Author Topic: Yemen  (Read 53025 times)

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: In Yemen foreign intervention is futile
« Reply #102 on: May 06, 2021, 05:02:23 AM »

    
In Yemen, Foreign Intervention Is Futile
Foreign meddling is nothing new for the war-torn country.
By: Hilal Khashan

Yemen has been subjected to foreign meddling for centuries. The British occupied Aden in 1839 and didn’t leave until over a century later. The Ottomans launched two campaigns in Yemen in the 16th and 17th centuries, both of which failed. The Egyptians fought a bloody war there between 1962 and 1967 before pulling out of the country. And in 2015, the Saudis launched Operation Firmness Storm to try to wrestle the country away from the Houthi rebels. But what all these external players have come to realize is that foreign military intervention in Yemen is futile. Its mountains are impregnable and its people are battle-tested. Still, that hasn’t stopped many from trying.

Saudi Incursions

Of all the foreign actors that have injected themselves in Yemen’s internal affairs, perhaps none has been more influential than Saudi Arabia. During Ibn Saud’s establishment of the Saudi kingdom in the early 20th century, he realized that, to secure the new country, he needed to secure its border with Yemen. This was particularly so after the Saudis seized Jizan and Najran with the signing of the Treaty of Taif, which ended the 1934 Saudi-Yemeni war.

After Yemen’s republican coup in 1962, which began the North Yemen Civil War, Saudi attention focused on containing the communist south and controlling the north. The government’s tight grip kept the Saudis out of the south, but thanks to generous financial support, they won the backing of northern tribes, keeping the central government in Sanaa politically weak. The Saudis failed to prevent a Marxist paramilitary group called the National Liberation Front from seizing power in the south after the British pulled out in 1967, leading to the establishment of the Arab world’s only Marxist country, the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen, also known as South Yemen. North Yemen’s president, Ibrahim al-Hamdi, tried to unite the north with the south and to curb Saudi influence but was assassinated in 1977. The circumstances of his death were never investigated and remain a mystery to this day.



(click to enlarge)

Fast-forward four decades and the Saudis are again trying to impose their will on Yemen. They launched Operation Firmness Storm in 2015, aimed at recapturing the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, from the Houthis and reinstating the internationally recognized government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. Hadi was vice president during the 2011 uprising that led to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s resignation. Saudi Arabia helped to put down the uprising, thereby blocking a political transition from taking shape. The Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council’s 2011 initiative hijacked the peace process, appointing Hadi, a leading figure in the previous regime, as Saleh’s successor. But the move backfired, as the Houthis seized the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014. They responded to the Saudi-led military campaign by launching ballistic missile and drone attacks into Saudi Arabia – which have only increased in frequency in recent years.

Six years into the conflict, the Houthis are stronger than ever. Countless attempts to end the war have achieved little. Since the beginning of the conflict, the United Nations has sent three envoys to Yemen and engaged rebels in talks in Geneva and Kuwait, but to no avail. It also organized conferences in Stockholm to avert a full-scale offensive on Houthi-held Hodeida in 2018. But the Houthis have chosen to keep fighting, having gained momentum despite the Saudis’ involvement.

The Houthis’ determination isn’t the only thing keeping the war going, however. Iran has interests here too. The Houthis’ desire to control Yemen’s west coast, especially Hodeida port, is driven in part by Iran’s desire to dominate shipping lanes in the Red Sea. Iran, which has supported the Houthis throughout the war, wants access to the Arab region’s southern gate. To this end, Iran is also hoping to help the Houthis recapture the Hanish Islands, which were seized by Saudi-led forces. For Tehran, Yemen is also an ideal bridge to East Africa, a region Iran hopes to penetrate once it’s free of U.S. sanctions.

A Heavy Toll

Yemen’s collapse is a fall from grace for a country that the Greeks and Romans called “Arabia Felix” (loosely meaning “Happy Arabia”) and that was richer than its neighbors before the oil boom. The war has displaced millions and killed more than 330,000. Hundreds of thousands of children under the age of five have been left to starve, creating the world’s worst humanitarian crisis in two decades. (It’s also worth noting that addiction to qat, a plant narcotic used as a stimulant, is another major issue for the country. Some 90 percent of men, 73 percent of women and 20 percent of children under 12 years regularly use the narcotic, whose production consumes 60 percent of Yemen’s agricultural land and 30 percent of its underground water.)

The war destroyed the country’s infrastructure and decimated its military and security apparatuses. Reconstruction will cost hundreds of billions of dollars, money that Yemen doesn’t possess and can’t expect to raise. The country was marred by abject poverty and widespread inequality long before the war began. Its deep-rooted class, tribal, regional and sectarian divisions have been exacerbated by foreign intervention, further complicating its path to peace. The country is a jungle of weapons and unruly militias that have an interest in keeping the conflict going. Its wartime economy is so deep-seated that dismantling it might be even more challenging than reaching a political agreement among the warring factions.

The Yemeni national army is highly politicized, split into several factions that support either the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Islah Movement or former President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s General People’s Congress. Meanwhile, al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula has lost much of its power thanks to frequent U.S. targeting. The Islamic State never gained much traction in the country, having alienated the tribes with its brutality, and is unlikely to be much of a threat to Yemen in the future.

Inevitable Agreement

The Houthis are desperate to create new realities on the ground ahead of peace talks. Their relentless offensive to seize oil-rich Marib, the last government stronghold in north Yemen, has turned into a quagmire that has had a staggering human toll on both sides. (The Houthis are looking to capture Marib’s Safer oil production facilities to help finance their war effort.) The stalemate will pave the way to lengthy talks, likely leading to a shaky peace deal and loose state arrangement similar to several other Arab countries. The warring factions’ ties to regional powers prevent a more concrete resolution from taking hold.

The Houthis have committed more fighters to the battle for Marib than any other engagement in the six-year war. They have promoted it among supporters as a battle against hypocrites, apostates and Saudi occupiers. To Arab critics of political Islam, the Houthis describe the battle as a fight against the Muslim Brotherhood and its Yemeni chapter, Islah, which controls Marib. To the international community, they paint it as a fight against al-Qaida and the Islamic State, even though these groups operate in Yemen’s deep south, far from the areas the Houthis are fighting over now. The high death toll from the battle has alienated their primary base of military recruitment in Dhamar governorate. Their failure to seize Marib would undermine their plans to control the west coast and the Bab el-Mandeb strait. The outcome of this battle, inconclusive as it may be, could determine the future course of the war itself as well as Iran’s influence in the country.

