Tag Archive | Saudi Arabia

Somalian Refugees Massacred in the Red Sea off Yemen Coast*

Somalian Refugees Massacred in the Red Sea off Yemen Coast*

By Abayomi Azikiwe

United States engineered war of genocide encompasses contiguous nations and waterways

 

Somalian community representatives in Yemen have issued a statement denouncing the brutal killings of 42 people and the injuring of 120 others when their vessel was struck in the Red Sea area near the port city of Hodeida on March 17.

Reports indicate that the deaths were a direct result of an airstrike carried out by the Saudi Arabian-Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in a war being waged against the people of Yemen.

These refugees were traveling to the Republic of Sudan utilizing the Bab-el-Mandeb, a strait near Yemen, Djibouti, and Eritrea which joins the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. This area is one of the most lucrative shipping lanes in the world transporting oil, military hardware and other commodities.

The Somalians living in Yemen are demanding that the international community investigates the circumstances surrounding the bombing. In addition, they are urging that those found responsible should be prosecuted for the crimes committed. (Saba News Agency, March 21)

A United States manufactured Apache helicopter attacked the vessel carrying Somalians who were fleeing from the war torn state of Yemen. Since March 2015, the White House and Pentagon has backed a war inside the country to defeat the Popular Committees led by the Ansurallah Movement (Houthis) and allied military forces still loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Over 12,000 people have died over the last two years while tens of thousands of others have been injured. A blockade that often prevents essential supplies reaching the people of Yemen has 3.3 million people facing famine.

Saudi-GCC airstrikes and ground operations have targeted civilians, educational institutions, power stations, communications facilities, water sources and municipal services. The Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has supplied the Saudi-GCC forces with sophisticated air power, refueling technology and geographic coordinates needed to inflect maximum damage on the ground.

The persons on board the vessel were said to have documents in their possession certifying them as displaced persons. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees UNHCR) said of the massacre that the agency was “appalled by this tragic incident, the latest in which civilians continue to disproportionately bear the brunt of conflict in Yemen.”

U.S.-backed Forces Deny Involvement

In response to the charges that the Saudi-GCC Coalition was responsible for the massacre, the alliance in a statement said:

“”We are also aware of allegations that the attack was carried out by a helicopter and naval vessel belonging to the Saudi-led coalition. We can confirm the coalition was not responsible for any attack on a refugee boat on Friday (March 17) and … there was no firing by any coalition forces on Friday in the area of Hudaida.” (Middle East Eye, March 19)

Not only did the U.S.-allied forces deny responsibility, they then proposed the port city “be placed immediately under United Nations supervision”. Such an action by the U.N. would be in contravention of international law since Hodeida is part of Yemeni national territory.

For the U.N. to enact this suggestion would be tantamount to the colonization of a section of the country.  Saudi Arabia has occupied sections of Yemeni territory in the recent past aimed at curtailing the advances of the Ansurallah movement which they claim are supported by the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Attempting to conceal its political motivations the Saudi-GCC Coalition declared:

“This would facilitate the flow of humanitarian supplies to the Yemeni people, while at the same time ending the use of the port for weapons smuggling and people trafficking.”

Nonetheless, it is well documented that it is the forces loyal to Riyadh which have continued to target civilians in the war and prevent the transport of essential goods and services from reaching millions of people in Yemen.

The Somalian government fresh from electing a new president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, is a member of the Coalition which is conducting war against neighbouring Yemen. Mogadishu has become an outpost of U.S. and European imperialism which finances, trains and coordinates military operations both inland and offshore in Somalia.

Some 22,000 African Union (AU) troops from Uganda, Burundi, Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia are patrolling the capital of Mogadishu and other areas in the central and southern regions of the Horn of Africa nation. Pentagon and CIA advisors are embedded in the Somali National Armed Forces and AMISOM units to guarantee the security of the Federal Government which is still waging a war against the Al-Shabaab Islamic movement.

Former Somalian Foreign Minister Abdusalam Omer did not immediately condemn the massacre of his own citizens on March 17. In a statement issued on March 18, Mogadishu said

“We call on our partners in the Saudi-led coalition to investigate the raid.”

However, it is unlikely that any substantive investigation into these deaths will occur from Mogadishu, Riyadh or its allies in the Yemen war. During the course of developments since March 2015, the U.S. under both the previous administration of President Barack Obama and his successor Donald Trump, there has been no condemnation of the way in which the war has been carried out by the Saudi-GCC Coalition.

War Continues at Feverish Pace

Meanwhile, the situation in Yemen remains tense and volatile. On March 21 authorities seized a vehicle packed with explosives found traveling on the al Azrakain road north of the capital of Sana’a. (Saba, March 21)

On the same day according to Saba news agency:

“A man was killed by a hand grenade in a popular market in Azzancity of Shabwa province. A local official told Saba that an armed man dropped the grenade at the middle of the Qat Market in Azzan, killing the man and injuring 30 others, some of them are critically injured. Shabwa province experiences insecurity in the light of al-Qaeda controls on a number of areas.”

It is the al-Qaeda presence in Yemen which provides another rationale for the escalation of Pentagon military strikes inside the country. In January, a disastrous commando operation authorized by President Trump resulted in the deaths of more than two dozen civilians as well as a Navy Seal in Bayda Province.

Stratfor, the intelligence consultancy firm based in Austin, Texas, said of the escalation in direct airstrikes authorized by Washington claiming to target al-Qaeda of the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) that:

“The United States has carried out around 30 airstrikes against the group in Yemen over the past several days, marking a significant increase in the pace of strikes from the previous year. In fact, the United States only publicly acknowledged carrying out 31 strikes during all of 2016.” (March 6)

New York Times reporters Helene Cooper and Eric Schmitt wrote on March 2:

“The coordinated series of attacks occurred in three Yemeni provinces — Abyan, Shabwa and Baydha — that have been linked to terrorist activity, according to the Pentagon. The strikes were conducted against targets that had been developed before the January raid, a senior official said.”

