Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

“Brigade 27 Mika (Mechanical) is the Octopus of Smuggling and Terrorism in Hadramout, Yemen”

Filed under: Hadramout, Military, Security Forces, mil restrucuturing, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:23 pm on Friday, August 29, 2014

Update: This article (which I did not write) is reprinted from the Hadramout Tribal Coalition website and can be found at

The following article asserts that significant parts of the Yemeni military in Hadramout simultaneously operate as an organized crime syndicate and an incubator for al Qaeda. The configuration is not unusual in Yemen where military fiefdoms spawn local tyrants, loyal jihaddis and unchecked smuggling networks. While some vital security sector reforms have been instituted, like biometric identity cards, dislodging these nodes of criminality is essential to integrating the entire military within an overt command and control structure focused on the security of Yemeni citizens.

Brigade 27 Mika (Mechanical) is the Octopus of Smuggling and Terrorism in Hadramout

Hadramout has not experienced any kind of smuggling such as drug trafficking, arms smuggling and human trafficking in its history like it has now. Unfortunately, Hadramout became unable to maintain its well known a safe and a security place and great values anymore, and it became the home of all kinds of smugglings. Due to Hadramout’s position and to its wide borders, it was and still used to be the station of smuggling into neighboring countries. With time expansion, another task was added to Hadramout which is converting it into an incubator for armed groups (Al-Qaeda) to serve the main purpose of the Big Mafia in the Republic of Yemen (RoY).

The beginning of this story goes back to the 1994 war and the arrival of the armed groups of Mujahedeen to Hadramout coast, who took part against the war on communism (Southern Forces). This decision was taken by the ousted president Ali Abdullah Saleh and Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, his brother from a different father, through recruiting those Mujahedeen and they were officially numbered and turn them into a brigade called Brigade 27 Mika ( Mika means Mechanical). Staff Gen. of this brigade since its start is Abdulaziz Makaleh Al Zindani(عبدالعزيز المقالح الزنداني ), one of Al-Qaeda militants and a cousin of Sheikh Abdul Majeed al-Zindani(عبد المجيد الزنداني). With the establishment of this brigade, smuggling and terrorism were strongly started. Its network was strongly developed since then, and is threaded from the coast of Hadramout all the way to the neighboring countries, and even inside some of neighboring territory.

The Brigade 27 Mika site is not in one place, but it spreads gradually from the coast and all the way to the neighboring countries to secure the borders for mainly smuggling and terrorism!! The Brigade 27 Mika consists of five battalions, and they are located in strategic positions with functions as follows:

1- Coast Guard Battalion: It is the one that insures all landings of contraband materials from outside RoY, and it secures all the smuggling of fuel and crude oil from Hadramout by ships to the international black market.

2- Battalion 4: a battalion stationed in the Al Dabah area(الضبه), the official crude oil export port. This battalion led by Mujahid Alkotaiba (مجاهد القطيبي) and it is the smuggling and terrorism operation room. It coordinates with local smugglers, some Local Fish Associations, and international smugglers; and it also protect trafficking along the pipeline into the valley.

3- Oil Companies Protection Battalion: This battalion has 2 tasks: the first one is to protect the collection of illegal dues from the oil companies which is amounted about a quarter of a billion dollars a year; and this amount goes directly to the Oil Mafia as cost of protection, as many press and government reports mentioned this many times, without being remitted to the state treasury. The second task is to secure the lines of smuggling in the middle of the valley and make sure they are not exposed to the obstacles. The person in charged of this battalion is Mohammad Qahm (محمد القحم) regardless of the change of the well know and the highly corrupted battalion commander in a year or so, i.e. Ahmed Al Tharab( ‏احمد الضراب).

4. TOTAL Protection Battalion: TOTAL contributes part of strengthening this network, intentionally or unintentionally, through forming alliance with the traditional power and Oil Mafia to protect them and thus protect the smuggling network.

5. Al Suwairi (السويري) Battalion: This battalion was initially created as a training camp for the Mujahedeen and for the returnees from Afghanistan which follows Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar commands directly. Later on, this Mujahedeen camp was turned into a Mujahedeen battalion which follows Brigade 27 Mika.

The elimination of the smuggling and terrorism threats to Hadramout and to neighboring countries starts with the removing of Brigade 27 Mika away from Hadramout and the dismissal of the battalion’s effective leaders of Brigade 27 and other effective members and Mujahedeen.

By Mohammed Al Haddar

Sami Dayan sentenced in General Qatan assassination

Filed under: Abyan, Military, assassination — by Jane Novak at 3:09 pm on Thursday, April 24, 2014

Nice lengthy article from the Yemen Times:

Published on 24 April 2014 in News
Ali Saeed (author)

SANA’A, April 23—The Specialized Criminal Court in Sana’a, which is dedicated to prosecuting suspected Al-Qaeda operatives, on Tuesday sentenced Sami Fadhl Dayan to 15 years in prison on charges of assassination, attacks on security forces and theft of military hardware, according to the state-run Saba News Agency.

The a 26-year-old Dayan from Jaar in Abyan governorate is accused of playing a role in the killing of Major General Salim Qatin on June 18, 2012 in Aden. (Read on …)

Re-hiring the southern Yemeni army

Filed under: Military, South Yemen, mil restrucuturing — by Jane Novak at 11:39 am on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I have argued for a long time that integrating (or re-hiring) the forcibly retired southern military has many advantages:

1) the long idle former southern army are disconnected from the vast web of corruption, smuggling and nepotism that pervaded the upper levels of the Yemeni military during the Saleh regime
2) they may have more respect for human rights, especially if they are deployed in the south
3) they already have formal training by the Russians
4) it will decrease the sense of alienation of some southerners and especially unemployed young men in the southern provinces who are regularly turned away from the army when recruitment is a function of a sheikh’s patronage
5) it will lessen the proselytizing of soldiers wherein some extremist commanders deem military operations as jihad instead of security missions designed to protect all Yemeni citizens.

The army must become a non-political, neutral and uniformly trained body that provides equal opportunity to Yemeni men (and women) regardless of identity. Even those who are advocates for separatism might be able to see the advantages to southerners (and peace and stability) of rehiring the retired military, instead of seeing it as a way to defuse the southern movement.

The Link: (ar) Hadi to re-hire 795 former southern military commanders

Reuters: Yemen has launched a $1.2 billion fund to give back tens of thousands of southern Yemenis jobs they lost after the 1994 civil war, a minister said on Tuesday, part of efforts to revive talks aimed at ending longstanding political divisions.

International Cooperation Minister Mohammed al-Sa’adi said the fund, agreed on Sunday, had persuaded southern separatists to return to talks they boycotted last month in protest against the government’s handling of their demands.

Another positive development is the adoption of the biometric voter ID system, this must be internationally funded and locally implemented and will enhance the legitimacy of future elections as well as reduce corruption, ghost workers, and ensure the distribution of aid. The positive benefits of incorporating this technology are many and can jump start a fairer Yemen.

Fostering and countering terrorism in Yemen

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, September 10, 2013

The US CT industry in Yemen is sketched out in the following excerpts from Inside Yemen’s Shadow War Asenal at Foreign Policy BY GORDON LUBOLD, NOAH SHACHTMAN

Since November of 2011, the United States has pledged nearly $600 million to Yemen for everything from spy drones to opinion polls to pickup trucks as part of a shadow war to fight terrorism there. But how much Washington is getting for its money is an open question, even within U.S. government circles…

Only a portion of the $600 million committed since late 2011 goes directly to fight terrorism — about $250 million, according to State Department officials. The rest goes towards “helping to strengthen governance and institutions on which Yemen’s long-term progress depends,” as then-White House counterterrorism czar (and unofficial envoy to Yemen) John Brennan explained last year. That includes cash to “empower women,” “combat corruption,” and provide “food vouchers, safe drinking water, and basic health services,” Brennan added.

But even that non-military aid can sometimes come with a hard edge. Last year, the State Department paid out $2.2 million to Griffin Security, a Yemeni contractor specializing in “close protection,” “surveillance systems,” and “maritime security services,” according to the company’s website. On June 26, Foggy Bottom sent another $3.1 million to Advanced C4 Solutions, a Tampa-based business with strong military and intelligence community ties, for an unspecified “administrative management” contract. Six days later, the State Department executed a second, $1.3 million deal with the same firm — which publicly declares itself a specialist in computer network attacks — for “translation and interpretation services.”

(JN-The US Air Force suspended Advanced C4 in 2011 for shoddy and unfinished work, and the firm was nearly excluded from any more work for the US gov’t.)

Overt security assistance was put on hold for about a year when former President Ali Abdullah Saleh brutally cracked down on his people. But that ban has been lifted, and the spigot is once again open. The Pentagon is outfitting the Yemenis with weapons, short takeoff and landing spy planes, night vision goggles, and even Raven drones to help Yemeni security forces to strengthen their effectiveness against internal threats and extremist activity, according to defense officials…

“We need to remember that we have done at least as badly in planning and managing aid as the worst recipient country has done in using it,” said Tony Cordesman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington.

Nonetheless, a variety of programs aim to directly achieve American security objectives in Yemen. During 2012, for instance, the Pentagon spent about $14 million on a single U.S. Special Operations Forces counterterrorism enhancement program in which a limited number of American military personnel provided training and equipment — from small arms and ammo to radios to rigid hull inflatable boats to night vision goggles to navigational systems — to Yemen’s counterterrorists. Another program, referred to in Pentagon briefing papers as the “Fixed-Wing Capability Program,” spends about $23 million “by providing equipment and training to improve the operational reach and reaction time of Yemen’s CT forces,” including two short take-off and landing aircraft. The United States spends another $75 million on building the counterterrorism unit of Yemen’s Central Security Forces.

During 2013, the Pentagon spent nearly $50 million on what’s called an “integrated border and maritime security” program to help the Yemenis be more effective with aerial surveillance and ground mobility, according to a defense official. That helped the Yemenis build up the capacity to monitor threats along the country’s nearly 1,200 mile coastline. The program includes 12 short take-off and landing aircraft, each with intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance capabilities, as well as flight and maintenance crews.

The United States has spent other money on Yemen, including $24 million the Coast Guard spent to build two 87-foot coastal patrol boats, and another $11 million for about 340 F-350 Ford pickup trucks, according to publicly-available contracting data. Another $27 million was spent for a contract with Bell Helicopter for four Huey II helicopters within the last three years.

Two years ago, the polling firm Gallup, Inc. was paid more than $280,000 for a “Yemen Assessment Survey.” Around the same time, Yemen was part of a major contract to provide crew-served weapons, gun mounts, and stands for .50 caliber weapons. Last year, the Army paid $3 million to Harris Corporation for radios for the Yemenis, and the Navy paid $5.4 million for aircraft engines and spare parts for CASA 235 transport planes. Also last year, the Army paid $1.9 million for tactical UAVs in both Kenya and in Yemen.

Ties into my 2012 article State Dep’t ends Yemen arms embargo

Yemen Centre for Transitional Justice calls for de-militarized cities

Filed under: Military, Pres Hadi, mil restrucuturing — by Jane Novak at 2:12 pm on Friday, May 17, 2013

Statement from YCTJ

An Urgent Appeal to Yemeni President Abdu-Rabbo Mansour Hadi: Remove All Military Bases from the Major Cities of Yemen

His Excellency President Abdu-Rabbo Mansour Hadi, President of the Republic of Yemen.

Dear Excellency:

The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice takes this opportunity to congratulate Your Excellency on the launching of the Comprehensive National Dialogue on March 18, 2013 and wishes to express the appreciation of the YCTJ on your concerted efforts to bring peace, security and political stability to Yemen. We hope that the National Dialogue will lead to concrete decisions that strongly respond to the needs and aspirations of the Yemeni people and that best serve the interests of all Yemenis.

We are very concerned about the widespread existence of military bases and installations inside the major densely populated cities of Yemen. Your Excellency has certainly noticed the previous recent crash of a military aircraft of February 19, 2013, in which 12 citizens needlessly lost their lives. You will also recall that the fall of a military aircraft in November 2012 killed 10 Yemeni citizens, In addition there were more than 400 civilians killed in Ta’ez and Sana’a City during the armed confrontations that took place during the Yemeni Uprising of 2011.

In the latter, it was clear that major Yemeni cities were literally turned into battlefields for the political combatants. Undoubtedly this was primarily due to the location of military bases in the midst of highly populated areas of these cities. Among the civilian victims of these unfortunate armed confrontations were rising number of cases of Vitiligo (whitening of skin) and nocturnal enuresis (involuntary urination) among children, who resided near the Central Security Military Base in Ta’ez City, as reported by many physicians. As a result of the armed conflict in that area and the excessive use of force, there were many children who experienced sudden stress caused by the dreadful sounds of ordnances and the thunderous firepower unleashed in these conflicts, all of which caused such illnesses.

The fight against Al-Qaeda insurgents in Abyan also led to disastrous results for civilians there. The military bases, depots and ammunition stores targeted by AQAP insurgents were all too close to civilian residential homes and working areas in the cities of Abyan Governorate. The subsequent death of at least 150 civilians in the munitions factory attack in Ja’ar by Al-Qaeda in March 28, 2011 is testimony to the senseless presence of these military installations in the middle of cities. Half of these civilian victims were women and children.

The extensive presence of military installations and facilities amidst densely populated areas clearly constitute a clear violation of international customary norms and practices . They also certainly evoke obvious breaches of international and local humanitarian law, including, inter alia, Article 13(1) of the Additional Protocol II[8] as well as Article 8 of the Second Protocol for the Protection of Cultural Property[9].

These military bases and installations occupy large surface areas in already congested cities. They also force more beneficial and useful projects, such as schools, hospitals, and parks to be relocated outside the cities, thus increasing the hardships of citizens to reach and have access to the services of these important civilian facilities. This presents an important opportunity to convert these dangerous military installations and bases to become useful public parks, educational facilities and hospitals and other more useful projects that will better serve the public.

Therefore, we urge Your Excellency to take an unprecedented historic initiative and reform this archaic aspect of the old regime, which literally used cities as military bases. The Yemeni people will appreciate this important development and will surely support you in this monumental decision. This would be especially significant as Yemen is undergoing a transitionary period and the priority needs of the Yemeni people at this important stage is to establish security, safety and peace. Your initiation of this step during your presidency will ensure for Your Excellency a praiseworthy place in the history of our country and will promise to bring a peaceful life for the future. In addition the decision will be a step in the right direction towards achieving a real democratic transition.

With all due respect to your Presidency and to the authority of your esteemed transitional government, we appeal to Your Excellency to take this highly important step and proceed to relocate all military bases and installations at safe distances outside Yemeni cities.

Respectfully yours,

The Yemeni Center for Transitional Justice

[1] 14 January 2010

[2] Found Human Rights Watch, “Disappearances and Arbitrary Arrests in the Armed Conflict with Huthi Rebels in Yemen”, 24 October 2008 (ISBN: 1-56432-392-7).

[3] Article 13(1) Additional Protocol II stipulates that “the civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations”

[4] Article 8 of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: … b) avoid locating military objectives near cultural property.” In the event of international armed conflict it would be a violation of Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I which states that the parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”.
[5] Article 4(2)(c) and Article 13(1) Additional Protocol II

[6] Yemen’s Military Criminal Code (1998), the “use of civilians as human shields during war operations” constitutes a war crime.

[7] In the event of an international armed conflict, it would contravene Third Geneva Convention, Article 23; Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 28; Additional Protocol I, Article 51(7)

[8] Article 13(1) Additional Protocol II stipulates that “the civilian population and individual civilians shall enjoy general protection against the dangers arising from military operations”.

[9] Article 8 of the 1999 Second Protocol to the Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property provides: “The Parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible: … b) avoid locating military objectives near cultural property.” In the event of international armed conflict it would be a violation of Article 58 of the 1977 Additional Protocol I which states that the parties to the conflict shall, to the maximum extent feasible “avoid locating military objectives within or near densely populated areas”.

Ahlam M Mothanna
Secretary General
Yemen Centre for Transitional Justice (YCTJ)

US drone target tied to Yemen’s military leader

Filed under: Air strike, Military, embassy, mil restrucuturing, obits, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Saturday, November 10, 2012

US drone strike 11/6 in Sanhan, another mediator killed, tied to 2008 US embassy attack

SANAA: A drone strike near the Yemeni capital killed three suspected Al-Qaeda members including a militant wanted for a deadly attack on the US embassy in Sanaa, security officials said on Thursday. They said the drone strike, believed to have been carried out by the United States, targeted a car near the village of Beit al-Ahmar in the Sanhan region, 15 kilometres (nine miles) southeast of Sanaa. Among the dead was Adnan al-Qadhi, a former jihadist fighter in Afghanistan and Al-Qaeda member wanted for a 2008 car bomb attack on the US embassy that killed six Yemeni soldiers and four civilians.

After a decade of willful ignorance, the US starts tying AQ attacks to the former regime, probably in search of evidence for sanctions:

Yemen Fox: Mareb Press cited diplomat sources as saying that the US Embassy in Sana’a exerts efforts in collecting and documenting many terrorist attacks carried out by al-Qaeda and in which former President Ali Abdullah Saleh was found involved, most important the bombing the US Embassy in Sana’a in 2008. The sources said that the Americans have evidences that some with close links to Saleh’s family are involved in that operation, as US investigations showed that cars used in the terrorist attack were purchased by people close to Saleh’s family, specifically from Sanhan.

Better summary of the relationship

Nasser Arrabyee: The drone- killed Al Qadi was general in Yemeni army

By Nasser Arrabyee,07/11/2012

Adnan Al Qadi, Al Qaeda operative killed by US drone Wednesday, was a lieutenant colonel in the Yemeni army before he joined Al Qaeda, said sources Thursday.

Adnan Al Qadi was working as a commander of brigade in Al Makha under the leadership of Saleh Al Dani, a retired general who is now working with the defected general Ali Muhsen. All of them are from one village called Sanahan, the same village of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Adnan Al Qadi and Aref Al Qadi, were arrested after the bombing of the US embassy in Sanaa late 2008 for being involved. Aref is a nephew of brigadier Abdullah Al Qadi, retired general from Sanhan. Both of them were released secretly because of influence of their fathers and sympathy of general Muhsen.

Recently, Aref Al Qadi, raised the flag of Al Qaeda over his house in village of Bait Al Ahmar, the village of all conflicting guys, according to local sources.

The slain Adnan Al Qadi was one of the mediators between the Yemeni government and slain Sheikh Tarik Al Dhahab, Al Qaeda leader in Radaa last year according to Al Qaeda specialist journalist, Abdul Razak Al Jamal who met Al Qadi and most of the Al Qaeda leaders..On Wednesday November 6th, 2012, a US drone hit a car in the area of Al Nasrin in Sanahan, 30km south east of the capital Sanaa, killing Adnan Al Qadi and two others identified as Rabee Laheb, and Redwan Al Hashidi. Some sources said that the latter two were only injured..

Related: “‏@adammbaron abdulrazak jamal interviewed Adnan alQadhi, target of sanhan drone strike, before his death.” Had the black flag on his roof and door?

The Link: Will Abu Hamza’s trial implicate Ali Mohsen and al Zindani in terrorist acts?

Filed under: 9 hostages, Abyan, Military, USS Cole — by Jane Novak at 5:24 pm on Friday, October 19, 2012

The kidnappers called General Ali Mohsen as verified by one of the hostages and Mohsen who said they called to negotiate. The following article (manually translated) says that both Mohsen and al Zindani are worried about what information may be exposed during the trial of Abu Hamza al Masiri.

The 2006 book Imperial Grunts by Robert Kaplan talks about the CIA paying “bad guy” General Ali Mohsen earlier in the decade as the cost of doing business in Yemen. Mohsen officially handled “the jihaddist file” for former president Saleh until his defection to the revolution in March 2011. From 2006-2010, Ali Mohsen commanded military forces and jihaddists in Saada against the Houthis in a manner thought to comprise war crimes. State tactics, like the denial of food to the region and mass arrests, were also labeled collective punishment by international rights groups. The pipeline of Yemeni and foreign jihaddists and suicide bombers to Iraq 2004-2007 ran through Mohsen’s camps and safe houses, with Ali Saleh’s full knowledge and approval. Not to mention the USS Cole bombing.

The US is long overdue in recognizing that “some officers hands are stained with the blood of our soldiers”, instead of continually placating and bribing both Saleh and Mohsen, two of the biggest terrorist facilitators in the region. But its a long shot in the absence of a rational US policy on Yemen.

Article below notes Dajalul was appointed a government position in Amran after his release in 2004.

The Link: Trial of Abu Hamza al-Masri, in America, is it going to finish with the request of trial ” Ali Mohsen” and ” al-Zindani ” ?
Recently Britain handed Abu Hamza al-Masri to America for trial in America on terrorism-related offenses, and actually Abu Hamza’s trial began in America .trial will address issues related with Abu Hamza al-Masri , especially those relating to the kidnapping of 16 British and an Australian hostages. it took place in Abyan carried out in 98 and the ( Aden-Abyan ) Army in the province of Abyan , Which claimed the lives of a number of kidnapped when freed. The issue then was about a close relationship with Abu Hamza, according to the confessions of the accused during their trial in Yemen. So Yemeni authorities call on Britain to hand over Abu Hamza for trial, and accused him of officially being behind terrorist operations, and terrorist groups in Yemen.

On the other hand Ali Mohsen was a close relationship with the Army of Aden, and behind the same process , according to the results of trial Abulhassan Almihdhar,the main culprit of the process., Who sentenced to death and executed, he said,” we had informed the commander Ali Mohsen of the process but it is he who instructed us to do to put pressure on the authority to release our detainees” .He added” after kidnapping told him we have got sixteen cartons”, means kidnappers. And he was in contact with us and follow the process , and then reported information said that Abu Hamza al-Masri was on full coordination with the kidnappers side with Ali Mohsen in his activities and relationships in Yemen on the other, in real Ali Mohsen was direct contact with Abu Hamza al-Masri, in Britain, in particular coordination on some financial matters.

Things do not stop at this point, but extends to the bombing, which spilled over to the British Embassy, which was carried out by the time Abu Bakr close Djajul of Mohsen , who appointed him as an officer, and was appointed director of one of the districts of Amran governorate released after the end of 2004.
And who has appointed .

And timely trial revealed elements of the Army (Aden / Abyan) that the army was formed in the (Al-eyman University ) by confessions Abu Huraira Altunisi , also Abu Hassan Mehdar revealed that he was one of the guards ” Sheikh Zindani”, who in turn had a relationship with Abu Hamza, who was sending him students Muslims of Britain and Europe to study at (Al-Eyman University ) Which founded by Zindani and includes a large group of students from different nationalities.

Informed sources said that Mohsen follow Abu Hamza trial with deep concern , and his worried increased after last meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Guard commander, and reportedly that ” U.S. National Security Advisor” said to President Hadi, ” some of your officers their hands stained with the blood of our soldiers “, and benefit information that Mohsen and Zindani formed a team of lawyers those close to them to study and monitor the trial of, in America step by steps, fearing of surprises not agreed with him. and they had told him some specific messages before being handed over to America during his trial in Britain.

due to the relationship between “Ali Mohsen” and ” al-Zindani” with Abu Hamza al-Masri, there is likely to be tried both of them , in the case they discovery that there is a link between ” ali mohsen ” and ” the bombing of the USS Cole ” and other issues related which Abu Hamza al-Masri trial about it currently in America

Original Arabic below: (Read on …)

Yemen Defense Min targeted for assassination for 7th time, AQAP raid

Filed under: Ministries, Post Saleh, Security Forces, mil restrucuturing, state jihaddists, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:48 am on Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The assassination spree by the al Qaeda hit squad, or some mercenary facsimile thereof, continues with a gusto. Security officers are targeted and killed in the south with alarming regularity, about once a week. The pattern is highly reminiscent of the period between unity (1990) and the civil war (1994) when al Qaeda targeted YSP leaders and over 150 were killed. The 1994 document of Pledge and Accord begins by demanding Saleh stop employing terrorists and terrorism against southerners to achieve his political goals, but he never did.

The deposed (half of the) Saleh dictatorship continued to conduct false flag attacks (pipelines anyone?) or hired al Qaeda types or used intelligence officers disguised as AQ to conduct operations against internal rivals or to shift the political winds. Its not only a matter of exploiting al Qaeda attacks to gain international support; its also a matter of ordering them.

When is the US going to talk about the tourist murders and the plots against the British ambassador or the South Korean officials as Saleh’s foreign policy in action? Much, maybe most, of the al Qaeda violence in Yemen is self-generated, but some is designed. Its a good thing the US remembered belatedly to add the terrorism exclusion to Saleh’s immunity deal.

Sana’a: Yemen’s Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed escaped an assassination attempt Tuesday near his home located in the capital city of Sana’a, Xinhua reported. A car bomb was discovered near Ahmed’s house and was removed before it could explode, said police sources.

This was the seventh occasion when militants, suspected of belonging to Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), targeted the defence minister since the interim Yemeni government came into existence last December.

On Sep 11, a car bomb attack targeting the defence minister’s motorcade in Sana’a killed 12 people, including his seven bodyguards. The minister was critically injured in his chest, with his face bruised

They probably saved a lot of lives by rolling this one up. The gas cylinders were first used in Yemen in the 2005 twin attacks on the oil facilities.

Reuters: Army and security forces raided a house in the southern province of Aden at dawn, killing three militants in clashes that went on for almost two hours, the Interior Ministry said. Four soldiers were wounded.

“A large amount of various explosives was found in most of the rooms in addition to booby-trapped gas cylinders and cars ready to be used in suicide attacks and weapons including a rocket and explosive belts,” the Defense Ministry website quoted a security source as saying.

The house, in Mansoura city, was used as a headquarters for al Qaeda leaders in Aden to plan for attacks and a bomb factory, the source said.

Security forces seized documents and computers which contained plans to attack vital establishments in the province including military, security and civil buildings, the source said.

A local security source told Reuters among those killed was a Somali fighter, adding that the cell was behind several suicide attacks and assassination attempts in Aden over the past few months.

Houthis cleaned up drug trade, blame Ali Mohsen for Midi hashish smuggling: report

Filed under: Biographies, Hajjah, Military, Ports, Saudi Arabia, drugs, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:09 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

This below is not from the official Houthi media but it is from a Houthi supporter if not an unofficial outlet. As with all posts presented here and explaining various Yemeni viewpoints, I am posting it to demonstrate the narrative and not as an endorsement of its authenticity. However it is well known the 1st Armoured Division did facilitate smuggling into Saudia during Saada War 1-5, and Ali Mohsen was a major figure in the black market international weapons trade as well as fuel smuggling with Faris Manna and Tawfiq Abdel Rahman respectively. As Amb Krajeski correctly noted in a Wikileaks cable:

“Ali Mohsen’s questionable dealings with terrorists and extremists, however, would make his accession unwelcome to the US and others in the international community,” Krajeski wrote.

“He is known to have Salafi leanings and to support a more radical Islamic political agenda than Saleh. He has powerful Wahhabi supporters in Saudi Arabia and has reportedly aided the [Saudis] in establishing Wahhabi institutions in northern Yemen.

He is also believed to have been behind the formation of the Aden-Abyan army, and is a close associate of noted arms dealer Faris Manna.

For years, he acted as Saleh’s iron fist, building a reputation at home that lies somewhere between fear and revulsion,” reported Krajeski.

Googlish below regarding the latest bust : (Read on …)

Suicide bomber targets pro-govt, former AQAP, militia commander, 4 killed

Filed under: Abyan, Yemen, assassination, popular committees, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 7:24 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

I remember this guy and three years ago would be likely during the 2009 battle of Jaar when various factions of AQ fought each other for control of the city. The Defense Ministry paid one side. I wonder how many reformed al Qaeda are heading the popular committees and where they are obtaining their weapons, ammo and funding since they are militias and outside the formal military structure. And what was promised in return. Maybe its an authentic ideological reversal. Its the fifth time Latif was targeted for death by al Qaeda. NAA: Sanaa hospitals failed to treat Al Sayed who suffered serious injuries in the suicide bombing of Saturday in Aden, taken to Saudia. Update below: militia attacks al Qaeda who attacked commander.

ADEN (Reuters) – A suicide bomber failed on Saturday in an assassination attempt on a former Islamist in Yemen who helped drive al Qaeda militants out of a southern region this year, a security source and resident said. (Read on …)

Rouge commander in Yemen refuses to relinquish US supplied CT weapons equipment, Updated: Yemeni Min says Saleh undermining transition

Filed under: Military, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 7:13 am on Sunday, September 23, 2012

That would be Ahmed Ali, the former president’s son, head of the CT forces and the US’s main liaison for a decade. I for one, as a taxpayer, would like a public accounting of the $ 436 million the US supplied in CT support to Yemen over the last several years. Under US law, the US Embassy was responsible for monitoring the weapons. The End Use Monitoring Agreement and the Blue Lantern program appear total failures in Yemen.

A US Congressional inquiry found US trained units were diverted to the Saada War in earlier years. Much of the weapons are currently missing. The US public is owed an accounting before we pour millions in new funding and equipment into Yemen, as it is likely much were sold, and diverted into the black market and private stocks. Not to mention new commercial sales allowed since the State Dept lifted the arms embargo on Yemen. For certain, these weapons will be used against civilians or wind up in the hands of al Qaeda without stringent controls.

Currently Ahmed Ali is refusing to transfer several units and equipment to a new Presidential Guard designed to end the fracture within the Yemeni military.

Trend: Yemen’s defence minister is to call on the son of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh to hand over troops and material he has retained against orders, the Defence Ministry said Thursday.

Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmad, during an inspection of the first brigade of the newly formed presidential guard, observed that it was at only 10 per cent of its official strength, dpa reported according to the ministry website. (Read on …)

Private weapons shipment to Ali Mohsen in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Hodeidah, Military, Ports, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 8:29 am on Sunday, September 16, 2012

This arms shipment could have come from anywhere, from China to the US, now that the State Department has lifted the embargo on commercial arms sales to Yemen. The weapons were unloaded by Ali Mohsen, one of the main power centers during the former regime that should be becoming weaker in the new one.

The Yemeni black market on weapons is a vital economic sector that supplies AQAP, al Shabab, the Houthis and any armed group without distinction. Its going to be Fast and Furious on steroids when al Qaeda in Yemen or Somalia uses US weapons during a terror attack. And if the US is going to allow private sales in order arm to the southern militias that are fighting al Qaeda, there has to be a better conduit than Ali Mohsen.

The Link: Sources said that about 20 days ago a ship loaded with weapons NES to Minaoualhdidh, and unloaded the ship onto military trucks. The same source said the ship was unloaded under the direct supervision of Ali Mohsen, where he take to Hodeidah himself and eagerness that did not know one visit. Sources said that trucks loaded with weapons headed to places belonging to the First Armored Division on a number of nearby provinces there and dump all weapons in those places. There are other sources stating that the arms shipment came in favor of the so-called Army of the Revolution that is collected illegally now to include plotted against Ansar Allah in Saada (the Houthis), the Link believes.

Yemeni Interior Min has no info confirming death of AQAP #2 Saed al Shahri

Filed under: Air strike, Military, obits, personalities — by Jane Novak at 3:09 pm on Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dagnabbit. In an interview in the Saudi Okaz, the Yemeni Interior Minister says he has no info on whether AQAP #2 al Shihiri was killed, and he says to ask the Defense Ministry. Meanwhile AQAP denies he’s dead, and confirms Ahmed al-Daradish and Albatar al-Baydani were killed and the terrorists are usually much more accurate than the Yemeni govt in this situation, unfortunately.

Its quite possible the US media was spun again, just in time for the 9/11 anniversary, as they have been many times before. I thought it was way too quick for all the al Shihri obits, because the Yemeni Defense Ministry has released total disinformation time and time and time again, see my earlier post. I don’t know if hes dead or not, but I wouldn’t count on it. Its the fifth time he’s been announced as killed or captured. So its more likely that al-Daradish and al-Baydani were killed in yesterday’s strike and Al-Shihri is still alive, but really its too early to know.

al Masdar:

Yemeni Interior Minister skeptical of information killed Qaeda’s second-in-Said al-Shihri (Read on …)

Yemenis protest in Sanaa for dismissal of President’s son as security cheif

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Counter-terror, Military, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:56 am on Friday, July 27, 2012

More videos on the protest in front of Hadi’s home calling to resign Saleh’s family from their posts

1st Armored Div protests for Ali Mohsen al Ahmar dismissal, prisoner release

Filed under: Islah, Military, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:21 pm on Saturday, March 10, 2012

There were a lot of articles on the anti-Mohsen protest on Saleh regimists funded “independent” websites, but I finally found it on what looks to be a non-aligned site. Continuing and growing momentum in the protests against corrupt military leaders and other top corrupt officials (known jointly as the institutional revolution) is a good development. Ali Mohsen’s history and connection to extremists is just as bad as the Saleh boys and nephews. The protesters also demanded that Ali Mohsen release all the prisoners he’s holding without any basis. The hegemony of Islahis, because of their funding and muscle, in the square derailed the drive toward a civil state and divided the protesters.

