ahmed, survived a deadly car bombing while leaving the cabinet’s weekly meeting.
12 people including 7 of the minister’s bodyguards were killed and 12 others injured, some seriously, in the attack.
In the meantime, the Yemeni people plan to stage a massive demonstration to condemn terrorist attacks and violence and to announce their support to the decisions and efforts of Hadi.


President Abdrabuh Mansour Hadi issued the following decrees:

1. Engineer Hesham Sharaf, appointed Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research (Mr. Hesham was the Former Minister of Oil and he replaced Dr. Yahya Al-shoebi who resigned from his post).

2. Engineer Ahmed Abdullah Dares prompted from the post of a Vice to the Minister of Oil and Minerals.
(Read on …)

US protected war criminal Ali Saleh gives speech, spurs new protests in Yemen

Filed under: Oil, Post Saleh, Sana'a, Transition, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:42 pm on Thursday, September 6, 2012

Some Saleh stuff:

Yemen Post Staff
Thousands of Yemeni people led by youths took to the streets in some cities on Tuesday to demand lifting the immunity given to former president Ali Abdullah Saleh under a power-transfer deal that was reached after the 2011 turmoil.

The demonstrations came to protest the appearance of Saleh who delivered a speech on the anniversary of the General People’s Congress on Monday attacking the government and some countries which brokered the power-transfer deal.

The demonstrators demanded to lift the immunity given to Saleh because he insists on exercising politics though the popular uprising, which erupted in early 2011, forced him to resign. Some of them argued Saleh should be tried because the immunity was given on condition Saleh leave the political career, but he continues to appear and organize political events.

They also affirmed the revolution will continue until all its goals were met.

Mass protests erupted last year that forced Saleh to sign the power-transfer deal in return for full immunity from prosecution. His aides were given immunity but not covering terrorist acts.

In his speech on Monday, Saleh, the founder and president of the General People’s Congress, said the power-sharing government has failed to live up to its responsibilities and that Qatar supported the Yemeni people in an improper way.

Meanwhile, Saleh and his relatives including senior military and security commanders have been criticized for obstructing the deal and resisting orders and decisions to restructure the armed forces.

More on the protests at Xinhuanet

Alsahwah.net- Prime Minister Mohammad Salem Basindwa has said that the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh is behind Yemen’s instability, pointing out that he violates the GCC-power transfer deal.

He indicated that Saleh and his family still control some the state institutions, stressing the importance of reconstructing the security and military services in order to implement the GCC deal and move forward.

In an interview with the Saudi Al-Sharq newspaper, that some political sides supported al-Qaeda and armed groups with the aim of breaking down the political settlement.

He cited that Iran intervenes in Yemen’s affairs, singling out that Iran violates rules of international relations.

Yemen Times: For the first time, the General People’s Congress (GPC) celebrated the anniversary of its establishment in a state of extensive security procedures and the absence of coverage by government media outlets.

The celebration came following the popular 2011 revolution that resulted in the ouster of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who remains the head of the GPC. After the revolution, Abdu Rabu Mansour Hadi, the former vice president, was elected Yemen’s newest leader. Hadi is now the president of the country and the deputy head of the GPC.

Saleh was an active voice during the celebration, lashing out at the reconciliation government, saying, “What have you realized thus far? Have you controlled the electricity saboteurs or those bombing the oil pipes? Or do you hold others responsible for your failure?”

Saleh questioned the reconciliation government, asking, “Why have you not captured the bandits and the electricity towers’ attackers? Why do they not stand a trial? Where have you been in the course of the last eight months?”

He displayed his resentment toward declarations that hold the former regime responsible for the difficulties Yemen currently faces.

“If a tornado occurs in America, they will say the former regime is the reason,” he said.

A hard number

More than 5,000 people, including leading party figures, attended the celebration. Tareq Al-Shami, a spokesman for the GPC, said the gathering intended to send a powerful message to people that the party is still a strong, hard number in the political arena that none can surpass. It is a political party that holds an honorable national history, he said.

“Another message is the GPC has an evolving thought.”

However, Al-Shami did add that the party remains a partner of the coalition parties; it embodies itself strongly in front of society. The party is keen to adopt the concerns of people and to resolve their problems; thus, the party rejects any unlawful actions such as banditry and assaulting government facilities, Al-Shami said.

Although Hadi belongs to the GPC, he was not in attendance. Al-Shami said the party planned ahead and was fully aware that the president would be unable to attend the event.

Al-Shami said the GPC now strives to prepare for the eighth conference, during which new leadership will be elected for all branches nationwide, in addition to electing the party’s Permanent Commission.

Futility and chaos

By contrast, some political analysts affiliated with opposition groups deemed this celebration as futile and a means to squander the resources of the nation.

Saleh Al-Soreimi, editor-in-chief of Al-Sahafa newspaper, said Saleh spent his own money on this celebration, and most of the attendees came for the sake of material gains, not to represent the party.

He said Saleh’s goal for the celebration was to let Yemen and other countries know that he is still a player in the political arena; he is able to move his party anytime he wants and in any way he chooses.

Al-Soreimi said the GPC is not an organized party; it simply attempts to attract people by means of money and by taking advantage of its power when it is at the helm of the country. He called for the GPC to adopt another more valid strategy than just collecting money.

With regard to Hadi’s absence from the celebration, Al-Soreimi said Hadi wants to prove himself as the only president of Yemen; he doesn’t want Saleh to be perceived as his boss in the GPC.

The former president, on his last stand, thought the celebration would make him a future because he has nothing of what he did in the past, Ali Al-Sirari, the political advisor of the prime minister, said.

“It is supposed that Saleh quit politics based on the immunity given by the Gulf Initiative. Otherwise, the immunity should be lifted and he ought to stand trial, for he still continues misusing the nation and standing against the will of the Yemeni people.”

Yemen Post Staff
Head of the Joint Meeting Parties Sultan Al-Atwani has accused the former president Ali Abdullah Saleh and his aides of blowing up oil and gas pipelines, referring that Saleh uses tribesmen to attack government facilities.
In an interview with the Yemen Times Radio, Al-Atwani demanded to form an independent aid unbiased panel to investigate attacks against interior and defense ministers and other events.
He revealed that some Yemeni officials still receive orders from Saleh, not from Hadi or the interim government.
According to the JMP leader, some security and intelligence services loyal to Saleh still hold protesters who took part in demonstrations that led to the ouster of Saleh, singling out that the JMP do its best to discover the places in which protesters are held.
He reaffirmed that the JMP refuses to extend the interim stage, making reference that the military and security services must be reconstructed to end Yemen’s divisions.
Yemeni politicians repeatedly called Saleh to leave Yemen and give up politics, asserting that he operates to provoke internal divisions and disputes.
They cautioned that the GCC-mediated power transfer deal could be broken down, if Saleh continued in playing political roles.
Saleh was given immunity from prosecution under the GCC-mediated power transfer deal. However he still exploits the immunity to stir up troubles, a senior leader of the JMP Ali Al-Sarari said.
Al-Sarari called to promptly reconstruct the military and security services and put an end to maneuvers of Saleh, warning that his behaviors could undermine the political settlement in Yemen.

Yemen Times: SANA’A, Sept. 3 — Three people were injured in Sana’a’s Change Square on Monday in an attack by armed men on tents located on Al-Ribat Street.

Fathi A-Shaibani, head of the Peaceful Youth Coalition’s Organizing Department, said approximately 35 people, armed and carrying sticks, attacked ten tents Monday and blocked the street.

He said the perpetrators demolished five tents and looted everything inside the Media Center, located in a tent on the street.

Al-Shaibani said a welder summoned people to attack the tents. They burned them, looting everything inside. This raised anger among the youth, who made an attempt to fight back against those attacking them.

Ahmed Nashwan, an owner of a destroyed tent, accused the welder and an owner of a food store for the attack.

He said the attack happened at 10 p.m. Monday, and he said these attempts won’t discourage the independent youth from continuing their revolution until all their aims are achieved.

This incident came hours after former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s speech—delivered before his loyalists on the thirtieth anniversary of establishment of the General People’s Congress. Consequently, the youth accused Saleh loyalists for being behind the attack.

Yemen Online: Yemen: Tens of thousands march demanding prosecution of ousted president
07/09/2012

Tens of thousands of Yemenis took to the streets after Friday prayers in the capital Sanaa demanding the prosecution of Ali Abdullah Saleh, the longtime autocratic leader who stepped down in February after a year-long uprising.

Protesters raised banners reading, “The trial is coming.” Witnesses say demonstrators marched in other Yemeni cities as well.

Saleh signed a power transfer deal that gave him immunity from prosecution in return for leaving office.

However, his public appearance earlier this week in a celebration at the headquarters of his ruling party, which he still heads, sparked public anger and renewed calls for his prosecution over the deaths of protesters and over corruption.

Saleh continues to exert considerable influence through family members in key positions in the security forces. Yemen’s new President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi has tried since assuming office to purge Saleh associates from key positions, but critics of the ousted president say he is still using his allies to stir unrest.

“The revolutionary (crowds in the) squares will not permit a continued political role of the ousted president or a return of the old regime,” said Abdel-Hadi al-Azazi, a leading youth activist.

Meanwhile, the military is engaged in a broad offensive against al-Qaida in the south of the country, retaking in the summer several towns that had been captured by the militant movement during last year’s unrest.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that security forces arrested on Friday four al-Qaida militants in the capital in connection to assassination of a Yemeni intelligence general last week.

A security official said that anti-terrorism special forces raided houses in Sanaa and exchanged gunfire with suspected militants during a security sweep. He spoke anonymously according to regulations.

The United States considers al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror network’s offshoot in Yemen, to be its most dangerous branch.

“Al Qaeda reiterates the September 11 tragedy in Yemen”

Filed under: Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Sana'a, Tribes, attacks — by Jane Novak at 5:24 pm on Saturday, July 28, 2012

A tragic essay published by Hour News, the original Arabic below, outlines many of the disasters that Al Qaeda has wrought on Yemen, directly and indirectly. I believe the article is in response to the awful and deliberate murder of a 12 year old boy with a package bomb, that sad article is also below:

Newspapers and magazines — “This report for publication”

Al Qaeda in Yemen declares war on the citizens, and reiterates the September 11 tragedy in Yemen, “the report”

Abdul Karim Hazmi

Al Qaeda in Yemen war on Yemeni citizens in general as well as its war against the government for the establishment of an Islamic state as they called them.

It is noticeable in this war-Qaeda in Yemen that the only loser is the people of Yemen, a victim, a target of this war, economically and militarily.

Since the takeover in the province of Abyan war killed tens of innocent victims of the citizens and the displacement of thousands of them in order to establish the rule of the Islamic state in the nation, forgetting that they are all Muslims and citizens united to God is not a partner, was the victim of most of them innocent civilians. (Read on …)

AQAP re-establishes at Abu Jabarah, Saada, Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Hadramout, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Yemen, abu jubarah, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 4:59 am on Monday, July 16, 2012

Related 30,000 Saudi spies in Yemen

NAB: AQAP fled to Sanaa and “One group made a camp in Al Mahfad, a mounteneous area between Shabwah and Abyan, and second group went to the eastern province of Hadhrmout, more specifically in Wadi Dawan in Sayoun, and the third group went to Rada’a in Al Baidha province. The recent estimate of Al Qaeda elements in the whole country is 10,000, according to sources close to Al Qaeda.”

7/6/12 al Hadath: Revealed a Saudi newspaper on Friday that elements of al-Qaeda had infiltrated to some districts in the province of Saada in northern Yemen, disguised in women taking advantage of the sympathy of some members of the tribes who helped them to reach the valley of the Abu Jabara near Saada, and provide safe haven for them. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda plans to hit US Embassy, other Sanaa targets, after diversionary strike in Mukallah, report; Update: drones in al Baydah & Jaar, Ethiopians in Abyan

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Hadramout, Sana'a, USA, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:05 am on Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sounds bad, kind of a vehicular Mumbai style swarm. There’s no way the US embassy doesn’t know this already though right? The article was published last night at 9pm. Also note there’s sources and there’s security sources. This is but one reason why freedom of the press is so important in Yemen–open source AQAP reporting. There’s history and links to news articles on Ibrahim al Banaa below.

Related: Yes they are apparently all over it. US drones strikes kill 25 in Yemen overnight:

US drones raided several hideouts of the Yemen-based Al-Qaeda wing in the southeast restive province of Al-Baydha on Friday night. At least 25 AQAP militants were killed, including senior figures, with several other militants being wounded in an air strike conducted by the United States forces according to local website news…Moreover recent news that al-Shaba’a, the Ethiopian al-Qaeda wing had sent hundreds of Jihadists over to Abyan to join in Ansar al-Sharia, has been the cause of great concerns for both the government and the civilian population, as they feel their land could become the ground of a mighty war.

Ethiopians? al Shaba’a? 1) Maybe these are the nine mystery ships that everyone is talking about arriving before last Sunday’s attack on the military base in Abyan that killed nearly 200 Yemeni soldiers and 2) How weak is AQAP that they need to import fighters?

There’s also reports of drone strikes in Jaar, Abyan that destroyed the military equipment AQAP captured from the army last week-end. Update: The al Baydah airstrikes hit the AQAP training camp and targeted local al-Qaeda leader Abdulwahhab al-Homaiqani, the BBC reports. Its always good when there are no immediate reports of civilian casualties, I would have heard by now.

The Yemeni soldiers captured (who weren’t beheaded or otherwise mutilated) were paraded around Jaar, forced to train the terrorists on how to operate the tanks, and now are threatened with execution if the govt doesn’t release AQ prisoners.

The YO article regarding reports of an impending attack follows: Yemen Observer:

Yemen based al-Qaeda plans strikes on Sana’a and Mukala Reliable sources have said that al-Qaeda has been preparing for its largest operations yet in the capital city of Sana’a, operations aimed at strategic sites including military and security installments and embassies.

Sources said that al-Qaeda cells in the areas of Zindan and Arhab have trained for operations involving the storming of fortified sites, attacking fixed and mobile targets while aboard vehicles and motorbikes, and that al-Qaeda militants have entered Sana’a in preparation for carrying out their attacks in the coming few days.

The sources expect that al-Qaeda’s potential targets include the Airbase in Sana’a, the Interior Ministry, Republican Guard units and a number of embassies, including the American embassy.

The sources confirmed information regarding intentions by al-Qaeda to attack Mukala to divert attention its plans in Sana’a.

Security sources said that over 400 al-Qaeda militants are currently in Shabwa’s Azan Directorate, with three al-Qaeda leaders in charge (Ibrahim al-Bana, an Egyptian, Qasem al-Rimi and Shaker Hamel) of plans to attack vital installations, security sites, and important government facilities as part of a plan to expand their so-called Azan Islamic state to Mukala. (Read on …)

Potshots at US trainers in Aden, bombing at Saada rally, protests in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Aden, Counter-terror, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 9:29 pm on Friday, March 2, 2012

Reuters: – A gunman opened fire on a U.S. security team as it trained Yemeni soldiers in the south of the country, the Pentagon and a security official said on Friday, both denying reports from an Islamist group that a CIA officer was killed in the assault.

In the north of the country, a bomb blast hit an anti-U.S. protest, injuring at least 22 people, a rebel group that controls much of the region said. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Republican Guard bombs, kills four civilians while under UN/US immunity

Filed under: Post Saleh, Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:19 pm on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Its like the Twilight Zone. If it was Russia and Turkmenistan, or China and North Korea, instead of the United States of America that granted immunity to Yemeni military commanders while they are on a continuous murder spree, it would be more comprehensible.

alSahwa: Alsahwah.net- Forces of the Republican Guard bombarded on Saturday villages of Nihm, outskirt of Sana’a, using medium and heavy weapons, indicating that bombardment was arbitrary and intensive.

Local sources told Alsahwah.net that the forces used gun machines from mountains nearby to the villages, pointing out that no casualties fell.

Forces of the Republican Guard headed by Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, son of the outgoing Yemeni president shelled on Tuesday killed four civilians including child in Bani Dihrah, a village of Arhab district, some 30 kilometers north of Sana’a.

For its part, Hood Organization for Human Rights and Freedoms affirmed that it received on Tuesday the corpses of the four killed civilians.

Hood said that forces of the Republican Guard rejected to allow human rights organizations to take the bodies of five civilians who were killed five months ago.

On Sunday, the Republican Guards bombarded villages of Bani Jarmooz and Bait Dihrah, using mortars and machine guns against civilians wounding several and damaging many properties.

Related: The international community leveled no sanctions on the Saleh regime whatsoever, no ban on weapons sales, no freezing of funds. Russia is still providing weapons, likely via a deniable proxy. Yemen owes Russia, its largest bilateral creditor, about six billion from prior weapons sales.

Alsahwah.net- A Russian-made ship loaded with heavy weapons including air-fighters, tanks and ammunition arrived in Hodeidah port on Thursday, sources of the port revealed.

The sources said the weapons are to be distributed to those military camps that are still loyal to the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Hundreds of protesters headed the port, demanding the port officials to uncover the sorts of these weapons and its producing country.

They affirmed that they would provide a notification for the Attorney General, demanding all local and international organizations to work to uncover those states that are involved in providing the regime with weapons to kill protesters.

Yemen Air Force revolts against corrupt commander, Saleh’s half brother

Filed under: Corruption, Military, Post Saleh, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:38 am on Sunday, January 22, 2012

Shoe throwing at the presidents relatives is always a good sign however the arrested show throwing air force officer is probably in pretty poor shape right now.

Yemen Post: Hundreds of officers and soldiers protested inside the International Sana’a Airport on Sunday, demanding to sack commander of the Air Forces, Mohammad Saleh Al-Ahmar, half-brother of the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

One officer told Yemen Post on condition of anonymity that five tanks and many military vehicles belonging to the Central Security and Special Guard Forces rushed to the airport with the aim of dispersing the protesting soldiers.

“However, Major General Ahmed Ali Al-Ashwal, Chief of General Staff, immediately headed to the airport and ordered the forces not to assault approximately 500 protesters.” he added.\

He further said that negotiations are being continuing between Al-Ashwal and some officers of the Air Forces, indicating that they insist on the resignation of Al-Ahmar and meet all other demands.

Sources said that Guards of Al-Ahmar arrested an officer, Omar Al-Hatimi, who loudly criticized Al-Ahmar and threw his shoes at him inside a meeting hall of the Air Forces. (Read on …)

Witness: 100’s defected soldiers, protesters whipped, electrocuted, tortured inside Yemeni military camp

Filed under: Military, Sana'a, Transition, political violence, prisons, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:43 am on Wednesday, January 18, 2012

But its not a problem for the US, UN and GCC which all strongly endorse an immunity package for the Saleh regime and consider the Yemeni public a nuisance.

Yemen Post: The Yemeni Human Rights Organization, HOOD, has affirmed that hundreds of officers, troops and protesters are being detained and brutally tortured inside military camps affiliated to the outgoing President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
The body said that these soldiers were detained due their support to anti-regime protests.

Hood indicated that the Yemeni authorities have recently released 44 detainees from the Central Prison in Sana’a.

Yemen security and army services have arbitrarily detained hundreds of peaceful protesters across the country, subjecting them to torture and ill-treatment, since anti-government demonstrations began in February 2011.

“A military court has recently released four officers and troops of the Special Forces Service led by son of Saleh, Ahmed,” Hood said.”They were arrested on charges of taking part in anti-regime demonstrations.”

One of the released persons revealed that 75 protesters and 70 soldiers of the defected First Armored Division are being held inside a custody in Alsama’a military camp located in Arhab district of Sana’a governorate.

The protester told Yemeni activists that he was kidnapped from the capital in December, 2011, pointing out that he was immediately transferred to this camp.

He said he was subject to brutal forms of tortures, including electro-shock devices and beating with cables and whips, as he was blindfolded and handcuffed.

Yemenis have been demonstrating across the country demanding the release of hundreds of detainees held by Security services which are still controlled by people loyal to Saleh.

Yemeni activists had urged all international human rights organizations to press on the Yemeni regime to release all detainees who are subject to brutal torture.

The exact number of detainees being held by the authorities is unknown, but activists say that it could be as high as 1,400.

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.”

The Life March in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Post Saleh, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:33 am on Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thousands of Taizians have embarked on a 240 km (170 mile) march from Taiz to Yemen’s capital Sana’a to underscore public rejection of a UN mediated transition plan. The plan devised by the Gulf Cooperation Council (and strong armed into existence by the Obama administration and Saudi Arabia) was overtly and repeatedly rejected by the vast majority in Yemen since its proposal in April.

So far Yemen has a) an appointed unity government including reshuffled, corrupt elites that excludes the pro-democracy youth, b) a presidential election scheduled for 60 days that has already been officially conceded by the opposition political parties, c) an honorary president, the long reigning corrupt tyrant Saleh, in addition to a temporary president and d) immunity for President Saleh and other government officials guilty of murdering and wounding thousands of Yemeni citizens since February as well as looting the government budget and resources for decades. The UN’s endorsement of immunity for mass human rights violations is unprecedented.

The Life March, estimated to take five days, is growing in number as citizens are joining from every town and village along the way. The procession includes a kitchen and medical unit. Women in Dhamar baked 100,000 cookies in preparation for the marchers’ arrival.

cookiesforlifemarch.jpg

Vid updates: marchers arrive in Dhamar, traditionally a Saleh stronghold. And another video with a long shot of the crowd (Link here) :

Saleh and the GPC are threatening to renege for the 7th (8th?) time since April. The GPC accuses the JMP of sabotaging the transition by storming the capital when much of the public’s wrath is directed at the JMP itself. The national uprising in February was triggered in large part by the failure of the political party system in its entirety to function in the public interest. Yemenis say, the JMP is the other face of the regime.

Many more details in my article at Examiner.com.

(Read on …)

Photos Arhab,Yemen refugees and destruction following govt bombing

Filed under: Sana'a, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 9:11 am on Thursday, December 22, 2011

Click Here. Its looking a lot like Saada in the day. The escalating cycle of violence include standard tactics (indiscriminate bombing of residential areas and denial of food) and demonstrate that the Sana’a regime is not a sectarian but rather a politically motivated slaughterer of its own citizens.

Fox News only reports al Qaeda activity in Yemen while millions march in child’s funeral

Filed under: 3 security, Media, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, USA, Yemen, attacks, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:52 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

The western media black-out continues:

Clearly for FOX News, news worthiness depends on who is doing the killing; one person killed by al Qaeda vastly outweighs the hundred killed by the Yemeni government in the last week. For a day, CNN ran the headline: Yemeni women burn veils, wow, interesting, at least they mentioned “Yemen,” as the state was simultaneously pounding residences in Taiz with artillery and shelling villages in Arhab with missiles.

