Borysfen Intel

Winter Thunderstorms in Yemen. Part 2

December 17, 2013
<p>Winter Thunderstorms in Yemen. Part 2</p>

Volodymyr Guzenko — a graduate of the Military Institute of Foreign Languages ​​(Moscow). Now Volodymyr Guzenko is in the Republic of Yemen, where he can watch one of the revolutions of the “Arab Spring” on the spot

Winter Thunderstorms in Yemen. Part 1 Mutiny

Part 2. Yemenis in the USA

While in Sana'a are unfolding dramatic bloody events, in Washington have been concluded negotiations between the U.S. Department of Defence and the Yemeni Republic's military delegation. The Head of the Yemeni delegation Defence Minister Major General Mohammed Nasser Ahmed, following reports from Sana'a about the attempt of a military coup, interrupted the visit and returned home.

The Yemeni delegation, apart from the Minister of Defence, also included the Assistant Defence Minister of Yemen for logistical support, Head of the Department of Civil Defence, Head of the Coast Guard, Chargé d' Yemen in the USA, and Military Attaché of Yemen in the USA. The American delegation was headed by the Assistant Secretary of State for Political-Military Affairs Tom Kelly.

But the main thing is done — the major agreements with the Americans have been reached. However, it was easy — the USA needs Yemen no less than Yemen needs the United States.

It is noteworthy that in late November, Yemen was visited by the US  Department of Defense' delegation, led by Deputy Assistant Secretary of U.S. Department of Defence, which discussed the main issues of military cooperation directly with President Hadi.

In Washington, the Yemeni delegation basically finalized a number of issues and signed relevant agreements in the so-called “bilateral strategic dialogue between the Yemeni Republic and the USA”.  Was discussed and agreed the 3-year program of military-technical cooperation with a focus on fundamental needs of the Yemeni Republic's Army and Security Services, as well as the expansion and deepening of military cooperation between the two countries. In accordance with this program, the USA will help Yemen in training personnel, repair of weapons and equipment, demining, counter-terrorism, as well as in solving technical issues related to the reform of the Armed Forces of the Republic of Yemen.

As a special unit was discussed the development of the Air Force of the Yemeni Republic, possibility of providing them with modern techniques and equipment, enhance of the combat potential of the Special Forces, as well as providing state patrol of the land and sea borders.

In this regard, they discussed the American side's wishes to conduct a thorough study of the question of building the U.S. air multi-function air- base on the island of Socotra, mainly for reconnaissance aircrafts. In their turn, Americans pledged to provide a more efficient and effective assistance to the Yemeni Armed Forces, including supplies of arms and military equipment. It is reported that as the beginning of this cooperation can be considered the delivery to the Yemen Air Force of 12 tactical transport aircrafts for solving tasks of Border Guard and actions of  Special Forces.

In early November, at the air base Deylyami (Sana'a) arrived first two CN-235-00. The turboprop twin-engine plane is apparently similar to the famous C-130 “Hercules”; it can be considered the latter's miniature copy.

Note: Airplane STOL, i.e., with a short take-off (404 meters) and short landing run (378 m), is able to work from ground and unequipped runways. Load capacity is 6 tons, can accommodate up to 50 soldiers with all ammunition or two cars. Cruising speed - 455 km/h. Range at full load - 500 km, i.e., with the load of 1 ton – 2,500 km. In a word, it is just for Yemen.

But there can be seen a very interesting picture here. The USA are passing over these 12 aircrafts to Yemen for logistics of the Yemeni Special Forces, but first of all, of the Special Forces and Marine Corps of the USA. This immediately implies complete freedom of movement of the U.S. subunits all over the territory of Yemen. This is an application for the future of Yemen. At such a posing of the question, there is absolutely no reason for Americans to make in Yemen a heavy full face air base, — too expensive, and in an unstable region. Actually Americans get as their base all the Yemeni Air Force with all facilities and personnel. Not a bad idea, of course.

With an airbase in Socotra, Americans certainly gain control of key strategic sea communications from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf and along the African coast. It is also quite possible to carry out there maintenance and repair work of the American-built aircrafts, so to speak “cheaply and cheerfully”. In a word, all well ensconced...

Yemenis and not in Damadzhe alone. News from the fronts

In November in Algiers, 3 criminal cases were opened due to the deaths of three young Algerians in Yemen. Sister of one of the deceased said that her brother went to study at the Theological University of the Salafi “Dar al-Hadith” in the town of Damadzh in the province of Sa'ada. Police in the investigation found that there are about a dozen agencies to recruit students from the Salafis. After the outbreak of hostilities in Damadzhe, these agencies were renamed “centers to recruit volunteers to participate in the jihad against the Shia Houthis”. There was even a fatwa of local Algerian theologians, encouraging youth to Jihad in Yemen. Financing volunteers sent to Yemen through airports Jeddah and Riyadh is carried out through the Saudi Embassy in Algiers.

Fighting in Sa'ada continue, foreign volunteers come to the Salafis from Saudi Arabia almost weekly. Damadzh's siege continues. However, Houthis let the convoy to the besieged city with food, but confiscated all the medications, saying that they needed them. The Army does not interfere in the conflict, observing neutrality.

In general, the situation on the fronts has somewhat calmed down, daily bulletins report 5-10 people killed on both sides. Mainly, snipers work, and occasionally Houthis use artillery against both, Damadzh and the positions of the Salafis in Kitaf.

