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Catastrophe in Yemen

By THE NEW YORK TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD– Saudi Arabia’s military intervention in Yemen’s civil war was always a risky gamble. Now there’s evidence showing just how damaging four weeks of airstrikes have been: more than 1,000 civilians killed, more than 4,000 wounded, and 150,000 displaced. Meanwhile, the fighting and a …

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Yemen: Operation Cross-Purposes

Saudi Arabia just stopped bombing Iranian-backed forces in Yemen. That’s making Obama’s life easier as the administration’s nuclear talks with Tehran reach their most critical phase. BY YOCHI DREAZEN for FOREIGN POLICY — Saudi Arabia’s decision to abruptly end its air war against Iranian-backed Houthi militants in Yemen will reverberate …

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Has Yemen reshaped the Middle East geopolitical map?

by Graham E. Fuller Source: grahamefuller.com — Does anybody remember the old Cold War geopolitical concept of the “Northern Tier states?” They consisted of three countries—Turkey, Iran and Pakistan (sometimes Afghanistan) that lay along the southern border of the Soviet Union; they were perceived in the West as a potential …

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Mohammad Javad Zarif: A Message From Iran

  By MOHAMMAD JAVAD ZARIFAPRIL for THE NEW YORK TIMES — TEHRAN — WE made important progress in Switzerland earlier this month. With the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council plus Germany, we agreed on parameters to remove any doubt about the exclusively peaceful nature of Iran’s …

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The New Saudi Foreign Policy

Author: Ray Takeyh, Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies – Source: Council on Foreign Relations — Saudi Arabia’s incursion into Yemen reflects a new foreign policy that assertively presses Saudi claims in the Middle East and even uses its own armed forces to ensure its interests. After centuries of relying …

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Hidden Agendas in Yemen

By Graham E. Fuller Source: grahamefuller.com — The domestic crisis in Yemen, once quite containable, now bids to veer out of control as external players threaten to exacerbate an explosive situation. Apart from their rhetorical statements, what are the chief factors driving these players in this complex situation? Saudi Arabia: …

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Joint Arab force can’t agree on ‘terrorism

By Mustafa Bassiouni – Translator: Pascale Menassa – Source: AL-MONITOR – The national anthem “Al-Watan al-Akbar” [“The Greatest Homeland”] was playing in the background when the Arab [League] Summit announced its approval of forming a joint Arab military force. History shall definitely remember this as one of the most important …

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Chronicling Yemen: A Day-By-Day Look At A Crisis Unfolding

From Houthi leaders to Yemenis living through the Saudi-led bombings, MintPress is compiling a timeline of events starting from March 25, the day the bombings started. By Catherine Shakdam for Mintpress.com —  Yemenis search for survivors in the rubble of houses destroyed by Saudi-led airstrikes in a village near Sanaa, Yemen, …

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Saudis Warm to Muslim Brotherhood, Seeking Sunni Unity on Yemen

Shiite nemesis Iran seen as greater threat to kingdom By YAROSLAV TROFIMOV for THE WALL STREET JOURNAL — Ever since the Arab Spring began four years ago, Saudi Arabia waged a two-front campaign against its Shiite nemesis Iran, and against the Sunni Islamists—led by the Muslim Brotherhood—whose rise across the …

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Will Yemen kick-off the ‘War of the two Blocs?’

By Sharmine Narwani* for RT– There is media confusion about what is going on in Yemen and the broader Middle East. Pundits are pointing out that the US is looking schizophrenic with policies that back opposite sides of the fight against al-Qaeda-style extremism in Iraq and in Yemen. But it …

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Algeria rejects to join Arab military intervention in Yemen: FM

Source: Xinhua – Algeria rejected to join the Arab military intervention in Yemen, calling on political dialogues, the APS news agency quoted Algerian foreign minister as reporting on Thursday. “Algeria is following with great and deep concern over the serious developments in Yemen amid escalation of positions which would jeopardize …

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U.S. finds itself on both sides at once in Middle East

By TIMOTHY M. PHELPS, DAVID S. CLOUD AND PAUL RICHTER for LOS ANGELES TIMES —   U.S. supports both Shiite fighters in Iraq and airstrikes on Shiite rebels in Yemen Middle East experts see a pattern of the U.S. supporting established governments against rebels Military actions in Middle East come …

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Saudi Arabia and Iran Compete in Yemen

Stratfor Analysis — Summary While the al-Houthi movement struggles to manage multiple regional challenges to its north, its rise to power in Yemen is a setback for Saudi Arabia on its southern flank. After the fall of the Yemeni government, Riyadh will have to capitalize on the al-Houthis’ need for …

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Does Iran really control Yemen?