And neither one can find for five seconds for this from today, (if its not working try this direct link.)

Fox News: Car Bomb Kills Anti-Terror Chief in South Yemen.

VS.

- Airstrikes on Arhab leave 120 civilians killed, 340 wounded

- Nationwide slaughter since UN SC council resolution 2014

- One million demand regime change

- Yemen Post: Several Million of Yemeni gathered nationwide in the streets of Yemen yesterday, demanding the fall of the regime and Ali Abdullah Saleh’s trial as they say the president is continuing to murder his people.

Protesters had spell out “butcher” across their chest in red ink in denunciation of president Saleh’s many crimes. “He’s using snipers to gun down women and children, Sana’a and Taiz are under shelling attacks everyday…Saleh is killing Yemeni and the World stands silent…We will not,” said Mohamed Hassan Said a defected officer.

In Sana’a, the capital, a funeral march was organized to bury the bodies of the victims of the revolution amongst whom was 4 year-old little Waffa. While carrying the coffins the crowd was chorusing anti-regime slogan, asking the international community to bear witness of the crimes committed against peaceful Yemeni people. (Read on …)

Yemeni opposition leader mowed down in “accident”

Filed under: PFU, Sana'a, Targeting, Yemen's Lies, political violence, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 11:48 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

Targeted assassination attempts continue:

Yemen Post: Senior Opposition Leader still in Bad Condition; Youth Blaming Government for Incident

Defected military loyal to the opposition warned on Monday that its leaders will be targets of government assassination plots.

One day after the warning, Mohammed al-Mutawakil, the secretary general of the opposition popular front (ed-PFU) party was injured in a traffic accident the opposition call as planned by the government in an effort to kill him.

He was hit by a motorcycle as he was walking down the street. Al-Mutawakil received serious injuries to the head and is now hospitalized.

Hundreds of youth and opposition leaders visited al-Mutawakil and were not happy.

“We are sure this is not an accident. His health is really bad. This is planned and he was one of the respected leaders in the eyes of the pro revolution youth,” said Abdullah Najjar, a youth activist who visited al-Mutawakil

Majority of Yemen opposition leaders have left the country knowing that Yemen is not safe for them anymore. The interior ministry denied that the incident was planned and is investigating with the motorcycle driver.

Saleh has a trail of blood behind him dating back decades. The car accident is among the most repetitive tactics. There are no moral restraints on the regime; its no surprise that the opposition is making this accusation. Its possibly true. The 1999 death of the great Yemeni activist and editor, Abdulazziz al Saqqaf is one event that generates national suspicion. Leaving a lunch with Abdubakr al Qirby (a medical doctor), Professor al Saqqaf was run over and killed by a car in a sequence that made no sense as an accident. Al Qirby later became and remains Yemen’s Foreign Minister. New information came to light in the last months about Saleh’s complicity in the death of at least one former president, prior to attaining the presidency himself. The treachery of Saleh has no bounds.

Update: The motorcycle was driven by children according to buzz. The PFU rejects the Interior Ministry’s announcements issued without conducting an investigation.

Update 2: al Mutawakil transferred to Saudi Arabia for treatement.

Sanaa regime steals corpse, offers victim’s family 2m/YR to accuse opposition

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

The propaganda continues:

News Yemen

The official media said he was killed at the hands of the protesters

Family of the martyr Jaradi: we were able to extract his body from the Republican and mediated by the government offered us 2 million riyals 29/10/2011

Said the old family of the martyr Mohammad Jaradi The government offered 2 million riyals for the funeral of their parents in their backs on the seventy-screen TV to accuse the band of Yemen murder.

And subjected to gunshot Jaradi in the eye during the suppression by the security forces (Read on …)

Taiz, Yemen shelled; five dead

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:06 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

The deaths continue:

Yemen Post In the early hours of Wednesday morning, the government troops resumed their shelling campaign in Taiz, one of the flashpoint of the revolution, while in the same time using its ground troops and armed thugs to assaults districts under the control of the independent army of the revolution.

Government forces killed at least five people and eight others injured.
The government attacks have been nonstop for hours. The death toll is expected to rise as a number of the injured are in critical condition. (Read on …)

Sanaa airport shut

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Sana'a, Security Forces, Transportation, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:11 pm on Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Arhab thing takes a twist…

Damage not caused by shelling, four jets damaged and possible inside job, airport receiving.

National

Another military official, who also requested anonymity, said the blast on Sunday night inside the military base could be a signal of division in the air force led by Mohammed Saleh Al Ahmar, the half brother of President Ali Abdullah Saleh. (Read on …)

Yemeni tanks shell apartment building in Taiz, thugs kidnap corpse in Sanaa

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

yeah yeah Im not supposed to be here but anyway:

Taiz, tanks have been shelling residential areas for some time:

Qaa, Sanaa, another repetitive tactic, stealing the dead: NYR: “Saleh’s thugs drag a killed protester in a barbaric way and kidnap his body in todays attack on the peaceful march in Qaa”

Fourth day of state attacks in Sanaa, many fatalities, AQ threatens tribesmen in Abyan, Update: Marib tribes issue statement

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Update 9am EST, Wednesday: “Now We Have 400 youth in Alqaa area , they are surrounded and being blocked by the Thugs and the Family security forces at this time.” I lost track of the fatalities. The CSM has 12 Saturday and 4 Sunday and there was more Monday. AP has seven killed Tuesday, today, already.

A woman, Azeeza Abdo Othman was killed in Taiz, a residential home bombed in Sadaa killing an entire family, the protest square was bombed and clashes are flaring between the AMA pro-rev forces and Saleh’s family’s forces. The Guardian reports protesters are writing their names on their chests to identify them if they get murdered by their government.

Update 2: Marib Press” Tribes in Marib issued a statement saying Sheikh Saleh al Taaman was killed in the air rad with Ibrahim al Banaa but not reported killed by the regime. The Sheikh was connected to the state’s security policy and paid by Ghalib al Qamish (PSO) 100K YR/month; tribesmen accuse the regime of the manipulating the terror file and US CT ops to retain power. They say the Sheikh was not listed among the dead and that’s reason to ignore the regime’s fatality lists.

Update 3: HOOD reports over 400 arrested and dozens of injured protesters were kidnapped–again. The Saleh regime has been taking the injured all along to hide the number of fatalities and at least two credible reports of mass graves were forwarded since February.

Original: The Gulf of Aden Security Review is a great resource. Current updates include the state shelling the protest square in Sanaa, (there’s also fatalities in Taiz) and AQ issues a vid threatening tribesmen who are fighting against the AQ occupation of Abyan.

Yemen Security Brief: Fighting in Sana’a continued into a third day. There have been ongoing clashes between pro-government troops and defected tribesmen, loyal to Hashid tribal confederation leader Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar, in al Hasaba district and between pro-government troops and defected First Armored Division troops along al Zubayri Street in Sana’a. Witnesses report that three people died when a shell landed near a makeshift hospital near Tagheer (Change) Square in Sana’a as well. Government snipers reportedly opened fire at thousands of protesters from the rooftops. The First Armored Division released a statement saying that a major and nine of its troops were killed “by treacherous sniping and shelling of the positions of the division.” In Taiz, medical officials reported that one woman was killed by government troops and seven others were injured. Government troops killed at least 12 people and injured hundreds in a similar march on October 15. Also, fighting between pro-government troops and opposition tribesmen killed 17 other people in al Hasaba district of Sana’a.[1]—-

Tribal sources reported that tribesmen ambushed at least five al Qaeda-linked militants as they were transporting military equipment in Zinjibar in Abyan governorate. Fighting that followed the ambush reportedly killed four militants and one tribesman. Yemeni security forces reportedly captured three suspected al Qaeda-linked militants.[4]

A video called, “Are the Two Groups Equal,” was produced by al Raya Media Productions, an alleged media outlet of the al Qaeda-linked militant group, Ansar al Sharia, and posted on jihadist forums on October 14. The video features images of martyrs, tribal fighters being killed in a suicide bombing in Abyan governorate, and excerpts from speeches made by al Qaeda leader Ayman al Zawahiri. Additionally, Ansar al Sharia threatened death to tribes who are working alongside the Yemeni government.[5]

Ten killed in Sana’a today, ongoing violence

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 7:54 am on Saturday, October 15, 2011

Early stats: – 10 killed, 78 Injured by bullets, 140 Injured by tear gas, 15 other injures and 11 in critical condition; roof top snipers, blocked ambulances, no meds. At least 861 people have been killed and 25,000 wounded since mass protests erupted across the country.

Yemeni Observatory for Human Rights calls for protection

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Sana'a, political violence — by Jane Novak at 7:59 am on Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Yemeni Observatory for Human Rights calls for urgent intervention to prevent Yahya Saleh from storming its head quarters in Sanaa, http://bit.ly/qaaZB2 (ar). The Sana’a regime in Yemen, getting closer to a long overdue war crimes trial in the ICC, is attacking the keepers of the evidence; HOOD’s library of human rights abuses was previously burnt to the ground. Idiot Saleh fails to realize that the state’s conduct of the Saada war in and of itself is enough to convict him of collective punishment; the repetitive lethal attacks on southern protesters (2007-2011) are also crimes against humanity. The 500+ protesters killed by state security forces since February are a third and separate range of crimes.

Sadiq al Ahmar: Al Qaeda escapees living in presidential palace villas

Filed under: 23 ESCAPE, Presidency, Sana'a, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 6:45 pm on Thursday, October 6, 2011

A France 24 interview with Sadiq al Ahmar is here on Youtube. Sheik AlAhmar on the vid says, “Ali Abdullah Saleh inserted AlQeada, to ’suck milk from the American cow.’ The biggest evidence of this relationship is that of those who escaped from prison in Hadramout, 16 of them have been at villas that belong to the presidential palace in Alsafiyah for more than two weeks.” (A google search says Alsafiyah is a district in Sanaa.)

Gee, it sounds a lot less crazy when Sadiq al Ahmar and Hamoud al Hittar say it, doesn’t it? (For al Hittar, see Al Hittar says Saleh regime pays al Qaeda in Abyan through security chiefs .) My article at PMJ covers the same topic, Yemen’s Theater of the Absurd.

I think I first used the term “false flag attack” to describe Yemeni foreign policy in 2007 and noted the regime deploying Al Qaeda as mercenaries in 2005. I’ve seen nothing that disputes the general premise since. Someone should tell General Mr. Patraeus that Saleh did not miraculously reform after hearing about the “assassination plot.” They probably knew the phone was wired.

Yemen’s random shelling kills 2 shoppers in Sanaa, wounds 3 in Taiz

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SANAA — Shells fired into a popular shopping district of Yemen’s capital killed two civilians and wounded another on Tuesday, witnesses and medical officials said. (Read on …)

Yemen’s Counter-terror chief randomly shelling residential areas in Arhab: Video

Filed under: Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes, political violence — by Jane Novak at 2:36 pm on Sunday, October 2, 2011

Are we really going to continue to place the safety of Americans in Prince Ahmed Saleh’s hands when he randomly murders Yemeni civilians? There must be reliable mid-level CT commanders. The following vid shows damage in Arhab, after extensive shelling by the Republican Guard:

Update: Regime bombing of residential areas kills seven year old.

Tribesmen down mil aircraft in Arhab

Filed under: Military, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:49 pm on Friday, September 30, 2011

This is from two days ago and got stuck in drafts. “The routine task” was likely bombing civilian targets. The story is correct though in that the whole thing in Arhab started in march when the tribesmen prevented the Republican Guard from leaving the base to reinforce the state forces in Sanaa following the Sana’a massacre.

NYT
SANA, Yemen — Rebel tribesmen in a mountainous region just north of the capital brought down a military aircraft on Wednesday, Yemen’s Defense Ministry said in a statement. (Read on …)

Video: protesters turn out after Saleh’s return to demand the end of the regime

Filed under: Sana'a, Yemen, photos/gifs, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:09 pm on Monday, September 26, 2011

Saleh rarely varies his routine, it was the same pattern with the Southern Movement and the Saada War as it is now: lies, propaganda, empty promises, fake dialog, violence which he blames on the victims and then he accuses everybody of being al Qaeda. Saleh said in 2004, “Democracy is the rescue ship of all regimes,” and then he cracked down on the media. Every statement, I mean every statement on all topics, since then has been propaganda. The Saada War broke out six times because the regime kept violating its own cease fire terms. There’s not one promise he’s kept, including not running for office in 2006, for the third time (1993, 1999 & 2006.) Just like reneging on the GCC plan four times and all his BS about supporting US CT ops and goals.

Taipei Times: The president has repeatedly refused to sign a power transfer deal brokered by the Gulf Cooperation Council according to which he would hand power to Yemeni Vice President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi in return for immunity from prosecution. However, he said on Sunday he had authorized Hadi to sign the deal on his behalf. (Read on …)

40 protesters killed in Yemen Saturday

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Sunday, September 25, 2011

The US has taken no punitive action for eight months as the Sanaa regime slaughtered hundreds of protesters because “counter-terror cooperation has never been better.” However al Qaeda has only grown stronger, the streets bloodier and the nation hungrier, with the international community’s appeasement of Saleh et al.

al Sahwa:
SANAA, Yemen, Sept. 24 (UPI) — Government forces killed at least 40 protesters in Sanaa Saturday, the day after Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh returned from Saudi Arabia, activists said.

Voice of America reported the deaths occurred as Saleh’s military forces clashed with student protesters. The U.S. network said government troops inflicted many casualties when they fired live ammunition and mortar shells at a protesters’ encampment overnight.
(Read on …)

Saleh in Yemen calls for cease fire and then shells protesters, Update: deploys al Qaeda or just a scare tactic?

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:50 am on Friday, September 23, 2011

As expected. CNN reports a dozen deaths since midnight. Its going to be a long bloody night and week.

Unfortunately the Libya option is among the few remaining to safeguard millions, ie- downing the Yemeni Air Force, including the new Hueys. As Saleh refused to resign with immunity and a palace, four times, it is abundantly clear that negotiations are not going to work. Maybe its time for all those symbolic steps the US and international community failed to take until now, but its late for symbolism, half measures and statements.

Al Qaeda suicide bombers moving?

The following could be outright regime propaganda, and maybe al Fahdli never said it, I’m looking for the interview. (Here the report at the Yemen Observer the regime’s stooge paper that sometimes publishes real news.) If al Fahdli did say it, then there’s likely some real al Qaeda movement toward the capital, unless he is back in the pro-regime camp. If its true, its another despicable plot by Saleh. There’s only a remote chance the AQAP moved without approval by somebody. We must recall the long history of very good relations between Saleh and Zawaheri. But this story smells like a typical diversionary tale by Saleh to distract from the carnage. Frankly, AQAP is not that stupid, sending 50 suicide bombers to Sanaa would be the death knell for the group.

Al-Qaeda militants sent 300 insurgents to Sana’a so as to fight the regime, said Sheikh Tareq al-Fadhli in an interview with al-Omana newspaper published on Thursday.

Al-Fadhli said that the extremists fighting in Zinjubar dispatched over three hundred of their insurgents including 50 suicide bombers to Sana’a to teach the son of the president Ahmad Ali, and his nephews Amar and Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh a lesson.

He added that they have developed car bombs named Osama 1, Osama 2, and Osama 3 that carry over a ton and a half of explosives so as to launch a series of [martyrdom operations] in Sana’a in retaliation for bombing what he called the Al-Shabab in Abyan.

Electricity is out in large parts of the capital again, preventing news from getting out.

The Saudis should clarify if they are supporting (and re-arming) Saleh or if they kicked him out after he refused to sign.

Over 50 dead in two days of state attacks in Yemen, updated: 77 killed

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:52 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The last time Saleh was pushed to sign an agreement to transfer power, he locked down the diplomats with an armed mob of regime supporters at the UAE embassy for six hours. The US ambassador later laughed it off. Both Brennan and the State Dept issued statements last week that they expected the power sharing agreement to be concluded this week. Monday’s violence occurred with the UN envoy Jamal bin Omar and GCC Secretary General Abdul Latif al Zayani in Sanaa to oversee the signing. The last time UN officials were in Sanaa, the state turned the lights back on. Astoundingly the US blames the victims by urging all parties not to provoke violence.

Update: Sahwa Net- Yemen security forces killed during last three days 77protesters and wounded 780 others in Sana’a as they used live bullets and other middle weapons against peaceful protesters, medical sources at the field hospital affirmed. Director of the field hospital Tariq Noaman expected that the number of the killed would double several times as a result of critical injures, pointing out that dozens of protesters were still in intensive care units

Update 2: .Saleh loyalists still shelling protesters in Sanaa, violence continues in Taiz.

CNN:Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) — Officials from the United Nations and the Gulf Cooperation Council were in Sanaa, Yemen, on Monday, hoping to help organize a peaceful transfer of power as witnesses reported violence in the streets.

Thirty-one people were killed Monday in clashes in Yemen — 28 in Sanaa and three in Taiz, according to medical officials.

On Sunday, at least 26 protesters were killed and more than 550 were wounded — hundreds of them by gunshots — when security forces fired live bullets and tear gas at a massive demonstration in the city, a medic said. The death toll was expected to rise because some were in critical condition, witnesses said.

The U.S. Embassy in Yemen issued a statement saying the United States “regrets the deaths and injuries of many people” in the protests Sunday. “In this tense situation, we call upon all parties to exercise restraint. In particular, we call on the parties to refrain from actions that provoke further violence.” (Read on …)

Republican Guard flees base, Saleh meets king

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:41 am on Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Saleh meets Saudi king for the first time since June, as reports emerge of Saudi weapons and vehicle shipment to Yemen.

M&C: Cairo/Sana’a – Thousands of opposition protesters backed by military defectors late Monday seized a base of the elite Republican Guards who are loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh in the capital, Arab media reported.

Just hours after 32 protesters were killed by Yemeni troops, the protesters and ex-soldiers stormed the base without firing a single shot, Al Arabiya quoted witnesses as saying. The Republican guards fled the base, leaving their weapons behind, the channel said.

Ahram: Forces of Yemen’s embattled president Ali Abdullah Salih fired on unarmed demonstrators elsewhere in the capital, killing scores, wounding hundreds and sparking international condemnation.

The protesters, joined by soldiers from the renegade 1st Armored Division, stormed the base Monday without firing a single shot, according to witnesses and security officials.

Some carried sticks and rocks. They used sandbags to erect barricades to protect their comrades from the possibility of weapons fire from inside the base, but none came and the Republican Guards eventually fled, leaving their weapons behind.

Although the base was not particularly large _ the Republican Guards have bigger ones in the capital and elsewhere in Yemen _ its capture buoyed the protesters’ spirits and signaled what could be the start of the collapse of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 33-year-old regime.

Violence flares in Yemen: Sanaa, Taiz, Aden, Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz — by Jane Novak at 2:17 pm on Thursday, September 15, 2011

Telegraph: Artillery and automatic weapons fire broke out near the home of a prominent anti-Saleh tribal leader in the Hasaba district, the site of weeks of fighting that began in May and edged the impoverished Arab state closer to civil war.

Diplomatic sources said mediators from neighbouring powerhouse Saudi Arabia intervened to help end the street fighting, which was the fiercest in recent weeks. (Read on …)

Former Yemeni PM Mujawar returns to Sanaa

Filed under: Ministries, Sana'a, Transition, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 5:59 pm on Tuesday, August 23, 2011

CNN: Yemeni Prime Minister Ali Mujawar was back in Sanaa Tuesday for the first time since he was seriously injured in the presidential palace bombing last June, according to sources at the airport in the capital.

Thousands of pro-government supporters welcomed him back.

Mujawar was being treated in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He’s the first senior official to come back to Sanaa from Riyadh since more than 35 senior officials were taken to the Saudi capital for medical treatment more than two months ago.

Bombing campaign continues against villages in Arhab, Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: Military, Sana'a, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:25 pm on Saturday, August 20, 2011

The mutilation of tribesmens’ corpses in Arhab was one trigger for the formation of the new Alliance of Yemeni Tribes. Fourty rockets were launched against villages Friday. Operations are headed by the US allied counter-terror chief, Ahmed Saleh, head of the Republican Guard. Allegations go back and forth about al Zindani raising fighters for Arhab, his home district, from al Iman University, and Arhab was the location of the 2009 US air strike. In a statement, resident tribesmen invited international media to record the carnage and denied any affiliation with al Qaeda.

Sahwa Net- Yemeni forces launched about 40 rockets on Friday on some villages of Arhab, leaving dozens of people killed and wounded, local sources affirmed.

The sources said that many houses, framers and other properties were destroyed pointing out that the intensive bombardments provoking scare and panic among children, women and elderly men. (Read on …)

Bomb in Sanaa, assassination in Amran, truce and car bomb in al Jawf, double dealing in Abyan

Pop quiz: Q: What was the characteristic response of the Saleh regime to power sharing demands following unity in 1990 that precipitated the 1994 civil war? A: Assassinations. Hundreds of southern political leaders were assassinated, often by veterans of the Afghan jihad who were allied with Saleh.

Five protesters wounded in Sanaa by an explosive device thrown from a car with police plates.

War planes bomb Arhab, five dead. Three houses, a mosque and many farms damaged. Clashes in Nehm, 20 km south of Arhab, eight wounded.

The Yemen Post reports Hamid Al-Qushaibi of the 310th escaped a car-bomb assassination attempt in Amran province but al Sahwa reports Major Ismail al-Ghurbani, commander of the 310th Armored Brigade of the 1st Armored Division was shot dead in an assassination in Amran

A truce between Islah and the Houthis in al Jawf will go into effect 8/17 when the JMP declares the national council; Fares Manna, UN sanctioned weapons dealer and long time associate of Saleh, will be replaced as governor by Sheikh Hussein Al-Thaneen from the Islah Party.

One person was killed and three wounded Sunday evening when a suicide car bomber detonated at a gathering of Houthis near the health center in al Jawf, News Yemen reported. The Houthis blamed the US, saying “The process shows the intense action and malicious plots by the Americans and the targeting of Yemen in general and the northern areas in particular.” Mareb Press reports dozens of injuries. Interior Ministery says 14 dead and the hallmarks of al Qaeda.

16 suspected al Qaeda were killed Sunday as clashes in the province take place in seven areas. The tribesmen (like the commander of the 25th Mechanized) say that the government is arming the al Qaeda militants and providing other support.

Yemen Post: Local tribesmen in Abyan province, fighting with government against militants, are accusing the government of helping al-Qaeda fighters stay strong by attacking tribal posts and arming the militants.

According to tribal sources in Abyan, at least 19 tribesmen have been killed by government attacks.

A senior Yemeni Defense Ministry official denies that the toll is that high, but did not deny that government raids did kill tribal fighters in accidental attacks.

