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.

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