Saudi royal air force bombs Yemeni wedding, again

This video says about itself:

100+ Yemeni Civilians Killed At Wedding By Saudi Airstrike

29 September 2015

The death toll from an air strike on a wedding party in Yemen has jumped to 131, medics said on Tuesday, in one of the deadliest attacks on civilians in Yemen’s war that drew strong condemnation from the U.N. secretary-general.

That was then. And now …

By James Tweedie:

Yemen: Saudis kill 30 in raid after rebels sign up to UN peace plan

Friday 9th October 2015

AT LEAST 30 people were killed when the Saudi-led coalition bombed a wedding, Yemeni officials said yesterday.

Wednesday’s attack came after the UN announced that the rebel Anasarullah movement — commonly known as the Houthis — had agreed to a ceasefire.

UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the group had signed up to a seven-point peace plan which includes abiding by security council resolution 2216, which requires the Houthis to withdraw from all areas they occupy — including the capital Sanaa — and to lay down their arms.

In return, the movement will be given a role in government and become a recognised political party.

The agreement was confirmed by Houthi spokesman Mohammed Abd al-Salam, according to Yemen’s Saba Net news agency.

Mr Salam also called on UN secretary-general Ban Ki Moon and the UN security council to back Yemen’s peace process.

The air raid took place in the town of Sanabani in Dhamar province, an area controlled by the Houthi rebels. The host of the wedding was a local tribal leader alleged to be an Ansarullah supporter.

The three local officials said that hospitals had been overwhelmed with the wounded.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi Arabia’s military coalition, which last week denied that it was responsible for the bombing of another wedding on September 28, killing more than 130 people.

But as the forces loyal to Houthi-backed presidential pretender Ali Abdullah Saleh possess no aircraft, suspicion fell on Saudi Arabia and its allies.

‘THE LIFE AND DEATH GAMBLE OF ATTENDING A WEDDING IN YEMEN’ “The wedding was almost over. Three brothers waited at their father’s house, as is tradition in Yemen, for their new brides to arrive. Then, according to relatives of the victims, the bombs fell.” [Charlotte Alfred, HuffPost]

Saudi air force kills 135, not 27, wedding guests

This building in Yemen was destroyed by Saudi airstrikes. Photo: OCHA/P. Kropf

I am sorry. This blog has been too optimistic about the bloody war of the Saudi Arabian absolute monarchy in Yemen.

Yesterday, I reported the Saudi royal airforce killed 27 wedding guests in Wahijah village in south-western Yemen. Much too low a number.

Later that day, the United Nations said:

Press release

Yemen: Ban condemns airstrikes that reportedly struck wedding party and killed over 100

28 September 2015 – Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today condemned the airstrikes that reportedly struck a wedding party in Wahijah village, outside of the Red Sea port city of Mokha in Yemen, killing as many as 135 people.

‘The Secretary-General expresses his deepest condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims and a swift recovery to those injured,’ his spokesperson said in a statement.

The statement added that any intentional attack against civilians is considered a serious violation of international humanitarian law and should be investigated through prompt, effective, independent and impartial mechanisms to ensure accountability.

As many as 131 people were killed in Yemen on Monday after Saudi coalition air strikes tore through a wedding party in the village of Al-Wahijah on the outskirts of the Red Sea port city of Mocha. The attack marks the deadliest civilian massacre yet in the six-month-old war being waged by a coalition of Arab monarchies and dictatorships spearheaded by Saudi Arabia, backed to the hilt by the United States: here.

Missing from reports of Yemeni carnage: Washington’s responsibility: here.

UK helped Saudi Arabia get UN human rights role through ‘secret deal’ to exchange votes, leaked documents suggest. ‘The ministry might find it an opportunity to exchange support with the United Kingdom’, leaked cable reportedly reads: here.

Ten reasons to oppose the Saudi monarchy: here.

Senior Saudi prince calls for regime change in Riyadh: here.

Saudi Arabia is worried – and not just about its king: here.

Britain: Corbyn: UK must drop Saudi prison bid in light of activist’s death sentence. Labour leader and other critics say plan for Ministry of Justice to act as advisers would imply approval for plans to execute democracy protester: here.

Saudi air force kills Yemeni wedding guests

Yemen map

It looks like the royal air force of Saudi Arabia are emulating their allies in the Pentagon and the CIA in the USA; allies which have killed wedding guests, brides and bridegrooms in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Somalia, in Yemen; etc.