Over the last month, tribes have succeeded to retake more than 60 percent of the province from the hands of suspected al-Qaeda militants after the government failed to show progress in its fight against the militants since May.

At least 1600 tribesmen are fighting al-Qaeda militants in the province.

More than 15 al-Qaeda fighters were arrested on Thursday by the tribesmen as their push to cleanse the province from the militants nears the final steps.

Update: Sultan al Barakani says Hamid al Ahmar is the prime suspect in the bombing on the presidential palace because the sims cards used in mobile phones belonged to SabaFone.

National Security kidnaps protester al Obaydi en route to Arhab

Filed under: Sana'a, Security Forces, Targeted Individuals, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 5:00 pm on Monday, August 8, 2011

MoKhtar Al-Obaydi was abducted by the the national security while he was returning from the Change Square to his village in Arhab, north of Sanaaa, on the first of Ramadan. He teaches the religious studies at the Zaidi Sheikh Abo Nashdan’s Centere in Arhab.

Corrected: 20? Yemen Air Force kills 200 soldiers for refusing to attack civilians, Updated

Filed under: Military, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:17 am on Saturday, August 6, 2011

Update 2: I bumped this back to the top (scroll down for new) to add the “20?” and to note that, oddly, there’s no reporting on this in the Arabic papers at all. One person says 20 were killed. (24 RG surrendered to the tribesmen in May.) There’s no doubt about the month long bombing and the 10,000 civilian refugees though. Some are living in caves per the UN. The Arhab tribe’s statement last week denouncing the RG’s murder of tribal prisoners and corpse desecration, and their threat on Sana’a airport in retaliation, was carried by many sites, so clearly the tribe is able to communicate with the media. The Yemen Post story is still up with 200 in the article title and a fatality count of 246 in the body, so its not a typo. The paper is normally reliable and has been plugged in to events in Arhab since Nehm. w/a

Update 3: Ah, maybe a bit too plugged in. The Yemen Post corrected (without explicitly noting the correction) another fatality estimate (that was off by the power of 10) in an article published Aug 3. This is what was on their site 8/3/11 as copied here: One of the airstrikes in Arhab district after tribes were said to have seized a republican guard killed at least 400 officers and troops of those who refused to fight the tribes, he was quoted as saying by Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper.

And whats on the Yemen Post site now: One of the airstrikes in Arhab district killed a large number of armed tribesmen fighting the government as well as republican guards. The total number of death varied, with least estimates saying that at least 35 were killed in the air raids.

This doesn’t mean the entire body of the paper’s reporting should be discounted, just double checked especially on the topic of Arhab. The Yemen Post is perhaps the leading independent English language paper in Yemen, with daily updates, and unlike many, covers breaking news. Its normally quite accurate and a valuable resource. But news and reality in Yemen is best discerned by triangulating among many sources.

Media outlets often have overt bias and agendas, and usually a group or financial backer to defend and praise. The system where each political party has its own paper, and is half propaganda, often bleeds out to the independent outlets as well. The trick is discovering which particular topics each outlet is most likely to spin and comparing many reports. But even papers that strive for independence sometimes have bad sources or a lack of experience on how to issue corrections. (Look at today’s contradictory and ever changing reporting on the terrible helicopter crash in Afghanistan from the top level US media.)

The very real threat to journalists of state retaliation in Yemen has led to “red lines” and under-reporting on the Saada War, the southern independence movement and corruption, also giving a distorted western picture of Yemen. Advertisers can also impact reporting.

Adding to the confusion, the Saleh regime has been engaged in a truly massive propaganda campaign for a decade on topics from “reform” to “al Qaeda.” It may be typical of many dictators, but Saleh takes it to new heights. For a minor example the US Embassy had to issue a press release denying the regimes total fabrication of the US position laid out at a meeting. The regime also normally restricts journalists’ access (by beatings, arrests and road blocks) to conflict zones. Lastly, the lack of infrastructure (electricity, roads, rails, wireless) is a significant impediment to accurate reporting, when reporters can’t reach the scene or talk to witnesses.

Original: There are state atrocities in nearly all governorates on a daily basis. The ongoing shelling in Arhab that killed the soldiers targets not only the military base but villages, wells, mosques and other civilian infrastructure. Over ten thousand civilians are displaced due to the shelling. Hadramout is also spiking as the security forces use violence to repress protests over the death of a citizen. Update: Republican Guard shelling 1st Armored Division in the capital, Sanaa, clashes breaking out.

Yemen Air Force kills at least 200 of Its Own Forces in Arhab District Yemen Post: A senior security official in Arhab district, 40 kilometer northeast of the capital Sana’a, said that governmental warplanes attacked governmental soldiers who refused to fight pro revolution tribes in the district.

The official said that more than 240 republican guard forces in Sama’e region of Arhab refused to attack tribes with heavy artillery and were negotiating with them on surrendering the Sama’e military base of the republican guards.

In retaliation, government air forces attacked the gates of the camp killing more than 200 republican guards and at least three-dozen fighters.

“The government did not stand quiet when the guards refused orders to clash with tribes and officials in the republican guards felt it was necessary that those who disobey orders are killed,” the official said.

“The guards who surrendered did not want to attack their own people. They were killed for giving the blood of Yemenis value,” he concluded.

Eyewitnesses in Arhab confirmed the incident and the attack but gave higher death tolls on the tribes and guards lines.

This seems quite reasonable:

Marebpress translated by NYR: A preliminary statistics revealed that the war between the Republican Guard forces and Arhab tribes killed 40 people (civilians) and injured at least 120 over 4 months of bloody clashes.

The villages of Ahrab directorate were bombed by 30 air strikes by 7 brigades of the Republican Guard and the Air Defense using various types of heavy weaponry.

The survey revealed that 18 villages had been shelled since fighting broke out on March 30, and the death toll is 40 civilians, most of whom were killed at the checkpoint of the Republican Guard 62 brigade. A total of 120 number of wounded during the bombing while they are in their homes. In addition to 13 civilians abducted by the Republican Guard brigades.

More than 1500 families (each family about nine people-ed) were displaced from their homes and lived in the caves the mountain caves seeking refuge after more than 95 houses were destroyed by the bombardment. In addition 150 houses were partially destroyed and 28 citizens cars.

16 wells of water and 10 farm valleys were also destroyed in Arhab in addition to 4 mosques bombed by the Republican Guards.

Clashes in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: Hodeidah, Sana'a, Security Forces, Tribes, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 12:08 pm on Friday, August 5, 2011

The Republican Guard had been preparing and repositioning for the offensive over the last days. The tribesmen fortified their positions. A spokesman for the al Ahmars said they are sticking to the ceasefire agreement. Update: Defense Ministry denies the short lived clashes even occurred in Sanaa. Six protesting lack of electricity were shot dead in Hodiedah. Two killed in Aden after military accidentally opens fire.

Yemen Post: Two huge explosions were heard and clashes started in Hasaba zone of the capital Sana’a between tribes and republican guards, numerous eyewitnesses said. Residents in Hasabah said that hundreds of gunshots were heard starting at 5pm in the area and have been spreading to the neighborhoods of Mazda, Giraf, and Airport road of the capital. (Read on …)

Four children die in house fire as Yemeni cities remain in blackout

Filed under: Electric, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 8:16 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

What a sad story. Power cuts resumed after the UN envoy left Yemen. Read the full story at Yemen Rights Monitor: Four children died and a fifth child was injured on Monday evening due to a fire breaking out in a house in Safya district in Sana’a casued by a candle that was used by the family as a result of the continuous power cuts in the various cities of Yemen.

Yemen: Son of governor escapes justice after massacre

Filed under: Mahweet, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:12 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

mahweetgovson.jpg

Protesters hold General Ali Ahmed Ali Al-Ahwal (and his band of thugs) who works in the security services responsible for the Sanaa massacre on Al-Karama (dignity) Friday, March 18 2011 during which snipers killed more than 52 protesters and 200 wounded. His absence from court is the reason the families of the slain are boycotting the trial.

He is son of the governor of Mahweet. Both are members of the GPC. His uncle Mohamed Ali Mohsen (Mohammed al-Ahwal) is the Yemeni ambassador to Saudi Arabia who sided with the protesters on March 21. The family is from Shabwa. At the time of the massacre, reports noted the snipers were shooting from the rooftop of the governor of Mahweet’s home.

Iraqi pilots bomb Yemen villages, Update: airstike kills 400 RG who refused to fight, Update 2: figure corrected to 35 at Yemen Post site

Filed under: Iraq, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:44 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Yemen Post later corrected (without explicitly noting it) the following article to read: One of the airstrikes in Arhab district killed a large number of armed tribesmen fighting the government as well as republican guards. The total number of death varied, with least estimates saying that at least 35 were killed in the air raids.

Another possible discrepancy in fatalities, by the power of ten, here.

Saada War redux- Iraqi pilots bomb Yemeni civilians. The impact of Saddam’s military leadership in Yemen on both the Saada War and the Iraqi insurgency was substantial.

Sahwa Net- Yemen Air Forces have recruited Iraqi pilots and used them in bombarding some Yemeni villages in Arhab after Yemeni pilots refused orders to attack the Yemeni villages, a military source revealed.

The source affirmed that the Iraqi pilots committed brutal crimes against people of Arhab, outskirt of Sana’a governorate, pointing out that they carried out many air raids on Arhab. It also said that 400 Yemeni officers and troops who refused to attack Arhab villages were killed by the air raids, pointing out that a number of Yemeni pilots who rejected orders of bombardments are still held.

Update: gruesome, state airstrike kills 400 who refused to fight the tribesmen

YP Commander Abu Hatim said the Yemen Air Force are currently using Iraqi pilots at a time when the army is continuing operations in the two districts and that the Iraqis are committing enormous crimes against the Yemeni people.

One of the airstrikes in Arhab district after tribes were said to have seized a republican guard killed at least 400 officers and troops of those who refused to fight the tribes, he was quoted as saying by Akhbar Al-Youm newspaper.

A number of the republican guard camps in Arhab are being cleansed by the army, especially those which refuse to participate in the battles with the tribes, he said, pointing out that the army is also cleansing commanders accused of links with the opposition. (Read on …)

HOOD investigates Yemeni military bombing civilians, mass executions of prisoners

Filed under: Abyan, Protest Fatalities, Refugees, Sana'a, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 7:31 am on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hood said in a statement that it formed the new teams as a result of the tragic events that accelerated in areas of Abyan, Arhab and other flashpoints, and the resulting humanitarian situation and deteriorating conditions of the civilian population especially the vulnerable groups of society including women, children and the infirm, as Hood has received reports of executions of prisoners en masse and the repeated use of weapons in the bombing of civilian areas and military and mosques.

Ahmed Saleh, head of the RG and counter-terror chief, commanded Yemen’s military forces during the 6th Saada War during which many crimes against humanity were committed including bombing refugee camps and a hospital, denial of food, medical care and international aid, and over 300,000 internal refugees were largely left without support. Bombing civilian areas in Yemen since the rev includes Ibb, Taiz, Arhab and Nehm in Sanaa, and others around the country.

40 Dead in Arhab Yemen

Filed under: Military, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 10:57 pm on Thursday, July 28, 2011

The conflict in Arhab, Sanaa began after the Taiz massacre in May when the tribesmen locked down the Republican Guard base near Nehm to prevent further civilian slaughter. The Salehs responded by shelling villages and its been ongoing ever since. The state’s bombing of villages in Arhab is occurring at the same time as long term, near continual bombing in Radfan, ongoing clashes in al Jawf between the Houthis and Islahis, a long stretch of violence in Zinjibar, Abyan and increasing violence in Taiz including indiscriminate bombing. Violence against protesters in the squares is common, and ten were injured in Hodeidah yesterday.

These escalating cycles of violence across the country bear the same characteristics as the Saada War and the targeting of the Southern Movement: indiscriminate bombing of civilian areas, blatant propaganda along with increased attacks on journalists, and collective punishment including denial of medical treatment. For more on the earlier conflicts, and how the state’s random violence bolstered the insurgencies, see my Sept.2010 article at Gloria.

SANA, Yemen (AP) — Fighting between Yemeni soldiers and armed tribesmen in a mountainous region north of Sana, the capital, killed at least 40 people on Thursday, a military official said.

The clashes in the Arhab region were part of a wider collapse in security across Yemen since the outbreak of an uprising six months ago that seeks to topple President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Armed tribesmen are battling security forces in Arhab, the southern city of Taiz and elsewhere, while militants believed to be linked to Al Qaeda have overrun towns in the country’s south.

The fighting on Thursday began when tribesmen attacked a base belonging to the Republican Guard, said Sheik Hamid Assem of the Arhab tribe. The military responded by shelling and bombing tribal positions, Mr. Assem said. A military official in Arhab said 17 soldiers had been killed in the fighting and that troops had seen the bodies of at least 23 dead tribesmen.

Arhab, Sanaa: 30 dead, 80 injured, thousands displaced in months of bombing

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, Tribes, War Crimes, political violence — by Jane Novak at 7:55 pm on Sunday, July 17, 2011

This all began months ago when the villagers locked down the RG camp as forces were deploying to attack some protesters. The villagers also captured and burned three helicopters in Nehm. The Saleh forces began randomly bombing residential areas and infrastructure in retaliation, a standard tactic. Arhab was also the site of the December 2009 US air strike and al Zindani is around there somewhere.

Yemen Post: A citizen was killed and three others injured when the republican guard continued shelling the district of Arhab on the outskirts of Yemen’s capital Sana’a on Saturday.

Local sources said the republican guard brigade 61 heavily shelled the village of Al-Obowa with artilleries and Katyusha rockets leading to the casualties and destroying homes and properties. (Read on …)

Republican Guard bombing Taiz and Arhab while UN mission in Sanaa: HR orgs

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:51 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

Statement by ITCHR and HOOD dated 7/4

Despite the presence of the United Nations Mission Taiz live nights terrifying artillery shelling

Civic organizations condemn the continuation of bombings in the province of Taiz and demands quickly stop the cycle of violence and terror daily (Read on …)

Yemen shells major city, holds show trial for snipers

Filed under: Post Saleh, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 6:51 pm on Friday, July 15, 2011

The families are boycotting the trial as its a farce; Prince Ahmed is continuing his blood thirsty quest in Taiz (and Arhab) randomly shelling, as collective punishment, various neighborhoods and villages. He along with his father are overtly guilty of a variety of war crimes, yet the US is undeterred in its fawning while insulitng and alienating what might be called the progressive element of society. Putting aside basic ethical considerations, and apparently the Obama administration has, even the coldest cynic cannot possibly think putting US domestic security in the hands of an avowed liar, murderer and al Qaeda facilitator is a good idea. Narrow minded, knee-jerk analysis holds that there are only two camps: Saleh’s and Zindani’s, Yet millions across Yemen demonstrated yesterday for “Civil Government” Friday, overtly and heatedly rejecting Zindani’s call for an Islamic state.

7/10/11 Yemen Post: Yemen started on Saturday the trial of 78 suspects accused of criminal acts against antigovernment protesters in the capital Sana’a including killing more than 60 protesters on March 18.

Security forces in and out of uniform and regime supporters snipped from rooftops protesters in the square of change outside Sana’a University after prayers on Friday of Dignity. (Read on …)

Yemen updates July 6, 2011

- Republican Guard shells a public mini-bus in Taiz, driver killed, 13 wounded including three children, attack occurred in front of a hospital, several other parts of the neighborhoods shelled by tanks and artillery: al Masdar Also Taiz, clashes after security tries to impede a mass rally demanding an immediate formation of a transitional council: al Masdar (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 …)

HOOD calls for international orgs to remove dead bodies

Filed under: Donors, UN, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:09 am on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

There’s photos. How can they call for the UN or Red Crescent to go get them when there’s continuing danger in those areas? Why aren’t they calling on the military or rebel forces or Hadi?

Hood for Defending Rights and Freedom Organization directs an urgent appeal to the Internation Humanitarian Relief Organizations working in Yemen to quickly remove the dead bodies that are lying on the side of the roads in Hasab area in the capital, Sana’a, that began to disintegrate without any formal or informal side transfering them. (Read on …)

Obama condemns in strongest terms attack on Yemen president

Filed under: Presidency, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, USA, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 3:26 pm on Friday, June 3, 2011

After Saleh’s forces killed hundreds in Taiz including some who were burned alive, The U.S. Embassy in Sana’a announced it “condemns the unprovoked and unjustified attack on peaceful demonstrators in Taiz on the evening of May 29th, in which several demonstrators were killed and many more wounded.” Contrast that with today’s stronger statement after a mortar on the presidential palace, likely from inside the palace:

Statement by the Press Secretary (of President Obama) on Violence in Yemen: The United States condemns in the strongest terms the senseless acts of violence today in Yemen, including the attack against the Presidential Palace compound in Sana’a as well as other attacks in Sana’a and throughout the country. We call on all sides to cease hostilities immediately and to pursue an orderly and peaceful process of transferring political power as called for in the GCC-brokered agreement. Violence cannot resolve the issues that confront Yemen, and today’s events cannot be a justification for a new round of fighting. We urge all sides to heed the wishes of the Yemeni people, whose aspirations include peace, reform, and prosperity.

In meetings held June 1-3 in Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, Assistant to the President for Counterterrorism and Homeland Security John Brennan and his Saudi and Emirati counterparts expressed deep concern at the deteriorating situation throughout Yemen. Mr. Brennan said that the United States would continue to coordinate closely with both governments on developments in Yemen in an effort to help bring an end to the violence.

The US is bombing Libya but condemns an attack on Saleh? What? The US policy on Yemen is both illogical and immoral. There’s no organized political opposition in Libya at all, and rival tribes; what is the double standard all about? Despite the Pentagon’s re-branding of Saleh, he is not now and never was a good partner against al Qaeda. If I don’t understand US policy even slightly, you can imagine what Yemenis are thinking.

Update: here’s an article by the president of the American Institute for Yemeni Studies who thinks Saleh can outwit the protesters by provoking a tribal war, and that the March massacre in Sanaa was perpetrated by regime irregulars who took it upon themselves to open fire. It shows the sorry state of some analysis that is premised off Saleh’s propaganda and out of touch with the Yemeni rank and file and the tribesmen themselves. The Taiz massacre was plotted at the highest levels, as is likely of the Sanaa massacre as well.

Update: Spin baby spin and then do it faster.

Reuters:The Pentagon said on Friday it had no evidence that Yemeni counter-terrorism forces trained by the United States have been used against protesters demanding the resignation of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

“We’re watching closely the violence that’s occurring in Yemen,” Colonel David Lapan, a Pentagon spokesman, said as violence raged in the Yemeni capital, where protesters are demanding an end to Saleh’s nearly 33 years in power.

“Right now we have no evidence that any of the counter-terrorism forces that we have trained are being used against protesters. We have seen reports that they have been engaged with armed forces and are looking for more information on that,” Lapan told reporters.

Its clearly the Central Security and Republican Guard that are shooting unarmed protesters. What armed forces are the CT units within the CT and RG fighting, the al Ahmars, the Nehm tribesmen? What the Pentagon will accept as “proof” in this situation is unclear. The US mil needs to come to grips with the reality that it is going to lose the thousands of man hours as well as the millions of dollars invested in Saleh’s family. If anything, some of the equipment can be saved. But if the US wants to establish good CT relations with the next government of Yemen, it really needs to stop issuing idiotic statements providing Saleh with cover. Saleh’s forces killed over 100 in Taiz including dozens burned alive and 500 are still missing. It was planned at the highest levels. This is Obama’s friend who we are going to trust on al Qaeda? US policy in Yemen is a disaster of the highest magnitude.

Update: It couldn’t get more bizarre, but thats business as usual for Saleh who also accused the US of bombing the USS Cole as recently as 2006. Saleh’s spokesman accuses the US of assassination attempt and US responds the US is focused on cooperating with the Yemeni government: (Read on …)

250 killed in Yemen this week, Clinton trying to dislodge Saleh

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Taiz, USA, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 9:11 am on Thursday, June 2, 2011

The 110 listed are in Sanaa only, well over 100 were killed in Taiz when Saleh set fire to the protesters camp and in the days since.

AP:
Clinton: US working to remove Yemeni president, Thu May 26, 9:40 am ET

PARIS – U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton says the United States is troubled by political intransigence in Yemen amid ongoing violence there.
Clinton says Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh has repeatedly “reneged” on promises to step down, and she says the U.S. and other countries are trying hard to get him out. The U.S. had backed Saleh in exchange for cooperation against a branch of al-Qaida headquartered in Yemen, but Washington withdrew its support as Saleh pressed a violent crackdown on protesters this spring.
Intense battles spread across Yemen’s capital Thursday. At least 28 people were killed as the four-day death toll neared 110.
The State Department on Wednesday ordered nonessential U.S. diplomats to depart Yemen and urged all Americans there to leave as security conditions deteriorated.

Still pushing the GCC initiative:

WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama has dispatched a top aide to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to discuss the deteriorating situation in Yemen, the White House said on Wednesday. (Read on …)

CCYRC: The international community has abandoned Yemen to Saleh’s slaughter

Filed under: Sana'a, Taiz, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Thursday, June 2, 2011

Urgent Statement no.45-B
Thusday, May 31, 2011
#Yemen – #CCYRC

To the international community
——————————————–

المجلس التنسيقي لشباب ثورة التغيير: (تنّوع)
The Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change

http://www.facebook.com/CCYRC

——————————————–

While the international community stand by what is going on in the cities of Yemen from the bombardment of missiles, tanks and heavy artillery on residential areas in the capital Sanaa and the city of Zanzibar to merciless armed confrontations with the regime forces against the peaceful revolutionary. Yemeni forces loyal to President Saleh and his family ignited a civil war on the streets of cities that are claiming the lives of innocent now unarmed civilians.

Tanks are stationed in the streets of residential houses in the capital Sana’a today, shelling residential areas near military camps randomly.

While security forces are killing protesters at point blank in Taiz city protest camp, yesterday witnessed a horrific crime of bulldozers running over protesters in the camp and security thugs burning tents while protesters were sleeping.

It’s a real shame, while Yemen has been crying load to the world, we see no actions whatsoever from the international community, Yemen partners, UN Security Council or the League of Arab States, and sadly the neighboring GCC countries.

The abandonment of the Yemeni people by the international community is disgrace to global world peace.

As loyal citizens of Yemen we will carry on our peaceful revolution and continue our struggle, despite the ongoing genocides, aerial bombardments, and all types of massacres.

Yemeni are demanding freedom and equal citizenship, the world shall realize.

Those who wish to take a serious step toward a decision in support of freedom and human rights in Yemen, The coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change are fully prepared to provide you with documents incriminating Saleh and his regime.