In the west there are lazy firefights, the sides are gathering forces. On December 5, in the village of Al Hamra, in the birthplace of Al-Ahmar (“the Ahmars' home”) was held a meeting led by Sheikh Hamid, which was attended by the main sheikhs of Sa'ada province. Hamid is trying to cobble together a broad opposition against the Houthis under his command. And on December 6th, the young Sheikh Hamid turned up in the village of Kutaa near the town of Hut, where he himself brought a new group of 30 people, mostly Europeans and some Africans.

I previously said that this direction Hut — port of Midi is strategic for “Muslim Brotherhood” and the Salafis, and for Houthis. Hut's residents are very concerned about such a concentration of “foreign” mercenaries. The European mercenaries, according to local residents, immediately after their arrival began banal robbery... This could not help causing the corresponding reaction of the local tribes and the urban population. Some of the sheikhs are already talking about cleaning the area from the “infidels” outsiders. Against this background Houthis have launched their propaganda campaign, declaring all the mercenaries “infidels”, who can and should be killed without further ado. (Don't forget that according to the Koran, Muslims cannot fight Muslims, and therefore the fatwa “takfir”: is used, i.e. accusing of not believing).

The situation on the Saudi-Yemeni border in Jawf has got worse. Saudi troops have come close to the boundary, restoring old fortifications and erecting new ones. In some places they invaded Yemen, but under suppression were forced to retreat. The aim is to ensure construction of the separation border wall. In the area ​​construction machinery is concentrated of the Saudi Bin Laden's company and Egyptian “Raskom”. Moreover, Yemenis found there concentration of equipment of the oil Saudi-American Company “Ram Anko” (not to be confused with ARAMCO!), ready for the beginning of exploration drilling, and this is a gross violation of the 1998 Agreement on the border.

Chairman of the founding committee “Desert Movement for the liberation of the occupied territories”, Sheikh Hassan Abu Khadra in his statement announced Saudi Arabia an aggressor, flagrantly violating international agreements, declared a “mobilization” of tribal militias (“People's Army”) in the province of Jawf. And militia opened fire on the Saudis on the 7th of December. However, Sheikh Abu Khadra later explained that those were warning shots into the air, but they did work...

Abu Khadra said that the one-sided development of natural resources in the 20-kilometer border zone is a violation, especially because the “Desert Movement” considers the provinces of Asir, Najran and Jizan and Sana'a Yemen's territory and will not allow the looting of its riches. That's so... The Sheikh is wise, one can't find faults after his statements that until the conclusion of a new Agreement on the border, which Saudiyya so rudely tore with its actions, the Taiff Agreement is being reanimated, on which these provinces are considered Yemeni provinces. Only in this way and not the other way...

Of course, Saudi Arabia will press on Yemen, on President Hadi, on tribes with all the strength, but after the statement of captured terrorists about Saudis' participation in the attack at the DM, after publication of details of the massacre made by Saudis in the hospital, the information about connections between the  leadership of Saudiyya with General Ali Mohsin in the preparation and implementation of this action will greatly strengthen the positions of President Hadi in solving contention questions, I think, connected not only with foreign countries... Naturally, the Saudis will try to show everything in their own light, denying their having anything to do with terrorist attacks, and terrorists and all the rest of the things, so we can only wait and see...

Other News from Yemen

As I reported earlier, two specialists from Belarus were shot near a hotel in Sana'a. Anatoly Mazynsky was killed, the other, Sergei Baranov, survived. The bullet hit him in the head, shattering the jaw. From the military hospital he, the dead body of his friend and the two survivors-experts were hurriedly sent home. They really worked in the 3rd Brigade of the Guard of the leadership and indeed they were tankers. All they were civilian specialists, serving the tanks repaired in Belarus. Here the terrorists made a mistake — chose the wrong target, they were clearly hunting for rocket specialists but fired first comers. Most likely, they were confused by the specialists’ belonging to the 3rd Brigade, where the complexes “Tochka-U” were sent.

After the attack on the Defence Ministry in al-Aridi, public opinion is not calming down. Messages of condolence are coming by a continuous flow — from the USA, from the UN Secretary General, from all the Arab heads of state, in a word, from all sides. The most remarkable is the telegram from leaders of “al-Qaeda” in Yemen, in which they strongly deny any involvement in the attack. They just were not involved. Characteristically, this telegram came after reports about Saudis' having been involved in the operation. According to them, the first promulgated by someone statement is false from start to finish. The following argument is interesting: “Only a sick mind could imagine the UAV Control Center being in a generals' hospital, there are no such patients among us!” Or this passage: “The atrocities of terrorists among the medical staff are simply inexplicable! Everyone knows that you cannot even use sound signals near a hospital, let alone blow up cars or shoot an RPG". We are not at war with our own people; we are fighting only against the infidels, Americans”... It's up to you to estimate them. By the way, all the analysts, both, Yemeni and Western ones, have agreed that the main target was assassination of President Abdo Rabbo Hadi.

There is a big wave of publications criticizing President Hadi, first of all for the wrong policy in the reform of the Army and Security Forces. Reproaches are reasonable — could not prevent, means did not cope. Heads are not flying off yet, but we'll see – whether they will fly off at all, whether there will be enough political power and will to take such steps. If not, things look black...

And another news — these days Yemen became the 160th member of the WTO. 16 years the country has struggled to get into this club, and finally realized the dream of every Yemeni... Will this help?  Isn't it too late?


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