Territorial Control in Yemen

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The Peace and National Partnership Agreement that emerged from the 2014 National Dialogue Conference failed to bring the country any closer to peace. The Houthis have scrapped plans for a new power-sharing constitution, determined to become Yemen’s dominant political broker. In southeast Yemen, the Southern National Salvation Council, which emerged in 2019, opposes the separatist Southern Transitional Council (STC). It seeks to work with other Yemeni groups to launch a new, decentralized political system that recognizes pluralism. A north-based National Salvation Front is also in the works and will include the Southern Movement, which is currently at odds with the STC, Islah and the General People’s Congress.

The Saudi-led coalition is now led by Tareq Abdullah Saleh, who defected from the Houthi camp after they killed his uncle, former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. He dislodged the secessionist, UAE-backed Salafist Giants brigade. His forces will most likely join the post-conflict Yemeni army as new political formations take shape in preparation for more peace talks.

Still, the factions are entrenched in their positions. The Houthis have control over most of the north. The STC faces stiff opposition in the south. Islah has created its own independent government, separate from Hadi’s. The Southern Transitional Council set up an autonomous administration in Aden and the surrounding areas. Meanwhile, these groups’ foreign patrons have their own desired outcomes. The United Arab Emirates wants to partition Yemen. In Mahra governorate, Oman and Saudi Arabia are competing for influence among the local population. And Iran is using the Houthis as a bargaining chip in its nuclear talks with the U.S.

These foreign players are unlikely to stop meddling in Yemen’s affairs anytime soon. The problem for Yemen is that its social structure and constant need for foreign aid make it relatively easy for its neighbors to attract groups desperate for assistance.

DougMacG

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Group Biden Removed From Terror List Storms U.S. Embassy in Yemen, Takes Hostage
« Reply #103 on: November 11, 2021, 02:46:59 PM »
It's not incompetence; it's negligence, and it's costing lives everywhere we turn.
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https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/robert-spencer/2021/11/11/group-biden-removed-from-terror-list-storms-u-s-embassy-in-yemen-takes-hostages-n1531964

Group Biden Removed From Terror List Storms U.S. Embassy in Yemen, Takes Hostages

https://www.memri.org/jttm/iran-backed-houthis-reportedly-raid-us-embassy-sanaa-yemen-following-series-kidnappings-embassy
« Last Edit: November 11, 2021, 02:59:24 PM by DougMacG »

Crafty_Dog

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GPF: The UAE and Yemen
« Reply #104 on: January 27, 2022, 06:13:37 AM »
January 27, 2022
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In Yemen, the UAE Unseats the Saudis as a Regional Power
Abu Dhabi’s rise in the Middle East is most evident in the war-torn country.
By: Hilal Khashan
It’s evident now more than ever that the United Arab Emirates is surpassing Saudi Arabia as the preeminent Arab power in the Middle East. Since the beginning of the Arab uprisings more than a decade ago, the UAE has worked to weather the storm, suppressing the region’s turmoil by any means necessary, transforming itself into a credible Middle Eastern power and fostering economic cooperation with countries abroad. In contrast, Saudi Arabia has pursued a hesitant, sometimes erratic foreign policy while being preoccupied with internal issues like royal succession and regime stability. Nowhere is the Saudis’ failure and the UAE’s rise more evident than in Yemen.

Yemen’s Outsize Role

For a relatively minor country in the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen plays an outsize role in determining Middle Eastern power dynamics. In part, that’s because the country is a key element in Iran’s plans for regional expansion. Iran is preparing the Houthi-controlled areas of Yemen to become the breeding ground for its subversive activities throughout the Middle East. The outcome of the war there will determine the extent to which Iran can achieve its regional objectives. Missiles and drones launched from Yemen can reach any point on the Persian Gulf as well as Eilat, Israel’s port on the Gulf of Aqaba. The difficulty of using Iran’s proxies in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq to attack Israel also makes Yemen a valuable asset.

Iran's Sphere of Influence in the Middle East
(click to enlarge)

In 2019, the UAE decided to withdraw its forces in Yemen after the Houthis launched missile and drone attacks targeting Abu Dhabi’s al-Barakah nuclear power plant in 2017 and its airport in 2018. The UAE had already established control of south Yemen and the maritime route from the Persian Gulf to the Red Sea. The Houthis and Abu Dhabi reached a tacit understanding that the UAE could dominate the south but would stay away from the north. The deal worked until recently, when Abu Dhabi decided to join Saudi efforts to hold back a Houthi advance in north-central Yemen, where the rebel group, backed militarily and financially by Iran, had made significant territorial gains over the past decade.

The Saudis didn’t want to see the oil-rich regions of Shabwa and Marib fall into the Houthis’ hands. But they, along with Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi's forces and the Brotherhood-affiliated al-Islah Party’s forces, failed to stop the Houthis’ advance toward Marib, the only remaining government stronghold. Riyadh appealed to Abu Dhabi to participate in the decisive battle, for whoever controls Marib will have the upper hand in the north. The UAE pledged to commit the elite southern Yemeni Giants Brigades, which it controls, only if Yemen's president agreed to dismiss the pro-Muslim Brotherhood governor of Marib. When he did, the Saudi-led coalition launched a successful offensive to drive the Houthis out of the region and put Yemen on the road to recovery.

The Houthis’ defeat was a turning point in the war and in the south’s rise as the dominant force in deciding the country’s future. Stunned by the offensive spearheaded by UAE-trained Yemeni forces, the Houthis responded by launching Operation Yemen Hurricane, which directly targeted vital economic sites in Abu Dhabi, including its airport and facilities owned by the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC). A few days later, they launched a new wave of drone and ballistic missile attacks on the Al-Dhafra Air Base, which houses U.S., French and UAE military assets. Before the operation began, the Houthis also hijacked an Emirati ship loaded with military hardware destined for an unknown location and forced it to dock at Hodeida port. The message was clear: The Houthis have the capability to inflict damage on the UAE in a number of ways.

The Houthis’ unprecedented attacks triggered a series of retaliatory Saudi-led coalition airstrikes, which inflicted heavy civilian casualties. The problem for the coalition is that after seven years of bombardment, there are no Houthi targets left to destroy and Yemen’s rugged mountains make it impossible to flush out Houthi fighters from their hideouts.