From Reuters news agency:

At least 27 dead in air strike on Yemen wedding party: official

September 28, 2015 18:35 IST

At least 27 people, most of them women and children, were killed on Monday in an air strike on a wedding party in southwest Yemen, a local official and residents said.

A local resident said 12 women, eight children and seven men died in the air strike. A local official put the death toll at 30 in the village of Wahijah near the Red Sea port of Al-Mokha.

Saudi royal air force butchers Indian sailors

This video from the USA says about itself:

Is U.S. Abandoning Americans in Yemen? U.S. Citizen Recounts Harrowing Trip to Escape Saudi Attacks

9 April 2015

A coalition of civil rights organizations is calling on the Obama administration to evacuate U.S. citizens from war-torn Yemen as violence there claims more and more lives. In mid-February, the U.S. government closed its embassies in Yemen and evacuated its personnel. Last month, Yemen’s airports all but shut down amidst heavy fighting, making it nearly impossible to leave the Gulf state.

But critics say the Obama administration has effectively told American citizens to fend for themselves. The U.S. State Department‘s website states: “There are no plans for a U.S. government-coordinated evacuation of U.S. citizens at this time. We encourage all U.S. citizens to shelter in a secure location until they are able to depart safely.”

The U.S. refusal to evacuate its citizens comes despite its support for the Saudi-led bombing campaign against Houthi rebels in Yemen. The United States has vowed to ramp up weapons deliveries to members of the Saudi-led coalition, and agreed to perform aerial refueling of bombers. Meanwhile, governments of several countries including Russia, India, and even Somalia have sent ships to rescue their citizens. We are joined by Mokhtar Alkhanshali, a Yemeni American who has just managed to escape Yemen after being stranded there since December 2014.

From daily The Morning Star in Britain today:

Coalition kills 20 Indians on boat

YEMEN: Two boats carrying 20 Indian crew members were bombarded by aircraft while sailing between Somalia and Yemen, India’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday.

A day earlier the Yemeni coastguard had reported that the Saudi-led coalition fighting Yemen’s Shi’ite rebels had bombed more than five boats off the coast.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Vikas Swarup said that 13 crew members were alive and seven missing.

US & Saudi Arabia War Crimes Keep Killing Yemenis: here.

King of Bahrain sends his torturing sons to Yemen war

This video from England says about itself:

Solicitor Sue Willman on case against Bahrain prince accused of torture

Sue Willman from Deighton Pierce Glynn Solicitors speaking at “Forced Disappearance and Torture in the UAE” on 5 November 2014 in London.

I rarely quote from Al Arabiya TV, which is full of propaganda for the absolute monarchy of Saudi Arabia.

However, today is an exception. So, from Al Arabiya:

Bahrain’s King: My sons will be sent to help coalition forces in Yemen

Monday, 7 September 2015

Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa announced late on Sunday that his sons, Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad and Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad, will soon be joining Saudi-led coalition operations in Yemen, according to a report carried by pan-Arab newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat.

Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad is widely known as ‘the torture prince‘ for his cruelty against Bahraini sports people and other civilian prisoners, as part of the regime’s efforts to drown pro-democracy aspirations of the Bahraini people in blood.

Among several other torturing Bahraini royals is the other torture prince now reportedly going to the Yemen war, Sheikh Khalid bin Hamad.

“My sons will be joining their brothers in the Arab coalition forces in Yemen as part of their national military duties,” Bahrain’s King reportedly said.

The announcement of Bahraini royalty joining forces in Yemen came after five Bahraini, ten Saudi and 45 UAE troops were killed by Houthi militias during operations in Yemen last week.

If the two Bahraini princes really will go off to the bloody war in Yemen, if the report is not just propaganda, then that will mean, for the moment, two torturers less in Bahrain.

However, chances of Yemeni prisoners of war and civilian prisoners being tortured will go up.

Very probably, the Bahraini princes will not go to the dangerous areas of the military front lines. Their chances of dying will be considerably less than those of the United Arab Emirates conscripts, sent to Yemen by the UAE regime as cannon fodder against their and their families wishes.

Bahraini security forces have arrested 10 children under 18 over the past two weeks and they are now in custody instead of their classrooms, the Bahrain Center for Human Rights (BCHR) was quoted by the Arabic-language Al-Ahed news website as saying on Monday. The new school year in Bahrain started on Sunday as more than 240 schoolchildren are deprived of education because of their detention by the ruling Al Khalifa regime, the human rights body said: here.