Consequently, the war against the people of Yemen has been intensified under the Trump administration. These developments coincide with the increasing role of the Pentagon in Syria which has announced the deployment of additional troops to this embattled state.

Official pronouncements from the Pentagon say approximately 500 U.S. Special Operations forces are already engaged in Syria ostensibly supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) near Raqaa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State.  An additional 250 Rangers and 200 Marines are reportedly in the same area.

Trump has ordered Secretary of Defense James Mattis to draft a plan to place even more troops in Syria by the end of March. These troops could come from the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit transported by warships harbouring 2,200 Marines currently moving in the direction of Syria along with the Army’s 82nd Airborne Division, which has 2,500 troops en route to Kuwait.

Source*

Related Topics:

Hundreds Dying from Hunger as Severe Drought Grips Somalia*

U.S. Expands Army Presence in Somalia*

Somali Man Takes Legal Action against US, Germany Over Father’s Drone Killing*

Somalia a Failed State by Courtesy of the State Department and CIA*

Saudi Airstrikes on Market Kills Civilians in Yemen*

Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details of the Botched U.S. Raid in Yemen*

Idlib Raid Hits CIA/Saudi Backed Rebels as “President Banner” Tries to Bury Yemen Blunder*

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

U.S. Bans Most Electronic Devices on Flights from 8 Muslim Countries*

U.S. Bans Most Electronic Devices on Flights from 8 Muslim Countries*

They are not the same nations targeted in the failed “Muslim Ban.”

By Kenrya Rankin

Less than a week after two federal courts blocked the Trump Administration’s second attempt at restricting entry to the United States for the nationals of six predominately Muslim countries, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has issued a mandate that regulates the travel of people from another set of mostly Muslim countries.

As of today (March 21), people flying into the U.S. on direct flights from 10 airports in Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates must check electronic devices larger than a phone—including tablets, laptops, e-readers, cameras, gaming devices and portable DVD players—before boarding. Travelers will still be allowed to carry smartphones and essential medical devices on board. The eight countries are different from the ones targeted in the “Muslim Ban.”

Per CNN, the impacted airlines are Egyptair, Emirates Airline, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines and Turkish Airlines. U.S. officials said that no U.S. carriers are included in the indefinite ban because they do not fly directly to the States from the impacted airports. The carriers have 96 hours to comply, or they risk losing permission from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly into the country. The rule will be “reviewed” on October 14.

CNN reports that officials say there is no specific terrorist plot that they are trying to thwart, but that: “the move is partly based on intelligence that they believe indicates Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is close to being able to hide explosives with little or no metal content in electronic devices in order to target commercial aircraft.”

Reuters reports that on a press conference call, DHS spokesperson Gillian Christensen said the agency “did not target specific nations. We relied upon evaluated intelligence to determine which airports were affected.”

Source*

U.K. joins U.S. electronics ban on flights from several Middle East, African countries

U.K joined the U.S large electronics ban on some flights from Middle East and African countries. The U,K has announced a cabin baggage ban on laptops on passenger flights from six Middle East and North African countries.

According to a statement issued by the U.K government:

Phones, laptops and tablets larger than 16.0cm x 9.3cm x 1.5cm not allowed in the cabin on flights to the U.K. from Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Tunisia.

KTG understands that the U.K. ban will affect also the British Airways.

The U.K. restrictions, which also apply to tablets, DVD players, portable game consoles and phones over certain size, come after a similar U.S. Department of Homeland Security ban.

Passengers will not be able to fly from these countries with phones, laptops, tablets larger than 16cm in length, 9.3cm width & 1.5cm depth.

— Jack Moore (@JFXM) March 21, 2017

Flights on nine airlines from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries are subject to the U.S. move.

U.S. officials said bombs could be hidden in a series of devices.

The ban affects large electronic devices including laptops, tablets and DVD players. They would not be permitted in aircraft cabins but would be allowed in checked baggage.

Phones are exempt from the U.S. restrictions.

Passengers on some 50 flights a day from some of the busiest hubs in the Middle East, Turkey and North Africa would be required to follow the new U.S. rules.

The airlines affected by the ban are:

Royal Jordanian, Egypt Air, Turkish Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Qatar Airways, Emirates and Etihad Airways.

They have been given 96 hours, beginning at 07:00 GMT on Tuesday, to ban devices bigger than a mobile phone or smartphone from cabins, US officials said, adding that the ban had no end date.

According to BBC, the U.K. announcement and would affect direct flights from several Middle East cities. The BBC home affairs correspondent said that  the move was “obviously part of co-ordinated action with the U.S.”.

The Department of Homeland Security said extremists were seeking “innovative methods” to bring down jets.

The attempted downing of an airliner in Somalia last year was linked to a laptop device, and it appears the security precautions are an attempt to stop similar incidents.

Turkey seeks reversal of laptop ban

The Turkish government has said the U.S. ban is wrong and should be reversed.

Turkey said Tuesday it would ask the United States to reverse a ban on electronic devices larger than mobile phones in the cabin of flights from 10 airports in Turkey, the Middle East and North Africa.

“We particularly emphasise how this will not benefit the passenger and that reverse steps or a softening should be adopted,” Transport Minister Ahmet Arslan told reporters, saying the decision was not right for Turkey or the US.

Airlines hit by the ban include flag-carrier Turkish Airlines, which has the highest foreign sales of any Turkish company. The airline’s profits have already been hit by a slew of terror attacks in Turkey in 2016.

Arslan said Turkish officials were speaking to their relevant American counterparts regarding the ban, which applies to direct flights to the US.

The minister said he hoped there would be a “positive” outcome from the talks, which began Monday.

“Annually, 80 million flights take off from Istanbul and in my opinion, people should not confuse it” with less high-profile destinations, Arslan added.

“In that sense, we already take all kinds of security measures.”