Although the UAE intervention helped determine who controls what territory in central Yemen, it is not Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Zayed’s objective to take the battle to the north, where the Houthis still dominate. His intervention was aimed at maintaining a precarious balance of power between the Houthis and the embattled Mansour government – one that would ensure the UAE-dominated south remained the decisive military force in the country. It was critically important for the UAE to expel the Houthis from the oil-rich regions of Marib and Shabwa. If the Houthis occupied these areas, their forces could easily wrest control of Aden and the Socotra archipelago, jeopardizing the Emirates’ access to the Red Sea. The extent of their defeat there explains why they launched such significant attacks on Abu Dhabi.

Over the past seven years, Abu Dhabi has invested in local military forces in south Yemen, including the Giants Brigades, the Southern Transitional Council forces and the Shabwani elite forces. It had a strong Yemeni force under its command capable of tipping the military balance in any confrontation with the Houthis in its favor. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, was not able to pull off this victory on its own. It could have stabilized Yemen in 2014 after the Houthis seized Sanaa, but it was too busy with domestic issues, especially after the death of King Abdullah. Several royal officials and the intelligence apparatus took charge of the Yemeni dossier but failed to establish a coherent policy. Their primary concern focused on defeating the al-Islah Party, even if it meant allowing the Houthis to take over most of Yemen. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman launched Operation Decisive Storm in March 2015, assuming he would score a quick victory. Six weeks into the campaign, he realized conquering the Houthis would be a daunting endeavor and renamed the incursion Operation Renewal of Hope.

Emerging Power Structure

The general perception among U.S. allies in the Middle East is that the region is at the bottom of Washington’s list of priorities. Abu Dhabi has managed to adapt, however. It sees beyond the conflict in Yemen and aspires to achieve broad regional economic cooperation. For example, it followed its efforts to thaw tensions with Turkey by opening up to Iran. It proposed a land cargo transportation agreement with Turkey to replace the long sea lane serving the two countries. The land route, welcomed by Ankara, begins in the UAE’s Sharjah container port and crosses through Iran’s Bandar Abbas port.

Unlike the UAE, Saudi Arabia lacks the resolve to open to the outside world, politically and economically. Even though it tacitly deals with Israel, it lacks the courage to make it public. Iran had no real influence on the Houthis until the Saudis joined the war in 2015, driven by their paranoia about Iranian expansion in the region. They opened Yemen to Iranian penetration, just as they contributed to Iran’s takeover of Iraq since 2003.

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Crafty_Dog

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Red Sea shipping security
« Reply #105 on: April 14, 2022, 01:25:00 AM »
Navy plans new Red Sea task force as Houthi attacks increase

Waterway vital to shipping cargo, energy supplies

BY JON GAMBRELL ASSOCIATED PRESS DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

| The U.S. Navy said Wednesday it will assemble a new task force with allied countries to patrol the Red Sea after a series of attacks attributed to Yemen’s Houthi rebels in a waterway that’s essential to global trade.

Vice Adm. Brad Cooper, who oversees the Navy’s Mideastbased 5th Fleet, declined four times to directly name the Iranbacked Houthis in his remarks to journalists announcing the task force. However, the Houthis have launched explosive-laden drone boats and mines into the waters of the Red Sea, which runs from Egypt’s Suez Canal in the north, down through the narrow Bab el-Mandeb Strait in the south that separates Africa from the Arabian Peninsula.

“In a macro sense, this region literally and figuratively fuels the world,” Adm. Cooper said. “The area is so vast that we just can’t do it alone, so we’re going to be at our best when we partner.”

The Combined Maritime Forces command, a 34-nation organization which Adm. Cooper oversees from a base in Bahrain, already has three task forces that handle piracy and security issues both inside and outside of the Persian Gulf. The new task force will be commissioned Sunday and will include the USS Mount Whitney, a Blue Ridge-class amphibious command ship previously part of the Navy’s African and European 6th Fleet.

Adm. Cooper said he hoped the task force of two to eight ships at a time would target those smuggling coal, drugs, weapons and people in the waterway. Coal smuggling has been used by Somalia’s al Qaeda-linked al-Shabab terror group to fund their attacks. Weapons linked by the Navy and analysts to Iran have been intercepted in the region as well, likely on their way to the Houthis. Yemen also sees migrants from Africa try to cross its war-torn nation to reach jobs in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere.

The Houthis, with a base in northern Yemen, seized the capital, Sanaa, in September 2014. A Saudi-led coalition entered the war on the side of Yemen’s exiled government in March 2015. Years of inconclusive fighting has pushed the Arab world’s poorest nation to the brink of famine. A truce around the holy Muslim fasting month of Ramadan appears for now to be still be holding.

The Red Sea is a vital shipping lane for both cargo and the global energy supplies, making any mining of the area a danger not only to Saudi Arabia but to the rest of the world. Mines can enter the water and then be carried away by the currents, which change by the season in the Red Sea.

The Red Sea has been mined previously. In 1984, some 19 ships reported striking mines there, with only one ever being recovered and disarmed, a U.N. panel said.

In Yemen’s current war, Houthi missile fire in the Red Sea has come near an American warship in the past. In October 2016, the U.S. Navy said the USS Mason came under fire from two missiles launched out of Yemen. Neither reached the warship, though the U.S. retaliated with Tomahawk cruise missile strikes on three coastal radar sites in Houthi-controlled territory.

The week before, the Emirati vessel SWIFT-1 came under Houthi missile attack. The Emirati government asserted the SWIFT-1 at the time carried humanitarian aid; U.N. experts later said of the claim that they were “unconvinced of its veracity.” The vessel had been sailing back and forth in the Red Sea between an Emirati troop base in Eritrea and Yemen.

In April 2021, an Iranian cargo ship that is said to serve as a floating base for Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard forces came under attack in the Red Sea — likely part of a wider shadow war between Israel and Iran.

More recently in January, the Houthis seized the Emiratifl agged ship Rwabee in the Red Sea off Yemen. The Saudi-led coalition asserted the ship carried medical equipment from a dismantled Saudi field hospital. The Houthis released video showing military-style inflatable rafts, trucks and other vehicles on the vessel, as well as rifles. Another Yemen missile launch into the Red Sea happened in March as well.