By Shahir ShahidSaless for AL-MONITOR – On Jan. 22, the embattled Western- and Saudi-backed president of Yemen, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi, and his Cabinet resigned. Immediately afterward, the Houthi Shiite rebels, who have controlled the capital Sanaa since September and are officially organized under the banner of Ansarollah (God’s Partisans), …

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The Houthi “Ansarullah”.. The Zaidis Revival

By Dr. Haytham Mouzahem** After seizing power in the Yemeni capital Sanaa and the resign of President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi last month, the Ansarullah group has dissolved parliament, and created a supreme security committee to run the state until the formation of a presidential council. Last week, the Houthi …

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U.S. armed drone program in Yemen facing intelligence gaps

      Reuters – The United States is facing increasing difficulty acquiring intelligence needed to run its stealth drone program in Yemen, undermining a campaign against the most lethal branch of al Qaeda after Houthi rebels seized control of parts of the country’s security apparatus, U.S. officials say. Gaps in on-the-ground …

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Houthi accuses some foreign powers of conspiring against Yemen

Source: Press TV – The leader of Yemen’s Shia Houthi Ansarullah movement has accused some foreign powers of conspiring against Yemen and its nation amid the political tensions in the Arab country. Addressing thousands of his supporters in the northern city of Sa’ada on Tuesday, Abdul-Malik al-Houthi censured political factions …

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Houthis: Abducted aide to Yemen’s leader freed

Source: AP- An official representing Yemen’s Shiite rebels says an abducted presidential aide has been set free, after his seizure set in motion days of political turmoil that prompted the country’s embattled president to resign. The official told The Associated Press that Ahmed Awad bin Mubarak has been released and …

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US maintains intelligence relationship with Houthis

By Barbara Slavin for Al-Monitor – Senior US intelligence official Michael Vickers said Jan. 21 that the United States is continuing attacks on al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) despite ongoing violence in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa, and has an intelligence relationship with the Houthi insurgent group that has seized …

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Who Are the Houthis of Yemen?

Source: THE NEW YORK TIMES – The Houthis, an insurgent group based in northwestern Yemen, have been fighting the government intermittently since 2004, when the country was still led by President Ali Abdullah Saleh, a longtime autocrat and United States ally. While Yemen is mostly Sunni, the Houthis belong to …

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Iran’s shallow influence in Yemen

By Maysaa Shuja al-Deen – Translator: Pascale Menassa – Source: Al-monitor.com Ever since Sanaa fell into the hands of the Houthis on Sept. 21, 2014, Iranian officials have been rejoicing with their new victory in Yemen, which they consider a new land to spread their influence. The most popular statement …

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Yemen: At least 23 killed in Ibb’s suicide bombing

Reuters – A suicide bomber killed at least 23 people in central Yemen on Wednesday when he blew himself up at a cultural center where students were celebrating the Prophet Mohammad’s birthday, state news agency Saba said. At least 48 people were also injured, including many women and children and …

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Power struggle rages in Yemen

By Adel Moujahed al-Shurbaji for Assafir – Translated by Cynthia Milan for al-monitor- “Ruling Yemen is like dancing on snake heads,” former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh said, according to British researcher Victoria Clark. Poet Ibrahim al-Hadrani wrote, “The saddest and grouchiest people in the world are the ones who …

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Al Qaeda says Houthis will pay for their defiance

THE LEVANT  – Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, reacting to the loss of its strongholds to Shi’ite Houthi fighters, has accused its opponents of acting as a proxy for the United States and threatened renewed violence against them. In an audio message on jihadist websites, al AQAP’s military commander …

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Yemen: Civilian Toll of Fighting in Capital

THE LEVANT – The Houthi armed group and the Yemeni armed forces’ Sixth Regional Command appear to have committed violations of the laws of war during fighting in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, from September 17-21, 2014. The government should investigate alleged violations by both sides and appropriately punish those responsible. Human Rights …

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Arab States Voice Alarm Over Rebel Gains in Yemen

THE LEVANT – The capturing of Yemen’s capital by a Shiite militia in September is stoking alarm in Arab capitals that Iran is using the conflict to widen its power in the Middle East, according to senior Arab and U.S. officials. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and other …

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Blast kills senior Islamist politician in Yemen

THE LEVANT – A car bombing on Tuesday killed a leading member of Yemen’s powerful Sunni Al-Islah party whose supporters have been battling Shiite militias, a security official said. Al-Islah assistant secretary general Sadeq Mansur died “immediately” when a device inside the door of his car exploded in the country’s …

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Saudis arrested in Yemen were plotting bombings

THE LEVANT – Yemeni security forces have revealed that the five Saudi nationals who were arrested two days ago in Yemen were planning to carry out a bombing operation targeting a busy Yemeni facility where gatherings of military and civilian personnel are common. The detainees, who are all members of Al-Qaeda …

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