As longtime legislators who believe in the promotion of human rights and dignity, we are deeply disappointed by the U.S. State Department’s recent decision to resume arms sales to Bahrain. U.S. arms sales should never aid and abet the repression of peaceful protesters, and we are introducing legislation to roll back this misguided decision: here.

U.S.-made cluster munitions causing civilian deaths in Yemen: here.

21 September 2015. On Sunday, a Saudi-led coalition air strike ripped through a market in Sanaa, Yemen, killing 69 civilians and injuring dozens of others. People had been out shopping for Eid al-Adha, the annual Muslim Feast of Sacrifice, when the bombs fell. Photos posted on social media show corpses strewn amidst the rubble in the aftermath of the assault: here.

Saudi royal air force kills Yemeni orphans

This video says about itself:

12 May 2015

Approximately 160 orphan children were brought from Sanaa and Taizz cities to protect them from clashes and Saudi-led air-strikes by the help of businessmen and several NGOs, in Ibb, Yemen on 11 May, 2015.

From Al Bawaba news agency:

Saudi coalition airstrike hits Sana’a orphanage

September 5th, 2015 – 10:58 GMT

An airstrike launched by the Saudi-led alliance in Yemen appears to have struck an orphanage Saturday morning in Sana’a’s al-Nahda neighbourhood, killing and injuring an unknown number of people, local medical sources told dpa.

There have been contradicting reports about the casualties, and whether they include children or not. No further details were immediately available.

Separately, a residential building was bombarded by an airstrike earlier in the day in the Hadda area, also in Sana’a, killing three and injuring five civilians, local sources said.

Meanwhile, sources at the Health Ministry said a state of emergency was announced due to the rising number of casualties from mistaken strikes upon civilian sites since Friday.

“Due to the ongoing airstrikes, there is no way to make an exact estimation of the number of the dead and injured at this stage, but they are dozens,” a source at the ministry told dpa.

Airstrikes against Houthi-held military sites in Sana’a and other parts of Yemen have intensified since Friday, but that has increased the possibility of them mistakenly targeting civilian areas.

Saudi Arabia and fellow Sunni partners have mounted since March an air campaign in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels, who still control large parts of the country.

As Yemen assault continues, US announces billion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia: here.

Stop US drone attacks on Yemeni civilians

This video says about itself:

Drone attacks in Yemen mostly hit civilians

17 July 2013

US drones strikes in Yemen nearly tripled last year compared to the year before, from 18 to 53, according to the New America Foundation, a Washington-based think tank. According to the Bureau of Investigative Journalism, there have been up to 154 strikes by US drones in Yemen since 2002, that has killed almost 800 people. But it is mostly civilians who are often injured or killed in these attacks. Al Jazeera’s Mohammed Adow reports from the village of Subul in Northern Yemen.

From daily News Line in Britain:

Thursday, 3 September 2015


A YEMENI family whose relatives were killed in a US drone strike have appealed to a German court to ensure that a US base in the country is not used for further attacks, which might endanger their lives.

In May 2014, a court in Cologne heard evidence from Faisal bin Ali Jaber, an environmental engineer from Sana’a, following revelations that Ramstein air base is used by the US to facilitate American drone strikes in Yemen.

Mr Jaber is bringing the case against Germany – represented by international human rights organisation Reprieve and its local partner the European Centre for Human Rights (ECCHR) – for failing to stop the bases on its territory from being used for the attacks that have killed civilians.

Although the court ruled against Mr bin Ali Jaber in the May hearing, it gave him immediate permission to appeal the decision, while the judges agreed with his assertion that it is ‘plausible’ Ramstein air base is crucial in facilitating drone strikes in Yemen.

Today’s appeal, filed at the Higher Administrative Court in Münster, asks the German government to end the country’s complicity in the extrajudicial killings. Mr Jaber lost his brother-in-law Salim, a preacher, and his nephew Waleed, a local police officer, when a US strike hit the village of Khashamir on 29 August 2012.

Salim often spoke out against extremism, and had used a sermon just days before he was killed to urge those present to reject Al Qaeda. Kat Craig, Legal Director at Reprieve, said: ‘It is now clear that US bases on German territory, such as Ramstein, provide a crucial hub for the launching of drone strikes in countries like Yemen – leading to scores of civilians being killed.

‘Faisal bin Ali Jaber and the countless other victims like him are right to call for an end to European countries’ complicity in these terrible attacks. The German courts have already signalled their serious concerns – now the government must be held accountable for allowing the use of German soil to carry out these killings.’

