Skip to comments.Has Yemen war handed Aden to jihadists?
Posted on 09/03/2015 3:11:06 PM PDT by BeauBo
Unseen by most of the world, the once tranquil port of Aden is being steadily infiltrated by jihadists from both al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsular (AQAP) and the so-called Islamic State (IS).
They are not in charge of the city, the military forces of the UAE are. But in the last few days disturbing reports have emerged of the summary executions of prisoners by the jihadists, along with their black flags hoisted onto public buildings.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.com ...
The Saudi Coalition (mainly Saudi, UAE, and Egypt; with American intel, aerial refueling and naval blockade) is winning, against the Shiite Houthi rebels (who got Iranian support) and their allies who support the old President Saleh (a Northerner). The Saudis have effectively liberated what used to be the old country of South Yemen. Now they are moving on to take North Yemen and the capital - The Saudis have it roughly encircled from about 100-200 miles out.
The Government in exile, led by elected President Hadi (a Southerner), remains in Saudi Arabia, and there is a vacuum in governance developing in liberated areas, which al Queada in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) is moving into. Al Queada has long ties to the Saudi Gov, and there may have been some coordination in attacking Shiite targets, which both hate. ISIS also is participating in attacks against Shiites.
The humanitarian situation has grown to crisis levels according to the UN, and the Red Cross is being driven out by terrorist attacks.
It looks to me that the Houthis will either be driven to negotiate a settlement reinstating the Saudi-supported President Hadi, or they will be militarily defeated in a destructive campaign with high civilian losses. The Saudis heavily outgun the Houthis, but they will be fighting in the Houthi heartland, with a majority Shiite population.
Yemen is at risk of becoming a failed state, as the old North/South divide is inflamed, militias and terrorist groups grow in influence, and no political leader has strong popular support.
[and 85-90% of the world's Muslims are Sunni, IOW, Shiites kill twice as many per capita]
Once again, America’s “allies” are on the same side as al-Qaeda. The Obama administration is fully on board with this.
Just like in Syria, our gov. is attacking the only people who fight al-Qaeda and ISIS and supporting the people who cooperate with them.
The rest of the world is well aware of this and judges accordingly.
Before the rebellion, the Shiite Houthis, loved dropping dimes to US drone operators on the whereabouts of Sunni al Queada.
But during the rebellion, they gave the Iranians the run of our abandoned embassy, and there was the threat of the Iranians setting up a permanent military capability to choke off naval traffic through the Red Sea/Suez Canal route.
There was never really much of a threat of that last part. That was BS being spread by the usual suspects who wanted intervention.
Interestingly, Saleh(the deposed US backed dictator) used al-Qaeda to attack the Houthis, now they are allied against Saleh’s ex-stooge Hadi, the new US backed dictator.
Yemen’s internal politics are so complicated it makes countries like Iraq and Syria look simple.
The Middle East is a mess alright. Your friend on one issue is your enemy on another, and it changes over time.
On the one hand, it is entertaining that the Saudis are now on the hook for stabilizing and rebuilding Yemen instead of us (under the You break it, You bought it rule).
But on the other hand it sucks, because what they will build will likely be anti-American at heart.
I can’t believe Obama let Saudi Arabia invade Yemen. We are even helping SA with logistics. What is the real agenda here? Is Obama trying to blow SA up?
Decisions in SA are made in a very, very small circle. What do the rest of the elites think about this adventure? What do military officers especially think?
As usual, the US based media pays no attention to the military aspect of a war.
Yemen is ideal country(and culture) for guerilla warfare. Few want really Hadi in charge, the people supporting him now have their own agendas. The other side is the same way.
The Houthis work with America against al-Qaeda, but chant “Death to America.”
The more you know about this wacky country, the less appetizing intervention looks. That’s presumably why the media doesn’t cover this fascinating and highly entertaining war more deeply.
My guess is that our policy in Yemen is just reacting to what happened, and then muddling through without getting our hands dirty.
