Stop Saudi war on Yemen now


This video from London, England says about itself:

Hands Off Yemen protest outside Saudi Embassy, London

11 April 2015

A protest arranged by the Stop The War Coalition outside the Saudi Arabian Embassy in London today attracted large crowds of people who held placards aloft and chanted. Yemeni people want the Saudis to stop attacking their country.

John Rees from the Stop The War Coalition addresses the crowds gathered opposite the Saudia Arabian Embassy in London earlier today.

This video is also about that demonstration in London.

From daily The Independent in England:

Daniel Wickham

Friday 10 April 2015

Britain and America are helping Saudi Arabia push Yemen towards total collapse

As the humanitarian crisis deepens, the UK has said that it will support the bombing campaign ‘in every practical way short of engaging in combat’

As Yemen’s political and economic crisis deepens, the United States and Britain have decided to throw their weight behind a Saudi-led coalition of Arab states currently bombing the Houthi rebel group. …

By providing warplanes and, in the case of the United States, logistical and intelligence support, both countries are playing an important, enabling role in the operation, which in recent weeks has contributed to a sharp escalation of violence in Yemen.

Why should this concern us? Well, for a start, the air campaign is killing large numbers of innocent civilians, and is greatly exacerbating a severe, pre-existing humanitarian crisis.

Secondly, opposition to it is reportedly so “widespread” in Yemen that even opponents of the Houthi rebels have promised to back them against the coalition.

And thirdly, informed observers like Adam Baron and Frederic Wehrey have already warned that the airstrikes could create a vacuum for extremist groups like al-Qai’da in the Arabian Peninsula to take advantage of (something which is apparently already happening). …

The most obvious reason for this is the indiscriminate way it is being fought. In one of the worst attacks of the operation so far, airstrikes by the Saudi-led coalition killed at least 29 civilians who were sheltering in a camp for displaced people in the north, burning beyond recognition and tearing apart their bodies in the process. Four children and two women were also burnt to death in a coalition airstrike purportedly targeting a Houthi checkpoint in the governorate of Ibb a day later.

Shocking though they are, reports like these should not come as a surprise. Back in 2009, the Saudi air force killed hundreds, if not thousands, of Yemeni civilians in another misguided bombing campaign against the Houthis. Amnesty International later found that it was “extremely likely” that British-supplied jets were used in the attacks, and called for arms exports to be suspended in response. Sadly, this fell on deaf ears. Today, Saudi Arabia provides the largest market for British-manufactured warplanes and military equipment in the world – arms which may now be helping them to devastate Yemen’s civilian population all over again.

The humanitarian situation is another important, but gravely overlooked factor. Yemen is the poorest country in the Arab world, with 14.7m people in need of aid, 13.1m people without access to safe water and 10.6m people not knowing where their next meal is coming from. Since the bombing began, the crisis has deteriorated, with life-saving aid being blocked – in some cases deliberately by the Saudi-led coalition – and much-needed food imports grinding to a halt.

As the civilian death toll increases, infrastructure is destroyed and tens of thousands of people are forced to flee their homes, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has warned that the country is “on the verge of total collapse.”

The West’s role in all of this goes far beyond just public statements of approval for the anti-Houthi campaign. An early statement by the White House confirmed that President Obama has authorised logistical and intelligence support, which officials say includes helping Saudi Arabia to “decide what and where to bomb”. According to the Washington Post, most of the jets used by the Saudi air force are likely to be US-made, as indeed are the warplanes contributed by Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan and Morocco to the coalition.

Several days in, the US then said that it was also providing additional bombs and aerial refuelling missions for planes carrying out the strikes. This announcement, it should be stressed, came after reports of civilian casualties had begun to surface, including of the killing of six children under the age of ten in a coalition airstrike in Sana’a the day before.

Britain, for its part, has said that it will support the bombing campaign “in every practical way short of engaging in combat”, and has openly acknowledged that British-made jets have been involved. This has led to calls for the British government to investigate whether or not these jets may have been responsible for the killing of civilians, with questions being raised in particular over their possible use in the horrifying attack on a camp for displaced people last week (though, in reality, the use of US-made jets is far more likely).

So what can be done to improve the situation? The short answer is there is no short answer. But steps can be taken, including by the Saudi-led coalition’s Western allies, to reduce the suffering of Yemen’s civilian population and bring the warring parties closer to a resolution.

As the International Crisis Group, an international conflict prevention NGO, explained in a recent briefing, “the slim chance to salvage a political process requires that regional actors immediately cease military action”. The United States and Britain should therefore be doing everything they can to restrain their allies and bring this disastrous operation – which they are both fully complicit in – to an immediate end. If they don’t, it will be the people of Yemen who pay the price.

TURKEY AND SAUDI ARABIA DISCUSSING OUSTER OF ASSAD “Turkey and Saudi Arabia, two nations with a long history of rivalry, are in high-level talks with the goal of forming a military alliance to oust Syrian President Bashar Assad, according to sources familiar with the discussions … As the partnership is currently envisioned, Turkey would provide ground troops, supported by Saudi Arabian airstrikes, to assist moderate Syrian opposition fighters against Assad’s regime, according to one of the sources.” [Ryan Grim, Sophia Jones and Jessica Schulberg, HuffPost]