Mersad: Observatory – rebounds: Protest this morning outside the house of the President Hadi Street, sixty in the capital Sanaa, thousands of officers described the soldiers of the north-west and the First Armored Division, demanding dismissal and the trial of General Almends Mohsen al-Ahmar commander of the First Armored Division – revolutionary youth popular- as a result of crimes committed against them and the rights of the people of Yemen. (Read on …)

Inventory of military an excellent first step, next Youth auditors?

Filed under: Military, Ministries, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Thursday, March 8, 2012

In order to restructure the military, the transitional govt needs to know what exists and where; a US congressional report in 2009ish found that the Yemeni CT forces and military could not account for or locate some equipment granted as US military assistance. Furthermore, direct and brokered Yemeni arms purchases are sometimes sold in bulk to the black market, and individual soldiers (who sometimes aren’t paid for months) have been known to sell their weapons.

In reality, all ministries and government offices should be subject to an inventory (including cars). However, considering the gargantuan levels of corruption and mismanagement at all levels, a secondary audit is imperative. Asking the people responsible for the embezzlement to count the inventory is a recipe for more subterfuge.

A secondary audit of the inventory would be a good job for the revolutionaries, many of whom have accounting and computer degrees. As outsiders they would be independent, and its a good method to enfranchise them in the transition process while generating trust through transparency. International assistance by experienced accountants of the process may also increase the Yemeni auditors skill levels and employ-ability. Of course the US will be embarrassed by how much of its intended CT aid was stolen, diverted and/or resold, but sunlight is good for everybody.

Its very important however to standardized the inventory process regionally and from ministry to ministry–from the beginning. Starting with compatible processes, methods, computer systems and software is essential. For example, Yemen’s years long difficulty in generating stats and paperwork on the Somali refugees arises in large part from technical obstacles generated by using different accounting methods, incompatible databases and different computer systems, both vertically and horizontally. This impending pitfall is easily overcome with a little forethought at this point.

al Sahwa, President directs to count properties of military Yemen President Abdu-Rabo Mansour Hadi has directed on Wednesday the Defense Ministry to form technical committees to count the properties of the army in a move that precede the reconstruction of the military and end the division.

Meanwhile, the government tasked the Oil and Mineral Minister, Hisham Sharaf, to appoint a new director-general of the Oil Petroleum Company after the resignation of the former director in response to waves of protests by the employees of the company.

According to the Yemeni News Agency, Saba, military commanders held on Wednesday a meeting presided by the Defense Minister Ahmed Nasser Ahmed. The meeting discussed the counting of the military’s properties and how to halt the squandering of the public resources.

Also see “Fixing Broken Windows”: Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen Carnegie 2009

US to resume military training in Yemen prior to restructing military

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Military, Security Forces, USA, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:25 am on Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Hows that going to work? Clearly the Yemeni forces are not up to the challenge without support considering yesterday’s bloodbath. But how to offset the AQAP subversion, root out the corrupt and purge the murderers while training is ongoing, (it didn’t work so well in the past), al Qaeda is attacking and restructure the Yemeni military simultaneously. Southerners, Houthis and other excluded groups have to be integrated into the new military for balance. Meanwhile its been AQAP’s goal to draw in US military forces.

US officials’ statements alienating southerners en masse (al Qaeda’s unwilling captive and nearby communities) isn’t helping overall efforts.

US and Yemeni officials have agreed to restart a controversial military-training program to help the new president tackle Al Qaeda militants as part of planned enhanced counter-terrorism relationship.

While President Abdrabuh Mansur Hadi has openly turned to Washington as he attempts to get the upper hand over the terrorist group, his policy may have a key drawback — upsetting the delicate political balance of power in the country and complicating the sensitive task of overhauling the nation’s fractured security forces.

Dozens of US special operations forces already on the ground are set to resume training of counterterrorism forces after a lull last year amid a wave of new sophisticated assaults by the Yemeni branch of the terrorist group and loosely linked jihadi groups. FOX

Yemen’s Air Force uprising spreads to seven provinces

Filed under: Military, Transportation, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 6:56 pm on Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Air Force wants to overthrow the president’s brother.


Al Shawa: The (pro-rev) army (led by Ali Mohsen al Ahmar) said in a statement yesterday that Mohammed Saleh al Ahmar left in a Russian cargo plane yesterday that took off from Sanaa airport, in “the process of smuggling money abroad after the protests plaguing the rest of the pillars of the family and the most recent sit-air forces to demand the dismissal of Mohamed Saleh al Ahmar, who is about to catch up with his brother Ali, God’s favor, as a result of these protests.”

Talk about the pot calling the kettle black; Ali Mohsen is another big thief and murderer.

Actually Wednesday was the fifth day but details in English:

Yemen troops demand dismissal of Air Force chief (AFP)

SANAA — Thousands of soldiers continued sit-ins Tuesday for a second day in Yemen demanding the “official” ouster of the Air Force commander they accuse of corruption, AFP correspondents and military officials said.

They are demanding the dismissal of General Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, a half brother of President Ali Abdullah Saleh who left Yemen on Sunday for the United States following a year-long uprising against his 33 years in power. (Read on …)

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.

Yemen’s Gen Quiran re Taiz violence

Filed under: Aden, Civil Rights, Military, Protest Fatalities, Taiz, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:29 pm on Thursday, December 22, 2011

Qiran is also indicted in the murder of Ahmed Darwish in an Aden prison.



TAIZ, Yemen — Armed tribesmen had finally retreated from a pocket of this city, handing back to the state an education building they had occupied in recent weeks. The governor, elated, called it a breakthrough.

Dozens of people had been killed during weeks of violence. Cease-fires had come and gone. Now, the building handover again raised the possibility of a truce. For eight hours, the streets were quiet.

Then the tribesmen retook the building.

“I think we will succeed. Or not,” the governor, Hamoud al-Sofi, said Thursday, sounding exasperated. “We will see.”

Yemen has been caught in a cycle of protest, repression and factional fighting that simply will not let go, even though, as in Taiz, there are many moments that appear to signal a breakthrough, as when the president agreed to step down. The interim government that took power in Yemen last week amid guarded optimism faces an array of daunting challenges. (Read on …)

Ali Mohsen: I am ready for trial

Filed under: Military, Transition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:20 am on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Yemen 4 All: General Ali Mohsen: I admit that I personally, and a wide range of military men and politicians, bear great deal of responsibility for mistakes done during the rule of Saleh’s regime.

We are ready to stand before judiciary if we were requested to do so, as witnesses or under the law, and this is a vow from us to the youth of the revolution, to the Yemeni people, and to all those who suffered from the oppression of Saleh’s regime in the southern and the Northern provinces.

Also: #Yemen The pro-revolution army says they captured a car loaded with explosives and related by two phone cards to be blown over the connection call and it was entered to the headquarters of the First Armored Divisions through persons recruited by the National Security Guards for the purpose of the assassination of leaders in the pro- revolution army led by Major General Ali Mohsen.

Aha, full translation:

NYR | : YemenFox | This is the speech delivered by General Ali Mohsen on the occasion of Eid Al-Adha to Yemenis. (Read on …)

The un-mentionableness of Ali Mohsen

Filed under: Islah, Media, Military, Post Saleh, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:32 am on Thursday, November 3, 2011

Islah’s repression of independent thought and revolutionaries continues:

Yemen Post: Islah profile: As revolutionaries in Yemen are celebrating their victory in eventually obtaining some worldwide attention, and relishing in the fact that western nations have taken up the matter of Saleh’s presidency to the UN Security Council, the main opposition party, al-Islah is slowly but surely high jacking the revolution, rallying to its cause more and more protesters. (Read on …)

Yemen Air Force bombs soldiers fighting al Qaeda again

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Islamic Imirate, Military, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 4:21 pm on Sunday, October 2, 2011

For the second time the Sanaa regime has “accidentally” bombed the troops fighting al Qaeda. The last time in early August dozens of the tribal fighters against al Qaeda were killed as well as four military commanders. The tribesmen later said that al Qaeda fighters were lying in wait after the bombing, as if it was coordinated with them. And this time, the al Qaeda fighters were laying in wait again. The Yemen Air Forces is commanded by the half-brother of Saleh, Mohammed Saleh Ahmar. I used to say the Sanaa regime was like John Gotti with an airforce, but now they are more like Zawaheri with an airforce. Update: Sanaa regime denies but multiple news outlets have local sources confirming.

USA Today: The officials said the bombing, which took place on Saturday evening in the southern Abyan province, targeted an abandoned school used as shelter by soldiers of the army’s 119th Brigade. The school is located just east of Abyan’s provincial capital Zinjibar, where militants linked to al-Qaeda have been in control since May.

Heavy fighting has been raging in the area for days as part of the army’s months long campaign to seize back Zinjibar from the militants.

The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information, said there were unconfirmed reports that militants arrived at the school soon after the airstrike and killed an unspecified number of wounded troops.

The school is in the Bagdar area, along the frontline between Yemeni forces and militants. On Saturday, fighting in Zinjibar killed at least 28 soldiers and militants.

The 119th Brigade has rebelled against the regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh to join the protest movement demanding his ouster. It is thought to have received significant support from the U.S. military to enable it to fight the militants in the south more efficiently.

(Read on …)

After Awlaki hit, US wants Saleh out and military to military operations

Filed under: Air strike, Biographies, Counter-terror, Military, USA, Yemen, anwar — by Jane Novak at 2:06 pm on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Mil to mil cooperation going forward is fine, necessary and productive as long as it does not include Saleh’s son Ahmed (Republican Guard) , or three nephews Yahya (Central Security), Tariq (Presidential Guards) and Ammar (National Security) or his half brother Mohammed Saleh Ammar (head of the Air Force). Everything after that is smooth sailing.


A senior American official made it clear on Saturday that Mr. Saleh’s immediate departure remained a goal of American policy, and that Yemen’s government was under no “significant illusion” that the United States had changed its position.

“Sustaining military to military cooperation is in our best interest,” the official added, speaking on condition of anonymity. “We don’t want to undermine that cooperation.”

A Yemeni government spokesman, however, said Mr. Saleh deserved credit for helping the Americans.

“After this big victory in catching Awlaki, the White House calls on the president to leave power immediately?” Deputy Information Minister Abdu al-Janadi said to Reuters. “The Americans don’t even respect those who cooperate with them.”

The spokesman for Yemen’s opposition coalition, Mohammed Qahtan, rejected the idea that Mr. Awlaki’s killing cast the government in a favorable light. Instead, it shows “the regime’s failure and weakness to perform its duty to arrest and try Awlaki in accordance with the Constitution,” Mr. Qahtan said. “And it’s that that forced America to go after him using their own means.”

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.

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 …)

Brig. General Mohammed Sawmali, Commander of 25th Mech interview

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Military, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:38 am on Wednesday, September 28, 2011

General Sawmali says few local jihaddist are fighting in Abyan, Khalidabdul Nabi is not. Many have come from other governorates and other countries. Some payments made to fight; its a leaderless amorphous group. They confiscated weapons that were left behind by the Public Security, Police, and Central Security after their sudden withdrawal

“I do not want to cross the line and accuse my colleagues of complicity with Al Qaeda” yes that would be a death sentence

“We receive promises from [Southern military commander] Major General Mahdi [Maqwala] that “tomorrow we will be with you” however when tomorrow comes, nobody shows up.”

“All that we have received from the US side was a shipment of food supplies.”

“The Yemeni Navy bombarded some of Al-Qaeda fortifications for one day, but we need much more than this.”

Yemen Fox translates the Asharq Alawasat interview: In his first media interview, Brigadier General Mohammed al-Sawmali, commander of Yemen’s 25th Mechanized Brigade in an interview to Asharq Al-Awsat , from the heart of the Yemeni forces siege of the city of Zanjibar, the capital of Abyan Governorate, this has become an Al Qaeda stronghold. “Yemen fox” republish the interview. Brigadier General Al-Sawmali spoke through telephone about the 25h Mechanized Brigade’s lone mission to eradicate Al Qaeda from Abyan, particularly after Yemeni military units that were previously stationed in the region withdrew, allowing Al Qaeda to gain its foothold there. Al-Sawmali played down claims that the security apparatus purposefully withdrew from the region and allowed Al Qaeda to gain a foothold there as part of a plot to strengthen Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s grip on power. The Yemeni General insisted that the 25h Mechanized Brigade would not withdraw from Abyan, even in the face of defeat and death.

The following is the full text of the interview: (Read on …)

Suicide bomber in Aden attacks military convoy, Updated

Filed under: Military, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 12:03 pm on Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Some brainwashed teenager pays the price as AQAP tries to burnish its anti-regime credentials as they are being paid by the Saleh family. The perception is so widespread, USS Cole bomber Fahd al Quso had to deny it in an interview, but he’s been Saleh’s boy for a long time, a lot of give and take there.

Mareb Press: Likely another false flag attack, as the explosive was in one of the cars in the convoy, although the regime immediately blamed a suicide bomber of al Qaeda: General al Souma

CBS: (AP) SANAA, Yemen – A suicide attacker driving an explosives-laden car blew himself up Tuesday next to the passing convoy of Yemen’s defense minister, who escaped the attack unharmed, security officials and witnesses said.

The assailant detonated his car as Defense Minister Maj. Gen. Mohammed Nasser Ahmed’s convoy passed by on the coastal highway in the southern city of Aden, witnesses said. The ministry confirmed the attack and said in a statement that Ahmed, who survived another attempt on his life last month that killed two of his bodyguards, was unharmed.

A security official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to brief the media, said at least 10 were wounded in the blast. It was not immediately clear whether senior military officials were among the wounded.

Tribes seize RG base, protesters demand Saleh’s trial, Saleh lies more

Filed under: Military, Security Forces, Tribes, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 8:03 pm on Monday, September 26, 2011

Lightly armed tribal fighters seize 40 tanks from the “elite” RG. The protesters will throw Saleh out again if that’s what it takes, but the idea bringing him and his relatives to trial in Yemen is really starting to fill the imagination. And Saleh lied in a speech about being willing to transfer power but he literally hasn’t told the truth in a decade, so its not worth posting or even reading. (The Regime’s social media strategy: lie, liable and infiltrate

VOA Forces loyal to a Yemeni tribal leader have captured a presidential guard base north of the capital Sana’a, as forces loyal to President Ali Abdallah Saleh appear to be suffering a slow erosion. (Read on …)

Zinjibar-separating fact from fiction

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Military, South Yemen, USA, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 11:13 am on Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Separating fact from fiction is always quite difficult in Yemen. As predictable both the state’s military forces and the pro-revolutionary military forces claimed credit for freeing Zinjibar, although the extent to which it has been freed is questionable. Certainly some jihaddists fled, because people saw them withdrawing. Some moved to the mountains (Hattat) and some to Jaar, maybe Shabwa, and it is unclear if the split in the al Qaeda forces between northern and southern jihaddists is reflected in the divergent destinations. However residents are currently reporting that Zinjibar has not been liberated, only some sections of it, and fighting continues. The Yemen Times had an article, Who freed Zinjibar? but the paper is entirely off line at the moment. Tribal mediation has thus far failed to bring about a compete withdrawal. It was only with US help that the three month siege 25th Mechanized was broken.

Residents are without water, electricity, food and medical services since the Razi hospital was closed and many have fled to Aden and Lahj where there is no housing or aid waiting. The state announced that it will be moving the internal refugees out of the schools in Aden, but it is unclear where the IDPs will be going next.

Some links: (Ali Mohsen’s news paper): In that context sources familiar with the situation said to “Today’s News” that Secretary of Defense may send a tribal delegation to negotiate with the insurgents and persuade Jalal Blaidy and insurgents that they need to withdraw from the city of Zanzibar, noting that the tribal delegation failed in his mission to persuade the gunmen to withdraw from the Zanzibar and that the insurgents said that they would step up their operations against the army.

News Yemen Local residents: we saw the insurgents moving into Jaar
Army restores Zanzibar and frees 25 Major Mika
10/09/2011 NewsYemen:

Local residents said city of Zanzibar, in Abyan province to NewsYemen that the forces of the army freed today by members of the Brigade 25 Mika besieged by al-Qaeda members in more than four months, and Zanzibar has cleared of insurgents. (Read on …)

Abyan al Qaeda steal communication equipment?

Filed under: Islamic Imirate, Military, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:20 am on Friday, September 2, 2011

Al Qaeda spying on the Yemeni military with stolen communications equipment is not beyond reason. Maybe its the translation, but the reporter seems in many articles to be extolling AQAP’s military gains.

Yaf3: The source said the gunmen took control of the sensitive devices in the operating rooms Abyan province and the central axis and Security, which saw fully armed confrontations in the past and were taken to unknown destinations, including listening devices and wireless, which enabled them to learn the movements and the Yemeni army units, (Read on …)

Military build up in Dhamar

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

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

The National

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

New Russian arms shipment for Saleh’s forces in Yemen?

Filed under: Military, Proliferation, Protest Fatalities, Russia, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:15 pm on Monday, August 22, 2011

Russia, Yemen’s largest bilateral creditor due to enormous weapons purchases especially the big ticket MIGs, has a vested economic state in the survival of the Saleh regime. Check my category Russia for earlier.

Mareb press

Tribesmen of the revolution – west of the capital Sanaa – were able to prevent the movement of a large force made ​​up of columns of tanks, vehicles and armored trains loaded with weapons and ammunition, which was on its way to the capital Sana’a. The sources said that the convoy is from an arms deals with Russia, which arrived at the port of Hodeidah recently and includes 40 tanks and many other equipment. (Read on …)

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 …)

C-130’s, with wrong coordinates, re-supply AQAP?

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Military, USA, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 2:49 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

Only the US militatry Saudi military will know if this is true but there have been several instances of duplicity by the Saleh regime regarding coordinates: directing the Saudi Air Force to bomb Ali Mohsen’s camp during the Saada War, the awful miss in December 2009, the errant bombing of Sheikh al Shabawni in May 2010, the “near misses” on Awlaki and al Quso, and the state’s own bombing of the tribal force fighting al Qaeda which killed dozens in July. Update: the Jihaddi forums are saying they were Saudi planes and the supplies “blew” over to them, via Critical Threats. Frankly I was hoping it was all anti-Saleh propaganda but now we know AQAP is well stocked.

al Wahdawi: Southern Military Command deliberately gives the wrong coordinates to foreign aircraft that was providing hardware and supplies to the 25th Mechanized Brigade

Confirmed local sources in the city of Zanzibar that four foreign aircraft were carrying supplies to the Brigade 25 Mechanized that is besieged in the capital of Abyan province for two months ago, but instead al Qaeda robbed the load of food, fuel, and other things that was dropped in the area under the control of members of al-Qaeda by the low flying aircraft.

The sources, who declined to reveal their identity and the identity of foreign aircraft said four aircraft type (C-130) were flew to the city of Zanzibar on the evening of 8 August. They were carrying food enough for the military camp for several months, but the Southern Command, led by Maj.Gen. Mahdi Maqualah, Supreme Commander of South Division, gave the aircraft the wrong coordinates to make the cargo delivered into the hands of militants from the al-Qaeda. (Read on …)

The AQAP battle for Shaqra Abyan lasted one hour or several days

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Military, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:11 pm on Thursday, August 18, 2011

In reporting about Yemen, discrepancies abound. Even before the six month revolution, the dictatorship of Ali Abdullah Saleh was a master of propaganda and constructed complex plots to give the west the appearance of reform or counter-terror cooperation when in fact the reverse was true. By the same token, the newspapers associated with opposition parties have a tendency to skew reporting for political advantage.

The news that AQAP, the Yemeni affiliate of al Qaeda, took over a third town in the Abyan province, Shaqra, has inconsistencies, depending on who is reporting it. The Chinese news agency, Xinhua, based on statements from regime officials, is reporting the battle for control of the town lasted days, but multiple Yemeni sites have eyewitnesses who say the military abandoned the town after an hour of light skirmishes amid retreat. China is a prime purchaser of Yemeni oil and has thwarted Security Council statements denouncing the state’s slaughter of Yemeni protesters.

One eyewitness reported to al Teef, an opposition site, that, “I saw them (al Qaeda members) this morning entering the city on the cars owned by the Yemeni army. They were carrying machine guns and RPG’s.”

Yemenis from all walks, from politicians to street vendors, are adamant that in May the Saleh regime relinquished control of Abyan’s capital Zinjibar to Al Qaeda as a foreign policy strategy, -i.e., to pressure the US into supporting the widely reviled dictatorship.

In July, local tribesmen began a counter-offensive against the al Qaeda fanatics, driving them back from several areas. The Yemeni Air Force then bombed tribesmen, killing dozens along with two Yemeni military officers. State officials said it was a mistake, although tribal fighters had notified the Air Force of their position.

My article today at the Yemen Times covers earlier developments but provides a little more background: Al Qaeda in Yemen alienates local jihaddists

Shaqra Abyan falls to militants with little resistance from govt forces: News Yemen

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Military, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 10:56 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

This is what happens when Saleh gets cranky, busy or drunk and exactly why the US can’t rely on the Salehs et al for US national security. The US needs better conduits.

News Yemen: Sharia Ansar militants took control again of the coastal city of Shakra in the Abyan province.
The tribes cleared the city in July from insurgents after fierce battles.

Reuters quoted tribal sources and residents said Wednesday that Islamic militants took control of the coastal town of Shakra in the south of Yemen, which became the third town in their hands (ed-after Znijibar and Jaar.)

The tribal sources said that the government forces offered little resistance. And the militants who the government says are linked to al-Qaeda entered in the town in cars coming from another city they control.

Update: the army fires on the tribesmen, al Teef

Yemen President’s son kills 17 women and children in Arhab; Russian media calls them “al Qaeda”

Filed under: Air strike, Donors, UN, Military, Protest Fatalities, Russia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:20 am on Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Video: Yemeni children in Arhab run for the caves as the bombing starts

Yemen owes Russia hundreds of millions for the same MIGs the regime is using to murder its own citizens. Russia is Yemen’s single largest bi-lateral creditor due to huge weapons purchases; the state is thought to have at least 18 MIGs in inventory. Russia along with China opposes regime change in Yemen and thwarted strong statements in the UN Security Council. Russia is also playing the al Qaeda card, saying the protests are hampering the regime from battling the fanatics.

The Russian article is titled Yemen fights with Al Qaeda: In the early hours of Tuesday, Yemeni forces had a fight with Al Qaeda militants in the region of Arhab in the country’s northeast. Over 20 militants were killed…Yemen’s authorities would have probably fought with Al Qaeda in their country more successfully, if not for the unstable political situation.

CNN: Fighting has been virtually nonstop for the past two months in the Arhab district, 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) northeast of Sanaa, after tribal leaders went against the government claiming that it killed four tribal members in an effort to create unrest in the district.

In the most recent bloodshed on Tuesday, witnesses said civilians comprised most of the dead from air attacks by the Republican Guard. At least 17 of the dead were children and women, they said, while only nine tribal fighters were among the killed.

At least a dozen fighters were injured, witnesses said. At least 45 tanks and armored vehicles were seen entering Arhab villages during early morning Tuesday, tribal leaders in the area said.

There’s a vid on FB that I am trying to get on Youtube of little children running from the bombing to nearby caves. Obviously some didn’t make it.

Saleh objects to restructuring the military prior to the early elections, Updated after Riyadh retro speech

Filed under: GCC, JMP, Military, Post Saleh, Transition, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:05 am on Monday, August 15, 2011

Update: SABA provided a translation of Saleh’s speech to the tribal leaders which indicates that he is back to square one, elections in 2013. Same old rhetoric applied to the new oppositionists: he trashes the youth as Marxists, Royalists seeking to restore the Imamate, and the Taliban. How many times have we heard it before? He accuses the tribal elements of stealing the rev from the youth and says, without a trace of irony, he is committed to a transition of power.


In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

Let me first congratulate you on the occasion of the blessed month of Ramadan. I salute you and pay tribute of respect to you for convening such a conference and I hope that it will conclude with effective decisions and recommendations. I have here with me my brothers parliament speaker Yahya al-Ra’i and prime minister Ali Mohammad Mujawar. They also salute you and salute your conference, which is being held amid dangerous and important circumstances.

We must discuss all the available data, all the events in Yemen, and how to get our country out of the crisis – the crisis which was fabricated by some political forces to reach power. We welcome the opposition and tell them that “you can reach power through ballot boxes, not through coups, statements, denunciation, insults, or irresponsible speeches.” (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.

After Obama exempts Yemen from child soldier funding restrictions, regime recruits more child soliders

Filed under: Children, Military, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:03 pm on Monday, August 8, 2011

Military recruiting up including among children

FPB: the Defense Minister decided a few months ago to reopen the door of its training camps, hoping that the promises of a steady income and a state pension would encourage many Yemenis to sign up. Officers close to defected General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar are saying that al-Islah and the 1st Armored Division are also following suit, trying to enroll more men to their cause, promising them a resemblance of financial security.
In a country where over 40% of the population is out of work, finding a government job is pretty much what everyone is after. Although the salaries are no more than 25,000 YER, about $110, many are attracted by the guarantee of a lifetime income.

And if this tactic is pretty much “old school” when it comes to the military, a worrying trend is starting to emerge, as many of the new recruits are actually children.

Blast from the past: 10/25/10 Obama decides US National Security requires us to overlook the large percentage of child soldiers in the Yemeni military so we can keep funding the Saleh regime which months later recruits more child soldiers and commits overt massacres.

White By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, pursuant to section 404(c) of the Child Soldiers Prevention Act of 2008 (CSPA), title IV of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110 457), I hereby determine that it is in the national interest of the United States to waive the application to Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, and Yemen of the prohibition in section 404(a) of the CSPA.

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.

US Asst Sec Def in Sanaa, Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, USA, War Crimes, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 7:35 pm on Thursday, August 4, 2011

I hope Panetta’s message to the Saleh regime was: if you keep bombing civilians, we’re going to take out the air force, including the Hueys.

US official in Yemen for military talks
Friday, 05-August-2011, Saba – Sana’a-Chief of General Staff, Major General Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal met on Thursday US Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael G. Vickers.

During the meeting, al-Ashwal and Vickers discussed aspects of mutual relations and military cooperation between the two friendly countries’ armies and ways of boosting them, particularly their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and the areas of training and rehabilitation.

The US official praised the efforts made by Yemen in the fight against terrorism. He expressed his country’s position in support of Yemen’s unity, security and stability.

Sheikh beheaded in Yemen following MIGs “accidental” friendly fire? Updated

Filed under: Abyan, Air strike, Counter-terror, Islamic Imirate, Military, Tribes, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:03 pm on Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The tribes fighting al Qaeda in Abyan in support of the 25th Mechanized Brigade were bombed by the state in “accidental (MA)” friendly fire after they drove al Qaeda from Zinjibar and were chasing them down the road. The AQAP counter-offensive occurred in the evening following the state’s bombing the tribesmen, which killed and injured dozens, about 10 km from Zinjiba. The name of the victim beheaded is Sheikh Abdel Mon’em Mohammed Nasser Nakha’i, the Sheikh of all Sheikhs of the Nakhee tribe of the Fahdl clan. Six tribesmen are still unaccounted for.

Several news sites reported the incident, and there was one denial by a purported fellow tribesman on Facebook who said the Sheikh died of three gunshots and was buried in his home town, Amshal. Generally in Yemen, the brutality of the state outpaces that of al Qaeda, for example Ahmed Saleh’s soldiers mutilating tribesmen bodies in Arhab, but this is egregious.

The report from Yaf3 Press hold the government as well as AQAP responsible: “This crime was indicted by a tribal to the security authorities and the Yemeni regime as a major crime joint between Sana’a authority and armed groups (suspected of al-Qaeda) committed against Sheikh Abdel Mon’em Mohammed Nasser Al Nakha’i the sheikh of sheikhs Nakha’i tribe one of the most important and largest tribes of Al-Fadl.” Others hold the Saleh’s plain clothes operatives responsible, and following what happened in Arhab, corpse mutilation, this is also a fair assessment.

Yaf3 Press: Sheikh Nakha’i found slaughtered from vein to vein in common crime and a vehicle in the right. (Read on …)

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.

Tribesmen, retired southern military who drove al Qaeda from areas in Abyan withdraw

Filed under: Abyan, Islamic Imirate, Military, South Yemen, Yemen's Lies, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 1:29 pm on Sunday, July 24, 2011

What did I say from day 1: the most effective force in the south against al Qaeda is going to be the retired southern (PDRY) military/ tribes because a) they have military training b) they know the lay of the land c) they are against al Qaeda firmly d) they are not connected to Saleh’s regime e) they respect human rights and are concerned for the welfare of the locals. But no, no one from the international community can talk to the southerners, the real southerners, because they want an independent state.

Anyway the retired southern military and tribesmen that drove out al Qaeda from areas of Abyan are now withdrawing because the regime is trying to use them politically, for propaganda, and its just not happening. The media stories that the Yemeni military forced the withdrawal of al Qaeda in some areas are incorrect; according to everything I’m seeing it was the southerners.

The following is google translated from Yafi Press but we have essentially the same story here from al Teef: Withdrew this afternoon, hundreds of tribesmen who had taken over the past few weeks the areas controlled by al Qaeda to the east of Zanzibar to protest the military leaders loyal to the regime of President Abdullah Saleh of Yemen to pay dozens of elements affiliated to these areas.

Yafi Press: He said the activist, a former military commander of the Army (South) Republic of Yemen People’s Democratic Republic, which united with North Yemen in 1990, said “We have confirmed through our presence among the tribes show that we are the leaders of military-trained and have experience in the topography of our land, we do not want the supervision of a not of the power system not from the opposition and brought us out of our homes to fight these battles but jealousy on our province handed over by soldiers into the hands of the Yemeni regime of these groups simply to leave the capital of our province a battleground between the poles of this dying regime (Read on …)

Second car bombing this week in Aden Yemen, a frequent AQAP tactic

Filed under: Aden, Counter-terror, Military, UK, security timeline, suicide attacks — by Jane Novak at 11:52 am on Sunday, July 24, 2011

Wednesday a British worker was killed when his car exploded in a terror attack and today, Sunday, a car bomb rammed a military convoy, killing 8. There were many messages of outrage and condolences posted by Yemenis regarding the murder of the British national. Car bombings are a hallmark of the so called AQAP: the tactic was used in the attacks on two oil facilities in September 2006, on tourists in Marib were killed in July 2007, in the bombing at the Sayoun police station in July 2008. The September US embassy attack also included car bombs, as did the suicide attack on a Zaidi religious procession organized by the Houthis in November 2010 which killed 17. That’s off the top of my head. (Yemen released those murderers responsible for training the driver who carried out the 2007 car bombing which killed two Spanish tourists in Marib after two years in jail, if they even served that much time.)

On Wednesday, a car bomb killed David Tom, David Mockett who worked as a marine surveyer through his office in Al-Mualla St, detonated when he left his office. It was followed by an attack today on a military convoy.

Yemen Post An explosive-laden car was rammed into a military convoy on Sunday morning in Yemen’s business capital Aden killing at least six people including soldiers and the attacker, eyewitnesses were quoted as saying.

Almost twenty others were injured, the website said, quoting medical sources as saying that the death toll is likely to rise.

The suicide attack took place near an air force camp in Al-Mansoura district while it was heading to Abyan province, where the army has been fighting Islamists for almost two months, it quoted military sources as saying.

Ali Mohsen tells CNN that all Yemenis accept the GCC proposal

Filed under: Military, Post Saleh, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:43 am on Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Saleh has been incapacitated for 33 days and therefore is no longer president per the Yemeni constitution. That’s it, its over. The US and EU have been doggedly promoting the line about following the Yemeni constitution (although the Saleh regime never followed it before). Ergo, the international community must recognize the final and irrevocable end of Saleh’s 33 year presidency, a far shorter stretch than recognizing the Libyan rebels as the authority in Libya. Ali Mohsen says all people accept the GCC proposal and Hadi’s authority, however the protesters are still demanding a transition council. The good news is Nick Robinson is in Yemen.

CNN Exclusive: Yemen’s opposition general

Sana’a, Yemen (CNN) — CNN’s senior international correspondent Nic Robertson obtained an exclusive interview with the leading opposition figure in Yemen, General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmer. He defected from the government in March. The interview took place in Yemen’s capital Sana’a on July 3.

Robertson: General, the vice president says that President [Ali Abdullah] Saleh can stay in power until a new president is elected and that could take six months, maybe more. Is that acceptable?

Al-Ahmer: The general public in Yemen are seeking a transfer of power to the vice president — the way it was stipulated in the constitution and the Gulf Cooperation Council proposal. This is the general demand. (Read on …)

Defense Ministry abandons soldiers, 50 missing

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Military, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 10:10 am on Sunday, July 3, 2011

Not unusual, a unit was left surrounded during the Saada War for six weeks until the soldiers called local media. Its important to recall the Defense Minister hinself was the one who engaged in the hiring of the jihaddists during the battle of Jaar in 09. Meanwhile Tariq al Fahdli is calling for negotiations, no prob I’m sure as US policy now includes negotiating with the Taliban.

Yemen Online: Fifty Yemeni troops have been posted as missing after clashes with militants around the southern city of Zinjibar, a commander said on Saturday, accusing top brass of abandoning them to al Qaeda.