Arslan said that passengers head to the U.S. for many reasons including developing bilateral trade, adding that the ruling could negatively affect travellers’ comfort.

It comes back to the old world and the planes was carrying them again! #electronicsban #flighttravel pic.twitter.com/oIvAM9G0bi

— George Robert (@mertennikell) March 21, 2017

Of course, many now wonder why the ban affects few selected countries and airlines and it is not global.

Experts say the new electronics ban seem illogical and at odds with basic computer science.

The ban affects flight to US and UK not the other way around.

As if a terrorist would not think to fly X airline from a high risk country to an A city, buy a laptop there and catch a flight to the high security countries.

The economic impact on the travel business will be immense. Sounds rather like an airlines war, imho.

Related Topics:

San Francisco Police Department Cut Ties with FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force*

If Terrorism is Such a Grave Threat, Why Does the FBI Keep Manufacturing Plots?

U.S. Government Agents ‘directly involved’ in many U.S. Terror Plots*

U.S. Moves to Arm Terrorists in Syria with Anti-Aircraft Weapons*

Trump Will Sign Order to Build Wall, Ban Refugees, Muslims*

Trump To Continue Bankrupting The U.S. Through Foreign Wars*

Trump Signs New Travel Ban Executive Order*

Saudi Airstrikes on Market Kills Civilians in Yemen*

Saudi Airstrikes on Market Kills Civilians in Yemen*

People inspect the aftermath of a Saudi-led coalition airstrike on a busy funeral hall in Sanaa, Yemen, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2016.

 

An air strike by a Saudi-led coalition on a market in Yemen killed 20 civilians and six rebels on Friday, medical and military sources said.

The aircraft tried to target Houthi rebels at a roadblock on the southern outskirts of the Red Sea port of Khoukha, but the fighters fled to a market where they were attacked, the sources claimed.

The attack took place at the entrance to a market selling the mild narcotic leaf qat, which is popular among Yemenis.

A military source close to Saudi-backed President Abd Rabbuh Mansour Hadi said that by fleeing to the market, the rebels had used civilians as “human shields”.

The Houthi television channel Al-Masirah also reported the air strike, but give a slightly higher toll of 27 killed and said dozens more were wounded.

The Saudi-led coalition, which has been battling Houthi and troops loyal to former President Ali Abdullah Saleh opposed to Hadi, was not immediately available for comment.

The Saudi-led forces have come under repeated criticism over civilian casualties in Yemen.

In October 2016 a Saudi air strike killed more than 150 people at a funeral in Sanaa, leading Washington to limit its military support for the coalition.

In December, the coalition acknowledged that it had made “limited use” of British-made cluster bombs, but said it had stopped using them.

On Thursday, however, Amnesty International said the Saudi-led forces were still using banned Brazilian-manufactured cluster munitions in raids on residential areas in northern Saada province, a Houthi stronghold.

The conflict in Yemen has left about 10,000 people dead and 40,000 wounded since the coalition intervened on the government’s side in March 2015, according to the United Nations.

The violence and Saudi-led naval blockade have also brought the country to the brink of famine.

Source*

Related Topics:

The Shaharah Bridge in Yemen, a Bridge of Sighs*

Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details of the Botched U.S. Raid in Yemen*

Idlib Raid Hits CIA/Saudi Backed Rebels as “President Banner” Tries to Bury Yemen Blunder*

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Britain Confirms U.K-Made Cluster Bombs Used by Saudi-led Forces in Yemen*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

Plane from Turkey Transfers Daesh terrorists from Aleppo to Yemen*

WikiLeaks Releases 500 Documents Showing U.S. ‘arming and funding’ Yemeni Forces*

Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details of the Botched U.S. Raid in Yemen*

Nine Young Children Killed: The Full Details of the Botched U.S. Raid in Yemen*

By Namir Shabibi , Nasser al Sane

Relatives of people killed in the raid gather in one of the decimated houses. (Photo: Nasser al Sane)

 

Planned for months, it was decided over dinner.

The raid on a village in rural Yemen reportedly aimed to capture or kill one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists and deliver a stinging blow to al Qaeda in the Arab Peninsula (AQAP), a militant network the U.S. had been trying to dismantle for more than a decade. The collection of small brick houses in Yemen’s dusty central region was home to civilian families as well as militants and was heavily-guarded, meaning a precise, well-practiced operation was paramount. Intense surveillance was carried out for weeks, rehearsals took place in Djibouti, and Navy SEALS awaited the go-ahead from their commander-in-chief. It came just five days after President Donald Trump took office.

But as the elite team descended under the cover of darkness, what could have been the first major victory for the new administration in its renewed mission to defeat radical Islam quickly went dreadfully wrong.

As cover was blown, enemy fire returned and contingency plans failed, tragedy unfolded on all sides.

It is already known that 8-year-old Nawar al Awlaki, the daughter of al Qaeda propagandist Anwar al Awlaki was among those who died in the attack. But following a field investigation, the Bureau can today reveal that nine children under the age of 13 were killed and five were wounded in the raid in al Bayda province on January 29.

Details emerged piecemeal last week regarding civilian and military deaths, the disputed value of the targets and deficiencies in planning – some of the information coming from military sources in unprecedented briefings against its own administration. Insiders told CNN and NBC that the ultimate target was AQAP leader Qasim al Raymi. If the soldiers didn’t find him in the village they hoped they would find clues as to his location.

But despite the growing reports of failure – and despite the death of Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer William Owens and the destruction of a $70 million Osprey aircraft – Trump’s press secretary Sean Spicer has continued to insist that the mission was a “successful operation by all standards.”

Evidence gathered by the Bureau must surely challenge that assessment. A fierce gunfight turned into an intense aerial bombardment, and the outcome “turned out to be as bad as one can imagine it being,” said former U.S. ambassador to Yemen Stephen Seche.