News, communication blackout in Yemen as new violence erupts in Sanaa, Updated

Filed under: Media, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:21 pm on Monday, May 30, 2011

Update 3: JMP officially withdraws from Gulf intiative

Update 2: report from Abyan- Fadhli is not involved with any kind of clashes right now. Residents are evacuating Zanjibar. The militants that the Yemeni government claims are AQ are not AQ but rather loyalists to Salah. Airstrikes are not targeting them but instead they target civilians. There is no security in the city whatsoever, just chaos.

Military camps have surrendered their weapons to these militants. Saleh has instructed commanders of the camps to give up and surrender. The militants are not in one place; they have spread all over the city. Fadhli’s house was hit. People are panicking, even those with Fahdli have no idea how should they act now.

Update: So far so good, no mass casualty event overnight in Sanaa. The fighting appears to be about taking over government buildings. YP: “Clashes resumed in Sana’a Wednesday morning after a mediation committee failed to reach a ceasefire between al-Ahmar family and the Yemeni government. Hundreds of explosions were heard in the capital today. Ahmar tribes have retaken the ministries it handed over to the mediation committee earlier this week and is expanding. This comes as 2000 additional govt troops have been deployed near change square Sana’a. Protesters fear that a new massacre will take place in Sana’a after more than 61 protesters were killed by security forces in Taiz.”

Seven killed in Taiz as protesters regroup. Update: 12, damn, 7 of them in Wadi Al-Qadi, 2 in Markazi and 2 on Misrakh Road in Taiz. Female protesters refuse to leave and surrounded as live fire continues in Wadi al Qadi.

Zanjibar: via the English FB news group: “Anees Mansour to AJA: Navy forces fired missiles at the city while civilians wave white flags. The people that fleed Zanjibar broke into schools in Aden to find themselves a home; hospital is full of injured and appeals to address the humanitarian situation. All attemps to take out the gunmen have failed because of the inistence of the gunmen on rejecting, all calming attemps have been refused by the gunmen. The victories that the regime is announcing are imaginary vitories and civilians are paying the price; military enhancements that the regime is talking of, did not arrive until now…Saleh’s forces are artillery shelling Hamza Mosque in Ja’ar near MTN and the girls school, Abyan.”

The British travel warning is dire: Anyone with British relatives or friends in strife-torn Yemen is being urged to contact them and plead with them to get out of the country while they still can.

General Hussain Arab denies authorizing his name to be included on Military Statement 1. His signature on the travel document for al Nashiri was supposed to be a forgery too.

Original: The Communications Ministry confirms Sabaphone is shut down, citing violations but it is retaliation toward Hamid al Ahmar, majority shareholder. Or worse yet, a black out in advance of impending crimes. The official TV channels are shutting down, the government announced it as generator maintenance. Its 3 am in Sanaa. All international calls from cell phones are blocked. Cutting the phones is standard proceedure for the Saleh regime; the tactic was used in years past during the Saada War and in Dhalie. The electricity is off in broad sections of Sanaa and Yemen further interrupting communications. And there’s sounds of gunfire and bombing throughout the capital. They always attack at night. It was 3 am when they set the tents ablaze in Taiz. The protesters there are still facing live fire when they try to re-enter the square.

All sorts of large explosions are being reported in Sanaa. (Read on …)

Zanjibar, Abyan under bombardment: residents, Update: Arhab

Filed under: Abyan, Sana'a, War Crimes, Yemen's Lies, reconfigurations, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 1:46 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011
Urgent message to Human Rights Organizations

The city of Zinjibar in the Province of Abyan in Yemen is under heavy bombardment that includes large bombs and rockets, fired on them by the Government forces of the Yemeni Regime. Various reports indicate that there are dozens of civilians are under the rubber of their homes and bodies scattered in the streets of the city. The residents of the city are calling for immediate help to stop the atrocities against them which are being carried out in the pretext of fighting “AlQadia”. They need, on urgent bases humanitarian aid of food & medical assistance and most of all protection from the madness of the regime.

Saleh creates the chaos and then bombs it. Typical.

Bombing Arhab now: the 101 brigade is bombarding Arhub area, attempting to rescue the Rep. Guards 26 Brigade, Mareb Press Update: Zindani’s house bombed.

What to expect from Yemen’s Saleh in Nehm, Updated

Filed under: Presidency, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 3:19 pm on Friday, May 27, 2011

Saleh will likely approach the conflict with tribesmen in Nehm the same way he did in Saada, by committing massive human rights violations in order to pressure the fighters.

During the Saada War, 2004-2010, Saleh bombed civilian refugees, villages and hospitals. The state systematically blocked food, gas and medical supplies as a matter of policy. The state refused permission to international aid organizations to treat wounded civilians (not to mention Houthis).

Journalists were banned from the region for five years and punished when they wrote about the conflict. Saleh redeployed US trained counter-terror units to the region and used US supplied equipment in the conflict.

Internal refugees were about 56,000 in 2005 and grew to over 300,000 by 2009. The few UN refugee camps established were so poorly stocked that infants died of malnutrition within the camps. However the vast majority of refugees sheltered in the mountains or fields or with relatives. Child malnutrition in Saada remains well over the national average of 50%.

Saleh operated with complete impunity and little criticism from the US, under both Bush and Obama, even though he was deploying al Qaeda fighters, because he was the only game in town. As it feigned ignorance of the slaughter, the US’s primary concern in Yemen was and remains counter-terrorism. Somewhere around 2009, the EU and UN began making some noise.

The Saada War was not a civil war. Human Rights Watch said the state’s actions warranted an international inquiry into violations of international law, specifically collective punishment of the civilian population.

Saleh really is a butcher as Sadiq al Ahmar said. While many circumstances are different in the current situation, that basic fact is not.

Update: 120 homes destroyed in Nehm. In Yemen, extended families live together and a minimum of ten per home is realistic. Then nearly 1500 are displaced by one day of Saleh’s wrath. The other predictable factor in this conflict is that the tribesmen are the better fighters although under-equipped. They seized nine tanks and three helicopters in one day. Thats how the Houthis got most of their weapons–from the state.

Yemen Post Local in Nehm said that the government was attacking the villages with Meg 29 warplanes. Nehm tribal leader Sheikh Saleh Najeed said that the government forces have until now destroyed more than 120 homes in Nehm with the air attacks.
He said that two of the military bombers landed in villages of Nehm and refused to attack the tribes. The planes are now in the control of the Nehm tribes and the soldiers who were aboard the helicpters are now with the tribes. They are in total 24 soldiers in total.
The death toll from Nehm tribes is 18, while more than 65 are injured.
Tribes confirmed that they have taken 9 tanks from the republican guards.

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.

Abdulelah Haider Shaea

Filed under: Judicial, Media, Sana'a, US jihaddis, Yemen, aq statements, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:35 pm on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Al Jazeera

The kidnapping

Kamal was with Abdelillah when he was first kidnapped in July 2010. Two cars pulled up and eight men in civilian clothes carrying guns violently forced him out of the car.

“You crossed red lines in your statements on satellite television and if you don’t listen to what we say and understand the message we will destroy your life,” they told him.
(Read on …)

Hell begins to break loose in Sanaa

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Updates: Saleh shelling Interior Ministry after al Ahmars took it over, while IM Mutahar Rashad Al-Masri is still trapped inside. State Department orders nonessential US diplomats to leave Yemen as security deteriorates. Video from inside al Ahmar compound. Kawlan tribes denounce attack on Al Ahmar compound and deaths caused by the hysterical Ali Abdullah Saleh. Blackwater trained the RG? No no no.

Original: “It seems to be all out war from the Republican Guards bases in Arhab North of Sana’a to the First Armored Division Headquarters and at various areas of Sana’a. As predicted the attack on Sheikh Sadiq was just an entry point to Saleh’s own self declared civil war, North and North West Sana’a is rocked by ongoing explosions of various ordnance.”

The importance of the Obama statement is not to convince Saleh but his supporters that the game is up. The following article neglects entirely to mention that Saleh reneged for the third time Sunday, murdered his own mediators and began shelling Tuesday. Today’s fighting remains localized between the two militias. Electricity is very low and water scarce.

AFP: US President Barack Obama on Wednesday repeated his call for Yemen’s leader Ali Abdullah Saleh to quit as clansmen loyal to a powerful opposition tribal chief seized buildings and battled security forces in Sanaa.

“We call upon President Saleh to move immediately on his commitment to transfer power,” Obama said at a joint press conference with British Prime Minister David Cameron in London.

Three days of fighting has killed more than 44 people in the Yemeni capital, according to an AFP tally based on reports by medics, the government and tribesmen.

Many dead in Sanaa, homeless and injured

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:42 pm on Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Interior Ministry says nine but other reports go higher. The Yemen Post reports 40 tribesmen, 15 policemen and four civilians. The Defense Ministry reports, “An official security source said Tuesday that al-Ahmar sons and their armed gangs attacked the Interior Ministry, Rescue Police camp, Saba News Agency, Ministry of Tourism, Yemenia airlines building…” The residents displaced by the fighting have no where to go.

Irish Times: Yemeni loyalist forces fought street battles with guards from a powerful tribal federation whose leader has sided with protesters demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule, witnesses said today

The opposition warned that such attacks by loyalists, which residents said targeted the mansion of tribal leader Sadiq al-Ahmar, could spark a civil war. (Read on …)

Saleh’s forces attack Sadiq al Ahmar’s home, many updates incl Hashid tribesmen flood in to Sanaa, JMP at house, timeline

Filed under: Sana'a, Security Forces, Transition, Tribes, Yemen, political violence, protest statements, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:22 am on Monday, May 23, 2011

Last update: Tribal mediation succeeded in ending the clashes. Saleh’s mediators were Sanhan Sheikh, Ahmad abu Horia and the Ghalib Al-Qamish, the head of the Political Security.

al Sahwa reports that heavy clashes using a variety of weapons have been raging in the vicinity of Sheikh Sadeq al-Ahmar’s house in Hasaba, Sana’a between Saleh’s militia, Republican Guards, Central Security and Sadeq’s guards for at least 2 hours as of 9:30am EST. Sadiq is paramount sheik of the Hasid tribal confederation, and in theory is Saleh’s sheik since Abdullah al Ahmar died. Update: the sides were CF and RG vs. Sadiq guards (Hashid tribesmen) and some military forces from Ali Mohsen al Ahmar.

Yemen Post reports 18 dead: Clashes started at 1pm local time when armed gunmen backed by central security forces attacked the residence of Yemen’s powerful Hashid tribe leader, Sheikh Sadeq Abdullah Ahmar eyewitnesses said. At least 100 gunmen have been shooting directly at the residence for hours now…

Headquarters for Yemenia airways in Sana’a caught on fire after tens of armed gunmen shot directly at the building, eyewitnesses said. In addition, tens of live bullets are being shot at Saba News Agency and dozens of employees are surrounded inside the building…Eyewitnesses and confirmed sources said that Ahmar tribes have seized the Commerce and trade Ministry building in Sana’a.

I believe the SABA building and likely Yemenia are being used by the CS to shoot from, which is why they are being shot at; its not an attack on the state media per se. Its going on for more than four hours already.

Updates: -Saleh attacked with the Najda (Emergency Police) as well as elements of Central Security and Republican Guards and hired mercenaries. – RPGs fired at Interior Ministry. -Salehs forces withdrew but its not fully over. -Injured includes a child - Video here -YPost: Hashed tribes seize the ruling GPC headquarters in Sana’a and Ministry of Trade and Commerce & 600 armed Ahmar tribesmen -road to the US embassy still blocked by armed GPC members

Timeline from a friend:

Republican Guard(RG) & CSF units attacked sh.Sadeq’s house at 1:12pm local time at the time leaders from the JMP were inside the house, sh. Sadeq was not.
at 3:00 pm the entire area was secured by sh.Sadeq’s men
the Al-Saeeda Airlines building fifth floor was in flames.
the RG are sending reinforcements to secure the ministry of interior which is now in flames.
At 5:00pm the Sh’s men have secured the building of the GPC head quarters, Ministry of trade, Saba news agency and were advancing towards the ministry of telecommunication.
at 5:30pm bombardment using Doshka, Tanks, and cannons are heard in the area.
sh. Hameed Al-Ahmer moved the past couple of days from his house in Hadda to the same house.
Sh. Sadeq issued the “Tribal Call” which in effect calls every tribesmen to join him in defending his honor, attacking one’s house is a great dishonor in tribal law.
at 6:30pm new clashed erupted at the entrance to Sanaa at the Azreqaen point as thousands of tribesmen are answering the tribal call are flooding towards Sanaa.

Both sides are a mix of military/security, tribesmen and militia. As long as the state does not attack in Saada, maybe this can wind itself down. There are thousands of troops on the Marib/ al Jawf border, last estimate was over 10,000, eight brigades if that makes sense, maybe divisions. Update: the troops are still in the same locations along the border and road to Sanaa where they have been for more than two months. Fierce clashes are continuing in al Jawf though

Saleh has been storing weapons in schools and government buildings for a week supposedly (including possibly the Ramah girls school). Beyond the military stocks, the state has confiscated a quarter of a million weapons over the last two years in furtherance of the weapons ban. It was never likely he destroyed all of them. I figured he’s resell them; I hope he doesn’t have them stockpiled. The reports of distributing weapons to thugs and GPC members have been consistent and are further augmented by many leaked documents that indicate a nationwide strategy under the direction of the interior ministry.

Update an English round up from AP: (Read on …)

Saleh loyalist gunmen besiege UAE embassy, surround US embassy

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, GCC, Presidency, Sana'a, Transition, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:35 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011

Final Update: Diplomats rescued by helicopter, Yemen Post reports. It was a six hour siege. Afterward when Saleh never signed, the the GCC withdrew the proposal.

Previous: Does anybody on earth still believe Saleh has the capacity or the will to carry out a 2 month transition plan? Yes apparently. More fuzzy reports that Saleh refused the latest offer to sign the deal after the diplomats were released. The international community is afraid if they don’t get an agreement from Saleh, the pro-regime mobs today could all be armed and shooting tomorrow. Saleh is on TV threatening a war if the opposition doesn’t come to the palace to sign, so its not dead yet. Or it is and Ahmed is the GPC’s new candidate according to another report. The whole circus could have been a ploy to avoid signing and blame it on the JMP.

Original post: Well we knew he wasn’t going to sign, either rejecting it outright or, as occurred, the loyalists would “spontaneously” prevent it. But this is off the wall. If Saleh knows whats good for him, he better call off the mobs at the embassy. He’s really playing with fire. Armed ruling party members are not a deniable proxy. We all know where they came from. This idiot should smarten up and get the hell out of Dodge while the getting is good.

Good:
State Dept calls siege “a government organized” event.”
Revolutionary Youth Coalition condemns siege and calls it a new ploy.
GCC is meeting shortly to discuss the situation.
Helicopters to the rescue?

Updates: GPC crowd growing, tent up and road blocked at US embassy, NewsYemen: Eyewitnesses told “NewsYemen” The supporters of the ruling party have erected a tent in front of the U.S. embassy in Sana’a and cut the road in front of citizens. With still gunmen from the ruling party surrounding the UAE embassy in Sanaa, where resides the Secretary General of Gulf Cooperation Council Abdul Latif Al Zayani and a number of ambassadors of EU and U.S. Ambassador in Sanaa.

The ruling party (GPC) spokesman Sultan al Barakani confirms that Saleh won’t sign the deal even after the international mediator is released from captivity. What a thug regime.

Gunfight on 70th street. No action (water cannons, tear gas) by security to disburse the mobs at the embassies like they use on the anti-regime protesters.

AJE Gunmen claiming to be loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh of Yemen laid siege Sunday afternoon to the embassy of the United Arab Emirates in Sana’a, trapping the ambassadors of the United States and of the six members states of the Gulf Cooperation Council. (Read on …)

Zindani trashes secular people on internet, needs dictionary

Filed under: Religious, Sana'a, Yemen, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 5:10 am on Sunday, May 22, 2011

A secular government is not one that rejects religion but one that protects all people equally to practice whatever religion they believe. Zindani also endorses the GCC proposal as a measure to avoid bloodshed. Update vid on role of Islam in the rev: watch it here.

Al Watan

الزنداني يصف الديمقراطية باللعبة ويهدد دعاة العلمانية Zindani describes the democratic game and threatens the advocates of secularism
السبت, 21-مايو-2011 Saturday, 21 – May -2011
( الوطن ) – دعا القيادي في التجمع اليمني للاصلاح المعارض -رئيس جامعة الايمان الشيخ عبد المجيد الزنداني، الشباب في الساحات وكل القوى السياسية والاجتماعية إلى عدم عرقلة جهود المبادرة الخليجية لتجنيب اليمن مزيدا من الدماء. (Home) – The leader of the Islah opposition – President of the University of faith, Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, young people in the squares and all the political and social forces not to obstruct the efforts of the GCC initiative to spare further bloodshed Yemen. (Read on …)

Tensions between Central Security and Republican Guard

Filed under: Sana'a, Security Forces, al-Bayda, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:32 pm on Friday, May 20, 2011

wow

Republican Guard entered the Central Security camp in Sana’a, the soldiers confiscated weapons Nashwan News Saturday 21/5/2011 2:09 According to various sources that the Republican Guard forces in Yemen, led by President Saleh’s son, moved into the Central Security Forces camp in Sana’a, while “Nashwan News” was informed by local sources that there is an intense tension between the two forces in the province of al-Baydha The sources said that Republican Guard forces raided the Central Security camp in Sana’a, has stripped some of the soldiers from their personal weapons, because of the distribution of a statement within the camp calling to join the revolution and demands Saleh to leave (Read on …)

Yemen 5/13/2011

Filed under: Sana'a, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:08 pm on Friday, May 20, 2011

South Yemen 5/19/2011

Pro-Saleh tribesmen close road

Filed under: Military, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, Tribes, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:09 am on Thursday, May 19, 2011

Its just so complicated and so dangerous. Apparently the tribesmen closed the road after the Republican Guard failed to retake a military camp occupied by the First Armored a/k/a Ali Mohsen’s forces

Yemen Times: A source in the area explained to the Yemen Times on Wednesday that the pro-Saleh tribesmen closed the road on Wednesday after another group of pro-Saleh tribesmen have failed to take control of a military base in the Bani Mater district, 35 km west of the capital Sana’a belongs to the First Armored Division last Friday. (Read on …)

Republican Guard bombs Nehm after tribes prevent re-deployment

Filed under: Hadramout, Sana'a, Security Forces, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:16 pm on Monday, May 16, 2011

A follow up to our earlier story Nehm tribes take tanks from army, when the tribe prevented the RG from deploying to Hadramout to crack down on the protesters there. The term “heavy weapons” here likely means Kastushka type rockets, mortars etc and represents an escalation of tactics.

Sahwa Net- The Republican Guard bombed on Saturday night Nihm and al-Haima districts of Sana’a governorate as a retaliation of their support to the Yemeni revolution, local sources told Sahwa Net.

The sources said the Republican Guard used heavy weapons wounding two children, an elderly man, and damaging a number of houses.

They said that residents of Al-Haimah and Nihm refused to allow forces of the Republican Guard to enter their areas due to their involvement in killing peaceful protesters in Sana’a.

Meanwhile, major cities witnessed near-daily civil disobedience as shops, schools, private companies and banks were shut down at the request of the protest organizers to force Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh out of power.

The same story as reported by the YT, notes dozens of homes destroyed by shelling, the RG deployed 200 soldiers in the area.

The Yemen Times: SANA’A, May 15 — For the fourth day in a row, Republican Guard soldiers under the command of Ahmed Saleh have been engaged in ongoing attacks against villages surrounding the Al-Manar military base in the Al-Haima area, 60 KM outside of the capital Sana’a, local sources told the Yemen Times. (Read on …)

Mass graves of kidnapped protesters in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Society, Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Security Forces, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:57 pm on Monday, May 16, 2011

I’m reposting my article from March 3 on this topic below the fold because I couldn’t remember where the first mass grave was: on the eastern edge of the Salahu Deen military camp near little Aden. Apparently the government of Yemen is repeating the practice in Sanaa, stealing corpses in an effort to reduce the known number of fatalities. The following is an article published today at al Sahwa:

Sahwa Net, Sana’a – Medical sources at the Military Hospital in Sana’a have revealed that dozens of corpses of protesters who were killed by security forces were hidden by the Yemeni authorities in unknown places in an attempt to conceal evidence of crimes committed against peaceful demonstrators.

The sources affirmed that the Central Security and the Republican Guard kidnapped dozens of the killed and wounded persons and escaped them.
(Read on …)

Nehm tribes, Hadramout, take tanks from army

Filed under: Hadramout, Sana'a, Security Forces, Tribes, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:13 am on Friday, May 13, 2011

Isn’t the 101st the brigade the state denied creating for Saleh’s son when the reports first came out some months ago? This is how the Houthis got a bulk of their weapons during the Saada Wars, from the Yemeni army.

5/10 News Yemen: Yemeni tribal gunmen from the tribes of Nehm, 40 km east of the capital Sana’a, prevented on Tuesday the army from passing to Hadramout province, southeastern Yemen, to repress anti-regime protests.

Local sources said that clashes broke out between forces of the 101 Infantry Brigade and the tribal gunmen who rejected to allow any military force to pass through their territory to crackdown protesters in Hadramout.

The sources added that the army used heavy weapons and warplanes to bomb the tribal men who blocked the main road in Nehm against the 101 Infantry Brigade’s forces, headed by son of President Saleh, but could not unblock the road.

There have been previous reports on casualties among tribesmen and soldiers, but local sources said that only one tribesman was wounded. Sources said that soldiers had surrendered and handed over personal weapons, armored military vehicles and tanks and returned to the capital.

Two protesters killed in Al Baydah, 16 killed yesterday

Filed under: Sana'a, Taiz, USA, War Crimes, Yemen, al-Bayda, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 10:03 am on Thursday, May 12, 2011

According to the protesters, 16 were killed around the country yesterday and 300 injured. Another three were killed in Taiz. The WaPo is reporting two dead in al Baydah and the takeover of the Oil Ministry in Taiz. Its just so depressing.

SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni police trying to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in two cities Thursday killed two and wounded at least 47, some by gunfire, according to witnesses. In one of the cities, protesters overran a government building.

Gunmen fired at protesters in the central city of Bayda from the roof of a building belonging to the ruling party, killing two people and injuring seven, activist Ghazi al-Amiri said. In the southern city of Taiz, police fired live ammunition and rubber bullets to disperse demonstrators there, injuring 40 people, said field doctor Sadeq al-Shujah…Taiz has been a hotbed of anti-government protests. Activist Nouh al-Wafi said crowds seized control of the Oil Ministry building and hung a banner over the entrance on Thursday that said “Closed until further notice by order of the youth revolution.”