“We have lost all trace of 50 soldiers after an attack by al Qaeda elements enabled them to recapture control of the al Wahda stadium” outside Zinjibar, the commander serving with the 25th Mechanised Brigade told AFP on condition of anonymity.

He was unable to specify whether the troops had been killed, captured or deserted in the battle for the stadium which the army had recaptured from the militants only Friday.

The commander accused the defence ministry of abandoning the brigade’s soldiers to their fate in the face of repeated attacks by the militants of the Partisans of Sharia movement who seized much of Zinjibar in late May. (Read on …)

Security committees in Aden

Filed under: Aden, Military, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:13 am on Sunday, June 26, 2011

Popular committees are being formed in Aden because the regime’s forces are contributing to the lawlessness and assassinations. Having the military unit physically walk over the mutinous soldiers at Anad military base is a common practice.

And our sources said: that the situation in Aden heading towards the escalation of lawlessness due to intentional youth revolution has begun the start of the revolution through the will of the people’s committees to maintain security in the city of Aden, (Read on …)

Local reports from Abyan, Yemen indicate Nabi directed by presidential son, Ahmed Saleh; new training camp

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Military, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:40 pm on Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The group of state jihaddists in Abyan is headed by Khalidabdul Nabi. Nabi has very strong links to the National Security and regularly works as a mercenary according to other jihaddists, prominent politicians, activists, Yemeni political analysts, local witnesses and all known open source documentation, his own interviews and history going back a decade. The al Qaeda uprising in Abyan is directed and funded by Yemeni counter-terror chiefs, Ammar Ali Saleh and Ahmed Ali Saleh. This new reporting dovetails with the earlier report by Abdullah al Asnag which found that many of the supposed jihaddists are members of the National Security.

Ammar, the de facto head of the Yemeni National Security, was injured in an “auto accident” last Wednesday and taken to al Urdy mil camp hospital. He reportedly has a serious head injury.

One local observer reports the sequence of events as follows: the terrorist group in Abyan is a combination of Ahmed Ali and Amar Ali’s al Qaeda forces plus al Zindani’s jihaddi forces and some of Ali Mohsen’s al Qaeda force; this grouping of so-called “al Qaeda” was attacked (and partially defeated) by the defected military coalition led by General Fisal Ragab along with locals. A division of the army under Ali Mohsen’s command is currently engaged in the battle against militants in the provincial capital of Zinjibar, “to show America that we are serious in the fight against Al Qaeda,” said his spokesman, Abdulghani al-Shumeeri.Then General Ragab’s force, after engaging the militants, was attacked by the government’s military force, naval and air, and the National Security, prompting the withdrawal of Ragab’s forces. The state forces attacked the defected military and southern forces which earlier attacked the “al Qaeda” militants in Zinjibar. ( Video 6/6/11 in Zinjibar shows several dead soldiers lying in the street but its unclear which side they were on.)

New training camp: Witnesses have reported activity at Qauarir Mountain at Moalla, Aden by the al Zindani jihaddi force, where they started some sort of training comp with the knowledge of the government. The phrase “al Zindani jihaddists” is used by many in the south and I am not clear if they are referring to al Iman students or the old school remnants of the Abyan Aden Islamic Army or a combination of both. However through the years there have been several credible reports of new training camps established in the south under the noses (and with the aid of) of the state security forces. Another state operated al Qaeda camp is in wadi Abu Jubarah in Saada.

The real AQAP, al Qaeda of al Wahishi, Awlaki and al Reimi is distinct and, according to some, hasn’t moved, although this interview indicates indicates Awlaki left Shibuya on orders from the authorities, probably right before the US air strike.

AQAP has not disowned the actions of the state jihaddists, as usual, likely because the retention of Saleh is in AQAP’s interests as well. Several terror incidents in the last years were attributed to al Qaeda but likely were false flag operations, carried out by state jihaddists under the supervision of the Yemeni security/intelligence including attacks on foreign nationals.

Meanwhile the residents are paying the price of the these games, with large numbers of citizens displaced from Zinjibar and al Hota. Some men have stayed behind to protect their homes. Photos and video here of the aftermath of the bombing in Ja’ar. AFP reports Yemeni government statements on the battles, over 100 military deaths, an army pull back, as well as missed airstrikes, destroyed homes and civilian casualties since hostilities began three weeks ago.

Medical sources say most of the 200 non-military killed were residents, not militants and not al Qaeda, the National ;

Government raids and US drone attacks in Yemen are focusing on Islamic militant targets in Abyan province, ignoring the more dangerous Al Qaeda stronghold of Shabwa province, a senior defence ministry official said yesterday.

Among the targets has been the Jaar farm of Khaled Abdul Nabi, considered one of the most powerful Islamic militants in Yemen since the early 1990s, according to the interior ministry.

“More than 85 per cent of the fighters killed in Abyan over the last three weeks have not been Al Qaeda members. Militants in Abyan and other areas in the south are well-known Jihadists, but we cannot prove their links to Al Qaeda,” said the official. Last week, the interior ministry said it arrested 10 militants in Aden believed to be fighters with links to Mr Nabi. Qasem Bin Hadi, head of security in Zinjibar, Abyan, said that the majority of the militants killed were terrorists.

“Who said that only Al Qaeda is a terrorist group in Yemen? These militants are causing as much problems for Yemen as Al Qaeda,” Mr Hadi said, adding that Abyan has turned into a ghost town and that clashes between government forces and militants are non-stop.

Organizing committee attacks independent protesters in Yemen

Filed under: Military, VP, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 12:44 pm on Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Organizing Committee is associated with the JMP and Islah in particular, and the First Armored Division of Ali Mohsen. When the protesters attempted to march to VP Hadi’s compound, they were obstructed by the FAD and several scuffles ensued. Many were shocked that the protesters’ supposed protectors were attacked them. (Mohsen is also big on immunity for Saleh, and therefore himself, for prior war crimes.) This was the incident when al Khaiwani was accosted. In several later incidents, members of the Organizing Committee attacked protesters in various locations. There’s several videos of the confrontations. The Civil Coalition and the CCYRC are both independent distinct entities from the Organizing Committee. The following article is from the Yemen Times.

Youth protesters attacked by Islah members in Change Square

SANA’A, June 15 — Violence against independent youth protesters increased this week with both the first armored division and members of the Islah Party attempting to disrupt a march by youth against the acting president’s house. (Read on …)

More weapons distributed by Saleh loyalist officials

Filed under: Military, Post Saleh, Proliferation, Yemen, state jihaddists, terror financing — by Jane Novak at 4:03 pm on Sunday, June 12, 2011

A lot of the weapons will likely be sold into the black market for food money. The weapons were destined for the military but they were diverted to para-military forces.

Al Sahwa

Sahwa Net- The commander of the Air Forces Mohammad Saleh Al-Ahmar has distributed 13500 pieces for thugs, loyal to the regime, well-informed sources told Sahwa Net. The sources affirmed that Al-Ahmar, half-brother of President Ali Abdullah Saleh, was supposed to distribute 25,000 pieces of AK-47 to arm soldiers and officers of the Air Forces, but that did not happen.

They affirmed that some officers of the Air Forces held a meeting with Al-Ahmrar a week ago and they were promised to receive the weapons, but his promises has not been fulfilled. Meanwhile, dozens of the Air Forces’ officials carried out last week an open strike, demanding to have their financial dues.

Al Qaeda operative Amar al Waeli killed in Abyan, Yemen?

Filed under: Abyan, Marib, Military, Security Forces, Yemen's Lies, obits, personalities, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:10 am on Friday, June 10, 2011

To my recollection, a search here on Ammar al Waeli will likely lead to the following history. Al Waeli was the subject of a 2002 FBI seeking info alert generated by an associate of Fawaz al Rabie, killed in 2006. Al Waeli was seen by eyewitnesses on a rooftop in Saada City exhorting residents against the Houthis during the sixth war (2010) while Ali Mohsen’s troops chewed qat. Al Waeli was also involved in the 2009 plot against Saudi CT chief Prince Naif along with Naif al Qatahani. Al Waeli, along with Hamza al Dyanai was allegedly instrumental in the 2007 murder of eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis in Marib in a suicide bombing by the (also deceased) Hamza al Qaiti group.

Al Waeli was convicted on terror charges in March. My assumption at the time was he was tried in absentia although the Saleh regime didn’t mention that part. Now in theory he is killed exiting Zinjibar, echoing some southerners reports of the RG attacking fleeing residents. Just keep in mind, Qasim al Reimi was reported dead three times by the Saleh regime. Al Waeli was also reported as killed in Jan 2010. Its important to note that different aspects of the Yemeni regime have relations with different groups of jihaddist mercenaries or state jihaddists as I call them, like al Nabi.

The Jaber al Shabwanis are possibly relatives but certainly tribesmen of the tribal sheik/assistant governor of Marib Jaber al Shabwani who was killed in an errant air strike (by who is still a question, in Marib some insist it was a Yemeni plane) as he was en route to negotiate al Qaeda surrenders. Ali Mohsen said recently Saleh orchestrated the hit on Sheik Shabwani. The sheik was the brother of Ayyed al Shabwani, a know al Qaeda operative.

al Motamar

The source made clear that a number of the organisation leaderships and its dangerous elements have been killed in qualitative operations by army men from brigade 201 and mechanized brigade 35 while those elements were fleeing Zanjibar city.

The source added that the operations led to the killing of terrorist Amar Abada al-Waeli, one of the most dangerous leaders of al-Qaeda organisation and with him seven other elements in addition to killing the terrorist Abu Ali al-Harithi , a leading element in Shabwa province , terrorist Abu Ayman al-Masri , media official in the organisation , terrorist Ali Saleh Farhan ‘amir of the organisation in Mareb province an a number of terrorist elements that came from Mareb province , among them the terrorist Mabkhout Ali Jaber al-Shuwani and wounding his brother Fahad Ali Jaber al-Shuwani .

Jordan shipping South African armored carriers to Yemen?

Filed under: Military, Other Countries, Proliferation, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 8:00 am on Thursday, June 9, 2011

There are many ways to skin a cat apparently. In 2010, South Africa sold about R 8.3 million or over 1 million dollars in weapons to Yemen. However no Ratel armored vehicles were sold. Ratel vehicles shown in Yemen in pictures by Reuters show the pro-change or defected military in possession of them currently. The armored carriers were likely shipped to Yemen in violation of their end use certificates. They appear to be converted versions of the South African Ratel carrier produced in Jordan by the Paramount Group, in co-operation with the King Abdullah Design and Development Bureau (KADDB). Additionally, Saleh opened his own bullet and tank factories in the last few years.


CAPE TOWN — South African- manufactured Ratel armoured infantry carriers have been photographed in strife-torn Yemen, leading the Democratic Alliance (DA) to call for an investigation by the National Conventional Arms Control Committee (NCACC).

The Ratels were apparently being operated in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, by soldiers who had defected to protesters demanding the end of President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s rule.

The presence of the vehicles either means SA authorised their export or that another country sold Ratels to Yemen, which would constitution a violation of the end- user certificate. (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 …)

Rebel military fighting “al Qaeda” in Abyan, Yemen (not Saleh’s forces)

Filed under: Abyan, Military, other jihaddists, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:12 am on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Its General Aliwa and the other high level military commanders who defected from Saleh’s army who are coordinating the engagement of the militants in Abyan. The pro-change military are trying to restore stability in Abyan in the security vacuum that arose after Saleh withdrew forces. Possibly another goal is to burnish their CT credentials and commitment, however the western media is reporting it all wrong. The following article outlines the structure and intentions of the defected military commanders. The forces loyal to Saleh are now primarily the Republican Guard, headed by presidential son Ahmed Saleh, which are staking out the palaces in the main cities; some RG units are locked down in their camps in other regions by locals. However there have been high level as well as low level defections from the RG. The residents displaced by the militants’ take-over exceed the 20,000 estimated by the UN; some are living in schools in Aden.

Rebel soldiers engage Abyan militants, Yemen Times: SANA’A, June 1 — The Yemeni army has continued its military operations against armed Islamists in Zinjibar, the capital of the Abyan Governorate, where the alleged members of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula took control of the city last Saturday amidst local suspicion that Saleh was responsible of handing over the area to such “terrorist groups”.

Defected military generals issued their first statement on Sunday stating, “Saleh is trying to divide the military forces in Yemen by leaving Abyan governorate to terrorists and to scream about the Al-Qaeda threat to the international community, with the aim of quelling the popular uprisings demanding Saleh’s departure.”

General Abdullah Ali Aliwa, former Minister of Defense, Major Hussein Arab, former Minister of Interior, Major General Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, commanders of Yemen’s northwestern region and General Mohamed Ali Mohsen, leader of the eastern area were the top defected military figures who signed the statement.

They vowed, “We will not let Saleh use the army to achieve his ill-dream and will pay for his malfeasance.”

They also called on their colleagues who are still loyal to Saleh to join them for “the best for their nation.”

Saleh’s media sources say that the Islamists who took over Abyan are “members of Al-Qaeda and they benefit from any instability to establish their Islamic state.”

However until now, the armed groups have not yet unveiled their identity. They currently occupy two governmental buildings and carry out raids on security headquarters, targeting soldiers coming from other camps to fight against them.

Dictator’s forces kill four, shoot 90 in Taiz, Update artillery fired on protesters, Update 2: ongoing, tents burnt, corpses stolen, injured trapped

Filed under: Abyan, Military, Protest Fatalities, Security Forces, Taiz, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:30 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011

51, the deaths so far are tallied at 51, but many corpses and injured were kidnapped by the security forces. The water cannons shot petrol or gas on the protesters tents at 3 am while they were still inside, many burned. Charred bodies of children and the disabled were discovered this morning. Details and sniper videos below the fold.

Summary from the YT:Taiz, May 30 – A group of security force soldiers have raided the protest camp in the heart of Taiz city, known as the “Freedom Square”, at 3:00 AM on Sunday, 30 May, killing dozens of people and injuring others.

The loyalist soldiers attacked the square from all directions and gunmen in police and plain clothes shoot at protesters from the roofs of surrounding buildings. (Read on …)

Pro-Change Military in Yemen accuses Saleh of handing Abyan to terrorists

Filed under: Abyan, Military, protest statements, reconfigurations, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:30 pm on Sunday, May 29, 2011

This is why I have a category “state jihaddists.”

Update with English subtitles:

Al Masdar: The leadership of the armed forces in support of peaceful popular revolution in Yemen Statement No. 1, followed by Major General Abdullah Ali Elewa and former Secretary of Defense (Read on …)

Tribal attacks on Yemeni military forces, ongoing updates

Filed under: Military, Protest Fatalities, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:32 am on Friday, May 27, 2011

Summary: there is no civil war in Yemen or even the immediate prospect of one; the Bakil and Hashid tribes are on the same side against Saleh. Bakil tribesmen took over one of the largest Republican Guard bases, Salah has been shelling their villages for six hours in Nehm, Sanaa. AQAP did not take over Abyan. As it looks at the moment, state jihaddists were given the green light by the National Security to burn the bank in Zanzibar. The danger is of Saleh shelling.

Original: Maybe I’m jaded from all the years of the bloody Saada War, but what’s going on today seems rather controlled. Yemeni tribes in various locations are attacking the Republican Guard, and there’s no civilians in the middle. Only the state forces will deliberately or indiscriminately attack civilians; the tribes will make efforts to avoid them. The danger is not civil war but indiscriminate bombing by the Yemeni Air force. The more Saleh bombs, the less likely civil war becomes. The military capacity of Yemeni tribesmen is substantial. To follow are loose reports from multiple sources; check back for updates.

Sanaa City- Yemen Post reports no clashes overnight. Huge anti-government protests, the 16th Friday of the rev, but no protest by Saleh supporters; attack on mediators caused a significant peel away. 24 hour truce in effect after mediation, security taking potshots but al Ahmar forces not responding.

In speech at protest, Sadiq al Ahmar says mediation is ongoing and he fully backs the peaceful protest movement. Al-Ahmar told protesters in At-Taghir, “We are now in mediation and there has been a ceasefire between the two sides. But if Ali Abdullah Saleh returns (to fighting) then we are ready. We are steadfast and victorious. We wanted it (revolution) to be peaceful but Saleh, his sons and his clique wanted war. We will not leave them the opportunity to turn it into a civil war.”

Some Islahis agitating to take up arms but most protesters remain committed to a peaceful rev, and a (non-partisan) civil coalition moved to an adjacent site.

Info Min: eight ministries are in hands of the Al Ahmar forces.

*Saleh forces lose or give up 5 compounds in Ammeran, Arhab, Nahim and other areas around Sanaa. 10 am EST

Context: Backgrounder on the al Ahmar bros by at BBC by Ginny Hill .

Nehm, Sanaa north of Sanaa- 12 dead (5 tribesmen, 7 RG), dozens injured in fighting a/o 8:30 est. Three military units surrender. Commander of the RG 26 Brigade was killed *in helicopter crash. Retaliatory MIG 29 air strikes ongoing for six hours. RG 26 Brigade regional HQ w/ oversees Sanaa, al Jawf and Marib. *According to tribesmen, the camp contains a large arsenal of military tanks, armored vehicles, missiles, Katyusha rockets, in addition to a huge stockpile of ammunition and military equipment.

Tribe confiscates 3 helicopters. For more details, including helicopter crash, paratrooper fail and death of commander, see Mareb press. *Tribes retaliated after helicopters bombed villagers houses near a military position.

CNN: Defense Min official: 7 Air Force bombers deployed to Nehm, where 2 military compounds were overtaken by tribal fighters.

Locals to Marebpress : Two of the pilots who landed with their planes in Nahm refused to fire & now they are our guests

Context: Nehm tribes attacked RG in revenge for the death of mediator Mohammed Abulhoom at the compound of Sadiq al Ahmar. Nehm are of the Bakil tribal confederation, the largest in Yemen, although the Hasid confederation more politically powerful. The RG is under the command of Ahmed, Saleh’s son. This is one of the largest RG compounds in Yemen.

US delivered four Hueys to Yemen 2/2/11.

Nehm tribe on 5/13 took tanks from 101 Infantry Brigade when they tried to redeploy to Hadramout. Nehm and al Haima were bombed on 5/16 in retaliation. See al Tagheer’s article today for more on the Nehm locking down the RG for several weeks.

Arhab, Sanaa- fighting yesterday between tribesmen and RG, RG defeated or set back. Six people killed in clashes Wednesday, when fighters tried to prevent security officers from leaving two bases in Arhab to reinforce government troops in the capital, about 20 miles away.

Context: tribesmen across Yemen have repeatedly prevented the RG from redeploying to Sanaa and other protest sites from various bases. Arhab is the home of Abdulmagid al Zindani, longtime Saleh loyallist recently an oppositionist, and was the location of one of the US airstrikes targeting al Qaeda in December. I wrote about it years ago as a way station for al Qaeda training, under Saleh’s protection. Also home to Abdulelah Haider Shayer, al Zindani’s brother in law and close associate of Awlaki, who is currently in jail.

Amran- Under al Ahmar control, tribe has 600 pick-ups

Taiz- many citizens came from outlying areas to join today’s protests

Abyan- falling to tribesmen, Yemeni air force retaliates. Alnajda camp fell to armed men, ongoing fighting for control of the military brigade stationed in Abyan city.

Looting: “Scores of deaths in clashes in Zanzibar and Abyan. Military aircraft bombed a mountain about an hour before Khanfar Bdjaar with two missiles. Loose security is unprecedented in the Abyan and looted the central bank and mail in Zanzibar and Ahrachma and fomenting strife there in order to start a civil war.” See photo below.

*Alsahwa net: National Security director coordinates with militants to create chaos in Abyan and AQAP fears in west: “Saleh hands over areas of Abyan to gunmen, saying they are al Qaeda, and this delivery is under the supervision of the director of the National Security.”

al Masdar: militants burn bank, buildings in Zanzibar with no intervention from nearby military units. Residents accuse regime of complicity as Saleh fulfills his promise that Abyan will fall to terrorists.

Context: The state withdrew some military forces weeks ago, the day before the awful explosion at the ammo dump. An online statement from AQAP today regarding Abyan should be taken with a grain of salt. Salah has online stooges in FB, twitter, blogs and for sure in the jihaddis forums. Saleh also has loyalist jihaddists like al Nabi and Sami Dhayan who do his dirty work for money.

al Jawf- heavy clashes reported between al Houthis and tribesmen ongoing for weeks

Lahj- Habalean held a march and protest Thursday. The normally scheduled “prisoners day” protest by the southern independence movement commemorated the fallen, with many speakers and poetry.

Ibb- Huge anti-government protest Vid here

Hadramout- pro-independence protest, “prisoners day,” from the looks of the photos, a significant crowd attended

Marib- state reconnects electrical line, power restored to many part of Yemen.

Al-Baydah- Massive marches

Saada-Hundreds of thousands of Saada province in a massive march confirms the meanings of national cohesion, vids:






International- G8 condemns violence against protesters and says Saleh needs to go immediately. Protest today at UN in NY, joint Syrian, Yemeni pro-democracy.

Comic relief: even UBL thought Awlaki is an idiot. Documents indicate UBL was in direct contact with Attiyatullah al-Libi and dismissed Awlaki as AQ leader in Yemen, ie-AQAP wanted to name him as head and UBL nixed it.

Australian: Bin Laden’s Yemeni wife tipped off the US or was tracked, older wives accuse. “The joke in Pakistan is that Bin Laden called in his location to CIA because he was being driven mad cooped up for five years with so many wives and children.”

Abyan National Bank

Saleh orchestrated drone attack on Sheikh Shabwani: Mohsen

Filed under: Air strike, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, Tribes, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, protest statements, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 2:18 pm on Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Saleh regime topple watch has begun: Tomorrow’s Friday pro-Saleh rally has been canceled and no Saleh speech either. Republican Guard commander defected and called to the troops to join the protests. Tribal mediators working on exit for Saleh after tribes declared Saleh’s blood is free. Tomorrow will be the 16th week of peaceful protests in Yemen, and likely see the largest yet.

Original: After Sheikh Sadiq al Ahmar said today Saleh is leaving Yemen barefoot, Ali Mohsen al Ahmar says Saleh doens’t even have a fig leaf to cover himself with. At Mareb Press Ali Mohsen also said in an interview that Saleh orchestrated the assassination of Sheikh Shabwani in Marib who was thought killed by a US drone. Maybe Saleh deliberately misled the US, like when Saleh gave the Saudi Air Force the coordinates Ali Mohsen’s camp as a Houthi compound. I hope Mohsen keeps talking.

Revealed Mohsen that President Saleh is behind the machinations of the events of the stone that targeted elders Taiz and it is who is behind the events of 13 January 1986 that led to the fighting between factions of the Socialist Party, said: “This feline is raised Vtantha and fueled its horrors among our fellow members of the Socialist , a mastermind of the assassination of Sheikh Jaber Shabwani who sent in the mediation of Marib. “

Saleh really has a long history of killing or jailing mediators. Update: Another phenomenal post in the Trench, small teaser:

This dependency encouraged his bad behavior, antagonized Yemen’s populace, accelerated the revolution, and expanded AQAP’s area of operations. (Read on …)

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 …)

Yemen to deploy cadets to protest sites, will use force

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 1:03 pm on Monday, May 16, 2011

Not mincing any words, Saleh is basically promising a bloodbath while justifying the use of students as enforcers. He must be short on military, tribesmen and jihaddists.

SANA’A, May 16 (Saba) – A security source has said that various security agencies will take drastic steps to strengthen security measures and restore the prestige of the state throughout Yemen.

In a statement to, the source added that a security plan will be implemented in cooperation and coordination with the various security agencies to redeploy security forces in areas of unrest.

“The students of military and security academies will go down to the streets and security posts to contribute to promoting security and stability and protecting social peace”.

The source noted that the security forces will not hesitate to use force to restore their prestige if the elements that are against the law and constitutional legitimacy go too far and commit any acts that would harm the security of the homeland and the citizens, as it is a national duty that makes it imperative for the security services to deter anyone who is tempted to try to disturb the tranquility of the community.

HOOD publishes documents re US shipment of weapons 1/17/11 for CT

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Security Forces, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 1:14 pm on Sunday, May 15, 2011

Yemen has its own wikileaks type of thing going on with numerous documents from the interior ministry and other officials published recently. This is another that outlines a shipment of weapons for CT when its known to the US government that Yemen has repeatedly and systematically diverted weapons and US trained units to use against its domestic enemies, whether in Saada or the south. In February, the US suspended the first installment of new mil aid after the state began murdering its own citizens.
Hood’s website is

al Masdar And distributed the National Organization for Defending Rights and Freedoms “HOOD” documents reveal the existence of a modern security cooperation relationship between the U.S. and Yemeni security is believed to be linked to the suppression of protests, which calls for ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

جاء ذلك في مؤتمر صحفي عقدته صباح اليوم الأحد في ساحة التغيير بصنعاء. This came at a press conference Sunday morning in the courtyard of the change in Sanaa. ونصت إحدى الوثائق المنسوبة إلى ويليام موني (عقيد في الجيش الأمريكي، وأعلى مسئول عسكري أمريكي في اليمن، والملحق الأمريكي بالسفارة في صنعاء) بتاريخ 17يناير 2011م، وتحمل رقم 252 موجهة إلى وزير الداخلية اليمني مطهر رشاد المصري “بأن طائرة عسكرية أمريكية سوف تصل إلى اليمن حيث ستنقل هذه الطائرة معدات لقوات العمليات الخاصة اليمنية وقوات الأمن المركزي – وحدة مكافحة الإرهاب”. And provided one of the documents attributed to William Mooney (a colonel in the U.S. Army, and the top U.S. military official in Yemen, and supplement the U.S. embassy in Sanaa) on January 17, 2011, carrying 252 addressed to the Yemeni Interior Minister Mutahar Rashad al-Masri, “that a U.S. military plane will arrive to Yemen where the plane will carry the equipment for special operations forces of Yemen and the Central Security Forces – and counter-terrorism unit. ” ومن المفترض أنها وصلت إلى مطار صنعاء الدولي في 19يناير 2011م It is assumed that they arrived at Sana’a International Airport in January 19, 2011

وتتألف الشحنة من آر بي جي7 وقاذفات لقوات العمليات الخاصة ومؤشرات الخطر وذخائر دخانية وحزم أسلحة خفيفة وصمام أمان لقوات الأمن المركزي – وحدات مكافحة الإرهاب. The shipment consists of RPG-7 launchers and special operations forces and indicators of risk and ammunition, smoke and light weapons and packs a safety valve for the Central Security Forces – and anti-terrorism units. بحسبما جاء في رسالة الضابط الأمريكي. As they have stated in the message the American officer.

ويقول العقيد ويليام في رسالته للواء المصري إن “كل هذا المعدات سيتم شحنها جوا مباشرة إلى مطار صنعاء الدولي وعلى ممثلي قوات الأمن المركزي وقوات العمليات الخاصة استلام تلك المعدات”. According to Colonel William in his letter to the Egyptian brigade “All this equipment will be shipped by air directly to the Sana’a International Airport and to the representatives of the Central Security Forces and Special Operations Forces to receive such equipment.”

ah a translation

U.S. Embassy
Office of Military Cooperation
Sana’a – Yemen
January 17, 2011
(Read on …)

Saleh refuses to resign, reinforces troops, urges shooting protesters

Filed under: GCC, Military, Presidency, Yemen, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Friday, May 13, 2011

26 Sept: Yemen welcomes Qatar’s withdrawal from GCC initiative after trashing them last week.

SANAA, May 12 (Xinhua) Yemen’s Defense Ministry on Thursday warned the security forces not “hesitate to take up arms to restore stability and deter lawless protesters of the opposition from committing riots.” In a statement posted on its website, the ministry also said the security agencies would implement a series of measures to step up reinforcements across unrest-infested major provinces to strengthen security and protect government interests.”

Yemen’s Saleh rejects US calls for quick transition

AFP: SANAA — Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh vowed on Friday to stay on and defend his people “by all means” after the US insisted he agree to a transition plan “now” and end months of political violence. (Read on …)

Child soldiers in Yemen

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Demographics, Donors, UN, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:54 pm on Thursday, May 12, 2011

Beeb: The UN has added two groups in Yemen and two in Iraq to its annual list of those recruiting or abusing children during armed conflicts.

During Yemen’s recent civil war, as many as 15% of the pro-government militia and 20% of the Huthi rebels were made up of children, the UN says.

Even though that conflict was now over, nobody knew where the children were, said a UN special representative.

The annual report said children were involved in warfare in 22 countries.

“2010 proved another tragic year for children in conflicts all over the world,” said Radhika Coomaraswamy, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Children and Armed Conflict

Hajja: Governor and Local Council Sec Gen dispute over weapons, funds

Filed under: GPC, Hajjah, Local gov, Military, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:14 am on Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bickering over weapons, al Sahwa publishes another official document. This one is written by Rashad AL-Alimi to the governor of Hajja instructing him of Saleh’s order to stop (fire, arrest?) the secretary general of the local council. There is a conflict between the governor and LC SG on how to divide the weapons and money (100M SR) that Saleh distributed to his loyalists, GPC members and thugs in Hajja. As Saleh is giving out guns, some are selling them for food money.

If Saleh is arming the GPC, then its unlikely he intends to resign.

Gen. Ali Mohsen training and arming Al Iman Univ students

Filed under: Education, Military, Yemen, reconfigurations, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:54 pm on Wednesday, May 4, 2011

An unfortunate counterpart to my earlier post about the Saleh regime distributing weapons. Ali Mohsen is such bad news. I have no doubt this is true. This pipeline (from al Iman to Ali Mohsen’s nearby camp) has been in place for years. I wrote about it in 2005 and people thought I was nuts but its all coming out now. A few years ago there were some Somali students who returned and perhaps are with al Shabab now. Also this journalist is among the most professional, independent and neutral in Yemen where most papers are affiliated with a party or cause and spin the news.

Nasser Arrabye; Weapon pieces were and are distributed to sincere supporters of both the largest Islamist opposition party, Islah, and Saleh’s party in the neighborhoods of Sana’a city at least, according to people who already received their weapon pieces over the last few weeks.

Furthermore, about 2,000 students from El Eman fundamentalist University, run by the extremist cleric Abdul Majid Al Zandani, have been receiving weapons and military training in the 1st armored division of the defected general Ali Muhsen, according to some students who believe that doing this is Jihad.

“Yes, we joined training courses with Ali Muhsen about one month ago, now I have my gun and I safeguard as a sentry,” Said the 20-year old student who identified himself only as Jamil.

“I’m very happy to work with a straightforward and devout man like Ali Muhsen,” said Jamil who now works as a sentry close to his university El Eman which is adjacent to 1st armored division of Ali Muhsen at the northern outskirt of the capital Sana’a.

Update: what a lot of flack I got over this post.

Hueys, mil aid and US support to Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Security Forces, USA, Yemen, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 2:31 pm on Friday, April 29, 2011

US Hueys over Yemen
By Nick Turse
Asia Times In recent weeks, Yemeni protesters calling for an immediate end to the 32-year reign of United States-backed President Ali Abdullah Saleh have been met with increasing violence at the hands of state security forces. A recent pledge by Saleh to step down, one of many that has not met demonstrators’ demands, has yet to halt the protests or violence by the troops backing his regime. (Read on …)

Clashes in Lahj and Marib, several Republican Guards killed

Filed under: Lahj, Marib, Military — by Jane Novak at 10:42 am on Friday, April 22, 2011

Aha, a roundup:

Qaeda, tribes kill 20 Yemen soldiers SANAA — Tribesmen and Al-Qaeda militants killed 22 people, all but two of them soldiers, and captured dozens of others in separate attacks over a 24-hour period, security and tribal sources said on Friday. (Read on …)

Ali Mohsens’s Child Soldiers, HRW

Filed under: Children, Civil Rights, Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Military, Post Saleh, USA, Yemen, political violence, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 9:28 pm on Friday, April 15, 2011

The Saada Wars were fought by children and the state’s policies of collective punishment targeted children. The kids interviewed had been fighting for years already. The age of maturity in Yemen is 15– by that age many are married, armed, working and chewing qat.

The Obama admin exempted Yemen from legal repercussions for the use of child soldiers.

Yemen: Stop Using Children in Armed Forces
HRW: Child Soldiers Recruited by Army Now Deployed by Opposition

(New York) – Child soldiers recruited by the Yemeni army are now being used by a breakaway unit to protect anti-government protesters, Human Rights Watch said today. The United States and other governments should call for an immediate end to the use of children as soldiers or in other security forces, whether for the Yemeni government or the opposition. (Read on …)

Yemen’s JMP sets 2 week deadline for Saleh’s exit from power

Filed under: GCC, JMP, Military, Presidency, Saudi Arabia, protests — by Jane Novak at 8:50 am on Thursday, April 14, 2011

They decline to attend talks in Riyadh. Saleh and Ali Mohsen accept the proposal for dialog, the US and EU support the idea, the JMP and the protesters reject it. If the JMP had gone to Riyadh, they would have lost all credibility with the protesters. Its unclear what the JMP are going to do after the two weeks when Saleh is still in power. Whatever promises the GCC extracts from Saleh will be broken. Furthermore the exclusion of the southern mobility from the whole process is a big mistake.