Working with a journalist who visited the targeted village of al Yakla five days after the raid and talked to nine of the survivors, we have collected the names and ages of all 25 civilians killed as reported by those who live there. The Bureau also has photos of the families hit and the homes destroyed as helicopter gunship fire rained down.

AQAP say 14 “of its men” were killed in the clash, including six villagers. The youngest was 17, the oldest 80.

The villagers say 25 civilians died alongside a group of militants, including nine children under the age of 13.  They deny that any of the dead villagers were AQAP members. Of the nine young children who died, the smallest was only three months old. Eight women were killed, including one who was heavily pregnant. Seven more women and children were injured.

There is fury at the U.S. for what the villagers say was yet another example of disregard for civilian life in the pursuit of terror.

“It is true they were targeting al Qaeda but why did they have to kill children and women and elderly people?” said Zabnallah Saif al Ameri, who lost nine members of his extended family, five of whom were children.

“If such slaughter happened in their country, there would be a lot of shouting about human rights. When our children are killed, they are quiet.”

Villagers described chaos, with people shot as they attempted to flee the gun battle before helicopters opened fire.

“They killed men, children and women and destroyed houses,” said Mohsina Mabkhout al Ameri, who lost her brother, nephew and three of her nephew’s children.

“We are normal people and have nothing to do with al Qaeda or [Yemeni rebel movement] the Houthis or anyone. The men came from America, got off the planes and the planes bombed us.”

Civilian deaths can provide ‘recruitment tool’ for terrorists

This is by no means the first U.S. counter-terror operation in Yemen which has killed civilians. Each one has stoked more resentment among the population. Yemeni foreign minister, Abdul Malik al Mekhlafi, said on his official Twitter account that the deaths amounted to “extrajudicial killings.”

A campaign statement by Donald Trump suggests the new leader of the free world may view such civilian casualties as inevitable, or even necessary.

“The other thing with the terrorists is you have to take out their families, when you get these terrorists, you have to take out their families,” he said in December.

“When they say they don’t care about their lives, you have to take out their families.”

Trump’s statement led to speculation that women and children might be deliberately targeted by the U.S. But Stephen Seche, who was US ambassador to Yemen from 2007-10, told the Bureau he did not believe America had changed its attitude towards protecting civilians. However “the enormous cost in human life” from this particular raid would damage the legitimacy of American intervention in Yemen, he told the Bureau.

“It’s a horrific calculation to have to make and the outcome in this case turned out to be as bad as one can imagine it being.”

Far from delivering a blow to AQAP, the raid may have strengthened it.

“Groups like AQAP will contend [this attack] shows Trump is making good on his campaign pledge,” said Letta Tayler, Terrorism and Counterterrorism Researcher at Human Rights Watch.

“Even if Trump wasn’t serious, armed extremists are likely to jump on every photo of a Yemeni child killed in a U.S. strike as a recruitment tool.”

“The use of U.S. soldiers, high civilian casualties and disregard for local tribal and political dynamics… plays into AQAP’s narrative of defending Muslims against the West and could increase anti-U.S. sentiment and with it AQAP’s pool of recruits,” said International Crisis Group in a report released three days after the attack.

The alleged target of the raid certainly appeared to think it had helped AQAP’s cause, releasing a message on February 5 mocking the US. “The fool of the White House got slapped,” said al Raymi in an audio recording which military sources said was authentic, reported NBC.

A nightmare unfolds

As Abdallah al Ameri and his neighbour Sheikh Abdallah al Taisi prepared for bed on January 28, they could be forgiven for thinking they had suffered enough bad luck for a lifetime. Both men, subsistence farmers now too old to work their land, had already survived a U.S. drone attack which hit Abdallah’s wedding party in December 2013. They both lost their eldest sons in that attack, which killed 12 people but which the U.S. has never formally acknowledged.

Their home region of al Bayda had been battered since late 2014, as the Yemeni government led by President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi began its slow-motion collapse. In its place, a three-way battle erupted between tribes allied to the government, the Houthi rebel movement and al Qaeda militants. An international coalition led by Saudi Arabia would join the fray the following year.

Yemen’s hinterland, Yakla included, faced Houthi shelling, incursions by AQAP and bombing by US drones – all on top of severe food and fuel shortages wreaked by a Saudi-led blockade. Yemen now stands on the brink of famine.

The day leading up to the strike, rebel Houthis encamped in the nearby Qaifa mountains fired Katyusha rockets at tribal militiamen in Yakla. The militiamen were allied to the internationally-recognised government led by President Hadi. It was a familiar exchange in an ongoing battle for control of the region since the start of the rebellion.

But the ominous sign of things to come was subtler. Sadiq al Jawfi, a member of a local cross-party ceasefire committee which monitors violations at the request of the UN Security Council envoy to Yemen, told the Bureau that mobile phone coverage providing Yakla with its only line to the outside world had been cut. Yemen’s National Security Bureau (NSB), historically allied to former President Ali Abdallah Saleh and now his Houthi allies, had a history of restricting coverage prior to military operations.

It was a moonless night and the calm in Yakla was punctured only by the familiar sound of drones buzzing overhead.

In the middle of the night U.S. special forces flew from the aircraft carrier USS Makin Island in Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft and landed a few kilometres from the village. Things started to go wrong right from the start. One of the Ospreys crash-landed, injuring three of the troops.

“The operation began when the soldiers landed next to the graveyard which lies about 2km away from our town, north of Yakla”, Sheikh Abdelilah Ahmed al Dahab said.

The soldiers then proceeded on foot, flanked by military dogs, in the direction of the village. Villagers say there were about 50 soldiers.

An 11-year-old is the first hit

His son Ahmed was the first casualty. According to al Dahab the 11-year-old was woken by the commotion outside and went to see what was going on.

“When my son Ahmed saw them, he couldn’t tell that they were soldiers because it was dark,” he said.

“He asked them ‘Who are you?’ but the men shot him. He was the first killed. No one thought that marines would descend on our homes to kill us, kill our children and kill our women.”

