EXCLUSIVE – Situation report on Yemen

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SHAFAQNA –On March 25, over 100 Saudi Arabian Air Force jets bombed Yemen’s capital, Sana’a. The air strikes ostensibly targeted pro-Houthi installations, with the aim of stopping the advance of forces aligned with Ansar Allah and former President Ali Abdullah Saleh.That Joined mission took place after President Hadi made his first televised speech since fleeing house arrest and establishing himself in Aden, in which he promised to retake Houthi-controlled areas and secure Yemen’s “unity.”

In his own speech shortly thereafter, ‘Abd al-Malik al-Houthi called for an all-out mobilization of military and security forces, a move seen as a “declaration of war” by most observers.

President Hadi – who officially resigned from the presidency in January 2015 has alleged that since Parliament never did vetted his departure from power he therefore remains the incumbent and legitimate president of Yemen – called on the GCC and United Nations to military intervene against his enemies – the Houthis.

As the Houthis advanced on Aden on March 25, Hadi was seen fleeing Aden in a boat for an unknown location. Since the Hadi was seen in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, accompanied by several of his formerly resigned ministers.

US Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with GCC leaders on Thusday and confirmed that the United States supports the bombing campaign, which at present involves all GCC states with the exception of Oman. Egyptian, Pakistani, and Sudanese forces have announced their participation in the war effort against Yemen.

The Yemen Peace Project strongly condemns US support for military intervention in Yemen. The GCC strikes are not likely to have a positive impact on political negotiations, and are making life for ordinary Yemenis in the capital much harder. According to official sources, at least 835 Yemenis were killed in the bombings, among whom many women and children.

Aden – former capital of South Yemen –  was plunged in complete chaos after the commander of the Haddeed Military camp ordered soldiers to leave the camp and allow looters in. According to sources on the ground, weapons were looted by some of Hadi loyalists,ordinary people and Al Qaeda militants.

The Saudis have pledged to continue Yemen bombing campaign “until the Houthis are obliterated.”

The Coalition said it has established air superiority over Yemen and accomplished its initial goals of destroying air defence systems under Houthi control.

Airstrikes and explosions hit Yemen’s capital, San’sa, for a second day on Friday as Saudi-led air raids targeted Houthi militants,  the Associated Press reported. According to the military officials in Yemen, heavy airstrikes also targeted the northern city of Sa’ada, a stronghold of the Houthis.

The Pakistani Defense Minister Khawaja Asif said on Friday he has yet to decide whether or not to support Saudi Arabia’s military efforts in Yemen.He however, promised to defend the Saudis against any threat.

British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said on Friday that Saudi Arabia felt it necessary to intervene in Yemen to avoid an Iranian-backed regime from taking over the country along its southern border.

Yemen stands not on the brink of a humanitarian crisis of unprecedented proportion — rising food shortages, water shortage, fuel shortage. Over half of the population of Yemen lives in poverty and over a million children suffer from acute malnutrition.

 

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