Andreas Schüller of the ECCHR said: ‘Drone strikes carried out outside of conflict zones are nothing but extrajudicial targeted killings – the implementation of death sentences without any trial. German authorities are under an obligation to protect individuals – including people living in Yemen – from suffering harm caused by breaches of international law involving Germany, but the exchange of diplomatic notes between the German and US government has to date proven to be wholly unsuitable. There needs to be a public debate on whether Germany is really doing enough to prevent violations of international law and the murder of innocent people.’

Background information on Faisal bin Ali Jaber’s case:

Faisal bin Ali Jaber is an engineer from Yemen. His brother-in-law Salem and nephew Waleed were killed by a US drone strike in 2012. Salem was an imam who was known for speaking out against al-Qaeda in his sermons, and Waleed was a local policeman.

Faisal’s relatives were given a bag containing $100,000 in US dollar bills as compensation, but the US has never admitted responsibility. ‘Our family are not your enemy. In fact, the people you killed had strongly and publicly opposed al-Qaeda. Salem was an imam.

‘The Friday before his death, he gave a guest sermon in the Khashamir mosque denouncing al-Qaeda’s hateful ideology. It was not the first of these sermons, but it was his last.’ Faisal went to Washington, DC, where he met with members of Congress and members of the National Security Council, and told his story to a number of journalists.

In July 2014, one of Faisal’s relatives was offered a bag containing $100,000 in US dollar bills at a meeting with the Yemeni National Security Bureau (NSB). The NSB official told a family representative that the money was from the US and that he had been asked to pass it along.

The payment came after the Yemeni government confirmed in writing that the US carried out the drone strike, and that the deaths of Faisal’s relatives were ‘a mistake’. The US has never publicly admitted that the strike that killed Waleed and Salem was a mistake.

The killings have never been investigated and the US has never apologised to Faisal and the rest of his family. ‘My family received money from the US government as an admission of their guilt for “mistakenly” killing our relatives in a drone strike. But this is not justice. There are many other families in Yemen who have lost innocent relatives in US drone strikes but do not receive hush money for speaking out,’ said Faisal bin Ali Jaber.

The Friday before he was killed, Salem had given a sermon at the mosque in the village of Khashamir, denouncing al-Qaeda’s ideology. A few days later, some strangers arrived in the village, demanding to speak with him. Salem eventually agreed to meet them, and took Waleed with him.

The two men went to meet the strangers near the local mosque, where they had parked their car. The whole group was then hit by a US drone missile, killing all of them. The strike took place on the second day of family wedding celebrations, which Salem and Waleed were attending.

Cori Crider, Reprieve’s Strategic Director and Faisal’s attorney, said: ‘President Obama is as reluctant as ever to admit the full extent of the US drone programme in Yemen – but money talks, even if the White House won’t.

‘Cash payments without full accountability won’t quell the outrage about civilian drone deaths, and continued US strikes will only bring further instability to Yemen. The victims’ families want and deserve an explanation, while the American people need to hear the truth about what is being done in their name.

‘In October 2014, we helped Faisal take legal action in the German Constitutional Court. We had discovered that German military bases were being used to facilitate drone strikes in Yemen – including the strike that killed Faisal’s relatives.

‘Our claim asked that the German administration stop the use of German territory for illegal actions by the US in Yemen. We argued that the German government is acting in breach of the country’s constitution by permitting the US to use its Ramstein airbase for illegal drone attacks abroad.

‘In May 2015, the court ruled against us, but the judge gave us immediate leave to appeal. This is a rare move, and means that our case could be heard again within months. This is the first time that the crucial role of Ramstein in facilitating the US drone programme has been challenged in court.

‘Without Germany – and other Western allies – the US could not fly the drones that kill innocent people. In June 2015, we heard that the German Federal Prosecutor’s office – Germany’s highest prosecuting office – has launched a “monitoring process”, which will investigate possible violations of international law involving Ramstein.

‘They have requested documents from government agencies, including the Ministry of Defence, that might indicate that they had an idea about what was happening in Ramstein. This is the first step of a much bigger journey towards making sure that people like Faisal and his family are able to live in peace, without the constant fear of drones hanging over them. We will continue to seek justice for Faisal and his family, and demand an end to US-led drone strikes.’

The United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the Pentagon’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) are carrying out a secret drone missile assassination program in Syria, the Washington Post reported late Tuesday: here.