Tribal leaders Abdelraouf al Dahab and his brother came out to confront the soldiers and were shot dead, committee member Sadiq al Jawfi said. Local sources say they were AQAP members, and press reports released in the initial aftermath of the raid suggested that Abdelraouf and Sultan were among the primary targets of the operation. 80-year-old Saif al Jawfi, who also had al Qaeda connections according to AQAP, came out to see the commotion. He too was killed.

Relatives of those who died, including the seven children of Fatim Saleh Mohson al Ameri. (Photo: Nasser al Sane)

 

SEAL Team 6 attacked the home of 65-year-old Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri, surrounding it and opened fire indiscriminately, Abdelilah al Dahab and other witnesses claimed.

“When people heard the gunshots and missiles, local men rushed out of their homes to find out what was going on,” he said.

Three witnesses said the commandos shot at everyone who left their homes. In these lawless parts of Yemen every home has a Kalashnikov and the residents reached for their guns “to defend their homes and their honour,” Abdelilah al Dahab said.

The villagers say 38-year-old mother of seven, Fatim Saleh al Ameri was fatally shot by special operators while trying to flee with her two-year-old son Mohammed.

“We pulled him out from his mother’s lap. He was covered in her blood,” said 11-year-old Basil Ahmed Abad al­ Zouba, whose 17-year-old brother was killed.

As the firefight ensued, helicopter gunships appeared and “shot at everything”, including at homes and people fleeing, Sadiq al Jawfi and other witnesses said. Fahad Ali al Ameri woke up to the gunfire.

“I was woken up after midnight by the bombing of the helicopters. There were soldiers on the ground shooting at us. They started shooting at us with machine gun fire.”

He says a missile fired at his home, killing his three-month-old daughter as she lay asleep in her crib.

Abdallah Mabkhout al Ameri, one of the dead, had previously survived a U.S. strike on his wedding party. (Photo: Reprieve)

 

The al-Ameri family was particularly badly hit. Abdallah, 65, who had survived the attack on his wedding party three years earlier, was killed alongside his 25-year-old daughter Fatima and 38-year-old son Mohammed. Three of Mohammed’s four children also died – Aisha, 4, Khadija, 7, and Hussein, 5. A further nine members of the extended family were killed.

At some stage, al Qaeda militants who had encamped in the nearby Masharif and Sharia mountains descended to engage the U.S. commandos in a fight which would last over two hours. AQAP say 14 of its men died in total: six villagers and eight others.

The eight-year-old daughter of the late radical American preacher Anwar al Awlaqi, who was visiting her uncle Abdelilah al Dahab, was hiding in a room when it was attacked by the gunships, her uncle said.

“Some of the gunfire went through the windows and Nawar was injured in her neck,” he said.

The girl would not survive.

“We tried to save her but we couldn’t do anything for her,” said Abdelilah al Dahab.

“She was injured around 2.30am and bled until she died at around dawn prayers.”

Eight-year-old Nawar Anwar Al-Awlaqi is said to have bled to death over two hours

Eight-year-old Nawar Anwar Al-Awlaqi is said to have bled to death over two hours

Eight-year-old Nawar Anwar Al-Awlaqi is said to have bled to death over two hours.

The eight-year-old daughter of the late radical American preacher Anwar al Awlaqi, who was visiting her uncle Abdelilah al Dahab, was hiding in a room when it was attacked by the gunships, her uncle said.

“Some of the gunfire went through the windows and Nawar was injured in her neck,” he said.

The girl would not survive. “We tried to save her but we couldn’t do anything for her,” said Abdelilah al Dahab. “She was injured around 2.30am and bled until she died at around dawn prayers.”

U.S/ special operatives made an exit from the village at around the same time, say villagers, but some air attacks continued.

In the days that followed, conflicting narratives emerged. At first, the Department of Defense’s Central Command (Centcom) was bullish, describing the raid as “one in a series of aggressive moves against terrorist planners in Yemen.”

Defense Secretary James Mattis gave a statement honouring the soldier who died. Chief Petty Officer Owens, 36, “gave his full measure for our nation, and in performing his duty, he upheld the noblest standard of military service,” he said.

As details about civilian casualties emerged – most notably that of eight-year-old Nawar al Awlaqi, whose photograph was circulated – the tone was softened. It was “concluded regrettably that civilian non-combatants were likely killed in the midst of a firefight during a raid in Yemen Jan. 29,” said a statement released on February 1. “Casualties may include children.”

Two days later the Pentagon released a video showing a man building bombs which it said had been discovered in the raid. Within hours it was removed from the Pentagon’s website’s after people pointed out the same video had been published online in 2007.

 Yemeni government reassesses U.S. relationship

The raid has caused anger in the Yemeni government as well as among civilians. A senior official told Reuters on Wednesday that concerns had been expressed to the U.S. government and in future “there needs to be more coordination with Yemeni authorities before any operation and that there needs to be consideration for our sovereignty.”

The White House, however, continues to insist that the raid was “highly successful.”

“It achieved the purpose it was going to get – save the loss of life that we suffered and the injuries that occurred,” Spicer said in a press briefing on February 7. “The goal of the raid was intelligence-gathering. And that’s what we received, and that’s what we got.”

Centcom did not respond to a request for comment from the Bureau.

U.S. counterterrorism ops in Yemen

The last time US special forces launched a ground operation like this one was in November 2014. It was a rescue mission, trying to spring an American and a South African taken hostage by al Qaeda. Tragically the mission failed and the hostages were killed.

Though U.S. boots have been on the ground in Yemen off and on since 2002, drones and manned jets lead the hunt for AQAP.

More than 162 strikes have left 815 people dead, including 134 civilians (in the last three years of Obama’s presidency civilian deaths in drone attacks dropped considerably). Hundreds of al Qaeda fighters have been reported killed, including a succession of men chosen as the group’s emir.