AJE Yemen’s opposition has set a two-week deadline for President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step aside, rejecting a Saudi-brokered, Gulf-backed initiative to end the country’s political turmoil.

“We have renewed our emphasis on the need for speeding the process of (Saleh) standing down within two weeks. Therefore we will not go to Riyadh,” Mohammed al-Mutawakkil, a prominent opposition leader, said on Thursday, referring to the proposed talks in the Saudi capital.

This comes a day after five people were killed in the Yemeni capital Sanaa as forces loyal to a defected army general and pro-government fighters clashed, Al Jazeera’s correspondents said. (Read on …)

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.

Sanhan sheikhs deny assassination attempt on Ali Mohsen

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 7:54 am on Thursday, April 7, 2011

Denial issued following the clash and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s statement. (Its the same way they killed Hussain al Houthi, an ambush during a supposed mediation.) According to al Ahmar’s statement, a flyover by two MIGs was the signal to open fire.

Yemen Post Staff: General Ali Mohsen Ahmar told media outlets that pro Saleh snipers were mixed with the mediation committee sent by President Saleh to help in solving the crises between Saleh and Ahmar. According to Ahmar, the snipers were preparing to assassinate him along with members of the mediation committee. “Gun shots were fired at our direction and I was a target of an assassination attempt,” said Ahmar.

Sanahan Sheikhs denies claims of attempting to assassinate Ali Muhsen
[07/April/2011] SANA’A, April 06 (Saba) – Sheikhs of Sanahan, Belad al-Ros and Bani Behlol tribes have denied the claims made by the 1st Armored Division’s Commander Ali Mohsen about attempting to assassinate him.

In a press release issued by them in the 26 September website, the sheiks said that such claims are sarcastic and untrue, affirming that the no one in the convoy has a weapon. (Read on …)

New Lahj Military Commander Confiscates Soldiers Weapons

Filed under: Lahj, Military, Proliferation, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:38 pm on Thursday, March 31, 2011

Who is still asserting the Saleh is the legitimate leader of Yemen? He’s lost control of the military, bureaucracy and the political structure. His people hate him and are willing to die in the streets to get rid of him in the hope of a better future for their children.

So this military unit is supposed to patrol without weapons? They sound like sitting ducks to me.

People’sDaily: An outbreak of disputes and divisions erupted on Wednesday between soldiers loyal to former military commander Abdul aIlah al-kadhi, who resigned and announced his support for the youth peaceful protest movement, and their new appointed leader in Yemen’s southern province of Lahj, local military officers told Xinhua.

The disputes aroused as the new leader withdrew the weapons of the soldiers in order to avoid rebellion following the resignation of al-kadhi and refused to give back to them so far, the officer said on condition of anonymity.

“As a result, the soldiers in the military base organized a demonstration in front of the military camp and threatened to escalate protest in case there is no response to their demands,” he added.

Shabwa falling as Ali Mohsen and Ali Saleh make exit strategy

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Transition, Yemen, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 1:56 pm on Thursday, March 24, 2011

Update: but then Saleh made some Ghaddafish crazy speech blaming the JMP and urging the youth to form a political party and giving every indication that he is hanging on until the end.

This is what I meant earlier that both are going, Ali Mohsen won’t overtly take power. Gates better get to work on that post-Saleh plan. This is the only revolution that the people will have kicked out the president before the US switched sides to support the people. If Ali Mohsen is suddenly a good guy and kicked out the Central Security out of much of Shabwa, via tribal proxy, can we have Anwar Awlaki now, please?

Shabwa falls: Tribal leaders loyal to the youth revolution took over seven military compounds in Shabwa, all previously belonging to the Central Security Forces. Central security forces were able to take most of the artillery before leaving the compounds. The military compounds are located in the districts of Maayfa’ah, Habban, Nisab, and in Saeed. “We will not allow governmental forces to enter our region. The military compounds are now loyal to the revolution youth, and will defend the people with our lives,” said tribal leader in Maayfa’ah district.

Shabwa in total has 17 districts in total, and the four that fell today are considered the most pivotal in the province. The districts of Habban and Saeed are home to two big oil facilities are tie the roads of Shabwa with major provinces in Yemen including Hadramout and Aden.

Official sources confirmed that President Saleh met yesterday with General Ali Ahmar in order to come up with an initiative to save the country from any future bloodshed. According the an official source, President Saleh has agreed on step down as early as Saturday on condition that General Ali Ahmar also steps down. “Both sides have agreed to step down, but dialogue today are to reach an agreement over who will rule after Saleh steps down,” said a senior official source.

Thursday: its all about Ali Mohsen, Updates

Filed under: Military, Yemen, photos, protests, reconfigurations — by Jane Novak at 7:45 am on Thursday, March 24, 2011

Update: continuing information that both Ali Mohsen and Ali Saleh are resigning. Adjusted to: After a meeting, the consensus is Saleh will resign and Ali Mohsen will pledge not to run for president. Hamid and Mohsen announced on Al Jazeera that Saleh will go into exile but then AJ took down the link. Thus the initial news that both are going is really coming to its one going and one staying. Update: more precisely They said President Saleh and Gen. Ahmar agreed to the central demand of the protest movement: that a civilian council should rule in place of Mr. Saleh, instead of an Egyptian-style military council.:WSJ

The Youth Transitional Plan and Faisel Abo Rais came up with a plan as well.

New: A deal brokered by Ali Mohsen turns control of Saada entirely to Houthis, UN sanctioned arms dealer Faris Manna is new governor or adminstrator, also al Jawf entirely beyond regime control. The move shows that Mohsen is re-enforcing his criminal networks and power base already, since he and Manna are partners, and that he has no respect for civilian authority. Who is Mohsen to appoint a governor, if not the new kingmaker? Manna and the Houthis have a settled relationship, with Manna a long time supplier to them as well as groups across the region. Faris Manna was also the Saleh regime’s negotiator during the Saada War.

News/rumors of the meeting between Ali Saleh and Ali Mohsen say that Saleh said he would step down if Ali Mohsen did, and Mohsen agreed. They are going to hand power to VP Hadi. This is unconfirmed but from a reliable source. That would be very good. In my view it would be a unmitigated disaster on many levels and for many reasons for Ali Mohsen to stay in a leadership position in the new Yemen. Others are insisting its regime spun propaganda designed fracture the movement and they can only succeed in ousting Saleh with the help of Ali Mohsen. Update: apparently the news is more accurately that Saleh will resign and Mohsen will agree not to become the new president, but it doesn’t remove him from the power equation but will give him power without accountability.

Robert F. Worth, New York Times bureau chief, stopped at airport and banned from Yemen.

This I support: The Civil Block conference, established to guard revolution and ensure commitment “to the creation of modern civil and democratic state based on the principles of justice and equal citizenship, and to ensure national representation for all Yemenis and respect for their diversity of religious, sectarian and cultural, social, political, and drafting a national constitution new harmonized with other conventions and international legislation and human rights principles and to ensure complete separation and effective between the authorities and is consistent with the principles of good governance, and to ensure that the new state of the representation of women’s full of Yemen, and the abolition of all forms of discrimination that prevent the participation of public or detract from their right.” Nice.

Saada: Ahram English: Dubai police have foiled a bid to smuggle 16,000 guns from Turkey to Yemen’s northern province of Saada, the stronghold of Shiite rebels, the Gulf emirate’s police chief said on Thursday….The consignment, which landed in Dubai by ship for transit to northern Yemen, was made up of 16,000 guns. It was bound for Saada, “we can’t say to which side, but definitely not to the government,” Khalfan said. See story above about Faris Manna.

Mukallah: Xinhua: At least three soldiers were injured in fresh clashes between republican guard forces loyal to Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and defected army forces in the southeast province of Hadramout on Thursday, local witness said.

The first transitional plan published with the list 100 excluded (but not AMA) is also on scribd, seems an Islah product. Just wanted to link it for future reference.

Crisis Group: “Ironically, the most powerful current backers of the protest movement — Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar, Sheikh Sadiq al-Ahmar’s brothers and salafi leaders such as Sheikh Abd-al-Majid al-Zindani — are long-time regime insiders and symbols of the status quo.” I thought Ambassador Feirestein was engaging in histrionics when he said last week-end that the US would have problems with Zindani as president or in a major role. I couldn’t imagine it, not even remotely. But as the week progressed, I began to see that it is possible.

Saudis may back Mohsen over Saleh: Firedoglake quotes the FT:

Saudi Arabia would like to see a quick and smooth transition of power in Yemen, where Mr Saleh has been clinging to power in spite of weeks of protests and the dramatic narrowing of his support base, say analysts close to the government in Riyadh. And the kingdom is now concerned that the situation could devolve into a Libyan scenario in which Mr Saleh uses his presidential guards against the people and the army, transforming a revolt against the regime into a civil war.

“For Saudi Arabia, the end results for any mediation will be to guarantee stability and a smooth transition of power,’’ says Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi analyst. “The kingdom will not fight for Saleh … We have very bad experiences with him. The man’s survival makes no difference.”

Houthis welcome military commanders to the revolution, updated

Filed under: Military, Sa'ada, Saada War, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 11:01 am on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Protests crowd map and incident ticker.

Update: skirmishes or small armed conflicts reported between army and the Special Forces in Hadramout, Hodiedah and Aden. The army took control in Hadramout and Aden, in Hadramout the special forces are in control. In al Jawf, tribesmen overran the Special Forces compound. Three of five military zones joined with the protesters.

The Hodeidah air base defected but SF trying to arrest its commanders. English! Sahwa Net- After the commander of the Hodeidah Air Base Brigadier Ahmed Alsnhani declared his support to the Yemeni protestors on Tuesday, forces of the Republican Guards are surrounding the base, sources said. Update: 1st armored division will counter any attack on Hodiedah airbase. Update: Republican Guard withdraws from Hodeidah airbase.

At Taheer has a list of 116 military commanders and officials that defected yesterday.

Original: Rearranging the pieces on the chessboard into an entirely new configuration in a single day. Updated with original text below, complete with videos of rallies calling for Saleh to go, they also warn of reconstituting the same system under a new name. Hassan Zaid and the al-Haq party also welcomed Ali Muhsin’s defection. Its an astounding political re-alignment in under 24 hours. Where is AQAP in all of this?

al Sahwa Mass demonstrations on a number of districts of Saada, Houthi welcomes the accession of military leaders of the revolution and calling for leav

Thousands of citizens in Saada province today in a number of departments to maintain the system, demanding the departure of Ali Abdullah Saleh immediately and hand over power to the owner of real people.
A spokesman for the group, Mohammed Abdel-Salam al-Houthi in accordance with “NewsYemen” that thousands took part in rallies and directorates Haidan Dahyan and Razeh, advertisers welcomed the accession of military leaders, politicians, diplomats and all the honest world of the peaceful revolution of youth.

He called on the demonstrators, according to Abdel-Salam all the honest world to join the revolution and to spare the young Yemen chaos and sedition, and stressed their continued demonstrators in a peaceful struggle until the fall of the regime.

I don’t know which way is up anymore but Saleh’s threat of civil war has everyone jumpy.

مسيرات حاشدة في مديريات محافظة صعدة تطالب برحيل النظام فورا ورفض كل أشكال المبادرات
by جرح صعدة on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 11:13am (Read on …)

Wikileak on Ali Mohsen

Filed under: Military, protests — by Jane Novak at 10:38 am on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I’m always surprised by how much the US knew. Ambassador Krajeski called Ali Mohsen a kingmaker not a king, also a radical, a major smuggler, furthering the Saudi Wahabbi agenda in northern Yemen, responsible for hundreds of deaths in Saada, and an individual who had amassed a vast fortune through crime and plunder, and that was in 2005. But Krajeski assessed that Ali Mohsen wouldn’t receive much public support due to his brutality, and apparently today that is not the case as short term interests override other concerns. Full cable here.

Guardian: Major General Ali Mohsen al-Ahmar “is generally perceived to be the second most powerful man in Yemen”, but leans closer to radical political Islam than Saleh, according to a cable sent by Thomas Krajeski in 2005 when he was the US ambassador in Sana’a.

“Ali Mohsen’s questionable dealings with terrorists and extremists, however, would make his accession unwelcome to the US and others in the international community,” Krajeski wrote. “He is known to have Salafi leanings and to support a more radical Islamic political agenda than Saleh. He has powerful Wahhabi supporters in Saudi Arabia and has reportedly aided the [Saudis] in establishing Wahhabi institutions in northern Yemen. He is also believed to have been behind the formation of the Aden-Abyan army, and is a close associate of noted arms dealer Faris Manna.” (Read on …)

20 killed in al Jawf in battle between Houthis and tribal/mil forces

Filed under: Military, Saada War, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 8:27 am on Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Yemen Post

At least twenty people were killed and others injured in clashes in Yemen’s northern province of Al-Jawf between Yemeni troops and their tribal allies and Houthi group.

The fighting was over the control of a strategic military installation at the entrance to the northern province of Al-Jawf, which the rebels, also known as Houthis, have taken over.

At the end of battle in which has continued for two days , Houthis were able to gain complete control of the site, which had two tanks and a number of military vehicles

Yemeni military officers and officials resign en masse, the post Saleh era begins

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Protest Fatalities, Yemen, protest statements — by Jane Novak at 8:31 am on Monday, March 21, 2011

A truly insightful analysis by Dr. Abdullah al faqih.

Update: National Security forces break into al Jazeera offices in Sanaa and steal equipment, a possible foreshadowing of dire events to follow. Minister of Water and Environment Abdulrahman Al-Iryani wrote a letter apologizing to the protesters. If the entire government resigns and joins the protesters, then the protests didn’t drive the elite out of power. CNN: Ali Mohsen negotiating with Saleh for a transition by the end of the year. This is just more maneuvering to keep the powerful in power, they are going out the front door and in the back. Ali Mohsen has to go on the same plane as Saleh

Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh and a top military general are discussing a deal for a peaceful transition of power that would allow Saleh to stay in place for the rest of the year, a Yemeni official and senior U.S. official said Monday. The discussions come amid cracks in support for Saleh’s 32-year rule after weeks of anti-government protests.

Three top generals declared their support for the protests Monday, including Maj. Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, the man now discussing the deal with Saleh. Al-Ahmar, who belongs to an important tribe whose backing is significant for Saleh, also said he will order his troops to protect civilians demonstrating against the president….

According to the Yemeni official who confirmed the talks between Saleh and the general, the president has officially accepted five points demanded by the opposition and is now waiting for a response from the opposition and the generals who defected.

The five points are that Saleh step down by the end of the year; that Yemenis be allowed to protest without fear of violence; that a committee be formed to investigate attacks against protesters; that families of all protesters killed or wounded be compensated by the state; and that the government implement constitutional and electoral reforms, including the removal of Saleh’s family members from the armed services.

Update: Mass resignations continue from all levels of government. Yemen TV is showing old videos of crowds chanting for Saleh as live, but they were shot during the day while it is night time in Yemen now.

The former GPC members (the ruling GPC party has apparently dissolved after mass resignations) are forming a new coalition to come in through the back door. So far no violence but they like to do these things in the middle of the night. (Read on …)

Protest, injuries in Hodeidah and Wednesday updates

Filed under: Hodeidah, Military, protests — by Jane Novak at 7:01 am on Wednesday, March 16, 2011

SANAA (Reuters) – At least 120 were wounded as police and government loyalists tried to break up a rally in western Yemen demanding an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s 32-year rule, a doctor said on Wednesday.

“They attacked the protesters and wounded around 120 people,” a doctor treating protesters in the Red Sea city of Hudaida said. “They were using tear gas, rubber bullets, live fire and daggers.

State says army personnel who joined protests are retired:

SANA’A, March 15 (Saba) – A military source has announced that the servicemen who have joined the sit-ins at the Sana’a University’s gate and other places are army ex-servicemen. Some of these servicemen are either retirees or expelled from the service because of infractions of the law. The source said these personnel are not in the army, noting they are wearing military uniforms to show they are still from the army.

Saudi unloads 100 armored vehicles and 300 Saudi Royal Guard in Aden port, greeted by US mil attache Bill Mooney? al Wahdawi I’ll put that on the list of things that am really hoping is incorrect.

$1.1mil Canadian military exports went to Yemen 2007-2009

Internet oddities in Yemen & regional status

Filed under: Communications, Media, Military, Other Countries, Saudi Arabia, Syria — by Jane Novak at 1:20 pm on Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Yemeni DOD’s 26 Sept website is down, and mine and the dozens of Yemeni news sites blocked for years (including the newly blocked al Masdar) are accessible again from within Yemen. In 2008 everything was unblocked for a week while they upgraded and expanded the censorship software. I thought this was the precursor to the regime taking down twitter and facebook, as opposed to, you know, Saleh allowing more political space. Odd 26 Sept is down when the independent sites are are. But its lovely what ever it is, for as long as it lasts. Update: 26 Sept back up and I’ll probably be re-blocked soon. But Yemen has strong traditional communications methods as a result of the lack of electricity, roads and internet, so I don’t think it will impact the protest movement even if they cut the net entirely. Update 2: The www.26sep,net is wobbling as I’m reading it, losing parts and coming up again. Really bizarre. Also the sites that were open are now closing in Yemen. Gotta be an upgrade.

Regional: Syria is waking up a tad but there’s still a lot of understandable fear. The Omani protests seem to have petered out. Libya is not looking good with the murderous lunatic Qaddafi retaking many towns. The no-fly zone is not established. Hamas harassed protesters in Gaza and confiscated cameras. With Saudi sending a thousand troops into Bahrain, and the imposition of martial law there, the democracy dominoes are shifting in the other direction. It will be up to Yemeni protesters to keep going as external momentum diminishes if thats what it comes to. But they are taking down chunks of the regime daily.

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 @

Victims of Aden massacre buried in mass grave in Salahu Deen military camp , 3 more fatalities ID’d

Filed under: Aden, Medical, Military, Yemen's Lies, protests — by Jane Novak at 9:34 am on Friday, March 4, 2011

The massacre in Aden Feb 25-26 killed many. We previously identified 19 by name, and about half of the 122 wounded. With the addition of the three fatalities listed below, the new total is 22 killed. As earlier reported, bodies of dead protesters were collected from hospitals in Aden and sent to Basuhaib Military hospital in Tawahi. The new information is that early Sunday morning, Feb 27, the military buried some of the corpses stored at the Ba-Suhaib military hospital in one grave at a military camp in Salahu Deen just outside little Aden. Many protesters in Aden were arrested, some pulled wounded from hospitals. The state continues to withhold information from families regarding who is in state custody in jail.

1. Mohammed Ahmed Saleh
2. Tareq Khalid Alwan
3. Waseem Ali Taha

in Arabic: (Read on …)

Yemen opposition parties call on Saleh to fire his relatives

Filed under: JMP, Military, Presidency, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 12:15 pm on Friday, February 4, 2011

That’s a new, interesting and on-point demand. President Saleh’s relatives have mass land holdings, own much of the nation’s businesses and also head the military and security forces. There’s not much chance of the military taking the side of the people in Yemen.

4/2/2011- YemenOnline
Yemen opposition calls president to sack his son and relatives from high security and military positions

Leaders of the Joint Meeting Parties JMP (Opposition) have called Yemeni president Saleh to sack his son Ahmed Ali from the leadership of the republican guards and other relatives that occupied high positions in security and military forces in Yemen. President Saleh must take these step to confirm the credibility for reform” Opposition leader Zaid Al-Shami says.

Collective guilt and collective punishment in Yemen: shelling Radfan

Filed under: Military, Security Forces, South Yemen, Tribes, al Dhalie — by Jane Novak at 8:54 am on Friday, February 4, 2011

Short version: somebody took some shots at an army patrol in Radfan, al Dhalie, and the state randomly shelled the town, probably with mortars. In essence, the state is assigning guilt and punishing to the whole town for the actions of individuals, heightening unrest. The Saleh regime’s tribal norms are an underpinning in its dealings with citizens. Tribalism isn’t bad, in fact a sense of shared identity and duty is probably whats keeping a lot of people from starving to death today. But when the state assigns collective guilt and other tribal tenets here in 2011, it runs counter to the modern sense of justice.

During the Saada Wars, the motivation for cutting food supplies to Bani Hushaish and other towns was to encourage people to hand in Houthi rebels, one official stated openly, but it had the opposite effect. Throughout Yemen, family members are taken hostage in lieu of a person wanted by security forces and can remain in prison for months or years. The northern Yemeni Arab Republic evolved from the Immamate, a theocracy that depended on the tribes as enforcers. The British colonized Aden in the 19th century and, although the concept of protectorates reinforced tribal authority and paternalism, the PDRY to a degree replaced tribal norms with individualism. One constant refrain of southerners is that the unified state dragged the south back into tribalism and after unification, the state appointed tribal sheiks based on their loyalty to Saleh himself.

Yemen Post: At least three civilians were injured, one seriously, when the army shelled Radfan town, Lahj, on Wednesday.

A medical source at the Radfan Hospital was quoted by the News Yemen as saying that the three pedestrians were injured and taken to hospital after the forces randomly shelled the town following firing on a military vehicle by unknown armed people.

One of the victims had his hand cut off and another was wounded by shrapnel in different parts of his body, the website said.

Also, tens of houses were damaged and families are continuing to flee the town due to the deteriorating situation amid an acute fuel shortage and lack of phone services.

Military reinforcements have been deployed to Radfan in recent months to fight separatist militants who have stepped up their attacks, targeting military posts and public properties.

Lahj is one of the southern cities hit by violence where the separatist movement, Al-Harak, continues the anti-government protests that usually turn violent.

The zoo called Yemen: the case of Ali Naji Almqra

Filed under: Military, Security Forces, al Dhalie, prisons — by Jane Novak at 8:36 pm on Thursday, February 3, 2011

One day in November 2010, a man was robbed of his daughters dowrey and beaten unconscious by security forces as he was sleeping in al Dhalie, where he had come to buy items for his daughter’s wedding. Then he was jailed and tortured for three months, and his family appeals for his release.


One day, specifically in the history of the fourteenth of November of last year 2010 was a citizen Ali Naji Almqra living in a region Osmad Juhav Baldhala, a remote area where their people are very much in poverty and destitution. He was sitting in a room of one of his relatives in the city of Dali, where he arrived to find work and buy some needs for the wedding party to humble his daughter. (Read on …)

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.


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 military estimated at 600,000

Filed under: Military, Security Forces, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:50 am on Sunday, January 23, 2011

No one actually knows how many people are on the military payroll. Some estimates go as high as one million. It is one of the few regular jobs in Yemen and the size of the military is a major source of stability–working men don’t protest. Often Sheiks award military commissions as patronage. Many on the military payroll (including both al Qaeda operatives and members of Parliament) don’t actually do any work or even report in. Southern youth have rioted because they were excluded wholesale during recruitment drives. Military expenditures are 6.6% of GDP, one of the highest globally, but as funds dry up, more incidents of rioting military have been reported. A good report from the Yemen Times that also breaks down the intelligence services:

Most Yemeni families in Sana’a have a relative who serves in the army. While there are no official numbers, the total strength of the army is estimated at about 600,000 soldiers, who all have military IDs and uniforms. (Read on …)

Three wounded in government shelling of al Habilyan

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Lahj, Military, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:51 am on Thursday, January 20, 2011

Article date Jan 15

al Teef: شبكة الطيف – الحبيلين – خاص Network Spectrum – Habilayn – special
تعرضت اليوم مدينة الحبيلين بمحافظة لحج الجنوبية للضرب العنيف الذي لم تشهده منذ بداية الاحتجاجات ، حيث اندلعت الاشتباكات عند الساعة العاشرة صباح اليوم مستمرة ومنقطعة بين الحين والاخر حتى بعد ظهر اليوم ليتجدد القصف العشوائي على المدينة من كل الاتجاهات مشاركة القطاعين الشرقي والغربي والقوات الزاحفة التي تطلق مدفعيتها باتجاه المدينة . Was today the city of Habilayn province pilgrimage south to severe beatings, which has not witnessed since the beginning of the protests, where clashes broke out at ten o’clock this morning a continuous and uninterrupted from time to time until this afternoon to renewed shelling of the city from all directions participation of both the east and west, troops marching by firing artillery the direction of the city.

وقالت مصادر محلية ” لـ ” شبكة الطيف ” ان القذائف اصابة عدت مناطق منها حبيل جبر ( الربوة – الثمير – ) كما تعرضت الحبيلين هي الى Local sources said “for” network spectrum, “promised that the missiles hit areas, including Hubail Gabr (Knoll – Imir -) are also exposed to Habilayn
اعنف الضربات المستمرة والمتواصلة حتى كتابة هذه الخبر . Violence continued strikes and continued until writing this story.

وقد اصيب ثلاثة من المواطنون بجروح احدهم اصابته خطيرة نقل على اثرها الى مستشفى المدينة ثم الى عدن لخطورة اصابته في مؤخرة الراس والمواطن يدعى ” محمد صالح باصبرين ” ، والاثنين الاخرين هما ” محمد مهدي ” وسعيد سعد ” The three citizens were wounded, one seriously injured and was taken to a hospital in the city of Aden and then to the seriousness of the injury in the back of the head and the citizen is named “Mohammed Saleh Basberin”, and the other two are “Mohammad Mehdi”, Said Saad ”

Indoctrination of Yemeni military continues

Filed under: Military, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:22 am on Saturday, January 15, 2011

Saleh attends graduation of first soldier batch of Koran memorizers
[13/يناير/2011] SABA
SANA’A, Jan 13 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh attended on Thursday the graduation ceremony of the first soldier batch of Koran memorizers at the al Saleh Sharia Sciences College at al Saleh Mosque.

The ceremony was organized by the Army’s Moral Guidance Division.
(Read on …)

Abyan official: No coordination between military and security forces

Filed under: Abyan, Local gov, Military, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 8:13 pm on Sunday, January 9, 2011

Abyan official: No coordination between military and security forces
Yemen Observer:

Qasim M. Hadi, General Director of Local Council of Zinjubar district, Abyan province capital, said the leadership of the province lacks the qualifications required to carry out its work. He also said he was disappointed in the different security organizations for their lack of communication and coordination. (Read on …)

Amen Ahmed Ali sentenced as Yemeni spy in US

Filed under: Diplomacy, Military, US jihaddis, USA, Yemen, Yemen's Lies — by Jane Novak at 5:35 pm on Saturday, January 8, 2011

One down, dozens to go.

Sacramento FBI: California Man Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Conspiracy to Act as a Foreign Agent, Export Military Equipment, and Possess Stolen Property

FRESNO, CA—Amen Ahmed Ali, 60, aka Ali Amin Alrowhani or Ameen Alrohany, of Bakersfield, California, was sentenced today by U.S. District Court Judge Lawrence J. O’Neill to five years in prison to be followed by three years’ supervised release for conspiring to act as an illegal agent of a foreign government, to unlawfully export defense materials, and to possess stolen government property, announced U.S. Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner and David Kris, Assistant Attorney General for National Security. (Read on …)

12 soldiers killed in Lauder Yemen, second attack targets commander

Filed under: 3 security, Abyan, Military, South Yemen, Yemen, attacks — by Jane Novak at 5:35 pm on Saturday, January 8, 2011

These attacks demonstrate the lack of capacity in the military (a function of patronage and nepotism) and portend the difficulties in establishing and securing the proposed four forward operating bases and their supply chains.

Yemen Post: A military commander was injured and one of his guards was killed and three others seriously injured in a suspected Al-Qaeda ambush, the second on Friday targeting military convoys in south Yemen, an official source said. (Read on …)

Nearly 40% of Yemeni budget spent on military and security forces

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 1:57 pm on Saturday, December 11, 2010

In 2005 it was about a third of all spending was allocated to the military, its a massive swamp of corruption.

Yemen Observer: A recent official report revealed that about 40 percent of the Yemeni budget is spent on fighting terrorism. The terrorist operations have also caused losses in the tourism sector that amounted to one billion dollars, while these operations have negatively impacted development, poverty, and unemployment alleviation due to the allocation of large amounts to of fund to fight terrorism from an already meager budget. (Read on …)

Yemeni military desecrates bodies of persons killed in CT raids in Lauder, Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Counter-terror, Military, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 8:27 pm on Monday, November 22, 2010

Following the counter-terror raids in Lauder, Abyan, the soldiers permit the dead bodies to drag off the back of a truck, and kick them. It reminds me of the much worse cases in 2005 when the Yemeni military tied bodies of killed Houthis fighters to a truck, dragged them through the streets and burned them. If the Yemeni military begins using the same brutal tactics in its CT ops as in its other military operations, it will generate new recruits for al Qaeda as well as give the impression of US acquiescence to the barbarism. The screen cap on the video is too gruesome to go above the fold, so click for more: (Read on …)

A correct analysis of AQAP

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Military, Security Forces, anwar — by Jane Novak at 11:28 am on Sunday, November 7, 2010

The article catches the essential element that most of the Afghan Arab returnees were absorbed into the Yemeni military and security forces and the AQAP of today is firmly rooted in that global, regional and local network.

Sanaa at odds with the AQAP problem, Arab Monitor:

Sanaa, 6 November – Giving in to US pressure, a Yemeni court ordered the arrest of a US-born citizen, Anwar al-Awlaqi, allegedly linked to al-Qaeda. The court order to seize al-Awlaqi “dead or alive” comes after the US administration authorized the CIA to arrest or kill the Yemeni cleric, whom it believes to be involved for a failed bomb attack on 25 December 2009 on an air plane heading to a US. Since then Anwar al-Awlaqi, who had been born and raised in the US, became a priority US target as the alleged ideological head of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

The several hundreds of people now classified as AQAP are mostly veterans of the old guerilla war against the Soviet presence in Afghanistan, for which in the eighties tens of thousands of Saudi and Yemeni youths had been recruited with the help of their own country’s security services, cooperating with the CIA and the Pakistani intelligence. After their return to Yemen the greater part of the veteran fighters were absorbed into the Yemeni armed forces, security services and the police. They were very much welcome as long as the specific religious training they received in Pakistani camps helped Sanaa root out the Marxist views inspiring southern separatist ambitions during the civil war 1994 and in its aftermath.

But today the US and its Western allies need a government in Yemen capable of rooting out anti-American and anti-Western threats. When it became apparent in 2006, that high-ranking Yemeni officials in Sanaa had helped a group of 23 men – some of them convicted for their participation in an attack on a US warship in 2000 and others returned from US special prisons – escape from a high-security prison in Sanaa, the Yemeni government came under increasing pressure from the US to crack down on the AQAP. What is classified today as AQAP are the remnants of what was formerly known throughout the Middle East as the “Afghan Arabs”, as well as the younger generation raised in their midst and inspired by them.

Gulf 20 Reinforcements Heading South

Filed under: Abyan, Aden, Military, Security Forces, South Yemen, Yemen, photos/gifs — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Saturday, October 23, 2010


Yemen deployed 30,000 troops to south Yemen in advance of the Gulf 20, scheduled for Nov. 22-Dec. 4 in Aden and Abyan. Since May, al-Qaida has been blamed for the deaths of more than 55 officers, mostly in the PSO and exclusively in the south. Southerners see the military build-up as an effort to quell the independence movement in advance of the Parliamentary elections schedule for early next year.

“the security soldiers let them go at the end,” al Hota, Shabwa update

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Yemen, Yemen's Lies, arrests, security timeline, shabwa, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 10:55 am on Monday, October 4, 2010

Of course they did.

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) : As many as 15,000 people – most of whom are children – have been displaced by the recent clashes, which are based around Mayfa’a district in Shabwah governorate. Air strikes have been reported, UNICEF said yesterday.

Yemen Observer: Al-Qaeda retaliated shortly after Yemen’s security forces drove them out of al-Huta village, in the southern province of Shabwa earlier this week.

Al-Qaeda tried, unsuccessfully late Wednesday , to assassinate the military, security and political leaders who led and supervised the campaign against them in al-Huta.