And some typical meaningless statement from the State Department that few in Yemen are even aware was issued. Saleh is intent on retaining power and the violence will continue. Nothing has changed since day one except people stopped hoping on Obama or believing the US has any commitment to democratic values.

On Thursday the U.S. State Department offered its support for the deal and demanded that in the meantime, Yemen’s government stop firing on protesters.

“We call on the Yemeni security forces to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence and respect the rights of the Yemeni people to freely and peacefully assemble and express their views,” spokesman Mark Toner said in a statement.

“We call on the parties to sign and implement the terms of the (GCC) agreement now to ensure an orderly, peaceful transition of power,” Toner said. “This transition must begin immediately.”

Bloody day in Yemen, 1 killed Sanaa and 2 Taiz

Filed under: Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 1:52 pm on Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Security opens fire on flower carrying protesters marching to the Council of Ministers, one killed. Violence continues in Taiz where two were shot and killed this morning. Many injuries. Update: One killed in Hodeidah, Yemen Post: One protester was killed in Hodieda province in a night attack when central security forces attacked protesters in change square Hodieda, a medical staff in the province said…At least twelve others were injured by live bullets and more than thirty were beat by batons.

Yemen Post: At least a protester was killed and dozens injured when the security forces fired at the protesters who marched on the Council of Ministers in Yemen’s capital Sana’a on Wednesday, coinciding with resuming crackdown on the protesters in Taiz province where two were shot dead this morning.

There were at least nine in critical condition and sources at the field hospital outside Sana’a University said some are dying.

The shooters wore the uniform of the forces of the first armored division to deceive the people, a protester said, adding: ” they fired heavily at us though we held white flowers and walked peacefully.”

Tens of thousands decided to march on the Cabinet headquarters as recently many of the hundreds of thousands at the squares of change and freedom have called for marches on the presidential palaces.

The demonstrators chanted: the people want to march on the presidential palaces.

The casualties came as the authorities have stepped the crackdown on the antigovernment protests in many cities, some of which have been experiencing month-long street sit-ins.

More details from SANAA (Reuters) –

Yemeni security forces killed two protesters and wounded dozens on Wednesday as mass rallies demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh paralyzed two major cities on Wednesday, residents and medics said.

Snipers shot dead two demonstrators in Taiz as unrest running into a third day shut down Yemen’s main industrial city. Dozens were wounded by gunfire, tear gas, and beatings by plainclothes agents wielding bats, medics in Taiz said. (Read on …)

13 killed, 100+ shot, 85 arrested in Sanaa Yemen

Filed under: Media, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 2:30 pm on Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Security forces were firing straight into the crowd again, and the 100 injured are suffering from gunshots not tear gas. The YP also reports “85 antigovernment protesters were kidnapped by the republican guards and the central security forces.”

Yemen Post: At least twelve anti government protesters were killed and over a hundred injured when the security forces intercepted and attacked a massive demonstration calling for an immediate ouster of the regime in the Yemeni capital Sana’a on Wednesday.

“We don’t have enough medicine to treat the over one hundred shot by the government. We call on the international community to give us medicine to save those the government shot from dying,” said Dr. Naneeb Ghanem, a senior medical staff member at Sanaa change square.

He added, “the language of bullets and killing is what this regime wants to spread. It’s a massacre against humanity and human rights. Eleven have been killed and the number is expected to rise.”

The death toll was expected to rise from the attack on the hundreds of thousands of the protesters at the TV and Radio Corporation area, medical sources said.

The security forces are continuing heavy fire after they had failed to stop the demonstrators, who are chanting slogans demanding the resignation of President Saleh and condemning the deadly crackdown on the people seeking change, said Iyad Muhammad, a protester.

New slaughter unfolding in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: Sana'a, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 12:11 pm on Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hundreds felled by gas inhalation, dozens by gun shots. Ambulances are blocked. People trapped in al Rahman Mosque are surrounded by security forces. Witness: they are bleeding on the streets and no one lets them go past the security to the hospital.

Again the security is kidnapping many critically injured and dead. At least 20 “arrested.” Many are still missing after the last two incidents of body snatching. Injured are trying to make it to the nearby Al Motokel Hospital and the security is following and shooting them.

Update: injured in mosque transferred to hospital or kidnapped by security forces, unclear which.

Saleh’s security forces and armed civilians attacked hundreds of protesters who are demanding immediate step down of Saleh from power with tear gas and live bullets today afternoon. 250 wounded, 20 of them are in critical condition. However, the most notable precedent committed today was sieging the wounded in Al-Rahman mosque where they run to hide. Forces also prevented the public from providing any rescue aid.

Fearing from been kidnapped, the protestors refused to let the governmental ambulances pick up the wounded in the mosque because through the past 14 past weeks 60 killed and wounded protestors were kidnapped by security forces and governmental ambulances.

The demonstration of today, which was coinciding with Al Riyadh meeting that discussing the plan of Sale’s removal of power, came as a raged response to Saleh’s criticism against women’s participation in the protest last Friday.

During the three months of Yemen revolution, excessive force has been routinely used by Saleh’s forces especially whenever there is international or Arab initiative for dialogue. Therefore, we appeal to the peoples of the world to demand their governments to stand firmly against Saleh who daily kills Yemenis, and disregards international and Arab efforts for settlement. Raise your voices with us and say: “SALEH MUST LEAVE NOW.”

Yemen’s fractured military deploys artillery on both sides in Sanaa clash, injuries

Filed under: Military, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:16 am on Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Artillery is the next level of escalation. The state used mortars against various southern towns like al Dhalie and Radfan, centers of the pro-independence protests (2007-2010) and indiscriminate shelling was the hallmark of the Saada Wars. The clash between Mohsen’s supporters and those loyal to Saleh is no surprise, and the longer the stalemate festers, the more likely full blown military confrontations become. Two articles indicate the catch-all, “shelling,” and injuries. Apparently Ali Mohsen’s forces are well stocked with munitions. Reports range from several injuries to a report by CNN that says five died: Of the dead in Sanaa, two were loyal to Gen. Ali Muhsen Al-Ahmar, who has defected to the opposition, a government security official said. The other three were regime soldiers.

Yemen Post: Military forces loyal to General Ali Mohsin Ahmar clashed with tens of government security forces early morning today in an effort to take control of a vital search point at Amran Road of the capital Sana’a.

Heavy artillery was used by both sides resulting in the injury of ten people according to General Ahmars media office. An Interior Ministry official said that General Mohsen forces attacked security forces in an effort to expand it’s forces in the capital and open doors of chaos.

Bit more of a spin here at YOL:

13/4/2011- YemenOnline: Security sources told YemenOnline that 2 soldiers were killed and 8 injured in Clashes between government forces and soldiers belong to renegade military commander the Major General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmer in Sana’a last night. According to the sources, the clashes began on Tuesday midnight and both sides used anti-tanks rockets and machine guns which resulted to destroy and burning a track belonged to the government forces, which resulted to kill two government soldiers and eight wounded. Major General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar announced last month split from the regime and its support to the demands of the protestors who demanded to bring down the political regime in Yemen. Major General Ali Muhsin al-Ahmar is known by its support for Islamist groups and the foe of Shi’ite Muslim rebels in northern Yemen.

Clashes between protesters in Sanaa

Filed under: Sana'a, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:16 am on Monday, March 28, 2011

Everyone is talking about establishing a civil government with a bill of rights and checks and balances except those who are not. Ahmed Saif Hashed a long time activist for good governance and human rights gives an interview about the protesters in Sanaa’s Tagheer Square who were overpowered by extremists from al Iman university and the hard line wing of Islah. I think the liberal protesters who started the democracy protests need a national conference, but a number would likely get assassinated en route, overtly or by proxy, by the Saleh regime. Then there’s al Zindani who is stirring up his own wave of followers.

Update 3/30, another clash: Group fights took place between members from Islah Party (pro Sunni) and Houthis (pro Shite) at Sana’a University’s Change Square where thousands of anti President Ali Abdullah Saleh protesters are demanding the fall of his regime. This fighting resulted in wounding nine from both sides. Eyewitnesses said the fighting started when the two sides differed on who should control the stage of speech at Sana’a University protest area.

Friday, so far so good

Filed under: Sana'a, photos/gifs, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:30 am on Friday, March 25, 2011

march25sanaa.jpg

Photo credit: WaPo, “Pressure builds for Saleh departure”

No violence reported during huge rival demonstrations in Sana’a as the pro-democracy protest color escalates from pink to red as organizers explained in January, or from yellow to red (soccer cards), whichever protest color line you are following. Click here for more of today’s photos via @al3ini

march25sanaaB.jpg

There’s strong indications that Saleh is going very soon, maybe tomorrow.

Al Qaeda lunatics release new vid: Jihadology.

The National Security accused the JMP of planning to target demonstrators and blame the state 26 Sept reported after Suhail channel reported the regime hired 800 sharp shooters. Southerners also having issues with biased reporting and propaganda on Suhail.

AP Saleh also imposed a state of emergency last week that allows media censorship, gives wide powers to censor mail, tap phone lines, search homes and arrest and detain suspects without judicial process. (ed- He’s been doing all that for decades.) (Read on …)

Friday Massacre in Sanaa, updates, links: Saleh declares state of emergency

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Sana'a, Yemen, poverty/ hunger, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:22 am on Friday, March 18, 2011

52 dead and over 250 injured and its the predictable spin Saleh:

SABA: In the news conference, Interior Minister Mutahar al Masri highlighted the circumstances of the incidents saying that preliminary information had revealed that the sit-inners outside Sana’a University have been attempting to break in houses nearby the university forcing the owners to form popular committees to protect their properties and homes.

“After the Friday inciting sermon outside the university, the sit-inners headed to the inhabited areas near the university destroying the barriers built by the people to prevent the sit-inners from pitching more tents and violent clashes took place then,” said al Masri.

The idiot announced a ban on carrying weapons, forgetting there already is a ban on carrying weapons.

Also killed today, per CPJ. Jamal al-Sharaabi, a photographer for Al-Masdar. Resignations from GPC include Minister of Tourism, Alruhany Member of Shoura Council and former Minister of Agriculture Dr. Foukara resigns.

Amnesty International: “This appears to have been a sniper attack with security forces deliberately shooting to kill protesters from strategic vantage points,” said Philip Luther, Amnesty International’s Deputy Director for the Middle East and North Africa.

Vids: Thugs on roofs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1ntzG-Xbeg
better shot of thugs: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVbJK_MlvqM
unarmed protesters: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifi2PbiLvK4
the injured and dead, many head shots, graphic:

12:49 pm EST President Obama issued a statement “strongly condemning” the violence in Yemen, urges Saleh to keep his pledge of non-violence toward protesters. At least its prompt and unequivocal regarding the violence, but he doesn’t call for Saleh to go but for everyone to engage in a consultation, but how do you negotiate with a murderer and a liar? (Read on …)

Security chief transferred from Aden attacks protesters in Taiz, scores wounded and other Thursday updates

Filed under: Aden, Hodeidah, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Taiz, USA, al Dhalie, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:00 am on Thursday, March 17, 2011

Well over 100 protesters were injured in Taiz today, ambushed shot and gassed under the stewardship of the newly transferred Gen Qairan. US Ambassador Feierstein said on Sunday that General Qairan’s removal from Aden would be a sign of good faith from Saleh regime* and chided the Yemeni public for having no faith in Saleh’s recent round of promises. I wonder how long it is going to take for him to come to the inescapable conclusion that Saleh is a compulsive liar and not reformable. The US wanted Qiran out of Aden, so Saleh sent him to attack civilians in Taiz. Is that some kind of sick joke? There’s 140 in the field hospital in Taiz, gassed and shot, including 16 girls who tried to stand their ground. This is video of the school girls talking about getting kicked out of school for joining the protests.

*The exact quote from Feierstein was, “We think that it would be useful to remove some of the senior security officials who have been involved in some of these violent or forced confrontations with demonstrators, particularly in Aden.”

In other news, the new governor in Aden promised not to use bullets in countering protesters: The security forces in Aden will not use live bullets in demonstrations following four protesters were killed in clashes with police, the newly appointed governor of Aden Ahmed al-Qa’tabi said on Wednesday in a news conference. “We have agreed with the security committee not to use live bullets…. after four persons were killed last Saturday in clashes happened in Dar Saad district of Aden”, he added.

Clashes at Marib check point kill three AQ Nasser Arrabyee reports and:

Meanwhile, two Al Qaeda operatives were arrested in a check point in the central province of Taiz where big anti-regime protests started about 40 days ago. The two men were identified by the security officials in a statement, as Khalid Saeed Ba Tarfi, alias Abu Mekdad Al Kanadi, and Ahmed Omar Abdul Jalil, alias, Al Lahji. They were described as dangerous operatives.

Ba Tarfi was known as one of the spokesmen of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) and he is the local Emir of AQAP in the southern province of Abyan. Ba Tarfi succeeded Jamil Al Ambari, who was killed in an air strike on March 14th, 2010, in Mudiyah of Abyan province.

Alternate spelling from al Motamar: “Khalid Saeed Batarfi surnamed Abu Miqdad and called Emir of Abyan, and the second terrorist is Ahmed Omar Abdul Jalil al-Khadhmi with a surname of Amer Obel.” This could be a real capture or something for the benefit of the US, that latter more likely statistically.

In Sanaa, police opened fire and used tear gas against protesters, wounding four. Estimates are 150 people were wounded on Wednesday when security forces tried to break up a demo in Hodeidah.

Saleh released southern prisoner al Ghabari after 16 years in prison in Sanaa.

Now that the foreign journos are gone, heat ratchets up on the locals: “Journalist Fouad Rashid of the YJS Hadramout branch called on the International Federation of Journalists, the Organization of the international press and the Arab Journalists Union to intervene to stop the regime’s orders compelling broke into his house and arrest and terrorize his family, noting that it is in the public square city of Mukalla, which would not leave under any reason.”

Short vid of Saudis unloading military equipment in Aden.

“Saleh does not [need] to dialogue with anyone to start applying the rule of law.” Truly excellent analysis of overall picture from Abdulghani al Iryani, very well worth a full read: “This current regime chose to host every violent extremist that came down the road from the period since the early 1980s onwards. And so we are paying the price. Al-Iman University, a major ideological centre for violent extremists, is being supported by the regime. And it just started new branches in Omran and Hadramout with government support.”

Good write up of Zindani’s double game includes Zindani’s early history and current deals with Saleh.

Captured Brit in Libya says he is member of LIFG, “Speaking through an interpreter, Mr Aboaoba said he moved from Yemen to Britain in 2005 and travelled to Libya late last year.”
Gaddaffi using for propaganda purposes.

World Threats: Mohammad al-Zawahiri, the brother of al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Ayman al-Zawahiri, was released Thursday from Egyptian prison after more than ten years of incarceration. Extradited from the Yemen in 1999, he had been held on charges of conspiring against the government in relation to the assassination of former Egypt’s former President Anwar Sadat.

In Dhalie, al Masdar reports the usual Thursday marches for the prisoners and an independent state. Although the former presidents and southern officials abroad announced a joining to the protest movement, from what I have seen and learned, there are very few in the south of Yemen whose position (the demand for an independent state) has changed since the outbreak of protests in Sanaa and Taiz. Its a major issue in that northerners are widely unaware on the depth of the southerners sentiment, their sense of separate identity, and determination to continue their struggle. Northerners who discuss it, often do it with derision.

Thousands of supporters of the movement in the southern regions of Dali and Lahj and Shabwa southern Yemen on Thursday and called on the detainee, which falls on Thursday of each week.

The demonstrators chanted slogans calling for disengagement and re-southern part independent state on what it was before 1990. Photos and raise thousands of former Yemeni Vice President Ali Salem al-Beidh, and photographs of detainees at the disposal of the southern movement and the flag of the south earlier.

The leaders of the southern movement announced its accession to the protests in Yemen to demand the toppling of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, but other militant leaders refused, saying that her case is the issue of “occupation” of the South.

vid Crater Aden, for the freedom of Baoum and a separate state:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R730tEL8mhQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xql39fyLs8w

Yemen targets female activist

Filed under: Civil Rights, Hodeidah, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 4:42 pm on Monday, March 14, 2011

The latest is Ms. Afrah Nasser as profiled by Global Voices Online: Yemeni blogger, Afrah Nasser, lives near the anti-government protest area in the capital Sana’a and has been uploading photos and posts calling for revolution. Nasser is also a journalist at the Yemen Observer Newspaper. She received the following life-threatening message on Facebook on March 13 and decided to post it on her blog the next day, “so the entire world reads it“.

Yemen live feeds

Filed under: Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 9:09 am on Saturday, March 12, 2011

Http://taizcity.net/live Taiz

sometimes:

http://www.facebook.com/aljazeeramubasher?sk=app_4949752878

http://www.aljazeera.net/channel/livestreaming?GoogleStatID=32

Protesters surrounded in Sanaa, Yemen, armed men at gates, Update: security opens fire, uses “tear gas”

Filed under: Protest Fatalities, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:28 pm on Friday, March 11, 2011

CNAsia

The government has denied using anything other than tear gas to disperse protesters but three doctors at the scene told AFP the security forces appeared to be using some other chemical.

One doctor accused the security forces of using poison gas, but could not specify what type, as television footage showed many people passed out in the street.

“This isn’t tear gas. This is poison gas that disables the nervous and respiratory systems. People hit by this gas pass out,” said Iraqi doctor Hussein al-Joshaai, a nerve specialist who was at the scene.

“We don’t have treatment for this. We’ve asked the authorities to send us medicines but we’re still waiting.”

Another doctor, Abdulwahab al-Inssi, said: “Those wounded today couldn’t have been hit by tear gas grenades. They are suffering spasms.”

Another medic, Sameer Mahmud, said the shells were “far from being tear gas,” though he could not determine the type of agent used.

Sanaa

Taiz

AP: SANAA, Yemen — Yemeni security forces fired live bullets and tear gas on two pro-democracy demonstrations Saturday, killing three people – including a 15-year-old student – as the government clamps down on a growing protest movement, witnesses said. (Read on …)

Yemen protesters in Sanaa issue demands

Filed under: Sana'a, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 9:45 am on Friday, March 11, 2011

check back for updates

huge protests in Taiz

Demands and objectives of peaceful popular revolution in Yemen
1. The departure of the President from office and the isolation of his relatives
2. The formation of a transitional national council of five members for a period of 6 months
3. The formation of a transitional government of technocrats with specific tasks
4. The formation of a constituent assembly to draft a new constitution, parliamentary system and equal citizenship
5. Building a modern civil state
6. Rebuilding of state institutions
7. Speedy trial the perpetrators of the killing and wounding of protesters

Just Announced from Tageer square , Sana’a , Friday 11 March
at 12 noon Sana’a time

HRW report on protester fatalities in Yemen understated still bad

Filed under: Aden, Civil Unrest, Sana'a, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:34 am on Thursday, March 10, 2011

Its a comprehensive report but there are many more fatalities than those listed.

HRW: From February 16 to 25, 2011, Yemeni security forces in the southern city of Aden repeatedly used excessive force, including live ammunition, against largely peaceful protesters. They killed at least nine and possibly twice as many protesters, and injured up to 150, some of them children. (Read on …)

Doctor reports on the “new gas” used on protesters

Filed under: Medical, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:17 am on Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Of course I’m wondering if its the same as the old gas from 2005…

Most of the protesters reach to the portable hospital in case of loss of consciousness for short times, dizziness, and significant decrease in blood pressure, cold extremities and shortness in breath.

The protesters whose breath this type of gases (which is first time seen by me, where I am a physician –in medical services of internal ministry), really I don’t have an idea from where this stuff is coming from?

The injuries which are reach us rather than gases accidents are about 6 cases of gun shuts, one of them record a direct head shut, in dangerous status in operation room right now.
And the other 5 cases are 3 of them had a superficial injuries including upper and lower limbs.

And 2-3 cases of “rubber gun shuts” directed to a sensitive areas like lower back.

The police also use the electrical rods on the chest region directly-the police man who are using this electrical tools don’t know that like this voltage of electricity affecting a camel or an ox to fall down- how about this youth who don’t have any type of tools to defense?

Are they cattle prods or are they tasers approved for use on humans?

New slaughter in Yemen: Sanaa University

Filed under: Aden, Janes Articles, Military, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Security Forces, political violence, prisons, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:31 pm on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Yemen entered the fourth week of anti-regime protests with a late night onslaught of state violence against protesters at Sanaa University who were demanding the resignation of long-ruling president Field Marshall Ali Abdullah Saleh.

The attack began two hours ago when security forces opened fire on the protesters. Early conflicting reports indicate three have head wounds and died or are in very critical condition. Over 30 were wounded by gunfire and another 40 were injured after being beaten with clubs or choking on tear gas.

Several witnesses reported the medical professionals rushing to the scene were stopped by police. At the same time, the protesters appealed for blood donations and medical supplies via twitter stating several people are bleeding out near the gates of the university. Two medics were beaten by state security.

The crowd that gathered today, international Woman’s Day, had a larger number of women and girls than on prior days.

Witnesses said members of the Republican Guard opened fired along with Central Security forces. The Republican Guard is headed by President Saleh’s son Ahmed, and has received US counter-terror training, .The Central Security forces are under the command of President Saleh’s nephew.

The assault began late in the evening, about 11:00 as protesters were mostly hunkered down for the night or trying to set up new tents. Central Security officers were spotted removing their uniforms before entering the university square. The officers had arrived in government vehicles, witnesses report. The situation remains tense as it nears 1:00 am in Sanaa and the wounded have yet to receive treatment.

Widespread protests

The deaths in Sanaa were preceded by fatalities among protesters on Monday in outlying the provinces of Ibb, Aden, Dhamar when state forces opened fire on protesters. In Ibb over 70 were reported injured with bullet wounds at a protest that drew several hundred thousand. Protests have spread as far as Socotra Island. Sanhan, President Saleh’s home village was marked with anti-regime graffiti.

The war torn Saada province saw the resignation of Faris Manna from the ruling GPC party, the latest of over a dozen high profile allies to desert President Saleh. Manna, a long time regime ally, was the state’s mediator to the Houthi rebels. A major weapons dealer, Manaa was sanctioned by the UN in 2010 for smuggling arms to Somalia. Along with Manna, an estimated 300 ruling party officials also resigned leading to what a partisan site called “the emancipation of Saada from the corrupt regime.”

Military deploys in cities

The violence came after a meeting between Saleh and his relative, General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, perhaps the most powerful man in the military. After the meeting last night, military units were deployed in Sanaa, Taiz and Aden today. Large scale protest were held in 12 provinces.