For now, Israel hasn’t announced plans to join the Combined Maritime Forces though the U.S. Navy has held drills with it, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in November. Adm. Cooper declined to say whether Israel had expressed interest in joining the joint command.

Crafty_Dog

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RANE: Yemen's intractable civil war
« Reply #106 on: March 24, 2023, 05:16:50 PM »
March 23, 2023
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Yemen’s Intractable Civil War
Iran will not abandon the Houthis to improve its relationship with Saudi Arabia.
By: Hilal Khashan
The civil war in Yemen began in 2014 with the Houthi rebels taking over the country’s north, including the capital, the international airport and the port of Hodeidah. The conflict escalated a year later to become a proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, which led an Arab coalition that intervened to support the internationally recognized government and retake territory seized by the Iran-backed Houthis. In 2020, the separatist Southern Transitional Council, an umbrella group of militants backed by the UAE, declared control over the southern city of Aden. It became increasingly clear to the Saudis that they were unable to change the course of the war, which has had a massive impact on the local population. Since 2015, more than 400,000 Yemenis have lost their lives due to violence, hunger and disease. The World Health Organization reports that about half of Yemeni children suffer from stunting due to starvation and malnutrition, threatening their mental and physical development.

Some observers believed that a deal signed by Saudi Arabia and Iran in Beijing earlier this month to restore diplomatic relations would help end the crisis in Yemen. But the reality on the ground suggests otherwise. The main weakness of the Saudi-Iran rapprochement is that it’s an agreement of necessity, not conviction, driven by domestic issues and the international community’s preoccupation with the war in Ukraine. Neither Iran nor Saudi Arabia can afford to lose the war because whoever controls Yemen can secure the entire Arabian Peninsula.

Saudi Focus

Saudi Arabia has always viewed Yemen as a threat to its territorial integrity and has tried to derail Yemen’s development. The Saudis won a war against Yemen in 1934 and annexed Jizan and Najran. In 1948, Riyadh backed Imam Yahya against a constitutional revolution, and in 1962, it helped Imam Muhammad al-Badr attempt to reclaim his rule after a coup overthrew the monarchy. The Saudis intervened in local Yemeni affairs and bribed its tribes to prevent the country from uniting. They also supported the southern separatists in the 1994 civil war and intervened to stop the 2011 uprising, turning it into a political crisis that ultimately led Yemen to what it is today.

Yemen differs from other countries on the Arabian Peninsula in at least two respects. First, it’s a republic, while the other countries in the region are kingdoms or emirates. Second, it enjoys relatively democratic attributes compared to its neighbors. For Saudi Arabia, this makes Yemen a threat. It’s no coincidence that Yemen isn’t a member of the Saudi-led Gulf Cooperation Council, which includes other countries in the peninsula.

When the United Nations brokered a general cease-fire last April, Yemeni President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi announced, under Saudi pressure, that he was resigning and delegating his powers to the Presidential Leadership Council – the executive body of the internationally recognized government – which was then authorized to reach a comprehensive political solution. Even with the recent agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia, the council faces serious challenges, such as bridging the divide between the warring factions and remaining united amid the ongoing crises facing the country. Unsurprisingly, it’s made little progress toward a settlement and improving the quality of services for the Yemeni people.

For most Yemenis, the unconstitutional practices of the parties that make up the council are a cause for concern. When Hadi was appointed president in 2012, the parties didn’t question him about the country’s rampant corruption, on the pretext that they could resolve problems after the resignation of former President Ali Abdullah Saleh. They still lack transparency today. Seven of the eight council members reside abroad, citing security concerns. The members have been busy splitting the spoils of war among themselves and making patronage appointments but have contributed little to putting Yemen on the track to resolving the conflict that devastated its economy. The Yemeni people have become increasingly frustrated with the council’s performance, and more broadly, the country’s ruling political elite has no base of national support. It’s bereft of the expertise needed to manage domestic affairs and international relations. It also lacks a sense of patriotism, evidenced by the fact that it did not object to regional countries meddling in Yemen’s affairs.

Houthi Victory

By 2022, the Houthis had taken control of northern Yemen, except for the oil-rich Marib governorate. They exploited anti-Saudi sentiments within Yemeni society, focusing on how the kingdom’s security measures have harmed the Yemeni people, especially those living in the border areas, and Riyadh’s expulsion of thousands of Yemeni workers from Saudi Arabia. The Houthis also invoked the injustices suffered by Yemenis due to King ibn Saud’s occupation of large chunks of territory that were historically part of Yemen.

Territorial Control in Yemen
(click to enlarge)

In early 2022, government forces, backed by Saudi Arabia and the UAE, launched massive ground operations in Marib and Shabwa. The Houthis answered the offensive with unprecedented drone and missile attacks, launching Operation Yemen Hurricane III against the UAE and Operation Break Siege II against Saudi Arabia. Both countries were shocked by the response from the Houthis, who offered to open peace talks at the end of March. Saudi Arabia responded by announcing the cessation of its military operations two days before the United Nations representative to Yemen announced a cease-fire on April 2.

But Saudi Arabia continued to stall peace talks for several months after the truce went into effect. The situation remained stagnant. It appeared that Riyadh preferred to freeze the conflict, as the world’s major powers became preoccupied with Russia’s war on Ukraine, in the hope that it could reactivate the war under better international conditions. However, the Saudis eventually realized that the Houthis’ military capabilities had developed and that, without U.S. support, Saudi infrastructure, particularly its oil facilities, was in grave danger. Indeed, Saudi Arabia’s actions in the war, including blocking the flow of food and medical supplies, weakened the resolve of Western countries – specifically the United States, which, under congressional pressure, decided to reconsider its security relations with Riyadh.

Meanwhile, the Houthis have been busy imposing social changes in the areas of Yemen they control. They are radically revising the school curriculum, especially regarding religious and social subjects and history. They emphasize the role of summer camps involved in ideological indoctrination, aiming to re-socialize society, especially the youth, using tactics similar to those employed by the Soviet Union and China in the past and North Korea today.

It’s a mistake to believe that Iran will abandon the Houthis or its other regional allies to improve its relationship with Saudi Arabia. For Tehran, this would undermine a key tenet of the Iranian revolution – i.e., exporting its principles throughout the region – and the Islamic Republic itself. Iran will not give the Saudis what it refused to give the U.S. in the stalled Vienna talks.