One soldier was killed and seven others injured when al-Qaeda fighters ambushed the governor of Shabwa Ali Al Ahmadi, deputy chief of general staff, Salem Al Kotn, security director, Ahmad Al Makdashi and other officials in the area of Yashbom, between Atak and al-Saeed. Security forces are chasing after the attackers who used RPGs to strike the convoy of officials. (Read on …)

Indoctrinating the Yemeni army in extremist views

Filed under: Military, Religious, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:53 am on Monday, October 4, 2010

Yes and its been going on for years and not just by Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager. Al Qaeda’s army in Yemen is not the AAIA but a portion of the actual army. Its not just the Tais al Qaeda faction who have military posts or Badr al Hassani who is on the payroll of the PSO.

al Eshteraki

Employment security of the Salafis and the enrichment of al Qaeda: Save the Quran in 15 days: When the army barracks to become more violent religion Copy

Mohammed Ayesh wrote:

ما الذي يتوقع الرئيس علي عبد الله صالح أن نحمده عليه : اهتمامه بتحفيظ القرآن الكريم ، أم تحويله وحدات الجيش إلى كتائب سلفية ؟ What is expected of President Ali Abdullah Saleh said that we praise him: his interest in teaching people to memorize the Koran, or converted, and army units to the Salafist Brigades? (Read on …)

40 dead in renewed Sa’ada clashes

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 7:40 am on Friday, September 24, 2010

Africaasia Fighting in mountainous north Yemen between Shiite rebels and an army-backed tribe over the past four days has left at least 40 people dead, tribal and rebel sources told AFP on Wednesday. (Read on …)

Latest body count al Hota, Shabwa

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 7:59 am on Thursday, September 23, 2010

Its important to recall that indiscriminate state violence is the primary reason for the increase in the number of al Houthi fighters from 400 in 2004 to 7000 in 2009, and for the swelling of the Southern Movement over the past three years. If Yemen deploys the same counter-insurgency methods against al Qaeda that it used against the Houthis and the Southerners, then it may result in an equally dramatic uptick.

al Tagheer
قتلى Dead مصابون Wounded

جنود Soldiers 6 8

عناصر القاعدة Al-Qaeda 3 About 10 (not confirmed)

مدنيين Civilians 5 10

About 10,000 displaced

Its a perfect opportunity to round up southern activists as well: “The Yemeni security forces, started today on 22 September in city of Aden, a campaign of raids and arrests of activists of the peaceful revolution in the South. (Read on …)

Yemeni military attacks Shabwa, 12,000 flee fighting

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Refugees, shabwa — by Jane Novak at 12:23 pm on Monday, September 20, 2010

Wow, what a concept, attacking Shabwa. The 26 September reporting “fierce clashes”. Also two mosques destroyed.

SANAA (Reuters) – Up to 12,000 civilians have fled their homes in the southern Yemeni province of Shabwa because of heavy fighting between government forces and suspected al Qaeda militants, according to Yemen’s Red Crescent. Three al Qaeda militants and two soldiers have died in the clashes that erupted Sunday at dawn, a security source said.

Between 8,000 and 12,000 people have left the town of al-Hota and surrounding areas due to the violence, the local branch of the Red Crescent said in a report to the Red Cross in Sanaa, seen by Reuters. Yemen’s defence ministry said in its online newspaper that security forces engaged in fierce clashes in Shabwa with “armed elements” from al Qaeda, among whom were foreigners, including Saudis “who are trying to mingle with the population.”

Yemen overdue on payment to Sa’ada tribal militia

Filed under: Economic, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:47 pm on Wednesday, September 1, 2010

As the state runs out of money, this is the latest in a series of clashes with soldiers and tribal fighters prompted by overdue salaries.

News Yemen: Security forces have clashed with some fifty protesters, who supported the army in the war against Houthi rebels in northern Sa’ada and wounded during the conflict, near the 1st Armored Division in the capital Sana’a.

Protesters demand the government to pay YR120,000 (almost $600) for each as compensation for injury. Protesters said the government promised to pay them the money but it did not fulfill the promise.

Eyewitnesses said protesters blocked the highway against the 1st Armored Division with iron barriers and big stones and threw stones at security forces. Protesters have also attacked a police car and assaulted a security officer.

Security have opened fire in air to disperse protesters and unblocked the highway, eyewitnesses said. But they said that three soldiers were seen laying on the ground and ambulances were seen rushing to the scene. Sixth war in Sa’ada came to end last February, but many people still suffer post-war consequences.

Houthis Release 100 Yemeni Soldiers and Tribal Fighters

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 4:44 pm on Tuesday, August 10, 2010

According to Ahlul Bayt News Agency (, Yemen’s Shia Houthis said they released on Monday 100 soldiers and pro-government tribesmen they had captured in clashes last month, in the second such move aimed at cementing a fragile truce in the north of the country.

“These releases came … on the occasion of (the Muslim fasting month of) Ramadan, and to prove our seriousness in bringing about peace and creating conditions for a resumption of mediation by Qatar,” Houthis spokesman Mohammed Abdel-Salam said.

The Houthis, who announced a similar release on Sunday, and the government have welcomed an offer by Qatar to try to revive a Qatari-mediated peace agreement in the north of the Arabian Peninsula country.

Yahya al Houthi Objects to US Mil Aid Used in Saada War in Letter to Parliament

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, Sa'ada, Saada War, USA, War Crimes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:06 pm on Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yahya al-Houthi, an MP and brother of Abdel-Malik, sent a letter to the Yemeni parliament about the Senate’s finding the US military aid may have been mis-used (diverted) to Saleh’s efforts against the Houthis. Its extremely difficult to believe that the transfer of mil aid comes as a shock to anyone in DC. The Sa’ada region has been cut off from journalists since 2004, and the civilian casualty toll is anyone’s guess, but the Yemeni regime’s tactics are clearly in violation of international law and include sustained blockade and indiscriminate bombing. While Saleh is using US military support against the Houthis, he is also using al-Qaeda operatives as mercenaries and has been doing so since 2005-ie, the US is equipping an (al-Qaeda supported) jihad against Shia civilians. The Yemeni state itself calls it a jihad and has produced fatwas claiming “Houthi blood is free.” This is not news, but an ongoing pathetic failure of integrity and foresight.

We continue to expose our deep concern of the military and financial help of Western and especially the assistance the United States, European Union, as well as Arab aid provided to the system of Yemen in response to Western demands to provide such assistance to the regime in Yemen, and we reiterated our concern that such assistance will increase the tension conditions in our country and increase the unjust compulsion, the arrogance and injustice, emphasizing that he would use the aid in the suppression of the people and strengthen the dictatorship and the rule of domestic and install the corruption, rather than commitment to a democratic political and institutional governance, and it will expand the popular discontent against the corrupt system more, thereby expanding the cycle of violence and prolonging it.

We are today before the important recognition of the Chambers of the U.S. published a lot of media sources, reporting on the health of our apprehension of that aid has recognized that the system used actually against Houthis, rather than hunt for alleged terrorists, and people saw that it did not distinguish between one was people of all age groups and orientations of the target of bombs and missiles and one incident of camp the normal people too-distant future where the regime killed this aid, scores of children and women and the elderly, as well as it beat for the accommodation of prisoners from the Yemeni military in Sa’ada, where he spent more than 100 prisoners, as well as hit the markets and the displacement camps and cities inhabited by the civilian population. (Read on …)

Houthis Capture Military Post and 70 Soldiers in Amran

Filed under: Amran, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:37 am on Wednesday, July 28, 2010

There has to be some neutral supervision of the cease-fire implementation.

Update: Khaleej Times: Houthis free 200 captured soldiers from the 72nd Regiment of the army’s Republican Guards (commanded by Prince Ahmed).

Gulf Times: Shia rebels took control of a strategic army post in north Yemen yesterday and captured some 70 soldiers, in the latest clash to endanger an increasingly fragile truce, army and tribal sources said. “Houthi (rebels) took control of a military position in Al Zaala and captured all remaining soldiers,” a tribal source said. “Violent clashes erupted since the early morning hours.” A local military official said the rebels captured some 70 soldiers. (Read on …)

Al-Dhalie Still Blockaded for Over Two Months

Filed under: Military, South Yemen, War Crimes, al Dhalie — by Jane Novak at 9:13 am on Friday, July 23, 2010

I had thought the peace convoy from Taiz had more of a lasting effect. Also its the anniversary of the clashes in Zanzibar which killed 17 and wounded more than 20 “because they raised their voices demanding the restoration of the state and still the occupation regime committed massacres and crimes against our brothers in the south, but today Dali is surrounded and encircled from all sides that the area of the city of Dali five square kilometers There are five military brigades and more than twenty military barracks to prevent food and medicine from our brothers in Dali.”

Yemen Discusses 2 Billion in Debt with Russia, Buys more Weapons

Filed under: Economic, Military, Russia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:27 pm on Tuesday, July 13, 2010


Yemen – Saleh: My visit to Russia to discuss military deals’ debts

President Ali Abdullah said he discussed with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Yemen’s debt of military purchases which exceeded USD 2 billion. (Read on …)

Yemeni Soldiers Riot for Back Pay

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Mahweet, Military, Oil   — by Jane Novak at 10:47 am on Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The end is near when soldiers begin rioting for back pay. Recently tribesmen who fought in the Sa’ada war also held protests for back pay. Clearly Saleh wont be able to meet his payroll of salaries and bribes with oil revenue down 75% from last year. Maybe that’s the plan, let the chips fall where they may, but its going to get messy. The most obnoxious thing, maybe one of the most obnoxious things, about the current economic disaster is that the warnings for the last five years were all dismissed as opposition propaganda from people wearing dark glasses, a Crusader plot by the World Bank and/or totally misguided with no relation to reality as Yemen’s oil reserves are fine, just fine.

Yemen Post: More than 30 central security personnel are besieging the house of Mahweet Governor Ahmed Ali Muhsen and the governmental building in the province as well as closing the highway in protest at halting their salaries.

The protesting security came from the south and are determined to get their rights.

A security source said that the personnel received their salaries but when they were absent the salary of this month was halted.

‘They tried to break into the governmental building after they had detonated a bomb in front of it but their attempt was repelled by the guards.’

They also besieged security patrols and all efforts made to convince them to leave the site failed.

Amran Tribesmen Demand Payment for Service in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Amran, Economic, Military, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 10:56 pm on Thursday, June 24, 2010

The tribal paramilitary hasn’t been paid, violence ensues. I believe this happened in the last wars as well, likely the money got pocketed if it was paid at all.

Yemen Post: An army officer has been killed and three soldiers and unidentified number of tribesmen injured in the clashes that are still continuing between the army and tribes in Al-Ashah district in Amran Province. (Read on …)

Yemen Randomly Shells Dhalie, South Yemen

Filed under: Military, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 6:50 am on Monday, June 7, 2010

Update: death toll rises to six. Gruesome photos here. Reports, Security turned back an ambulance here. And an English report here

Original: The regime is using the same tactics in the South that it employed during the Sa’ada war that drove the war to six rounds, six years and thousands of casualties without resolution. Later reports indicate three dead including a child and eleven seriously wounded.

SANAA — Two people were killed and dozens wounded on Monday in what witnesses described as the “indiscriminate” shelling by the Yemeni army of the southern town of Daleh, a medical official said. (Read on …)

Updated List of President Saleh’s Relatives in Key Yemeni Military, Political and Economic Positions

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Parliament, Presidency, Yemen, land disputes — by Jane Novak at 9:07 am on Tuesday, February 23, 2010

President Saleh has a lot of in-laws from his four wives. Many of these are also major land “owners” having confiscated public and private land. My 2006 list is of presidential relatives is here and includes economic holdings and stakes in corporations. For example, the head of Yemenia airlines is President Saleh’s son-in-law. Aden Press:

Below is a list of some of Saleh’s relatives that control key positions in the Republic of Yemen:

1. Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh – President’s son, Commander of the Republican Guard and Special Forces.
2. Yahya Mohammed Abdullah Saleh – nephew of President, Staff of the Central Security as a successor to his father.
3. Tareq Mohammed Abdullah Saleh – nephew of President, Saleh’s personal Guard Commander.
4. Ammar Mohammed Abdullah Saleh – nephew of President, the official in charge of national security. (Read on …)

Yemen Contracts Out Navy and Coast Guard Services

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Security Forces, pirates — by Jane Novak at 2:41 pm on Monday, February 15, 2010

With renewed focus on al Qaeda threats emanating from Yemen, the US is substantially increasing support to several branches of the Yemeni military. However, Yemen’s military and security forces are often involved in for-profit ventures, on both overt and covert levels. The task of building up Yemen’s Coast Guard demonstrates such difficulties. (Read on …)

Fighter Jet Crashes After Buzzing Protest in Zanjibar

Filed under: Abyan, Military, Political Opposition, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 2:04 pm on Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Photo Aden Press


(Read on …)

Sa’ada: “They’re trying to starve them out”

Filed under: Biographies, Military, Presidency, Saada War, Security Forces, War Crimes, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 5:46 pm on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Wow a really good article on the Sa’ada War, Saleh’s relatives commanding security forces and Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s conduct of the Sa’ada War. It lays the facts out for the obvious conclusion about why the war just won’t end.

Globe and Mail: There have been tens of thousands of casualties and about 100,000 people in Yemen’s northwest triangle are now under siege – trapped by a combined force of the Yemeni regular army on one side, the Republican Guard on another, and Saudi military forces along the border between the two countries.

“They’re trying to starve them out,” said Abdel-Ghani Iryani, a development consultant and political analyst, who says he still can’t figure out what the war against the Huthi is all about. (Read on …)

Yemen Govt, “airstrike targeted a training camp with tents” in Abyan

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Military, South Yemen, War Crimes, arrests — by Jane Novak at 2:32 pm on Friday, December 18, 2009

It was a training camp with tents, the Yemeni government says, not a traditional Bedouin village in Abyan. And they surrounded the “al Qaeda camp” and launched a ground assault after the bombing. CNN doesn’t mention the civilian casualties (broadcast on al Jazeera) or MPs statements calling for an inquiry into what appears to be a airstrike on a civilians or even former president al Beidh who predictably issued a long poetic missive in Arabic only. They, and many others, regurgitated the Yemeni government’s line in its entirety. The language barrier is the opposition’s to overcome. Love this: “Qassim Al-Raymi, the military commander for al Qaeda in Yemen and two ‘known’ accomplices were able to flee…” Unbelievable. Presumably they meant the Arhab raid, not the Abyan one, although its muddy from the reporting.

(CNN) — An airstrike in Yemen earlier this week killed a leading al Qaeda figure there, a Yemeni government official said Friday.

The official, who is not named because he is not authorized to speak to the media, told CNN that Mohammed Saleh Mohammed Ali Al-Kazemi was killed in an airstrike in the southern province of Abyan on Thursday, along with “scores of operatives.” (Read on …)

Al Qaeda Raids in Yemen: a Show and a Massacre, US Applauds

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Military, War Crimes, arrests, security timeline — by Jane Novak at 10:35 am on Friday, December 18, 2009

Lets review. a) Qasim al Reimi manages to escape just minutes before the raid north of Sana’a in Arhab. Looks good on paper if you believe in fairy tales. b) Yemen bombs a Bedouin village in Abyan, where separatist sentiments are running high, killing over 60. The Yemeni military say the dead number 30 and were al Qaeda but the photos show women and children. The casualty lists show extremely poor Bedouin families wiped out en masse c) Obama calls Saleh and says “Good Job!” The Western media uses headlines like “Yemen Forces Strike Al Qaeda, Kill 34.” Its like deja vu all over again.

YemenOnline.Decembe 18- Three of al Qaeda members escaped from the last military attack carried out by security forces in a number of areas in Yemen yesterday.Kassim Al-Reami,Hisam Mogali and the third one is believed to be a non-Yemeni have escaped during the attack into unknown area .

al Jazeera: At least 34 people have been killed in raids on suspected al-Qaeda hide-outs and training sites in Yemen, security officials have said. (Read on …)

Moroccan Commando Join Saleh’s Forces?

Filed under: Military, Other Countries, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, USA, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:50 pm on Friday, December 4, 2009

The reports of Moroccan commandos have been floating around for a few days, here’s one. So now in the Sa’ada war we have the Yemeni army and air force strongly augmented if not led by Saudi troops and air strikes. As well as reports of Jordanian and Moroccan special forces on the side of the Yemeni government. These foreign militaries previously received much US aid and training. Can’t the US get them to stop bombing civilians and enable the food and medicine to flow? There are children starving to death in the refugee camps. Once the smoke clears, there’s going to be bodies everywhere. All for the sake of propping up an irrational, brutal, anti-democratic dictator who utilizes al Qaeda when convenient. Its really a hair brained policy that is entirely counter-productive to both long term and short term US goals. Its also immoral and the kind of actions that give al Qaeda fanatics a platform. Related: Yes, the worst possible move at the present moment is Predators.

Chinese Ship of Weapons

Filed under: China, Hodeidah, Military, Proliferation, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Sunday, November 15, 2009

Just as al Ailami predicted, the shipload of Chinese weapons imported by the Defense Ministry for the Houthi rebels moved next to Sudan, in theory not offloaded in Yemen. Yemen Gazette:

HODEIDA, 30 Oct — The Chinese vessel laden with weapons that was imported by tribal chieftain and arms dealer, Sheik Hadi Mothana has left the port of Hodeida back to China without off loading its cargo, the independent website, Marib Press said on Friday, adding “the Chinese ship arrived in Sudan where it off loaded oil drilling equipment it was carrying and has started sailing back to China.” Other conflicting reports said President Saleh had met with Sheik Hadi Mothana and agreed to allow the ministry of defense to buy the shipment. The ministry of defense has denied any ties to the shipment and Mothana said he has “solid evidence the government has asked for the cargo.

Oh, Yemen and the US Did Not Sign a New Miltary Agreement?

Filed under: Military, USA, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:46 pm on Friday, November 13, 2009

I see. Yemeni Chief of Staff Ahmed Ali al-Ashwal in a statement to SABA news agency said the US and Yemen concluded an agreement on enhanced intel sharing, military training and new equipment. And the news went all around the world. But it was a lie.

Deal or no deal? No deal, Howie. The US clarified what actually happened. Both the Embassy and the Pentagon issued a statement. (The two sides signed the minutes of the meeting, not a new military agreement.)

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The Pentagon said on Friday the United States had not signed a military cooperation deal with Yemen, refuting a report from Sanaa’s official news agency

“There were no agreements signed,” spokesman Bryan Whitman told AFP…Yemen’s official Saba news agency said on Wednesday that the two countries had signed a military cooperation agreement during talks in the capital Sanaa.

Its very difficult to believe anything coming out of the Sana’a regime on any topic.

The US Fails to Confirm Military Agreement with Yemen after al Qaeda calls for Govt Recruits

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 8:12 am on Thursday, November 12, 2009

Update: both Pentagon and US Embassy deny deal inked; what they signed was the minutes of the meeting.

Original Post: A few days ago a leading Saudi member of Yemen’s Al Qaeda called for men to join with President Saleh’s forces in battling the Houthi rebels. It really would be a bit sticky now (or is it just me) if the US was to arm and train them.

AFP Yemen said on Wednesday that it had signed a military cooperation deal with the United States although the US embassy would confirm only that talks had been held on joint counterterrorism efforts. (Read on …)

Houthis Accuse Saudi Again

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Saudi Arabia, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:30 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The quasi-governmental Yemen Observer: Conflict erupted today between a group of al-Houthi rebels and Saudi border security guards, resulting in several deaths and injuries on both sides, at the area of Smoke Mountain. Trying to illegally enter Saudi Arabia, al-Houthi rebels were caught, and conflict broke out between them and Saudi border guards.

al AhramIn a statement the rebels said that Saudi Arabian artillery had pounded the area of Al-Husama, where rebel fighters are positioned near the Saudi border…At least two Saudi border guards were injured in clashes with the Al-Houthi rebels in the Al-Husama area after the allegations had been made, press reports said. (Read on …)

Civilian Casualties Mount in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Donors, UN, Military, Saada War, War Crimes — by Jane Novak at 12:22 pm on Tuesday, November 3, 2009

First graphic video of children killed in the entirely senseless Sa’ada War here and another digging out the bodies, more digging and corpse carrying, digging through the night then a vid of dozens of shrouded bodies large and small, followed by a witness statement or two. Today’s news, another refugee camp shelled, Yemeni government still refuses humanitarian ceasefire and aid corridor.

UNCHR via News Yemen: An unknown number of displaced Yemeni civilians have been killed and wounded during an exchange of fire between government troops and Al Houti forces in northern Yemen yesterday (29 October), according to UNHCR partners based in the area.

The victims belong to a group of some 500 internally displaced people (IDPs) who found shelter in Al Sam camp on the outskirts of Sa’ada city – one of the two remaining IDP camps in the troubled town. According to sketchy information from Sa’ada, a rocket or a mortar round landed in the camp, killing and wounding the IDPs, women and children among them. The security situation in that area has been deteriorating over the past few days. (Read on …)

General Ali Mohsen calls for investigation, Import Docs not forged

Filed under: China, Military, Proliferation, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:27 am on Tuesday, October 27, 2009

They’re all swooning in shock that the Yemeni Defense Ministry is selling arms to the Houthi rebels, its hysterical. Arming the rebel force for profit is a good example of a) how the extreme criminalization of the Yemeni government leads to irrational outcomes, b) the war economy perpetuating the war and c) increasing factionalization of the Yemeni government.

Yemen Today: Meanwhile, Brigadier General Ali Muhsen al-Ahmar called for investigations into the Chinese arms shipment seized in the port city of Hodeida two weeks ago. The government had said the shipment entered the country using forged documents and published a black list of arms dealers but the agent of the Chinese company in Yemen, Sheik Hadi Mothana Monday told reporters the “papers of the shipment are not forged and I have a solid proof.”

In related news, the independent website, Marib Press Monday talked about a “second black list of arms dealers,” adding “the Chinese arms shipment could expose many senior officials in the government who are involved in arming the Shiite rebels if an investigation was opened,” and quoted security officials as saying “the Shiite insurgents get their weapons from the arms depots of the ministry of defense.”

More details at the Yemen Observer: (Read on …)

Shipload of Chinese Weapons Disappears from Hodeidah Port?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, China, Hodeidah, Military, Proliferation, Saada War, Security Forces, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 2:59 pm on Thursday, October 22, 2009

Update: Parliament questions al Alimi who says maybe the ship went to Somalia and the weapons will be smuggled to Yemen from there.

Original Post: Actually it makes as much sense one way or the other, whether the shipment from Faris Manna (and the Defense Ministry) ultimately goes to the rebels or al Qaeda. I wrote in 2005 that Yemen was a primary weapons supplier to jihaddi groups all over the region- from Saudi to Gaza and lots of places in Africa. Later the Yemeni government promised (!!) to stop using brokers to buy and sell weapons. It was a big announcement, warmly welcomed by the US. But like nearly every and all announcements by the Yemeni regime, it lacked substance.

Following up on our earlier post, about Sa’ada mediator Faris Manna importing a shipload of Chinese weapons with forged documements from Yemen’s Defense Ministry: they can’t find the ship. Its in the port, left the port or never entered the port, one of those.

Yemen Post The debate over a suspected ship carrying Chinese-made weapons anchored in the port of Hodeida province in western Yemen heated up on Wednesday, with Parliament setting a deadline of next Monday for the government to submit a comprehensive report on the ship. (Read on …)

Yemeni MPs Wonder if the Defense Ministery is Selling Arms to the Rebels

Filed under: China, Hodeidah, Military, Proliferation, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:24 pm on Sunday, October 11, 2009

And its a darned good question. Follow up to the story: Yemen appoints weapons smuggler as governmental peace negotiator and gets mad when he sells the rebels a ship load of Chinese arms using “forged” documents from the Defense Ministry.

Sahwa Net – Over 29 MPs demanded in a parliamentary session held on Sunday to summon the defense minister Mohamad Nasser Mohammad to ask him about a Chinese ship loaded with weapons held in Hodeida airport. (ed- Earlier reports said it sailed away but apparently its still there.)

A Russian TV channel said that the ship belongs to Faris Mana’a, brother of Saada governor. (Read on …)

The marginalization of General Ali Mohsen al Ahmar

Filed under: Biographies, Diplomacy, Military, Presidency, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:55 pm on Saturday, October 10, 2009

One school of thought holds that the inexplicable duration of the Sa’ada War is, in part, a mechanism to weaken Ali Mohsen (dubbed by some as Chemical Ali) who was too strong for a frontal assualt by Saleh, and in turn pave the way for Prince Ahmed. The 26 Septemper (sic) really flipped out at the paper that originally published the analysis below.

Yemen Tribune SANAA, 09 Oct — The independent weekly newspaper, Almasder Thursday published an article written by Hussein al-Laswas on the relations between President Saleh and his half brother, General Ali Muhsen. “It was Ali Muhsen who assisted Saleh to come to power when he besieged the capital back in the seventies and hence furnished the way for Saleh’s coup d’état to succeed … Ali Muhsen who was once Yemen’s most powerful general was capable of toppling Saleh after the civil war of 1994 when his popularity among the soldiers, the Islamists and the Saudis was at its top, but he remained loyal to Saleh. Trust between the two has waned after Ali Muhsen failed in the fifth round of war with the Huthis and Saleh opted to remove him from the sixth round of war … both men have palaces and huge bank accounts and both see Yemen as their own personal property … Saleh has been trying to liberate the capital from the grip of Muhsen’s battalions and when the sixth round of war with the Shiite rebels erupted, Saleh and his son, Ahmad found a historical opportunity to make the change and spread the control of the republican guards over Sanaa. (Read on …)

Smuggling, smuggling, smuggling: Weapons

Filed under: China, Military, Proliferation, Saada War, Somalia   — by Jane Novak at 9:56 am on Thursday, October 8, 2009

A ship seized in Yemen’s port of Hodeidah was importing weapons from China for the Houthi rebels with “false documents” from the Defense Ministry. Are things really that lax that any yo-yo can show up and buy a shipload of weapons with a forged document? Perhaps all weapon sales to Yemen should be scrutinized for similar fraud.

Is the Yemeni administration so corrupt that aspects of the military are selling weapons to their adversaries in the midst of a war? Undoubtedly. The military is so corrupt that sometimes al Qaeda trains inside military camps (less obvious from the air) and military commanders oversee logistics for would be jihaddists. There’s an al Qaeda safe house in President Saleh’s village with a bus that runs to a nearby training camp.

The cargo was not confiscated, and the ship left the port likely bound for buyers in Somalia. The sequence of events led MP’s to wonder who was behind the shipment (hidden hands behind the state is the phrase) and if it was possible that the government appointed mediator was also the rebels’ supplier. Ya think?

The recent “blacklisting” of President Saleh’s ally, weapons dealer and government mediator, Faris Manna makes a little more sense now as a fit of pique, but the war economy is well entrenched. The perpetrators of organized criminal activity in Yemen often operate under official cover. For more on Yemen’s weapons smuggling, see my category proliferation.

YO: Security authorities sabotaged an attempt by arms dealers to enter a large amount of ammunition imported from China, through forged official documents. The dealers are being investigated in preparation for trial. The deal was done through forged documents on behalf of the Yemeni Ministry of Defense and it included a large amount of old manufactured ammunition, said security sources.

The GPC’s al Motamar reports: Official sources last Monday affirmed that concerned authorities in Yemen foiled an attempt of entering a shipment of munitions some weapon merchants to import from China with forged official documents , pointing out that security investigations were conducted with eh involved persons prior to stand trial.

(Read on …)

Yemen’s Military Unable to Make Payroll

Filed under: Military, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:24 am on Monday, October 5, 2009

Southern soldiers detain gas truck after four months without wages.

This is not a new phenomenon. Teachers wages (and other civil servants) are also subject to garnishment and seizure by supervisors. Various groups of soldiers have been protesting for years about unpaid wages. Corruption is so endemic in the military that commanders pocket soldiers salaries, leading to low morale and several prior cases of the refusal to obey orders. With the government’s budget reduced by 50% in 2009 from decreased oil revenue, the Yemeni military may become more mutinous as the cash crunch hits harder.

Abdelmalik Vid

Filed under: Iran, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:25 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Al houthi denies any funding or support from Iran, and denies their goal is to re-establish the Imamate. He describes the war as a reaction to discrimination (like the southerners) and the Yemeni government as deliberately deploying misinformation. al Jazeera

In his first video statement since fighting broke out five weeks ago, Abdelmalik al-Houthi also accused the government of lying over Iranian support for the fighters.

“The authorities claimed that we were receiving foreign support and that we are affiliated to foreign projects, namely to Iran,” he said on Sunday.

“Even when making these claims, the authorities are totally aware of the fact that they are lying.” (Read on …)

Saleh Ready to Fight for Years

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:20 am on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Last month, Saleh said the war would be over in a matter of weeks. The ongoing erosion of the Yemeni military, despite the billions spend on aircraft, is a fundamental aspect of the war with many ramifications.

SANAA — Yemen’s government is ready to fight Shiite rebels in the mountainous north for “years”, the president vowed on Saturday, though he also said hostilities could end if the rebels agree a ceasefire. (Read on …)

War Crimes in Yemen

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:46 am on Sunday, September 20, 2009

Its clear the Yemeni government has violated international law in its conduct of the Sa’ada War, with both its bombing campaign and its blockade on food. HRW found that during the 2007 round, the government’s blockade on essential supplies appeared to constitute collective punishment.

Yemeni Toddlers Killed in Government Airstrikes

Yemeni Toddlers Killed in Government Airstrikes

This Guardian article articulates these concerns:

The Guardian: Now that the UN commission has published its findings on Gaza, there’s another task waiting for Judge Goldstone and his team: an investigation into possible war crimes in Yemen. Off and on for the last five years, the Yemeni government has been fighting a rebellion in the north of the country. The latest flare-up began five weeks ago when the military launched an offensive codenamed Operation Scorched Earth….

Since Operation Scorched Earth began, the Yemeni military has been relying heavily on air strikes. This raises the question of how – if at all – they distinguish between rebel fighters and civilians, especially in a lawless part of the country where citizens habitually carry guns for their own protection….

According to Human Rights Watch, one witness said that “Yemeni military planes conducted four raids this morning [Wednesday] and, without warning, bombed a group of displaced persons sheltering in an open area near a school. There were no armed clashes or rebels in the area at the time, the witness said, but the area was close to a road sometimes used by Houthi rebels.”

Unicef yesterday expressed “deep concern” at the civilian deaths and its regional director said: “This is unacceptable. Children should not be caught in conflict. Their right to health, protection and safety must be protected at all times.”

Read it all at: The Guardian:

Human Rights Watch Issues Alert on Bombing in Sa’ada: “The Yemeni government should be investigating what may have been a horrific attack on civilians,”

Filed under: Amran, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 5:51 pm on Wednesday, September 16, 2009

AP and the wires picked up the story as well. Good.

***Media Advisory***
Yemen: Investigate Aerial Bomb Attacks
Many Children, Women, Elderly Reported Killed

(New York, September 16, 2009) – At least 87 persons, the majority women, children, and the elderly, were killed in aerial bombings in northern Yemen today, a witness to the attack and others reported. Human Rights Watch called on the Yemeni government to promptly and impartially investigate responsibility for any attacks on civilians, and urged all parties to the armed conflict in the region to respect the prohibition under international law against targeting civilians.

The attacks were in ‘Adi, east of the town of Harf Sufyan, in ‘Amran governorate. In mid-August, a sixth round of heavy fighting erupted in northern Yemen between government forces and Huthi rebels, and it has continued since then.

A witness to the attack reached via a Yemeni human rights organization, the Dialogue Foundation, said that Yemeni military planes conducted four raids this morning and, without warning, bombed a group of displaced persons sheltering in an open area near a school. (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 …)

HRW: Government, Rebels Should Respect Laws of War

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:27 am on Saturday, September 12, 2009

Yemen: New Fighting in North Threatens Civilians
Government, Rebels Should Respect Laws of War

(New York, September 11, 2009) – Yemeni officials and rebel leaders should ensure that their forces fully respect the laws of war in the ongoing armed conflict in northern Yemen, Human Rights Watch said today.

In separate letters to President Ali Abdullah Saleh and the Huthi rebel leader, Sayyid Abd al-Malik al-Huthi, Human Rights Watch urged them to ensure that their forces take all feasible steps to avoid harm to civilians. This includes never targeting civilians, not conducting attacks that cause indiscriminate or disproportionate loss of civilian life and property, and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian supplies to displaced persons and other civilians affected by the fighting. (Read on …)

Yemeni Military Role in Prolonging the Sa’ada War

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 2:03 pm on Thursday, September 10, 2009

This is a good article from the Economist on the Sa’ada War, which makes the point the government’s brutal tactics brought the rebels more more recruits. (As an aside, the military’s strategy is also haphazard and reckless and include bombing their own units or leaving them encircled and stranded for a month. The military’s incompetence is partially a result of nepotism. Leadership positions are awarded not by ability, but to Saleh’s family and cronies. Military commissions are awarded by loyalist tribal sheiks as patronage to those within the tribe.)

The Economist article correctly pinpoints the source of Houthi arms- capture and purchase in local arms markets- and notes the allegations of Iranian involvement are unproven.

Economist: SOLDIERS mostly aim better with bullets than with words, but Yemen’s army can claim unwonted accuracy in its latest offensive, Operation Scorched Earth. Judging from reports of MiG fighter aircraft, helicopter gunships, tanks and Katyusha rockets churning up the spectacular mountainscapes of the country’s rugged north-west, the description is fitting. ….Much of the reason for their success lies with the army itself. Its aerial bombing and artillery fire have proved better at enraging locals than at subduing bands of guerrillas; and its induction of tribal allies has pushed their traditional rivals into the Houthis’ arms. The army’s need to man fixed positions in remote areas and to mount convoys on main roads has provided plum targets. Most of the Houthis’ heavy equipment is captured booty, though they have bought more from corrupt officers or in the market in Saada, the region’s capital. With such things as rocket-propelled grenades and anti-aircraft guns on open display, Saada is said to boast the best-stocked arms bazaar west of Pakistan’s Peshawar.