In 2011, when the Arab Spring reached Yemen and unseated its dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh, al Qaeda took full advantage. It turned from a small terrorist group, focused on blowing up airliners over the U.S., to an insurgent group governing a chunk of southern Yemen.

With this transition to insurgency, AQAP became the only group in Yemen to actually profit from the 2011 uprising, according to the recent International Crisis Group report.

In May 2016 U.S. soldiers were deployed to an airbase in the south-western province of Lahj  alongside Yemeni troops, coordinating US air strikes and Yemeni ground forces against AQAP.

Together Yemeni soldiers and U.S. air power unseated AQAP from its stronghold but only succeeded in driving the terrorists into the mountains. It has become embedded in the ongoing civil war in Yemen, setting itself up as a Sunni bulwark against the Shia Houthi militias which have occupied the capital since 2014.

Source*

Related Topics:

Idlib Raid Hits CIA/Saudi Backed Rebels as “President Banner” Tries to Bury Yemen Blunder*

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Britain Confirms U.K-Made Cluster Bombs Used by Saudi-led Forces in Yemen*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

Plane from Turkey Transfers Daesh terrorists from Aleppo to Yemen*

WikiLeaks Releases 500 Documents Showing U.S. ‘arming and funding’ Yemeni Forces*

This is a List of Labour MP’s that voted to continue to murder children in Yemen*

The Anguish, Bloodshed and Forgotten Heroes in the Ignored War on Yemen*

How Israel Was Busted Nuking Yemen*

Egypt’s U-Turn on Iraq and Syria*

Egypt’s U-Turn on Iraq and Syria*

By Peter Korzun

The Middle East geopolitical scenarios are going through rapid changes with new factors emerging on the regional chessboard.

Cairo’s foreign policy has been given a new twist. It has been announced recently that Egypt is set to receive one million barrels of petroleum per day from Iraq. Saudi Arabia had informed Egypt that shipments of oil products expected under a $23 billion aid deal were been halted indefinitely, suggesting a deepening rift between the countries. From now on, Egypt will enjoy as much oil as it needs at a lower cost, compared to Saudi pricing.

Egyptian President Al-Sisi rejected the Saudi-backed efforts to overthrow the regime of Bashar Assad. He is also reaching out to former-Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh and to his Houthi allies Saudi Arabia is fighting since March 2015. Cairo opened diplomatic channels with the pro-Iranian Lebanese Hezbollah, fighting on the side of President Assad in Syria against the rebel groups supported by Riyadh.

Iraq will provide Egypt with 1 million barrels of Basra light oil each month. The agreement involves extending an oil pipeline from Iraq to Egypt via Jordan. In December, Iraqi petroleum minister Ali al-Luiabi met with the heads of major oil and natural gas companies in Cairo, inviting them to contribute into developing the industry in his country.

Egypt is about to train four Iraqi army units on war against terrorism, in the light of the rapprochement between Egypt and the Iraqi-Iranian axis in the region.

It also mulls sending peacekeeping troops to Syria during the coming days to support the ceasefire agreement under the auspices of Russia, Iran, and Turkey. It has been reported that a unit of Egyptian ground forces might deploy to Syria this month. Last October, Syrian National Security Bureau head Ali Mamlouk visited Cairo to meet Khaled Fawzy, the head of Egypt’s General Intelligence Service. The two sides agreed to coordinate political positions and strengthen cooperation in «the fight against terror».

Egypt is a predominantly Sunni nation. Its open support of the Russia-backed coalition in Syria is a game changing event of fundamental importance. It makes the sectarian interpretation of the Syria’s conflict not valid anymore.

Middle East Observer quotes Nziv Net, an Israeli outlet close to intelligence sources, saying that

«Egypt has sent a group of officers to Syria for the first time since the relations have frozen during Morsi’s reign».

Last December, Ibrahim al-Eshaiker al-Jaafari, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, called on Egypt to participate in «a strategic project to fight terrorism», which includes Iran.

In September, Egyptian Foreign Minister Samih Shoukry met for the first time with his Iranian counterpart, Jawad Zarif, during their visits to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly.

In October, Egypt backed a Russian-backed motion in the U.N. calling for a ceasefire in Syria. The move angered Saudi Arabia, which suspended oil shipments to Cairo.

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi publicly affirmed his support for the forces of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The relations between Russia and Egypt have been on the rise. In February 2015, Egypt signed a breakthrough agreement on establishing a free trade zone with the Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union.

The progress in military cooperation is tangible. Egypt signed arms deals with Russia worth up to $5 billion by 2015 to include 50 MiG-29M combat aircraft, Buk-M2E and Antey-2500 long range air defense systems and about 50Ka-52K helicopters for Egypt’s new Mistral-class assault ships bought in France. The ships will receive the originally planned Russian helicopters and electronics suite.

The two countries signed several agreements for the renovation of military production factories in Egypt. A protocol is signed to grant Egypt access to GLONASS, the Russian global satellite positioning system. In September, Minister of Defense Sedky Sobhy visited Russia to discuss the issues related to long-term close security relationship. Last October, the militaries held a joint exercise.

Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa and the fifteenth-most populous in the world. Last year, the country’s population has just reached 92 million. Its policy shift is well-substantiated. Cairo is fighting the Islamic State on the Sinai Peninsula. The fierce fighting there seldom hits media headlines but the IS poses a grave threat to Egypt. IS militants can also strike Egypt from Libya. The IS presence in Libya brings Egypt and Algeria together as the two great nations face the same threat.

The emerging Iran, Iraq, Russia and Turkey alliance may also include Algeria. In response to the growing menace, Algiers is strengthening ties with Moscow. It has recently purchased 14 Su-30MKA fighters and 40 Mi-28 «Night Hunter» attack helicopters from Russia. Last February, Russia and Algeria laid out a roadmap for deepening bilateral economic and military cooperation during Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s visit to Algeria.

Russia’s cooperation with Egypt, Algeria and other countries of the Middle East and North Africa reflects Moscow’s growing clout in the region.