In Sanna, Al Masdar Online reported the “widespread and unprecedented presence of armored vehicles.” The day’s violence marked the first time soldiers had shot at the protesters in Sanaa. Previously the Saleh regime used paid thugs as deniable proxies as well as members of the security forces including the National Security.

Prison Riot

A riot at Sanaa Central Prison left at least three dead and four injured. Prisoners were chanting anti-government slogans, which led to an assault by guards. Authorities say they shot tear gas and fired over the inmates’ heads and acknowledge one prisoner was killed, but the prisoners report three fatalities and several serious injuries. The prison guards withdrew from the prison and are massed outside the gates along with security forces.

The prisoners have indicated they wished to make a peaceful surrender in a statement that read in part, “Prisoners of the Central Prison in Sana’a appeal to international organizations to intervene and save them from a real massacre which might take place today after guards retake control of the prison.”

Media Manipulation

The Yemeni state-owned ISP blocked al Masdar Online last week, the latest among dozens of independent Yemeni news websites to be blocked within Yemen. Internet access is strictly controlled by the state. Yemen Online was hacked by pro-regime operatives. Dozens of what appear to be government operatives have flooded pro-revolutionary Facebook groups. The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate detailed 53 cases of attacks on journalists including assaults, threats against their children, expulsion and in one case, arson.

“Beating up journalists is a blatant attempt by the authorities to prevent the Yemeni people and the world from witnessing a critical moment in Yemen,” Sarah Leah Whitson, director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division, said in a statement.

A Reuters report today quoting an individual in Sanaa who “heard” that in Aden southern protesters threatened to burn schools in Mallah and al Mansoura was hotly denied by dozens of residents in those neighborhood when contacted. The residents also pointed out that the state has forced school children to participate in pro-regime rallies for years without parental approval. It is well documented that students who refused were denied sitting for their exams along with other punitive measures.

Yemen’s history of crimes against civilians

The atrocities against protesters that have garnered global attention are a continuation of the pattern of Yemen’s inhumane treatment of its citizens since at least 2005. In 2009, human rights organizations began calling for an investigation into the Sana’a regime’s potential war crimes and crimes against humanity. The military actions during the Sa’ada Wars and with regard to the southern protest movement are well documented but did not draw condemnation from the Obama administration or the EU. Some of these habitual patterns include:

- Punitive denial of medical services to injured civilians

- Arbitrary arrests

- Incommunicado detention

- Shooting unarmed protesters

- Use of deniable proxies including tribesmen to harm citizens

- Shelling residential areas

- Denial of food as policy

- Denial of access by international humanitarian groups to internal refugees

- Targeting journalists and rights activists

- Torture in jail

Jane @ Examiner.com

PR from Sanaa prison: appeal to prevent massacre, Updated

Filed under: Sana'a, Security Forces, prisons, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:04 am on Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Update:

AJE Up to three people are reported dead in a jail riot in Sanaa, the Yemeni capital, as police clashed with prisoners backing anti-government protesters demanding the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Prisoners of the Central Prison in Sana’a appealed to international organizations to intervene and save them from a real massacre which might take place today after taking control of the prison.

Prisoners managed to take control of (parts of) the prison following tensions between the prisoners and prison’s officials which have resulted in causalities some of which are in critical conditions. Prisoners who have been injured due to prison’s officials using fire were even denied medical treatment.

This at a time, security forces intend to break in the Central Prison which means a deadly massacre.

From what I understand, the prisoners where chanting anti-Saleh slogans, which led to clashes with the guards who shot them. The prisoners have control of some parts of the prison but are afraid the security forces will storm the prison, shooting, leading to mass fatalities. Some are critically injured from gunshots and denied medical treatment. I’m assuming they want to negotiate a peaceful surrender but they are not answering the phone.

Update: this is what happens when I check my mail before my news alerts. I thought is was dozens not thousands of prisoners.

Update: Official: Inmates revolt in Yemen prison, take guards hostage and calls for president’s ouster, By Ahmed Al-Haj (CP)

SANAA, Yemen — A Yemeni security official says about 2,000 inmates have staged a revolt at a prison in the capital, taken a dozen guards hostage and joined calls by anti-government protesters for the country’s president to step down. (Read on …)

Sanaa sit-in: first hand reflection

Filed under: Sana'a, guest posts, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:20 am on Friday, March 4, 2011

A day in Sana’a sit-in

Urged by the liberty revolutions in the Arab World; Tunisia and Egypt particularly, hundreds of thousands of Yemeni youth took the initiative to go on the streets not only demanding the ouster of the president but they called for toppling the whole regime. In the first day in Sana’a, about three hundred protesters gathered in front of Sana’a university chanting the popular slogan of ” people want to overthrow the regime” using small microphones. The number of people started to gradually increase as the news of the sit-in broke out.
(Read on …)

HRW: Two Protesters Die in Sanaa, Aden

Filed under: Aden, Donors, UN, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 9:59 am on Thursday, February 24, 2011

Police beat a student trying to bring medical supplies. Yemen government claims one death is of a pro-Saleh protesters but it is a bogus assertion, HRW.

Yemen: Two Protesters Die in Sanaa, Aden

(Sanaa, February 24, 2011) – A second protester died on February 23, 2011, from an attack by provocateurs on anti-government demonstrators at Sanaa University the night before, Human Rights Watch said today. Another protester died shortly after the Sanaa attack.

Demonstrators in Sanaa told Human Rights Watch that police had harassed them and other protesters near the university. At least three were detained for several hours, and one said a police officer beat him for trying to deliver medical supplies to the protest. (Read on …)

HRW urges “Yemen: Protect Protesters From Attacks by Armed Group”

Filed under: Donors, UN, Sana'a, Taiz, protests — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yes please do. HRW has 12 confirmed deaths and reports it is still investigating of other deaths including a 14 year old in Aden. I thought we were at 14 but its a stat that masks years of crimes against humanity and war crimes by the Saleh regime. This guy has been murdering his own people for a long time.

Yemen: Protect Protesters From Attacks by Armed Groups Human Rights Watch

Government Supporters Kill one Protester and Injure 38 in Sanaa

(New York, February 23, 2011) – Police allowed pro-government armed groups to attack peaceful protesters in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, on the night of February 22, 2011, Human Rights Watch said today. The armed groups killed at least one anti-government protester and injured 38 others, according to witnesses. (Read on …)

Yemen arrests paramedics for aiding protesters: HOOD

Filed under: Civil Society, Medical, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:56 am on Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Yemen blocked medical supplies and arrested doctors throughout the Saada Wars (2004-2010) as policy. It was horrendous, especially as the state was bombing residential civilian areas, villages and cities.

Violence escalates in Yemen: Two protesters are shot dead and others injured

By: Nisreen Shadad, hoodonline, edited by: Jane Novak

The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms, (HOOD), has been informed about the attack against the demonstrators on February 22, 2011, close to Sana’a University. Two protesters died and about eighteen are injured.
(Read on …)

Yemen: 2nd highest rate of child stunting globally

Filed under: Aden, Children, Donors, UN, Ibb, Rayma, Sana'a, USA, Women's Issues, al-Bayda, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:17 pm on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

These figures are up slightly since 2005. The good news is that one million poor Yemeni women and children who never had access to health services in their lives will now receive some support from the international community. Less than half of Yemenis have access to medical services. Clean water, sanitation, electricity, and other basic services are similarly lacking. This World Bank press release contains the appalling medical current stats. Update: Neonatal tetanus kills 30,000 new born Yemeni babies a year. Pampers SA is chipping in for some vaccines, but over three million doses are needed. (Read on …)

Day 12 Yemen uprising and other updates

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Hodeidah, Libya, Marib, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:45 am on Tuesday, February 22, 2011

(Its Day 12 if you don’t count the six year war in the north and the nearly four years of protests in South Yemen.)

Update: Sanaa, reports are two killed and somewhere between 10 and 26 injured after Ali Saleh’s deniable proxies open fire on protesters on Tuesday evening at Sanaa University. New national death toll is 13. Video here of rock throwing and gunfire. via email: “Our sources said that the promise of today’s attack was Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh, the eldest son of President and Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh, President of the National Security Service.” The National Security was set up in 2002 because the PSO is both corrupt and infiltrated by AQ; in statistical studies, the National Security is responsible for most of the attacks on journalists whether by beating, kidnapping, death threats, torture etc. The National Security reports to Ali Saleh directly.

- Iranian vessel seized in Yemen: The Yemeni Defense Ministry reported that the Iranian vessel and its crew of 13 people have been arrested in the Aden Gulf as it was illegally sailing in the Yemeni waters. Happened before many times. Yemen govt will likely say Iran smuggling weapons to Houthis but much more likely Sudan. A few days ago, an Egyptian fishing vessel was captured.

- Yemeni youth demand Sheikhs who receive monthly stipend from Libya denounce violence against Libyan people. There is a LOT of Qadaffi’s money floating around Yemen through direct monthly payments and via his charitable fund. Daughter came in oh 2006 or so and spread oodles.

- Sanaa protesters find weapons, torch car (Tuesday) News Yemen: ten injured by rent-a-thugs at Sanna Univ, CNN: Student protesters in Sanaa, Yemen, overturned a car and set it on fire Tuesday after discovering weapons inside apparently brought to a demonstration by government loyalists, a protester said…The sit-in at Sanaa University is one of at least five protests going on Tuesday in Yemen. There were others in Aden and Taiz, and in the provinces of Ibb and Lahj.

- Dhalie teachers protest broken up by tear gas, batons and live fire News Yemen & reports, journo harrassed, Teachers have had periodic strikes to demand the implementation of the 2005 Wages Strategy. HOOD one serious injury, 16 wounded total, one LC member arrested. (Tuesday)

- People beaten in Hodeidah (Monday?)

- Protests in Hadramout, Yemen Post: About 5,000 anti-government protesters gathered in eastern Yemen calling for the ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s regime. Demonstrators marched on Tuesday in the eastern town of Al-Shiher, chanting “Down, down with Saleh.”

- Shoot-out in Marib with al Qaeda (Monday) ( SABA) Marib province have arrested the al-Qaeda leader Abdullah Maodhah ,while he was heading for Shabwa province with a group of terrorists. Governor of Mareb Naji al-Zayidi said that three soldiers were killed in a fire exchange between policemen and gunmen came to support Maodhah. The accident caused the killing of two civilians and one injured, in addition to wounding six soldiers

- Security intimidates, shoots protesters in Taiz (Sunday) Youtube vid here: military car drives into crowd, shooting. Vid gunshot victim here. Video of Liberty Square in Taiz, February 22, 2011.

- Clerics back Saleh, mixed messages from al Zindani, JMP and Hamid al Ahmar, great article, overview of groupings & positions Nassar Arabyee, worth full read, here’s part:

Nasser Arrabyee The association of the Yemeni clerics held an exceptional meeting on Monday February 21st, 2011, and said in a statement President Saleh should remove all corrupts around him and take “serious steps” for reforms.

One of the most influential Yemeni cleric said the opposition must take to streets only if President Saleh has not accepted their conditions for a guaranteed peaceful transfer of power.

“A national unity government must be formed, with the most important ministries shared between the opposition and the ruling party, to prepare for elections within six month,” said Sheik Abdul Majid Al Zandani, a leader in the largest Islamist opposition party, and chairman of the religious university of Al Eyman.

Journalist beaten bloody at Sanaa protest

Filed under: Civil Society, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 3:58 pm on Sunday, February 20, 2011

Issued by the Freedoms Committee at the Press Syndicate:

Journalist, Dr. Dr. Abdel-Karim Salaam, correspondent was battered until blood flowed from him and he was taken to the hospital. Salaam was assaulted by thugs who were hiding near the university during his coverage of the sit-in in front of the University of Sana’a.

Accordingly, the Yemeni Journalists Syndicate strongly condemns the unjust assault on our colleague, the journalist Abdul Karim Salaam, and says the security services and officials who run these bullies have the responsibility for their actions.

It also renewed its claim for reporters not to be subjected to attack and calling for the implementation of the directions of the president yesterday not to attack them.

Police kill one, four wounded in Sanna

Filed under: Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:30 am on Saturday, February 19, 2011

Damn the police open fire all the time in the south, I thought they wouldn’t do it in Sana’a. On the tenth day of protests, they did. Update: despite my witness and this news story, others are saying there is no fatality, but instead an extremely serious injury, and I hope its true.

Yemeni riot police shot dead a protester and injured five others on Saturday when they opened fire on thousands marching in the 10th day of unrest rocking the capital Sanaa. Protesters began marching early in the morning from the University of Sanaa to the Ministry of Justice while chanting, ‘the people want the fall of the regime,’ until they were met by riot police.

Security forces backed by plain clothes elements opened fire on them and threw stones. A medical official said one man was shot in the neck and killed. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press. Read more: Daily Mail

Marib and al Jawf tribes denouce violence toward protesters

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Amran, Hadramout, Ibb, Sana'a, al Jawf, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 5:43 pm on Thursday, February 17, 2011

Council of the Alliance of Marib and Al-Jawf tribes denounces the massacre of Aden and salutes Tai’z youth, the station of change and train engine of freedom: Mareb Press.

To recap, both Saleh’s allies and opposition are experiencing fractures. The pillars of the regime are peeling away and causing some polarization of the public. Hussain al Ahmar from Amran is promising Hasid tribal protection for the protesters in Sanaa. The tribes in Marib and al Jawf are throwing in with the democracy movement. al Zindani is calling for replacing the regime with a national unity government and for the people to go peacefully to the streets. Two youth different groups were calling for nationwide protests on the 24th and 25th, but I think its going to happen tomorrow whether they are ready or not. The JMP however has not revised its position to advocate the fall of the Saleh regime, only change and reform. (Read on …)

Two wounded in al Habylean Lahj as Yemen protests spread

Filed under: Aden, Civil Unrest, Lahj, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 9:12 am on Thursday, February 17, 2011

Update: Hodeidah and Ibb also protesting. The opposition parties were absent in Hodeidah and protests are in their second day. Their statement below.

Many injuries in Sanaa estimated 40, but SIFY says 15, described as a riot, and protests in al Beidha. The demonstrations in Taiz are in their seventh day and new protesters are joining from outside the city. Dhalie, Abyan report protests. Aden’s protests started earlier than scheduled today. The following video is of a protest in Lahj in support of the youth in Aden. link.

Hodeidah (Read on …)

Yemen Activist Ms Samia al Ghabari badly beaten, tased by security thugs during Sanaa protest, hospitalized

Filed under: Hodeidah, Sana'a, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:57 am on Sunday, February 13, 2011

samia.jpg

first message: soldiers beating demonstrators from civil society activists and students of the University of Sana’a
Loss of connectivity Tawakkol Kerman (head of WYWC)
Samia Aghbari get transported to the hospital
Loss of contact with the lawyer, Khaled al-Ansi (HOOD)
MP Ahmed Saif Hashed beaten, electrocuted and burned some of his clothes

more: I heard from some witnesses that Samia al-Aghbari, a journalist and a human rights activist, has been seriously injured and put to hospiatal. (####) told me that he saw the security beating her.

Update: She was surrounded by a crowd of thugs (security in plain clothes) and beaten until she fell and her head hit the floor. That’s what I’m getting. It also appears the Yemeni security forces are TASERING activists, bastards. Khaled has been released. Samia is still in the hospital 11:20 am EST. The constant challenge over the last six years that I’ve been covering Yemen has always been not cursing.

Update: They took CNN’s videos, bad move. And Saleh canceled his trip to the US.

Sanaa, Yemen (CNN) – Hundreds of anti-government protesters marched toward a presidential palace in Yemen on Sunday, calling for regime change in the Middle Eastern country.

Some of them chanted, “First Mubarak, now Ali,” referring to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and Hosni Mubarak, who recently resigned as president of Egypt after nearly 30 years in power.

Security forces put up a barbed wire barricade and blocked the protesters’ path about two miles from the palace. At that point, the situation intensified as protesters turned away and attempted to reach the palace through side streets.

Clashes between protesters and police were reported by witnesses.

According to Tawakkol Karman, a prominent Yemeni rights activist and president of Women Journalists Without Chains, anti-riot police then “went into the crowd of protesters with batons and tasers,” attempting to disperse them. Karman said she and other protesters were hit with sticks and that at least 12 people were arrested.

One of those arrested, human rights lawyer Khaled Al-Anesi, has since been released.

The CNN crew at the scene was surrounded by security officers, who seized the journalists’ videotapes. (Read on …)

HRW: pro-govt thugs attack protests in Sana’a

Filed under: Aden, Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:48 pm on Friday, February 11, 2011

But no body every gets to Aden, Dhalie, Radfan, Lahj, Hadramout to witness the atrocities there… The Yemeni regime often withholds permits to travel outside the capital. (The northern Saada region was under a media blockade for six years, while the state bombed the hell out of it. Its only a rare reporter that gets to the south.) The al Jazeera and satellite correspondents are routinely beat up if they try to attend and report on recurring pro-independence protests in the South.

HRW Press 7:37 PM, For Immediate Release

Yemen: Pro-Government Forces Attack Demonstrators

(Sanaa, February 11, 2011) – Hundreds of men armed with knives, sticks, and assault rifles attacked anti-government protesters in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, as Yemeni security forces stood by, Human Rights Watch said today. Within an hour, the 1,000-plus protesters had been pushed from the square and at least 10 had been detained by security forces, Human Rights Watch said.

Human Rights Watch witnessed at least 10 army trucks carrying men in civilian clothing to Sanaa’s Tahrir Square, where a crowd of around 1,000 Yemenis had been demonstrating in support of the historic changes in Egypt and against the Yemeni government. Hundreds of men, their arrival coordinated by uniformed security agents, attacked the anti-government protesters with knives and sticks, prompting the majority to flee. (Read on …)

Eight students arrested during Feb3 protest in Sanaa, Yemen; Update, Released

Filed under: Sana'a, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:14 am on Friday, February 4, 2011

Released after the protests: Yemen Post: Yemeni authorities released eight students who allegedly belonged to 3 February Movement after they were arrested by Yemeni security forces in Sana’a.
A sit-in was held by the students demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down.
The release came after rights activists organized a sit-in before the 14 October headquarters demanding the release of the detainees who protest peacefully.

HOOD: Statement on the arrest of the youth movement, February 3

Security agents in civilian clothing arrested eight students from rally on February 3, they were doing a sit-in at the gate of Sana’a University on Friday afternoon 04.02.2011 Hood and learned that he was taken to the police station named October 14 in Sanaa…and HOOD invites civil society activists and advocates of freedom and democracy to join a sit in front of October 14 police station in Sanaa until the release of detainees, arbitrary. HOOD will begin the sit-in from seven o’clock Friday evening in front of section Oct. 14.

Junior Saleh gets military brigade to rival General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s, Bumped for denial

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:53 am on Sunday, January 30, 2011

Update: Regime denies the Al Quds Alarabi report that baby Khaled is a colonel; he is a second lieutenant and was not given a military commission, Mareb Press reports. Update2: And English.

Reports over Saleh’s son appointment untrue – Defense source [30/يناير/2011] SANA’A, Jan 30 (Saba) – A source at the Defense Ministry dismissed on Sunday media reports lieutenant Khalid Ali Abdullah Saleh had been appointed commander of the Mountain Infantry Division. The source told Saba the reports on the appointment including one published by London-based al newspaper Quds al Arabi were totally untrue and baseless. Some media outlets including papers and websites like to fish in troubled waters and they are not correct because with fabrications and unreliable reporting they abuse their profession, the source

Original: Junior gets an army! One division stationed outside Sana’a and another by Bani Hushaish (Houthi stronghold near Sana’a.) Is Saleh getting worried about a popular uprising or a military coup? This kid is in his 20’s and his qualification is his bloodline not his experience or knowledge. A major part of Yemen’s military weakness is nepotism in the command structure.

KhaledSaleh.JPG

al Masdar Media sources said that President Ali Abdullah Saleh recently introduced a new military forces under the name “mountain infantry division,” comparable to the First Armored Division, led by veteran military man, Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar.

The Quds Al-Arabi newspaper quoted sources as saying that the document see the leadership of these forces developed assigned to the younger son of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, Colonel Khaled Ali Abdullah Saleh, a man in his twenties and graduated last year from the middle of the Royal College Sandhurst.

Other sources have confirmed for the “online source” the health of the news and explained that the Infantry Division, mountain, comprising three brigades, stationed the First Brigade in the mountains of Bani Hashish east of the capital Sanaa, and stationed the Second Brigade in the mountains of the Asama adjacent to the capital of Sana’a in stationed third in the Mountain City Radaa province white

Yemen: Plain clothes security operatives attack protesters at Egyptian embassy

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, Sana'a, Security Forces, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:43 am on Saturday, January 29, 2011

Update: Very tacky to pull your jamiba on a woman. That’s Tawakkol Karaman.

Jan29jambya.jpg

Emerates247: Dozens of activists calling for the ouster of Yemen’s President Ali Abdullah Saleh clashed on Saturday with the regime’s supporters in Sanaa, an AFP journalist reported.

Plainclothes police also attacked the demonstrators who marched to the Egyptian embassy in Sanaa chanting “Ali, leave leave” and “Tunisia left, Egypt after it and Yemen in the coming future.” — A female activist, Tawakel Karman, who has led several protests in Sanaa during the past week, said that a member of the security forces in civilian clothes tried to attack her with a dagger and a shoe but was held by other protestors.

HOOD condemns:

Condemns the Yemeni Organization for Defending Rights and Democratic Freedoms savage attack on Saturday 1/29/2011 at the demonstrators heading for the Egyptian embassy in a peaceful demonstration of solidarity with the Egyptian people against what the Egyptian authorities of the killings outside the law against Egyptian citizens defenseless. (Read on …)

“Having dictators as your allies is never a good idea,” Walid al Saqqaf

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:17 pm on Friday, January 28, 2011

Walid al Saqqaf contrasts Egypt’s #Jan25 nationwide popular uprising with protests held in Yemen’s capital, which are led by opposition parties and therefore more self restrained, diplomatic and strategic. Yet both are protests which ultimately demand dignity. Listen to the interview or below are excerpts:

WNYC Today on The Brian Lehrer Show, Walid Al-Saqaf, founder and administrator of Yemen Portal, a news and multi-content aggregator focused on Yemeni news, talked about the protest in Yemen and his own free speech advocacy.

Anti-regime protests in Tunisia have ignited public demonstrations in other pockets of the Arab world. In the last week, Egyptians have taken to the streets of Cairo en masse to demand the resignation of their leader, Hosni Mubarak. Most recently, on Thursday, Yemeni protesters flooded the nation’s capital city of Sana’a to call for their president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to cede control of the government.