After the last round of clashes sputtered out in July 2008, Houthi forces quietly regained possession of much of the country around Saada, positioning themselves to block the few roads that give access to the rest of the country. Despite the ferocity of the present onslaught, they do not appear to have been dislodged. The government claims advances but Houthi videos posted on YouTube show captured army tanks and soldiers. Each side accuses the other of atrocities and of acting as a cat’s-paw for foreign powers. The government says the Houthis are fighting for Iran. The rebels say the government truckles to the Saudis.

Such reasoning comforts Yemenis, many of whom prefer to blame their troubles on regional power games. But although there is no proof of Iranian involvement, Saudi Arabia does have a legitimate interest in helping Yemen’s government control its side of their mutual border. The kingdom is, in fact, a reluctant ally of Mr Saleh, as are the Western donors whose aid has long propped up his regime. But with even more perilous potential threats to Yemen looming, such as growing unrest in the once-separate south and menacing signs of a resurgence by affiliates of al-Qaeda, Mr Saleh can still plausibly pose as the only man stopping the country from becoming the world’s next failed state.

Word of Truce Hadn’t Spread to All Fighters

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 9:53 am on Sunday, September 6, 2009

This sounds true, keeping in mind mobile phone and internet services are cut. Maybe they can try it again… Both sides are accusing the other of breaking the truce.

International intervention is a big no-no, but this situation is the classic template where neutral peackeepers are required.

IRIN While both sides of the conflict appeared to be committed to the truce, it did not last long.

The government’s Supreme Security Committee (SSC), comprising senior members of the defence and interior ministries and chaired by President Saleh, said that dozens of soldiers and Houthi gunmen were killed in clashes initiated by the rebels on the evening of 4 September, just four hours after the truce began.

(Mohammed Abdussalam, spokesman for the office of rebel leader Abdulmalik al-Houthi) admitted that their fighters in Harf Sufyan district in Amran province had not heard about the truce decision, and said that the SSC was too hasty in accusing Houthi followers of breaking the truce.

WFP implementing partner Islamic Relief had been seeking safe corridors to distribute some 935 metric tonnes of WFP food stock, pre-positioned in Saada city, to IDPs scattered there in camps and with host families, according to Santamarina…. (Read on …)

Army Truck Disguised as Red Crescent??!!

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:30 am on Sunday, September 6, 2009

There really needs to be some independent reporting from Sa’ada, both sides are trading serious charges. If the accusations in this story are true, and the Yemeni government is transporting arms under the guise of the Red Crescent, the rebels should provide proof in the form of photos. Otherwise its another unsubstantiated story. Its a very serious violation of international law, made more serious by the humanitarian crisis in Sa’ada.

al Tagheer A source Houthi for “change” he with a group of elements in the group to target a military tanker ship carrying ammunition belonging to the Yemeni military at exactly seven o’clock Saturday evening, the source said: The ship was camouflaged the Yemeni Red Crescent emblem, adding that it was erected ambush them after a trace starting from the exit of the camp of the Central Security Department to Mount black Harf Sufian in Amran governorate were targeted with rocket-R.

Ceasefire Breaks Down within Hours of Declaration

Filed under: Diplomacy, Donors, UN, Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 6:34 am on Saturday, September 5, 2009

I was really hopeful for a week long lull to get the aid and supplies in.

Times of India, SANAA: A Yemeni military source said on Saturday “dozens” of people had been killed on both sides as clashes with Shiite rebels in the north resumed
overnight after a short-lived ceasefire broke down.

“The armed forces and rebels engaged in violent clashes overnight which continued until dawn on Saturday in Malaheez and Hafr Sufyan” in Saada province, the source told AFP in Sanaa by telephone.

“Dozens of people have been killed in both camps,” the source added, without elaborating. No official confirmation of the toll was available.

Houthi Rebels Pledge to Comply with International Law Regarding Prisoners and Civilians, Media and Humanitarian Groups

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:36 pm on Friday, September 4, 2009

In a letter responding to Dr. Mohammed Al-Mikhlafi, the Head of the Yemeni Observatory For Human Rights, Abdulmalik al Houthi, leader of the al Houthi rebels, states that Yemeni soldiers that have been captured by the rebels are being treated humanely, that the rebels do and will respect the concept of the immunity of civilians, humanitarian organizations and the media. Al Houthi welcomes the ICRC or another humanitarian organization to facilitate communications between the hostages (POWs) and their families.

We wish you a happy Ramadan and may Allah return it to you, Yemen and Islamic Community with peace and blessings.

We have received your letter which was highly appreciated and valued, and we are as you are disappointed that the war started again which we put an effort to cease and we have accepted all mediators since the very beginning of the war regardless of the conditions even when some were not in favor of us. Also, we have proposed a lot of initiatives from one side and the last one was announced few days ago dated on August/31/2009 due to our concern to save the people and to guarantee not repeating the war tragedy which the citizens suffer from. However the state had always failed these efforts and reopens the war against our cities, villages and house we enforces us to use the right provided within all constitutions, local and international laws which is defending ourselves. (Read on …)

Yemeni Military Suspends Military Operations for Humanitarian Convoys

Filed under: Donors, UN, Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 12:57 pm on Friday, September 4, 2009

Update: “Al-Sayed Abdul-Malik has welcomed and confirmed acceptance of them (suspension of military operations.)”

Original Post: Hasn’t happened yet, but if it goes down, its a great thing.

Yemen Post: The Yemeni government has announced the military operations to be suspended in the north, a move which comes in response to calls of relief organizations to allow in aid for the affected and commitment of the rebels to end destructive acts, Saba has reported.

The suspension will take place at 9 pm Friday.

The Houthi rebels, who have been fighting the troops since 2004, are also committed to eliminate landmines, barriers and end sniper attacks.

Excellent, now Al Motamar is reporting it.

Hashid Tribesmen Killed and Injured in Sa’ada

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 1:58 pm on Sunday, August 30, 2009

Update: Yemen Times

In a related event, thousands of Hashed tribesmen in Amran are preparing to participate in the war against the Houthis. Media sources said that 3,000 fighters – in addition to other fighters mobilized last week- were made ready to participate in fighting against the Houthis in Amran’s Harf Sufyan front. Fighters’ names were registered and each of them was given YR 20,000 and 100 machine gun bullets.

Tribal militia’s are a bad idea in general because they lack military training and discipline. From AFP

SANAA — Nine tribesmen who were fighting alongside the Yemeni army to crush a Shiite rebellion in the north of the country have been killed in a mortar attack, tribal sources said on Sunday.

Sixteen other fighters from the influential Shiite Hashed tribe were also wounded on Saturday when the Zaidi rebels fired mortar rounds on their positions in the mountainous region of Sawad, near Saudi Arabia, they said. (Read on …)

Another Exploding Fishing Boat or Challenges to Border Control in Yemen

Filed under: Fisheries, Hajjah, Military, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 12:56 pm on Thursday, August 27, 2009

This is the third fishing boat to explode since May. Are they smuggling explosives, fishing with explosives? It is described as a massive explosion. The location is Maydi in Hajjah, near the Saudi border, south of Sa’ada. We earlier noted Maydi (Medi) Island is a new way station for human smuggling from Sudan.

Also note the the port is under the direction of the Border Guards which fall under the Defense Ministry, not the Coast Guard. As earlier noted regarding weapons trafficking, the ports with the highest rates of arms smuggling are those under military control, not the Coast Guard. The Border Guard and the Coast Guard have been involved in several scuffles when the BG interferes in CG efforts to combat smuggling. To the extent that the US is interested in border control, the facilitation of smuggling by aspects of the Yemeni security forces is an important consideration.

al Tagheer: أفادت مصادر مطلعة عن دوي انفجار شديد في ميناء الصيد بمديرية ميدي التابعة لمحافظة حجة صباح الاثنين في حوالي الساعة الرابعة فجرا تضرر فيه ثلاثة قوارب صيد احدهم يتبع ضباط بالجيش ويدعى محمد حنيش. Informed sources said a loud blast in the fishing port MIDI Directorate in the province of argument on Monday morning at about four o’clock am the damaged fishing boats, one of three military officers followed, Mohammed Hanish. (Read on …)

Yemen Govt: “Pro-Government People” Fighting and Arresting Houthis

Filed under: Amran, Military, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen, al Jawf — by Jane Novak at 12:52 pm on Saturday, August 22, 2009

From the gov’t website, SABA, confirmation of tribal paramilitaries fighting on behalf of the state (again) in the Sa’ada War. What kind of rules of engagement exist for these non-military combatants? Is there any attempt at command and control, or are they free to wander around and engage in firefights at will? The “pro-government people” are also authorized to make arrests, according to SABA. Another SABA report in Arabic report has 50 cars arriving in Sa’ada with fruit, water and food for the army. (Meanwhile thousands of women and children who fled the bombing are spread along the roads with nothing.)

Undoubtedly, both sides are using child soldiers.

The bombing is publicly acknowledged this time, but it was a tactic used extensively in prior rounds of the war, with the same consequences- civilian casualties and mass displacement. When the regime spent one billion on new weapons from Russia in March, following a major upgrade on Yemen’s fleet of Mig29’s in October 08, it was pretty apparent that the next war would be an air war.

Lastly, the UN said tens of thousands of refugees are in remote regions inacessable by air. Why not helicopters? Yemen has choppers. But the Yemeni govt is continuing to block international organizations from humanitarian access even to refugees who are reachable. And although the rebels agreed in theory to a truce during Ramadan, the military offensive continues. (ah a link at the Yemen Observer: The government refused on Thursday an initiative by some of the rebel leaders’ relatives to put an end to the war.

SABA: Yemen’s Air Forces have landed painful blows on the elements of a rebel group in several districts of the northern Yemeni province of Saada.

Security sources said on Saturday that groups of the al-Houthi rebels have been encircled and besieged in a number of the districts of Saada and Harf Sufyan area of the neighboring province of Amran….

At the same time, the Air Force landed painful blows on a number of strongholds belonging to the al-Houthi rebels in the areas of Matrah and Naq’ah.

Meanwhile, pro-government people in Saada, Amran and Jawf provinces have been fighting the al-Houthi rebels in some areas of those governorates in order to pursue, arrest and hand them over to the concerned bodies of the government.

The sources affirmed that the rebel group has attacked a health center aiming to kidnap health staff and medical supplies as well as they bombed some buildings of citizens in al-Qabel village of al-Mahadher district in Saada.

On the other hand, 28 rebels of the al-Houthi group were arrested by citizens after escaping from the confrontations with the armed forces in Harf Sufyan area.

Yemen Govt: Tribesmen Headed to Sa’ada

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 9:43 am on Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Yemeni government announced the recruitment of tribal fighters into the Sa’ada war. The fact that they are “spontaneously” joining the battle is no defense for the Yemeni military. In a war, or an insurgency, the state remains culpable for a counter-insurgency fighting on behalf of the state (like the Janjaweed in Darfur). Also the arms, payments and weapons certainly are coming directly or indirectly through state channels.

The numbers are more than likely exaggerated. Even so, its bad news. The five prior Sa’ada wars have been philosophically contained as Houthis verses the government. The Houthis sought to define the conflict as a defensive fight against a repressive and discriminatory government, and the regime publicly defined it as a sectarian conflict against demonic apostates, but neither of the competing narratives caught on. To the extent the ranks of the rebels swelled from 200 in 2004 to thousands now, it was largely a result of the government’s violent campaign in the region, not because the Yemeni public was buying into the Houthi ideology. However, if the sixth Saada War becomes primarily a tribal conflict, then the combatants will be defined by new identities, and tribal norms dictate participation., Saba – Masses from many tribes of all the country’s governorates are heading willingly for Sa’ada governorate to take part in the fight against the Houthi rebels.

The military-run quoted tribal sources as saying that the Houthi’s claims, crimes and sabotage acts have provoked them to defend Yemen and its security and stability as well as the innocent citizens of Sa’ada.

The sources said that the tribesmen move to Sa’ada is freely to assist their bothers to encounter rebels’ collusive plots.

Well-informed sources said that businessmen and merchantmen have begun donating money to the security and armed forces fighting against rebels.

Hundreds of thousands (ed: perhaps they meant hundreds or thousands)of youths have announced their readiness from different governorates to battle to the insurgents in the governorate of Saada, according to the website.

Update: This is hysterical- “businessmen and merchantmen have begun donating money”- when Yemen’s economic activity is dominated by the same elite that dominates the political arena, land ownership and the security forces. I have a link on the side bar of the cross over between major corporations/ military and security/ membership in Saleh’s family. Its shows that Saleh’s family/ corporate leadership/ military commanders are largely the same persons. (The MAZ Corp, anyone?) A very important aspect thats missing from the list is land “ownership”, keeping in mind that much of the dissatisfaction in the south comes from the outright theft of land by major military commanders.

Yemeni Military Bombing Cities and Villages Again

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 12:41 pm on Sunday, August 16, 2009

While this photo may look like the dozens of others I’ve published throught the years, it is indeed current and new destruction from the Yemeni government’s bombing campaign.

Sa'ada War August 2009

Sa'ada War August 2009

When there used to be laws of war, two of the most fundamental were that combatants should be dressed in a uniform and should not mingle with or shelter among civilian populations. The Houthi rebels (like many insurgent groups) comply with neither and increase the risks to civilians of military targeting. However, the state of Yemen as a state has the mandate to minimize civilian losses. Instead, as throughout the Sa’ada Wars, the Yemeni military is wantonly bombing residential areas and murdering its own citizens.

IRIN On 14 August, 15 civilians were killed in military airstrikes on Haidan Market in Saada, according to a local councilor from Amran who spoke to IRIN on condition of anonymity. On the same day he said five Yemeni soldiers were killed and dozens other injured in clashes in the Harf Sifyan District of neighbouring Amran Province, some 100km north of the capital Sanaa.

Another official, also declining to give his name, said 20 Houthi fighters were killed in army airstrikes on Haidan, Dhahian, Matrah and Al-Mahadhir districts.

Its time for everyone to re-read the International Crisis Group report on Sa’ada. There’s a good backgrounder on the recent developments in the conflict at the Khaleej Times:

Over the past few months, the Houthis have been able to take advantage of the many ceasefires to gain tactical advantages; this has generated deep concern in official circles in Yemen and the region.

The Houthi forces have expanded their influence and control into new areas, particularly on the Yemeni-Saudi border in the areas of Baqa’, Al Hassama, and Al Mashnaq. With the Houthis controlling more areas close to the Saudi border, the conflict became an issue of regional concern, which led to increasing Saudi pressure on the Yemeni government to deal with situation.

Second, over the past week, Al Houthi militia has begun actively controlling access to the western part of the country and closed strategic roads used as supply lines for the Yemeni Army. Closing roads, the rebels aim not only to disable supply and logistics but also to isolate and demoralise the Yemeni armed forces forcing them to surrender. Many army camps and military posts have been placed under siege and come under fire from the rebel forces.

The situation became more complicated after an increasing number of tribes started to form militias in the last few weeks.

Both the Yemeni army and Houthis have used tribal forces in the conflict. But of late, a larger number of tribes, who initially had taken a neutral stance in the conflict, have become involved. In provinces such Al Jawf, it was the Islah Party that called on the tribes last month to establish armed militias to fight the Houthi forces in order to counter their advance in the area.

There are 120,000 estimated to be displaced, not surprisingly when over 100,000 people were out of their homes prior to this outbreak. The figure largely represents women and children.

Anwar on Marib Or Where is Anwar Awlaki and Who is Writing His Blog?

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, USA, anwar, personalities — by Jane Novak at 12:01 am on Monday, August 3, 2009

OK, I’m not one normally to delve into the self pitying machinations or wailing treatises of al Qaeda. However, I find it odd that for the first time, Yemeni-American Anwar Awlaki is writing an extremely detailed account of a battle in Marib on his (uncensored) blog.

Anwar is framing the clash as the first conflict between the Yemeni mujids and the army, and using uncharacteristically awful grammar, as opposed to those of us who consistently use awful grammar. Considering his dad was the head of Sana’a U, this is a bit disappointing.

Anwar’s prior posts are poetic, well punctuated and demonstrate his good vocabulary. Now we get this bluster: Casualties amongst the ranks of the mujahideen: None. None killed, none injured and no damage to their houses or property either. Its an odd tone for the site.

Anwar never focused on Yemeni issues before, but now is gloating about the government’s “humiliation” and lists in detail the captured weapons and soldiers. (The result of the battle was five destroyed tanks, two armored vehicles, at least 3 soldiers killed and five soldiers taken prisoners. The brothers also took over an entire truck load of weapons in addition to other pieces of equipment left behind by the fleeing soldiers.) Anwar is a theorist, not a tactician. The post ends with, “The army pulled out after asking for a truce from the mujahideen.”

Maybe Anwar is off somewhere like hmmmm South Africa and has a ghost writer that sounds both familiar and discordant. The fluent English and strident tone limit the pool of potential authors. Or perhaps Anwar was there at the battle and the adrenaline got to him.

Update: The excellent NEFA gives the full text here.

Marib Governor Denies Reports

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, personalities — by Jane Novak at 6:46 pm on Saturday, August 1, 2009

Nothing is ever simple or straightforward. News Yemen

The governor of Mareb Naji al-Zaidi denied press reports that three soldiers were killed in a clash with al-Qaeda militants last Thursday.

Asked about the murder of al-Qaeda’s leader Aidh al-Shabwani, al-Zaidi said rejected to confirm or deny, but confirmed that the soldiers were only injured.

Sources in the Mareb Security Department told NewsYemen the counterterrorism forces are surrounding Al- Shabwan area to hunt down militants.

Press reports reported Friday that three soldiers were killed in an armed clash with militants belonging to al Qaeda in Mareb, northeastern Yemen, on Thursday evening. Some reports said al-Shabwani was also killed in the clash.

Military Linked Al Qaeda Murderers Busted by Accident in Marib, Yemen (?)

Filed under: Abyan, Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Marib, Military, Security Forces, arrests, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:16 pm on Thursday, July 30, 2009

Update: thanks everybody!!!! It says its Ali Mohsen al Ahmar’s faction of al Qaeda…The jihaddists who killed the four soldiers were found with military cards and dead bodies in their car. Thats what the articles say.

Whether Ali Mohsen was trying to make the southerners look bad or he was making a move during an internal power struggle, the bottom line is – according to the articles- terrorists acting as agents of the Yemeni military killed other soldiers in a propaganda ploy.

They have been doing things like this all along, cloning their opponents to perpetrate various false flag attacks. The idea that al Qaeda when allied with the Yemeni regime is any less dangerous is absurd. If anything, the access to state resources increases their capacity.

Update 2: al Motamar reported the arrests (and blamed al Fadhli) and later began denying the arrests – which may mean they were released after some high level intercession: An official security sources has on Thursday denied the information reported by some newspapers and electronic papers on arresting, by security authorities in Mareb, the perpetrators of the crime of killing four security soldiers and injuring a fifth in Um Ayn the day before yesterday.

How complicated! The soldiers were killed in Abyan. And there’s fighting in Marib between al Qaeda and some security. This may take days to shake out.

Original post: I have to figure this out (or rather get someone to explain if it says what I think it says- HINT HINT.) Its a google translation of the latest scandal. It seems to say the perpetrators of the murder of the four Yemeni soldiers were state jihaddists but I need confirmation of who they belong to. There’s several groups of state jihaddists. From Aden Press (and below from Marib Press):

Control group of armed Bmorb followed involved the murder of Muhsin Red Yemeni security soldiers Babin

News مأرب_لندن “عدن برس” خاص: 29-7-2009 Marib-London, “Aden said,” special: 29-7-2009
تمكن أفراد إحدى النقاط العسكرية التابعة للجيش اليمني بمحافظة مأرب صباح اليوم من اعتقال منفذي الهجوم على إحدى نقاط الانتشار الأمنية الواقعة بمنطقة العين مديرية لودر والتي راح ضحيتها 4 جنود وأصيب خامس بإصابات بالغة . Enable members of one of the points of the military army of the Yemeni province of Marib on Monday morning from the arrest of the perpetrators of the attack on one of its proliferation in the eye of the security directorate for the generation that killed 4 soldiers and wounded a fifth was seriously injured. واكتشف الجنود تورط الجماعة الإرهابية المسلحة وذلك حينما مرت السيارة التي تقلهم بالنقطة وخضعت لعملية تفتيش روتينية عثر الجنود خلالها على جثتين لأشخاص قتلوا بالرصاص الحي . The soldiers discovered the involvement of the armed terrorist group, when the car passed the point of them underwent a routine check during which the soldiers found the bodies of people killed with live bullets.

وحينها قام الجنود بإلقاء القبض على من كان في السيارة بعد أن تم سلبهم أسلحتهم الشخصية وبتفتيش السيارة عثر بداخلها على بطائق عسكرية تخص الجماعة المسلحة حيث اتضح أنهم عسكريون يتبعون المنطقة العسكرية الشمالية التي يقودها علي محسن الأحمر احد اكبر الشخصيات المثيرة للجدل داخل صنعاء. And then the soldiers to arrest those who were in the car after it had been robbed of their personal weapons and searched the car found inside the military cards belonging to the armed group, where the military found that they follow the northern military region, which led to an improved one of the largest Red controversial figures in Sanaa. إحدى القيادات العسكرية في اللواء 315 مشاة من أبناء محافظة أبين والذي كان مشاركا في عملية توقيف السيارة واحتجازا فرادها قال في اتصال هاتفي بـ”عدن برس” طالبا عن عدم الكشف عن هويته أن عملية الإيقاف جاءت عن طريق الصدفة وعبر عملية تفتيش روتينية مؤكدا أن الجماعة المسلحة التي تم إيقافها تم العثور بحوزة أفرادها على مبالغ مالية وهواتف خليوية تعمل بنظام “الثرياء”. One of the military leadership in the 315 infantry brigade from the province of Abyan, which was involved in the process of arrest and detention car Fradha said in a telephone call to “Aden said,” students not to be named, that the suspension came about by accident and through a process of routine inspection, stressing that the armed group was stopped was found in possession of its members on the money and cell phones operating system “Althreya.” وكانت المفاجأة التي فجرها هذا القيادي هو تأكيده على أن مسئولين في العاصمة صنعاء ومسئولين عسكريين في المنطقة الشمالية قد حاولوا التدخل لأجل الإفراج الفوري عنهم وقبل ان يتم إبلاغ الجهات الرسمية في مر كز العاصمة صنعاء والتي أصدرت بدورها تعليمات فورية ومشددة بضرورة التحفظ على من تم اعتقالهم حتى وصول قوات خاصة من صنعاء لاستلامهم . It was triggered by the surprise leader, is the assertion that officials in the capital Sanaa, and military officials in the northern region had tried to intervene for the immediate release them and be informed before the official authorities in the capital Sanaa over Kz, which in turn issued instructions for immediate and heavy need a reservation to have been arrested so The arrival of special forces from Sanaa to receiving them. (Read on …)

General Patraeus in Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Diplomacy, Military, USA — by Jane Novak at 9:14 am on Monday, July 27, 2009

The prospect of millions from the Millennium Challenge Account didn’t work to create reforms, the 4.6 billion in donor funds in 2006 didn’t work and increased military aid won’t work either. The profits of corruption are much too great and the system so entrenched that its nearly impossible at this point to undo. And with General Patraeus arriving days after the slaughter of the protesters, I would assume the conversation contained more than praise. The timing gives the impression that the US is giving Yemen a pass on all human rights issues, even outright murder by police, but what’s really happening is anyone’s guess. Yemen says every US official visits in order to deliver praise; in five years, the only one who contradicted the Yemeni statement after the meeting was Mueller. Nonetheless, US military aid (slated for trucks and boats) in 2010 is at the highest level in years. Yemen’s counter-terror policies are often smoke and mirrors with little substance.

Yemen, U.S. discuss military cooperation July 26 (Saba)- Minister of Defense Mohammed Nasir Ahmed along with Minister of Interior Mutahar Rashad al-Masri held a meeting on Sunday with the U.S. Commander of Central Military Command General David Petraeus who is currently visiting Yemen over means of enhancing bilateral relations between two armies of both countries and joint efforts of combating terror. (Read on …)

New Violence in Sa’ada

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 8:58 am on Sunday, July 26, 2009

Rebels target soldiers after military set up a post in a neutral zone.

Sahwa Net – Bloody confrontations have gone on since Thursday, killing at least six soldiers. Soldiers were also wounded and captured in the violence which erupted on Thursday .

Local sources in Saada said that Al Khamis area, 6 Km away from Saada city, witnessed violent clashes between al-Houthi rebels and the military.

” It is likely that the military sent a number of soldiers to a military point in Al Khamis area which was agreed to be evacuated form both sides” sources in Saada said.

These incidents came on grounds of killing an army officer and wounding two soldiers in an ambush on the Saada-Sanaa road, according to a defense ministry.

State’s Economic Apartheid Triggers Week Long Political Violence in Lahj, Yemen

Filed under: Military, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 3:39 pm on Monday, July 20, 2009

The last round of riots were also prompted by the state’s systematic exclusion of southerners from the military, one of the few steady employers in poverty stricken Yemen.

Yemen Post: For sixth days in a row, protests are still ongoing in Lahj province with dozens of young people demanding the officers of the military training camp based in Al-Milah area to contain and recruit them .

Denouncing what they described as nepotism and bribery in selecting the recruits, the young people blocked the Sana’a-Aden highway and set fire to tires to protest the mode selection. reported that thousands of citizens in Radfan went to streets to mourn two young people who were killed 40 days ago in Al-Anad security check point.

The protestors demanded the authorities to disclose the killers and chanted anti-unity slogans. They also asked for handing over all those blamed for killing the Southern Mobility activists to be punished.

In their release, the protestors denounced the barbaric crimes that targeted Hamid Saeed, an owner of sweets shop, in Al-Askariah area. They further asked for continuing the peaceful struggle.

In related news, a young man was killed by two people on Saturday in Al-Habilin district’s Jamal area over a plot of land. The corpse is being kept in Bin Khaldon Hospital in Lahj.

Yemeni Regime Refuses Opposition Dialog Conditions

Filed under: GPC, JMP, Media, Military, Presidency, Reform, Saada War, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 1:13 pm on Monday, July 20, 2009

The JMP has quite reasonable preconditions to dialog- release the prisoners, un-ban the newspapers and withdraw the new military checkpoints. The checkpoints give southerners the feeling of being occupied; the new outposts were an affront. There’s no dialog without a free press, and the Southern and Sa’ada prisoners are illegally detained. Its all very reasonable and logical, unfortunately the Yemeni dictatorship is not.

Yemen Times translates Al Sahwa:

• JMP accuses ruling party of disrupting agreement

Spokesman of Joint Meeting Parties (JMP) Mohammad Al-Qanis accused the ruling General People Congress of seeking to renege on an a agreement with the opposition parties, the website reported.

He further charged GPC with stalling, disrupting dialogue and dragging the country into unknown fate.

“JMP purposed three points to settle the crisis; remove new military checkpoints in the southern provinces, release all detainees of the Southern Movement and Saada War, and lift ban on all suspended newspapers allowing their printing and publication,” he went on to say.
(Read on …)

Salafis Kidnapped the Germans, Hid Them: Tribal Source

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Military, Saada War, Security Forces, security timeline, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 12:01 pm on Monday, July 20, 2009

But where are they now??? According to this report, they are alive and hidden. Please God let it be true. (The parallels to the French aid workers kidnapped in Somalia by al Qaeda are interesting if only in the timing and rationale.) Sheik Haba notes yet another specific camp where the Yemeni military is training Salafi recruits in terror tactics. I think that’s the fifth location of jihaddis traning in military camps published in the recent past. A continuation of the domestic, state sponsored jihad in Yemen naturally has regional security implications.

Yemen Times, SANA’A, July 19 — News reports said that a number of battalions from Yemeni special forces as well as other military units are being deployed in Wadi Jubarah and in other areas of the Wa’ela tribes adjacent to the Saudi borders.

A tribal source told the Yemen Times that military forces were seen moving in three fronts from Mareb, Al-Jawf and Sa’ada city and that they were heading toward Wadi Jubarah and the nearby areas belonging to Wa’ela tribes. The source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the military forces told citizens that they were surrounding the house of the tribal sheikh who is accused of kidnapping the six foreigners.

“We are sure that the sheikh wasn’t directly involved in kidnapping the nine foreigners or the murder of three of them,” said the source. “The Salafia members that were involved in kidnapping and killing the foreigners persuaded the sheikh to hide the hostages until they can find a way to protect themselves from being held accountable for the murders. The sheikh himself didn’t participate in the kidnapping. He doesn’t belong to any Salafia groups. In addition, he doesn’t object to the existence of Christian missionary groups or any other religion in the governorate.” — Sources reported that the armed group that kidnapped the foreigners is affiliated with Wahabi Salafia extremists who are opposed to the existence of Christian missionaries who have been working at the Al-Jumhuri Hospital in the capital city of Sa’ada for 35 years. (Read on …)

Yemeni Military Training Salafis in Al Qaeda Camps: Rebels

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Military, TI: External, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:16 pm on Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can I get some coordinates please, a specific location? Akkk, it wouldn’t matter, would it? Many locations were recently published including the military-supported al Qaeda training camps in the mountains near Ja’ar and the one outside Sana’a with the bus route; nobody cares, not a whit. Its amazing. These religious zealots are traveling to various theaters of jihad all over (including Iraq) with government sanction and aided by instruments of the Yemeni state, and no one cares. There’s a lot of empty talk in the world today, but when “group think”, politics and personal benefit overpower individuals’ and organizations’ dedication to strategic national interest, things are looking bleak indeed.

Sahwa Net – While the uncertainty of kidnapping nine foreigners in Saada province has not disclosed, Yemen’s authorities and al-Houthi rebels are still exchanging accusations on the case.

The spokesman of al-Houth rebels accused the Yemeni authorities of supplying Salafi groups of arms and training them in al Qaeda camps.

For their part, the authorities are still looking for six Germans who were kidnapped on June 13 in Saada. Yemen’s interior ministry explained that it along with counter-terrorism units belonging to the Central Security Organization is looking for the five Germans and a Briton.

It renewed its accusations to al-Houthi rebels of killing two German nurses and a Korean last month as they were in a journey with other six foreigners who their fare is still unknown to date.

When I first read this story, I thought it was an old article that popped up on the reader until I got to the part about the kidnapped Germans. Yemeni military facilitating al Qaeda in a variety of ways is really old news.

Weapons Ban in Yemen: 300K Confiscated

Filed under: Crime, Military, Proliferation, Yemen-Statistics — by Jane Novak at 12:13 pm on Friday, July 17, 2009

Where do you think they are reselling the confiscated weapons? Any restrictions on the major weapons dealers and importers yet, no? The black market is a major aspect of the Yemeni economy.

SANAA, Yemen, July 16 (UPI) — Yemen’s Interior Ministry says nearly 293,000 unregistered weapons have been seized since a ban on carrying weapons was instituted in August 2007.

The official Yemeni news agency SABA said the weapons were seized in the capitals of Yemen’s governorates and at security cordon areas.

Deputy Interior Minister Saleh al-Zawari activated the weapon-carrying ban in the governorates of Abyan, Baidha’a, Hadramout, Ibb, Lahj, Mahrah, Mahweet, Abyan, Ibb, Raymah and Taiz.

Zawari said the ban, which he insists will remain in place, has resulted in a decline in the number of land disputes and revenge crimes in Yemen, as well as an overall drop in the country’s crime rates, SABA reported.

Sa’ada Local Authority Catches Soldier Planting Bomb at Govt Bldg.

Filed under: 9 hostages, Military, Saada War, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 12:09 pm on Thursday, July 16, 2009

Yemen is a land of dueling accusations, but the Houthis insist to this day that the bombing of the bin Salem mosque that precipitated the fifth war was actually perpetrated by the authority. Similarly, both sides accuse the other of the Germans’ kidnapping. Statistically, the most systematic liar in Yemen through recent history is Saleh’s regime, by far.

Al Estraki: Flag of the Socialist Net-informed sources in Saada that the local authority staff working in the government complex Wednesday morning arrested a person who was trying to plant a roadside bomb in the building

وقال المصدر أن موظفا في المجمع الحكومي لاحظ من نافذة المبنى شخصا يحمل كرتونا ويتردد على اركان وزوايا المبنى وهو يتلفت إلى الخلف فاشتبه به فقام باخبار كل من كانوا موجودين في المجمع من موظفين ومراجعين الذين سارعوا بدورهم إلى الإحاطة بالشخص المشتبه به وإلقاء القبض عليه أمام بوابة المجمع الحكومي The source said an official at the government compound observed from the window of the building and person with a Krtuna frequented corners of the building and staff, which is the successor to the Itfatt Vachtbh the back of the news were in the pool of staff and auditors, who in turn were quick to take the person and the suspect arrested in front of the gate of the compound government

وقد تبين أن الشخص المشار إليه كان يحمل عبوة ناسفة معدة للتفجير وانه جندي يتبع اللواء الخامس عشر مدرع التابع للفرقة الأولى مدرع It was found that the person referred to was carrying a bomb primed to detonate and he was a soldier follows the fifteenth armored brigade of the First Armored Division

وقال المصدر أن الأجهزة الأمنية تسلمت الرجل وبدأت في إجراءات التحقيق معه لمعرفة من هو، وما اذا كان الحادث فردي ام ان جهة ما كلفت الجندي بهذه المهمة الإجرامية الخطيرة؟ The source said that the security services took the man and started with him in the investigation to determine who is, and whether the incident was an individual or whether the soldier was assigned to the point of this task serious criminal? وما هو الهدف الذي أرادت تحقيقه من تفجير مبنى المحافظة أثناء تواجد الموظفين!؟ What is wanted to achieve the goal of maintaining a building in the presence of the staff!?