With the Astana process making progress, other large and influential actors, such as Syria, Iraq, Egypt and Algeria, may join the emerging Russia, Iran, Turkey coalition to make the Middle East-North Africa (MENA) region face tectonic and dramatic changes.

Source*

Related Topics:

Egypt Says No to Saudi, Drafts Generals and Pilots to Fight alongside Syrian Army against ISIS*

When Syria, Palestine and Egypt were there for Europeans in their Time of Need*

Mohamed Morsi Life Sentence Quashed by Egypt Court*

Qaradawi Responds to Violations of al-Sheikh and the Saudi Council of Senior Scholars with al-Azhar, Cairo*

U.S. Withdraws Troops from Sinai, Warns of Coming Egyptian Coup*

Egypt’s Sisi under Fire for Giving Away Red Sea Islands*

Israel Conducted Drone Raids in Egypt’s Sinai*

Saudi Arabia Facing Flack from both Sunni and Shia Leaders*

 

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

Obama Killed a 16-Year-Old American in Yemen. 8-Year-Old Sister Killed in Raid Ordered by Trump *

 

By Glenn Greenwald

In 2010, President Obama directed the CIA to assassinate an American citizen in Yemen, Anwar al-Awlaki, despite the fact that he had never been charged with (let alone convicted of) any crime, and the agency successfully carried out that order a year later with a September, 2011 drone strike. While that assassination created widespread debate – the once-again-beloved ACLU sued Obama to restrain him from the assassination on the ground of due process and then, when that suit was dismissed, sued Obama again after the killing was carried out – another drone-killing carried out shortly thereafter was perhaps even more significant yet generated relatively little attention.

Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki

Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki

 

Two weeks after the killing of Awlaki, a separate CIA drone strike in Yemen killed his 16-year-old American-born son, Abdulrahman, along with the boy’s 17-year-old cousin and several other innocent Yemenis. The U.S. eventually claimed that the boy was not their target but merely “collateral damage.” Abdulrahman’s grief-stricken grandfather, Nasser al-Awlaki, urged the Washington Post “to visit a Facebook memorial page for Abdulrahman,” which explained:

“Look at his pictures, his friends, and his hobbies His Facebook page shows a typical kid.”

Few events pulled the mask off Obama officials like this one. It highlighted how the Obama administration was ravaging Yemen, one of the world’s poorest countries: just weeks after he won the Nobel Prize, Obama used cluster bombs that killed 35 Yemeni women and children. Even Obama-supporting liberal comedians mocked the Obama DOJ’s arguments for why it had the right to execute Americans with no charges: “Due Process Just Means There’s A Process That You Do,” snarked Stephen Colbert. And a firestorm erupted when former Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs offered a sociopathic justification for killing the Colorado-born teenager, apparently blaming him for his own killing by saying he should have “had a more responsible father.”

The U.S. assault on Yemeni civilians not only continued but radically escalated over the next five years through the end of the Obama presidency, as the U.S. and the UK armed, supported and provide crucial assistance to their close ally Saudi Arabia as it devastated Yemen through a criminally reckless bombing campaign. Yemen now faces mass starvationseemingly exacerbated, deliberately, by the U.S./U.K.-supported air attacks. Because of the west’s direct responsibility for these atrocities, they have received vanishingly little attention in the responsible countries.

In a hideous symbol of the bipartisan continuity of U.S. barbarism, Nasser al-Awlaki just lost another one of his young grandchildren to U.S. violence. On Sunday, the Navy’s SEAL Team 6, using armed Reaper drones for cover, carried out a commando raid on what it said was a compound harboring officials of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. A statement issued by President Trump lamented the death of an American service member and several others who were wounded, but made no mention of any civilian deaths. U.S. military officials initially denied any civilian deaths, and (therefore) the CNN report on the raid said nothing about any civilians being killed.

But reports from Yemen quickly surfaced that 30 people were killed, including 10 women and children. Among the dead: the 8-year-old granddaughter of Nasser al-Awlaki, Nawar, who was also the daughter of Anwar Awlaki.

This is the 8-year-old girl killed in US raid in Yemen, Arabic media reports https://t.co/nPlWh6LqE3
US killed her teen American brother too pic.twitter.com/QP0TsgdIfq

— Ben Norton (@BenjaminNorton) January 29, 2017

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki. (Bawabatii)

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki. (Bawabatii)

Nora Anwar al-Awlaki. (Bawabatii)

As noted by my colleague Jeremy Scahill – who extensively interviewed the grandparents in Yemen for his book and film on Obama’s “Dirty Wars” –  the girl was “was shot in the neck and killed,” bleeding to death over the course of two hours. “Why kill children?,” the grandfather asked. “This is the new (U.S.) administration – it’s very sad, a big crime.”

The New York Times yesterday reported that military officials had been planning and debating the raid for months under the Obama administration, but Obama officials decided to leave the choice to Trump. The new President personally authorized the attack last week. They claim that the “main target” of the raid “was computer materials inside the house that could contain clues about future terrorist plots.” The paper cited a Yemeni official saying that “at least eight women and seven children, ages 3 to 13, had been killed in the raid,” and that the attack also “severely damaged a school, a health facility and a mosque.”

As my colleague Matthew Cole reported in great detail just weeks ago, Navy Seal Team 6, for all its public glory, has a long history of “‘revenge ops,’ unjustified killings, mutilations, and other atrocities.” And Trump notoriously vowed during the campaign to target not only terrorists but also their families. All of that demands aggressive, independent inquiries into this operation.

Perhaps most tragic of all is that – just as was true in Iraq – Al Qaeda had very little presence in Yemen before the Obama administration began bombing and droning it and killing civilians, thus driving people into the arms of the militant group. As the late, young Yemeni writer Ibrahim Mothana told Congress in 2013:

“Drone strikes are causing more and more Yemenis to hate America and join radical militants . . . Unfortunately, liberal voices in the United States are largely ignoring, if not condoning, civilian deaths and extrajudicial killings in Yemen.