Yemen is one of the poorest nations in the Middle East, and Saleh has presided over the country’s deterioration for the past 32 years. While protesters are railing against the same kind of corruption and improper governance that Tunisians and Egyptians face, Walid Al-Saqaf said that Yemen’s movement appears to be less revolutionary and more conservative than the others taking shape. (Read on …)

Death threats, hacking and calm follow Yemen protests

Filed under: Civil Society, Civil Unrest, Media, Presidency, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 9:35 am on Friday, January 28, 2011

When bribes, cloning, apologies and counter-protests are not enough, there’s always the threat of fines, death threats and hacking news sites. They can’t shoot protesters in the head in Sana’a like they do in Radfan and Habaylean, or bomb residential areas like they do in Saada. The state of Yemen is certainly not going to institute and implement any meaningful reforms, so it comes down to the same pile of tricks.

The streets in Sana’a are empty today and the “northern protest movement” may just fizzle out because the opposition parties are as afraid of disrupting the status quo as the regime and the people with jobs don’t want to risk their families’ dinner. Tawakkol Karaman has been leading protests in “Freedom Square” every Tuesday for at least a year. The new thing was the university students were charmed by the fall of Bin Ali, and it seems most of Yemen is chewing qat and watching TV. (The Egyptian protests are mesmerizing.)

Following the 2006 election, the JMP relinquished its claims of voter fraud and ballot stuffing in exchange for promises of electoral and constitutional reform, which never occurred, thereby leading to the postponement of the 2009 parliamentary election. But one strong factor in the decision at the time was the JMP’s fear of spiraling instability, a legitimate concern.

Yemen Online: Un-known hackers have manipulated yesterday by the last updated news that published on YemenOnline on the last events in Yemen . Yemenonline editors found the all the latest updates that covered the demonstrations against the president have been deleted .

It’ seems an undeclared war against freedom of expression and what happened means that there is control over the sites and there are those who intervene to manipulate by the news and articles using new technology ’ Jamal Al-Awadhi editor in chief of YemenOnline said.

Regarding the death threat on Tawakkol Karaman, Amnesty, UK reports:

Tawakkol Karman, the president of the Yemeni NGO Women Journalists without Chains, was arrested on 23 January for taking part in a student demonstration in Sana’a. The demonstration expressed solidarity with protests in Tunisia and called for an end to the rule of the current Yemeni president, who has been in power since 1978.

Ms Karman was released a day later and charged with taking part in an unlicensed protest. Dozens of other activists were also arrested and charged with the same offence.

According to information received by Amnesty, Tawakkol Karman’s brother was reported to have received a phone call on 26 January asking him to either confine his sister to her house or “those who weaken the whip of obedience would be killed”. (Read on …)

Regime change in Tunisia, protests in Egypt, trigger Yemen demonstrations in Sana’a, Taiz and Aden

Filed under: Aden, Civil Unrest, JMP, Sana'a, Taiz — by Jane Novak at 8:38 pm on Thursday, January 27, 2011

Its not just Sana’a and Tawakkol Karaman, demonstrations were held all around Yemen this week. The factor in determining if protests continues to spiral in Yemen may be what happens in Egypt tomorrow, and it really doesn’t look good. With the internet cut in Egypt, people are expecting a blood bath. Worse yet, I don’t think either the JMP or GPC in Yemen have a plan if the protests outstrip the leadership that called them, beyond making a deal or opening fire, respectively, as they usually do. The US can’t be caught as flat footed as it appears at the moment. Thirty years may be the natural expiry date for dictatorships.

Demonstrations and protests in TaizPublished:27-01-2011, SANA’A, Jan. 26 — Popular protests and demonstrations have expanded to include Aden and Taiz, and the Joint Meeting Parties have threatened to start more protests in other governorates. (Read on …)

Yemen President attacks al Jazeera coverage of Yemen protests

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Other Countries, Presidency, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 5:07 pm on Thursday, January 27, 2011

Yo-Yo Boy, the problem is not the coverage. The function of the media is to report, not to suppress dissent and enhance unity by broadcasting pro-regime propaganda. Attacks on Yemeni journalists have become more brutal as public dissatisfaction grows, but censorship only increases tension.

Saleh calls Qatar Emir, attacks Aljazeera, Thursday, 27-January-2011, Almotamar.net, Saba -: President Ali Abdullah Saleh telephoned Qatar’s Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani on Thursday asking to urge Aljazeera Satellite Channel not to abuse its profession while reporting on the situation in Yemen.

The channel should stop incitement, exaggeration and distorting the facts, and furthermore it should avoid acts that encourage unrest, violence and sabotage in the Arab countries, Saleh urged. (Read on …)

President Saleh bribes Yemeni protesters again

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Presidency, Reform, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:32 pm on Thursday, January 27, 2011

sanaaprotestjan272011.jpg

With the advent of protests in the capital, President Saleh promised a raise for the military, somewhere around $40/month. There are an approximate 600,000 on the military payroll, and an average of ten dependents each, meaning about a quarter of Yemenis will directly or indirectly benefit from the raise, if it is in fact implemented. And promising pay raises is a tactic that has worked before in Yemen to defuse social tension.

President Saleh previously and successfully promised wage increases in order to short circuit civil unrest. In response to the 2005 fuel riots, Saleh enacted the revised Wages Strategy which purported to offset higher fuel costs with salary increases for civil servants. Designed with a multi-staged roll-out, the failure to implement the second phase of the strategy later triggered strikes, notably by the teachers union, when the “type of work” bonus over base line pay was not dispersed to those qualified. In negotiations, the teachers union demanded the salary increases should be retro-active to the date they became law. Saleh’s current promise to increase military wages is being framed by the regime, correctly, as implementation of the third phase of the 2005 Wages Strategy.

In the weeks prior to the 2006 presidential election, Saleh promised a bonus to civil servants–payable after the election. Another regular tactic in response to anti-government protests is the counter pro-regime protest. Often school children and civil servants are ordered to attend under penalty of retribution. Students who did not attend protests were prohibited from taking their finals. Arrests, arbitrary violence and suppression of the media are other characteristic tactics of the Sanna regime, deployed against Southern protesters and civilians in areas of the northern Houthi rebellion. These tactics invariably swelled the ranks of the Southern and Houthi opposition movements, and if implemented again in Sana’a will have the same effect on the new born Northern protest movement.

Yemen Post: In a move described by observers as unhelpful and aiming to avoid a revolt like the one that forced Tunisian President out of office and out of the country this month, the Cabinet approved at its weekly meeting on Tuesday to start implementing the third phase of the Pay Strategy as from next month.

It ordered the Ministries of Civil Service and Insurance and Finance to prepare the executive mechanism to start the strategy that calls for a 30 per cent rise in the wages of the state employees. (Read on …)

Anti-Saleh protest in Sanaa

Filed under: Education, Political Opposition, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:12 am on Sunday, January 23, 2011

The last time there were widespread protests against Saleh was the 2005 oil riots which overtook the whole country. This is different because there’s no easy way to placate the protesters (like reinstating the subsidies as occurred in 2005 after some tribesmen highjacked oil tankers). One similarity is that Al Motamar reports that university officials deny that any students attended the rallies and imply as usual that its all a JMP plot.

SANAA, Yemen January 22, 2011, NPR: Thousands of Yemeni protesters have called for the ouster of their president after 32 years in power. (Read on …)

Brother of Marib governor beaten by Sanhan gang, site says

Filed under: Marib, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Its a google translation but I can read it.

after a member of its secretariat was attacked by gunmen from the Sanhan ..
The children of revolutionaries condemns the targeting of its leaders in the center of the capital, Sana’a

Through the Forum of National Democratic Party for the children of revolutionaries and freedom fighters and martyrs Yemenis (glory) Member of the International Alliance for Defending Rights and Freedoms for disapproval and strong condemnation of the attempted attack, who was a member of the Secretariat General and brother of the governor of Marib Sheikh / Abdullah bin Ali al-Zaidi, by armed groups of approximately two hundred people Region Boss House in the capital Sanaa on Thursday evening and Friday afternoon .. (Read on …)

AQAP claims 50 operations in Yemen

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Hadramout, Marib, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Security Forces, TI: Internal, Yemen, aq statements — by Jane Novak at 7:25 pm on Saturday, January 1, 2011

GAN: Yemen (Sanaa) – Al-Qaeda Organization in the Arab Peninsula said Saturday it was responsible for some 50 operations carried out in different parts of Yemen in the last five months of last year. (Read on …)

Politcal Prisoners Released in Yemen: Southern oppositionist Hassan Baoum and 22 Zaidis who celebrated al Ghadeer Day

Filed under: Judicial, Saada War, Sana'a, Targeted Individuals, statements — by Jane Novak at 3:35 pm on Friday, December 10, 2010

For more on the al Ghadeer arrests in Amran, click here. Mr. Baoum, leader of one of the southern independence factions was arrested early in November. More at Aden News Agency.

News Yemen: Political sources said Friday that presidential directives issued to release the leading figure in the Southern Movement, Hassan Baom, his son and his colleagues. Sources also said that 22 supporters of Houthis, arrested on the al-Ghadir Day in Amran, have been released.

Al-Haq party welcomed the releases of detainees and called on the government to release all detainees and make real peace in Sa’ada. It also called on political parties and human rights organizations to play a role over the detention of innocent people without any legal justification for more than five years.

Car full of women in Sana’a seized with bomb and drugs

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Sana'a, Security Forces, TI: Internal, arrests, drugs — by Jane Novak at 3:25 pm on Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Five women were taken into custody after a spot check of passing traffic uncovered narcotics and TNT in the vehicle. Its unclear if the components were assembled. The story highlights both the effectiveness of random vehicle searches and the AQAP push to recruit women. Update: we have the story today in English and learn the drugs are pills. Keptagon is a pill smuggled in large quantities.

EPD: Yemeni police have captured a highly explosive TNT device in a car in Sanaa, the country’s Interior Ministry said Tuesday. The explosive device were found along with drug pills concealed inside a handbag of a 40-year-old woman, who was driving a car carrying another four women aging between 20 to 60 years old, who are Yemeni nationals, the ministry said in a statement on its website. The car was caught during a routine search in a main street in the old city of Sanaa, the statement said without giving the date. The five women were under investigation to probe links behind them and the TNT bomb, the ministry added. However, the ministry didn’t label the women to any terrorist group.

(Read on …)

Al Iman University employees linked to al Ghadeer AQAP terror attack, report Update: al Iman students targeted Taiz governor

Filed under: Hodeidah, Religious, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, Taiz, Yemen, anwar, political violence, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 9:33 am on Monday, December 6, 2010

‎Al Iman is headed by Sheik Abdulmagid al Zindani, a specially listed terrorist and political ally of President Saleh. Anwar al Awlaki was a teacher at al Iman and is a member of AQAP which claimed the suicide attack in a written statement. The Houthis have denied that Badr al Din was killed in the attack and say he died of natural causes the next day. Update: Below the fold is an article from from Naba that I’ve been meaning to post since last week about the arrest of six al Iman students in Taiz (who trained in at a mosque in Hodeidah) for terror related charges including a plot to attack the governor of Taiz and vital installations. One member of the cell was killed 10/25/10 aboard a motorcycle when his bomb exploded prematurely.

‎”Aden Times – Special Monday 06/12/2010 Announced local sources Yemen on Monday implicated members of the University of Islamic Faith and administered by Sheikh Abdul Majeed al Zindani-a prominent cleric in Yemen- in the assassination of the spiritual leader Badr Eddin al, who had already announced Houthis his death in November 24 (November) last year. The Yemeni police detained a number of employees of the Islamic University, which take from the capital of Yemen, Sana’a based on suspicion of carrying out the assassination of those. (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Prisoners Torture Houthi Prisoners in Sana’a Jail: Rights Group

Filed under: Hajjah, Religious, Sa'ada, Sana'a, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 8:01 am on Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Yemen Post adds a line to their write up on the car bombing: On Tuesday, reports surfaced that Al-Qaeda detainees in the Central Prison in Sana’a attacked Houthi detainees, beating them and leaving some of them in critical condition. Its unsurprising. This has been going on for years. This is not a lunchroom fight between two gangs. It is officially sanctioned, repetitive, and occurs in many jails. Al Eshteraki reports in this case, the violence occurred in the PSO prison in Sana’a (from which the the 23 al Qaeda operatives escaped in 2006): Assault on dozens of detainees, “Saada” political security in Yemen, al Eshteraki The revolving door for terrorists is frustrating but even when imprisoned, al Qaeda operatives often have a higher status than other prisoners and “perks.” The following Yemen Times article also touches on takfiri Friday sermons against Ismailis and other Shia sects, and that over 600 Houthi prisoners remain in jail despite the supposed amnesty.

Yemen Times: SANA’A, Nov. 24 — The National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms (HOOD) have accused officials in the Political Security Prison of inciting detained Al-Qaeda suspects against their Shiite Zaydis counterparts in the prison.

The organization said in a press release dated Nov. 23, 2010, that officials in the prison provoked suspected Al-Qaeda members who are Sunnis to assault Zaydis detainees claiming that they are Shiites and thus are ‘non-believers’.

Ali Al-Dailami, the executive officer of HOOD told the Yemen Times that his organization reported several assaults against detainees of the Sa’ada war by Al-Qaeda suspects in the prison after they were incited by officials in the prison.

“Four days ago, ten detainees including Al-Ezzi Saleh Rajeh, Nabeel Al-Ezzi Al-Mutwakel, Mohamed Ali, Abdul-Jabbar Al-Jarmozi and others were severely beaten by other inmates,” said Al-Dailami. (Read on …)

Saudi Prince Funds Orphan Marriages

Filed under: Children, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Women's Issues, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:32 am on Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Its just a happy story. The inability to procure funds for a dowry is one of the many social stressors young Yemenis face.

Saudi crown prince funds 3,200 marriages
October 22, 2010

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince has funded the marriage of 3,200 Yemeni orphans, described by local officials as the largest mass wedding in the region, Saudi newspapers reported on Friday.

The couples tied the knot after getting the nod from Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, who is also Saudi Arabia’s deputy premier and defence minister.

The wedding, which was staged in Sanaa on Thursday is “a unique and unprecedented marriage even in the Middle East,” said Hameed Zaid, head of the Yemeni Orphans Charity Establishment, which organised the wedding.

Saudis never heard of al Qaeda financier Saleh al Rimi

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, TI: External, arrests — by Jane Novak at 7:33 am on Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Saudi authorities had no information about him before his arrest and haven’t been notified of his arrest.

Riyadh, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Saudi Arabian Interior Ministry informed Asharq Al-Awsat yesterday that it had not received any information from Yemen implicating Yemeni national Saleh al-Rimi of involvement with the Al Qaeda organization. (Read on …)

al Shawish, an AQAP Hamza al Qaity disciple, sentenced to death

Filed under: Hadramout, Marib, Oil, Sana'a, arrests — by Jane Novak at 7:47 am on Monday, October 18, 2010

Al Qaity was killed in August ‘09 after the attack on the security station in Sayoun. Al Qaity and al Qamish, the head of the PSO, became antagonistic after the mortar attacks on the embassies early in ‘09. al Qaity was enraged with al Qamish about something or other. The odd thing about the mortar attacks is the streets were clear afterwards, and in three attacks, the attackers got away clean every time and all the mortars missed.

CRI: A Yemeni security court on Monday sentenced convicted al-Qaida bombmaker Saleh al-Shawish to death, official Saba news agency reported.

Al-Shawish made no appeal against the verdict as he proudly admitted to be affiliated to the Yemen-based regional wing al- Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), said Saba. In the previous trial by the Sanaa-based security court, al- Shawish confessed to the jury that he had taken part in seven military operations planned by the AQAP. (Read on …)

Attack on Tawwakol Karaman, head of WJWC, arrests and beatings of displaced and activists

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Media, Sana'a, Yemen, Yemen-Journalists, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 8:53 pm on Friday, October 15, 2010

The security forces attacked the weekly Tuesday demonstration in “Freedom Square” held to highlight the plight of the al Jasheen, repression of journalists and the withholding of newspaper licenses to independents. Tawakkol Karaman, head of Woman Journalists Without Chains, was arrested and held for hours. Many others were injured and hospitalized from among both the activists and the displaced al Jasheen villagers. It appears 35 were arrested as well.

Statement of condemnation to not detain the long head of the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains, and the attack on Atidip Director of the Organization and human rights activists and itinerant Aldjaashen a sit-in Tuesday

Condemned the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains of what has happened president of the organization entrusted Salam Kerman, as well as the Executive Director of the Organization Bushra Ababi and dozens of activists and human rights defenders and itinerant Aldjaashen of a barbaric attack by the security of the capital during their participation in the sit-in and march in solidarity with itinerant Aldjaashen on Tuesday, 15/10 / 2010, where long-abuse protesters beating and firing live bullets were assaulted, trust in Kerman, president of the organization and then arrested in the Department of fodder for 3 hours, and the injury of the Executive Director of the Organization of press and human rights activist Bushra Ababi during photographed picketing a shot for rubber led to the burning of her clothes, her burns in the back and her husband, were transferred down to the Republican Hospital, as well as Matardt has dozens of displaced women and their children and their husbands severely beaten with rifle butts and threatened with death and guide weapons to Rwshn and other means of intimidation, with damage to five of the women Aldjaashen been moved two of them to hospital, a Republican, as well as the arrest of 35 someone from the itinerant Aldjaashen still 13 of them held in five police stations in Sana’a, and still detained until the moment of writing this statement, namely: (Read on …)

Nuqum: “a terrorist infested slum”

Filed under: Counter-terror, Sana'a, TI: Internal, UK amb, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:19 am on Thursday, October 7, 2010

AJC: SAN’A, Yemen — Yemeni authorities announced on Thursday the arrest of seven suspects in the attack on the motorcade of the British embassy’s No. 2 — all from an area in the capital that has become synonymous with militancy. (Read on …)

Sanaa Book Fair a Vehicle for Terrorist and Extremist Works

Filed under: Education, Ministries, Religious, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:54 pm on Thursday, September 30, 2010

It is an indication of the strength of Saleh’s extremist supporters that moderate books are excluded from a book fair, the point of which in theory is to bring new literature to the nation. Yemen Observer

A group of Yemeni intellectuals, writers, and thinkers are boycotting the 27th session of the Sana’a Book Fair, according to a release statement sent to Yemen Observer by the group.

The group said the Ministry of Culture, who is organizing the Book Fair, did not allow fiction works of Yemeni and Arabs to enter and be viewed in the Book Fair, well-known publishing houses were also absent, which “reflected on the credibility of the body that organizes the fair.”

Another objection the group noted was the oriented-takfir books which call for extremism and terrorism. (Read on …)

10 Intel Agents Wounded in Sana’a

Filed under: 3 security, Sana'a, Security Forces, attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:44 am on Saturday, September 25, 2010

We need to know which intel agency they were working for, and which division of the royal family, in order to understand the dynamics of this. Its really pathetic though that these fanatics are going around assualting people at will. The tactic follows that of the assault on the Belgian tourists in 2007, when they just opened fire on the car at a speed bump.

Update: ah, its the Political Security. It appears there is some kind of dispute going on between some section of AQAP and al Qamish, head of the political security. However, the good relations between AQAP and other factions within the Saleh government, for example the military and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar, continues unabated. At the same time, this state which has no qualms about the wholesale slaughter of its citizens presumably little hesitation in sacrificing a few low level agents for the greater good. AQAP takes the same position. Update 2: Bill notes the attack was near al Iman University.

al Babwa: Security sources said that 10 Yemeni intelligence agents were wounded Saturday when gunmen opened fire on their bus in the center of Sanaa. A Yemeni security source said that “Unidentified gunmen attacked at about 06:00 (3.00 GMT) a bus for the political security (intelligence in the center of Sanaa. This attack resulted in the wounding of ten elements of the security apparatus.

It was the first such attack inside the capital of Yemen since the attempted attack on the British ambassador in April.

Security assaults Yemen Times journalist covering protest against assaults on journalists

Filed under: Media, Sana'a, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 9:39 am on Monday, August 30, 2010

Several international correspondents were also assaulted. The cartoonist Kamal and the SABA news “al Qaeda expert” Haider are still imprisoned without charges. Amnesty International noted: Under pressure from the United States and others to confront threats from al-Qaeda, along with Zaidi Shi’a rebels in the north and growing demands for secession in the South, the Yemini government is using national security as a pretext to stifle criticism and reject human rights in a campaign of unlawful killings, torture, arbitrary arrests and unfair trials.

Yemen Times SANA’A, August 25 — Yemen Times journalist Khaled Al-Hilaly was assaulted by two men from political security wearing civilian clothes after he covered a sit-in organized by the Journalists Without Chains organization condemning the abduction of journalists Abdulelah Shae’ and Kamal Sharaf.

Al-Hilaly was cornered as he was returning home after the event by two security men with wireless walkie-talkies. They demanded that he hand over his camera, which is worth more than USD 600, or else he would be arrested. When the journalist tried to verify their identity or give them the memory card instead of the camera the security men hit him on the head and violently snatched the camera. (Read on …)

Political Cartoonist Kamal Sharef Forcibly Disappeared

Filed under: Judicial, Media, Sana'a, poverty/ hunger — by Jane Novak at 10:46 pm on Tuesday, August 17, 2010

At the same time journalist for the state propaganda agency SABA and “al Qaeda expert” Abdulelah Haider Shaer was arrested, political cartoonist Kamal Sharef’s house was raided and he was dragged off to an unknown location and is currently held incommunicado. Topics covered by Sharef include womens’ rights, corruption, bigotry,and child brides and other progressive commentary on social issues.

News Yemen: Security authorities arrested on Monday cartoonist Kamal honor of his home in the capital Sana’a, and confiscated his personal belongings including a laptop computer ..
وقال شقيق شرف لـ(نيوزيمن) أن مسلحين بلباس مدني وعسكري قاموا وقت الإفطار باقتحام منزلهم واعتقال شقيقه، وآخرين قاموا بمحاصرة منزلهم ، ومن ثم قاموا بتكتيف شقيقه ، اقتادوه إلى جهة مجهولة، بناءً على مذكرة حد قولهم باعتقاله. The brother’s honor (NewsYemen) Gunmen in civilian clothing and military as they break into their home breakfast and the arrest of his brother, and others who surrounded their house, and then they Petktev his brother, took him to an unknown destination, according to a warrant for his arrest they said. (Read on …)

Yemen Govt Doing Little to Harvest Rainwater

Filed under: Ministries, Sana'a, Water, Yemen, disasters, non-oil resources — by Jane Novak at 8:39 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

There are good plans to address many urgent issues in Yemen but they are not implemented fully. Power centers within the government thwart reforms to protect their profits. In other cases, coordination among semi-autonomous ministries is nearly impossible to achieve.
IRIN

SANAA, 10 August 2010 (IRIN) – Despite record rainfall in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and other areas this summer, very little is being done to harvest this water to mitigate water shortages, experts say. In May at least seven people were killed in what officials described as the worst flooding to hit Sanaa in a decade. Flooding has brought large parts of the city to a standstill on a number of occasions. Attempts by the government to harvest rainwater are very limited, according to Ramon Scoble, a consultant for Germany’s Technical Cooperation Committee (GTZ). (Read on …)

Yemeni Journalists Syndicate Denounces Repeated Targeting of Khalid Dhala

Filed under: Media, Sana'a, Yemen, Yemen-Journalists, political violence — by Jane Novak at 8:06 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The regime is getting lazy lately and running over journalists instead of going through the motions of a bogus trial.