ولا يستبعد مراقبون أن تكون الجهة التي تقف خلف هذا العمل الإجرامي الخطير الذي كان يمكن أن يودي بحياة عشرات الموظفين والمراجعين قد “استهدفت تفجير الوضع في صعدة وفي عموم اليمن” Observers do not rule out that the entity behind this serious criminal act which could have claimed the lives of dozens of staff and visitors could “blow the situation in and around Saada, Yemen” (Read on …)

Rebels Release 25 Soldiers

Filed under: Military, Ministries, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 4:37 pm on Saturday, June 27, 2009

The rebels in Yemeni prison were supposed to be released with the last negotiated truce, and the two truces before that. Their families have been holding weekly sit-ins to try to get their relatives back. I have a copy of the presidential order directing their release.

From Al Sahwa: The media office of al-Houthi rebels has affirmed that 25 soldiers were released on Thursday. The office said that the soldiers were repatriated to a mediation committee. In a statement, the office accused the authorities of holding repels , torturing and harassing them.

Meanwhile Interior Ministry accuses the rebels of drug dealing….

Jihaddists Training in “Abandoned” Military Camp

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Military, abu jubarah, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 8:40 am on Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yes, I know. There are several military camps that train jihaddists. The military built a camp to train jihaddists in the mountains near Ja’ar.

The following is an important article from al Estreraki that also references the state jihaddists fighting the Saada War. Also apparently the German and British investigators aren’t getting full cooperation from Saleh’s regime, just like the Cole.

The camp in the area between the Center and the Directorate of epaulette Abu Jabara Al near the administrative border of the province of Al-Jawf

وهو في الأصل معسكر رسمي للقوات المسلحة اليمنية تم التخلي عنه ولكن ظل معظم “ضباطه وجنوده” من العائدين من أفغانستان والذين تم استيعابهم في وحدات القوات المسحة بعد حرب صيف 1994م It was originally an official camp of the armed forces of Yemen has been abandoned, but under most of the “officers and soldiers” of the returnees from Afghanistan, who have been accommodated in the units of troops after the war reflects the summer of 1994 (Read on …)

Nine arrested in Mukallah; Soldiers go AWOL

Filed under: Military, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 10:49 am on Thursday, June 18, 2009

After the protests in Mukallah Monday morning, the government arrested nine, and accused them of instigating chaos and riots, and of disturbing public order, security and stability in the city.

Another report has thirty soldiers (from Radfan, Dhalie and Yafee) leaving the military camp in Shabwa because of discimination. That’s pretty well confirmed.

There is also something about three soldiers killed and tortured, but it was disputed by some. Will advise. Hopefully its not true.

Military Linked Jihaddists Captured the Germans- Paper

Filed under: 9 hostages, Al-Qaeda, Military, TI: External, TI: Internal, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 7:35 am on Thursday, June 18, 2009

What the Yemen Times is reporting is a witness who saw the victims with men with long beards, another report of a phone call from the Germans, and the Houthi spokeman Sheik Sabra speculating that Ali Mohen al Ahmar’s intermediary to the jihaddists was involved.

I have to see if this Imam Zuael is the same guy who was previously described as Ali Mohsen’s extremist office manager who fatwa’ed the rebels during a sermon to the soldiers during the 2007 round of fighting.

Also the other news is the doctor in Sa’ada says the women’s bodies were not mutilated. Yemen Times:

SA’ADA, June 17 — Wahabi religious groups were involved in the kidnapping of the nine foreigners in Sa’ada last Friday, which led to three of them being found dead on Monday, according to a local source from Sa’ada who requested to remain anonymous.

The group had been on an outing on a farm in Ghuraz on the outskirts of Sa’ada city on Friday. On their way home, their 4×4 Toyota was intercepted by three armed men with beards in a black Suzuki Grand Vitara.

According to the source, a Yemeni nurse working with four of the kidnapped Germans at Al-Jumhuri Hospital in Sa’ada said she received a call from the Germans as they were harassed by the kidnappers. She reported the attack to the local authority and Houthi leaders. We were not able to contact this lady as she refused to answer the phone.

The bodies of the Korean teacher Young-Sun Ium, 34 and two German nurses Anita Gruenwald, 25, Rita Stumpp, 26 were found by local shepherds on Monday. A German engineer, his wife and their three children as well as the Briton engineer are still missing.

According to Dr. Hamboush Hussein, general director of the Sa’ada Health Office, the dead women were not mutilated. “I had seen the bodies myself and they had several gunshot wounds in the head, chest or back, as if the women were struggling and trying to escape. We found their bodies three days after their death, so they were swollen and somewhat disfigured from being exposed to natural decay in hot weather.”

Houthi spokesperson Saleh Habra speculated that Askar Zu’ael who is a local Wahabi religious leader and imam of a mosque in the Ghiraz area where the foreigners were kidnapped is involved. According to the spokesperson, Zu’ael is Ali Muhsin Al-Ahmar’s delegate in charge of jihad affairs.

Al-Ahmar is the military commander of North West Yemen, and is known for his extremist religious positions and relations with Al-Qaeda, he is allegedly in charge of training jihadis in Yemen before sending them to Afghanistan, Iraq among other conflict zones.

The thing I always found so irksome is sometimes the jihaddis are trained in Yemeni military camps before they go to Iraq to kill American troops. Its no secret that the training of jihaddis for export is largely supervised and facilitatied by military commanders. So maybe if we ask nicely or give Ali Mohsen more US military aid, we can get the kids back, alive.

So according to this paradigm, which is not confirmed, members of the state affiliated jihaddist militia captured the Germans, either on their own or on orders (with a motive to start the next war, recall how quickly the Yemeni government blamed the Houthi rebels.)

Now that’s the problem right there with state affiliated jihaddst militias, they have a tendency to engage in jihad.

Up to this point, Yemen’s deployment of Jihaddists against the rebels has been tolerated and apparently not seen as much of a threat. The practice is often sympathetically described as “co-option”. But the threat is there. Once fanatics get blood on their teeth, they often never lose the taste. Its very hard to back off an ideology that you have already killed for. Once the war is over, where will these trained and indoctrinated jihaddists deploy next?

On the other hand (or maybe the same hand), according to several announcements, the security forces are going to break the case and find the hostages today, within hours.

UPDATE: Yes, it is the same guy, a report by the Yemen Times in January 2008 noted:

Regarding behaviors believed to instigate a new war, tribal sources noted that an extremist Salafi cleric, named Askar Zuail, who works as Office Manger for Gen. Ali Mohsen Al-Ahmar, Commander of the Northwestern Military Flank, labeled Houthi followers as disbelievers while giving a sermon in one of the local mosques on Friday. The preacher said that Houthi loyalists are affiliated with the Shiite Ja’afari sect, adding that “the authorities will never negotiate with them.”

The same sources reported that Zuail is leading Salafi groups that support the army in its fight with Houthis, and during the past few months he began to instigate people against Houthis and their Shiite sect in his Friday sermons

Saleh Praises, Visits Al Anad Military Camp

Filed under: Military, Presidency, South Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:06 pm on Thursday, June 11, 2009

These are the security forces who killed the protesters the day before.

We build armed forces for peace: Saleh says in Aden

ADEN, June 09 (Saba) – President Ali Abdullah Saleh said in Aden governorate on Tuesday that the armed forces were built for peace.
During his visit to Aden Governorate to inspect the citizens’ conditions and needs as well as sharing with them celebrations on the Unification Day, President Saleh said “We build armed forces for peace, stability and development. We do not want a drop of blood to be shed”.

Saleh said during his visit to Laboza Martyr Camp and al-Anad Camp at Aden that Yemeni nation “will defend on his Unification via his constitutional institutions”. He affirmed that unification “belongs to the Yemeni nation”.

All citizens-related issues could be solved by dialogue, understanding and reason not by violence and sabotage that harm the country and the citizens.

Congratulating the camp’s leadership and personnel on the 19th anniversary of the Unification Day, President Saleh hailed the moral and fighting readiness of the camp’s soldiers.

Meanwhile the Yemeni Observatory for HR reports that the security forces dressed in civilian clothes and were seen leaving the camp in civilian cars. So there we have the “outlaw elements” that are officially blamed for the deaths.

al Sahwa Observatory civilians accused of cars on the government demonstrators killing of Hajj
09/06/2009 الصحوة نت – خاص 09/06/2009 Net awakening – special
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اتهم المرصد اليمني لحقوق الإنسان مجموعة من المدنيين نزلوا من على متن سيارات حكومية لمساندة رجال الأمن بنقطة العند بقتل ثلاثة مواطنين أمس وجرح أربعة آخرين. Accused the Yemeni Observatory for Human Rights took a group of civilians on board the government vehicles to support the security comes to a point yesterday of killing three people and wounding four others.

وأكد المرصد أنه وثق قيام مجموعة من المدنيين نزلوا من على سيارات تحمل أرقاماً حكومية لمساندة رجال الأمن في نقطة العند وإطلاق النار على مسيرة سلمية لمواطنين من مختلف مديريات محافظة لحج لتشييع جثامين أربعة من القتلى الذين سقطوا في اشتباكات سابقة بين الجيش والمواطنين في ردفان والحبيلين خلال الأسابيع الماضية. The Observatory was documented by a group of civilian cars coming down from the numbers in support of government security men at the point comes to shooting at a peaceful demonstration of citizens from different districts of the province of Lahj funeral of the dead bodies of four who were killed in earlier clashes between the army and citizens in the buttocks and in the weeks Alhabaylin years.

وقال إنه وفقا للمعلومات الميدانية التي حصل عليها المرصد اليمني فقد قتل كل من وضاح حسن علي، ومعين سعد صالح، وعبد السلام أحمد هيثم، وجميعهم من مواطني حبيل جبر، فيما أصيب أربعة آخرون حصل المرصد على أسماء ثلاثة منهم: صالح سالم طلحة، وعبد الله قاسم الوحش، ووجدي محمد الداعري. He said that according to information obtained by the Field Observatory Yemeni had been killed by the Waddah Hassan Ali, Saad, a Saleh, Haitham Abdel-Salam Ahmed, all of whom are citizens of Hubail reparation, and four others were injured Observatory obtained the names of three of them: Saleh Salem Talha, Abdullah Qasim, the beast, and Mohamed Wagdi Aldaari.

وبحسب تلك المعلومات أن المجاميع المسلحة التي ساندت الأمن استخدمت سيارات حكومية أطلقت النار مباشرة صوب المواطنين بقصد إحداث إصابات بينهم. According to the information that the armed groups that supported the government security used cars fired directly towards the citizens in order to cause casualties among them.

وأوقفت قوات الأمن عشرات الآلاف من المواطنين عند نقطة تفتيش في مثلث العند مانعة إياهم من مواصلة مسيرتهم نحو مدينتي الحوطة وعدن لإحضار جثث القتلى المراد تشييعهم اليوم. The security forces arrested tens of thousands of citizens at a checkpoint in the Triangle comes to preventing them from continuing their march towards the towns of Aden and Alihutp to bring dead bodies to be honoring today..

Gitmo, Al Hittar, Abu Jindal and Yemen

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, USA, Yemen, gitmo, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 9:42 am on Sunday, May 31, 2009

This Newsweek article captures several truths. Its also very entertaining: Regarding the Gitmo returnees, “do whatever you want with them,” one Yemeni official told me. “Screw them, bomb them, send them to a country where they have capital punishment.”

The Reeducation of Abu Jandal
Can jihadists really be reformed? Closing Guantanamo may depend on it.

Kevin Peraino
From the magazine issue dated Jun 8, 2009
All teachers have their problem pupils. Hamoud al-Hitar’s was a young man who liked to call himself “Abu Jandal,” an Arabic nickname that means roughly “The Killer.” The moon-faced, slightly paunchy Yemeni, whose real name was Nasser al-Bahri, had fought in Bosnia, Somalia, Chechnya and Afghanistan—all before his 30th birthday. For six years he worked as a bodyguard for Osama bin Laden, who once personally dressed one of al-Bahri’s gunshot wounds near Kabul. In Afghanistan he got to know Mohamed Atta and several of the other 9/11 hijackers. When al-Bahri finally returned home to Yemen about a year before the attacks, “it was the first time in my life that I had a passport with my real name on it,” the former jihadist told me one morning this spring when we met in the lobby of a Sana hotel. (Read on …)

Yemeni Military Beyond Central Control

Filed under: Corruption, Military, Qat, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:45 pm on Thursday, May 28, 2009

I really have to stop reading and blogging and get back to work, but I want to highlight one aspect of the very accurate CGO Sa’ada report which lays out (with supporting documentation) many basic truths that have been obscured for years- including the following on page 25, which correctly notes the four ceasefires failed in part because the regime failed to implement its own part of the deal- because the military failed to follow orders.

The military, ministries, security forces etc. function as fiefdoms and are beyond control of the central government, which is also why the reforms never get implemented and development projects fail time after time. Because of corruption and the complete lack of accountability, different parts of the government go in different directions and compete with each other and, in sum, produce an overall irrational outcome. Saleh could never make peace, he didn’t have the capacity (assuming he was sincere) because the military had an agenda of its own.

Arguably the most serious impediment was that both
mediation efforts and steps announced by the government
to calm the situation were either undermined by
accompanying repressive measures or, more simply,
not implemented at all.149 This partly resulted from
competing approaches between the political leadership
and army command. According to a Zaydi scholar who
participated in unofficial mediation efforts, “when the
president called for mediation, the army did not always
. Mediation efforts would have succeeded
had there been a consensus between the politicians and
the army. Instead, they were sabotaged by disagreement”.
150 This claim was supported by different participants
and independent observers. Another mediator
offered an example of government branches working
at cross-purposes:

So now extrapolate that lack of central control of the military and the security forces to the issues of terrorism and organized crime, and what do you get – a mafia with an airforce and military commanders training terrorists in military camps. This too one day will be documented.

Update: Yemen Post: Man wounded as police destroy his home with bulldozers.

Update 2: ISPN:

“Qat is a major source of tax revenue and the centre of all corruption in Yemen. Over 50 percent of tax revenue is derived from qat, but this is only about a third of the real revenue it generates. Everyone from farmers to the highest officials is involved in the qat trade and taking money under the table.”

While the government makes broad statements about its intention to reduce the consumption and cultivation of the narcotic plant, any genuine effort is thwarted from within, he adds. “Much of the crop is actually grown on government land, so officials involved will block any attempt to reduce its market.”

Its the same configuration over and over in every area including the political realm, corporate, security, basic services, development and terrorism. There is no single government, only multiple actors deploying state power and resources for a variety of ends.

(As a side note, Im so happy the report documents that, NO, the Houthi prisoners were never released- since 2005- despite at least 25 government announcments to the contrary. The regime arrested its own fact finding committee, and so on. Its a good report. You can’t imagine the incredible flack I got in 2005 for writing that 68,000 Sa’ada residents were displaced by the war; by 2008 the number was 130,000. Hopefully there will be some changes now as the truth is better documented by both CGO and Human Rights Watch. My photo essay of destruction in Sa’ada is at Bill’s. You can see, there really needs to be some changes.)

The National Consultation Meeting

Filed under: Corruption, Military, Security Forces, South Yemen, political violence — by Jane Novak at 6:24 pm on Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Bin Shamlan quote is telling. Yemen Times:

SANA’A May 24 — A number of recommendations considered a basis for national dialogue on the country’s urgent issues were outlined during the National Consultation Meeting, which concluded its activities on Thursday. (Read on …)

Military /Commercial, General Yahya Saleh for Example

Filed under: Biographies, Business, Economic, Military, Yemen, land disputes — by Jane Novak at 4:39 pm on Tuesday, May 26, 2009

(This is one of those out of sequence posts I referred to earlier.) The MAZ Corp is huge and is headed by Yahya Saleh, contrary to the law. But many large companies are headed by military personnel, and this fact is one of the fundamental distortions of the Yemeni economy. Yahya Saleh was also recently “elected” to head the Tourism Board. (Read on …)

Unity Parade

Filed under: Military — by Jane Novak at 9:19 am on Thursday, May 21, 2009

Supposedly the regime spent upwards of 400K on Unity Celebrations; the first military parade, displaying all the new military hardware, soldiers chanting pro-unity slogans.

YO: The official celebrations of the 19th anniversary of the national day marked by a military parade marched on the 70s square in the south of the capital Sana’a on Thursday morning.
(Read on …)

Yemen’s Ruling Family and its Accumulation of Wealth and Land

Filed under: Business, Corruption, GCC, LNG, Military, Presidency, Security Forces, govt budget, theft: land other — by Jane Novak at 5:25 pm on Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thats good stuff indeed, and yes the ruling family has billions in the UAE. More on Yahya Saleh and MAZ below the fold, but there’s so many criss- cross relations between the Yemeni adminstration and corporate misconduct that its mind boggling.

Yemen Post

With the passage of time, the democratic project has turned to be a family one and “Al-Saleh” name has started to label all government, charity and officials activities, with wide media coverage financed by state funds as well as money obtained from businessmen. This clearly indicates that the state is following the Gulf family model.

Even the ruling party, the General People Congress (GPC), has turned to be a tool in the hand of the ruling family leaderships who control its policies, decisions and financial affairs.

Political Control through Economy
General Ahmed Ali Abdullah Saleh has started to show up in mass media as paying visits to some Gulf countries to meet with these states’ kings, Sheikhs and crown-princes. The last visit was made to Bahrain on April 25 and Ahmed had meetings with the crown prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

The recent issue of Al-Maz Company, which works as a subcontractor for Total Yemen, Total drivers revealed the way in which the sons of the ruling family obtain agency contracts from the largest oil companies. The company receives $1200 for each driver; but it just pays each one of them $225. Thus the company’s profits from the salaries of 100 drivers reach $97,000 a month.

Commissions of Protection and Partnership
Informed sources revealed that two sons from the ruling family received $40 million in commission for buying modern weapons from Dubai during the recent Russian Weapons Exhibition.

A military and economic affairs observer noted that a military leader from the ruling family got over $20 million in commissions for military deals over the years 1996 – 2005.

A Yemeni expatriate in United Arab Emirates quoted a senior Emirate official as saying that Yemeni officials from the ruling family invested over $15 billion in his country.

Land Plots and Farms
Feeling their importance, the ruling family sight has been directed towards lands and farms being one of the easiest ways, towards speedy enrichment. It is known that an influential from the ruling family owns over 150,000 Lebnah (Lebnah = 56 square meters).

Sheikh Tareq Al-Fadhli distributed plots of lands to senior officials; the areas of some plots come close to the area of a small country. They also have larger farms in Abs, Hajjah, Al-Hodeidah and Hadramout.

Army: External Gate
An observer reviewing the map of army and security will easily find that the leaders of these institutions belong to the ruling family or the areas neighboring the family’s homeland. They are assuming the leading posts in the Republican Guard, Special Guards Forces, Central Security, Air Forces, Military Areas and Brigades.

Informed sources also speak about thousands of soldiers enlisted in the payrolls but they never exist and their salaries, in millions, go to the leaders of military units in which such names are enlisted.

(Read on …)

Ali Mohsen, Iskandir takes over jihaddists file

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Military, TI: Internal, Yemen, state jihaddists — by Jane Novak at 3:04 pm on Wednesday, April 29, 2009

al Wasat al-Fadhli replaced as handler of the al-Qaeda file by Sheik Arif Iskandir from Yafie, an Afghan Arab in the 1980s.

Iskandar assignment rather than the best (Tariq al Fadhli) of the Committee on communication with the mujahideen
الأربعاء , 29 أبريل 2009 م Wednesday, April 29, 2009 m (Read on …)

Saudi-Yemeni Joint Border Ops, Fence

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Counter-terror, Military, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 10:46 am on Sunday, April 26, 2009

A good idea. Gen. Turki says AQAP are the greatest threat to Saudi Arabia. We knew that was their focus way back when the nine shoulder fired missles were smuggled from Yemen to SA. Also Saudis are planning an electronic fence to go with the berms and metal fencing. If its an effective fence, then it will cut into Yemen’s substantial black market economy- smuggling drugs, people and weapons into SA and the Gulf. That would prompt an economic crisis of different proportions.


خاص ( الوطن ) – Special (home) –
بحث نائب رئيس الوزراء لشئون الدفاع والأمن وزير الإدارة المحلية اللواء رشاد العليمي مع الجانب السعودي آليات عمل جديدة لمواجهة البلدين لحضر تنظيم القاعدة في الدولتين. Deputy Prime Minister for Defense, Security, Local Administration Minister Rashad Al-Alimi Brigade with the Saudi side of new mechanisms of action to address the two countries attended the al-Qaeda in the two countries. (Read on …)

Yemen: A Limited Supply of Chemical Weapons

Filed under: Diplomacy, Military, Proliferation, Russia, Yemen, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 3:32 pm on Monday, March 23, 2009

Russia is Yemen’s biggest creditor by far.

Yemen Post

President Saleh’s recent visit to Russia raised a great deal of media fuss and this fuss was associated with the nature of the visit. The official media mentioned that Saleh’s visit was meant for canceling Yemen’s debts as well as the economic cooperation, while the international media revealed that Yemen signed weapons deals at billions of US Dollars. This was later affirmed by the official media as they revealed that the country signed a four-billion dollar weapons deal, the biggest deal ever. (Read on …)

Student’s Murder Sparks Outrage

Filed under: Civil Rights, Education, Military — by Jane Novak at 5:05 pm on Thursday, March 19, 2009

The students have been demanding for over a year that the military be withdrawn from the campus.
The National

SANA’A // The shooting of a student at Sana’a University in Yemen by a soldier has sparked protests on the campus and raised concerns about the increased presence of the military at the institute.
(Read on …)

Military, Jihaddists, Tribal Fighters Assemble for Next Sa’ada War

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 9:37 am on Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ali Mohsen Al Ahmar has been a primary instigator of the wars and remains so. Domestic and foreign jihaddists are assembling in Sa’ada, residents report. I guess Zawahiri’s reinforcements arrived. Saleh’s upgrade of the Migs to enable smart bomb capacity in October, prior to the recent billion dollar military purchase from Russia, makes sense if he was planning for the next war since the last truce. The Zawahiri deal took place sometime after the embassy attack and before the Telegraph article came out in November 2008. So its possible Saleh is assembling two paramilitaries, one of the co-opted jihaddis headed by al Fahdli (Walid) to focus on the south and the other for Sa’ada that contains more foreign fighters. Nifty. As a side note, Yemen Online notes that Faris Manna is conducting mediation. Faris of course is a main, if not the main, weapons dealer in Yemen and President Saleh’s partner. This IRIN
article outines current developments and mobilization. More from the YT:

New military reinforcements and army mobilizations threaten to start a sixth war in Sa’ada, YT: SANA’A, MARCH 8 — Sa’ada residents stated on Saturday that the army is mobilizing both medium and heavy infantry in more than one district and is building roads to new sites. The army is also sending reinforcements to troops centered in many strategic areas in the Sa’ada governorate and is establishing new checkpoints.

According to citizens in Sa’ada governorate “thousands of Jihadist groups, or Salafia – including Yemenis and foreigners from neighboring Arab and non-Arab countries – started gathering in areas around villages and towns where Houthi supporters live. These groups are gathering against the Houthis in coordination with the army under the management of military centers and sheikhs known for their affiliation with the Islah Party and their objection to the Zaidi sect. (Read on …)

Yemen Russian Military Deals Continue

Filed under: Biographies, Military, Russia, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 2:11 am on Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The multi-million deal to upgrade the Migs with the Ukranian Defense Ministry was only a few months ago. (Smart bombs in the hands of the Yemeni military…) Russia is Yemen’s largest creditor by far. (The Saudi debt is only around 400K.) But dire national interest takes second place to new toys. Are they for Saada or the South or the black market?

In June 2008, the US and Yemen signed their first end use monitoring agreement on mil hardware which will allow for the verification of articles and services provided to Yemen under U.S.-sponsored military and security assistance, thus preventing the misuse or illicit transfer of these items and services. We hope. Its not nice when your counter-terror assistance is used to target a civilian population or is sold onto the black market. Russia, China and North Korea have no such restrictions.

Natural Gas came up as a topic. The YLNG presold 9 TCF but there’s thought to be upto 16 TCF. Saleh tried to wrangle a debt write off, but no. And the unending shopping spree will continue as the head of the Air Force, Field Marshal Saleh’s half brother, Mohammed Saleh al-Ahmar, is heading to Oman this month for an industry conference.

Washington, DC
– Following the visit of Yemeni resident ‘Ali ‘Abdallah ‘Salih to Russia last week, the two countries have signed a deal worth an estimated $1 billion that would see some very sophisticated Russian weaponry exported to Yemen, the official Yemen news agency SABA reported.

Among the weaponry are a number of MiG-29 fighter jets, attack and transport helicopters, T-80 and T72 tanks and armored vehicles, in addition to modern telecommunications equipment, the news agency reported.

In exchange, the Russian government-owned gas giant Gazprom announced that it intended to invest in gas and oil projects in Yemen.

Among the plans is the construction of a plant that would be able to handle 6.7 million tons of gas yearly. It is estimated that Yemen has a 16,951-billion cubic feet gas reserve. (Read on …)

UNHRC in Yemen Corrupt and Inept: Iraqis, Somalis

Filed under: Donors, UN, Iraq, Military, Refugees, Somalia — by Jane Novak at 11:37 am on Thursday, February 19, 2009

We knew this already, yes? That was the problem with the Somalis when they were demonstrating a year or two ago. The Somali refugees said the UN office in Yemen wasn’t processing paperwork (who’s paying for that slow down?) and discouraged them overtly. According to the Iraqi refugees, the UN office is extorting $10,000 to process documents.

There are some international orgs working in Yemen cleanly, like MSF for one, but others get sucked into the corrupt environment. Foreigners who can’t be bribed are sometimes overtly blackmailed or obliquely coerced by such tactics as threatened visa refusal.

This is part of the reason why Yemen, the real Yemen, is such a black hole, many Westerners go easy on the regime and self censor because those who don’t can’t come back and would lose their livelihood.

YemenOnline. Feb 18, 2009 – In a raging environment, a number of discontented Iraqi families headed for the gate of UNHCR office in Yemen where they tore up their own asylum and resettlement documents issued by UNHCR Yemen in protest to the degradation, ill-treatment and continuous extortion they received from UNHCR staff, as well as in protest to the violations against the international humanitarian laws.

A number of Iraqi refugees in Yemen said that UNHCR staff used to treat them with contempt and refuse to receive their resettlement documents to be processed and renewed. They added that a minimum of US$ 10,000 has to be paid to staff in order for the resettlement documents to be processed.

On a related note, Iraq issued a call for former Army officials to return, but there’s so many former Saddamists in high ranks in the Yemeni army now that I wouldn’t expect a mass migration of military personnel. The Saddamists impact on Yemeni policy, the military, the jihaddi rat trail and the Sa’ada War should not be underestimated, by any means. Thousands of Hussain’s officials and their money fled to Yemen at the start of the Iraq War.


(AFP) – Iraq has invited soldiers who served under Saddam Hussein’s regime to come home or apply for their state pensions as part of a reconciliation process, the defence ministry spokesman said on Sunday.

The ministry is to send envoys to Iraqi embassies in Egypt, Jordan, Syria, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen to make contact with the ex-soldiers, General Mohammed al-Askari told AFP.

“The ministry’s decision aims to achieve national reconciliation” and “settle the issue of members of the former regime,” he said. Askari said that the former soldiers would “without exception” be given one month either to sort out their entitlement to a pension or to return to the ranks of the army….

According to another defence ministry official, an estimated 23,000 ex-Iraqi army soldiers, including 9,000 officers, have taken refuge in the five Arab countries.

Yemen Deficit May Hit 11%

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Saada War, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 10:10 am on Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Its going to get hot. But I’d have a lot more sympathy if they weren’t buying missles and upgrading the Migs. Some controls on the smuggling maybe, at some point Abdelrahman is going to have to leave the country.

YT: Finance minister warns of increasing deficit up to 11%

Minister of Finance Noman al-Sohibi warned on Wednesday of increasing a deficit of the 2009 state budget up to 11 percent due to ineffective implementation for decision of decreasing expenditure.

In the opening session of the annual meeting for the directors of the ministry, al-Sohibi affirmed importance of clarifying for employees that decision was taken to reduce unimportant expenditures, not to target their rights. He called on representatives of the ministry in different government bodies to help directors of these bodies to re-organize their budget correctly.

The implementation of the decision during the previous period was unfair and ineffective as employees receive 500 rails as overtime and subjected for deduction of 50 percent in time there are employees who receive 700,000 rails as extra wages and no deduction, the minister said.

He also pointed out to the reality of the national economy – within negative impacts of the financial crisis- reflected negativity on the budget of the state, saying that requires from officials of the ministry to collect revenues and follow up shares of the government in any corporation.

Yemeni Soldiers Protest Over Back Pay, Arrested

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Military, Yemen, govt budget, political violence — by Jane Novak at 9:48 am on Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Not paying the military is not a good move…

Yemen Post

Security source confirmed that investigations are still underway with some (70 military soldiers) belonging to the 127 Infantry Brigade of the First Armored Division on the background of a army rebellion last week against the Brigade Commander Brigadier General Jihad Ali Antar, in the camp known as Airport Camp in Gaflat Ethr District of Amran province.

The same source said that the investigation into the incident so far did not show any motives behind the incident other than the rebels’ demands of financial sums; however the source did not rule out.

The rebels together with the commander of the brigade Jihad Antar were transferred to the military police camp in the capital Sana’a. However the rebels alleged financial benefits were confiscated from them by the camp commander.

According to the source, a committee set up by the Ministry of Defense and headed by Major-General Ali Mohammad Salah, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations arrived in the military brigade camp in Amran after the incident to look into the matter.

AF Gen. Mohammed Salah Al-Ahmar Plans Shopping in March

Filed under: Biographies, Military, Presidency, TI: Internal, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 1:14 am on Tuesday, February 3, 2009

YDN Brigadier General Mohamed Saleh Al-Hamar, Commander of the Yemeni Air Force (YAF), has confirmed that he will travel with a delegation of fellow officers to Defence IQ’s Air Power Middle East 2009 conference, to be held in Muscat, Oman. Notification was received today via the British Embassy based in Sanaa, Yemen.

Further details of the delegation that will accompany the Yemeni Air Force Commander are expected in the coming weeks.

In the first quarter of 2007, the Yemeni Air Force signed a formal contract with MiG covering the supply of 32 MiG-29SMT aircraft at a cost of around USD1.3 billion. The successful tender by MiG for the modernisation of 66 aircraft that had previously been supplied was announced at a similar time…Defence IQ is a leading independent organiser of defence industry conferences, training and workshops and a proud member of the defence industry.

1- This is a bad guy.
2- Modernization means smart bomb capacity.
3- 1.3 bil on weapons means more starving kids.
4- Mohammed Saleh Al-Ahmar is the half brother of Saleh and he owns al-Hashdi Petroluem Company

Yemen’s Ministry of Defense Calls Report of Child Soldiers “Ridiculous”

Filed under: Children, Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 1:01 am on Tuesday, February 3, 2009


YemenOnline. February 3, 2009 - An official source in the Ministry of Defense ridiculed the information provided by the so-called 2008 International report on the recruitment of children which indicated that the Yemeni armed forces recruit children into their ranks and that it paid them to deal with the rebels in Sa’ada districts.

The source said: The report is groundless and unsubstantiated and that the allegations contained therein were not true, and added that this report, just like some other reports, is based on the information published in some newspapers and electronic sites, which deliberately are based on lies and half-truths in order to harm the reputation of Yemen to serve the objectives of suspicious and known parties.


Yemeni Al Qaeda Group Implies Chemical Weapons

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Military, Saada War, Security Forces — by Jane Novak at 9:55 pm on Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Why am I entirely unsurprised? A high risk is generated by the intersection of al Qaeda and chemical weapons in a supportive, duplicitous environment, and that nexus exists in Yemen.

Hey, I know, lets send them a plane load of Gitmo detainees and trust in President Saleh’s sincerity and Judge al Hittar’s glib dialog to keep the world safe. The regime has an excellent track record of rehab and supervision, cooperation and intel sharing. Can I have my unicorn now?

In Al-Jazeera Website Interview, Al-Qaeda in Arabian Peninsula Emir Hints at WMD Attacks MEMRI No. 2216 – January 27, 2009

On January 26, 2009, the Al-Jazeera TV website posted an interview with Abu Basir Nasir Al-Wahishi, Emir of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. According to the interview prologue, the interview was conducted as “white phosphorous bombs were raining down on Gaza City” and at the same time as Osama bin Laden’s audio message was released – that is, most likely before the ceasefire in Gaza. The prologue also states that AQAP operatives Nayef bin Muhammad Al-Qahtani and Abu Sufyan Al-Azdi Sa’id Al-Shihri were likewise present; Al-Shihri is a former Guantanamo detainee who recently appeared together with Al-Wahishi in a video.