Limits of the Saudi-Iran Deal

Saudi Arabia has yet to take a clear stance on the future of the conflict, unconvinced by the proposals put forward by Omani meditators in its negotiations with the Houthis. The Omanis urged Saudi officials to build confidence by addressing humanitarian matters, such as the food blockade, and exchanging prisoners. Saudi Arabia has decided to withdraw militarily from the war, consolidate its military relations with its local allies in Marib and Shabwa, and intensify its efforts to separate southern Saudi Arabia from the Saada mountains, the Houthis’ formidable bastion.

Saudi Arabia and the UAE want to break up Yemen and divide it into cantons. In 2017, UAE allies established the Southern Transitional Council from the governorates that constituted the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen (1967-1990) to create a political entity equal to the north. But competition over the country’s hydrocarbon riches has been a significant obstacle to realizing this project. The deal with Iran – which the Saudis claim has secret articles, including a commitment by Tehran to suspend weapons shipments to the Houthis – could encourage both countries to accept an agreement to end the war. (Tehran hasn’t admitted that it sends weapons to the Houthis, so it can’t commit to stopping.)

Each party to the normalization deal entered talks with its own interests in mind. China, which helped broker the agreement, wants to cement its relationship with two major oil suppliers and stabilize relations between the two countries, both of which are facing significant challenges at home. Iran is still grappling with the effects of severe Western sanctions and years of international and regional isolation. It needs friendly relations with Saudi Arabia, given that its access to the Arab world goes through Riyadh. Similarly, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman wants to see his country transition from oil dependence into a modern economy, which requires a vision and a conflict-free environment to attract foreign investment.

But the Saudi-Iran deal won’t end the fighting in Yemen. It’s also unlikely to last, and its eventual failure could drag the two countries into conflict again.

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Yemen
« Reply #107 on: December 22, 2023, 08:16:12 AM »
Iranian Spy Ship Helps Houthis Direct Attacks on Red Sea Vessels
Assistance raises pressure on Israel and the U.S. to take action against the Yemen-based rebels
By Benoit Faucon and Dov Lieber
Dec. 22, 2023 9:41 am ET
WSJ


Iran’s paramilitary forces are providing real-time intelligence to Yemen’s Houthis that the rebels are using to direct drones and missiles to target ships passing through the Red Sea, Western and regional security officials said.

Tracking information gathered by a surveillance vessel controlled by Iran’s paramilitary forces in the Red Sea is passed to the Houthis, who have used it to attack commercial vessels passing through the Bab el-Mandeb strait in recent days, according to the officials.

Earlier this week, the Pentagon unveiled plans for a multinational naval force to protect merchant vessels in the Red Sea. Meanwhile, many of the world’s biggest shipping lines, oil producers and other cargo owners have started diverting vessels from the region, prompting a rise in oil prices and insurance rates.

Many vessels sailing in the strait have been switching off their radios to avoid being tracked online, but an Iranian vessel stationed in the Red Sea is enabling the Houthi drones and missiles to accurately target the ships, the officials said.

The Iranian mission to the United Nations didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A spokesperson for the Houthis said the group didn’t need to rely on Iran to help in its attacks. “It’s strange to attribute everything to Iran as if it were the world’s strongest power,” the spokesperson said. “We have intelligence facilities that have proven themselves over the years of aggression against us.”

The direct involvement by Iranian actors in the attacks raises the stakes for Israel and the U.S., which are eager to contain Tehran’s role in the region, and risks creating a new front in the conflict between Israel and its foes in the region, just as the U.S. is trying to stop it from escalating.

“The Houthis don’t have the radar technology to target the ships,” said a Western security official. “They need Iranian assistance. Without it, the missiles would just drop in the water.”

The White House National Security Council didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Last week, the Houthis hit a Norwegian cargo vessel with an antiship cruise missile. The ship caught fire and was forced to sail to port after being damaged. None of the crew was injured.

The U.S. has previously said Iran was enabling the Houthi attacks on ships but didn’t say how. Iran for years has supplied weapons to the rebels in their battle against Saudi-backed foes in Yemen.

While the Houthis have said the attacks are in retaliation for Israel’s war in Gaza, the ships they have attacked have little or in some cases no links to Israel.

Washington has told Israel to let the U.S. military respond to the Houthis instead of taking action that could expand its conflict with Hamas and the Iranian-backed Hezbollah militia, U.S. and other government officials said.

But a senior Israeli official said the Iranian ship’s intelligence support for the Houthis shows that the West needs to pressure Tehran to halt its assistance, which is disrupting the global shipping trade. “Iran is giving them weapons, and Iran could stop it,” the Israeli official said. “We need to work to put pressure on Iran, so they will stop.”

In 2021, Israeli mines damaged an Iranian spy ship that had also been stationed in the Red Sea, and it was replaced by the vessel currently helping the Houthis, Western officials said.

Israel has also been angered by Houthi missile attacks targeting the southern port of Eilat, though they were intercepted by U.S. defenses.

On Friday, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant warned his country could retaliate against the threats coming out of Yemen. “If they continue to provoke us, try to attack Eilat with missiles or by other means, we will know what to do,” he said, speaking onboard a warship sailing near the Israeli port. “We are preparing. The troops here are ready for any mission and any command.”

Western security officials have previously said Iranian assistance to the Houthis is overseen by the Quds Force, a branch of Iran’s paramilitary Islamic Republic Guard Corps that operates autonomously from the civilian cabinet in Tehran. The U.S. has placed a $15 million bounty on the Quds Force commander in Yemen, Abdolreza Shahlaei, for his role in supplying weapons and explosives to Iraqi Shia groups and planning a 2007 attack in Iraq that killed five American soldiers and wounded three others.

In messages passed to the U.S. through Switzerland and in public, Iran has said it had no control over the actions of the Houthi and other forces in the Middle East that have attacked U.S. and Israeli targets in response to the war in Gaza.

A spokesman for the Iran mission at the United Nations said last week that Iran opposed a U.N. Security Council resolution that imposes an arms embargo only on the Houthis. He said Tehran has abided by its implementation and that the Yemenis were capable of military self-reliance.

ya

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« Last Edit: December 24, 2023, 05:28:01 AM by Crafty_Dog »

Crafty_Dog

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Re: Yemen
« Reply #109 on: December 24, 2023, 06:27:40 AM »
Another article making the same point.

Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: The Houtis need to be dealth with
« Reply #110 on: January 09, 2024, 05:57:04 AM »
Washington Can’t Let the Houthis Take Yemen
Their Red Sea shipping assault shows they pose a threat to U.S. interests. So let’s pose one to theirs.
By Kenneth M. Pollack and Katherine Zimmerman
Jan. 8, 2024 5:45 pm ET



It’s time for the U.S. to stop thinking tactically about the Houthis in Yemen and start thinking strategically. The growing number of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea demonstrate they are now a strategic threat to America, its allies and the global economy. We must address them as such.

For the past two decades, the U.S. has dismissed the Houthis as a nuisance. Washington recoiled when the Saudis and Emiratis intervened in Yemen against them in 2015, and the Obama, Trump and Biden administrations have tried to end the fighting with minimal exertion regardless of the outcome. Americans have tended to see the civil war as a humanitarian catastrophe and a breeding ground for terrorists. Our position therefore has been that all that mattered was peace—not who won or on what terms.

That has proved mistaken. The Houthis have made significant gains in Yemen, allowing them to commit aggression beyond the country’s borders. They are doing so as part of Iran’s axis of resistance—the loose alliance of anti-Israel and anti-U.S. groups in the Mideast—and for their own interests.

Though the Houthis claim their actions are in support of the Palestinians, many of the ships they are trying to hit have no connection to Israel. But these attacks do appear to be closely tied to Iranian interests. Tehran is enabling and possibly guiding these attacks by providing targeting information to the Houthis.

These attacks are really about the Houthis demonstrating their ability to disrupt shipping in the vital Bab el-Mandeb Strait, and through that, to threaten the global economy.

That ability is of enormous value to the Houthis and their Iranian allies. For the Iranians, it allows them to demonstrate the power and reach of their axis of resistance, and to use both to pursue their ultimate goal of regional hegemony and the destruction of Israel. For the Houthis, it displays their power and glory, advances their millenarian ideology, galvanizes domestic support that had been in decline, and will doubtless lead them to believe they can strong-arm concessions from other countries.

These threats notwithstanding, the U.S. has continued to act as if the Houthi attacks are little more than an unfortunate byproduct of the wars in Gaza and Yemen. Washington’s response has been purely tactical: Defend shipping in the Red Sea and threaten unspecified consequences for the Houthis. They haven’t stopped, but no consequences have materialized.

Even if the U.S. decides to strike some Houthi asset, such a tactical solution is unlikely to work. Yemen is a desperately poor country; the Houthis are religious zealots; and their military is extremely low-tech. That is why U.S. sanctions have had no effect. It also means they don’t have good targets—such as expensive infrastructure or large warships—that the American military could destroy.

It’s almost impossible to find targets to strike—or even threaten—that would somehow be worth more to the Houthis and Iranians than the enormous benefits they are accruing from the Red Sea attacks. They simply gain too much by assaulting global shipping in a key choke point of world trade.

All this demands that the U.S. take a strategic approach to Yemen and the Houthis—namely, stop them from winning the civil war. It’s clear from the mess in the Red Sea that a Houthi victory would endanger American interests and those of our allies. If they win, the Houthis are likely to become more aggressive and more active helpmates of Iran in its campaign to dominate the Mideast.

Their control and eventual conquest of Yemen is also the one thing the Houthis care about and that Washington could put at risk. It’s proved a strong motivator in the recent past. In 2018, a combined task force of Emirati armor and local Yemeni tribesmen retook most of southern Yemen and then began driving up the Red Sea coast, smashing Houthi defenses and threatening Hudaydah, the last major port in Houthi hands. The Houthis raced to the negotiating table, desperate to cut a deal and stave off a disastrous defeat.

These two factors combine in one clear strategic necessity: The U.S. needs to begin military support to the Yemeni government. That is the only way to ensure the Houthis won’t consolidate their grip on the country and be able to project more power abroad. And it is the only thing that might cause the Houthis and Iranians to rethink their current strategy.

This is a tried and true American approach to troublesome, violent and ideologically difficult states. It was the strategy the Reagan administration ultimately adopted against Libya in the 1980s. To get the Libyans to stop sponsoring terrorist attacks, subverting U.S. allies like Egypt and attacking neighboring states, Washington began providing military support to Libya’s adversaries in Chad. That produced a dramatic Chadian victory—and even threatened a counterinvasion of Libya—which became a key element in eventually forcing dictator Moammar Gadhafi to reverse course.

That successive U.S. administrations largely ignored the Houthis was understandable but unsuccessful. It’s time for Washington to adopt the only promising strategy by threatening the one thing the Houthis hold dear.

Mr. Pollack is a senior fellow and Ms. Zimmerman a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.

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Re: WSJ: The Houtis need to be dealth with
« Reply #111 on: January 09, 2024, 07:20:54 AM »
"The growing number of attacks on shipping in the Red Sea demonstrate they are now a strategic threat to America, its allies and the global economy."
---------------------------------
Or as Biden's national security adviser put it, recently, "the Middle East is the quietest it's been in decades".

Or as the new, non-interventionists in the Republican party might put it, 'what will be will be'.

RFK jr says our CIA overthrew foreign governments 80-some times?  I think he means acted covertly behind the scenes. 

This might be a good opportunity for that.

No, we can't be the world's policeman.  We must choose our fights.  But when America is weak or absent, the world is a more dangerous place.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 07:23:36 AM by DougMacG »

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Yemen
« Reply #113 on: January 13, 2024, 08:05:48 AM »
Excerpt from:

https://simplicius76.substack.com/p/us-launches-strikes-on-yemen-and?publication_id=1351274&post_id=140635883&isFreemail=true&r=379fkp

What remains to be commented on:

The US and its tiny isolated rabble of servile ‘allies’ attacked Yemen in an absolutely impotent strike that did nothing and will have no effect whatsoever on Yemen’s continued blockade of the Red Sea.


Russia launched over 7500 missiles at Ukraine—a country that has most of its infrastructure out ‘in the open’, and many people regard Ukraine as hardly having been industrially attrited after 2 years of such continued bombardment. Now imagine what a measly pittance of 70-100 aging Tomahawk missiles is going to do to a country with highly decentralized military structures spread across the deserts.

In short: nothing.


NATO’s 3 month long 24/7 bombardment of Serbia destroyed a whopping dozen tanks and could only degrade the AD by 50%. Without boots on the ground, US’s failed coalition can do nothing to Yemen—and they’re not going boots on the ground so the strikes can only be regarded as a feeble ‘warning’ toward Iran, which will only inspire hearty guffaws in Tehran.