Sahwa Net- The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate has denounced repeated violations and abused practiced against journalist Khalid Dhala’. In a statement, it said that these violations increased and became targeting openly his life as he was subjected to a car crash on 13 July 2010. The statement demanded security forces to protect Dala’a, immediately arrest the criminals and bring them to justice

Press release

Jurist information center condemns abuses against journalists, the latest of which was a journalist Khaled Mohsen Dlaq from the threat of his life and he was run over a car driven by unknown persons in the center of the capital Sanaa, which led to suffering a serious injury in parts of his body and was evacuated to hospital in time, which condemns the information center have been exposed jurist journalist Khaled Dlaq it at the same time demanding the Interior Ministry quickly prosecution of offenders and finding them and bring them to justice to receive their just punishment

Issued by the Information Centre jurist Sana
7-8-20010

RSF: New wave of violence against Yemeni journalists

Filed under: Media, Sana'a, Taiz, al-Bayda — by Jane Novak at 10:16 am on Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Its the same wave continuing non-stop since 2004. The May 22nd announcement by President Saleh of a general amnesty was all propaganda, partially because governmental fiefdoms are autonomous from the central government. Investigative reporting on corruption draws the attacks and reform efforts are stymied at every level.

Al-Sahwa Reporters Without Borders is alarmed by a new wave of threats and acts of intimidation against journalists in Yemen. The political class seems to have no qualms about using violence against journalists who write about corruption or embezzlement. Utterly illegal and arbitrary arrests are becoming commonplace.

“The situation is becoming more and more worrying again after the encouraging signs in May when the authorities dropped proceedings against 33 journalists on the 20th anniversary of Yemen’s reunification,” Reporters Without Borders said. “We fear that Yemen is now entering a few phase of violence against media that dare to criticise the policies imposed by the government.” (Read on …)

Qurashi Succumbed to Headshot, Assassinated after Return to Yemen from Exile in Syria at Presidential Invitation

Filed under: Sana'a, Syria, political violence — by Jane Novak at 12:16 pm on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brandon Sun SAN’A, Yemen – A Yemeni opposition member shot in the head after returning from 32 years in exile died Wednesday from his wounds, his son said. Abdel-Raqib al-Qershi fled from Yemen in 1978 after he and his family were accused of leading a rebellion against the government and killing tribal leaders…Al-Qershi’s son, Awad, said his father had returned to San’a in May following an offer of amnesty from the country’s president. A month later, he was shot in the head as he walked out of a local mosque with his sons. The authorities named three suspects in the assassination attempt, but none have been arrested. After an emergency operation in Yemen, Al-Qershi was flown to Syria for further medical treatment where he died.

Original Post: President Saleh invited Abdalrguib Qurashi who was in exile in Syria for 30 years, to return to Yemen under his protection. Last month, Qurashi was shot in the head after returning from prayers in Sana’a, fell into a coma, was transferred to Syria for medical treatment and died today. Qurashi was a leader in the Nasserite party involved in a 1978 assassination attempt on Saleh. Many were killed and periodically the party asks for the location of the graves. (Read on …)

Yemeni-Americans Mobilize to Draw Attention to Children in Prison and other Political Prisoners

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Hadramout, Sana'a, South Yemen, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:14 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

A letter to Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch from southern Yemenis in the US:

The South Yemen community in U.S.A sincere regards, and thank you for your efforts for the past years and your positive interaction, whether by descending on the ground in the south and especially the governorate Aden, and some nearby provinces, Your meeting with some of the families of the martyrs and prisoners, or through your reports on the bitter reality and the serious daily violations of human rights in under the occupation of Yemen, and heinous practices against the people of South Arabia are engaged in struggle for independence.

We appreciate these efforts and urge you to exert more pressure on the occupying government in Sana’a to stop all methods of repression, torture and killing, siege and arrests, and pursuits, committed against peacefully protesters and activists, and move quickly to rescue the Political prisoners of Sana’a regime, and the rest of the detainees from daily torture of those who are still in detention including minors.

First the Political Security prison in Sana’a

Ahmed Alkuwma – correspondent

Maged Althammah – Age 14 years (Read on …)

UN: acute malnutrition, diarrhoea and anaemia rising in Hajjah

Filed under: Amran, Hajjah, Sa'ada, Sana'a, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 9:09 pm on Thursday, July 22, 2010

UN

22 July 2010 – The United Nations is expressing concern about the humanitarian situation in northern Yemen, where the needs of the local population displaced by ongoing fighting vastly outstrip the funds provided so far by donors.

Less than $70 million, or 36 per cent, of the $187 million sought this year by aid agencies for assistance in Yemen has been received, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) have been providing relief to civilians in Yemen’s north, where Government forces have engaged rebels in sporadic armed conflict in recent years. (Read on …)

Al-Qa’ida distributes CD’s in Sana’a Mosques calling for jihad on U.S.

Filed under: Religious, Sana'a, USA, aq statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:48 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

Really getting desperate, aren’t they? I guess the Saudi women didn’t come flocking to Yemen after al-Qa’ida’s last appeal to them for suicide bombers. Short of funds they are as well. Interesting how AQIY can distribute the CDs in such a systematic manner without drawing the attention of the state-funded Imams and security. Oh yes, it was actually the state funded Imams who first warned against US intervention in Yemen, threatening jihad in a statement. Yeah that was it. The AQIY zealots are hoping that US backing of the widely reviled dictator and his messy messy methods of counter-insurgency will create a backlash in their favor, not an improbable outcome even without the CDs, but there are a lot of other options for those with anti-government inclinations. Anti-US sentiments grew geometrically after the slaughter in Abyan (cluster bombs??!!) and the US’s extremely poor follow-up. (Nary a word. Even after the Yemeni government apologized, the US kept congratulating.) Inciting against US intervention incidentally and conveniently dovetails with Saleh’s position. This Abdulelah mentioned works for (gets a paycheck from) the state news agency SABA and is the brother-in-law of Abdulmajid al-Zindani, a long time Saleh loyalist. Abdulelah is the one who manages to interview all the top al-Qa’ida (including his bestest friend Anwar Awlaki, Nassir al Wahishi and Fahd “but I thought he was reformed” al-Quso) without a problem as we noted first in January 2009. We’ll file this about the CDs under the heading “flaky stuff”.

Yemen Post An unidentified group has distributed a CD at a number of mosques in Yemen’s capital of Sana’a that some people said contained interviews with Al-Qaeda leaders and videos about U.S. raids on terrorist targets in the country, independent sources said on Thursday.

Uthman Al-Ghamidi, Fahd Al-Qusa, Abu Musab Muhammad Saleh Umair and Saeed Al-Shari, all of the most wanted terrorist suspects by Yemeni and Saudi authorities, appeared in the CD speaking about U.S. crimes and calling for reviving Jihad, holy war.

They talked about terror raids that took place in late last year and early this year in Abyan, Shabwa and Sana’a with a focus on the raid in Almajalah district, Abyan, in which many were killed including civilians. Murdered terrorist Abu Umair was seen discussing Jihad with young Jihadists.

Abdul Elah Shaea, a local expert in terrorism issues, also appeared speaking about Al-Qaeda in Yemen including remarks he previously gave to Aljazeera Satellite Channel.

The CD was intended to incite the people against the U.S. intervention as concerns, mainly by the west, continued to grow about Al-Qaeda presence in the country and to praise the role of Al-Qaeda and its acts.

It also contained photos of some Arab leaders described as agents for the west including Egypt’s Mubarak and President Saleh.

Fares Manna Convoy Ambushed

Filed under: Proliferation, Sana'a, Yemen, smuggling   — by Jane Novak at 11:19 am on Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Just more total garbage from Reuters, linking the attack trying to free Fares Manna to the Houthi rebels. Meanwhile Reuters fails to mention a) Manna is president Saleh’s long time partner b) Manna was Saleh’s representative to the mediation with the rebels c) it was his relatives, tribal allies who assaulted the convoy d) all his arms deals were legal e) the government agreed to buy his weapons stockpile. Almost every story carried by Reuters spins the news to the position of the Yemeni government.

Reuters Ambush on security convoy in Yemen capital kills one

SANAA, May 11 (Reuters) – Yemeni gunmen trying to free an accused arms dealer with links to Shi’ite rebels fired on a convoy ferrying him from jail to court in Sanaa on Tuesday, killing a bystander, security officials and witnesses said. (Read on …)

Small Explosion or Suicide Bomber Near UK Amb Car

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Sana'a, TI: Internal, UK, UK amb, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 5:58 am on Monday, April 26, 2010

No injuries except to the bomber. Some reports said it was a suicide bomber but the Brits say small bomb. The state news agency SABA says the device was a suicide vest and the bombers head was found three houses away. News Yemen identifies the attacker as 22 year old Othman Ali al-Selwi, who was trained in Mareb province. The attack on a convoy is not the first. In March 2009, al Qaeda attacked the motorcade of South Korean officials who were in Sana’a to investigate a lethal suicide attack on South Koran tourists days earlier.

(CNN) — The British ambassador to Yemen survived an attack on his convoy in the capital, Sanaa, Monday morning, the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office said.

“There was [a] small explosion beside the British Ambassador’s car. He was unhurt. No other Embassy staff or British Nationals were injured,” a statement said. Initial reports said two Yemenis — a man and a woman — were injured in the attack and taken to a nearby hospital. The convoy carrying Tim Torlot, 52, was near Berlin park and a short distance from the British embassy at the time of the blast.

Nearly related: The Debka spin is Saleh used US counter-terror funds to bribe al Qaeda to leave for Somalia: Failing to eradicate the al Qaeda presence by force, Salah summoned the tribal chiefs harboring al Qaeda centers and through them offered to pay the Islamists to leave the country. The bribe of an estimated $15-20 million was accepted and on April 7, 12 al Qaeda leaders, presenting themselves to the Somali Al-Shebab Islamist rebels as emissaries of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), turned up in Somalia to scout suitable areas under rebel control for new bases, their pockets well lined with US dollars to pay for their lease.

Demonstration in a Sanaa Stadium

Filed under: Civil Society, Civil Unrest, Corruption, Sana'a, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:36 am on Saturday, April 17, 2010

thats new

Yemenis protest against surging prices, south ‘violations’
All Africa.com

Thousands of Yemenis demonstrated on Thursday following a call by opposition parties to protest against rising goods prices as well as the authorities’ “violations” against southern activists.

Around 10,000 people gathered in a Sanaa stadium to protest against a recent 15 percent rise in custom duties on 71 types of imported goods, which pushed prices up in the impoverished country, an AFP correspondent reported.

“No to hunger, no to intimidation,” chanted demonstrators, referring also to Sanaa’s policy in dealing with southerners. (Read on …)

Al-Haq Party Denounces the Minstry of Endowments Bias against Zaidism

Filed under: PFU, Religious, Saada War, Sana'a, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:31 pm on Saturday, March 13, 2010

News Yemen

The right party condemns the targeting of the Great Mosque in Sana’a, and holds the Minister of Awqaf the responsibility of creating sectarian conflicts (Read on …)

Yemen Arrests 11 al Qaeda?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Sana'a, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Thursday, March 4, 2010

CNN: Yemen arrests 11 terrorists.

Estimates of al Qaeda presence in Yemen range from 3000 operatives and support staff, on the high side to 300 on the low. Eleven is a start for sure. But its Yemen, so this press release could actually mean a number of things:

1- authentic arrests of an operational al Qaeda cell (probably based on foreign intel..)
2- show arrests of 17 year olds made to demonstrate Yemen’s commitment to tackling al Qaeda for the benefit of western media and officials
3- some entirely unrelated group of individuals belonging to the domestic opposition, southerners or Houthis
4- even maybe top echelon terrorists (It has happened a few times. If fact, almost all the top leaders of al Qaeda in Yemen were in prison in Yemen within the last five years, and then either escaped or were released on an early parole. For example, “most wanted terrorist” Fahd al Quso, convicted USS Cole bomber, was released by authorities about three years into his ten year sentence.)

The funny thing about the press release from the state media is that Yemen claims for the fourth time that top al Qaeda commander Qasim al Reimi is dead but he was spotted alive and well recently, brunching in fact. The Yemeni government really has no credibility.

If Yemen really did capture 11 al Qaeda, the next questions are: who interrogates them, how long do they stay in jail before escaping, and are they able to direct operations from within jail?

Ali Mohsen’s Training Camp Attached to al Iman University

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Sa'ada, Saada War, Sana'a, USA — by Jane Novak at 11:25 pm on Monday, January 18, 2010

There we go. I think I wrote something very similar in 2005 after my head stopped exploding, but its good to see it in the New York Times. (See my Feb. 2006 article, Al Qaeda Escape in Yemen, Facts, Theories and Rumors for a comprehensive round-up of the situation then that brought us here now.)

Ali Mohsen, bin Laden recruiter, using Afgan Arabs in the Sa’ada War, and possibly training al Iman students at his military camp next door. The US funnels money pretty directly to Ali Mohsen, according to Robert Kaplan in Imperial Grunts. The US is funding a jihaddi that targets Zaidi civilians with indiscriminate bombing and deliberate starvation? The Houthis have always claimed the Sa’ada war was intent on the irradication of Zaidism itself. The strategic location of Sa’ada for al Qaeda can’t be underestimated.

NY Times: Mr. Mohsen, a general who is currently prosecuting the war against a Houthi rebellion in the north, also recruited thousands of Yemenis to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan. His brigades returned victorious, and Mr. Saleh has used them since to help defeat the south in the 1994 civil war and against the Houthis. Some fighters, of course, have migrated to Al Qaeda, and there are imams here more radical than Mr. Zindani.

When north and south Yemen were united in 1990, Sheik Zindani accepted Mr. Saleh’s rule and was granted this huge area of government land on the western edge of Sana for the university — adjoining a large military base, which is Mr. Mohsen’s headquarters. There are rumors that students sometimes get military training there, which Mr. Abu Ras also denies.

Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager in Sa’ada indoctrinates the military in Friday sermons and they hand out religious tracts to soldiers that say Houthi blood is free. This is the guy who was instigating against foreign medical workers prior to the kidnapping of the Germans.

Airline Plot Method Matches Yemen Al Qaeda Attack on Prince Naif

Filed under: Sana'a, TI: External, Yemen, airliner, arrests, prince — by Jane Novak at 1:05 pm on Sunday, December 27, 2009

PETN, our new vocabulary word, was used in both the attack of Prince Naif and in the recent airliner incident. In both cases the explosive device was sewn into underware. The Nigerian says he was trained at a camp near Sana’a (Arhab?), and recruited online by a “radical cleric” who facilitated contact with al Qaeda in Yemen. The Yemeni government hasn’t yet recieved any official communications from the US on the matter. Full coverage of the earlier attack on Prince Naif here in my category, Attacks-Prince.

MSNBC: U.S. agencies are looking into whether al-Qaida extremists in Yemen directed Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab and provided him with the explosives used in the failed bombing of Northwest Flight 253, senior administration officials told NBC News on Saturday. (Read on …)

Yemeni Opposition Parties Denounce “Massacre” and False Hunt for al Qaeda

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Sana'a, South Yemen, USA, arrests — by Jane Novak at 4:09 pm on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Sahwa Net – Main Yemeni opposition parties, the Joint Meeting Parties, in Abyan governorate has denounced assaults launched by Yemeni forces on alleged al-Qaeda sites on Thursday in Abyan, describing the strikes as a “brutal massacre”. (Read on …)

New Spin from the Yemeni Govt: The dead supported al Qaeda with financing and shelter

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Sana'a, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Saturday, December 19, 2009

Five unidentified foreign “al Qaeda” killed in the preemptive airstrikes were buried already. I guess we’ll just have to take Saleh’s word on the fact that they were indeed terrorists. Did they take DNA? The official story now is these persons provided logistical support to al Qaeda. Shared the cloth houses I guess. And thats bad if its true, dont get me wrong, but it begs the question of why the US air raid and not just go arrest them? Because al Reimi was supposed to be in Arhab? Too bad, yet entirely predictable, that al Reimi slipped away at the last moment. (Read on …)

Updated: Arrests in Marib, 34 Killed in Abyan and Sana’a Raids

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Sana'a, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, arrests — by Jane Novak at 9:50 am on Thursday, December 17, 2009

Update 5: Mareb Press: Where said raw statistics obtained by the site of Marib Press Fifty people were killed in the Abyan province, mainly women and children in addition to the death of eighteen an element of al Qaeda were killed and more than seventy other people were taken to each hospital in the Abyan and Al-Razi hospital in Aden, Captain , while the outcome of the confrontations in the Directorate of four people, welcome to Al Qaeda and three wounded were in critical condition and expected death, some by private sources. (Read on …)

The 22nd Weekly Sit-In for Illegally Detained Journalists in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Rights, Civil Society, Media, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 10:58 pm on Thursday, November 19, 2009

wjwc111909b

wjwc111909

The Twenty-Fourth Sit-In to Demand the Release of Alayyam Newspaper and Journalist Mohamed Almaqaleh and journalists Alsaglade and Rashid

On Tuesday 17/11/2009 hundreds of lawyers, politicians , journalists and relatives of kidnapped and forced hidden people, sit in the twenty-fourth protest in Freedom Square to demand the release of Alayyam newspaper and the release of journalist Mohamed Almaqaleh and journalists Alsaglade and Fouad Rashid, and for the lifting of the violations of Almasdar and Aldiar newspapers.

In the sit-in called by the Organization of Women Journalists Without Chains Sultan Alsamaee the parliamentary spokesman for the Movement for Justice and Change said the express of solidarity with freedom of expression, and with all the journalists against violations under scrutiny, and emphasized the importance of continuing the peaceful sit-ins in order to reach the rights and punish those who violated the rights of the people of this nation; journalists, jurists and citizens. (Read on …)

Japanese Engineer Still Kidnapped

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Diplomacy, Sana'a, Tribes, Yemen, hostages — by Jane Novak at 10:33 pm on Thursday, November 19, 2009

Tribesmen in Yemen have kidnapped foreigners for years in order to pressure the government for the release of family members, often held as official hostages by the state or as a result of a tribal dispute. The Yemeni government cares not a whit about kidnapped Yemenis, ergo its the foreigners who get snatched. In this case, the Japanese engineer is being held as ransom for an al Qaeda member, and the Yemeni government lied (again, no surprise there) about the success of the negotiations. The regime’s lack of a counter-terror posture and prior accommodations to terrorists only encourages this behavior. At the same time, the lack of equitable redress in the form of a functional legal system is the fundamental root of the kidnapping phenomenon.

Yemen Post According to sources close to the Japanese engineer who preferred to be anonymous, the kidnappers didn’t release the Japanese engineer yet.

“There were conflicting reports about the release of the Japanese engineer kidnapped in Arhab and I confirm that tribal mediation did not succeed so far in the release of the kidnapped Japanese”, the source said. (Read on …)

Special Yemen

Filed under: A-INFRASTRUCTURE, Enviornmental, Sana'a — by Jane Novak at 10:38 pm on Sunday, November 15, 2009

A nice article extolling the beauty and unique nature of Yemen, I’m quite happy to see it:

New York Times — It has been almost 800 years since Saleh Qaid Othaim’s house in the heart of the Old City was built from hand-cut stones and traditional alabaster decorations.

Yet on a recent morning, Mr. Othaim watched contentedly as a group of men renovated the place using exactly the same ancient methods and materials. Workers mixed the moist chocolate-brown masonry known as teen while a master builder supervised, a dagger hanging from his belt. There was no scaffolding, no helmets, no whine of machines: only the scraping of trowels and masonry, interrupted at last by the call to prayer in the high desert air.

“I don’t care how long it takes,” said Mr. Othaim, a government worker. “The most important thing is that it be done in a traditional way.” (Read on …)

Yemen Security Overview by Governorate

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Islands, Lahj, Marib, Military, Sana'a, Security Forces, al Dhalie, al Jawf   — by Jane Novak at 7:41 am on Monday, September 14, 2009

This is quite an interesting report from the Yemen Post that focuses on the absence of state control in many areas and identifies what alternate power structures are in place. Regarding Marib, the report notes, “Al-Qaeda is strongly present in Wadi Abeedah, a wide desert district with some rugged and mountainous areas. The same holds true for Al Shabwan.” The various southern leaders are noted by their level of popular support by location.

Several areas witness resurrection against the state, tribal conflicts, mobility or violent acts and these acts are associated with complete absence of state presence. In most governorates, the state does control only the main cities.

Bani Dhabian, Sana’a

Bani Dhabian is a tribal district in Sana’a province’s Khawlan region whose tribesmen implement constant kidnapping operations. There is no presence for security or the state apparatuses there and the last kidnapping incident targeted Businessman Tawfiq Al-Khamri’s brother. Prior to this, the tribesmen released the business manager of Shahr Abdul Haq following tribal mediation efforts. The tribesmen make big sums of money, as kidnapping is a source for wealth and it is a direct result for the lack of trust in judiciary. (Read on …)

Chemical Weapons

Filed under: Proliferation, Sana'a, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 3:46 pm on Friday, July 10, 2009

By: Free Aden 10/7/2009

A source who asked to not reveal its identity mentioned that the special forces in Yemen has been working for the past two years on chemical components to produce a chemical weapon. The lap of these operations is located in the capital of the Arab Republic of Yemen Sana’a at the “Haziaz” area toward “Bait Boos”.

The source added that the people working on it are a non Arab Republic of Yemen citizens and not Arabs too but could not clarify them more. He added that one person, a military Yemeni national who works as security in that lap, was exposed to a wave of those chemicals due to not wearing a protective suit and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. He was sent to Kingdom of Jordan to be cured as by now he lost most of his facial hair!!

He added that this issue is highly confidential and it’s linked to the special forces of Ahmed Ali or the Yemeni President himself, and the idea came after a consecutive winning of Hothism in Sadaah. “It can be an option to be used on Southern Movement in future” he added.

 

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