I don’t take it lightly. There’s a lot of propaganda and crafting associated with AQY and now AQAP. Maybe I’m wrong, please. My unicorn will be very confused if I’m not.

Gee, no unrestricted international access to Saada governorate after four years? No aid, no journalists. Whats up with that? Sa’ada, where there’s jihaddists fighting for the regime under the command of the president’s half brother and former bin Laden recruiter, Ali Mohsen al Ahmar. To follow is the relevent section of my lunatic October 2005 article on possible CW use in Sa’ada. Its just bits and pieces, but sometimes where there’s smoke there’s fire:

(Read on …)

SEYAJ Opposes Use of Child Soldiers in Amran Tribal War

Filed under: Children, Military, Saada War, Tribes — by Jane Novak at 6:02 pm on Sunday, January 25, 2009


Much of the Sa’ada war is being fought by children on both sides. Those little girls are probably married.

SEYAJ organization for Childhood Protecting Press Release

Urgent humanitarian appeal

Stop killing children in tribal wars.

40% of the killed in tribal wars are Children.

SEYAJ organization for childhood Protection calls upon fighting tribes in Amran province and other tribal areas in Yemen to respect traditions and values of the tribes – if they don’t respect Islamic orders and national laws – and avoid killing or targeting children and women in wars or civilians who are not involved in the fighting.

SEYAJ Sources in the clashes area emphasize that until today January 25, 2009, 63 people were killed, 40% of them under the legal age in clashes which have been taking place for more than four months in the tribal areas of ‘Amran’ province- Approximately 50 km north of Sana’a.

SEYAJ demands all related officials and tribal sheikhs and men to enact a disciplinary law against any party proven that it is targeting children and women, or using them in combat operations, either as combatants, assistants or providing logistical support or any other forms of engagement that put their lives at risk.

According to Seyaj sources, combatants use children in these clashes and 50% of the fighters in the tribal wars are from children.

SEYAJ express its deep concern about such unacceptable conditions and calls on the State represented by the Ministry of the Interior to do their duty and protect citizens’ lives in general and children in particular.
Moreover It calls upon the media to shed more light on what is happening in war areas to convey a real image to the local and international public opinion hoping that somebody would mediate between the fighting parties to end this war.

SEYAJ also urges civil society organizations and all concerned to pressure the government in order to stop the massacres, which claim dozens of lives in silence instead of that it should support tribesmen to develop their life economically, educationally, and intellectually.

We hope urgent actions and widespread condemnation of what is happening to children in wars will come to pass whether ongoing or intermittent wars, tribal-tribal or between the state and the tribes.

SEYAJ Organization for Childhood Protection
Republic of Yemen – Sana’a

25th January 2009

Ah, good. The tribal angle and the Sa’ada war from the Media Line

The clashes in ‘Amran, about 50 kilometers north of ‘San’aa, erupted late last year between the Harf Sufian and ‘U’seimat tribes, and there are fears they will encompass larger tribal coalitions.

There are also concerns that a continuation of the clashes will deflect from the power of the government forces, and give more power to Shi’ite rebels from the Al-Houthi clan, who are positioned in the northern part of the country.

The tribes have a long-standing dispute over land, but the rebellion up north, which pits Shi’ite extremists against government forces, has accentuated their rivalry, with Harf Sufian supporting Al-Houthi and ‘U’seimat tribes siding with the government.

‘U’seimat tribes deny they are receiving government support against Harf Sufian.

Zawahiri Pledges New Fighters to Yemen’s Sa’ada War

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Iran, Janes Articles, Military, Saada War, embassy — by Jane Novak at 7:21 pm on Sunday, January 18, 2009

The US Treasury Department placed financial sanctions on Saad bin Laden, thought to be in Pakistan, and three alleged al Qaeda operatives in Iran including a Yemeni. The terrorist designation Friday froze their assets within US jurisdictions and prohibits Americans from financial dealings with the four.

Saad bin Laden, son of radical figurehead Osama bin Laden, facilitated communications between al Qaeda’s number two, Ayman Zawahiri, and the Iranian Qods Force after an al Qaeda attack on the US embassy in Sana’a last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Zawahiri contacted the Qods Force after his agreement to supply more fighters to Yemen to battle Shiite rebels, a US military source was quoted as saying. Zawahiri spoke to Qods Force commander Brigadier General Qassem Suleimani, the senior US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal, confirming the account in The Wall Street Journal.

“Zawahiri was concerned that the al Qaeda-manned militia fighting on the side of the government against the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels might threaten Iran’s interests in Yemen,” the official said.

The Yemeni government incorporated thousands of extremists and tribesmen into its military ranks to battle the Houthi rebels in Yemen’s northern Sa’ada province. The editor of Al-Share newspaper and two journalists are on trial in the State Security and Terrorism Court for publishing reports of the Aden Abyan Islamic Army’s role training tribal militias for the government. The journalists are charged with “threatening national security, demoralizing the military and divulging state secrets.”

After the US Embassy bombing in September that killed 16 including an American, “(Yemeni President) Saleh feared his government would be the next target, but Zawahiri wanted al Qaeda prisoners released from Yemeni jails and committed al Qaeda foot soldiers to fight the Houthi rebels,” the senior US military official said.

Zawahiri was concerned about relations between al Qaeda and Iran, “so he took great care by reaching out to the Iranians” after committing more fighters to the Yemeni government.

Sana’a has struck numerous bargains with al Qaeda leadership and operatives. The 9/11 Commission reported the Tawfiq bin Attash was released from Yemeni custody in 1999 after Osama bin Laden contacted Yemeni authorities. Bin Attash later went on to have a role in the USS Cole bombing and train some of the 9/11 highjackers. In 2007, Yemen’s Foreign Minister defended the early release of al Qaeda operatives convicted in the USS Cole bombing as “normal” saying, “Everybody makes deals with anybody who cooperates, not just in Yemen, but in the United States.”

Among those in Iran the US Treasury Department designated as terrorists last week is Yemeni Ali Saleh Husain. A senior al Qaeda operative close to Osama bin Laden, Husain goes by the alias Abu Dhahak al Yemeni. He reportedly is the intermediary between al Qaeda and its affiliates Fatah al Islam in Lebanon and Jund al Islam in Gaza.

Saad bin Laden fled to Iran after September 11, 2001. He may no longer be in Iran as of September 2008, the US Treasury Department said in a statement.

The Telegraph reported in November that an intercepted letter signed by Zawahiri thanked Iran’s Revolutionary Guards for “monetary and infrastructure assistance” after the deadly attack on the US embassy and commended their “vision” in helping al Qaeda establish new bases in Yemen after the group faced increasing pressure in Iraq and Saudi Arabia.

Although tensions rose at the peak of the Sa’ada War, Yemen and Iran have good relations overall, as does Yemen and Syria. The Houthi rebellion was triggered by localized grievances. In a November report, Invisible Civilians, Human Rights Watch (HRW) charged that Yemen contravened international humanitarian law during the war and “severely restricted humanitarian access to tens of thousands of civilians in need”. An estimated 70,000 Zaidi civilians who fled the bombing and fighting remain out of the reach of international aid groups. HRW also found that hundreds of Hashimites were arbitrarily arrested. Imprisoned clerics were often replaced by fundamentalist preachers at mosques throughout Yemen.

Yemeni Arms Fuels Instability in Somalia

Filed under: Janes Articles, Military, Ports, Proliferation, Somalia, pirates, smuggling — by Jane Novak at 12:08 pm on Monday, December 29, 2008

Yemen the main source of illegal arms to Somalia: UN

Jane Novak for the Yemen Times

SANA’A, Dec. 27— A UN investigation found Yemen is the primary source of arms and ammunition to Somalia which has been under an arms embargo since 1992. The panel of independent experts monitoring the embargo also reported arms smuggling from Yemen intersects with acts of piracy and human trafficking. The findings were presented in a December 10 report to the UN Security Council.

The report notes commercial weapons imports from Yemen supply Somali retail markets as well as opposition and criminal groups. The Yemeni government’s inability to stem the large scale arms trafficking is “a key obstacle to the restoration of peace and security to Somalia,” the panel found. The UN Security Council extended the monitoring group’s mandate for another year.

Yemen plans to refute the charges. SABA news agency dubbed the report “misleading” and noted that “smuggling weapons is sometimes associated with the arriving of displaced Somalis.” A Foreign Ministry statement said that one million Somali refugees in Yemen create an economic burden that “sometimes leads to social, security and health repercussions.” Nearly 50,000 Somali refugees made the maritime crossing to Yemen in 2008, authorities reported.

In prior years, about 30,000 Somalis migrated annually.

The UN report ties together weapons smuggling, human trafficking and piracy, noting some small boats used in acts of piracy also “move refugees and economic migrants from Somalia to Yemen, bringing arms and ammunition on the return journey,” Piracy in the waters between Yemen and Somalia spiked dramatically with over 100 pirate attacks and over 40 vessels captured by pirates this year. The authorities in Puntland and Somaliland told the UN monitoring group that “maritime traffic from Yemen, across the Gulf of Aden, remains their largest single source of arms.” Weapons purchased in Yemen are also smuggled to insurgent groups in Ethiopia, the investigation found. One intercepted shipment included 101 anti-tank mines, 100 hand grenades, 170 rocket-propelled grenade-7 rounds, and 170 boxes of 7.62 mm ammunition.

Increased activity by the Yemeni Coast Guard between Aden and al Mukalla impacted arms shipments from ports in the patrolled areas. However, the monitoring group found that the lack of regular patrols in al Mukalla “means that arms traffic continues unabated.” The group recommended capacity building programs for the Coast Guard and direct naval interdiction.

Yemen’s coast line extends 1906 km. The Coast Guard, created in 2003, is working towards taking control of Mocha and al Mukalla from the military. The Republican Guard and Central Security forces have authority at ports where the Coast Guard has limited presence. The Coast Guard has nine operational ships in a fleet of 15, and only two with deep water capacity.

Inadequate funding is an obstacle to increased capacity, Coast Guard Commander Ali Ahmed Ras’ee said in May.

The US provides some operational and training support and in 2004 donated seven patrol boats. With Italian financing, the Italian firm SELEX is implementing a coastal radar system that will eventually cover 450km of coast line including hot spots for piracy and smuggling.

Responding to the UN report, the Foreign Ministry said, “Yemen reiterates its readiness to cooperate with the UN and all regional concerned parties to fight piracy and all forms of weapon smuggling, the issues resulted due to the situation in Somalia where there is not a central government.”

Yemen has the second most heavily armed citizenry per capita after the United States. In August 2007, authorities implemented a ban against carrying weapons in cities and have confiscated over 150,000 weapons since the program began. Over 200 weapons shops were also closed.

Weapons smuggling from Yemen to Saudi Arabia is also a concern. In July, Saudi Arabia announced that in a three month period, border guards confiscated over a ton of explosives and a large number of arms including 13 rocket-propelled grenades, 99 sticks of dynamite, 100 fuses, 12 detonators, more than 100 guns and 15,000 cartridges.

Saudi Support for Yemen: Billions

Filed under: Military, Saudi Arabia, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 9:35 pm on Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Russians are Yemen’s main arms supplier and the Saudis are the main financial donor. Related: Yemen may be financially unviable in a year.

Reuters: Jan 18 (Reuters) – The United States is the main foreign backer of Yemen’s counter-terrorism efforts against al Qaeda, according to published figures, but its support is believed to rank behind a large undisclosed contribution from Saudi Arabia. (Read on …)

Military Demands Execution of Journalists for Article

Filed under: Media, Military, Saada War, Tribes, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 12:02 pm on Sunday, November 16, 2008

Didnt al-Motamar publish the same news? The official Yemeni government estimates were 8,000 tribal fighters and they were going to try to recruit more. Maybe it was the part where the Islamic extremists were training the fighters that was the military secret.

News Yemen
SANA’A, NewsYemen

A state security and terrorism specialized court refused on Monday an objection by al-Share independent weekly against the court’s authority to hold a press case as press cases are required by the constitution to be heard by the Press and Publications Court.

The court said it has the authority to look into the case raised against the paper by the Ministry of Defense and ordered the case to the primary court again.
Last November, Editor Nayef Hassan and two journalists at al-Share Weekly were indicted in Yemen’s State Security Penal Court, which is reserved for terrorism cases. Al-Share published articles documenting the regime’s use of tribal fighters in its war against Shiite rebels in Sa’ada.

The Ministry of Defense demanded the execution of the three journalists for “threatening national security, demoralizing the military and divulging state secrets.”
The al-Share case referred to the State Security and Terrorism Court. The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate condemned referring a press case to terrorism-specialized court and said it was against the Yemeni constitution and press law.

Yemen China Military Weapons Deals

Filed under: China, Military, Proliferation, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 8:51 am on Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Do they really have money for more weapons purchases? The rationalization of the government budget is not going well I see. Its about 7% of GDP on military and less than 2% on health care. (And even what is spent on health care is largely stolen and sold. )

Yemen, China discuss security cooperation

[11 November 2008]

SANA’A, Nov.11 (Saba) – Yemen and China held Tuesday talks on the aspects of security cooperation between the Interior Ministry and the Chinese company Chin Shida specialized in the exportation of military and security products.

Deputy Interior Minister Saleh al-Zawari affirmed here with assistant director of the Chinese company the importance of developing the bilateral cooperation between the two countries in areas of security cooperation.

Update: from the Yemen Times:

In Yemen, the Chinese firms started their businesses in 1956 with the construction of Sana’a-Hodeida Highway. And, during the time period (1979 – 1995), nearly 12 Chinese construction contractors implemented projects in Yemen. In the final days of 1995, China signed contracts with Yemeni firms for a total value of $ 800 million, and currently there are more than 16 giant firms in Yemen.

Defense Ministry Demands Death for Journalists Who Revealed Jihadists Training Military

Filed under: Al-Qaeda, Media, Military, Trials, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:28 am on Monday, November 3, 2008

The Yemeni government has recruited thousands of tribesmen in its war against the Zaidi rebels. According to Yemeni government figures, about 8000. Some are underage. Al- Share reported on the tribesmen and that they are being trained by “Islamic Extremists” from a variety of Jihaddist groups including the Aden Abyan Army. The Yemeni Defense Department is now demanding the death penalty in the specialized terrorism court. The paper raised an appeal that the press and publications court should have jurdistiction but it was denied.


A state security and terrorism specialized court refused on Monday an objection by al-Share independent weekly against the court’s authority to hold a press case as press cases are required by the constitution to be heard by the Press and Publications Court.

The court said it has the authority to look into the case raised against the paper by the Ministry of Defense and ordered the case to the primary court again.
Last November, Editor Nayef Hassan and two journalists at al-Share Weekly were indicted in Yemen’s State Security Penal Court, which is reserved for terrorism cases. Al-Share published articles documenting the regime’s use of tribal fighters in its war against Shiite rebels in Sa’ada.

The Ministry of Defense demanded the execution of the three journalists for “threatening national security, demoralizing the military and divulging state secrets.”
The al-Share case referred to the State Security and Terrorism Court. The Yemeni Journalists Syndicate condemned referring a press case to terrorism-specialized court and said it was against the Yemeni constitution and press law.

Millions for Mig Upgrades

Filed under: Military, Russia, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 12:11 pm on Monday, October 20, 2008

Ukranian, (like the tanks?)

The Miracle MiG Makeover
October 14, 2008: Egypt and Yemen have hired a Ukrainian firm to upgrade most of their MiG-21 fighters. Egypt has 62 MiG-21s, while Yemen has 47. Egypt had earlier upgraded some of its MiG-21s with British electronics. The Ukrainian firm (Odesaremservis), will install a modern, digital, cockpit (flat panel color displays and far fewer switches and buttons to deal with). Installed under the aircraft will be a laser designator and camera so that the aircraft can deliver smart bombs.

The 9.5 ton MiG-21 is a 1950s design. Poor flight controls and lousy visibility limited what a good pilot could do with this aircraft. But few good pilots flew the MiG-21, as it was built for poorly trained pilots who mainly followed instructions from someone on the ground. It can carry two tons of bombs and missiles.

After the American experience with smart bombs over the last two years, most air forces have accepted the fact that the more expensive (starting at $30,000 each) smart bombs are more effective than the much cheaper ($500 or less) dumb bombs. This potentially makes the MiG-21 a much more effective aircraft.

The Ukrainian firm also offers the Sura targeting helmet, which enables the pilot to look at the target and fire a Russian R-73 heat seeking missile, that will then go after the target the pilot is looking at. If the MiG-21 is facing roughly equivalent aircraft, the Sura helmet makes the aircraft a much more effective dog-fighter.

The Ukrainian cockpit and targeting upgrade costs several million dollars per aircraft.

Tanks on Highjacked Ukranian Ship were Enroute to Yemen

Filed under: Military, Proliferation, Russia, pirates — by Jane Novak at 11:21 am on Monday, October 20, 2008

from Russia, Yemen Post

Yemen announced that it will postpone the regional summit for fighting piracy, which was planned to be held in Sana’a next week. Participating countries were expected to sign a memorandum of understanding for mutual cooperation between them in fighting piracy.

From his part, Minster of Transportation, Khalid Al-Wazir, told media outlets that the postponing came in response to the Regional Center for Combating Piracy request, adding that the summit will be held later this year.

Al-Wazir assured that Yemen will establish a center in Sana’a for monitoring ships in collaboration with 20 countries and International Maritime Organization.

In the meantime, seven military ships from six different countries have headed to Bab Al-Mandab Strait and Gulf of Aden in a mission to fight Somali pirates, and to protect trade ships and fisheries from pirates operations, whose attacks have risen over the last few months, especially in the international waters between Yemen and Somalia.

This comes within the country’s efforts to restrict piracy activities targeting ships off Yemen’s coasts, especially in the Gulf of Aden and Indian Ocean.

Piracy activities have long been a headache for international navigation in the Gulf of Aden, which is one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes and connects Asia and Europe.

A Yemeni official who preferred not to reveal himself, told a Chinese agency that president Saleh’s visit to regional countries came as the result of the Yemeni government’s worry for business ships that pass by the Gulf of Aden.

The sudden movement by regional countries came after pirate’s hijacked a Ukrainian ship that was believed to be carrying seven tankers. Further, pirates warned that they would explode the ship if procedures were taken against them.

Sources who asked to be left anonymous mentioned to the Yemen Post that the tanks that were on the Ukrainian ship were on their way to Yemen, and were part of the military agreement signed between Russia and Yemen.

Chairman of the Russian Federation Council Mrs. Sergey Meronof said last Friday while visiting Yemen that her country intends to send more military ships soon to free the Ukrainian ship if needed.

Increased Russian Naval Presence, Increased Use of Yemen’s Ports for Military and other Goals

Russia could resume naval presence in Yemen

SANA, October 16 (RIA Novosti) - The speaker of Russia’s upper house of parliament said on Thursday that Russia could resume a naval presence in Yemen.

Authorities in the Middle East country are calling on Moscow to help fight piracy and possible terrorist threats. The U.S.S.R. had a major naval base in the former socialist state of South Yemen, which merged with North Yemen in 1990 to form the present-day Yemen.

Speaking to journalists in Sana, the capital of Yemen, Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov said the new direction of Russia’s foreign and defense policies and an increase in its naval missions would be taken into consideration when making a decision on the request.

“It’s possible that the aspects of using Yemen ports not only for visits by Russian warships, but also for more strategic goals will be considered,” he said. (Read on …)

Designer Turrets for Yemen’s Fighter Planes

Filed under: Military, Other Countries, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 7:47 am on Friday, October 3, 2008

freaky, somehow I think the Sa’ada war is not over yet.

Flight Global: Egypt and Yemen have contracted the Ukrainian defence ministry’s Odessa aircraft repair station (Odesaremservis) to modernise their fleets of RSK MiG-21 fighters, according to information revealed late last month during the Aviasvit 2008 air show in Kiev.

Pictures shown during the event illustrated Egyptian MiG-21PFM and Yemeni MiG-21bis aircraft that have already been upgraded. The Soviet-era aircraft received technology insertions corresponding to “fourth and fifth generation fighters”, Odesaremservis claims.

A key element of the work was the integration of the Sura helmet-mounted sight, which provides target designation and a firing envelope of +/-75° for R-60 and R-73 short-range air-to-air missiles.

Two 5 x 5in (125 x 125mm) multifunction cockpit displays are also offered as options, along with a new head-up display. Ukraine is offering a similar package of upgrades for MiG-23/27-series strike aircraft, but has so far only performed the work on a handful of its own aircraft.

Further pictures shown at Aviasvit provided evidence that Yemen has also chosen to upgrade its Aero Vodochody L-39 trainers in Ukraine. The work includes the installation of a sensor/designator turret under the aircraft’s fuselage that enables the type to perform light attack tasks using precision-guided weapons.

The air forces of Belarus and Ukraine have launched more modest L-39 upgrades also offered by Odesaremservis, with the work introducing a revised avionics suite and a multifunction cockpit display. A full specification L-39M upgrade would also add identification friend-or-foe equipment, and an Ivchenko-Progress AI-25TLSh engine offering a 10% increase in thrust and an improved rate of climb.

Child Soldiers in Saada

Filed under: Children, Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 11:42 am on Saturday, September 13, 2008

I’m glad this issue is getting some attention. Both the rebels and the government are using kids to fight the Saada War.


Sana’a, Sahwa Net- The Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers has accused, in its recent report, Yemen of using children as soldiers in Saada war.

“Although Yemen’s laws specified 18 as the minimum recruitment age, under-age recruitment to the armed forces reportedly remained common” said the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers in 2008 report.

It further explained that parents sometimes agree to the recruitment of their children into the armed forces because of their poor economic situation, pointing out that joining the army is highly sought after as a result of other employment opportunities are extremely limited.

Yemen Buys Spy Plane

Filed under: Counter-terror, Military, Transportation, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:09 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

SAMA first training aircraft arrives to Aden

ADEN, Aug. 10 (Saba)- The first training aircraft model SAMA (2020) operating by one engine arrived on Sunday at Aden International Airport.

Director General of the academy captain Ameen Ghanem said to Saba that this aircraft is one of four aircrafts to be sent to Aden after an agreement with Jordanian manufacturing plant Jordan Aerospace Industries (JAI).

Ghanem mentioned that in the upcoming days the air academy will be launched officially in Aden in the wake of completing all technical processes.

Turkish investors to market JAI’s Sama 2020 training and surveillance aircraft in Turkey

Jordan Times
AMMAN (JT) – Jordan Aerospace Industries (JAI) recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Turkish investors to market its Sama 2020 training and surveillance aircraft in Turkey. Following the marketing operations, the company will start a programme to manufacture the surveillance aircraft in Turkey where the aircraft will be equipped with Turkish-made communication and surveillance equipment. The MoU, signed by Turkish businessman Ahmet T. Ozal and JAI Director General and Chief Executive Officer Muayad Al Samaraee, was the outcome of business talks between the two sides, and a visit by Turkish business investors to the company’s plant, located at Queen Alia International Airport. Established in 2001, the JAI is still the only private certified light aircraft manufacturer in the Middle East. 4 August 2008

Only 30 Unhappy People in the South: Defense Minister

Filed under: Biographies, Military, Ministries, Russia, South Yemen, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:07 pm on Tuesday, August 12, 2008

26 Sept

Defence Minister Mohammed Nasser Ahmed concluded a successful several-day visit to Russia.
During his visit to Moscow, the Defence Minister held talks with a number of Russian officials on the aspects of cooperation relations between the two countries, particularly in fields of military and Combating and preventing terrorism.
Ahmed also met at Yemen’s embassy in Moscow with Yemeni undergraduates studying in Russian military academies in which he delivered a speech focusing on a number of the national issues and the latest developments witnessed in the homeland, especially the rebellion movement in some districts of Saada governorate.
He confirmed that his country’s government had dealt with the al-Houthi rebellion in accordance with the interests of the country.
For the concern situations in some southern provinces, Defence Minister Mohammed Ahmed considered them “an expression of less than 20 or 30 persons only”.

Yemen Military Expenditure as a Percent of GDP, Triple World Average

Filed under: Military, Yemen, govt budget — by Jane Novak at 7:24 pm on Saturday, August 9, 2008

Military spending is a line item in the budget.


Uganda 2.2% (2006)
Ukraine 1.4% (2005 est.)
United Arab Emirates 3.1% (2005 est.)
United Kingdom 2.4% (2005 est.)
United States 4.06% (2005 est.)
Uruguay 1.6% (2006)
Uzbekistan 2% (2005 est.)
Vanuatu NA
Venezuela 1.2% (2005 est.)
Vietnam 2.5% (2005 est.)
West Bank NA
World roughly 2% of gross world product (2005 est.)
Yemen 6.6% (2006)
Zambia 1.8% (2005 est.)
Zimbabwe 3.8% (2006)

4000 Houses, 26 Mosques and 116 Schools Destroyed in Sa’ada War

Filed under: Biographies, Civil Rights, Military, Ministries, Saada War, Yemen, prisons — by Jane Novak at 7:05 pm on Saturday, August 9, 2008

These figures of property damage in Sa’ada were first released in July 2007, so the totals are certainly much higher now after the fifth war. In the mean time, prominent activists including al-Khaiwani remain in jail. Another is Mohammed al-Miftah, who is on a hunger strike after being disappeared by the Interior Ministry.

Sahwa Net – The head of Al-Haq Party’s shoura council Mohammad Miftah has been going on a hunger strike since two months. Miftah who was kidnapped by gunmen belonging to the Interior Ministry on May 21, 2008, said he would not suspend the hunger strike until he is released…It is worth noting that the authorities suspect that Miftah belongs to the al-Houthi movement in Saada.

This is the same Miftah who Amnesty International called a prisoner of conscience. A Zaidi cleric Mohamed Miftah was released in May 2006 apparently after receiving presidential pardons. He had been serving an eight-year prison term.

And Ali Mohsen surfaces…

Mareb Press: The governmental committee assigned to evaluate and count the damages caused by the rebellion in Sa’ada province returned today to the Sa’ada, chaired by the Minister of Local Administration, Abdul Qadeer Hilal, and the Deputy of Prime Minister for Security and Stability affairs, Rashad al-Alimi, Minister of Defense, Mohammed Ahmed, and commander of the Eastern North region, Ali Muhsen al-Ahmer.

The committee will visit military and security units in the province to inspect the condition of soldiers.
Meanwhile, the cabinet studied yesterday the initial report on counting the damages caused by the armed rebellion in Sa’ada province, prepared by the committee chaired by Abdul Qader Hilal, Minister of Local Administration.

The cabinet directed the committee to carry out field visits to Bani Hushiesh district in Sana’a province to evaluate and count damages caused by the rebellion and including its findings in the report to be raised to the government.

A total of 4141 houses, and 88 farms were damaged in Northern Province of Sa’ada during the war between the Al Houthi rebels and the government troops, said a primary official report on Tuesday. The report which was carried by the state-run news agency Saba said some 201 public installations including 116 schools, 36 health utilities, and 26 mosques were also either wholly of partially damaged.

Source: IRIN

A recently formed government committee has faced problems assessing damage to buildings and property in conflict-hit Saada Governorate, northern Yemen.

Committee members had to return to the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, after being intercepted in Mashor village Saada Governorate, by pro-government tribes who said they, not the al-Houthi rebels, should have priority when it came to government assistance. The pro-government tribes did not want the committee to start assessing the damage in “pro-al-Houthi villages”, demanding instead that the government give them priority assistance as a reward for fighting on the government side.

However, a few days later, on 6 August, the committee went back to another part of Saada Governorate on the orders of the Cabinet, to try and complete its assessment.

Minister of Local Administration Abdul-Qader Hilal, who chairs the committee, said: “We will work in accordance with the president’s orders and the state’s strategy to promote peace and reconstruct Saada.”

An interim report by the committee, which was set up on 22 July, said 4,141 houses and 88 farms (including 24 poultry farms) had been damaged in the past two months alone, due to the fighting. It also said 201 public buildings were damaged, including 116 schools, 36 health centres and 26 mosques in the same period.It is unclear to what extent a ceasefire in mid-July – following a deal between President Ali Abdullah Saleh and representatives of the rebel leader, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi – was holding. Local media have reported continuing sporadic clashes between the two sides.

Meanwhile, local media reports indicate that some army leaders were reportedly not happy when Saleh tried to end the fighting before they could defeat the rebels.

Rebel allegations

A statement by Abdul-Malik al-Houthi’s information office on 3 August said some army leaders were trying to violate the ceasefire deal: unidentified army officers had set up four military checkpoints on the main road to Har Sufian, a pro-al-Houthi area in Amran Governorate. It said there were other violations, which had resulted in the killing of a number of citizens.

In November 2007, a government committee said 3,375 properties had been damaged in five of Saada’s 15 districts, but the assessment was cut short by the fighting.

Hundreds of people have been killed and thousands displaced during the clashes in Saada Governorate since 2004. According to the 2004 population census, Saada Governorate has 81,568 houses and a population of some 700,000.

Peace Agreement: Abdulmalik Agrees

Filed under: Military, Presidency, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 8:36 pm on Friday, August 1, 2008

Yemen Observer

Abdul-Mulak al-Huthi, leader of the rebel tribe in Sa’adah in the north of Yemen confirmed in a letter sent to President Ali Abdullah Saleh his commitment to Saleh’s proposed cease fire, including retreating from mountains hideouts, evacuation from citizens’ houses, ending all armed initiatives and handing over all captives from the army, reported the September 26 website, mouthpiece of the Yemeni army. (Read on …)

Soldiers Wounded in Sa’ada War Demand Compensation

Filed under: Military, Saada War — by Jane Novak at 11:03 am on Saturday, July 26, 2008

This is a good sign that the war is over.


Soldiers differently injured during war in Sa’ada, north of Yemen, on Saturday staged a sit-in in a street in Hodeidah demanding that the government pay them their financial rights and compensations.

Two hundred soldiers blocked the Hodeidah-Sana’a highway and prevented vehicles, especially the government ones, from crossing.

NY’s reporter in Hodeidah reported that demonstrators wanted to meet the governor of Hodeidah and President Saleh. Reporter said that riot police were extensively deployed in front of government institutions in the area but did not try to break up the sit-in.

The military commander Mohammad Mujahid Nameran promised demonstrators their requests will be met, but they refused his promise and decided to go on their protest.

President Saleh last week announced the end of war in Sa’ada and many soldiers started to return from three-month confrontations with rebels that claimed hundreds of lives among forces and rebels and injured many others.

Yemeni Military Killed by Friendly Fire, Teenage suicide bomber

Filed under: Military, Saada War, Yemen — by Jane Novak at 4:53 pm on Thursday, July 10, 2008

Media Line

At least four people were killed and six wounded in ‘S’ada as a 14-year-old boy detonated an anti-personnel mine that he was carrying outside a government complex, local media reported.

This is the first time a child has been used and it remains unclear whether or not he knew he was going to die, sources at the Yemen Times told The Media Line.

Saturday’s attack came after government forces and local rebels loyal to the Houthi tribe were involved in heavy fighting over the weekend.

Sources at the Yemen Times also reported that, for the third day running, the state air force has been targeting areas of combat in ‘S’ada. The planes are hovering continually and hitting places where even the government military is present.

The soldiers were killed because of either engaging with the Houthis in combat or their proximity to the Houthi camps. Dozens of military soldiers are reported dead because of the air force attacks.

Yemen Times

SA’ADA, July 6 — For the fourth day in a row, the Yemeni army has been attacking with heavy weaponry and fighter jets several villages in Mirran district and other areas in Amran governorate’s Harf Sifyan district, believed to be another stronghold of Houthi loyalists, tribal sources said Sunday, noting that hundreds on both sides were killed or injured.

“During direct clashes between the army and Houthi supporters, army fighter jets dropped bombs on Saturday, but they missed their targets, instead hitting military positions in the area of Mirran, resulting in an increased death toll involving troops,” the sources continued, pointing out that the same mistake was repeated Sunday morning.

According to the sources, bloody confrontations between army personnel and Houthis have continued for many days in the Mirran mountains as the Yemeni army attempts to score a ground victory and seize control of strategic positions in the area. However, despite backing from fighter jets, the army is facing fierce resistance by Houthis.

Backed by Hashid tribesmen, Salafi groups and jihadists, the Yemeni army launched two offensives this past weekend against Houthis after its military tactics failed to prevent necessary supplies from reaching Houthis over the past seven weeks

As the Yemeni army gathers brigades from various governorates to Sa’ada to wage war against Houthis’ main stronghold in Mirran, according to presidential directives, the governors of Sana’a, Amran and Sa’ada have invited thousands of citizens to form a populist army to hinder Houthis’ spread in rural areas.

However, other tribal sources disclose that citizens haven’t responded to this invitation, despite the fact that the government promised to recruit them into the army, as citizens fear potential involvement in the armed conflict with Houthis in Sa’ada.

The ruling authority is gathering more military forces in preparation for a new war in Mirran, as 1st Armored Division brigades have failed to make progress on the ground since the most recent war broke out in April.

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