The world can see the US terror regime has no clothes. It looks increasingly weak, particularly given the announcement that Raytheon Lloyd helmed the strikes from—I kid you not—his hospital bed. Yes, he pulled the trigger on a laptop while soiling his bedpan:


https://www.businessinsider.com/defense-secretary-lloyd-austin-ordered-strike-on-houthis-from-hospital-2024-1
A decrepit regime led by a senile president and debilitated secretary of state, launching illegal massacres from their nursing homes and hospital beds against the poorest nation on earth—virtually on the same day as their own bloc ally faced genocide and crimes against humanity charges at The Hague.

You can’t make this up: the optics have never been worse for the Empire of Lies.

That’s not to mention the fact that US apparently took losses and is now trying to cover them up after Ansar Allah forces claimed to have downed a US plane as well as hit a ship:


The “plane” was at least in part corroborated, though it appeared to be a heavy-class drone:


And the problems aren’t going away. Both Tesla and Volvo announced a total cessation of production due to supply disruption problems:

Crafty_Dog

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Zeihan goes full snark on Yemen
« Reply #114 on: January 14, 2024, 07:43:03 PM »


DougMacG

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Re: Yemen
« Reply #116 on: January 17, 2024, 05:46:30 AM »
Sen Tom Cotton called the American attacks on the Houthis a 'pin prick on a proxy' (of Iran) 'proving their strategy of working through proxies is working'.   We are not attacking Iran. We're focusing on the proxy. 

In contrast, Trump took out Solemani, the source of the trouble, and actually slowed them for a time.

Obama Biden sends them planeloads of cash - and denies that money finances terror.  They're paying for terror like Oct 7 and Houthi strikes on US assets with other money?  That makes no sense.


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Yemen
« Reply #118 on: February 05, 2024, 04:38:55 AM »
Apparently the Houtis' initial reaction is to flip us the bird.

Crafty_Dog

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Win-win for China in Red Sea
« Reply #119 on: February 08, 2024, 05:52:02 PM »
Because of the Red Sea angle I should have suggested this thread to you BBG:

The reason Beijing seems so relaxed about the crisis is obvious: this is a situation in which China wins either way. Either the threat continues but shipping is safer for Chinese vessels than for others, in which case sailing under the protection of the red and gold flag may become a coveted competitive advantage, or Beijing finally tells Iran to knock it off, in which case China becomes the de facto go-to security provider in the Middle East. Both outcomes would be geopolitical coups. No wonder China is willing to accept a little short-term economic pain as the situation plays out.

– Nathan Levine

https://www.samizdata.net/2024/02/samizdata-quote-of-the-day-either-way-china-wins/

Crafty_Dog

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Houthis continue to flip the bird
« Reply #120 on: March 07, 2024, 07:57:35 AM »
(6) FATAL ANTI-SHIP MISSILE STRIKE BY HOUTHIS UNDERMINES U.S.: Yemen’s Houthis struck the commercial ship M/V True Confidence with a missile while the ship sailed in international waters in the Gulf of Aden. The strike resulted in three deaths, three critically injured, and an abandoned ship on fire.

Houthi Spokesman Mohamed Abdelsalam said that the Houthis only fire after warning, and the U.S. is responsible for every death.

Why It Matters: First, no Americans were involved in the attack. Second, this was an above-the-waterline strike, so the burning ship is likely to remain a navigational hazard for weeks. Lastly, this happened just after the new permitting system was activated. Shipping and insurance companies are likely to comply with this law and any new ones as other nations decide to extort money at chokepoints. - J.V.

Body-by-Guinness

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US Counterinsurgency Effort in Yemen
« Reply #121 on: May 14, 2024, 05:23:14 PM »

Crafty_Dog

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WT: Houthis prove resiliant
« Reply #122 on: June 20, 2024, 04:05:05 AM »
Houthis prove resilience in Red Sea battle against world’s strongest military

BY MIKE GLENN THE WASHINGTON TIMES

It hardly seems a fair fight: a ragtag rebel movement in one of the world’s poorest countries, already locked in a draining civil war, taking on the world’s strongest military power and its allies that are determined to protect a waterway critical to global commerce.

Months into the clash, however, Yemen’s Houthis show no signs of going away.

The Iran-backed movement has launched almost 200 attacks against military and commercial ships passing through the Red Sea since November. The U.S. and Britain have responded with multiple retaliatory airstrikes deep into Yemen and have spent more than six months downing swarms of Houthi drones and rockets heading toward merchant vessels.

Despite the massive U.S. and international naval coalition arrayed against them, the Houthis, formally known as Ansar Allah, are continuing their barrage and creating a vast disruption in international shipping patterns. The U.S. and its allies have launched some 450 strikes against Houthi positions along the Yemeni coastline, including some of the most intensive sorties in the past few weeks. Some compare the campaign to the arcade game Whac-A-Mole.

“The Houthis have suffered some losses, but they retain the ability to obstruct maritime shipping in the Red Sea,” Thomas Juneau, an associate professor who focuses on the Middle East at the University of Ottawa Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, recently told the website Responsible Statecraft.

“And perhaps more importantly, beyond the material damage they have suffered, their intent to continue obstructing shipping in the Red Sea has not wavered.”

Houthi rebels say they are acting in solidarity with Palestinian militants battling Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip. As recently as last week, they launched strikes against two commercial ships: the M/V Tutor and the M/V Verbena.

On June 12, they attacked the Liberian- flagged and Greek-owned Tutor with an uncrewed surface vessel that resulted in the ship sinking. One of the civilian mariners aboard has been missing since the strike. The crew members abandoned the ship and were rescued by the USS Philippine Sea and other vessels, U.S. officials said.

The next day, the Houthis launched two missiles at the Verbena, which sails under the flag of Palau and is owned by Ukrainians. One of the crew members had to be medically evacuated, officials said.

After two days of trying to bring the fires under control, the Verbena crew was forced to abandon the ship. U.S. officials said the Iranian naval frigate Jamaran was only 8 nautical miles away but refused to respond to the crew’s distress call.

The ship is now drifting in the Gulf of Aden.

The frustration in Washington and the region is palpable and growing.