Iran exploited Yemeni divisions and destabilized Yemen. It has been a huge cost and diversion to Iran’s arch rival Saudi Arabia. The Saudis could not tolerate Yemen falling into Iran’s orbit.
It is definitely refreshing to see Saudis fighting their own battles, without American kids dying for them. I feel sorry for the civilian population, but I am super relieved that we are not sending our boys into that mess.
Some cynical analysts recommend instigating conflicts in the Middle East, to keep the bad actors weak and at each others’ throats, but I think that such a mastermind approach is beyond what this Administration could handle. Nevertheless, that is happening to some degree.
It is not new for the Arabs to squander their oil revenues on warfare - it has tended to happen more than not over the last few decades. As a strategy though, fostering conflicts can certainly blowback, if one side decisively wins, and and then looks abroad.
On the Saudi side, I think that the elites are in lockstep with the new King, and their new hardline Defense Minister. The Saudis and Egyptians have fought in Yemen before, during the lives of today’s elites. Yemen is their backyard, Iran is their mortal enemy, and Shiites are loathed by devout Wahabbis. In a police state like Saudi Arabia, no whiff of dissent would be tolerated, especially not at a time like this, with Iranians and armed Shia a days drive from Mecca.
Don’t know the accuracy of the title, but that is in Yemen.
BTW, if anyone wants to really follow the war in Yemen, Syria, Iraq etc., do it through twitter, liveleak and youtube. People are on the ground near where the battles are happening and are online and reporting 24 hours a day through phones. It’s up to the viewer to filter out a coherent narrative from primary source material. Disinformation and propaganda is everywhere. Nothing is without an agenda. Don’t bother with lame mass media coverage that is not just all biased propaganda, but vague, uninformative propaganda. You can read a million articles about the Yemen war from BBC, CNN, NYT, WSJ etc. and learn almost nothing but vacuous quotes from politicians.
“Naughty” sources like al-Jazeera, Press-TV, al-Manar, RT are of course all propaganda, but they at least show some combat videos and give names of places where battles are happening. Take that information to the internet. Find out where the video came from or search for the hashtag on twitter of the name of the place of a battle. Often you will find the initial information was not entirely accurate, but leads you to the truth.
Western media coverage is about the discourse in Washington, not the actual wars. That’s why you can follow mainstream media and not know basic facts about who is fighting who, what is happening militarily and so forth. That’s how you get people who think al-Qaeda are Shiites(”cause they’re both bad”) or don’t know that Yemen is a very mountainous country(”cause the middle east is a desert”).
You learn more from a possibly mislabeled video or obvious false flag rumor than you do by hearing Samantha powers drone on about human rights.
What I don’t get is why wait to do something? Why wait until Hadi was totally defeated and humiliated and the other side took most of the country? They will never get Hadi back in charge for good now that he has been shown to be so weak. Weakness is what the people hate most in a place like that. Now they have SA sticking it’s neck out. This war is not going anywhere any year soon. They could have acted sooner, they could have cut a deal, they could have done a lot of other things.
It seems to me almost like the Obama people are trying to create maximum long term chaos. It’s like they want a permanently simmering civil war in every country in the region. There seems to be no larger strategy other than that. I don’t think that is the actual intent of most Obama officials, but there are those who advocate that strategy and they can’t be too disappointed with Obama.
I personally think this could end in disaster long term. You don’t want the entire Islamic world to be practicing constant warfare in a ruthlessly Darwinian environment for decades. That sounds like a recipe for a new Islamic conquest to emerge. Fighting with each other endlessly makes Muslims better at fighting, not weaker. We can see this from the improved tactics evident by groups like ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, Hezbollah and the Houthis and the lessening ability of governments to contain them. These are not PLO style terrorists, these are highly mobile light motorized armies who specialize in fighting under heavy enemy air and drone cover. Their birthrates easily replace the losses.