During George W. Bush’s presidency, the rage would have been tremendous. But today there is little outcry, even though what is happening is in many ways an escalation of Mr. Bush’s policies. . . .

Defenders of human rights must speak out. America’s counterterrorism policy here is not only making Yemen less safe by strengthening support for A.Q.A.P. [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula] but it could also ultimately endanger the United States and the entire world.”

This is why it is crucial that – as urgent and valid protests erupt against Trump’s abuses – we not permit recent history to be whitewashed, or long-standing U.S. savagery to be deceitfully depicted as new Trumpian aberrations, or the War on Terror framework engendering these new assaults to be forgotten. Some current abuses are unique to Trump, but – as I detailed on Saturday – some are the decades-old by-product of a mindset and system of war and executive powers that all need uprooting. Obscuring these facts, or allowing those responsible to posture as opponents of all this, is not just misleading but counter-productive: much of this resides on an odious continuum and did not just appear out of nowhere.

It’s genuinely inspiring to see pervasive rage over the banning of visa-holders and refugees from countries like Yemen. But it’s also infuriating that the U.S. continues to massacre Yemeni civilians, both directly and through its tyrannical Saudi partners. That does not become less infuriating – Yemeni civilians are not less dead – because these policies and the war theories in which they are rooted began before the inauguration of Donald Trump. It’s not just Trump but this mentality and framework that needs vehement opposition.

Source*

 

Related Topics:

Britain Confirms U.K-Made Cluster Bombs Used by Saudi-led Forces in Yemen*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

Plane from Turkey Transfers Daesh terrorists from Aleppo to Yemen*

11 Headless Bodies Found near Aden in Yemen*

WikiLeaks Releases 500 Documents Showing U.S. ‘arming and funding’ Yemeni Forces*

This is a List of Labour MP’s that voted to continue to murder children in Yemen*

U.S. Earns $33 Billion Arms Sales in Eleven Months from the Destruction of Yemen*

How Israel Was Busted Nuking Yemen*

U.S. Used Al-Qaeda to Blackmail Yemen*

A Housewife Reports from War-torn Yemen*

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The Oldest Qur’ans are Actually in Yemen, in Danger of Being Bombed*

US-Saudi Man-Made Famine Threatens 20 Million Yemenis*

Israeli Officers Captured, Killed in Yemen*

US/Saudi puts Blockade on Vital Humanitarian Aid Reaching Yemen*

Europe’s Population ‘Management’ Agenda in Yemen.

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

‘No Food, No Medicine, No Money’ in Yemeni Town Just Death by Starvation*

Nearly 19 million Yemenis are in need of humanitarian aid, according to the U.N., but the worst of the civilian impact of the two-year civil war in the country has fallen on the district of Tuhayat on the Red Sea coast.

As RT’s Arabic-language crew visited the area, they witnessed scenes of chaos – as locals scrambled to acquire food – and quiet desperation, with many residents swollen with hunger, waiting for outside help, or resigned to their fate.

Salem is an eight-year-old boy, though like many in similar struggling areas around the world, he looks small enough to be mistaken for a toddler.

“We have no energy left, and I have no money with which to treat my child,” says his mother, admitting that the boy is severely malnourished, just one of more than 1.5 million children suffering from the same fate in the country, according to the United Nations.

Fishing used to be the prime source of subsistence for villagers here, prior to the break out of the full-scale civil war between the insurgent Shia Houthis, and the incumbent Sunni government in early 2015.

The area remains under control of the Houthis, but the Saudi-led international coalition, which is supporting the Sunnis, who constitute just under half of the population, has blockaded the coastal areas.

The Saudis have repeatedly fired on fishing boats operated by the locals, saying that some have been used on weapons runs to supply the rebels, even if keeping them moored on land means that innocent civilians will die.

Abdallah and Taga are two brothers, who have become so weak – their skeletons are clearly visible underneath the skin – that they have suffered bone damage, and can now only crawl.

“It is very difficult for us, as we are invalids, and we have no money. Sometimes we get a little, and then we can get tea and bread – people help us, but not very often, and not very much,” says Abdallah.

Over 7,000 people have been killed in the conflict, according to international observers – a large minority of them civilians, who died in airstrikes – and more than 3 million have been displaced.

“The situation is only going to get worse, because there is no functioning government. Social welfare has not been paid for two years,” Baraa Shiban, an activist for the nonprofit Reprieve, told RT.

Shiban believes that the Houthis have to hand back power to the previous Sunni regime, and in return the international coalition must ease its stranglehold on the region, while any other means of help is temporary.

“Humanitarian aid has been delivered to some of these areas, but just depending on it is not a viable solution. We need a comprehensive solution.”

But Jamal Wakeem, professor of history and international relations at the Lebanese University in Beirut, says that the Saudis are purposefully worsening the humanitarian crisis to achieve their political aims.

“This is a conscious strategy of the Saudis, they have been trying to exert economic pressure,” he told RT from Beirut, saying that it equates to “genocide.”

While the Sunnis have more material resources, the Houthi rebels still hold most of the land, and enjoy considerable manpower, so the conflict remains finely balanced. For ordinary Yemenis, regardless of creed, this likely means more instability, hunger and fear.

Source*

Related Topics:

Plane from Turkey Transfers Daesh terrorists from Aleppo to Yemen*

11 Headless Bodies Found near Aden in Yemen*

WikiLeaks Releases 500 Documents Showing U.S. ‘arming and funding’ Yemeni Forces*

This is a List of Labour MP’s that voted to continue to murder children in Yemen*

The Anguish, Bloodshed and Forgotten Heroes in the Ignored War on Yemen*

How Israel Was Busted Nuking Yemen*

U.S. Cluster Bombs Kill Children for Decades in Laos, and Now Yemen*