“The continued malign and reckless behavior by the Iranian-backed Houthis threatens regional stability and endangers the lives of mariners across the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden,” U.S. Central Command officials said in a statement. “The Houthis claim to be acting on behalf of the Palestinians in Gaza and yet they are targeting and threatening the lives of third-country nationals who have nothing to do with the conflict in Gaza.”

In early December, the Houthis threatened to attack any ship they thought was heading to Israeli ports, but most of the strikes before and since have been against civilian ships with Israeli affiliations that were tenuous at best. The Yemeni group quickly expanded its target list to any ship affiliated with the U.S. or its allies, the Defense Intelligence Agency said.

The Houthis’ use of a drone uncrewed surface vessel against the M/V Tutor is a sign that the nature of their attacks on Red Sea merchant shipping might be evolving, said Bradley Bowman, senior director of the Center on Military and Political Power at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies think tank in Washington.

“We should expect to see more unmanned surface vessel attacks. [They] are being used by Ukraine in the Black Sea to counter Russian aggression, and they are being used by Iran-backed terror organizations in the Red Sea to threaten commercial vessels,” Mr. Bowman said Tuesday. “The U.S. has continued to destroy Houthi offensive capabilities in Yemen, but the terror group continues to have sufficient means to threaten shipping.”

The fact that the Houthis can continue launching effective strikes against ship traffic in the Red Sea suggests they receive a steady supply of armaments from their allies in Tehran, Mr. Bowman said.

“An effort to destroy capabilities in Yemen that does not devote sufficient attention and resources to interdicting weapons shipments from Iran to Yemen is not unlike the homeowner cleaning up puddles but ignoring the hole in the roof,” he said.

Container shipping through the Red Sea typically accounts for 10% to 15% of international maritime trade, but it has declined by about 90% since December. The Defense Intelligence Agency said alternate shipping routes around Africa add about 11,000 nautical miles, up to two weeks of extra transit time and about $1 million in fuel costs for each voyage.

At least 20 major energy and shipping companies have altered their routes to avoid Houthi attacks. Taking the long route around Africa can be less expensive because shippers don’t have to factor in the combined costs of crew bonuses, risk insurance running 1,000% more than before the attacks and the $400,000 to $700,000 fees to transit the Suez Canal, DIA officials said.

Deputy Pentagon spokesperson Sabrina Singh said the U.S. Navy’s role in the region is to maintain freedom of navigation and uphold international law. She said American forces have been “pretty successful.”

“We certainly understand the global impact and the effect on global commerce if shipping routes have to be rerouted,” Ms. Singh said Monday. “It’s up to the shipping companies to decide if they want to continue transiting through the Red Sea. That’s a decision that each company has to make.”

Officials with the International Maritime Organization, a specialized United Nations agency for regulating marine transportation, said they were appalled by the latest Houthi attacks in the Red Sea and called for increased international assistance for seafarers.

“I strongly condemn any type of attack against international shipping, regardless of its motivation or cause,” IMO Secretary-General Arsenio Dominguez said in a Tuesday statement. “This situation cannot go on. Everybody is going to feel the negative effect if international shipping is not able to trade as normal. But our commitment is, above all, safeguarding the safety of all seafarers.”


Crafty_Dog

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WSJ: Meanwhile, over in the Red Sea
« Reply #124 on: July 15, 2024, 08:28:03 PM »
Meanwhile, Over in the Red Sea . . .
The U.S. hasn’t been able to stop the Houthi assault on shipping.
By The Editorial Board
July 15, 2024 5:58 pm ET

The world turns even as the U.S. is preoccupied with its internal political turmoil. The Houthis in Yemen are still firing missiles at commercial ships in a now near constant barrage the Biden Administration refuses to stop.

The Associated Press reports two suspected Houthi attacks on ships in the Red Sea on Monday. U.S. Central Command said over the weekend that its forces had destroyed a Houthi uncrewed surface vessel as well as two aerial vehicles, evidence of the mix of novel assets the rebels are using to harass ships and U.S. military assets.

U.S. naval forces are operating at a pace not seen since World War II as they try to block threat after threat. The U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group on station in the area for months returned over the weekend, and the sea service says the ship group conducted more than 750 engagements while deployed. The strike group expended 135 Tomahawk missiles, premiere land attack weapons that the services haven’t been buying in sufficient quantities.

In other words, the U.S. is burning through missiles with no apparent larger plan to restore order to the region. The obvious answer is to punish the Iranians who arm the rebels, but the Biden Administration hasn’t.

This should be an easy campaign theme for Donald Trump given his much tougher views on Iran. Voters have to ponder every issue from immigration to taxes, but unchecked chaos in the Red Sea won’t stay there. America’s options won’t improve the longer the Houthi threat is allowed to expand.

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Historic Israeli Airstrike
« Reply #125 on: July 20, 2024, 04:35:56 PM »
Details of today’s strike:

Open Source Intel
@Osint613
Additional details about Operation “Long Arm” in Yemen:
1. Dozens of veteran pilots, reservists, squadron commanders, and colonels led formations with numerous aircraft in the furthest strike and a historic Air Force operation.
2. Netanyahu and Gallant approved the operation on Friday morning. On Saturday at 14:30, a formal cabinet meeting was held for approval, and around 15:00, the takeoffs began.
3. The political echelon insisted on an Israeli strike and not a joint operation with the U.S., which was informed. This daylight demonstration showcased Israeli offensive power against Iran, emphasizing the ability to strike east of Tehran, not just as a threat.
4. According to a security source, 10 targets were attacked around the Al Hudaydah port, not just oil depots. The aircraft flew low and noisy over Yemeni soil, not just attacking from a distance.
5. Israel anticipated that the flames in Yemen would burn for days, and appropriate munitions were chosen for this purpose.
6. The targets (with more identified) were chosen in the early months of the war in case one of the 220 launches from Yemen penetrated Israel and was lethal.
7. Just two months ago, the Air Force trained on refueling missions over Greece, which was not by chance.
8. In this exercise, as today, the large Ram aircraft (Boeing 707) proved their worth despite being 60 years old. The greater danger was during the outbound flight, so the stealth F-35s played a central role in clearing the long path.
9. The Al Hudaydah port serves as the main supply artery of Houthi weaponry from Iran
10. What’s next? This is not the end. The Israeli defense establishment estimates that the Houthis will continue to launch attacks on Israel, and this is probably not the last round with the distant and impoverished country that lost millions of riyals today, but they will likely rethink their strategy….