My view is that putting out the fires in the ME should be the overriding goal right now. The longer Syria, Yemen etc. burn, the more likely SA, Egypt etc. will go up too. The big bomb that all this fire is raging around is the Persian Gulf. A war in the Gulf crashes the global economy, but gives Putin trillions. The current administration seems oblivious to the fantastically dangerous situation their boneheaded policies in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen have put the world in.
The Mahdi is, well conflicted. On the one hand most of his exposure to Islam and those aiding him have been Sunni Orthodox Muzzies. The same for Brennan who appears even more likely than BHO to be a real crypto-Muslim. also the K Street interest are definitely fronting for the Kingdom. Henry Kissinger (or his amanuensis) are very sophisticated front men for this view as being congruent with US security interests. On the other hand Valerie Jarratt who is definite one of the people most responsible for the wire pulling that elevated the Man Without a Resume’ to the Presidency is almost certainly some sort of Iranian proxy or agent of influence and she knows where the bodies are buried figuratively and literally. Hence the give aways in the so-called Iran Nuclear deal. So BHO is splitting the difference here and doing things that will guarantee the maximum destruction and chaos and no real clear cut winner unless, irony or irony, Israel becomes the regional hegemon of the wreckage of the Middle East in a decade or so.
I like to view some of those “naughty” sources that you mentioned (like Iranian, Russian and so on) too - they are quick to expose their opponents lies, even as they tell their own. I even had a bit of a crush on a PressTV reporter they had covering the battle of Tikrit. She was so cute in her helmet and tucked away inside her big vest, so bravely close to the action.
My take on the Obama Admin is that they are long past having a Grand plan like the Arab Spring and overthrowing Assad. I think that they are now reacting as events spiral out of control, and are more interested in covering their butts, and tending to their political careers. As they say, no plan survives first contact with the enemy.
Yemen fell pretty quick, and they are not really very competent. They will not use force because they pander to the peaceniks in the Democrat Party base, and they want to disband as much US military capability as they can, before they leave office. They would spike the cannons on their way out, if they could.
Job number one for Clinton is always collecting as much money as possible, and Kerry is a total pompous preening egoist, who focuses more on his hair and make up, and posturing to seem intelligent. I don’t think that Yemen was in their plans - that it just broke out as another front in the Saudi-Iranian regional struggle.
I do agree with you that they started out intending to realign things long term in the region. In my opinion, the Obama goal was to bring the Muslim Brotherhood to power as widely as they could, but other regimes in the region were able to outmaneuver them.
The Brotherhood is a leftist co-option of Religion for political purposes, like Liberation Theology was for Catholics, or Jeremiah Wright’s church is for Black Protestants. Both Obama (his half brother Malik in Sudan, and his cousin Odinga in Kenya) and Hillary (Huma Abedin) are in tight with the Muslim Brotherhood.
The results have been disastrous for both America’s interests, and the people of the region. It is the biggest refugee crisis since WWII and whole cities (like Kobane in Syria) are being reduced to rubble. They will never own up to consequences of their policies, and the press will never stop covering for them.
When the Democrats got legislative control after the Watergate scandal, they promptly pulled support from the Pro-US Government of South Vietnam, and let the Communists overrun Vietnam and Cambodia. You never hear them held to account for the killing fields of Pol Pot, or the Gulags for the South Vietnamese.
If (Please God) we get a good administration after this one, they can begin giving serious support to pro-Western forces in the Region, like Jordan, Egypt and Israel. But until this Administration leaves office, things are unlikely to settle down in the region.
I would anticipate bad actors making a sprint in Obama’s last year in office, like they did during Jimmy Carter’s last year. Once the Saudis capture the Capital of Yemen, they might be tempted to enter the Syrian War in 2016. The Iranians have signed contracts with the Russians and the Chinese to buy a whole Air Force (250 planes), betting on the sanctions money getting released. The Battle to liberate Mosul (a major city of over a million) was deferred this year, and is still on the list for next year. Glad I don’t live over there.
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